Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: _Aurian_ by Maggie Furey

Aurian is the first book in the "Artifacts of Power" series. It is by newcomer Fantasy author Maggie Furey. An Epic Fantasy, the book has a lot of action and adventure provided by an intriguing plot, sympathetic characters and memorable settings. Fantasy lovers, who like their books with a little depth, will find an interesting Fantasy world to explore in this book. The plot moves quickly in this book. Aurian is a powerful mage of Earth and Fire magic. After an accident, she goes to the Academy of magic in the city of Nexis. There she learns to use her magic, falls in love and finds an enemy in the Archmage Miathan. In this world, the Magefolk are prejudiced against mortals. Aurian breaks the rules by having mortal friends and falling in love with the mortal warrior Forral. Miathan gets angry at this and unleashes the power of the Caldron on Forall and Nexis. The ensuing deaths and escape starts a quest for Aurian to find a way to defeat the Archmage. She is helped by other characters in her quest. Sympathetic characters gives this book its best feature. Aurian is the main character, a strong mage, but also a warrior. She has a strong sense of honor and caring instilled by her mortal lover and teacher Forral. Anvar is a young man, unaware of his parentage, who becomes Aurian's friend and companion on her perilous journey. Many other realistic secondary characters aid these two on their quest through different settings on this world. Like other Fantasy books, Aurian has an interesting world full of different settings and cultures. Aurian travels from a quiet, secluded valley to a busy city and ends up in the fierce Southern kingdoms. There are diffferent mortal cultures as well as winged people called Skyfolk, Leviathans (whales) and intelligent dragons that speak in lights. Something of interest for every Fantasy reader can be found here. Aurian is the beginning of a long, complex series. Maggie Furey's writing is clear and descriptive with lots of action and adventure. Plot, characters and setting work together to create an interesting Fantasy story that readers shouldn't miss. Since this is a first book, it does end with a lot of loose ends. The other books are: Harp of Winds, Sword of Flame and Dhiammara.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Book Review: Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner

Once in a while a book comes along that sets your imagination on fire. You can't put it down. You want to finish it as quickly as posssible to the exclusion of everything else. That's what happens when you read Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner. There are dragons, adventure and action to catapult readers into this Fantasy world. This Fantasy book has likeable characters, a gripping plot and strong themes.

Likeable characters draw the reader into this book swiftly. Lanen Kaelar is a young woman from a farm who dreams of talking with dragons. She embarks on her quest, unaware of her parentage. Lanen is courageous and stubborn with a streak of wanderlust. She is helped by other characters like Jamie is her mentor and foster father. He gives Lanen the stability needed to survive her quest. The dragons are the other interesting characters that give the story life. Akhor is the silver king of the dragons. He longs for contact with humans. He is drawn to Lanen from the beginning and gets help from his mentor Shikrar the Keeper of Souls. These characters give impetus to a gripping plot.

In Lanen's time, the dragons have withdrawn from humanity to live on an island. Humans can only venture there every few years at the risk of being destroyed by storms. They want to collect a rare plant that heals and restores youth. Lanen ventures on one of these expiditions to meet dragons and befriends Akhor. While on the island, she discovers her father Marik wants to sacrifice her to demons. She must keep a fine balance between helping the dragons and keeping alive. This gives the plot some fast moving action and adventure that readers will enjoy. The plot adds to the strong themes of the book.

Love and sacrifice are the major themes. Akhor and Lanen try to deny the impossible growing love between them. Added to this is her desire to help the dragons free the lost souls of the lesser dragons from their torment. These themes combine to give the book a powerful story that can't be put down.

Characters, plot and themes makes Song in the Silence a must read for Fantasy readers. It is hard to put down once started. Those who like dragons in their books will enjoy Akhor, Shikrar, Idai, Kedra and the others. Romance lovers will find the relationship of Lanen and Akhor different. Elizabeth Kerner has provided a wonderful addition to the genre. Though a complete story, there are enough plot threads for another book. Hopefully the author is working on the next one.