Cover Image: The Amarisian Prophecies

The Amarisian Prophecies

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Member Reviews

The summary of this book sounded very intriguing.  Four teens are transported to another universe to help fulfill a prophecy and stop an evil queen from using her dark magic to control Amarisi.  Unfortunately, the summary was the best part of the book. The story had poor character building and none of the teens were appealing.  Very little background was given on them and why they were chosen for this mission.  The plot plodded along with very little happening until I gave up after about 100 pages and DNF, which is something I very rarely do.  I honestly just did not care what happened in the story.  Thank you to NetGalley for the free eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I want to first acknowledge that this book is probably geared more towards younger readers. As I read, it felt more like a story written for children maybe 10 to 12 years old. I tried to read with my younger self in mind- would she have enjoyed this? I think it would have been a quick and easy read for me, and nothing exactly groundbreaking. Then again, I grew up with Harry Potter, so I had a rather high bar when it came to fantasy and adventure. 

I was a little bit disappointed in this book for it simplicity. The writing was simple to me, without much flourish or creativity. I realize that the audience that might pick up this book might be at lower reading levels, but at the same time, I think kids deserve more credit and faith in their capacity to discern good from bad. Everything felt very flat to me, with a plot that never really felt like there were any stakes. I went in knowing that the children would succeed and never really felt worried or intrigued as to what might happen next. 

What I did like was the diversity of the characters and the little peek into their lives and I wish there could have been a little more development and information provided in what their lives were like before they were swept away into this adventure. Perhaps more understanding as to why these children in particular were chosen for this mission would have been welcome, too. 

Overall, this is a decent, easy and quick read. It may serve as a nice introduction to the adventure and fantasy genres for younger children.
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What worked:
The evil Queen Sathariel controls Amaria with her dark magic but she’s worried the Yasha Prophecy will arise and end her reign. She decides to have all boys killed or imprisoned when they come of age to prevent the Chosen from appearing. This creates a captivating conflict for readers. They’ll follow the prophecy coming to pass despite the queen’s efforts but the author includes some uncertainties within the prophecy itself. The Chosen will have four defenders transported through the Thura Gate but the prophecy says one of them might be turned to the dark side, thus allowing Sathariel to remain in power. The queen’s demise isn’t explicitly foretold in the prophecy which leaves doubt as to exactly how the conflict will be resolved. 
The four kids transported into this mystical world come from all walks of life so readers should be able to connect with at least one of them. Nadia’s parents suffer from substance abuse and she maintains a kind heart despite the dismal conditions in her London neighborhood. Afsana comes from a refugee camp on the Turkish border with Syria. Yibanathi has moved from Sydney, Australia, hoping to find a town more accepting of a rich black kid who likes to surf. Finally, Min-Ji is an obsessed gamer living in Seoul, South Korea, who suffers from anxiety attacks. All four of the kids have been treated differently by society and their experiences are necessary to bring change in Amaria.
The issue of religious tolerance is a major part of the plot. Sathariel’s arrival in Amaria alienates different factions in the realm and their concepts of a supreme being vary. As a result, the people/creatures have been isolated within their own regions and tensions rise when they interact. However, Nadia and her friends realize the groups’ beliefs are very similar but the names they use for their gods are the main difference. The kids must find a way to unite the vastly diverse sides if they have any chance of stopping Sathariel.
What didn’t work as well:
The book introduces many points of view early on which makes it more challenging to immediately connect with the characters. There are seven different setting changes in the first few chapters as the author introduces the Chosen, the four kids transported into the world to defend him, the antagonist, and the divine interpreters awaiting the arise of the Yasha Prophecy. The changes are clearly defined, which helps, and the events and settings become more focused once the characters come together. 
The Final Verdict:
Faith is the true power. The adventure is entertaining although there are missed opportunities where the author might have added twists to create suspense. Stories with prophecies and inexperienced heroes are always engaging and I recommend you give this one a shot.
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