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Clarion of Destiny: Home Lost Paperback – April 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461081882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461081883
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,811,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Franz S. Mclaren was born in South Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania. He has spent time in 48 out of the 50 United States, and lived in Japan, Germany, and South Africa. He has also spent significant time in half a dozen European countries. All of this leads to a more sedate lifestyle now, but a vivid imagination.

More About the Author

Franz McLaren was sucked into the world of fantasy at ten-years-old when he read Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. After that, he delved headfirst into the stories of Dr. Seuss, and from then on, the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Goodkind, Holly Lisle, J. K. Rowling, and many others have grown to be a significant part of his life.

Throughout his life, Franz McLaren has traveled extensively, living in forty-eight of the fifty United States, England, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, and vacationing in a host of many other nations. After experiencing all of the fantasies that his travels had to offer, Franz has now settled down into manifesting fantasies of his own. He uses his books to share these worlds and adventures with the rest of us. By entering his novels, you enter the part of his mind that forever lives just a bit to the left of reality.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A definite page turner, I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
Connor Newell
The characters are all well developed and it is clear that the author put a great deal of thought into the plot and the backstory as well.
Katie Winters
I really felt like I could understand from the inside what the characters were thinking/doing/feeling - very insightful.
James E. Ranshaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James E. Ranshaw on October 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wouldn't call myself a fan of the Fantasy genre - with that said, please continue.

Volume 1: Home Lost - I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is a great start to the series and was very easy to get into. It kept my attention the entire time and I always wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I really liked how the characters that are able to use magic had a limit to how strong or how long the spells were, and that it depletes their energy. I always assumed magic was magic and could just be used as one pleased. This adds a bit of a realistic element (yes I know magic isn't real) to the story and makes the characters believable.

The writing style is great. Everything seems so clear, yet contains its own complexities as to not insult the reader's intelligence. The plot lines, characters, scenery, and individual situations are well thought out. I really felt like I could understand from the inside what the characters were thinking/doing/feeling - very insightful. My only real complaint is minor cosmetic.. the cover art, which is my burlap reference in the title. I like real art as a cover and not just a scenery photo, but thats just me. ;)

Start your adventure: you will have a fun time reading this book. I'm off to start Volume 2 and will report back once I'm done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sadie Forsythe on November 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll be honest. I am completely baffled by this book. It starts off really well, with Leena following her destiny and accepting the Garlan branch before returning to her decimated village. After that...

Usually such books have a fairly predictable progression, the hero (or heroine in this case) sets off on a quest, meets people along the way, fights a few henchman, challenges the enemy, wins, and proceeds to whatever version of a happy ending the genre demands. Here, not so much. It stalled out at the sets off on a quest stage. To complicate matters Darius spent about twenty percent of the book recounting a story that didn't seem to have anything to do with Leena or her situation. It might become important in future books, but I saw no reason for it here. The book consists of Leena traveling. Period. End of story, pun intended.

None of this however is the worst part for me. These are:

1. Leena is The Chosen and is supposed to be a strong hero for the people, but from the moment she leaves her village she just follows one male and then another. She unthinkingly, and one presumes appropriately, hands all decision making over to them. Apparently, despite being the hero she can't be trusted to decide which direction to travel in or even when to stop and eat and she never tries.

2. Darius' story: I don't want to give it away, but he tells a tale that struck me as arrogant and ethnocentrism. I'm really not into that.

The book isn't without highlights. I really liked the idea of the hedge witches. The book was well written. I especially appreciated the prologue and the fact that McLaren was willing to allow his characters to fall to their absolute bottom before providing them with any sort of reprieve.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annie on October 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Destiny calls to Leena, a young witch in training, when she returns to her village to find that it's been raided and destroyed. Everyone she knew and loved is gone. Thus begins her journey to find her family and meet her fate.

Gifted author McLaren puts us in the middle of the action in this magical world of goblins, witches, wizards, and demons. He is a master of poetic understatement: "She opened her eyes. In front of her face a single black feather, caught by its quill end in a small mound of snow, waved like the mittened hand of a departing friend."

Teenager Leena sets off on a harrowing adventure, where all her skills as a budding witch are put to the test. For as-yet-unknown reasons, she was given the Garlan branch, a powerful instrument that in the right hands can save the world. However, there's a price to pay for the use of magic.

We are given a hint as to the Garlan branch's awesome power in the book's prologue, where thousands of years ago, the young commander of a ragtag band of the few remaining humans on Earth, manages to hold off pure blood-curdling evil with the branch.

On her quest to confront the evil that seeks her out, Leena teams up with Darius, ambassador to the Great Wizard. The dialogue is lively and believable. McLaren's writing never ceases to cast its spell: "Like ripples from a pebble thrown in still water, lights appeared in the windows."

"Home Lost" is an exciting, entertaining and emotional read. I highly recommend this riveting start to the series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Jordan on October 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Home Lost is billed as the beginning of an epic eight volume fantasy cycle, and it started off well. Our plucky heroine, Leena, a half-trained hedge witch, is introduced after an extremely gripping prologue (Orcs and Goblins harrying the last small band remaining free humans, all seems lost, when the young commander, Robart finally recieves his apparent destiny in the form of an all powerful magical....stick?) Okay, Fanstasy piece, I can let the All-Powerful-Magic-Stick thing, known as a Garlan Branch pass. Robart single-handedly defeats the Inhuman horde with the Garlan Branch, Humanity saved. AWESOME! Being a member of humanity, I happen to like not being enslaved and worked to death but ugly Orcs and Goblins.

Then we jump ahead some two thousands years or five hundred years, either way it was a long time. Leena our plucky heroine, the half-trained hedge witch is out in the forest, in the middle of the night, searching for an invisible tree (The Garlan Tree) in what is apparently heavy snow. Okay, great, nice adventure story, Leena will have to face the dangers of the forest and nefarious powers that be, on her path to this powerful object, right?

Nope. She bumps into said Invisible tree with in a few pages and easily dispatches the Great Wizards Giant Death Raven with her Garlan Branch. Then she makes her way home, to find her village deserted and only 19 or so of her fellow villagers can be located. (Because they're DEAD!)

The average 16 year old girl would be flipping the hell out. Not Leena, she calmly buries the bodys and sets about gather supplies for her journey north, obstensibly to find and free her parents and neighbors. By riding straight to the Great Wizard's gate...
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