Archive for the ‘elves’ Tag

Review of the Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos   3 comments

 

 

A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . .

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger named Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.

***

 

 

The last time I found a series in Christian fantasy that dealt with people crossing over into other worlds from our own was roughly ten years. Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow, if I recall right (an excellent series too, but I won’t go over this here :P).

So you can imagine my delight in discovering The Crescent Stone, book one in what promises to be an epic series.
Madeline Oliver has everything money can buy. Except the gift to breath. With a disease laying waste to her lungs, simple things such as walking to the mailbox or carrying a basket of laundry she can’t do without collapsing in a heap. With the knowledge that she won’t be getting better, she has accepted her fate and withdrawn into herself. Going to high school classes is her only attempt at some normality in her life. When a strange man offers her the chance to breathe, to live a normal life once more in exchange for a year of service to the Sunlit Lands, Madeline takes it without knowing what the costs of such a gift brings.

Jason Wu carries around a terrible weight inside, despite his snarky attitude and quick wit. When Madeline accepts the deal to travel to the Sunlit Lands, he pledges himself to her service and stays by her side. In the Sunlit Lands, he is the only one in the beginning who questions the magic that surrounds the paradise.

As far as characters go, Jason is going to be the one who steals the story. His humor even in most dangerous situations and his gutsy attitude I totally enjoyed. Think Robert Downey Jr. and you have a pretty good idea of Jason’s personality. And yes, you will definitely love his companion, Delightful Glitter Lady (I’ll let you find out who this is on your own :P). Madeline, I feel didn’t match up as well, but she was still enjoyable. After being given the opportunity to breathe again and live a normal life, she doesn’t want to pay attention to the secrets surrounding this gift but is eventually forced to do so when she sees the suffering she was blind to.

For the story itself, I’ll be honest and say it has a lot of slow spots, but Jason’s antics keep the reader invested. Much of the story has a social political theme running through it. In fact, one could say it is the backbone of this book. Topics such as racial discrimination, immigration, and how many people end up wealthy on the backs of others. At times it feels like it’s a little pushed, especially when we’re supposed to be focused on this new world and the protagonists, but it gets interrupted for the author to go over America’s past wrongs towards people.
But the important thing is that it does make you think, which is something I enjoy in a story. The spiritual elements are presented in a subtle vein that is noticeable but not preachy.

So is it a tale worthy to be read? I think so. Matt Mikalatos has crafted a unique world where magic carries a price, and what one takes, another has to give. Necromancers lurk in the shadows and orc-like beasts are to be battled by glittering elves who claim to fight for truth and justice.

Verdict: Though it’s bogged down at times with its social justice issues, the worldbuilding and humor, along with the message woven into the story, are enough to keep you turning the pages and look forward to the next in the series once you finish the book.

(I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.)
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Fairy Tale sneak peak   2 comments

It’s a little later than I intended, but I am happy that I at least made it to post on here today! Here is the snippet from the first draft of my fairy tale novel, as promised. Bear in mind that it is the first draft, so it won’t be as polished as it should be. Please feel free to like, comment, or share. Any and all are always greatly appreciated. 🙂
And now, enjoy!

****

A single tear traced its way down Lumina’s cheek. She stared silently at the solitary lump of dull stone, the only sign to remind anyone of the existence of the man who lay beneath it. But no one would remember. Like the passing of a dog, a lamb, or a tiny sparrow, none would really mourn. The memory of the man who once breathed and walked the earth with the rest of them would be forgotten, as though he never even existed.

But that was life, folks said. It was something that couldn’t be changed, only accepted. Why then, was she having such a hard time accepting it?

Lumina picked up her lantern, wiping away another stray tear, and looked one last time upon the grave that held all the family she’d ever had in the world. After another moment, she turned away and trudged down the grassy knoll alone, back to the village where all except her lay fast asleep in their beds.

Like a wraith in the night she passed through the silent streets, her lantern the only light in the murky gloom that draped over everything around her.

Only when she reached one house, smaller than the rest with a thatched roof dyed a garish red did she turn from her solitary march and enter inside.

No booming laugh met her, no twinkling eyes peering at her from under bushy brows. All was dark and empty.
Lumina completed the routine she did every night before going to bed. She washed the dirty dishes from supper and set the table for morning, before changing into her nightgown and brushing her hair, going through all the motions but without feeling or enjoying anything she did.

She placed her brush down and stared into the mirror, at the ghostly-looking reflection staring back at her with hollow-rimmed wide eyes.

Flickering light from the single candle burning on a stand played along burnished silver hair that fell to one side of her pale features, and along two ears, small and narrow, that tapered to a point at the top.

Changeling, the people of the village called her. Lumina wasn’t like them, didn’t look human enough. She did not like the dark that everyone had no choice but to live in, and her desire for light only annoyed them, for in a world ruled by unending darkness it was folly to think of asking for otherwise or wishing for anything different. It was what their lives were ruled by, the only way they lived and could remember living. Anything else was madness. And death.

None had understood Lumina or her queer thinking. But Kron did. Kron, the elderly carpenter, had possessed the same strange desire she felt, that burning passion for more than the small comfort of a candle or lantern.
So he took her in as his own, an unknown, amnesiac changeling whom none could understand him wanting. He became a father to her, gave her a name, and revealed his secret dream.

Posted October 10, 2015 by J.M. Christian in My Books

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