Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2) by Kitty Lewis Review

It’s time to return to the epic fantasy world filled with magic, gods and goddesses, and one young woman seeking revenge for her brother’s demise in author Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2).

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It’s time to return to the epic fantasy world filled with magic, gods and goddesses, and one young woman seeking revenge for her brother’s demise in author Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills (Legends of the Lost Tribes Book 2). Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

The old priests have fallen, the Demons are no more, but Kandrina has yet to find out what really killed her brother. Her need for revenge takes her and her former teacher on a perilous journey into uncharted territory. They must travel north, into the lands of the fearsome lizard men known as the Li Buqu. Meanwhile, the tribal lands are under attack from predators, and rising internal conflicts between the Vice-Chiefs threaten to disrupt the People’s way of life. 

The Review

After conquering the corrupt high priests and setting the record straight about the Colourless, the hero Kandrina returns to find the monster responsible for her brother’s death. In her journey she discovers a fearsome and powerful race of beings known as the Li Buqu. There she learns just how large her world is, and must prevent an all out war that threatens to tear the world apart.

The author does a marvelous job of building upon the foundation laid in the first book. Moving on from the corruption of a twisted man’s take on religion, the story instead focuses to mirror mankind’s tendency to invade lands they feel belong to them, even when someone else or something else is already living there. The mythology expands greatly as we meet this new civilization, and the character growth of Kandrina especially in this story is so engaging that it keeps readers invested in the story, something not every author can accomplish with a book’s sequel.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It’s the perfect sequel to the original book and continues to expand upon a world that is ripe for a full blown series. It captures the fantasy element in a very creative way and explores mythology in a comprehensive way that allows readers to get into it themselves. Be sure to grab your copy of Kitty Lewis’s novel “Beyond the Serpent Hills” today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BK87426/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07BK87426&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

https://www.kittylewisfantasy.net/

https://www.facebook.com/KittyLewisAuthor/

 

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Interview with Author Colm Dowd

1)Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Most of my writing has been in the form of song lyrics. I am the founder of the indie folk/rock group, The Last Hope Road Show. This is why I am dying to get the audio book narration done so I can finish what I hope to be an OC type soundtrack for the finished version. Some of the music I produce is theatrical in nature and I have been working the story and soundtrack for a couple of musicals. So  writing a novel was not really a big stretch.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

While I had always wanted to write, the catalyst for this book came from my son, who was nine at the time. He expressed interest in writing a book so I joined in, and the friendly competition helped us both to continue on. He has gone on to become a very good writer. So in that sense, this book has already become a success for me.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

While  I think that story telling can be a powerful medium to get important messages out there that need to be told, sometimes it’s just about entertainment. Fantasy books can get a little bit deep and involved, this is not one of those, not at this point in the series. That said, a couple of serious issues are brushed over in the book and they will have to be addressed later in the series.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

My books are of the middle grade/young adult fantasy genre. I suppose you can blame Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for this, but that would probably be simplistic. Way back in the day I used to stay up to watch the old 50’s science fiction movies being played late Saturday nights with my mom. I came up with some bizarre fantasy land short stories in my early teenage years, but nothing I ever pursued. In the end though, do we really need more real life?

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

By far the most interesting character in the book is the villain Salazon. While he seems to pretty much hate everybody. H especially seems to hold a grudge against his own people, the Northfighters. What really went down with him to get to where he is right now? While being very intelligent and cavalier in his attitude, he still seems to be holding on to a very deep grudge that will have to be explained somewhere down the line.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook and Goodreads are probably the most useful sites when it comes to starting out with your book. As I have quite a few illustrations within the book I will be pushing a big Instagram campaign, which will include T-shirts.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Getting into anything is tough these days. It’s pretty easy to self-publish your book. This is great when you get it done, not so great when it gets drowned in the other thousands of books in your genre. But if you have joined in some author groups and build up your network before your release, I’m sure you’ll get there.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am currently working on the second book in the series, which is a lot of fun to write. It’s a big advantage with a series, most of the setup is already in place and you can get to all the fun storylines a lot quicker. The fantasy world holds a dozen different ways the story can go. Unfortunately for me, the storyline in the real world was going to be including a lot of political humor. The idea is Salazon, a raving lunatic, takes over as mayor of New York and thinks of himself as a king. Uh…yeah I know. Saying it out loud, it does sound a bit too far-fetched, even for fantasy.

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You can read my official review of the author’s book here!

Firstborn (Descendants of the House of Bathory #2) by Tosca Lee Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The truth of Audra Ellison’s past is revealed, and now the fight for not only her life but all of her people can truly begin in author Tosca Lee’s second and final book in the Descendants of the House of Bathory series, Firstborn. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test.

The Review

This book does what all sequels should do. It builds upon the foundation laid by the first book and ups the ante in big and unexpected ways. Firstborn does an amazing job of seeing Audra fully embrace herself after her long journey to discover who she is. In the series conclusion, we see a more confident and determined Audra emerge, a hero risen from the ashes and set on ending a centuries long war that has claimed too many lives.

The book moves at a fast pace from the first page, keeping readers on the edge of their seat as they race right alongside Audra on her journey. What really drew me into the story was the way the author challenges readers to think about history itself. After reading the book I dug into the history behind Elizabeth Bathory, and some of the details of her case really have me challenging what I thought I knew.

Time and pop culture have made her into a terrifying monster, embellishing the number of her victims and the crimes she was accused of. Did she really kill all those people? Or was she the target of a King’s ambition? After reading this fiction book, I am definitely intrigued enough to look into this case further, and encourage others to do the same. That’s the power this author has over readers. She challenges readers to look at life critically and examine all sides of any situation.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. It has a heart pounding journey that leads to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. Readers who love the first book will not be disappointed, and it not only makes you want to delve into the true history of this story but has you feeling connected to Audra and her friends as if you have lived this journey with them, marking a truly captivating story and author. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Firstborn by Tosca Lee today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1476798672/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1476798672&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

About the Author

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Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

Tosca’s highly-anticipated new thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

Social Media Links

https://toscalee.com/

https://twitter.com/ToscaLee

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee

https://www.instagram.com/toscalee/

Check out the review for book one, The Progeny, here!

The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1) by Tosca Lee Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The legend of one of history’s most notorious female serial killers turns into a full blown conspiracy in author Tosca Lee’s highly acclaimed novel The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1). A thrilling historical fiction/fantasy takes readers into the life of one young woman with a mysterious past she has to piece together and learn who she can trust before those who hunt her finally catch up. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Ted Dekker’s The Books of Mortals, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

The Review

As a fan of history and in particular the story of Elizabeth Bathory, this book immediately fascinated me. The idea that the families of her victims could have vowed to hunt down her entire lineage is interesting, as it explores what happens when the descendants of the famed Blood Countess become the victims and the families of her victims become monsters just like her. The supernatural elements brought the fantasy elements to life in a natural way for this historical fiction, and made the story flow at an even pace.

The characters are what really made this story shine however. From protagonist Emily Jacobs and her struggle to learn who she really is, to the back and forth struggle to learn who to trust, and who to fear, these characters really drew the reader in with heartfelt storylines and action-fueled chases around the world.

The Verdict

This is a must read first book in what promises to be a phenomenal two book series. Fans of history, true crime serial killer legends and fantasy will fall in love with Tosca Lee’s story of survival, love and the journey to learn the truth. Who is Emily Jacobs? Who was Elizabeth Bathory really? Pick up your copy of The Progeny by Tosca Lee to find out!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Progeny-Novel-Descendants-House-Bathory-ebook/dp/B010MH9YUW?keywords=tosca+lee&qid=1540774411&sr=8-2&ref=sr_1_2

About the Author

 

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Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

Tosca’s highly-anticipated new thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

Social Media Links

https://toscalee.com/

https://twitter.com/ToscaLee

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee

https://www.instagram.com/toscalee/

Check out my review of the second book in the series, Firstborn, here!

Mermaids Are Real: The Mystiq Prong by Bo Wu Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A phenomenal new YA adventure begins in author Bo Wu’s novel Mermaids Are Real: The Mystiq Prong. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

“’Crabs talk?’ asked Benji. 

‘Everything in nature speaks. Not everything in nature listens,’ said Octavius nodding Topside.” 

Benji Fisher has spent the first twelve years of his life growing up in a small fishing town, Topside. He’s gotten used to the gang of dolphins who follow him on his surfboard and the voices he hears under the water; odd things that have, in their repetition, become part of normal everyday life. 

However, none of that prepares him for the recruitment speech he gets from an octopus named Octavius and three of the dolphins the night before his thirteenth birthday. 

What would you do if your ‘calling’ in life required you to take a leap/dive of faith? Would you take the plunge? 

The Review

This was an incredibly original and unique take on the YA genre. Mermaids have been a constant source of mystery and intrigue in pop culture. Author Bo Wu has created a fabulous mythology not only for mermaids but for the entire ocean world. A world often taken for granted or ignored by humanity as a whole, the author did a wonderful job highlighting the beauty of the natural ocean world and the danger of our carelessness and ignorance of our impact on that world.

The characters drew you in immediately. From the bond between father and son duo Joe and protagonist Benji, to the mermaids and ocean life that Benji bonds with as he gets accustomed to his home world. This story played heavily on the fantasy/mythological side of the YA genre, and the result was a thrilling journey filled with untold danger, a mysterious new world and one of the most original settings in a YA novel this year.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this book. The story was filled with intricate details and characters that kept the reader pulled in the entire read, and made for an evenly paced read at that. The story does a marvelous job of creating a memorable villain and shocking twists that will change the narrative of the story several times. With a satisfying conclusion that leaves the possibility for future books open without leaving readers on a cliffhanger, I certainly hope we get to return to Aquari and explore Benji’s story more in future installments. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Mermaids Are Real: The Mystiq Prong by Bo Wu today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FTMLGQS/ref=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_ku_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07FTMLGQS&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Learn More About the Author At The Links Below

https://mermaidsarereal.co/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40966179-mermaids-are-real

Northfighters: The View From The Christallis by Colm Dowd Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Worlds collide in author Colm Dowd’s debut YA novel “Northfighters: The View From The Christallis”. The first in what hopes to be a powerful new YA series, a world filled with magic and creatures unlike anything our world has ever seen merges with our own world, and four kids find themselves thrust into a war they never asked for. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

What happens when you start to write a book for your kids to compete with Pokémon but you take so long to write it, it ends up more influenced by Smallville, Lost, Lord of the Rings and The X-Files? (To name a few) You end up with ‘Northfighters – The View from the Chrystallis’.

This is not your typical fantasy book, but it is a fantasy. And it has it all.

Eleven year old Chris Talbot is the likeable protagonist, with his nerdy friend Josh, his bully nemesis Mike, and his heart’s desire Sylvia. All four of them end up avoiding near death on their school trip near Seattle. They are being pursued by ghoulish monsters that have been sent after them by the charismatic yet maniacal super villain Salazon. Salazon ‘The Evil’ as he would prefer to be known has supreme psychic powers and a pretty big chip on his shoulder. He has an elaborate scheme to trigger a massive battle between two of his world’s people that, he just doesn’t want to have around anymore.

Salazon has been given a forewarning that this boy Chris is somehow going to be a thorn in his side. Luckily for Chris and his friends, they are taken through a portal to a strange and beautiful land by the heroic Talbar, a lord of the Northfighter people. Talbar, with three of his fellow men, make it their duty to guide the children on a trek with war and deceit all around them, to try to find the real reason the kids have ended up here.

The spectre of Salazon builds throughout the book, but he is not the only stuff of legend that is to be found in this land. Fables tell of great and powerful beasts, the true Northfighters, namesakes of the people that came after. Do they exist? Salazon and Talbar both believe that they do. And this may be where the children are to come in.

Back in the real world the tough and cynical detective Janet Lansing is perplexed by the mystery surrounding the missing kids. Where this is all going and why is anyone’s guess. But it’s an entertaining ride, come jump on.

The Review

This was a fantastic read. Some of the most original fantasy driven characters and creatures I’ve read in a long time, this novel blends the real world drama of four children disappearing from a school field trip and the police investigation that sparks as a result, to the heroic adventures of a rag tag group of warriors and four children who try to stop all out war between various nations. The mythological scale of the battles and the power of the villain Salazon will keep readers entranced throughout the entire story.

While there were brief areas within the story that held some minor grammatical errors, the overall story and mythology built by the author was so powerful that these moments never deterred from the overall story. The characters were relatable and engaging, while the setting felt like the YA equivalent to Game of Thrones. The blend of fantasy and drama felt natural and helped the story flow smoothly, making this read truly amazing.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this book. Filled with action, character development and shocking twists and turns, readers will love to get lost in this new fantasy world created by author Colm Dowd. With a cliff-hanger ending that leaves room for a hopeful sequel, this is a must read YA adventure like no other. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Northfighters: The View From the Christallis today!

Rating: 9/10

https://www.amazon.com/Northfighters-View-Chrystallis-Colm-Dowd-ebook/dp/B07J1Z5TXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540436403&sr=1-1&keywords=9781999466602

Keys of the Origins (The Scions of Balance #1) by Melissa A. Joy Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A powerful new high fantasy novel takes flight in author Melissa A. Joy’s novel Keys of the Origins (The Scions of Balance #1). Here’s the synopsis:

Synopsis

In a world where ancient races still dwell, 

the events of an age-old prophecy begin to stir. 

From the pages of an antique tome, 

there is much the ancients themselves have yet to learn.

The time has come for the Keys of the Origin to play their part in restoring balance to Aeldynn; but how will their choices affect the outcome?

Two young men; one a righteous law-abiding servant to the people, the other a distinguished outlaw, don’t yet realise they are to play a part in a foretold bid for the future of Aeldynn. Fate leads them down a road they would never have dreamed of following; a road that leads them into a struggle to bring the world back into a state of balance from the precipice of madness and desolation.

It is not only Zehn and Larkh who are fated to take on the malevolent forces of Aeldynn; there are others who must join with them as they are coaxed into the embrace of the ancient Nays and the fabled Drahknyr, who are also entangled in the masterful puppeteering of a renegade sorceress hell bent on reviving the greatest threat of all; Alymarn.

Review

This book was rich with mythology building, character development and a phenomenal story like no other. The High Fantasy world created by the author is a blend of other series like Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and the Throne of Glass series all rolled into one. Far off lands, mystical creatures and various different species all swirl around a powerful and dark force that threatens to tear the world apart. Ancient rivalries, long foretold prophecies and intimate connections between the characters all bring this novel into new and uncharted territory within the genre, making this novel stand out.

The writing was intricate, detailed and yet real all at once. The author speaks through this book with the confidence and creativity that makes readers feel as if they are traveling through Aeldynn themselves. The imagery almost plays out as if you are in a visual work of art only seen in modern day video games, giving it a cinematic feel throughout the novel.

Overall I loved the story. This book is a great step into a fantastic new fantasy series that needs to be told. Filled with maturity, honesty and some of the most intricate and detailed mythology I’ve read in a fantasy series, this is a must read for any high fantasy fan out there. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Melissa A. Joy’s novel Keys of the Origins (The Scions of Balance #1) today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/Keys-Origin-Scions-Balance-book-ebook/dp/B01DLCEIU6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536581070&sr=1-1&keywords=Keys+of+the+Origin

http://aeldynnlore.com/

About the Author

melissajoyauthorpic

Melissa A. Joy is a fantasy author who challenges the conventional expectations of fantasy and takes them to a whole new level.  It is no secret that she believes in the existence of all things fantastical, and that anything is possible.

She began building the world of Aeldynn and started writing seriously aged approximately 13, and has since developed it into something truly magical worth sharing.  From the glorious winged Drahknyr and wise and fearsome dragons to pirates of the high seas and a world rich with history and lore, her imagination could be said to be limitless.

When she isn’t locked in a reverie about what’s going on in the world of Aeldynn, she’s probably out sailing the high seas on a tall ship, or perhaps dressed up in costume at an anime convention.

You can connect with Melissa on the following Social Media platforms:-

Facebook:- DefinitiveImaginationMJ (FB)
Twitter:- @DefineImagineMJ (Twitter)
Website:- The Official Website of Melissa A. Joy and Aeldynn Lore

You can buy her books here:-

Canada:- Buy Melissa A. Joy’s books in Canada

UK/Europe:- Buy Melissa A. Joy’s books in UK/Europe

US/Rest of the World:- Buy Melissa A. Joy’s books in US/Rest of the World

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