Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour and for providing me with a copy for review. My review is my own honest opinion of the book.
I read the first book in this series, The Age of Akra, just before this one which allowed me to delve straight into the events in this action-packed, character-driven story. I would recommend reading the first book to allow understanding of the world within which the story is set.
There is a really helpful section at the end of the book which gives information on the Powers of the Seven Nations: who these different peoples are and their abilities.
Akra, the Starchild, holds the powers of all nations within him and is prophesied to unite the nations, but first he must harness all their powers.
Mai and her brother Long, along with their friends Sahib and Akra (the Starchild), have just overcome some terrifying opponents, and are intent on helping Mai continue her pilgrimage to The Valley of a Thousand Thoughts so that she can perfect her thoughtbanker skills. Thoughtbankers are able to read people’s thoughts, remove and add memories and create illusions.
The children, however, do not make it to their destination as they are attacked by sand slavers and deadly Melkarie creatures. Help arrives just in time, and they are taken to The City of Souls, home to the Soulbankers who are the regulators of life and death. The children are in extremely difficult circumstances as they arrive: Sahib has been left with no memories and Long is concealing a terrifying secret …
Although the Soulbankers do not welcome foreign visitors, the Queen allows the children to stay at the request of her daughter, Marlie. It is not long before trouble finds them as one of their group is unable to resist the temptation put in his path and the power he is promised, and is led towards a path of lies and treachery.
Akra’s destiny draws him towards the call of the lost Silvershade, an ancient and wise soul, hidden within the City, which can show the past and the future. He needs to reclaim this soul to continue to fulfil the prophecy. However, dark forces are intent on claiming it first …
Will Akra be able to fulfil another part of the ancient prophecy, or will a treacherous act succeed, setting the path to the destruction of the seven nations in motion?
Brimming with action, revelations, rich world-building and brilliantly realised characters, this is definitely a series which I want to continue reading, so much so that I have now bought a paperback copy of the third book, The Healing Stone, as I really want to follow this incredible journey.
This is a perfect series for children of 8+.
Author Bio – Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements. A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).
Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018. The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.
Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.
She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.
In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.
What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.
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