Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When Dragons Rage (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 2) by Michael Stackpole



As her merciless armies sweep from the north, the tyrant Chytrine pursues her quest to become empress of the world in a brutal campaign of unspeakable bloodshed and unholy sorcery. While cities and kingdoms topple, her agents, both living and dead, search for fragments of the shattered DragonCrown--which, when reassembled, will make her unstoppable.

Opposing Chytrine is the beautiful and determined Alexia, Princess of Okrannel. As she struggles to save the life of Kedyn’s Crow, a mysterious human warrior accused of treachery, she gathers around her an alliance of unlikely heroes, including Resolute, an exiled Vorquelf out for vengeance; Kerrigan Reese, a mage with uncertain potential; and last but not least, young Will, an orphan thief from the slums of Yslin, who may be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy--or its innocent victim. Alexia and her friends will need all their courage and magick, their only advantage the secret possession of a vital fragment of the DragonCrown. But when Chytrine’s terrifying horde of cruel warriors, voracious minions, and remorseless undead slaves join the battle against them, even courage and magick may not be enough to stem the tide of ultimate darkness. *Blurb source Spectra
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When Dragons Rage (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 2) by Michael Stackpole

| Author: Michael A. Stackpole
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Military, Dragons, Adult Themes
| ISBN-10: 0553578537
| ISBN-13: 9780553578539
| Publisher: Spectra (November 4, 2003)
| Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
| Excerpt

♥ Mini Review ♥
Tarrant Hawkins (Crow) is on trial for his life, Chytrine is slowly but surely moving south, destroying every city in her path, Will is coming to terms with what it means to be a prophesied hero and Kerrigan Reese is discovering new ways to work with magic. Even Resolute is beginning to see that his only focus should not be on freeing his homeland. Oh but that is not all! We get to meet some interesting new characters, get a much closer look at some old like Prince Erlstoke and of course, there are some excellently rendered battle scenes too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Grand Crusade (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 3) by Michael Stackpole



The hope of the future, Will Norrington, prophesied to bring down the northern tyrant Chytrine and redeem the world, is said to be dead, lost in the heart of a fiery volcano. The news has thrown the Council of Kings into a furor and drained the spirit from once united factions. As questions swirl about as to Will's legacy, and even his identity, one thing is clear: a divided alliance lacks power. And this may be exactly the opening Chytrine needs to seize control-and capture the empowering artifact, the DragonCrown-once and for all. Still, Will's friends and comrades remain true to his cause, preparing to continue the fight. Among them is the Vilwanese hero, Kerrigan Reese, and Alyx, groomed to lead an army. Sayce, pregnant with Will's child, must remain behind as the new custodian of the Norrington future in case they fail. But even as they draw up battle plans, with the enemy nearer than they think, a shattering betrayal-and a stunning revelation-may change the course of everything. *Blurb source Spectra
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The Grand Crusade (Dragoncrown War Cycle: Book 3) by Michael Stackpole
| Author: Michael A. Stackpole
| Content: Military, Dragons, Adult
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0553578510
| ISBN-13: 978-0553578515
| Publisher: Spectra; First Thus edition (August 31, 2004)
| Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
| Excerpt

♥ Mini Review ♥
The time has come to fulfill the prophecy. The self-serving politics, fear, and greed of their own people stand in their way but our heroes are determined to eradicate Chytrine and her armies, with or without the support of the crown heads. The drama is intense, and the suspense is brutal because there is much that must be resolved before the final battle of good versus evil can take place. Everyone involved in the prophecy has to face difficult choices, make heartrending sacrifices and no one will remain unchanged.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Witches of Eileanan / Dragonclaw By Kate Forsyth (The Witches of Eileanan: Book 1)

By Kate Forsyth


*Blurb*
Isabeau the Foundling, discovered as a babe in the roots of a tree, is raised by an old wood witch in the shadow of Dragonclaw, mountain of the dragons. From Meghan of the Beasts, Isabeau learns herb-lore and the languages of animals, but dreams of the old days, when witches were the greatest power in the land. Before she was born, an evil sorceress cast a spell on the Rìgh, winning his love and turning him against the Coven. The great Witch Towers are now all abandoned ruins, magical creatures are hunted down and the Coven’s ancient wisdom is lost.

Only the Cripple, enigmatic leader of the rebels, fights to undermine the Banrìgh’s power as her dark plans slowly come to fruition. Little does Isabeau know that she is to play a key role in the battle against the Ensorcellor, for she has a strange and mysterious destiny.

As Isabeau is initiated into the Coven on her sixteenth birthday, soldiers sent to hunt down dragons stumble across the clandestine ceremony, and her peaceful life is torn apart by blood and fire. Alone she must set out on a perilous quest that will bring her face to face with her own destiny. For Meghan must go and confront the dragons and, afraid she will never return, entrusts the sacred Key of the Coven to Isabeau, who must carry it to safety. Without the Key, the witches can never release the Lodestar, an sphere of great power that was locked away on the Day of Betrayal.

Meanwhile, the sea-dwelling Fairgean stir, children vanish in the night, and the dragons - the most ancient and dangerous wisdom in the land - rise against the Ensorcellor.*Blurb source Author*

The Witches of Eileanan / Dragonclaw By Kate Forsyth (The Witches of Eileanan: Book 1)
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0451456890
| ISBN-13: 978-0451456892
| Publisher: Roc (July 1, 1998)
| Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
| Random House au Info
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
In the past the witches of Eileanan were revered. Great towers held stores of knowledge and power, places where even the elite sent their children to be trained in the ways of magic. However, all that changed on the Day of Reckoning. Maya the Unknown, having seduced the Righ with both wiles and magic, becomes the Banrigh of Eileanan. That event marks the beginning of the end for the Covens. It all comes to a head on the Day o' Betrayal when the Righ orders his Red Guards to destroy the great towers and kill all of the witches. Nevertheless, not all is lost, some of the witches survived and for 16 years a rebellion has been forming and a new Day of Reckoning is at hand.

The story centers around four main characters. Megan o' the Beasts, Keybearer of the Covens, Isabeau, her apprentice, Iseult, the twin sister Isabeau has never met and Prince Lachlan who has his own very good reason to hate Maya the Unknown. A host of characters, both mundane and magical, will assist in their quest to recover the Lodestone and bring down the evil reign of Maya the Unknown.

Wiccan witchcraft, magical creatures, a Celtic type world, and dragons, what is not to love! No, it is not original; yes, it has all been done before, but what an enjoyable combination. Kate Forsyth creates characters that you can sympathize with right from page one. She even manages to make you wonder if Maya is not quite as evil as she first appears. Good stuff!

Now this is not to say that the book is all sweetness and light. It does unfortunately have some annoyances. For one, the dialog takes a bit more concentration to follow then I generally like to use. It is not THAT hard, but it can be distracting. The twins themselves, and the Prince, have their annoying moments too, but I believe that is by design. Let's face it; most teenage girls can be rather annoying at times. (My sincere apology to any 16 year old reading this, but I am a mom, and trust me, most 16 year old girls do have some annoying moments!) In addition, the Prince does have some basis to feel sorry for himself, but hopefully he will get over it before the desire to smack him overwhelms me. Anyway...minor faults aside, I loved this book.

The pace is up and down, but that is typical of a first book where a good deal of world building needs to take place. The plot is not very original, though I liked Kate Forsyth's take on the dragons. The characters need a bit more fleshing out, but again, it is only the first book. The setting is a pleasant change. I do not usually see this type of setting outside of alternate history stories like the done to death King Arthur tales. It was a fast, light read with characters I enjoyed spending time with and I am looking forward to book two.

As far as content, it is mild. There are some battle scenes, some torture, but nothing overly graphic. No romance yet, but I have a feeling it is coming later. This is a six book series and I do plan to review them all. There is another series called Rhiannon's Ride that is written in this same world but with different characters. I do suggest reading Witches of Eileanan first, it is my opinion the background found in this series enhances the next. As far as age group goes, it starts out with the main focus on two 16 year olds so I'm going with a very general 15+ though a mature 13 year old could probably handle the torture scene just fine. Now on to book two!


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Librarything Rating 3.9/5

Amazon Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars
(109 customer reviews)


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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Witches of Eileanan / Dragonclaw (The Witches of Eileanan: Book 1) by Kate Forsyth
Reviewed by Mulluane on October 20, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5


Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pool of Two Moons By Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 2)

By Kate Forsyth


*Blurb*
As Eileanan nears its darkest hour, Meghan must gather rebel forces to move upon the city of Lucescere. There, the Rìgh lies near death and the Banrìgh, Maya the Ensorcellor and her babe stand to inherit his power. To end Maya's brutal reign and bring magic out of the shadows, what was broken must be brought together: Twin sisters who have never met ... three parts of an enchanted key ... and the winged man with the powers of the lost Lodestar...

"On the eclipse o' the two moons, all will be healed or broken, saved or surrendered ..."*Blurb source Author*

The Pool of Two Moons By Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 2)
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0451456904
| ISBN-13: 978-0451456908
| Publisher: Roc (March 1, 1999)
| Info from Random House au
| Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Iseult, Lachlan, and Megan O' the Beasts are running out of time. The three parts of the key must be joined together in order for Lachlan to recover the Lodestone and claim his rightful inheritance. There are many obstacles in their path. The Bright Soldiers are planning an invasion, Maya the Unknown has her Red Guard and witch-sniffers out looking for the trio, and Margrit of Arran has her own reasons to want them dead.

This book almost completely changes focus, with the spotlight on Iseult and Lachlan. We also get glimpses of the ever-growing rebel forces and Isabeau does play a part, just not one that gets as much page time. The good thing about this is we have the already well-created characters that were showcased in book one, and now we get to see new characters developed. This eliminates the normal second book blues. If anything, this book was better. Rarely have I ever done a book review that showed a five star rating on Amazon, though the other ratings at the bottom of this page were not so generous.

As for me, I am leaning towards five stars myself. The pace was great, there was both a realized and a budding romance to enjoy, Megan provides some humor, and there were some definite surprises along the way. Besides that, I am becoming accustomed to the dialog and spending less time stumbling through it. The characters are extremely endearing, the magic system is very well researched and depicted. The ending is more conclusive and very tragic in several ways but it still leaves plenty of options open to make you want to grab up book three, and quickly!

Any sex that takes place is largely left up to your imagination, the violence less so, but overall there is not much description there either. The dialog might be challenging to a younger teen but challenge is good right? Fun, fun read, and very engrossing. Let’s see if book three delivers as well!


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Librarything Rating 3.89/5

Amazon Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars
(37 customer reviews)


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Kindle: The Pool of Two Moons: Witches of Eileanen Book 2 (Witches of Eileanan)

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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Pool of Two Moons (Witches of Eileanan: Book 2) by Kate Forsyth
Reviewed by Mulluane on October 18, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Cursed Towers By Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 3)

By Kate Forsyth


*Blurb*
Lachlan the Winged now holds the Lodestar. He and Iseult have been crowned Rìgh and Banrìgh of all Eileanan and the Far Islands, but dark times still lie ahead. The Bright Soldiers pursue their holy war, the Awl seeks to raise Maya’s daughter Bronwen as Banrìgh and Margrit of Arran plots behind the scenes.

With deception and betrayal at every turn, magical spells are spun and evil curses are cast, striking Lachlan down. As Isabeau seeks her own destiny under the glittering eyes of the dragons, Iseult finds she alone can save the country from a terrible and bloody war...
*Blurb source Author*

The Cursed Towers By Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 3)
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0451456912
| ISBN-13: 978-0451456915
| Publisher: Roc (May 1, 2000)
| Random House au Info
| Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Fighting a war on four fronts is never easy, especially for a young and untried Righ. However, Lachlan has powerful allies at his back. The League of the Healing Hands, the New Coven, his warrior wife Iseult, the former rebels and Lilanthe, the tree-shifter, who is going to attempt to recruit the remaining faery, along with those Lairds who are still loyal all support the Righ in their own way. A powerful force for sure, but will it be enough? Isabeau has problems of her own. The new Righ has developed an almost irrational hate for Bronwen, the babe of Maya the Unknown and Isabeau fears for the child's life. Add in the mystery of Maya's complete disappearance, the lingering hatred that sections of the populace still have for all things both witch and faery, the vendetta the Mesmerdean have against the witches who have killed their kin, and you truly have one huge mess.

This is a VERY busy book. The focus splits often between characters, there are some very tragic events and more then a few surprises. The main focus is on the war and even that is not a straightforward focus since there are four forces to contend with. Lachlan must decide how to defeat the Bright Soldiers, punish Margrit of Arran for her betrayals, and locate the Grand-Seeker who is gathering an army to restore Maya's child to the throne. Attacks from the Fairgean are a factor too but as you will soon see, not in a way that you might expect. Meanwhile, Isabeau is on an adventure of her own, separate from most of the main storyline, and it too contains a lot of twists, turns, and surprises.

Again, the characters impressed me. These books really suck you into the individual story lines and make you care about each person. Even Maya has qualities that make you, if not sympathize; at least partially understand her motives. You will not find too many light moments in this book. That is to be expected considering that it is primarily about war, but still, there are a few inserted skillfully to help break the tension. Overall, this book is much darker and much more complicated then the first two.

There is a surprise romance, or it was to me. A failed romance, which also surprised me. There is a delightful surprise concerning Lasair and pretty much everything that happens to Isabeau caught me off guard. Lilanthe also amazed me as she develops into a character with strengths I would have never expected of her. I loved every minute of it. The world building, the magic system, which is so accurately portrayed, the "real" characters, and the almost non-stop action made for a delightful read.

Even with all the tragedy and violence, I still found nothing offensive that I felt would prevent a teen from enjoying this book. Of course, that depends on the teen; the dialect used is a challenge and flat out annoys some readers. It is a coming of age story, many of the main characters are still fairly young, and most are in their teens. There are also plenty of older characters (Megan is over 400!) to grab the attention of the adult set. Overall, it is a good book for almost anybody. I highly recommend this series so far. Now on to book four!


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Librarything Rating 3.85/5

Amazon Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars
(34 customer reviews)


What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Cursed Towers: Book Three of the Witches of Eileanan

Audible: No

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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Cursed Towers (Witches of Eileanan: Book 3) by Kate Forsyth
Reviewed by Mulluane on October 16, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Forbidden Land By Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 4)

By Kate Forsyth


*Blurb*
Finn the Cat is bored with life as a banprionnsa. Nothing ever seems to happen at Castle Rurach, and she's always getting into trouble. A caravan of jongleurs arrive to break the monotony, but this is no ordinary caravan. Led by Dide the Juggler, the jongleurs have come on behalf of the Rìgh. Once again it seems as if Lachlan the Winged has particular need of someone with Finn's peculiar abilities...

Setting out on a clandestine journey that will take them beyond the Great Divide and into the Forbidden Land, the companions must face dangers that will test their courage and resolve to breaking point ... and beyond. *Blurb source Author*

The Forbidden Land By Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 4)
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0451458281
| ISBN-13: 978-0451458285
| Publisher: Roc (May 1, 2001)
| Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
| Info from Random House au
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Finn is bored to tears. Most people would be thrilled to discover that they were the long lost MacRuraich heir, and she did, at first. However, that was before the boredom set in. Finn really misses her life on the streets. Well, she does not miss the cold or the hunger, just the adventure. She wants to go back to a time when she was Finn the Cat-Thief. Even the battlefield would be preferable to needlework and history lessons. Fortunately she is about to get her wish. Righ Lachlan has need of her unique skills for a mission that only she has a chance of accomplishing, if she survives.

Kate Forsyth does it again by completely changing focus. This book covers Finn almost exclusively and it is a great tale of magic, adventure, friendship, harrowing danger, and horrific war. You will not find Isabeau or Megan in this book, and you will see very little of Lachlan or Iseult. You will get to spend some time with Dide, Enit, and the remains of the League of the Healing Hands. You will also meet Finn's too perfect cousin who is the NicSian heir.

Some readers have complained about the change of focus but I am not sure they realized how vital this tale is to the main storyline. Only those who go on this mission could possible tell the story in the way that it needs to be told and Kate Forsyth was brilliant in choosing Finn as the main protagonist. This girl has personality oozing out of every pore. She is funny, hardheaded, and independent to a fault and yet still maintains a believable level of innocence. Just the type of character you can root for. If you want to read more about Isabeau, well that happens in book five and will cover the same timeline as this book does.

The pace is great; there are things that happen that shocked me, both in good and bad ways. The character development is superb. The conclusion is very satisfying. There are some romantic elements here but more as a sideline. You do discover more about Dide's feelings and Finn, oh my, that girl is so blind! There is some violence, a bit of mild language and the focus shift takes us back into the lives of the younger characters. This is truly a book suitable for both young adult and adult readers. Besides that, it is just plain fun! Now I am off to go catch up on what Isabeau has been doing, see you when I am done.


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Librarything Rating 3.9./5

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


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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Forbidden Land (Witches of Eileanan: Book 4) by Kate Forsyth
Reviewed by Mulluane on October 14, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Skull of the World by Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 5)

By Kate Forsyth


*Blurb*
Isabeau has remained in exile on the Spine of the World, for Lachlan has not forgiven her for saving Maya from death and giving the Ensorcellor back her daughter Bronwyn. Isabeau is unhappy that her actions should be so misunderstood, but gains some measure of peace getting to know her parents and spending each winter with the Khan'cohbans as the queen-dragon had commanded. The time comes when she must undertake her journey of initiation to the Skull of the World, where the cruel and enigmatic Gods of White will reveal her destiny to her. On this journey she will face many dangers but by overcoming them, will finally discover her true Talent.

She is at last free to return to Lucescere and the Tower of Two Moons, where she plans to study to be a sorceress. Meanwhile, Iseult and Lachlan have been busy with the invasion of Tìrsoilleir. While they are away fighting the Bright Soldiers, Margrit the Thistle kidnaps their son Donncan, the heir to the throne, and her grandson, Iain's son Neil. There is no-one but Isabeau left in Lucescere to try and save them. Alone, she has to try and vanquish Margrit, the cruellest and most subtle sorceress in the land ..*Blurb source Author*

The Skull of the World by Kate Forsyth (Witches of Eileanan: Book 5)
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0451458699
| ISBN-13: 978-0451458698
| Publisher: Roc; d edition (February 1, 2002)
| Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
| Info from Random House au
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars

Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
Isabeau may be the most powerful witch in generations but she still has a lot to learn. Following the instructions given her by the dragon queen, Isabeau must spend six months out of the year with her faery kin and the other six months with her parents in the Towers of Roses and Thorns. The time she must spend on the Spine of the World provides her with not only instruction into the faery half of her magic, but lessons in humility and self-defense. Once she is deemed ready by her grandmother the Firemaker, she must journey to the Skull of the World to claim both her name and her totem. However, her training will not stop there. If she succeeds in her quest, she must then journey back to the Tower of Two Moons to complete her training in the use of the One Power and gain her Sorceress rings and full status within the coven. That is a lot to accomplish for a girl who is only 22 years old!

As promised, the focus is once again on Isabeau. This book closely follows the pattern set in book four by focusing on Isabeau's adventures almost exclusively. Kate Forsyth then masterfully manages to bring this story right in line with the events portrayed in book four so that by the end of the book, both stories converge seamlessly. There is also what I am assuming is a setup for book six in that we get a few inside glimpses into the Fairgean. It all makes for some very interesting reading. However, that is not all. As if Isabeau is not facing enough challenges, Margit of Arran kidnaps both the Righ’s son and his cousin and our poor heroine is framed for the crime! This puts her in the position of having to go rescue the two boys and leads to a surprise encounter with a previous character.

Fans of Isabeau will be pleased, fans of the entire series will be even more so. Kate Forsyth has several very impressive talents. The level of research, the characterization, the way she weaves the story lines together and the pace are all indicative of a master storyteller. I love the way she gives hints of what is coming, without giving anything away. For example, in this book, she tells a story about the Fairgean that has no real purpose or bearing on the main storyline, but it does not interrupt the flow either. There is no possible reason for the story except to prepare and make you look forward to events that will occur in book six. Well, that combined with the cliffhanger ending. Believe me when I tell you I am really looking forward to finding out how everything ties together and concludes!

The content is appropriate for both adults and young adults. The romance is lacking in this book but it never really played a huge part anyway. This book is mainly about Isabeau coming into her full powers and finding out what her Talent is, and what a talent! If you love this series, you will not be disappointed with this book. If you have not started reading this series yet, well what are you waiting for! As for me, well I'm off to lose myself in book six and I have a feeling I will be really sad once this journey is over.


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Librarything Rating 4.26/5

Amazon Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars
(19 Customer Reviews)


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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Skull of the World (Witches of Eileanan: Book 5) by Kate Forsyth
Reviewed by Mulluane on October 11, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Fathomless Caves (Witches of Eileanan: Book 6)

By Kate Forsyth


*Blurb*
The Fathomless Caves deals with the final confrontation with the Fairgean. Before his death, the blind prophet Jorge had foreseen the conjuring of a tidal wave by the sea-dwelling Fairgean, the people of Eileanan's bitterest enemies. Driven by ancient hatreds, the Fairgean have called upon dreadful powers to aid them in their quest to totally annihilate all those that dwell upon the land. As the time of the comet draws ever closer, Lachlan and Iseult try desperately to avert the terrible fate the seer had prophesied, testing their strength and love to the utmost.

Meanwhile, Isabeau must travel a dark and dangerous road to fulfil her own destiny. On her journey she must prove herself worthy of both the scar of the Soul-Sage and the ring of the sorceress. Facing old enemies and new, the most difficult challenge of all will be conquering the ghosts of her past. For if Isabeau is to heal the land, she first must find the way to healing her own troubled spirit ...*Blurb source Author*

The Fathomless Caves The Fathomless Caves

The Fathomless Caves by Kate Forsyth

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| ISBN-10: 0451459024
| ISBN-13: 978-0451459022
| Publisher: Roc (November 5, 2002)
| Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
| Info from Random House au
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
The world of Eileanan has united for the first time in history, except for the sea-dwelling Fairgean, only they have refused to sign the Pact of Peace. The cost will be high, the fight will be brutal, and the Fairgean have plans that could very well destroy the entire world. Blinded by hate, determined to win back their world regardless of the price, the Priestesses of Jor intend to call on Kani, the goddess of fire and earth, volcanoes, earthquakes and lightening. Will the combined magic of witch and fae be enough to save them all from annihilation?

The entire cast comes together in this stunning conclusion. Some of our old friends play bigger parts then others but all of the loose ends are tied up. Love is tested, loyalty challenged, and sacrifices are made. This book provides us with a very satisfying, and in some ways, bittersweet ending to a vibrant and engrossing series. I was sad to close the book; I enjoyed every minute of this story and adored the characters.

One of the things that I truly admired about this series is how Kate Forsyth shows that villains are not always just evil, but may have legitimate reasons for what they do. The lengths they are willing to take to address the wrongs they have suffered may be extreme but by explaining their motives, you gain a bit of sympathy for the "bad" guys. She also did not make the war unrealistic. Good people die, others are saved, and in the end everybody loses - and wins - in one way or another. The result however is a world I would love to live in, a world based on tolerance, love and understanding. (OK, so I am a hopeless romantic, I admit it!)

The content is mild, and any lovemaking barely described. The violence as a rule is not graphic. There was one exception, where Isabeau goes into a bit more detail about what happened during her torture but it was necessary to the scene. The world building is excellent, the magic exceptionally researched, and the mix of human, dragon, mystical beasts and fae is delightful. If you like your fantasy to be full of magic and mystery, love and heartache, friendship and betrayal, loyalty and sacrifice, you will love this book, and this series.


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Librarything Rating 4.01/5

Amazon Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars
(17 Customer Reviews)
The Fathomless Caves

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Epic Fantasy Book Review of The Fathomless Caves (Witches of Eileanan: Book 6) by Kate Forsyth
Reviewed by Mulluane on October 08, 2008
Rating: 5 of 5


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Genesis of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Series Summary)

Genesis of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Armageddon's Children Book 1 - The Elves of Cintra Book 2  - The Gypsy Morph, Book 3
(Buy From Amazon)

♥ Mini Review ♥
80 years in the future the world is in ruin. Disease, mutants, poisons, and demons ravage what few have survived. In addition, there are worse things coming that will destroy all that remains. However, four very different heroes may be able to save the remnants of humans, elves, faerie and mutants. Hawk, a charismatic young boy, Kirisin, a Chosen of the Ellcrys, Logan Tom and Angel Perez, both Knights of the Word all have a role to play, but Findo Gask, the most powerful of the Demons of the Void, has other ideas.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara: Book 1)

By Terry Brooks



Logan Tom is doomed to remember the past and determined to rescue the future. Far behind him lies a boyhood cut violently short by his family’s slaughter, when the forces of madness and hate swept our world after decadent excesses led to civilization’s downfall. Somewhere ahead of him rests the only chance to beat back the minions of evil that are systematically killing and enslaving the last remnants of humanity. Navigating the scarred and poisoned landscape that once was America and guided by a powerful talisman, Logan has sworn an oath to seek out a remarkable being born of magic, possessed of untold abilities, and destined to lead the final fight against darkness.

Across the country, Angel Perez, herself a survivor of the malevolent, death-dealing forces combing the land, has also been chosen for an uncanny mission in the name of her ruined world’s salvation. From the devastated streets of Los Angeles, she will journey to find a place–and a people–shrouded in mystery, celebrated in legend, and vital to the cause of humankind . . . even as a relentless foe follows close behind, bent on her extermination. While in the nearly forsaken city of Seattle, a makeshift family of refugees has carved out a tenuous existence among the street gangs, mutants, and marauders fighting to stay alive against mounting odds–and something unspeakable that has come from the shadows in search of prey.

In time, all their paths will cross. Their common purpose will draw them together. Their courage and convictions will be tested and their fates will be decided, as their singular crusade begins: to take back, or lose forever, the only world they have.*Blurb source Random House
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Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Mix of Urban, High and Dark Fantasy, 16+
| ISBN-10: 034548410X
| ISBN-13: 9780345484109
| Publisher: Del Rey (July 31, 2007)
| Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
| Source: Author/Publisher
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara, #1)



♥ Mini Review ♥
The world as we know it is gone. All that is left is ruin, toxins, poisons, mutants and disease. Nothing is safe. Demons and their minions called Once-men strive to enslave and destroy the remnants of humanity in the name of the Void. Only a very few champions of the Word remain, too few to stop what is coming. But in the midst of all the suffering and misery some hope remains. The two remaining Knights of the Word are given missions, one to find the legendary Gypsy Morph, a mystical being with the power to save a portion of humanity, the other to find the legendary Elf stones, talismans that are the key to that salvation. But the Demons are hot on their trail and time is running out for them all.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara: Book 2)

By Terry Brooks



Across the ruined landscape that is America–hopelessly poisoned, plague-ridden, burned, and besieged by demon armies bent on exterminating all mortal life–two pilgrims have been summoned to serve the embattled cause of good. Logan Tom has journeyed to desolate Seattle to protect a ragged band of street urchins and the being known as “the gypsy morph,” who is both mortal and magical, and destined to save mankind unless he is destroyed. Likewise, Angel Perez has her own quest, one that will take her from the wreckage of Los Angeles to a distant, secret place untouched by the horrors of the nationwide blight–a place where the race of Elves has dwelled since before man existed. But close behind these lone Knights of the Word swarm the ravening forces of the Void.

As the menacing thunder of war drums heralds the arrival of the demons and their brutal minions in Seattle, the young survivors who call themselves the Ghosts are forced to brave the dangerous world of gangs, mutants, and worse to escape the invasion. And Logan Tom must infiltrate a refugee compound to rescue Hawk, the leader of the street urchins, who has yet to learn the truth about who and what he is. Meanwhile, Angel Perez has joined an equally urgent mission: to find the Ellcrys, a fabled talisman crucial to protecting the Elven realm against an influx of unspeakable evil from the dread dimension known as the Forbidding. But Angel and her Elf allies must beware–for a demon spy, with a monstrous creature at its command, walks among them.

As the legions of darkness draw the noose tighter, and the time of confrontation draws near, those chosen to defend the soul of the world must draw their battle lines and prepare to fight with, and for, their lives. If they fail, humanity falls. *Blurb source Random House
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The Elves of Cintra by Terry Brooks

| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Mix of Urban, High and Dark Fantasy, 16+
| ISBN-10: 0345484134
| ISBN-13: 9780345484130
| Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (July 29, 2008)
| Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
| Source: Author/Publisher
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 4/5 Stars
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The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara, #2)



♥ Mini Review ♥
Angel Perez, accompanied by a creature of Faerie, sets off to find the remaining elves and convince them that the Elfstones must be found. But there are dark forces working from within the elven community and her task may prove to be fruitless. The Gypsy Morph has his own problems. His magic is coming alive and he is becoming the creature that the King of Silver River has made him to be. This is alot to absorb for a young boy and he must come to terms with the fact that not only is he a creature of magic, but it is up to him to save both human and elven kind. But lets not forget The Ghosts, that resilient bunch of street kids now championed by Logan Tom. They must leave behind everything they have ever known and journey to the Columbia River, with only their belief in Hawk to sustain them and dangers from mutants and disease dogging every step. With Demons and Once-Men after them and the ever present dangers of their world impeding their respective paths, can our assorted cast of heroes accomplish their goals in time?


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