BOOK REVIEW: Secrets of Erhynvale: Children of the Eclipse by Amara Starling

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I have to preface this review with a couple of tidbits of information that I feel are important to share.  First, I know the author.  I consider her a friend.  I respect her as a person, as a parent, and as an author.  Second, as the background reveals, this book is a fantasy book.  I do not like fantasy books.  I've tried to like them.  I've tried to read the classics of this genre and just cannot do it.  There are a few authors out there that have written fantasy that I enjoy but those are few and far between.  Revealing these two tidbits also brings the conundrum I found myself in.  What if I hate the book due to it's genre?  How do you tell a friend you hate her book?  What if I love the book?  Who will take a good review seriously when they know the reviewer is a friend of the author?  I've had this book sitting on my Kindle shelf for several months due to all of the above fears.  But I did read it.  I did finish it.  And in the end, I loved the book and I'm going to write the review my way.  You can doubt my review as authentic if you want but it's my way, my review, just mine.

'Secrets of Erhynvale: Children of the Eclipse' is the debut novel by Amara Starling.  This book is set in a world that I think I would definitely add to my travel wish list (if that were possible).  It's well created and completely believable, even with dragons.  Covering several centuries 'Children of the Eclipse' tells the story of Symphony, in her own words. I have to add that while this book does cover such a time span it does so seamlessly, which I find many authors struggle with over a much shorter span. The synopsis reveals that is is a fantasy book, as well as action and romance.  Heck there are even love triangles!  But it is so much more than that.  There is also faith in humanity and an understanding of faith in oneself.  No matter how much a person has there are also moments of self-doubt.  I do have to say that I did figure out the 'twist' by the first few chapters.  That is not a bad thing, it's rare for a book to completely leave me guessing.  However, I kept waiting, and waiting for the twist to be revealed and dealt with.  It was 1 in the morning as I was reading thinking 'just tell it already!', true story. Should I have been reading at 1 am?  No.  But I had to.  I had to know how it was all going to play out.  I also appreciate that this book doesn't have the cliche happy ending.  Unless I'm reading a 'beach read' I do not appreciate a happy ending as I feel it's not true to life.  Even when things work out they are never wrapped up in a perfect box with a smart red bow. 

'Children of the Eclipse' is the first book in a series and while it was wrapped up well without leaving an open cliff hanger (which I also appreciate) it did leave itself open to more.  More fantasy.  More adventure.  More romance.  More drama.  Just more.  And the truth is, I want more.

Secrets of Erhynvale: Children of the Eclipse
About Amara E. Starling

Full time author, mother, and seeker of knowledge, Amara E. Starling is a temporary resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, but permanently resides in the deepest recesses of the human imagination. There are few topics Amara won’t write about, and she often finds comfort in breaching the darker subjects that society tends to shy away from. Her writing style is often poetic and thought provoking, and embraces the theme of finding strength in the face of adversity. Fragments: Book One of the Symphony Ryelle Saga is her debut novel.

When she’s not writing, Amara can be found wandering through state parks, finding adventures with her children, donating to charities, and more often than not, drinking copious amounts of coffee while passionately researching into the night.

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