Friday, May 30, 2008

The Novice (The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 2)

By Trudi Canavan



"Even if a magician's powers surface of their own accord, he will soon be dead if he does not gain the knowledge of how to control them."

Alone among all the novices in the Magicians' Guild, only Sonea comes from lowly beginnings. Yet she has won powerful allies—including Lord Dannyl, newly promoted to Guild Ambassador. But Dannyl must now depart for the Elyne court, leaving Sonea at the mercy of the lies and malicious rumors her enemies are busy spreading . . . until the High Lord Akkarin steps in. The price of Akkarin's support is dear, however, because Sonea, in turn, must protect his mysteries—and a secret that could lead a young novice mage deep into the darkness.

Meanwhile, Dannyl's first order to resume High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge is setting him on an extraordinary journey fraught with unanticipated peril—as he moves ever-closer to a future both wondrous . . . and terrible.

*Blurb source* HarperCollins
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Fantasy Book Review of The Novice (The Black Magician Trilogy:  Book 2) by Trudi Canavan

| Genre: Fantasy
| Content: Coming-of-Age, Magic
| ISBN-10: 0060575298
| ISBN-13: 9780060575298
| Publisher: Harper Voyager (April 27, 2004)
| Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
| Cover Artist: Matt Stawicki
| Source: Personal copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 4 Stars
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The Novice (Black Magician Trilogy, #2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
In the first book the main focus is on the fear, hate and distrust between the Magicians Guild, the upper classes and the slum dwells or lower classes.

In this, the second book, the focus shifts slightly as Sonea discovers that the dreaded Magician's Guild is not as bad as she has been lead to believe and though its not perfect there are those with compassion, empathy and understanding among their ranks. The upper classes however do not prove to be tolerant at all of her low class status and she finds herself a target of not only her fellow novices but a few of the teachers too.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The High Lord (The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 3)

By Trudi Canavan



"You want to know the truth."

Sonea has learned much since she was but a penniless urchin possessing an awesome untapped ability. She has earned the grudging respect of her fellow novices and a place in the Magicians' Guild. But there is much she wishes she had never learned—what she witnessed, for example, in the underground chamber of the mysterious High Lord Akkarin . . . and the knowledge that the Guild is being observed closely by an ancient fearsome enemy.

Still, she dares not ignore the terrifying truths the High Lord would share with her, even though she fears it may be base trickery, a scheme to use her astonishing powers to accomplish his dark aims. For Sonea knows her future is in his hands—and that only in the shadows will she achieve true greatness . . . if she survives.

*Blurb source* HarperCollins
Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view.
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The High Lord (The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 3) by Trudi Canavan

| Genre: Fantasy
| Content: Coming of Age, Magic
| ISBN-10: 0060575301
| ISBN-13: 9780060575304
| Publisher: Eos (August 31, 2004)
| Mass Market Paperback: 531 pages
| Cover Artist: Matt Stawicki
| Source: Personal copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5 Stars
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The High Lord (Black Magician Trilogy, #3)



♥ Mini Review ♥
As the title indicates, in this final installment of the series, the main focus once again shifts, this time to the mysterious High Lord and his motivations. Cery makes a comeback, taking a major role in this book while Dannyl pretty much fades into the background. Most if not all of your questions will be answered with more then a few surprises along the way.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Truth Series by Dawn Cook (Series Summary)


An Epic Fantasy Series Review

Author: Dawn Cook
Genre: Fantasy Series, 13+
Publisher: Ace
Book Reviews: First Truth - Hidden Truth - Forgotten Truth - Lost Truth
Truth Series by Dawn Cook (Series Summary)


This story takes place in an interesting world divided into 4 very different cultures. You have the plains people, crafters of great skill but little self sufficiency. There are the hills people who excel at farming and raising livestock, but generally unskilled. The Coastal people who are isolated from the rest by a mountain range and are primarily a merchant class. Then there are the Masters, the magic welders of the land. To make things more interesting, no culture gets along very well with any other. They deal with each other, barely but with contempt and marginal tolerance.

This sets the stage for a poignant story of a young girl from the hills who is forced away from home by her mother. Her mother insists she go off in search of the legacy her father left her, a legacy Alissa doesn't even believe in. After all, who in their right mind believes in magic? The story gets even more interesting as she is rescued along the way by Strell, a boy from the plains and the conflict begins.

This series is delightful. The characters are kept to a minimum; a welcome change from heavier epic fantasy. There is romance, mystery, heartache, humor, prejudice, magic (or is it science?) and dragons. Well I picture them as dragons, Dawn Cook names them Ruka but they are still huge, winged, magical, intelligent lizards, yep, thats dragons! There is also an evil villain bent on taking over the world, but that just adds more flavor.

This series is what I call a light read, this is not to say that there isn't plenty going on, but the over all tone is light and at times very humorous. This is also a coming of age story. With each book Alissa matures and is faced with more challenges, and as a result, matures some more. The author also seems to grow in skill as this story progresses, by the end of the fourth book she impresses me as somebody whose efforts I will definitely be watching, and looking forward to.

If you are interested in seeing more detail about this series, please check out the individual book reviews. No matter what age you are, young adult or 20+ I think you'll enjoy these as much as I did.



Find Books Similar to Truth Series
Similar Reads from LibraryThing
All Available in Kindle
See individual reviews for more information.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Truth by Dawn Cook (Book 1 of 4)


A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Dawn Cook

Genre: Fantasy Series, 13+
ISBN: 044100945X
Publisher: Ace (May 28, 2002)
Paperback, 352 pages
First Truth by Dawn Cook (Book 1 of 4)
Publisher's Blurb:
Alissa didn't believe in magic, not until she was sent on a journey to an endangered fortress known as The Hold—and discovered the gifts within herself to save it.
This book combines several elements integral to a good fantasy story. Coming of age, quest of discovery, a mystery to solve, a villain to hate, a loyal companion and fierce protector in the form of a kestrel. And did I mention dragons?!? This is not a large book (336 pages) but still manages to pack alot of story within its pages.

The world building is excellent, the characters are vividly portrayed and very believable. Alissa comes across beautifully as exactly what she is, a naive young woman who has a lot to learn, about herself, her father and the pitfalls involved in both pride and prejudice.

This is a cliffhanger type series of 4 books so I do recommend getting all 4 so you can enjoy the entire journey.


Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari Rating 4/5

Librarything Rating 3.91/5

Amazon Rating 3.9 out of 5 stars
(68 Customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: First Truth

Buy Book: Book Depository

Amazon: US ~ Canada ~ UK

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hidden Truth by Dawn Cook ( Book 2 of 4 )


A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Dawn Cook

Genre: Fantasy Series, 13+
ISBN: 0441010032
Publisher: Ace (November 26, 2002)
Paperback, 368 pages

Hidden Truth by Dawn Cook ( Book 2 of 4 )Publisher's Blurb:
LOVE, DEATH, AND MAGIC

Alissa never believed in magic. But then she went to the Hold, a legendary fortress where human Keepers once learned magic from enigmatic Masters. Under the tutelage of the last surviving Master, Alissa discovered that she had inherited her father’s magical ability.

But the Hold is ruled by Bailic, the renegade Keeper who seized the First Truth, a book of magic he will use to harness the might of the city of the dead and wreak a war of total devastation. The book has thwarted Bailic’s every attempt to access it, while it continually calls to Alissa—who must summon all her will to resist it. For, if she gives in to the First Truth’s ultimate power and knowledge, she will be utterly changed—and the man she loves could be lost to her forever…

There is a challenge in reviewing an entire series. How to make you interested in enjoying these books without giving away too much of the story? It is safe to assume that there is much I'm not telling you and that you must read them for yourself to find out just what.

The second book in this series doesn't fail to please as so sadly many do. If anything I felt like I was not only watching Alissa grow and mature but the writer's skills also.

The story smoothly continues what was started in the first book but with even more surprises. There was less world building and more focus on Alissa, her loyal companions and their attempts to thwart the arch villain. There was further development in a love interest (or 2!) and more information on how magic works in this unique world.

The cliffhanger aspect was not so severe in this book but it still leaves enough questions unanswered to make the reader eager to discover what else is in store for Alissa, her friends and the very world in which they reside.


Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari Rating 4/5

Librarything Rating 3.99/5

Amazon Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars
(26 Customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Hidden Truth

Buy Book: Book Depository

Amazon: US ~ Canada ~ UK

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook ( Book 3 of 4 )

A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Dawn Cook

Genre: Fantasy Series, 13+
ISBN: 0441011179
Publisher: Ace (November 25, 2003)
Paperback, 384 pages

Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook ( Book 3 of 4 )

Publisher's Blurb:
Alissa is the only student living in the Hold, learning a millennium's worth of magic from the last surviving Master. Even shapeshifting to her dragon-like raku form is becoming second nature. But when a spell goes awry, Alissa is transported back four centuries to an era when the Hold and its city thrive with magic students and their tutors.

Separated from the man she loves by four hundred years, Alissa's distress and confusion are causing her to lose control of her shapeshifting. If she can't return to her own time, Aliss will be permanently transformed into her bestial form—with no memory of her human life...
Dawn Cook does an amazing job in this third book in creating a fascinating back story, neatly tying together elements mentioned or hinted at in her first 2 books.

Alissa does it again, breaks all the rules by simply having no idea a thing "simply can't be done!" She accidentally transports herself back 400 generations with no idea how she did it or a clue as to how to get back. The world building is back in full force plus in depth insights into the characters we've grown to love, and a few we have only heard about. The romance plot takes a new twist, and a few turns. And, along the way, as with any good coming of age story, Alissa learns a lot of new truths about herself, her world and the people she cares about.

The writing is vivid, the characters, both old and new, will warm your heart, the system of magic (or is it science?) is believable and the world itself is very unique. I can't wait to see how this story ends!


Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari Rating 4/5

Librarything Rating 4.19/5

Amazon Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars
(25 Customer Reviews)


What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Forgotten Truth

Buy Book: Book Depository

Amazon: US ~ Canada ~ UK

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lost Truth by Dawn Cook ( Book 4 of 4 )


A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Dawn Cook

Genre: Fantasy Series, 13+
ISBN: 0441012280
Publisher: Ace (November 30, 2004)
Paperback, 368 pages
Lost Truth by Dawn Cook ( Book 4 of 4 )

Publisher's Blurb:
Alissa's dreams lead her to a distant land where countless Masters live in a flourishing magical society. Instead of being welcomed, Alissa finds that the Masters' leader, Keribdis, believes that she should be Alissa's teacher--whether Alissa likes it or not. And when Alissa rebels, she risks her magic--and her life.
Wow what an ending! The last book does not disappoint. The adventure is back, there is another power hungry villain to hate, the world is saved and the guy gets the girl, what more can anyone ask! Alissa grows into full maturity before your very eyes throwing off much of her childlike innocence in the process and there is a big surprise in store regarding one of her loyal companions.

This entire series will find a place on my reread shelf. One of the things that appeals is how each book follows its own path, its not a 4 part repeat of the same plot thrown together in different ways. And yet Dawn Cook manages to change focus without being jarring or inconsistent, the whole set flows together beautifully. This series also serves as something that is appropriate for all ages, from young adult to old farts like me. The violence is minimal, the romance is mildly portrayed and it contains lessons that could benefit us all, if we chose to recognize them as such. If not, we still get a very enjoyable read with a unique world and vividly portrayed characters to both love, and hate.


Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari Rating 4/5

Librarything Rating 4.17/5

Amazon Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
(28 Customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Lost Truth


Buy Book: Book Depository


Amazon: US ~ Canada ~ UK

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Covenants ( A Borderlands Novel: Book 1)

Covenants By Lorna Freeman

A Fantasy Series Book Review


By Lorna Freeman

Genre: Fantasy Series, Young Adult
ISBN:0451459806
Publisher: Roc (May 4, 2004)
Paperback: 560 pages
Available in ebook: No
Publisher's Blurb:
Rabbit is a trooper on the Border Guards, just another body in the King's army. But when his patrol encounters a Faena-one of the magical guardians of an uneasy ally-Rabbit is thrust into a political and magical intrigue that could start a war. Because Rabbit isn't just another trooper. He is the son of nobility-and a mage who doesn't know his own power...
If you love Fantasy as much as I do, this is a must read book. It has something for everybody, dragons, fae of all types, ghosts, murder, mayhem and of course magic, lots of magic.

The story centers around a young man with the unusual name of Rabbit, who runs away from his humble farming background to become a soldier and in his words *see the world*. The world however is full of things that are not at all what they appear to be.

Every page seems to reveal yet another twist, turn or surprise that will keep you reading far into the night. And the one with the most hidden secrets of all may just be Rabbit himself! Reading this book was a rollicking journey that had its share of gasps, anticipation, chuckles and a few honest belly laughs that had my cat looking at me like I was crazy. I highly recommend it to all Fantasy lovers.


Covenants: A Borderlands Novel (Borderland (Roc))
Mouseover to see Amazon rating

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The King's Own ( A Borderlands Novel: Book 2)

Mulluane | 3:14 AM | 2 Comments so far
The King's Own By Lorna Freeman

A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Lorna Freeman

Genre: Fantasy Series, Young Adult
ISBN: 0451460715
Publisher: Roc (February 7, 2006)
Paperback: 432 pages
Available in ebook: No
Publisher's Blurb:
When Rabbit joined the Royal Army of Iversterre, he was just trying to get off the family farm. Instead, he got mixed up with a magical from the Border, learned he couldn't escape his noble lineage, and developed some surprising talents that he can't always control. But with Iversterre sliding toward the abyss, Rabbit needs to master his powers quickly-before someone else does it for him.
In this second installment of borderlands novels we find our hero Rabbit continuing his quest to come to grips with his ever changing world.

While still an enjoyable read I didn't find this book to be a riveting as the first. The pace seemed to be a lot slower, darker and the twists and turns to be less surprising.

However, that being said, Rabbit is an endearing character and I found myself not only in full sympathy with him but cheering him on as he took on every obstacle thrown in his path. It has been a long while since these books were published but I'd truly love to see another book added to this series.

Update: After more research I discovered the third book, Shadow's Past, was pulled from publication without explanation. The 2 books by themselves are great reads and there was no cliff hanger that makes a 3rd book vital, but I do hope that at some point they release it for publication.

The King's Own: A Borderlands Novel
Mouseover to see Amazon rating
Books Similar to Borderlands Series

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shadow's Past (Borderlands Series: Book 3) by Lorna Freeman: Info Only

Mulluane | 12:12 AM | 3 Comments so far
Shadow's Past (Borderlands Series: Book 3) by Lorna Freeman

By Lorna Freeman

Genre: Fantasy Series, Young Adult 
Paperback: 400 pages 
Publisher: Roc; Original edition (February 2, 2010) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0451463226 
ISBN-13: 978-0451463227

Publisher's Blurb:
Rabbit is struggling to make sense of his new powers and his new position as King Jusson's heir when a man once scorned by his mother comes seeking retribution-and demands that Rabbit marry his daughter...
Booklist:

In the third Borderlands novel, Rabbit, now a royal army officer, journeyman mage, and the king’s heir, meets a new complication. King Jusson has just put down a sorcerous rebellion when he receives an offer of marriage for Rabbit. Lord Idwal of Mearden, once jilted by Rabbit’s mother, wants Rabbit to marry his daughter. The royal party goes to Mearden, where conspiracy, attempted assassinations, secrets from at least five families’ pasts, clandestine revenge, and some exceedingly cunning women keep the action lively. It’s nice to have read Covenants (2004) and The King’s Own (2006) beforehand, though not necessary to quite enjoy this fun fantasy adventure. --Frieda Murray
Note: I have not reviewed this because I am waiting for book four. It is 2014 and I'm still waiting....
Shame, this series had the potential to become a bestseller.

Buy the Book
Amazon: Shadows Past: A Borderlands Novel
Kindle: Yes
Audible: No

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Privacy Policy

Google Adsense requires that I post a privacy policy. So here it goes...

I respect your privacy and I am committed to safeguarding your privacy while online at my blogs http://dragonsheroesandwizards.blogspot.com/ and http://oldbatsbelfry.blogspot.com/. The following discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices for these blogs.

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