Review of The Crystal Crux by A.M. Werner

4/5 Stars

I have a serious love for historical fiction and fantasy that is clearly well researched and adds a new spin on our history. Don't get me wrong, I love good ole classic fantasy as well, but its nice to read something that is different, new, and refreshing, and The Crystal Crux does not fail in this area.

Werner does an excellent job of research. The historical elements of The Crystal Crux were meticulously researched. In addition to the excellent research, the then fictional and fantastical elements of the novel seemed to fit right in with the actual history, as if it was . . . this isn't fiction, this really happened and somehow my history classes just missed these facts in history. Whats more, Werner uses actual historical figures and infuses them into his fantasy, and he does it in an almost seamless way.

 

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Werner's vocabulary is excellent as well. As I read the kindle version, there were times I found myself highlighting words. Now, I think that's a good thing. It expands my vocabulary as a reader and shows me this author really knows how to write. His ability to not only convey an exciting story while using intricate, flowing, and beautiful language only added to the story itself.

This was an enjoyable read and I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys history, historical fiction, or fantasy adventure. Thank you and HAPPY READING!!!

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter athttp://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

4/5 Stars

The Desert Spear continues the story begun by Brett in The Warded Man. Only, this time, we see the tale from the perspective of self proclaimed Shar’Dama Ka, Jardir.  We met Jardir in The Warded Man, and we saw him attempt to murder Arlen, and we came to hate him for it. But the second book of the Demon Cycle series gives us a human look at Jardir, his beginnings, and we begin to empathize with him.

The book begins with Jardir conquering Fort Rizan and subjugating its people. It is hard to miss the connection between the Krasians and the Caliphates of the Middle Ages and Crusades. Brett does a good job of making these sorts of connections and it helps the reader to do two things. Firstly, it centers the reader so that they can more easily connect to the story. Secondly, it does make an inference to, what I suspect, is the fact that Thesa is actually Earth. We will see. From there, we go back and forth between the present and Jardir’s past.

Brett does a fantastic job of giving us different Points of View. In The Desert Spear,  he does a much better job of those transitions than I thought he did in his first book, in which some of those POV transitions seemed disjointed—I didn’t know who we were suppose to be watching. I can tell that his writing has evolved. The story, whether it is Jardir’s, Leesha’s, or Arlen’s, seem more comfortable and because of this, I was able to really settle in to the characters.

Definitely one of Brett’s strengths would be his ability to write action. Scenes of war and fighting are exciting, riveting, and there were some moments when I was truly sitting on the edge of my seat. He also does a very good job of creating tension in relationships with his character. I do feel like Brett is a student of people. These characters, in many ways, feel real.

My criticisms—the time change, in my opinion is a cardinal sin of writing and in many ways doesn’t work. I would like to have seen a chronological progression from past to present. Even if we start with the present, and then go back, just keep moving forward. Brett is a student of people, but some interactions and reactions do seem a little unrealistic, especially concerning Leesha Paper. She is the one main character that I have a hard time understanding and getting into. Her attitudes, her actions, they all just seem very forced.

Despite these minor criticisms, The Desert Spear was very enjoyable. It opens up the world that we discover in The Warded Man, even in terms of the demons. We suddenly found out there are many more demons. And I think what this does is it shows the reader that many of the people in Brett’s story are just as blind as maybe we are in The Warded Man.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is into good, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, classic fantasy, or just a good adventure story with a little mystery sprinkled in there.

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website atwww.christopher-patterson.comand also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter athttp://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of the Broken Empire Series by Mark Lawrence

1.5/5 Stars

The premise behind the Broken Empire series seemed like something I was going to enjoy. I was looking for, like I have said before, some new, fresh fantasy series to read and new, fresh authors. The Broken Empire series came highly recommended by every website, bookstore, Amazon—anywhere I looked really. So I gave it a shot. I’m not going to say that I am upset that I gave time to Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns. I don’t want my time back or anything like that. But I am left scratching my head a little bit as to why people were giving this series so much acclaim.

The opening scene of Prince of Thorns is gritty and real.Lawrence deals with real world violence and the realities of a world that resembles Medieval Europe. If you are a peasant man who is conquered, you’ll probably be killed. If you’re a peasant woman, you’ll probably be raped, then killed. Children hold no real value. Feudalism is brutal. Life is hard and short. I am okay with these elements. I am a fan, after all, of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and FireThese elements of the Broken Empire series closely resembled those. But, these brutal, real-world elements quickly became over the top. I understand, being a history teacher, how brutal the world can be. And, to a certain extent, I want some reality in my fiction. But if I want to read endless hours of the brutality and corruption of man, I’ll just pick up a newspaper. It became so over the top, at times, it was even unreal.

I also know that there are unsympathetic people in this world. There are cold heartless bastards. But the main protagonist, Jorg, again was just over the top. We see him first when he’s just a 14 year old kid whose king father thinks is dead. There is no humanity to this character. Maybe I missed something. I don’t know. But unless we’re talking about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin—and even those close to them spoke of human qualities, however fleeting—a character, in my opinion, needs to at least seem half human.

The story is told in the first person. That is different and, for a while, I liked it. But then it became old. It might be because I was frustrated with the story in general, but I just got tired of listening to the thoughts of Jorg, the protagonist.

The one thing I did really like about Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns was the twist and spin on the world in which it is set. I won’t give anything away, just in case you want to give it a shot, but the world and time setting are certainly not what they seem and that was a very cool element to the story.

I grudgingly finished Prince of Thorns and I could not bring myself to finish King of Thorns. I give Prince of Thorns two starsand King of Thorns one star. I will not be reading the third installment,Emperor of Thorns.

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website atwww.christopher-patterson.comand also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter athttp://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of Call of Duty by CJ Peterson

3/5 Stars

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I recently met, through a writer's network, another author named CJ Peterson. CJ is a youth pastor and passionate not only about her work in youth ministries and about Christ, but also passionate about writing and sharing her faith experience through the written word. We agreed to review swap and, even though it probably took me much longer than it should have, I completed the first book in her three book series about a female firefighter, Casey, who struggles with, questions, discovers, and then shares her faith. Here is my review of The Call of Duty.

The story of Casey in The Call of Duty is one that is refreshing and heart felt. Peterson does an excellent job of relating the faith journey of a firefighter who does not believe in God to her moment of somewhat clarity and understanding that God has a purpose for her. As I read The Call of Duty, I felt like I could be reading the biography of someone who is working in public service and coming to know Christ. it didn't feel over the top, and it didn't feel muddled down with clichés and the feel-good allegories I often get tired of when reading Christian fiction.

One must understand that this is a Christian-fiction novel. After reading some of the reviews posted for The Call of Duty on amazon.com, most of the negative comments were related to the fact that there are too many references to Christianity and faith in this novel. That seems a little ridiculous to me since this is meant to be a Christian novel. The outward expression of faith and talking about God and Christ is intentional. I think that is something people should understand before engaging this novel. This is a Christian novel. Its a great novel. Its a great tale of one's Christian growth and faith. And its a great Christian novel.

I had only a couple criticisms of The Call of Duty. Firstly, it could have used a little more editing. It was just tiny issues, small grammatical things. I don't think it is enough to detract someone from reading the novel and it certainly did not take away from the story and its content. The other critique I had, and I only picked up on this because I have been criticized extensively about this in my own writing, is that there were times I had a little difficulty determining whose point of view the story was being told from.

I think these are minor issues with an otherwise very well scripted story that has an extremely positive message in a world with ever increasing negative images, stories, thoughts, ideas, and media coverage. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a story of faith and journey and a person's experience in coming to know Christ.

You can find CJ Peterson's first novel in the Holy Flame Trilogy, The Call of Duty, here through Amazon

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of The Warded Man by Peter V Brett

3.75/5 Stars

A story about demons, tattoos, mysterious desert people, and a sexy heroine? Yes please. I am always looking for newer, up and coming fantasy and science fiction authors. Partly to get some inspiration for my own writing, but also simply because I am always looking for newer, fresher stories. Different takes on the classic fantasy format. Peter V. Brett does not disappoint. Brett gives classic fantasy lovers a great tale that is remotely reminiscent of other fantasy tales as well as those newer to the genre, and perhaps those who are not your typical fantasy reader, something that crosses genres and trails into mystery, intrigue, crime novels, and good old adventure.

Peter V. Brett has a knack for writing. His use of language and the written word propels the story forward. His characters seem multidimensional. They develop nicely throughout the story and seem very genuine through their dialogue. He develops several protagonists that the reader grows to love and care about. I really did become emotionally attached to Leesha and Arlen and Rojer. His story progresses quite nicely as well, fast forwarding several years at a time. One might think that this would hinder the story, perhaps make the reader what happened between these chunks of time, but that is not the case. And the world that Brett builds…well, I will leave that to you as the reader, but I am suspect that this world is more familiar than we might think. The twists leave the reader wondering where we are, when we are, and what is going to happen next.

So, on to the criticism. I gave The Warded Man four stars on Amazon and Goodreads. If I could have given it like, 3.5 or 3.75 stars I probably would have. Why? Especially with all the good things I just said about it. Well, there were, for me, several glaring things that frustrated me as a reader and, unfortunately, those things came at the very end of the book. As much attention as Brett pays his main characters, especially Leesha and Arlen, and as genuine as they seem, their actions, motivations, and characterizations at the end of the book seem very forced, almost fake. I have no desire to give any spoilers, so you will have to find out what those are for yourself. The plot, as well, seemed rushed towards the end of the book, almost as if Brett was on a deadline and he had to wrap it up. We have this great build through 85% of the book and then, BAM! the end. Now, being an author myself, I am familiar with story arcs, but this resolution seemed so sudden. And both Arlen and Leesha are confronted with some very serious issues that, because of the speed at which the book ends, don’t seem to be resolved in a very real way. Lastly, it seemed like there was confusion throughout the book in terms of point of view. I got confused in several places as to who the focus was on, where the camera lens was, whose thoughts are we listening to at that moment.

All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a fresh take on classic, epic fantasy and I am already reading (and listening to) The Desert Spear: Book Two of the Demon Cycle Series.

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of Dark Winds - Review by Cheryl Rodriguez

5/5 Stars

Christopher Patterson captures your imagination, holding you hostage in the fantasy world of Dark Winds.  The quest continues for the treasure and prized heirloom lost in the dwarfish city of Orvencrest. The Shadow’s influence is growing stronger, war wages; the era of The Great Peace is coming to an end.  For the adventurous trio of Erik, Befel and Bryon, the world has become much larger than it seemed on the farm. The further they travel from home; the longing for its comfort grows stronger.   The cost of their adventure has come with an unforeseen high price to pay - Death.  So much death, agonizing sorrow haunts their days and phantoms of morbid faces invade their sleep. Overwhelmed with guilt, the young warriors grieve over the men they have killed and their fallen comrades.  Erik and his companions are in constant danger; many are on their trail, some seek to right a wrong, and others to kill them before they reach the treasure.   Although fate has brought them together, tensions are rising within the company of mercenaries.  The opposition and competition is great. However, for Erik, Befel and Bryon there is something more valuable than riches and an ancient heirloom, their manhood is at stake. Daily, they are being tested in faith, strength, will and purpose. As they travel closer to the mountains, there is a foreboding change in the winds; the “Dark Winds” are approaching.  “Things are changing. The world is changing.”  They are changing. 

Dark Winds is the second book in The Shadow’s Fire Trilogy. The narrative poses two vital questions:  What makes a savage?  What makes a hero? Christopher Patterson is a creative and gifted storyteller. His love of fantasy, adventure, music and faith are relevant in his writing.  He takes the elements of fantasy, covers them with flesh and blood, crafting an adventure that comes alive with unrestrained imagery. Vivid, brilliant and figurative language is used to paint graphic word pictures, especially regarding the barbaric battle scenes, and the fear drenched animations suffered during nightmares. The narrative begins with a band of tormented wounded warriors. Their battle fatigue and disgruntled moods are heightened by ominous weather, bizarre blood moons, and evil surroundings.  As the plot progresses, the narrative goes deeper into its primitive world, depicting horrific mountain trolls, weapons with consciences, and  a subterranean dwarf kingdom.   The primary conflict of the story lies between the forces of good and evil, and it is through this divergence the aforementioned questions of savagery and heroism are answered.  Man versus himself is the subordinate conflict.  With his innocence warped, the protagonist experiences inner turmoil. Traumatized by the exploits of battle; he is wrecked by guilt.

Dark Winds is written in third person omniscient point of view, allowing for the soul and idiosyncrasies of the characters to be exposed.   The cast of characters is extensive; it is a blend of young and old, dwarves and men, villains and heroes.  However, the narrative focuses mainly on the lives of Erik, Befel and Bryon.  Erik is the protagonist; through his character growth, the overall theme of the narrative is unveiled - As you overcome the challenges of life, you change. Patterson pens many memorable lines.  My favorite is “Knowledge is the most powerful weapon the world has ever known.”  During the rising action, Erik’s destiny compels him to face danger transforming him from a farm boy into a warrior. At the apex of the action, he discovers his life has purpose; this breakthrough releases the desire for increased knowledge.  As the story closes, Erik’s maturity sets him apart from the others.  Dark Winds concludes with a brave resolve. What lies ahead is yet to be seen.

“Knowledge is the most powerful weapon the world has ever known.”

Cheryl Rodriguez is both and author and lover of books. You can find Cheryl's books on her website at Featured Products and you can peruse her reviews on the review section of her website. Reviews

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of Dragonvein: Book One by Brian D Anderson

4/5 Stars

I recently wrote several articles about the process of writing. What was a little different about these articles in terms of writing was that they weren’t about editing or constructing characters or writing a plot line. These articles were about being a writer and creating a new and unique story within the constructs of stories that have already been told. We know that most fantasy novels are going to be some journey, quest, voyage, slaying the monster kind of story. So, how does an author make us, the readers, want to read their story. It has to be different. A different take on something. A different look at something. A different twist. That is what Dragonvein: Book One is.

Firstly, Brian D. Anderson does something I find very interesting and that is, the title to his books are simply Book One, Book Two, etc. At first, I thought maybe this was a mistake. How do I tell the stories apart. But after reading his first novel, it fits with the theme of new and different. We begin with an exciting action scene. Fugitives on the run from evil. And then we transition into World War II. What? I know. Different. New. Strange. I loved it. Anderson quickly lets us, the readers, know that this is not going to be a normal fantasy adventure. Nor is it going to be your typical, convoluted multi-dimensional sci-fi adventure. This is a tale that takes many of the normal nuances of fantasy and turns them on their head. He has the normal players—dragons, dwarves, elves, magic. But its different. The elves are not your typical elves, not are the dwarves. Magic is not simply something someone learns in a book. It’s a refreshing view of fantasy and science-fiction. And at the end of the book, we realize that it is a quite interesting blend of both fantasy and science fiction.

Anderson does a pretty good job of developing his characters. No one is perfect. There are certain characters that might seem a little shallow and certain characters that could have used a little more development, but for the most part, his characters are believable and interesting. The plotline is well constructed as well. The story is action oriented and Anderson does a good job of pulling in the reader emotionally.

"Ethan has only one hope – to reach the dwarf kingdom of Elyfoss"

I also enjoyed the plot twists, especially towards the end of the book. The plot is, perhaps, a little predictable, but then again, what fantasy and science fiction plot isn’t. I would definitely recommend this first installment of the Dragonvein series to anyone looking for a refreshing and well written fantasy adventure and I have already bought and started reading Dragonvein: Book Two.

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of A Chance Beginning - Review done by Cheryl Rodriguez

5/5 Stars

“All young men have grand ideas.” Christopher Patterson’s, A Chance Beginning, is an epic tale of three ambitious and virile, yet naive, young men. Leaving the mundane life of farming behind, two brothers, Befel and Erik, and their cousin, Bryon, embark on a journey seeking the riches in the East.  In the beginning, their adventurous quest takes them on a pursuit of purpose. The good-hearted Erik is driven by the idea of a divine purpose, but his egotistical cousin Bryon, motives are of pure selfishness.  Traveling down destiny’s path, they encounter things they would never have seen at home and find themselves battling for their livelihood. When a good man’s conscience is seared through battle, will the darkness of soul overshadow the radiant hope held within? These young men find themselves accosted and haunted by what they have seen and done, living a nightmare with eyes wide open. Commissioned by the Messenger of the East, the trio sets out with a crew of mercenaries and dwarves on a now treacherous quest to find a mysterious lost scroll. When good and evil collide, will their expedition be led by the Creator or overtaken by Shadow.   Will it prove to be a noble quest or a wayfaring escapade of folly?  Only time will tell. 

Fantasy is all about good versus evil. In the beginning, A Chance Beginning, plot-line seems predictable, atypical to the fantasy genre.  However, as the plot unfolds it begins to take on its own unique, larger-than-life, shape and destination.  Mr. Patterson’s writing vocabulary is expansive, often using archaic language and symbolism to bring life to the story. His writing style is acutely descriptive, not only does he give a voice to his characters, but resonating sounds to his scenery as well.  Although overwhelming at times, I appreciate the depth and extensive detail given to his main characters. The author understands the importance of character background and development for a successful epic trilogy.  Keeping with the fantasy genre, Mr. Patterson tells his enchanted fairy tale with unrestrained imagination by vividly illustrating the mythology and geography of his imaginary world. (The inclusion of the map drawing was a nice touch.) By using ancient and mystical weaponry, the author portrays intense graphic battle scenes that allow you to sense the death-defying adrenaline surge of the characters, amid the spellbinding chaos, and blood and guts of the barbaric fighting.  A Chance Beginning ending was a cliffhanger; Christopher Patterson left you on the edge, anticipating the next book in the Shadow Fire Trilogy.

“All young men have grand ideas”

Review of Duel of Fire (Steel and Fire Book 1) by Jordan Rivet

4/5 Stars

I visited my brother in Baltimore this weekend. In case you don’t know, I am from Tucson, Arizona, so Baltimore was a bit of a cultural and environmental shock. I was surprised that in Maryland, they have washes with water in them all the time. They call them rivers. Crazy. Anyways, while flying out to and back from Baltimore, I was able to read several books. The first of those two books was Duel of Fire by Jordan Rivet. I found Jordan and her books as I was searching for new and upcoming writers like myself. I had reached out to Jordan to see if we could maybe do a review swap. That ended up not happening, but Jordan is from Arizona and, so after reading the synopsis behind her book and the reviews of her previous works, I decided to read her book anyways. I am glad I did.

Duel of Fire is not your typical, quest or voyage and return fantasy. It takes place entirely in the kingdom and city of Vertigon, which is situated among three tall mountain peaks and connected by a series of bridges. The story begins with a young duelist (fencing athlete) named Dara. Dara is aspiring to be sponsored by some noble as she climbs the athletic ladder and makes a name for herself (as well as a living) as one of the greatest female duelist, or possibly any duelist, ever. In very typical fashion, her family—who are Fireworkers—do not support her pursuits, but she doesn’t care. She is eventually approached by her coach who wants her to work with the Prince of Vertigon, fearing for the young man’s safety. A series of somewhat predictable events unfold as a plot to kill the King of a rather peaceful Vertigon unfolds and Dara learns some very deep and dark secrets about her own family.

There were a couple refreshing things about this story. Firstly, like I said before, this is not your typical hero goes on a journey fantasy. It centered around an athlete-coach relationship, which I could relate to since I am also a coach. The conflict between Dara and her family was somewhat predictable, but it was well written and left the reader empathizing with Dara. The idea of Fireworking, or Firemagic, was different and interesting, and the dynamic of the nobility as they were written in the story and the focus that was placed on dueling competitions was different as well and reminded me of many cultures in our own history, when time become some what peaceful and rather complacent. There is well written mystery surrounding the rest of the world which is intensified by the fact that Jordan only focuses on Vertigon, even though she mentions other cities and kingdoms.

So, some of the negatives. The storyline was somewhat predictable. The relationship between the protagonist and her family, the relationship between the protagonist and other characters were just very, well, predictable. It wasn’t bad. It didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book. But there was little mystery surrounding most of the plot. There was some, and that was welcomed. I also felt like this book might have, in some places, been written for a young adult audience, even though I didn’t think it was being billed as such. Now, I understand this is a coming of age type novel, and the author did a very good job of creating the sense that this was indeed a coming of age tale.

All in all, I gave the first installment of the Steel and Fire Series 4 stars out of 5. It was well written. There were very few editing issues. The plot was well constructed. The ideas were fresh. The characters had depth to them. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series, King of Mist.

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5AUa1

Review of The Summerlark Elf by Brandon Draga

3.5/5 Stars

Summerlark Elf.jpg

So, not too long ago, as I was wandering in the doldrums of having written two books and selling very few of them, Grael Norton from Wheatmark Press suggested to me a very novel idea—pun intended. I should start reading other author’s works and posting reviews for them. Kind of a “you get what you give” idea. Well, I thought it was a great idea and started upping my reading intake. In doing so, I also began reaching out to other authors, especially those who were self-published and newly published like me, offering review swaps and good, encouraging criticism.

Brandon Draga was one of the first authors to respond positively. He was such a welcoming guy, asked if he could sign me up for his newsletter—to which I said, “of course”—and willingly agreed to buy my book and give it a read when I said I would love to read his works.

So I read The Summerlark Elf and gave it a review. Now, it was a 3 star review, which I posted on Amazon and Goodreads but it was not a critical review, as most 3 star reviews are. I will get to my review, but I just wanted to say about Brandon, he responded to my review on Goodreads. So, normally when an author responds to a review you’ve left, it’s not good. They start to defend what they wrote and why they wrote it and a part of you feels like maybe you were too harsh and you attacked them and their work. I know, as an author, I feel that sometimes, even though I repress the urge to respond. But that is not what happened with Brandon. He responded with kindness and sincere thanks for my review. I think it was a well-meaning gesture and thought it very cool that this author is taking time to not only read his reviews, but respond in kindness to them.

With no further ado, my review of The Summerlark Elf

The Summerlark Elf did have some editing issues and page formatting issues. I don’t hold too much of a grudge in regards to those things, especially if they’re not huge and if I am reading a self-published author. It’s not that we should give self-published authors a pass on good grammar and punctuation, but I understand the cost of getting professional editing. The very best authors have major issues before their editors look through their manuscripts. We self-published authors have limited budgets and, so, minor issues don’t bug me too much.

It is clear to me that this book was written by a fan of Dungeons and DragonsLord of the RingsGame of Thrones and every other fantasy book and game out there. And there's nothing wrong with that. Names are borrowed, as were concepts. No problem. The writing wasn't necessarily spectacular, but it was good. It was easy to read and there were moments of very good writing. I mean, I read the book in three days. It was truly a very quick, easy, and enjoyable read. It was fun. It was a decent adventure. And that is where my criticism lies. My major issue was that I felt like I was reading a Dungeons and Dragons adventure. I felt like I was reading a borrowed story. Now, as an author, I do realize that it is very difficult to come up with a new story. In fact, from a plot-story structure standpoint, I’m not really sure if there are new stories to be told. I mean, we can come up with new names and places and worlds, but—especially when its fantasy—it’s all about either a journey or a stranger coming to town; man vs man, man vs nature, man vs self. So it is within that construct that, as authors, we are tasked with creating something fresh. When reading The Summerlark Elf, I felt like I was reading a story that might qualify for Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance or some other Wizards of the Coast world. Would I read it again? Probably not. Am I going to read the next book? Absolutely. Would I recommend this to someone else? Sure. If you’re into pure fantasy adventure, here is a fun, quick read that is enjoyable. If you're looking for deep plots, intense subplots, genre crossing, and earth shaking statements, probably not here.

Do I recommend the Summerlark Elf. Definitely.

Make sure you visit Christopher Patterson’s website at www.christopher-patterson.com and also make sure you sign up for his monthly newsletter where you can keep up to date with what’s going on in his world, his articles and blogs, get access to freebies, and experience promotional material. You can sign up for Christopher Patterson’s email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5AUa1