I’m joining up with Lone Star Book Blog Tours to share Michael Scott Clifton’s newest YA fantasy book, Escape From Wheel. It’s the second entry in his Conquest of the Veil series, and a wonderful read.
Read on to learn more about this book, check out my thoughts, and enter a giveaway for a chance to win your own copy!
I received an advanced copy of the book from the author via Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
ESCAPE FROM WHEEL
Conquest of the Veil, Book Two
MICHAEL SCOTT CLIFTON
Genre: YA / Fantasy / Magical Realism / Sword & Sorcery
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Number of Pages: 302 pages
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New Life, New World, New Problems
Alexandria Duvalier’s new life on the magical world of Meredith takes a shattering twist when her father, the Duke of Wheel, pledges her hand in marriage to the cruel lord, Rodric Regret. Desperate to escape his clutches, Alex flees the city with the help of her friend, Tell Tollet, a handsome lieutenant in the city guard. But their freedom is short-lived when Rodric’s brutal brother, Stefan, joins in the pursuit.
Hotheaded Prince Tal, heir to the throne of Meredith, has but one goal: kill the Dark Queen and destroy the Veil, the enchanted barrier which has ensnared generations of his people. He discovers a breach in the magical wall and leads an army through, bent on completing his mission.
When an unusual and potent magic calls to him, he follows its trail back to Alex. Thrown together by circumstances and chased across the wilderness by the ruthless Lord Stefan, Tal and Alex are drawn to each other by the greatest magic of all—love. Now they just need to stay alive . . .
I had not read the first installment in Michael Scott Clifton’s Conquest of the Veil series, but I knew by the time I finished Escape From Wheel I would be getting my hands on a copy. I’m a big fan of fantasy – particularly YA fantasy – and I think this is suitable for more mature YA readers or adults due to the nature of the references to Rodric’s attack on Alexandra.
At the start of the book, I did feel lost – having read the first book would have made my introduction to this world much easier. However, as the pacing and the plot pulled me in, it soon didn’t matter. Before I knew it, the book was nearly done and I found myself swearing under my breath with the realization that there was no way to wrap up everything in the pages left.
This is a classic tale of good versus evil, predestined lovers, and happily, there is a lot of magic! I appreciated that magic simply exists in this alternate universe, and both Tal and Alexandra wield a lot of powerful magic. (Alexandra has so much, she “leaks”. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that description, but it’s certainly a vivid one.) In Alex’s case, she doesn’t quite understand that she has magic or how to use it, whereas Tal is quite skilled. They both make use of a good many magical Artifacts which are creative and fascinating. (Tal is equally clever with setting more “traditional” traps, too.)
The story offers a variety of fantasy characters. Evil characters such as brothers Lord Stefan and Lord Rodric felt a bit one-dimensional – expected nasty, ruthless baddies. Other characters such as Artemis Thurgood and Daisy offer levity.
The main characters of Alexandra and Tal are more developed, flawed, and interesting. Tal has seen a lot of death and destruction in his world, and he isn’t so black and white about the idea of murder. Alex is purer of heart, and she finds herself horrified after a trap Tal sets kills many of their attackers, marking the difference between them.
“So you become a monster to kill a monster?”
This is also a fast-paced book, with Tal and Alex falling into danger over and over. What I loved the most (along with the action) was the imagery. The writing was descriptive and vivid, from characters to setting to scenes.
A mist rose from the floor before her. The ghostly fog thickened and swirled. Faster and faster it spun with tornado-like intensity. The whisper became a roar, rising higher until it exploded with a brilliant incandescence. Particles of light skipped and skittered across the floor like sparklers from a fireworks display.
Where the mist once churned, a woman stood.
I really enjoyed Escape from Wheel for its action, main characters, and imagery. It’s a wonderful book for fans of fantasy!
Multi-award-winning author Michael Scott Clifton was a longtime public educator as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. He currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, with his wife, Melanie, and family cat. An avid gardener, reader, and movie junkie, Michael enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys: action, adventure, magic, fantasy, and romance.
His fantasy novels, The Janus Witch and The Open Portal, received five-star reviews from the prestigious Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, and he has been a finalist in a number of short-story contests, with “Edges of Gray” winning first place in the Texas Authors Contest.
The Open Portal, winner ofthe Feathered Quill Book Finalist Award, launches the fantasy book series, Conquest of the Veil. Michael’s latest release, Escape from Wheel, is book two in this fantasy series. Visit Michael’s official website, or google him @authormsclifton.
signed paperback copy + $15 Amazon gift card
Three Winners: Kindle e-book copy
OCTOBER 1-11, 2020
(Print copy U.S. Only)
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