Welcome to the first review in my end of year look-back. Over the coming weeks I will be choosing books from some of the best writers I've reviewed over the year. I've got some great books stacked up from some awesome indie authors like Spencer Baum, Jamie Sedgwick and Milda Harris. If you have any favorites you'd like me to review leave a comment and I'll see what I can do!
First up is Tempest Child by Laura Eno. I first reviewed Eno back in July with her charming story the Realms of the Red Rabbit. A very unique story with classical elements, and a five star effort.
Blurb: As future Queen and Guardian of the Elements, Princess Skylather'cha'eab thought her worst nightmare was the impending find-a-husband party until events take an ominous turn. Now she must put her life at risk to save her Kingdom. Skyla's world is turned upside-down when she enters the Crossroads. Does she have the courage to sort truth from lie, or will she die not knowing who betrayed her?
Review by Dale:
I was very impressed with the first story I read from this writer so I jumped at the chance to read this new story. I had great expectations for another awesome read.
Tempest Child is classic fantasy. It's set in a world apart from our world in a magic realm where the heroine of our story rules over the elements, or she would if she was Queen and had finished her training. The problem is trouble can't wait and the young princess finds herself pushed into the crossroads far too soon.
It took me a long time to finish this book. I just couldn't get into it, too easily distracted as the characters seem to amble about without much purpose for the first eighty pages.
The writing is good, the same tight and elegant prose that had me rapt with Realms of the Red Rabbit. It's just the story seemed a bit verbose. It wasn't until Sky was transported into the crossroads with her quirky companion that things started to gather pace.
Eno does have a great imagination and the richness of the worlds she creates certainly create magnificient environments for her stories but again this book has just a few too many parallels with the Realms of the Red Rabbit story. The constant changing of the realms, the often unseen malevolence in the realms trying to kill Sky and companions. If you haven't read Realms of the Red Rabbit then it would be moot, but for me Tempest Child can't compete with the richness and often creepy atmosphere created in that great story.
It is very difficult to avoid comparing the two, where Realms was a story with a purpose, (the realization and rehabilitation of the bad ways of the protagonist) I don't see such a boldly detailed premise here. Girl faces environmental challenges, meets hunky guy, falls in love, comes back home kicks butt and lives happily ever after? I wanted more depth.
But what if you are fourteen and reading Eno for the first time? Then if you can hang in there for the beginning the journey is still well worth the fare. Eno's writing is still full of charm and an almost scary imagination that still keeps you guessing page after page. 4 out of 5 stars for me.
Available from Smashwords
Link to Download: Here
Price: $0.00c (at time of review)
Wordcount: 60,000 (appx)
Author: Laura Eno
Author's Blog: Here