Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Today on the blog, I'll be featuring a review and excerpt for my stop on the Wings of Arian Blog Tour, brought to you by The Bookish Brunette.  Be sure to check out Ashley's tour kick-off post because she's teamed up with Devri Walls, the author of this fantabulous book, to give away not one but TWO $100 Amazon gift cards.

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Title:  Wings of Arian
Author:  Devri Walls
Series:  1st book in the Wings of Arian series
Publisher:  Stonehouse Ink
Publication Date:  April 24, 2012
Source:  eARC from author
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.

She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.

I approached Wings of Arian with some trepidation.  The last indie novel I read left me with a bitter taste, and I really wanted to like this novel.  I'm on a bit of a fantasy kick right now, and I really enjoyed the last few I read, so it became even easier to begin to expect the worst.  But Wings of Arian surpassed all my expectations -- and not because I set the bar low...it's a truly awesome novel.  This book really captured all of the fantasy elements that I enjoy so much:  magic, mythical creatures, and of course, a world with secrets just waiting to be discovered.

First, let me touch on the characters.  Our two champions, Kiora, the wielder of magic, and Prince Emane, her protector, are thoughtful, well-developed characters with established backgrounds.  The chemistry between these two characters was immediately evident to me, though it took longer for them to see it.  Their cause is truly a noble one, and I think the goodness in each of their hearts will prevail on their quest.  Sometimes, I found myself wondering if Kiora was a little too good; the fact that she harbored no ill will toward anyone, even her enemies, could prove problematic in future endeavors, but at least she makes life interesting, right?  And that Emane...the only time his anger bubbled to the surface was when Kiora was in danger.  That fierce over-protectiveness, for which he was assigned the task of her Protector, may prove to be his downfall yet.  But I sure hope not.

Ah, the world.  Lush.  Picturesque.  And of course magical, though for the last thousand years, that fact has been kept kidden from the residents of the valley.  But now that evil has returned, they have to be made aware, and they have to pick a side.  The supporting cast of characters help to make the world fantastical, as they were as much a part of the valley as the trees or the grass, and they all serve to aid Kiora and Emane in their efforts to rid the world of the evil that has once again been unleashed on it.

Wings of Arian is relatively fast-paced, and it was a rather quick read, as well.  The plot kept me interested, as one by one, secrets of the magical world were loosed upon Kiora and Emane, though they never got all of the answers at once...no matter how much they demanded it.  My only complaint would be that the ending leaned toward the anticlimactic, though it did pave the way for a great future for this fantasy series.

Witty and humorous and full of magical potential, I'd recommend this novel to fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling and the newly-released Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

Rating:  Photobucket


   Kiora laughed.  "I am improving, aren't I?"
   "Yes, you are."  He wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve.  "I had an idea about where to get the bedding from."
   "What kind of idea?"
   "If you summon it, it can come from anywhere, right?"
   "So, it could feasibly come right off of somebody's bed while they are sleeping."
   Kiora giggled again and was immediately embarrassed.  She seemed to do that more around him.  "That would be a shock, wouldn't it?"
   "Yes.  But blankets are also expensive to buy and time-consuming to make.  I would feel badly taking something like that from the villagers.  So I want you to try to take my bedding, from the castle."
   "Do you have enough?"
   Emane laughed, "Yes, I definitely have enough."
   "I am going to have to be very specific to get it.  Can you describe it to me?"
   Emane described the room, where it was at in the castle, and how many blankets, sheets and quilts were on his bed.
   "Twelve!  You have twelve blankets!"
   "I know, it's a lot."
   "A lot!?  I had one, and it's two inches too short for my legs!"
   "Excess seems to come with being born into the royal family."
   Kiora shook her head, "Alright, give me a few minutes, and no talking."  Kiora closed her eyes and tried to remember the castle.  She moved her mind down the hallway she knew held the Prince's quarters and tried to imagine inside just as he described.  She pictured herself walking down the hall to his room and opening the large wooden door.  She could see the large four-poster bed in her mind:  carvings curling up and around the pillars, the gold fabric draped from the top.  She concentrated as hard as she could and imagined the piles and piles of blankets and sheets moving from the bed to the cave.  The magic was draining out of her; it was a lot more work than a few food items.  She could see the blankets in her mind but she didn't know if they had moved yet.  She gave it everything she had before she finally had to turn around, with a gasp.  To her surprise, there was a pile of bedding sitting on the floor; not only blankets, but the sheets and all the pillows, too.
   She looked at Emane.  "How long have these been here?"
   "A couple of minutes."
   She couldn't believe it.  "A couple of minutes!  Couldn't you see that I was dying over here?!"
   He just smiled at her.  "You didn't look like you were dying.  You looked like you were concentrating.  Besides, you said not to talk."
   "Oohhh!"  Kiora picked up a pillow and threw it at him.  Looking around she scowled, "I don't understand, why didn't I know they were here?"  She examined the pile.  "Did I get everything?"
   "More than everything, you got the blankets, the pillows, the sheets.  I even think you got the down filler."  He pulled through the pile, "Yep, here it is."
   She started pulling through one blanket at a time.
   "What are you doing?"
   "Counting?  Why?"
   She didn't answer him until she had finished pulling through the entire pile.  Sitting back on her heels, she looked at him.  "Eleven."
   "There are eleven blankets here."
   "So!  No wonder I thought I was going to die.  I was trying to summon a blanket that wasn't even there.  That's why I didn't know they were here.  At least I think that's why."
   Emane started laughing.
   "It's not funny!"
   "Yes, yes it is...very funny."  His laugh was echoing around the cave.  Kiora had never heard him so happy before.  She couldn't help but smile.
   "Alright, let's get this thing set up."  She tried not to let Emane see her smiling, but it was hard to hide.
   Emane got up, still laughing and started to pull the blankets off to get to the down filler.  It was so thick and comfortable she might as well have summoned the whole bed.  Emane put it down and Kiora started tucking a sheet around the outside.  Emane took another blanket and set it on the floor across from the down filler.
   "What are you doing?"
   "Making my bed."
   "You can't sleep with one little blanket, when we have got this luxurious thing!"
   "Sure I can.  You can take that."
   Kiora looked back and forth between the down filler and his sad pile of blankets.  "No, Emane, this is ridiculous.  This thing is huge -- we can share."
   "Kiora, I couldn't."
   "Stop it, Emane.  I appreciate you being chivalrous, but you can sleep on one side and I will sleep on the other.  We could even roll a blanket down the middle, if it would make you feel better."
   "I will be fine over here on the floor."
   "No, you won't, because you are sleeping over  here.  I can't have you trying to defend me with a knot in your shoulder, can I?"
   Emane rolled his eyes, again.  "Alright, fine.  But I am warning you--I kick."
   "That's alright, I bite."  Emane stared at her.  Kiora broke into laughter.  "I am just kidding, Emane."  She set another blanket down on top of the down filler.  "Oh, you should have seen your face."
   "Very funny."


About the author:

Devri Walls lives in Kuna, Idaho, with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently as a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head. Her first novel, Wings of Arian, will be released on Amazon in May of 2012.

Find out more about Devri Walls and her books:  website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Don't forget to stop by The Bookish Brunette to enter to win the Amazon gift cards and check out the rest of the tour schedule!


  1. Great review. I've been seeing this book everywhere and I love the cover. I also like the plot, it sounds adventurous and exciting.

  2. I am so thrilled you enjoyed WoA, Jeannette. I did think its a good story and I enjoyed reading it. Great review!

  3. awesome review. I added this to my TBR list thanks!

  4. Nice review! My review goes up Friday. :)


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