Thursday, April 11, 2013

BTS: "Prophecy of the Flame" by Lynn Hardy Review/Blog Tour

            Title: Prophecy Of The Flame
            Author: Lynn Hardy
            Publisher: Resilient Publishing
            Length: 393 Pages
            Sub-Genres: Fantasy


            Five strangers are yanked from this world and thrust into a land of sorcery as they are granted the looks and abilities of the people they were playing. The Crusaders of the Light struggle to form a cohesive band as they blend twentieth century technology with the supernatural powers of this new world, fighting to liberate the kingdom of Cuthburan from the evil horde threatening humanity.

Battle is also waged within Reba, an ordinary housewife who has become the most powerful mage on the planet. She struggles to remain true to her wedding vows as she is drawn against her will to the arms of Prince Alexandros.


Prince Szames makes the formal introductions. “Arturo, sovereign king of Cuthburan, and Princess Szeanne Rose, I present to you, Reba the archmage and Allinon the druid elf.” I curtsy, eyes downcast.
Looking back to the ruler of this kingdom, I note the family resemblance. King Arturo’s salt-and-pepper hair was undoubtedly once black like Alex and Andertz’s. His eyes are the same sapphire blue as Szames and Szeanne Rose’s. The king’s voice holds the same inflection and mannerism as Prince Szames. The younger son also inherited his father’s strong, straight nose and square jaw.
“Your Majesty, I am honored.” Allinon’s holier-than-thou tone grates on my nerves. “Do you have any questions regarding the healing process upon which we embark?”
“Our son has explained the reasons behind our necessary participation. We have never before participated in anything magical. What may we expect from our roles in this endeavor?” Though his voice remains calm as he uses the royal plural, I perceive a building tension as he talks about his involvement in the supernatural. If the tension transmutes into resistance, the link could be jeopardized!
Allinon shrugs. “Your Eminence, you might experience a small amount of fatigue but nothing permanent, I assure you.” The king’s expression remains unchanged as our leader continues to explain. “Jamison is a master healer with ‘the gift.’ The gift is what we call the ability of someone who can use his life force to harness the power in our auras. In Jamison’s case it is somatic essence he uses. From the hue of her aura, Princess Zee-Anne Rose also has an affinity for this type of magic.” He turns to Szames. “You, Prince Zam-zes, possess an affinity for corporeal magic such as Merithin and Reba command.”
This is not helping. If anything, he’s more agitated. Let’s try a different angle.
In a quiet voice, I attempt to focus his attention on something other than his fear of the arcane. “Your son lies close to death. Therefore, we cannot guarantee our success. Time is of the essence. We can perform the healing without your participation, but our chances of succeeding will be greatly reduced. Unless you are willing to give yourself wholeheartedly into our care with absolutely no reservations, your participation may be more hazardous than your exclusion.”
Trying not to single out my new monarch, who will undoubtedly resent my eavesdropping on his feelings, I include the others with a glance in their direction. “You must ask yourselves, all of you: Are you willing to trust the intentions, motivations, and capabilities of people you have just met? I realize we ask much, but the life of Prince Alexandros hangs in the balance. There isn’t time to earn your trust. We have no choice but to ask that you give it blindly for the sake of your son and your brother.”
“You ask much,” King Arturo says. “We three represent the ruling sovereignty of this kingdom. We declare this not to justify our lack of participation, but so that you, Archmage Reba, know the measure of trust we place in your hands. We will shy from nothing, no matter the risk, that will spare the life of Crown Prince Alexandros.” As King Arturo embraces our healing as the savior of his beloved son, I discern the tension siphoning away into nothingness.
Bowing my head, I show acceptance of his gift. “Never in my life have I betrayed a trust given to me. If it is within our power, your son will be spared. His chances are good with so much support to draw upon.”
The tub is now half full with a liquid that has a slight silver sheen. The potion is diluted with the water necessary to restore Prince Alexandros’s bodily fluids.
Allinon rushes to take center stage. “Your Majesty, if you will take a seat at one end? Prince Zam-zes, you will be on your father’s left at Prince Alexandros’ knees. Reba will sit next to you. Princess Zee-Anne Rose, you will be seated on Reba’s other side, with a cushion to pillow Prince Alexandros’s head.” I shake my head, hiding a smile. No way I’m correcting the buffoon. He wanted to be leader let him figure out how to pronounce their names on his own. Our leader continues massacring the names of the royal family, “Jamison, you will sit between Zee-Anne Rose and Andertz. King Arturo, since I will restore the ebbing life force to Prince Alexandros, I will sit between you and Andertz. You both possess the strongest spiritual ties to your son.” The elf ushers the monarch toward his seat.
Either we have been victorious in answering all their questions or have successfully impressed upon them the urgency of this operation. The mentioned participants go immediately to their respective places. In his rush to be close to the king, Allinon forgets the rest of the plan.
“Your Highness.” I reach out, touching the arm of Prince Szames before he can assume his place. “Would you assist Jamison in bringing your brother? We need to place him in the tub.” If Charles is Mr. America, Szames is Mr. Universe. Why am I so sure I’m not dreaming when the entire royal family looks this good?
Prince Szames’s manner stiffens fractionally. “I am honored you place this responsibility with me.”
Taking his hesitation for a quandary, I explain, “You seem the least disturbed by what is about to take place, therefore, I am hoping you won’t require as much time to relax.”
Szames nods his approval, asking, “Will we commence immediately?”
Relieved at his enthusiasm, I expound, “Even with the water heated, it will weaken your brother. We will begin as soon as possible.” Then again he could be putting up a front. I can’t read him like the others. Turning my thoughts back to the healing, I approach Prince Alexandros’s mistress and her son.
“Andrayia, if you and Andertz will sit on the seat to the right of Allinon?” I squat to better address the smallest member of the healing circle. “Andertz, are you ready to help us work an enchantment?” He nods and I take his hand. “Prince Szames will bring your poppa and put him in the water. Your father’s shoulder is going to look really bad, but don’t be scared; that’s what we are here to fix. Okay?” He feels excited yet calm. If everyone had the faith of a child!
I sit, holding the hands of a prince and a princess. I close my eyes. Taking a deep breath, I center myself. The tingling sensation accompanying me since my arrival finds a focus.
The feeling resembles vibrations from an electrical device, though I don’t need to touch the carrier. It seems the stronger the vibrations, the larger the source of magic. It is merely a matter of pulling the outside magic to the large, white mass that is my center of power. I entwine and fold a small piece of the foreign magic into my personal reservoir, forming a bond between the two.
The difficult thing is to let go of part of my essence at the same time so I can share energy. I have no idea how I know what to do. I just know that I know, that I know what I know. . .
After examining the links to make sure they will hold, giving it a few minutes to establish a current, I watch the flow of the outgoing energies.
I open my eyes. Looks stable.
“Reba, remove the aura virus,” Allinon commands.
In the short time it has taken us to prepare for the healing, the prince’s aura has noticeably decreased. The writhing, inky mass of the AV is growing. No time to waste!

“We seven are joined in agreement.
Alex won’t be martyred by your treatment.

It’s of magic you’re made,
and it’s magic I wield.

Be gone from his body.
Against us you have no shield.”

Aqua light shoots out from my slender hands, heavy with power. The minor spell fails to antagonize the headache. Magic surrounds the AV. The blob rolls and boils as if someone has set a match under it. In a matter of seconds, the AV dissipates like fog under an autumn sun.
In the blink of an eye, a green haze settles over the wound as Jamison directs his magic. Allinon’s druid skills bring forth a coppery mist rising from the silver liquid, enveloping the lower half of the prince’s body. The mossy cloud intensifies. The mangled flesh melts, beginning to close. The coppery fog thickens as the shimmering liquid evaporates. The grotesque, scarlet wounds, standing out on his alabaster skin, are reduced to the pale pink of a carnation. Steadily his hue darkens to beige.
Second by second the pattern of the prince’s aura become apparent. Besides a small amount of blue corporeal magic and a strong fuchsia streak, his aura has no affinity for the arcane like his father’s. Whatever talent the purplish streak represents, he was the sole inheritor among his siblings.
The energy we invoked disperses. I look up from the vigil I am keeping into the eyes of a young boy. The child doesn’t look scared, horrified, or even slightly disturbed by the sight he has witnessed; against my instructions, I might add. He looks fascinated, in awe, and he is wearing a smile so wide, you would think it was Christmas. In the face of such enthusiasm, my lips curve and my eyes light up.
I turn my attention back to the patient. Before my lips part to ask Jamison if our healing has been successful, Alexandros, the crown prince of Cuthburan, opens his eyes.
Butterflies take flight in my stomach as he gazes at me with the most gorgeous green eyes I have ever seen, framed by long, thick lashes. Prince Alexandros gives me a weak smile. In a voice rough from disuse, he inquires, “Have I died and gone to heaven? Are you an angel sent to take me to the afterlife?” Having exhausted what little strength we restored to him, Alexandros drifts into sleep.
Blushing like a teen who received her first kiss, I sit back in my chair. Jamison and Prince Szames lift Prince Alexandros from the tub. Mind whirling, perfunctorily as a sleepwalker, I trail behind the men, waiting hesitantly at the door to the bedchamber.
Laying his brother gently back on the pillowed surface of the bed, Prince Szames whispers, “Barely conscious and you have already outmaneuvered me on the battlefield of her heart. No, Brother, I will not fight you for her love, no matter how my heart beats stronger and my blood races when she nears. I am not a fool. I will not wage a war I cannot win. Does not the prophecy foreordain her to be your bride?”
Though enhanced hearing brings the words clearly to my ears, the sounds are meaningless to my whirling thoughts as I try and get the picture of his beautiful eyes out of my mind.

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had honestly hoped to have been enthralled by this book, and there were moments I was.  After all, it is a fantasy, and parts of the fantasy drew me in.  However, I believe that this book would appeal to gamers, fantasy-lovers, and the like.  Unfortunately, I don't belong to any of these groups.  I found my daughter more interested in the book and the story (although she is a little young to read the book).  I told her I would save it for her because I am certain she would read the entire series.

For the positives, I am glad there is no graphic violence.  I am also impressed with the author's assortment of rhyming magic spells--not the easiest thing to do.  I also appreciate that the profanity is minimal, and the bedroom scenes are fairly nondescript.  I didn't need any of these things, but at least these were not a major problem.

I am grateful that there are so many genres of books out there, and most of the time, it is wise to stick to your genre.  Very few authors have the ability or the inclination to write books that cross "genre lines."  That's not a bad thing.  It ensures variety out there.  All I will say is that I would not recommend this to people who do not like video games and/or fantasy.  I think it is almost a given that this book will be big with those groups of people.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

About The Author:

Led by a series of dreams and encouraged by friends, Lynn Hardy began the journey to become an author. She stored her work in a computer file labeled “second job.” Writing began as a passion she could not contain and has become much more than she ever expected.

In the Fall of 2010, Prophecy of the Flame – Book One, reached #1 on Amazon kindle, shortly after Book Two in the series released. In the spring of 2011, Lynn released the Full Cast unabridged audio book of Book One. Now both fans and newcomers can hear the book come to life as every character jumps of the page with their own unique voice.

The road has been longer and more complicated than she would have ever guessed –not always smooth, but filled with wonderful surprises. Like most stories, Lynn is sure that her journey has only just begun.

Lynn Hardy


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