Beginning with the Prydain books by Lloyd Alexander and the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Leguin, Kyra Halland has always loved fantasy. And, beginning with those books, she has also always loved a good love story. In 1990, as a new stay-at-home mom with a young baby, she finally decided to combine those two loves - like chocolate and peanut butter! - by writing the kinds of romantic fantasy novels she wanted to read.
Courageous and complicated heroes, strong, smart, and sweet heroines, magic, romance, adventure, heroism, excursions into the dark corners of life and human nature, and a dash of offbeat humor - all of these make up Kyra Halland's worlds. She is excited to share those worlds with readers, and hopes that others will enjoy her worlds and stories and characters as much as she does.
Kyra Halland lives in southern Arizona. She has a very patient husband, two less-patient cats, and two young adult sons. Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking and anime, and she wants to be a crazy cat lady when she grows up.
Where to find Kyra Halland online
The Lost Book of Anggird
(5.00 from 1 review)
By Kyra Halland
Published: October 28, 2013.
Stuffy Professor Roric Rossony's life is changed in ways he never expected by his new assistant Perarre Tabrano. It's changed even more when he digs too deeply into lost and forbidden books, and finds the last thing he expected. Overnight, he goes from respected scholar to wanted criminal, and Perarre joins him on a dangerous quest that will change magic, and their own lives, forever.
A Cure for Nel, and Other Stories
By Kyra Halland
Published: September 3, 2013.
Three short fantasy stories of love, family, greed, ambition, and the desires of the human heart.
Chosen of Azara
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
By Kyra Halland
Published: June 21, 2013.
In a quest that spans centuries, Sevry, the last king of the land of Savaru, searches for the woman who holds the secret to bringing his destroyed homeland back to life.
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
By Kyra Halland
Published: February 14, 2013.
Rashali, an Urdai peasant, has vowed to destroy the Sazars who conquered Urdaisunia. Prince Eruz, the heir to the Sazar throne, walks a dangerous line between loyalty to his own people and doing what's best for all the people of Urdaisunia. Then a chance meeting between prince and rebel and a bet between two gods set Eruz and Rashali on intertwining paths of love, danger, and war.
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Smashwords book reviews by Kyra Halland
- Storm Dancer (Dark Epic Fantasy)
on April 08, 2013
(I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of giving an honest review.)
Storm Dancer is a big, sweeping, epic fantasy set in an exotic desert land, with colorful and compelling characters. Dahoud, possessed by a djinn who urges him to horrifying acts of rape and other atrocities, is fighting to control the djinn and make amends for the terrible things he's done. Merida, a magician and loyal citizen of the extremely ordered and rigid Virtuous Republic of Riverland, has been sent to the desert countries on a mission to bring rain and enlightenment. Their paths cross as both of them face setbacks and challenges on their repective quests, then finally join together when they unexpectedly find a common cause to fight for.
The writing is clear and colorful, painting a portrait of harsh, exotic lands. I have a soft spot for fantasy that takes place in desert settings, so I really enjoyed the setting of this book. I also sympathized with the characters as they struggled to make their way through this harsh world against the thoroughly nasty plotting of the main villain, Kirral. There were a few times when I wanted to give Merida a good shaking for her obtuseness and refusal to adapt to her new situation. Frustration with characters is a big reason why I don't finish books. But in this case, it seemed clear that Merida was being set up like this on purpose so that the readers could follow her through her process of growth and learning. She did learn and grow, and I took more than a little satisfaction in seeing her cut down to size and then becoming a much stronger and wiser woman. I also enjoyed watching Dahoud's progess as he came to understand the true nature of the darkness within him.
It's a long book, which I'm not complaining about because I do love me a good doorstopper. The plot did seem to lose momentum and focus a few times, particularly in the end of the first half or about in the middle third. The structure of the book could maybe use a little tightening up to stay more focused on Dahoud and Merida and their problems and what they're trying to do. But during these slower spots, I was interested enough in what was going to happen to the characters to keep reading. I also felt that there were places where the author backed off from really diving into the full emotions and experiences of the characters, just touching the surface instead of giving the full depths.
The end was satisfying, and I would enjoy reading the further adventures of Dahoud and Merida. On the whole, Storm Dancer is a rich, colorful, exciting, and rewarding read, and I enjoyed it very much.
- Grace Under Fire
on Aug. 02, 2013
Grace Under Fire is a wild ride through a world filled with tricky magic and lurking threats with two amazing characters. Grace is a Summoner with only middling powers but mad rune skillz who is sent to deal with a difficult problem that the other Summoners in her local group (Grove) would really rather not have to deal with. While trying to figure out what wiped out the entire Grove of Summoners in Spokane, she runs across a teenage boy, Robert, a foster kid who has just discovered his own Summoning powers to disastrous effect. Summoning is one of the worst crimes there is in this alternate version of our world, and Grace and Robert have to keep out of trouble with local law enforcement while battling a giant, evil, massively powerful, orange raccoon-porcupine demon from another dimension (dubbed "Rick"). It sounds absurd, and it is, but that thing is also one of the scariest monsters I've ever come across.
The book almost bogs down a little at the beginning, when Grace is explaining how Summoning and runes work, but her voice and the problem she's trying to solve are engaging enough that I kept going, and then she found herself stuck with a much bigger problem. And then it gets to the first chapter in Robert's point of view, and that's where the book really takes off, and never lets go until the end.
The story is told in alternating first-person point of view, which can be hard to pull off, but Grace's and Robert's voices are so distinct and the characters are so engaging that it works beautifully. Robert's voice and outlook especially made the book for me. He's a band geek (as a former band geek myself, I always appreciate finding one as the protagonist in a book, which doesn't happen nearly often enough), a smart kid, world-wise in some ways from being shuffled through the foster-care system for all of his teenage years but still very much a little boy in other ways. Grace is a fun character too, with her interesting combination of skills and obsession with good food.
The magic system is complex, and the one minor flaw in the book is that sometimes the explanations of how it works are a little complicated, but they're integrated pretty well into the action and once I got the hang of the idea behind it, it was pretty easy to follow how it worked.
The action is wild and suspenseful, and even when the fight against Rick the Demon Raccoon lets up for a bit, you still know it's out there and you're wondering how in the world Robert and Grace are going to deal with it. The ending fight is long, but the action is nonstop and constantly escalating, and I couldn't put the story down.
The writing is clear, smooth, and vivid, with a wry sense of humor and a lot of understated emotion.
The book seems to be aimed at an adult audience, but I think older teen boys would also enjoy it very much.
I highly recommend Grace Under Fire, and am looking forward to the next book in the series and more adventures with Grace and Robert.