Read The Heart of Arcrea by Nicole Sager Online


“He who discovers the heart of Arcrea and joins the hands of the seven regions will be king.” Set during a forgotten age of kings and queens, knights and nobles, wise-men and warlords, The Heart of Arcrea follows the story of Druet the blacksmith, who, hoping to free his father from an unjust imprisonment, sets out on a quest that will solve an ancient riddle and crown a m“He who discovers the heart of Arcrea and joins the hands of the seven regions will be king.” Set during a forgotten age of kings and queens, knights and nobles, wise-men and warlords, The Heart of Arcrea follows the story of Druet the blacksmith, who, hoping to free his father from an unjust imprisonment, sets out on a quest that will solve an ancient riddle and crown a man as Arcrea’s first king. A host of memorable characters join Druet on his mission of justice, but opposition quickly rises to test their level of commitment and their faith in God. Will the dangerous wilds of Arcrea and her seven oppressive lords succeed in bringing an end to Druet’s quest and crush forever the kingdom’s hopes for a just king?What is this heart of Arcrea and where is it to be found? “You must discover it for yourself.”...

Title : The Heart of Arcrea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781479361885
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 350 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Heart of Arcrea Reviews

  • Shantelle
    2019-06-02 00:53

    I really enjoyed reading another book from Nicole Sager! The Heart of Arcrea was adventurous, humorous, and quite thoughtful. I liked it very much!Book One in THE ARCREAN CONQUEST series, it introduces us to the land of Arcrea, a humble blacksmith named Druet, and a legend of a hidden heart - the discovery of which will make a man the first king.As desperate situations call for desperate measures, Druet embarks on a journey to find this heart, and gains many a merry friend along the way.It was fun! Nicole Sager does a wonderful job with her fantasy world! Strange and fantastical creatures abound, such as giant carnivorous plants and fierce fiery-breathing creatures of sorts. Also, we have dragons and the like! ^_^And those characters! This author always has a brilliant array of characters! Such a diverse and delightful cast! Time and again, they gave me a good laugh with their humor or just their quirky personality! *grins* So much fun. Oh, and some made me furiously mad as well ... thought I should mention that!But yes. Nicole Sager is such a good author. Clean, Christian, non-magical fantasy stories for the whole family! I did guess some elements of the plot, but I was still moved by the poignant way it was brought across in the end! I look forward to finishing this series, and continuing reading the companion novels (Hebbros and Burdney), which are awesome!Highly recommend this author! ^_^

  • Deborah
    2019-06-02 17:09

    I just want to say, right from the get-go, that this book is a great beginning to this Christian Fantasy series. Even though it starts out a bit slow, the rest of the book makes up for it after you get going. Nicole has “a way with words” you could say.The characters are awesome; I laughed out loud a few times with Nathaniel, my heart broke with Renny and I was in there teasing Bracy right along with Talon. It was a joy to see all the characters personalities bought out and see them grow in their walk with Christ.The whole plot and message isn’t something simple, but Nicole did a great job of bringing the whole story to light. I was thoroughly intrigued.I highly recommend this book and the whole series.

  • Alice
    2019-06-18 01:02

    This is an AMAZING-christian-medieval-fiction book that everyone of ALL ages NEEDS to read! It has a fast moving plot that never gets boring and is so exciting(with tons of unexpected turns and discoveries you never even thought to expect), and TONS of amazing characters; some that you love, and some...not so much. ;) 6 out of 5 stars! READ this book!

  • Star Shining Forever
    2019-06-22 23:59

    This was a great read! No magic but clearly a fantasy because of some fictional names, creatures and plants. I loved the strong Christian message! Not often you get that in a fantasy. What it really reminded me of was the Burns Family Studios movie "Pendragon," which I LOVE B-) A boy's father being taken from him, a passionate quest, a strong moral character, an important sword, a girl archer, a sword dance, spies, a princess who changes sides, a gentle giant, a betrayal, a marriage at the end... And because they were 9 companions (for most of the book) it was like the Fellowship of the Ring, which is also cool ;-) The characters are amazing... Druet is really someone you can sympathize with and Nathaniel is the perfect "mate" for him. Renny...girls archers for the win!! And Talon and Bracy are hilarious—I was reminded of Legolas and Gimli ;-) The medieval setting is well done. The fights are really well written. The mystery is well carried out...I was still guessing through most of the book. And I thought the spy has amazing potential in the rest of the series...I guess I'll find out in the next books ;-)Thanks to Nicole for writing a great story (looking forward to the next ones!) and setting up the free giveaway, and thanks to Alice for letting us know about it! :-DOh, and:"We found the heart of Arcrea and all I got was this stupid tunic." Best. Line. Ever. ;-D

  • Sarah
    2019-06-01 23:44

    Age Appropriate For: Ages 12 + (some mild violence)Best for Ages: 12-18Some self-published books leave you wanting to toss the book in the trash and write a horrible review, no matter how well intentioned the book was. Some of them leave you apathetic. Some make you wonder why a publisher hasn’t picked it up. A few leave you amazed and thankful that the author stepped out in faith and published. The Heart of Arcrea was one of those few.From the moment I opened this book I didn’t want to put it down. Not only was it well written and the story engaging, but the characters were well developed and I found myself loving them. Druet’s ever growing band of followers offered many moments of laughter, as well as some very profound ones.One of the things I most loved about this story is that I could tell it came from Nicole’s heart. I have read many books that are well written and developed, but there are few that I have read that I feel like I connect to the author’s heart. This story made that connection.The pictures that she painted with her words (as well as her illustrations) helped me to see this story unfold. If fact, at one point I really felt like I had been watching a movie she painted such a vivid picture. She has talent I wish I had.I can’t say enough about this story. There is no magic. The only reason to classify it as a fantasy is that it takes place in a fictional country, and there are some fantastical creatures and dangerous plants. Some very young children may find parts of it a little scary, but it is perfect for a family to read aloud.I highly recommend this for the non-magical fantasy lover, seeking a faith-building story of friendship, mystery, and adventure.I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

  • Jason McIntire
    2019-05-26 21:01

    "The Heart Of Arcrea" is non-magical fantasy, which means it's like "The Lord Of The Rings" without the wizardry and associated guilt for some Christian readers. (For the record, I'm not a reader of LOTR.) The author handles the genre well, building an interesting story that could have happened, set in a place that could have existed, with circumstantial and animalian adversaries that seem plausible.What I liked:- The Gospel is shared in a meaningful way that doesn't seem tacked on.- The major plotline, finding "the heart," and the subplot of finding the traitor, both maintain their questions and get to their conclusions without becoming irritating or repetitive.- The characters are diverse and interact well with each other.- Fights with man and beast are handled without excessive descriptions of blood, etc.- Further to the above, the beasts fought by Druet et al are scary enough to be taken seriously, but not too terrifying for middle school kids. Okay, maybe the ignispats are a little too scary for bedtime. And the man-eating carnatur plants. And the catawylds. But the flying dragons... well, yeah, they're a little scary too.- Speaking of catawylds, I like the names the author concocts for people and things. They range from ordinary (Alice, Nathaniel, Rodney) to distinctive (Renny, Bracy, Talon) to exotic (Mizgalia, the Brikbone Mountains) and they all sound real. Some authors go wild with syllables you can't pronounce, let alone remember.- All the romance is either whimsical or dispassionate.What I didn't like:- Opening was a little weak, with Druet setting out on his quest suddenly and with a fuzzy rationale. Ditto for his first followers joining him. They seem to be there because the author told them to show up, and for little other reason. Story developed well from that point, though.- It's hard to see why the people are all excited about Druet before he has really done much of anything. For the first half of the book, his heroics are pretty much limited to one charitable act for one village.- Druet spends too much time on the D/L. Couldn't another character have taken a serious wound or two?- There were some typos, of the kind that spell check brings (e.g. reigns for reins).- Everything seemed to be building up to an epic battle at the end, but there wasn't one. Bummer.- Also at the end, the segue into the sequel makes the epilogue drag on further than it should.If you like knights and heroics, but you don't like blood and wizardry, you'll like "The Heart Of Arcrea." I did.

  • Michaela
    2019-06-07 16:58

    The Heart of ArcreaThe Heart of Arcrea, by Nicole Sager, begins with the story of a kingdom discovered by seven men. However, there came to birth a problem: to whom would the kingship of this land belong? Which of the seven would rule this newly-found land?"The old man listened to the plea of each and saw the pride that clouded the seven hearts. Each man was intent only on the selfish gain to be had through a kingship. Each man craved the power, the wealth, and the greatness that would come from bearing the new title. A quarrel broke out among them and lasted the length of half an hour, and then Ulric raised his hands. The seven explorers fell silent, waiting to hear which name would fall from the ancient's lips…'Well then,' Ulric nodded slowly and scanned the group with a steady gaze, 'He who discovers the heart of Arcrea and joins the hands of the seven regions will be king… only the man who truly discovers the heart will be able to join the seven regions in a lasting union. All other attempts will fail."After a number of years have passed, the heart of Arcrea still had not been found, and many had given up on the hope that there ever would be a king of Arcrea. The story presses onward with the introduction of a blacksmith, Druet; who, filled with righteous indignation at the imprisonment of his innocent father, embarks on a journey to discover the heart of Arcrea. Not for the glory of the crown, but for the freedom of his father, does Druet traverse through the seven regions and encounter the dangers and plights to discover the heart along with his band of friends.I, personally, am not a huge fan of books taken from a guy's perspective, but the way this book was written captured me; actually, I enjoyed the style of writing in this book, and I really can not imagine this book written differently. Another bonus to this book was that the Lord was woven into the story, as well as many Biblical principles. Many times in Christian-fiction books, it references prayer from the characters simply as 'he prayed'; instead, in this book, when Druet prayed it included his entire prayers or portions of them, creating a sense of legitimacy and not just formality. Another point that I enjoyed in this book was that Druet was humble, and not vain or selfish in his quest for the heart. I felt that Druet's character was well-founded, in that he wasn't perfect, yet was able to overcome temptations with the Lord's assistance. I definitely enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend it. The Heart of Arcrea is probably suited for the ages of eight through seventeen. If you enjoy adventure, Christian fiction, fantasy (note: there is no magic in this book), or just a good book, you will definitely enjoy this book. I'm very eager to read the rest of the series.

  • Nicole
    2019-06-14 21:12

    You know, I could sit and talk about how much I love this book :) but what I think is even more important is how much I enjoyed writing this book! Each writing project proves to me more and more how great God is, and how fully capable He is to strengthen me and teach me! And yes, I love this book, and I'm constantly amazed by how much I still enjoy looking through it and reading it (you'd think after staring at the same words on a screen for months I'd get kinda sick of it!). I only hope that this story is as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write, and that it blesses you even half as much as it has blessed me!"Let God be magnified!"

  • Rachel
    2019-06-19 19:59

    I found this for free on Amazon...normally I steer away from anything that may be too fanciful but judging by the description on Amazon and taking a helpful peak at the book itself (and written by a homeschooler!) I decided it was worth the try. :)"Only the man who has truly discovered the heart will be able to join the seven regions in a lasting union. All other attempts will fail." -- the story of one man on his quest for the heart...what is the heart and where to find it, no one for generations has been able to discover. Along the way friendships are formed and lessons are learned and a faith in God is put to the test again and again. "We need a man to be king; a man who will rule by God's standards and not His own."Nicole has woven a tale so beautiful, so exuberant that it will enchant anyone who reads it! Though I found a few little things here and there in the writing that could have been improved upon it didn't hinder from the story at all - the farther along in the book I went the more I enjoyed it and the better her writing became! She has painstakingly illustrated the book herself adding a nice charm to it. As I said I do not like a lot of fantasy but I found a "Narnian" quality to her book in the way she described the few creatures she had created; no magic whatsoever; and a wholesome story overall that I think both young and old would be delighted to read. :)My favorite part about this story? The faith! Nicole is bold in proclaiming her faith in the Lord through her characters and I believe this even may be a book some would be able to gift to unbeliever's that enjoy the more fanciful readings with a good conscience. "Whether you find the heart of Arcrea or no, God has a purpose for this journey just as He does for all others."I wavered between rating this book 4 stars to 5 stars all throughout my reading of it...the unique, surprising (and hilarious) proposal scene clinched a 5-star rating for me. {I can't wait to read book #2!} I would say if you absolutely don't like fanciful creatures...don't read this book, but if you don't mind the occasional Narnian fanciful Christian-based tale and like your adventure books to encourage your faith in the Lord then give this one a try! Other than the 4 types of creatures I found nothing else that would discourage others in the reading of it (it wasn't even scary, so younger reader's are welcome to it!).I am so proud to see another young Christian homeschooler making her mark and sharing her faith with the world and I pray the Lord would continue to use her. :)

  • Jessica
    2019-06-19 20:47

    I've heard and read rave reviews about this series from my older sister and friends and was happy to finally sit down and have a chance to read it for myself.There is absolutely nothing to hate about this book and everything to love about it! The characters, the story, the faith message – they were all spot on.I love Nicole's characters. Druet, Nathaniel, Bracy, Renny... the whole gang is endearing and there is such an array of characters that there is someone for every type of reader to like.Nicole's Writing is wonderful. She writes with such a fluid, simple technique but every word and image she creates makes a huge impact on readers. Everything in the plotline makes sense, and yet surprises. There were several times where I thought for sure that I had everything figured out only to discover that it was quite the opposite. Her writing feels fresh, clean, and exciting. I felt like I became a better writer for having read her work. I kept stopping and thinking, “I never thought of that,” and then logging techniques away to use in my future book endeavors. I fully plan on reading this whole series in the years to come, if only to be inspired in my own writing pursuits.I loved the message that Nicole shared. It was so lovely and heart-felt (pun intended). It was a clean Christian read. Perfect for any age group and I would say it's even a great book for families with younger children to read aloud.Most of all, I loved that this book didn't feel like it was self published. The standard of excellence was evident. There were few spelling and grammar mistakes, the flow of the story was easy and clear, and her writing voice was both practiced and professional sounding. She really knew what she was doing with her book and I loved that I could just sit back and enjoy the ride – trusting that the author knew exactly what direction to take me in to guide me through her characters lives.“The Heart of Arcrea” has everything a reader could hope for. It has adventure for the boys, romance for the girls, faith messages for improving young and old minds alike, and full out fun comedy that will have you laughing even days later.I give this book a HUGE five star rating and cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

  • Mikayla
    2019-06-09 01:08

    I read this for (I believe) the third time and it never disappoints. Even though I knew what was going to happen at every turn, it still made me laugh outright in places, smile to myself in others and at one point squeal it delight. That is a very rare thing for a book to make me do. Thank you Nicole Sager for writing such a delightful, and faith building book.

  • Mikayla
    2019-06-25 23:59

    I decided to re-read this today. I got it done in four hours, all in one sitting. :) It never ceases to amaze me how amazing this book is, the characters are very engaging. I LOVE Druet. :)

  • Aerykah
    2019-06-11 00:52

    Great book! Really enjoyed it!Looking forward to reading more of yours, Nicole! :)

  • Lisa Norato
    2019-06-21 01:08

    I have never read a young adult Christian fantasy novel and was curious about Nicole Sager's THE HEART OF ARCREA. Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised with this action-packed, inspiring novel and Nicole's amazing storytelling talent! A humble blacksmith makes for an endearing hero as he embarks on a perilous journey (in Lord of the Rings fashion) to find the heart of Arcrea. Along the way, he collects a band of loyal followers who make for very entertaining characters. Nicole Sager is a bright, new talent who I believe will go far in the world of Christian fiction. Great read!

  • Alyssa
    2019-06-17 00:12

    I really, really like happy endings. I like stories about gallant young adventures wielding famed swords and conquering mysterious beasts. I like tales about traitorous, but good spies and devious, villainous ones. I like narratives about an elusive woman with a secret identity. I like anecdotes about a secret flower with incomprehensible healing powers. I like romances between an unlikely pair. And I like novels about a man of God fighting against those powers which would thwart his God-given mission to unite a kingdom and rule with love and mercy.This book wasn't a long read, but it was a really fun one! Nicole has a great precise writing style that is quite easy to read. It was exciting, but not violent, so it's the perfect book to enjoy as a familly. There were many twists in the story that I certainly didn't anticipate, and I loved the characters she wove into the book. My favorite character was probably Nathaniel - he was witty, but also capable of serious thinking. He was sweet, strong, and able to read people well, like Druet. (view spoiler)[And his relationship with Lady Alice was darling! :) (hide spoiler)] Renny's multi-faceted personality was very well crafted - I became more and more curious about and interested in her as the story developed. Talon and Bracy's quarrelsome relationship added a tinge of lighthearted humor to the journey - Bracy's tunic was a constant source of amusement especially. Poor guy - he just couldn't stay well-dressed for very long! ;) And I enjoyed seeing Talon change (view spoiler)[after he accepted Christ as his Savior (hide spoiler)]. There were some great quote-able moments in the book, as well.Great job, Nicole, on writing such a fascinating book with such strong Christian themes woven throughout it! It was a pleasure to read. :)p.s. If anyone wants to borrow my Kindle version of this book, just let me know. :)

  • Claire Banschbach
    2019-05-30 00:05

    I got this book as a present for my younger sister mostly because I wanted to read it. It's a fun adventure story with a strong Christian theme. The characters were all individual and fun. I especially enjoyed Talon and Bracy and I'd love to see more of Falconer. The story moved very quickly, which is not a huge complaint of mine. It kept the story moving along. I'm looking forward to getting the other books in the series and meeting these characters again! Just in case you wondered- my sister enjoyed it, too. As did our other siblings. :)

  • Micaiah
    2019-06-26 23:11

    This was an enjoyable read, and big thanks to the author for creating a fun series!! (Rating: 3.75 stars, I think)My brother's rating: 5 stars...he loved it! And was really sad when we finished it!

  • Sarah Allerding
    2019-06-12 22:12

    I really enjoyed this book! The story got so exciting that I could hardly put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I look forward to reading more in this series.

  • Carol
    2019-05-30 00:13

    Excellent read, great story, so much action, and above all filled with faith. Truly enjoyed it, great job Nicole!

  • Allison Hawbaker
    2019-06-17 01:12

    It was an enjoyable book. I really appreciated being able to read a fantasy without any magic in it.I really like it. It's a little rough, showing that it is the author's first published work, but it's good. The characters are interesting, and the adventure intriguing.

  • Gabrielle
    2019-06-26 01:00

    I liked the premise of this book when I first heard of it, and decided to give it a try. It was slow going through the first part, and my expectations dropped. I considered not finishing it, but then decided to push through it. And I am so glad I did!The feel reminds me a lot of both Chuck Black's Kingdom series and Jaye L. Knight's books. It's set in a fictional medieval kingdom, but still retains some sense of being "real," as the characters in the story are well aware of the Gospel and Jesus. I would almost call it more of a historical fiction then a fantasy-except for all the awesome fantasy creatures. Ignispats, (come on, isn't that just fun to say?) carnaturs, and catawylds are a few, along with your traditional dragon. The mythical creatures were definitely one of my favorite parts of the book.The characters in themselves were also very excellently drawn. Though they seemed a little flat at first part, they rounded out well in the rest of the book. There was a clear distinction between the good characters, and the bad characters. I never felt like the protagonists were a bad example, which is a problem with some of today's young adult books. My only beef with this, however, is that the main protagonist, Druet, felt a little too perfect. I felt like he needed some more flaws to make him seem more human.The plot was fun as well, but a little bit predictable. I pretty much guessed how it was going to turn out from the very first part of the book. The author did surprise me with some twists and turns, that I did not expect, though, so it's not entirely without excitement. (FYI: it does end on a cliffhanger. You are warned.) Overall, it seemed tastefully done. A pure, encouraging book is hard to find now a days, and this was a refreshment to my soul. Younger kids especially are sure to enjoy it, and this would make excellent read-aloud. I recommend it heartily.Content guide:Language 2/10 (mild name-calling)Violence 4/10 (several injuries, some serious, but handled well. Not gory or overly graphic)Sexual Content 0/10Rating: 4 starsRecommended for 8 and up. *Many thanks to the author for providing a copy to review!*For more reviews, see and

  • Deborah O'Carroll
    2019-06-06 18:50

    I really wanted to like this book! And I did like parts of it, a LOT. I mean, I absolutely loved Druet! He was awesome, a great character. (view spoiler)[(And Falconer, even though I was worried he wouldn't stay good. But I loved how he changed! That was awesome. <3) (hide spoiler)] And there were parts that were imaginative, and certain moments when a part of a scene stood out and I could "see" everything. So when I could see past the errors of punctuation and writing, and general unprofessional feel of the book, as well as the plot holes--when I could see past those problems, I enjoyed parts of it a lot! It's just that a lot of it reminded me of stuff I used to write when I was thirteen. Which... had me cringing more than I would have liked. :-/ But that's clearly my own problem.I could see real potential in it, so perhaps the author's future books are much better! No offense to the author or any other self published authors, but many self-published books don't seem to be "ready" yet. (I'm sorry; I'm a perfectionist and it really does affect how I see a book and I feel horrible about it but that's how it is. *sadface*) I was very glad I read it though, for the good parts, and am extremely thankful to my friend for lending it to me! I'll remember the good parts for a long time. :) And if the next one found its way across my path, I might read it... out of curiosity... Especially if certain characters were in the next one.Overall, several parts of it would get a resounding four-stars, but the unprofessional quality and generally poorly constructed plot lower it to three. But I'm sure that although it was not exactly my cup of tea, a lot of people would enjoy it--if you like adventurous fantasy stories but are picky about wanting them to have no magic or want a Christian message in it, try The Heart of Arcrea. A non-perfectionist version of me would probably have loved it. :)

  • Stargazer R.L.
    2019-06-01 19:49

    Okay . . . I really enjoyed this book. Like, REALLY enjoyed this book. Like, more then anything I've read in AGES. I loved all the characters, Druet, Nathaniel, Talon, Bracy, (view spoiler)[ Renny, Falconer(hide spoiler)] ... All of them. I loved Arcrea, it's an awesome world. I loved the quest, the story. . . the everything. This book hooked me and I was frantically searching for more pages and staring in dismay at the "About the Author" page when I realized it was over. I can't wait till I get my hands on the next book!My favorite thing about the book was Druet. Druet is a perfect character who doesn't have a SINGLE flaw. Not only that but he's awesome and I just loved him. It's characters like Druet that inspire me to be good. There should be more characters like Druet and less characters like Bracy in Christan Fiction. (Although I absolutely LOVED Bracy, his attitude is no good.)My one complaint: (view spoiler)[ THE DOG DIED. *WAILS* Poor Anvil. He didn't deserve it. After all the times he ALMOST died, he really DID die and it was just so sad. I feel bad about it but I would have rather had Rodney really have been run over by a cart then it being a trap and Anvil getting killed. And by Druet's own sword too! *sobs*(hide spoiler)]But all in all this book was great!

  • Melissa Jacobson
    2019-06-04 19:43

    This book was a whim buy for me, I didn't have anything I was currently reading so I picked up this book on Amazon for a few bucks. I was expecting a cute story with a moral at the end but ended up with a wonderful adventure that kept me turning the pages and lovable characters that made me root for them from the moment I met them. The illustrations were also a very nice touch adding a tangible idea of what our hero's look like. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to any one who is a fan of the fantasy genre. Nicole weaves in her belief's (which also happen to be mine) in a seamless way and is very up front about it without cramming it down her readers throat which is, unfortunately, the case with many Christian fiction writers. I am excited to dive into the next book set in this richly cultivated world.

  • Rebekah
    2019-06-15 18:58

    I was a little hesitant to start this book as I am not particularly fond of the time period in which it is set. So I was surprised when I found myself getting pulled into the story as the chapters rolled by. I was intrigued by the twist and suspense in the storyline. I liked the hint of allegory the story left me thinking on. Great book! Looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

  • Sarah
    2019-06-14 22:43

    My friend recommended this book to me and I greatly enjoyed it. The story was very well written - the language wasn't forced or stilted, there was adventure and mystery, and the suspense wasn't easy to solve. I kept trying to figure out the mystery people were and I really mostly couldn't!

  • Leah Jay
    2019-06-07 00:48

    Lovely lovely! I would definitely recommend this book to all my friends that love to read. I flew through it despite it's large size, and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Hope to continue the series very soon!

  • Hannahh
    2019-05-30 00:50

    I really enjoyed this book! I am not particularly fond of this time period. So I was surprised when I found myself being pulled into this book. I loved all of the characters and the adventure. It was an enjoyable read! Now I want to read the next one in the series!!

  • Casey Schoepflin
    2019-06-03 17:07

    Good clean adventureStretches things a little at timesRomantic foreshadowing wasn't necessary on my account. Certainly plenty of surprises that keep things moving

  • English
    2019-06-19 20:00

    I had heard quite a lot about this author’s books, and seen that they were popular before I decided to request to borrow a copy of her first one on a Kindle Lending site. As the story goes, it certainly delivers a clean, godly fantasy story free of objectionable elements that carried important messages about salvation and the Christian life. Even if it takes a while to ‘get into’ there is enough excitement to keep the reader interested, and for the story to stick in the mind after they have finished reading it. As that sort of heroic fantasy in which the characters have to engage in a perilous quest or journey, it isn’t bad. There are certainly some lovable, unforgettable and unique characters, plenty of friendship, loyalty and even a smattering of romance- as well as a few- interesting made up creatures for the characters to Battle. I would certainly consider other works by this author, but, this one was not a favourite. Perhaps I will enjoy her later ones better if I come to read them. When it comes to the negatives, other reviewers have mentioned some editorial slip-ups and a few typos. I had two or three major issues. One is that whilst authors have a lot more freedom to create their own imaginative worlds in fantasy- I do not believe good fantasy should be entirely removed from reality as far as the basic realities of human nature are concerned. So, I really felt that Druet, the protagonist was far too perfect. Yes, sometimes he despaired of his mission- but that seemed to be his only fault. Dare I say that he also sometimes appeared annoyingly self-righteous and sanctimonious? I understand that he deplored injustice, and set of on his quest to bring just rule to the land- but it seemed to me that it was he and his friends who were the ones that ultimately decided and defined what this ‘justice’ entailed. Seemingly, anything that did not fit into their ideas of something akin to modern, democratic egalitarianism. One could be forgiven for being surprised that he even approved of the notion of having a King. There were also areas in which his idealism seemed hypocritical. For instance, he believed that peasants should not be oppressed or subjected to unfair taxes- yet condemned the practice of paying and housing soldiers in castles- giving them ‘the best food and accommodation’ as ‘coddling’ and ‘bribery’ to keep them loyal. So, were their masters just meant to let their soldiers freeze and starve- and not pay their retainers who often had families of their own to support- simply because they were not ‘peasants’? Not to mention that he and his comrades also seemed to be nigh on invincible. Druet himself was able to recover from serious injuries that bought him to the point of death more than once- with the help of some healers and a flower possessing miraculous healing properties. One could question why healers with years of experience had to rely on said plant, instead of making best use of their expertise and whatever other substances and natural remedies they might have had to hand with similar properties is anyone’s guess. The second major issue I had was the way in which all but one of the ‘nobles’ were cast as the villains and universally evil, greedy, corrupt, self-serving and tyrannical. Yet they seemed evil for no other reason that they were noble. As though being born to the noble classes somehow made a person inherently bad, and predisposed them to all of the negative traits above- whereas all of the peasants seemed inherently good, honourable, chivalrous, smart, strong and loyal- as well as possessed of an uncanny ability to defeat trained soldiers. OK, I understand that Americans don’t like nobles, or the idea of a hereditary aristocracy- but depictions like this get to me. I have seen it in other novels directed at people of certain races and nationalities (often the English), and I still deplore is as naïve, hateful, prejudiced and inaccurate. The scripture teaches us that all humans are inherently sinful- and (whilst I appreciate the author was not seeking to make any kind of theological statement) hence it is not something which is determined by class or race. Peasants in the past could be just as corrupt, greedy and violent as any money-grabbing or tyrannical Lord- and I think this should be put across. At one point it even seemed to be implied that nobles and their followers were somehow excluded from God's plan apparently because of their supposed inherent wickedness, when all commoners, even non-believers, were seemingly not. A theologically troubling notion if I do have it correct. Perhaps I may be accused of going into too much detail, or being too pedantic about a work of fantasy but I do believe these issues are worthy of note. As stated above, this novel did have its plus points, and I would certainly be interested enough to read more by this author- but I’m not sure I’d want to shell out the nearly £5 that Amazon UK charges for the privilege. I would recommend it, but it’s not a favourite- a little too much social prejudice for my liking.