Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Golden Vial


http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/the-golden-vial/353580


Back Cover

When a hidden evil threatens to destroy the realm, a young orphan, untested and untrained, could mean the difference between victory and total defeat.
 
Vulnerable and weakened by grief after a terrible loss, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that threatens to claim his life.  Seeking to help Hyam and restore the realm, Queen Shona travels to Hyamn's remote hometown to find answers an doffer aid.
 
Dally has always had abilities far beyond those of a normal human - far-seeing and magic come naturally to her.  Before the arrival of Shona and her army, Dally had always kept her abilities secret.  But when an ancient evil bearing down on her village and the fate of the realm hanging in the balance, the orphaned servant girl steps forward to do what no one else can.  Will the battle claim more than Dally is willing to give?

Review

I brought this book on a weekend camping trip with my family.  I was in the mood for a good fantasy, and The Golden Vial sure did not disappoint!  The second evening we were camping, my Dad walks into the cabin living room to find my Mom and me engrossed in our novels (Mom was reading A Dangerous Legacy). We had already been reading for a good hour, and my Dad asked, "Aren't you ready to do something else?"  Mom and I slowly lifted our eyes from our books to look at Dad and reply simultaneously, "No."  And then we promptly went back to our stories.  (Don't feel too sorry for my Dad; my brother-in-law rescued him to go for a walk.)  But simply put, The Golden Vial was too good to put down!  I found myself sitting down to read on as many occasions as I could over that weekend, and the only disappointment I encountered was having to finish the story!
 
Book 3 in the "Legends of the Realm" series, The Golden Vial introduces a new character by the name of the orphan Dally, whose abilities - and the magnitude of them - surprise no one more than herself.  Her past is tragic, having lost her family in a horrific manner.  Dally struggles with feelings of inadequacy and finds solace in her connection to the wolfhounds that her master and mistress breed.  When the opportunity arises to assist Queen Shona in eradicating the evil permeating the land, Dally jumps at the chance to leave her difficult mistress and seek justice for her family.  What follows is not only a journey of self-discovery, but a pulse-pounding adventure full of monsters, mayhem, battles, and lots of magic.
 
Thrilling and fast-paced, The Golden Vial is probably my favourite of the series.  It is also, sadly, the conclusion of this trilogy.  I so hope that Thomas Locke (pseudonym for T. Davis Bunn) crafts another fantasy series as I will dearly miss the Realm and all its fantastical adventures!


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Keturah

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/keturah/386890


Back Cover

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option:  Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world.  But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns.  On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined - and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation.  She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

Review

I've been a fan of Lisa T. Bergren's work for awhile now.  Her series, "Rivers of Time" is one of the best young adult works I've ever read.  Seriously.  You don't have to been a young teen to enjoy a sweeping, romantic, suspenseful, time-travel series!  So it was with great expectations that I began reading Keturah, the first novel in "The Sugar Baron's Daughters" series.  I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed!

With breath-taking descriptions, Bergren draws readers back in time to the 1700s, the time of slavery, dangerous travel in the high seas, unpredictable occupations of running a sugar plantation, and when death by fever was a very real probability.  It required a certain kind of man to have the strength and courage to make a living by harvesting sugar cane in a land where law and order was quite questionable, and for a woman to embark on such an adventure would be seen as nothing short of foolhardy.  Because of these elements, Keturah is everything an adventure story needs to be.  It is dramatic, loaded with solid, spiritual gems, romantic, thrilling, and all together page-turning.  In fact, I've already started to read through it a second time (and am enjoying it just as much)! 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.