Abbie (13y) – Beta reader for Tyrelia
“Most of the manuscript has no notes. This is because I was enjoying it too much to pick up my pencil! But overall, I think this is an absolutely fantastic story and the perfect sequel we have all been waiting for!”
A story full of secrets and mystery. Manssen’s story will capture the imaginations of both young and old. Freya an unlikely heroine, uses her many skills to unravel the secrets of the mysterious tablet while being pursued by those determined to stand in her way.
A debut novel by a New Zealand author, this Young Adult fantasy novel has a lot going for it.
Freya was half-blinded in a terrible accident as a baby – boiling water took her sight, and, in the vaguely medieval style setting common in fantasy novels, guarantees her to be somewhat of an outcast. However, with a loving family, her responsibility for the family goat, and her general optimistic world view, she is a pretty awesome heroine. One thing I particularly love about Freya is that you know she is blind in one eye, you know she has long hair in order to hide the eye from others as much as possible, and you know that others find her ugly – but that is it. She isn’t the damaged but beautiful heroine often used in books, the only references to her physical appearance are those needed to tell the story. What matters most is her determination, and drive – which is how the book starts, as he hides from some would-be tormentors using her speed and cleverness to escape them.
The world building is strong in this novel, I have a complete visual image of the setting, and understanding of how the world itself works. I love that – so often in YA fantasy novels, I find myself asking – but why? I didn’t have that here. It makes sense! Yes! The plot flips between Freya, and her family, once they are separated, and that really enabled the bigger picture to develop, so it was a great storytelling style to use. The actual writing is quality too, more show than tell, and the reader is treated as competent, with great language used throughout.
It does end on a cliff hanger of sorts, and I am really looking forward to see what happens next. I pretty much devoured this in one sitting, which is always a good sign, and I have lots of good questions going into the next one (rather than that why question I mentioned earlier).
A very strong first novel, and I look forward to reading more both in this series, or any other offerings to come.
Rochelle – 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading Medar and so did my teenage children. It was refreshing to have a gutsy heroine who does not fit the beautiful norms of what society expects everyone to look like. Medar was a thought provoking escape from reality. I am looking forward to next book in the series!
I highly recommend it for the teens in your life – Nicole
I loved the book and can’t wait for the next one! Alice
This was an engaging and exciting read and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. I recommend this to anyone who likes books like the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series. NicBods
Loved this first book by Manssen. Enjoyed the plot and the characters. Learned a bit about wrestling too! Will recommend it to my kids, and enjoy re-reading it with them. As a family that does not read a lot of fantasy fiction, this book has a great sense of adventure by believable relatable characters. And a bit of magic! Karen F
A good read with twists and turns and engaging characters. Recommend for young teenagers. Go Freya! Lou