Welcome to the November 8th review stop on the blog tour for The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson, organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more reviews, audio excerpts, and interviews with both the author and the narrator!
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About the Book
The Lost Sentinel
Silent Sea Chronicles Book One
by Suzanne Rogerson
Narrated by George Ellington
Published in print 15 June 2017
Page Count: 360
Published to Audible 22 September 2020
Length: 13 hr 28 min
Genre: High Fantasy
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.
Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic, but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache, and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?
If you like character-based fantasy, then you’ll love The Lost Sentinel – book one in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
Narrator’s Performance: 5
I was asked to listen to this title and sent a promo code by the author via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for this opportunity! This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
A fresh epic high fantasy, The Lost Sentinel is the story of Kalaya, its magic, and its magical guardian known as the Sentinel. On the island itself, magic users (mystics) are exiled to the mountains while a group called The Assembly controls everything else. The current Sentinel (“living” among the exiled mystics) is dying. It is hoped that Tei will prove to be the new Sentinel, but she isn’t. She’s destined to find the next Sentinel. Meanwhile, the people of another island, Stonehaven, are in search of a more sustainable home, and someone on Kalaya has reached out through an astral link to promise their leaders a home in paradise on Kayala in exchange for their help defeating the exiles.
Normally I save my comments on the narrator’s performance for the end when I review audiobooks, but oh my goodness, I must gush about this voice! George Ellington’s smooth Scottish accent gave the story a medieval highland feel that I think suited it very well. Criticize the world-building for being simply “medieval Europe but magic” if you wish, but I didn’t mind at all, and I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate regional accent to bring this story to life. Even if I hadn’t enjoyed the story, I would have listened to the end just to hear Mr. Ellington keep reading it!
I love the concept of a Sentinel and Confidant pairing, and that these people are so important in keeping their magical home alive. I love the idea that mystics who die in battle can choose to stay in the astral in-between and continue to defend their island home, as several characters end up doing throughout the story. Although I’m not exactly cheering for war to befall Kalaya, trouble’s brewing anyway, might as well make it interesting with an army of outsiders. I love the way their role has been set up. Readers can sympathize with those people and understand what motivates them. They need to find a better home that will sustain them, and they’re being offered one in exchange for help defeating what they’ve been told is an oppressive group destroying a peaceful people. The fact that they’re being deceived only makes it more interesting.
This book offers numerous points of view (POV/s) and transitions between them sensibly at chapter breaks while keeping the timeline straight and not leaving us in the middle of obtaining vital information. It wasn’t confusing at all. Even though the narrative voice is written in the third-person, it’s quite clear which character we’re following every time a switch takes place. Obviously, we spend a good chunk of time with Tei, the main character. She’s well written and interesting, but I didn’t feel especially connected to her. This is definitely the sort of book I love because of the concept and plot rather than the characters. That said, I certainly don’t dislike her.
I found it difficult keeping track of who the different young-to-middle adult male Kalayan characters were at times. They are indeed given different enough names so perhaps I would have had an easier time if I had read this book visually rather than listened to it. There are three vital men in this category among the exiles, one of whom loves Tei, one of whom is assigned as her protector, and one of whom loves Tei’s friend, but they’re all so closely tied to Tei and her mission and they’re all important to each other, and I think Tei loved one of them but not the one who loved her… See what I mean? This confusion didn’t take away from the story at all for me, but it may spoil it for some readers. There’s also Brogan, a farmer and singleton whose late father wanted him to join The Assembly but who hates and opposes all The Assembly stands for. This POV was introduced long before his role in the story became apparent, and when his path finally crosses Tei’s it feels like they used to know each other and have history, but I’m pretty sure they don’t. I did like Brogan’s POV sections, and I look forward to more from him in future books, as he’s clearly being set up to be a vital player in the upcoming war.
I’m eagerly awaiting a chance on my busy reading schedule to pick up the next two books in this series! I’m hoping for a little more insight into the magic system as the story continues, but mostly I just really want to know what happens to Kayala and its people.
About the Author
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two children and a crazy puppy.
Her writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Now an author of four novels including the recently completed Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and a Czech translation of her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!
She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
About the Narrator
My name is George. Seoras, if you speak Gaelic. Born in the United States, German on my father’s side, a native of Bamberg, and a Stewart on my mother’s side from a wee parish outside Stirling. I am a keen learner, eager to travel the world around me, and an instructor of English with years of experience teaching in the US, Turkey, and Japan. In audiobook narration, I have discovered a perfect opportunity to perform and play with languages, dialects, characters, cultures. Essentially, my voice is my livelihood, and my spirit longs to explore.
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