THE TRIAL OF TOMPA LEE
The Trial of Tompa Lee by Edward Hoornaert. This story gripped me within the first chapter and did not let go until I read the last page. Correction, it still has a hold on me. Hoornaert is an ambitious storyteller and world creator. No word is wasted as he fleshes out his characters, makes the reader care about them, and describes a place with unique customs and brutal justice. Truth and honor reside in the victor, however manipulative and savage. The story kept me on the edge of my seat, invested in the outcome. Would the innocent win against the mighty masses? And at what cost to the victor?
Frost Arch by Kate Bloomfield. The first book of Bloomfield's Fire Mage Trilogy takes us on Avalon Redding's exciting journey. A Fire Mage, Avalon runs away from home to Frost Arch, where she hopes to begin a new life and keep her family and its secrets safe. But placing distance between her past and her new life leaves her vulnerable to people who care more about class status than fairness. Frost Arch's lower magic-level inhabitants are treated like peasants, and Humans are treated even worse.
Bloomfield not only clearly explains a complicated magic system, but also adds extra details and symbolism that I noticed on second reading. For example: What would a tree, mentioned at the very beginning of the story, have in common with an animal Avalon adores? Read and find out. One note: some missing words and a Track Changes strike-through, which shows up near the end, might be distracting for some readers, but I believe these appeared as a result of formatting from AU to USA Kindle. Don't let these stop you. The story is wonderful. I loved it and can't wait to start on the next in the series.
A prequel, Raeven Blacklock, is available on her website and scribd.
THE INCREDIBLE ESCAPE OF THE SLY LITTLE FOX
The Incredible Escape of the Sly Little Fox by Lily Lexington. What a name! And what a cute children's story to go with it. Bright pictures and rhyming poetry will entertain your toddler for many years, and teach a nice lesson, too. Recommended with a smile!