Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail ~ review & competition

ch3Two weeks ago a kickass package arrived for me and I happily unwrapped it to find the gorgeousness that is Melissa McPhail’s latest book: Cephrael’s Hand. There’s nothing better than getting a book straight from the author herself and knowing that they took a little time out to thank you personally for offering to give it a read. The cover is beautiful, it comes with a lovely map (I love books that come with maps!) and I got a hand-written note and a great inscription inside my copy.

What a great start!

Unfortunately, because the book took so long to get to me (I live in South Africa) I will be honest and admit that I haven’t finished reading this book yet (it is long!) but I decided to post my current thoughts anyway (please don’t be mad!) because I promised to have this review up on this specific date so that it would coincide with the rest of the Cephrael’s Hand blog tour.

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First, the blurb (as usual: stolen from Goodreads):

“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross: In Alorin three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him. 

In the kingdom of Dannym the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord. 

In the Nadori desert tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.

I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of work that must have gone in to this book. In fact, if I think about it, I get quite anxious – which I suppose is ridiculous, but there you have it! I can’t even begin to process what it must take to come up with all of the names, realms, types of people, etc that are in the pages of this book. Kudos for that alone, Melissa. You are definitely a rockstar.

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Now I must confess something rather embarrassing: I don’t think I’m smart enough for this book. As I said in my previous review, I often struggle with fantasy novels because I struggle find a good rhythm with the language that is used (which is why I often tend towards YA novels for my fantasy reading – though I haven’t found too many that I have loved in that field either). I am especially struggling with this book as I am just not clever enough for it. I can’t help thinking, “This book is great, but it is beyond my capabilities. It belongs in the hands of one of those people who read Lord of the Rings before the movies came out and somehow managed to memorise all of the obscure references in those books after just one reading.”

Basically this book is well written, and exciting in the pictures that it paints with words, but it is simply taking me a little longer than I would like to read because I have to concentrate really hard to make sure that I understand what is going on. I can only persevere.

In the meantime: I would definitely recommend it to all those folks who keep giving me similar fantasy books ( you know…those that also make me question my comprehension abilities!)

Thank you, Melissa McPhail and Novel Publicity for putting this book in my hands. I’m sure it will be loved by many.

Current rating: 4 stars ( I don’t see that changing)

 

Cephrael's Hand - NEW COVER

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Cephrael’s Hand! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Cephrael’s Hand tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: “All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin… three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.
In the kingdom of Dannym… the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.
Get Cephrael’s Hand through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Melissa McPhailAbout the author: Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats.
Connect with Melissa on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads.

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