Release Date: July 21, 2014
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Source: via Tour Organizer
Recommended By: Candace's Book Blog
He’s sworn to protect her, but can he save her from himself?
Danika Rubystone has hated the minstrels ever since her mother ran away with one. As Princess, she’s duty bound to marry Valorian, a minstrel from the House of Song. But problems in the kingdom are mounting. With her father dead she’s the sole heir to an imperiled throne, and wyverns attack Ebonvale’s southern shores. But after Danika finds a lone survivor of a wyvern’s attack who holds the key to protecting the kingdom and she finally meets the enchantingly sly Valorian, everything changes.
As Ebonvale’s Royal Guard sails with the minstrels to smite the uprising of wyverns, Danika dances a line between sticking by duty like her father, or following her wild heart like her mother.
It's been a looong time since I've read epic fantasy so when the virtual book tour for MINSTREL'S SERENADE by Aubrie Dionne landed on my email I just have to sign up. Part of me was excited while another part of me was wary because of the length. I mean an epic fantasy that's under 300 pages? It's gotta be a prequel right?
Well MINSTREL'S SERENADE isn't a prequel but the first novel of Chronicles of Ebonvale. I wasn't blown away by the story, it has great bones with princesses, knights, and a war against an army of fire breathing wyverns. Kingdoms and peoples from all over the land are rallying against the onslaught and the fate of humankind lies on Princess Danika. The novel has that medieval and conquest feel to it, the world building isn't as complicated as other epic fantasies but still managed to hold its own despite its simplicity. The cast of characters isn't too long either so it was fairly easy to remember who's who and what and acclimate to the world ADionne created and get into the story. The word index isn't that complicated too, no unusual nouns and words plus the story was more character driven than plot making it a quick and easy read.
Given all those good points I still didn't find MINSTREL'S SERENADE as epic as I hoped it would be. Inasmuch as it has a sound foundation for epicness, it didn't give me that 360 degree view we often find in epic fantasies. I didn't get a good feel of the land and the turmoil its in and aside from Dannika, I'm barely acquainted with the rest of the key players in this story. Speaking of which, a POV from the Queen of wyverns would've been good since they're part of the cast. I sure would like to know if there are other motives behind their impending attack besides the usual siege and conquer. Lastly as this is called MINSTREL'S SERENADE I was expecting a big myth behind the minstrels and why they're so special. Let's just say they're more Pied Piper than demi godlike to me at this point.
I liked where MINSTREL'S SERENADE ended though and I sure would like to know how the battle is going to go down. There's also a bit of a romance, it's a clean one btw, and it's the kind that's "frowned" upon because the Princess is in love with a man below her class. But war make heroes out of ordinary folk so who knows, maybe on the second book said lad would be more than worthy to take Dannika's hand.
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Publishing, Inkspell Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.
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