28 February, 2011

Book Review: Beyond The Gate by Susan Gourley

Published: January 2011, MEDALLION PRESS

The Futhark Chronicles #2
The Keepers of Sulbreth (The Futhark Chronicles #1)
Source: Publisher, no other compensation given for an honest review

Cage Stone and Keeper Sabelline Shelton begin the dangerous journey to reset the seals and halt the demon invasion of Futhark. But nothing is as it should be. Cage’s keen senses guide them to a place previously unknown to mankind. Here Cage will discover some bitter truths about his past, and he and Sabelline will learn how truly desperate is the future for mankind. Racing to help their friends save Futhark, both know their only chance is for Cage to give up his humanity.

My Review:
BEYOND THE GATE is the next thrilling addition to THE FUTHARK CHRONICLES. At the end of the first book, Cage Stone and his Keeper, Sabell had trained for their journey as much as they could. Unable to put off the dangerous trek to reset the seals that would stop their land, and perhaps their world, from being overrun by monsters, the two headed into the breach. I thought that the first book, THE KEEPERS OF SULBRETH was a fantastic example of an adventurous high fantasy, and BEYOND THE GATE continued to exceed my expectations of this great series.

I really enjoyed following along with Cage and Sabell's journey. Though it was fraught with danger at almost every step, there was plenty of emotion and relationship-building among the two. Unlike some books, where the main story has to pause while the hero and heroine have their "moments", this story seamlessly weaves all of the parts of the plot together, so that I found myself wanting to keep reading beyond the end of each page.

As with the first book, Gourley continues to feature a retinue of characters throughout BEYOND THE GATE. Though the primary hero/heroine combination is clearly Cage Stone and Sabelline Shelton, there are several other characters that the reader gets to spend considerable time with, getting to know them and their motivations for the moves they make that further the plot. This is actually one of the book's strongest characteristics, for me. There is so much more story and world-building this way, and it's one of the reasons that I can see makes this novel such a strong example of epic, high fantasy.

4.5/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4/5 for language

My Rating: 13/15 (4.5 stars)

Highly Recommend, if you liked:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Links for the author:
* Blog
* Twitter
* GoodReads
* Facebook

Available formats: E-Book

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