Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Review: Creatures of the Lands - Kiatana's Journey by Natalie Erin





Dragons fly, animals can speak and fairies rule over all in the realm they call the Lands, a place that is both beautiful and dangerous. Only one myth remains...Changers, beasts who can morph into any creature at will, and their Accompanies, the mysterious riders who command them. 

Chaos begins when a Changer called Ionan and his Accompany Keota crash down from the sky. They are found by two orphan wolf pups searching for their mother, and the fairy Kiatana, owner of the Verinian Forest. Kiatana refuses to trust the handsome stranger, or believe the story about his troubled past, but she soon finds she has bigger problems as a plague begins to spread throughout her land, killing all in sight. With no option Kiatana heads out on a quest with Keota, Ionan, the two wolves and her trusty pegasus to find a cure before the forest is destroyed forever. But danger has a way of finding her, and Kiatana isn’t sure if she’ll survive the road ahead...

Natalie Erin is the pen name for the writing team of Megan Linski and Krisen Lison (also known as Krystyl Lisoh). They completed the first draft of Kiatana's Journey in 2008 when they were freshmen in high school, and released the book online in their graduating year of 2011. After some revisions the girls decided that they would find representation for the novel, but this was disrupted by Miss Lison's untimely death in 2013. She was 20 years old.

One year after Lison's passing Linski created her own company, Gryfyn Publishing, and released the updated version of Kiatana's Journey as the company's breakout novel on November 1st, 2014. Miss Linski is currently working on publishing the rest of the Creatures of the Lands series in Lison's honor.



This book was given to me by Gryfyn Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

It was my pleasure to read Kiatana's Journey, the first installment in the Creatures of the Lands series by Natalie Erin. Upon the very first page, the reader is immersed in a well thought out world with a wide variety of compelling characters. The story opens with two orphaned wolf pups, who snagged my heart from the beginning. Although the book centers around Kiatana, a sassy, independent fairy readers will appreciate, I found the wolf pups were the most crafted of all the characters. And there are a lot of them, from the main antagonists to suspected villains, to talking birds, shape shifting dragons, intricately designed unicorns and heroes in disguise. But in my humble opinion, the wolf pups outshine all of them and steal the show. I'm very happy they tagged along on Kiatana's Journey.

The world of Creatures of the Lands brought back a lot of nostalgia as it is a place I could have day dreamed about as a child. Riding off over the mysterious forest on the back of a Pegasus, being in the reverent presence of a mighty dragon...Natalie Erin gives us some very enjoyable twists on fairy tale lore and I got caught up in the mysterious world. I savored the names of the settings the author presented in her story, but I found myself grasping for more. The band of quirky characters never stayed in one place too long, and perhaps that is why I was dissatisfied with the lack of details for each part of the world. I always enjoy a well planned love story, but I felt the relationship between Kia and Keota was rushed and a bit predictable.

Action, magic, and adventure pack this story to the edges. The pages kept turning with a new mystery or element always adding to the crisis. A few twists keeps things interesting and keeps the reader guessing. You will cheer for Kia and her team as they struggle to save their home, find closure from a dark past, and find unexpected love.

During the entire book, I felt like I was watching an anime series, and I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps one day it will be adapted into such. I look forward to the next book in the Creatures of the Lands series coming soon, Vera's Song.

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