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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Book Review: The Twins of Saranthium, books 1 & 2

Awakening (The Twins of Saranthium, #1)Awakening by Lara Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book one of The Twins of Saranthium trilogy.

Since these two books came out, Lara Morgan has been very busy with a new project – a series for young adults, The Rosie Black Chronicles. The promised book three of The Twins of Sarantium has therefore had to take a back seat, but I live in hopes of its eventual publication. 

(The material below orginally appeared on the now-defunct website, The Specusphere.)

An excellent first novel. Morgan's setting, characters and story ideas quickly catch the reader's interest. What if people had flying serpents to ride through the skies? What a god returned to his world after thousands of years to seduce those serpents into fighting against the people who rely on them, in order to bring the populace under the god's dominion?

The trouble is, with the proliferation of fantasy in recent years, it's becoming harder and harder to come up with truly original twists on the old tropes. We have several of them in Awakening. Twins separated at birth – tick. Dragons as mounts – tick. (Calling a dragon a serpent doesn't make it one, if it has legs and feet and claws.) Poor orphan trying to fulfil her dream of becoming a Rider – tick. In short, we've seen most of Awakening's components before, and will no doubt see them again. That will not detract from the value of the book for many readers. Let's face it, the reason the tropes hang around is because they make good copy. Readers will always want stories about disadvantaged youths, dragons and wicked supernatural characters, and it's an old saw but a true one that you've got to give the public what it wants.

But we can, I think, realistically hope for greater things from this obviously gifted writer. She has promised us more gods in book two, and looks set to give us a clash worthy of the Titans themselves. I hope she will also give us a tighter, less predictable story, with stronger build-up of tension – like many first novels, Awakening suffers from mid-book drag.

Betrayal (The Twins of Saranthium, #2)Betrayal by Lara Morgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Two of The Twins of Saranthium Trilogy

Betrayal is in many ways more assured than its predecessor, demonstrating that Morgan is settling into her craft. The trilogy tells the tale of how twins Shaan and Tallis are called upon to save their world from a god gone mad. At the end of book one, Shaan was forced by the crazed Azoth to liberate the powerful Birthstone, which he needs if he is to dominate their world. We find that the Birthstone has left Shaan with very special healing skills. The twins know Azoth is not to be trusted, but can they put their faith in the four other gods who oppose him? It seems that on their world, the gods are indeed crazy.

To defeat Azoth, Shaan must take a devious route, one that appears to set her against the very people she is trying to help. Tallis, meantime, grows in strength as a warrior and a leader, and by the end of this book we see him as a potential saviour. His growth into power contrasts cleverly with Shaan's apparent descent into confusion.

Once again we have wonderfully imagined scenery and beautiful renditions of the link between serpent and rider. The battle scenes are as good as any I’ve read, and I was left with a sense of anticipation, convinced that there is an almighty cataclysm coming in book three.

However, as with book one, there is a feeling of being lost in the middle of the book. There is quite a bit of journeying around to little effect, resulting in loss of tension. Even so, the final scenes lead the book to go out with a bang and I am really looking forward to book three.

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