Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Review: Sela

I am proud to be a stop on the blog tour for Sela, Jackie Gamber's follow-up novel to Redheart, which I read and reviewed last year. See the remaining stops over at the publisher's website.

Sela by Jackie Gamber

Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.

Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.

In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.

Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.

In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela? [Source]

I received this novel for review from the publisher.

Sela is book 2 in Jackie Gamber's Leland Dragon series of fantasy novels about dragons. These books are great for fantasy novel lovers aged 10 and up.

Riza and Kallon are back, although our main characters now focus on Sela and Drell. Some of the main characters from Redheart are also back, and I have mixed feelings about them. However, my review of Redheart included spoilers, and I am going to try to keep this review spoiler-free.

Sela is the human daughter of Riza and Kallon. Drell is the dragon son of Fordan Blackclaw, Kallon's enemy. There is peace in the Leland province, but peace is rarely long-lasting. Greedy, vicious humans are trying to take over the mountains, and there is more than one sneaky party with a hidden agenda.

The wonderfully wacky wizard Orman is back, as well as the meddling (with good intentions) wizard Layce. I must say, those two together make quite a pair. I loved the relationship between Orman and Layce. Their banter and both of their personalities provide a good amount of giggles and chuckles as I was reading. We also had a few new secondary characters that acted as friends and allies for Sela when she needed them most. I loved that she wasn't alone in her journey.

I was also extremely pleased that the novel followed the basic elements of story grammar, just as Redheart did. Gamber takes great care in her writing to build up tension and emotions. She builds her characters, rather than plopping them down in a weak plot. She describes the setting and uses it to support to the plot. She leaves her readers on the edge of their seats, gripping the pages, thirsting for more.

About the author: As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length... She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion. Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. (via)


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