Book Review: Never Die

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4.5/5 stars

When I first started the book, I knew I would love it. It starts with a good hook, and then doesn’t disappoint as it delivers chapter after chapter.

In fact, it exceeded my expectations. You know it’s good when throughout the day you find yourself preoccupied with when you can get your tasks done and go finish reading. When I finished, I couldn’t decide whether it was a 4 star are 5 star for me. I finally landed in the middle.

First, the characters were incredibly unique. You’re first introduced to Cho, also called Whispering Blade. There isn’t much backstory given until later in the book, but it only adds to the character’s mysteriousness. Part of the character arc, if you will, is the fact that she takes her oaths incredibly seriously, and endears herself in that way. Then, Ein is introduced. I have a huge soft spot for creepy children characters (weird, I know), and employed one in my own book series. So maybe I’m biased. Either way, Ein has all the right elements: a mysterious power, an unknown backstory, a strange mission, and yet is likeable.

More characters join into a motley crew of strange heroes who are subject to Ein and his mission. Each one of them is unique, to the point it borders on genius. You never confuse who is who, even though they each have two, if not three, names. But the POV is so well written you don’t get confused about whose viewpoint you’re in (although, one critique… it was a more distant POV so sometimes you were into the POV by a few paragraphs before you knew what perspective you were reading from). Although, this isn’t unusual for fantasy. All in all, it’s the characters who really drive the book. My personal favorite was Iron Gut Chen.

The plot was pretty ingenious, but I don’t want to go into too many details so I don’t spoil it. My only minor complaint, and one reason for 4.5 instead of 5 stars, was the endings predictability. The entire book was so well written, though, that is was nearly impossible not to guess what was going on. This is generally the opposite for why I find books to be predictable: bad writing leading to too obvious conclusions for the ending. However, Never Die is so incredibly well done that you can see where it’s going, and the excitement builds, and bam! The delivery comes and you’re left breathless.

I could go on and on. Honestly, this is my favorite book of 2019 so far. One tiny complaint: it needed one more proofread before publication. There were a few punctuation errors per chapter, and a few tense changes mid sentence scattered throughout the book. But it no way detracted from the overall feeling of quality work you get as you read.

All in all, a massively well done story. If you are a fan of fantasy reads, add this one as “next to read” on your TBR piles!

Now available: The Shade War

It’s time to wrap up The Rodasia Chronicles. The Shade War, volume III, released today. It’s a bittersweet moment for me. Years of work, finally completed. Sigh. There’s a sense of accomplishment, though. Get caught up by reading The Hidden Queen and The Coming Light.

 

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Now Available: The Coming Light

Volume II of The Rodasia Chronicles is here!!!! Once again, the amazing Susie Poole of Poole Publishing Services is responsible for the beautiful cover. Isn’t Charles looking good!? Maybe I’m a bit biased. Anyways. You can grab The Coming Light on Amazon in eBook, print, and free for KU subscribers. Happy reading!

 

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Married to a stranger, her country on the verge of destruction, can Queen Gwyneth Jada avoid catastrophe? 

Charles is captured, and the Speaker of Highland has double-crossed her. Gwen is faced with mounting pressure from within and without her kingdom. Rodasia is in the brink of collapse, and the Emperor of Devin proposes a Summit to discuss the future. But when betrayal comes from all sides, Gwen doesn’t know who she can trust.

Soon she is on the run, and when all hope seems lost, Gwen must find a way to not just save herself, but save her people and all those she loves. And the solution is nothing like what she thought it would be.

Step into Book II of the Rodasia Chronicles, a story of trust, love, and friendship, from fantasy author Janelle Garrett.

Ahead of Schedule

Sometimes being ahead of schedule is awesome. This is one of those times. The Hidden Queen is now available. Check it out!

 “An excellently crafted tale of love, struggle, failure and victory, this fantasy hefts heavy themes of faith, philosophy, culture, and humanity without loosing any enjoyment for the reader. Not only will this book keep you happily lost in a fantasy world for hours, it won’t let you leave unchanged.”
         -J.E. Purrazzi. Author of The Malfunction Trilogy and The Raventree Society

 

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The Hidden Queen

So, for quite some time now, I’ve kept a secret. But now, it is out on the internets.

Coming January 31st…

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Secrets and betrayal. Fear and courage. Can one woman save her nation from destruction?

Check it out here, where you can pre-order. Want to say up-to-date, and receive info like this earlier than any one else? Join my newsletter, and receive free content (including a free book), announcements before the general public, and a host of other freebies.

Now available! The Last Steward

Part 3 of the Steward Saga is here. Try not to lose your mind with excitement. I am enough for the both of us. Check it out, and leave a comment with what you think!

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The Triumphant King is on the march. The Stewards are in hiding. The Sisterhood must unite.

Step into a new world from visionary fantasy author Janelle Garrett. This sweeping tale takes you into new cultures, an intricate magic system, and in-depth plots that will spark the imagination. See what readers are calling “masterful storytelling”, a “rich, complex story” and “a perfect example of epic fantasy.”

When Brate and the Sisterhood rescued Malok from Polbine Voltaire, the victory was short-lived. King Voltaire escaped with his life, and Isa, the mysterious and powerful warlock, disappeared after sending Voltaire running. But just who is Isa? With his help, Brate, Malok, Priva, and Graissa are convinced they can defeat Voltaire once and for all, and stand a chance at closing the Rift.

But Voltaire is Soulbound to the Liar. And he marches toward the Bright Lands, intent on taking the Stone Throne for himself and establishing his dominance across the Lands. The Stewards and the Sisterhood must unite and stop him, otherwise the Rift will never close. But with strife and contention from one corner of the Lands to the other, their chances of stopping Voltaire seem slim. They will need the help of the one person they can’t find: Isa, who has his own ideas about what closing the Rift will entail.

When all hope seems lost, one single act will alter the course of the entire sphere. The surprising truth will change the Stewards, change the Sisterhood, and open the floodgates of the Deep. But will the sacrifice be worth the reward?

The Last Steward is Part 3 of a four-part epic fantasy series. Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and Robin Hobb will enjoy this fresh, new voice in fantasy literature.

The world of the Steward Saga, available on Amazon:

  1. Part 1 – Rift in the Deep
  2. Part 2 – Rise of the Warlock King
  3. Part 3 – The Last Steward
  4. Part 4 – coming late summer of 2019
  5. The Tale of Briton’s Fury – prequel novella
  6. Justice: A Steward Saga Short Story Collection

Justice Explained

You know an author’s busy writing their books when their blog is neglected. However, I can’t say that I’m sorry. Priorities, priorities. Not only am I busying writing the Justice short story series, but I’m preparing for the release of Part 3 of the Steward Saga, The Last Steward.

Justice has been quite the challenge to write. If you’re at all familiar with my work, you know I use multiple points of view in my books. Well, Justice is just one. It’s all told from the POV of Trinn Ma’allard, the main character and antihero, if you will. You might recognize her from Rise of the Warlock Kingand she makes various appearances in The Last Steward, too.

Her story isn’t difficult to write just because it’s from one perspective, though. The themes in the stories are deep, concerning issues of revenge, forgiveness, justice, and identity. You might say, “Yeah, but you tackle those issues in The Steward Saga series, Janelle.” And you would be correct. But Trinn Ma’allard is coming from an entirely different place than say, Brate or Graissa. You might just have to grab the series to see what I mean.

Issues like the ones mentioned above can be difficult for a writer to tackle because we all face those same problems in every day life. We’ve all be wronged, in one way or another. We’ve all wronged others. We must face the decision to daily forgive those who treat us poorly, or enact our own righteous revenge fantasies. How often have you plotted how to get even with someone, whether by word or deed? I know I have. When my husband or friend or children lash out, my first inclination is to seek “justice”: lash back out at them, because they started it. But what if there was a different way?

That’s what I try to address in Justice. Check the stories out below (all are available for free through Kindle Unlimited), and pre-order Justice Part 4 – The Dreadwood coming out October 18th. Stay tuned for further details about The Last Steward, including the cover reveal in mid-October!

Justice Part 1 – The Misty Sea

Justice Part 2 – The Palisade Kingdom

Justice Part 3 – The Nomad (available October 4th)

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