Yay, a “real” review by a journal and not a blog!
I wish they had a better organizational system on their website, but you can check out the review by eBook Senior Reviewer Diane Donovan here: (Scroll down; it’s the thirteenth one on the page.) http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/apr_14.htm#donovan . Since the book was young adult, it also made the Midwest Book Review children’s fiction newsletter as well: http://www.midwestbookreview.com/cbw/apr_14.htm#donovan (sixth one down on that page.)
And because it’s a pain to scroll, here it is in its entirety.
Journey To Landaran
Diamond Print Press
1480 W Page Ave, Gilbert, AZ 85233
eBook: ISBN-13: 9781310098789
Print: ISBN-13: 9780615917474
eBook: $3.99, Trade paperback: $14.99, 321 pages
Journey To Landaran is Book One of the ‘Spirit Mage Saga’, and is young adult fantasy at its best, presenting a map and an old (230-year) woman who holds onto a fading hope that a seven-times granddaughter living an isolated rural life will give birth to the last generation with the Life Talent that has condemned Korva to be one of the last Great Protectors of her era.
Her desires for peace are about to be answered as she makes the discovery that, indeed, Arlene is about to give birth to not one but two Talents: forces that will change the world.
Tavish and Aidah manage to successfully grow up in a small village with no evidence of their strange abilities: but that peaceful time is about to come to a close as they began to manifest Talents of their own. It’s obvious that Tavish is a Firestarter, but Aidah fears she’s also developing her own Talent … a force that will both compliment and supersede her brother’s formidable powers.
Time for a journey and a mission: one that could not only change the world, but lead nations to war (after all, with the ability to read minds, travel through dreams, and possess bodies, the sky’s the limit.)
Or so it seems to twins who face danger at every turn, struggling with undeveloped powers and their evolution and the designs and schemes of those who would harness such for their own goals.
Mature young adults will find this no simple saga: it’s permeated with the hearts and minds of some who are good and some who are evil.
A swirl of secrets revolve around their efforts, challenging both to new perspectives and to setting aside personal comfort for the greater good: “Brenton didn’t need to know any of this. He was burdened enough with the care of them, and his thoughts were bleak….If he knew what Rangwar was doing to his niece right under his protection, it would devastate him. She couldn’t do that to him. And Tavish – well, he’d shoot flames if he knew, and run off to defend her honor. And Derg – he’d probably die of shame like he always said he’d do if he failed in his role as guardian. She didn’t really know what he’d do, but it would be to harm himself, of that she was certain. He always kept things inside. Just like her.”
From deaths that need avenging to inner struggles to find courage against all odds, Journey To Landaran is as much about the hunt for personal bravery as it is about handling outside forces, spreading darkness, and strange new powers. The focus is on Aidah, in particular, and her growth and perspectives fuels an already-volatile story of powerful twins who go out into the world to seek their destiny.
As the two become immersed in events that preclude war, Journey To Landaran also is about developing social and political savvy in a changing world – and while its conclusion is open-ended, suffice it to say that great changes take place between the story’s opening and its conclusion.
Keep in mind this is Book 1: as such, look for more great things as Aidah and her brother find their talents affecting a world-changing battle.
–Diane Donovan, senior eBook reviewer, MBR