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“Guardians of the Desert reads very much like its own novel too, not like a second half of a larger book…I will recommend it unreservedly to anyone loving a good traditional fantasy novel.”

So say Liviu Suciu and Cindy Hannikman of Fantasy Book Critic in their review of Leona Wisoker’s Guardians of the Desert, sequel to her acclaimed debut Secrets of the Sands. They do their usual thorough job of reviewing the novel, discussing the book itself as well as their reactions to it. If you read fantasy (and if you don’t, what are you doing here, anyway?) Fantasy Book Critic should be on your follow list, for penetrating and sharp-eyed evaluations of new books in the genre. And we appreciate those taking the time to turn their sharp eyes on this book.

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More great words about Leona Wisoker’s new novel:

“Having risen to the position of desert lord, the noblewoman Alyea of Peysimun must learn to wield her power wisely in a world where humans must contend with the enigmatic ha’reye, a people more ancient than humanity. Alyea entrusts her political education to Deiq of Stass, who struggles to conceal his half-ha’reye blood even as he navigates the intrigues of the human world. Meanwhile, forces are at work to throw a peaceful world into chaos. Wisoker (Secrets of the Sands) captures the feel of a desert culture as well as the convoluted politics of human and not-so-human societies. VERDICT: Compelling characters and a colorful setting make this a satisfactory multivolume fantasy.”

The book will be available March 29, but you can pre-order it now. We’ll be holding launch events in Williamsburg, VA on April 2 and at RavenCon on April 9. Come out and party with us, and see what the fuss is about.

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Fans of Leona Wisoker’s Secrets of the Sands are anxiously awaiting the release of the sequel, Guardians of the Desert, at the end of this month. SF Revu columnist Colleen Cahill sums up their feelings:

When the second book in a series comes out, especially one I enjoyed a lot, I take up the book with mixed feelings. Will it live up to the first book or will I end up disappointed?”

Fortunately, this second book does not disappoint.

I not only enjoyed Guardians of the Desert, but it was full of surprises. What a good combination of the unexpected and excitement; who could ask for more?… For its complexity, intriguing story, and (as in the first volume) for its characters I find totally fascinating, I heartily recommend Guardians of the Desert.”

Read the full review here.


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This week’s edition of Library Journal includes a review of The Shadow of the Sun by Barbara Friend Ish. Reviewer Jackie Cassada has this to say:

“Once a king in his own right, Ellion brought scandal and death to his family. Swearing never to practice magic again, he sought refuge as a bard in the lands of the Tanaan, creatures of the Fae. When the high king of the Human Realms is assassinated, Ellion discovers that a rogue wizard threatens both humans and Tanaan. Agreeing to act as protector of the Tanaan princess Letitia, Ellion faces dangers that test his vows and draw him ever deeper into the darkness that threatens the world.

Ish displays a skill in language and character building that holds promise for future volumes in this series.

VERDICT: Rooted in a Celtic atmosphere and reminiscent of the works of Patricia Kenneally Morrison and Marion Zimmer Bradley, this fantasy debut deserves a wide readership.”

So far this review is print-only. We’ll post a link to the review online when it’s posted on the LJ site.

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The Williamsburg Regional Library has a very cool blog in which they feature one book recommendation per day. Yesterday’s book was Secrets of the Sands by Leona Wisoker. Reviewer Neil Hollands calls the book

“a strong first fantasy, an epic with a desert setting as fully realized as that in Frank Herbert’s classic science fantasy Dune.”

He performs the public service for non-genre readers of explaining that fantasy books require a certain amount of patience of a reader while the author sets up the world in which her characters will play. But he also explains why it’s worth the effort:

“[I]t’s when they reach the exotic desert lands that the story really takes off. Wisoker has crafted the landscape, society, and culture of the desert country in detail that leaps off the page. Out of their element, Alyea and Idisio must navigate this culture with care. Mysterious advisers may be friends or foes, and little is as it seems. The two young protagonists are in over their heads–far deeper than they first realized.”

For readers looking for well-thought-out recommendations, this blog is a gem. And we couldn’t agree with their assessment of this book more.

 

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This week’s edition of Publishers Weekly includes a review of The Shadow of the Sun, the debut novel of Barbara Friend Ish, calling the book “enthusiastic epic fantasy”. We thought it was exciting, too.

Meanwhile, PW has this to say:

“The grander conflict that drives the book will be familiar to readers, but Ellion gives hints that his eventual solution to his inner conflict… may yet demonstrate a bit of welcome innovation.”

We’ve seen the outlines of the other volumes. We’re confident it will.

Read the review here.

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Just in time for Christmas, nrlymrtl posted a rare Double Review of Secrets of the Sands and the forthcoming Guardians of the Desert by Leona Wisoker. I always enjoy nrlymrtl’s reviews, because she’s a perspicacious reader who picks up on all sorts of subtleties and also because she has a hilarious way with words. This review is no different. Darkcargo’s review gives a reader new to the series a useful impression of what it’s about and observational gems for those who have read the first–as well as a sneak peek at Guardians of the Desert, which will be available at the end of March. The review is definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: Children of the Desert series by Leona Wisoker.

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