The Carnelian Legacy

The Carnelian LegacyThe Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet
Series: The Carnelian Legacy
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Abbott Press on January 28, 2015
Pages: 486

 

About The Carnelian Legacy (from the back cover):
Marisa MacCallum has always believed the man of her dreams was out there somewhere. The problem is, he’s living in another dimension.

After the death of her father, eighteen-year-old Marisa only wants to find solace when she sets out on her daily ride through the woods of Gold Hill. But when a mysterious lightning storm strikes the forest, she is hurled into the alternate dimension of Carnelia where she is soon discovered by the arrogant yet attractive nobleman, Darian Fiore.

Stranded in an ancient world teeming with monsters, maniacs and medieval knights, Marisa has no choice but to accompany Darian on a dangerous mission to negotiate peace with his cousin and archenemy, Savino da Rocha. Along the way, she starts to see his softer side and unwittingly falls in love. But after she discovers that Darian is locked into an arranged marriage, her heart shatters. When Savino falls for her charms and demands her hand in exchange for peace, Marisa is faced with an impossible choice: marry the enemy of the man she loves or betray them both and become the catalyst for a bloody war.

This is just one of those books.  You sit down to read just a few chapters and hundreds of pages later you’re trying to decide if chores really need to be done or if they can wait just a bit longer.  If you are looking for a book that is a pure pleasure to read, The Carnelian Legacy certainly fits the bill.  Travel to different dimensions, sword fights and gallant princes, a whole lot of romance, and plot twists and turns await you.

If you are looking for a book that is a pure pleasure to read, The Carnelian Legacy certainly fits the bill.

The book was previously published in 2013 as Cheryl Koevoet’s debut novel.  I am sorry I missed it the first time around.  This book is listed as a target audience of young adult, but I think most readers who enjoy the fantasy/science fiction genre will enjoy this read.  The fantasy aspects are simpler and easier to follow than other fantasy writers like Patrick Carr, so for those looking to dip their toes in to the genre to see if they like it, this would be a great first read.  For seasoned veterans of the genre, the book still offers enough substance to keep you enthralled right to the very end.

One of the things I most appreciated about this book is the lack of jumping back and forth between different time periods/dimensions.  Once Marisa travels to Carnelia, she stays in that dimension.  The consistency made for a story that flows very well.  And the dialogue between the characters was so believable.  I felt like I was sitting right next to them listening in on their conversations.

For those looking to dip their toes in to the genre to see if they like it, this would be a great first read

The interplay between Arrie, Darian and Marisa is very well done.  Marisa has never felt quite like she fits, but with these two she belongs-one as a good friend the other as the man she loves.  The book tackles tough issues such as duty, honor, depression and suicide carefully, but with grace.  Marisa is brought to a place where she embraces the faith of her parents and realizes that she is not alone, God (in the book called Garon) is always with her and loves her no matter what station in life she is in.

This is a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it.  I finished it in less than two days and today finds me going to find the next book in the series to continue the journey.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for these characters especially after the revelations in the last fifty pages of the book.  If you haven’t already, add The Carnelian Legacy to your ‘to be read’ pile.

–Beckie


I chose to read and review The Carnelian Legacy for my children.  Having five teens, ranging from 13 to 19, I hear a lot about these fantasy, other-world books.  The kids love them.  I mean really, really LOVE them.  Frankly, I was a becoming concerned that maybe their perception of reality was a little skewed because they spend so much time in the make-believe world of these books.

I can say that I would be happy for my young adults to read this book and its sequels.  The characters are authentic, the story is imaginative, and the truth behind the story is more real than most adults ever recognize.

However, I can say that I would be happy for my young adults to read this book and its sequels.  The characters are authentic, the story is imaginative, and the truth behind the story is more real than most adults ever recognize.  The initial setting of Oregon was interesting, as we have recently lived in that area of the county.  But the Carnelian world was absolutely fascinating!  While its landscape isn’t entirely different from earth’s, it is just different enough to make the mind wonder what goes on beyond our sight.  And the references to legends and myths with which we are all familiar strikes a humorous, fun note.

The players in this story are really what make it shine, though.  Marisa is a full character.  She swings from smart, independent, and strong to fearful, lonely, and lost and then back again.  The main difference is that she finds God along the way and recognizes that she truly is helpless apart from Him.  In other words, she’s not so different from most of the teenagers I know, especially the ones that live under my roof.

Darian is another character that I appreciated.  His obvious struggle between his duty and his own longings perfectly describes the battle that all humans must go through if they are to be mature, productive citizens and servants of the Lord.  He handles it well, with poise and character, which is likely more mature than most who will read this novel.  Ideally, his choices will make an impact on young readers, encouraging them to follow suit.

Overall, I am impressed with Ms. Koevoet’s storytelling abilities and her comprehension of the teenage mindset.  I understand that she also has a house full of teens, which makes me wonder how she could possibly find enough time and quiet to write such a beautiful novel.

Other characters in The Carnelian Legacy bring the story to life and add to the conflict, ultimately satisfying every child’s desire to see good triumph over evil and all things come to a happy conclusion.

The only thing I would have changed (or really just left out) is that several times throughout the story, Marisa, Darian, and others drink wine.  While I am not here to debate that specific issue, I do not believe that sets a good example for our young people.  Neither does the frequent kissing between Marisa and a number of the other characters.  God blesses purity in all areas of life; let’s offer our teens the very best in examples, rather than lowering the standards in these areas.

Overall, I am impressed with Ms. Koevoet’s storytelling abilities and her comprehension of the teenage mindset.  I understand that she also has a house full of teens, which makes me wonder how she could possibly find enough time and quiet to write such a beautiful novel. 

I’m heading over to Amazon right now to buy a copy of The Carnelian Legacy for a Christmas present.  If you’re buying for teenagers, you should too!

–Stephanie

Note:  The Carnelian Legacy was originally published February 26, 2013 by Westbow Press. These reviews are of the revised and extended edition.

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