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Monday, 10 December 2012

Good morning/afternoon wherever you are!

As promised, the first review I am going to talk about on my blog is the long-awaited (though not as long as Throne of Blood, I hear you say!) finale to The Bakkian Chronicles - Amulet of Aria, by Jeffrey M Poole.

Amulet of Aria is the third and final installment in the Bakkian Chronicles (not counting a short story set in another magical realm we all know and love -Disneyland). It follows the efforts of Steve and Sarah, earthlings from Idaho whose destiny it is to protect Mikal, Prince of Lentari, a magical world accessed via a portal in a home inherited by them. Book 3 sees a return to Lentari once creatures begin to seek out the Prince on Earth. The antagonist in the final installment is Celestia, possessed of one part of the Amulet of Aria, a talisman which boosts the power of one's Jhorun (magical talent). Celestia aims to use the power of the Amulet to bring about the downfall of the Kingdom by pitting Dragonkind against the Dwarven race, in the hopes of de-stabilizing the realm and giving her the opportunity to steal Prince Mikal, whom she hopes to marry and make her own. It is up to the fire-thrower Steve and his teleporting wife, Sarah, to make sure this does not come to pass.

First, let me begin by saying that I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Poole's style of writing. I could see him writing a series aimed at middle school children, such is his ability to convey a fun, hip story. His writing is fluid and addictive, emotive and contemporary. Coupled with a well defined world with its own distinct rules, laws and races, the end result is a ripping good yarn! I highly recommend this series to anybody who likes a fast, entertaining read. From action to humor; magic to emotion, The Bakkian Chronicles offers everything a fantasy reader could ask for.

BUT....

A few Cons. Nothing too Serious, merely a few things I noticed while reading Amulet of Aria.

* A few minor spelling and grammatical issues. Nothing too glaring but enough for me to pick up on them. While understandable for an Indie offering, some readers are more harsh when it comes to these sorts of issues.

* Sentence structure. I did notice that a lot of paragraphs read very similar in terms of sentence length, which sometimes led to a more monotonous flow rather than a sharp, witty feel that is characteristic of Mr Poole's writing.

* Careful of inconsistencies. There were a few things that struck me as out of place, whether it be a character doing something previously unexplained, as if we had known all along, or even mentioning a character by name when we have yet to meet them. Little things like this can make the reader think "Wtf!? Did I miss something?"

* I had hoped to hear more of the Bakkian reference and importance in the tale. Not only that, but in a land where practically everybody has a Jhorun (magical ability), we surprisingly heard little about too many others.

* Where is the grand ending??? The final battle seemed less than epic. I had expected a little more 'evil' from the century-old Celestia. It helped reduce the scope of the story to one that seemed merely like a small fort being attacked by a few monsters. I couldn't help but feel a little let down, but that could merely be because of my great expectations for the story.

My few pedantic points aside, definitely make Amulet of Aria one of your "To Read" books, but don't forget Books 1 & 2. Like me, the only thing you will regret is that Mr Poole will not be continuing the series, although I hear the tales from Lentari have by no means ended. Stay tuned!

~Rob

Amulet of Aria can be found at the following locations, plus you can visit Jeff's website www.Lentari.com. While there, check out Books 1 & 2 of this amazing Trilogy.

Amulet of Aria on Amazon

Amulet of Aria on Smashwords

Amulet of Aria on NOOK

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