Book Review: Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass

Sea of Crystal, Sea of GlassWhen faced with the impossible and the unthinkable, choose the impossible.

All that fifteen-year-old Einur Landman has left in the world are his flock of sheep and his beloved little sister. His entire life’s purpose is to keep Lody safe from the evil ruling class. But he never expected that it would be his own name that was drawn for the child sacrifice. Leaving Lody with his promise to return, Einur escapes into the wild where he meets a stranger with a plan to bring down the Illyrië. Forced to choose between the unthinkable – Lody’s probable death – and the seemingly impossible, Einur takes the latter.

In his quest from his mountain village, through countless dangers, to the sea itself, everything Einur believes will be tested. For Lody’s sake, can he make a final crucial choice and stand firm to the end?


 

Overall Impression

Benita is a self-professed lover of Fantasy, especially Tolkien. Something clear in SOCSOG to an occasional fault, more on this in Plot

While I know several people on Goodreads who thoroughly enjoyed this book, for me it was dry. I wasn’t compelled to finish it.

If you love anything fantasy I would recommend this book to you. If you are hesitant towards fantasy already, this is probably not for you. 

Appropriate for older-readers and some families. I would, however, advise discretion towards parents reading to their little children. This book includes child-sacrifice and some intense/scary scenes. 

 

Characters

To be honest, I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the characters in this book. In a lot of ways the character development was inconsistent and unrealistic. As well as to many extraneous characters being brought in.

Einur, to me, was rather annoying. His thought processes didn’t make sense and he had a rather cynical/snarky feeling to him overall. 

Lody was sweet, I liked her. In fact she was probably my favorite. 

 

 

Plot

As I said before, Benita is a lover of Tolkien-who isn’t, am I right? 🙂 But this could go too far: there was a feeling throughout the entire book that Benita was grasping to make it similar to the works of Tolkien, many names such as, Alarandil, that were obviously modeled after LoTR, and one part where there was a sentence* practically taken out of Fellowship of the Ring.

*”A fell voice-there is a fell voice on the wind. As though someone were cooking up a sorcery.”-Einur 

Here is what I would say about that…it’s not bad to model your books after books you love, the key part is to do it in moderation. When writers work so hard to make their books Tolkien-ish, or similar to the works of C.S. Lewis etc. they get in their own way. The only way you are going to be a truly successful and original author is if it is original! 

Another thing that was hard about this book was that it was hard to follow. The characters, plot, flow all of it! There was much that was never fully explained (All the stuff with Berwyn and Eldrast, like, what the heck was going on there?!?) and much that was very confusing. Not a good mix. I believe had Benita dropped some more unnecessary bunny trails and stayed within the essential parts of her story it would have been clearer.  

One thing I liked very much was the essential idea behind the plot. It was good, quite stereotypical fantasy, but who cares! I like all the cliché that can come along with fantasy! I think that in time, if Benita adjusts her approach to writing in some ways, she could be a very good storyteller! Part of it is just experience. 

To Benita I would say, keep working and persevering! Try not to write the best Tolkien-ish book you can and instead try to write the best book you can.

 

Also, may I just say, beautiful cover! 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: Characters take a fake god’s name in vain-didn’t really bother me. 

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: As there is child sacrifice in this there is going to be some creepy scenes. The Illyrie’s practices are creepy, there is a creepy guy who hypnotized a main character, several scenes where either they were dreams or real, not sure it was hard to tell. A big mist monster is fought. A very little bit of battle, not intense in the least. On the conservative side I would rate this 13+. 

Sex/Nudity: None

 


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review 

Book Review: The Silent Blade

30524121Dromiskin, Ireland. 925 A.D.

Eira has no greater desire than to see her life returned to what it once was—before her older brother Kevin’s sudden disappearance four years earlier. But the simple life she hoped for seems unattainable; on the contrary, her life is about to get all the more complicated.
When she suddenly finds herself and Willem, her twin brother, taken captive by someone who claims to be Kevin’s enemy, things go from bad to worse. It soon becomes clear that she and Willem are to become bait in a trap set for Kevin, and Eira knows she must try to warn him. But how, when she herself is a captive?
As mysteries of the past are unveiled, and loyalties are revealed, Eira realizes how precious her friends truly are. And when mortal danger threatens those nearest to her, will she be
able to trust God with the lives of her friends and family?


 

 

Overall Impression

This story, while in many ways a good concept, was not carried out well. The book didn’t really hold my attention, the characters were not easy to connect to, and to me personally I found many plot-holes. 

I would still say that many single-readers and perhaps even families would enjoy the story even though I didn’t. I know that among it’s target audience on Goodreads it has done very well. Averaging at 4.4 stars. 

 

Characters

Eira, to be honest, annoyed me. I feel like it is a trend right now to have that female character who is good with weapons, can’t cook for her life, and has a temper that gets her into trouble. This type of person is really frustrating to me and often feels clichéd and two-dimensional. I want to see more sweet AND capable female characters. 

Willem and Cassimir, though you didn’t get to see their emotions/thoughts deeply, were sweet guys. 

Technically there was nothing ‘wrong’ with Kevin. But I just couldn’t connect. He was borderline annoying to me, I am not sure why, he just was. This does not mean that he was a bad character, but he and I didn’t mesh. 

Henry and Merek, the two big baddies. Honestly, they just weren’t scary. They didn’t make sense. The reasons behind their actions felt to weak to me. The things they experienced were hard, but I didn’t feel like it was enough to merit the type people they became. 

 

Plot 

I felt the plot to this book was rather weak and undeveloped. The threads of the story weren’t held together well and I felt that we, as readers, were missing certain key bits of information. Sometimes we would get unnecessary information and others we wouldn’t get enough. This left if feeling inconsistent.

 A lot of conversations in this book didn’t make sense to me. Either they were hard to follow, or they were out-of-place. The conversations between bad guys and main characters were especially awkward. 

Also, after all that Eira’s sword-work is praised, the one time that she would have gotten a chance to use it in an influential situation she does horribly. It didn’t make sense. If she was so good she should have done better. 

The faith aspect wasn’t tied in well. There wasn’t a struggle in the middle of the book. There were a few mentions of God and then a bunch of verses in the end. I would have preferred for it to be interwoven through the story. 


Even though Jesseca has a lot of room to grow, I believe that she will grow to  become a much better author. Even if just for the understanding she had when she heard my thoughts on The Silent Blade, and the humility with which she received my critiques. 

 

Warnings:

Language/Profanity: None

Violence/Frightening Scenes/Gore: Mild descriptions of wounds. Light violence. I would think fine for all children. A man hits a woman. Some light battle scenes. 

Sex/Nudity: None

 

I received this book in return for a review. I was in no way obliged to write a positive review, merely an honest one.