Tag Archives: Six

“We have not yet slain the devil: how shall we determine who is to be our new god”



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The 1-line Review:

A seriously quotable fantasy novel .

The longer review:

There were at least 3 lines that I read and had to pause for a second because of how impressive the lines read. The first one that stopped me was “”We have not yet slain the devil: how shall we determine who is to be our new god.” that was a seriously awesome line to me. I can’t find the other 2 quotes for the life of me but there were a couple others that had some real pull.

The story starts off with a Ranger’s Apprentice feel and the rest falls in line with a story similar to The Beyonder’s series.  It is a lightning-fast non-magic fantasy.  The story is driven by political shifts and espionage, but not to the Level of Game of Thrones. This story would be a great read for a youngster who would love Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, but are too young for those levels of reading.

I was impressed with the sage-ness of the character Mordecani. Many of the ‘quotable wisdoms’ came from him. The main character, prince Korbin, progresses well from start to finish and was a very likable main character.  Prince Korbin ages from boy to man and has to fight with feeling of Duty, and a justice of law that must be brought down upon him.

The strength of the writing and flow of the story overcomes any debut novel shortcomings I detail below. I very much enjoyed the book start to finish.


Where the book lost a star:

Half a star for character naming. Down to the end I was confused with character and location names. The author favored names beginning with A (Aeggis, Ascanth, Astrith, Adamah, Addrich) and R (Rotchardin, Raccanith, Radrin, Roald) .  The sound of many of the names felt too similar,  like how Angie and Angela are similar while Angie and Amanda are less so.

My other gripe was the interjection of a young character in the middle of the novel. There needed to be a flash back type memory or discussion placed somewhere  in the beginning of the novel to tie that character to something. Rather it felt completely out of no where.

Bottom Line:

This was a great debut, I expect the next to really build and flourish off of this first tale. The land of Adamah has real potential to flourish into a great fantasy realm.

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The Lost Branch


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The 1-line Review:

What can I say, I loved this book just as much as the first. The magic gets even better, the plot lines are deep and woven, and we get a great story line into the history preceding the main trilogy story line.

The longer review

Marcellus, Nicolai, and Corren have to handle new roles as King, Prince, and Head of the order. The Norther magical guild, The Osiris Colony threatens the balance of the realm with a claim to the powers of the Phoenix. The earth faeries face a challenge that will challenge their way of life. Can the new king and his brothers safeguard the realm of humans and fairies before the land they know is destroyed?  (you should read and see)

The magic continues to impress from the first book. The book dives into the history of the  Mapmaker and the earth fairies that added a great depth of knowledge to the character of Salerno as well as the origins of The Order.  There is still much to learn about the order, leaving mysteries for the next installment.

The Lost Branch matches the great depth the first book, Gift of the Phoenix, contained . Again the layers of major and minor plot lines are woven together so intricately, and feel separate but connected at the same time  I felt like there were several “mini ending” throughout the story that gave me a satisfying sense as each perspective plot line came to a close.

The main character of each chapter rotates among Marcellus, Nicolai, and Corren, with occasional chapters and excerpts centered around pro and antagonists. Each chapters grips and pulls you into a story line, only to be switched back into another characters story pages after. It ends up creating quite the page turner as you constantly are reading to get back to each character to see what happens next.

Bottom Line:

 I can’t wait for the next! this series is truly one of the great ones.

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The Dragon boy is back!


Here, Learn some more about this book:


(You can read the beginning of the book in that blog link up there!)

The 1-line Review:

Action and adventure are abound in a book even better than the first.

The longer review:

The Watcher of Zargon built upon the strong foundation built by Ben the Dragonborn. It was hard to put this book down, reading one chapters became eight as I tried to stretch my lunch breaks to get more reading in. Much less takes place at the school as Ben, Allison, and new student Mack are quickly dropped into Zargon. The rest of the story became a back and forth of

Zargonian war, family feuds, and diplomacy written in a way that is understandable and appropriate for the  intended reader (juvenile) while still being very entertaining for an adult reader.


I think the greatest improvements from book one stem from the growth of the author. Ben and Allison’s feelings and actions more accurately portray their age (14-15 years old) in this book. I felt they, particularly Ben, acted a bit younger than 13-14 year olds in the previous book. The Watcher of Zargon also has much better chapter to chapter flow than its predecessor; it sheds some of the episodic feel of the last book.


By the end of this book, readers of the six world series have journeyed with ben through 3 worlds, with the promise of an adventure on an unexplored world in the next installment. I certainly hope we get a story into each of the remaining worlds that have not been traversed by Ben and Allison.

Where the book lost half a star:

I’d say my only wish for for a bit more length to the stories. A little more dialogue and a interpersonal development will go a long way for the  coming stories. I think any youngins’ reading the next installment will already be invested in the series and be able to take a little more complexity without losing interest.

Bottom Line:

A series that is picking up speed and worth coming back to again!


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Interview With Dianne Astle- Author of Ben the Dragonborn

19015246Dianne Astle is one of the newest authors to hit the eBook market. Her new YA fiction, Ben the Dragonborn hit the internet shelves November, 2013. It is the first of many adventures in The Six Worlds Series. Ben the Dragonborn is an exciting read for  adventurous boys and the young at heart. I am certainty looking forward to the next Six Worlds story.

Dianne Astle has the first 3 chapters, available for free, on the Ben the Dragonborn website. Head over and jump into the adventure and explore all the extras.

I had the pleasure of asking Dianne a few questions about her first book. Check out the interview below and connect with Dianne on twitter to tell her how much you loved the book when you are finished reading!

You say you stopped reading fiction for a long time. How long? And how did you start again and create the idea of Ben the Dragonborn?

Dianne Astle

Author Diane Astle

I read very little fiction for over 10 years.  Then I came close to crashing and burning during a year when I was home schooling my son as well as working at a challenging job.  There was far too much pressure in my life, and it was made worse by rarely taking time to play.  In an attempt to maintain sanity I started to read fiction.   Sometimes I would read aloud to my son.  We went through the entire Narnia and Lord of the Rings series.

What books are you reading now, or what type of books do you typically read?

My favorite author is Stephen Lawhead.  I loved his Endless Knot trilogy.  I am also a great fan of Terry Brooks, particularly his Children of Armageddon Series.   I liked Narnia, Harry Potter and of course Lord of the Rings.  My favorite books are generally fantasy, but I also enjoy mysteries and historical fiction.  At the moment I am discovering and reading the Indie authors that I am meeting on line.

What is your favorite scene from Ben the Dragonborn?

I think my favorite scene comes near the end of the book. It is when Charla the mermaid picks up the Mer king’s crown and hands it to a human.   Returning the crown herself would have brought the recognition she longed for.  Giving the crown away to humans to return to the Mer king was an act of grace.

Are any of your characters similar to you or people you know?

I love the characters in Ben the Dragonborn.  I enjoy spending time in their company and introducing them to others.  I can’t say that any of them are patterned after someone I know.  They are likely composites.  And I think that a little bit of myself lives in each of the characters.

What was your biggest take-away from your first experience writing a novel?

To tell you the truth my biggest take-away is amazement that I could write something so fabulous (at least in my biased opinion).  I sometimes fear that this is a one-time event and I will never be able to repeat it.

Is there anything you wish you did differently in the story or while writing Ben the Dragonborn?

I worked really hard to produce a book free of spelling and grammatical errors.   When I thought it was perfect and print published the first draft a retired teacher bought it.  She gave it back to me with corrections. I was mortified, but also very grateful that she had the courage to draw the mistakes to my attention.   So I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that any future books need to have an editor.  I feel strongly that anything we publish needs to be the best it can be.  We should not expect people to celebrate books that are full of spelling mistakes and grammatical problems.

What was the first character or scene that came into form when writing Ben the Dragonborn?

I had the basic idea of six worlds bound together by portals under the care of a Guardian with watchers on each world.  The first character to come into being  was Ben and his ability to transform into a dragon.

Do you have a process or routine when writing or generating ideas?

I don’t think anyone would ever hire me to teach a course on how to write a novel.  I did not start with a plan laid out from beginning to end.  I often found myself going back to add scenes.  I added the episode in the library after the rough draft was complete.  At one point Ben was in the clutches of a person eating plant.  The plant episode did not make the final draft.  I was afraid the book was getting too episodic.  I wanted to give character development more attention.

Are you currently working on a sequel to Ben the Dragonborn? Or working on a new idea?

I started writing a sequel.  Once I get Ben the Dragonborn well and truly launched I will return to it.  In the sequel Ben goes to his mother’s home world to learn how to safely transform into a dragon.  Ben must go to his grandfather who will not be happy to learn that he has a half-breed grandson.

Do you have plan for more in the Six Worlds Series?

I do plan to keep writing and have every intention of writing more Six Worlds books.  I think there may be some stories featuring other students from Fairhaven. Perhaps Ben and Denzel will go off world together.  There also could be stories of the Chosen who come from other world to Earth.  The possibilities are endless.

Original Review Here

Thank you again to Dianne for taking the time to share with us! Everyone comeback for more reviews and interviews with Dianne Astle, and other new authors.

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