Thursday, October 24, 2013

*Review Tour & Giveaway*
"Eden Forest" by Aoife Marie Sheridan!

Saskia Trilogy #1

~Length: 210 Pages

~Published: February 23, 2013

~Publisher: SynergEbooks

~Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Goodreads ~ Easons
Amazon U.S. ~ Amazon U.K.

Four banished Angels,
A world created by the hands of God,
A Kingdom on its knees,
A secret protected for centuries,
And one mortal can save them all.

Step into Saskia.

Sarajane Anderson is your regular twenty one year old. With family, friends and a normal job. She also happens to be the only person who can save Saskia, a world parallel to earth.

When Sarajane is taken to Saskia, she could never have imagined the reality of the world she steps into, a world where magical abilities are in everyone's possession.

She must face a father she never knew, a world that is beyond her belief. A guardian who captures her heart, and a darkness that wants to take it.
On this journey Sarajane discovers her magical abilities and realizes they come with a price. Sarajane is truly tested, as her loved ones are put at risk. The question she must ask herself is, how do you choose who lives and who dies?


I pull down my brown tunic to try and cover my ever-growing stomach. Sweat trickles down the back of my neck as the sun burns high in the sky, yet I have a sense of peace as I dig my hands into the cool soil that surrounds the flower beds. I close my eyes and inhale the beautiful scent of thousands of roses with lavender lady flowers and violets as their companions.

“Suis, could you fetch me a beaker of water?”

Suis jumps up off her knees.

“Of course, ma’am.” She runs off along the path that winds through the rose beds.

I kneel back on my haunches while waiting for Suis to return. My mind wanders to the festival only two days away. I am excited, yet terrified. The festival is held every ten years for women of the age of twenty-five. The king and queen match us personally for our future husband or wife. I rub my belly gently; I have all I need for now.

“Here you are, ma’am.” Suis hands me the water.

“Do you have a stomach ache? Because if you do, my mum always says rosemary leaves settle it.”

A tingle of fear runs through me. I have to be more careful.

If Suis saw me rub my stomach, then who else might have?

I square my shoulders and take a deep gulp of water. “I will remember that. I actually grow some in my garden, but thank you for the advice, Suis.”

Suis pushes the clay off her small hands, already forgetting about my stomach. 

She is only sixteen and my first apprentice so I am not entirely sure if my teaching is in any way good. The bell rings once, signalling it’s time for lunch. We wash our hands by the fountain before making our way to a large barn where food is served for the gardeners. There are about twenty of us that are spread out amongst the four sections of the gardens. Each section holds different flowers and plants. The section that I work in is S1. This is the smallest of all the sections; only Suis and I work here.

When we arrive at the barn, there is a large queue formed already, and I have to wait in line in the sweltering heat. It never bothered me before, but with swollen ankles and a sore back, it is getting harder.

“Next,” the server calls in a rough voice and slops soup into a wooden bowl, while another and equally rough server hands the man at the top of the queue a bread roll. I can’t blame them for their lack of enthusiasm. Once we are finished eating, they have to serve all the workers from the vegetable and fruit gardens, and they exceed our numbers threefold.

I take my soup and roll while thanking both men, but not receiving a reply. I sit myself at one of the long wooden tables that have been worn down from years of use. The cracks that run along the wood are wider, allowing me to see my toes peeking out of my sandals. Suis sits down beside me, glancingaround the barn, looking terrified.

“Why are the guardians outside, ma’am?” she asks with her eyes wide and innocent.

“First of all, Suis, please call me Marta, and the guardians are always stationed here to make sure the work is done. If the work is done, then there will be no trouble.”

Suis looks into her soup. “And if the work is not done?” Her voice quivers a little. I can see by her face that someone has told her some nasty rumours; the children seem to think it fun to scare one another, but it’s hard to make someone feel safe when they are so afraid.

I pat her gently on the back. “The work is always done. Don’t fret, child.” Then I give her a square look. “And don’t be listening to silly stories. Unless an adult tells you, always assume it is untrue.” She relaxes her posture, relieved that everything will be all right, and she digs into her soup.

Nicon sits down across from me. “Marta.” He looks at Suis and acknowledges her with a nod. Then he raises his eyebrow in a question. Is it okay to talk in front of her? I give him a nod.

“Any word on the supplies?” Nicon asks in a whisper so none of the guardians can hear.

He is referring to wine I am getting him. It is a rarity here in Saskia, as the queen has banned all alcohol from our village, saying it’s for our own good, but not everyone agrees. It is only allowed at times of celebration.

Dominic, my best friend’s husband, knows people who know people. “Not yet, but soon,” I whisper. He inclines his head and starts eating.

He is a rather large man and with his build would be more suitable as a woodcutter, but he signed up to be a gardener. He towers over all of us, but would never hurt anything. He is a gentle giant.

I eat my soup quickly. “See you, Nicon.”

He sets his wooden spoon aside and drains his bowl by using it like a mug. He wipes his face with the back of his hand. “That was tasty. See you later,” he says with a smile. I laugh, as he has bits of bread stuck in his beard.

4/5 Roses ~

Alternate worlds, magic, romance, and fighting an ancient evil darkness.  Combine all this in with a fantastic set of cultures, exciting adventure, and you've got the makings for a fantastic plot!  This story has all that, and more, creating a captivating book full of surprises, twists and turns.  

The characters filling up this book are all fun to read about.  Most of them have paranormal abilities, and fascinating cultural dynamics, all coming together to create an exciting story.  They each have secrets, desires, and dreams that unfold throughout the book.  Mixing these things with some touching true-love romances, made these characters real and engaging.

While I did enjoy this story, it was difficult to read in some places.  Whether it was the formatting from being published incorrectly, or lacked proper editing, it did take away from the reading experience.  It is a good story though, and overall I enjoyed it.  I'd recommend it to YA, NA and fantasy fans. 

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Home of a Book Lover, to read in exchange for an honest review. 

~ The Sequel ~

(Saskia Trilogy #2)

~Publisher: SynergEbooks

~Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

A war awaits her arrival,
A warrant for her arrest.
She must rise as a princess,
And Darkness shall fall.
But will their love survive this battle?
For Tristan and Sarajane?

Step back into Saskia.

Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon's books, given to by her grandmother her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them. 

       Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn't) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison study one of her favourite books has been read and re-read countless times. 

     Aoife's first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works. 

~ Connect with Aoife Online ~

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1 comment:

  1. Pretty good book!! And I love the cover- it's so intricate and interesting!! What do you think of this book & it's cover?


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