Friday, 18 July 2014

Tour Stop: Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ Stormling by John Hennessy

Series: The Mordana Chronicles #1
Publication Date: 01 June 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Dark World Books (In exchange for an honest Review)
Audio or Book: ebook
Length: 470 pages



Overview:
In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man’s desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well.
Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise.
She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must – if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own…




Guest Review by Joan Moulang

Characters & Storyline: 3/5
Anadyr is the Storm Lord of the Stormlings. He wears the twin necklace of great power given to him by Aynara. In this, the first book of a series of 4, he does not yet stand out as the great hero he will surely become through the series. The fate of Mordana, as well as Earth, is in his hands.


Aynara Galwenn is the half breed ruler of the Realm of Mordana, born from a Stormling father and an Andurii mother, and is the protector of the Andurii. She owns one of the twin necklaces of great power, but through an attack by the dark Mage, Andus Rey, one of the jewels is lost – this jewel also contains the soul of one of the four Stormlings who have moved to the dark side – she is unable to wear the necklace and use its power while the jewel is missing. 

Corianna is a great sorceress, a mix of dwarf and elf and runs the Faerie Wings Pub in Rowse Briar. She plays a small part in this book, but hopefully will play a greater part in the books to come.

Jaden and Jazdyr are both in training to succeed Anadyr. Their part in the saving of Mordana and Earth is very insignificant in this first book – we will obviously see much more of them in the sequels!

Ophelia Drewe is the human that finds the lost jewel on earth. She is thrown into the war between the forces of Good and Dark, and has to make some difficult decisions.

Andus Rey rules Caldreah Monus, part of AnaanGhorst – he is the Dark Mage who is intent on ruling all of AnaanGhorst and Mordana. For the moment he waits on the sidelines and directs his Shadow Wraiths and the three remaining of “The Four” to search for and seize the lost jewel, and to release the Fourth, trapped in the jewel in Aynara’s necklace.

“The Four” are Stormlings that were cast out of the Realm by Anadyr and Aynara for killing a Stormling child. They join the dark forces of Andus Rey. The prophesy of the Supreme God, Belalzel, foretells that “The Four” will bring disharmony and ruin to Mordana – Anadyr, Aynara and Corianna have to join forces and do their utmost to prevent Andus Rey from finding the lost jewel and releasing “The One”!


Plot, Pace, Writing style: 3/5  

Truthfully, I was a little disappointed with this first book of the series, after reading the exciting write-up. I did not find that the story set the pages alight. However, I hasten to say that I believe that the plot is good and that the story will unfold and become much more exciting in the sequels. Obviously this first book has been written to set the stage for what is to come, which is why I found it a bit bland. There are many characters, and it took time for me to understand the significance of each one – as I say, I believe that these characters will grow in the sequels. 

I felt there were a lot of characters and I have not mentioned all of them, which I do believe will take major roles in the rest of the series. Such as Kayla and Kirrnost. 

I found that the story does not flow well – it jumps around in time, very unexpectedly, which is a bit disconcerting. The vernacular has to move between that of teenagers on earth and the more gracious and old-fashioned language of Mordana, and I found that sometimes this became mixed up. There is also a chapter where a couple of the characters are completely mixed up – these errors, the spelling mistakes and the changes in tense that crept in here and there should have been picked up by the proof-reader. 


Final Thoughts: 
Hopefully, now that the groundwork has been laid, the sequels will ignite the magic and provide the excitement and the good read that the write-up promises. Lovers of fantasy, and especially The Lord of the Rings, will enjoy this series. I will definitely read the next book in the series – I would love to see the magic happen!

My Rating:


Excerpt

“Father, we can go, can’t we? Please? Don’t you want to see who will win today?”
Aldyr Veroynne knelt down in front of his son, and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders, squeezing them gently with firm hands.
“Anadyr, please, give it a rest. That would be six days in a row. We know who is going to win, anyway. You don’t need to come along. Just know that the winner is always someone from Mill’An Draythe.”
“Still, the Easterners come,” said Anadyr. “I must go to see how they fight, so that when I have the glory to represent my land, I know how to win.”
Anadyr had been just ten years of age when he became involved in his first fight, against another young Stormling, as it happened. At first, it seemed like the bigger and older Stormling would win, and had far too much strength for Anadyr.
During the fray, Anadyr connected with few blows, but could not knock his bigger opponent down. Then, with a swift kick to his mid-section, Anadyr’s strength left him, and he rolled into a ball on the ground, one hand clutching his stomach, the other, keeping his hair from covering his eyes.
The sun was blocked out by the shadow of the Stormling standing over him, who must was five years his senior.
“Loser?” he inquired.
You wish,” replied Anadyr, who sat up, and clapped his hands three times together before placing them on the ground, one hand either side of him.
“I don’t need applause from a loser,” said the bigger Stormling.
“That wasn’t applause,” replied the young Anadyr.
Suddenly, the ground started to shake all around them, the bigger Stormling’s smug look of apparent victory was erased by the tremors on the ground, and the almost instantaneous appearance of black clouds that filled the sky.
A few moments later, the clouds burst and soaked only the bigger Stormling and his crew of friends, whilst Anadyr stood laughing at them. The group started to run, but the rain lashed them in every way, from both sides, from above, and even as they ran into the ground which became ever more sodden, until they fell face forward.
“Why isn’t it raining on you?” the biggest one screamed. “You’re in league with the Lord of Monus! Say it isn’t so, for Stormlings don’t lie.”
Anadyr smiled and leaned over his sodden nemesis, who he was merely toying with.
“That’s right, Stormlings don’t lie, and I am not in league with anyone. So! Are you a loser?”
The bigger Stormling seethed. “So it would seem. Just make the damned rain stop. Who are you, boy?”
Anadyr clicked his fingers and rested his fists on the top of his hips.
“I am Anadyr Veroynne, and I command the Storms. The wind, the rain, the clouds all answer to me, and as for you….I will have your allegiance.”
The other Stormlings mumbled, saying they would not answer to some preppy brat, but the one who had hit Anadyr, stood up and bowed to him.
“I am good with a sword, but my true prowess lies with the double daggers. My skill is such that I could skim the sweat off a faerie’s wings. If you ever need my help, you shall have it, although…one who can bend the Storms to his will, surely has no need for an edged weapon.”
“Not so,” said Anadyr. “In fact, I practise with a longsword twelve hours a day. What is your name?”
“Kirnosst. Though my sword wielding days are at an end. I’m being sent to Firetop to learn, watch and ultimately take over from Aynara. Unlike us, she’s not an immortal, but I suppose your father told you that already.”
Anadyr nodded emphatically to show he knew about Aynara’s supposed mortality, but no-one knew when her time would end. There were none like her on Mordana.
Aldyr Veryonne was none-too-impressed with his son’s handling of things. “You wanted him to knock you down, so that you could show off, isn’t that so? The truth now, Anadyr.”
“I just wanted to show I wasn’t afraid of them. If I can instil fear into the heart of my enemies, maybe I can bend them to my way of thinking, as easily as I do the storms.”
“You are just a boy, Anadyr. You are too young to have enemies.”
“Didn’t you say that those East of the Wisty River are our enemies?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
“It’s got everything to do with it,” said Anadyr. “That’s why I want to go see the fight today. The Lord of Monus sends a Tryer from the Mordis Mountains, or from the heart of Caldreah itself.”
“Yes, Anadyr, but the point is-”
“The point is, Father, that today’s Tryer is from AnnanGhorst, and that makes things very interesting. I have never seen a ShadowWraith, much less seen you fight one. Tell me you’ll take me, please!”
Aldyr sighed. Putting combatants from the East out of their misery is something he loved to do, but a ShadowWraith of AnnanGhorst was different. Even the weakest of their kind were not to be taken lightly. Even if the Wraith lost, it would be most likely sent to the Island of Dead Skin, where Andus Rey, ruler of Caldreah Monus and a Stormling himself, ran his own sick tournament, where combatants often had to fight to the death.
Having a Wraith enter the fray was no battle at all. Under Rey’s watch, they would win, and win easily. Aldyr let out another sigh. He was considering throwing the match, even though this was illegal.
“Alright Anadyr, I’ll take you. But whatever happens, you come straight back home. That’s an order.”
“I will, Father. I will,” said Anadyr, who could not believe there would be any other outcome but a clear and decisive victory for his father, who was a skilled swordsman and had been known to dabble in magic.
ShadowWraiths were difficult adversaries for all sorts of reasons. Although they were scary to look at, it was more a case of what you couldn’t see, rather than what you could.
There were all sorts of rumours about them, which, outside of AnnanGhorst, became the very fabric of legend.
Some would say that there actually were no ShadowWraiths, but that it was Rey himself, who would come to test himself against the foes of Monus.
Others believed the Wraiths did have a face, but it was one so terrible to view, that one would die of fright from resting innocent eyes on their hateful faces.
Still others believed that the ShadowWraiths could not be killed, and one had to have a death wish if standing against them. But everyone who knew Aldyr Veroynne believed that he must know how to defeat a ShadowWraith.
As expected, there was a great throng of people in the town centre. They gathered round the platform, which stood some twenty feet from the ground. The ShadowWraith was already on the platform as Aldyr and Anadyr arrived.
As they walked, Aldyr beamed smiles and waved to everyone. They had come to see him triumph, which would be his thirty-eigth win in a row. The ShadowWraiths had triumphed every time to date, but the locals felt it was time one of their own succeeded.
The Wraith extended a bony finger towards Aldyr, and beckoned him to stand on the platform with him.
“Remember Anadyr,” whispered his father, “whatever happens, you will return home. Understood?”
“Yes Father, of course,” said Anadyr, who was surprised his father was making so much of this battle. Winning fights is what Aldyr Veroynne was all about. ‘He’s just more fodder from AnnanGhorst, who will slink back to that hellhole when my father’s through with him,’ thought Anadyr.
Whilst Anadyr watched the two men line up, a third man, the one who usually judged the battles, pulled himself up onto the platform, and from underneath his robes he produced a rather large wooden box. An omnious gasp came out from the crowd. “What? What is it?” said the young Stormling. Anadyr craned his neck to see what the commotion was.
The judge extended his arms to the crowd. “Today’s battle is a red match. In this box are two weapons from the challenger’s province of AnnanGhorst. The fighter who represents us has agreed to the terms, and will use the weapon provided to him.”
Anadyr nudged the man next to him. “What is it? What is a red match?”
The man solemnly shook his head. “It means that this is not for children’s eyes. They will fight to the death.”
John Hennessy
John Hennessy

John Hennessy
John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.
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Chanzie



4 comments:

  1. I'd love to meet Anadyr and his cool ability, I've always had a thing for people that can somehow control the elements *cough Avatar/Korra cough*. So wicked!

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    1. Ha ha I know what you mean!! I just love good magic in general :)

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  2. Ooooh... interesting. I usually expect a lot from the first book in the series, for it to grab my attention and keep me intrigued. It is good to see it was done well enough to want to read more. Nice review!

    Thanks for sharing Chanzie!
    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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    1. Thanks Naomi :) Yips first books can go either way!

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