Friday, 18 November 2016

Book Review

The Gift Knight's Quest

(Gift Knight Series, Book 1)

by Dylan Madeley

(Pub:Troubador Publishing, 2015)

Dylan Madeley’s epic fantasy novel, The Gift Knight’s Quest, focuses around two primary protagonists: Derek and Chandra. Derek is a young man serving in the military of his small country and whose family are descended from former nobles. His father is bitter and focused only on what the family has lost and believes that Derek should seek retribution for their losses. Chandra, is the illegitimate daughter of the King of Kensrik. She has been raised within the palace, yet is completely overlooked by most of the people around her, including her father. However, through a quirk of fate she winds up monarch of this kingdom. Both characters have to contend with the complex political scheming going on around them, which aims to destabilise the kingdom and end Chandra’s reign.

The world building of this novel is detailed and one of its strongest assets. Madeley has taken the time to include numerous intricate details regarding daily life, politics, legends and rituals - all of which serve to create a believable world. For the most part I found the novel to be primarily focused around the political machinations of the characters secretly opposing Chandra, some of whom are members of her own government, rather than an action packed adventure story. However, the latter third of the novel does introduce some fine action sequences and the pace picks up.

Unfortunately, I found pacing up until this point a little slow. Part of the problem was that the author introduced a second time stream to the story. One timeline acts within the time of Chandra and Derek, while another timeline follows the fate of Derek’s ancestor, Duke Lenn. When this section began I found myself confused as to whether this really was taking place in the past and I had to reread the scene introduction to clarify this. I can see the point of following Derek and Lenn’s journey, since part of the way their route traverses the same country and they are both subject to political scheming beyond their ken and control and what happens to Lenn helps define the future that Derek and Chandra are grappling with.

However, in a couple of scenes with Chandra the pertinent history of Duke Lenn was revealed. I found in light of this that this past history arc was superfluous. As such it served to slow the pace of the current timeline and to always “take me out of the story” and distance me from the arcs revolving around Chandra and Derek. Thus, I never fully empathised with either of the main characters or became deeply engaged with the story. Judging from other reviews, though, this was not the case for all readers.

Three stars

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


I've got a giveaway happening! 

The lovely Lauren Dawes (she writes great books) is hosting a book spotlight of my series and there's a great giveaway. 

1st Prize is a signed paperback copies of both Altaica & Asena Blessed,along with full colour character charts and bookmarks. 

2nd Prize is the ebook versions of both books! 

This is open WORLD wide!

Click Below

Thursday, 10 November 2016


Book Review: 

Starchild: The City of Souls by Vacen Taylor
(Book 2 in The Starchild series)

(Pub: Odyssey Books,  2013) 

Contributor: Jordan Sayer
Jordan is a Melbourne middle grade student who is developing an obsession with fantasy books (and good on him!) In this segment I'll share his books reviews and from time to time other pieces of writing.

The Star Child - The City of Souls by Vacen Taylor is yet another action packed, thrilling adventure with many more imaginative creatures which were more easy to visualise than those in book one because the descriptions were more detailed. 

The characters acted like modern kids, but I would have thought they should have acted differently - perhaps more old fashioned. I still liked the different personalities of each character. 

Just like book one the novel consists of sections of dialogue that still extend longer than I felt they should. The story is a little more faster paced so there is more action. The story flows well together from book one to book two - it almost literally starts off where the last book finished. Taylor keeps the storyline going and the subplots intwine together nicely. 

It is just as interesting as book one with even more interesting creatures, weapons and mystical places. Again the book is breathtaking and worth the time reading! 

Four and a half stars!

Book Review: 

Starchild: The Healing Stone by Vacen Taylor
(Book 3 in The Starchild series)

(Pub: Odyssey Books,  2015) 

The Healing Stone by Vacen Taylor is the third action packed, thrilling adventure in The Star Child series. After the four kids find the Silvershade they escape the Wilder Forest city just before the underworld unleashes its power and burns down the forest. The three kids then have to help Long, when a demon tricks him and possesses his body. From then the four kids race against time to reach the Ice city and the Healing Stone in order to save Long’s life. 

There were creatures that were pretty much all the same, except a few new ones were introduced to the characters and the reader. As in book two, they were still easy to visualise because the descriptions were detailed. Vacen created a few new weapons and mystical places which helped make the book more interesting. I still liked the different perspectives of each character. 

The story sometimes felt slow moving because of too much dialogue. Although the story was a little faster paced than the other books. The story keeps flowing from book to book well, the storyline going and the subplots interlink together nicely. 

Four and a half stars!

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