Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Raven's Ladder" & "Lady Carliss" Book Reviews

by Jeffrey Overstreet


by Chuck Black

Raven’s Ladder:

Following the beacon of Auralia’s colors and the footsteps of a mysterious dream-creature, King Cal-raven has discovered a destination for his weary crowd of refugees. It’s a city only imagined in legendary tales. And it gives him hope to establish New Abascar.
But when Cal-raven is waylaid by fortune hunters, his people become vulnerable to a danger more powerful than the prowling beastmen––House Bel Amica. In this oceanside kingdom of wealth, enchantment, and beauty, deceitful Seers are all too eager to ensnare House Abascar’s wandering throng.
Even worse, the Bel Amicans have discovered Auralia’s colors, and are twisting a language of faith into a lie of corruption and control.
If there is any hope for the people of Abascar, it lies in the courage of Cyndere, daughter of Bel Amica’s queen; the strength of Jordam the beastman; and the fiery gifts of the ale boy, who is devising a rescue for prisoners of the savage Cent Regus beastmen.
As his faith suffers one devastating blow after another, Cal-raven’s journey is a perilous climb from despair to a faint gleam of hope––the vision he sees in Auralia’s colors.

There is one major issue when reading a series such as this one... it is really beneficial to read them as close together as possible. I have read the first two books in this series and thought they were excellent. A series that is fresh, innovative, fun, but deep and with an amazingly unique world that is captivating. The problem is that since putting book #2 down I have read about 200 other books so the details were a little cloudy going into this one. I valiantly spent the first couple chapters
refreshing my memory and reintroducing myself to the characters as the first two books came flooding back. Once reacquainted with my surroundings I sat back and enjoyed myself.

Following Cal-Raven as he leads his people to a New Abascar, on their detour to Bel Amica and on side roads to the Cent Regus. His Captain Tabor Jan does his best to hold things together as Cal-Raven searches for where The Keeper wants them to go, but circumstances are out of his hands. Cyndere at Bel Amica still wants to help them in memory of her husband, but she is up against the Seers and Ryllion. The plots twist and turn and I really enjoyed this book. I am hoping that there is another book coming, there were lots of loose ends... but I honestly don't know. At any rate, this is a series that will capture your imagination, I just recommend reading them close together.

Lady Carliss:

Determined, smart and a master of both the sword and the bow, Lady Carliss has proven herself as a veteran Knight of the Prince. Returning from a mission of aid, Carliss is plunged into adventure once again as she searches for the marauders responsible for kidnapping a friends’ family. Along the way she is reunited with Sir Dalton and discovers that the struggle in her heart is far from over. When Dalton falls to the vicious attack of a mysterious, poisonous creature, Carliss finds herself in a race against time. As Dalton clings perilously to life, she must find the antidote in the distant and strange city of Moorue.
While there, Carliss uncovers the master plot of a powerful Shadow Warrior that will soon overtake the entire Kingdom. Her faith in the Prince and her courage as a knight are tested as she faces evil Shadow Warriors and a swamp full of dreadful creatures. The lives of many, including Dalton’s, depend on Carliss. But she cannot save them all, for time is running out. She faces an impossible choice: save Dalton, or let him die so that others may live.

Chuck Black is an amazing master of allegorical fiction. Creating amazing characters and storylines that mirror an important truth in our lives. This is book #4 in The Knights of Arrethtrae series. I loved the first two and somehow missed #3 before this one came out, I'll be getting it though as it obviously lends a lot of storyline to book #4. In fact it appears that Lady Carliss actually makes her first shows up in Sir Dalton (book #2). All that aside, I was able to absolutely enjoy this book without reading Sir Dalton.

Lady Carliss is on a mission to get home and see her family after her adventure in book #3. She gets sidetracked by another knight because their family has been taken. In the process she and Sir Dalton get attacked by a strange creature and it puts Sir Dalton in basically a coma. Lady Carliss has very little time to find the only possible cure for saving his life. Along the way she runs into Shadow Warriors, esca lizards, betrayers and much more. Can she really make a difference in the midst of all this darkness? Can the light stand a chance?

Excellent book, I'm hoping for more in this series, Chuck Black is a master!

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

*********I'm thrilled to be able to offer a copy of Raven's Ladder for a giveaway. Just leave a comment telling me why Young Adult fantasy is of interest to you (or someone you know). Be sure to leave your email address too :-) Good luck!******************

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love young adult fantasy because it's usually light easy reading just before I go to bed.
I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.