If you’ve been following my reviews of indie YA author Anthea Sharp’s Feyland and Feyguard books, you might remember this aside from my review of Royal:
Marny continues to be everything. I really hope she gets her own Feyguard book complete with a worthy love interest, because she’s one of my favorite things about this series. Although one of the best things about her is that she’s happy and confident without a boyfriend, I want to see someone love Marny as much as she loves herself.
Well, dreams do come true! Now that the holiday madness has died down, I am happy to bring you a review of the third Feyguard book, Marny. (Disclosure: Anthea sent me a free advance review copy, which I was not able to follow up on nearly as soon as I’d hoped.)
Hey, everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, and that I’ve started drafting the fourth and final volume of Thalia’s Musings.
I’ll keep you posted with progress reports, release date estimates, etc. as I go. I want to get this volume to you guys as soon as possible, but I also want to make sure I give it the time and attention to detail it needs. Thalia is, after all, the Goddess of Happy Endings, so her series deserves the best ending I can give it. Looking forward to sharing it with you!
Unraveled is now available for Kindle and NOOK at an introductory price of $0.99! Like all Thalia’s Musings ebooks, Unraveled is DRM-free. Click the image above to go to the updated Shop page and find the version you need, as well as links to download free e-reader apps that will work on whatever device you’re using to read this post.
Today I posted the final chapter of Unraveled (Thalia’s Musings, Volume Three). A year ago I felt like I would never finish it.
Next on the agenda: drafting the fourth and final volume of Thalia’s Musings. At this point I can’t even begin to estimate when that one will be ready for publication, but it will be written, and you’ll get to read it as soon as possible.
Coming up a little sooner is the Kindle and NOOK release of Unraveled. I don’t have a date set in stone yet, but my goal is to get it out there before Christmas. Keep watching this blog and my various social media outlets for updates!
Speaking of Christmas, Volumes 1 and 2 will be marked down to $0.99 until tomorrow morning, when they’ll go up to $1.99 and stay there until New Year’s Day. If you buy them (or if you’ve already bought them, or read the identical free version on ThaliasMusingsNovels.com), you will be doing me a HUGE favor if you leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I’m an indie writer with a budget of zero, so word-of-mouth is the only way new readers are going to discover these books.
I hope you enjoyed Volume 3 and that you’ll stick around for Volume 4!
This Friday, November 28th, all Thalia’s Musings ebooks on Kindle and NOOK will be marked down to $0.99! Share the good news about our Lady and Muse Thalia with all your book-loving friends this holiday season! For those without e-readers, there are free Kindle and NOOK apps that will work on whatever device you’re using to read this blog post.
Click either of these images to go to the Thalia’s Musings “Shop” page, where you’ll find all the links you need. To my American readers, have a great Thanksgiving and a safe and sane Black Friday! To everyone else, enjoy watching America at its craziest!
Last year I reviewed Anthea Sharp‘s Feyland trilogy and the first book in her Feyguard spinoff series. Last month, Anthea sent me an advance review copy of the second Feyguard book, Royal. I unfortunately wasn’t able to finish it before the release date, but I enjoyed it as much as the rest of the series, and am now happy to recommend it to my readers.
Royal “Roy” Lassiter didn’t figure much into my review of the original trilogy, so here’s a recap. Roy is the son of the CEO of VirtuMax, the gaming company that developed Feyland. He’s first introduced in The Bright Court (Feyland #2) as a spoiled, entitled little bitch. A glamour spell makes him the most popular and intriguing student at his new school. He’s the guy all the guys want to be and all the girls want to be with. Until he loses the glamour spell, and the rest of the school sees him the way protagonists Jennet and Tam do – a mediocre person with a lot of style and little substance. I don’t know if this was intentional on the author’s part, but I saw him as a parody of Edward Cullen.
The Twilight Kingdom (Feyland #3) left the readers with the impression that Roy did have some substance after all; he’d just lacked the opportunity (both on- and offscreen) to develop it. He gets that opportunity in Royal. As the title implies, this time Roy is the protagonist, with Jennet and Tam in supporting roles.
Roy is now a member of the Feyguard and of Jennet, Tam, and Marny’s inner circle. He’s happier with this small group of friends than he ever was with throngs of followers. But Jennet and Tam’s happy couplehood is a constant reminder that he’s struck out with every romantic prospect he’s had since moving to Crestview. The reader can guess that he’ll get a chance with Brea Cairgead, an emissary from the Dark Queen disguised an exchange student from Ireland.
Brea and Roy are particularly well-suited for each other. They were both brought into the world as tools for a narcissistic creator’s own purpose, and they’re both trying to discover and cultivate identities beyond that origin. Roy is the only child of a materialistic corporate mogul who’s been grooming him to take over her empire from birth, right down to naming him Royal. Brea was just a fish (no, really) living a simple, carefree life in the waters of the Unseelie Realm until the Dark Queen remade her as a naiad and sent her to the human world to lure people into Feyland. Neither queen accounted for her creation having a will of its own. Roy doesn’t care about business or technology, and would rather develop his hidden talent as an artist. Brea would rather befriend humans than feed on their mortal essence. They both long to be seen for who they really are, but continue to hide it because they’re legitimately terrified of the consequences.
While Royal probably has the least actual gameplay out of the Feyland and Feyguard books, it keeps all the factors I’ve loved about the series so far. What gameplay there is shows a familiarity with real fantasy RPGs. Roy, Jennet, and Tam are all learning alternate characters in this volume, and they play them like competent gamers unused to a new class with new powers. There’s still no femmephobia or catty girl-hate. Brea is as literal a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as possible (a trope that can be handled positively imo), and neither Jennet nor Marny is threatened by her wispy fey mystique. Gender stereotyping is ignored in-universe. No one thinks twice about a girl playing a knight or a boy playing a caster who draws with light. Roy’s mother does have a meltdown when she finds he’s been drawing flowery pictures of faeries, but it’s not because the pursuit is insufficiently masculine; it’s because she doesn’t see any money in it. (One has to wonder how much she paid her graphic designer.) The fact that Brea has never played video games isn’t brushed off as “Meh, she’s a girl”. Instead, it tips Jennet off to the fact that she isn’t human.
Ultimately the focus on the characters is what makes Royal worth the read. It’s great to see Jennet and Tam’s relationship, officially established at the end of the Feyland trilogy, progress with little angst or drama. Marny continues to be everything. I really hope she gets her own Feyguard book complete with a worthy love interest, because she’s one of my favorite things about this series. Although one of the best things about her is that she’s happy and confident without a boyfriend, I want to see someone love Marny as much as she loves herself. And, of course, the heart of the book is Roy and Brea finding the truth about themselves and each other. The end of their story is bittersweet without being tragic, and hopeful without being easy.
Unraveled (Thalia’s Musings, Volume Three) has been sent out to my wonderful volunteer beta readers. Well, “volunteer” might be less accurate than “hand-picked and drafted.” But anyway, I can’t tell you guys how excited I am that the book is finally at this stage! Due to numerous real-life complications, it’s taken me about a year longer than I’d originally intended. I appreciate my readers’ loyalty and patience.
Keep watching for release dates, cover reveals, and all that. 😀
I didn’t get a blog post written for this week, because the rough draft of Thalia’s Musings 3 has been taking all my writerly energy. I’ve finished 13 of a proposed 16 chapters. The book may actually be readable sometime this decade! So if you haven’t read volumes 1 and 2 in awhile, or at all, now’s a good time to catch up. Click here to read both volumes online for free, or here to purchase either volume for Kindle or NOOK. And now, back to writing!
~ My Thalia’s Musings logo tests well in the three-year-old female demographic. Maybe I should use the blurb “I weally like dis ding!” on my next book cover.
~ I’m always impressed by particularly well-written action scenes in books, because I feel like film/tv is generally a more suitable medium for that kind of thing. In related news, I’m currently hating myself for plotting a novel that requires action scenes.
~ Aphrodite and Adonis had a daughter together in classical mythology. This is canon. One would think the daughter of the Ultimate Forces of Divine Hawtness would be a common subject for artists. Numerous searches on deviantART, Tumblr, Pinterest, and good old Google Images have indicated that this is not the case.
~ One thing I regret about my earlier volumes is putting Echo and Pan together. I did it for very personal reasons as a form of wish fulfillment. They would probably need therapy in real life. Echo should’ve ended up with Eustychus.