As you can see, I have returned once more to bless you with my presence and some particularly feelzy snippets this fine morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. Wherever you are, it’s a fine day.
You see, I’ve started school(and it’s boring me to death) but it also means I have access to internet once more. So I can post more that once a month, like I have been unfortunately. And yes, I know you’re all dying to see more of me. Who wouldn’t be? I am the paradox of paradoxes. The INTJ Hufflepuff. The neither right-brained nor left-brained extremely introverted cynic.
Yes. That would be me.
Anyhow, here’s the snippets of Firemaster you’ve all been waiting for.
Shadow’s head snapped up, and he saw Isof staring at him. “Aye?”
“How are you?”
Shadow froze. “Fine.”
Isof’s brow arched upwards. “Really?” He sighed, and handed Shadow a thick blanket he had stuffed under his arm. “Because normal people don’t look like they have hypothermia.”
Shadow glared, shaking hands seizing the blanket, pride be damned. “It’s not hypothermia. It’s… something else.”
Isof sat down next to him, studying the stars. “Something like a little to much light?”
A thin tendril of icy fear snaked it’s way up Shadow’s spine, despite the blanket. “What do you mean?” He feigned ignorance.
Isof’s lips twisted into a sharp smile. “The light chases away the shadows, and none can withstand it.”
Shadow’s body froze in an icy grip, muscles trembling with anticipation. He silently gathered his feet under himself, ready to throw the blanket in Isof’s face and run. Run for his life.
The girl turned, laundry still in hand. Jax stood before her, eyes avoiding her gaze and fingers tugging nervously at his jacket sleeve. A tiny blue thread came loose, and he snapped it off.
“Yes?” She answered.
“People–humans–are supposed to be together, right?”
Vyrn arched a dark brow, confused. “Yes, I suppose so.”
“They’re supposed to make friends, and fall in love, and marry… right?” He went on.
She nodded, mute.
“Then…” Jax hesitated. He glanced up at her, then away again. His fingers stumbled over his sleeve, tearing out threads of string in an almost frantic manner. “Is… ” The words escaped him once more, but he steeled his mind and continued. Please. I need an answer.
“Is there something wrong with me?”
His eyes locked with Vyrn’s, wide and desperate. She stiffened, the words searing through her mind.
“Jax…” She began shakily, “who told you that?”
He looked away.
Vyrn grit her teeth. “Who told you that?” She demanded, louder and firmer. When he still refused to answer, she yelled. “Who? Tell me!” Her boot hit the ground, pain shooting up her heel from a sharp rock underfoot. “Who?”
“So, here lies the little puppet boy.”
Kirin froze, a slick tendril of dread dripping down his spine. “Wh-Who’s there?”
The voice chuckled. It was a deep, rasping sound, made to instill fear in the hearts of men. “Oh, but you don’t remember me?” The voice paused, and then a single word slid out, the word that had broke Kirin mind and body.
The word enveloped in darkness long hidden. Kirin sucked in a ragged breath and clamped his hands down over his ears, begging the memories to stay hidden.
My name is Death. They all know this. And yet, the puny little humans still insist on fighting me. Why, I can’t tell.
After all, I am the Black Prince. Death itself, wrapped in a human skin and gifted to mankind like a talisman of evil.
They call me evil. How right they are, and they don’t even know it.
So there, my minions. Some feelzy snippets. Are you mourning what I’m going to do to my character yet? You probably should be…
Oh, and be sure to check out the new update page for Firemaster. You’ll find it up in the menu, under “Writings”.
After yet another hiatus, I am back. And let’s be honest—most of that hiatus consisted of me working as a lifeguard, working at the vet clinic, and feeding horses for my boarder while she’s up at cow camp.
Not to mention listening to Avicii(RIP, man), Imagine Dragons, One Republic, and Twenty One Pilots. Or chatting online at ST and Discord. Or playing video games.
Let’s just say I had a good break. After all, it’s not every day you get to skip school(who am I kidding, I’m not even in school yet), ride a new horse, play video games, and listen to the best of modern music at the same time.
And I’ll be honest, I enjoyed not having to worry about writing up new posts every week. But I also missed you guys. (Yeah, this post is going to be a bit of a rant. Hang in there.) After all, not everybody has their own personal fan squad. You guys are epic, and I’ve missed talking with you all and posting and watching everyone’s reactions to my somewhat… cynical… nature at times.
So, what’s going to happen now that I’m back? Well, several things. Now that I’m back in school *almost* I’ll have more access to internet, and therefore will be able to post hopefully once a week. No promises. I have a busy life. But I will try.
Secondly, I’m going to try and finish my serial story/novella(This Curse To Bear) and send it all the way through alpha readers(who are awesome!), so I can start posting it on here. There were some slight complications earlier in the year, and hence I had to stop writing that as well and wait till the 20th of August to pick back up on it and try and get it done. Soon, I’m going to upload a bunch of chapters onto Google Docs, send it through my alphas, and hopefully get it up on the blog around late September-October. I can’t promise. Writing is hard, as I’m sure all of you know. But I’ll do my best.
Third, I still have to redo my “About” page and add some resources for writers. Due again to not having internet, I haven’t been able to update the blog. I have everything written up, I just need to get some internet and post it. That should be happening later in the week.
After that, I’m planning on updating my WIP pages, adding some links and a blog button, and such. That should also happen soon. Speaking of design, how’s everyone like the new header and name? If you haven’t seen it, please visit the site and tell me what you think in the comments. I rather like it.
What you can expect as for posts:
A post on characters, revealing some new aesthetics, some cool lyrics, and info on the lovely characters of Firemaster.
A wrap-up post on the county fair and June/July/August doings.
And maybe a post on snippets of Firemaster… (Admit it—you’re excited.)
That’s all I have planned so far, but I expect to get back into the swing of blogging soon enough, get myself a calendar(finally!) and do some other fun stuff. (Maybe even a giveaway…)
So, until then, my minions. *looks noble* *chokes* *dies*
I think The Stealthmaster’s Shadow is my favorite of all the Legends of the Light so far. I’ve read all the other three and loved them all in turn—but this one broke all previous records. It was beautiful.
The plot was amazing, with high stakes, action, cool Stealthmaster-y… well, stealth, and just a dash of romance. I honestly thought we weren’t going to make it out alive for a few moments, and was lamenting the fact that yet another of my favorite characters was going to die. (It’s tragic. I have a thing for all the characters that die. I mean… Newt. R.I.P., buddy.)
And yes, you heard me right. Favorite character! I have a new precious charrie THAT NO ONE BETTER EVER KILL. (Hear that, Hope? Verus is under my personal dragonly protection. Don’t lay a single razor-sharp ax upon my baby’s neck. *growls*)
But really, Verus is amazing. The tone, the sarcasm… he’s the best. And Adreana is totally the perfect fit for him. She pulled off the “strong woman” stereotype very well. (Plus, the whole “misshapen monstrosity” thing was awesome.)
So now that we’re done ranting, let me move on to the actual review.
~ My Review ~
Verus, a retired soldier, determines to enforce the peace the victory ought to have brought. His wanderings bring him to the city of Nerva, a sprawling riverside chaos no other Stealthmaster will touch.Commandeering the task of a former comrade, Verus presents himself to the governor and promises to search out hidden Subverters. The true reason for his actions he keeps to himself. After all, the tyrannical governor will hardly approve of lending aid to those pitted against him, but the Subverters need information. Maybe even weapons.
The wishes of the Subverters themselves are immaterial. They weren’t there during the war. They didn’t see the horrors Tauscher spread.
So has the new ambassador from Zahavia who strides through the great doors of the feasting hall, bringing Verus face to face with nightmares from his past.
As the simple mission dissolves into confusion, Verus struggles to help those he’s plunged into danger, from a serving lad to the infuriating woman he’s taken to calling “Princess.” Fleeing will only make the enemy stronger. But staying…
Staying could doom them all.
Perfect for those who love fantasy but don’t have the time to sit down for a full-length novel, the fourth novella in the Legends of Light series presents the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in a clean, exciting, and inspiring manner. Full of wit, secrets, danger, and distant threats looming on the horizon, this is more than the mere retelling of a favorite fairy tale.A stand-alone story, The Stealthmaster’s Shadow focuses on the fourth fruit of the Spirit, long-suffering, while following the results of the war between the Prince and Tauscher.
I loved this book. The characters were great, the plot intense and action packed, and the Christian themes and message beautifully weaved into the story. But there were a few points where I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, or who was talking. For the most part, context and subtext told it all, but there were some spots were I was a bit confused, which is why I’m rating it 4/5.
~ Genre ~
Fantasy/Allegorical Fantasy/YA/Fairy Tale Re-telling
This book totally fit the genre. The fantasy feel was spot on, and the settings incorporated a lot of realistic, fantasy things that made me so excited for when Hope finishes her WIP Fidelyon, which I believe(correct me if I’m wrong, Hope) is set in the same world. So we’ll get a more in-depth view of the world of LotL and I can’t wait to read about it all.
The fairy tale this book was based on–The Twelve Dancing Princesses–is a rather hard fairy tale to pull off a re-telling of, in my opinion, first because it’s not nearly as popular as other fairy tales, and second because it’s a little bit different than other fairy tales. I haven’t read the original fairy tale in a long time, but I think Hope did a good job writing in little hints and references to the original. I could pick up everything referring to the fairy tale pretty well, and I even noticed more hints and more references the second time I read over it. So go Hope!
~ Plot ~
I loved the plot. It was high-stakes, action, sarcasm, and just plain fantastic. As I mentioned before, there was some confusing spots that I had to re-read and think over, but nothing to confusing. Plus, I think this was possibly one of the most high-stakes plots I’ve ever read. I loved the amount of tension and internal conflict(and conflict in general) in this book. So go, my dragons. Read this book. It is epic.
~ Characters ~
One word. Verus. There is one main reason I read a book. Characters. If you don’t have interesting characters, I will not read your book. In fact, I may take your book(like the only Stephen King book I’ve ever owned) and throw it across the room, and then throw it in the the trash can. But this book–I will re-read it again and again, because of the characters. Verus. Adreana. People-I-forget-the-name-of-but-who’s-personalities-and-story-is-forever-branded-in-my-mind.
Those guys. People like Huckleberry Finn(did any of you ever just cringe with sadness for poor ol’ Huck when you read the line in Tom Sawyer ‘He[Huck] wavered, and started to slink away, but Tom seized him and said, “Aunt Polly, it ain’t fair. Somebody’s got to be glad to see Huck.”‘) and Kylo Ren, and Newt Scamander, and Draco Malfoy(Okay, yes, I’m an anti-hero/villain-whatever lover.), and Newt(The Maze Runner, #R.I.P.). But these are the guys and cheer for. These are the guys I get up at 2 AM to find fandom updates for, these are the guys I’d personally write a letter to their author screaming about their unjust and terribly unnecessary death.
And The Stealthmaster’s Shadow has characters like that. Verus and Adreana? I’d do that for them. I’d read through twenty books about these guys. I’d search the web diligently for new bits of info on them, and skim Pinterest for new art and pin ever piece I find, and then search for more. Verus–he’s sarcastic, funny, and just strong enough to be real and tough but just weak enough to be human and huggable. Plus, he had this cute and slightly childish side that was just… adorable. Adreana–she was amazing and smart and witty and saucy at the same time, while not being one of those irritating strong female characters that just sound like rude, bossy girls who hate everyone.
So Hope, I’m giving you an A+ on the characters.
~ Notes ~
–This novel was probably the darkest of the Legends of the Light so far, but I don’t think it was to dark. I think Hope handled it very well, but just to warn you there is some gore and a torture scene towards the end.
-I loved Verus. Enough said.
-As always, Hope has surprised me again by weaving allegory and the story of the Bible beautifully with a new, fresh fantasy feel.
And now, snippets!
“Thank you for the company, gentlemen.” Verus quickened his pace and slipped between the two foremost guards. “I’ll introduce myself to the governor, if it’s not too much trouble.”
“That was a warning.” Osvaldus stepped back in front of the Stealthmaster. “At least Tauscher had real men behind him.” His gaze slowly traveled over Verus. “Ten years ago, you were what? A lad pretending to be a soldier?”
Verus grew rigid. “I was seventeen when peace came.”
“Like I said, a lad.” Osvaldus turned away. “A dreamer trying to bring in the new age after his Prince failed to do so. A camp follower sent to hide with the baggage when real blows were exchanged.”
“I was a soldier!” Verus took a step after Osvaldus. “I bore a blade into conflict more bitter than you have seen and—”
“I don’t care.” Osvaldus spun and seized the front of Verus’s cloak. He dragged him close, his eyes inches away. Lights glinted there, bright and dangerous. “I don’t care. What I do care about is a group of Subverters hiding in my palace, operating outside of my control. A group I want in chains before Renatus appears.” His grip tightened. “If you fail me, I will execute you for the trouble you’ve caused. Can you do it, soldier lad?”
Verus clenched his jaw and didn’t look away. “Yes. I can do it. Maybe I even will.”
“I’m sorry. I truly am.” She bent close, pressing one hand against his forehead. The faintest smile lit her lips. “Though you are much pleasanter like this.”
Why the little… Verus tried to twist away, but his arms were so heavy. His head. His eyelids. This answered one question at least. He forced back the webs of sleep clouding his mind. “You… you’re one of…” His chin slumped to his chest.
~ About The Author ~
Hope Ann uses chocolate to bribe a wide ring of spies, from the realm leapers of Aslaria to the double agents of Elkbend, for their stories. Based in Indiana, she is the self-published author of the Legends of Light series, personal writing coach, and the Communications Coordinator for Story Embers. You can find out more about her at authorhopeann.com