Profile: Aaron-Michael Hall
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Endorsement for Kurintor Nyusi
I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan. I have been reading these two genres since I was a kid. Greek and Norse mythology, Arthurian legends, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, comic books, classics, I read it all. So sometimes it's hard for me to get excited about new books or new writers in the genre. Some days I believe I’ve simply read too much in these genres, so it’s just too difficult to find a new writer, book, or series that can really excite me or surprise me. Well, that’s just some days. Then, on other days I read a book like Kurintor Nyusi by Aaron-Michael Hall. Suddenly, I’m excited by a new writer and I’m seeing new things in one of my favorite genres. This book is good. It will surprise you with the directions in which it veers off. The characters will leave you scratching your head at the choices they make, but most of all it will keep you reading because it is so entertaining.
When describing an imaginary world with imaginary characters, the power of descriptive details cannot be over emphasized. This is an area where Aaron-Michael Hall excels. I felt I have been to this world. The place felt real to me and so did the characters. That was nice because as the personalities were revealed, you could see how this world, this environment, formed them and why they want what they want and act like they act. I thought the female characters were especially well written, especially considering the feudal society they lived in. The plot is good and reflects the environment and the power involved. Kurintor Nyusi is a well written fantasy novel and Aaron-Michael Hall is a writer to watch.
Readers' Favorite - 5-star seal and review
Endorsement for Kurintor Nyusi
Many epic fantasy reads hold the same familiar trappings: destiny redirects a young life, heritage dictates its obstacles, the protagonist either rebels against or struggles to achieve his birthright, and new abilities come into play to change everything.
Kurintor Nyusi takes a different approach, adopting a focus on protagonist choices in the face of changing circumstances and emphasizing these changing options at different points during the tale.
The battles aren't just physical confrontations, and they don't always take place in the arena of a physical world, either. That's just one powerful piece in a story that winds through threats and arrogance, strong female characters who wield swords and defy death, and one savvy girl's devotion to her Da and her self.
One strength to note in the course of these events is the language Aaron-Michael Hall employs to describe scenes and characters: "Druehox was a smug churl who wouldn’t have given her the time of day had she wanted his attention. Since the opposite was true, his advances bordered on stalking. Every night, he appeared to have a different woman’s company. They doted and sniffed behind him as if he was the ruler of the twelve kingdoms." An attention to atmosphere and psychological insights is just one of the strengths that lend a touch of the fantastic to even ordinary scenes and descriptions.
Another strength lies in the story line's emphasis on developing mental as well as physical prowess. The descriptions of training and battles are well done, as are the explorations of how such training occurs on different levels. These insights influence into other kinds of preparations for survival against all odds: "You have to be aware of your battlefield, Damali,” he lectured, using his cover to mask his position. “There’s more to combat than speed and brute force. Use your mind and harness your true abilities.”
From the loss of parents and the desire to carry on their teachings to unexpected new beginnings ("Once the gate closed, Alyelu grinned. “I’ve shattered the mirror, Father, and buried the past. With your death, I’ll truly begin to live."), Kurintor Nyusi is replete with subplots that cover various forms of choice and transformation.
Wind these elements into an epic fantasy filled with satisfying battles, confrontations with self and others, and changing ties between present, past, and future for a powerful saga especially recommended for epic fantasy fans who like their action-packed stories seasoned with examinations of personal power and how that is cultivated.
Midwest Book Review
Endorsement for Orbs of Trenihgea
-D. Donovan Midwest Book Review
Orbs of Trenihgea is Book 2 in the Rites of Heirdron duology, continuing the science fantasy as it follows the efforts of leader Zrahnz, whose awakening portends a shift in the galaxy and in military alliances.
The Sorcery of Orark and the Fridoan Order are as relentless in their pursuit of the powerful Orbs of Trenihgea as Zrahnz is passionate about his newfound role, his mission, and more.
Even though Orbs of Trenihgea holds romantic elements, it should be cautioned that an affinity for galaxy-wide clashes and leadership challenges is a prerequisite for enjoying this multi-faceted story, which laces a military sci-fi playing field with elements of love and hate.
There's no set path for the missions, changing attitudes, battles, love, and betrayal that evolve in Orbs of Trenihgea; nor any hint of the type of formula writing that could keep its action predictable - and this is its strength.
As readers walk through a universe replete with cross-species mating, tactical decision-making under a king's command that reads like a classic Star Trek space battle, the politics and processes of Seer and Guild strategists, and the mechanics of how a prophecy is interpreted, readers come to understand how the coveted Orbs will shift the forces in the universe and change everything - and why they mean so much to all involved.
Action is swift, interpersonal relationships are nicely detailed, and the end result offers up more than romance in a universe-building, collision of forces, ideals, and individuals. Especially recommended for prior fans of Rites of Heirdron. A duology that defies easy categorization, but reaches beyond genre definitions to entice readers from military sci-fi, and political sci-fi circles alike.
Blurb: They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.
Then, they came for him.
After an interplanetary betrayal decimated his world, Zrahnz struggled to protect his people and reclaim his legitimacy as their ruler.
Now, he has received the Rites of Heirdron and vows to defend the Triax planets torn asunder by a corrupt galactic council, and the “shadow whisperers” who have manipulated them all.
With the aid of First Commander Lezayen and his QuNytwanian fleet, Zrahnz must unite the factions that deceived them in the past. The ensuing battle is for more than the survival of Triaxeyn, it’s for the liberation of the galaxy.
You can enjoy an excerpt of the Rites of Heirdron audiobook narrated by Victor Bevine HERE
The audio book for Rites of Heirdron is finally live on audible! Victor Bevine did a phenomenal job with the narration (as usual). I will be giving away ten free copies soon.
Endorsement for Rites of Heirdron
A beautiful blend of sci-fi and fantasy, Rites of Heirdron by Newland Moon is the kind of opening readers would want for a series that is engaging and entertaining. Zrahnz is a character readers will love, a bastard prince, scorned and derided as the “unclaimed,” and one destined to save his people and restore the health of his planet. These are turbulent times, with neighboring powers conniving to create havoc on his world. He will have to understand a shady past, discover a prophecy that has been long forgotten, and find the right allies if he's to be recognized as the legitimate ruler of his world. But first he must be healed from a disturbing illness and understand why he is irresistibly drawn to the Earthling, Itanya, and why she has such a powerful effect on him.
The entertainment in this epic tale is huge. I enjoy stories that start in the midst of action and Rites of Heirdron is one such book. It begins with a serious training activity and the reader gets a feel of the agony the protagonist goes through. Zrahnz’s plea to Raydren to stay with him already suggests that the conflict would be huge, and it turns out to be so. The plot is woven with intricacies, with a cast of solid characters littered across the beautiful setting, a plot infused with intense action.
The idea that the protagonist gets treated like an outcast is captivating, a perfect allusion to the biblical image of the rejected stone that became the cornerstone. Newland Moon has the gift of integrating strong themes like love and friendship, loyalty, faith, and redemption into a beautiful story in a seamless manner. The writing is flawless, crisp and tight, with vivid descriptions that capture the intense action excellently. You’ll be pulled in and it will be hard to take your eyes off the characters.
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Endorsement for Rites of Heirdron
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Rites of Heirdron is Book 1 of a powerful fantasy telling of a prince betrayed, a planet laid to waste, and a series of political alliances and special interests that don't bode well for the world. It's a recommended pick for readers of military sci-fi and stories that embrace interplanetary conflicts and political systems.
A young bastard prince is tasked with putting together clues about how his world has been broken and how a shattered people can be put back together again - but like Humpty Dumpty, the task seems impossible, with pieces widely scattered and no clear template for restoration in sight.
If this sounds like a typical one-dimensional fantasy, be advised that Rites of Heirdron is far more complex than a simple plot overview could provide; and this is because it juxtaposes many different concerns and interests as well as different methods of problem-solving and viewing the world.
What happens when left-brain thinking, for example, encounters information beyond its ability to analyze? The clash between linear beliefs and thinking processes and the type of perception that comes from accepting a bit of magic and psychic influence on the world makes for one of the many engrossing sub-plots in Rites of Heirdron: "In most cases, the pursuit of knowledge is paramount. However, in dealings of faith, trust in those who’ve come before you. Greater men have forfeited their lives pursuing that which is forbidden. Your analytical mind is in conflict with your faith."
Another facet (picking just one of many) is the prince's love for a special woman who is one of many in his harem: an unusual love which defies the rules. The story of their evolving romance is just one of the threads that links the story with diverse pieces of personal and political intrigue.
No light affair, Rites of Heirdron's dual focus on changing worlds and hearts moves deftly from personal to political realms, incorporates a quest that could change everything, and tasks its characters with growth and purpose beyond their familiar upbringings. It's a recommended pick for readers who like their sci-fi spiced with more than light romance, but who want that romance wrapped in the heavier cloak of sacrifice, duty, and life-changing decisions.
Getting stocked up for the coming conventions. 2017 is going to be a busy year!
Endorsement for The Rise of Nazil