REVEAL – The Grey Tower Trilogy: Circadian Circle

If you’re a regular around this patch of the web, I hope you’ll remember my reviews on the Grey (Gray, take your fancy) Tower Trilogy books, the Tower’s Alchemist followed by Dark Rift.

Well, it’s very nearly time, for the release of the third and final book in the series, Circadian Circle! I’m honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for author Alesha Escobar.

The reviews I gave for the first two books, The Tower’s Alchemist and Dark Rift were pretty smashing, both scoring a nine out of ten – and rightly so. These books are awesome. I’m not going to go back into what made them so great, just skim over the reviews to see that, because there’s reems of it. Ms. Escobar is certainly one to watch.

So here it is, our cover reveal for Circadian Circle, just look at that.

Circadian Circle Cover

Not only that, but Ms. Escobar has allowed me something rather special for the readers here at datbookreviews – a chance at getting yourself a free copy of the book!

But it doesn’t stop there… oh no! That’s not the only prize. Here’s what’s on offer, so sign up and you’re in with a chance and one of these:

– A signed Paperback copy of ‘The Tower’s Alchemist’ and ‘Dark Rift’
– One of two $10 Amazon Gift Cards
– One of two Tote bags bearing the slogan “keep calm and call the ministry”
– One of three art print cards with character artwork from the series
– One of five ebook copies of the whole series.

So check out the link!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I heartily encourage all of my readers to get their hands on a copy of the book; because whilst I’ve only read a little little bit, it’s going to be good. If you haven’t started with the Grey Tower Trilogy, it’s time to pick up the first book on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I do not benefit from the purchase, and am not in direct affiliation with Alesha Escobar the author. As a book review sight, any suggestion to purchase a novel is purely the recommendation of that novel as a worthy read. Cheers!


Should Books Have Happy Endings?

Let me start off by saying that this post will refer to the fantasy genre, as opposed to other genres. I’m not asking whether tragedies should have a happy ending because – hey – that’s a silly question really isn’t it?

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. We all know the sort of stories where the knight in shining armour saves the beautiful princess from the dangerous dragon, takes her back to the glorious king who gives him her dainty hand in marriage. Happily ever after (and what a depressing use of adjectives, if I may say so!). Is that how a story whould always be? Should a fantasy author mould himself to the happy ending, giving absolution to whatever hurts the hero has gotten (I couldn’t find a synonym for ‘gotten’ beginning with a ‘h’ to get that alliteration flowing, my apologies [I seem to be waxing prose today!])? Continue reading

The Tree of Mindala (Elle Jacklee) Book Review

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening) all, and here we are with my latest book review: The Tree of Mindala, by Elle Jacklee. I’m sorry this book has taken me the two weeks to read, but it’s a fairly sized book at 306 pages, and hey, I’m not technically working to any deadlines here; reading takes time! You see, before I started reviewing on request predominantly, I would review books I’d read before, so I could just skim-read through them to remind me of the plot and so forth, bringing all my feelings on reading it for the first time back to the fore. When reading these new books though, I get to sit down and read through a story that’s new to me, and that takes time as it rightly should. So, lets get going.

The Tree of Mindala is the story of siblings Miranda and Marcus Moon, two normal children going to a normal school. One thing though – Miranda’s obsession with adventure and her runaway imagination tend to land her in trouble, and having gone one step too far, she’s been suspended from school. Miranda’s parents decide to take the children on a holiday, of sorts, to a cabin in the forest owned by their late grandparents, Truman and Sunny. It’s halloween time though, and everything is not as it seems. Miranda finds a glass snow globe in which a little house is depicted. Miranda turns the globe upside-down, and that’s when things really get weird.

Miranda and Marcus both find themselves in front of the very stone house that had been in the snow globe. Little did they know that they had just entered Wunderwood, a land of trees and magic – and they had just freed the worst warlock of the lot – Thornton.
Continue reading

Forever Burn (Adrian Smith) Book Review

Sorry it’s been a little while folks, but all my exams are over now! So I should have a lot more time to read and write, which will be lovely. So, this book ‘Forever Burn’ was sent to me for review by one Adrian Smith, and I’m very glad to have had the privilege of reading it. It is the first in a series, which will be gaining a prequel soon. Right, I best get on with a review!

Forever Burn is the story of James Matthews, a firefighter trying to make a difference in the world. Trained to stay calm in dangerous situations, James is a professional. However, she is having recurrent dreams; dreams about a girl she pulled from a fire years ago. They aren’t just normal flashbacks, and James has a feeling something is wrong. That’s not all though. Her secret love at the fire station is pressuring her for a more open relationship; but it doesn’t take long for that relationship to open James up to a world she’s never imagined, and a world she is inexplicably part of. Continue reading

The Language of Stones (Robert Carter) Book Review

Right then, let’s get this show on the road! I have now finished the most recent book I’ve been commissioned to review by an author; ‘The Language of Stones’ by Robert Carter, the first book of a trilogy set. In fact, I came across Robert’s work myself, on the Goodreads website. I read through his biography and tre book description and I was enthralled, it sounded great. I sent Robert an email if he’d like a review of the book, and to m delight he said yes. And what a journey it’s been for me through this book.

The Language of Stones is, as Robert himself describes it, a story about a boy becomes a man. Young William (or Will, or Willand, or even Willy-Wag Staff) is a boy from a small village called Nether Norton. That’s what he thinks anyway, but a certain wizard knows more than that, and reveals even less. Master Gwydion appears at Will’s house at the dark of night, and whisks him away with all but no explanation.
A magic flows through the land, through the ligns, channels of power connecting many stones together. Stones of power. For these are the Ancient Stones, in which is contained much of the harm of the realm. Times are changing though, and the power of the lorc flows. The battlestones begin drawing men and etching out suffering to the world. Master Gwydion believes that he has the key, the young boy Willand, to prevent the calamity of war. However, Maskull, an evil sorcerer akin to Gwydion himself plots against him, and threatens to use the battlestones to wreak havoc. Gwydion and Willand must move quickly, for the third coming of Great Arthur is at hand!

Note: I have found it very difficult to summarize The Language of Stones, for it is a very deep and complex novel, and I can’t quite seem to pin it down in words. It is a tale of epic proportions; of magic, heroism and the love and loss of many. For a full description, read the author’s words on his work here. Continue reading

The Cry Of The Icemark (Stuart Hill) Book Review

Okay, this is my first book review in a while, and is in truth an interval as I am reading a book for an author. The Cry Of the Icemark (TCOTI) is a book I first borrowed from the library a number of years ago. Since then, I have bought the book that I may read it again, which probably tells you something of how much I enjoyed it! But anyway, I hope you enjoy the review as I get myself back into blogging.

TCOTI is the story of Thirrin Lindenshield, who becomes the young Queen of the Icemark kingdom following the death of her father in the first moves of an invasion into their lands. The Empire of the Polypontus holds the most ruthless army in the land, led by the General Bellorum and his sons. The Icemark is a small region in the coldest part of the land, for it lies under snow for most of the year. Thirrin knows that her small army cannot hope to repel the Empire and the vicious Bellorum, and she knows that she must find allies. Who can she turn to in her hour of need. In a time of need, Thirrin will look to the most unlikely of allies. The talking leopards of the north, the vampires and the savage werewolves. And perhaps, just perhaps, the magic of the White Witch’s son. Continue reading

The Divide Trilogy (Elizabeth Kay) Series Review

Whilst I’m reading a book ‘on contract’ for an author, I’ll write this small review to keep the blog active whilst I read! The Divide trilogy is a series I first read as a child, where I borrowed it from the library. The fact that it’s still on my bookshelf, about six years later says something (my own copies that is, I didn’t steal them!). They are for a younger generation than most of the books I review, probably early-secondary school children (11-13) but they’ve a charm that makes me want to read them over and over.

The Divide – Felix is a boy of thirteen. He has a heart problem that has held him back for his whole life, and his parents constantly fear for his safety. Whilst on holiday in Costa Rica he passes out over ‘the Divide’, a watershed where water flows to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Waking, he finds himself somewhere he’d never imagined – a place where legendary creatures are real, and humans the things of legend. He meets Ironclaw, a Brazzle (Griffin) and Betony a tangle-child (elf). He finds out from the brittlehorn (unicorn) leader that there may be a cure for him in that world – so Felix sets off on a quest to find that cure.

Return to the Divide – Felix is happy, he’s cured and home again. Until Snakeweek, the antagonist of the first book turns up at his door, and turns his parents to stone! Then, Felix has no choice but to help Snakeweed get home, for he must also go to the world across the Divide to find the cure before it destroys his world, for anything that touches his parents’ statues is also petrified, and so it spreads..

Jinx on the Divide – Felix is back at school. That is, until Rhino – a bully at his school – is kidnapped by a genie from a lamp Felix kept from across the Divide. The genie demands to be taken home and given physical form, else it won’t give Rhino back! Meanwhile, inside the box, Rhino has found a box that gives him any of his worldly desires – if only he’ll say little magic words that wreak havoc on both sides of the Divide!

Ah, that’s the problem with series reviews, summarising the plot is monstrous! Anyway, it’s all done now so let’s go on to actually look at the plot! Let’s be honest, it’s not a complex one and there are good reasons for that. It’s aimed at the younger end of young-adult fantasy, so a complex plotline would ruin the book for the majority of it’s readers. I actually like how simple it is, it’s a carefree and easy read! It’s funny and light, something you can enjoy that you don’t have to dig deep into. I know I’ve said that I love the opposite, real nitty-gritty books, and it’s true, I like a bit of the both. There aren’t many sub-plots and behind-the-scenes goings on, it’s all there in front of the camera, as it were. I love it, it’s an innocent story of a young lad trying to find a cure for his life-threatening disease in a fairy world. It’s the sort of book that has me keening and remembering with fondness the childish tales of knights in armour. If you want an easy read, this trilogy will make you happy. It probably won’t take you too long to read, but I think it’d be nice for, say, a holiday read. There are some genuinely funny bits too, bits that still make me laugh when I read them now.

The characters are cute and charming. Sure, they’re not the deepest, most soulfull folks you’ll have met on your travels through fantasy, but that doesn’t matter. That’s not to say they’re bland though, they’ve got distinct and interesting personalities, just not ones that’ll set you thinking for hours upon end. I’ve got to say that without a doubt, Ironclaw is my favourite character – he’s hugely witty and hugely clever, which makes for a hilarious combination. Betony is an emotional lass, quick to anger, and folly perhaps, but she becomes Felix’s best friend. Their relationship is a strong one, and true. Again back to innocence, it’s not a relationship fouled by the dark things they go through (there aren’t really that many) nor does Felix suddenly propose his love for his, it’s a charming child’s friendship. It’s sweet. The characters are believably, even if the bad guy is a bit generic. That fickly ol’ Snakeweed, we all come to love him for his nasty tricks.

Perhaps I’m biased. Perhaps it’s just a series I loved in my childhood and can’t think but to love it now, but they are lovely books. There aren’t deep messages or harsh words. A boy goes on a short series of adventures and saves the day more than once. Now, I can’t say fairer than that, myself. It’s a series I’d recommend picking up for a light read, as I think it’s one you should read. Funny and light-hearted.

I’m going to give The Divide Trilogy an 8/10. Obviously as an adult fantasy book, it stands nowhere near that score, but it isn’t adult fantasy. It’s a young-young-adult book, and it’s a beautiful one.