on July 12, 2015 :
Into Trouble by Gordon A. Long
As Aleria immerses herself into advanced battle arts lessons with Master Ogima as a way to deal with her nightmares stemming from the rebellion in Out of Mischief, another situation arises. Bandits are stealing merchandise, which is traveling by cart, in Lord Fauvé’s land around Taine. Aleria seems to think she can handle going undercover for a fact finding mission by going to visit Shen Waring and his family near Taine with the hope of getting invited to stay at Lord Fauve’s castle, with her being a Lady and all. The ploy works and Aleria insinuates herself by helping Lord Fauve’ planning parties and making rounds with the Lord to visit his holdings and meet the farmers.
It’s all very interesting seeing how Lord Fauvé runs his domain and meeting the farmers who work the land. When the bandits strike again Aleria watches Fauvé closely, but things go as she imagines it should. She finds no connection between Fauvé’s behavior and the bandits. She also has been keeping Lord Raif Canah updated through coded love letters which are delivered to Mito and then she delivers them to Raif. I found the story had an even pace until a tragic turn of events, which happens at the end of chapter eighteen, spins everything upside down. At that point, two-thirds into the story, I couldn’t put the book down until the last page. It is engaging, terrifying, suspenseful, and surprising. I think the political intrigue was expertly handled and executed as was the dialogue. At this point towards the end the castle staff has a larger presence which I enjoyed immensely.
I was a little disappointed that the romance I thought would develop in this book didn’t, however I am still pleased with how things worked out. Aleria is continuing to grow and I hope she finds her place in the world. Mr. Long seems to have her figured out, she is a wonderful character.
FYI: This story contains rape, it is not depicted as graphic, but it tis here nonetheless.
The author uses Canadian spellings.
Into Trouble is book 2 of the World of Change series. Book 1, Out of Mischief, should be read first to properly enjoy the subtleties between Aleria, her parents, Mito, and Lord Raif Canah.
Format/Typo Issues: A small number of proofing errors.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** July 5, 2015
(review of free book)
on Feb. 26, 2015 :
Still suffering nightmares from her traumatic experiences at the hands of rebels in “Out of Mischief,” Aleria anDalmyn, privileged daughter of the esteemed carting magnate Lord anDalmyn, is struggling to find the true meaning and purpose of her life. Marriage to another heir to privilege and comfort would be the safe, traditional path to take, but Aleria never was one to look for easy solutions. She needs a true vocation, a calling that will allow her to make a difference, and this seems to present itself in the form of a secret fact-finding mission to the demesne of Lord Fauvé, a landowner suspected of dealing with and supporting rebel factions. Determined to uncover the truth, Aleria uses the cover of her father’s carting business and her well-groomed socialite skills to insinuate herself into Fauvé’s confidence.
True to her nature Aleria is soon embroiled in the intricacies of local life, but it soon becomes apparent that she might have bitten off more than she can chew. She is forced to draw deeply on her self-defense training and weapons skills, but she will also need to dredge up every single drop of fury her heart can contain in order to overcome what, to some women, would be a crippling and insurmountable tragedy.
I always find myself easily drawn into the complex worlds Mr. Long creates. His “good” characters have likable, even admirable, qualities without being too perfect, and his “bad” characters are never clichéd. His dialogue is realistic and his plots are attention-grabbing and intricate. Although they are subtly portrayed and never intrude, he doesn’t forget the seemingly trivial aspects of everyday life, which contribute to the depth of his characters’ natures.
On a purely personal level, I sometimes feel I’d like to see him delve just that bit deeper into his characters’ emotions, but other readers may not feel this way. I received a copy of this novel in return for an honest review, and would happily recommend it to readers of fantasy, adventure, and romance.
(review of free book)