If you read a book that has glimpses of a past life, then one reads a book about said past life, one might thing that you already know the story. In this case, you'd be so wrong. Take everything you've learned in book one and toss it out the window because this world is far more complex than you could ever imagine.
And I devoured every bit of it.
"Never let anyone change what you believe in your heart. And never become something someone else wants you to become." (Mergus)
Sumayah was Shion and yet she was a different character completely. As you read and got to know her, you could see glimpses of the person she would become in another life. At the same time, the author did such a wonderful job making you feel for her and love her as her own unique character.
But what I really loved about this book is something I wonder about, but consider it too spoilery to mention here in detail. (Chapter two = Happy moment where I shouted 'I knew it.') Which led into more things I loved, and so on, and so on. Things happen in book one that would be impossible without the events of book two, in more ways than one. While reading Dragonhorse I had so many questions, some were answered along the way. But others -not unresolved, because they were- but they kept me wondering long after I finished the book. So reading Sumayah was like opening a treasure chest. I got answers to some of the whos and whys that plagued my curiosity during book one, and at the same time, I read a new, unique story that made me appreciate the first one all over again.
"...for if we do not love ourselves first, how can we possibly love another." (Celio)
Belief is a big theme in this book. Whether it's a religious belief, belief in balance and nature, or belief in oneself, it's a lesson Sumayah needs to learn, and the reader is swept along with her. But don't mistake this for a preaching book, because it is far from that. The author does a good job of posing questions and making you think while entertaining you with a great story. But like Mergus talks about in the quotation above, it's left up to the reader to form their own opinions.
I really enjoy books like this one, ones that make you think and sweep you away with a fascinating and fun story. Especially ones that force you to think without making you aware of it. If you liked book one, you certainly will love book two.
This is one of those books that when it ends, you sit there unbelieving, and hit the next button on your ereader just hoping for more. With how things ended for our heroes, the mysteries still unresolved, and the war unfinished, I am very curious about where the author is going to take us in book three.
Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books stars listed on Amazon
Dragonhorse and Seeker of Forgotten Knowledge follows Shion as travels on her quest to bring balance back to the Earth. There is more to her quest than just
defeating the bad guy, there is a whole spiritual aspect full of lessons she must learn. But she's not alone on her journey. Her mentors and allies come in all shapes and species, together they'll discover the what it means to be truly alive.
In a sense, this is a coming of age story. Our heroine has lived her entire life in her village until a surprise vision changes her life. Together with Ryven, she leaves her home and nothing is the same again. Then witches, gypsies, faeries, dragons, horses...oh my.
But there is more to this story than just a girl growing up. I think that's what I like most about this story. She's not just facing the normal issues a young woman faces, but she's finding her own place in the world and is uncovering her own beliefs. The path she chooses to follow, is more than just a training session to become strong enough to face to growing evil, the lessons she learns teaches her how to live. People live their entire lives without finding themselves like she does, and in a way, her journey is inspiring.
When the story first started, I wasn't sure which direction it was going to go. It read more like a historical fiction novel, than a fantasy one. But after a brief introduction to the world, we start getting the fantastical elements. The more I learned about her past and destiny, the more I wanted to know.
My only -not complaint, persay- issue was I thought they fell for each other too quickly. I know a lot of time passed and we knew it was coming when she was told early own, he'd be true to her if she decided she wanted him before the journey was over, and all, but I didn't really get to SEE it. There was a couple of times I wasn't sure where they were on the relationship scale, but once I figured it out, all was well.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was a fun, inspiring journey into the heart of man, where true magic lies waiting with untapped potential. I liked reading about the characters from her past life, so when I heard that is what book two is about, it makes me even more curious and wanting to read it. If you are a looking for a book to make you think, make you feel, while offering a lovely story, then maybe this book is for you.
Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars!
21st Annual Writer's Digest Book Awards Review
21st Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: Dragonhorse and the Seeker of the Forgotten Knowledge
Author: Denice Garrou
Judge Number: 89
Entry Category: Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
Okay looks like I might need to re-do my book cover. But, if that is it than look at the scores I got!
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
In some cases, you may see special or out of place characters/symbols in your commentary. For example, you may see that a character/symbol replaces an apostrophe, copyright, and other "symbols". These substitutions occur for various reasons – and are unavoidable. They are often [programming] misinterpretations due to encoding, installed fonts, web based content/sources etc. Since the “content”[data] of the commentary is comprised of data sent from several different computers (programs, fonts etc.,) and from the internet (online entry system), you may at times see an interpretation of what had been an apostrophe, dash, quotation mark etc.
Structure and Organization: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 3
Plot (if applicable): 4
Character Development (if applicable): 5
I thought this was an interesting novel. The idea of horses and dragons secretly having a lot in common is definitely something Iâ€™ve never seen before, and itâ€™s always nice to come across something totally newâ€”especially in the fantasy genre, which is a pretty crowded category. I like Shion as our protagonist. Sheâ€™s spunky and strong and inclined towards trouble, which I think makes an interesting read. I also liked Lhayan. I thought she was a great character and I loved how she rebuked so many of the standard â€œwitchâ€ conventions. In regards to the narrative, I liked how you jumped pretty much right into the action. I had sort of mixed feelings about your prologue, though. I like that you included one, but I think the definition of magic fell a little flat. I might revamp that a bit. Your writing was really strong and accomplished. There was a wonderful flow to the prose and the mysterious, lovely narrative voice you employed really fit your genre. Some of your descriptions were really lovely and evocative as well. Regarding the cover, I thought it was striking and I liked the font choices, but I do think it is a little misleading. It comes off a bit more â€œVictorianâ€ than â€œfantasyâ€. The image quality, too, was a little grainy. The only other significant criticism that really occurred to me was that I was not quite sure how old Shion was. She reads youthful and sheâ€™s still bound to her guardians, so we get the sense that sheâ€™s a young woman, but sheâ€™s very independent, so that makes her feel older. I think you could afford to give us her age from the start, which would help. Without a clear distinction, Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™d say this screams YA, though. However, youâ€™ve clearly got talent and it was an enjoyable read.
*Commentary may be quoted as: “Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards”