Book Review: Amber and the Hidden City by Milton Davis

Amber and the Hidden City
Synopsis: Thirteen year old Amber Robinson’s life is full of changes. Her parents are sending her to a private school away from her friends, and high school looms before her. But little does she know that her biggest change awaits in a mysterious city hidden from the world for a thousand years. Why? Amber’s grandmother is a princess from this magical kingdom of Marai. She’s been summoned home to use her special abilities to select the new king but she no longer has the gift, and her daughter was never trained for the task. That leave only one person with the ability to save the city: Amber! But there are those who are determined that Amber never reaches Marai and they will do anything to stop her. Prepare yourself for an exciting adventure that spans from the Atlanta suburbs to the grasslands of Mali. It’s a story of a girl who discovers her hidden abilities and heritage in a way that surprises and entertains.

Review (Adolescent Reviewer): Amber and the Hidden City by Milton Davis is amazing. I loved this book and recommend it to younger readers who enjoy fantasy. The story isn’t only engrossing; I was thrilled to see characters who look like me doing remarkable things.

Amber (the main character) is a young girl with special powers who journeys to the magical African city of Marai. She faces all types of unexpected and thrilling twists and turns along the way.

My favorite character was Aisha, because she can transform. I loved that. Corliss and Bissau were great as well, just not as much as Aisha.

Amber and the Hidden City is a great book and a fast read. I finished it in one night. However, I should’ve been sleeping and my mom wasn’t too happy about that.

I’ve recommended it to my friends and hoping for another book soon.

Book Review: Voices in Crystal by Mary Woldering

51gsH52FsyLSynopsis: When Marai, a shepherd living at the foot of Mt. Sinai in the third millennium BC, sings to his goddess one night, he sees a falling star. Tracking it, he discovers a strange vessel containing crystalline entities resembling earthly stones and gems: the Children of Stone. The Children delight in this simple shepherd and his songs of love.

They ask him to host their intelligence; to bring them to the sages and priests who have spent their lives seeking the wisdom of the stars. When he agrees, he is transformed into a godlike being. Still a passionate shepherd at heart, Marai gathers others, like lambs to his fold. His journey to the wise men of ancient Kemet won’t be easy. Things hidden, that wait in darkness, are always there.

Children of Stone Book 1 – Voices in Crystal begins Marai’s journey toward wisdom. Blending history, ancient literature, mythology, classic archetypes, and personal inspiration, Woldering takes the reader on a speculative and emotional journey through the ancient world, and worlds beyond. Marai and his companions, through the help of the Children of Stone, find themselves walking into, and becoming part of ancient legends.

“Years ago, when I began to study mythology, writes the author, it occurred to me that the gods and goddesses never seemed divine. They acted like super-talented people full of very human passions and shortcomings, appearing in different legends like threads woven into the tapestry of time and culture. This series is the story of some of these ‘gods’.”

Review: Children of Stone Book 1 by Mary Woldering is a well-crafted and detailed story encompassing several genres and epochs seamlessly. Author Woldering has an exceptional expression of prose, delivering an almost lyrically impassioned style interwoven with a dense multi-layered plot.

Marai is but one of the fascinating multi-dimensional characters that you will love. Woldering draws upon aspects of histories, ancient cultures, and religious ideologies while inserting moral lessons and challenges that cause you to not only think, but that pull you deeper into this story until you are lost in her fantastical creation.

Highly recommended. This is not only an Epic Fantasy, it is a wondrous story that magically crosses and merges genre lines with seamless perfection. I have ordered the next book in the series.

Book Review: Rites of Heirdron by Newland Moon

Rites of Heirdron - Seal.1-SM

Synopsis:  They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother. Now, they’re coming for him.

A bastard prince, born to a dishonored queen, Zrahnz is the last hope of a dying world nearly decimated after a treacherous interplanetary betrayal. He struggles to reclaim his legitimacy as a ruler and for his planet’s survival. But as he endeavors to unravel the manipulations of the past, a debilitating malady threatens his sanity and his life. If he cannot save himself, his planet will succumb to the corrupt intergalactic alliances aligned against them.
 
The irrepressible allure he feels for an Earth-born visitor, Itanya, threatens to overwhelm him, yet through her, Zrahnz discovers the secret that can ease the devastating agony of his illness. Could she be the key to his survival and the future of Triaxeyn?
 
With Q-1 Raydren at his side, and with the influence of the Oracles, he discovers corrupted truths and a forgotten prophecy. But he must make a crucial, life-saving decision, or else his people and everyone he loves could be destroyed.
 
He was denied his rule, denied his birthright, and denied the one truth that would save his life.
 
He wasn’t supposed to survive, he wasn’t supposed to fight, and he wasn’t supposed to receive, the
                                                     RITES OF HEIRDRON

Review: Taking a chance with a new science fantasy author is usually risky, especially in this genre. And although I got a copy of the book as a prize in a contest, reading the first few pages of Rites of Heirdron impressed me enough to really “sink” in its world. And what a world it was–Newland Moon has a knack for crafting scenes, descriptions and tension that can take your breath away, especially those particular scenes with Zrahnz and Itanya in them.

I cannot give away the spoilers here, of course, but let me try to describe some of its best narrative aspects. The story dredges through a number of meaningful issues–it touches upon the issue of race, although in an “interplanetary” sense, but racism nonetheless. It reminds me of those episodes in the original Star Trek in which the central plot navigated these touchy subjects with thrilling finesse, and that’s the same with Rites. It’s not at all preachy with some of its heavier meanings; instead, author Moon subtly slips everything in between the layers of scenes, right along with the story’s forward movement.

I also love the fact that Zhranz is saddled with both a blessing and a curse in many ways. His power is double-edged, like a Damoclean sword hanging over his head, and that fact makes Itanya’s presence all the more meaningful.

I love the twists and turns of this little book. At its best, Rites is delightfully entertaining and should keep you enthralled for many hours. A great read!

Author: Newland Moon is a Speculative Fiction author originally from Illinois. Even before she started kindergarten, she loved to read. That love only grew and blossomed into a love of writing as well.

Since 2015, she has written eight full-length novels and published four. She loves creating complex, diverse characters and multi-layered plots. Rites of Heirdron – Book I is her first Science Fantasy Romance novel.

When she is not wrangling stampeding miniature dachshunds, being super mom, managing her 9 to 5, or skillfully navigating a grocery store with the skill of a master, she enjoys reading new authors and discovering new worlds.

Book Review: Knights of Emnity by Sedrie Danielle

Knights - Front only.pngSynopsis: Rufus Sosius leads the degenerate Black Knights of the Order of Magia Chaotica, the most powerful of the 33 Orders of Man, during the prophesied Fourth Reckoning.

Each Knight who sits around the Round Table has taken a vow to maintain the balance between the light and darkness in the world and preserve the edicts of the Council of 9. However they fall short of their duties as they become ensnared in the drama of life as a series of bad decisions, broken pacts, and falling victim to fleshly weaknesses creating enmity between the Orders.

As agitation amongst the Orders intensifies, Heaven has sounded the horns of the Fourth Reckoning as foretold in Revelation. While Heaven descends upon the Lower Realms, it is Lord Samedi and his Barons who will meet Heaven’s swords with their own.

Review: Knights of Enmity by Sédrie Danielle was much more than I expected. Being a lover of Epic/High Fantasy, I appreciate intricate, multi-layered plots, numerous characters, and supernatural elements. Danielle delivers this and more.

From the numerous orders of Man, Barons, Angels, etc, Danielle weaves a compelling and intoxicating tale that is of Epic proportions. Although it is categorized as “Urban/Dark Fantasy,” it has a definite epic feel.

You are pulled into this unique world with diverse and completely flawed characters. There is no “good” or “bad” since the reality of the world is imperfection. I enjoyed that even the characters that would usually be considered “good,” had some worse traits than those considered “bad.”
Also, you could tell the depth of research that went into crafting this novel. It was not only the chosen names, but also the historical aspects. Danielle took portions of our histories, cultures, religions, etc. and re-shaped them into Knights of Enmity.

The prose was perfectly reflective of the characterization. With this, I will have to state that Knights of Enmity is NOT for the faint of heart or the casual reader. With a plot this dense, your attention needs to be focused. If you are a skimmer, you will miss some integral elements that build the plot. It is also definitely NOT for the easily offended. There is mature content that is well-written and appropriate for what the author is conveying.

It took me a few moments to sort the profuse concepts. There is a plethora of information and a host of interconnected characters. Once I got my bearings, I did not want to put it down. I was rooting for many characters and wishing pain upon others.

The only downside for me was the cliffhanger. I will be awaiting book 2 with great alacrity and hope that wait is not long. Recommended 100%!

The Author: When she’s not lurking in the depths of Purgatory, you can find Sédrie Danielle at a local coffee shop overdosing on caffeine. She has earned undergraduate degrees in history and anthropology, which if anything, has taught her to write and study. Sédrie Danielle has been writing for the past ten years and produced six novels and about two dozen short stories. Realizing that life is short, she decided to let the world share her love of diversity, fictional carnage and mysticism. After years of studying and practicing the occult, she converted to Christianity but continues to embrace different belief systems which has shaped her as a writer.