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The Chronicles of Hawthorn: A Magical Fantasy Adventure

From the desk of Reedsy Discovery. Check out my profile here.

SYNOPSIS

An ancient prophecy. A deadly enemy. A young girl’s fight to save her people and her own soul.

4 books. 800+ pages of magical fantasy that spell fast-paced adventure.

Follow Flynn Hawthorn on her magical journey as she struggles to find the courage to fulfill her destiny, fights for the future of her people, and finds an unlikely love that defies all odds.

Growing up as the daughter of the High Priestess was never easy, but now that Flynn has reached the age of initiation she can no longer hide in the shadows. Stepping into her new role should’ve been easy, instead she and her best friend find themselves knee deep in troubles beyond their abilities.

From petulant faeries to evil witches, Flynn will have to push beyond her limits to reunite the Book of Shadow and Light. If she fails everything she loves will fall into darkness.

The Chronicles of Hawthorn Box Set contains four books from the best-selling young adult fantasy series. If you like historical fantasy, magical adventure, deadly enemies, and unbreakable friendships that readers have called, “truly a wonderful read for all ages,” then you’ll love Rue’s spell-casting spectacular.

My Thoughts:

The Chronicles of Hawthorn felt like a generic convulsion of the greatest fantasy novels trying, and failing, to be one great fantasy novel. From the lack of setting, to overly generic plot points and randomly thrown together names, there were many issues found within the book. For the purpose of this review, let’s start with Setting first.

Perhaps after reading some of the best female writers of our time like P.C. Cast, Charlaine Harris and Rachel Mead, I expected a little too much from this book. There were so many generic words that sounded as if they were strung together from a random website generator that I wasn’t sure which one was the title of the location of the book. All I am sure of is that it was supposed to be an island, and that there are other islands near by and that’s questionable.

The setting felt as if the author had too many things trying to happen to focus on one idea and pinpoint them all down. Because of this what little names involved the setting either sounded computer generated or used the same letters, making them hard to keep up with. Traditionally, I would have preferred the author keep the setting simple, as opposed to the complex world they tried to build.

Apart from the name, we didn’t get much information about setting. I feel like I have no defined idea what the houses looked liked or even really what the forest looked like and this created distance between myself and the book. I would’ve loved to see more detail. I wish the world building was just a tad bit stronger.

Lastly, Flynn herself was completely annoying. She spent most of the book complaining about how her mother didn’t love her. By chapter two, I was bored and tired. For one, can we get another subject please? What about a book where the family stands with the MC against the town or something? Relational conflict doesn’t always have to be about family.

Of course, by the end of the book, Flynn masters the elements she needs to not only save the day, but gain approval. This gave me serious concerns about the message that the book was sending to young adults. I wouldn’t want my child reading a book that tells her to conform to society for approval, or that who she is isn’t less than good.

Final Verdict:

Overall, there were a lot of different concerns with this book and because of that, I have to give a 1 out of 5 stars. There’s just not enough clarity or voice overall to make this book stand out or make the message strong and personal

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Write When You Are Happy

Write When You Are Happy

PSA: I know there is a strong community among writers who suffer true mental health disorders. I want to preface this article by stating THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED FOR YOU! YOU ARE STRONG AND WONDERFUL. IF EVER YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO OR JUST SEND A RANT, MY INBOX IS ALWAYS OPEN.

How many times have you heard it? The phrase that has probably become the most annoying phrases in our profession: “the struggling artist.” What about the quote, “one must suffer for their art”? Over the next few blog posts we’re going to bust myths about the writing lifestyle and how to turn a negative disposition into a working, positive atmosphere for new and experienced writers alike.

I started writing at a young age. I was still in elementary school when I wrote my first few pages because of both my love for reading and my need to finish a story I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to buy. I was raised by a single mother and new books were a luxury. I never had any hard feelings towards this, it was just a simple fact of life. It made me start writing and in those first few years, I was really happy. Life was good for the young kid of my youth.

And then, at eleven years old, tragedy struck in multiple forms over a short period of time and I was no longer that sappy, innocent kid. In fact, by the age of twelve years old, if I had been taken to a professional, I most likely would’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression, something I would continue to struggle with up until my college years. One of the things I remember most during this time is that the reasons for the pain and anguish I felt always seemed to change, but the reasons for writing and reading never did. They became crutches, salvation for a kid who otherwise dismissed school and life in general. Everyday life became a necessary chore that I didn’t understand, nor did I want to at the time.

I remember thinking most during that time, “This is what it should feel like to be a writer.” After all, this was the same story of Hemingway and Poe, right? It wouldn’t occur to me until I took a class at university that this was an incredibly wrong and poor way of thinking about writing both mentally and professionally as well. It was more of a hindrance not only to my mental health, but to my health as a writer as well.

Were the issues I faced real? Most definitely. Did they make me a better writer? Most likely not. Could I be happy and be a writer? Absolutely, though I wouldn’t discover this until I hit university. Next week, we’ll discuss how I broke myself out of some of my darkest moments of my life and how I learned to be a happy writer.

But in the meantime, what about you dear reader, do you think you can be both happy and a writer? Do you think the term ‘struggling artist’ is overused by mass media culture? I’d love to hear your feedback.

And remember:
Say it with words.