The Chalice and The Crown by Kassandra Flamouri

The Chalice and the Crown

by Kassandra Flamouri

Genre: YA Fantasy

Driven, talented, and determined to live up to her family’s fame, Sasha Nikolayeva is ballet’s crown princess. But just when Sasha lands her most prestigious role yet, she falls prey to a host of disturbing neurological symptoms that threaten to end her career and her very life. As her mind and body deteriorate, Sasha spirals into a nightmare world where beauty and cruelty exist in the same breath and villains rule from the shadows.

In the glittering, sharp-edged City of Roses, Sasha is no princess. She’s a thrall, a slave. Thousands like her suffer in cursed silence while citizens enjoy the splendor of the City, blissfully unaware that their servants are anything more than living dolls enchanted to do their bidding. But the City’s slavers know the truth, and they are always watching. One misstep could cost Sasha her life—or her soul.

Even as she endures the violence and indignity of captivity, Sasha can’t help being drawn to the beauty of her nightmare world and the underground rebels who offer her friendship, shelter, even love. Before Sasha can break her chains for good, she’ll need choose between the life waiting for her at home and the countless lives she could save if she stays. To choose a nightmare over her real life, her future, would be madness…but maybe a little madness is just what it takes to change the fate of a city built on lies.

Dreams and reality perform a captivating pas de deux in this tale of legacy and longing. A lyrical and original fantasy that, like its heroine, has the soul of a dancer.

– Adi Rule, author of STRANGE SWEET SONG

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In retrospect, I probably should have realized a lot earlier that I was meant to be a writer. Even as early as kindergarten, I struggled to pay attention in class because the outside world was just not as interesting as what was going on in my head. By that time, I had already made my storytelling debut (“Squirm the Worm,” delivered at age three) and had spent countless hours playing make-believe with my 284 stuffed animals, every one of whom had a name and detailed backstory.

Though I quickly learned to pay attention (or at least look like I was paying attention) during school hours, I retained a tendency to daydream and a love of stories. When I left high school to attend the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, I learned to translate both emotional and programatic content into music. Now, as an exam prep and college essay tutor, I have the time and flexibility to really dig into fiction again. My work has appeared online and in print in such venues as Timeless Tales Magazine and Quantum Fairy Tales.

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Would you like a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


“The legends say that in the earliest days, we lived and died in darkness and despair.” Luca’s voice tickles my ear, and, though he drops his hand, he stays close. “Farmers toiled in the fields without respite, never tasting the fruits of their labor. Blacksmiths forged tools and weapons, never toys or lovers’ trinkets. Housewives gave birth to children who grew too quickly into adulthood, never knowing laughter. Soldiers killed and were killed without mercy—without knowing why, even. But for all their toiling and striving, they were pale, listless, fearful beings. There was no beauty or courage in the world, only survival. Only hardship.

“But one day, a young blacksmith dreamed of something better. He dreamed of the three Graces: Joy, Passion…and, shining like a beacon, her arms around the other two, Beauty. When the blacksmith awoke, he wept, for now he knew all that his life lacked. He wept a lifetime of tears that had never been shed, and, when his tears ran dry, he fell to his knees and prayed.

“When the blacksmith rose, he went to his forge and fashioned a chalice from gold—a soft, silly metal that served no useful purpose. So he had been told, and so he had believed until he dreamed of Beauty. When the chalice was completed, he went to the vineyards, where the vintner made vinegar to preserve food, clean wounds, quench thirst—useful, practical, necessary tasks, of course. But the blacksmith told the vintner of his dream and showed him the golden chalice, and the vintner in turn showed him what he had discovered: His casks of vinegar, if opened early, produced a liquid with a pleasant taste and even more pleasant warmth.

“The blacksmith and the vintner filled the chalice with wine and offered it to the villagers, who began to laugh and then to sing. When the chief’s suspicious soldiers came to investigate, they, too, drank the wine. One soldier after another faltered in the march, and they began to dance.

“And so the chalice performed its miracles, passing from hand to hand, intoxicating the people not only with drink but with joy and wonder. ‘There is beauty in the world,’ one villager would say. ‘Drink deep.’ ‘Life is sweet,’ the next might say. ‘Drink deep.’ The villagers drank deep from the chalice and began to expect more from life than mere survival. As they sought out beauty and amusement and love, they also found genius and passion for good works, for excellence, for innovation. They found their Gifts.

“The villagers transformed their huts into houses, then villas. The villages grew into towns, then cities, then a kingdom. To this day we gather in the Temple of Graces to seek out the beauty in the world and in ourselves, and every year we celebrate the blacksmith and his Chalice of Gifts.”

Luca falls silent. I blink, still entranced by his story and dazzled by the stars. Finally, I look at him and feel a smile spread across my face.

“I love it,” I tell him, and it feels like something more, something like… I love you.


I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Chalice and the Crown by Kassandra Flamouri.

Curse of the Blacknoc Witch ~ giveaway

Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer’s Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.

When she isn’t crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.

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Curse of the Blacknoc Witch

by Tori V. Rainn

Genre: Fantasy

Samuel dreamed of being a lot of things, but a monster trapped in a forest realm never entered his mind. The Blacknoc Curse wasn’t supposed to be true, only a children’s story meant to persuade them away from evil. Yet, here he was tasked with hunting cursed kids. There’s nothing left for Samuel except the horror surrounding him.

Layla, a young girl tormented by the same curse, is dropped into the terrifying forest every night, running from the monsters intent on taking her life. She meets Samuel and vows to save all the children, especially Samuel, from their torment.

Working together can they defeat the Blacknoc Curse?

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Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card and a swag pack with a bookmark and keychain? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I’m the typical introvert who couldn’t contain her wild imagination. In my late teens, I started dabbling in writing. Since I didn’t really know much about writing I couldn’t really go too far until I took an online writing course that explained the basics of fiction writing. Once I understood the basics it was like something clicked within me. I wanted to learn more and write more. I wrote short stories, and then eventually took on bigger projects like novellas and novels.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Laid-back. Goofy. Loyal. Creative. Pensive.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think the first time I made it official was when I decided I wouldn’t treat it as a hobby anymore. I had to change my state of mind. I wanted to stop dreaming and make my dream of getting published a reality. I invested more time in reading about the craft of writing. I tried to write more, even when I didn’t feel like it. Another process was slowly coming out of my shell and letting others read my work for feedback. I think it’s the little steps taken that slowly start to define who I am as a writer.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

How about my current one? Curse of the Blacknoc Witch. I’m sure most know it’s every author’s dream to get their book adapted into a film. I wouldn’t mind seeing my book as a Netflix movie. Not as a series but a movie. How cool would that be, right? I’d imagine awesome CGI to portray the monsters and the magic. A real forest shot in the dark to show the setting. Ah, I could dream though.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Curse of the Blacknoc Witch?

The main characters of Curse of the Blacknoc Witch are Samuel Fawcett and Layla Marlowe. They’re teens who are both hunted by a wicked curse. Samuel was a teen at one time before transforming into a monster. He’s supposed to hunt and eat all the wicked kids but he was given a choice and uses that chance to protect the weak. Layla is under the protection of Samuel. She’s bent on breaking the curse for herself and the others who are tormented by the curse. Samuel may not have hope for a new day but Layla holds onto that hope for a day to come.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

I google names for inspiration but I’m very picky about choosing the names of my characters. The name I pick usually reflects the personality of my character. If the name matches who the character is or symbolizes them or their circumstance in any way, that’s the one I’ll usually go with. For example, I could not decide between using Layla or Lilith. Both names can have a similar meaning. ‘Of the night’ or ‘beauty.’

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed watching the interactions between my main characters, but really it was just a blast to see some of the action scenes unfold. Monsters fighting monsters. Kids fighting monsters. So much fun. I love action scenes!

Who designed your book covers? 

I’m in love with the cover. Abigail Owen at The Wild Rose Press, Inc designed the cover. She did such a great job of capturing the feel of the book. The story takes place mostly at night in a forest. It has a witchy and fantasy feel all while setting that dark mood. My publisher lets you have a small say in the cover. I had the option of including one important element in the cover. The designer worked those awesome witch knots you can see at the corners of the book.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

As a reader myself, I just like to sit back and enjoy the ride. So a note to the readers, I do hope my stories can be that escape for you like the way I enjoy books. My characters are to inspire and entertain and it is my wish that they are that influence for you.

 Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

Eep, I really must sell it here, huh? Well, it’s filled with twists and turns, and if you don’t mind a little creepy in your story about two unlikely heroes filled with fantasy elements, romance, a sprinkle of humor, and action, then I do believe this is a must read for you.

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

It would probably be a scent that reminded me of herbs to match the witchy part and with a tinge of pine or forestry to match the setting.

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

Most of the time, I use an outline. An outline is like a map that helps me see where I’m going. I like to have a plan to follow.  Depending on how much detail you put into the outline, you can only see as far as the light sprays. Without any light, I feel like I’m walking blindly and this can be chaotic. Now, sometimes chaos is good. It’s rare but I do like to write by the seat of my pants. The results can be positive if you’re in search of something spontaneous.


The Atlantis Bloodline ~ Giveaway

I’m so excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray

C.A. Gray is the author of three YA Amazon bestselling trilogies: PIERCING THE VEIL (magic and quantum physics meet Arthurian legends), THE LIBERTY BOX (dystopian metaphysics and mind control technology), and UNCANNY VALLEY (dystopian coming-of-age with neuroscience and super intelligent A.I). She starts with some scientific concept that she’s interested in learning more about herself, and then creates lots of epic chaos and high-stakes action to go along with it. Her stories are free of gratuitous violence, language, and sexual content, and she abhors depressing endings… but they’re not all kittens and rainbows either!

She also listens to and reviews audiobooks on her website (www.authorcagray.com), Goodreads, Instagram, and on her podcast, Clean Audiobook Reviews, where she also occasionally interviews other authors.

By day, C.A. Gray practices naturopathic medicine, podcasts, and writes medical non-fiction under her maiden name (Lauren Deville). She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Frank, and together they maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog (under her real name: Lauren Baden. Three names. Yes.) She’s kind of the queen of multitasking–so in her spare time, she creates whatever meals or crafts she found most recently on Pinterest, drinks lots of coffee (Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds–and she saves the corks for craft projects), works out (while listening to audiobooks), and studies the Bible (about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural Health are scripture meditations). …She does sleep, too.

Join her newsletter for best-of-the-month reads, freebies and giveaway information, as well as new releases! http://eepurl.com/F3rof


I love when I get to interview a guest author and really get to know them. C.A. Gray is a pleasure and I’m proud to be hosting her book.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m working on something a little different this time. It’s an early chapter reader/middle grade series in which three 9-10 year old kids (Gabe, Elizabeth, and Marty) apprentice under a time-traveling magician called Thrylos, traveling to various critical moments in history. They must battle against the evil magician Kakovoulos, ensuring that history turns out as we know it, rather than taking a much darker turn. I love the historical research I get to do for this one! For instance: did you know that Julius Caesar was once kidnapped by pirates? Or that Plato was once sold as a slave? Or that in 1908 an asteroid nearly hit London that would have wiped out the entire city? True stories, all. Not sure how my kids are going to save the day, but they totally are… Now I just have to figure out the whole illustration thing! 🙂

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

The first novel was Intangible, and the original name for it was Ripple Effect. It referred to a quantum mechanical principle, but it was just so vague. Intangible isn’t much better, I’ll admit, but I wanted an alliteration theme with all one word: Intangible, Invincible, and Impossible is what I came up with. I know better now — I need to have some keywords in there!

Who designed your book covers?

Now I do them all on Design Crowd so each is done by a different person, though I’ve used a few designers more than once.

How did you come up with name of this book?

Actually I originally intended to call it just Bloodline. It was the name of a sermon series at my church, and I thought, that would be an awesome book title!! But then I decided, not enough keywords for Amazon searching. And since it was about descendants of Atlantis, and that’s a BIG keyword, bingo. (Then I ended making Bloodline the name of Kai’s band.)

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

I LOVED writing the initial tension between Ada and Kai as they got to know each other, and Ada wasn’t sure what his deal was. I knew what was happening and I still felt the suspense!

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Oh I’d totally hang out Esme (I’d say Kai, but I’m married) 😉 and she’d take me to the Mermaid Cove where we would swim with the mermaids! And then she’d take me to the Faerie Glen. I never even give the faeries any page time in this book, but I’d like to meet them.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

I think all of my main characters have aspects of me in them, because I imagine how I would react in a given situation or how I might say something, and I put that in their heads or their mouths. But I suspect I’m pulling all of my characters from experience, whether it be myself, others, or fictional archetypes. You write what you know.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

A little bit of both. I have outlines, but the outlines are pretty fluid. Sometimes as I’m writing a scene, I realize that something needs to be said or done that I didn’t plan for, and I just go with it.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

This book is a bunch of my favorite things, all meshed together: romantic suspense, a Cinderella-ish story, a secret society, mermaids, magic, and mythology… how could you not be intrigued? 🙂

Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

Marissa Meyer or Orson Scott Card. Both of them have such distinctive narrative voices (though completely different from one another.) I could read anything by either of them, no matter what it’s about, and be engrossed. I want to know how they pull that off!


When sweet Ada Edwards meets the mysterious Kaison Hughes, lead singer of the biggest band in the world, she can’t understand what he sees in her. Despite everyone’s warnings about him, she’s rapidly falling in love. But it’s obvious he has a secret, and he’s not all he appears to be.

Kai’s life isn’t his own, and his fame isn’t the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he’s been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they’ve been looking for. He doesn’t know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn’t care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister’s freedom.

There’s just one problem: Kai’s falling in love with Ada, too.

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Would you like to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


YESTERDAY (Movie Review)

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW!

Title: Yesterday (2019)

Director: Danny Boyle

Story By: Jack Barth and Richard Curtis

Screenplay Writer: Richard Curtis

Stars: Himesh Patel and Lily James

Genre(s): Comedy | Fantasy | Music

Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes


SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★ (4.66 Stars)

Writing/Story: ★★★★★  |  Cinematography:  ★★★★★  |  Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

IMDB STORY LINE:

In Lowestoft UK, Jack Malik is a frustrated musician whose musical career is going nowhere despite the faith that his friend/manager Ellie Appleton has in him. However, on the night Jack decides to give up, the whole world is momentarily hit with a massive blackout that lasts just 12 seconds. During this strange event, Jack is hit by a bus. Upon regaining consciousness, Jack learns to his astonishment that he is apparently now the only one who knows the music of the Beatles. Realizing this improbable opportunity, Jack begins playing the music of the greatest rock band, claiming it as his own. It pays off quickly and Jack becomes a worldwide musical sensation. However, Jack finds himself drifting away from Ellie, only realizing his love for her when she has become intimidated by his success, which is dependent on a blatant plagiarization that no one could find out. Now, Jack must make a fundamental moral decision about his music to satisfy his conscience as he decides what he truly needs.

MY 2 CENTS:

This movie went under the radar for me. I never heard about it until I was scrolling through my movie apps one day. I had seen Bohemian Rhapsody (which I loved) and Rocketman (which I thought was just ok), but had never even heard of Yesterday. When I found out it was all about The Beatles… and that it takes place in modern day, I was intrigued.

Basically, it asks the question; What would you do if you were a musician and one day you woke up and The Beatles never existed? You’re the only one who knows who The Beatles are—or were—and you know all their songs. Would you play their music and claim it as your own?

That is exactly what Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel, did in this film.

Writing/Story: ★★★★★

This film was fun and fast paced. The way the writer incorporated the music of The Beatles so smoothly really leads to the question, if The Beatles has started today… would their music have done as well? The music was obviously fantastic for anyone, like myself, who loves The Beatles. If you don’t like the music of The Beatles, don’t watch this film.

To be honest, I don’t typically enjoy musicals. I can watch them. I can appreciate the talent it takes to create them. However, I have a hard time suspending my disbelief. I didn’t have that problem with this film. Yesterday is different than other music centered films such as Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody. This one isn’t about The Beatles. It’s not about the band. At its core, Yesterday is a musical rom-com. It’s a romantic comedy, centered around a musician who just so happens to be the only guy in the world who knows the music of The Beatles and the girl who loves him.

Cinematography ★★★★★

I really enjoyed the cinematography throughout this film. The global blackout, the moment Jack gets hit by the bus, the concert scenes… and so many other scenes are visually stunning.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

OK, first let me just say that the chemistry between Himesh Patel and Lily James is amazing! For that reason alone, this is a great film to go see.

Himesh Patel is a wonderfully talented actor and musician. He actually did all his own signing and playing in the movie. He is completely natural on screen and just seems to slide right into this role.

It was fun to see that Ed Sheeran has a memorable role, playing himself in the film, and honestly did a great job. He stated in an interview that The Beatles are his main inspiration for his songs.

In my opinion, the weakest role was that of Kate McKinnon. She plays the Hollywood producer that takes Jack on and jumpstarts his career. She was fine, but she played the same over the top role she plays in most films.

FUN FACTS:

Screenwriter Richard Curtis asked for Paul McCartney‘s approval of the title of the film. Sir Paul gave his blessing, but also suggested they call it “Scrambled Eggs” instead. This was a lighthearted reference to the fact that before coming up with the lyrics for Yesterday, Paul McCartney had the temporary lyrics of Scrambled Eggs as a placeholder for the song.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE:

“You want a good life? It’s not complicated. Tell the girl you love that you love her. And tell the truth to everyone whenever you can.” ~ John Lennon (Yesterday)

TO SUM IT UP:

This film is definitely worth the time!

Have you seen Yesterday? If you have, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If not, I recommend seeing it for yourself and forming your own opinion.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.


Isn’t It Romantic (2019) ~ Movie Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★ (4.33)

Writing/Story: ★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★ Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

IMDB STORY LINE:

A young woman disenchanted with love mysteriously finds herself trapped inside a romantic comedy.

MY 2 CENTS:

I won’t lie, I love romantic comedies… they are my guilty pleasure! Plus, I am a huge fan of Rebel Wilson, her comedic timing is amazing. So, after watching the preview, I was all in!

Writing/Story: ★★★★

This movie was clever! Think of every romcom cliché you can… now, imagine them all in one movie… what you get is ‘Isn’t It Romantic’. The thing is, in this film, it works. It’s a parody on romantic comedies… The movie is making fun of all romantic comedies well being one of the funniest, wittiest, and most beguiling romantic comedies I’ve seen in a while.

This story could have gone south… and tanked, but writers Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox, and Katie Silberman obviously have a clear understanding of what works in a romantic comedy and what we all make fun of. They gave us a perfect balance of comedy and emotion.

Cinematography ★★★★

I have nothing bad to say about the cinematography in this film… nothing amazing either.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

Rebel Wilson was amazing, as she always is. Her comedic timing alone could have carried the film, if that had been necessary. However, with the cast line up this movie had, there was no question it would be fun to watch.

Having Adam Devine and Rebel Wilson playing off each other, yet again, seemed like one of the most natural things in the world. Their chemistry on film may have started in Pitch Perfect, but I have a feeling it will continue for years to come.

Liam Hemsworth, as Blake, did a great job playing the arrogant, good looking, rich guy… and a bit clueless too.

Betty Gilpin, as Whitney, was fantastic. The part is a bit underrated but Gilpin made the role something to remember. If you don’t know Gilpen, then you need to watch GLOW… she is brilliant!

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“My life’s become a mother-BEEPing romantic comedy and it’s PG-13.”

TO SUM IT UP:

If you like Romcoms… laughing… and just an all around feel good movie, then you should watch this one. Grab a cozy blanket, a bucket of popcorn, a couple glasses of wine (or your favorite beverage), your significant other, and settle in for a great date night in!

Have you seen ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ yet? Let me know your thoughts, in the comments below. Tell me what you thought of the movie. As always, I do recommend seeing this film for yourself and forming your own opinion.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

Isn’t It Romantic (2019) Trailer:

Scourge of the Fallen by W.M. Martin

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

Fallen

TITLE: Scourge of the Fallen
AUTHOR: W.M. Martin

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
Following the events of Shadow of Okeaous, the Fallen have been scattered. Whispers of the Hordes searching for something, around many of the Havens on Earth, has reached the ears of the Guardians. Meanwhile, the students of the Kindred Academy have been striving to further their knowledge of the incredible power lying dormant within themselves. With the aid of their Clan Leaders and an odd, new instructor, the dubious young Guardians-in-training will learn to harness exciting and dangerous new abilities. The worlds of the Kindred, no longer separated by the Veil, are equally unaware of an ancient darkness which has been steadily rising to drown out the light of the living; both Guardian and Fallen, alike.

Buy the book HERE!

MY 2 CENTS / THE CRITICAL POINTS:
WRITING (★★★★): Scourge of the Fallen is a self-published fantasy novel. I’ve said it before; fantasy isn’t my favorite genre and probably isn’t even in my top three favorite genres’. However, I read the first book in this series, Shadow of Okeaous and was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I really enjoyed it. That meant I was destined to read book two.

Martin has a very energetic writing style. His books are filled with action, adventure, and leave you almost longing for a few peaceful quiet moments. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this book, I did. It is a page turner with a lot going on and a lot of character arcs to follow.

One thing I really like about Martin’s writing is that he isn’t afraid to kill off his characters. Yes, some of the main characters die. I won’t tell you who, I think you need to read the book to find out, but prepare yourself.

I’m not sure how this book is marketing, but after reading it I would say it is good for Middle Grade – Young Adult readers. However, there are a number of times when Martin uses words in very obscure ways. Once example would be the word ‘purchase’ in the example below:

“Maggie could not get her swards out in front of herself enough to slice or to stab the large and imposing Fallen, so she kicked at him as hard as she could, but like her sward strike, her attack failed to find purchase.”

There were a number of references like that that I think some of the younger readers may not understand. The meanings are evident in the context of the story, but not always clear just by the typical meaning of the words being used.

STORY (★★★★): Scourge of the Fallen is the second book in Martin’s series and follows pretty closely behind where the first book left off. In book one, our main characters were 1st year students in the academy. In book two, they are second year student. They have already gone through a lot and have many battles and trials to face throughout book 2.

Martin gives us battle after battle and just when the reader is given a little hope that something good might happen, he throws another wrench in the story line.

CHARACTERS (★★★★): The reader is given numerous characters to follow in Scourge of the Fallen, maybe too many. There are so many storylines to follow and different characters to keep up with that I found myself loosing track at times. Not to mention the fact that many of the character (and location) names are difficult to pronounce, which makes it a bit harder to relate to and remember. I have the same issue when reading large epics like lord of the rings and Game of Thrones.

I only had two character-related issues with this story. The first was with Henry (human) who is introduced in Chapter 9. There was a lack of character development and nothing that really allowed the reader to connect with him much less care for him. Thus, when he died, we were left with an uneasy feeling of not really caring. It didn’t seem, to me, that Henry served much of a purpose or propelled the story along in any way. I think he could have been edited out of the story without a negative impact on the final storyline.

The second was Martin’s need to weaken our lead character, Maggie. Instead of Maggie being the hero at the end, which is what the series seems to be guiding us toward, another character (one we love to hate and love all at the same time) steps up and ends up being the hero. I like Lucy, I do, but it didn’t feel natural that she would be in the position she was in at the end, instead of Maggie. Just my opinion – I’d love to know yours after you read it. So, make sure you click on that link above to get your copy and then come back and tell me what you thought after you read it.

APPEARANCE (★★★★): The cover is great. Very eye catchy and inviting. It was designed by Anca Gabriela at BROSEDESIGNZ who I believe did a beautiful job of creating a cover that would inspire fantasy lovers to pick up the book.

FAVORITE QUOTES:
“That’s it! We’re all going to die. I knew it, we’re going to die. Thank you, Kylie, for delivering me to my death. Would anyone else like to say thanks to Kylie before we die?” ~ Klause

AUTHOR BIO: 

familyW. M. Martin is a writer of fantasy novels and a lover of his black lab, Willow. He’s also quite fond of his wife, Stephanie, and their four daughters. The stories he writes are inspired by his children. They are the first and last line of defense in regards to ensuring that his readers are certain to enjoy his works. He enjoys writing about female heroes, because his daughters are his.

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ALSO BY W.M. Martin:

Shadow

Shadow of Okeaous
hen a teenage runaway named Maggie Bennett is drawn to the small but odd town of Thieves, she is unaware of what adventure awaits her. Maggie must journey to a world beyond the one she knows to undertake the trials and train to became a Guardian, all while an ancient and malefic presence is secretly haunting her every step, and it desires, more than anything, that which it once held. Journey along with Maggie as she learns about the world of the Veil, her place within it, and the Fallen hordes who want to watch it burn.