#BlogTour #BookReview: The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson #MPBooks

An amazing and dark fantasy novel book review, part of ‘The Lost’ Sentinel’ blog tour!

As part of ‘The Lost Sentinel’ Blog Tour I’m pleased to bring you a review of this great book:

The Lost Sentinel book coverTitle: The Lost Sentinel (Silent Sea Chronicles -Book 1)

Author: Suzanne Rogerson

Publisher: Suzanne Rogerson

Genre: Fantasy

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

Description:  The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too late?

Kalaya is controlled by the Assembly – set up to govern but now under the control of Rathnor, who is intent on persecuting those who have magic, many of whom have taken refuge in the Turrak Mountains.
Tei has been raised to hide her magic, until her father, Migil, is visited by an old friend who warns them that they must seek refuge in the mountains.
On the journey, an enemy attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He sees her into the care of two exiles, Rike and Garrick, and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession that changes Tei’s life.
Tei must put her trust in these strangers, especially when mysterious Masked Riders seem determined to stop her reaching Turrak.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles in their search for their lost Sentinel. But the Masked Riders want the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Can Tei help the exiles save the island magic and reunite the Kalayan people before their ignorance destroys them all?

My Review:  Wow, after reading this book I am emotionally drained…but in a good way.  ‘The Lost Sentinel’ is the first book in the ‘Silent Sea Chronicles’ fantasy series and is an amazing read!

The book starts by introducing us to a young Tei who has the ability to walk the Astral Plane but has a terrifying experience while there.  Nine years later and Tei’s life is shattered when she and her father have to flee their home in order to be safe.  At first the story was easy to get into.  The action surrounding Tei running away and what happens when meeting with Rike and Garrick was exciting to read and I really got into this book right away but as the tale progresses we are introduced to more characters and more viewpoints and the story becomes more complex and interesting.

The book is written in the third person but jumps about between several different characters throughout the story.  Although this was hard to grasp at first, it felt like a movie.  Everyone’s tales are different with most stories happening on the island of Kalaya, but not all.  Each story seems unconnected to anyone else’s at first, but as the plot progresses the connections are revealed and each story is an exciting one on its own.

The plot is really dark.  There’s an undertone of darkness and fear already, with what Tei experienced as a child and the overall fear of being caught, but the whole book really has a dark edge with a lot of death including some key characters which leaves you shocked and  upset and maybe even crying…I actually had to take a breather when reading these moments as it was so unexpected.  But these deaths soon make sense to the plot and I am amazed at how unpredictable and good this book is to read.

Being a darker fantasy read there’s some violence and deaths but very little swearing with a rare few uses of the b words and only one use of the s swear word.  There’s nothing else offensive in this book.  Although the story has a really dark undertone with shocking moments, I really enjoyed it.  I love a dark plot and this book really doesn’t disappoint with shocks and surprises throughout.  I do have one criticism though and it’s a shame as it’s the only reason I give this four rather than five feathers.  As I’ve said the book changes viewpoint often which makes it more exciting and really pushes the overall plot forward, however this viewpoint switching happened too often in the beginning.  While Tei’s storyline was easy to follow and grasp in my mind, as the first chapters were only about her (meaning I got to know her well and the characters she meets), I struggled to remember the other characters and their storylines.  I did have to put down the book for a day as life got in the way, which didn’t help, but getting back into everyone’s stories except Tei’s was hard as I forgot who was who at first.  It wasn’t until I was about a quarter of the way into the book before I really started to enjoy it and solidified all the characters and their individual stories into my mind.

Overall this is an amazing and gripping fantasy read.  It’s a long book but filled with a lot of great action and a perfect fantasy setting ( there are no fantasy type creatures just humans).  The world of Kalaya is rich and dark and I’m amazed at how sucked into the action I was reading this, and how unpredictable and dark the storyline is.  The ending is a satisfying one but the story is far from over, it’s only beginning and sets up questions for the next book in the series and I can’t wait to read it!
-Thanks to the author for a free copy.

 

About the Author:

Suzanne Rogerson author photo

Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Visit Suzanne Rogerson in these places:

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Buy The Book: Available at Amazon!


It’s been a pleasure taking part in this blog tour.  Please check out these other participating blogs.  Head over to Suzanne Rogerson’s blog everyday for links to each post:

Lost Sentinel blog tour schedule


 Do you enjoy reading fantasy books?  What do you think of this one? Did you enjoy my entry to this blog tour?  Let me know in the comments below 😀

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#BookReview: Caraval by Stephanie Garber #MPBooks

Review of the magical and mysterious Caraval, a book everyone wants to read this year!

Caraval book cover
UK book cover

Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

UK Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Genre: Fantasy

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Description: WELCOME TO CARAVAL, WHERE NOTHING IS QUITE WHAT IT SEEMS
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

My Review: I’m not sure how to start this review. I absolutely loved this book, once I got into it, but wow the ending was quite a shock and left me a little speechless and just a little bit annoyed.

Caraval has really been a hyped up novel this year and I couldn’t help but want to read it after hearing so much about it. The story follow Scarlett and her sister Tella who live on the small isle of Trisda but their life is marred by their abusive father who enjoys punishing the girls for any wrong-doing. For years Scarlett has been writing to the mysterious Master of Caraval to ask for tickets to the magical show but never hears back until days before her arranged wedding to a man she has never met. When tickets arrive though there is an opportunity to finally escape their abusive father so the girls go to the island where Caraval is taking place. However as soon as they arrive Tella goes missing and Scarlett must take part in the game in order to find her sister.

At the start of the book I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it. We’re quickly introduced to Scarlett and Tella along with a scene showing how brutal and twisted their father is, but despite the fast pacing of this novel and the simple descriptions I just didn’t get into this book from the very beginning. The scene didn’t feel as threatening as I thought it should and the general story up until Scarlett reaches Caraval felt almost too fast paced and I didn’t get a feel for the characters until later. However despite my initial thoughts, this story soon drew me into the magic and from then on I was hooked.

The story is told in the third person but follows Scarlett as she searches for her sister with the help, or not, of the man who brought her to the island. The world of Caraval is an interesting and really mesmerising one. It’s like a magical and dark circus show that happens at night and Scarlett quickly becomes involved in the game/performance. The magic in the story and the overall Caraval is like the old fashioned circuses that existed in Victorian times. Just like a magical act, this book is filled with surprises and twists and I’m so happy that I didn’t see any of them coming. I’m very good at spotting twists in stories and often don’t find myself surprised but this book had me hooked as I really didn’t know what was going to happen next and the story kept up this pace of twists and turns right until the end.

The ending of this book is really good. It finishes really well with surprises revealed right until the last pages and it was really satisfying to read, however the epilogue is where I felt annoyed. Something simple happens but it sets up the story for a book two, leaving certain questions in your head and though I’m eager to read book two, when it is released, and there’s nothing wrong with the ending, I’d rather have had a book two without the mini cliff-hanger ending that this epilogue created.

The book has nothing offensive in it though given the dark and twisted nature of some characters I would recommend it for teens and older. Despite the many, many reviews calling this a YA novel it is not. Teens will enjoy this book and some characters are younger but this book is a general fantasy story and not specifically a YA book which usually has more specific appeal.

Caraval is everything it’s hyped up to be and I’d certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a story with lots of twists and magic and for those who enjoy stories with a historic setting. Although the book takes place in a fictional world the timeframe is the past and it just added to the magical feel of this tale.


What do you think?  Do you want to read this book or have you already?  Please do comment 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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