Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Daughter of Aithne, by Karin Rita Gastreich


Daughter of Aithne
by Karin Rita Gastreich

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A terrific fantasy series from author Karin Rita Gastreich, 
and book tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon or 
Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner 
via rafflecopter during the tour.
You will find my reviews of all three books below.
Follow the tour here .  And remember, the more you comment,
the better your chances of winning.  Enjoy the tour today.



 

GENRE:   fantasy

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BLURB:

Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life's work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son's claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter's inheritance.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

"An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil." -KIRKUS REVIEWS


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Excerpt

“Speak plainly, my Lord King,” Eolyn said. “I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”

“I trust your heart, Eolyn,” Akmael replied, “but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past. For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”

“For the love of the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took up arms against you.”

“No, but you must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”

“The dilemma I have put you in?”

“If you knew of Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”

Eolyn blinked and stepped away. “The magas have lived in peace in MoisehĂ©n for more than a decade. You cannot let the action of one woman—”

“Three women. The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours. They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your followers support them?”

“The magas who remain in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”

“All magas merit suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome, Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still remember the war against my father.”

“And the purges that followed?” she shot back.

“The violence that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were left with the blame. We must manage this situation carefully, to protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”
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Book One, Eolyn  


     I read this book (series) during the summer, so I may be a little hazy on the details, however, I know how I ‘felt’ in the end.  
     I really jumped head first into this journey of magic, women and societal perceptions. I loved reading about the beginning of Eolyn.  How she came to be.  Living in the forest and learning about nature, herbs, healing and Magic.  The world building was wonderful.  The life very descriptive.  Very easy to read (except some of the names/cities throughout the series. I don’t like to have to stop and figure out the sound of a name repeatedly.  I want it to flow when I read, and there were quite a few that tripped me up).  Other than that, it was very easy to get caught up in.  I’m telling you, after reading this book I wanted to become a Maga myself.  I was greatly inspired by the ‘laws’ she lived by, and the tremendous moral compass that guided her every move. I want to learn more about plants and their healing abilities, etc. Truly inspiring.
    Then there was her mysterious friendship with the boy who could travel through the ethers to get to her, and how that story unravels.  And the idea of women as important forces of nature and society, and yet the fear it generates in men; and the lengths to which they will traverse to destroy it. Her secret life lived during her time with the Mage Cory and the others…well played. Gastreich has written a very believable cast of characters.  Well developed, individual voices and ideals.
    I was saddened by the events of her romance.  But again, it was all part of the heritage that governed her actions and motives…dictating her choices, no matter how difficult.  This story really had it all.  It was a really great beginning to a series, and I couldn’t wait to move on to the second book.


Book Two, Sword of Shadows

     Again, I read this book (series) during the summer, so I may be a little hazy on the details, however, I know how I ‘felt’ in the end.  
     Okay, so how much can happen to a couple of women in their lives?  Yikes!
     The story begins with the King visiting the forest and Eolyn’s Aekelahr, and the whole situation with the Queen…ahh!…heartbreaking, all of it.  Eolyn and her sacrifice for the better of the whole.
I was nervous to move forward into this second book as several reviews mention rape and violence…not my cup of tea.  However, even though the violence was brutal when the evil needed to be fed, and the war intense, I don’t recall that it didn’t fit the story.  Yes, it caused me to flinch a couple times and think…‘really?’ (especially with the demon stuff)…and yes, there is a situation where rape was implied.  But I don’t believe it was too visual to the detriment of the story. 
     Betrayal with a capital B in this series…Rishona and her cruel uncle Mechnes (see, how do you say that name?), and that truly twisted relationship.  Mage Cory, and where his story changed and led, and his relationship with Eolyn.  All in all it was a decent follow up to the first book…not as magical, in the broader sense of the word, but still got me hooked into moving onto book three.  


Book Three, Daughter of Aithne

     Again, these are my feelings more than my memory of the details since it’s been a while since I read these.
     First of all I remember the book begins with a jump forward ten years.  That really took me for a loop.  I was like..wait…what about all that life to get here?  I need a little more please.  The first book was so languid and slow, growing into the character and her life, allowing you to feel for her, to believe her.  The second book jumped up in pace, but more centered around a specific time. However, the third book just felt like a bit of a rush job to me.   Especially the ending.

     Once again, I felt, geez, are these women EVER going to elevate or catch a break?  Are they always going to be battered?  I wanted something to be right already.  Adiana’s outcome…what!!  That seriously broke my heart.  And the way the Queen’s uncle spoke and thought of Eolyn really bugged me.  I kept yelling..no, you got it all wrong!  This character was so believable and the story so strong, it felt like a real portrayal of someones life.  I didn’t want anyone to say anything bad about her.  So kudos to the author for this accomplishment.  The growing years of family, children.  The King and that amazing love.  It was one of the best love stories in this regard.  And I'm not usually one for romance in my fantasy.  And the King...I loved this King...I loved him as a boy too.
     However,  for me, the ending came completely out of left field.  I didn’t even get it for a minute.  I had to think back, hey wait why don’t I remember ANYthing relating to this whole HUGE experience?  I actually looked back in the book a bit to see if I missed something because this was just so random to me.  But I couldn’t find anything relating to this specific time…so..yeah?  I don’t know what to say about that.  I just put my kindle down and thought..really?  That’s it?  
     To me the book was depressing.  I never got back to any of that ‘magic’ of the first book, or the ‘hope’ of the second.  Although the author can write, and had a terrific premise for this series, as well as creative world building, for me, the last book fell short.  The ending just didn’t work for me, it was a let down from the first books beginning journey into a thoughtful life, and of something wonderful happening to this girl…this girl with so much promise and magic.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency. 

Twitter: @EolynChronicles

Purchase link for EOLYN, Book One of THE SILVER WEB: http://www.amazon.com/Eolyn-Silver-Web-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01B8F4G50/ 

Purchase link for SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two of THE SILVER WEB: https://www.amazon.com/Sword-Shadows-Silver-Web-Book-ebook/dp/B01G5L1GEG/ 

Purchase link for DAUGHTER OF AITHNE, Book Three of THE SILVER WEB: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Aithne-Silver-Web-Book-ebook/dp/B06WCZYRNW/ 

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8 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting, and also for your very thoughtful reviews! Sorry to disappoint you on the third round, but what can I say? Sometimes the characters lead me to unexpected places, and then the unexpected happens. ;) Would love to talk with you about the details in a spoiler-safe forum. Maybe on Goodreads? Wishing you a happy holiday with lots of magic!

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    1. I would love that!...I felt bad saying something negative, I don't usually go there with someone's work. As an author I know how it feels. However, I just felt so strongly I had to say the truth. In the meantime we had to put our dog down last week and it was a challenge to pull this together in time (even though I had months!), so I will get to goodreads and amazon today and post my reviews...thx again!

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    2. No worries! I have enough confidence in why I write what I write that critical reviews pretty much wash over me anymore. I understand readers don't always find what they are looking for; but - as you well know - that doesn't change the fact that I have to be true to my characters. I am so appreciative that you made it through the entire series, and was especially encouraged by your positive comments on Sword of Shadows, which was by far the most difficult of the three books to write. (Parts of it made me cringe, too!) I am very sorry to hear about your dog!! What a terrible loss. Many hugs to you and I look forward to connecting on Goodreads.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, all of the books sounds wonderful!

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  3. Thank you for your honest review, it's much appreciated!

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