Book Review: Tales of Taelis (books 2 & 3)

Hey all! I have got a double book review for you today! I am taking part of a challenge with author Sara Holman, which has meant reading one of her published works a week and doing reviews on them (and her unfinished upcoming work, which is goooood. I am excited to share with you about it in the coming weeks!!)
I have gotten behind the past few books so I decided to do a review of the 2nd and 3rd Tales of Taelis books together :D

Brothers & Betrayal:
Amazon Description {part of it}:  "A boy, running for his life...A princess, trying to save her people... And an archer who seeks to defend the defenseless..." {link here!

Coming after Adventures & Adversities, we have Brothers & Betrayal. This was an adventurous Robin Hood sort of story and I enjoyed the more lighthearted spirit of this one, while it still taught deep, tough lessons.
What I liked: the Archer. Oh my soul the Archer. Enough said lol. Well, no, not enough ;) I the way his character was written—courageous, Godly, intelligent, noble—with just the right amount of sass ;) I also really enjoyed Brianna’s story line, and her respectful working to right her father’s wrongs instead of brazen rebellion (the all-to-familiar stereotype of female MCs).
There was also a scene near the beginning that literally made my jaw drop. I did not see ‘that’ coming. If a book can make me involuntarily, physically react? That author has my respect.
What I didn’t like: I really enjoyed this Robin-Hoodesque story, but this was also the book during which I realized I was becoming attached to the characters. When you message an author half-way through reading a book and say, “You can’t make that happen to this character!! Why?!!??!” followed by several broken heart and bawling emojis….. Yeah. I have been living in Taelis too long ;)

Courage & Corruption:
Amazon DescriptionCatherine is going with her mother and younger siblings to the mountains to hide from the coming war. While she fears what might happen she is looking forward to some time away from her twin brother, with whom she often fights. One foolish act changes all their plans, and one story caused not only confusion, but more fighting. 
Christopher does not believe his father’s story that they are descended from royalty... However, he is forced to go to the mountain castle of Coraway along with his mother and siblings. Will his father ever see him as a man? Will he and his twin ever be able to stop fighting?
Little do Catherine and Christopher realize that they hold the key to Taelis’ future in their hands. While they discover the truth before it is too late? {Link here!

What I Liked: Oh where to begin with this story lol There was a little angst in this, guys. I love my angst. So I enjoyed that aspect.
This story hit a little closer to home, in while that I am not experiencing the conflicts of the MCs, per se, I am personally struggling with the lesson they learned—and kept learning (which is also something I enjoyed—but I digress). This story dealt a lot with (that big, ugly word) surrender. So this story was timely for me in that way. As mentioned previously, I appreciated that when the main character finally came to grips with “hey I’m wrong, I need to change”—he did not change over night. He wasn’t suddenly perfect—he could still be a jerk and occasionally selfish, but he was now aware and working on it, so he acted out on it less and less. This is how change usually happens in real life, so to see it occur I the story was genuine and encouraging. (Especially to see how he continued to learn and grow in it.)

What I did not Like: This is actually a good thing, but the two main characters bicker a ton in the beginning and frankly, it drove me nuts lol! However! The bickering is essential to their stories and character growth and we as readers are not supposed to enjoy it, so it was actually great writing on Sara’s part. But it drove me bonkers lol. So we get a good sense of sympathy to those suffering around our MCs because of it lol

Having finished up these three Tales of Taelis I wanted to say this: these are good stories, yall!  They were fun, entertaining. I experienced real joy, sorrow, and shock with these characters, and truly laughed at several points (the sailors arguing with Lady Laila out at sea will forever be my favorite XD) , yet, they are soo crammed full of godly truth! I am impressed with how Sara was able to weave these valuable lessons into such entertaining stories, without just tacking them on, and making them feel contrived. I stand in awe as a writer, and am inspired in my own writing in that way, thanks to her!

That having been said: she has another story coming out within the next few weeks that was by far the most applicable to where I am at right now in my life and walk with Jesus (like, beta-reading this story had me going ‘oh no, this is totally going to happen…. Oh it did…. OH DO I FEEL FOR THIS CHARACTER BC THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME RIGHT NOW!’) I think it will encourage a lot of hearts! So stay tuned!

Quick Update!

Hey all you lovelies! 

I felt the need for an update ;) No, my blog hasn’t turned from a devotional type blog to a book review blog ;) However, I have done a LOT of changing since this blogs conception and after struggling with it for a while, I realize that letting the blog change with me is OKAY :D <3 After all, it is still my God-scripted story and my desire to share and encourage others walking their own…. That story just looks and feels a loooot different than it ever did or I ever expected it to lol ;) But (shocker!) that’s how God works ;)

I would like to change the theme/design of the blog for sure, to sort of ‘update’ it--to have it be more relevant to these changes (so if anyone is an expert at or enjoys doing blog art/design—or knows anyone who is— please feel free to contact me!!! :D )

I do have certain topics dear to my heart and current situations I would like to write about…. But A) they are still so raw and fresh that I don’t have the application or endings/answers yet… and B) are so deeply personal I wonder if it is “okay” to share, or if anyone will care (which I realize is not the point at all, but just being honest here ;) So if anyone has any ideas or topics they’d like to see discussed, feel free to share those in the comments below as well!! 

Book Summary: Befriended

Befriended was another short Tales of Taelis story that helped to tie up loose ends/answer questions left by the larger novels in the series. It was an adorable, swift read giving us a look at Eleanor’s life after Adventures and Adversities. The best thing about this story were Eleanor’s little charges, Nathaniel and John—very accurate portrayal of little boys LOL. The only thing I regret about this story was that I wish it had been longer and more fleshed out. I was definitely glad to get what we do in this short story though! Overall a sweet, short read that helped me feel a more satisfied with the main novels in the series :D

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