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Title: The Carnelian Legacy

Book One of the Carnelian Legacy Series

Author: Cheryl Koevoet

Published by: Westbow Press

Released on: January 29, 2015

486 Pages (Hardcover)

Blurb: Marisa MacCallum has always believed the man of her dreams was out there somewhere. The problem is, he’s living in another dimension.

After the death of her father, eighteen-year-old Marisa only wants to find solace when she sets out on her daily ride through the woods of Gold Hill. But when a mysterious lightning storm strikes the forest, she is hurled into the alternate dimension of Carnelia where she is soon discovered by the arrogant yet attractive nobleman, Darian Fiore.

Stranded in an ancient world teeming with monsters, maniacs and medieval knights, Marisa has no choice but to accompany Darian on a dangerous mission to negotiate peace with his cousin and archenemy, Savino da Rocha. Along the way, she starts to see his softer side and unwittingly falls in love. But after she discovers that Darian is locked into an arranged marriage, her heart shatters. When Savino falls for her charms and demands her hand in exchange for peace, Marisa is faced with an impossible choice: marry the enemy of the man she loves or betray them both and become the catalyst for a bloody war.

My Take: Let me start off by saying that I do not believe that I would fall under the intended audience for this book. This had far too much emphasis on the romance aspect and the book’s action almost completely took place “off-page”. While this book did not wow me, I can respect that others might find this a far more enjoyable tale and it is certainly a book I am convinced that my wife would love reading.

The world “teeming with monsters, maniacs and medieval knights”, has very few monster encounters and those that happen are all resolved by the men in the book. Marisa is about as passive of a protagonist as I have read, and even when she solves things or overhears plots, she tells someone and things are taken care of for her so she can nap, try on dresses, or brood over which man she should love. The world and the concept behind the book were great, and that was what drew me to want to read this in the first place. I did enjoy the political intrigue going on, and for the most part the characters were pretty well-developed. I just wished that Marisa would have done more as a main character.

This book does have monsters, castles, knights, and intrigue. It has a nice Christian theme subtly woven in the background through their deity in this other world who, it can be assumed, is just another name for the God we have in this one. It also has ball dances, trying on dresses, and a love triangle that consumes the thoughts of Marisa long after she should have made the decision. It was written well enough to keep me reading long after I realized this book was not written in a way that would appeal to me personally, which is a testament to her writing ability. But there were two things that I noticed frequently that jolted me out of the writing and, had I been more engaged, I might not have even noticed. The first is that everyone seemed to chuckle. A lot. Every conversation in there, someone chuckles at some point. I don’t know if this was intentional, but it really started to bother me after a while. The second is that she used her phone. A lot. I’m guessing she didn’t have a way to charge the phone, yet it easily lasted for days and she checked the time several times a day. Everyone else seemed to know exactly when 6:30 would be, and thank goodness she had a phone to see it was 6:27 and would be late soon. That, more than the chuckling, jolted me out of the story once it was to her third day in that world.

Overall the book was a nice read and young girls and women should really enjoy this one. While it is not popular these days to label a book as being “for” a certain gender these days, this certainly does seem to fit the interests of a female reader. If you like a fantasy with romance elements, and want a subtle Christian theme woven within the story, you might find this is worth picking up and reading.

A free copy of this book was provided by booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.