They’re back. More battles. More banter. More boo yattah.
Following a tumultuous journey through the Wildbarrens, Falin, Red, Jimbuah, Melquin, Bossador, Nym, and Carthon find themselves prepared to embark into the Magpie Isles, the mysterious set of islands where the sea shakes hands with the bizarre. Based on Falin’s map, the third Gem for his staff hides on the island of Hadrones, the same island where the nefarious warlocks Nyril the Coercer and Mulgus the Plague seek an ancient, mythical source of power known as Curo’s Knife.
Our beloved heroes face a new level of strange in the Magpie Isles, meeting both friend and foe while being dragged into unexpected adventures. Their journey sheds new light onto the looming war in the Freelands among a greater threat to all of Elsana. The company’s spirits are challenged and their minds are tested as they cross paths with merpeople, pirates, and peculiar creatures beyond their imaginations.
Christian Sterling’s sequel novel in The Gems of Elsana series, The Magpie Isles, brings us to a story rife with the feel-good fantasy we so much enjoy. Return to Elsana, and delve into a world that will have you shouting Boo Yattah!
There are few fandoms that my husband and I both “fangirl” about equally, and out of that very minuscule list, The Gems of Elsana is at the very top. Numero uno.
This series has everything every fandom wants: a world that is breathtaking and exotic, worthy of exploration and daydreams. Characters who are the epitome of loveable and memorable, fierce in their dedication to their quest. Scenes that have you laughing out loud, but also the ones that will rip your heart out. And also an episodic chapter format that keeps the adventure going without ever lagging. The Gems of Elsana is truly a series for fandom readers.
Picking up young Falin’s story almost immediately where Into the Wildbarrens left off, The Magpie Isles is brimming with adventure and a kinship amongst characters that is hard to find in today’s fantasy. And I read a lot of fantasy. My husband and I read this series aloud together and we’ve both compared it to The Lord of the Rings in it’s nature of quest, as well as how loveable the characters are. It’s an epic battle of light versus dark and every step of the journey is entertaining, but not without many deep reflections, inspirations, and hope.
Sequels are hard to love, in my experience with fantasy series, but The Magpie Isles holds itself high next to book one, Into the Wildbarrens. It never lagged, nor did it come across as forcing the story to continue. It flowed naturally and in every way felt as an extension of book one, as it should’ve. It’s quite literally a perfect sequel. Completing subplots that were left unanswered in book one, while also continuing the main plot, and introducing new ones altogether.
It’s a clean fantasy, there’s no cursing nor sex scenes. Some gore and high action is present as well as dark magic (think Lord of the Rings), but I never thought it broke a “PG-13” rating. In reading the book aloud, we noticed many typos that resulted in us re-reading sentences, however, these are no where near severe enough for me to change my opinion of Falin and his Champions. As I said, it’s quite possibly one of my all-time favorite fandoms.
Though this book brought many laughs and tears, my husband and I are happy to be moving on to book 3, For the Freelands, and I can tell you from the first few chapters of that one, the adventure is sure to be just as strong! Boo yattah!