Deceiver: Mystical Mountain Magic Book 1 by Guy Brooke

Deceiver: Mystical Mountan Magic Book 1

by Guy Brooke

Genre: Fantasy, Children

Four Stars

The world has become a harsh and hopeless place, and the only hope for it lies in the mountain of Misty.

In the forests around Misty live two refugees and their baby girl who will play a key role in the mountain’s plans. Yes, the mountain has plans, along with his unusual friend. The natives who live at the base of the mountain and even the animals will all play a part in the plan, because a terrible creature has invaded their home. With its beautiful, haunting song it will lead them to destruction purely for its own enjoyment. This monster and its unknown plans threaten to destroy the only chance for hope in to return to the world.

Deceiver is a delightfully whimsical story, reminiscent of a Native American folk tale. The vibrant characters drew me in and pulled me through a story that kept me guessing what could possibly happen next. With so many reboots and formulaic novels out there, it is really refreshing to be able to enjoy a story that keeps me wondering.

I especially enjoyed the character of Misty. Seldom have I read about a living mountain and I loved to hear how Guy brought a geological formation to life. And he certainly did!

Aside from a little bit of repetitive sentence structure and poetry rhythm that worried me a little, this story had everything I could ask for. The story is written as the beginning of a series, not so much a stand-alone story. The ending made me impatient to see how the characters fare after their fantastic adventure, so I am excited to read and review the second book next.

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Treason by S.M. Boyce

Treason

Book Two of The Grimoire Trilogy

Genre: Fantasy, Epic

Kara the Vagabond is still trying to bring peace to the land of Ourea. The Yakona rulers, the Bloods are not making it easy, fighting at every turn and backstabbing for all they’re worth. Kara and Braeden both must face their identity, the parts they know and the parts they don’t. They must overcome their faults and the faults of others to grasp at peace. Even Kara’s mentor gets in on the bickering. Death threatens, beckons, and sometimes has a good point. Can they overcome the pettiness of the Bloods and understandable excuses to bail on the backstabbing jerks? Will they survive the murderous Carden and all the other nasties out to kill, torture, maim, and destroy? Will they be able to overcome their  own fears and admit that they love each other?

The second book in the Grimoire Trilogy is just as fascinating as the first. (I felt a little disappointed that there are only three. I loved the explorations of the hidden parts of the self, the ones we hide from ourselves and the ones we discover to our dismay. The theme of “the monster within” was given so many great twists and turns! I loved the guilt and the fears of the characters. Their motives were true-to-life and full of errors just like all of us poor dummies. The hunger for love, revenge, justice, truth, and salvation almost had a flavor.

As in the first, there were a few of the same hidden errors, but I didn’t stop long enough to note them because I wanted to hear what happened next.

Once again, S.M. brought a personal narrative into an epic tale again and again, making me care about, hate, love, and want to smack all manner of imaginary creatures as if I knew them. Her world is so well thought-out and rich that I could completely immerse myself in it.

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Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

Lichgates

Book One of the Grimoire Trilogy

by S.M. Boyce

Genre: Fantasy, Epic

Kara has wandered into another world and her life will never be the same. She wanted a hike in an area she had never seen before, and boy did she get her wish! Ourea is a world parallel to ours, hidden, and accessible by portals called Lichgates. What Kara finds on the other side of the Lichgate transforms her into The Vagabond and sets her on a course to unite the stubborn, divided Yakona races and bring peace to Ourea once again. Threatening everyone is the evil Carden and his terrifying Stelian race. Joined by a mysterious and alluring man named Braeden, she explores this new land and learns what it is to be The Vagabond.

S.M. Boyce has created a lush world of fascinating creatures and high drama. Politics, age-old vendettas, secret kingdoms, and mysterious creatures are just some of the fascinating world. This book, the beginning of the series, is really rather epic.

Kara struggles in a very real way with the guilt and grief of losing those close to her. Her grief and guilt shape her and inhibit her. I loved the scenes where she relived her painful memories, not because I’m a sadist or anything, but because they were so well-written and truthful.

I did see one or two errors in the editing, but it really didn’t detract from the story at all. I just wanted to hear what was going to happen next.

The world of Ourea is so full of variety and completeness that it’s kind of hard to believe that somebody created it and that it isn’t real. S.M’s characters are vivid and believable. No one is perfect. All have their flaws and hang-ups, including Kara. I just really loved this book and can’t wait to get to the next one!

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