Good morning, bookworm, it’s so lovely to see you again! Do come in, I’ve just made a stack of pancakes to help mend the broken heart of one of the romance books (I’m trying to wean it off cookie dough ice cream) and you’re welcome to tuck in too. Here you go, would you like a coffee to go with it? Honestly, it’s so much easier dealing with the other genres (well, except the crime thrillers involving gangsters, it can get rather messy when they get out of control). Take the fantasy genre, for example: there’s rather more awe than ‘aww’ in their worlds so ice cream weaning programmes are rarely needed. Speaking of fantasty, I’ve just finished listening to an audio version of The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson. Have you heard of it? Let me tell you all about it.
Firstly, here’s the blurb: The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains. Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic, but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind. On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession. Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out. Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache, and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic? If you like character-based fantasy, then you’ll love The Lost Sentinel – book one in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.
Here’s a little about the author: Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.
Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Now an author of four novels including the completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!
She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes. Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
And here’s a bit about the narrator, in his own words: My name is George. Seoras, if you speak Gaelic. Born in the United States, German on my father’s side, a native of Bamberg, and a Stewart on my mother’s side from a wee parish outside Stirling. I am a keen learner, eager to travel the world around me, and an instructor of English with years of experience teaching in the US, Turkey, and Japan. In audiobook narration, I have discovered a perfect opportunity to perform and play with languages, dialects, characters, cultures. Essentially, my voice is my livelihood, and my spirit longs to explore.
Now, here’s my review: I’m in awe of authors who can create whole worlds with the power of their imagination. Having grown up on an island with a strong cultural heritage of folklore and myths, I enjoy reading or listening to stories with magic at their very core. The story started out strongly for me, and the shock of Tei’s father’s deathbed confession and her grief made me feel for her. Forced to trust the two strangers who had known her father and were tasked with her safety, Tei’s journey took her on a voyage of discovery about herself, her heritage and her future.
But then I seemed to lose my connection with Tei. On reflection I think my interest was piqued more by secondary characters’ arcs, such as Brogan and Captain Ferrell. I also have a personal preference for female protagonists to take control and Tei spent a considerable proportion of the story plagued by a lack of confidence in her ability to connect on the astral plane with the Sentinel. Once her strength began to come across later in the story, I became more interested in her again and inwardly cheered her on as she began to believe in herself.
I found Rogerson to be adept at taking the reader along different character arcs without causing confusion, as each made an impression on me. I savoured my journey to the island of Kalaya as the rich description had me visualising the scenes with ease.
Moving on to the narration, George Ellington’s gentle Gaelic accent helped create the immersive experience of listening to the story rather than reading it. I was able to keep up with who was talking due to his slight changes in pitch and dialect too. My one critique would be the sound effects, such as swords clanging or a couple of seconds of fire crackling; I felt Rogerson’s writing and George’s narration would have been enough to give me those impressions without them being added but I know some people prefer sound effects – it’s an individual thing, tomayto, tomato…
Overall I thought the story and world were well constructed, the characters well defined and the narration complimentary to the essence of the tale. I’m giving The Lost Sentinel 3.5/5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy sagas with a historical feel.
If you like the sound of this audiobook, click on the book image above to go to the relevant page on Amazon. I don’t receive anything for sharing this link, I’m just being a helpful bookworm. Thank you to the author and Rachel’s Random Resources for the copy of this audiobook in return for my honest opinion.
Well bookworm, I’m afraid duty calls. I think I hear the sound of a freezer drawer opening so I suspect I’ve been unsuccessful in weaning the romance book off ice cream… until we meet again, farewell bookworm!