A Journey Begins by Cambria Harrington
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source: Purchased on Amazon
Summary: For centuries the Kingdom ruled by King Jonathan and Queen Natalia had been peaceful. But now the Kingdom and the rest of the world is being threatened by one known only as “The Dark King” who desires to have the entire world under his control. Natalia and Jonathan are powerless to defeat him and sacrifice everything they have to make sure their children grow up to be powerful magicians; strong enough together to defeat the Dark King once and for all.
At the age of fifteen, Brean, Jake, Eliza, and Kimberly are determined to always stick together, save everyone, and defeat the Dark King. But will they be strong enough to journey through the Ice and Fire Kingdoms of the Elves? With the help of an uncommon dragon and unique bird, "A Journey Begins".
I was excited to read this book. A Journey Begins takes us a world filled with magic, beauty and an upcoming war to save the world. From the start I knew this book was special. Cambria introduces us to a King and Queen who sacrifice everything so their children will inherit powers to defeat The Dark King when he returns. It is a touching emotional scene with the introduction of a spirit who is softened by Natalia right before both make the sacrifice needed to save the world. Over a decade later their children the quadruplets are almost sixteen and their happy life with Alice who is the closest thing to a mother they know. Informed of their true destiny and what all their training was for they have natural feelings of fear but are determined to not let the world fall to ruin or that their parents sacrifice be in vain. When a storm proves to be the harbinger of way worse Brean, Jake, Eliza and Kimberly go out to try and stop The Dark King's return. Their decision takes them on an adventure none of them saw coming. And neither will you. But if you are like me you will enjoy the ride and feel the highs and the lows as children fight to protect their kingdom, the world and those they love.
My quibbling are few. There is almost too much action/intensity in the book. I know this is it's greatest strength being able to move from one intense scene to another without a single boring scene. But it also cuts down getting to know some other characters and things better. Thunder the dragon and Crystal the ice bird are great secondary characters but with so much intensity you learn little about them. It's not so bad with Thunder who you learn more about through his conversation with Brean. But it's devastating for Crystal. Besides flying and willing to help all you know is that it's strong willed since it decided it's own name. Not much. Plus you don't learn a lot about the kingdom which I found sad because there seems to be so much there in the little that was shared. So I would suggest some improvement on world building in that area. But when they left to stop The Dark King, the world building had a complete turn around and was perfect. Also a few grammatical and structure errors but nothing that takes away from the story and they are rare. While perfectly fine for a new teen author, I'm still reviewing this book as I would any other author.
In the end I'm in love. I can't wait for the sequel and tell you readers that if you read this book, neither will you. Sign up for her newsletter to keep abreast of the sequel and other news from this amazing young author. Congrats Cambria. Even if you were an adult, this book will still be a wonderful read.
Rating: 4 Stars
Personal Opinion: 5 Stars! Sequel, now!
More about Cambria Harrington
Yes my blogging hiatus is over. I didn't write much last week beyond my Wednesday post and my writing gig. Now I'm back and ready to roar. Plus, I missed being here with you guys. *Hugs* Happy to be back and we have a full schedule this week. I'm Back Baby! Also I had Charlie's Scribes do a post last Friday. I feared that they might say now with barely a week's notice but no they got it done and Road to Enlightenment was amazing. Thanks guys.
Photo Credit: Electrony @ Morgefile