Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Aundes Aura Review Tour! (+25$ Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!)

Title: Aundes Aura 
Author: Ryan Sullivan
Series: The Valkia Chronicles #1
Pages: 252
Publisher: Createspace
Date Published: June 4, 2013
Format: eBook
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
Since their father was taken to the dungeons of the capital city, Eoin and Saera have had to fend for themselves. If Eoin can find an apprenticeship in the capital, they can work on freeing him.

But Saera is afflicted with an evil goddess's light, and when her Aura flares up in the middle of the street, the power-hungry Church Regency are quickly on their heels, keen to eradicate the threat.


With more than the Regency after them, their only hope is to relinquish the Aura. Making alliances they would never have dreamt of, they find themselves swept up into a struggle against the kingdom they once called their own.


~~My Thoughts~~
So this is going to sound weird...but nothing gets me more excited when reading a fantasy book than when there is a freaking sweet, Lord of the Rings style map on the first few pages. I don't know about you guys, but getting that excellent visual right from page one makes me feel like I am about to embark on an excellent and exciting adventure-quest and I'm about to take the ride of my life with the book I've just opened. And book one of the Valkia Chronicles does NOT disappoint!

The mythology involved in the back story is absolutely wonderful. Whether it's using classic mythology like Greek or Norse, or using a made up mythology, I love seeing how different authors play with the themes and give life and meaning to their world by incorporating the mysticism of different blends of religion and magic. In Aundes Aura, the seven gods sent gifts to mankind to help them in the dark world they inhabited. The gifts, later known as Auras, could be used by people to wield the different godly powers. Gifts range from light, nature, time, to death, and each can be controlled by one person at a time. Seven people: Seven Auras. 

Saera is the descendant of Aundes, the goddess of light, and can call it up within herself to release blinding flashes. However, the Church Regency are quick to find descendants in order to prosecute them, so she and her brother Eoin must run to save themselves and find their father who has been captured by the Regency. 

Ryan's writing style was excellent. There are authors who never quite master the art of storytelling...they can write words on a page, but never quite grasp how to bring a reader into the plot. Ryan is not one of these authors. He writes in a visual, high imagery way that sets the scene without distracting you with too much information. You get to fill in some of the descriptive blanks, but Ryan provides just enough to give a good picture. I really enjoyed the story, and felt transported to another time and place while I was reading. If I have one complaint, it is that the book rushed in places, and lingered too long in others. I prefer pacing to be a steady build the whole way through a novel, and this was a bit too stop and go for me, but it was still an enjoyable read. 

The plot was interesting. Like I said, I absolutely adored the mythology involved and the story was really captivating. There were a few plot-holes that I could have used answers for, like WHY the Church Regency prosecuted the descendants of their gods...perhaps Ryan could clear that up for me...but it just seemed that it would have made more sense for the descendants to be cherished by the church, rather than persecuted. 
I give Aundes Aura, the first book in the Valkia series, a solid 4 keys out of 5. It was a strong start for a series and I really liked the mythology and the plot. There were a bit of inconsistencies that made me pause, as well as the speedy pacing which threw me off so I took off one key for that. Still, if you are looking to get into the Fantasy genre, this is a good place to start both for children and adults. 

~~~Try an Excerpt!~~~
The Master raised his head, but all Saera could see was his grey beard poking out from his hood. Still uttering his incantation, he came closer. He was going to take her blood. She didn’t know where from or how much he hoped to take, but she wouldn’t let him. When she set her light free, she would have seconds to wait for Miren, and if he didn’t come, she was ready to say her final prayers. But to whom? Duthonne’s gods had abandoned her long ago. So it was settled. If she was going to die, she would make her prayers to Maekre, the God of Death, whether he loved her or not. Who said whose gods were whose, anyway? Gods were gods, and this night she was in the Northern Ranges of Arlea, where the people looked to all the gods.

The Master’s dagger glinted red in its reflection of the dawn’s sun, making him squint. In that moment, when his attention was diverted, Saera gathered her mind and soul and pushed the Aura free. She saw the whiteness wash over the courtyard, making the men shy away. Having nearly mastered it, she was immune to its blinding power. Amidst the cries of shock, there was another sound. She could hear the Arleans’ drum beat again, but this time it wasn’t in her head. The beat was soon followed by a high whistling noise, and cries of shock became cries of pain as arrows went thwack. The arrows hadn’t come from nowhere. The Arleans were here

~~~Meet Ryan!~~~
Ryan Sullivan discovered his passion for writing at the age of seven. Drawn to the limitless worlds of magic, he never stopped. Ever since writing his first collection of stories, he knew he wanted to be an author. He is currently studying music, and teaches piano. He lives east of Melbourne, Australia. You can find Links to buy for Amazon US and Amazon UK. along with Ryan's Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Blog, and Website
Ryan will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning so get to it! Perhaps you should ask Ryan if he's related to the Weasley family...that's what I'm convinced of :P 

8 comments:

  1. What a great review. The excerpt was exciting.

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  2. I'm with you on the whole map excitement. I've always loved maps & in a novel - yay!!

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  3. Yay!! This book sounds amazing! Love it when books are about mythology.

    haebookhae (at) gmail (dot) com

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  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

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  5. Great review!
    Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds like a really good read!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great review, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete