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Beyond the Forest (Gem Powers Series Book 1) by [Kay L. Ling]

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Beyond the Forest (Gem Powers Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 77 ratings
Book 1 of 3: Gem Powers Series

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Length: 300 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
  • Book 1 of 3 in Gem Powers Series
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Editorial Reviews


In this fantasy debut, a gemologist discovers a hidden portal and finds that family secrets are the key to saving more than one world.

Lana Grayson is an expert on gemstones, and she knows all the lore surrounding their various powers. She works at her family's jewelry shop, founded by her great-great-grandfather, Elias Grayson. One night, Lana dreams about the nearby County Forest Park, and she wakes early the next day to the sound of a dog barking, which unnerves her because she's never gotten along with canines. Hoping to rejuvenate and relax in the peaceful outdoors, she drives to County Forest Park; there, she explores an unfamiliar trail, where she finds a heavy, black rock that makes her hands numb when she touches it. She decides to take the rock home, but when she tries to start her car, the battery's dead. She then decides to sleep in the park, but during the night, she's startled by the sounds of voices and hunting horns. She believes that she's in danger because the malachite comprising her bracelet breaks--a prediction of disaster. While escaping, she sees something she's never seen before: a gnome, who introduces himself as Gliaphon and brings her to his Tree Home. This space--much larger inside than it appears outside--is in the realm of Shadow. It turns out that a malevolent woodspirit named Sheamathan rules this realm, and she's determined to spread blight and enslave any who oppose her. In this series opener, Ling spins a character-driven yarn that sheds the gritty violence that's prevalent in the fantasy genre but loses no complexity as a result. She creates an inviting sense of place with lines such as "The dusky gloom felt restful and soothing, as if the gently swaying boughs overhead were absorbing light and noise." Numerous surprises speckle the narrative, such as the origin of Sheamathan's mysterious wolfhound, the true power of Lana's black rock, and the fate of Elias. The book also presents clear, important messages for younger readers, as when one character realizes that "doing a bad thing, even for a good reason, is still bad." Ling's cleverest concept is that gems' powers are amplified in Shadow, which is put to great use here and also holds vast potential for subsequent volumes.

A bright fantasy for readers who are tired of exaggerated violence and slippery morals. -- Kirkus Reviews

"I see a lot of elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins and the like in fantasy, but for whatever reason I just don't see a lot of gnomes. Thumbs up for an under used fantasy race.
Although gems and stones having powers is pretty typical in fantasy, I've never seen an entire lore and magic system based off real world gemology lore, another thumbs up for creativity." -- The Weatherwax Report Blog

From the Author

My books center around one common fantasy trope--a portal to another world. The nice thing about portal stories is that the world on the other side presents endless possibilities for the imaginative writer.

My goal in this series is to transport readers to a world that feels as real as our own but surprises them at every turn with different beings, creatures, and physical features.
In my Kirkus review of Beyond the Forest, the reviewer states, "Ling's cleverest concept is that gems' powers are amplified in Shadow, which is put to great use here and also holds vast potential for subsequent volumes." --Kirkus Reviews. Readers call this series delightfully original. It's G-rated and can be enjoyed by fantasy lovers of all ages.

Product details

  • File Size : 5509 KB
  • Publication Date : October 28, 2016
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 300 pages
  • Language: : English
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 77 ratings