Book Review: Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate

Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate

The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate, by Michael Spradlin, is 2nd in the Youngest Templar series.

Following the events in the previous novel, young Tristan has escaped the evil Sir Hugh, only to wash upon shore in the midst of a group of French Cathars. Not knowing if his friends are alive, Tristan must still guard the Grail and keep it from Sir Hugh who never seems to be very far away. Meanwhile, Tristan finds himself falling for the leader of the Cathars, and embroiled in the midst of their own conflict as well.

Tristan is a wonderful character, with deep conviction and honor. He’s brave, humble, and extremely bright. When faced with tough decisions, he stands by his promise, even when it may not be the popular opinion.

With just as much adventure and suspense as the first, this sequel was a fast and enjoyable read. With another cliffhanger ending, fans will be eagerly awaiting the next installment. And I am one of them. This quest-based fantasy is a wonderfully fun and exciting story for young fantasy fans.

The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate will be released from Putnam Juvenile on October 29, 2009.

Book Review: Dragonseed


Dragonseed, by James Maxey, is third in his Dragon Age series.

Following the events in Bitterwood and Dragonforge, the humans have captured Dragon Forge and are being led by the fanatical Ragnar and machinist Burke. But when Burke is forced to flee because of his opposing view, he leaves the group of human refugees in the hands of a madman against a horde of invading dragons. Meanwhile, Jandra goes in search of her genie in hopes of having her powers return. And Bitterwood accompanies young Zeeky in search of her brother. But someone else has discovered the power of the genies and has been attracting followers to his healing magic, creating a loyal gathering of humans and dragons alike.

Maxey has created a vivid and complex world of a futuristic society where dragons have overcome their human creators. Advanced technology has been suppressed and forgotten. In true epic fantasy fashion, there are numerous, colorful characters with distinct stories and motivations that affect their journey. But each character is interconnected, the humans all working towards freedom. And the anthropomorphized dragons are just as important and give life to a powerful story.

In this latest novel, there is just as much danger and suspense for the heroes as well as powerful enemies. Several characters thought dead, make surprising returns. And some characters make untimely ends, with emotional results. With a thrilling showdown, the climactic ending leaves a satisfying conclusion yet room for more. Maxey has impressed me once again. Fantasy fans should not miss this fantastic series.

Book Giveaway: The View From the Bridge

Courtesy of Viking, I have a giveaway copy of The View From the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood, by Nicholas Meyer for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to everyone. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends September 11. I’ll draw names on September 12, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: The View From the Bridge

Book Review: Maelstrom


Maelstrom, by Michael Macconnell

Special Agent Sarah Reilly is on the trail of a serial killer. But before she can arrest him, a mysterious group of men show up and brutally kill him. The men leave no trail or clue as to who they are or why they did it. Meanwhile, another serial killer is copycatting another killer along Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Sarah’s father, a retired FBI agent, worked the case years before. Now, Sarah must not only find the vigilante that is hunting down serial killers, but track a serial killer that has targeted Sarah and her father.

Sarah is good at what she does, and doesn’t hesitate to put herself in harm’s way if it means catching a criminal. The men in her life try to look out for her. But she’s exceptionally independent and headstrong. We not only get her perspective throughout the story, but the serial killers as well, which only leads to more suspense and trepidation. My one complaint is that the author, being from Australia, included several words and phrases that were foreign and didn’t make sense for a New Englander to say. Hopefully, if his novels are picked up in the states, the editor will catch these and update for American readers.

The length of the book may seem intimidating, but it was a very fast and easy read. Maelstrom was extremely entertaining. It’s a fast-paced thriller with just enough mystery and suspense to keep you up into the night.

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