I am so excited to be taking part in a birthday blog blitz for Visions of Zarua today. I really enjoyed reading it, and it’s great to have a stand alone fantasy as I feel like I am reading more and more series these days.
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I can’t resist anything with a little bit of magic in it, and Visions of Zarua has plenty of magic.
Title: Visions of Zarua
Author: Suzanne Rogerson
Author Bio: Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
Synopsis: Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?
Publication Date: 16th November 2015
Content Warnings: n/a
Review: Visions of Zarua was a really enjoyable fantasy read, it reminded me of the older style fantasy novels I have read. It has a shattered timeline spanning 350 years, a mystery to solve, a host of vivid characters. I found the start was a little on the slow side, though it did set the scene well. The world-building was really interesting and I found that I really liked the world of the past, Zarua of 350 years ago.
I found that the plot picked up about the 25% mark, and from that point on it was the mystery which pulled the reader along. I struggled with the characters in the current timeline, of the three main characters I found I only liked Layoch. I disliked both Varnia and Paddren but for reasons I couldn’t entirely explain.
I found myself my drawn the the events of the past but felt that the time we spent there was a little too short, I was always sat to leave Jago behind and return to Paddren. The focus of the book was very much on the mystery and the quest Paddren and his friends are on. This mystery really pulled the novel along to it’s conclusion. I don’t want to say too much about the end for fear of spoilers but it was really satisfying to reach the conclusion of events at the end of the book.
Despite my struggles with the characters, I really did enjoy reading Visions of Zarua, and would recommend it to fans of fantasy with more than a hint of mystery or those who like older style fantasy like for example Eddings.
If you like the sound of Visions of Zarua, it is currently available, on sale, on Amazon* or available to read as part of a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
I received an ecopy of Visions of Zarua for the purpose of this Birthday Blog Blitz, however all words and opinions are my own.