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Cephrael’s Hand Review,Tour & Giveaway Ends 9/16/14

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Cephrael's Hand Cover Reveal

I recently finished reading the paperback version of the book “Cephrael’s Hand.”  Everything is below, at the end is the giveaway.

3 Things You Need to Know about “Cephrael’s Hand”

  • Firstly I loved this book, and before I had finished it signed up to read the second book in the series for review.
  • Secondly, You know I love print books and rarely choose a kindle copy over them.  Please Please watch this video to see why I am recommending thinking about the Kindle Copy!  Your eyes will thank you. (It’s in the review section or you can click here)
  • Thirdly, this book is 623 pages long.  It took me 28 days to read it and while I loved every minute, this is probably not a beach/weekend read unless it’s raining out.

About the book “Cephrael’s Hand:

cephraels hand cover“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.

My Review of Cephrael’s Hand:

**Please note the book has been updated to have a larger font


I really enjoyed this book.  It was a long read, but that’s my favorite kind. I know this is a book that in the future my son will likely read and I love a book that I can get so much use from.

My copy came with a huge color map poster, if yours doesn’t don’t worry there is a copy of the map in the front of the book along with a glossary and names of the characters and who they are.

This book takes you places in great detail without overwhelming you with the detail.

  • I went to the desert and felt the heat, the sweat, the sand.
  • I went to the mountains where there was snow and felt the coldness.
  • I met different types of characters.  The Zanther for example is a mixture of creatures we’ve read about that are immortal.  There are also shape shifters, desert people, northerners, pirates, Vestals, adepts and non adepts. These characters were described as viewed by different characters in appearance both physically and wardrobe, accent, language, mannerisms, and how that character was able to see them due to there talents (ie: truths, patterns, danger level, noble/ merchant). Each giving another perspective as you would get if told by many people.
  • I was thrown in a river, thrown against trees, yet never harmed.

This book made me feel for the characters, I laughed with them, felt sad with them and smiled with them. The author did a great job!

It also made me nostalgic for the days I could have sat down and read this in a weekend.  It’s something I could have done with ease on a rainy weekend.

As you know I have a son and don’t get alot of time to read which accounts for this taking me 28 days to read. However it is also 623 pages long in paperback and the print did hurt my eyes which is why I recommend thinking about the kindle version if you don’t have 20-20 vision or close to.

The book was easy to read and put down repeatedly as needed because there are 56 chapters and many spots where you change scene/character and they put in a space or break marker.  This was very helpful for me.

Their is one way this book could be improved.  While it was large enough print to read a few pages at a time, it’s much smaller print than most books I’ve read.  I understand that one size larger print would have been many more pages, however for this reason alone I recommend considering a kindle version, otherwise I really find paperbacks much more satisfying.

As always if you have any questions about this book please let me know and I’ll try to answer it!  You can contact me using the link above on the menu or by social media.

Get your copy here.

Read an Excerpt:

Ean hugged the shadows as he tried to find his way back to le Comte’s estates. He feared they’d hurt his head worse than he thought, for the twisting alleys of the city disoriented him now. He was sure he’d passed the last street corner already once, and he had the uneasy feeling that he was walking in circles.

Trying to break the cycle, he turned into a long and shadowed alley, spotting a streetlamp at the other end. Abruptly a form reared out of the shadows. Ean reached for his sword—

“…Ean?”

The prince halted with his hand around the hilt. “Fynn?”

“Balls of Belloth!” Fynnlar crossed the distance in a rush and grabbed him by both shoulders, giving him a shake. “What are you doing out here, you wool-brained fool?”

“I might ask the same of you, cousin.” Pushing a hand to his throbbing head, Ean closed his eyes. He’d seen so much death since the last moon…so many lives lost, and for what? He couldn’t fathom the events that spun violently around him, only knowing they somehow had him caught in the whirlwind.

“Ean, are you unwell?”

“Hit my head pretty hard,” the prince murmured, lifting tired eyes to refocus on his cousin. “I’ll be all right.”

“Come on. We’d best keep moving.”

The prince shook off the numbness edging his thoughts and followed his cousin. Fog was rising from the river as they headed back toward le Comte’s villa, fat fingers sliding through the streets to leach the color from the night. They reached a corner, and Fynn paused and looked warily around.

“Fynn, what are we waiting fo—”

But the words stuck on Ean’s tongue, for he heard it then: a strange whispering, the whisk of silk across the rough edge of glass. The sound had prickly tentacles that pierced into the soft flesh of Ean’s inner ear and twisted there, making him cringe.

Something flew out of the shadows and Ean swung his head after it, straining to make out what he’d seen. “What in Tiern’aval was that?”

Grimly, Fynn held his sword before him. “A Wildling—a Whisper Lord.”

The whispering continued, tormenting, growing soundlessly louder until it shrieked inside Ean’s skull, shattering any hope of focus.

The Wildling shot out of the shadows again, and Ean forced his eyes to follow, to find him in the shadows where he hid.

He saw him lurking against the wall, smiling around big white teeth. His leathery skin was pitch black , and his eyes were golden like the desert sands. The man locked gazes with him, and—

Suddenly they were nose to nose. Ean felt the heat of his breath in the same moment that the fiery sting of steel pierced his flesh.

Shade and darkness!

“Ean, he cut you!”

“I’m all right.” But Ean grimaced as he gingerly probed the wound. “Shadow take the abominable creature.” Fynn gave him a long look. “Be ready,” and he rushed to meet the Wildling.

The fight turned instantly vicious. Whisper Lord fought with long, stiletto daggers that speared like claws out of his gloves. His hands crisscrossed with amazing speed, never failing to find their mark on Fynn’s person, while his body twisted and spun. Fynn’s thrusts in turn only seemed to meet with the slashed silk of his garments. So fast did the Whisper Lord dart and cavort that Ean at first felt helpless to join in, for he could barely see the Wildling move until after it had happened, as if the sight had to bounce off the back of his eyes…as if he could only see the man’s reflection.

Then Ean found his focus and rushed to help Fynn.

The Whisper Lord marked him before he even got his blade around, a long swipe at the joining of neck and shoulder that burned bitterly. Ean realized that trying to use his sword alone would get him killed, so he pulled his dagger and dove in again. The Whisper Lord dodged like a jumping spider and managed in the same maneuver to slash a deep cut across Ean’s thigh, his daggers flashing first with the silver of steel and then dark with blood. Ean snarled a curse and staggered into the wall, teeth clenched against the pain, for the wound was angry and deep.

Abruptly Fynn threw himself backwards, himself narrowly avoiding a deadly thrust to his gut. Those spine-like blades sliced a chunk of flesh out of his side instead. The royal cousin clenched his teeth and held one hand to his midriff, using the other to pull himself out of reach.

Ean dove at the creature with renewed determination, his battered head forgotten in his haste to keep the man away from Fynn. He wore a malicious grin as they battled, and his golden gaze was flecked and sparkling against his face of leathery pitch. As Ean’s strength failed, the Wildling grinned even broader and began to chant in a voice like sand, “Tur or’de rorum d’rundalin dalal! Tur or’de rorum d’rundalin dalal!” Over and over while he pressed Ean on the retreat; gleefully, like a madman.

And then he made a sudden thrust, and Ean jumped to avoid the slashing daggers that barely missed his throat. He came down unevenly on his bad leg, and his knee buckled. Stumbling, he hissed a curse and the man bore down on him. A swipe of his hand, and three spiny daggers cut deeply across Ean’s back with their sharp fire. The Wildling’s other hand darted for his throat again, but the prince veered and twisted so the blades caught his chin and cheek instead. Ean rolled and thrust upward, but the Wildling merely laughed and arched out of his way; the weapon met only the whisper of silk.

Ean lay panting. His dagger seemed lost along with his will, and desperation could no longer drive him on.

The Whisper Lord advanced slowly wearing a grim smile. With the shrieking noise still accosting his skull and the loss of blood and nausea in his stomach, Ean felt only numb acceptance. Shaking, he lowered his head—

A tall form pushed past him, knocking Ean aside as it rushed to engage the Whisper Lord, driving the Wildling back and away, taking the battle out of Ean’s hands.

Ean fell onto his back, gasping as the last of his strength bled out of him, and lay watching his rescuer take offensive control.

The woman’s brown half-cloak floated behind her as she advanced with long, fast strides, forcing the Whisper Lord on the retreat beneath two short swords wielded in a flashing figure-eight.

The Wildling smiled no longer. Every thrust and swipe of his daggers was blocked by the woman’s whirling black blades. She matched him stride for stride, spinning when he spun, darting as he did, dodging as he lunged. They performed a ferocious, twisting dance of death where both knew the steps intimately and took them with ease.

As Ean watched, the Wildling slashed his daggered gloves in a motion that should’ve gutted the woman, but she flipped out of his reach, thrusting long as she landed. Her sword met with the flesh of his side, drawing a hiss as he jumped back. He glared malevolently at her and pressed one palm to his side.

“Merdanti,” he snarled, his golden eyes hot as they assessed her black blades.

Arching brows with a predatory smile, she twirled her blades and lunged for him again, and once more the dance began, the meeting of their deadly weapons a rhythmic beating that seemed in time with Ean’s still-racing heart.

And then—

Ean thought he must’ve dreamed it, his tortured mind inventing an impression for what clearly defied explanation. The woman and the Wildling seemed to shift and slow, their cloaks floating as if suspended on the wind. Then the woman launched out of her turn so quickly that Ean lost sight of her, only to spot her again as she stood squarely before her opponent, blades crossed. With naught but a grimace of effort, she chopped her short swords crosswise through the Wildling’s neck, removing his head completely. His body toppled to the stones at her feet, paying respects to her skill.

Silence hung in the street, a palpable blanket sewn of incredulity fringed with pain.

The woman lowered her dripping blades and leveled tawny eyes on the prince…

Check it out on Amazon

~The Giveaway~

You could win one of two $50

Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Cephrael’s Hand! Here’s what you need to

  • Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  • 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Posted in Books, giveaway, parenting, review

7 Comments

  • Thank you so much for being interested in my novel and for your lovely review and detailed breakdown of the story’s fine points. The good news is the hardback and paperback books are being reissued with new covers and updated maps/glossaries – and a higher page count, so they’ll be easier on the eyes. 🙂 Thank you again. I’m honored.

  • I’ve not read much of the fantasy genre, but I think I’ll have to check this one out. It sounds great.

    Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! Fingers crossed. 🙂

  • Very enjoyable and lively review, Cheshire Cat! (GREAT name, by the way!) I really liked the addition of the video, which explained how the print size was hard for you to read. I found myself having the same problem. However, I also agree with you that this is a great book to read! Like you, I much prefer print editions, whether paperback or hardcover, but I also agree with you that, in this case, it might be preferable to read the Kindle edition. However, it might also take twice as long to get through the book,.

    I think this is a very well-written fantasy, and I’m glad to see it getting so many positive reviews, including yours!

    Thanks for your thoughts!! : )

  • Thanks for being part of the tour! You’re youtube video is AWESOME. I’m so happy you could be part of the tour, and amazed at your great post!

    If you haven’t had a chance to cross post yet to Amazon, please do – and we now have an extra $50.00 gift card prize just for cross posting!

    Naomi

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