Saturday, March 8, 2014

{Blog Tour+Giveaway+Review} Journey to Landaran: Judy Goodwin


Rating: 5/10
Series: Spirit Mage Saga #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Diamond Print Press
Page Count: 330
Format: Digital Copy for review purposes

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Goodreads Synopsis: Aidah and her twin brother Tavish have always had a knack for getting into trouble. From pie stealing and pranks to hunting for magical creatures, they have always escaped notice in their tiny mountain village.

Until now.

Aidah begins seeing visions through her brother’s eyes. He’s a Firestarter, gifted with the Talent to control light and heat, destined to become a Sun Mage in the great city of Landaran. But he doesn’t want to leave without his sister. As storm clouds gather, Aidah dreams of a beautiful man, a frightening man, calling to her.

She fears the truth. That she may developing a Talent of her own, one that will change their lives forever.

The power to read minds. To possess bodies. To travel inside dreams. In the world of Ernid, Spirit is the ultimate power.

Nations will go to war over them.


About the Author: Twitter|Blog|Website|Facebook


Judy Goodwin has been writing since she was a child, when her fourth grade English instructor told her, ‘You should be a writer.” She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and a Master’s in Education from Argosy University. Over the last ten years she has appeared in several small press magazines and anthologies with her fantasy and science fiction short stories and poetry. Her first novel was published in January 2013, entitled Heart of the Witch.
When not working on her fiction, Judy works as a technical writer in a healthcare services firm. She enjoys bullying the sheriff at the local renaissance festival, volunteering at local charities, and catching up on the latest movies. She lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her partner and teenage daughter, four cats, and three small dogs.

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 *I received this book as a digital ARC for a blog tour which does not in the slightest affect my honest review of this book*

I loved the concept of Journey to Landaran so much. The three different talents, Life, Fire, and Storm, which translate into Spirit, Sun, and I'm not 100% certain what a Storm mage is called. Without a fancy definition, a mage is basically a talent that has been fully trained in the city of Landaran. Now Landaran is a huge city and center of all things magic. Every talent must go there in order to train from a Master. In English speak, it means that Landaran is a city version of Hogwarts, and the 'Masters' are like professors.

My absolute favorite part of the book was the prologue. It was the scene where Korva, the biggest Spirit Mage and Talent of them all in Landaran, goes in spirit to help Aidah's and Tavish's mother give birth to them. The catch was that their mom was only expecting one of them. Tavish was the first, and Korva immediately noticed that he had an immensely strong aura around him, and that he would be a Sun Mage. Korva had to give their mother some of her strength in order to help birth Aidah who had a weak aura, and only the slight possibility of magic.

Fast-forward 14 years.

Tavish has been training to become a Sun Mage, and make the journey to Landaran since his power first appeared when he was 8 or 9. Aidah has always been the meek-and-mild little sister with no Talent. But she was content with that. When the two of them are 14, Aidah gets the first feelings of her Talent when she and Tavish are getting into trouble. She is able to give him a surge or strength -that's mistaken for adrenaline- and he is able to pull her over the ledge (long story), and she feels faint with a headache the entire day. 

Soon after, she gets visited by Rangwar, the most evil Mage of all and emperor of Innis. 

A very bad guy.

He is an extremely powerful mage, and has the ability to travel into people's dreams. In her dreams, Rangwar sexually molests Aidah numerous times in the process of trying to convince her to side with him, and not make the journey to Landaran. As a result -as anybody in their sane mind would be- she becomes terrified of men touching her. Rangwar brutally took her innocence, and she can't trust anymore. Aidah tells everyone around her that it's just bad dreams from something else that Rangwar is responsible for, but they don't believe her, especially because of the wounds that show up after she gets abused by him.

While it kept my interest, a good portion of Journey to Landaran was spent; on a journey, to Landaran. It was interesting and everything, but when it got to be over 40% of the book sent on the journey, it got a little tedious. 

I personally love the cover of this book because it gives you this somewhat eerie feeling, and an air of mystery that the story deserves. What I really love is the city/castle in the background that's shrouded by clouds. The title, however, could have been a little more creative. I'm not sure what I wanted it to be, I just wanted something different and a little more creative.  
Conclusion: Overall, this book had an interesting, and completely original plot that teenagers that want to get out of their comfort zone will love.

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