First, it is Kellie Swofford Nielsen's debut novel and what a novel to kick off a career with! The title and cover were eye-catching and I just had this feeling about it. I could feel the magic within.
What I Liked Most:
The action-packed storyline was refreshing. With boulder-throwing, sword fights, betrothal, and betrayal, the story takes you on quite a wild ride once you get into it. The princesses break the mold of what a princess should be like and I believe this is a valuable asset to book 1 in a trilogy. (Oh. And by the way--Journey to the Fringe is book 1 in the Stone Mage Wars trilogy.) Who wants to sit through reading three books where you have already heard their story a thousand times over in other books and movies? Not me. The Princesses Ivy and Mara are fleshed out in the most surprising ways and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book.
What I Didn't Like So Much:
In my opinion, the book starts off slow. I don't really know what could be done to remedy the issue (since it's in print already it ridiculous to even think on it, I say), but the slowness can be attributed to the amazing characterization Nielsen sets up for the rest of this book and the rest of the trilogy. After reading through it entirely, I am able to see she was setting up a strong foundation for a strong and vibrant story. So, in other words, keep reading. It gets really good.
My favorite short quote:
She [Gilda Reed, a witch who cannot perform magic] was packed but still had no idea where she would go.
I adore this quote because she took action when she really did not know what to expect, yet could feel the need to do something to prepare. It made me think about how I have packed my trunks, so to speak, in the hope for adventure, love, and happier days. I, too, am waiting for what life brings to me, taking necessary actions in order to be ready for life's gifts and challenges.
My favorite long quote:
Today, I especially want to honor the men and women who lie at my feet, literally and in spirit, those who gave their lives so we could stand here today, the sun on our faces and the morning air in our lungs, free from fear and able to make a new start.
-- Princess Ivy
I would like to especially thank the author for these particular words. They are a gift to me.
Thoughts of all the people who have made sacrifices for me rushed through my heart after reading it--family, those I know and those who have been long gone, and friends whose care runs so deep I know we will be friends into the eternities. All the encouragement toward goodness that I may recognize and feel the sun on my face has come to me from these people. Remembrance of those who have made my freedom possible is brought to the front of my mind as well. The freedom to think, say, and write what I choose is a precious gift.
So, in short, Journey to the Fringe is a tale of intense intrigue and creativity, and therefore, a must read. I hope you enjoy it as well as I did.
Here's a link or two to get a copy right away:
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