A VVivacious Review: The King’s Sun (The Brass Machine #1) by Isaac Grisham

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Rating: 4 out of 5 exhilarated stars

Kitsune is the self-contained prince of Kitsunetsuki defined by his loyalty to his King, his Father, Oni. But when Oni banishes him from the kingdom, Kitsune is thrown off-kilter. Kitsune has no knowledge of what lies ahead of him and he has no idea of what his travels will unravel.

As he travels through Odom, skirts around the Wastelands to the Tribal lands, in search of the Harbinger to shed light on his path, he learns the truth about himself and his father. But more surprisingly he comes across the most undefinable emotion of all, love.

As love encompasses his mind and changes his perspective, what will happen to the mission that his brought him so far and what of the misguided loyalty that still belabours in his heart for his King.

This book will immediately inspire you to compare itself to much more prolific series that deal with the rise and fall of kingdoms but it lacks the complexity of plot that can only arise when you have multiple characters all with their own agenda pulling the plot in many different directions where it is always a challenge knowing who will succeed and how that will alter the chess board.

This book lacks all that complexity and overall has only two over-arching plotlines. Now the problem with having only two plotlines is that you know that they will eventually have to feed each other and the plot and so I had kind of guessed the most suspenseful event of this book from its blurb which was further validated when I started reading the book and then it actually came to be. So that would be its one downfall that the book lacks the complexity to hide the suspense of its storyline.

But, truthfully I liked the lack of complexity of over-arching agendas and plotlines where I am struggling to understand how they all come together. While those books are their own sort of fun, I really liked the way this book went about its storyline and that is saying something since I had already guessed its climax.

I really liked how magic was introduced in this book as something that Kitsune was sure of didn’t exist because it added a connection between him and me. Also, I like how magic was explored in this book.

I really liked Kitsune’s story I was so into it that the first detour that we took from his story to follow Saxma’s made me stop reading. I sometimes question authors changing perspectives when the storyline of one character is in jeopardy because it’s hard to read placid storylines when your heart is racing with adrenaline, it just had me really frustrated but later I really liked what Saxma brought to the story. I also liked how Saxma’s story is used to build up Oni and I can’t wait to see where that leads.

This story is essentially setting up the chessboard. By the end of the story we have all our main players in place and we know their backstories and where they are coming from and their motivations that will define their actions in the sequel which I would really like to get my hands on, hopefully soon.

This book is not a romance though love happens to be one of the great plot progressions in this book and I really liked the story of Darren’s lover. That idea of combining a story within a story was ingenious, in fact, some of the writing for that story related so well with life in general that it blew me away.

I have really come to like Kitsune and even though I can’t really understand his character, I am loving his story and I would love to know where it goes especially because of thecliffhanger that the so-called climax of this book was hiding which even I hadn’t guessed.

Cover Art by Dissect Designs.  I really loved the cover. It is so amazing with the title engulfed in fire on the background of a series of cogwheels. Also, talking about the cover reminds me of the analogy in this book, that of the brass machine and I loved the metaphor.

Buy Links 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble  – Paperback

 

Book Details:ebook, 298 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Cooper Blue Books, LLC
ISBN 173214060X (ISBN13: 9781732140608)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Brass Machine #1

A MelanieM Review:Locked (Telluric Realm #1) by Anyta Sunday

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

LockedA curse threatens the Winter Kingdom.
A brother is turned to ice.
A rebel uprising is on the horizon.

Marble-maker Rye Cunnings is at the center of it all—and doesn’t know it.

He doesn’t know he’s the lost summer prince. Doesn’t know his blood can unlock Winter’s curse. Doesn’t know why the marbles he makes flutter with magic. All he thinks is that he’s crazy. That he sees things others don’t, like dragons and strange markings on his skin.

But when a dark dragon snatches away Rye’s only friend Milo, he is forced to face the crazy in his life and figure out a way to bring Milo back.

Help comes in the form of Cerdic Leit, a warrior who finds Rye to take him “home” to the Telluric Realm and their kind. All Rye has to do is follow him into Gatreau, the gateway to the four Telluric kingdoms, and all his questions will be answered.

In the hopes of saving Milo, Rye steps into this new and dangerous world. A world where he learns of the Tellurics and their Hansian foes. A world that is swept up in a bitter battle of justice and hate.

And a world that won’t let Rye leave again.

I adore a wonderful fantasy saga and Anyta Sunday’s latest novel, Locked, has all the markings of making it into my top  fantasy list.  Its the first in her new series, Telluric Realm, and it sets the ground work not only for her series universe, which includes multiple dimensions, but a cast of characters complete with dragons, kingdoms at war, lost princes and curses that will break your heart.

We jump into Rye’s life as he’s running, fleeing actually, towards the comfort of his marble shop, Marvels Marbles:

Rye Cunnings shivered and hoofed it down the cobblestone road, fixed on the slice of his marble store ahead. This was just another morning. Just another morning.

A drizzly dawn fingered through the low-hanging mist creeping along Bristol’s narrow streets. Lamppost lights flickered and blinked out, sucking their murky reflections from deep puddles. Rain hit Rye’s neck and face and the palm he pressed against his chest. The drops snaked down his sleeve and mixed with the blood at his wrist. It tingled, and Rye dabbed his cuff over the cut—a circle intersected with twelve loops.

A cut that he’d gouged out with his keys, following the shimmery pattern that had marked his skin for as long as he could remember.

 

Already, the author has told us so many things, there’s a  spooky pattern playing out in Rye’s life, he has an odd design on his wrist and his cuts the pattern repeatedly.  That’s just the opening paragraphs, the following ones just cement your curiosity about this haunted man, the incredible marbles he makes that give him so much peace and perhaps act as a balm in more ways than one.

The action starts in too.  Anyta Sunday is not content to “tell you” but picks up the pace of her narrative (which was already fast), to whip along at dragon flight speed.  There is plenty of action, oodles of subterfuge,  political bad history between the kingdoms, lost princes and other back history for the author to lay out.  Oh and romances as well. Three of them to be exact if I’m following the threads here, not just the main characters, which is a total delight.

But, a cautionary note, the romances are of the slow building type.  You can see it happening, the chemistry the  author has created between several couples in her story is delicious.  Its the wonderful dialogs, great scenes, that deliver in some cases (ok, more than one) the prickliness and snark, the huge misunderstandings and the betrayals, but the actual falling, verbally, in love?  The commitment and the kissing? Don’t expect to see here.  It will have to be won, and too much will have occurred between all of the characters here  for that to have happened.  Trusts need to be rebuilt, and in some cases, people will need to be…well never mind, laughing, I’ll let those bits to the story and storyteller.

As I said before this is a long tale, with a saga’s worth a world building to layout for the reader.  At times, it gets a bit bogged down under the weight but it quickly picks up steam again.  And, honestly, you need that information later on in the story and series.

Sunday’s descriptions of fights and action are tremendous, I see the action happening as though it was just in front of me.  There are more than a few white-knuckle moments here and they were outstanding in making me wonder at the outcome, for the book and our hero (even as I knew there was a sequel coming).

Only the ending left me a little hanging. It felt less complete  and more like a setup for the next story.  Its really the only reason this story didn’t get a 5 star rating.  But I suppose that as saga’s go, I’ll settle for that and eagerly await the next installment in the Telluric Realm.

I’ll leave you with a  dream that Rye constantly has:

 

He lay back, practiced emptying his mind, and tossed and turned toward sleep.

Then, like a heavy weight plunging into deep water, Rye sank into The Dream.

She was there again, standing in a narrow alley, a slip of light overhead and a black shaft gripped in her hand. She held herself straight, chin up, honeycomb hair spilling over her shoulders. With a flick of her wrist, the shaft extended to the length of a cane and she stilled, statuesque for a long moment, and then spun into a fluid dance, the sharp end of the shaft cutting easily into the ground.

From inside her coat she pulled a vial and poured a glittering fluid over the markings she’d made. She flipped the shaft to its bristly end and traced the glitter over the wreath of symbols at her feet.

She came close, filling his vision.

“Shhh,” she said softly. “He won’t get you.”

His vision blurred to a curtain of golden hair, then sharpened, and her figure shrank away. The edges of the dream warped, distorted. There was a flash of orange light, followed by the woman’s wretched, agonized scream.

The alley entrance darkened as a scaled body slunk past, and then swiveled…

Fierce black eyes glared at him through thick plumes of smoke. One massive ball of fire shot out and bounced back at him. The dragon reared back, wings shooting out, belly expanding. Its jaws parted, jetting out a mighty burst of flame…

Again, the fire bounced.

The ground shook as the animal slammed against the alley entrance and roared. Then he flew overhead, diving down toward them. Again, something blocked him. Over and over he tried, retreating and slamming, retreating and slamming, retreating. . .

The dream warbled again, jerky

Do I recommend this book?  Absolutely!  Its exciting, its adventurous, highly imaginative and kept me glued to my Kindle until it was over.  Just how I love my fantasy tales to be told.

 

Cover Design: Natasha Snow is lovely, with just a hint of the designs that cover Rye’s body.

Map Design: Renflowergrapx

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 330 pages
Published April 26th 2016
ASIN B01DX3EAZQ
Edition Language English