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REVIEW: Twenty-Five Turns – Blaine D. Arden

Twenty-Five Turns - Blaine D. Arden

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Ace, Gay, Non-Binary

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Can love last when one won’t leave, and the other can’t stay?

Fear of moving farther away from his family had cost Eer the love of his life, but now, after twenty-five turns, Kat has returned…with a son, and Eer’s feelings resurface as if it had been only yesterday since they’d first kissed.

But any hope Eer has of rekindling their love seems doomed to fail when a murderer’s taste for revenge forces Kat to choose between endangering their family or running… and leaving Eer behind, again.

The Review

Eer is a cloud elf, a novice guide, and has the gift to soothe both striplings and adults. When he got his calling, he left his family home to live in another village. He made a friend in Kat, and their friendship grew into love. As Eer struggled to adjust to his new environment ,he grew to love it. As turns went on, Kat received an offer from another village to be their truth seeker. Eer couldn’t bring himself to leave, and after a few misunderstandings, Kat moved on. 

After twenty-five turns, Kat finally returns to the village where his family and siblings Em, Silke and Lin still live. Kat ignores Eer upon his return, and it hurts Eer deeply.

Kat has also returned with a son – Willim. Even though feelings are raw between Kat and Eer, for some reason, Kat sends Willim to Eer.  

Eer loves his position as guide for the striplings more than adults. He knows how to listen and soothe the young elves. He finds Willim to be very quiet and shy, flinching at others around him, but he makes a connection with Eer.

Wilhim is also talented in bone carving and art. Eer is always willing to sit and listen to anything Wilhim has to say. And with time and encouragement, Willim makes a new friend in Innes.

Kat’s return it brings danger and tragedy to the village. Kat holds a devastating secret which has to be told. When he tells Eer the secret, their feelings for each other come out, and they try to rebuild what they once had. But it all becomes too dangerous, and Kat sees no other way but to take Willim and leave again.

I liked the connection between Eer and Kat. There are so many other interesting characters too – The Elders: Bors, Merryni, and Onwin. The Truth Seeker: Wende and apprentice Jordi. The Novice: Armon. And Kat’s father Duron.

Two other characters that captured my interest was Bors, and Eer’s older brother, Vennen, who is a healer of animals.  Maybe they will get a story of their own? And Wilim and Innes were interesting too.

The ideas are very easy to understand, and the story deals with the loyalty and caring of the community that the elves strive to maintain and build. The elves have different gifts – guardians, truth seekers, soothers, healers of elves and animals and more.  Even though it’s a short story, the author has created some very real and likable characters. The world building descriptive and captivating. 

This is the first time I’ve read a story by Blaine D. Arden. I was impressed with this quick read, a fantasy that also brings tragedy, romance and suspense to the page. I love how this journey started as a fantasy and ended up as a thrilling murder mystery, and although I’m not a big fantasy reader, I was thoroughly entertained by this fascinating tale.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

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