Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Empyrean Key by J. L Tomlinson

The author contacted me and sent me a copy of this book for an honest review. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. The book was published on August 27th, 2014.

First impression

A fantasy book sent in the world of Ardentia. Jahna is a Narcean teenager growing up in Ardentian soil, her pale hair and skin color giving her away easily. She doesn't know much of her past, her mom won't talk to her about it and so, she is determined to know more and helping her to do so she has her two friends, Lilac a strong girl from a family of warriors, and Silko, a fragile but smart boy who loves knowledge and books.

At the same time, the king of Ardentia, the light of the Kingdom, is dying. With no male heirs, Princess Mydra would have to take the throne, except that...over centuries this has never happened. Never before a King didn't have sons, and the Queen Selizardra is suspected of being the culprit also adding to the case against her that she a foreigner.

Jahna will finally get some answers to her past but in doing so, she will realize she is in for way more than she expected for.

Final thoughts

The author did a wonderful job building this new world, sometimes I would feel lost with so many new terms that were never explained. See, this is a delicate balance I find when reading fantasy or science fiction: with new words/terms sometimes authors either over explain or as in this case, don't explain them enough. The first case makes me feel like the author wants to take me by the hand, and in the second, well, I have to re read paragraphs several times to try to understand what is going on and my brain then disconnects.

I quite enjoyed the secondary characters, mostly Lilac and Silko; but I didn't completely fell for Jahna and found her a bit predictable as well as her story. The abrupt changes from Jahna's story to Mydra's made it pretty obvious (to me at least) what was going on between them, and without this surprise element the rest of the story felt...sort of short I am afraid.

I think this would be a better read for a MA or early YA group of readers. My cousin is 10 years younger than I am and I am pretty sure she would enjoy the whole story, and continue the series.

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