Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dark Reflections Trilogy by Kai Meyer (Series Summary)

Mulluane | 4:00 AM | 3 Comments so far

Dark Reflections Trilogy by Kai Meyer (Series Summary)
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♥ Mini Review ♥
Dark Reflections is a trilogy about Venice, orphans, glass makers, gondolas, mermaids and magic. It is about Egyptians, mummies, sphinx and war. It is about the denizens and environs of Hell. Starting to get the picture? Oh no you don't. Not by a long shot because none of these familiar elements are going to be familiar at all.

No, in this Venice there are shark faced mermaids who tow gondolas through the canals. It is a Venice where stone lions do not grace the architecture, they patrol the streets and fly through the air. Here the Egyptians are the conquerors, not the Romans, and they use armies of scarabs and undead mummies to wipe out any populace they encounter. And Hell? Well, I'm not even going to try and describe Hell. Suffice it to say it is unlike anything you might have imagined.


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Water Mirror/The Flowing Queen: by Kai Meyer (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 1)

Mulluane | 3:00 PM | 2 Comments so far


In Venice, magic is not unusual. Merle is apprenticed to a magic mirror maker, and Serafin—a boy who was once a master thief—works for a weaver of magic cloth. Merle and Serafin are used to the mermaids who live in the canals of the city and to the guards who patrol the streets on living stone lions. Merle herself possesses something magical: a mirror whose surface is water. She can reach her whole arm into it and never get wet.

But Venice is under siege by the Egyptian Empire; its terrifying mummy warriors are waiting to strike. All that protects the Venetians is the Flowing Queen. Nobody knows who or what she is—only that her power flows through the canals and keeps the Egyptians at bay.

When Merle and Serafin overhear a plot to capture the Flowing Queen, they are catapulted into desperate danger. They must do everything they can to rescue the Queen and save the city—even if it means getting help from the Ancient Traitor himself.

*Blurb source* Simon and Schuster
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The Water Mirror: (The Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 1)

| Author: Kai Meyer
| Genre: YA Fantasy
| Age Range: 12 and up
| ISBN-10: 0689877889
| ISBN-13: 9780689877889
| Content: Alternate Reality, Mermaids, Mythology
| Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books: First Edition (August 22, 2006)
| Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)
| Cover Artist: Russell Gordon
| Paperback: 272 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 3 Stars
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The Water Mirror (Dark Reflections,#1)



♥ Mini Review ♥
This tale takes place in the canals of Venice but not the Venice you and I are familiar with. No, this Venice is full of mythical creatures, powerful magic, and evil doings. Not only is this not Venice as we know it but even the mythical elements are unique. Imagine both walking and flying stone lions, enslaved mermaids with shark like faces, flying egyptian sunbarks, magical mirrors, and a city under siege by egyptian zombies. And to make things even more interesting, it appears that Venice's salvation can only be accomplished by making a treaty with the denizens of Hell.

Dark Reflections, written by a german author and translated into english, is a dark and creative book. It follows the adventures of a pair of orphans, apprenticed to two rival merchants, who stumble on to a dark conspiracy. Soon the pair are in over their heads as they try to find a way to save their beloved city.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Stone Light by Kai Meyer (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 2)

Mulluane | 2:30 PM | 3 Comments so far


Evil forces have invaded Venice - the city that Merle and Serafin call home. Luckily, the two friends hold secrets that just might stop the pharaoh from destroying their ancient city.

Merle has within her spirit of the Flowing Queen, a mysterious legendary force who serves as her guide. Indeed, the Queen's voice has led Merle to Vermithrax, a winged stone lion. And together they are on a mission to Hell to enlist help from Lord Light.

Meanwhile, Serafin remains in Venice. He's joined a group of rebel boys who are plotting to assassinate the pharaoh. But can a group so small really kill the biggest, most powerful man on earth?

*Blurb source* Simon and Schuster
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The Stone Light: (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 2)

| Author: Kai Meyer
| Genre: YA Fantasy
| Age Range: 12 and up
| ISBN-10: 0689877897
| ISBN-13: 9780689877902
| Content: Alternate Reality, Mermaids, Mythology
| Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (October 16, 2007)
|  Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)
| Cover Artist: Russell Gordon
| Paperback: 384 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 3 Stars
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The Stone Light (Dark Reflections,#2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
This is purely an adventure story. In addition to the unique creatures we encountered in The Water Mirror, this time around mighty sphinx are added to the mix. And like the lions, some are winged and some are not. Meanwhile, one group of characters stays in Venice while the other group flies off to explore the environs of Hell.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Glass Word by Kai Meyer (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 3)

Mulluane | 9:10 PM | 6 Comments so far


When they emerge from Hell, Merle, her friend Junipa who has mirrors for eyes, and Vermithrax the flying stone lion find themselves in Egypt. Of course the Flowing Queen is with them as well, since Merle swallowed her back in Venice. There is something very wrong in Egypt--it is freezing cold, and everything is covered in snow. Winter is here, looking for his lost love, Summer. And another creature is here as well--Seth, the highest of the Horus priests. Betrayed by the pharaoh and his sphinx henchmen, Seth is seeking revenge. Together they travel to the Iron Eye, the vast fortress of the sphinxes.But what does the Flowing Queen want Merle to do there?

Meanwhile Serafin, the master thief, the beautiful sphinx Lalapeya, and Eft, the mermaid, are also headed for Egypt. They are traveling underwater, in a submarine piloted by pirates. Serafin is not sure what they can do to the fight the pharaoh, but he knows surrender is not an option. Egypt has captured and enslaved his beloved Venice, and he and the others must fight the empire no matter what the cost. But the final battle will not be one that Serafin has even imagined--and the cost will be high indeed.

*Blurb source* Simon and Schuster
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The Glass Word: (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 3) by Kai Meyer

| Author: Kai Meyer
| Genre: YA Fantasy
| Age Range: 12 and up
| ISBN-10: 0689877927
| ISBN-13: 9780689877926
| Content: Alternate Reality, Mermaids, Mythology
| Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (October 2008)
|  Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)
| Cover Artist: Russell Gordon
| Paperback: 288 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 3 Stars
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The Glass Word (Dark Reflections,#3)



♥ Mini Review ♥
Do you ever get the impression that a trilogy was never originally meant to be a trilogy? That is exactly the impression I get with Dark Reflections. I can't help but imagine a talented author submitted a good but heavy manuscript and a well meaning editor said it was too big to market as YA. The result was a padded story stretched over three fairly short books but so full of fluff it almost ruins the whole thing. Almost. Fortunately I stuck with it and in this third book discovered a good story lay just under the surface.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Prophecy of the Kings by David Burrows (Series Summary)

Mulluane | 2:30 PM | 4 Comments so far

Prophecy of the Kings by David Burrows (Series Summary)
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♥ Mini Review ♥
Prophecy of Kings follows two timeless traditions. The first is that of traditional fantasy. Demons, dragons, wizards, sorcerers, heroes and dwarves all play starring roles in this tale. It also follows a time honored tradition of storytelling such as you might imagine taking place during the days when history was passed down orally. Like those tales, this story is about good versus evil, right versus wrong, and perseverance against impossible odds. In other words it is a good old fashioned fantasy adventure.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Legacy of the Eldric by David Burrows (Prophecy of the Kings: Book 1)

Mulluane | 11:00 PM | 7 Comments so far


In the distant past an all but forgotten race called the Eldric fought against the demon hordes in the legendary Krell Wars. In a close fought battle the Eldric became victorious and banished the soul of the Demon Horde's leader, a sorcerer of immense power known as Drachar. After the battle the Eldric disappeared from the land, taking with them the knowledge of sorcery lest another rise up and miss-use the power and they, along with the war and knowledge of demons faded into myth and legend.

Recent times have given rise to a prophecy that says the shade of Drachar will rise again and with him the demon hordes.

Kaplyn is a prince of the realm who is desperate to escape the stifling confines of the Royal Court and sneaks away for an adventure. Kaplyn manages to find trouble soon enough in the form of bandits who have captured a stranger to the land. After rescuing this stranger, who goes by the name of Lars and has been shipwrecked on this land after a storm, they soon encounter Vastra, a sorcerer who enlists their help to find a relic of the long dead Eldric. All three soon become embroiled in a quest to discover just what happened to the Legendary Eldric and if possible, bring them back.

*Blurb source* David Burrows
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Legacy of the Eldric (Prophecy of the Kings: Book 1)

| Source: Gift/No Review Requested
| Author: David Burrows
| Genre: Epic / High Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 1450506801
| ISBN-13: 9781450506809
| Content: Demons, Sorcery, Heroes
| Publisher: CreateSpace (February 2, 2010)
| Cover Art and Design: Phillip McDonnall
| Paperback: 170 pages
| Sample Chapters
| Rating: 3 Stars
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Legacy of the Eldric (Prophecy of the Kings, #1)


♥ Mini Review ♥
What do you get when you combine a bored Prince, a mysterious stranger, a secretive sorcerer, a vanished mythical race of magic users, marauding demons and a prophecy? Why an adventure of course! Add in the promise that there will be dragons and you also get an intrigued Mulluane.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dragon Rider by David Burrows (Prophecy of the Kings: Book 2)

Mulluane | 3:00 PM | 5 Comments so far


Kaplyn awakens in a cavern and at first his memory seems to be playing tricks on him. Dragons haunt his dreams and yet dragons do not exist. Whenever he sleeps he dreams that dragons are hunting him and only a thin veil separates him from them. Terror stalks his nightmares and fear walks hand in hand in his waking life. All is not as it seems. He, Lars and Lomar have survived their underground sojourn, but something is not right. Once allies, Thrace and Allund seem to be on the precipice of war. A war that strikingly has all the hall marks of Trosgarth, the ancient enemy. Drachar too seems implicated. Is the Prophecy coming to pass and is a Second Krell War imminent? Disaster seems to be about to strike, for the Eldric have gone and with them the only means to fight the demons. A war is coming. A war like no other.
*Blurb source* David Burrows
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Dragon Rider (Prophecy of the Kings: Book 2)

| Source: Gift/No Review Requested
| Author: David Burrows
| Genre: Epic / High Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 145050681X
| ISBN-13: 9781450506816
| Content: Demons, Sorcery, Heroes, Dragons
| Publisher: Createspace; second edition (February 2, 2010)
| Cover Art and Design: Phillip McDonnall
| Paperback: 176 pages
| Read the Prologue
| Rating: 4 Stars
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Dragon Rider (Prophecy of the Kings, #2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
There is an ancient tradition of storytelling with stories being handed down from generation to generation. Way before the written word there were storytellers mesmerizing audiences with vivid tales of great deeds and mysterious happenings. This has the feel of one of those ancient tales.

Forget the "show don't tell" rules for writing. Forget emotionally engaging with the characters. Instead imagine yourself sitting around a bonfire with a group of your friends, relaxing and listening to a really great story. That is how it feels to read this book.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shadow of the Demon by David Burrows (Prophecy of the Kings: Book 3)

Mulluane | 3:00 PM | 6 Comments so far


Events are coming to a head. The battle for CarCamel has ended and Kaplyn is seen as the saviour. Catriona, the Thracian Queen, wants him to lead the army in its fight against Trosgarth, leading the army with a dragon at his command. Kaplyn, however, has other ideas. He fears dragons and does not know why. His dreams remain plagued by the great serpents, but yet one helped them. It is a conundrum and Kaplyn decides to pursue an image shown to him by Astalus, the Thracian wizard. The image was of Vastra, now an old man, held captive in Aldrace. Kaplyn harbours a terrible fear. Vastra recovered a crystal from the Tree of Life and, with it, he can open a gateway to the demon world. A permanent one! Should that happen then nothing can prevent Drachar’s Shade from crossing the Great Divide, at the head of a demon horde.
*Blurb source* David Burrows
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Shadow of the Demon (Prophecy of the Kings: Book 3)

| Source: Gift/No Review Requested
| Author: David Burrows
| Genre: Epic / High Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 1450520456
| ISBN-13: 9781450520454
| Content: Demons, Sorcery, Heroes, Dragons
| Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
  Platform; 2nd edition (February 2, 2010)
| Cover Art and Design: Phillip McDonnall
| Source: Gift/No Review Requested
| Read the Sample Chapters
| Paperback: 182 pages
| Rating: 4 Stars
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Shadow of the Demon (Prophecy of the Kings, #3)


♥ Mini Review ♥
Dwarves!!! Yes I'm excited but you need to understand why. I grew up on Elves Dwarves, Wizards, and all sorts of mythical beasts including but not limited to Dragons. Way before I discovered Tolkien, I developed a love affair with all things mystical and magical. I devoured mythology like I was starving. I read every fairytale in the school library then nagged my Dad into getting a library card. Somehow I missed Tolkien in those early years but I found it later.

These days however it is like Tolkien ruined it for the rest of us. Authors are so sick of being compared to him that they won't touch a dwarf, elf, goblin, orc or troll with a 10 foot pole. Well I miss my childhood buddies which explains my delight in being reaquainted with my beloved dwarves.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Griffin Mage Trilogy By Rachel Neumeier ~ (Series Summary)

Mulluane | 2:00 PM | 7 Comments so far
The Griffin Mage Trilogy By Rachel Neumeier
Lord of the Changing Winds - Land of the Burning Sands - Law of the Broken Earth
(Purchase From Amazon)

♥ Mini Review ♥
This trilogy encompasses four distinctly different countries. The story starts in peaceful Feierabiand, a gentle land of green pastures and lush deltas. Earth based magic dominates here, lending itself to the growing of crops, the tending of animals and the arts of healing. That is until the Griffins invade, creating desert in their wake. The griffins are all fire and majesty, war and blood, pride and arrogance. They come fleeing Casmantium, with its cold magic and powerful makers. Then we have mysterious Linularinum with its famous legists. It is believed that any contract written by a Linularinum is magically unbreakable.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lord of the Changing Winds (The Griffin Mage: Book 1)

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Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes. Their feathers, ruffled by the wind that came down the mountain, looked like they had been poured out of light; their lion haunches like they had been fashioned out of gold. A white griffin, close at hand, looked like it had been made of alabaster and white marble and then lit from within by white fire. Its eyes were the pitiless blue-white of the desert sky.

Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes' life seems set: she'll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she's content with that path -- or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human . . . or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.

*Blurb Source* Hatchett*
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Lord of the Changing Winds (The Griffin Mage: Book One) by Rachel Neumeier

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0316072788
| ISBN-13: 9780316072786
| Publisher: Orbit 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
| Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
| Cover Design: Lauren Panepinto
| Source: Personal Copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 4 Stars
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Lord of the Changing Winds (Griffin Mage, #1)


♥ Mini Review ♥
Kes is quite possibly the last person you would think could be placed into a major role. Shy, a bit of a loner, but she is a timid child of the type that people automatically want to shelter and protect. Until the day when she sees her first griffin and her life changes forever. Who could have imagined that sweet little Kes would soon become the griffins' greatest hope.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Land of the Burning Sands (The Griffin Mage: Book 2)

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Gereint Enseichen of Casmantium knows little and cares less about the recent war in which his king tried to use griffins and fire to wrest territory from the neighboring country of Feierabiand...but he knows that his kingdom's unexpected defeat offers him a chance to escape from his own servitude.

But now that the griffins find themselves in a position of strength, they are not inclined to forgive and the entire kingdom finds itself in deadly peril. Willing or not, Gereint will find himself caught up in a desperate struggle between the griffins and the last remaining Casmantian mage. Even the strongest gifts of making and building may not prove sufficient when the fiery wind of the griffins begins to bury the life of Casmantium beneath the burning sands . . .

*Blurb Source* Hatchett*
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Land of the Burning Sands (The Griffin Mage: Book 2) By Rachel Neumeier

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0316072796
| ISBN-13: 9780316072793
| Publisher: Orbit (June 1, 2010)
| Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
| Cover Design: Lauren Panepinto
| Source: Personal Copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 3 Stars
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Land of the Burning Sands (Griffin Mage, #2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
Gereint is sentenced to the worse kind of slavery. Normally reserved for dangerous criminals, Gereint is controlled by a magical geas, one which compels him to obey his master's commands. But when he sees a chance to escape a cruel master, he takes it, only to find that the desert was not a good escape route after all.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Law of the Broken Earth (The Griffin Mage: Book 3)

Mulluane | 3:00 AM | 3 Comments so far

By



In Feierabiand, in the wide green Delta, far from the burning heat of the griffin's desert, Mienthe's peaceful life has been shaken. Tan - clever, cynical, and an experienced spy - has brought a deadly secret out of the neighboring country of Linularinum.

Now, as three countries and two species rush toward destruction, Mienthe fears that even her powerful cousin Bertaud may be neither able nor even willing to find a safe path between the secret Linularinum would kill to preserve and the desperate ferocity of the griffins. But can Mienthe?

And, in the end, will Tan help her . . . or do everything in his power to stand in her way?

*Blurb source* Hatchett
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Law of the Broken Earth (The Griffin Mage: Book 3) by Rachel Neumeier

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0316079936
| ISBN-13: 9780316079938
| Publisher: Orbit (December 1, 2010)
| Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
| Cover Design: Lauren Panepinto
| Source: Personal Copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 3 Stars
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Law of the Broken Earth


♥ Mini Review ♥
Mienthe's family is dead, her uncles are embroiled in a bitter fight to gain custody of her, and therefore her assets. Unwanted, unloved, Mienthe struggles to please, longs to be loved and does the best she can to survive in an hostile environment. Until one day her dreams come true and in a strange twist of fate, she gets the life she always dreamed of. That is until the arrival of Tan who brings with him a terrible secret that could not only shatter her life, but life as everyone knows it.

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