by Sam Rook
Source: This book was given to me by Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av'lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.
Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av'lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.
Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.
With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.
My Review: This novel opens with a fairly fantastical beginning. One day, a monster decides to show up and eat Kathryn’s house. This horrific and bizarre event leads Kathryn, a software engineer, to be transported to a magical, medieval realm called Av’lor. She finds that she is not the only person transported into this strange realm because Hal, a state trooper, is there. They find that the protectors of the realm are knights with wings who are fighting a war with demons. Kathryn then decides to join the ranks of knights to defeat these evil creatures and save the two worlds.
Even though I am a fan of historical and epic fantasy, there are some fantasy books I will not bother to touch. These are the books that have fantastical creatures of vampires, werewolves, zombies, and demons. However this book caught my attention because it seemed like it was inspired by Christian lore with the battle of angels and demons. So even though the main villains were demons, I was willing to forgo my dislike of these fantasy creatures and enjoyed the plot.
Because the story started out with a monster eating Kathryn’s house, there was not an introduction to the character. As the novel unravels, we find out what Kathryn was like before the event took place. Kathryn was an emotionally damaged woman who had lost her mother and her daughter. She is trying to cope with the loss throughout the novel. I admired Kathryn. She is a strong character that anyone can relate to. I loved her strength and her determination. She never gives up. It is because of her qualities of perseverance that instills hope in all those around her.
Overall, this story is about loss, hope, redemption, and love. It is about a woman trying to find happiness after a tragedy. The love story is pretty cliche, for the love interest is a jerk with a heart of gold. The world-building is also a bit confusing, and I would have liked more information about the world of Av’lor. However, with fun and relatable characters and a fast-paced and action-filled plot, readers will soon immerse themselves in the story. Hope ends in a cliffhanger that had me anxiously anticipating what is next. I am definitely going to read the sequel, Gates. I recommend this story to anyone interested in epic fantasy, or anyone who likes heroines who find their strength through the trials of their lives.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
"They’ll be talking about this for months you know," Sir Lanclor said with amusement. "Lady Kathryn, the brave knight who annihilates Daemons and challenges the great Sir Lanclor."
Kathryn snorted. "Don’t flatter yourself. I just saw your table as the lesser of the evils."
Sir Lanclor straightened. "I think you’ll find you chose wrong."
"Oh please. I prefer your blunt honesty to their honey-coated insults any day. The only reason some of them don’t call me an undeserving Earthling anymore is because they now know I can annihilate them with one spell."
"Fear is a powerful thing." Sir Lanclor closed his mouth flap and gathered his tray.
If everyone feared her, she’d never have anyone. Kathryn piled her utensils upon her tray.
"It’s also lonely as hell." She stood up and left the table without a backwards glance.
Depositing her tray on the counter next to the trash can, she exited the meal room.
"Lady Kathryn, wait." She glanced back to see Sir Lanclor hurrying after her. He caught up to her in a few strides and fell in beside her. "That conversation didn’t end like I intended."
"Oh, really? What was your intention?" Kathryn regretted the bitterness in her voice.
Sir Lanclor sighed in frustration. "You surprised me. I usually have time to think before I speak."
"You think before you speak?" Kathryn exaggerated her look of surprise as she glanced his way and his eyebrow turned down in disapproval. She heard him growl deep in his throat before responding.
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Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life. Visit her at her website.
Sam Rook will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. Additionally, Goddess Fish Productions will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.