By: Krista D. Ball
Publisher: Mundania Press
Publish Date: April 2012
Series: 1st book in series
Recommendation: Yes, I want more of Lady Champion Bethany in this classic fantasy feel with a view of a strong woman, who is more than meets the eyes.
"What will I do? What I do best. I'll find him and I'll kill him. And then I'll kill Garran's murderer."
Even if the killer is my sister.
A half-breed and a female, Lady Bethany clawed her way to the ranks of the Elven Service's top military elite. They only knew her as their champion against Magic, and not the daughter of a Goddess. She'd expected a long, rewarding life protecting those under her care. But that was before her twin sister returned from exile, addicted to brutal Magic and human sacrifice, twisted inside, and abusing ancient prophecies to overthrow their mother and destroy everything Bethany holds sacred.
The world will burn in flames and innocents will die, unless Bethany can stop it. Unless she can take the life of her own sister.
"I am your goddess now, gutter drudge."
My Thoughts and Summary:
In a world where woman are thought to be the baby producers of more males, Bethany holds the third highest position in the most powerful army in the world, The Elven Service of the Silver Knights. She is also much more than anyone realizes, having only a select few know that her blood is mixed with that of a goddess' along with her elf origin as well, these two things and the first born of the Goddess makes Bethany to fit in a prophecy. Bethany receives an urgent letter during the new spring session of fresh human recruits, a letter that tells of her Kings, and betrothed, death. This is the start of the foretold prophecy and Bethany is thrown off a little by this, as she fears losing what she has built as a normal life for herself. Bethany finds there is one recruit not ready for the service of knight, and finds her heart softens to help this young human who was raised by Elven monks as she helps prepare him for next years recruit time and keeping an eye on him after her vision. Bethany's world might change forever while she fights to prevent the visions she sees, and the magic users, lead by her twin sister, who are coming for her.
Bethany figures out it's her sister who is killing and coming for her with her dark magics. She is the only one that knows enough about the prophecy and who the people are that could fit the pieces, along with the magic notes and happenings; her exiled twin sister. Now, with her "protector" dead Bethany is vulnerable to the Viper, whoever it is, to kill her. And she won't be the liberator of the world as thought. There is a dark magi on the lose and Bethany wants to find him (or her) for the death of Garren, and passing a magic text to an initiate inside the Temple of Tranquil Mercies, home to the Goddess of Apexia.
This has an older fantasy feel to it for me, a deep feeling and meaning behind it, yet there is a newer take to it as well. We have a prophecy, a strong soldier, gods, and magic. We have Bethany, a strong female, and a potential love for her. This love could open her up to understand more than she expected, especially about a people that she grew to hate for what they did in the past. But, how will he react to her heritage, this is why Bethany doesn't want to acknowledge that side of her so she can live as normal a life as possible.
We have a few views of magic here. The magic is described as being dangerous and the dark is deadly to who you are as it eats away inside to take over twisting all thoughts. We have the dark magic, which is used and grown more by Bethany's twin sister, Sarissa. Then we have the Rygents, which are a group of people who's god died for them leaving a touch of his powers in them. They range from healers to those how can see into ones thoughts. And lastly we have the Power which Bethany possesses, being the eldest child to a goddess.
I found I would sit down with my two hour block of reading time and before I knew it, It was gone! And I'm completely bummed I had to stop reading to go to bed so I could get up to do that dreaded work thing in the morning.
This character driven fantasy novel hit the spot for me. I had all I love in fantasy here; magic- good and bad, prophecy the main character is fighting - to just be normal, fighting and bloodshed. Not everything is perfect and happy. And left me wanting to keep reading this series. The world building is done nice and neat through the characters and their personalities and heritage.
We mostly see through Bethany's eyes in the book. But we do get a few different point of views, which are short, but helps us learn about the other characters and Bethany too. They are: Arrago, Sarissa, Apexia, and Amber. Sounds strange, but once you get going, you will see what we learn. I loved the strength in Bethany to be a hard character, but she quickly became one that I thought had more heart to share and she was just afraid to do so. I enjoyed the friendship she has with Javon and Kiner. The three carry one tormenting each other, but also are not afraid to tell Bethany the way it is either, even if it means a fat lip.
I have to mention the chapter headings, or phrases. This has to be parts of the prophecy, and as a fantasy sucker, I LOVE it. I love having these present, and I did go back through just to read them all when I was done.
I ended the story looking forward to the next book. I need more of these characters. I have my suspicions with Arrago. There is more of a reason and bigger plan with him, especially if Apexia is involved. And I want to see where Bethany goes after this fireworks of an ending, it sure ended with a bang.
Since fantasy novels have maps, Krista has posted one on her site for us.
You can find Tranquility Blaze on Amazon: