Yorien’s Hand Review

I’ve been looking forward to reading another book by Jenelle Schmidt ever since reading her gorgeous Beauty and the Beast retelling, Stone Curse, in the Five Enchanted Roses collection. So what a delight to be able to say that a book of hers is releasing today!

I’m joining in a blog tour for the launch of Yorien’s Hand — the blog tour will be continuing this week and includes a delightful giveaway which you will not want to miss!

Dragon Sapphire Pendant Hand and a Half Training Sword

Check out Jenelle’s awesome website for all the info! 🙂

And now, my review . . . (Drumroll, please…)

*drumroll*

(Thank you…)


Yoriens Hand - Cover Reveal MediumYorien’s Hand (The Minstrel’s Song, #3)

by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

Amazon-Buy-Button GoodreadsButton

5 stars

Christian Fantasy

I received a free advance reader copy of this book from the author in return for my honest review. These opinions are my own.


My Review

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. I enjoyed it well enough as I read along, completely unsuspecting, until I suddenly realized that somewhere along the way, without noticing the exact moment, I had fallen in love with it. I had been entirely pulled into a rich fantasy adventure in an increasingly wondrous world filled with characters who wrapped themselves around my heart. Let me just say, Yorien’s Hand was a fantastic read!

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a true High Fantasy novel, and I had no idea I missed the genre so much until reading this excellent specimen. It was coming home! Aom-igh, Llycaelon, and the rest of Tellurae Aquaous . . . what a wonderful land! With heroic warriors, majestic dragons (oh, how I loved the dragons!) and the occasional unicorn or gryphon . . . fantastic creatures, beautiful magic, a thread of Christian allegory drawn through (loved that!), and of course a darkness to be defeated . . .

The adventure was thrilling and exciting, filled with danger; I was constantly worried for my favorite characters, especially nearing the end there . . . I was on the edge of my seat! Aaah! That climactic ending! I could hardly breathe and was so invested. (I’d say I was flipping pages, but it was an ebook, so I’ll say that I couldn’t click the ”next” button fast enough.) It was SO intense and awesome! And then a certain fabulous twist . . . which I LOVED (and sort of guessed at . . . sort of . . . which made it almost better) and just YES. YES YES. I’m torn between feeling satisfied with the ending but also desperate for the next book! (That epilogue!) Minstrel’s Call had better come out soon! *flails around a little*

Can we talk about the characters now? Oh my! So many have become favorites of mine! Oraeyn the hero, Princess Kamarie, young King Jemson, brave fighter Devrin, sturdy yet sweet Dylanna, Yole and the awesome dragons, and of course my very favorites, Brant the majestic warrior, and that ever-mysterious minstrel, Kiernan Kane! Though Brant MAY be my favorite (he’s just so… awesome! And… strong? I don’t even have words for him!), Kiernan Kane intrigues me the most! I’m very curious to learn more about him! Gaah! I just love these characters a lot, okay? ^_^ (Also, I will not give anything away, but a scene in the final chapter involving two certain characters had me laughing out loud and beaming and let’s just say I’m basically very very happy right now. *glows*)

The FEEL of this story reminds me of some of my favorite fantasy tales, like those of Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander, while at the same time the story itself feels entirely new and unique. It was told with at times lyrical writing, as Jenelle Leanne Schmidt seems to excel at — with lines that sometimes blew me away or caught at my heart — alternating between beautiful, epic, heartstoppingly perilous, and then sometimes I found myself laughing aloud.

Downsides? I’m trying to think of any, in the interests of being balanced, but really I only have a couple little quibbles — it was mostly so awesome! I did wish that Devrin had gotten more focus, since he seemed to fade away after awhile, while others took more prominence, which made me sad. (But hopefully he’ll be in the next one!) Along that line, there was a lot of hopping about between points of view (which I LOVED!) but occasionally, since there were so many, it spent more time with ones I didn’t care as much about. And a few times I was confused for a bit, but I usually sorted it out eventually; I think those problems were only because I hadn’t read the first books.

That being said, although it’s the third book in The Minstrel’s Song series, I found Yorien’s Hand stood alone fairly well. Of course, now I’m looking forward to reading the book before this one (King’s Warrior) as well as the prequel to both (Second Son). I’m intrigued by many of the references to the characters’ pasts! Hopefully they will tide me over until the next book (Minstrel’s Call) releases!

If you love good clean adventurous fantasy tales with lovable characters, a touch of faith and mysteriousness, a large dose of epicness, and of course majestic dragons, I encourage you to pick up Yorien’s Hand! Hopefully it will twine itself around your heart as it did mine. 🙂

Not to mention, you need Brant and Kiernan Kane in your life. YOU JUST DO! ❤

About Yorien’s Hand

The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.

From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.

Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.

Buy Yorien’s Hand on Amazon | Add Yorien’s Hand on Goodreads

Find the other books in the series:

kingswarriorsecondsonKing’s Warrior (The Minstrel’s Song, #1)

Amazon | Goodreads

Second Son (The Minstrel’s Song, #2)

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Author

JS Author Photo ColorJenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

Connect with Jenelle on:

Her Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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What do you think, O blog readers of mine?

Sound interesting?

And please reassure me that you love dragons. 😀

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour and giveaway!

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Nov. Ishness (Part 1) & Dec. Nightstand Books

In which I talk about November without the writing part, and lots and lots of BOOOKS.

ishness

So, I was working on my Ishness post, and realized I had finished the NON-writerly/non-NaNo part of it and was avoiding the NaNo stuff because it’s sooo confusing and complicated and insane and… yes. Plus it’s probably going to be long.

So I decided, Hey! Why not just post this part as Part 1, along with my December Nightstand books, and do the writerly NaNo part later?

(I WILL do it, I promise. My brain just… doesn’t want to think of writerly things right now. *collapses and wraps up in a shock blanket*)

I know what you’re thinking. “Waiiiit a minute, this person managed to do things during NaNo that WEREN’T writing?? HOW EVEN.” I know, I know. But, strangely, it did happen. So here are some highlights of my month, with pictures because I happen to love pictures.

During November, besides writing, I also managed to…

Go to a library sale.

BOOKSNOV2015

archersgoonRead a book (huzzah!), namely Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones. It was fabulous and mind-boggling and I adored it. It effortlessly blends past, present, future, ordinary contemporary, fantasy, and sci-fi, of which I have NEVER seen the like. Also the characters are in a constant state of changing around in the eyes of the reader: who’s good, who’s bad, who has devious intents, WHO IS UP TO WHAT AND WHAT ON EARTH OR POSSIBLY OFF OF IT IS GOING ON??? O_O Basically it broke my brain, mixed impossible things together extraordinarily well, had mind-blowing plot twists (SERIOUS. PLOT. TWISTS. WOW. *flail*) and was exciting and breathtaking and downright HILARIOUS! Just. Gaaah. Let me flail. All Diana Wynne Jones books are brilliant. I just love them so much. ❤

sixofcrows

Started reading Six of Crows because it was at the library and gorgeous and new and I needed it.

writein

Survived being an ML, i.e. doing lots of organizing, posting, emailing, and going to oodles of NaNo events. (If you’re looking for my introvert self, it’s rocking back and forth in a corner, feeling rather shriveled and glad to be back after so much excitement and fun…)

Caught a cold. Yay. (NaNo-ing when one is sick is NOT fun; I do not recommend it.)

Had Thanksgiving which was wonderful and foodish.

It’s gone. Because I ate it all. Because Thanksgiving piiiie. Nomnom.

Blogged a lot. Because I made the mistake of thinking I wouldn’t want to blog during November and so I scheduled posts… and then ended up writing at least a post every week anyway. Oops. 😛

castle6

Watched some Castle episodes between writing — good reward! (I think Leverage has spoiled me for other shows… buuut ’twas still enjoyable!)

mockingjay2poster

Saw Mockingjay: Part 2, which, considering I haven’t read the books, was… interesting. (Still not sure what I think of it… I have this odd “meh” feeling that I can’t seem to sort out…) Also, FYI, going to a movie at 10 p.m. after a writing meeting when one is behind on wordcount and has a cold (and therefore going to bed at 1 a.m.) is kind of nuts, as I have now discovered. Don’t try this at home, folks.

So there are my non-writing Ishnesses of November!

December Nightstand Books

Nightstand books is a monthly meme held by Jenelle and D.J. — hop over and join in the fun! This is the last one of the year, and as I’m simply ecstatic about being able to read again now that NaNo’s insanity is over, I just can’t resist joining in this one.

I’m not sure I’ll get to all of these but they’re the ones I want to read this month:

nightstandbooksdec2015

Book of Christmas Carols: Cute collection of Christmasy songs I picked up at a library sale, this was fun to read. ^_^

Six of Crows: Um. Aslkdhadkgh. I kind of finished this one. I don’t know what I think of it except it’s totally addicting/immersing, I love heists and snarky dialog and KAZ, it’s super dark/gritty/violent (um. Wow. o.o Lost a star…), and I need the sequel LAST WEEK ALREADY. Unfortunately, it’ll probably be like a year till it comes out. I’ll just be over here dying of suspense because CLIFFHANGER noooo. (Seriously, HOW can it end that way?! *wailing*) *huggles Kaz even though he would quite literally murder me for it* 4 stars.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the Ancients: Soo… this was weird, and adventures of a skeleton detective in a modern fantasy (Dublin, Ireland!) setting doesn’t really sound like my thing, buuut I gave this a try because I’d heard it’s hilarious with witty dialog/banter and just GIVE ME ALL THE HUMOR AND FUN DIALOG. So yes. I adored the dialog and it’s quite a fun story, a little weird at times but… *shrug* Lots of fun. And I kind of love Skulduggery a lot. 4 stars.

The Hunger Games Trilogy: I dunno if I’ll get to these but I’m vaguely contemplating reading the books now I’ve seen the movies… I’m not sure I want to inflict 1171 pages of dystopia on myself though, so we’ll see. 😛

Aaand ebooks, which sadly do not display themselves nicely on nightstands…

ebookstoreadDec2015

The Sunken Realm: I’m reading this for review and I’m SO EXCITED to get to read the sequel to The Seahorse Legacy! I basically can’t wait. Keep an eye out for a review hopefully this month…

The Poisoned Cure: I finally got this and am insanely excited to read it. *flail* For better or worse, I seem to be addicted to the Book of Sight series…

Yorien’s Hand: Because dragons! And ARCs! And yay!

Rising Shadows: Looking forward to reading this prequel to Chasing Shadows…

Heidel: Third of the Nine Princesses novellas, I finally read this! I’m giving it 4 stars… The first part I wasn’t so sure about and didn’t know if I’d like it, but it turned out quite enjoyable/adorable. 🙂

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Oh, and while I’m thinking about books (who am I kidding; I’m ALWAYS thinking about books…) — here’s a couple additions to last week’s Top Ten Tuesdays post. Because naturally covers like to appear just days after I showcase the books I want to read in 2016…

Cover for A Spy’s Devotion (ISN’T IT GORGEOUS I’M EVEN MORE EXCITED NOW AAHHH)

Aaaand cover for Songkeeper, sequel to Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams, which Enclave Publishing just revealed the cover of and which I’m insanely excited about because apparently it’s coming in Spring 2016 AND MY EXCITEMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

I will be back with tales of my NaNo writing, hopefully soonish!

Yorien’s Hand Cover Reveal

Hey everyone! Today I’m excited to join in the cover reveal for a the third book in The Minstrel’s Song series by Jenelle Schmidt: Yorien’s Hand!

First, a bit about the author (who interviewed me on her blog a couple weeks back!), and then scroll on for the cover, read a little about the book, and even take a peek at a snippet from the book that the author is kind enough to share with us!

Author Bio

JS Author Photo Color

Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in North Carolina where the summers are too hot and there is never enough snow. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family storytimes. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

You can find out more about Jenelle on her website:

www.JenelleSchmidt.com

And now . . . *drumroll*

The Cover

Yoriens Hand - Cover Reveal Medium

Book Description:

The years of Oraeyn’s short rule have been peaceful, but now ominous nightmares plague his sleep and cling to him during his waking hours. When two of his most trusted advisors disappear without a trace and not even the power of dragons can locate them, the fell promise of the king’s nightmares becomes reality.

From the furthest reaches of the world, an ancient enemy stirs. Stretching beyond his crumbling prison walls, this foe seeks to bring life to the darkest of shadows. His army marches towards Aom-igh with deadly intent, threatening all Oraeyn holds dear.

Aided by dragons, and with the warrior Brant and Princess Kamarie at his side, Oraeyn must journey into the wilds of a forgotten realm. Trusting in the wisdom and skill of the enigmatic minstrel, Kiernan Kane, the companions race against time in search of Yorien’s Hand, a relic that may hold the power to save them all.

Snippet from Yorien’s Hand

Finally, only Oraeyn, Brant, and Kiernan remained in the room. Brant laid a reassuring hand on Oraeyn’s shoulder and then turned to the story-teller.

“That was quite the tale, minstrel. I suppose you’ll be staying behind, or perhaps disappearing… again?”

A smile played across the minstrel’s face. “Oh, no, I think I shall be coming along on this adventure,” he replied. “I believe I will be able to offer some help, to you, Sir Brant, in particular.”

Brant grimaced and glowered. But Kiernan continued, turning his attention to Oraeyn. “Sire, please do be sure to pack plenty of food for the journey, for I shall sorely miss the palace kitchen while we are away, but such is the lot of heroes, and it is unbecoming to complain.”

Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Schmidt

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This all makes me very excited for this series! I need to quickly read the first two (King’s Warrior, and Second Son), which are waiting to be devoured, so I can read this delightful sounding third book! After reading Stone Curse in the Five Enchanted Roses collection, I’m excited to read more by Jenelle. 🙂

You can add Yorien’s Hand on Goodreads HERE.

Thanks for reading, everyone! 🙂

Also.

Guys.

I want a dragon to ride on. I do. DON’T YOU AGREE?? (If you ever find out where I can find one, tell me pleeease.) DRAGONSSSS. ❤