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The Sapphire Eruption: A gripping action driven fantasy adventure book for teens and adults (The Sword's Choice 1)

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Once a year, the skies burn red. Upon this day, the Fire Kingdom’s priests perform their ritual: each newborn’s palm is lacerated, opened with a sacred sword, for Firia’s next ruler will be seen to shed no blood. Alas, this can prove a perilous process. When young Nokhail demonstrates his destiny, a wicked imposter attempts to slay the boy. Soldier Lumio intervenes, escapi Once a year, the skies burn red. Upon this day, the Fire Kingdom’s priests perform their ritual: each newborn’s palm is lacerated, opened with a sacred sword, for Firia’s next ruler will be seen to shed no blood. Alas, this can prove a perilous process. When young Nokhail demonstrates his destiny, a wicked imposter attempts to slay the boy. Soldier Lumio intervenes, escaping with defenseless Noakhail—set for distant Aquadom to hide . . . and gather strength. Seventeen years later, Lumio illuminates Noakhail’s true identity, presenting Distra, his rightful sword. Training side by side, the pair devise a plan to reclaim the throne . . . but this will mean ousting a crooked king, whose warriors are everywhere. Should Noakhail hope to triumph, he’ll be forced to look inside himself and tame explosive power on the expedition homeward bound. His path will cut through all four kingdoms—each replete with danger but, in turn, a chance to grow. Meanwhile, in Aquadom’s royal palace, the water sword has chosen its heir, but envy stands to jeopardize an age of fragile peace. Indeed, a war awaits...


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Once a year, the skies burn red. Upon this day, the Fire Kingdom’s priests perform their ritual: each newborn’s palm is lacerated, opened with a sacred sword, for Firia’s next ruler will be seen to shed no blood. Alas, this can prove a perilous process. When young Nokhail demonstrates his destiny, a wicked imposter attempts to slay the boy. Soldier Lumio intervenes, escapi Once a year, the skies burn red. Upon this day, the Fire Kingdom’s priests perform their ritual: each newborn’s palm is lacerated, opened with a sacred sword, for Firia’s next ruler will be seen to shed no blood. Alas, this can prove a perilous process. When young Nokhail demonstrates his destiny, a wicked imposter attempts to slay the boy. Soldier Lumio intervenes, escaping with defenseless Noakhail—set for distant Aquadom to hide . . . and gather strength. Seventeen years later, Lumio illuminates Noakhail’s true identity, presenting Distra, his rightful sword. Training side by side, the pair devise a plan to reclaim the throne . . . but this will mean ousting a crooked king, whose warriors are everywhere. Should Noakhail hope to triumph, he’ll be forced to look inside himself and tame explosive power on the expedition homeward bound. His path will cut through all four kingdoms—each replete with danger but, in turn, a chance to grow. Meanwhile, in Aquadom’s royal palace, the water sword has chosen its heir, but envy stands to jeopardize an age of fragile peace. Indeed, a war awaits...

30 review for The Sapphire Eruption: A gripping action driven fantasy adventure book for teens and adults (The Sword's Choice 1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nico Genes

    Well developed fantasy novel. Four kingdoms were surrounding the Void: The Aquadom to the north, Firia to the east, Tir Torrent to the west, and Aere Tine to the south. Each of them had its specifics, including their gods, beliefs, looks, and the way an heir is chosen. One boy, Noakhail, was chosen to become the next Ascendant Phoenix, king of Firia and Vienne, a shy young- girl, the queen of The Aquadom. Noakh was given at birth the main thing needed to be the next king, but the journey ahead of Well developed fantasy novel. Four kingdoms were surrounding the Void: The Aquadom to the north, Firia to the east, Tir Torrent to the west, and Aere Tine to the south. Each of them had its specifics, including their gods, beliefs, looks, and the way an heir is chosen. One boy, Noakhail, was chosen to become the next Ascendant Phoenix, king of Firia and Vienne, a shy young- girl, the queen of The Aquadom. Noakh was given at birth the main thing needed to be the next king, but the journey ahead of him will prepare him for the title. In comparison with Wulkan, the current Fireo king, Noakh was a good-hearted person. One girl, Vienne, was chosen to become the Lacrima, the next queen. She had yet to discover with Crystalline's help, what her power was. At first glance, it wasn't clear why she was chosen. She was as surprised as anyone else. Time will show. Next to the main characters I particularly liked Lumio. Lumio chose to sacrifice his job, moved away from his family, his home, from everything he had, to save Noakh, someone he did not even know. He didn't want an innocent life to face such a terrible and premature end. Noakh should be the next king, and Lumio did his best to train him for future times. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be by Noakh’s side all the way through. On his journey, Noakh visited through the kingdoms, learned from each of them, and all the experiences he had to face. “It was curious how wisdom could be found in the most unexpected places… and the most unexpected people.” On his way, he met some terrible people and creatures, but also good ones. "What we know changes every day. We just soon forget our own ignorance, and we adapt quickly to the new status quo… It’s the way we survive, after all.” He was sure that this, somehow, would help him to be a better king someday. So many things happened and so many people were involved that this seemed a pleasant journey, full of twists, well-developed characters, and a great plot. It ended expectedly with a cliffhanger.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Henthorn

    An Arthurian style quest with all the ingredients. A magical sword starts the plot by choosing the king. The water sword's cut produces blood (not the king) or fire (the king). But chosen Noakh must now go on a quest to save Aquadom and reclaim the throne. The language is enjoyably present for a fantasy novel, there are riddles, giants and queendoms. The character names are great too Princess Vienne, Hilzen and my favourite, Gant Blacksword. A story of quests and kingdoms. I particularly liked t An Arthurian style quest with all the ingredients. A magical sword starts the plot by choosing the king. The water sword's cut produces blood (not the king) or fire (the king). But chosen Noakh must now go on a quest to save Aquadom and reclaim the throne. The language is enjoyably present for a fantasy novel, there are riddles, giants and queendoms. The character names are great too Princess Vienne, Hilzen and my favourite, Gant Blacksword. A story of quests and kingdoms. I particularly liked the hair dying with nature and phrases such as 'fight with the strength of the black bear' in chapter 42. The start of a series for fans of A Game of Thrones. The kind of book that makes you want to throw on a gown, plait your hair and walk through the woods.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Violeta Bagia

    Wonderfully complex characters and the world they're thrust into. While the air of intrigue and mystery keeps you on your toes, the characters find their way into your head to give you a truly entertaining read! Highly recommend. Wonderfully complex characters and the world they're thrust into. While the air of intrigue and mystery keeps you on your toes, the characters find their way into your head to give you a truly entertaining read! Highly recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Gracey

    The Sapphire Eruption by I. M. Redwright is the first part of The Sword’s Choice series. It is a fantasy novel set in a world where the inhabitants' traits and lifestyles are based on the four elements. We follow Noakh through his adventures, detailing his quest to reclaim the throne of his kingdom. The author creates a compelling and engaging world straight from the start. We see Noakh’s adoptive father save the protagonist from the knights on a selfish king when he is an infant. This puts us r The Sapphire Eruption by I. M. Redwright is the first part of The Sword’s Choice series. It is a fantasy novel set in a world where the inhabitants' traits and lifestyles are based on the four elements. We follow Noakh through his adventures, detailing his quest to reclaim the throne of his kingdom. The author creates a compelling and engaging world straight from the start. We see Noakh’s adoptive father save the protagonist from the knights on a selfish king when he is an infant. This puts us right on the front foot with the two characters: we feel for Noakh and instantly like his adoptive father who sacrifices a lot to raise him in a different kingdom. Throughout the book we meet characters that are in the right places. Both good and bad, the author uses his skills to great effect to make his characters so engaging, and this drives a very detailed and delightful plot that just gets better and better. Action and fight scenes are very difficult to write, however Redwright really makes them standout. The pace and the tone is just right, leading to some epic sword fights involving the use of magic. These really are compelling to read and really drive the plot. None of them feel forced or overworked, and every fight (and there are a lot of them) leads to some sort of consequence. The end of the book leads us directly into the second, a common trait for fantasy epics. The world Redwright has built is thrilling; I am looking forward to picking up the second installment soon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eric Tanafon

    Swords' Choice - The Sapphire Eruption opens a fantasy epic with an interesting premise, set in a world where four elemental kingdoms carry on an uneasy coexistence. The kingdoms' rulers are 'chosen' by magical swords that embody the powers of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The author has dedicated this book almost entirely to Fire and Water, who get along about as well as you would expect. To make things worse, the swords of both kingdoms have recently chosen unlikely new heads of state--for fire, Swords' Choice - The Sapphire Eruption opens a fantasy epic with an interesting premise, set in a world where four elemental kingdoms carry on an uneasy coexistence. The kingdoms' rulers are 'chosen' by magical swords that embody the powers of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The author has dedicated this book almost entirely to Fire and Water, who get along about as well as you would expect. To make things worse, the swords of both kingdoms have recently chosen unlikely new heads of state--for fire, Noakh, a commoner who is rescued from an assassination attempt at the hands of the current 'Phoenix'; and for water, Vienne, the only reluctant princess in a group of sisters jockeying for power. What with Noakh intending to make a pilgrimage of sorts around this world, visiting each kingdom in turn, there is definitely an epic sweep developing here. Intrigue, swordplay, and gore are plentiful. I did have some difficulties with the story. I found the characters hard to connect with, and part of this might be due to the author's use of multiple points of view including, sometimes, those of minor characters who appear only briefly. Occasionally, there were oddities in the prose that made the narrative a bit tough to decipher--another round of editing would probably fix all that. My rating comes in at 3.5 stars, and according to the rules of our current math-based, multi-elemental reality, I'm rounding up to 4.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sybrina Durant

    My first thought, as I read the last words of The Swords Choice – The Sapphire Eruption by I.M. Redwright was, “What? It’s over??? Oh man, what a bummer.” That’s because I absolutely loved this author’s story-telling and did not want to stop reading. Luckily, the story continues in Book 2 so I will have an opportunity to read the full accounting. There’s so much depth and history throughout this book that it was easy to feel like I was immersed in Noakh, the phoenix’s world. Being a fan of Piers My first thought, as I read the last words of The Swords Choice – The Sapphire Eruption by I.M. Redwright was, “What? It’s over??? Oh man, what a bummer.” That’s because I absolutely loved this author’s story-telling and did not want to stop reading. Luckily, the story continues in Book 2 so I will have an opportunity to read the full accounting. There’s so much depth and history throughout this book that it was easy to feel like I was immersed in Noakh, the phoenix’s world. Being a fan of Piers Anthony, I absolutely love it when an author assigns special meanings to words. In this case, the main character’s name, Noakhail, means “Don’t Give Up” and through many trials and tribulations, he completely lives up to that admonition. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times when he is on the verge of throwing down his sword, so to speak. Wondering whether he will or won’t is what keeps the story moving along so swiftly. There are so many perils and situations that are full of action and adventure that there’s not a moment of boredom in the entire book. It reminded me a lot of The Sword In The Stone by T.H. White amongst many other rich, epic Arthurian fantasies. I also loved the idea of a world containing four separate elemental kingdoms. Oh yes, I forgot to say, Noakh comes from the Fire Kingdom where a “phoenix” is chosen to become the new king. Since it happens so early in the story, it’s not really a spoiler to say that he is chosen to be that phoenix when he is a little baby and things go so awry that he must be spirited away to a safe place to avoid being murdered. There are many other characters to be admired in the book but I have only concentrated on Noakh, here, because he was my favorite. The review, itself, would be as long as a book if I delved too deeply into the others. Suffice it to say, this is a great read. Check it out for yourself.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian Marshall

    Far too many epic fantasies can wind up feeling bloated. Not surprising when you consider that complex lineages, convoluted back-stories and overwrought language are all pretty much de rigueur. How refreshing, then, to discover that The Sword’s Choice: The Sapphire Eruption is one of those rare gems that refuses to take itself too seriously. Yes, there are moments of high drama, along with plenty of intrigue, all set in a complex, fully-realized world. But mainly it’s just plain fun. Fun because Far too many epic fantasies can wind up feeling bloated. Not surprising when you consider that complex lineages, convoluted back-stories and overwrought language are all pretty much de rigueur. How refreshing, then, to discover that The Sword’s Choice: The Sapphire Eruption is one of those rare gems that refuses to take itself too seriously. Yes, there are moments of high drama, along with plenty of intrigue, all set in a complex, fully-realized world. But mainly it’s just plain fun. Fun because our protagonist, Noakh, is so naïve and trusting. Fun because his quest for glory is constantly derailed. Fun because Redwright is willing to let his imagination roam, and as a result we never quite know where this tale is headed. Nitpickers may note the occasional anachronism, or an awkward turn of phrase, but these seem like mere quibbles. If you’re looking for an engaging adventure that never loses its sense of humor, let the Sword’s Choice be your choice as well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Ray

    This book was a great read from start to end. I wasn't even half way through the first chapter and I already wanted to know more about Noakh’s fate, his father Lumio and the sword of the king (which was asleep for a long time)… btw, absolutely cool explanation of ‘Don’t Give Up’ (in a name)! Overall, great plot line, lots of fights and marvellous characters. Some die - some survive …and as the result you’ll fall in love with the rest. The story is full of action, heroes are developed and growing. This book was a great read from start to end. I wasn't even half way through the first chapter and I already wanted to know more about Noakh’s fate, his father Lumio and the sword of the king (which was asleep for a long time)… btw, absolutely cool explanation of ‘Don’t Give Up’ (in a name)! Overall, great plot line, lots of fights and marvellous characters. Some die - some survive …and as the result you’ll fall in love with the rest. The story is full of action, heroes are developed and growing. It was an amazing medieval fantasy saga and I truly enjoyed it: never knew what was going to happen before it did… I love how descriptive the novel was, how beautiful it flowed and those battle and action parts were nail biting good! Recommended for fantasy fans.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Norma Nikutowski

    In The Sword’s Choice, the Sapphire Eruption, there are four different kingdoms:Fireos, Aquos, Tirhans, and Aertians. In the Fireo Kingdom, there is a saying “A phoenix is born only when the sky turns red.” Thommes, a priest of the kingdom of Fireos performs an annual ceremony with a sword, Distra, to decide the next queen or king. Newborns are submitted to a trial to see if they are the new phoenix. According to the ritual, Noakhail, a newborn baby, is chosen as the future king. There is a murde In The Sword’s Choice, the Sapphire Eruption, there are four different kingdoms:Fireos, Aquos, Tirhans, and Aertians. In the Fireo Kingdom, there is a saying “A phoenix is born only when the sky turns red.” Thommes, a priest of the kingdom of Fireos performs an annual ceremony with a sword, Distra, to decide the next queen or king. Newborns are submitted to a trial to see if they are the new phoenix. According to the ritual, Noakhail, a newborn baby, is chosen as the future king. There is a murder attempt but a young soldier, Lumio is able to escape with the baby and the sword Distra. Noakhail trains with Lumio and Distra to be a fighter. This is just the beginning. There are many twists and turns in this medieval fantasy that kept me turning pages to see what was going to happen next. If you like fantasy adventures you will enjoy this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Coleman

    This is a very good read. It has all the elements I enjoy which are fantasy, adventure, and a bit of action. This is a very well-written story with fascinating characters. The main character is a very interesting person and I found that I enjoyed them quite a bit. I am very glad I was given the chance to read this book, and hope to read more by this author in the future. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Clifton Kenny

    This was a superlative read. It has been quite a while since I was absorbed into a world of medieval fantasy, but I have to say this one got me. Vivid characters, unpredictable plot, great pacing, action... everything a quarantined reader needs! I felt like a kid again, escaping the world in my room with an old copy of Tolkien or Lewis, because the one cool language arts teacher said I was ready for this kind of story. First time an indie author brought that feeling back. This one's legit! This was a superlative read. It has been quite a while since I was absorbed into a world of medieval fantasy, but I have to say this one got me. Vivid characters, unpredictable plot, great pacing, action... everything a quarantined reader needs! I felt like a kid again, escaping the world in my room with an old copy of Tolkien or Lewis, because the one cool language arts teacher said I was ready for this kind of story. First time an indie author brought that feeling back. This one's legit!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    It's been awhile since I read a pure, sink-into-the-world fantasy, and this one was a treat. Noakhail has grown-up alone with, what he thought, was his father. Every day, he's been trained to become a mighty warrior...for as long as he can remember. When his father presents him with a magical fire sword and discloses that Noakhail is actually the chosen king of the fire nation, Noakhail soon finds himself on a dangerous and adventure-rich path to save more than just his kingdom. At the same time It's been awhile since I read a pure, sink-into-the-world fantasy, and this one was a treat. Noakhail has grown-up alone with, what he thought, was his father. Every day, he's been trained to become a mighty warrior...for as long as he can remember. When his father presents him with a magical fire sword and discloses that Noakhail is actually the chosen king of the fire nation, Noakhail soon finds himself on a dangerous and adventure-rich path to save more than just his kingdom. At the same time, the twin sword, a water sword, needs to chose the future queen, and everyone in the kingdom believes it will be the current princess in Aquadom, but the choice has yet to be made. With the growing threat of Noakhail's presence, things are even more unsure. This tale pulls in from the first page and drives forward the entire way through. While the first pages grab the reader in and make the danger of the situation immediately clear, the world-building and character depth isn't far behind. Noakhail's personality holds all that a great hero needs, and his uncertainty makes him instantly likable. His relationship and the occurrences with his so-called father seal the deal before the adventure and action really kicks in. Secrets and dangerous intrigue keep the tension high as both Noakhail and the princess try their best to do what they see as being right. It's a nicely done weave, which keeps the reader bound to the pages. Add this to the more direct writing style, and it makes for a read which is easy to pick up and settle in with. It will be exciting to see where the adventures go next.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia Cowan

    This was a fantastic read for fans of the fantasy genre. The first thing that struck me was the front cover - striking and gives you an indication of the battle between the two swords. I was drawn into this story straight away. The orphaned baby whose destiny is determined in the opening chapter. The book is very well written as you read of Noakhail’s journey as he learns to harness the the sword’s power. This is cleverly entwined with Princess Vienne’s story in an opposing kingdom. The story wa This was a fantastic read for fans of the fantasy genre. The first thing that struck me was the front cover - striking and gives you an indication of the battle between the two swords. I was drawn into this story straight away. The orphaned baby whose destiny is determined in the opening chapter. The book is very well written as you read of Noakhail’s journey as he learns to harness the the sword’s power. This is cleverly entwined with Princess Vienne’s story in an opposing kingdom. The story was written well as the plot slowly unfolds. The characters are likeable and the language used is fitting of the genre. I would look out for further books from this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert Ullrich

    A Truly Epic Adventure They are occasions when the word epic is used to promote a book, movie, etc. This isn't one of those times. Redwright has created a fantasy world of four kingdoms, each worshiping a god of one of the elements, fire, water, etc. The journey of a young man, rightful heir to the Kingdom Furio is at the center of the epic adventure, as is a young woman chose to be the next Queen of the Kingdom of water and it's god of the Seas. It isn't a quick tale. You are given details to br A Truly Epic Adventure They are occasions when the word epic is used to promote a book, movie, etc. This isn't one of those times. Redwright has created a fantasy world of four kingdoms, each worshiping a god of one of the elements, fire, water, etc. The journey of a young man, rightful heir to the Kingdom Furio is at the center of the epic adventure, as is a young woman chose to be the next Queen of the Kingdom of water and it's god of the Seas. It isn't a quick tale. You are given details to bring the story to life, an adventure far from over.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jo Sparkes

    In a world where the successor to a kingdom is selected through unique methods of old tradition, one kingdom's leader attempts to circumvent the end of his reign, and another watches a usurper scheme to alter the path. Noakhail steps into manhood to discover all he has known is not quite true. His father was not his father, his home is not in the kingdom of his birth, and the sword of his father is no ordinary sword. Now alone in the world, he must decide if - and how - he will fulfill the destin In a world where the successor to a kingdom is selected through unique methods of old tradition, one kingdom's leader attempts to circumvent the end of his reign, and another watches a usurper scheme to alter the path. Noakhail steps into manhood to discover all he has known is not quite true. His father was not his father, his home is not in the kingdom of his birth, and the sword of his father is no ordinary sword. Now alone in the world, he must decide if - and how - he will fulfill the destiny his 'father' sacrificed everything to preserve. I'll confess it took me a bit to get into the story, but once I did it kept me reading. There are some fresh adventures here, and characters to care about. If you like epic fantasy, this is for you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lennie Grace

    "The Sapphire Eruption" is a fun and creative fantasy novel. :D I'm a big fantasy lover, but I work so much that I usually listen to my fantasy books on audible. (I can read while driving! It's great!) But I'm very glad I picked up a copy of this book. It was very exciting with a great story and world-building. And I really liked our cast of characters, my favorite being Noakhail. And this doesn't really have anything to do with the story itself, but I absolutely love the cover! It's so pretty. "The Sapphire Eruption" is a fun and creative fantasy novel. :D I'm a big fantasy lover, but I work so much that I usually listen to my fantasy books on audible. (I can read while driving! It's great!) But I'm very glad I picked up a copy of this book. It was very exciting with a great story and world-building. And I really liked our cast of characters, my favorite being Noakhail. And this doesn't really have anything to do with the story itself, but I absolutely love the cover! It's so pretty. :D Highly recommended for my fellow fantasy lovers. :D

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna Zadunajsky

    This is the first fantasy book I've read. The detailed descriptions made me feel like I was right there in the book, traveling along in the adventure. I highly recommend this to all fantasy readers. This is the first fantasy book I've read. The detailed descriptions made me feel like I was right there in the book, traveling along in the adventure. I highly recommend this to all fantasy readers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Nicole

    A page turner! This was an exciting read from beginning to end! It has a nostalgic quality reminding me of Avatar the Last Airbender just without the bending and for an older audience. The amount of detail the author put into each Kingdom's description, culture, and history is a work itself. The POV allows for the reader to see all sides of the story which only heightens the tension and foreshadowing. I'm excited to continue reading this series! A page turner! This was an exciting read from beginning to end! It has a nostalgic quality reminding me of Avatar the Last Airbender just without the bending and for an older audience. The amount of detail the author put into each Kingdom's description, culture, and history is a work itself. The POV allows for the reader to see all sides of the story which only heightens the tension and foreshadowing. I'm excited to continue reading this series!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Leist

    In the unique fantasy world created by I.M., Redwright, there are four kingdoms based on the four elements in nature: fire, water, earth, and air. In each realm, a sword that determines the next ruler. Noakhail is the baby chosen by the sword in the kingdom of fire. At the ceremony, a bloody battle kills the priest and the baby's mother. A soldier, Lumio, escapes with the baby and the magical sword, Distra. He raises the boy and teaches him to fight using Distra. After thieves kill Lumio, Noakha In the unique fantasy world created by I.M., Redwright, there are four kingdoms based on the four elements in nature: fire, water, earth, and air. In each realm, a sword that determines the next ruler. Noakhail is the baby chosen by the sword in the kingdom of fire. At the ceremony, a bloody battle kills the priest and the baby's mother. A soldier, Lumio, escapes with the baby and the magical sword, Distra. He raises the boy and teaches him to fight using Distra. After thieves kill Lumio, Noakhail leaves the kingdom of water, Aquadom, and returns to the fire kingdom, Fiero, to claim his throne. Noakhail must travel through the kingdom of earth, Tirhan, to reach Fiero. There are battles and adventures. He meets unusual characters—a complicated journey for him to return home. A second story runs through the book. Vienne, a young princess, is chosen as the heir to the kingdom of Aquadom. Her special sword is called Crystalline. She trains with the sword so that she can maintain her position against her older sister. Do the two heirs meet as adversaries or friends? I won't say, but you must read the book to experience the exciting journey that brings them together.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kayla TM

    DNF. I tried and tried but I can’t do it anymore. 40% in and I simply don’t care. The writing is choppy. The dialogue is unrealistic, fantasy novel or no. So much of the story is redundant. Simple things in the story don’t make any sense, and nothing is really examined as it should be. There’s no depth. It’s just not good in any way. I did receive a free copy, so I feel bad about DNFing it, but I really don’t see there being any redemption at this point.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Driscoll

    This is the first of (I'm guessing) four books, each set in a kingdom corresponding to one of the four traditional elements—fire, water, earth, and air. The inhabitants of each realm have characteristic hair and eye colours and personalities. The ruler of each kingdom (and in one case a queendom) is chosen by means of a magical sword. The first book features a young man who is the Ascendant Phoenix of the realm of Firia, but who was rescued from a murderous plot and raised in Aquadom, the realm This is the first of (I'm guessing) four books, each set in a kingdom corresponding to one of the four traditional elements—fire, water, earth, and air. The inhabitants of each realm have characteristic hair and eye colours and personalities. The ruler of each kingdom (and in one case a queendom) is chosen by means of a magical sword. The first book features a young man who is the Ascendant Phoenix of the realm of Firia, but who was rescued from a murderous plot and raised in Aquadom, the realm of water. Most of the action happens in the Aquadom. The plot is intricate and carefully crafted with the intention of showing the interaction of tradition and history with individual ambitions and loyalties. The story is, in fact, one of coming of age. Noakh, the dispossessed Ascendant Phoenix of Firia, and Vienne, the chosen heir of the queendom of Aquadom, must make choices and learn valuable life lessons. The characters are easy to relate to because they display familiar human emotions—grief, fear, resentment, hate, joy, and love. Noakh mourns his murdered father and undertakes a journey to learn more about the magical sword he wields. Vienne shoulders the responsibilities of the Lacrima, the chosen successor to Aquadom's queen, facing her fears and the hostility of her sisters. The plot and characters made me happy to keep reading in order to find out what would happen to Noakh and Vienne. Most of the chapters are about Noakh, who is on a kind of quest. He meets people who prove to be foes or friends and has many opportunities to use Distra, his magical sword from Firia. Details about the four realms, their histories and relations with one another, are introduced at times, enriching the story. My main problem with this book was the quality of the prose. It's at best workmanlike and often clunky. The author frequently over-explains a scene. "A shiver crossed the backs of both soldiers; the idea of provoking the anger of the God of Fire clearly frightened them." Some situations are hard to visualize, such as "…the queen fixed her eyes on her daughter, who was standing on her chair, her head held by her fist, seemingly not enjoying the matters discussed at the meeting." I noticed several peculiar word choices, as when blood "sprouts" from wounds. "Esplanade," a term associated with fortification architecture, is used for any flat area, including a forest clearing. "Heaved" appears as a dialogue tag, applied to a character who is not puking. These are only a few examples of many points that made me stop and read a sentence twice. Despite the lumpy prose, this is an intriguing story that avoids many of the stock plot devices of fantasy. I'm still not certain of the significance of a sad sub-plot involving a giant. Like many books that are part of a series, it ends with a lot of unresolved questions as Noakh and his companion Hilzen arrive in Tir Torrent, the Earth Kingdom, where no doubt further adventures await them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scott McCloskey

    Ah, sweet worldbuilding, thou art my nectar. There are stories written in our world, where we have to mind all sorts of things to keep the situation realistic (which can be quite a challenge if you’re not necessarily up on every modern trend). There are stories written in worlds similar to our own, where we authors still have to keep our feet on the ground. But you know what’s great about writing a story in your own world? Nobody to check up on you. It’s a clean slate to paint on, and the sky is Ah, sweet worldbuilding, thou art my nectar. There are stories written in our world, where we have to mind all sorts of things to keep the situation realistic (which can be quite a challenge if you’re not necessarily up on every modern trend). There are stories written in worlds similar to our own, where we authors still have to keep our feet on the ground. But you know what’s great about writing a story in your own world? Nobody to check up on you. It’s a clean slate to paint on, and the sky is the absolute limit to what you can bring to life. Of course, this privilege is not without its trials. For one, being responsible for everything means that you are, in fact, responsible for everything. And that’s no mean feat. People, places, ideas, concepts, faiths…it’s all on you. And there is something to be said for how you tie it all together. Just having facts is never enough, you’ve got to turn it into a narrative. The Sapphire Eruption lives up to that narrative feel. There’s a lot going on here – several independent nations, each with their own personalities and outlooks on life vie for attention, and of course we have our main cast of characters to mind. This book is on the chunky side and I often say how that can be a bit of a concern for the potential for losing your reader, but ample time is spent developing everything the way it needs to be, from landmasses to cities, and on down to the cast of people we need to care about in order to become invested in the story. It’s a tangled web of a story, but a sweet one if you don’t mind getting tied up. Mind, however, that fantasy is never the same snowflake twice, and thus there’s no promise this flavor is going to be to your liking. The concept of elemental kingdoms is certainly nothing new under the sun – so not new that it miiiight just have turned me off from picking this up had I seen it on a shelf at a store, just because such an angle is so, well, done. You’re going to be reading high fantasy here, with all the swords and sorcery and thievery and so forth theretofore pertaining. Make sure that’s what you’re after, because the inside of this book is what it looks like on the outside. That really isn’t much of a criticism, I suppose. Well, there’s not much here to complain about. Spare a few minutes for it and it’s sure to wrap you up – just make sure you have the time to invest in it all!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Topan

    There are a few points I wish to make when reading I.M's book; 1. Reminds me so much of avatar and not in a bad way of any sorts, I love the series just as I much love the theme of this book. I half expect an avatar like king who can wield all the elemental weapons and be like "you're my bitches now." Jokes aside. 2. I am a sucker for fire, dual-wielding swords and Pheonixs. 3. The religious aspects remind me of dragon age a little, with different kingdoms and clans having their own god and stories There are a few points I wish to make when reading I.M's book; 1. Reminds me so much of avatar and not in a bad way of any sorts, I love the series just as I much love the theme of this book. I half expect an avatar like king who can wield all the elemental weapons and be like "you're my bitches now." Jokes aside. 2. I am a sucker for fire, dual-wielding swords and Pheonixs. 3. The religious aspects remind me of dragon age a little, with different kingdoms and clans having their own god and stories of the old ways it is very cool. Now that's out of the way, there are some things to note when first reading and that the story does follow a similar theme we have all seen before, and a slow beginning before the story can finally kick off but do not let that deter you as the author has carefully used this time to develop and, introduce you to their world. Not giving you one large dump of info in one chapter but over the many starting chapters, giving you the most important pieces of information of the lore, the worlds history, the creatures it inhabits, the customs and the four kingdoms. Easy to digest and put together while keeping forward along with the story. I have in a way been impartial to human characters, regardless if I am reading or watching a movie, I do struggle to be emotionally attached to human characters but when an animal is involved or a friendly giant (wink, wink) I go aww and want to treasure them at all costs. I very much enjoyed this book, and I look forward to seeing what happens next in the series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ali Seegar

    Wow, what a truly epic adventure! Four kingdoms—The Aquadom, Aere Tine, Firia and Tir Torrent—each with their own rulers, traditions and religions rub along together but are always on the brink of war. Multiple stories are interwoven; Noakhail, a young warrior, discovers he is the rightful heir to the kingdom of Firia and, after the murder of his father, sets out on a journey of great proportions. Meanwhile, in Aquadom, young, shy Vienne is chosen to become the kingdom’s future queen. From the ve Wow, what a truly epic adventure! Four kingdoms—The Aquadom, Aere Tine, Firia and Tir Torrent—each with their own rulers, traditions and religions rub along together but are always on the brink of war. Multiple stories are interwoven; Noakhail, a young warrior, discovers he is the rightful heir to the kingdom of Firia and, after the murder of his father, sets out on a journey of great proportions. Meanwhile, in Aquadom, young, shy Vienne is chosen to become the kingdom’s future queen. From the very start, Redwright creates an evocative world full of rich descriptions and intriguing characters. It’s easy to feel empathetic for the two main protagonists, and despite their foibles you want them to succeed, even though they both seem to be reluctant to accept the destinations they’ve been given. On rare occasions, the story felt slightly overwritten, as though it could do with a good edit to flow more smoothly, but this is a small point compared with the overall story. It’s clear to see that this is part of a series (Book 1 of the The Sword’s Choice series) as it ends on a cliffhanger, which is quite a strange way to end a book. It does, however, make you hope Book 2 will soon be published in order to continue the adventure. All in all, a great read if you like big, broad fantasy adventure.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Victor Hess

    A soldier foils the plot to kill the sword-chosen heir to the Fireo Kingdom, escaping with a new-born child and the sword, Distra. Forsaking his own family, he raises and trains the boy. Book one is the adventures of the young heir as he sets out to explore the four kingdoms. Adventure abounds. What worked in this well-written fantasy is swords with powers of their own, men and women with amazing battle skills, unlikely heirs to powerful kingdoms, a giant who loves horses as pets, and travels ful A soldier foils the plot to kill the sword-chosen heir to the Fireo Kingdom, escaping with a new-born child and the sword, Distra. Forsaking his own family, he raises and trains the boy. Book one is the adventures of the young heir as he sets out to explore the four kingdoms. Adventure abounds. What worked in this well-written fantasy is swords with powers of their own, men and women with amazing battle skills, unlikely heirs to powerful kingdoms, a giant who loves horses as pets, and travels full of adventures. The archer girl Dabayl, cross-bowman Hilzen, and young heir Noakhail are clearly heading to a confrontation with powers of water, air and fire-and more. Redwright feeds us with backstory amidst action in a blend that makes it easy to follow the story. His omniscient style puts us in the mind of each major player in this epic tale. Dialog and description compel us willingly to the next chapter. What would have been helpful is a list of rulers and countries and maybe a map. Otherwise, this is a well-written beginning to a serial of kingdom building like Game of Thrones. Five stars because it is well-written and a captivating story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Clark Wilkins

    A Riveting Read I’ve never read an epic fantasy book like this before. The setting compares to Homer’s “Iliad and the Odyssey” in that we have kingdoms, giants, swords, and adventure in a Greek mythology style setting. In this case the hero destined to be king has to flee his country to avoid assassination. Armed with a magical weapon with a thirst for blood that wants to control him, we follow his path. Yet he’s not your typical hero like Hercules, Perseus, or Achilles. He has no idea how to be A Riveting Read I’ve never read an epic fantasy book like this before. The setting compares to Homer’s “Iliad and the Odyssey” in that we have kingdoms, giants, swords, and adventure in a Greek mythology style setting. In this case the hero destined to be king has to flee his country to avoid assassination. Armed with a magical weapon with a thirst for blood that wants to control him, we follow his path. Yet he’s not your typical hero like Hercules, Perseus, or Achilles. He has no idea how to be a king. He has to learn to become one or learn to be dead. He begins a quest to train himself and we follow along and learn along with him. While I compared the author to the Greek Homer, someone else compared him to Philip Jose Farmer and that too works. His characters and action are believable and the author provides the required background setting for the events that follow. At one point I got bored (I confess a short attention span) but the very next chapter picked up, the book took off, and I was hooked. Description and grammar are excellent and the plot is actually superior to anything Homer ever invented. It’s hard to imagine anyone could possibly create this entire universe and plot in just their head and make it all come out so perfectly. It's all in plain sight. That alone makes it worthy of an amazing read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gene Kendall

    A sword and sorcery epic aimed at Young Adult readers, The Sapphire Eruption opens what is presumably a four-part series with a prologue that drags on just a bit too long. Things do pick up, however, as readers are introduced to its leads -- Noakh, wrongly denied his position as Ascendant Phoenix of Firia, and Vienne, the chosen (but reluctant) heir to rule Aquadom, a rival kingdom. The two young heroes face difficult choices and learn even harder lessons about life over the course of the novel. A sword and sorcery epic aimed at Young Adult readers, The Sapphire Eruption opens what is presumably a four-part series with a prologue that drags on just a bit too long. Things do pick up, however, as readers are introduced to its leads -- Noakh, wrongly denied his position as Ascendant Phoenix of Firia, and Vienne, the chosen (but reluctant) heir to rule Aquadom, a rival kingdom. The two young heroes face difficult choices and learn even harder lessons about life over the course of the novel. Younger readers will likely grow invested in their journey, and it’s clear the author has a fully realized domain in mind. Luckily, the story is rarely stalled for the sake of worldbuilding. Older readers will notice several instances of clunky prose, however, indicating the book would’ve benefited from another draft. Perhaps a minor complaint, though, when considering the epic world created by the author.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hill

    Oh my goodness, I really enjoyed this book and now that it has ended I am sad because I want to know what happens to both Noakh and Vienne, both of whom I believe will make their kingdoms a better place! The book ended when it seemed the action was really going to start (not that there isn't plenty of action already) It reminded me of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, how it ended just as battle started. So, I will be patiently waiting for book 2! This looks like what will be a battle of fou Oh my goodness, I really enjoyed this book and now that it has ended I am sad because I want to know what happens to both Noakh and Vienne, both of whom I believe will make their kingdoms a better place! The book ended when it seemed the action was really going to start (not that there isn't plenty of action already) It reminded me of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, how it ended just as battle started. So, I will be patiently waiting for book 2! This looks like what will be a battle of four kingdoms, a world war of sorts. The journey of Noakh and Hilzen was a hard fought one, with lives lost that made my heart sad, but that just means the author created characters for the reader to care about. The descriptions were perfect, as they weren't over done which some authors tend to do. I suspect all 4 kingdoms may be coming under new leadership and maybe together the can quell the hate that has gradually grown between the kingdoms and they can live in harmony. One can hope! I. M. Redwright, I applaud you, very well done! I can't wait for the next book

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josephine Calabrese

    The Sapphire Eruption (The Sword's Choice Book 1) By I.M. Redwright This story is a work of fiction. It is a story of four nations: The Fireos are a passionate and violent people. The Aquos are smart. The Tirhans have good hearts. The Aertians are shrewd. In the Fireo Kingdom a Phoenix is born only when the sky turns red. You'll read of a newborn and his mother's death. A soldier named Lumio saves the baby by escaping with the baby and the powerful sword Distra. As the baby grows, he goes by the name The Sapphire Eruption (The Sword's Choice Book 1) By I.M. Redwright This story is a work of fiction. It is a story of four nations: The Fireos are a passionate and violent people. The Aquos are smart. The Tirhans have good hearts. The Aertians are shrewd. In the Fireo Kingdom a Phoenix is born only when the sky turns red. You'll read of a newborn and his mother's death. A soldier named Lumio saves the baby by escaping with the baby and the powerful sword Distra. As the baby grows, he goes by the name Noakhail. Lumio raises the youngster to become skillful with the sword so someday he can regain his rightful place in power. You'll read of his adventures, his challenges, and his use of the powerful sword, Distra, which emits fire. You'll be carried into this medieval setting. This fantasy book will hold your interest and leave you up in the air wondering what will happen. Great Story! I look forward to reading the next story. I rate this story five stars. Josephine Calabrese

  30. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Lindsey

    Wow, this book held my attention from beginning to end. I was fascinated as it took me back into bygone days of the old-style stories like Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. Not that this was a real story and I am unsure as to whether Excalibur was either. This sword, DISTRA sounds almost like the Italian word for RIGHT Destra), and even though Distra was magical it protected its owner Noakhaul in the right way. The author is extremely clever in his weaving of this tail about the Phoenix King' Wow, this book held my attention from beginning to end. I was fascinated as it took me back into bygone days of the old-style stories like Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. Not that this was a real story and I am unsure as to whether Excalibur was either. This sword, DISTRA sounds almost like the Italian word for RIGHT Destra), and even though Distra was magical it protected its owner Noakhaul in the right way. The author is extremely clever in his weaving of this tail about the Phoenix King's challenges and tribulations on his journey to gain his throne. The writing and details are exceptional in helping the reader to SEE vivid descriptions and feel within the drama. Don't miss this incredible story.

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