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on May 15, 2012
The writing is mediocre and the editing is awful. I read the full series (what has been published to date) because I have a slight obsession with finishing any book (or series) I begin. My advice? HIRE A NEW EDITOR!!!! The word composition is repetitive and lacking depth, using the EXACT SAME adjectives and similes over and over again; in the same paragraph, even. Persons who read for the enjoyment of reading are usually fans of the language arts, and, although I can't speak for other "language artists," I can understand using creative license; however, this is just butchery at times. I was grinding my teeth throughout the entire series at the simple mistakes and omissions that could have been corrected by a read-through from an editor-or anyone, for that matter.

That being said, the plot was fairly wrought and portrayed (despite the redundant presentation) and had me thoroughly interested. I would say it is worth the read, if it was free.
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on July 4, 2011
The Coming Storm is the most compelling book I've read in a long time. I realize that's a gushy way to start a review, but as a long-time reader of fantasy novels, I'm comparing it to the often cliched books of the same type.

Regardless of genre, Valerie Douglas has created a realistic and internally consistent world of compelling characters. I like strong female characters, and Ailith is certainly that. She's heroic without being annoying. She doesn't succeed at everything she does, and is well aware of her faults, but her strength of will and devotion to her friends is touching. My heart ached for her tribulations and rejoiced with her triumphs.

Her companions are well-suited to her. Elon, Colath and Jalila are Elves, Jareth is a human Wizard. The Elven society is intriguing, making me want to know more of it close up. Elon is wise, noble and caring, but not in such a way that makes him seem too perfect. These are people you would like to spend more time with. I'm anxious to read the next book.

A slight negative--about two-thirds of the way through, I began noticing some typographical errors such as omitted words, as if there were some missed sections in editing. These errors were noticeable because the rest of the book is so well edited. Still, I have to give it such a high rating because of the compelling story, endearing characters and noble, selfless actions that had me cheering and crying.

The Coming Storm is an excellent read. I look forward to further adventures of these five heroes.
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on September 23, 2013
I enjoy books in the Fantasy genre (like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings) and this sounded like it might be a good book. All I can say is...WOW, it's an awesome book. The characters are believable and within a sort time you find yourself so engrossed with their lives that you feel their pain & joy. The two central people are Elon, leader of the Elves, and Ailith Princess of Riverford. Elon senses an Evil presence in the land and goes in search of the source. In that search, he comes in contact with Ailith, who is just a few days shy of her coming of age. These two become great friends as they discover the source of the coming Evil. From here the roller coaster ride begins as they race to save their lives and the lives of their peoples. Once you get through the introduction of all the characters, you won't be able to stop reading. The story is that good!!!
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Evil has returned to the borderlands of Aerilann. Dark creatures once again threaten the safety of the realm. Jareth, a human wizard, accompanied by Jalia, an Elven archer, and Colath, Jareth's true-friend, must discover the source of the threat. Meanwhile, political machinations threaten the alliance formed between the races of Aerilann, hinting that some of the dark wizards thought destroyed ages ago may have, in fact, survived. Ailith, a young girl who eschews the finery of her noble birth, most help uncover a plot to overthrow her father, King Geric. The tomboyish Ailith must strike out on her own, to help save her father, and his kingdom.

Unsettling rumors, untrustworthy advisers, political threats, evil monsters, and a looming sense of impending darkness saturate the pages of THE COMING STORM. A sweeping, epic fantasy with interesting characters and a worthwhile plot, the novel is well-written and entertaining. Those condemning the formatting or editing must have read a different version of this book (or they don't know what they're talking about). The writing is excellent. Clear, vivid, and imaginative. Good, solid craft on display on the prose level.

The many connections to Tolkien's work are obvious and a staple for epic fantasy. That said, Douglas doesn't simply re-hash, but introduced other ideas and concepts to her universe that make it distinctive in its own right. Without giving away too much by way of spoilers, I found the back story of the dark wizards, the source of their power, and how that intersected with the plot of THE COMING STORM to be fascinating and well-conceived.

I do have a couple nitpicks with the novel.

The first is that it includes A LOT of fighting. Many, many battles, all of them interesting in isolation, but taken together, they're a bit overwhelming. I found myself far more interested in the characters and their internal struggles than the battles. There's no shortage of character, but the balance between character, plot development, and scenes of battle felt a little skewed toward action.

In a few instances I wondered why certain characters acted the way they did; taking unnecessary risks that felt like the plot required them rather than being rooted in a character's need, want or flaw. These authorial contrivances are understandable but a tad annoying when the same characters kept making the same unwise decisions simply because the story needed tension at that particular moment.

Overall, I really enjoyed THE COMING STORM. Readers of epic fantasy take note; ignore the negative reviews stating the editing is bad. It isn't. The book isn't perfect (few are) but its a solid, entertaining read with better than average writing.
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on October 26, 2012
This is a wonderful story I jot caught up in the story. and loved Elon and Ailith's, Colath Jallia and Jareth. It was great reading about the five true friends and the war they fought.I loved this book and will read the one that follows.I really want to see a happy ending to this story
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on June 25, 2014
I am a tough grader for fantasy novels and much of the stuff out there is garbage. This novel was surprisingly good, with a good plot, interesting characters and twists that kept me interested. Also, Very good action sequences. The only small negative was the author kept rehashing over and over the bond between the heroine and two elves.....it grew tiresome. I wanted to yell out "I get it!"
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on March 18, 2012
The Coming Storm series is one of the best story-lines I've ever read and that's saying a lot for a bookworm like me. I was invested in the wonderful characters she created until they felt like old friends (even the horses - Storm and Sport). Breathtaking discriptions of the land, caverns and especially the elven communities, gripping battle scenes, duplicitous politics, magic, love, you name it - it's here. Couldn't put it down, I read the four books one after the other and hated to see it end.

One complaint only. Better proofreading please. By the third book the typos / errors were driving me kinda nuts and would disrupt the flow of the scene. For example, "He wished he's know if sooner." instead of "He wished he'd known it sooner." or "Nor was North Plainfield wasn't the only stop..." A little irritating, but the story was so engrossing and fascinating I kept reading anyway.

I hope Ms. Douglas will continue with this series as I'd like to get to know Alon, Misha and the twins better, and revisit old "friends". READ THIS SERIES!!!
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on March 23, 2014
The Coming Storm is one of those books that suck you into a different world, one you hate to leave whenever you have to put the book down. Even worse than that: after finishing it, I had to run over and get the last book in the trilogy because I have to know how the whole story ends! Valerie Douglas wrote a masterpiece, taking the reader to a fantastic world with Elves, Dwarves and Men, where battles of the mind and the heart are fought next to a war against an uncanny enemy.

If you're a fan of epic fantasy and you are not reading The Coming Storm then you are doing yourself no favour.
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on August 12, 2011
This book is EPIC. After reading the first 2 installments (Not Magic enough and Setting Boundaries) I couldn't wait to read this one. I was NOT disappointed. In the style of Lord of the Rings, a fellowship is established between the characters and each ones gifts compliment the others. Together they fight evil, form lasting bonds and fall in love. The book is long, but the characters are complex and take a little while to understand fully. The Evil that exists is scary and malevolent, a real nightmare kind of thing. I did have issues with the editing and spelling, but the author promises me they have been addressed.
Read this book. You will not be disappointed.
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on July 1, 2014
I found the book very interesting, well written and gripping enough that I have also purchased the second in the series. Congratulations to the author and I hope to see more of her work. The characters are well developed and the visual mind experience is wonderful. Thanks for making it available to readers like me.
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