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Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD OF WINTER: JOURNEY 14, THE VEIL by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene). All is well that ends well. A fitting ending to a totally immersive journey

Hi all:

I promised recently that I’d bring you the review of the last journey in Dead of Winter pretty soon, and here it is. What an ending!

Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

From the very beginning, a prophecy from a creepy voice threaded throughout this story. “Winter is coming!” it warned. As the Journeys progressed, we became aware of additional related prophesies like one of the “lost white brother” and “the frozen sands.” Both of those are touched on in this concluding novella.

Other threads from the previous thirteen Journeys also come together in this volume, which concludes Dead of Winter.

As many readers said they don’t want these Journeys to end, in the final chapter, I added hints about potential future adventures for many of the characters. These are food for the imagination of readers, so that the story can continue in the mind.

This has been as much of a “journey” for me as it was for Emlyn. I’ve seen truths about myself along the way. Perhaps the same applies to you.

“Who can say? What is true for us? That with which we are born? Or that which is the manifestation of our heart and soul? I like who and what I am, as well as the way I see the world I see around me, when I am a dragon.”

Thank you for being an important part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Universal Purchase Links for Dead of Winter: Journey 14, The Veil

Journey 14, The Veil

Kindle:  relinks.me/B0B41FF3FX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0B3RVHG1S

Author Teagan Geneviene

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com


Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

My review:

It is with some mixed feelings that I write this review. Not about this journey or Dead of Winter, of course. No need to worry. The ending is everything I could have hoped for, and even more. But, after a year and a half of following Emlyn (and the rest of the characters) in their adventures, it feels very strange to get to the end. No matter how well it all works and how fitting the ending is, knowing that I don’t have more journeys to look forward to makes me a bit sad. At a time when reality proved dire and challenging, Dead of Winter gave us something to look forward to: excitement, adventures, magic, friendship, legends, wisdom, risk, evil, courage, and faraway worlds that sometimes felt very close. So, yes, I’ll miss all that.

Thankfully, the author not only offers us a very satisfying closure (I won’t go into any details, don’t worry), but she also hints at things to come. As she explains in the description, these hints will help us all continue the adventures of our favourite characters in our imaginations, and we won’t be left so bereft.

As I don’t want to talk about the plot, or about the future that awaits the characters either, I will mention some of the things that I most enjoyed about this final journey.

Emlyn is the protagonist, as she should be, but despite her misgivings, she is not alone. It is great to see her be both, bold and timid, fearful and fearless, determined and full of self-doubt. Despite how far she has come, Emlyn is only twelve years old, and although she is not exactly the typical moody and unruly teenager, she still wants to do things her own way and act like a grown-up, while at the same time feeling that she is not good enough to do what is expected of her. But she is so generous that she forgets all her doubts when one of her friends is in danger, and… Well, I won’t share any specifics, but you probably know what I mean.

I enjoyed the fact that many of the characters we have met throughout these journeys make an appearance, and some of the questions that we’ve been thinking about and also a few matters pending are revisited and solved. We get to see more of the goddesses and their particular sense of justice and morality, and I chuckled at some of the tricks they play on each other (and smiled at some of the synergies and connections between goddesses and humans).

There are action scenes aplenty, there are wonderful settings, and marvellous events, there are surprising discoveries as well, and rather than an ending, this feels like the beginning of a much longer journey, for Emlyn, her friends, and allies.

If you have read the rest of the series, don’t delay and read this one. I understand your possible reluctance, but it will leave you with a happy smile on your face. And if you haven’t, remember to read it in the right order. If you are starting the journey now, I envy you a bit. But, it has been an unforgettable reading experience, and I’m sure the characters will remain with me. Congratulations to the author, and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future, in whichever genre she chooses.

 Here I leave you the link to the previous journeys, in case you’ve missed any.

DEAD OF WINTER — THE PREVIOUS JOURNEYS

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 13, The Harbor

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09TN3NDX1

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09TN1F58B

Journey 12, Goddesses

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09P5LJY13

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09NTTZ9J8

Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

Journey 10, Pergesca

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09J6TH8TD

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09J7GFWYV

Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09F8Y5DML

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09F1BB9RW

Journey 8, The Lost Library

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

Journey 7, Revenant Pass

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Kindle:  relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Paperback: relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

I share the link to a recent interview with the author by Pat at e-Quips, because I found it fascinating, and I am sure you will as well.

https://equipsblog.wordpress.com/2022/06/18/author-interview-with-teagan-r-geneviene/

Thanks to the author for taking us on this journey, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, click, review, and always keep smiling. Big hugs!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Old friends, strong enemies, wonders, worries and only one journey left #fantasy

Hi, all:

I bring you the last but one Journey of Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s Dead of Winter. And the author has shared that she has finished the last journey, so I will bring you that one pretty soon, I am sure, as I can’t wait to know what happens!

Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 13, The Harbor by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

A great battle begins. Action abounds as many threads are drawn together. Arawn has amassed overwhelming legions of the dead. Another unexpected but powerful foe comes into the battle. All of Emlyn’s companions and friends are in grave danger as they face insurmountable odds. Two goddesses could even the odds, but gods and goddesses are known to be unreliable. Will they help? Or will they do more harm than good?

Meanwhile the goal of the Society of Deae Matres is to re-create the Binding to again trap Arawn and any other nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead. Yet, what about Boabhan and Lucetius? Boabhan is at least half nightwalker. Lucetius, her son, was conceived when Arawn violated her while attempting to turn her. Will they be trapped in a new Binding along with their worst enemy? This is revealed in Journey 13.

Come, be a part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09TN3NDX1

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09TN1F58B

Author Teagan Geneviene

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com


Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

My review:

I’ve been following this novel, which the author decided to publish using the serial format, from the first journey. And now that there is only one more instalment left, I can honestly say it has been quite the journey. The author decided to divide the book up into Journeys, transforming the original novel to make it more compatible with the serialisation, and adding extra materials and new scenes as she went along. Journey is the perfect word for each one of these gems, not only because the characters visit many locations in the fantastic universe created by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, but also because Emlyn, the main protagonist, undergoes quite a transformative experience, and an emotional journey that takes her from childhood to adulthood (almost), and transforms her from a shy, quiet, ignored and forgotten girl, into an independent, brave, and determined young woman, one with skills, powers, and abilities beyond anything she could have ever dreamed.

In this particular journey, there are quite a few surprises. We have interesting asides about Gods, Goddesses, (with their suspect morals and as many vices as they have virtues), and their behaviour towards human beings. Some of the most fascinating characters we have met throughout the previous journeys make an appearance here, bringing with them allies and forces to help fight the war, although that is not without its added complications. How will they all interact with each other, and how invested they will be in the future of the inhabitants of the world? Will their own hatreds and their wish for revenge blind them to what might be best for Emlyn and her friends? Can the past be repeated, and if it can, should it be, when the consequences might be devastating for some?

While the “adults” make plans, Emlyn has a chance to reflect and wonder what the consequences of those plans might be. Although she still has doubts about her own skills and the role she has to play, many of those fantastical beings who come to their aid see her differently from her travelling companions, trust her and shower her with compliments and accolades. They believe in her and know her fate is linked to that of her world.

Hesitant still, but emboldened by the confidence some very important players have placed on her and worried about the fate of one of her friends, she sets off on one more journey, aware of the risks, but determined to play a part and not be left behind.

The journey ends up on quite a cliffhanger, although at this stage of the story, doing otherwise would be almost impossible.

I enjoyed everything: being reacquainted with some of my favourite characters from previous journeys; learning more about the past and about how the goddesses, the Deae Matres, the dead kings, and the many wondrous creatures get on with each other, and what their relationships, alliances, and disagreements are like; seeing Emlyn having a few moments with some of her friends and thinking about the future; seeing her figure out things that others (older and more experienced) have missed, and getting an opportunity to observe the tactical moves of both parties and how the war evolves.

Another unmissable chapter, once again enhanced by the beautiful writing, the powers of description and observation of the author, and her inclusion of a cast of locations and characters at the end.

As always, I recommend it to anybody who enjoys coming of age stories, especially those with a taste for fantasy, whimsy, wonderful and highly imaginative writing, and characters and creatures you’re unlikely to forget.

To fully enjoy the experience, the journeys should be read in the right order, and to make that easy for everybody, I include the universal links to all the previous journeys as well.

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 12, Goddesses

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09P5LJY13

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09NTTZ9J8

Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

Journey 10, Pergesca

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09J6TH8TD

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09J7GFWYV

Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09F8Y5DML

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09F1BB9RW

Journey 8, The Lost Library

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

Journey 7, Revenant Pass

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Kindle:  relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Paperback: relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Thanks to the author for this serial that has kept us on our toes, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, and keep smiling and safe!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD OF WINTER: JOURNEY 11, The Sumelazon Escarpment and JOURNEY 12, Goddesses by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Wonderful new characters and a dark threat closing in #fantasy #bookreview

Hi all:

I’m not going to try to introduce the reviews of the two next journeys in the popular series Dead of Winter. Those who read my blog regularly know I’ve been following it for a year now, so, without further ado…

Author Teagan Geneviene

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com


Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

Dead of Winter: Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment. 

Meet a new character in this Journey of Dead of Winter. She is a Deae Matres whose encounter with Gethin Gwilym has an unexpected result. Next in Pergesca, we get better acquainted with a noblewoman or a “HaDritak,” who is an old friend of Zasha. She has a few tricks up her sleeves.

 Emlyn sees and experiences places, customs, and foods that are foreign to her. One of her gifts is growing.

 As the conclusion of Emlyn’s “Journeys” draws near, we see that our heroes are underdogs. They are out-manned, “out-spirited,” and under-powered — physically, magically, and politically. With no other recourse, they make use of deception and manipulation. Although, how can that possibly be enough?
Universal Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

My review:

What to say? Teagan Geneviene has managed to hook a non-high-fantasy reader like me, into this story, which I have followed since the first instalment, and now I have been reading it for over a year. The fact that it is divided up into short and manageable bits, and that it builds up slowly without dumping huge doses of backstory and never-ending descriptions of complex worlds into the readers laps, demanding absolute attention and devotion, has helped me stay the course so far, and I have to admit that I will miss it when it is over (and I know the end is approaching).

For those readers who might leave some time between one instalment (or Journey) and the next, the author includes a cast of characters and locations at the end, which is continuously updated with all the new information, and allows us to catch up or refresh our memories of what went before.

Although the central character and main protagonist of the story is Emlyn, we get the opportunity to see the world from some of the other characters’ perspectives as well, and in this journey —which is one of those where we get a chance to catch our breath, digest what has come before and get ready for what is to come— we meet some new characters as well.

A Deae Matres from ancient times finds one of the male characters (Gethin), tells him a few things aboout himself and his ancestors, and brings him a magical object as well. History is never quite past and gone in this story, and destiny, fate, family lines and legacy all play fundamental roles in the events.

Zasha comes into her own and shows us (and Emlyn and Osabide) that she has learned a lot about the inner workings of her world and the Deae Matres Society. HaDritak Baki, a friend of Zasha’s, is quickly becoming a new favourite of mine (she is a character!), and Lucetius, one of the most fascinating beings in a story full of them, comes back and proves that Emlyn was right in her feelings about being somehow connected to him. We meet a military man as well (and I do like him already), and Emlyn and Luce manage to do something quite extraordinary.

As I don’t want to spoil the story, I won’t give you any further details, but if I had to highlight something from this chapter, it would have to be the richness of the language and the beautiful descriptions of places, smells, foods, and most of all, clothes, which play a very important part in this Journey, especially for Emlyn. Oh, and there are some surprises in store about the Deae Matres Society, their membership, and their politics.

So, yes, don’t hesitate if you’ve already been following Dead of Winter and carry on reading it. The story keeps getting better and better and this journey is proof of that. If you haven´t started yet, you should, but do it in the right order, and begin reading Journey one immediately. You won’t regret it.

Dead of Winter: Journey 12, Goddesses by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 12, Goddesses by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene  

So far in previous Journeys of “Dead of Winter,” we’ve encountered villagers and city folk, religions, armies, and societies. We learned of terrifying beasts, nightwalkers, and the enigmatic Listeners. The final battle is at hand. Journey 12, brings us yet another type of extraordinary being – goddesses. Yet are they salvation? Or another complication… or even a threat.

Universal Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09P5LJY13

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09NTTZ9J8

My review:

You know you are hooked onto a series when you see or hear something and you wonder what the characters would say, see a piece of clothing and it reminds you of a dress one of them wears, or think about what might be happening there even when you are not reading it. And that is definitely what is happening to me with this series. I was watching TV and some of the things I saw in the news made me wonder what the Brethern of Un’Naf would have said if they had seen it, and I am sure I often stare at people because they remind me of one of the characters in Dead of Winter. Irrespective of the genre and how often you read it, if the story and the characters become alive for you and you care for them, you’ve found a new favourite.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the story for those who haven’t been following the series (you need to read the journeys in the right order, as the story builds up as it goes, and each journey is carefully designed to fit in neatly into the overall narrative), but things are coming to a head. Winter is no longer coming. It is here with a vengeance.

In this particular journey, as the blurb suggests, we have new beings that make an appearance, and it seems that they will play a big part in the events to come, at least some of them. The Goddesses of the title appear in the prologue already, and their magic spreads throughout the journey, where we also renew our acquaintance with other characters and get to see what is happening elsewhere, back where the first journey started.

Emlyn is happy to be joined again by a character she has become very fond of (sometimes the families we create are a much better fit than the ones we happen to be born into, as is the case here), and she even wonders about a possible romance (no, not for her, don’t fret); there are apologies and we get a new understanding of some past events, and other characters we have met before come bearing information and warnings.

I thoroughly enjoyed this journey, but some of the highlights for me were: the opportunity to see Emlyn become more independent, daring, and introspective; the way some characters got a chance to learn about new inventions and build up their knowledge by sharing it with others; our new insight into the feelings of one of the male characters (I am sure I wasn’t the only one wondering about this); the opportunity to learn a bit more about the World of the Dead and how thing work there; and especially the joy, playfulness, and sense of humour of one of the beings that comes into the story and makes quite an impression. Yes, she is a Goddess, and I love her already. Well, being a Goddess, I guess I adore her.

Although I haven’t been sharing samples, to avoid spoilers, I couldn’t resist including this one, because it made me laugh, and it shows how much more relaxed and at home Emlyn is now.

Here, Emlyn is talking about a character she met before, who suddenly turns up again:

She was the picture of everything Emlyn had always imagined a well-to-do young lady should be. Well, except of course for being dead.

We are coming close to the (final?) battle, and the preparations are in haste, so I recommend anybody who enjoys creative stories, wonderful characters, and colour worlds and hasn’t yet started reading this series to start now, as I’m sure you’ll want to be ready for the ending, which I have the feeling will be quite spectacular. I can’t wait, although, at the same time, I don’t want it to end. I’m sure you know what I mean.

Thanks to the author for these journeys, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to stay safe and take care, to keep smiling and reading, and to enjoy every minute. 

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD OF WINTER. Journey 9, Doors of Attunement and Journey 10, Pergesca by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) The pace is quickening and wonders don’t cease. Get ready for the ride of your lives!

Hi all:

I bring you two more of the Journeys in the Dead of Winter serial, and wow, we are getting close now…

I have been following author Ríordáin Geneviene for a number of years now, down many of the paths her imagination has travelled, from her blog, where she has created a number of serials with the participation of her readers (incorporating the items they propose into her stories), in many genres (steampunk, historical fiction, fantasy…) always with a seamless weaving of research (into artefacts of a historical period, language and fashionable expressions of an era, music, and recipes of bygone times, names and mythology and their link to specific places and meanings…), a wonderful playfulness in her use of language, and a penchant for flights of fancy and whimsy. It doesn’t matter how closely you are following the events and how well you think you know her characters, there are surprises waiting when you turn the next page, and you’re always left wanting more.

Author Teagan Geneviene 

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. Http://www.teagansbooks.com


Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

Dead of Winter. Journey 9, Doors of Attunement by Teagan Ríodáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 9, Doors of Attunement by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

In this ninth installment Emlyn, Osabide, and Fotia (in Zasha’s body) traveled to a third world, so little known that it is only called the Other Realm. They hope to restore Zasha. Will Fotia willingly relinquish her new life in a young body? There the trio meet unpredictable, but vastly powerful beings known as the Listeners. One of them is a new enemy. Another might be friend or foe. Either way, he is dangerous.

Arawn has grown stronger. An army of the dead gathers near the Lost Library. Hallgeir faces one of the biggest decisions of his life.

Journey with our travelers. Adventure awaits.

 https://relinks.me/B09F8Y5DML

 My review:

Fantasy is a bit of a hit-and-miss for me, but based on my previous experience reading this author, I knew I had to try her new (although originally written as a single novel a number of years ago) serial, Dead of Winter. And, as usual, she has surpassed herself. I’ve come to eagerly await the next journey, to celebrate every monthly publication, and it has become a highlight in my reading schedule.

In Journey 9, we have Emlyn, the main protagonist of the story, and two of her friends (although one is not quite herself, and that is one of the reasons for their quest), journey through the “Other” realm. It is an strange and wondrous place, and they are soon confronted with decisions (if you love game shows, the fact that they have to choose one of three doors will bring all kinds of connections to your mind) that require not only courage, but also intuition, trust in each other and belief in themselves.

Emlyn uncovers new powers/abilities she didn’t know she possessed, and we find out that the “Listeners” can take many forms and are as puzzling,enchanting, and unnerving as most of the other creatures we’ve come across in these journeys. Readers travel beyond the Other realm, there are more magical objects to be retrieved, and although they achieve their goal, they also confirm that risks and dangers are getting closer and closer.

There is a touch of Alice through the Looking Glass in this journey (although in this case, through a painting), and we get to hear from Luce, one of the most enigmatic characters in this serial (and that is saying something!), who, for the first time, allows us to peep into his mind.

As this journey ends, Hallgeir —one of the men travelling with the Deae Matres and protecting them— finds his loyalty put to the test. Or his loyalties, because, should one always put family before everything else, or are other callings stronger than blood? It is a particularly tense moment, and I am relieved to already have Journey 10 waiting to be read, as it would have felt like a very long wait otherwise.

Those who are following the story already know the author includes a cast of characters and locations at the end, to ensure readers don’t lose track and don’t miss any of the details. This keeps being updated with each new journey, to avoid spoilers.

I loved the descriptions of the new characters, the places the protagonists visit, and, in particular, the insight we are given into their innermost thoughts, doubts, and feelings. A journey full of wonder and adventure, and an ending that pulsates with excitement and expectation.

Don’t forget to read the journeys in the right order, and go on, keep reading Dead of Winter.

Dead of Winter. Journey 10, Pergesca by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

 

Dead of Winter: Journey 10, Pergesca by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

Dead of Winter: Journey 10, Pergesca” resumes outside the Lost Library, where Hallgeir was faced with a decision that could impact the entire world.

Lucetius is gravely wounded when he attempts to deliver a message. Emlyn, Zasha, and Osabide are again separated from all their friends. The Three must continue their journey without assistance or protection from the other travelers. They must reach the faraway city of Pergesca. That is also the seat of power of the ancient Society of Deae Matres. Will the companions eventually be reunited?

A vicious enemy returns, displaying unexpected strength.

An important character dies in this novelette. The death of a character is a rare thing in stories written by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.

https://relinks.me/B09J6TH8TD

 My review:

What to say! We’ve reached Journey 10 in Dead of Winter, and for me, it has definitely been a big journey into a realm I rarely visit, that of high fantasy. I’m not a reader lacking in imagination or preoccupied with productivity and getting the most out of any lecture time. My love for fiction was born when I was a child, and although I’ve read (and still read) a lot of factual and non-fiction books (for professional and personal reasons), my preference for my downtime is fiction. I read realistic fiction, but I’m quite fond of fairy tales and horror as well. My problem with high fantasy, I think, is not so much with the fantasy side of things, but with the build-up to the stories, the large number of characters, often with strange and somewhat similar names (I have the same issue with some spy novels, although those I find dry at times), and the huge amounts of backstory and telling usually required to explain the worlds where the stories are taking place. As much as I love a well-written plot, I have also been more of a character reader, and in some cases, those seem to get lost among all the scaffolding in some of the big fantasy sagas. So, reaching Journey 10 of this serial is an achievement, for me and one that shows the skill of the author.

In Dead of Winter, Ríordáin Geneviene manages to combine a weird, wonderful, scary, terrible, and beautiful world, with different realms and with a cast of characters that although not always “human” and/or “alive” we can easily connect with. Emlyn, the main protagonist, is a credible normal child (only twelve years old) but also gifted, unique, and the perfect hero to guide us on this quest. And I am sure every reader will have his/her own favourite among the many characters (creatures included).

This Journey is pretty special, as the author explains because one of the characters dies. I’m going to avoid any spoilers, although I was not surprised by the event. When I thought about the author’s prologue, I imagined who it could be; it is well done, makes perfect sense, and brings some sense of completion to that character.

There are many other adventures and magical events in this journey: we have characters surprising everybody with changes of heart (possibly); the three women with a most delicate mission (Emlyn, Osabide, and Zasha) are placed in great danger due to a mean and vengeful character trying to get revenge; a new favourite of mine puts in a star appearance; we have further “through the looking glass” moments; Emlyn finds herself in a city for the first time and doesn’t quite know what to think; Zasha —who is slowly recovering her old self, but with some changes— is back home and playing guide; there is further evidence of the breach(chasm in the veil separating the world of the living from that of the dead; we meet new characters and old characters who leave mysterious messages and warnings, and the future appears very uncertain.

The writing is immaculate as usual, with truly emotional moments, vivid descriptions of action and battle scenes where we can feel the danger jumping at the protagonists, and some reflective and quiet moments when we are privy to the thoughts, reflections, and doubts of the protagonists (mostly from Emlyn’s point of view, but we get some insights into Zasha’s thoughts and feelings as well). The pace of the story and the narration is quickening, and things are coming to a head. I will be sorry to see this story end, but, at this point, I’m also eager to know what will happen. Winter seems to have arrived already, and time is of the essence.

I’ve recommended this story to all and sundry, and other than people who only read non-fiction and cannot stand fantasy in any shape, I cannot imagine many who would not enjoy it. The serial format works beautifully to ensure that no reader gets overwhelmed by the story building and the number of characters and settings, and the author also includes a cast of characters at the end, which she updates as required, to help those who might have a doubt or want to remind themselves of some stray detail. Read the serial in the right order, and be prepared for the journey. It is a wild and magical ride.

Thanks to the author for this wonderful serial, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to stay safe and take care above all, and to like, share, comment, click, and, always keep smiling. 

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Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview DEAD OF WINTER: Journey 7, Revenant Pass and Journey 8, The Lost Library by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Powers, new and old, connections, and a quest.

Hi all: Today I bring you the review of two more of the Journeys that comprise Dead of Winter. Hold on to your seats, because things are getting wild!

I am a fan of multi-talented Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, follow her blog (where she creates wonderful serials, with the participation of her readers), and have read several of her novels and novellas. She writes in a variety of genres (and she likes to experiment and combine those, rather than stick to the rules), but there are always elements of fancy, wonder, and magic weaved into her stories. Although I don’t usually read fantasy, I have no hesitation reading or recommending this series, even to people who aren’t that keen on the genre. I love the way she combines some unlikely and beautifully described settings with wonderful characters, playful dialogues (her love of research is legendary, and she always finds historically accurate words and long-forgotten expressions that delight readers), and highly imaginative storylines. No matter how many of her books you read, you’re bound to be surprised by her stories.

Author Teagan Geneviene

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. Http://www.teagansbooks.com


Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

Dead of Winter Journey 7. Revenant Pass by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

Dead of Winter: Journey 7, Revenant Pass begins with the ancient watcher’s memory of the Library of the Society of Deae Matres — and its fall. We also get a look into the thought process of treacherous Arawn. Then the story picks up where we left Emlyn and company, trapped in the Realm of the Dead.
This Journey is shorter than some, but adventure abounds. Some characters go missing. You’ll have to read to learn more.
Come, be a part of the Journeys.

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

 

My review:

I was provided an early ARC copy of this book, which I freely chose to review.

I am a fan of the author, I have read all the journeys in Dead of Winter so far and think the serial format suits the story well, because it builds up the characters, and the connections between them are revealed slowly, without overwhelming the readers. People who don’t have a lot of time to read don’t need to worry about getting too caught up in the story and not being able to stop. The author has chosen the length of the episodes and the perfect point to split up the novel, and we come to the end of each journey both satisfied with what happens and left wanting more.

This episode, although short, is very important, as we get to understand who Haldis —whom we knew as the Watcher in the early journeys— is (although we might have had our suspicions), and how her story links to that of the Deae Matres. It hints at what is to come, and it drags us even deeper into the story. Some of the connections and the links that we might have suspected are coming to the fore, and some of the questions we might have had are slowly getting answered.

We see things from the perspective of several characters (even the baddy), and we also get deeper into Emlyn’s thoughts, her doubts, her sensations, and that makes us empathise even more with her. She is quickly getting out of her shell and learning about other cultures and lifestyles, although she still doubts herself at times and wonders what her right place is and what the future holds in stock for her.

This journey includes some wonderful descriptions, as usual, and action scenes and scary moments aplenty. We are getting closer than ever to learning what happened in the past and discovering how that history is linked to the protagonists and the present. The warnings and the threats feel more urgent as well, and events seem to be speeding up. Characters disappear, mysteries abound, and there are many questions left answered.

I loved this journey, and I felt as if things were falling into place. I am in awe at the way everything is interconnected, and I can’t wait to learn what happens next. Thankfully, I won’t have to wait long.

Just a reminder that this is a complete story split up into journeys, and readers need to read them in order to be able to follow the plot and fully appreciate its complexity. The author includes a list of characters and locations at the end, so even if it’s been some time since you read the previous journey, you can easily refresh your memory and pick up the story where you left off.

Recommended to anybody who loves great characters, beautiful writing (whatever their thoughts on fantasy), and imaginative stories, especially to those who appreciate shorter reads but like the idea of a serial.

Dead of Winter Journey 8. The Lost Library by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 8, The Lost Library by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Throughout the previous volumes the fantasy aspect of this epic has gradually built. In Journey 8, that fantastical element comes to the fore.
Emlyn and her companions search for the fabled Lost Library. The entire world is at risk, so they hope answers will be there. However, a new complication arises and the fate of one Deae Matres hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile Arawn, who tore the Veil between the worlds of the living and dead, tries to make an evil alliance with a long dead king who was known for his ruthlessness.
Remove the limits from your imagination and join Emlyn and company on this extraordinary adventure.
 

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

My review:

Journey 8 is a gripping one, as there are plenty of adventures, and we gain some fascinating insights into some of the characters’ backgrounds (already hinted at in Journey 7) and learn more about the history of the Deae Matres and the lost library of the title.

As the author tells us in her preface, this journey is slightly different in structure, as Haldis, the Watcher, has now become part of the action, and she is intriguing, to say the least. She becomes a guide to the rest of the characters, but she is unreliable, partly because she is old, and her memory is far from perfect, and partly, perhaps, because there are things she is keeping to herself.

Arawn, the baddiest of the bad, makes an appearance that puts an even darker spin on things, and although the Deae Matres are together again, things are not as they were before. Haldis promises there is a solution, but not everybody is convinced by her suggestion.

Three of the protagonists of the story embark on a quest, becoming seekers (I’m trying to avoid any spoilers), and what they find reminded me of some of the most imaginative and wonderful stories the author has come up with in her blog and in previous novels. She definitely delivers in her promise of fantastic elements. Her descriptions are eye-poppingly incredible and beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what else the trio will find.

Just a quick reminder that you need to read all the journeys in order, and it is easy to catch up on previous adventures as the author includes a list of characters and settings at the end that is updated with each installment, as relevant.

A magical read that is becoming more intense and intriguing as it goes. Unmissable.

Thanks to the author for keeping the story coming (it has become something to look forward to, and reliable as well), thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, keep reading, and about all, take care and stay safe. 

 

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Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Dead of Winter: Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls and Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Things keep getting intriguing, dangerous and wondrous #fantasy

Hi all:

I bring you the review of the next two installments in the Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s serial Dead of Winter. The author has shared that we’re more or less halfway through, and I’m happy there’s much more to come yet, although the story is getting to a point where many of the strands seem to be coming together, although there is much we don’t know yet.

Here they come.

Dead-of-Winter-Journey-5.-Llyn-Pistyll-Falls-by-Teagan-Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

The titular dead of Winter begin this Journey in a collection of vignettes. The Veil separating the world of the living and the Realm of the Dead has indeed become thin. As feared the dead begin to enter the Realm of the Living. Small outbreaks of chaos are scattered across the world as spirits try to resume their old lives.

Also in those shorts, two characters are introduced who will come back into the story in future Journeys — Gregorios, and Mairead who recalls the circumstance that brought Zasha and Tajín together. The spirits also visit some characters from past Journeys.

Emlyn and company encounter the King of Hell, and this time, Arawn is not in a dream-like netherworld.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09431TD6G/

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B09431TD6G/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09431TD6G/

Dead of Winter Journey 6. The Fluling Fell by Teagan Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 6, The Fluting Fell by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Emlyn’s story continues in Journey 6, The Fluting Fell. She gains tragic insight into Boabhan… horrifying things that she is too young to know. This event also shows an unexpected softer side to another character.

The travelers reach an abandoned estate, Wych Elm Manor, although it is not completely unoccupied. It yields answers as well as questions. Emlyn finds clues that lead them farther into their journey. She also meets the silvery-haired young man again.

The travelers have put some distance between themselves and the Brethren of Un’Naf, but do even worse dangers await them? Danger deepens when they take refuge in a mysterious structure.

Come, be a part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096CMTPVP/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B096CMTPVP/

https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B096CMTPVP/

Author Teagan Geneviene

 

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

My reviews:

I’ve been following the serial Dead of Winter from its first instalment; I have read many of the author’s novels, and I also follow her blog, so I didn’t hesitate when she started publishing this serial, even though I am not a regular reader of fantasy. She has a great imagination, can make the most fabulous scenarios and characters come alive, and she knows how to keep her audience captive, as she has proved week after week when she weaves her tales in her blog, even managing to include in the stories elements that her regular readers contribute. So, I’m not surprised to love this story and to have become hooked on it from the very beginning.

Journey 5 is slightly different from the others, as, although we get to hear (or see) from Haldis, the Watcher, as usual (although she knows many things, she does not remember everything, and her process of rediscovering her memories mirrors Emlyn’s learning, while also guiding and intriguing us at once), we also get to witness with her some episodes that clearly demonstrate what the Deae Matres and Emlyn have suspected for a while, that the veil between the living and the dead has definitely been breached. New characters are introduced, that we are told will appear again, and I am eager to see what happens to them in the future, in particular one of the Deae Matres. And, while the dead might bring comfort and advice to some, to others they provide a terrifying and amply-deserved warning (yes, I’m thinking about you, Elder Pwyll).

And then we follow Emlyn’s journey with the Deae Matres; she realises she is being taught many lessons by all the women; and she starts making personal connections and friends with some of them as well, discovering fascinating affinities between herself and these women and learning about some of their wondrous powers.

We get to know more about these incredible women, we travel with them to vividly and wonderfully described places, we hear about distant lands and traditions, and the chapter ends in a hair-raising cliffhanger. What else could we ask for? Luckily, I had the next Journey in the serial already waiting for me, so I knew what to do. And I hope you follow my example.

 

Journey 6 of this serial is, in some ways, like a microcosm of the whole of our Journey so far. It contains adventures and wonderful and scary events aplenty; it has thoughtful and contemplative moments where the characters question their experiences, thoughts, and feelings; it includes beautiful settings, and it adds to our knowledge of the world the story takes place in and its different traditions and legends; it deepens our awareness of the mysteries underlying the story and how intricately they are woven into its fabric; and it manages to captivate us and keep its hold on us, because we have become as invested in the fate of the characters as they are. Having read some of the author’s other novels and her blog, I think most people who are familiar with her work will recognise certain elements and motifs that tend to appear in her writing no matter what the genre is, characteristic of her oeuvre, that will make her fans very happy.

This particular journey comes with a content warning by the author, as Emlyn shares a vivid dream of the abuse of one of the other characters (I am trying not to give too much of the plot away), and although not explicit, as Geneviene explains, it might be disturbing to people who have survived similar experiences. The warning also contains information and advice on who to contact for those who might feel personally affected or who need support. Although there are other dangerous and scary episodes in this journey, I agree that the vivid shared dream Emlyn experiences is the most disturbing part of it.

I had mentioned Haldis when reviewing Journey 5, and she expresses her doubts and confusion quite clearly at the beginning of this journey, while also leaving us some highly intriguing comments that bring some interesting connections and links to mind and leave us wondering.

Emlyn shows great courage but also an impulsive nature that had been kept under control by her circumstances until now. She is greatly affected by the dream mentioned, and that causes her to question many things and to go into a reflective mood, which seems to affect many of the other characters as well. This more contemplative aspect of the journey allows us to gain insight into some of the characters’ personalities and also to learn more details about their lives. We get to understand why some of the characters behave in the way they do, and also why their interaction with others can appear peculiar at times.

Emlyn gets dragged into the world of the Dead once more, and her experience leaves her with some answers but many more questions. It is clear that Emlyn is called to play an important part in the Deae Matres’ journey, and a new quest —full of magic and wonder— takes form.

In this journey, we get to visit some fascinating locations, and there are beautiful examples of the rich and textured descriptions the author has got us accustomed to (I loved the way she describes the clothes they find, but also the furniture, the landscape…). There are also more episodes of the dead coming into the world of the living, some glimpses at what might be behind some of the things that are happening, and an overall sense that the past, the present, and the future, life and death, and reality and dream might not be as fixed and separate as we’d all like to believe.

I wanted to mention a couple of things I haven’t talked about for a while. The author includes a list of characters and locations at the end of the book, to make sure people can check if they have any doubts and don’t feel lost if they cannot recall the full details about a character or a place. The beauty of this list is that it is updated with every Journey, and that means that not only there are no spoilers, but also that although new information is added with every journey, you don’t need to search through lots of characters and places you know nothing about, which are bound to cause confusion before we can locate the one we are looking for.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the wonderful illustrations that accompany each new chapter, which offer us a gallery of pictures and provide a perfect visual companion to the story.

Is there a cliffhanger? Well, we leave the characters in a pretty dire situation, that is true, although it is not as dramatic and dangerous as the point at what the story left us in the previous Journey. But I know I’ll be thinking about what will happen next until Journey 7 falls on my hands.

(I was provided with an ARC copy of this Journey of the serial, which I freely chose to review).

Thanks to the author for her story and for the care she has invested in the adaptation of her novel into a serial that keeps getting better and better, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to keep safe, keep smiling, review, share, and of course, never stop reading. ♥

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview Dead of Winter, Journey 4, The Old Road by Teagan Riordain Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Adventures, scares, legends, and stories. A monthly appointment I always look forward to #fantasy

Hi all:

I bring a big favourite of all my readers. We’ve reached Journey 4 in Teagan Geneviene’s Dead of Winter Serial.

Dead of Winter. Journey 4. The Old Road by Teagan Geneviene

Dead of Winter. Journey 4. The Old Road by Teagan Geneviene

Previously, Journey 3, The Fever Field left Emlyn on the run. Will the Society of Deae Matres be willing to help? After all, in Journey 1, they rejected her father’s plea to take her away. Journey 4, The Old Road features Boabhan, the Society’s most enigmatic adherent. Emlyn finds herself in another kind of danger when the archvillain from the prologue of Journey 1, Forlorn Peak returns to the story in this installment. Plus, she still has not outrun the Brethren. Meanwhile, Emlyn isn’t the only one at risk. This Journey finds many of our friends in harm’s way. This Journey is notably longer than the others. Some parts of the story needed to be told together, in one volume. Come, be a part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.

https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Winter-Journey-Old-Road-ebook/dp/B092G5LB7R/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Winter-Journey-Old-Road-ebook/dp/B092G5LB7R/

https://www.amazon.es/Dead-Winter-Journey-Old-Road-ebook/dp/B092G5LB7R/

Author Teagan Geneviene

About the author:
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?
My review:
I’ve read all the previous journeys in the Dead of Winter serial and loved them (check my latest review here), as I have all the novels I’ve read by Teagan Riordáin Geneviene and also her blog. I’m always amazed by her imagination and her ability to bring to life all kinds of whimsical and wonderful characters and make the readers not only believe in them, but also care deeply for them. That is definitely my case with this story and its characters, and that is despite not being a big fan of fantasy. I usually don’t have the patience for high fantasy, because I like to jump straight into a story rather than have to spend a lot of time getting to understand the rules of the world the author has built. This serial obviates those problems. Not only we get bite-size instalments of the story once a month, but the author has created characters and situations we feel comfortable and familiar with from the start, while he keeps pulling us into an increasingly complex world.
Emlyn, the young protagonist, has a gift (although at first, it seems a curse to her, as it puts her in immediate danger and causes her to be the butt of abuse and prejudice), but despite the help of her friend and mentor, Osabide, there are many things about the world (the worlds) she doesn’t know about because knowledge is frown upon by the religious leaders in her town. Knowledge gives you freedom, and freedom is something they abhor. Following her adventures gives readers a great opportunity to learn about many wonders and to experience the excitement and the risk of the larger world through her eyes.
In the fourth journey, Emlyn gets a taste of what life is like travelling with the Society of Deae Matres, makes some new friends, and realises that many of her intuitions were right. She goes through a terrifying experience that introduces a dark character (that we’ll hear more about in the future, it seems), Arawn, one of the nightwalkers. We also learn about some of the stories and legends (or perhaps true stories?) of heroes, the binding (that seems intrinsically linked to Emlyn’s family), old goddesses, and I have to admit to being fascinated by the new information we gain about Boabhan, who although is one of the Deae Matres, is quite unique (no spoilers) and much older than all of them (it seems).
This is a journey full of adventures, very dynamic, with several lucky escapes and scrapes, unexplained and inexplicable moments, signs of things to come, rumours and questions, gathering of new information, and we also catch up with Emlyn’s trusted teacher, Osabide, whose safety is put to the test. And, Haldis, the watcher, opens the chapter with more and more memories that feed some new information into the story but leave us with more doubts and questions than before.
As has been the case throughout the serial, I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of places, people, animals, clothes, and especially the way the author brings in songs, objects, nature, animals, and even smells into the story, creating a tapestry of characters and setting that crystallise into a three-dimensional story. If I’d liked Emlyn and Osabide from the very beginning, I’m quickly becoming fond of many of the more recent characters, no matter how different from the norm they are.
Although we can’t help feeling frustrated by the end of the journey, as we’d like to keep reading, the author again chooses what feels like a natural pausing point to stop her narration and keep us eager for more.
Her introduction to the new journey gives us enough to keep us thinking, and I am signed into this journey until the very end, I can assure you that.
I can’t recommend this serial highly enough. Even if you’re not a reader of high-fantasy, as long as you enjoy great characters, plenty of imagination, and are a fan of stories that keep getting wilder, more creative, and fantastic as they go along, you can’t go wrong with it. And it will become a monthly appointment on your diary you’ll be eager to keep.

Thanks to Teagan for the new installment (and I can’t wait to read the next), thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, and especially, to keep safe and keep smiling. 

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Mysteries and magic come to the fore #Fantasy

Hi all:

Today, I bring you the review of the third Journey of a series I’ve been following with growing interest. If you haven’t, yet, I hope you give it a try. And you don’t need to be all-out fantasy fans to enjoy it. I am not.

Dead of Winter Journey 3, The Fever Field by Teagan Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

The Fever Field is burial ground that is far older than the inhabitants of the Flowing Lands realize. We first saw it in the prologue of Journey 1, Forlorn Peak. Now we learn more about the place where ancient evil was buried and forgotten, until that moment in the prologue when it broke free.
On the cover of Journey 3, The Fever Field, Emlyn has turned to look toward Zasha. Much of this third installment is told from Zasha’s point of view. We’ll get better acquainted with the sisters in the Society of Deae Matres who traveled with Zasha. Also, we meet a tall, intriguing north-man and the most mysterious adherent of the Deae Matres.
The youngest of all the Society, Zasha encounters some resistance from the other sisters traveling with her. She also runs into trouble of her own.
Meanwhile, Emlyn’s uncertain situation with her family combines with the threat posed by the Brethren of Un’Naf. What is the greater danger, her loved ones, or the fanatics? In Journey 3, Emlyn’s circumstances reach a tipping point. There seems to be no good choice for her. How can she survive?

 https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B08XTNZ9M8/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08XTNZ9M8/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08XTNZ9M8/

Author Teagan Geneviene

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

My review:

I received an ARC copy of this instalment of the serial, which I freely chose to review.

I’ve been following Dead of Winter since its first journey, and despite my usual reluctance to commit to series or long-winded sagas, I’ve been surprised by how quickly it has grabbed my attention and how easy it is to adapt to the format. The length of each journey is such that it gives readers an opportunity to re-engage with the characters and learn more about them, while at the same time moving forward with the adventures and the overall story. The author’s skill is evident in the way she chooses where to pause the story —always managing to give us a sense of completion while leaving us with unanswered questions— and also in her inclusion of a list of characters and settings which allows readers to get their bearings quickly if they have taken a long break in between reading the different journeys.

As per this specific journey… Well, I’ll try not to reveal any spoilers, but I can say that Emlyn is faced with her worst fears; she discovers (as do we) that her gifts/powers go beyond what she had realised until now; her hopes and dreams become real in more ways than one, and she makes some new acquaintances (and I won’t say anything else).

We also learn more about the Deæ Matres, especially from Zasha’s point of view, and realise that not everything is harmony and good cheer. Although it is not surprising, as this group of women come from different regions, cultures, and have been brought up in different traditions, we get to experience some of the tensions, doubts, and to have a peek behind the united front they offer to the outside world.

Magic and mystery are at the heart of this journey, and we get some intriguing clues about objects and characters that have made flitting appearances before but haven’t quite come to the fore yet. We also learn about some of the beliefs and the layers of existence in this universe. The plot thickens, indeed, and the 4th Journey promises to bring even more revelations and eerie happenings.

I also wanted to highlight the quality of the writing. The third person narration from the main characters’ point of view (Emlyn and Zasha in this journey) allows us to witness their internal thoughts and feel closer to the protagonists, while at the same time offering us beautiful (but succinct) descriptions of settings, objects, and people. We also get to experience the feelings, doubts, worries, and sense of wonder they live through.

I can’t but recommend this journey and, of course, remind everybody this is a serial that must be read in the right order. So, if you haven’t started on the Dead of Winter journey yet, do yourself a favour, and get going. And remember, Winter is Coming.

You can check the reviews for Journey 1 here and Journey 2 here.

Thanks to the author for keeping the momentum going, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to stay safe, and to keep smiling, reading, reviewing, and hoping. Big hugs!

Categories
Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog DEAD OF WINTER: JOURNEY 1, FORLORN PEAK by Teagan Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) A great start to a beautiful and compelling fantasy serial

Hi all:

I bring you the review for a new story, or rather, the first “journey” of a new story by an author and blogger I’ve been following and reading for a while now, and whose work I’ve reviewed here on quite a few occasions. When she announced she’d be publishing Dead of Winter, I offered to share the news. I remembered she had mentioned the story to me (although I didn’t know the title or the ins and outs of it) years back and had told me she’d had to put it aside when she realised there was a central element to her story that also appeared in another series that had suddenly become very well-known and popular. She hadn’t been aware of it at the time of writing, and the stories were totally different, but she felt people might still question it. But, as a writer, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same with personal projects, sometimes we can’t let go of certain things, because they keep haunting us, and Teagan has finally decided to publish it in instalments called “journeys” in this case.

I share my review of the first Journey, but I thought I’d borrow from her own presentation of the book, as she knows much more about it than I do. So first I share some of her own introduction and then follows my review.

Here, in Teagan’s own words:

Dead of Winter. Journey 1, Forlorn Peak by Teagan Geneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak!

Dead of Winter will be a serial/series available through Amazon. (Maybe other sites as well, for the anti-Amazon among us.  If those sites cooperate, that is.  I have little patience for their shenanigans).

I call the installments Journeys, because the characters travel across the complex world I built, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. These journeys will publish approximately monthly.  Length will range from 30 to 60 pages, or so.

This is the new video trailer for Journey 1
Here’s the Blurb

Dead of Winter takes place in a fantasy world that resembles some countries in the past of our own world.  In this monthly series we travel through many lands, each with a distinct culture.  The series begins in the Flowing Lands at Forlorn Peak (Journey 1).

The Brethren are fanatics who gradually took over the Flowing Lands.  They say all beliefs but theirs are heresy.  Women are little more than property.  Emlyn is only twelve, but to the Brethren she is an abomination.  Why?  She can see ghosts and other entities.  That’s a secret she can admit only to her teacher, Osabide.

The stronger Emlyn’s ability gets, the harder it is for her to hide it.  Now she has also gotten a supernatural warning that she knows is not about the weather, “Winter is coming!

As the veil separating the world of the living from the realm of the dead deteriorates, the danger accelerates.  Journey with Emlyn as she explores her world and its many cultures in Dead of Winter.

Universal Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Some of you have seen this video with me narrating the prologue, and thank you so much for listening.  It took half a bottle of throat spray, but I did it.  The recording lasts fewer than three minutes and there are lovely images to entertain you. If you haven’t already, then I hope you will stop to listen.

Just in case you don’t know Teagan, here is a bit more information about her:

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a major east coast city, but she calls the desert southwest home. She longs to return to those magical lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

And check her own blog here:

https://teagansbooks.com/

Here is a list of the blogs that are sharing the news as well, so you might want to visit them (not only because of that, but because they are more than worth a visit or many).
Pat Alderman at e-Quips

Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror

Robbie Cheadle at Roberta Writes

Dan Antion at No Facilities

John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites

Gwen Plano at Blog Reflections… From the Desk of Gwen Plano

Mark Bierman at Adventures on Writing

And now, my review:

I have followed the author’s blog and the writing she shares there for a few years, and have also read and reviewed her novels, and I love her imagination and the beauty of her writing, so I am grateful for the ARC copy of this first instalment (journey) of her new serial, which I freely and eagerly chose to review.

I am not a big reader of fantasy, especially “high fantasy”, because I don’t have the patience for the laborious world building involved, the huge amounts of description, and because I need a quick connection with a character, and characters I can relate to (I don’t have to like them, and they don’t have to be anything like me, but there has to be something that pulls me towards them and makes me want to follow their adventures). But I’ve read some fantasy set in worlds that felt fairly familiar or recognisable to me, and where the main characters grabbed my attention straight away. And this was the case here.

Emlyn is a young girl who doesn’t fit in the very narrow and limited definition of womanhood the Brethern have imposed over the Flowing Lands, where she lives. Although in this first journey there isn’t a lot of detail about that world order or the setting, it is clear that the Brethern are some kind of religious fanatics with extreme views (especially where women are concerned), and women are not allowed to learn anything other than how to look after the house, their husbands and their children, are supposed to wear only subdued colours and to hide their hair. Healers or other women suspected of having access to knowledge or who’ve behaved in a manner unbecoming, according to them, get banished or worse.

The society seems to be a pre-industrial one, but not all places are ruled the same, and we get glimpses at what might be a different way of life, although it’s very early days in the story.

I liked Emlyn, who is special in many ways as the blurb hints at, and whose coming-of-age journey seems to play a big part in the story (or so I hope), and I also liked Osabide, her teacher, who hides depths Emlyn is only now beginning to discover. She lives an alternative lifestyle and guides Emlyn through a difficult life, where her family is less than understanding, and there seem to be dangers even under her own roof.

The author’s writing is beautiful, and although I’m not a fan of description per se, she manages to conjure up the natural world surrounding Emlyn, as well as her own experiences, that have more than a touch of the magical and the mystical about them. Even though the story is written in the third person, we see things from the point of view of the protagonist, and we experience her wonder, her fear, and also her excitement at being in the company of women who have a different and less limiting view of the world.

There are characters I dislike already, like Emlyn’s sister and her brother-in-law (he’s a creep!), but I’m sure there will be plenty more, as the second journey promises to offer us a closer view at how things work in Emlyn’s world.

I enjoyed the writing, the characters, the setting of the story, and I’m already hooked onto the imaginary world Emlyn inhabits. There’s nothing I disliked about it, other than I’ll have to wait until the next journey is published to read more. This early in the serial I don’t want to mention other stories that it might put people in mind of (I’m looking at you, The Handmaid’s Tale), but I think most readers are likely to be reminded of past events and historical periods and also about more recent developments in certain societies when they read this journey. A great start to the serial, recommended to all who love fantasy, strong female characters, anybody looking for a short read, and also those who enjoy beautiful writing and want to be transported to an imaginary world where anything might be possible. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Teagan for taking me along on this journey, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep safe, keep smiling (from behind the mask), and come back soon!

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