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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, February 3, 2020

REVIEW & GP - The Goddess’s Choice ( The Kronicles of Korthlundian #1) by Jamie Marchant

The three volumes of The Kronicles of Korthlundia plus The Ghost in Exile: A Korthlundian Kronicle brought together.
the collection features several bonus short stories, previously available only to members of my readers’ club.


REVIEW

Often, authors allow us to have their books for nothing. Thank you! Sometimes, among these offers, I discover some quite lively, charming stories. The Goddess’ Choice, book #1 of the Kronicles of Korthlundia (which was waiting for its turn since almost three years ago) is one of these stories. 

It is a fantasy book (not quite an epic one even if it has a lot of the genre elements) which was presented by some readers as a young adult. Because of some very short, but with impact scenes, I have some reservations and I would put the book on the (at least) upper young adult shelf. 

In this fantastic mélange of supernatural, magic, religion, ruling, and social issues, the prejudices, bigotry, expectations, dangers, (im)morality and outcomes of the old deeds will pencil our characters’ trials. It is not a love story per se, love serving the bigger plot. But love is not reserved for the main characters. Love or its absence is important for most of the characters, main or supporting, and influences the course of the story. There are numerous conflicts and also enough action, some sword fights and the good of the kingdom at stake. 

The author created two worlds within one. First one is the one of Robbie’s (his name will change in Robrek as he matured). It is a world of prejudices, of religion, of simple needs of the simple persons too used to listen to their (infamous) priests and cultivated to fear the unknown (even if they use “magic”). The second world is one of Samantha’s, the world of the kings and high nobles. This world is dominated by the thirst for power in opposition with the desperation of the good, (but still imperfect as she is in the process to mature) princess to rule without needing a husband. Ordinary or noble, it doesn’t matter, all are capable of the worst and the best. These two separate worlds will come together through the connection between the two main characters. Robbie and Sam must fight together for each other and against their enemies. They will be harshly tested. 

It could be a challenge for those readers used with the modern (commercial?) stories due to a large number of pages. But, between the author’s style, wording, alternation of the points of view/stages, and of all that it is happening the pages flow quickly. 

Try it, is very possible to like it. I’m now going to start the next volumes, starting with #2.5 The Ghost in Exile – as he is my favourite :P  Enjoy!

GUEST POST
(Difficult) Choices and Epic Fantasy stories

The most difficult choice an author has to make is killing an important character. (Although George R.R. Martin doesn’t seem to have any trouble in this regard.) A piece of my soul goes into every character I create. They are dear to me, and it can be heartbreaking to consign one of them to death. I have spent countless hours weeping as I’ve written a character’s end, and many of my readers have told me that I have left them in tears.

If death is so heart wrenching, why not just let everyone live?

An author who does this robs her work of its full power. For one, if readers are secure that everyone will survive, much of the tension is drained from a story. Whenever a character is in a seemingly life-threatening situation, readers can rest secure that the beloved character will triumph. They have no anxiety and can easily put down the book, knowing nothing bad will happen in their absence. But an author who lets important characters die invades readers’ complacency. Readers turn the pages in trepidation and will let nothing come between them and the story. That tension makes the eventual outcome so much more deeply felt. When the character makes it out alive, readers feel true relief, even elation. And when the character doesn’t, their grief can feel like the loss of a dear friend.

But effecting a reader’s emotions isn’t the only reason authors of epic fantasy should allow characters to die. In epic fantasy, the stakes are always high. Epic fantasy involves the fate of kingdoms and entire peoples. When the stakes are that high, realism demands that lives are lost, and if all those who die are always bad or unimportant people, the story can feel trite, and death becomes almost a joke. A situation like the red shirts in the original Star Trek series emerges. As watchers of the series, we knew that none of the main characters were going to die, but when an unknown character wearing a red shirt joined an away party, we knew something bad would happen to that character and shortly Dr. McCoy would be saying, “He’s dead, Jim.” Death becomes something to be laughed at, rather than the true tragedy the loss of life is. 

While sometimes important characters need to die, an author can go too far in this regard. (Sometimes, I think Martin does.) If important characters die too often, readers hesitate to feel attached to any of them. Why bother caring about a character if they are likely to be dead a hundred pages later? Knowing a character will likely die robs the book of nearly as much tension as knowing that she will live.

That’s why, I believe, that killing an important character is the most difficult choice for an author to make. Life shouldn’t be cheap in the fantasy realm any more than it should be cheap in reality. But in reality, people do die and our heart breaks with their loss. When authors allow readers to experience this in the worlds they create, something magical happens.

Description:

Magic, love, hate, torture, heroes, and a story that will never stop blowing your mind!” Cheree~For Love of Books 

The three volumes of The Kronicles of Korthlundia plus The Ghost in Exile: A Korthlundian Kronicle brought together for one low price. In addition to the novels, the collection features several bonus short stories, previously available only to members of my readers’ club. 

The Goddess’s Choice (#1) -In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy. 

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane--or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon. 

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war. 

The Soul Stone (#2) - A match made by the goddess is threatened by an Ancient Evil. 

As Samantha and Robrek prepare for their marriage and coronation, they are met with opposition on all sides. Not all believe that the peasant sorcerer is worthy to be king, and the young couple must perform delicate political maneuvers to prevent the joined kingdoms from breaking apart. 

As the church splits over opposition to their union, an unseen force is poised to release an ancient evil that was last defeated a thousand years ago. When the Soul Stone is broken free of its bonds, all life in its path succumbs to its power. How much will the new royal couple have to sacrifice to free the joined kingdoms of its evil? 

The Ghost in Exile (#2.5) -A special Kronicle outside of the series that tells the story of Darhour. The novel takes place at the same time as The Soul Stone. The Ghost is going to hell. Not even the goddess can forgive his sins: assassin, oath-breaker, traitor (an affair with the queen earned him that title). No one can ever learn the princess is his daughter. To keep this secret, he flees to the land that turned him from a simple stable groom into an infamous killer. 

His mission now? To find evildoers and take them to hell with him. But when an impulsive act of heroism saddles him with a damsel who refuses to be distressed, her resilience forces him to question why he really ran from his daughter. 

The Shattered Throne (#3) - Queen Samantha’s spirit brightens as the festival of renewal approaches. The Ancient Evil that drained life from the land has been destroyed, and life is returning to the joined kingdoms. The birth of her heir gives her even more reason to celebrate. But a coup orchestrated by the unlikely alliance between a freedom-loving count and a fanatical church shatters both her plans and the ancient throne itself. 

With her infant daughter missing and death and destruction spreading, Samantha finds herself faced with an impossible choice: save her daughter or her people. Already torn between a mother’s love and her duties as a queen, Samantha learns that an even greater danger threatens: the goddess herself is fading. What sacrifices will Samantha have to make to stop an evil god from taking Sulis’s place?

About the author:
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone, The Ghost in Exile, The Shattered Throne, and The Bull Riding Witch. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies Urban Fantasy, Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, and Waiting for a Kiss. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and five cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son. 

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11 comments:

Victoria Alexander said...

Great review and I love all of the covers! Thanks for sharing :)

Jamie Marchant said...

Thank you for hosting me, and thanks for the review. I love interacting with readers, so I'll be checking back throughout the day and would be happy to answer any questions.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

James Robert said...

Thank you for sharing this book, it sounds like a very great read and I'm glad I got to hear about it.

katieoscarlet said...

I'm glad this author started writing at a young age as this sounds like an excellent reads

CCAM said...

@Jamie Marchant

You're welcome!

But I must say that your Guest Post scared me!!! Reading the blurbs of the next books in the series, I just hope you didn't kill Robbie or Ghost! It is too late to ask you not to do it... I wonder who is.. maybe the Ghost as a redemption... or as a penalty for breaking his oath.. hm... so many possibilities... Ok, I'll hope you talked about another series... hmmm

@everybody

thank you for your comments and appreciation; Good luck!

Nancy Payette said...

Great cover

Michele S. said...

I love all the covers.. the art is so lovely...

Bridgett Wilbur said...

Great cover.

tetewa said...

I like all the covers!