Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review - Island Shifters by Valerie Zambito

When your family, your home, and the very land you stand on are destroyed, what do you do? If you are a shifter of Massa, you turn around and fight. You fight, because the blood oath will have it no other way.

The idyllic lives of four elemental shifters living in the exiled land of Pyraan are shattered when a tour of legion duty gives witness to a brutal enemy invasion. Despite the heroic efforts of the shifters, the land falls to the invaders. As the only survivors, the four friends are forced to flee south into the lands from which they were banished to warn of the invasion. Heartbroken and weary, the shifters soon learn that the safe haven they hoped to find is cloaked in danger. Throughout a journey fraught with prophesy, betrayal and peril, an enduring friendship prevails, love blossoms, and a riveting saga unravels.

Review by: Scott

4 stars

Island Shifters  by Valerie Zambito is a strong start to a fantasy series.  Magic is an inborn talent, but it is one that is shunned and leads to banishment.  These shifters are charged with being the first line of defense of their home countries, even if almost no one remembers the reason for it.

The introduction to the magical system is pretty interesting.  There seem to be four major kind of shifters each with a specialized form of magic.  There are fire, earth, mind, and body.  There are more things revealed later in the book and it is set up to reveal a lot more in the follow ups.

There is some romance involved though it remains more of a background thing than a major plot point.  The interactions between the characters are a fairly strong point of this book.  I really enjoy the way that Rogan and Airron lighten the mood in some places with their banter and pranks.  Bajan is also an amazing character, though I think it is the idea of him more than a personality thing.

The pacing of the book is pretty decent for the most part.  There were a few parts where I thought things slowed down and it seemed like the characters did some things I had trouble reconciling with their overall personas.

This is a strong start to a fantasy series and I'm curious to see where the rest of the books go.  Strong recommendation to fans of traditional quest based fantasy stories, easily enjoyed by most people who like fantasy in general.

This book is currently FREE on Amazon for Kindle readers.

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