Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jack Lewis Baillot - Stretch of Loyalty

A Stretch of Loyalty
Because of Loyalty Trilogy

By Miss Jack Lewis Baillot

Kindle Edition Currently Unavailable

Product Description (from Amazon)

Prince Lachlan's only crime is that he is the youngest son of the king, a selfish man who took what he wanted no matter the cost. Now Lachlan's life is in danger because his father's last law was that the last of his sons left living will be the new king.

Lachlan's half brothers are determined to get rid of him first before they work on killing each other, but their plans are foiled when Lachlan is saved by a young girl named Magda. Knowing Lachlan would make a better ruler than any of his brothers, Magda flees into the wild, hoping to find help and safety for the boy in one of the neighboring kingdoms. Instead, all Magda finds is rejection.

But help might be closer then she thinks, and it comes in the form of a grumpy, one handed hermit, an elf with a sense of humor, and two dwarf brothers. Together, they might have a chance to save the boy - but what price do you pay to keep a stranger alive? Just how far are they willing to go to make sure he is kept safe?

About the Author (from Amazon)

Jack Lewis Baillot is the author of the Haphazardly Implausible series. She isn't impossible, just a bit unlikely.
You can learn more about her and her writing at her website.

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

I have the highest respect for this author ... I'm coauthoring a book with her, after all. I thoroughly expected to enjoy this book just as much as her Haphazardly books. However, while I found the theme of the book new and intriguing, the world building was very generic ... which isn't, in itself, a bad thing, but it mainly manifested in huge infodumps of description. The one unique people group that Jack created, I could never quite get a good mental image of because they were described as having the bodies of minotaurs and heads of wolves. I understood the wolf part ... but the body of a minotaur is basically the body of a really strong man. Unless, of course, she was using a different definition of minotaur, of which there was no sign of that in the text. Minotaurs weren't mentioned unless they used as comparison for this people group. 

Plot was great, except for the fact that they managed to run into every monster that wasn't supposed to exist anymore. The first time, it was exciting. The second time, interesting. But the third time ... it was just plain ridiculous and felt like a bid for more words. I also had some issues with the back story, especially concerning Magda's father ... and when, exactly, he died. Hopefully that will be explained in the sequel however. 

The characters were, I'm sure, wonderful, but I was unable to connect, partly because some of them relied on the stereotypes of the fantasy genre, and partly because I had trouble keeping conversations straight. Possibly, had I read the print version, it wouldn't have been so bad. But the kindle version is badly formatted, and I finally came to the conclusion that she must have uploaded a PDF file, which just goes wonky when it is translated into a Mobi. Also, Jack is very good at confusing homonyms. The first time she used "board" instead of "bored," it was funny, because they were on a boat and reminded me of roleplay I was in once. After that, all I could do was cringe every time it happened as I pictured the character described as a piece of lumber. Since I had had the privilege of editing the first few chapters, I had caught several ... but was disappointed to find that the chandelier was still spelled "Chandler." (I was pleased to find that she had corrected most of her then/than misuse, which had been my biggest issue with her first book.)

I am looking forward to the sequel. As I said, the theme was very good, and I honestly have no idea where Jack is going with it, which is always a good thing. Having read so many fantasy books, its hard to find one that I can't determine where the author plans to go with it. But this isn't the story of an epic war (not yet, anyways) it's the story of fugitives hiding a potential king. The message of the Creator is well handled, and I can thoroughly see Stefan's struggle with belief. Personally, I recommend a good combing for homonyms, and an upload in a doc format - from my experience, that's what talks to Kindle the best.

Note: There isn't any real magic in this book, so I recommend it to any fantasy fan who is squeamish about that part of the genre.

Genre/Theme: Fantasy, quests, Christian

Reading Level: CHILD - children's literature to
TEEN - upper elementary to middle school 
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at, although it is mentioned that the King, Lachlan's father, had a different mother for each of his four sons, and he gave up on marriage after his second wife.

Other: Lots of fighting, though not much description. The three older princes are trying to kill their youngest brother, and aren't very particular about who gets hurt in the process.

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