Blurb (from Goodreads):
Janir had the misfortune of being born with one of the hated Argetallams for a father. But unlike other Argetallam children, she was mostly granted a normal childhood, away from the rest of her family. It looked as if she would live a relatively normal life as the foster-daughter of a powerful lord. Until one critical day Janir’s powers awakened and she became entangled in a young enchanter’s quest for a long-lost treasure called the Key of Amatahns...
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis.)
Janir is 8 when her father sends her away. She may be the Lord of the Argetallams daughter, but she is also half Brevian (another race who the Argetallams fight with). When her party is attacked and her mother killed, Janir finds herself taken in and raised by a man called Armandius Caersynn, who as it turns out is actually her mother’s husband! (Her mother was captured by Argetallams and taken as a courtesan for their Lord!)
However, 7 years later, when a visiting duke tries to stab Armandius during a dinner party, Janir finds herself driven mad with anger, and snaps the dukes neck. Knowing that this act will unveil Janir as half-Argetallam, Armandius sends her off to the moutains with a small amount of provisions and a horse, and tells her that he will send someone to find her if he can get her a pardon from the courts.
Janir goes off alone with her horse, but soon comes across a sorcerer in a tree (Karile) who she helps. He joins her and they travel along together. Karileis searching for ‘the key of amatahns’, a legend says that all the magical powers of a warrior tribe was locked in a crystal chamber, and sealed with a key – if someone finds they key, and enters the chamber, they will absorb all of the magical powers, making them nearly unlimited magical powers.
Karile says that the Argetallam’s are looking for the key, and that he wants to find it first and keep it from them, as the Argetallam’s are a fierce warrior race, and if they get their hands on the power, it will lead to the end of the world as they know it!
Thus is the start of an epic YA fantasy adventure, filled with elves, dwarves, seers, enchantresses, ghosts, and all manner of other strange mythical creatures.
This book was a great YA fantasy, and I would say that it is similar to ‘the lord of the rings’, only much easier to read!
Janir is such a brave girl, and doesn’t let anything phase her. She totally takes every obstacle in her stride, and keeps going even when the situation seems dire! She really does come across all sorts on this adventure though, and there’s never a dull moment! This storyline just keeps springing new surprises all the time!
I also liked the characters of Karile – the slightly batty sorcerer, and Armandius – Janir’s foster father. I also thought that Lucan (Janir’s half-brother) was a fantastic adversary.
This book is very well written, I don’t think I came across a single spelling mistake in the whole book! I would never have guessed that the fantastic author of this book was only 16 when she wrote this! This is truly an amazing achievement!
My favourite quote would have to be this one from the seeress - ‘do not flee from who you are. You will never get away’ – so funny and so true!
Read this is you’re looking for an epic fantasy, that isn’t epically long!
6 out of 10
(Book Length: 4132 kindle locations)
After her adventures with the Key of Amatahns, sixteen-year-old Janir Caersynn Argetallam returns home to find Brevia on the brink of war with a neighboring country, Stlaven. Her foster-father and even Saoven—a brave young elf warrior—think it will be safe at the castle where Janir grew up. However, while trying to unravel a looming mystery, Karile—self-taught wizard and Janir’s self-appointed best friend—becomes certain that there is danger in the mountains surrounding Janir’s childhood home and that it has something to do with Stlaven’s most powerful family, the Vanmars…
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(I was given a digital copy of this book for free, by the author, on a read-to-review basis.)
This is the second book in the Argetallam Saga.
Three weeks have passed since the end of the events in ‘The Key of Amatahns’, and Janir is now on her way to Saaradan, to meet with her foster father – Armandius. Unfortunately her half-brother has also survived his wounds, and has made it back to ……
Janir makes it to Saaradan, and is reunited with Armandius, the man who she wishes was her real father. She explains to him what has happened since she left him, and he tells her that she must see the high lords for them to determine her fate after she killed a visiting Duke in ‘The Key of Amatahns’. (She did this because the duke tried to kill Armandius.)
Karile, the wizard who she travelled with, comes to her to tell her that he fears that there will be a war soon. The Stlavish armies are on the move, and Karile is concerned that it may have been a Stlavish Sultan who tried to purchase the key from the Argetallams.
Fortunately Janir survives her meeting with the high lords, but only through the kind words of Lady Gwenna. It seems that her maternal grandfather Meliard, would like nothing more than to behead her – immediately.
Once home, Janir and Karile start searching for a legensary road known as the ‘Kryden road’, and discovers dwarves, who appear to have teamed up with the Stlavish. What is going on? Why are the dwarves helping the Stlavish? And what does Janir’s real father have in store for her if he finds out that she is n fact alive?
I enjoyed this book, I actually think it was better than the first!
Once again there was a lot going on, and Janir finds herself in evens stickier situations. We once again have the characters of Karile, and Saoven the elf, and Janir is reunited with her foster father. There’s even a hint of romance between Janir and Saoven which I loved!
This book was once again very well written, and had excellent flow. I liked the storyline, but unfortunately it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and we have to wait ‘til 2013 to find out what happens to Janir next!
7 out of 10.
(Book Length:3583 kindle locations.)
Interview with the Author,
When did you start writing?
When I was about five or six I wrote this piece of fan-fiction for a picture book I adored, Corgiville Fair. I wrote the story and drew the pictures on scrap pieces of paper and held them together with duct-tape. We still have it because it’s too funny-looking to throw away. When I was about eleven, I got the idea to create an imaginary world and that imaginary world would eventually become home to Janir Caersynn Argetallam. I toyed with innumerable story ideas and beginnings until I started work on what would become The Key of Amatahns the winter after I turned fourteen.
What was your inspiration for the Argetallam Saga?
Oh, that’s a tough question. Various elements of the story came from different places. Certain characters were inspired by people I know – for example Karile’s antagonistic tendencies, his generosity, and his devotion to Janir are all derived from my brothers. The terrain for the Staspin Waste is similar to parts of Texas, while Brevia is similar to the wooded, rugged lusciousness of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Sometimes I draw inspiration from places, people, or events that I’ve read about or seen. (I love Rick Steve’s Europe a travel show on PBS.) So I guess the short answer is that I am inspired by things in my life.
What three words would you use to describe The Key of Amatahns/The Secrets of the Vanmars?
The Key of Amatahns: magic, mayhem, mercy
The Secrets of the Vanmars: sorcery, secrets, sacrifice
What are your favorite things about Janir?
My absolute favorite thing about her is that she is strong without being cocky. (Cocky protagonists are just one of my pet peeves.) But I also like how she puts up with Karile. She’s obviously more patient than I am.
Do you already know how Janir’s story will end or will it come to you as you write it?
How things will end—or at least a vague, general idea—is the first or second thing that I figure out when writing a book or coming up with a series. I have trouble flinging myself into the vast unknown, so I like to know where I’m going ahead of time. So, yes. I already know how Janir’s story will end.
Other than your own, what are your favorite books?
My all-time favorite book is An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I’m also a devoted fan of Gail Carson Levine’s Ever. Lately I’ve discovered new author Sarah J. Maas and I think I’ve become a faithful aficionado of her Throne of Glass books as well.
Random Question—What is your favorite treat?
Organic Chocolate. The 89% cacao stuff that’s as dark as the heart of a demon. It has practically no sweetness, but I love it to bits!a Rafflecopter giveaway