The Lost City

The Lost City is a fun, engaging novel kicking of The Omte Origins series.

Ulla (half-human/half-troll) has earned an internship in Mimirin taking her from her country home. Or what she has called home for many years: she had been left by a woman who might or might not be her mother and raised by strangers. Ulla believes this internship with help her find out more about her family but when she gets there things The Lost City - Cover Art (1)get more complicated. She has to babysit her adopted sister as well as a troll who has memory loss.  Her story becomes wrapped in this girl’s, and Ulla faces danger and questions she could have never imagined.

I enjoyed the novel. I loved the troll world and it coexists with the human world. I loved Ulla and how she looked like a troll no some beautiful superhuman.  Her story of trying to find her family is compelling and I was on her side the entire time.

The story is light-hearted and not overly dark. It’s an easy read. It is a great true YA read while also entertaining adults. There is a weird seemingly required love triangle that I didn’t like but overall the story is interesting and compelling.

While this is an offshoot of another series, it stands on its own. When I first started I had no idea there were other stories. As I got about halfway in, something in the back of my head was telling me I was missing something. I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt I should have read the others first.  While I feel that way personally, overall it’s an easy introduction to the world and, for newbies like me, gets people interested in the other novels.

I didn’t get the title and its importance to this specific section of the story. They mention a lost city here and there but it didn’t push the story forward and really only mattered at the end.

All that being said this is a fun story and I would encourage fantasy fans who like their stories on the lighter side to read it. I, personally, am going to be looking into the books that came before because I enjoyed this so much.

A note if you read on e-book: this is one of those that ends at 90 percent and has several post scripts sections.  This isn’t a flaw of the book just a heads up as I hate getting that far and then the book “suddenly” ends.

 

Publication Date: July 7
I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

The Kingdom of Liars

This debut novel is a lengthy tale set in a new fantasy world. While the basic story is enjoyable, the author takes you on several side roads.

Michael is a Kingman, a family designated to serve the king. But he and his siblings are outcasts after their father killed the young prince.  While Michael’s siblings move on in image_processing20200302-48-1qdvrygthe world, Michael feels a deep desire to clear his father. But there is a rebellion on and the moon is breaking into pieces around them. In a world of magic and intrigue, Michael is in way above his head.

This book is massive. The bare-bones are good.  A young man wants to save his family and learns magic. He makes a deal with a High Noble to do so and help him try to solve this layered in mystery. Did his father actually kill the young prince and deserved to die when Michael was just a kid? The twist feels good as I hadn’t expected it. I liked the author thinking outside the box.

But the secondary stories seem to take over. His friends cause a variety of issues that don’t add to the main story and seem like video games side quests. So much of the content just takes up space and wastes time. Several branches don’t affect the overall story or ending at all.

But where I really needed more info it wasn’t there. I needed more information about the rebels and the politics at hand. I needed to know more about the moon and why people weren’t more distraught in its destruction.  I wanted to know more about the magic system.  So much content could have been replaced for a shorter and more precise story.

Author Nick Martel is setting up and epic fantasy saga but the first book is too clunky and often loses my attention. While I might be interested in the base story, I’m not sure I’d be willing to wade through such a thick and overly wordy tome again.

 

Publication Date:  June 23

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

The Ronan Scrolls

The Ronan Scrolls is a companion piece to the Dragon Master Trilogy that gives enduring a look into the scientific side of magic.
Ronan the Traveler seeks answers after his brother is burned at the stake for seeing the future. In a world where dragons roam and witches are real, even having the sight is seen as madness and dangerous. But Ronan cannot agree. He will travel all of Antebellum knowing his brother cannot be the only one who can see the future. The scrolls herein relay that story.47870311._SX318_
I truly enjoyed the Ronan scrolls. Ronan believes he can use intellect to understand magic and this unique perspective endears you to him. Like many characters of the same situation, you do not pity him for the loss of his brother, instead, you cheer on his adventure to help himself deal with his own pain. Whether or not you should look at magic scientifically is a question presented here but you absolutely want Ronan to find the answer because surely there is life is a mix of magic and science.
Katie Cross chooses a fun narrative structure to tell Ronan’s adventures. Past an introduction, the novella is truly Ronan’s tale, each portion written by the character himself. While it limits the whole perspective in some ways that might be fur frustrating, it is that frustration one needs to understand to truly appreciate Ronan’s journey. Cross does well with the “diary” form of writing moving the story along without giving too much away.
While this reads best for those who are familiar with previous entries in the series such as Flame and Flight, this is also an intriguing novella that can be a bridge for new readers. I encourage readers interested in magic to dip their toes in the Dragon Master world with this work and then see the world bloom in the full novels. For avid fans, this is a must.
Overall, The Ronan Scrolls is a refreshing addition to Cross’s work looking at magic with a scientific slant.

 

Publication Date: December 18

I received a copy from the author for review; all opinions are my own.