Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Reviews: The Unclaimed Throne and The Uncrowned Queen

Author: A.J. Dormaar
Kindle editions

The Unclaimed Throne
four stars

Dormaar certainly knows how to write a page-turner. Princess Auryn and faithful sidekick, Garth, are frequently “out of the frying pan and into the fire”—escape, and repeat. If some of the escapes seem to hinge on more than a modicum of coincidence and luck, one can attribute that to the magic bracelet Auryn wears, the mysterious circumstances of her birth, and her ability to gather loyal followers.

Auryn is a puzzle to her parents, when they bother to think of her at all. She’s a rarity: a princess who reads and thinks, and isn’t anxious to marry any of her possible suitors. But royal princesses must bow to political necessity, and play their part in forging alliances, whether they like the idea or not.  Unless a higher destiny intervenes.

The Uncrowned Queen
five stars

This is a sequel to The Unclaimed Throne. Quiet, bookish Auryn has come a long way. With some tutoring from  Merlin (yes, *that* Merlin) she is well on her way to becoming a formidable sorceress as well as a warrior princess. She joins Merlin and three other powerful workers of magic as one of the five guardians of Earth. 

Auryn’s new skills come in handy as she leads the campaign to defend her aging parents and their kingdom from her too-ambitious  brothers-in-law, none of whom is willing to wait for dear old dad to die of natural causes before they lay claim to what each sees as his fair share of the kingdom.  It’s obvious, of course, that much of the unrest in the land has been stirred up by Auryn’s nemesis, Sardon, who still has agents acting on Earth and won’t be content until he rules both worlds.

Despite Auryn’s proven worth, it’s still a man’s world. Will she be allowed to succeed her father as a queen, or must she choose a consort ? But that issue is postponed, as Auryn returns to the other world, Aridayn, and confronts Sardon himself. 

There are lots of plot twists and turns, with plenty of danger and narrow escapes, clever and daring heroism, and enough non-stop action to make it really hard to put the book down.

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