Tagged: Epic

Princeling – Review

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TRB Twit Princeling Reveiw
Jenn reviews Donna Migliaccio’s Princeling

About the Book

Princeling; Donna Migliaccio
Young Adult; Fantasy; 237 Pages

Donna Migliaccio (November 29, 2019)

DISCOVER HOW THE GEMETA STONE SAGA BEGAN.Little Kristan Gemeta never imagined that his simple act of kindness would end in disgrace. Now he’s being punished by a harsh regimen meant to toughen him into the heir his father the king demands. Bullied and friendless, Kristan finds an ally in Simeon, who teaches him not just letters and numbers, but the forbidden magical lore of Wiche. But there’s someone else in the kingdom who wants the secret Wiche knowledge for himself. The youth known as Daazna is as pitiless as Kristan is compassionate – and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

About the Author

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres. KINGLET, FISKUR, STONEKING and RAGIS, the first four books in her fantasy series THE GEMETA STONE, are available exclusively on Amazon, along with her recently released prequel to the series, PRINCELING. Her short work is featured in the anthologies MEDUSA AT THE MORGUE and THE ART OF LOSING. For more information, visit her website at www.donnamigliaccio.com.

Jenn’s Review

Finally! After two long years of waiting, and four other books, Donna Migliaccio shares the origin story of the hatred between Daazna and Kristan Gemeta (the long-standing feud that fuels the war between the two men in the Gemeta Stone series). In a nutshell, this fantasy prequel is heartbreakingly profound and well-told, despite the very young age of our protagonist, Kristan.

Kristan Gemeta is just a little boy when Mumma passes away. Her final words to him, “Always be kind,” become a promise he makes to her and a guiding principle that stays with him through the coming storms. His father, the king of Fandrall, holds young Kristan at a distance as he copes with his own grief and trying to raise two young children without a mother.

TRB Pin Princeling Review
Jenn reviews Donna Migliaccio’s Princeling

Kristan’s childhood is brief – at a young age, his days are filled with tutors and brutal lessons that will dog him through life. One of the worst: how powerless he feels when a tutor’s apprentice, Daazna, is wrongfully accused and sent packing from the castle in shame.

Daazna will never forget that lesson, either. His thirst for knowledge and hunger for magic skills will shape his misadventures and dark deeds.

Considering the very young age of the protagonist, (Kristan is only 4 when his mother passes away), I am deeply impressed by Ms. Migliaccio’s handling of a parent’s death and a child’s grief. No one really bothers to try to explain to the boy what’s happening, and the reader gets an intimate perspective on how a child processes the loss and draws his own conclusions.

The entire series is a must for fantasy fans, and it isn’t necessary to start with Princeling to understand the rest of the series. However, for those who enjoy stories in chronological order, this book will get you hooked on Kristan’s adventures.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.


Also by Donna Migliaccio

Kinglet (Book 1, Gemeta Stone)

Fiskur (Book 2, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)


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StoneKing – Review

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Jenn’s review: 

ARGH! I just finished reading StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio, and WOW!

If you haven’t yet read the first two books in the Gemeta Stone series, start with KingletFiskur can be read on its own, and a reader can still get the gist of what’s happened, but I wouldn’t recommend starting this series at book 3 by any means (I’m sure it could stand alone in a pinch, but so many threads from previous books have been pulled into play that it would be a challenge, or a reader might miss far too much of what’s going on).

All those warnings aside, StoneKing is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art. Ms. Migliaccio again writes stunning scenes with an economy of words. Well-rounded and sympathetic characters. I had to put the book down for a few days because of a migraine – usually I can read, despite everything else, but the settings and emotions Ms. Migliaccio writes pulled me in so deeply that the main character’s struggles only enhanced my own problems.

Absolutely nothing is going right for poor Kristan Gemeta. What started as an ill-fated and precipitous visit from a neighboring princess turns into an enlightening adventure, each new stop revealing more and more how poorly things are going for the young king. While everyone (mostly) has good intentions, things are falling apart fast around Kristan, and he’s wedged into tighter and tighter corners as he tries to straighten it all out.

By around the 3/4 progress mark, I was staggering from the plot twists. Book 3 is the antithesis of all of Kristan’s triumph of book 2. Kristan may be the king, but Murphy’s Law reigns supreme in the StoneKing’s lands.

I’ll have to tease the release date for book four out of my contacts, because… the last page. What can I say? I’m already looking forward to it, and my to-be-read pile is already enormous. This is definitely a YA rating (Sam’s 12, and usually reads YA fiction, but I’ve held her off of this series because of some limited content). While this book isn’t as violent as its predecessors in the series, war forces people to make tough choices, and as things settle down, those choices come to light in sometimes brutal or vulgar ways.

In short, Ms. Migliaccio’s writing will pull you in, drag you under, and hold you in Kirstan’s scarred and uncomfortable skin throughout the pages of this book, and will have you begging for more when you finally reach the last page.

Also by Donna Migliaccio

Princeling (Prequel, Gemeta Stone)

Kinglet (Book 1, Gemeta Stone)

Fiskur (Book 2, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)

Stone King – Promo & Excerpt

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Excerpt (reprinted with the permission of the publisher/author)

EXCERPT from Chapter 1

He did not know how long he had been standing in numb silence when a sense of being watched crept over him. He opened his eyes. A dozen paces away stood an old woman, heavy and stolid, swaddled in a blanket and wincing in the frosty air. Beside her was a tabby cat.

Kristan blinked and looked again. A wavering, transparent haze surrounded the cat, as if the little creature was somehow radiating intense heat. Wiche, he thought, and tensed. By the Stone, what sort of trickery is this?

“A cold morning for standing afield,” the old woman said.

Kristan nodded. The cat took a few steps toward him, angling to his left. Now that the morning sun was no longer behind it, the flickering blur had a distinctly human shape; small, slight and somehow feminine.

“Pay her no mind,” the old woman said. “Curious creature, but she means no harm.”

A blast of wind made them all flinch. Malvo shuddered and stamped. Cat and shape skittered backward in perfect unison.

“Are you of the castle?” the old woman asked.

Are you of the castle?

Bright fragments jangled in the ruins of Kristan’s memory: a spring morning, the smell of fields freshly green, the ring of tack and the thunder of Malvo’s hooves. Beneath those shining shards other, more ominous memories shifted, and Kristan twitched his attention back to the pair before him.

“Can you not speak, sir?” the old woman asked.

“I can speak.” Kristan jerked his chin at the cat-thing. “Is she yours?”

The old woman chuckled. “As much as such creatures can be.”

The cat moved toward him again, with more confidence. It lifted a paw, as if to pat at his leg, just as the shape spouted a foggy protrusion that reached toward his cloak. He recoiled and bumped against Malvo.

“Never fear,” the old woman said. “Such a little cat can do you no harm.”

Kristan snorted. “Does she speak?”

Both the cat and the woman froze, but then the old one chuckled again, although this time the laugh sounded forced. “Speak? That would be strange indeed.”

“Why? Is she a simpleton?”

With a loud hiss, the cat disappeared, snuffed like a candle’s flame. In the same breath, the shape solidified into an adolescent girl. She stumbled backward and fell, and the old woman leaped in front of her, arms outflung as if to ward off a blow.

Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio – Book Review & Promo

Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio Released November 7, 2017

Fantasy

The Gemeta Stone Book 2

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

With his family’s talisman in his possession, Kristan Gemeta is ready to face the Wichelord Daazna – but he has no inkling of the scope of Daazna’s power, nor the depths of his hatred. 

With the recovery of his family’s protective talisman, Kristan Gemeta has found hope, courage – and perhaps even the first stirrings of love.  With the aid of Heather Demitt, her band of rebels, a shipload of Northern brigands and the legendary Kentavron, he readies himself to face the Wichelord Daazna.  But neither he nor his comrades realize the strength of Daazna’s power and hatred.  The Wichelord’s first blow comes from a direction Kristan least expects, with horrific, lasting consequences.

**Book Review by Jenn Bradshaw**

 I will be the first to admit that fantasy is not my #1 favorite genre, but every so often, the opportunity arises and I take the plunge to dive into a fantasy story. Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio is one of these books. Granted, it is book 2 in a series, so I came into the story a little late (I have book one, and will add its review and a link in this blog post when I finish reading it). Fiery Seas just released this book, and I will say that it is amazing.

Ms. Migliaccio weaves a breathtaking story that is impossible to rush through. (I often read books of this length within a day, this took me a week to get through) As she spins the story, her concise setting, action and character descriptions allow a vivid image to form in the reader’s mind, and then get out of the way of the narrative.

This is not a book for young teens or those affected by gore and violence. While the author keeps her descriptions concise, and potentially disturbing scenes are not plentiful, some scenes are graphic in nature. Executions, torture and rape among them.

Her characters are well developed and pull the reader into the story. It’s easy to love the protagonist, even when he’s not terribly lovable; hate the antagonist, he is evil and twisted even as his own story unfolds; and cheer on those oppressed by tyrannical overlords.

The elements of this story weave together a variety of legends, myths, recognizable cultures and languages right alongside Ms. Migliaccio’s invented elements – seamlessly. 

In short, I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It is a bit longer (in PDF form, it was well over 500 pages), hence the “epic” tag for this book. It is not, however, a difficult read, despite the various elements of languages other than English. I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers. (Yes, I’ve encouraged Hubby to read it as well!)

You can buy the book at these locations (not affiliate links):

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo  ~  iBooks

Also by Donna Migliaccio

Princeling (Prequel, Gemeta Stone)

Kinglet (Book 1, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)