Sufficiently Advanced Magic

Adventure awaits in this land of magic and mythical gods!

Five years ago, Tristan Cadence disappeared during his Judgement – a potentially fatal quest to earn a magical attunement. Now, it is Corin Cadence’s turn to enter the Serpent Spire for his Judgement, and Corin has only one thing on his mind – find his brother.

By completing the Judgement, Corin hopes to earn a powerful attunement that will enable him to find his brother. As with all heroes, things never go as planned. While Corin does survive the Judgement, the attunement he receives is not one he was hoping for; furthermore, his actions in the Spire may have put him on the wrong side of the gods. And the last thing any teenager wants, is to be an enemy of the gods.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic, book one of the Arcane Ascension series, by Andrew Rowe quickly draws readers in with it’s easy to read (or listen to) writing style and well developed characters. Once you start, you won’t want to stop.

Arcane Ascension is one series I will be adding to my “favorites” list for teens and adults.

In terms of content, I give book one, Sufficiently Advanced Magic, a PG rating and book two, On the Shoulders of Titans, a PG-13 rating. The series contains some brief references to LGBTQ issues/topics. For the most part these references are quick and almost feel like they were thrown in there for the sake of being politically correct. However, because the second book has a few more references and contains some innuendoes, I would be hesitant to recommended it to younger children. (I will note that books one and two did not contain any sex. I have not read book three yet, but I hope it continues to remain relatively clean.)

Rockslide by Michael Wisehart

Rockslide2Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors, alongside Michael J. Sullivan, John Bierce, and Brian McClellan. So, I was extremely excited to be part of the “review team” for Rockslide, the third installment of the series Street Rats of Aramoor.

In this book, Ayrion finds himself responsible for a group of outcasts from the various street tribes of Aaramoor. Starving and harassed by the other tribes, the outcasts are struggling simply to survive. Feeling the burden of leadership, Ayrion and his friends Reevie and Sapphire endeavor to save the outcasts as well as the members of Hurricane by earning entrance into the Guild. However, nothing is ever easy, and several members of the Guild are eager to see the demise of Ayrion and the Hurricane tribe, so they ask an impossible price, one that Ayrion cannot pay without extreme risk to his life.

If you have not already done so, I suggest re-reading Hurricane (the second book in the series). It has been a long time since I read it, and consequently, when I started reading Rockslide, it took me a while to recall who the various characters were and how they related to one another.

As I said before, Michael Wisehart is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy the way he writes. Personally, I thought Rockslide was a little slow, but that may be due to the fact that I know where the story is going. I have read, and truly love, The Aldoran Chronicles and know the role that Aryion plays in that series. Consequently, I am very eager (one might say impatient), to see how he gets there. However, Rockslide, like the other Street Rats books, primarily still deals with Aryion’s life on the streets of Aramoor. So, I guess I will just have to learn to be patient while I wait for Aryion to grow from being a street rat to the character he is in The Aldoran Chronicles.

A little bit of waiting never hurt anyone….right?

Authors, Artists & Artisans!

Had a nice time at the Higher Ground Books & Media‘s “Authors, Artists & Artisans!” event.

I spent way too much money, but hey, I got some Christmas gifts! (Thanks Michael Fehskens and Meaghan Fisher: Children’s Author)

Met some authors that I’ve read (J.Kevin Earp) and several that I’d like to read (Mina R Raulston, Parker Stevens, and Carolyn Williams). My reading list just got longer!

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Splendors and Gloom

Splendor's and Gloom.jpgWeird. That is the only way I can describe Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. As far as children’s fiction books go, this is rather dark, and the story is confusing. The story bounces back and forth between different character’s and perspectives, and the real focus of the story does not become clear until much later in the book. (About ½ way through the book you finally figure out what happened to Clara, and ¾ of the way through the book you finally realize how all these characters relate to one another.)

The synopsis of the story makes it sound like the focus is discovering what happened to Clara, however, in truth, her disappearance is only a small part of the bigger picture. Perhaps a better synopsis would be:

An old curse, two enemies, and the lives of three unhappy children collide in this tale of magic and greed set in London in the 1800s. Cassandra, a witch who will stop at nothing to dispel her curse, and Grisini, a master puppeteer with a desire for power and money, care little for the lives they must take and the happiness they will destroy in their quest for freedom and power. Caught in between are three children – Clara Wintermute, Lizzie Rose, and Parsefall – each being viewed as a tool – a puppet – for Cassandra and Grisini to achieve their desires. Life was hard for the children, and thanks to Cassandra and Grisini, it just became harder.

The story though, is not without merit. The children, even Parsefall who is the most “hardened” of the children, are examples of selflessness and courage. Lizzie Rose in particular is a good example of compassion, showing mercy and kindness even to those who hurt and mistreat her. The story also has an interesting way of dealing with each character’s grief and helping them find the peace and healing they very much need.