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The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana (The Ialana Series) (Volume 2) Paperback – November 30, 2015
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About the Author
Katlynn Brooke was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She now lives in Virginia (USA) but has also traveled extensively and lived in other countries, such as India and Indonesia. Her debut novel, Talk to the Moon, was inspired by her mother who once worked on a mission in Africa. The novel is a murder mystery set in 1940’s Rhodesia. Katlynn has recently branched out into young adult fantasy fiction, and written two novels, The Six and the Crystals of Ialana, and its sequel, The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana. A third book in the Ialana series will be released in 2016. Katlynn not only writes, but is a watercolor artist as well. She teaches watercolor painting in her studio in Virginia.
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The author continues to effectively juggle a large cast of characters owing to her ability to familiarize you with them quickly and give you a deep sense of their inner motivations, what makes them tick, what drives them. Her fluid writing style means there are no sentences to trip over and it’s that much easier to get swept along with the rest of the story. The essential drama is as age-appropriate for a YA audience as it is timeless; for our heroes it involves learning how to wield great power without becoming overly seduced and corrupted by it, while for our villains, it means seeing just what that lust for control can do to twist a person inside out.
Lovers of epic fantasy will find little to complain about here; if anything they get the added bonus of shapeshifters. My one nitpick is I think that with a few more discretely places line inserts throughout act one, the author could made it so the reader didn’t have to have just laid down book one to continue on without missing a beat. Sometimes even if readers are reading the book in the correct order, life intercedes, time elapses, or they may simply have read a few other books in between that one and this one, so even they could benefit from a brief refresher in the interests of clarity and of making the read that much more effortless.
The story starts from moments after the collapse of the Citadel. The rest of the Six wonder if Braidd and Amrafalus have made it out alive. From there they are told by Irusan that they need to leave Rhiannon and head towards Galon.
Their journey is wrought with challenges. Blaidd survives, but meets a seductive shape shifter named Branwyn who manipulates others for her desire for power. She confides in Blaidd that she and Anfawl have teamed up to overthrow Madfall (head of the council of 10, who took over after the disappearance of Amrafalus). She tells him that she plans on manipulating Anfawl long enough to rule as his queen, then get rid of him.
Other characters, such as Queen Catrin are introduced. She proves to be a valuable ally to the Six, when she finds empowerment within herself to go against her husband King Brenin. Their marriage had fallen apart after the birth of Deryn, their son, who had disabilities. Brenin is easily seduced by Branwyn when she pays him a visit and tells him her plans of using his army to accomplish her goals. Catrin learns of this and is determined to find the Six before Brenin and Branwyn do.
The story continues on with unexpected turns and exciting adventures. The Six’s journey takes them many places, including to a world of light and sound; place where time doesn’t exist. They meet leprechauns, undines, and sea gypsies and are taught valuable lessons by harnessing elemental power.
Blaidd takes his own personal journey, where he finds his way back to the light. I enjoyed seeing him grow and stand up to his former ally. It was refreshing to see that he redeemed himself.
It was a wonderful read about a power struggle between opposing sides and the Six’s goal to protect Ialana from falling into the wrong hands.
A perfect continuation of book 1!
Jahara, that clumsy, uncertain red headed boy from Book 1 has been chosen the leader of this auspicious, physic group – a role he is not quite sure of. He may hold the crystal, and he may have strong healing powers, but there are others amongst their pack that have stronger leadership skills. Their mission to heal the Trueni, or those altered and made less than human by the Crystals, has been stalled. Caught, they run – seeking to find themselves back near their homelands.
This novel continues the epic journey – in true fantasy style. It dives into the story and the action much faster than Book 1. If you haven’t read that volume, stop and go back – it’s important to understanding these characters and how they live, and have lived before. If you don’t, you can still enjoy this novel though some of it may be confusing. It’s the kind of tale that inflames the imagination – and did I mention there were shape shifters?
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Continuing on their journey of healing the escape the citadel, only to run into new...Read more