Ranger of Kings by C. J. R. Isely

Ranger of Kings (William of Alamore Series Book 1) by [C. J. R. Isely]

Ranger of Kings is the debut novel of C. J. R. Isely and is the first book in the “William of Alamore” series.

About the Book

Will, a common village boy, has always dreamed of becoming a knight. When he is suddenly, and unexpectedly, called to train as a squire in the castle of Alamore, he cannot believe it is real. He faces the challenge with the great determination to succeed, but soon finds out there is more to becoming a knight than he ever imagined.

Even at the beginning level as a squire, Will is suddenly thrust into action, danger, and battles he isn’t ready for but meets with determination and perseverance. He makes friends among the squires and finds that one of his friends has a knack for finding trouble.

Then one night, Will discovers something disturbing about his father, and the more he learns the more danger Will faces. Not only is Will suddenly thrust into a war, but is faced with mysteries about his father, about the Ranger, and about what lies beneath the castle of Alamore.

My Review

C. J. R. Isely is a talented writer. She has woven a tale filled with mystery and intrigue, action, danger, and adventure.

I was drawn into the story from the very first page and stayed up late several nights turning the pages because I just couldn’t put the book down.

C. J. R. Isely created delightful characters, each with his very own personality, character qualities, and unique voice. I found it to be fun to read the interactions between Will and his two closest friends. Their courage was inspiring and their banter made me laugh.

It was also quite clear that C. J. R. Isely possesses a lot of horse knowledge, as horses play a major role in this story as well. Each horse was also unique, and it was clear that C. J. R. knows what it takes to properly care for horses, how to ride horses, and how to train horses.

There were some small technical mistakes scattered throughout the books as far as wording is concerned, which I always find to be a distraction. However, in this book, as I was fully engaged in the action, mystery, and battles, they were more easily overlooked and less of a distraction.

Another thing I really liked about the story is that C. J. R. Isely gave me a satisfying ending. Though Ranger of Kings is the first book in a series, Ms. Isely wrapped up the ending with just enough resolution and a change that gave the story the feel of an ending even though I know there is more to come.

I really enjoyed Ranger of Kings by C. J. R. Isely and highly recommend it to those who enjoy action, adventure, mystery, danger, and fantasy. There are a few profane words within the story, but they are few and far between. There are also some bloody descriptions of those who were in battle, but I didn’t feel that they were gory or overdone. I would recommend this book for YA and adult readers, and, possibly, some middle grade readers.

I look forward to the next book in the “William of Alamore” series.

I give this book 5 stars.

Traiven’s Pass by Jessica Marinos

Traiven’s Pass by Jessica Marinos is a debut novel and also the first book in the “Trimont Trilogy”. It is set in medieval times in a land where the king is missing, but a steward king is ruling the land. There are knights and peasants. There is mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure, and through all of that, there is good and evil at work.

I struggled through reading the first four chapters of Traiven’s Pass because it is told in first person, which I am not a fan of. However, it wasn’t just the fact that it is told in first person, but that the first person Point of View changes from character to character, although each chapter is told from a different character’s first person Point of View. However, after getting through the first four chapters, there were more chapters told from the same character’s first person Point of View–the character’s didn’t change so often.

Because the story is told so well, and Ms. Marinos did such an excellent job of creating well-developed characters, after chapter four, the first person Point of View character switching ceased to bother me. I became so caught up in the characters’ lives and the story that it was quite difficult to put the book down. Ms. Marinos did an excellent job creating and describing her world without overdoing it, and she is quite masterful at weaving back story throughout the story and not simply dumping paragraphs of information from the back story in the middle of an important scene.

Ms. Marinos did such an excellent job showing her character’s emotions that I felt them with them. I have to say that my heart broke over Sir Danek, as I understood his character and so hoped that he could soften. I love Lydia and felt all of her joys and pains throughout the book. Galen has spent his life in a small town and has a lot to learn. I loved the children of Trimont and Meklon and Lady Vala and Rose. I could go on and on. Even after putting the book down, I would think about the characters and the struggles they were going through. They became real, living, breathing people to me, and I can’t wait to read more about them.

It was also wonderful to read a novel all the way through without finding grammatical and typographical errors. This book was obviously, painstakingly well edited.

This is the best debut novel I’ve read in quite a while. It will remain a favorite of mine for years to come. I cannot wait for the next installment of the “Trimont Trilogy”.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves medieval stories, and though, I rarely give a book five stars, in my opinion, Traiven’s Pass definitely deserves five stars!

Flash Fiction Friday: A Late Knight

Kate lay in the hammock green leaves a canopy overhead, the sounds of birds twittering in the hedge and someone’s lawn mower eating grass a few lawns away. She held a book in her hands but the story had failed to hold her attention. After re-reading the same paragraph three times without it penetrating her brain, she lay it open, face down on her chest. She closed her eyes breathed deeply the scent of lilacs and fresh cut grass floating on the breeze.

Kate awoke with a start peering into creamy caramel colored eyes in a weathered bronze face surrounded by black wavy hair graying at the temples. He leaned back moving farther from her lips. Had he kissed her? She raised her hand and touched her lips a faint warm moistness lingered. His smile caused her heartbeat to quicken.

A chuffing noise drew her attention over his shoulder. A horse in saddle and armor grazed on her lawn. Her eyes flew back to the man before her, moving beyond his face to his pauldron covered shoulders, his breastplate and chain mail hauberk. He held a helmet in his hand.

“Who are you?”

“Madam, I am Sir William the Brave. I have kissed your lips to awaken you and whisk you from your life of drudgery.”

Kate pinched her arm. “Ouch! Okay, this is supposed to be real.”

Sir William took her hand in his. “Of course I am real.” He helped her to sit. “Shall we go?”

“Where will you take me?”

He raised her hand to his lips placed a kiss soft and tender. “My lady, my palace awaits you. I am your knight in shining armor.”

Kate stifled a laugh. “This must be some kind of joke. If you are my knight in shining armor, you’re about thirty years too late. I’m a married woman.”

“You are an unhappily married woman in this world. In my world, I have been awaiting your call many years. My heart has yearned for you so imagine my joy upon hearing your call today. I came as quickly as I could. It is never to late for a knight to rescue his lady. Please, let’s be off.”

Kate, still considering the possibility she was dreaming or that one of her friends had set up this great trick, arose, gasped as the knight lifted her upon his horse then mounted behind her. Her heart seemed to long for this knight or was it just the excitement of her childish hope in a real “happily ever after”?