Book Review: Darkness Rising – Chained (Prism series) by Ross M Kitson

I’ve been meaning to write a review for this book for ages, but you know how it goes – things just get in the way and the good intentions get pushed lower down the pile. Since reading this fantastic book, I’ve devoured the next three in the Prism series (there will be six in total), so I’ve decided to treat you to all four reviews, one after the other. Here is the first one; the rest of them will follow over the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, down to business.

DR1

Click on image to go to Amazon

The Blurb

Wild magic comes at a cost… that of the mind.

Emelia dreams of escape from her life of servitude. She dreams of magical powers; she dreams of dark things. When tragedy awakens the sorcery within her she embarks upon an epic journey in the company of two charming thieves.

In the Dead City an ancient evil awakens. The Lord of the Ghasts covets a magical Prism, the clues to which lie with Emelia. And when he begins to share her dreams, surely it is only a matter of time until she succumbs to his power?

My Review

I’ve always loved fantasy so when this book was recommended to me by a friend, I jumped at the chance to read it. I expected it to be good, but it wasn’t – it was fantastic!

Emelia is an impoverished girl who was sold into servitude by her island-dwelling parents. She works hard, dreams a great deal, and has a sassy side (although she doesn’t dare show it at the beginning). She has a voice in her head (Emebaka), an alter-ego of sorts, who often encourages her to step outside her comfort zone yet is occasionally the voice of reason. When Emelia’s closest friend is murdered by the father of her unborn child, Emelia’s wild magic awakens within her.

I loved Emelia’s growth as a character in the story. When she meets Hunor (a thief), and Jem (a sorcerer and thief), she’s gradually accepted into their ‘team’ and learns survival skills; she becomes proficient in the use of weapons, Hunor teaches her how to steal without getting caught, and Jem guides her in gaining control of her magic.

Emelia is not without flaws, but that makes her more real, and I found myself rooting for her.

The main supporting characters of Hunor and Jem were extremely well-crafted. Hunor comes across as a cocky, cheeky chap with a ‘devil-may-care’ attitude. He’s an accomplished thief who has made quite a few enemies on his many journeys yet he seems, on the surface, to have no fear. Jem’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder adds a twist to his character. He’s obviously gifted in the magical arts, but at the same time, there’s a vulnerability about him that is refreshing.

Vildor, Lord of the Ghasts, is deliciously evil. He and his minions will stop at nothing to get what they want and, as one might expect, are prepared to murder, subvert and possess whomever they choose.

I found all the characters to be totally believable in their respective roles and superbly written. They are complex, riveting and vibrant. I loved the way they grew naturally through the story.

One of the most important things in writing an epic fantasy is the world-building and Kitson has built a memorable, realistic and relatable realm. His description brings each city, each land, to life with colour and clarity. The history and cultures of the different lands and the events which shaped them make an impressive and interesting background which has been cleverly created. It’s richly detailed, diverse and its inhabitants are as atypical as those in our own world.

The plots and sub-plots have many twists and turns, and while some may view the overall premise of the tale as ‘predictable fantasy fodder’, I found it exciting, compelling and unexpected.

This book is incredibly well-written. The author took me on a fantastic journey that I didn’t want to end. Ross Kitson is certainly a name to watch out for – if there’s any justice in the world of publishing, he’ll be bombarded with offers and contracts!

If you love an epic fantasy that grabs you in the first couple of pages and leaves you breathless at the end for more then don’t hesitate – get this book NOW! 5 STARS FROM ME!

 

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Cover Reveal: Unremembered Things by Rachel Tsoumbakos

As some of you may remember, I reviewed two of Rachel’s books earlier this year (Click here for a recap), so when I heard she’d written another one . . . SQUEEE! She’s a fabulous writer with a great imagination.

I’m honoured and excited to be able to reveal the cover of her latest book ahead of the launch and share the blurb. So . . . drumroll please . . . here is the cover to Unremembered Things:

Unremembered_Things_Cover_for_Kindle

Ooo, a heart drawn in blood – nice yet slightly creepy touch. Does that tell us anything about the sort of book this is? Well, let’s take a look at the blurb and find out:

One woman, two worlds and nothing but UNREMEMBERED THINGS separating them. 

Indiana Shamira has a dark secret that could shatter her very existence and get her killed in the process. Now if only she could remember what it is…  

Life is hard when you have amnesia. Indiana Shamira found that out the hard way when she woke one morning and found her whole life had been erased. Getting up out of bed and slipping her feet into fluffy purple slippers she could only assume were hers; she had the task of having to discover the world around her once more. 

When she finds a vampire called Sam hanging from the rafters in her cellar, she knows things are about to get nasty. Not only does Sam know all about her previous life, but he seems intent on seducing her as well. Of course her boyfriend, Kurt, has different ideas – like making her open the portal to hell! 

And then there is the nagging suspicion that Indiana is not entirely human, now she can see ghostly images from the Otherworld. Or could it be from her past life? They include the flickering effigy of Kurt and a redwood forest that conjures up repressed magic. 

Not only will Indiana have to risk everything to keep the door to another dimension closed, she will have to decide whether she is ready to lose her heart to someone who has more secrets than herself. 

Set in the lush Australian bush, UNREMEMBERED THINGS is a fusion of fantasy and forbidden romance.

Hmmm. Well, I don’t know about you, but this has definitely piqued my interest! Keep your eyes open on social media for news about the launch (I believe it’s due out sometime in December 2013) of this New Adult Paranormal Romance and be one of the first to get your hands on it. Don’t forget to leave the author a review!

I wish Rachel every success with her new book and I can’t wait to get my hands on it (hint, hint)!

ABOUT RACHEL

RachelRachel Tsoumbakos is a stay home mother of two.
Her main passions are writing, reading and organic gardening. Rachel lives with her husband, two kids, three cats and seven chickens in suburban Melbourne, Australia.

While she has had several articles published through mainstream magazines, she has also written extensively for Suite 101 and True Blood Net.

In between writing novels, Rachel also runs a successful copy-writing and formatting business.

Emeline and the Mutants is her first published novel and available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/EATMUP A new novel, The Ring of Lost Souls, set in an abandoned mental institute on the outskirts of Melbourne, is also available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/TROLSRT

Her current work in progress, Unremembered Things, is an edgy paranormal trilogy about a woman who is in charge of saving the world even though she suffers from amnesia. Make sure you follow her blog at  http://www.racheltsoumbakos.wordpress.com for more information.

Her newest endeavour is Zombie Apocalypse Now! This is a zombie apocalypse serial written entirely from a female perspective – and these gals know how to kick some butt!

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rtsoumbakos

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/mrszoomby

About.Me: http://about.me/Rachel.Tsoumbakos

GoodReads link for Unremembered Things :  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17061976-unremembered-things

Links to other books by Rachel Tsoumbakos:

Emeline and the Mutants

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004PGNBCO

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/emeline-and-the-mutants/id580299051

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/212929

Angus & Robertson: http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebook/emeline-and-the-mutants/39524764/

The Ring of Lost Souls

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00879OR6O

iTunes: https//itunes.apple.com/ie/book/the-ring-of-lost-souls/id551780796

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/212931

Angus & Robertson: http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebook/the-ring-of-lost-souls/36845144/

Zombie Apocalypse Now!

Amazon:

Part 1: http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Apocalypse-Now-Part-ebook/dp/B00B7T1EXU/

Part 2: http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Apocalypse-Now-Part-ebook/dp/B00BMH1B12/

Part 3: http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Apocalypse-Now-Part-ebook/dp/B00C0KMGTQ/

Sanitarium Magazine (Parts 1-10): http://sanitariummagazine.com/