Home Lost

Rated 4.56/5 based on 9 reviews
In “Home Lost”, Volume I of the the eight volume fantasy “Clarion of Destiny”, Leena receives the Garlan branch. From first contact her life is changed. After a solitary journey she returns home to find her village in ruins. Confused and alone, Leena sets out to search for her family and to discover the reason the Garlan branch selected her. More
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Price: Free! USD
Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Words: 73,350
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452368078
About Franz McLaren

I was born in South Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania. I've spent time in 48 out of the 50 United States, and lived in Japan, Germany, and South Africa. I have also spent significant time in half a dozen European countries. All of this leads to a more sedate lifestyle now, but a vivid imagination.

Also in Clarion of Destiny

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Reviews

Review by: Annie Z on Oct. 09, 2012 :
Destiny calls to Leena, a young witch in training, when she returns to her village to find that it’s been raided and destroyed. Everyone she knew and loved is gone. Thus begins her journey to find her family and meet her fate.

Gifted author McLaren puts us in the middle of the action in this magical world of goblins, witches, wizards, and demons. He is a master of poetic understatement: “She opened her eyes. In front of her face a single black feather, caught by its quill end in a small mound of snow, waved like the mittened hand of a departing friend.”

Teenager Leena sets off on a harrowing adventure, where all her skills as a budding witch are put to the test. For as-yet-unknown reasons, she was given the Garlan branch, a powerful instrument that in the right hands can save the world. However, there’s a price to pay for the use of magic.

We are given a hint as to the Garlan branch’s awesome power in the book’s prologue, where thousands of years ago, the young commander of a ragtag band of the few remaining humans on Earth, manages to hold off pure blood-curdling evil with the branch.

On her quest to confront the evil that seeks her out, Leena teams up with Darius, ambassador to the Great Wizard. The dialogue is lively and believable. McLaren’s writing never ceases to cast its spell: “Like ripples from a pebble thrown in still water, lights appeared in the windows.”

“Home Lost” is an exciting, entertaining and emotional read. I highly recommend this riveting start to the series!
(review of free book)

Review by: Richard Adin on July 02, 2012 :
This book is a conundrum. The story is excellent, the characters are interesting -- BUT I do not think the author has yet met a dictionary that he understands how to use. I have rated this book 3 stars because it is free even though it is a poorly edited book. At the price asked, I believe I shoulld be more tolerant of language abuse.

However, having read the rest of the series, I think for the price asked for each of the subsequent volume, I am entitled to a professionally edited book, one that doesn't misuse words, omit punctuation, has a clue about the use of the apostrophe with possessives, and understands that there is a reason for the hyphen in compounds.

If the author had hired a professional editor to clean up his misuses of language, this would easily have been a 5-star book. But the neverending misuse of language ultimately becomes annoying and highly distracting. The author uses, for example, disburse, when he means disperse; that when he means who; forth when he means fourth; there for their; where for were; etc.

Even more problematic are when he cannot remember the names of his characters (e.g., two of several examples, in a later volume the fairy Umi becomes Renee and the baby Niki becomes Nike) and when he doesn't indicate that the scene is changing by using asterisks to separate the paragraphs ending the prior scene and beginning the next scene. It is jarring to be reading and then suddenly wonder what happened to the transition.

This book (and series) could be a 5-star series with professional editing. Unfortunately, the author's apparent lack of interest in correcting errors and making the story flow as it should renders this a 2-star volume and series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Connor Newell on May 16, 2012 :
Home Lost is a perfectly paced, incredibly original, and very well written work of fantasy. I had the great pleasure of being given a copy by Franz and, though it took me longer than I care to admit to start it, I read the book from cover to cover this afternoon. Keeping in mind that this is one in a series of eight Franz did an absolutely perfect job of introducing the reader to the characters and lore while still keeping the story light and avoiding the heavy handed prose one usually finds in fantasy epics of this kind. One can not help but become invested in Leena's plight and that of her equally amiable companions. A definite page turner, I can't wait to get my hands on the next one
(review of free book)

Review by: Connor Newell on May 16, 2012 :
Home Lost is a perfectly paced, incredibly original, and very well written work of fantasy. I had the great pleasure of being given a copy by Franz and, though it took me longer than I care to admit to start it, I read the book from cover to cover this afternoon. Keeping in mind that this is one in a series of eight Franz did an absolutely perfect job of introducing the reader to the characters and lore while still keeping the story light and avoiding the heavy handed prose one usually finds in fantasy epics of this kind. One can not help but become invested in Leena's plight and that of her equally amiable companions. A definite page turner, I can't wait to get my hands on the next one
(review of free book)

Review by: Elizabeth Kirke on Sep. 13, 2011 :
This was a great read! The reader is pulled in right from the prologue and can't put it down! The main character, Leena, is chosen by a magical tree to get the Garlan branch: a powerful wand. Thus begins a chain of events that sends Leena on a perilous journey north to find the Great Wizard. Along the way she meets a number of fantastic characters, allies and enemies alike! The characters are all well developed and it is clear that the author put a great deal of thought into the plot and the backstory as well. Leena is still young and untrained and the reader gets to watch her grow and mature as the novel progresses. McLaren paints a beautiful world and the reader can just immerse themselves in it. I felt like I was shivering along with Leena in the cold. Home Lost, the first novel in the Clarion of Destiny series, ended with a satisfying conclusion, but - as any good book in a series does - left the reader wanting more. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to start the next one!
(review of free book)

Review by: Kim Pursley on June 01, 2011 :
I wasn't sure that I would like this series but W.O.W!! I love them.
(review of free book)

Review by: George Straatman on April 16, 2011 :
HOME LOST By Franz Mclaren

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become increasingly averse to the notion of review the artistic works of others in a public forum of any kind. Thus, it is a pleasant relief when I read a novel that allows me to offer a heart-felt praise for the work under consideration. Home Lost is the initial offering of Mr. Mclaren’s Clarion of Destiny fantasy series and revolves around his young protagonist, Leena, who is a village hedge witch in training. The novel opens as the young girl returns from a trip to the mythically symbolic Garland tree to discover that her home village has been ravaged and her family has gone, alone with most of the other village inhabitants. The opening volume focuses on Leena’s attempt to discover what has befallen her family…a journey that will lead her on an epic quest during which she will unravel the mysteries of her own monumental destiny. I will not delve into specific plot details here, rather I will concentrate on the tone and style of Mr. Mclaren’s writing. I’m not sure if this novel was intended for the consumption of a young adult audience, but Home Lost is a comparatively simply fantasy offering, but many complex fantasy offerings begin this way and evolve as they progress (Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan being a case in point). It is a pleasant and easy read that will not require a detailed score card to keep track of the pantheon of Gods and religions that one would need to wade through Steven Erikson’s Malazan books of the fallen. This relative simplicity does not detract from the fact that this novel is a tremendously pleasing fantasy read that is suited for genre lovers of all ages. What I particularly enjoyed about Mr. Mclaren’s novel is sense of innocence that permeates every page…every sentence of the story…so far removed from the cynicism and vitriol that seems to have infected so much of our literature and indeed, every aspect of life in today’s world. I find myself thinking of this novel in terms of adjective that I have not associated with the fantasy genre in some time…sweet and endearing. Even the resolutions of the story’s many conflicts were often achieved without the obligatory spilling of buckets of blood and mountains of viscera and this demonstrated a creative sensibility that I have seldom seen. From the technical perspective, Mr’ Mclaren’s writing evokes comparison with Terry Goodkind in his use of staccato narrative and the interrogative as a means of exploring a character’s internal thought process in any given situation. This narrative mechanism suits the story quite well.
The most lasting impact of this novel from my perspective is what compells me to give it the highest recommendation…this is a fatasy story that has been written with both innocence and a gentle grace that is as refeshing as it is delightful. If the story is a reflection of the man who penned it, Franz Mclaren is a man who I would personally like to know and whose perspective on both life and literature is all too rare. Excellent and recommended to fantasy lovers of all ages.
(review of free book)

Review by: Breeze Estes on Jan. 28, 2011 :
Wonderful read. Well developed, smoothly written, and immensly enjoyable.
(review of free book)

Review by: CWG Press on Nov. 23, 2010 :
I was impressed with this book and look forward to the rest of the series. The characters were well developed and the action effective. Thanks.
(review of free book)

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