Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adventures and Adversities (Tales of Taelis)

Title: Adventures and Adversities

Series: Tales of Taelis (Book #1)

Year: 2013

Author: Sarah Holman

Summary: One day Alditha is content living with her family, the next she is taking her friend's place to serve at the king’s castle. Her father's final instructions, to keep smiling and to do what is right, will be harder to live out than she ever imagined. She will face a royal nephew who delights in making people miserable, an angry servant girl who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and noblemen who plot murder. Will she be able to keep the promise she made to her father? Will she find the faith she longs for during all her Adventures and Adversities? (from Goodreads)

Main Characters:
~ Alditha
~ William
~ Eleanor

Review: This is another review I am shamefully just getting to. I think I won a Kindle copy of this book over a year ago, and yet life got so hectic that I forgot to actually read it. Why I took so long, I don't know, but I am so glad I decided to pick this book up. 


Alditha (don't you just love her name?) is a young peasant girl who knows nothing but the simple life she had always led. Tragedy has struck her family on more than one occasion, most recently in the death of Alditha's youngest sister, Tana. Alditha struggles to accept it, praying for a stronger faith. Of course, that's before her best friend is picked out to be sent to the king's castle to work... and Alditha volunteers to take her place. Traveling to the castle, working in the king's kitchens, she finds no small amount of adventures and adversities. Yet throughout it all, she tries to keep a positive outlook and stay faithful. 

Alditha reminded me greatly of Elsie Dinsmore, but set during the Middle Ages. Sarah must have done some research on the time period because the historical references (though set in a fictional world) were well done. It made me see the Middle Ages in a whole new light -- a fantastic difference than the normal prince or fine lady story. The title is spot-on; this is truly a tale of adventures and adversities.

There is a great realm of characters in this book. Alditha was lovable, and I absolutely adored her little friend Eleanor. I can't say for certain that she was my favorite character because I went back and forth between Eleanor and her older brother, William. Ooh, yes, and Maggie. Maggie was amazing. I even started liking the horribly misguided Lady Laila. The way Laila's story tied in so neatly with everything there at the end was... wow. I think I saw it coming, but I was still cheering William on during those last few chapters. But I will say no more on that -- spoilers, ya know.

Sarah's writing style is very easy to read, and oftentimes I got so caught up in what was going on that I forgot I was reading at all. I had thought the book would be all about Alditha's life at the castle, yet Sarah took her plot way beyond the kitchens. I had a hard time putting the book down, so keen I was to discover what happened next. And what kept coming? A great number of plot twists! *grins*

There is one complaint I will make and that is that we don't find out what happens to the king's youngest children after they are rescued. I loved that scene, yet the children kinda disappeared after that. Or will they be making an appearance in one of the future Tales of Taelis? If my memory serves me correctly, Sarah will be writing 26 books in all (26? sound familiar? yeah, there's a reason the first book is "a" words and the second "b" words). I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on those.

Advisory: Some of the usual fighting/danger, but it fit the tone of the novel very well. Also, a very light romance popped up between two characters. Sarah handled it very well, and I actually enjoyed reading about it. Rare for me to actually be able to say that!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Click here to buy Adventures and Adversities on Amazon!

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