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on December 10, 2010
Storyline: The Crystal Façade is book two (really, it could actually standalone) in a fantasy series that I can only hope continues until the end of time. Or at least until I can't stands it no mo'!

The Crystal Façade picks up the story six months after the first adventures on Otharia and Earth. Dyla has been having increasingly disturbing visions of Sir Blackheart and know that until she goes back to Earth to finish the quest they started, these visions will never go away. The glamour has worn off Otharia for Cat and all she wants to do is to go back home to Earth and start living a normal life - teaching her students and archeology-ing - again.

Together Cat, Dyla and Éclair, the very powerful telepath, make the trip back to Earth. After they leave, the conspiracy doesn't seem to stop weaving out of control. Darius must figure out who is trying to kill him and prevent an evil power from taking over Otharia.

Grammar/Spelling: I noticed some minor issues with punctuation and grammar. I also noticed an odd twist to an old saying (Perhaps it's due to the differences between Earthlings and Otharians?): "She was a beautiful, headstrong, young woman who seemed to attract men to her like flies to the fire." I have always heard it stated as, "like moths to the flame." This phrasing did nothing to detract from the story at all - just something that I noticed and thought it was worth mentioning.

Character Development: The Crystal Façade is fairly well-written and developed. Even though it is book two, the characters were flushed out well enough that it was easy to follow the storyline. Of course, now I must read the FIRST book so that I can get the ENTIRE story. Geez! Thanks guys! Like I don't have ENOUGH books to read! I kid, I kid!

Darius is the new lady-loving young Duke of Telkur (Well, he's always loved ladies, so that part isn't new, per se.) and he might have met his match with the beautiful, spit-fire Crystaline. He decides to prove his mettle by saving her from kidnappers. (At least attempting to!)

Éclair is the strongest telekinetic that has ever been born in Otharia and, because of that, he is also one of the youngest teachers at the Otharian Institute for Paranormal Studies. His techniques have been ill-received by the older teachers and staff, so his decision to take the trip back to Earth is met with very little resistance on their part.

Writing Style: The Crystal Façade is unique because it runs in parallel timelines on Earth and Otharia to keep the action moving along and the reader quite entranced.

The trip to Earth should have been an easy, in and out expedition, but of course, it's not. Cat, Dyla and Éclair are being followed and harassed by Blackheart's goons while searching for Merlin's cave; while back on Otharia, we have kidnappings, coercions, secret societies and even a rebellion.

Nothing is ever simple, is it?

Continuity: I noticed no issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4- I really enjoyed Debra Martin and David Small's fantasy collaboration, The Crystal Façade. I can promise I'll be buying the first one - unless *ahem* for some other reason I get a copy - and will be able to highly review and recommend it as well!

The Crystal Façade is a distinctive and exciting journey into the fantasy genre and I can only hope that there are many more great trips to Otharia!

The story had some minor adult situations and language, so I would give it a PG-13 rating.
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on October 18, 2011
After reading the first book in the 'Rule of Otharia' series, I was looking forward to reading this book. The end of book one ties the whole storyline into the myths of King Arthur. I've never really explored all the tales of King Arthur, but this series shines new light on them.

The story picks back up with the Telkur twins, Dyla and Darius. Darius is finally the ruling Duke of Telkur, but this hasn't solved all their problems. While on Earth, they uncovered some disturbing mysteries that have them questioning who they can trust back on their own planet.

I was really impressed by some of the twists and outright surprises in this book. There was more than one occasion where I thought I knew what was going to happen and ended up being totally wrong . . . which I like! Sometimes terrible things happen to innocent people, and sometimes the bad guys will win. It was nice to see that truth played out in the storyline.

Grand Duke, Janus Vogdo, reprises his role as Master Manipulator in this book. He's pretty snakey and pretty slimey and he hides it all behind a benevolent smile. All in all, a great bad guy. His go-to assassin, Nils, is a character I really enjoy reading. He adds a lot of flavor. As for romance, Dyla and Eclair are getting pretty cozy. I like how clueless Eclair can be at times, but he can always be counted on when things get tough. His angry, protective side was a nice development. I find that very appealing in the right situations.

I am really looking forward to The King's Last Word. I can't really say what I'm looking forward to because I don't like putting in spoilers . . . but I'm very interested to find out how everything goes down in the final book
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on October 6, 2011
I love intrigue, mystery, mythology, anything Arthurian - and I love Sci-Fi that is not the-alien-eats-you horror stuff. Crystal Facade is all of that; it is involving, colorful, and easy to read. Martin and Small have interwoven ancient Earth history with fairy tale characters in other-world monarchies and royal conspiracies. Otharians have never seen cars, but then who needs one when a portal is available for travel? What is the real secret of the crystals? Sorry, no spoilers. Crystal Facade successfully continues The Quest for Nobility (book 1), building the characters into bad guys we love to hate, heroes we would love to know...and the plot thickens. Who is the real villain? Although there is some resolution at the end there is enough going on that book 3 is awaited eagerly. A most enjoyable and entertaining journey.
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A sequel to "The Quest for Nobility," this book takes places several months after the first book ends. As with the first book, the connections between Earth and Otharia are fascinating and make for a good backdrop to the tale. There is quite a number of characters to keep up with in this novel, but the majority of the main characters are developed well enough to help the reader keep track of what is going on. I genuinely liked the characters I was supposed to like, and was intrigued by the ones that were vile. Although I would recommend reading these stories in order, this book could really stand alone as well, as enough information is shared about the characters to allow a new reader to keep up.

The plot has four main storylines that initially seem somewhat separate, but are actually interwoven. They are tied together in the end, and an epilogue leaves the story wide open for another follow-up book. The continuity of the various threads was solid, and the overall pacing of each thread worked well. One thing I would have preferred, however, would have been to have the various storylines more evenly spaced in the story. We stayed in one storyline for many chapters, until I had all but forgotten what was happening on Earth. Then we stayed on Earth for a while and my memory of what had happened on Otharia faded. Coming back to each of the threads at slightly shorter, more regular intervals would have made it easier for me to better keep up with everything that was going on.

Overall, another engaging fantasy novel that provides a great bridge between the first novel, and the novel to come. Entertaining throughout, this is a good fantasy read that bridges the world of Otharia with that of Earth. I really wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next.

Full review @ MotherLode blog [...]
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VINE VOICEon July 13, 2011
In this sequel to "The Quest for Nobility," the stakes are raised even higher. Darius, now the Duke of Telkur, and his sister Dyla - now Darius's First Counselor - along with her boyfriend Eclasius "Eclair" Jortac are convinced that there is more to the situation on Earth than meets the eye. Sir Henry "Blackheart" Hanover looks too much like Grand Duke Vogdo for it to be a coincidence, and they still don't know why Earth was quarantined in the first place. To make things more urgent, Dyla has been having visions that leave her feeling afraid and unsettled, and the latest one has ended with the looming face of Blackheart. She and Eclair decide that they must go back to Earth to discover the truth, and to take Cat Spencer back as well. Darius decides, while they are away, that he will do his best to help stop the civil war in Beckson Duchy - a decision that is helped along by his attraction to Cristaline, the beautiful daughter of Duke Urias. Tyrian, who is a close friend to all three of them, and affianced to Trinity, Dyla and Darius's cousin, has his own role to play as he tries to infiltrate the Red Alliance.

A fast-paced and exciting book, I spent much of it alternately yelling at the characters for doing ridiculous things and at the authors for putting the characters through such distress. It was highly engrossing and, in a rare change of pace, even better than the first book. Because I was editing it at the same time I was reading it, I took a few days to get through it, but it wasn't for lack of interest. Anyone who enjoys science fantasy adventure should enjoy this second book in the Otharian series - don't miss it!
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on April 19, 2013
Author: Debra L. Martin and David Small
Published by: Smashwords, Inc.
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 4

Review:

"The Crystal Facade" by Debra L. Martin and David Small are this authors' second installment of the "Rule of Otharia" series. This novel picks up six months after the first adventurers on Otharia and Earth where we find that Dyla is having visions of 'Sir Blackheart' that will not go away until she goes back to Earth to finish this quest. We then find the powerful telepathic group...Cat, Dyla and Eclair go back to Earth only leaving Darius to find "out who is trying to kill him and prevent this event spirit from taking over Otharia." Now, to truly understand what is going on in this read, you must pick up the "The Crystal Facade" and find out what all is going on in this well-written story. I believe you must read the first book...'Rule of Ortharia' to get the whole story as it continues into this novel. There will be plenty of twist and turns that will be surprises for the reader. Be ready for a good mystery, mythology, fantasy and sci-fi that will get you turning the pages till the end. In the end ...you will get the real secret of the crystal and find out who this 'real villain' is. The characters were all 'unique and charming' that only gives us a interesting read.

If you are in for a good fast paced read that journeys into fantasy-sci-fi you have come to the right place for "The Crystal Facade" would be recommended to you as a good read.
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on November 11, 2010
The Crystal Fascade by Debra L. Martin and David W. Small is the second book in the Rule of Otharia series.

The Crystal Fascade has all of the good things that made The Quest for Nobility a good and enjoyable read for me. The authors build on the strong foundation and wealth of background from the first book. With the foundation already established, the authors focus more on the characters and story. The writing style and collaboration between the two authors has improved. Transitions from one scene were handled smoothly.

This is a solid piece of work and like The Quest for Nobility, well worth the money especially if you are looking for a series where psychic powers are used.
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on February 10, 2013
Great read, just wish that the 3rd installment was in print out. I did enjoy that Eclair had more power then anyone thought, and it appears that his father is not the demon everyone thinks he is. Story line moved at a faster pace could not put it down
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on December 4, 2012
A great close to the plots opened in the first book. You really need to read it if you liked the first book, you will not be disappointed.

Highly recommend if you like mystery and fantasy.
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on December 30, 2012
decent story, poor writing. you'd think with two authors the writing would be more vibrant. but the price was right
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