Surrender – a review

Surrender ebooksm

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Surrender by Rhiannon Paille, the first in her The Ferryman and the Flame series. While it has elements of quest-type stories and those about star-crossed lovers, I found the characters to be quite unique.

Kaliel and Krishani are in their mid-teens learning about themselves and their roles in the future. They are at a crossroads, their decisions impacting their lives and those of their kinfolk. They feel an uncontrollable attraction to each other, but despite their knowing a relationship between them is wrong, their desires cloud their judgment. Temptation is hard for them to resist and, yet, giving in to it could result in dire consequences. Such is common among teens everywhere, which is why I think the young adults who read it will easily relate to their struggles, despite the fantastical elements found in the story.

Their world is separate from the ‘Lands of Men’, although those from Orlondir can cross the lake and ‘marry the land’, living among the people without magic, learning their ways. Orlondir is filled with mythical folk; an elven race interspersed with feorn (satyr-like creatures), fairies, gargoyles and witches. The island itself has both a male and female spirit protecting the people. Dreams tend to be visions of the future or sights of occurrences happening in other realms. Those with abilities can speak to the flora and fauna, hear the thoughts of others, as well as affect the lives around them. Some can even transport themselves through space with just a thought. Love for the elven folk is unheard of because they are supposed to be more logical than emotional.

All of these elements pale in comparison to the story of our to main characters, Kaliel and Krishani, who struggle with nightmares about Flames and Ferrymen. I have heard myths about the Ferryman, the one who brings, or sends, souls to the Underworld, but I am unfamiliar with the Flames. The connection between these two elements in the story is explored to some extent, but not everything about their relationship is clear. There is still so much mystery about them, making it imperative that I continue reading the series to learn more about how their relationship will affect the lives of Men!

What will they do? How will it end? Will they survive? Will their love blossom or end in fire?

Surrender is a fast-paced, whirlwind of a ride. I highly recommend it to those who love magic, mythology and tragic love stories. This and the other of The Ferryman and the Flame series are available for Kindle through Amazon.com. Clicking on the book cover will bring you to the site. Also, join us here on Sunday for my interview of Rhiannon to learn more about the world and characters she created. 🙂

Food For The Gods by Karen Dudley – a review

Food for the Gods

I interviewed Karen Dudley back in September before her big book ‘Food For The Gods’ came out in print. I was there for her launch and had a wonderful time. Her story is a humorous romp through ancient Athens, following the escapades of Pelops, whose father, Tantalus, chopped him into stewing meat and literally served him up as food for the gods. Horrified, the gods put Pelops back together, minus his shoulder which was eaten by the goddess Demeter. He now sports an ivory ‘chip’ on his shoulder.

As did the gods, Karen Dudley has re-created Pelops, giving him a passion for the culinary arts. She has concocted a designer of delectable delights, infusing him with a flare for fixing fabulous food. All of the best houses in ancient Athens clamour for his roast lamb.

On occasion, Pelops comes across some of the gods, disguised as regular folk, who try to give him a helping hand, but inadvertently cause him more harm than good. However, when calamity occurs at one of the symposiums he caters, not even the gods can change the bad luck that befalls him. A hostile competitor harasses him, as does a creditor to whom he owes money. Havoc ensues and Pelops struggles to reverse his ill fortune.

Karen manages to seamlessly weave history into this story, giving the reader a feel for the time period, the customs and the scenery. There are also unique little bits, like advertisements, recipes, and advice columns in between some of the chapter breaks. One never knows what they’ll find when they turn the page. Her characters are memorable and the gods are sometimes less than perfect. Her humour had me bursting out-loud laughing, at times, and the mystery is intriguing. I have read all of her bird-named mysteries and love her Robin Devarra character. Pelops is just as charming and I look forward to reading more about his culinary exploits in the future. 🙂

13 Reasons Why

While I was reading easyondeyes blog post yesterday about the book, The 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Begat, I was reminded about another book, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I still get chills thinking about it.

The basic story revolves around a girl’s suicide and an audiotape she made just prior to taking her own life. She sends the tape to the first person on her 13-reasons-why list with instructions that they read it and pass it on to the next person until it reaches the last person. She tells them that she made copies, which she sent to someone else who would continue the process should one of the people on the list not pass it on. Her words on the tape are interspersed with the actions of one of the recipients of the tape and how it profoundly affects him. He never sees the other 12 people she talks about in the same way again and he seriously thinks about how he might have changed the outcome if he had only had the courage to do something sooner.

It is a powerful YA novel that really makes a person think about their actions and how they affect others. Thirteen Reasons Why details how 13 people impacted the girl’s life in such a profound way that she felt she had no choice but to end her anguish permanently. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you do, especially if you have teenagers or if you suspect someone you love is depressed. It might save a life.

What books have YOU read that had a powerful impact on you?