I’ve reviewed several of Annie Douglass Lima’s books. I love the Krilonian series and have interviewed a character on my blog as well. I’ve showcased The Annals of Alasia in two different blogs (book 2 and book 3) and shared her coloring book. So, when I was asked to beta read another in the series, I jumped on the opportunity.
The Annals of Alasia cover the invasion of Alasia by Malorn. Young teens face the hardships of war and fight for their country in unexpected ways. Book 1 tells the story of the Prince of Alasia as he tries to regain his throne. In In the Enemy’s Service a young girl becomes a spy as she tries to stay alive and still help Alasia. My favorite of the series has been book 3, The Prince of Malorn. It shares the story of the invading army. However, I’m not sure which is my favorite now. Book 4 has captured my heart as well.
About the Story:
What happens if you’re young, in the army, and the enemy attacks suddenly at night? You fight for your life, but if you are knocked unconscious and wake up to find the battlefield empty of any living person and the enemy has taken over your land, you just may run for your life. That’s what Tarvic does. Starving, wounded, and exhausted he finally finds refuge in an unlikely place–on a farm with three young girls whose father is away in the army. With the enemy searching for any members of the Alasian army and any chance to take what isn’t theirs, Tarvic must defend the farm from the enemy.
Annie Douglass Lima has done it again, drawn me in and kept me enthralled with her world. I loved Tarvic and how real he was. His struggle with who he was and what he should do came across as genuine. It was fun to see some of the scenes from other books in the series played out from this point of view. One of the strengths of this series is the way Mrs. Lima can tell a new story from the same timeline. It’s like viewing the scene from multiple angles.
This fourth installment moves more toward Young Adult than middle grade, but there is no overt violence or gore to keep the book from a younger reader. The character is older than the other main characters in the series so far, and there’s even a bit of romance. Readers both young and young at heart will enjoy this book.
The book is on sale today only for 99 cents! Go grab your copy. Not sure if it’s your cup of tea or afraid you can’t read it since you haven’t gotten the rest of the series? No fear, here’s an excerpt:
Tarvic woke to the sound of a distant yell, abruptly silenced. He pushed his blankets aside and sat up, puzzled, but heard only the light patter of rain on the canvas. “What was that?”
Drevel, his roommate in the barracks and tentmate out on campaigns like this, stirred and rolled over. “What?”
“I heard something. Someone shouting.”
“It’s probably just another drill.” But Drevel sat up too, shoving his own blankets away, as Tarvic crawled over and untied the tent flap.
A blast of wintry air and raindrops greeted him as he leaned out, peering across the tent-studded hillside. Clouds hid the moon and stars, and on every side the thick dark of the forest leaned in from the edges of the large clearing. But the telltale flickering light of distant torches sent shadows leaping over tents and across the open spaces between them. Why would someone be using torches out here? Any soldier in camp had easy access to lanterns among the supplies.
Something was wrong. Very wrong. Tarvic pulled back into the tent and yanked on his breeches and jacket.
They both heard the next yell, closer this time, and then the unmistakable clash of swords. Both men snatched up their own swords, jamming their feet into their boots and fumbling for shields. From all around them, shouts of alarm erupted as men in their company woke up.
And then the enemy was upon them. Horses exploded through the camp, trampling tents and the soldiers just crawling out of them. Riders leaned low off their mounts’ backs, swinging swords and waving torches.
About the Author:
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published seventeen books (four YA action and adventure novels, five fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.