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Christopher Shields lives in Northwest Arkansas with his family and three dogs. Following what he considers to be his calling, he is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville. He loves working with students during the day, and writing at night. Christopher also enjoys spending time with his circle of close friends, playing his sax, and indulging his life-long passion for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
on Jan. 27, 2014 :
I was given this book by the author, Christopher Shields, for an honest review. LOVED IT! I just finished reading The Steward; I grew up reading fairytales and love them. I now enjoy a good fantasy book (as well as other genres) and this is one of the best I’ve read. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. The author makes his character very real. I loved the main character, Maggie. Like every good ‘fairytale’ it has the ‘true love’ element as well! Did I mention I loved it? Well, I did. I recommend this book for YA and for us adults as well. I give this book 5+ stars.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 05, 2013 :
This book was given to me free in exchange for a review.
This was a great read! Held my interest all the way through. I will be adding it to my personal library.
There are a lot of different characters all very colorful and different.
Maggie is the main character and is thrown into a world she knows nothing about. When her grandmother fills her in about her new life she isn't sure if she wants to except or not. Then she meets Gavin and things start to look a little different.
I think this was written well and as I am reading it is easy to picture this world. That is one thing I look for in a story. To get taken in by it and imagine that I am there.
I will be buying this series. I really look forward to book two!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 09, 2013 :
This was a fantastic book - by the end I could barely put it down!
It tells the story of Maggie O'Shea, a 15-year-old girl who just moved from sunny Florida to cold Eureka Springs, and tiny middle-of-nowhere town, to help her ageing Aunt take care of their sprawling estate. But her aunt soon has a big secret to tell her - the forest that the family owns, known as the Weald, is a sacred place to the Fae, a magical fairy-like race who are deeply in-tune with nature, and Maggie's family has been their human correspondant for over a century. Now, as Aunt May is getting old, Maggie must take up the mantle by completing four elemental trials, to determine which of the four elements she is aligned to, and a year later make the decision to become the official Steward to the Fae.
At first all Maggie want's to do is get the hell of the Weald and go back to her life in Florida, but soon she begins to make new friends, and the more she learns about the Fae, and the powers they bring out in her, the more she wants to stay. But there is a dangerous Fae on the prowl, and everyone Maggie cares for is in danger.
Maggie is a fanatic character - fierce and powerful, she likes to hide her emotions even though she easily becomes emotional, and spends a lot of the time having to calm herself down so no one can see how angry/upset she is. But she has a good heart and good morals, and all she wants to do is the right thing, and protect those she loves.
The Fae are wonderful creatures and really well written, though sometimes their explanations were a little hard to keep track of, as were their rules. But they were all well written, diverse characters, and the more you read, the more you worry about just what these powerful creatures can do...
Whilst the beginning of the story was good, it was hampered a bit by moving between past and present, with too many long flashbacks. And in the middle I found myself losing interest a bit, as long periods of time were skipped. Then I got to the water trial and wow! I could barely put it down after that. So if you're finding it a bit hard going in the middle, hang in until then, as that's where it heats up.
So all up a great read, 4.5 stars, looking forward to reading the next one.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)