Daily Archives: March 6, 2010

Book Review – Choices Meant for Kings

Choices Meant for Kings – Book two in the trilogy

Rating: 4 of 5

Author: Sandra Lender
Available: Hardcover, Kindle

As intricate and complex prophecy unfolds, Amanda Chariss – goddess of war – must protect the god Rohne from evil forces though her own magic (geasa) has been substantially hampered.  While war builds on the horizon between the weakened gods and ever stronger evil sorcery Julette and her minions, Chariss must build an alliance to have any hope of survival.  But there are those within the ranks of the gods who may do not always have the best interest of Rohne and Chariss in mind threatening their plans.  All the while Chariss and Nigel Taiman fight to hold on to their love against the wishes of many and perhaps the prophecy itself.

Choices Meant For Kings is book two in Sandy Lender’s Choices trilogy.  I would advise readers to make sure to read the first book of this series before picking up the second installment.  The world is complex with a number of interwoven plots, relationships, and characters that were initially a challenge for me to understand given I had not read the first book.  The author does do a nice job providing the cast of characters and such at the beginning to lay a foundation, but to fully appreciate how this world evolves, Choices Meant for Gods is essential.

Though a fantasy novel, the draw to this book is the romance between Chariss and Nigel.  At each step along the way, another roadblock is placed in front of them as they struggle to begin their life together.  Wars, other would be suitors, hidden secrets revealed, their responsibilities to others, and a complex prophecy all challenge their future.  It is this thread between them that provides the driving force moving the story forward.  The conclusion of this book is a high action and suspenseful series of events that will certainly cause readers to rush out and purchase the last installment.  An enjoyable read all around.

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Book Review – Completely Restored

Completely Restored – An Unassuming Jewel!

Rating: 5 of 5, TMBOA Recommended

Author: Robert Kerr
Available: Paperback

After years of putting their blood, sweat, and tears into renovating a Victorian era home in small town Iowa, Joe and Linda Murphy, along with their two children, celebrate the final touch of their restoration – hanging the original front door.  Kept for years in the basement, the door needs professional help to bring it back to it’s former glory.  Fortunately, Joe finds a local craftsman able to complete the work.  The same night the door is hung, a thunderstorm moves through the area.  The next morning, when the Murphys awaken, they find themselves transported back in time to the year 1909.

Robert Kerr’s Completely Restored, starts as a very unassuming book.  I read the opening pages and was immediately engaged by the characters but was unprepared for how engrossed and special the story would be for me.  I suppose what appealed to me was how the story enfolded so effortlessly and the magic of going to what would have initial appeared to be a simpler time and less complicated life.

After multiple failed attempts to return to their own time, the Murphys resign themselves to finding ways to adapt to life in 1909.  Because very little technology such as televisions and such do not yet exist, the sense of community and family really starts to grow for the Murphys.  They spend time with their neighbors sharing lemonade and cookies on the front porch; they spend time with the kids playing family games and sharing their days experiences; they make friends with locals and find hard but rewarding work; they become a closer and loving family.

But Kerr is careful not to turn this into a simple romantic view of the past by interjecting a number of plot arcs which also convey how different the rule of law, child protection, and the limitations of medicine were one hundred years ago.  I encourage readers to pick a copy.  The book evokes a feeling of nostalgia and desire for simpler times while at the same time making one appreciate the things they have today.

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