Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Romance, Samuel Stokes, Young Adult

A Coronation of Kings by Samuel Stokes

Title: A Coronation of Kings

Author: Samuel Stokes

Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy

Age-Range: 13+ (young adult)

Setting: medieval fantasy world

Publisher: Samuel Stokes

Source: author (in exchange for an honest review)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Content: 3/5. Lots of violence, though it’s not extremely gory at any time. Realistic depictions of war. I wasn’t disturbed by it at all (though I’m pretty hard to unnerve). Mentions of men ‘raping and pillaging’ towns and such. A few kisses (no details). A few bad words (d**n a few times, maybe h**l once or twice; completely unnecessary, but what can you expect?).

A Coronation of Kings by Samuel Stokes

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Tyranny. Desperation. Rebellion.

While Tristan may be the heir to the House of Listar, at heart he’s more a lad than a lord.
Mad with power, the ruthless and scheming Baron of Belnair will stop at nothing to gain the crown. In one swift stroke the House of Listar lies in ruin. Alone, Tristan must fight for his life, and his people.

With everything at stake, Tristan must unite the unlikeliest of allies to block the Baron’s ascent. For the first time in his life he must become the leader he was born to be.

The Baron’s armies grow as an ancient magic stirs in the mountains. If Tristan fails, the throne, his freedom, and the love of his life will be lost forever.

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The Coronation of Kings by Samuel Stokes is a simply amazing book. I enjoyed it from start to finish. There were a few things, however, that need improvement.

First of all, I would definitely recommend an editor. In every paragraph I was aching to change a thousand little things from word choice to punctuation to grammar to a million little typos. I believe the author could even do a great deal of it himself.

Second, Tristan was a little too … bland. I wish there was more time spent developing his character (and that of his brother as well). He was too perfect, too good at everything, and he had no real character arch. However, I was able to ignore that because, as I said before, this is an amazing book.

At first glance, this is your average story about an heir seeking to reclaim his throne. However, it’s anything but. As mentioned in the summary, Tristan teams up with some unlikely allies. These allies, and their fortress, added something very special and original to this novel. I really want to live in a catacomb now. What? I’m serious! I do! They really had an ideal defense system set up. And I also want a secret army … okay, so maybe I don’t, but it still sounds cool …

From chapter one, this story took off at a fast clip. It rarely seemed rushed, but it was very action-packed. I’m not usually big into those kind of novels (they usually skim on character development, as did this one a bit here and there), but this one was well-done.

Syrion, Tristan’s twin brother, and the stories of the Astarii were fantastic, too. To me, the stories of the Astarii kind of sounded like Christianish … the one about the one Astarii turning away from the gods, the morals, etc. However, I don’t know if this was intended or not. Whether or not some of the tales were supposed to be allegorical, the Astarii and everything about them were an interesting addition to the story. There was a bit of a mystery involved here, and everything came together nicely, just leaving me wondering enough to read on but not confusing me. I especially loved the dragons.

Although Tristian and a few other characters were weak, many characters were not. I found Elaina, Syrion, and Marcus both well-developed, as well as the few ‘thieves’ we did meet and the villains. And the evil creepy lady whose name isn’t coming to mind at the moment.

The setting was really well-done. I felt like I knew the world we were in very well. I enjoyed seeing the different cultures at play on the continent. The description in these cases was fantastic.

Overall, this was an action-packed, breathtaking, twist-filled adventure story that could use just a little tweaking here and there. I can easily see how it could be made a best-seller with a little editing and a little character development.

~Kellyn Roth

Action/Adventure, Fantasy, H.L. Burke, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Romance, Young Adult

An Ordinary Knight by H.L. Burke

Title: An Ordinary Knight

Author: H.L. Burke

Series: An Ordinary Knight, #1

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure/Romance

Age-Range: 12+ (upper middle grade/young adult)

Setting: a fantasy world

Publisher: H.L. Burke

Source: bought with birthday money 🙂

Rating: 3/5 stars

Content: 3/5. Mild romance. There’s one guy who’s sort of a lady-chaser, so. There’s that. Pretty mild violence. No language.

An Ordinary Knight by H.L. Burke

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Stuck in a humiliating position as the Royal Kennel Guard, Sir Percy sees little hope for anything other than an obscure fate. After all, in the Kingdom of Ithelia, you need a fairy to guide you to greatness, and fairies just don’t bother with knights like him.

However, when Percy catches the eyes of the sheltered Princess Matilda, his world expands in new and frightening ways.

A victim of an ill-planned Christening, Matty has spent her life in a locked tower, hiding from pixie attacks. Now she’ll do anything to escape. And if that means dragging Percy along for a cross country search for Prince Charming, so be it.

But not all Prince Charmings are what they seem, and as Matty’s plight grows more desperate, Percy finds himself losing his heart. Does a lowly knight have what it takes to uncurse a princess?

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Well … it was still good, but it wasn’t improved too much if at all. You see, H.L. Burke originally published An Ordinary Knight a while back along with another novella. She later removed it from the market and presumably edited it to be re-published … and I see some changes, but not a lot. Or maybe I simply don’t remember the earlier version very well.

First, the info-dumping prologue. Never a good idea. It basically dryly summarizes Sir Percy’s ordinary life up until it stops being ordinary.

Of course, I wouldn’t really call Percy an ordinary knight. He’s very abnormal, in fact. It seems that every knight but him is fairy-gifted. So doesn’t that make him unordinary?

The characters were all right, though at times they seemed a little two-dimensional. The plot was exceptional, and the writing amusing.

On the negative side, Dusty annoyed me, the fairy’s decision seemed sudden and unrealistic, and Mattie … hmm. Could anybody really be that stupid? Especially if they read as much as Mattie supposedly did? If she read a lot, she should know a lot about the world. Or maybe she just read trash. I don’t know. I did find it to be a lot less cheesy, which is good.

Overall, a reasonably entertaining tale, although it isn’t get better than ‘okay’ in my personal opinion.

~Kellyn Roth

Action/Adventure, Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, John A. Heldt, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Class of ’59 by John A. Heldt

Title: Class of ’59

Author: John A. Heldt

Series: American Journey, #4 (can be a stand-alone, too)

Genre: Time Travel Adventure/Romance

Age-Range: 14+ (young adult/adult)

Era: contemporary and 1959

Setting: California

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 4/5 stars (.5 removed for content)

Content: 3/5. A few cuss words, d**m a few times and I think maybe h**l once. Some violence (someone is shot with a gun, mentions of blood, nothing graphic at all). As far as sexual content … let’s just say we stayed out the bedroom, but there was some, er, extra-marital activities that weren’t described (past kisses and stuff). Fade-to-black, but we still know it happened and … yep. That’s why I don’t recommend it to anyone under 14. And then … there’s also a mention, when Mark is looking at the 2017 world, of couples of the same gender kissing … so yep. There’s that. Never mentioned again, though.

Class of ’59 by John A. Heldt

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When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him.

In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window.

Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.

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Well, that was great! I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like it because I always feel bad after giving a bad review … even if my last review of one of Mr. Heldt’s books wasn’t exactly bad, I had some bad things to say about the book. But I really enjoyed Class of ’59 (as you know if you’re my mother and scolded me in the morning for being up at two …).

Anyway, this book breaks the formula I was kinda starting to see in John A. Heldt books. For instance, we’re seeing the story for two couples’ perspectives … four people who are main characters instead of one. Very nice. Also, we’re seeing the time-traveling, originally, from someone living in the past’s perspective. Really neat. I liked that.

The plot was relatively well-paced and interesting. I enjoyed the setting a bit more than I thought I would (I found it really interesting, if a little … more modern than I’m used to, I suppose), and I was already thinking I’d like it a lot. Honestly, I don’t like to go much past the early ’50s in novels, so this was pushing it for me. But I really liked it. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of school in the late ’50s. And the tennis match … that was my favorite part. 🙂

For some reason I was envisioning a mixture of That Darn Cat, Grease, and my grandma’s young adulthood in my head the whole time I was reading this book. It was pleasant (and a little annoying, because THE GREASE SOUNDTRACK AAAH SHOOT ME BEFORE I HEAR GREASED LIGHTNING RUNNING THROUGH MY HEAD ONE MORE TIME!!!), and I’m glad I read it.

Now, the content was a little more than I prefer, but I managed to switch my mind to ‘Okay, I’m watching my grandma’s young adulthood Grease at the moment, and I need to try ignore the content because my grandfather Olivia Newton-John is awesome cute …’ and fast-forward during those parts. 😉

The characters were interesting and unique. I think my favorite was Mary Beth. Or Piper. Definitely Piper. Wait,  I like Ben, too. And Sally …

Which reminds me; not finding out about Sally was one of the  reasons (other than content and the fact that it made me stay up too late 😄 ) I didn’t give this novel 5 stars. How do I know how she ends up?

So, if you’re an older teen/adult (see content section) and you love time-travel romances with a generous dash of adventure, grab a copy of Class of ’59, John A. Heldt’s most recent (September, to be exact) release today!

~Kellyn Roth

Action/Adventure, Adult, Amanda Tero, Blog Tours, Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Young Adult

Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero

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Title: Befriending the Beast

Author: Amanda Tero

Genre: Non-magical Fantasy (fairytale retelling)/Christian fiction

Age-Range: 10+ (middle grade/young adult)

Era: Medieval-ish

Setting: fantasy world – realistic

Publisher: Amanda Tero

Source: author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 1/5. Some thematic elements (falling off a horse and sickness, no details). No violence, language, or sexual content.

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Action/Adventure, Adult, Blake Renworth, Fantasy, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Romance, Young Adult

The Exiled Seven by Blake Renworth

Title: The Exiled Seven

Author: Blake Renworth

Series: The Exiled Series, #1

Genre: Adventure Fantasy

Age-Range: 14+ (young adult/adult)

Publisher: Inglenook Publishers

Source: publisher (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Content: 3/5. Younger teens cautioned for violence (nothing too gory) and a little cussing (which seemed a little random to me, by the way … like it was thrown in for no particular reason).

Cover: 5/5. This one is really pretty! I especially like the font of the title.

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Action/Adventure, Adult, Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Nadine C. Keels, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Romance, Young Adult

The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels

Title: The Movement of Kings

Author: Nadine C. Keels (https://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com/)

Series: The Movement of Crowns, #3

Genre: Christian romantic fantasy

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Setting: Diachona (fantasy world)

Publisher: Nadine C. Keels

Source: author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 2/5. Some innuendo-ish stuff, falling in love & the emotions, some kissing (few to no details). By far the cleanest of the three … although all three were very clean.

The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels

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The order of things, the nature of succession, and a nation that must march on…

At a time of political and cultural uncertainty, the charge of the Eubeltic Realm has been passed over to a young monarch known for his intelligence, agility, and brooding ways, as well as the “way” he has with vibrant ladies at court. Can this inexperienced king handle the current rise of domestic and colonial crises, the bereavement of his family, and his curious attraction to a councilman’s unassuming daughter, or is everything in his untried hands on the verge of falling apart?

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Action/Adventure, Adult, Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Nadine C. Keels, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Romance, Young Adult

The Movement of Rings by Nadine C. Keels

Title: The Movement of Rings

Author: Nadine C. Keels (https://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com/)

Series: The Movement of Crowns, #2

Genre: Christian romantic fantasy

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Setting: Diachona (fantasy world)

Publisher: Nadine K. Keels

Source: author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 3/5 stars

Content: 3/5. Not recommended for younger teens. Mentions of childbirth, some innuendo-ish stuff, falling in love & the emotions, some kissing (few to no details). The main character (Naona) is a member of the king of Munda’s harem, no details. It was tastefully handled. Mentions of abortion.

The Movement of Rings by Nadine C. Keels

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A time to remember what lies deeper than one’s fears…

The Mundayne empire has seen years of prosperity under the rule of King Aud, a man of war known the world over for his ruthlessness. Naona, a high-spirited imperial servant who holds Aud’s favor, occupies herself with pulling pranks on her peers around the king’s estate, but the time for laughter spoils when the citizens of Munda begin to oppose increasing taxation. After meeting the princess of Diachona, Naona finds herself having to choose between maintaining loyalty to her king and becoming a personal ally of another nation. With the rise of unrest in Munda, can Naona’s heart survive intact: intact enough, even, for an unforeseen chance at love with a foreign man?

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Adult, Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Nadine C. Keels, Reviews by Age-Range, Reviews by Author, Reviews by Genre, Romance, Young Adult

The Movement of Crowns by Nadine C. Keels

Title: The Movement of Crowns

Author: Nadine C. Keels (https://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com/)

Series: The Movement of Crowns, #1

Genre: Christian romantic fantasy

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Setting: Diachona (fantasy world)

Publisher: Nadine K. Keels

Source: author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Content: 2/5. Relatively clean. Mentions of childbirth, some innuendo-ish stuff, falling in love & the emotions, some kissing (few to no details).

The Movement of Crowns by Nadine C. Keels

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When kingdoms’ ideas of humanity differ…

The nation of Diachona is celebrating the twentieth birthday and rite of passage for Constance, the Diachonian king’s daughter and heir. Yet, the pause for festivity doesn’t erase collective doubts about Constance’s aspiration for a place with the men on the National Council, nor does it eliminate fears roused by oppressive threats from a neighboring, powerful empire. Amid increasing rumors of war and personal misgivings about her own future, Constance deems this an inopportune time to be falling in love with one Commander Alexander. Will Providence keep them all through international tensions and the changing of times, or is Diachona watching its territory in vain?

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