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Thursday, August 21, 2014

{Book Review} Crimson & Cream by C.M. Skiera

Book Title: Crimson & Cream, Book One in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy
Author: CM Skiera
Publisher: Independent
Publishing Date: August 2012
Length: 247 pages
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review

Hounded by watchmen, trolls, goblins, and a relentless bounty hunter, 13-year-old Jetsam dreams of the day he’ll no longer have to run for his life.

In the mountain city of Dwim-Halloe, Eadriel and Elvar were born twins to teachers at the city’s revered School of Magic. When the new king outlawed magic, the boys’ parents were murdered. Their deaths forfeited the twins' magical birthright and made them homeless fugitives.

Rescued by an orphan gang, the fleeing twins were nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam. To survive as outcasts, the orphans scavenge and pilfer nightly. Their last risky foray sent them fleeing into an unfamiliar cavern. Now the boys are lost deep underground where they encounter a strange beast that will change their lives forever and begin a harrowing journey for their ultimate survival.

Crimson & Cream recounts Jetsam’s adventurous tale of flight and discovery as the fugitive orphan unravels his tortured past while securing his tenuous future.


Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book during a book tour in exchange for an honest review.

When I first read the description of this book, I was eager to read it. I grew up on Tolkien: Dad spoonfed it to me beginning with The Hobbit until he deemed me ready for my own set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was 12. And so, thanks to my dad, I adore fantasy novels. And when they're told well? *squeaks in joy* Heck, yes!

CM Skiera's CRIMSON & CREAM is one of those fantasy novels. Flotsam & Jetsam are twin brothers, orphans, and part of an orphan gang that lives in the sewers of the city. The king outlawed sorcery when they were toddlers, their parents were murdered, and they escaped by jumping into the river. It has been eight years and they are celebrating their 13th birthday by attempting to sneak into the castle.

It does not end well and is the beginning of Jetsam's story as he embarks on a quest in search of a wizard. On his way, he is chased by guards, hunted by a bountyhunter, encounters a mad knight and his band of not-so-noble men, a wood nymph, trolls, etc. This story is filled with history, peppered with magic, and one roaring adventure!

I absolutely loved every minute I spent in this world. Your heart breaks for Jetsam, his band of orphans will make your heart ache with pity and feelings. Without ever having met him, you already despise the king. You are just as eager to find the wizard. And, I don't know about you, but I was so pleased with Jetsam's little companion, Tramp. Good boy, Tramp!

I would absolutely, whole heartedly recommend this to fantasy readers, ages 10 and up (depending on reading level). Clean, the pacing is great, characters are well developed, and nothing to interrupt Reader Zone (no gross grammatical errors, etc). I cannot wait for more in the trilogy and I have a feeling this will definitely hit my favorites shelf! 

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