Tag Archives: Dragons

Book Review: A Greater Strength

A Greater Strength by Rebecca P. Minor is the second installment in the Windrider Saga, following the first book, Divine Summons (click to read my review).

In this second book, Vinyanel, the lead male elf character, is put in charge of finding five missing talismans. These talismans are important because one cannot enter the elf city of Delsinon without one. And if a talisman were to fall into the hands of an enemy, it could be disastrous.

Vinyanel is joined on this mission by the half elf/half human prophetess Veranna, his dragon Majestrin, two other elves and a captured assassin. The rest of the windrider group is made up of a winged lion, griffon, and a pegasus. I liked how the windriders are not all dragons.

I felt the characters were deepened in this second book. Yes, there is still a lot of action and fighting, but if given the choice, I’m more into characters, and this time there is more character development. That brought me further into the story.

A Greater Strength is written along the lines of traditional fantasy filled with elves, dragons, gnomes, and unique places. If that is the type of stories you enjoy, then I definitely recommend this book.

*The first cover shown is actually for the entire Windrider series in hardcopy form. I read the series in ebook form, cover to the right.

Book Review: Divine Summons

Elves and dragons. I don’t think you can get any more fantasy than that. Divine Summons by Rebecca P. Minor is the first book in a series she first wrote for the ezine Digital Dragons. The story follows a military captain of the Elven Nation. A sacred relic of the elves is stolen. And Vinyanel Ecleriast must find it.

During his journey he comes across a half-elven priestess of Creo and a dragon. Creo has chose Vinyanel to become the first windrider, a rider of dragons. Between exchanging snarky words with the priestess Veranna and learning to ride Majestrin, Vinyanel has his work cut out for him. Lucky for him, Creo holds his destiny in his hand.

I’m not very fond of books written in first person, especially from the male point of view (nothing against men!). However, I really enjoyed Divine Summons. I liked Vinyanel. He’s a no nonsense, get the job done kind of elf. But he still has a lot to learn, including some humility. Veranna got on my nerves a bit, but I wonder if that’s because I was seeing her through Vinyanel’s eyes (she got on his nerves too).

I like how Rebecca created Majestrin to be uniquely different than most dragons I read about. Instead of breathing fire, he breaths ice. Very cool!

Overall, if you enjoy traditional fantasy stories, I recommend Divine Summons. And after you read that, check out the next in the series, A Greater Strength.

To find out more about Becky P. Minor, visit her website at http://callofthecreator.blogspot.com/

CSFF Blog Tour- Dragons of the Valley, Day 3

Before I dive into the spiritual elements found in Dragons of the Valley, I want to revisit what I mean by that. There is a lot of debate out there (for writers and authors) about how much of our faith we should put into our books. Is there too much gospel? Not enough? Should there be an altar call? Or should there just be a moral theme for our readers to take away?

After thinking about this debate (and reading what others have to say), I think I will say yes. Yes to it all. Because we need all kinds of books. We need books that lay out the gospel. We need books that show what it means to follow Christ. We need books that slowly introduce Christ to people who would never otherwise darken the doorway of a church.

We need all kinds of books that will bring the reader into a deeper understanding of God (more specifically, an accurate understanding of God; there are books out there that are not theologically sound).

So for those of us who write out there, we should write the stories God has impressed upon our hearts. For some of us (like me) there will be strong Christian elements. For others (like a friend of mine), God will not even be mentioned in the first book. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t there.

Okay, jumping off my soapbox now :).

Wulder is the name given to the personification of God in Dragons of the Valley. He created the world, is an intimate part of the lives of the races he created, and loves unconditionally. One of the spiritual themes in Dragons of the Valley is the people of Chiril had forgotten Wulder. Their ancestors failed to pass down the writings and knowledge of Wulder, which resulted in this generation knowing nothing of him. It isn’t until the artist Verrin Schope returns from Amara with the wizard Fenworth and the tumanhofer librarian Librettowit that the people of Chiril are reintroduced to Wulder.

This is an important point. Later in the book, the race of Kimens realize it only took two generations for them to completely forget Wulder. He was still there, in their songs and dances. But the moment their ancestors stopped talking about Wulder, they forgot.

We as humans can easily forget too. How many of us forget birthdays or anniversarys! I think that is why God admonishes us to teach our children about Him, to read His word, and why there is communion (In Remembrance of Him…). We do this so we do not forget Him. We pass on what we know so the next generations know what God has done for them.

I highly recommend Dragons of the Valley for anyone looking for a light Christian fantasy full of good spiritual truth 🙂

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

CSFF Blog Tour- Dragons of the Valley, Day 2

Today I want to cover the Writing Factor of Dragons of the Valley. In the Writing Factor, I take a look at how well the writer built their world, conveyed their plot, and how engaging was the story. But before I begin, I need to point out something: I was under the impression that this book was for young adults. A kind friend showed me that this book is actually advertised for all ages. My goof 🙂

Dragons of the Valley is set in a fantasy world filled with rich history and races. Donita has done a wonderful job of creating all these different races (fourteen total!) each with their own particular uniqueness. The Kimens (imagine light pixies) are small, wear light for clothing and love to be merry. The Tumanhofers enjoy nice clothing (they kind of remind me of hobbits). But I think my favorite race is the Emerlindians. They are described as tall and slender (like elves in my opinion). But what made this race fascinating to me is they are born pale (hair, eyes, skin), but as they age, they darken (darker eyes, darker hair, darker skin). I thought that was cool!

A+ on world building!

Plot: Donita keeps it light and simple. Yes, there is a war going on, but she does not go into the more violent details (remember, she writes for all ages). Her characters go on a quest, which keeps the plot moving. The humor is great and keeps the story light. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “I do wish one’s figure did not reflect the love of good food. It’s so annoying to butter your bread and find rolls around your middle.” (Lady Peg Schope, pg. 236-237). Yes Lady Peg, I absolutely agree!

The only thing I found annoying is there were so many races and characters that I could not keep them all straight at first. I absolutely hate having to go to the back of the book and look at the appendix. It takes me out of the story. But after a couple chapters, I was able to remember what a Tumanhofer was or what a Bisonbeck was and no longer needed the appendix. But that’s just me personally 🙂

Tomorrow I will take a look at the Spiritual Factor of Dragons of the Valley.

 

 

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.