First Review: Soul Swallowers

I’m on the mend after sleeping off a four-day fever. I apologize for neglecting everyone’s blogs and will start catching up today. I think the old bod was telling me that I’d spent too many days happy-dancing the release of Soul Swallowers.

For me, the first review always feels monumental, and it’s a thrill and relief when it validates the months of hard work. I’m delighted to share Soul Swallower’s first review, written by talented fantasy author Cathleen Townsend. (And I promise that I’m limiting my happy-dancing to my imagination.)

Cathleen’s review:

Have you heard? D. Wallace Peach has released a new fantasy series, and news like that is worth our attention.

Soul Swallowers is D. Wallace Peach’s best book to date, and that’s saying something. From her prior books I’ve come to expect expert plotting, three-dimensional characters, and truly magnificent world building.

In this book, Ms. Peach has taken a single world-building premise—that people can swallow other people’s souls after they die—and worked it into a fantastic, detailed secondary world. Here, the powerful squabble for ever more influence while the wretches and unlucky are sold into slavery. The main character, Raze, has turned his back on a life of wealth and privilege, and joins another man in building up a small farm, a freehold, assisted by former slaves who soon become an extended family.

But the Byzantine politics of Raze’s former circle soon entangle him again, and he’s forced to re-enter his old world to try to save the members of his new family…

(To read the last bit of the review, visit Cathleen’s blog, and while you’re there, you might check out her latest novella: The Golden Key)

Happy Reading whatever book you happen to be holding!

Review: Conor Kelly and the Lost Treasure of Eirean

If you’ve read my bio, you know that it was Tolkien’s fantasy worlds that awakened my love of reading. It doesn’t surprise me that fantasy taps out on my laptop or lines my bookshelves. Now, with a grandson, I’m eager for him to experience that same spark. I want to awaken in him a love of fantasy. I have to wait a few years, but I found just the book.

61Y87-+53gL._UX250_If anyone follows Ali Isaac’s blog, you’ll know she’s the Guardian of Irish Mythology. In all likelihood, you’ve already discovered a magical portal into the world of Irish lore. She writes in such a way that my permeable boundary between what’s historical and fantastical further blurs; I’m swept up in the magical reality of old races and parallel worlds. Why not?

While on vacation, I read Isaac’s fabulous book: Conor Kelly and the Lost Treasure of Eirean. Her wealth of knowledge comes to life as she deftly weaves Irish mythology into Conor’s story. It made me want to travel to Ireland, trespass in the ancient hills, grub around in every farm pasture, and sneak into the restricted areas of visitor centers in the dead of night. 🙂 I can’t wait.

I get a rush of adrenaline when I read the first pages of what I know is going to be a great book, and this one is a wondrous journey on multiple levels. It follows the epic adventure of Conor Kelly, a disabled teenager with little control over his body and life. The unlikely hero is the perfect protagonist to save the magical Irish race of the Sidhe (The Tuatha de Dannan). He’s fearful, courageous, and full of self-doubt. He’s also the descendant of Lugh, an Irish hero, and magic flows through his veins.

Ali bookIn the magical parallel realm of the Sidhe, he’s tasked with finding the four treasures that will defeat the disgraced Sidhe-King, Bres, who seeks vengeance on his people and dominance over all mankind. To achieve his goal he must journey through the lands of legend and unlock that magic hidden in his blood.

Yet, that’s only part of the story as the world of the Sidhe is rife with danger, intrigue, and betrayal. To find the treasures, Conor must enter the sacred places, form alliances, and battle a fire-breathing dragon, a giant warrior, and the power-thirsty king.

Though Conor has the ability to speak telepathically and gains some use of his limbs in the fantastical world, his disability isn’t magically cured, and he must fight harder and with more determination than the average kid. Aside from the pure adventure of the quest, this book is a story about fortitude, learning to rely on and trust oneself. In achieving his goal, Conor uncovers his power and comes into his own in spite of his disability.

In my opinion, Conor Kelly and the Lost Treasure of Eirean is appropriate for ages 12 and up, since there are some violent scenes toward the story’s end. The authentic Irish names are a challenge, but Isaac provides a People, Places and Pronunciation Guide that is extremely helpful.

Conor Kelly and the Lost Treasure of Eirean is the first book in The Tir Na Nog Trilogy, but also works well as a stand-alone read (though why anyone would stop there is beyond me). Enjoy!

Ali books