Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Horn of Moran

The land of Norsland is on the brink of war as two men have each claimed the throne. Only the true king can sound the Horn of Moran and prove his nobility. But the horn has been lost for years. If it is not found—and soon—it could mean the destruction of an entire nation. Young Alexander Taylor joins a band of seasoned adventurers who have been called up to retrieve the legendary Horn of Moran. Their journey to the mysterious Tower of the Moon will take them through an enchanted forest, into battle against a goblin army, past the watchful eyes of griffin guards, and face-to-face with a sphinx and her deadly riddles. With his sword, Moon Slayer, and the wise counsel from his wizard mentor, Whalen Vankin, Alex must use all his wizard and warrior skills to slay a darkness that may consume them all. 

My review: 
     This was a very enjoyable book. While the first in this series was a bit of a dud, this book was a significant improvement on the author's part. The first book dragged a little, the protagonist, Alex, seemed invincible, and the characters remained largely undeveloped. In this book, The Horn of Moran, everything changed. The plot becomes much more interesting, Alex developed flaws(that make sense, and act as if they were simply not so blatant in the first book), and he developed the characters that needed development, making sure that the risks were to those characters that he developed, as to pull on your heartstrings a little.
      The largest problem with this book, is that the way it is written is a bit closer to middle grade than young adult. the second largest problem is the book before it. I think that you would still understand the book fairly well if you skipped the first book, but I advise against it, because it is never good to start in medias re, when the author doesn't put you there. 
      The story revolves around the main character, and his relations and growing power. Most of the other characters are largely undeveloped. However, several of those in the 'adventuring party', those closest to Alex, that become developed as they push Alex along his path.
     This is an enjoyable book and well worth reading. The main plot is clear from the beginning, but the unpredictability comes in what happens, and is learned along the way. Alex is true character, with flaws and traits, ideas and difficulties, and while he is somewhat bland in the first book, he has gained a flavor to savor. If you are a fantasy lover, you'll enjoy this light read.

My rating:

Profanity: None
Sexuality: None
Violence: Mild
Drugs and alcohol: Mild

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Forbidden Sea

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila Nielson
Here's the what it says on the inside cover:

When, one stormy night, a mermaid comes to take Adrianne Keynnman's sister, Cecily, down to the depths of the sea, Adrianne knows she must fight with every ounce of her strength to protect her little sister. On land, Adrianne toils away, trying to eke out a living for her mother, sister and aunt, after a tragic accident stole her father. Now, life takes a strange and frightening turn as Adrianne's dreams are filled with the mermaids singing.
When it becomes clear that it isn't Cecily that the mermaid wants, Adrianne wonders how she can protect her family from their superstitious island community as the mermaid attempts to lure her into the sea, night and day.
In this powerful tale of heartache and redemption, a girl born on land must choose between the promise of an underwater paradise and her loyalty to those she loves.

Now here's the first few lines of the book:

Pelting rain battered against me, stinging my skin and eyes, almost driving me backwards, Forcing myself to continue, I felt my way down the slick rock face one foot at a time. I clung to the cliff face a moment, crying into the dark squall raging around me.
"Cecily! It's Adrianne. Can you hear me?" The force of the storm shoved the words back into my mouth, the desperate cry lost in the roaring of the wind. Had she been even a few feet away, my little sister wouldn't have heard me.
Hot frustration burned at my eyes and mingled with the freezing rain. Crying wouldn't do Cecily any good. Neither would huddling against the side of a rock, shivering in my soaked and clinging dress. I needed to find her. Forcing my frozen fingers to uncurl, I began my descent once more.

I loved this book. When I first got my hands on it, I couldn't put it down, and read the entire day. It is a very captivating story that kept my interest up. I would highly recommend this book to all fantasy lovers.

My rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Profanity: None
Sexuality: None
Drugs and Alcohol: None
Violence: Mild