Elizabeth’s Legacy

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, mainly due to the lack of reading or watching of anything worth writing about. I’ve spent most of my time binge watching NCIS and PSYCH.

However, I am pleased to report that I have FINALLY discovered something worth writing about – Elizabeth’s Legacy, the first book in the Royal Institute of Magic series by the late Victor Kloss.

Two years after his parents’ sudden disappearance, Ben Greenwood stumbles upon a cryptic letter that could shed some light on their whereabouts. But before he can track them down, he’ll need to find the mysterious organization that sent the letter: The Royal Institute of Magic.

Amazon.com description

For those of us who loved the Harry Potter series, you will definitely see some parallels – orphaned British boy, unpleasant relative, hidden magical world. But if you give it a chance, you will soon discover a unique, clever world that, aside from those few parallels, is not anything like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The magic of Taecia is not dark. In fact, it is almost a science, which is a clever spin on the magic we are familiar with. The humans of Taecia live a life fully integrated with the non-magical folks, using cell phones, computers, etc. Fun fact, they even attend school in the non-magical world!

There is little to no profanity which is often unheard of in books these days, and I love the camaraderie between the main characters. Their loyalty and sense of humor – especially Charlie’s (Ben’s best friend) is truly appreciated.

This is one of those rare, clean books that parents can enjoy with their kids. So, check it out!

Definitely getting added to my “favorites” list.

The Son of the Morning: Book One of The Nightfall Wars

SonoftheMorning

They’re back! The nightwalkers. After 50 years of peace, they are back to wreak havoc on the kingdom of Entarna. 

As a boy, Alesh watched these creatures slaughter his parents, receiving a nasty scar in the process. Rescued by the high priest of Amedan after his parents’ death, Alesh is raised as a palace servant, and while he feels intense loyalty to Chosen Olliman, his rescuer, he doubts the existence of the gods. 

When Chosen Olliman is brutally murdered, Alesh finds his life turned upside down once more as he sets off on a quest to save Ilrika, the city under the protection of the late Chosen Olliman.

My favorite aspect of The Son of the Morning: Book One of the Nightfall Wars by Jacob Peppers was Alesh’s struggle with faith. Circumstances in Alesh’s life led him to question the existence and value of the gods, and I am curious as to how that will play out in future books. 

While I enjoyed the plot and characters, I did not appreciate the frequent use of profanity, particularly the F-word. The story is not laden with swear words, but the F-word is used regularly enough to make sensitive readers uncomfortable. In fact, had I not wanted to see how Alesh’s faith journey played out, I would not have continued reading it. 

Due to the frequent use of the F-word, this book is not getting added to my “favorites” list, nor is it one I will be recommending. 

Timebound

TimeboundJust finished reading Timebound by Rysa Walker.

It was an entertaining story about a teenage girl named Kate who learns she has a special ability to time travel, an ability her grandmother is hoping she will use to stop the Cyrists, a religious cult created by another time traveler who seeks to rewrite history for his own benefit.

While I enjoyed the book, time travel stories aren’t really my thing. However, I will be adding Timebound to my list of “enjoyed” books for teens/young adults as the story itself is well written and entertaining and worth recommending to those who enjoy time travel novels.

In the meantime, I think I will check out one of Ms. Walker’s other series, the Thistlewood Star Mysteries. But, for those who enjoy time travel, check out Timebound by Rysa Walker. It is the first book in The Chronos Files.

P.S. The reason this is going on my teen/young adult list is because there is a mild description of Kate making out with her boyfriend as well as some very vague adult references. I think I’d give this book a PG rating as the descriptions aren’t graphic. However, it’s not something I would want my 10 year old kid reading, if of course, I had a 10 year old kid.

 

Twinborn Chronicles

twinbonrchronciles1This is a loooooooooong story!

I downloaded the audio version of Twinborn Chronicles: Awakening Collection by J.S. Morin from Audible. The download included the first three books in the series – Firehurler, Ethersmith, and Sourcetheif. In total, the collection is 67 hours and 32 minutes! So, you understand why I say this is a loooooooong story. The narrator, Mikael Naramore, does a fabulous job with all the characters (and believe me, there are a lot of them).

The story is difficult to explain, so below is the description of the collection from Amazon:

Caught in plots between two worlds, his only hope is to awaken the link between them.

Kyrus had lived a quiet life as a scribe until his dreams begin seeping into his waking life. Fanciful tales of magic and battle turn out to be real. In his sleep, he witnesses the adventures of his twin. Kyrus is swept up in the intrigues of those who already know of this connection between worlds.

As his knowledge of the two worlds grows, so does his entanglement in the intrigues between them. Kyrus discovers friends, lovers, and adversaries among the twinborn. His knowledge of magic grows until he becomes a valuable pawn for masterminds of plots that threaten empires.

Kyrus must learn a deadly game against opponents who already know the rules. He must join forces with his twin to combat threats in both worlds. One misstep or misplaced trust and Kyrus could find himself dying…twice.

Twinborn Chronicles: Awakening Collection is a three-book collection chronicling the adventures of heroes who alter two worlds. For fans of epic fantasy who aren’t looking to start another unfinished series, the Twinborn Chronicles provides multiple new worlds to explore and all the closure you’ve long been denied.

©2012 J.S. Morin (P)2018 J.S. Morin

The general idea is that there are two worlds, and most people go through life never knowing of the existence of the other world. However, some individuals have “twins” living in the other world, and whenever one twin sleeps, instead of dreaming, he/she sees the daily life of their twin. Kyrus is one of these “twinborn” and soon finds himself on an adventure he never imagined. After all, he was just a scribe, but now, he is so much more!

The characters in the story are very well developed and complicated. Even the villains you have sympathy for, and for me, I wasn’t exactly sure whose side I was on. 🙂 My favorite aspect about the book was its uniqueness. The idea that people have “twins” living in another world made for an interesting dynamic, especially when the twins realized their connection and used it as a tool for spying, negotiating, and communicating with each other and their enemies.

As I said previously, this is a loooong story. I listened to the first two books and started the third. I got impatient and wanted to know what happened, so I skipped to the end and never actually completed the third book in its entirety. I think, had I downloaded and listened to each book individually instead of as a collection, I might have enjoyed it more and not been so impatient to finish it. But, overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others, with the disclaimer that it is long and thus requires some patience to complete.

P.S. It will be added to my “favorites” list.

Plague of Shadows by Michael Wisehart

PlagueofShadowsHow long do I have to wait for the next one?

I can say with certainty that I enjoyed this book far more than the first one, probably because there is significantly less torture. (The torture in the first book made me squeamish.)

In the last book, my favorite storylines were ones involving Ty and the Weilder Council, but in this book, I really enjoyed Ferrin, Rae, and Ayrion’s storylines.

I will say from a reader’s standpoint, the book could have benefited from a synopsis of the first book, The White Tower, along with a character list and short bio of each. It has been a long time since the first book was released (approx. 3 years), and I’d forgotten some major plot details and supporting characters, some of whom have a larger role in this book. After reading 12 chapters of Plague of Shadows, I decided to re-listen to the first book to refresh my memory. Once I did that, I was able to truly enjoy Plaque of Shadows.

In conclusion, this series is still in my top-10 list and is definitely worth reading. (I’m even thinking about buying the audio version. Tim Gerard Reynolds is an AMAZING narrator!) But, if you have not read The White Tower recently, you will want to do so before starting this book (unless you are one of the lucky few with a photographic memory).

I received an advance copy of “Plaque of Shadows” by Michael Wisehart in exchange for a review.