Tag Archives: epic fantasy

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Agben School,” BY AUTHOR @SPARKES777

the-agben-school-by-jo-sparkes

  • Title:  The Agben School, Book 2 of the Legend of the Gamesmen
  • Author: Jo Sparkes
  • File Size: 2569 KB
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Oscar Press
  • Publication Date: July 19, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:  B00LYO1VFE
  • ISBN-10: 978-0-9853318-5-6
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Sword & Sorcery, Sports, Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the Author’s Words:

“Agben had stood for a thousand years. A mysterious school housing more than students, it was the seat of the powerful Women of Agben and the center for harnessing the potency of herbs. Few knew all that transpired within the walls.

And now Marra stood at its gate.

With friends and support stripped from her, the fragile life she’d built for herself now lays in tatters. And the source of this evil hunted her like a deer culled from the herd. The gateway before her was her only hope.

For as the city itself crumbled, all depended not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the valiant men who’d brought them this far. Everything depended on finding a magic powder in the vaults of Agben itself.

Everything depended on her.”

The second book in the series takes place in Missea. The third book, “The Dim Continent,” is in the works, and will be the last in the series. However, I’ll probably write more stories in this world because I won’t be able to resist.

From the Inside Flap: Hiding from an evil that stripped away friends and support, a young woman discovers the future of her race depends not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the heroic men who’d brought them this far. Everything depends on her.

 My Recommendation:

The Agben School is the exciting sequel to The Birr Elixir which I read and reviewed here.

The story resumes with Marra and the Truemen team finally arriving in the land of Missea, where Tryst is a Skullan prince, although nobody knows his real identity. The Skullan and the Trumen are the gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom.

New to the city, Marra looks for a shop where she can buy herbs for her elixir for the team. The boy running the shop presents her with a mysterious box. She keeps it hidden, not knowing its actual use, or who it was meant for. As a Truemen, Marra is required to be subservient to the Skullan, so she keeps her secret.

Marra’s herbalist skills out surpass many other Bristas. It is revealed that she possesses an acute sense of smell, a gift so rare, it earns her a coveted place as a student at the school. Once there, she learns the Women of Agben are the most powerful in Missea. There is a mystical magic found in the potions and elixirs created and taught at the institution. However, there is a dark magic that hangs over the palace. Soon it becomes apparent that only Marra can rid Missea of the evil malignancy growing within the castle walls and possibly within the Agben school.

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball contains distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth. As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The author, Jo Sparkes, skillfully weaves a story within a fantasy kingdom that leaves you wanting more. The detail about the Agben School and the study of herbs was excellent. There is quite the mystery here, and I am sure all will be revealed in the final book of the series, The Dim Continent.

I must add that this book could stand alone because the main details from The Birr Elixir are intertwined within the pages of the story. Even so, I loved the first book and would encourage everyone to read it. The rich descriptions put you right into the action, and you feel like you are peeking over Marra’s shoulder waiting to learn her fate.

If you love epic fantasy with the added excitement of tournament games, you will love this book and the series.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4-5-stars

 

 

jo-sparkes

Author, Jo Sparks

 

About Jo Sparks:

From television shows to articles for Arizona Sports Fans Network, Jo’s been writing for years. She’s taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism.”

Her fantasy ‘The Birr Elixir’ was awarded a Silver Ippy; her script ‘Frank Retrieval’ won the Kay Snow Award.

She’s probably most recognized as the lady walking her dog in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

You can connect with Jo Sparkes through her Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sparkes777

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

 

 

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Pearseus, Schism” BY AUTHOR @NICHOLAS_ROSSIS

Pearseus Schism

  • Title:  Pearseus – Schism Rise of the Prince
  • Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
  • File Size: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: January 23, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FXOJQA8
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction-Fantasy

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

FROM THE AUTHOR:

Humanity starts over. Again.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the year of 2099, but the distinguished guests aboard the Pearseus won’t get to countdown seconds; soon they’ll be counting bodies and survivors after the spaceship’s crash landing on another planet.

The good news? The planet is seemingly hospitable both in resources and in terms of the natives’ attitude towards earthlings.

The bad news? They might have come on this planet bare of possessions, but what they haven’t been able to shed are the shortcomings of their human nature. Will that be the sole threat to a unified future, or is the new land and its first inhabitants not as innocent as they look?

Schism is the prequel to the Amazon best-selling series, Pearseus.

Recommendation:

I don’t know how I did it, but it appears that after reading the Pearseus series, I neglected to read the very first book, a prequel novel, you could say. Without further ado, I contacted the author, Nicholas Rossis, and he kindly provided me with a copy. And… let me tell you! I was glad I did!

To read my reviews of Pearseus, Books 1 – 3: Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil, click here.

Just to be sure that I understood what I was reading, I looked up the word “Schism.” Dictionary.com explains that a schism means “a division or disunion, especially into mutually opposed parties.” I don’t think the author could have chosen a better word for the title of his book.

Schism begins when the “Pearseus,” a spaceship, crashes on an unknown planet due to the negligence of one of its top officers. Chaos ensues and the survivors have nothing left to do but to create a new civilization in order to survive. Much in the same way man has conquered the continents on earth, the survivors drive the natural inhabitants of the planet to a remote area far away leaving the survivors to rule the area they have settled.

However, factions within the surviving party have a different agenda. True to human nature, corruption within the rank and file causes some of the survivors to scheme on their own. A darkness creeps into the group of a kind that mankind has never seen before. The civilization known as Pearseus begins to fall apart. The schism is now complete and the stage is set for the Pearseus series.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to read this first book. Although Nicholas Rossis does a superb job at keeping you abreast of the happenings in each book, this first book gives you a glimpse into the personalities of the crew and the catalyst that set the whole series into motion. You won’t want to leave this book out!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

5gold-star3

 

 

 

Nicholas Rossis

Author, Nicholas Rossis

About Nicholas Rossis:

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, earned a finalist slot in the 2015 International Book Awards.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on:

Blog: http://bit.ly/1G79bQS
eNovel Authors: http://bit.ly/1JZEQct
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18lyLr5
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1dKgsPT
Google+ : http://bit.ly/1IkzR22 

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

Welcome Award Winning Author L.R.W. Lee to LitWorldInterviews. @lrwlee

LRW Lee AuthorWelcome to author L. R. W. Lee to the fold. If you’ve been visiting the site lately, you already know she’s become a big part of the crowd. She’s here to share her interviews and reviews to give authors a bit more coverage in the world of the web.

Lee is the author of two series. Let’s take a look at them.

First up is the Epic Fantasy genre Andy Smithson series.

Andy Smithson by LRW LeeCurrently FREE. Book 1 Andy Smithson-Blast of the Dragon’s Fury

Book Description

“Ten-year-old Andy Smithson believes he is merely a kid too often in trouble with his overambitious parents–until his destiny as the Chosen One to break a 500-year-old curse is revealed. Swept away to the land of Oomaldee of medieval times, he discovers he must collect several ingredients for a magic potion to defeat the oppressive curse that plagues the land, the first of which is the scale of a red dragon, the fiercest of all dragon species. There’s just one tiny problem, he’s never battled dragons, except in his Dragon Slayer video game. Armed with only his wits, an ancient sword and a magic key, he must overcome grave peril at every turn before he can even attempt the feat. No pressure, but it’s his skill alone that will save – or condemn – the kingdom forever. ”

5-star-transparent
“From a 13-year-old’s perspective, I really enjoyed “Blast of the Dragon’s Fury.” It was fun, exciting, and mysterious. I enjoyed everything from the ominous vulture men, to the foggy, cursed land of Oomaldee (maybe it’s just me, but I love cool names for places and things, and this book is full of great names!). The characters were interesting, and the plot intriguing. The beginning was a bit slow, but after a little while, I felt like it really took off. I also loved the dragons, as these mythical creatures are a personal favorite of mine. The plot was thick, the characters great, and I really enjoyed reading this book!”

Andy Smithson Series by LRW Lee

Next we have the Grumpy Dragons series. Written with author Brian Rathbone.

Stories that help early readers learn life lessons is a fun and imaginative way.

Grumpy Dragon Series by LRW Lee

Not only is Lee an award winning author but she also does book reviews and has her own creation, a youtube channel where she interviews authors. You may have heard of her, Book Nerd Paradise.

Book Nerd ParadiseWhere can you contact this awesome person in regards to her blog, author site and more?  Click HERE for her LitWordInterviews.com Page with her links to know.

OR

I’ll be nice and give you the info here.

Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

Author Site: LRWLee.com

Twitter: @lrwlee

Facebook: LRWLee Author

Contact: Author Site

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Pearseus,” BY AUTHOR @NICHOLAS_ROSSIS

Pearseus books 1 to 3

  • Title:  Pearseus, Books 1 – 3: Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil
  • Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
  • File Size: 1882 KB
  • Print Length: 911 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Nicholas Rossis
  • Publication Date: July 17, 2014
  • Sold by  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LX9UUIY
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Book Blurb from the author:

“Pearseus does for ancient Greece what Game of Thrones did for Medieval England.”
The first three books of the Amazon genre best-selling series.

Three hundred years after humans crash land on Pearseus, Styx, the Capital’s cruel ruler, learns of a dark prophecy: Cyrus, a young boy, will one day slay her. She imprisons him, but days before his execution he escapes with the help of the First, the planet’s native inhabitants. On their way to safety, nightmarish monsters attack. Cyrus flees, scared and alone until a pair of First warriors rescue him and spirit him away to the mysterious Old Woman.

All Cyrus wants is to reunite with his family. But the Old Woman insists Cyrus is the foretold instrument in the First’s ancient war against a shadowy enemy who will stop at nothing to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny. Heart and mind war within Cyrus as he learns he must choose between his family and preventing humanity’s extinction.

The bundle contains the three first books in the series.

Note: The original version of this bundle contained the prequel, Pearseus: Schism. The new version contains Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil.

Recommendation:

I read this collection without reading the first book, Schism so I had to do some catching up before I began. Luckily, included in the beginning of the collection is a character synopsis and map of Pearseus so you can bring yourself up to date with the events that preceded. I really liked this feature because it gave me a sneak peek into the characters from the onset of the book.

Pearseus is an epic fantasy novel of which I had never read the likes of before. It has all the elements of a fantasy novel but it is enriched with the elements of a science fiction novel too. What an imaginative and fascinating read! From the very beginning of the novel, I was hooked! A new genre has been created: Science Fiction Fantasy.

The plot is one of the most interesting I have encountered. A spaceship is forced to land on a planet that is already inhabited by other life forms that terraformed the planet into what they wanted it to resemble. The refugees from the spaceship are forced to survive in a land fraught with danger. They clash with the “First,” inhabitants which cause the two groups to split. The First go off to the north and the human refugees remain in the territory they took from the First, thereby segregating themselves from each other.

Now, years into the future, most technological advancements have vanished from the original space crew refugee descendants. There are still a few reminders around such as tablets and some weapons of mass destruction. The really interesting part was that the people of the future  have regressed into a feudal society with different factions and clans fighting for control using ancient weapons like swords, and knives. At times, I found the societies resembled ancient Greece intertwined with eastern philosophies to make up their complex political and philosophical beliefs.

What I really loved was how detailed the author was in creating all the different factions and clans. The detail is so thorough and believable. To explain, Pearseus was settled by three different life forms. The original inhabitants of the planet were overtaken by the First, who were then overtaken by the refugees of the spaceship. All of these life forms coexist together at the same time on Pearseus resulting in plenty of conflicts. I told you I was blown away at the detail!

Through it all, magic and technology unite in an explosive war between “The Whispers,” “The Fallen,” and “The Orbs.” The humans are brought into the battle to help win the war and to fulfill the ancient prophecies.

I must note that the author kept the intrigue going by switching each chapter in all three books with another character’s point of view. This gave me the perspective from all sides, good and evil. It was a unique and effective storytelling method that really propelled the novel along.

I personally enjoyed the deep characterizations added to the different life forms. In addition, there was plenty of philosophy, hatred, and intrigue much like a modern society today, which added a sense of realism to Pearseus. I understood the struggles of all the life forms and likened it to the differences in cultures today found on our own planet.

At the heart of the books are four central characters that stand out as having the perfect combination of strengths and flaws that together make an unbeatable team. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

Nicholas Rossis Author, Nicholas Rossis

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 stars
About Nicholas Rossis:

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His first children’s book, Runaway Smile, has won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, among other distinctions.

Many of his short stories have appeared in various collections and anthologies. He has published two collections; The Power of Six and Infinite Waters, which was voted as one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

From the author: A little-known fact about writing your first book: unless you inform others of your intention well in advance, you might find yourself in an awkward position.  Like, when you present your manuscript to your parents so they can read it.  A couple of months later, when you ask if they have read it, your dad will go, slightly annoyed, “no, I’m re-reading Martin’s books right now, so it’ll have to wait.”

Then, a further couple of months later, he’ll call you late at night to say, “great book, son, with some fantastic ideas!  I was totally hooked.  A page-turner; kept me up at night.  You know what this guy did?  He took historical elements from ancient Greece and created a space opera with them.”

And you’ll say, after a brief pause, “what guy?”

And your dad will say, in a confused voice, “why, whoever wrote this.  There was no name on the manuscript.”

Now, what I should have said, of course, is something along the lines of “it’s not really a space opera, dad, but a dark epic fantasy with a sci-fi twist, where the heroes face tough moral dilemmas, discovering themselves in the process.”

But no-one talks to their dad this way, right?

So all I said, once I managed to stop laughing, was, “I wrote it, dad.  But I’m super glad you liked it even before you knew that.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on his blog at nicholasrossis.me, enovelauthorsatwork.com, and Google+ at Nicholas C. Rossis

Make certain to connect with Nicholas through his Twitter @Nicholas_Rossis

And Facebook at NicholasCRossis

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 1122016