Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review & Tour: Glimmer by Rayna Noire

Faerie Lights: Glimmer: A Magical Historical Fantasy by [Noire, Rayna]Title: Glimmer
Author: Rayna Noire
Genre/Age: Historical Fantasy
Series: Faerie Lights Series (Book One)
Publisher: Sleeping Dragon Press
Format: ebook via Bewitching Book Tours
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisHistorical fantasy set against the backdrop of WW1.

For seventeen years, the convent walls kept Meara Cleary from the secret of her own parentage.The sisters regard her with a cross of disdain and fear. Only among the trees by the gurgling creek does she find acceptance. A bearded stranger claims she’s his niece and promises to take her home. Before he can, a cataclysmic event thrusts her into a war-torn world.

Meara vows to journey to Ireland to find her uncle, unaware of how perilous a journey it will be. Her Druidic father guides her through dreams, explaining her magical heritage. Her dead parent can’t help her with the intricacies of village life, especially when she catches the eye of the very engaged Braeden Douglas.

A whirlwind composed of equal parts menace, romance, and revelation sweep Meara across the continent while gathering allies and enemies with equal speed. Her intent to return to her family turns into a fight to survive her own destiny.

Her bare feet moved across the smooth stones, recognizing the cracked one, signaling she
was close to the turn. Another fifteen feet she’d be in the courtyard. A footstep sounded, freezing her in place. She flattened herself against the wall and held her breath. Whoever it was carried no candle. Only a whisper of a breeze notated the passing.

Her heart raced as she continued to hold her breath, waiting for whoever it was to be far
enough away before she dared to release it. The slight clunk of the exterior door closing signaled she could breathe once more. Her breath gusted out in a noisy rush. Still, she waited. Who else had decided to go out for the night? The better question was why.

After counting to one hundred in her head, Meara moved silently, her ears alert for any
sounds out of the ordinary. She hadn’t expected someone else to take advantage of a full moon and a summer night, but someone had. Outside in the courtyard, the fountain splashed, and an owl hooted beyond the walls. A tiny skittering sound had her peering at her feet in time to see a tiny rodent scurry by with something in its mouth. The convent cat dropped down from the wall to follow.

Go little mouse, run. Meara found she had more in common with the mouse than she did
with the cat. Her bare foot came down on a thorn of some sort. A deep inhale managed to hold in her yelp. Bending slightly, she rubbed her thumb over her foot until she found the offending item. A woman’s laughter drifted over the wall. Meara stood in her half-crouched position, straining her ears.

Rayna Noire is an author and a historian. The desire to uncover the truth behind the original fear of witches led her to the surprising discovery that people believed in magick in some form up to 150 years ago. A world that believed the impossible could happen and often did must have been amazing. With this in mind, Ms. Noire taps into this dimension, shapes it into stories about Pagan families who really aren’t that different from most people. They do go on the occasional adventures and magick happens.


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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.** 

Well, this was interesting...

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I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I signed up for the tour. I haven't read any of the other books by this author and this seems to be the first of this series.

Meara is a lost and lonely girl. Raised in a convent, she has little interaction with women and absolutely none with children or men. Her reading consists of only scriptures and her food and clothing are as plain and bare as the home she lives in. At sixteen years old, she has never even seen her own reflection. 

Sneaking out into the forest alone is the only refuge that Meara has and even those few stolen moments of peace are a giant risk to take. However, she feels drawn to the forest and at home with the nature around her, which is a far cry from the cold stone walls of the convent.

When two men visit and request a meeting with Meara, she learns a little bit about her identity, her deceased mother, and the family that she has never known. Her roots are tragic and she finally learns that her father's demise was the result of greedy men.

But, as fate would have it, Meara finds herself in a dangerous situation, being cared for by a total stranger, and learning that the world around her is very different than what she had thought. Even more, she begins to receive small clues here and there about her place in the world and her duty to save it.

I had some trouble with this book, for probably the first two thirds of it. The writing style is very descriptive and explanatory. In some parts, I had to really focus because the pacing was agonizingly slow with very little action and the majority of the dialogue was someone explaining how the world works to Meara. She had never learned of courting, jealousy, etc. She was ignorant in all of those things and we had to endure listening to her learn about each and every one of them.

Eventually, the story does pick up and begin to move forward, shedding light on Meara's identity (though not entirely) and we finally get to see what this book is really about: Meara's quest to save the Fair Folk from disappearing from existence. There are a few surprises and interesting characters that we meet along the way, too. The last quarter of the book kept me in suspense and I enjoyed the direction the story went in.

The pacing could be better in some parts and the dry dialogue could be improved upon, but I suspect the author will get into her 'groove' as the series goes along and those things will improve. My main issue is with the love interest and the expedience of the 'relationship'. Everything else moves slowly but the coupling moved way too fast. I hope to see a slower build of romance in the next book.

In closing... 
Even though this did feel like a chore to read for the first part of the book, in the end, it was definitely worth it. There is an interesting story happening with the evil stalkers, mystical faeries, mysterious voices, strange dreams, and people appearing out of nowhere. I could see this turning into an enjoyable series now that the adventure has begun. 3 suns!

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