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The Pillars of Natura by Lee Aarons

The Pillars of Natura by Lee AaronsPillars of Natura by Lee Aarons

Rating: I LIKED IT
Series: The Realmwalker Chronicles #1
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 156
Published by: Realmwalker Publishing Group
Publication Date: November 20th 2014
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Book Blurb: The Goddess Erta needs her champion... For over 3000 years, the Goddess Erta empowered a succession of mortals to champion and protect The Balance of Her world. These were the Realmwalkers. For centuries, the infinite line of these heroes remained unbroken and peace reigned. But after the last Realmwalker died, there was no Successor. For the first time since the abominable Realm Wars, those seeking control over the Four Realms were able to push for an advantage, throwing the world into growing chaos and conflict. Meanwhile, the mysterious and powerful Seraph continued their frantic and seemingly futile search for Erta's missing guardian. Living in an isolated community of outcasts, Rennick and his twin sister Raine struggle with decisions regarding their lives and what awaits them as they leave their childhood behind. After discovering the heartbreaking truth that their past is also the key to Erta's future, Raine learns that she is the next Realmwalker. As Raine begins the training that will prepare her to carry the burdens of a world on the brink of war, Rennick struggles with his own burden-protecting the life of the sister he loves. Feeling that even Raine's most loyal allies may be desperate to control her, Rennick must learn to master his own powerful abilities to ensure her safety. In this new fantasy series, Lee Aarons tells the epic story of Raine and Rennick Sherrill, twins bound to the fate of their world by destiny, bound to each other by more than blood. Only when they uncover the truth about their past can they truly begin to save The Four Realms from those seeking to destroy it.

I admit I’m drawn to books that feature a sibling relationship. I’ve said in the past that I’d be hard pressed not to like a book with a strong sibling bond. So for me, that part kept my interest where it otherwise might have waned.

As the blurb states, this is basically about the twins coming into their destinies. Not quite a full-fledged coming of age, but you get that sense, nonetheless.

First off, the world was nicely touched upon. For this being centered in one small town where mixed races are outcast, the world was developed nicely. There were a few paragraphs that bordered on info dumping, but they were short enough not to bother me. There’s mention of religions and cultures, and though we only got a small taste, I’m sure more is to come in the other books as the characters travel. This one was short, so I’m happy Aarons didn’t try to shove more down my throat than what was relevant to the story.

There’s some magic that I think could prove quite fun to read about in future books. Again, since this is a very short beginning, the characters weren’t given tons of opportunity to use magic. But what we’re shown has a nice range, hinting that so much more is available for the characters to use. It ranged from slowing time to manipulating plants to communicating with animals.

The story is focused mainly on Kanias, a Seraph that happens upon the outcast village, and of the twins, Raine and Rennick, both of whom are chosen. Trope it is, but I didn’t mind. As I’ve mentioned, this book is short, so character development was … how should I say … abrupt? One minute the twins are run of the mill, the next Raine is powerful and seemingly adjusting well to her new role. Sure there’s some struggles, but it all felt rushed. Rennick processed things much more realistically. That being said, I did enjoy the twins and their relationship. I’m hoping it’s explored more in future books, perhaps showing me their closeness with situations rather than stating it. Which brings me to how much I loved the beginning. It might have started out slow, but the first action scene was done brilliantly, in my opinion. It showed me the concern Rennick had for his sister embedded in some great pacing and a tense scene. If not for that, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the story as much as I did. Without it, I wouldn’t have grasped the closeness Rennick and Raine shared.

Kanias, however, felt very stationary throughout the story. Granted, it’s short, he’s older and more adjusted to his role, and obviously the twins are our main protagonist. That said, I still wish he would have been fleshed out a bit more.

Speaking of pacing, this reads quickly. There were some slow spots, but nothing so boring that I didn’t plow through them. I have to mention, as I do every time I encounter it, there are some errors in this book. I’ve said in the past that I don’t have the best eye for proofreading errors, so if I saw some, there’s probably more. There were a few awkward paragraphs that switched to present tense, forgoing the past tense of the rest of the novel. Obviously those sections stuck out. Also, I felt the writing was strong in the first half of the book, however, later on it seemed to move faster, giving less sensory input and an abundance of duplicated words. It wasn’t enough to turn me off from the story, but I missed the feel of the first part of the book.

So overall, it was a great way to pass some time. Because of the twins, I’ll definitely pick up the second book. I’ve read that it’s better than the first, so it’s got my curiosity. If you like fantasy and don’t mind the “chosen one” trope, I’d recommend giving this a whirl.

About Lee Aarons

At an early age, Lee was influenced by the classics Moby Dick, Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels, and Robinson Crusoe, when his grandfather gave to him illustrated versions of these books for his 10th birthday. While he loved the new worlds and adventure that each of those novels provided, he also loved the full page illustrations that were placed periodically throughout the book. It opened these worlds of adventure for him, and ultimately become the images that form in his mind when he thinks of those novels to this day.

It was reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time at the age of twelve which led him to discover his love for epic fantasy, including the works of Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, and Stephen Donaldson. He also continued to read and become influenced by a wide variety of other writers of different genres such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, and Edgar Allen Poe.

Lee Aarons first conceived his ideas about The Realmwalker Chronicles in 2004 while drawing a map of a world consisting of four nearly identical continents. He remembered that a cartography professor once told him: “Maps tell a story.” Looking at the map he drew, he asked himself: “What story does this map tell?” The Realmwalker Chronicles was the answer to that question.

As it was his desire to make illustrations and art an important part of the reader experience within adult fiction again, he teamed up with artist Spenn to develop and create the visual elements of the series. Additionally, they, along with Lee’s wife, English Instructor and writer Stephanie Mitchell, form the creative management team for Realmwalker Publishing Group. Working to not only bring their own various properties to market, they also provide creative consulting, marketing and editing services to emerging authors and artists desiring to self publish their own work.

Lee Aarons currently lives in Malcolm, Nebraska.

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