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Eolyn (Eolyn Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Karin Rita Gastreich
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $10.01 (63%)

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Book Description

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: "Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes will satisfy fans of traditional epic fantasy with a romantic thread." Sole heiress to a forbidden craft, Eolyn lives in a world where women of her kind are tortured and burned. When she meets Achim, destined to assume the throne of this violent realm, she embarks upon a path of adventure, love, betrayal and war. Bound by magic, torn apart by destiny, Eolyn and the Mage King confront each other in an epic struggle that will determine the fate of a millennial tradition of magic.

Editorial Reviews


"A child is hidden before her village is destroyed by the tyrant king's soldiers, after which she finds shelter in the forest with an old woman rumored to be a witch. Readers who persist beyond this familiar setup will find that the story deepens as young Eolyn, possibly the last of an ancient order of female magic users, matures while befriending Akmael, the prince whose father killed her family. Though Eolyn becomes the hope of a rebellion, she never has to carry the whole weight of the story; Akmael, the "witch" Ghemena, and other characters develop many intriguing facets. Gastreich allows her heroes to have flaws--including moments of cowardice--and some victories bring new sorrows. Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes will satisfy fans of traditional epic fantasy with a romantic thread." -- Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 3748 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Hadley Rille Books (November 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable Epic Fantasy May 8, 2011
Eolyn, Karin Gastreich's debut novel, is an excellent example of the other breed of Epic Fantasy epitomized by the works of Guy Gavriel Kay, which is to say, not the traditional "unlikely but fated and/or prophesied hero must face the dreaded return of dark lord." Instead, Gastreich's Eolyn focuses on the emotional, political, and physical conflicts between powerful and three-dimensional characters. You don't have any villains who do villainy because, well, that's just what villains do. Each character has compelling reasonable motivations. The action sequences are executed wonderfully and are unpredictable in that the character who "normally" triumphs doesn't always triumph.

Gastreich launches her characters on unavoidable collision courses and with her tendency to avoid stereotypes-- or use them to her advantage to create a surprising turn of events--the climatic sequence is thrilling because, for once, you really don't know how it will end.

The beginning of Eolyn, a clearly intentional nod to the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm, may give some readers pause as it feels young for an adult fantasy, but sticking with the story is amply rewarded and Gastreich does something with Eolyn in 328 pages that many fantasy authors fail to do with twice that page count: tell a complete and satisfying tale as the first novel of a trilogy. Readers of the aforementioned Guy Gavriel Kay and Robin Hobb will definitely enjoy this novel.

(This review is of an Advanced Review Copy)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your path will be made by wandering... February 16, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I came to "Eolyn", oddly enough, by a Google Image Search, where I found the cover art, was intrigued, and decided to investigate, and I am very, very glad that I did so. "Eolyn" is the sort of book that comes along rarely in this genre, a book from a small press by a little-known author that while paying solid tribute to the forms of the past manages to chart interesting territory nonetheless. Downloading the Kindle sample, it took only two pages into Chapter 2 before I hit the quote that is the title of my review and was hooked. I purchased the Kindle version, but when you read the rest of my review, you will understand why I am planning on also purchasing the hardcover edition.

A cautionary note: The cover is of the sort of artwork that I would tend to expect to find on a young adult fantasy novel, and while at first the title character's age is unclear, it is clear that she is young, and soon we find that she is nine years old at the beginning of the book. This may lead some to conclude that this is a children's book. It is, put bluntly, not; Eolyn's early years are merely the set-up. The bulk of the story takes place after Eolyn reaches the age of 20, and adult themes of sexism, sexuality, coercion, and violence feature centrally in the plot.

I believe that I am going to have to read this book several times over to fully grasp its elegance.

In the grand tradition of many previous fantasy novels, our heroine occupies a world in which the gods had granted magic of various forms to the people, but bound them not to allow their rulers to practice magic, so as to avoid the conjoining of both magical and civil power in one person. This stricture is broken, and Tzeremond, a mage of great ambition and even greater enmity teaches Prince Kedehen in the ways of High Magic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Fantasy May 7, 2011
Eolyn is a great story, skilfully combining elements of familiar folklore and more original devices to ease the reader into a world that is at once both authentically complex in government, society and personalities and yet instantly accessible to the reader. Humour leavens the story (the 'house of sweetbread' is brilliant), but never becomes intrusive or undermines the strong threads of loss, duty, romance and revenge that permeate the book. And the action is often superb.

There are some times when some of the phrasing seems a trifle awkward (eg "I don't like it," decided Milena) but that would be my only complaint about what is otherwise a story fit to stand alongside the best of fantasy - because the story really is terrific and throughout avoids cliche or stereotype (except where the reader is lulled into assuming a cliche or stereotype, only to be surprised by Gastreich spinning the story in an unexpected way). Best of all, even the bad guys have actually a very reasonable (from their perspective) point of view: they have excellent reasons for their brutal repression of women's magic.

The ending is superb, both the climactic battle and its aftermath leaving no easy answers or trite successes: it's a real-world ending, and one that fits the characters and their desires and beliefs entirely.

Really, a great story, the best I've read so far this year. It can be devoured in a (long) sitting and then re-read at leisure to savour the many wonderful moments. It may begin a series, and I hope it does (though nothing indicates it will), but stands alone splendidly. A book to remember.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great First Novel December 7, 2011
I'm posting this for Dane Grannon the author of Lucky Streak

I want to preface this by saying that I know Karin through the Dead Horse Society Writing Group in Kansas City. I've been reading the sequel in our critique group.

As a middle-aged man, I don't feel like I'm the true demographic for this novel. I rarely read novels with a young female protagonist. It is a challenge for me to relate.

The book starts with a gripping sequence. There are many important bits of information which are necessary to understand the narrative, and they are given in just enough detail to keep the story making sense. I was riveted.

The next section is extremely important for defining the most important interpersonal relationship in the book. I found my attention wondering, but I knew the payoff would be worth plugging through. This is more likely a reflection of my state of mind than the novel. When I re-read it, I think I'll enjoy it more.

The remainder of the novel reads like an experienced novelist. To be honest, I felt it was more complex and subtle than King Rat. The plot contained many reasonable complications. None of the characters are exactly the way they appear. This rich world successfully engaged me to the point that I read the last hundred pages in almost no time. The ending was not a surprise to me since I'm reading the sequel, but normal readers will be excited by this.

All in all, I give this 4 out of 5 stars compared to all novels that I read. As a first novel this is 5 out of 5. I urge everyone to read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Engrossing Read
I absolutely loved this story. I mostly stopped reading fantasy when I finished all of Juliet Marillier's books, which I couldn't get enough of, but I am so glad this tale found... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Erika Lunder
4.0 out of 5 stars Eolyn
A very good story about a very young witch and her trials and errors.It was entertaining at best .
Published 4 months ago by mani
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
This and the book that follows are excellent choices for fantasy readers who enjoy witches and their "brews. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ellyn J. Gerberding
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story about a very young witch and her trials ...
Great story about a very young witch and her trials and errors. I so enjoyed this that I read it in two nights ?? maybe three I'm a slow reader.
Published 8 months ago by bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great novel about growing up and self-discovery.
Published 8 months ago by Jude-Marie Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely surprising story
Very entertaining to read. Very hard to put down for sleep breaks and other duties. It has innocence of children, of friendships, intrigue, mage magic, deception, war, love,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sara B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I can't put it down. Karin brings the characters to life, and creates such a vivid image of the setting. Love this genre-Love this book.
Published 10 months ago by stacy keith
5.0 out of 5 stars epic romantic fantasy
I was so surprised by this book. The beginning seems like a standard fantasy, but the storyline and the characters have a depth and complexity that builds beautifully throughout. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Nelson Guda
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Fantasy
Beautifully written, such clear imagery. How wonderful to have a book where the protagonist and hero is a girl, filled with power and destiny. I hope the author plans a sequel.
Published 14 months ago by E. Pettit
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I really enjoyed it! I can't wait to read the sequel. The emotional struggle is heartbreaking, however the author keeps the reader intrigued with what comes next.
Published 15 months ago by MommaD
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More About the Author

Welcome to a world of shadows and magic, honor and duty, fantastical creatures, and timeless love. Inspired by a lifetime of exploring lush forests and romantic landscapes, author Karin Rita Gastreich brings to vivid life tales of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose.

Karin's novels blend elements of epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. Grounded in traditional fantasy and real history, she crafts a diverse array of compelling male and female characters. A recipient of the Andrews Forest Writers Residency, Karin weaves the natural world into all her stories. From ancient woodlands to uncharted seas, readers will experience gripping battle scenes, heart wrenching loss, hard-won triumphs, and the ultimate magic of love.

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