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Molly's Reviews

Aakuta: The Dark MageAakuta: The Dark Mage
Book 4 of Forgotten Legacy
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Exciting read ... recommended ... 5 stars

The narrative opens as Khador dismounts and gazes toward the mouth of a mighty river. The fertile river delta is to become Khadoratung; the capito lof Khadora. Khador plans to rule his land alone, no travelers other than traders will be allowed to cross mountains. From this beginning the reader is carried along on a quick paced romp including a young Torak soldier who has been chosen to accompany a caravan bound for Chantise. Netura is dismayed when he is told should an attack upon the caravan come he is to take no part in the battle, rather, squad leader Hira insists Netura must hurry and take word of the attack to Lord Marak.

With a view toward wreaking havoc; Jiadin armies have begin to penetrate the Khadoran clans. Vand’s emissary Karnic outlines an audacious plan. Brakas will assemble former Jiadin warriors. Karni will asume a leader in Omunga, Zygor must assume a leadership in the fourth clan. Marak, young lord of the Torak clan, would like nothing more than to live with the Chula and become a great shaman. This is not to be. An ancient scroll, a secret mage training field and the annual Assembly of Lords all figure in Marak’s plans. Although badly outnumbered Lord Marak volunteers his troops to stop the intruders. When Marak approaches the capital in hopes of securing assistance: Marak is dismayed to learn several powerful Khadoran lords are bent on assassinating him. Before long all the Khadoran lords are in league against him. Aakuta, an enigmatic male mage appears in Khadora. It is not long before he and Marak cross paths. Sakovan spies, a Fakaran thief, perfidy, disingenuousness, and plenty of action all accrue before LordMarak makes sense of a tangled web of machination. The Three Sisters Mountains, attack, an escape, and the Vandegar Temple are part of the intrigue. Lords’ Council and the nomination of Lord Marak to an important office round out the narrative.

With "Aakuta: The Dark Mage" writer Tuttle maintains his customary admirable writing in the exhilarative manner readers have come to anticipate. This vibrating tale seizes reader attention from the outset with a keenly focused account. Readers are propelled along on a breathless jaunt filled with first class dialogue, nicely interwoven plots, and a masterfully engineered story line in this narrative of struggle, treacherousness and conspiracy. Conflict abounds and is aptly resolved to reader satisfaction.

In each of his previous works Richard Tuttle’s abundant imagination has carried the reader on many an exciting journey filled with well portrayed, creditable characters, tart dialogue to move the tale forward, and deftly captured environment filled with exciting locations, situations and circumstance. "Aakuta: The Dark Mage" furthers reader enjoyment with people and lands introduced in the work all flourishing under Tuttle’s skillful pen.

"Aakuta: The Dark Mage" is a spine tingling read sure to please those who enjoy a good fantasy complete with quest, hero, magic and divertissement. This is an excellent choice for upper grade youngsters and young adult’s pleasure reading. All who enjoy the genre will find the work more than acceptable.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

Amethyst of the GodsAmethyst of the Gods
Book 7 of Sword of Heavens
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Interesting read ... recommended ... 5 stars

As with the other volumes of the Sword of Heaven series, "Amethyst of the Gods" opens with a Map detailing the land in which the tale is taken. A recap of what has taken place to date is included to reacquaint the reader with some of the action included in the previous works. The Alcea Rangers Five collapse children Arik, Tedi, Tanya, Nikki and Fredrik set out to restore the sapphire of the fairies to the Sword of Heaven thus opening the way for the darkness covering the land to be broken, light is now restored to the land of Cordonia. Alex and Jenneva Tork; Garth and Kalina, serve as mentors to the youngsters in their quest. Two of the young people are children of the ancient prophecy. Other stones are sought next to complete the Sword and return the land to its rightful inhabitants. The Unicorn's Opal, Diamond of Edona, Dwarven Ruby, Emerald of the Elves, Dragon's onyx all must be located. Wylan, Master Khatama, King Arik, all figure in the tale. Emperor Hanchi attacks to find himself facing both Sordoan armies and Melbin guards

Lanoirians breach city wall only to be repelled, magically tossed away from ladder. Arik is aware that Dalgar has nine black devils with him and decides that he will not the magic produced either Tanya or Jenneva's until the right time. Tanya's offer to weaken axles on siege engines, catapult arms are quickly accepted by Arik.

The Army of Lanoir is huge, however Sarac is willing to lose many men in his headlong quest to crush Tagaret At the Tagaret Sword and Shield inn Alex and Jenneva meet a spider: a spy and an old comrade.

A siege, a flag of truce, wild horses and the evil priest of Leda all figure in the tale. The mountain of death, an ancient bridge, the amethyst, trolls, and Tanya falling into an abyss are more of the adventure. A door that will not open, a battle with demons, a plan, love realized, and a wedding round out the tale.

With "Amethyst of the Gods" writer Tuttle rounds out the Sword of Heaven series in the same exciting fashion readers have come to expect. Powerful motivations, shrewdly interwoven, suspense filled story line, a complicated yarn of treachery, strife judiciously resolved and a gratifying culmination are all part of this impressive read.

Richard Tuttle's rich imagination has carried the reader on an exciting journey from the days when we first met the Alcea Rangers, suffered in the eternal darkness and came to dread the evil Sarac to adventure upon adventure as the various stones needed to complete the Sword of Heaven and restore the light were located, retrieved and placed into the handle of the weapon.

Credible characters, well fleshed, struggling against all odds, colloquy filled with poignancy, tingle and grit, all perform against an environment of noteworthy scenes, reverberations and fragrance. The people and land all come to life under Tuttle's skillful pen.

Exciting read sure to please those who enjoy a good fantasy complete with quest, hero, magik and divertissement. Nice addition to the home and school library where Amethyst of the Gods is sure to be read by the upper grade youngsters who enjoy the genre.

Dragons' OnyxDragons' Onyx
Book 5 of Sword of Heavens
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Enjoyed the read ... highly recommended ... 5 stars

King Arik has been crowned. Lattimer at the castle of man feels a shudder in the magic field, realizes Arik is crowned and ponders what will come next. Sarac has been growing more and more angry, however now he is calm. The dragons' onyx is the next stone needed to complete the sword of heaven. Sarac tells Lattimer he knows he has been confused, says his magic force lifted off when the emerald was fitted into sword. Sarac learned the spell for darkness from Alutar. Lattimer is surprised to learn Alutar has tricked Sarac, and once the sword is complete and the darkness gone Alutar will be returned. Lattimer has persuaded strongest dragon, Gorga to Sarac's side and not even Jenneva's powers will thwart Gorga in his determination to keep the onyx. Black devil Dalgar has replaced Emperor Hanchi, Sarac want's Hanchi's army to aid in his plan to destroy the castle of Man, end the prophecy then find and destory Alutar.

Sarac must be killed with the sword of heaven, Fredrik is practicing with the sword when Master Mustar arrives to visit camp. Arik and his followers have been waiting for the emerald to be restored to the sword. Mustar surprises Fredrik when he says Arik must not be allowed to complete the sword of heavens. Fredrik is confused because Mustar has come to stop Arik. Mustar knows Alutar has fooled everyone. They think Alutar is locked away, however this is not true. The darkness has not been destroyed, it rolls away, and the darkness is alive with essence of Alutar when the seventh stone is set in sword then Alutar will coalesce from the darkness. It is Fredrik's responsibility to explain Mustar's message to Arik. The onyx must be retrieved, Arik decides to deal with the greater problem of Alutar after the onyx is returned to the sword. Dragon Wyka aids Arik, Gorga has been suffering from dementia for some time. With the return of the onyx the darkness is rolled back, young dragons fly after the retreating darkness to see where it has gone. Wyka is returned to her royal state. And Arik and his followers are ready for the final quest to find the last stone needed.

Following a recap of the sword of heavens series to date Writer Tuttle's fertile imagination again drives him forward. "Dragons' Onyx" is filled many of the richly drawn series characters we have come to enjoy. Dialog is fraught with excitement. Settings rich in detail as Tuttle has filled his previous works continue in this gripping narrative. Powerful motivations, twists of story line, abundant conflict all are presented with the same enthusiasm, fervor of setting and page turning fast paced drama found in the previous offerings crafted by this talented author. "Dragons' Onyx" brings the reader further into a land where craftiness and magic rule. We are again treated to an abiding story peopled with characters who only improve with each new offering. Victors grow more daring. Scoundrels are more unscrupulous as they realize power is slipping away from them. The young and intrepid continue aging, and still have not lost exuberance or vitality.

"Dragons' Onyx" continues Tuttle's fervid passion for the genre. Powerful motivations, cleverly interwoven plot, profusely drawn settings filled with incertitude are all part of what we have come to expect from this quick-witted writer. The reader is drawn straight into the ongoing tale from the opening paragraph of this installment when we read of Lattimer and his realization that something has happened in the magic fold of the world and is carried along on through the exhilarative struggle waged by Arik and his followers. Reader interest is maintained right down to the last paragraphs when Wyka praises Arik for accomplishing what he must.

Excellent addition to the home library for the fantasy enthusiast. Happy to recommend.

Dwarven RubyDwarven Ruby
Book 4 of Sword of Heavens
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Enjoyed the read ... highly recommended ... 5 stars

The saga of the Sword of Heavens continues as The Alcea Rangers move forward in their mission to retrieve the objects needed to send the darkness shrouding the land into oblivion for all time. This particular episode opens as Arik gazes up at the night sky. Tossing a glass bead into the fire produces a smoke indicating where the quest will lead next. The gem stone the group must now find is the Dwarven Ruby. Tedi is heartened to know that his abducted mother is held not far from where he and the stalwart Ranger band are encamped. Master Khatma with the aid of Tanya and Jenneva is restored to better health. His memory is shaky however the mage is alive. Setting out with Boris, Nikki and Bin-lu Tedi vows to bring Lara to safety or die in the attempt. The Rangers face a host of problems of their own as they once again face goblins, ogres and Sarac's Ravens. Fire glue, magic, lost memory all play an integral part in this tale. Prince Midge once more serves as the eyes and ears for Arik as the heir continues to thwart Sarac and his evil plans. With the return of the ruby the Darkness is moved further from the people Sarac has tormented for so long.

Once again Writer Tuttle's fertile imagination holds him in good stead. "Dwarven Ruby" is filled with all the calenture, fervor of setting and page turning fast paced drama found in the previous offerings crafted by this talented author. "Dwarven Ruby" brings the reader further into a land where disingenuousness, hegemony and magic rule. We are treated to an enduring saga peopled with characters who continue to advance, evolve and improve in detail with each new offering. Champions have become even more dauntless. Miscreants are more villainous. The young and intrepid have aged, perhaps mellowed a bit but have not lost the gallant verve of spirit.

This well written work showcases Tuttle's fiery passion for the genre. Puissant motivations, propensity for ingeniously interwoven story line, suspenseful lavishly drawn settings are all part and parcel of what we have come to expect from this clever writer. The reader is drawn straight into the ongoing tale from the opening paragraph of this installment and is carried along on an exciting scramble past those who are determined to stop the Prince of Alcea any cost. Interest is sustained right down to the last line when we find Master Khatma has once again sustained a collapse.

AbuudAbuud The One Eyed God
Book 3 of Sword of Heavens
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Superb read …… highly recommended…….. 5 stars

The sapphire fitted into the Sword of Heaven followed by the Unicorn's opal continues the magical transformation begun in the world of the five collapse children in the first and second books of this series. Diffusing, pervading Darkness is almost completely gone now as the Alcea Rangers continue their quest for the final gem, The Diamond of Edona, which when added to the sword will push back the Darkness even more. In this work we learn a bit more about 'Uncle Boris.' The Warrior Unicorns along with the fairy band we met previously have joined Arik, Tedi, Alex, Jenneva and Tanya as the quintet press forward. Black Death, evil mages, pilgrims, and a strange statue all figure in the tale as The Dark Ones forces endeavor to keep his power intact. Arik and his band are again beset in battle with goblins, Sarac's death squad who have already proven so difficult continue their quest to destroy the heir. The breastplate of Alcea worn by Arik is recognized as the one worn by King Auric in days of old.
"Abuud The One Eyed God" is third in this series set in a mythical land contrived by ingenious writer Richard Tuttle. Tuttle's inventiveness again serves him well. "Abuud The One Eyed God" is filled with all the vigorous, engaging populace we have come to appreciate. Tuttle's unparalleled use of language coupled with his invariably fecund imaginativeness come to the fore in this well crafted composition. Writer Tuttle once more sets hearty, palmary characters against a framework of phenomenon, timbre and fragrance. Settings are described lush detail allowing the reader to feel, see, smell and hear the milieu. Tuttle's characters continue to be beleaguered with many of the very imperfection and peculiarity as are found in all and it is those peccadilloes that cause Tuttle wrought population to be so believable. Hero and villain alike apperceive euphoria, frustration, calamity, debacle as well as conquest. They all exhibit about the same conduct as any of might in any given situation. Of course, it is that eminence of emotion and performance is precisely that causes Tuttle's books to be a delight to read. Whether wicked or good, mortal, unicorn, or fairy the reader is able to easily recognize the situation, the emotion felt by the character and the behavior exhibited.
Completed with the ardent energy, assiduous course of action and entertaining dialogue exemplifying each of Tuttle's works; "Abuud The One Eyed God" is an electrifying read. The reader is moved along from action to action, situation to situation as the determined crusaders at last reach their goal. Told in twenty-eight chapters the tumult continues through the battles, adventures and the locating of the diamond.
Tuttle again adds a map of the known world, and a recap of the two previous books of the Sword of Heaven series for those who have not yet read the books. I enjoyed the read and look forward to "Dwarven Ruby", the next in the series of seven works.

Sapphire of the FairiesSapphire of the Fairies
Book 1 of Sword of Heavens
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Excellent read …… highly recommended…….. 5 stars

Fisherman's Inn in Lorgo is shocked into action by a woman's early morning screams. Arik Clava the rabbit peddler has long held a fascination with what the old world was like before the collapse of the universe. Esta Tern the innkeeper is in no mood for either screaming women or inquisitive youngsters. In the old days many merchants traveled from town to town. Today Arik must make due with the occasional peddler to help him broaden his understanding of the world in which he lives. The arrival of Master Khatama signals a change coming for Arik and his closest friend Tedi.

Meeting the bandit Garth, a gypsy woman named Kalina and overhearing a chance conversation in a distant town bring both young men more adventure than they had dreamed possible living as the sons of fishermen in the little village where they were born.

"Sapphire of the Fairies" presents an array of acceptable characters set against an opulent tapestry of clamor, redolence, liveliness and activity for the reader to savor as they read through the pages of this well crafted narrative. The Children of the Ancient Prophecy have managed to avoid detection over the seventeen years elapsing since the end of the Targa Tilogy. The baneful forces of Sarac are as busy in pursuit of them as ever. Sarac is aware that the Children exist. However no one, not even themselves, realizes which two of the young travelers are the ones who are the true Children of Prophecy. The Children join with gypsies to restore the ancient Sword of Heavens. It is the only thing that can defeat Sarac.

In "Sapphire of the Fairies: Book one of Sword of Heavens" Writer Tuttle has produced another humdinger in his delightful first in a series. The enterprise is filled with the well developed characters, pithy dialogue and fast paced action we have enjoyed in Tuttle's previous works. From the opening line where we are drawn into the action with the screaming of an unseen woman right down to the last paragraph when we at last understand role of "The Sapphire of the Fairies" and what it portends for Arik the reader is held captivated.

Arik and Tedi are much more than they might appear when first introduced, the villains are filled with enough evil to thrill and the champions are heroic in every sense. Author Tuttle's written output only improves as he continues producing volume upon volume of excellent work. The twists and turns of plot are a delight as always. One nice addition to this manuscript is a full page map of the diversified areas offered in the various series of works to date.

Enjoyed the read very much.


Web of DeceitWeb of Deceit
Book 3 of The Forgotten Legacy
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Enjoyed the read ……. Highly Recommended

Because Rej collects teeth from the sea to earn money for his village he is not present when the small community is overrun and destroyed. Upon his return to the hamlet Rej discovers a young woman hiding in the well. She tells him she is hiding from the Red Riders who destroyed his home and slew everyone he knew.

It is time for Brontos the trader to return and Rej and Mistake set out with the old man when he arrives. Brontos warns Rej that he should not bury the dead; it will only alert someone or something that there was a survivor and that can prove to be disastrous.

Rej and Mistake leave Brontos as they continue on their journey to find the Sage of the Mountain. The pair meet another youngster, become the property of slavers, meet the Sage, and begin a new life none of them realized they might know.

Filled with lots of adventure, excitement, magic and intrigue "Web of Deceit" is the third in this well developed series produced by writer Richard Tuttle. "Web of Deceit" is filled with the same admirable clever writing, collection of appealing characters and well wrought story line we have come to enjoy in the previous works. Dialogue is snappy, often tart, and fiduciary as the various characters interact with one another. Situations are developed in a plausible manner by writer Tuttle. Battle scenes are filled with enough magic and stress to please the most discriminating reader of the genre.

The reader is drawn right into the narrative offered in "Web of Deceit" from the opening scene as we peer down upon the decimated army standing along the Qu River. Tuttle's excellent descriptive writing keeps the reader moving on an exciting clash of emotion as Rej and Mistake meet first one adversity and then another until at last the book ends on a satisfying, not wholly predictable note.

"Web of Deceit" continues the excitement we found in Tuttle's Young Lord of Khadora and Star of Sakova. Those who relish the genre will enjoy Web of Deceit.

Star of SakovaStar of Sakova
Book 2 of The Forgotten Legacy
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Exciting read - highly recommended

Following a brutal and horrifying attack upon The Omunga Academy of Magic young Lyra is one of the few survivors. Still smarting from the reprimand they have received by Lyra's mother Rhodella Lyra, Syman and Antello the young trio hear the sounds of the attack taking place inside the fortress. The three youngsters hide in the now dry moat until the sounds of carnage are stilled. Only the dead and dying are left inside the stronghold when the trio creep inside. Master Malafar has been taken by the unknown brutes, Rhodella lies dying.

With her mother's enigmatic dying words ringing in her ears Lyra and her two young companions set out for her uncle's home. Why she must go to Temkier is something Lyra does not understand, however her mother's directive propels her forward. Lyra has learned magic from her father, however Malafar has long held a repugnance for magic as a weapon. Lyra is astonished to learn from another survivor that during the attack her mother Rhodella was herself proved a Master Mage and fought with skill and vengeance to protect the students and her family.

What other secrets she may uncover regarding her parents Lyra cannot imagine as she sets out on a dangerous cross-country trek for the home of her uncle. The attackers have planned well, appear to forecast her every move and before long even the government has joined the quest for Lyra. She is forced to enter the fearful land of the Sakova filled with rapacious animals, inexplicable divination and even cannibals. Sakova is a region that does not look kindly upon interlopers, however it is the only avenue available to Lyra as she puzzles why anyone would kill so many people in order to abduct her father. The answer to that question as well as the secrets of her own heritage is one that will cause Lyra even more anguish as she struggles to unravel the enigma.

Come observe an extraordinary land springing from the fertile mind of Writer Tuttle on the pages of The Star of Sakova. It is a land where we find a barbarous people who continue to try to finish the abrogation of a populace begun long ago, magic spells, governmental machination and a particularly dastardly form of disingenuousness. The Star of Sakova is an exciting work continuing the saga begun in Tuttle's Young Lord of Khadora. Evocative of Linda Suzanne's hard hitting tumult found among the Insu-ha people of her Eyes of Truth, The Star of Sakova is a fast paced action packed work occupied with a rich tapestry of spectacle, timbre, conflict and duplicity. Writer Tuttle continues his excellent work begun in Young Lord of Khadora with this second in the series.

The Star of Sakova is a well crafted tale filled with nicely fleshed out characters along with excellent plots and plenty of accomplishment meant to capture the interest of the reader from the outset. The sounds of the carnage taking place just beyond the sight of the three young people is made more compelling because writer Tuttle does not over do the barrage. He gives just enough description to allow the reader to 'see' the attack before the results of the encounter are presented. It is a compelling technique used to perfection for drawing the reader right into the opening paragraphs of the work. The action never stops as the reader is carried along on a wild journey filled with everything we have come to expect from excellent writers of fantasy sci-fi. Tuttle is a fine young writer to be reckoned with in the genre. The plot, cabal and just plain good writing fulfills the plan of the writer and leaves the reader hungry for more.

The Star of Sakova will be followed by Web of Deceit. I look forward to receiving the next in the series for review. Tuttle's website has much information regarding the various fantasy sci-fi series he is writing, and is even complete with maps of the locales. The Lost Legacy data can be found http://home.earthlink.net/~richtuttle/Legacy.htm

Young Lord of KhadoraYoung Lord of Khadora
Richard S. Tuttle
KBS

Good read, Recommended

During ages past the world where Marak lives was overrun by imposing armies engrossed toward shaping a new home for themselves wherein the indigenous people become slaves working for the elite few. A few of the genial native peoples were successful in running away from the ravaging Khadoran swarm. Most did not succeed in finding safe hiding places.

Marak is not the usual clan soldier. His mother is a mage slave to the clan lord, as such Marak is not allowed to even speak to her. His unknown father is supposed to be dead. The fearsome Chula cat people have been decimating the clan lord's slave lumbermen as they work to bring in the quota of timber from the Stari Valley. Situ soldiers are sent to protect the lumberman. As a warning to those waiting for the logs Togi alone is left alive to carry back the shredded bodies.

Following the attack Marak is sent on a fool's errand against the Chula. What sets Marak apart from the other soldier slaves is his antipathy for Khadoran civilization. In Khadoran civilization the mages are most always slaves who mind fields, soldiers are taught to follow orders without thought of consequence. The workers on the various clan estates are treated much as are the actual slaves. The young soldier sets out to effect near impossible changes by using his military deftness, penetrating militant mind and even a little of his mother's powers.

Marak does not know how the local population will relate to his innovative thoughts. However he is determined to begin a reformation of the society into which he has been born. It is not long before Marak faces the Chula, the clan to which he belongs, rival clan lords and what seems to be near impossible odds against success. Along his journey the young soldier is astounded to learn his father is not dead, and his own mantle as slave is not one he will always wear.

Writer Tuttle has a fine start on a fantasy series based on another world filled with well developed situations, people, locations and mores. The Young Lord of Khadora is a fast paced action filled work that reaches out to grab the reader from the opening scenes when we begin to understand what this strange and often time dangerous world the land of the Khadoran's is all about. Tuttle's main character is a likeable young man torn between his duty as military squad leader and his love for the only parent he has known.

The Young Lord of Khadora is filled with gritty scenes and gritty dialogue sure to keep the reader on the edge of the seat. Marak faces not only the unfairness of having to pretend his mother is not right before him most of the time, but his commanding officer wants to cause Marak a problem that will lead to the youngster becoming a slave as is his mother. The reader is drawn right into the turmoil by Tuttle's clever use of language. Before long the reader is cheering as Marak begins to see his life improving a little.

The Young Lord of Khadora is a must read for those who enjoy 'other world' and fantastical characters presented in a plausible manner by a skilful weaver of tales.

 

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