An Aurora YA Review: Noble Falling (The Halvarian Ruin Books #1) by Sara Gaines


Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Noble Falling coverDuchess Aleana Melora of Eniva, future queen of Halvaria, is resigned to the gilded cage of her life, facing a loveless marriage to Tallak, the prospective king, and struggling under the pressure to carry on the family name despite her wish to find a woman to love.

When her convoy is attacked on the journey to Tallak’s palace, Aleana is saved by her guard, Ori, only to discover her people have turned against her and joined forces with the kingdom of Dakmor, Halvaria’s greatest enemy. Her only hope is to reach Tallak, but she and Ori don’t make it far before another attack and an unlikely rescue by Kahira, a Dakmoran woman banished from her kingdom for reasons she is hesitant to share.

Though Kahira is marked as a criminal, Aleana’s heart makes itself known. Aleana is facing danger and betrayal at every turn, and she fears giving in to her desires will mean she will enter her marriage knowing exactly the kind of passion she will never have as the Halvarian Queen—if she survives long enough to be crowned.

Noble Falling (The Halvarian Ruin Books #1) by Sara Gaines was very good, but I can’t help thinking that I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the books in order. Now, that’s no fault of the author, but, to anyone who’s thinking about reading Noble Falling or Noble Persuasion, I would really recommend to read the books in order so that you can appreciate the plot and not know the direction of the story when you read Noble Falling.

So, I read the books in the wrong order, but even with that being said, the whole of the series’ plot was very enjoyable and I had a good time reading both of the books. I would say that I enjoyed both the books about equally, and there were some moments that, simply because I’d already read the sequel, I found to be a little too much of an explanation. But it never drew me out of the story, and I enjoyed the characters in this book as much as I did when I read the sequel.

On its own, the book is an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend that you at least give this book a chance of you like fantasy. I would bet that if you do you’ll look forward to reading the sequel. The series is definitely solid and it’s a fun read with interesting characters who grow throughout the books in a way that’s enjoyable for a reader to observe.

The cover artist for this book is Paul Richmond. Like the cover for the second book in the series, this cover is also very simple, but it’s still visually appealing. There’s a very clear tie between the first book and the second through the covers and it’s easy for a reader to connect the two when they’re looking at reading the series.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 182 pages, also available in paperback
Published October 15th 2012 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN 1623800854 (ISBN13: 9781623800857)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Halvarian Ruin Books

The Halvarian Ruin Books in the order they were written and should be read:


An Aurora YA Review: The Key of Behliseth by Lou Hoffmann


Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Key of Behliseth“On his way to meet a fate he’d rather avoid, homeless gay teen Lucky steps through a wizard’s door and is caught up in a whirlwind quest and an ancient war. He tries to convince himself that his involvement with sword fights, magic, and interworld travel is a fluke, and that ice-breathing dragons and fire-breathing eagles don’t really exist. But with each passing hour, he remembers more about who he is and where he’s from, and with help, he begins to claim his power.

Lucky might someday rule a nation, but before he can do that, he must remember his true name, accept his destiny, and master his extraordinary abilities. Only then can he help to banish the evil that has invaded earth and find his way home—through a gateway to another world.” – blurb

The Key of Behliseth is a book about a seemingly ordinary – although wholly unfortunate – fifteen year old boy named Lucky with a past that brings a great deal of complications into his life.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would love to read it again. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves high-fantasy or young adult books. The book is grounded enough in modern life that it can appeal to people who aren’t necessarily avid fantasy readers, but it also has enough fantasy elements and an engaging enough plot that fantasy readers will almost certainly enjoy it, too. The main character, Lucky, is a very realistic hero. When he’s thrown into things that, to him, don’t make much sense, he doesn’t just immediately understand. He’s confused and has questions and is a very realistically flawed character. The story overall is also very interesting. The plot is complex, but represented in such a way that it’s easy and fun for a reader to understand.

One thing that tended to pull me out of the story in the first few chapters was the way Lucky spoke versus the way the narration was phrased. They seemed to be on two different levels. The narration was just phrased more the way an old fantasy book would be, where Lucky was in modern times and spoke with a more contemporary feel. As the story progressed, I got used to it, and it didn’t distract from the story so much that I didn’t enjoy the book.
Cover Artist: Catt Ford – The cover art for this book is beautiful. The blues and golds and blacks really make it appealing to the eye even before a person looks more closely at what the pictures on the cover are. It’s very indicative of what the book will be about and I think it’s a very well done cover, and well suited to the book.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press      All Romance eBook         amazon        Key to Behliseth

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd , 296 pages
Published September 11th 2014 by Harmony Ink Press (first published November 2010)
NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed.
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title 2nd Edition
original titleBeyond the Wizard’s Threshold
ISBN 1632162482 (ISBN13: 9781632162489)