Title: Distant Rumblings, Eye of the Storm, and The Unseen Tempest (Lords of Arcadia 1-3)
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain and Paul Richmond
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Lords of Arcadia: Act One
Kane Vess may be gay, but he is also extraordinarily ordinary—a crushing weight in Athens, Iowa, where a person’s worth is measured by his uniqueness. But when he meets the school’s newest student, Kane’s ordinariness seems to evaporate. He is desperate to get to know the mysterious stranger… and that leads him into danger.
Hawk is an exile from his homeland, an otherworldly traveler with impossible abilities and a changeling bodyguard. He’s generally disappointed in Earth, which seems common except for Kane. But while Hawk and Kane explore their mutual interest, the forces that made Hawk an exile are busy tracking him down. Kane’s newfound feelings pull him into Hawk’s shadowy fantasy world, where he learns he needs to grow up fast. Kane’s life may now be extraordinary, but if he isn’t careful it could cost him everyone he holds dear—including Hawk.
Eye of the Storm
Sequel to Distant Rumblings
Lords of Arcadia: Act Two
Kane Vess thought his life in rural Iowa was mind-numbingly boring. Then Hawk, a prince from another world, appeared and turned Kane’s life upside-down. At first Kane welcomed the adventure and the chance to be with Hawk—but then a shapeshifter named Puck kidnapped Hawk and dragged him back home.
Now Kane is caught up in another planet’s magical civil war, searching for the boy he loves in a place he knows nothing about. With the help of a gem elemental, an ice barbarian, and a clockwork woman, Kane has to find Hawk and stop Puck before he can destroy the nine realms.
The Unseen Tempest
Sequel to Eye of the Storm
Lords of Arcadia: Act Three
Kane used to be a normal boy with normal worries. Now he fights alongside his boyfriend, Hawk, and an unlikely group of allies as they attempt to reclaim Hawk’s throne and save the Nine Realms. With time running out, Hawk decides to raise an army against the evil shapeshifter, Puck, and his army of The Dark. The adventurers split up in search of a force that will join their cause and help restore order to the Nine Realms.
New allies aren’t as easy to find as they hoped. Kane, Hawk, and their friends face unforeseen danger as centuries-old grudges threaten their quest. Nothing is what they thought it was, and Kane and Hawk must find the truth in time to defend against Puck’s encroaching army. But the truth about who their true foe is will change everything.
I have no clue what to say about this series. I am once again blown away by the world John Goode has created. It is a world much different than that of Foster High, which if you read this blog with any regularity you know I adore. It is another world, entirely. Well, it starts out in a world not terribly unlike ours, with a few exceptions, but soon we are thrown into the world of Faeries, gem elementals, shape shifters, gremlins, and so much more.
We were asked to review Unseen Tempest, but since I hadn’t read the first two in the series, I decided to review all three. They really do need to be read in order. These are not overly long books, but they are ones with which I took my time. The worlds Goode creates are so rich in detail that you risk missing something wonderful if you rush. As with other Goode written stories, you will find a mix of first-person and third-person points of views. You also get the pop culture references and irreverent humor for which he is known, at least by those of us who have read the Foster books. (note: these books do not relate in any way to the Foster series, just saying if you like Goode’s style there, you will like it here as well).
These books are not simple, but in a way they are. There are depths and twists and mysteries for those who want to look. There is also an easy to read and follow fantasy for those who just want that. This series is not one to be read once and done. It is a series that allows you to discover more on each re-read. They are on my short list for my children when they get just a wee bit older.
The main character is Kane, a human from the small town of Athens, Iowa, where the more “different” you are, the more accepted you are. He is the only gay kid in his school, but that is just not enough “different” to make him accepted. We soon meet the rest of the cast of characters, Hawk, Spike, Ruber, and Jewel. Jewel is Kane’s best friend, another human that just isn’t odd enough for her town. Hawk is a bit of a mystery to the reader and to Kane, but becomes the love interest and Kane’s partner in crime, so to speak. Spike is a shape shifter and the servant of Hawk. Ruber is a magical Ruby… err gem elemental.
There are obvious, and intentional, parallels to some classic literature like Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but this is not a retelling so much as a completely different take on the world. There are nine realms, and Earth is merely one… One that has been cast out due to its shortcomings. Yep, there are definite political undertones, as with many sci-fi and fantasy titles.
Distant Rumblings is a good place to start if you are not a fantasy reader as it takes place entirely on earth. I guess you would technically call it an Urban Fantasy. Oh and you might want to have Eye of the Storm queued up and ready to go as you reach the end of Distant Rumblings… just saying.
Eye of the Storm
In Eye of the Storm, the stuff hits the fan, and the world turns to one(s) entirely of Goode’s creation. We pickup right where we left off, but we add so much more with faeries, gems, ice people, royalty, dwarves, org revolutions, and backstabbing. We also get to see the love between Kane and Hawk grow and become so much more. There is no power like love, and Eye of the Storm is all about that power and just what it can do.
We see the world Goode has created grow in detail as the story continues. There are times the action has to slow down a bit so we can understand the world, but hang with those sections, it is all worth it in the end. The characters we have started to love get into more trouble, gain allies, and find ways to wiggle out of it. We see their family of choice grow, and we see Ruber regain some of what he thought he had lost.
We are left, once again, wanting more.
I want to give you a thorough understanding of this book, so you know why you need to buy it. Let’s see if I can do it justice. GO BUY THIS SERIES AND READ IT. Does that work? Good.
I could go on for paragraphs waxing poetic about the fantastic realms Goode has created. I could tell you about the creatures he has woven into the fabric of his universe. I could tell you about the fantastic power created by the bond between Kane and Hawk. I could even tell you about how well Goode can turn a phrase. All that, however, will pale in comparison to the beauty and destruction, heaven and hell that is the Nine Realms.
This series will not be for everyone, but if you have even a cursory interest in fantasy, I highly recommend this series. Oh and Mr. Goode… remember what we talked about, as much as I adore Brad & Kyle, they can wait…
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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