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Monday, December 5, 2022
BLOG TOUR: Crystal Awakening by Andrew Rowe & Kayleigh Nicol
Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Andrew Rowe and Kayleigh Nicol's Crystal Awakening, the first book in the Shattered Legacy series. Today, on our tour stop, we will kick off the tour with a guest post featuring the topic: Favorite Books This Year, and a tour-wide giveaway to share. So... Be sure to check it out and start the series now! Follow the tour, HERE.
Shattered Legacy is a collaboration with Andrew Rowe and his Arcane Ascension series and is traditionally published through Podium Audio. This series is a journey around Kaldwyn as a team of professional climbers embark upon a quest given to them by an unusual being. While it’s not entirely necessary to have read Andrew’s Arcane Ascension series to enjoy Shattered Legacy, knowledge of Andrew’s established world definitely gives a deeper understanding of the magic system, religion, and regional politics on the continent of Kaldwyn. For readers just beginning to explore Kaldwyn, a special introduction has been included (written by Andrew Rowe) to best explain the magic and environment of this unique setting.
Shattered Legacy, #1
November 29, 2022
A team of adventurers enters an epic trial of wits, magic, and monsters in this thrilling new fantasy series set within the Arcane Ascension universe.
Parties attempting to claim the treasures of the Tortoise Spire of Dalenos are usually composed of six professional climbers. But following a near-disastrous climb, Team Guiding Star Legacy finds itself two challengers short. With Nieve as the frontline fighter, Sage as the strategist, Lani as the healer, and Emiko as the spellcaster, they need a couple powerful allies to round out the squad.
The first new recruit, Hane, is a fighting and stealth specialist, while the second, Aldis, has quite the talent for teleportation magic. Though their individual reasons for scaling the spire vary—wealth, fame, favor—the team’s shared goal is thus: fight, win, ascend, and repeat. All in the hopes of one day making it to the top, where the goddess awaits to grant them the objects of their deepest desires.
To achieve this goal, they must master escalating levels of fire and ice, dangerous creatures, and confounding illusions. Whether facing a threat to their bodies, their magic, or their minds, each of the climbers accepts the risks. And bending the rules is part of the challenge. Some call this cheating; others call it winning.
But no test is ever straightforward. Because Guiding Star Legacy is being judged, and their next contest is one they aren’t meant to survive. Ascend or fall, the quest is only just beginning.
*Favorite Books This Year*
Soul Relic is a rare Cultivation-style progression fantasy with a female protagonist. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “Cultivation” here refers to a specific type of magic system drawn from a fantasy version of Taoism, where characters can gain physical and magical improvements through a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual tasks. Much like many heroes of the genre, Raysha is born with a disadvantage that prevents her from effectively using magic in the same way as typical people from her culture. She works hard to offset this disadvantage and turn it into a strength. One of the things I really enjoyed about this particular book is that there are wholesome and supportive cast members, both from her family and outsiders, which is extremely rare in the generally-cutthroat subset of novels that draw from cultivation roots. It has a strong cast, good action, and fun world building.
Next, The Menocht Loop, Books 1-6. I’ve read five books through their Amazon releases and I’m currently reading through Book 6, which is still being written on Royal Road. The series starts off in a time loop, which hooked me from the start — I’m a sucker for time loops, and this one is great. This story takes a refreshing and unusual approach — rather than going through the whole process of showing the character discovering that he’s in a time loop, our protagonist, Ian, has already been stuck in a loop for a significant time when the story begins. This allows the author to skip the preamble that has been seen in hundreds of other time loop stories and jump straight into the problem solving and action. Oh, also, Ian is a decimancer – basically a necromancer, but with setting-specific flavor. So, if you’re a necromancy fan, get on this.
Next, Prophecy Approved Companion by Tevagah. This is a bit of a tonal shift from the two above – it’s a comedy and an absolute blast. Without spoiling too much of the fun, it’s basically a parody of “ultra-realistic VRMMORPG” fiction (think Sword Art Online, The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, or .Hack/Sign if you’re not super familiar with the genre as a whole), with very astute observations about both player and NPC behavior in these types of scenarios. It’s best for readers who are gamers and/or already familiar with the tropes of the genre. For those who are already familiar with the style, I’d compare this to something like Threadbare.
Beware of Chicken is another hilarious parody work — this time, specifically for eastern Cultivation/xianxia martial arts novels. I’ve read book 1 on Amazon and I’m currently reading the second on Royal Road. It takes the “Cultivation” concept and spins it toward a more traditional western interpretation of the word, focusing on a former martial artist deciding to leave his martial arts academy and start a farm…which quickly turns out to be anything but a normal daily life, as a martial artist’s farm animals and farming skills turn out to be a little more than what you people might expect.
**About the Authors**
Photo Content from Andrew Rowe
Andrew Rowe was once a professional game designer for awesome companies like Blizzard Entertainment, Cryptic Studios, and Obsidian Entertainment. Nowadays, he's writing full time. When he's not crunching numbers for game balance, he runs live-action role-playing games set in the same universe as his books. In addition, he writes for pen and paper role-playing games.
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Photo Content from Kayleigh Nicol
Lifelong nerd and fangirl Kayleigh Nicol earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science at Cal Poly Pomona, California. After years of volunteering at zoos and aquariums in California, Kayleigh now works at a therapeutic horseback riding center in Long Island, NY. When not taking care of her own menagerie of rescued animals, she enjoys watching anime, playing video games and reading as many fantasy books as she can get her hands on.
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Giveaway Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends December 26, 2022
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box