Sunday, April 24, 2016


From Goddess Fish Promotions, comes this young adult fantasy 
story from author Robert Sells, Return of the White Deer.
This is a virtual Review only tour, so it would be great to follow 
along and get a variety of opinions about this good book.  
There is also a giveaway, so make sure to include your name 
in the rafflecopter below for your chance 
to win a $10.00 GC...please leave us a comment 
so that we know you were here, and enjoy the rest of the tour!
PS. GREAT COVER by the way...well done Robert!


It's not easy growing up in seventh century Mercia, an ancient kingdom in England. Bit more difficult when you are the Chosen One and on track to become the next king. Especially if you have no army, no training, and no noble background.

At least that's what Pen thought after being kidnapped by the King and locked away in a dungeon. And, who could help him now? His father, a mere farmer? The few people in a backwater village, not even on some maps? 

Ahh… but a village of secrets. Secrets about a matronly woman with a dark past and her feisty daughter who somehow had become an expert archer. Secrets even about his father who, without a weapon, took down an armed soldier. Secrets about his mother, long dead. Secrets about an old black horse which could outrun all others. But, most of all, secrets about a strange white deer lurking in a forbidden forest.  

After being rescued, Pen finds himself in the middle of a rebellion and on a roller-coaster ride ending with his coronation or, far more likely, his death.  Success hinges on this fifteen year old boy growing into a man in a few short months. Yup, growing up in Mercia wasn’t easy.



“Did I give you permission to speak, boy?”

“My apologies, King Bruder, but I was…”

Again the hands waved “Why is it you always speak of ‘I’?  ‘I’ this and ‘I’ that. Do you only think of yourself, boy?”

Unbalanced from the verbal attack, Pen blinked and shook his head. “I…” 

The King started to wave his hands still again, but Pen continued loudly. “I am here to discuss an allegiance with you.”

The King stopped waving his hands and looked at Pen with squinted eyes.  “By whose authority, child?”

Holding the man’s stare, Pen nervously released his well-rehearsed words. 

“By my own, King Bruder. I am the Chosen One and soon to be king. My people need your help now. For that help I am willing to concede certain lands to you.”

Bruder looked at the lad in front of him. His face went dark, an eyebrow raised, and he leaned into the boy so that their faces nearly touched. “You are no king! You don’t even have hair on your face, boy. And, from what my spies tell me, you will never be king. Baron Glock has even more men to crush the rebellion. Today he attacked the rebels. There are far too many against your friends now.” 

Pen’s face dropped and Bruder smiled. Before the boy could recover, Bruder motioned for his guards. 

“Take him away.” Instantly, the bewildered lad was held firm by two men. The king took a step toward him and tapped a finger hard upon his chest. 

“Tomorrow, I will kill you, Penda, son of Petronius."



This was a fun read.  It held my interest and I enjoyed the main characters a great deal.  The boy, Pen and his friend Liana…well written.  And the father, who is more than previously believed in his little town, and by his son, again, well written and full character, especially as the story grows, I really liked this person.  I found myself looking forward to reading every night…so this is a good thing.

On the other hand there were two issues for me that have swayed my rating and made it challenging for me to decide where I would like to go with this.  Here at Goodreads a three means you liked it, a four, you liked it a I’m kinda torn right now.  And here’s why…

First, this is a young adult, almost middle grade quality story, so for me, and I may be giving a tiny thing away here, but a “rape” scene…was not appropriate for this type of book.  I do understand that it definitely gave weight to part of the background of the story…however, the two references to this action really sat uncomfortably with me, especially the second time the mention comes into play…too grown up for young kids to get into, in my opinion.   I wonder if it could have been written a bit differently to not be so blatant?  It was too stereotypical.  I think it could have been implied so as not to be so shocking (which it was for me, I was like..oh no, is he really going there right now?), in the middle of this sweet little fabled story of a boy who becomes a king.

And the other thought for me was this…in as much as this was nicely written, and the deer is a tremendously clever intrigue, it never really explained about the deer and why it was, or how it came to be, which would have been nice.  I really wanted, and waited, to hear more about the white deer…and more importantly, the story isn’t really new in any real way…the one thing, the deer, that could have taken it to another place, and truly brought in the magic in a bigger way, did not expand enough for my tastes.  The bulk of the story was about a battle, a very bloody war.  I think this is something more boys will like than girls..I know, I can't believe that I said that, but I think it’s true, I mean it’s a war story about a boy who becomes king…but it’s a good one.  

I’d really like to give it 3 1/2 stars…but that’s not a choice.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Short Biography for Robert Sells

I attended college at Ohio Wesleyan where I struggled with physics. Having made so many mistakes in college with physics, there weren’t too many left to make and I did quite well at graduate school at Purdue.   

I worked for nearly twenty years at Choate Rosemary Hall, an exclusive boarding school in the heart of Connecticut. More often than not, students arrived in limousines. There was a wooded area by the upper athletic fields where I would take my children for a walk. There, under a large oak tree, stories about the elves would be weaved into the surrounding forest. 

Returning to my home town to help with a father struggling with Alzheimer’s, the only job open was at a prison. There I taught an entirely different clientele whose only interaction with limousines was stealing them. A year later Alfred State College hired me to teach physics. I happily taught there for over ten years.

My wife’s boss, the superintendent of a rural school in western New York, begged me to teach physics and earth science. Helping young high school students was particularly appealing to me at this point in my career and the salary was more than reasonable, so I find myself happily teaching at Mt Morris Central School. 

Five years ago, my wife pestered me about putting to “pen” some of the stories which I had created for the children and other relatives. I started thinking about a young boy and a white deer, connected, yet apart. Ideas were shuffled together, characters created and the result was the Return of the White Deer. This book was published by the Martin Sisters.

Years ago I gave a lecture on evolution. What, I wondered, would be the next step? Right away I realized that silicon ‘life’ had considerable advantages over mortal man. Later this idea emerged as the exciting and disturbing story called Reap the Whirlwind. 

Two years ago I stumbled upon an old article in the local paper about a Brinks’ robbery in 1992.  Apparently over ten million dollars were stolen and most of it was never recovered. Although the mafia was peripherally involved in the heist, it was unlikely they took the missing millions. This was the seed which has now grown into the young adult novel, The Runner and the Robber.  

I have many other stories inside my mind, fermenting… waiting patiently for the pen. Perhaps someday I will even write about those elves which still inhabit the woods in the heart of Connecticut.


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  1. I think this book looks really interesting! Can't wait to read it! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, I'm looking forward to checking it out myself!

  3. You are all welcome! Thx for stopping by and leaving a comment..

  4. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and the review. This book sounds like an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.