Published: June 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Source: free copy from the author for an honest review
In a Buzz: What a charming story full of adventure and diverse characters
Rating: 🐝 🐝 🐝*
About the author (via Goodreads)
Kasper J. Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. Kasper has combined a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in this trilogy. Kasper started to write on the urging of friends and family and enjoys watching readers become immersed in the magical world of Reloria.
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
From the beginning, you are taken to a fantasy world that combines elements of Lord of the Rings, The HeartStone Chronicles and West of Eden. I found this mixture exciting and new and had no problems with it but I can imagine that not everybody likes this sort of mixed genres.
You are guided into the world of Reloria via two young halfling protagonists who live connected to their fairies and work the fields of their village. Bit by bit you learn that Elves protect the planet against reptile invaders (which the two just had encountered) via a protective shield. From then on a hunt ensues to warn the elves of the breach of their protection.
I love the way the two encounter a young female halfling huntress, dwarves, a human who shapeshifts into a dragon on their way and of course all seems to be lost when they reach the elven city. The diversity of characters is amazing and what I appreciate is the fact there are strong female characters with the halfling huntress and the elven princess. She does not seem to be strong at first glance but she has her moments.
Kasper Beaumont manages to create lovable characters with quirks but also annoying attributes which makes them real and you can relate to them. They have to put up with a fair share of fighting which I am not a huge fan of but I think that comes with the territory of a fantasy novel. Of course, there is some romance too so I found it nicely balanced.
The story proceeds at an easy pace that combines slow and fast moving scenes in a good balance and ends with a cliffhanger that makes you want to read more. I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscapes of Reloria as well as the conflicts between characters and races. Not all is well in Reloria but all manage to come together and protect their planet. You learn a lot backstory when meeting new characters which can be overwhelming at times.
Unfortunately, there is a fair share of “telling” instead of “showing” in Kasper’s fantasy novel but I had a similar problem with other first time novels and believe authors develop and learn a lot from a first publication. However, it did distract me from staying in the story sometimes.
What I really loved about the book are the illustrations by various artists of various ages. For me, this gave the book a special charm that you don’t always find in books. It made me think this fantasy series is a community project and I hope to see more of it in the other two books.
All in all, this is a charming fantasy novel, that draws you in with diverse characters and storylines as well as a good share of fighting to save their world. I am a huge fan of fantasy novels and self-published authors and enjoyed reading “Elven Jewell” despite the telling instead of showing moments. If you like unusual fantasy books and unusual use of genres as well as self-published books you will enjoy “Elven Jewell” a lot and should certainly give it a read!
1 Bee ~ could not finish it
2 Bee’s ~ could bear reading it but it wasn’t fun to read
3 Bee’s ~ enjoyed it but there are too many parts that sting
4 Bee’s ~ enjoyed it greatly
5 Bee’s ~ exceptional read