Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Morgan Huneke - Espionage

A companion to the Time Captives

By Morgan Huneke

Available on Amazon

Product Description (from Amazon)

“Sir Roland has invited us to visit for the Autumn Feast.”

“Do we have to go, Papa? I couldn’t feast with the most crooked politician in all of Briznom.”

As the daughter of a Briznomian vassal lord, Vannie Cumberland has spent her childhood immersed in the world of politics. Relations between Briznom and the neighboring country of Calhortz are strained due to the tyrannical rule of the strytes. A proposed alliance could calm relations between the two countries, but would come at the cost of Briznom’s freedom.

When her father’s political archenemy invites them to the Autumn Feast, Vannie uncovers an evil scheme endangering the life of someone close to her. Personal enmity comes to a dangerous head as Vannie struggles to expose the corruption and stop the alliance. Time is running out.

Events are becoming too big for her to handle. Will Sir Roland’s son help or will things finally spiral out of control?

About the Author (from Amazon)

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

Having read and loved the first two books in the Time Captives Trilogy, I eagerly awaited the final volume ... but then the author went and announced that first she had to publish a companion story set in the same world, but in the neighboring country.

Of course, I read it.

Espionage is a sweet little story, with a healthy dose of tension, centered around a very young heroine. Vannie has grown up surrounded by politics, as her father is one of her country's vassal lords (Their ruling system is something of an Oligarchy), and one of the few said lords who bothers to bring his children with him to court. When her father's arch-rival, Sir Roland, invites them for a friendly meeting at his castle, she smells a rat, but since she's only nine, and her father agrees to it, there's really nothing she can do to protest.

Once she reaches Sir Roland's estate, she meets Kyle, Sir Roland's son, who seems to be nothing like his father. Together they uncover a devious plot that involves a Stryte - which readers of the main Time Captives series would recognize as the invasive tyrannical ruling class Calhortz.

It was a good story, it really was, but I wasn't captivated by it like I was the main series. It was a nice addition to the world, but I didn't feel wowed by any high-concept ideas or great world-building. You meet a stryte and a few Merfolk, and that's it for the other races in the world, and there were only two or three mentions of the Time Captives. So while it was a good story, making it part of the Time Captives world almost felt forced.

It also had a very different feel from the rest of Morgan's work that I've read - instead of grand, sweeping tales with lots of characters and interspersed flashbacks, it's a very focused story, entirely from Vannie's point of view, since it's first person.

(It didn't help that I read this while reading another book which I found to be far more high-concept and kept me closer to the edge of my seat.)

This doesn't mean it wasn't a great book, it just wasn't quite the story I'd wanted.

Espionage is a story of faith, family, trust, forgiveness and resourcefulness. Vannie and Kyle are both great characters, as are their surrounding family and friends. The plot is tight and cohesive, and since there are fewer characters, they all seem far better developed. Things do get tense enough to keep you on the edge of your seat for a bit. It is a good addition  to the world, even if it isn't as spectacular as the main series, and I'm pretty sure you could read and love it even if you had no plans at all to read the main books. 

Note: I do recommend this story to younger children, as the cast itself is younger.

Genre/Theme: Fantasy, Christian

Reading Level: CHILD - children's literature 
TEEN - upper elementary to middle school 
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at 
Other: There is some fighting and an attempt at murder. Nothing gory, though.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review, Kendra! I'm sorry it's not as high concept as Time Captives, but hopefully Crannig Castle will make up for that. :)


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