Official Review: King's Envoy by Cas Peace

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cristinaro
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Official Review: King's Envoy by Cas Peace

Post by cristinaro » 18 Feb 2019, 00:45

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "King's Envoy" by Cas Peace.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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King’s Envoy by Cas Peace is book one in the Artesans of Albia fantasy trilogy. Original and wrought, the novel excels in world building and character development. There are five magical realms where Artesans hold more or less important social positions. Artesans are persons born with the ability to control metaforce and master the four primal elements: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. A group of such Artesans of various ranks stands at the center of the beautifully crafted story in King’s Envoy.

Taran Elijah lives in a village in the Loxton Province of Albia, the Fourth Realm. He is 28 years old and a Journeyman, the third of the nine Artesan ranks. Three years have passed since Taran lost his father, who was an Adept, and taught him everything he could in terms of magical powers. With no other Artesans in Albia to teach him further, Taran decides to create a portway through the Veils and travel to Andaryon, the realm of a warlike race characterized by eyes with slit pupils. If he challenges an Andaryan Artesan to duel and wins, or even forces a draw, he can ask for any prize. Knowledge and the opportunity to have a tutor will be Taran’s choices. Little does he know about the different plans destiny has for him.

At first, the third-person narrator focuses on Taran and his adventures. However, after only a few chapters, readers have the chance to meet Major Sullyan, an amazing woman having the rank of Master-elite and influencing the lives of all those around her. She becomes the vital force of the novel. Henceforth, the entire plot development is governed by the characters’ reactions to whatever happens to her. The presence of a strong female protagonist does not impinge on Taran’s initiation journey, though.

What I liked most about the novel was the author’s ability to portray a wide range of relatable and realistic characters. Taran is not a typical hero. At times, he feels insecure and makes mistakes; he regrets some of his actions, and even thinks of giving up his powers. A foundling, Sully is also an unlikely heroine. Her physical frailty and extraordinary beauty do not help her in a world dominated by men. With an incredible strength of character, she learns to control her powers all by herself. Refusing to be a victim, she turns the odds in her favor. Secondary and episodic characters are well-built too. I admired Captain Robin Tamsey’s courage and Bull’s loyalty. Conversely, I hated Sonten’s scheming plots or Duke Rykan’s ruthless behavior.

The narrator swiftly moves from one scene or character to another. Tension builds up gradually. Scenes such as Taran’s duel against Jaskin keep readers at the edge of their seats. Although the action takes place only in Albia and Andaryon, there are also references to the other three realms: Endomir, the land of the itinerant Roamerlings; Sinnia, the land of highly gifted musicians and storytellers, and Relkor, the land of slave raiders. Skillful at world building, Cas Peace gives full rein to her imagination. As readers, we fall under her spell, and join the characters in their journey from one mysterious realm to another. I absolutely enjoyed the author’s attention to details. A teacher of equitation herself, Cas Peace shows her love of horses in the descriptions of the protagonists’ animal companions, especially of Mandias, Sully’s wild stallion. Similarly, her passion for folk singing is reflected in the folk songs included in her fantasy books and downloadable from her website.

Fans of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings fantasy series will definitely be delighted by this story. The book includes maps and descriptions of the five realms and a glossary of both Albian and Andaryan characters. A list of magical terms and of Artesan ranks and their attributes makes readers more comfortable with the world of the novel. Those who don’t like cliffhanger endings might be disappointed by the last chapters. As far as I am concerned, I can’t wait to continue reading the next books in the trilogy, King’s Champion and King’s Artesan.

For a well-written fantasy story, my rating for this novel is 4 out of 4 stars. Despite its almost 400 pages, I only found four minor editing errors consisting of wrong punctuation and two instances of missing infinitive particle. There is nothing I disliked about King’s Envoy. Apart from all the other reasons, I wholeheartedly recommend it not only to fans of fantasy fiction, but also to all those who love an exciting tale. The author manages to wonderfully blend fantasy and the thrill of adventure with a touch of romance and the search for personal development.

******
King's Envoy
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Rose Harebate
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Post by Rose Harebate » 21 Feb 2019, 05:23

Since the plot is interesting and I am a fan of fantasy novels, I might give this book a try. Thanks for an informative review.

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Post by jeff odongo » 21 Feb 2019, 08:34

Although am not into fantasy novels, the review is wonderful and captivating.

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Post by kandscreeley » 21 Feb 2019, 08:57

I enjoy books where people are able to control the elements. However, there are a few things that bother me about this. The range of characters is one. Plus, I wasn't a huge Lord of the Rings fan. That epic fantasy type novel just isn't exactly the fantasy I enjoy. Therefore, I'm not sure this would be the right fit for me. Still, good review.
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Post by cristinaro » 21 Feb 2019, 10:25

Rose Harebate wrote: ↑
21 Feb 2019, 05:23
Since the plot is interesting and I am a fan of fantasy novels, I might give this book a try. Thanks for an informative review.
I'm sure you won't regret it. Besides, you'll also have the chance to continue with the next books in the trilogy. :) Thanks for your comment.
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Post by cristinaro » 21 Feb 2019, 10:27

jeff odongo wrote: ↑
21 Feb 2019, 08:34
Although am not into fantasy novels, the review is wonderful and captivating.
Thank you. You might decide to give it a try, especially since there's more to the story than the fantastic elements.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

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Post by cristinaro » 21 Feb 2019, 10:38

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
21 Feb 2019, 08:57
I enjoy books where people are able to control the elements. However, there are a few things that bother me about this. The range of characters is one. Plus, I wasn't a huge Lord of the Rings fan. That epic fantasy type novel just isn't exactly the fantasy I enjoy. Therefore, I'm not sure this would be the right fit for me. Still, good review.
I'm not sure why you didn't like Lord of the Rings, but what I can tell you is that the descriptions and the language the author uses are quite different from Tolkien's. What I mean is that they are more simple and reader-friendly in the case of this novel. There are many characters, yet again they don't reach the variety in Tolkien's trilogy. There's a group of friends you get to know and follow gradually and there are a few discernible villains. I compared this trilogy with Tolkien's in more general terms like the aim, the projection of the magical realms and the description of their distinctive features and their inhabitants, the theme of the quest, etc. Thanks for your comments.
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Post by linham02660 » 21 Feb 2019, 12:06

This book sounds awesome. I will definitely put it on my bookshelf. Thanks for the review.

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Post by cristinaro » 21 Feb 2019, 12:53

linham02660 wrote: ↑
21 Feb 2019, 12:06
This book sounds awesome. I will definitely put it on my bookshelf. Thanks for the review.
It is definitely a good fantasy book and an easy read. Besides, there are virtually no editing errors. Thank you for your comment.
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Post by Sandra K Pearson » 21 Feb 2019, 14:30

I loved the Lord of the Rings series, I definitely want to check this out.
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Post by HRichards » 21 Feb 2019, 15:31

This sounds like a very interesting book. This seems like a very developed book on the level of LOTR.

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Post by cristinaro » 21 Feb 2019, 16:12

Sandra K Pearson wrote: ↑
21 Feb 2019, 14:30
I loved the Lord of the Rings series, I definitely want to check this out.
I'm glad you say this. :) The book is well written and I really got attached to the characters. I'll continue with the next book in the trilogy.
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Post by cristinaro » 21 Feb 2019, 16:14

HRichards wrote: ↑
21 Feb 2019, 15:31
This sounds like a very interesting book. This seems like a very developed book on the level of LOTR.
Yes, I'm wondering if the action in the next books of the trilogy will take place in the other realms too.
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Post by Blue_Rain » 25 Feb 2019, 21:26

From the review this book seem to be very interesting. I have always liked fantasy books and I am very excited to read this. I like that the characters in the book have the ability to control the elements.

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Post by cristinaro » 26 Feb 2019, 10:27

Blue_Rain wrote: ↑
25 Feb 2019, 21:26
From the review this book seem to be very interesting. I have always liked fantasy books and I am very excited to read this. I like that the characters in the book have the ability to control the elements.
Fantasy fiction is also one of my favorite genres. I hope you'll read and enjoy the book. Thanks for your comments.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)

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