on May 17, 2016 :
Magical fantasy at its finest. The protagonist, Rosaleen, ever since a young age has witnessed Asta (the queen) cheating on the king. She’s an evil woman with secret motives. She reminds me of the evil queen in Sleeping Beauty.
After a cat tips Rosaleen off on a secret letter in the castle that is proof of the queen’s corruption, Rosaleen is suddenly thrust into an unexpected mission.
Can Rosaleen save the kingdom in time? Risky business for a young girl, she demonstrates heroine qualities.
Friendly bonds, magic, animal messengers, secrets, epic battle and a little love. This novel is a full spectrum of colorful magic and adventure. Great read for the young to the old.
(review of free book)
Elle A. Rose
on June 15, 2015 :
When I said I would read this book, I had no idea what a fantastic world I was about to enter. Hollow’s Charge may have started out as a story where magic was lost to those who inhabited the realm, but that is far from the truth. Most would think of magic as something a magician would do, but Arielle LeClair’s novel illustrates that this is not true either. Within this story, Arielle was able to sprinkle magic dust on every page. I could practically see the entire storyline play out in front. At times, I felt as if I was standing in the woods next the Rosaleen and her merry men, feeling the magic guide them along their journey. I was able to watch as the magic of love swirled around the couples. It was beyond magical to see how the group’s friendship, trust, and faith grew thought the book. There were so many great characters (Rosealeen and Rolan being two of my favorite), who all had their own personalities. With so many characters and point of views, I was concerned that Arielle would lose the protagonist’s voice and main objective. Boy was I wrong! I have never read a single book where there was so much character growth—Well done Arielle!
The best part is, it appear that Arielle has left the ending open to another book. I will be one of the first in line to get a copy.
I received my free copy of “Hollow’s Charge from the author in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 63 days after purchase)
on May 25, 2015 :
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. When Arielle LeClair publishes subsequent works set in the world she has created, I’ll be there to read those.
This novel contains all the important aspects of a good fantasy novel: intrigue and adventure, a well thought out world, magic and a touch of romance. LeClair builds and maintains tension well, keeping the reader’s attention throughout the entire novel. The magic system is subtle yet central to the story, effective yet not overdone.
Character development is well executed. I had no problems accepting the motivations of the various players. Character development and growth was handled well. One could say that the villain is a tad one dimensional. I wouldn’t have minded having at least one thing that might make her briefly sympathetic. A moment of accessibility here and there to give her more depth. But even this issue isn’t critical.
The only thing about this novel that I struggled with were the sudden shifts in perspective. I’m not sure if LeClair was specifically going for the omniscient third person or not, but I found the sudden changes in point of view jarring in many cases. For a stretch we would be seeing the action as if behind one character and then abruptly in the same scene we’d see the action from another character point of view. It might be better if these changes were isolated by chapter. On the other hand, perhaps other readers would not struggle with this as much as me.
There were a few typos or other small issues here and there but nothing that bothered me. The action and flow of the book easily reduced any impact those things might have had.
But when the dust settled, this was a good book that I enjoyed reading and can easily recommend to readers that enjoy straight up, old school fantasy.
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)
on May 13, 2015 :
Right from the opening of this story I was thrown into Arielle's world that she beautifully crafted for her characters, and at that moment I knew that this would be an engaging and most exciting novel. I was right and was not disappointed. As Rosaleen's adventure began, the rich and well detailed story did what all fantasy novels need to do, create a world in your mind that allows you a reprieve from your own world. This is accomplished perfectly by Arielle. The immediate distaste for Queen Asta and her tyranny stirred my interest and the black cat as Rosaleen's first feline guide as it led her to her 'thought-to-be dead' mother reminded me of Alice in wonderland somehow. This set the stage for an adventure full of magic and all the wonder that could come from it as Rosaleen learned to become the next Keeper and bring the rightful Queen to the throne. A very well written and enjoyable fantasy!! Highly recommended, I loved it and look forward to more from Arielle Vivienne!
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
on May 3, 2015 :
So I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I am glad that I was asked to read it. It was fun and entertaining.
Rosaleen is a wonderful lead and really directs the story in the direction it needs to go in. She is the one chosen to become the new Keeper of the Hollow, but before she takes over her position she has to go on a quest to save her kingdom from a woman who should have never been on the throne. She finds out all this information from a person she was not planning to ever see and it throws her for a loop.
The story and back stories were wonderfully thought out. I loved how the characters interacted with each other. It was all well developed and there was no much just thrown together. I got a little lost only once and that was with how Rosaleen saw the king for the first time. I had to read that part over a few times to understand what she was saying. It was more implied, but I did not catch it.
So overall I enjoyed this book. What I am hoping, hint hint, is that this book will become more then one book. I know that it was ended nicely. I am glad that this book ended well and wasn't one of those books that had to bring everything together in the last chapter and tie it all up with a nice little bow. Arielle did so well with making sure the ending was not something all thrown together just to clean up any issues. I wish more authors did that instead of throwing things together quickly to get to the ending.
Pros: Great characters, great story
Cons: Grammar issues
Overall rating: Very recommended!!
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Valerie Estelle Frankel
on April 23, 2015 :
"Once I take my place as Keeper, I cannot leave the Hollow for any reason. I am stuck, no more than a prisoner whose sole reason for being is to maintain the balance of the world by helping those who come to me with their problems. I am to remain bound to that one place until my own successor is found. The magic will keep me alive for however long that takes."
A lush and lyrical tale. The story begins with the predicament of the chosen one whose daughter is doomed to follow her. Nonetheless, this headstrong daughter manages to shape her future as she will, all while saving the kingdom from a grasping pretender. The fantasy world is presented with stunning beauty, even as the main character faces a heart-rending predicament.
Rosaleen has always known Asta is the false queen, not a noblewoman from Enrith but a peasant woman and whore who somehow convinced King Donnol to marry her only weeks after his own beautiful and caring wife had died giving birth, Upon discovering her long-lost mother living deep in the forest, Rosaleen has a chance to prove it and to find the true queen. Through it all she knows she's doomed to a life of service and loneliness like her mother the Keeper before her.
The many points of view establish this as a multifaceted world with many diverting characters to offer the reader. The characters with their elaborate histories and cultures are the backbone of the book. It concludes with an epic battle to place the rightful queen on the throne with sweet, touching romance for more than the main character. A feel-good epic for a spectrum of readers.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Edna J. White
on April 18, 2015 :
This story of an impetuous young girl cast me to mind of "Alice in Wonderland" not as brilliantly focused but just as welcome in its more ambitious, wide-ranging way.
The lead in was hard to get through and I found the grammar didn't have the smoothness as some of the book. It's a mystery fantasy packed with puns and twists.
For me, as I read on, there were perhaps too many subplots for Roaleen to knit together with complete success but by no means too many to keep readers absorbed to the end.
While the author, Arielle seriously pens the words with flow, it can be hard for readers to always do the same. The book requires readers to just give into the stilliness and give up to the fantasy of it all. Young adults get ready to enjoy!
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on April 11, 2015 :
That poor little girl in the beginning of a couple pages caught my heart. Roland, I find is a tease, and it doesnt help that Rosaleen plays along. Even though says she lusts for the captain, I sense Roland is jealous of this.
The prologue was hard to get through, I found the grammar needed a little touch up. I liked how two woman wanted and schemed to get out of the castle however.
Her opinion on the Queen is vicious, and I heartily agree. Its just sad that Asta was so evil due to mourning. Kind of reminds me of the tale of Cinderella.
Its sad many died from starvation because nothing would grow in the past, leaving people in darkness...(sentence I read in the story during dialogue) but its the reality of a failing kingdom.
What a responsibility to put on someone... hehe.
All in all I give this 5 stars. I would love to read a second series with the upcoming characters. I love stories about kingdoms and how to fix or fail them.
This author did a good job on implementing that.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on March 23, 2015 :
FABULOUS fantasy adventure … I hoping for MORE!
There is an imposter on the throne of Ciyula who is about to create a war with a country they have co-existed peacefully with for over 900 years.
Rosaleen, an impetuous young noblewoman steals a document from Queen Asta, and the chase is on. Following a mysterious cat, Rosaleen is led to her mother Layla who Rosaleen had thought to be long dead. Her mother is Keeper of the Hollow, bestowed with many magical talents. Layla informs Rosaleen of two things; first she must find the rightful Queen of Ciyula and depose the imposter and second, that Rosaleen is to be the next Keeper of the Hollow
To help Rosaleen with her quest for the true Queen, she is given the help of a magical cat and told that her two horse companions are specially "bound" to her. She is informed that along her journey she will have many helpers and that her magic powers will increase and start to reveal themselves.
And so the quest begins.
Author, Arielle LeClair has created a fascinating and fast moving story in the fantasy kingdom of Ciyula. As the story progresses, we learn more about Rosaleen and meet new companions. Her first companions are the magical cat Layla has supplied her with, and then her horses and lifelong bodyguard Rolan. As they search for the true Queen they are joined by other volunteers in their mission.
The thing I really loved about the story is that every character has a distinct personality (even the animals) and each plays an import part in the furthering of the plot. You get to care for the characters and to care about what happens to them. At no point in the story did I get lost or mix up characters BECAUSE they were so distinct in personality and purpose. They differed not only in personality, but in motivation and history. Even the very bad guys were well-done!
There were some major surprise plot twists and loads of action (including a bit of romance) along the way.
I loved the story and especially the characters. I was loath to put the book down when I finished, and I am hoping LeClair is hard at work on her next novel. I would love to see some of the same characters again and in fact I hope LeClair will create several series from this book.
If you are a fan of fantasy adventures you are SURE to love this book!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)