Friday, March 8, 2013

Blog Tour {Review & Giveaway}—The Ferryman and the Flame series by Rhiannon Paille

Stopping by The LUVNV today is the The Ferryman and the Flame series blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
We got the pleasure to read and review Surrender and Justice, the first two books of the series.
You also have the chance to win ebook copies of both!

by Rhiannon Paille
Book #1 of The Ferryman and the Flame  series
Publication: October 2nd 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Amazon B & N Goodreads
Kaliel was warned about her love for the Ferryman. One day he will marry the land and leave Avristar forever. She doesn't listen, and because of what she is—a Flame—one of nine apocalyptic weapons, she sparks a war. In a desperate attempt to save her home and her love, Kaliel tries to awaken Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Surrender  began with a compelling prophecy—well, more like a picture of a prophecy, shrouded in mysterious shadows and riddles, with a Ferryman and a Flame sitting on separate thrones, facing each other, crowns on their heads and ominous items in their hands. You're not sure whether they're adversaries or lovers; it feels a little of both, like the two complete yet counteract each other in some way.

The image, the details, the prose—it all set such a glorious, mythical tone for the book that it really drew me in. I didn't care that I didn't know the dynamics of the world quite yet. I just knew I wanted to be there and learn more about the Ferryman and the Flame as well as their journey to this glorious ending. So when the next chapter immediately threw me into the world of Avristar and the first meeting between the destined pair, I was thrilled.

But then the story lost all that wonderful tone! The flow was off. The train of thoughts were disjointed, coming from left field. Some ideas and events felt cluttered, seeming to have no purpose. The word choice and reactions were odd and repetitive. Someone was always glaring when the natural reaction, the one readers expect and actually do themselves, should have been frowning, pouting, flinching, etc. etc. It jarred me out the story and flipped on my internal editor-switch.

Then there was the insta-love. While I adored how Kaliel and Krishani had the awkward, young, first love thing happening between them, I didn't understand or feel the attraction and connection in my bones. Considering they rarely saw each other and over long spans of time, I couldn't justify their soul-deep infatuation. But then again, maybe the lack of development was because they were so intertwined from the start—their love destined and inevitable but doomed since known time.

Along with relationship pacing, the story pacing was bumpy. Seasons came and gone within a few paragraphs; then everything would slow, and scenes would be dragged out.

I wish more of the world dynamics was explained, too. While the setting and storyline were still fascinating, I found myself confused. It wasn't so much the rules or how people lived, but how they all related to each other. I felt as though I was missing something, and this was a book two. I don't want things spoon-fed to me—Epic Fantasy is my cup of tea. I take in all the details because I expect them to matter, and I probably read way more into things than what was intended—but I had to keep flipping between pages to set myself straight on the cities (which all started with "A"), the realms (which seemed endless and directionless), and some of the characters (who began blending with everyone else as soon as they were introduced). More significant, differentiating details would've helped me distinguish between each place and person earlier and for longer.

And yet, despite all of Surrender's flaws, I KEPT READING. The overall storyline was too intriguing, and despite the dynamic confusion, the world was enthralling and beautifully described, full of feorns, elves, man, whispering trees, a world-deep magic. I didn't want to put the book down or give up.

And I'm glad that I didn't.
All the characters eventually grew on me, and the last quarter of the book was fantastic. It was action-packed with battles and confrontations. The emotion was high and hit me in the gut, burning away all the disappointment, questions, and bouts of frustration I had before the story reached its pinnacle. The ending honestly took my breath away.

Book #2 of The Ferryman and the Flame  series
Publication: January 22nd 2013 by CreateSpace

Amazon Goodreads
How far would you go to destroy yourself?

Krishani always knew he would have to go to the Lands of Men, but he never thought it would be like this. Enemies everywhere, an ancestor he can't respect, elders he can't trust, a curse he can't stop and friends he can't help but hate. Desperate to end the pain, he sets out on a quest to find the other Flames and face the enemy that took everything from him.

I immediately picked up Justice after I read Surrender. Again, the world was too fascinating, and the ending of book one left me dying to know what happened next. While this book still had the some of the same technical issues I had with book one, Justice was better.

Where Surrender lacked, for me, the emotion of Kaliel and Krishani's connection, Justice was full of heart-warming (and heart-breaking) moments between the two lovebirds. I could really feel Krishani's despair and Kaliel's adoration, as well as the longing, devotion, and even fear between them. There were moments the angst and self-deprecating dragged, but I understood the need for it in terms of Krishani's personal growth as a Ferryman.

The narration and dialog flowed smoother, more naturally, as well. Most of the new worlds, along with its relation to Avristar, are explained thoroughly and without an info-dump. The author, Rhiannon Paille, captured each setting in a way that I felt as if I was there and could feel the essence, the present state and gravity of the circumstances, of them all. And while Krishani trekked through the realms with a few characters from book one, searching for the other Flames, many new characters were introduced and became a favorite of mine—the Obsidian Flame particularly.

I also appreciated how Paille showed Krishani's inward transformation along with his outward as it relates to the difference between justice and vengeance. The emotional and psychological darkness of him slowly blackened and consumed him physically as he had to choose having no life of his own for at least a thousand years before being with the love of his life in the ever after or having no will of his own at all in his need for vengeance. And it was ironic because that was how he already felt—alone, with no will to live.

The only thing I didn't care for and that prevents me from giving this four stars is the ending. Shame, since I loved the previous book's ending. This one felt too convenient, too fast. I found it hard to believe. A part of me thinks it's a hoax, that it was supposed to be a "dun-dun-DUN" moment in which I feared for Krishani and his future, but it sorely missed the mark if that was the case. While the return-from-the-dead of a certain flame is defining, especially for our hero, there is no definitive answer. Is Krishani being tricked or not? I think so—I actually hope so—but I'm not sure. The fact that I can't say I am steals the terror at the thought of him being manipulated.

Justice was really good, much better than Surrender by most accounts, but I was crushed by the ending. I'll still pick up the next book and read the novellas, though, if not only because it's a beautiful world and original, very intriguing storyline, then to get a definite answer.

eBooks provided by Rhiannon Paille through Xpresso Book Tours. Thank you!

Be sure to check out The Ferryman and the Flame Blog Tour Schedule
for more reviews and giveaways!

~ The Ferryman and the Flame series ~

The Novels The Companion Books
Vulture (Book #3) expected to release May 2014
Skeleton & Dust (Book #3.5) expected to release March 2014
Forgiveness (Book #4) expected to release 2014

Rhiannon Paille

Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Rhi was never a normal girl. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. She's married to a chef/comic book shop owner and has a fondness for architecture. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her site:

Terms & Conditions:
By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 13 years old.
One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a copy of Surrender  AND a copy of Justice  by Rhiannon Paille. Winner's choice of mobi, epub, or PDF format.
Winner will be contacted via email within 24 hours after the giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST March 19th.
Winner has 24 hours to reply before a different winner will be chosen.
Prize will be sent the week of March 25th.
Note: You do not need to own an eReader device to enjoy Kindle or Nook books. Download free Kindle apps here and
Nook apps here to start reading ebooks on major smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Signed paperback copy of Surrender and Justice, three 11x17 prints of Surrender and Justice, and two bookmarks.
Open internationally


  1. Morning!

    Thanks soo much for being part of the tour and offering up some very good reviews of Surrender and Justice.

    And little spoiler, Kaliel really IS back, what that means for their relationship however, is something else entirely.

  2. Glad that it kept you reading despite the insta love and flaws. I have featured author, but never read for myself.

    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog