“The Fire And The Forge” Jack Geurts – Book Review

Would you rather be the conquered or the conqueror?

In a world where gods pull the strings of mortals and people wield the power of the elements, the nation of Libera is attacked by its age-old enemy, the Kem, who lay waste to the land and its armies with their demonic powers of fire and steel.

Imharak, a blacksmith’s apprentice, is forced to leave his home town when it is raided and burned to the ground. 

Together with his master, Gaius, he flees into the wilderness, heading for Gaius’ brother, who is caught near a city that has just been conquered by the Kem.

What troubles Imharak is not so much the invasion, but the fact that he shares the same powers as the invaders, leading him to question where he came from.

He never knew his parents – he was raised as a Liberite and destined to be a common blacksmith. His powers had always made him an outcast, and now he starts to think he might have more in common with the conquerors than with the conquered.

Soon, Imharak will find his allegiances torn between both sides. As he and Gaius journey closer to the lion’s den, Imharak will discover who he really is and what he is capable of.

A bloody, harrowing adventure that takes its cues from ancient civilisations and mythologies, The Fire and the Forge is like no fantasy you’ve ever read.

While a lot of epic fantasy is set in a world resembling medieval Europe, The Fire and the Forge is influenced by ancient Mediterranean civilisations like Egypt, Israel, Carthage and Rome. 

It owes more to the world of the Old Testament and Mt. Olympus than the world of knights, wizards and castles.

You’ll find no elves, dwarves or goblins here. No dark lords, dragon-slayers or prophecies. 

You’ll find no good or evil, but only a grey sense of morality as people are forced to make life-or-death decisions in a harsh and brutal world.

From the very first sentence, this intimate, character-driven tale will dig its hooks into you and haul you along to the bitter end.

The Fire and the Forge Cover

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Geurts delivers a compelling tale of the reluctant orphan who finds himself to be more than he could ever have imagined. Imharak’s place in the world is so much more than the sum of his bloodline. Finding himself in the midst of invasion, Imharak must discover which side of himself to align with. Will he be the conqueror or the conquered?

“The Fire And The Forge” is incredibly quotable. Geurts weaves life lessons like a true philosopher. Like Aesop, Geurts’ writing teach caution when caution is due and encourage a critical filter while disseminating information.

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Gaius, while not being blood related to Imharak, rears the boy with love and wisdom. Gaius’ past is never far from his thoughts and he uses the bloody lessons he’s learned to give Imharak a deeper understanding of life than most in their feudal land. The love between them adds a depth to this story that most tales like this lack. It puts a very human face on fiction and weaves a story that will, brick by brick, add pieces to the readers life. I’m better for reading this story.

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Unlike most fantasy, “The Fire And The Forge” has a setting that is closer to a Roman or Egyptian civilization and it’s a very nice reprieve from the ever present “dark ages” scene. The characters range in race and culture. It’s a story rich in diversity as well as adversity.

I especially enjoyed the different “magics” illustrated here. What a powerful imagination Geurts must have. There aren’t many stories that I recommend for film but this is absolutely one of them. If given the chance, I think it would rock the world on the scale of the “Game of Thrones” series. Yes, it really is that good.

I am completely caught in Geurts’ web and won’t be getting out anytime soon. I look forward to continuing the series.

5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: The Fire And The Forge | Series: Pantheon |  Author(s): Jack Geurts  |Publisher: Amazon Digital Sales LLC / Publication Date: 9-20-2017 |Pages: 448 (Print) |ISBN/ASIN: B075T5D6YN |Genre(s): Fantasy / Fables / Mythology / Fairy Tales |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 10-26-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

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Book Spotlight – “Fox In The City” Daniel Cabrera

This is the story of a fox–a fox named Tom. A fox who couldn’t in his wildest dreams imagine what it would be like to stand up on two. To behold and experience all the wonders of the world of man. The lights that light up the ground: The hum of the engines that roar and the fervor that engulfs everyone in the impassioned pursuit of happiness. Could he understand that the most amazing part is not in what we built?

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One great thing about this book is it’s appeal to a wide range of age groups! Looking for a new book for your teen? Great! Adult? Great! It’s appropriate for everyone. Keep an eye out for our review in the next few days.

Spoiler – We LOVED it!

Have you read this book? Hop on over to Goodreads or Amazon and show this book some love by leaving a review! Drop us a comment and let us know what you thought!

 

 

Book Review “Broken” Heather McCollum

synopsis

Taylin Banes’ familiar world shatters when the cruel curse that kept her unable to love is broken. Now she’s bombarded by all the piercing human emotions she’d been forbidden over eleven torturous lifetimes. The nightmares of her deaths crack through her tough exterior, reminding her that this last life is fragile, and fear becomes a new type of torture. Even though the dark curse is broken, the stigma remains, especially amongst the members of the Magic Alliance.

Zach Buchanan comes from a long line of Guardians and has trained with the Magic Alliance his whole life. With the shake-up in the organization over the recent end of Lamont’s curse and psychotic breakdown of a high-powered Guardian, he’s been reassigned. He is to help The Cursed learn basic protection skills. But can Zach set aside his hatred for the infamous Taylin Banes who targeted his family two generations ago?

As Taylin and Zach clash, a sinister force rises up, targeting members of the Magic Alliance and Taylin. With her last life on the line, Zach turns from instructor to protector as the frenetic conflict sparking between them transforms into a fierce attraction. Together they must stop the malevolence threatening those with innate magic before darkness consumes them all.

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First lines: Even with the window wide open, the tang of fresh paint makes my nose itch as I, Taylin Banes, stare at the three remaining black walls of my bedroom.

McCollum has written another captivating book in “The Guardians Series”. This time the story is all about Taylin. Deep, troubled but oh so talented Taylin. The book begins with Taylin transforming her bedroom and herself. It looks like she is trying to shake off the darkness of the curse but the trouble isn’t completely gone. As Taylin’s paranoia rises it becomes increasingly obvious that although the curse is broken, the damage it creates is still on the move.

“Broken” moves much faster than “Siren’s Song”. The fast pace accentuates Taylin’s paranoia and really gets the suspense train rolling. It wasn’t until I was well into the book that I had any idea who the person/persons were tormenting Taylin. The attacks she faces are clever and full of symbolism. Kudos to McCollum for creativity! 

The few loose ends that McCollum left in “Siren’s Song” are cleared up in “Broken”. Luke, Jule, Matt and Taylin’s characters remain strong. The addition of the new characters (like Zach) was done nicely. I was impressed at how much depth McCollum is able to pack into each character with so few words. 

This is definitely a stand alone novel so I have no idea what the next book in the series is going to be about. I hope that it explores Matt’s life and maybe what’s going on with him and Carly. 

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Broken  | Series:  The Guardians Series  |  Author(s): Heather McCollum |Publisher: Spencer Hill Press / Publication Date: 3-26-2015 |Pages: 306 (Print) | ISBN: B00VAOYCA4  |Genre(s): Paranormal Romance & Science Fiction |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 9-14-2016 |Source: Copy from Author

P.s. This book has another cover too. The one I’ve used in this post is the cover on my copy. I prefer this one.

Book Spotlight “The Keeper and the Rulership”

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In a world where both magic and mathematics are forbidden, Raneh is growing magic and she can’t seem to stop. She’ll face the death penalty if anybody catches her, so she hides it in the weeds of her family’s land, pretending to be a typical eighteen-year-old heir. And it works.

Until the Ruler comes to visit.

Now, with the purpose of the Ruler’s visit a mystery and not only her safety but her family’s reputation in danger, she has to find a way to do the impossible:

Stop growing magic.

The Keeper and the rulership cover

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What are reviewers saying?

“The Keeper and the Rulership” is a delightful fantasy for readers of all ages. Author Emily Martha Sorensen has created a nicely done world in which people freely get to choose their roles – landowner, mathematician, vassal, magician – yet they have to follow strict rules for whatever role they pick.     – Drebbles

This was a very unique read. I blew through this book. This world was so interesting that I cringed every time I had to put the book down. I just had to know what would happen next. – AlliesOpinions

I highly recommend this book for those love well-written feel good adventure stories, suitable for ages 5 to 120! – DeepThought

With an average of 4.4 stars this is a book you don’t want to miss! 

About the author!

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Emily Martha Sorensen is the author of The Keeper and the Rulership, Black Magic Academy, and the Fairy Senses series.  She also writes and draws a webcomic that updates every Friday: To Prevent World Peace.

She has four adorable little monsters (*ahem* children), and her husband is magnificent, wonderful, and even a great writer in the bargain: he wrote the fantasy book Prophecy, and he has a second book forthcoming soon.

Book Review “Delilah Dusticle” by A. J. York

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Delilah Dusticle has special powers. She can completely eradicate dust. With her quiver pouch of special dusters, Delilah can run up walls, reaching places others just can’t. As a maid in the Fenchurch-Whittington house, Delilah’s unusual skills soon lead to her being promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day, when a broken heart leads to her powers taking an expected turn.

This is the first book in a quirky middle grade fantasy series. The story entices the reader into a new and magical world that appeals to both kids and adults. The reader can explore how the ordinary in life can be extraordinarily overlooked, how friendship can help you overcome life’s difficulties and how accepting yourself is the biggest challenge of all.

Reading this book is a truly magical and uplifting experience that should not be missed. Read it today!


 

What a creative story! York does a fantastic job with this book!

Delilah was such a fun character. She is kind and magical. I really enjoyed how even though there is magic in the book, it’s not overly unrealistic. Since most of the story is realistic, this meshes well. It’s written in a way that still fuels the imagination without being all the story is about. 

This story is about how depression can make you lose sight of who you are as a person. Also, how the talents that you have may not always be glamorous or the one’s you were hoping for. It’s always best to love oneself no matter what.

York did a great job with character explanations. Just the right amount of detail to catch a child’s attention. I felt like I knew all I needed to. 

The pacing of the story is well done. No lulls and it consistently holds the readers attention. Perfect for it’s age group.

World building was great. I enjoyed how well the author wove magic into the real world. It was clever and fun.

The moral lesson to this story was great. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a great book for younger children and preteens. As an adult I enjoyed it!

The only complaint I have is about the cover. To appeal to younger readers, the cover should have a bit more going on and look as fun as the story!

I give this book 5 stars!

5 stars

Click the title below to purchase!

Delilah Dusticle: A Magical Fantasy Series for Children Ages 8-12 (The Delilah Dusticle Adventures) (Volume 1)


The Technical Data:

Title: Delilah Dusticle | Author(s): A. J. York |

Publisher: Create Space / Publication Date: 6-1-2014 |Pages: 96 (paperback) | ISBN: 9781497511798 | Genre(s): Children’s Fantasy / Magic  |Language: English | Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 1-15-2016 | Source: Copy from author

Book Review for “Aerisia – Land Beyond the Sunset” by Sarah Ashwood

 

synopsis

The mystery of other worlds is not one Hannah Winters ever thought she’d solve. However, the day she spots a brown-robed stranger with a magical staff in a neighbor’s field is the day she also discovers Aerisia, a magical land beyond Earth’s sunset. Here in Aerisia, Hannah is believed to be the Artan, a legendary heroine prophesied to deliver Aerisia from the Dark Powers. Plenty of people, including the Simathe, a race of immortal warriors, and the Moonkind, people of the Moon, are willing to help her discover her true identity, but Hannah’s just an ordinary girl from Earth. She doesn’t have any latent magical abilities and she’s not the Artan. However, her allies aren’t seeing it that way. Neither are her enemies. In fact, Hannah’s life is in jeopardy nearly from the moment she arrives in Aerisia. And becoming the Artan may be the only way to survive.

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This is a fantastic fantasy book. The main character Hannah is well written and relatable. Her feelings and her reactions to this new world she finds herself in are realistic and appropriate. Although she can be kind of bratty, one can’t help but blame her. She is surrounded by a strange land with strange people all looking to her for salvation.

It’s a lot for a girl to take in.

I enjoyed watching her discover herself and the world around her. The legends of Aerisia are interesting and attention grabbing.

Let’s talk about the Simathe. Ilgard sounds so mysterious. He’s manly, attractive, stoic and firm but yet soft. He is fascinating.  The whole of the Simathe are intriguing. Those black eye’s would be creepy though. I don’t know if I could get over that.

This book has a nice balance of world building and character building without either really going too far into left field. It’s paced very well.

This is not a story within itself but, that’s not such a big deal since it is the first book in a series. Plenty of things happen and it is nicely wrapped up in the end. There are some loose strings but it feels more like a pause between stories than being left on a cliff hanger. 

This is a very well done first book for this series. It lays a great foundation for a long tale. I’m really looking forward to reading the next. I’m settling in for the long haul in this series.

I really do love series books. I feel like they have so much more to offer than a single book. It really is diving deep into another world. 

I highly recommend this book and give it the full 5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Aerisia – Land Beyond the Sunset (book 1) | Author(s): Sarah Ashwood |Publisher: Griffineus Publications / Publication Date: 4-16-2014 | Pages: 374 (Kindle) |
ISBN: B00JRK5SC4 | Genre(s): Fantasy | Language: English |
Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 11-10-2015 | Source: Copy From Author

Book Review “Cold Water Bridegroom” B. Brumley

 

synopsis

 Calder Brumen grew up in San Francisco, and he’s always been drawn to the ocean. He’s spent his life capturing the beauty of the Pacific on canvas. Over time, he’s grown obsessed with painting the image of a dark haired mermaid named Gaire, and Calder struggles to explain his devotion to these portraits to his best friend. When Calder finds sandy footprints leading to the edge of his bed, he suspects that the haunting siren is real. In pursuit of the truth, Calder is dragged into a murderous, underwater plot that could destroy them all. And he must choose – is the possibility of a lifetime with Gaire worth risking death for himself and everyone he loves?

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Mermaid’s, sea nymphs and magical prophesies. Honestly, what else do you need in a book to make it awesome? Cold Water Bridegroom hits the nail on the head.

I loved this book. I always enjoy reading from a man’s perspective. It’s a nice change up from the multitude of female protagonists out there. 

This story is written perfectly. The pacing is great. The character building is great. The descriptions are amazing. The mystery woman is set up perfectly. There is a perfect amount of action and emotional dilemma.

It really hooked me. Which really is not that common with a shorter book. I have found that with the shorter novels, I’m left still wanting more detail. I’m left feeling like I didn’t get enough closure to the story.

This book closed up real nice. All the characters for the most part had happy endings. As you all know by now, I like my endings tidy and happy.

Calder’s character is very well written. Right off the bat I could see the world through his eyes and feel his draw to the mystery mermaid woman. I could feel his frustration. I could feel his confusion. 

For a book about mermaids, it was incredibly realistic. If I ever go diving, there is a good chance that I’ll be keeping my eye out for some under water mermaid civilization. To be honest though, I really am the target audience for this book. I want mermaids to be real pretty bad. 

In short, this book was amazing. I wish it didn’t have to end. I could live in that world a bit longer. 

This book gets the full 5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Cold Water Bridegroom | Author(s): B. Brumley |Publisher: Joyful Peacock Press / Publication Date: 8-2-2015 |Pages: 204 (paperback) |
ISBN: 9780692538418 | Genre(s): Fantasy  | Language: English |
Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 10-29-2015 | Source: Copy from author

Indie Author Spotlight – Tanya Jones

This Spotlight is dear to my heart. This author wrote the first book I reviewed  on this blog. I found her to be a very kind and imaginative woman. I enjoyed reading her book and am really looking forward to reading more in the future. Her book is great for teenagers or anyone who enjoys the world of Elves. You can check out the review HERE.

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Author Bio:

Tanya Jones (Thibodeau) is the Publisher of the Gateway Gazette digital media, winner of the Royal Canadian Legion Media Award. She is also a freelance writer, YA Fantasy author and has been a fan of elven origins and supernatural powers for decades. She excels at problem solving with a 360-degree view of the existence of multiple perceptions. Her debut novel, Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is Book 1 in The Elves of Eytherfel series and is published by Morgan Books & ePublishing. She is currently working on Book 2 in The Elves of Eytherfel series that is expected to release in early 2016.


                                                                      Interview                                                                  

Q: In your book, the descriptions of the forest and the lake are very awe inspiring. They seemed to be written with love and admiration. Do you find inspiration for your writing in these types of places?

Yes and no. While I have been to some beautiful places, most of my descriptions come from a combination of photos that I’ve seen and my imagination. They definitely do help with my inspiration for writing but not as physical places that I’ve necessarily been to.

Q: “Dreams of Beautiful Whisper” is the first book in the series. Do you have in mind how many books you plan the series to have? 

I set out with the goal of three books in the series. However, anything can happen. The further into the series I get the more ideas and possibilities come to the surface for either extending it or creating a spin-off series.

Q: Amanae’s parents play such supportive and loving roles in her life. Did you base them on your own experiences with your parents? 

Yes, I can say that I was very fortunate to have a very loving and supportive family from all angles, which definitely influenced the dynamics in my book. No family is without their challenges and disagreements, but it really comes down to how we handle situations that determines the kind of impact and influence it has on our lives.

Q: The name “Eytherfel”, as well as the character names are very unique. Was there a particular place you found inspiration for these names?

 

There are actual elven languages that have been developed and as such there are name generators and formulas available for creating names. I have always been big on the meanings behind names, even when choosing names for my own children. I put the same amount of care, craft and thought into the names of my characters and places for my series while trying to tie-in on some level with existing elven realms.

Q: Why elves? What draws you to them?

I think I can safely blame that on Tolkien. I absolutely loved the Tolkien books and I was always drawn to the beauty and mystique of his elves, yet for me they played too small of a role. Because of that I wanted to build a world that emphasized them.

Q: What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?

For the actual writing, I’d have to say keeping up with my characters. Once I started writing, the story would form itself in my head faster than I could get it typed up (and I type at about 75wpm). For the storyline, it was finding enough points of conflict. I’ve never had a great deal of conflict in my life, mainly because of my approach to handling it. So it was a bit difficult for me to bring out any negative components. That’s an area I feel my writing is growing in as I progress. Once the story was written, editing proved to be far more difficult than I had expected, both with doing my own edits and working with editors and their suggestions. However, the biggest challenge overall has by far been in the area of finding and growing an audience.

Q: What is the best advice you could give to new writers?

The common advice is to “keep writing”. Almost like a “build it and they will come” attitude. While constantly writing is absolutely important, I think I’d have to say: start building your audience early. How to do that will be different for everyone based on their personality and interests. But it will end up being the most critical component of any writer who publishes a book, regardless of whether they publish traditionally or self-publish. The bigger you can build an audience before you publish a book, the better chance you will have at reaching your goals.


Book Information

dreams of beautiful whisper book cover

Summary:

When Amanda learns that the gorgeous beauty-boy of her disturbingly life-like dreams is in fact an elven warrior from her past, things get complicated. But shortly after being urgently moved back to the village where she was born, well things just got weird.

WHO IS SHE?
AMANDA, A HIGH-SCHOOL GIRL WITH A BOYFRIEND SHE INTENDS TO EVENTUALLY MARRY? or
AMANAE, A POWERFUL ELF WITH A SOUL-MATE FOR ETERNITY?

As the haze of her blocked past lifts, the truth of who she is, what she must endure and how it will change her peaceful human life forever, threaten to be more than she can handle. Even with her practical approach to challenges, the reassurance of her boyfriend Jordan and the encouraging support of an entire elven kingdom, will Amanda have the strength and skill to fulfill her destiny?

This book is available for purchase at AMAZON. ( <— click the link and buy it! You know you want to.)