Guardian: Rise of the Nature Walker

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for Tempest! Read at your own risk.]

The third and final book in the Nature Walker Trilogy dives right in where Tempest left us – is Sath dead? Will Gin get caught in the throne room, holding the weapon? Has Taeben finally managed to separate them for good, and cleared his own path to the throne of Qatu’anari? Will Tairneanach be found out to be complicit?

Gin is the Nature Walker, the supreme druid, the connection between the magic of the All-Mother, Sephine, and the citizens of the Great Forest and beyond. She is a Guardian, a member of a council formed at the end of the Forest War with the purpose of keeping the peace among the races of Orana. How will this knowledge help her against the renewed fervor of Taeben’s plan to rule the world?

You’ll have to read it to find out…and I hope that if you do, you will comment below or review the book on Amazon/Facebook/your blog/anywhere! I love to hear from my readers and from people that love Gin and Sath as much as I do.

Tempest: Fall of the Nature Walker

[This contains spoilers for Wanderer – You have been warned!]

Tempest picks up after the events of Wanderer, and follows Gin and Sath as they go their separate ways – Gin with Taeben, the wizard with mysterious ties to Lord Taanyth in Bellesea Keep and Sath with Annilanshi, the Qatu female who got the Fabled Ones embroiled in conflict with Lady Salynth, the dragonkind sorceress trapped in the Western Tower by ancient magic.

While Anni and Sath settle into their lives in an embassy building on Qatu’anari, Taeben and Gin have, unbeknownst to the Qatu couple, settled into an embassy just up the beach. The wizard is using his connection to the Princess Royal of the Qatu in his master plan to take the throne – a stepping stone to ruling the whole of Orana.

Sath has no interest in his birthright or title. Anni has kept him under the control of her magical charm – at the urging of Taeben, who is keeping Gin subdued under his own ancient magic. It is only Gin’s younger sister, Lairky – who has not forgotten her previous run-ins with the Bane of the Forest – who feels that the exiled prince and her older sister need to find their way back to each other for the good of the Great Forest AND Qatu’anari.

This second installment leads down familiar paths with unfamiliar outcomes. Come back to Orana in Tempest: Fall of the Nature Walker.

Wanderer: Origin of the Nature Walker

Yeah, this is the point where I review my own book.

NOT REALLY! I won’t tell you what I think about it, but I will give you an idea of what it’s about, and then YOU can read it and YOU can come back and review it. Fair?

Welcome to the fictional world of Orana. The Orana Chronicles consists of the Nature Walker Trilogy, the Forest Wars Trilogy, and some stand-alone novels.  In the tradition of the epic fantasy saga, the books build on each other to create a new and exciting universe, bursting with promise for adventurers brave enough to take up the journey.

Wanderer is the first book in the Nature Walker Trilogy and follows the story of Ginolwenye (Gin, for short), a wood elf that leaves her home in the tree city of Aynamaede and travels to the far ends of her world. She finds herself first with a group of outcasts led by a rogue druid from Gin’s home city, then she is taken in by the Fabled Ones, a guild of adventurers that undertake quests for others (and for their own profit, truth be told). A chance meeting in a tunnel with a Qatu (a race of bipedal felines that were made sentient by Orana’s magic) named Sathlir Clawsharp (Sath, for short) changes the course of Gin’s life – and Sath’s, truth be told.

In Wanderer, Gin is on a path to avenge her parent’s untimely deaths when she comes face to face with an ancient evil lurking in a cursed palace Keep. The Fabled Ones and Sath together may not be strong enough to rescue Gin from the dragon that controls the Keep – and the minions he has conscripted to work out his evil plan to take over Orana.

Just keeping up with NaNoWriMo…

 

 

You can keep up with how much I’m writing and how far behind the daily targets I am with this widget. Red= No writing.  Yellow=Under Daily Target.  Green=made or passed daily target.   I will try to update my word count after each burst of writing, but since those generally happen once a day I’m not entirely sure this will be a riveting thing to follow.

Soon I will be back to my normal posts here at Well Read.  Coming up soon, I’ll tell you why I read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and why you shouldn’t.  Stay tuned for my thoughts on Alyson Noel’s Radiance and the wacky vampires from Morganville, as well as Skullduggery Pleasant and a return to South Carolinian supernatural in Beautiful Darkness.  November’s shaping up to be a CRAZY month!

Angel, by L.A. Weatherly

Back I go to YA fiction, but that shouldn’t be a surprise.  I want to talk today about Angel, by L.A. Weatherly.  I read an ARC of this book (thanks much to my colleague, Roz, for lending it!) because I needed a filler for a weekend.  Honestly.  Roz had been telling me at work that I HAD to read it and she thought I would LOVE it…something that usually puts me off a book immediately, regardless of who it is that is doing the pleading.  I guess that’s because my taste in books is pretty eclectic…no really, I do read more than just books with pretty covers and/or the latest YA Kissy-Bitey/Growly/Floaty book that turns up in the bookshop.  I promise.

Let me start by saying this is NOT another Fallen Angel Meets Teenage Girl/Boy and Falls In Love book.  Not by a longshot.

At first seeming like yet another in the constant parade of supernatural romance books for teens that we’ve seen in the wake of Twilight, Angel soon becomes something very different.  Though written for teenagers, it is lacking in the misguided and immature longings for adult intimacy that plague many YA novels.  While there is a romantic aspect and interest in the plot, it doesn’t subsume the rest of the story, but serves as a secondary plot that helps the primary cause along, if that makes sense?

It’s hard to write a proper review of this book, really, without giving away spoilers, so I’ll tell you what I know and then take away the bits that you need to find for yourself, fair?  The main characters in the book are Alex, an Angel Killer or “AK” and Willow, a girl who has grown up without the knowledge that she is half Angel.

In the story world of Angel, we’re not looking at the celestial beings that sit on clouds, strum harps, and eat Philly cream cheese…we’re talking about creatures who feed on energy to survive, and have searched for a new home now that theirs can no longer sustain them.  The energy rolling off humans in waves is perfect for the dietary needs of these beings, and the Angels find humans to be easy prey due to their need to “believe.”  Churches of the Angels are formed and the populace flock to be touched by these beings, so that they may know the peace and love this contact brings.  Peace, love, and total mental destruction, that is.  So-called Angel Burn is irreversible and devastating, and is the thing from which Alex is fighting to save humanity.  He was born and raised for this life and it is all he knows…until he meets Willow, half-angel yet a direct threat to the beings and their invasion of Earth.

The twists and turns the plot takes weren’t new, but put together into a story took me along, breathless, for the ride.   Angel is well worth a look for those fans of YA paranormal romantic fiction as well as sci-fi/fantasy readers.  You have GOT to read this book.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

The Black Magician Trilogy, by Trudi Canavan

It has been several months since I finished this trilogy and I’ve been purposefully waiting to add it to the blog because I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.  To be honest I’m still not sure, but I’m going to go on and try to put into words what I’m thinking…I mean, why should this post be different than any other, right?

This trilogy was recommended to me by a co-worker and I can say on a very basic level that I did enjoy it.  The characters are well developed and I felt like I knew them and cared about what happened to them, a vital part of storytelling.  The plot…well, I found myself getting bored a few times because it would crawl along and then BAM! Lots of action!  There would be a plot twist that didn’t really go where I thought it would and not in the “Wow, I didn’t see that awesomeness coming!” kind of way.  It was more the “hmmm, wonder why she decided to go THAT way with the plot” kind of way.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all three books, but felt it was a bit more of a sophomoric effort than the sci-fi/fantasy I normally enjoy.

Sonea is a street kid who runs with a gang of boys in Imardin.  Every year, the magicians from the Guild hold the Purge to drive the undesireables from the city.  This year the gang is front and center at the line of magicians and they launch an assault against the barriers the magicians put up.  None of their weapons or missles make it through save one: Sonea’s stone knocks one of the magicians to the ground.

This means, of course, that she has magic, but the only ones with magic are from the esteemed families, and they are inducted into the guild.  A hunt begins in the first novel, The Magician’s Guild, for Sonea, to bring her into the Guild and train her.  What she does not know is that if she isn’t trained the magic within her could kill her, so she resists the Guild and goes into hiding with the assistance of the Thieves.   Book two, The Novice, follows Sonea’s training in the Guild and leads her to discover a horrible secret about the High Lord.  The third book, predictably enough entitled The High Lord, further investigates that secret as well as brings Sonea into her own as a magician.

There are many characters in the book that I found myself really liking.  Lord Dannyl, Ambassador for the Guild, is one of them.  The relationship that he forms while in the field on assignment with one of the people he meets (I’m purposefully vague here, so I don’t spoil it) is one of the most genuine I’ve found in a novel not set in the real world.   Lord Rothen is the classic father figure, and when Sonea leaves his immediate guardianship I could feel his heartbreak and worry for her.  There were also characters that I didn’t like…the High Lord Akkarin being one of them.  My feelings for him changed by the third book and I felt a bit cheated…here is a fabulously faceted man that we don’t get to know until the end.

If you haven’t read any sci-fi/fantasy before this is a great read to pull you gently into the genre.  Terry Goodkind/Robert Jordan/Mercedes Lackey she is not, but Trudi Canavan did manage to spin an intriguing story in this trilogy.  Grab a copy and let me know what you think.