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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Tales of Frewyn + GIVEAWAY!

What Book Is That Giveaway Carnival!

Tales from FrewynTitle: Tales from Frewyn
Author: Michelle Franklin
Page Count: 136 (pdf review copy)
Publisher: Red Willow Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal romance
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

The Haanta Series is the longest, ongoing, online romantic fantasy series. Thousands of readers visit the world of the Two Continents to enjoy the daily short stories featuring all their favorite characters from the Haanta Series novels. In between the business of the books, the commander, Rautu, Otenohi, Unghaahi, Leraa, Kai Linaa and Alasdair enjoy some time together in Diras Castle, but as the stories portray, mischief lies in every corner of the keep where spiders, chocolate pies, petulant giants and grouchy cooks abound.
I freely admit that I came into this book at a simultaneous advantage and disadvantage.  The disadvantage stems from this being a collection of short stories that are set in the world that serves as the setting for the entire series, which plays out at The Haanta Series, that is to say, this is not the first book in the series and therefore the characters and other elements of the story aren't formally introduced.  The advantage is almost a flip side of that- having had a little tease of the series in the form of this collection of short vignettes set in the world of the series I can be super cheerful about the fact that there are plenty more where these stories come from!

Vignette is the best word I can think of to describe each offering in the book, as each story is a few pages long and features different characters, going about the business of being themselves.  I was reminded tremendously of the interludes in the Redwall series, not because of the similarities in the characters (I don't remember any chocolate-loving giants in the Redwall books and the talking mice in holy orders were absent here) but because of the focus on very small details that made the setting of the book fun and engaging without bogging things down.

The text of each story is simultaneously formal and wry- if you're not attending to each word, you'll miss something!  As I read and met the characters that populate this series I found myself really wanting to go back to the beginning and read in order so that I can come back to this collection and enjoy it even more than I did, for no other reason than I'll have some background to go with the great writing and the vivid details.  As a way to get readers interested in reading the rest of the series, Tales of Frewyn succeeds admirably.

Michelle Franklin has offered up a chance to pick up this series where it all began, with a digital copy of the first book in the series, The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu! Please fill out the form below to enter.  If you want an extra entry for the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway, leave a comment saying you entered the giveaway for The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu on the post from July 1st!  Make sure you leave your entry comment in the correct place for it to count.
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