Chelandra ISBN: 9780994596512 published by Recanadon Press, copyright with and created by Karina McRoberts.
This is Book one of the Chelandra Trilogy that opens in the area of Blya in a fantasy “world of two suns, fabulous ecologies and geologic chaos”. The reader finds young Prince Shirau Ajaner, accompanied by his 2nd in command/mentor and his small band or soldiers attempting to gain help for another war that is imminent. They are exhausted having travelled many leagues, often under attack, when they arrive at their destination. Regrettably, the inhabitants of this city/state are unfriendly because of actions in past relationships and treat them badly. During this time and the ensuing period the reader discovers that the city has become immensely wealthy from mining but are neglecting gathering the crops necessary to sustain them during the winter’s impossible times. The town’s inhabitants, the structure of government, the ruling figures and numerous others also are introduced. At this particular time, the city is experiencing a virtual take-over of governance by a brilliant man who unfortunately is experiencing a mental deterioration. Added to their problems is the fact that they are experiencing some type of strange illness that they are afraid might be some variation of a dreaded plague as well as the occurrence of some massive earthquakes. Numerous other characters are introduced with the story focused eventually on young Blyan teenager Galla Jenker, her well-travelled uncle Obronder and a strangely talented young dark-skinned Masande as they travel extensively. War does come with considerable damage to the young prince’s city/state bringing closure seemingly to this part of the trilogy while involving Galla, her uncle and Masande in a part of the unfortunate episode. The tale ends as these latter three prepare to journey on to the next episode.
Discussion: The author, who this reviewer understands participates in quite varied activities, has provided readers with a story of interesting and empathetic characters as they appear to ramble almost leisurely, but dangerously, through a land of pure fantasy where even the well-described and often referred to, seasons have unusual names – Rahber (winter), Remi (spring), Vahlande (summer), VaRemi (autumn). This is a tale replete with interesting characters, and even an animal and bird of fantasy that aficionados of the genre will find difficult to put down.
5* Fantasy aficionados should love this book.
EMPOWERED published by Lasting Press, is a book copyright with ISBN #’s for Mobi, Epub, Paperback and Hardcover and was written by Dominica Lumanazar.
Sub-titled “The Business Owner’s Guide to Leadership and Success” this book presents a more inclusive than usual Disclaimer, the usual dedication, Preface, and Introduction followed by 3 Parts. Part I, entitled “Leading For Success”, consists of 5 chapters – on fundamentals of leadership, spotlighting your business, company history, your mindset with respect to how thoughts/emotions affect work and the necessity for discovering a work/life balance. Part II, Business Value has 4 chapters discussing relationships, company branding, marketing and retention of customers. Part III, Business Clarity, contains 3 chapters centered on the “Habits of Successful Leaders”, “Course Correction” and “Stay the Course”. A conclusion, Acknowledgments, a few References, About the Author and Notes containing more reference material terminate the presentation.
Discussion: A large portion of the book fundamentally is similar to most books of this type – positive thinking. However, here it is provided in a much broader sense and with unusual, interesting and pertinent introductory material that describes an author who has learned the necessities required to succeed in business quite literally ‘the hard way’. As an amusing aside, thoughts of this opening material somehow pop up later during the author’s discussion of “Branding” and the importance of ‘what you are providing’. The material itself discusses the emotional side of business and how it should be controlled and directed; the need to recharge your batteries; the need to recognize when to turn the business over to another CEO; how to avoid isolation and to ‘connect’; importance of ‘branding’; the importance of the 5 second rule – which parenthetically is based upon the latest research results that today’s average human attention span has dropped to 8.1 seconds, which I’ve heard is about that of a goldfish; and above all, the need for constant and extensive research – about the needs or desires for your product(s), the individuals who will be interested; how to interest additional; course correction if needed and more. The author further admonishes that you should work ON your business not IN it and above all ‘stay the course’. Most importantly perhaps is that she presents numerous lists of suggestions on how to proceed to accomplish each of her main points. The book’s Conclusion fits well with introductory remarks bringing closure to the story and the unusual acknowledgements are quite in character with the overall approach. References and notes presented are appropriate as is a short interesting piece about the author’s personal accomplishments.
5* Author’s unusual, conversationally set forth advice ‘learned the hard way’.