Review for The Never King by George Tyson

the never king

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  George Tyson
Title:  The Never King

Genre:   Mystery/Adventure

Background:

Amazon Description:  

“The once-great democracies of the West are slowly crumbling. In Britain, there is talk of revolution as anti-government demonstrations are met with lethal force. Then in an obscure English country carnival, a young man pulls a sword out of a boulder and is hailed as Britain’s mythic savior, its Once and Future King. Enter Peter Quince, a professor of theology whose specialty is the old folk religions of the Celts – the so-called “Fairy Faith.” He’s recruited for a manhunt in which he quickly becomes the hunted. His flight to save his life takes him across a prehistoric landscape and climaxes in a shocking confrontation in the ruined castle in which King Arthur was allegedly born. Along the way, he must summon his old courage and confront his secret fear that he’s always been insane. Quantum mechanics and a wizard’s prophesy, future weapons and ancient legends, mankind’s fate and an undying love for a crazy, beautiful woman – they’re all right here in The Never King.”

Opinions:

The Never King is a story revolving around the legend of King Arthor. Whether you are familiar with the stories or not, you shouldn’t have a problem reading this book. I considered the novel to have a more mystery solving theme than adventure, but it did have both.

Characters:
The story is written in first person following an American professor, Peter. At times the book is written as though Peter is directly speaking to the reader, rather than just telling his story; this only happens a handful of times – usually for a moment throughout the book. Peter is hired to find Arthor, a person who pulled a sword from a stone at a festival—which causes a great scene when the man disappears.  It is rumored that this Arthor plans to change the government by leading his people like in the Dark Ages. Along the way Peter encounters some interesting characters. I’ll let you read about them yourself so I don’t ruin anything. The characters are multi-dimensional—each with their own troubles and dilemmas.

Plot:
The plot takes the reader through Peter’s adventure trying to solve this “King Arthor” mystery and whether he believes in fantasy (such as those related to the Arthor legend.) It is a self-discovery book that leads to a chase. Peter must question what he truly believes is reality and how to find happiness. The plot flows nicely. Although there were parts of the book that were a lengthy background and debriefing for the reader, it held my interest – which is not always successful among authors. I think the story could have had a little more information on Peter’s past, especially what he was doing prior to the story he was telling.

The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed the book. There is a sequel coming out; and although this book concludes nicely, it does leave areas open for another story. If you like King Arthor legends, mystery, and adventure (set in Britain) than you might like this book.

 

Review for The Last Priestess by Elizabeth Baxter

the last priestess

My Rating: 3.5/5

Author:  Elizabeth Baxter
Title:  The Last Priestess (The Songmaker #1 A Fantasy Novel)

Genre:  Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:  “There is a name that is uttered only in whispers. The Songmaker. A ruthless rebel mage, he is bringing civil war to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury, enveloping all in a tide of violence. For Maegwin, a tormented priestess, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple’s enemies—but she dreams only of revenge. For Rovann, a loyal mage haunted by his failures, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. If they are to succeed they must form an unlikely alliance. For someone must stand against the Songmaker. Someone must save Amaury from his dark designs. But first, they’ll have to learn to trust each other.
And so a magical fantasy of darkness and redemption begins.”

Opinions:

The Last Priestess is a fantasy novel that takes the reader on an adventure with Maegwin and Rovann.  An evil mage is threatening the lands, and together they must try to stop him.

Characters:
The book is written in third person narrative following Maegwin and Rovann.  Maegwin is the last priestess after an attack on her temple, leaving all her sisters dead. Maegwin is out for revenge. Her mind is in conflict between good and evil (mercy and revenge.) Rovann, the First Mage, takes Maegwin to the capital whereupon they learn and gain proof of the evil mage that threatens the land. Rovann is not your pure hero and suffers guilt of his own. Trust is very thin between these two characters. As you can tell, the characters were well developed and multi-dimensional.

Plot:
The plot is fast paced, going from one adventure to another. Jumping realms and trying to stop and fight evil mages and their supporters are all part of the story. The plot kept my interest and moved at a nice pace. Two things that I found lacking in the plot were:
One, the idea behind the rebels and king’s supporters was not fully explained in this book. I almost forgot about it until it was mentioned later in the story.
Two, the ending was abrupt for me. It seemed like an end of a chapter rather than the book.  I didn’t feel that the main problems were resolved for this book, and it was left off at part of the climax.  I understand it is the first book in a series, but each book should have its own resolution while leaving room for the next story.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I would have given it 4 stars if it wasn’t for the abrupt ending. Hence, I would rate it at a 3.5 stars out of 5. If you like fantasy adventure and complex characters, you might want to try this book out.

 

Review for Evanescent by Gabriella Lepore

evanescent

My Rating: 5/5

Author:  Gabriella Lepore
Title: Evanescent

Genre:  Paranormal/Young Adult

Background:

Amazon Description:  “’Then it is settled,’ Felix declared.  ‘Come hell or high water, when this is all over, at least one of us here will not make it out alive.’

When Bronwen Snow is pulled from her cottage in the middle of the night, she finds herself seeking the help of three mysterious boys who reside in an abandoned castle deep in the hillside. With only a hasty handwritten note and a vague sense of dread to guide her, Bronwen is forced to put her trust in the eccentric and willful Felix Cavara and his eternal curse – immortality.”

Opinions:

Evanescent is a young adult/paranormal book.  I read this within a day—unable to put it down.  It is slightly different than your usual young adult books with a paranormal theme. Although you can see traces similar to retelling of fairytales and stories like Twilight, this book is its own.

Characters:
The book is written in third person narrative mainly following Bronwen. Bronwen is cast into a paranormal world that she didn’t know existed when her grandmother had a psychic vision that something was hunting her. Bronwen is sent to an abandoned castle where three boys reside. These are not your typical boys; they cannot die. No, they are not vampires or werewolves or anything like that, but I’ll let you read what happened to them. Felix, Alistair, and Loki are friends but more like brothers after spending over two hundred years together. They are fun loving and compassionate. Bronwen is also easy to like and relatable.  The characters were fun and complimented each other well.

Plot:
The plot moves along well and would be an easy read for most young adults.  Unlike most British reads that I have read (yes, I am American-but probably born British in another lifetime), I hardly noticed the few British terms and phrases in this book. The book keeps you wondering the why’s and how’s at a steady pace, but eventually answers everything by the end. It also has a sweet romance, not heavily done which made it realistic and nice to read.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a great fast read, and I hated to see it end. If you like young adult books with a paranormal twist, then you should try this book out.