Book Reviews

Review: Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer

Rise of the Sparrows (The Relics of Ar’Zac Book One ) by Sarina Langer 5/5


Growing up homeless and orphaned in a town that hates her, Rachael must assassinate the king of Rifarne to become queen to a people who once wanted her dead. Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, who possesses the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person who can stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the king to take his throne may well be the only way to do just that.



I was privileged to be a beta reader for Sarina Langer. My review of this book is based on the beta copy I read.

Fantasy, action, magic, and abilities- this book has it all. The main character, Rachel, was a breath of fresh air- wise for her age, untrusting, and a heroine who wants anything but to stand out. Blending in, being ‘normal’, has always been Rachel’s wish in life, but she has to embrace the fact that normality isn’t hers. She is destined.

Her hard street life and encounters with the intolerant townsfolk and the White Guard have left her wary, tired, and outcast. Her character arc develops perfectly and true to Rachel’s personal growth throughout the narrative. All the characters are believable, and have essence of light and dark in them. Cephy, in particular, was brilliantly written. An impressionable, scared, powerful child- a boiling pot for disaster, right?

Langer masterfully builds a world of magic, prophecies, outlawed organisations, corrupt royalty, and dangerous beings. Rachel has to join the only people who have ever tried to help her, but risk her own life to do so, and fulfil a prophecy she doesn’t fully believe.

Dark twists, heart breaking moments, and a fight for what is right keeps the pages turning. I wholly recommend this book, and can’t wait for the next installment. I need to find out how the ever adapting street girl handles her new role?


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


Author Interviews

Author Interview: Alan Morgan

trés cool

Many of you will have seen my ARC review of The Sibling’s by Alan Morgan (A.Morgan), and my praise for the debut, science fiction, and dystopian novel.  If not, you can check out my review here.

siblingsBlurb: The sky has fallen. The world has been left in ruins, with only a few spots still prospering. Jest and Fer, brother and sister, wait out for the world to come to an undignified end. But int he commotion, havoc wreaks. The two are separated, taken by separate journeys by different factions. Fer, pregnant, taken under the custody of the nefarious Operation, the political leaders of the new world, must fight for release in an attempt to reach her brother. Jest, beaten and left for dead, is brought to safety by a surreptitious military group that know more of the new world than they are letting on. The Siblings must persevere and fight through unimaginable obstacles to be reunited before it’s too late.

author intervIn honour of The Siblings release yesterday, I have interviewed the man himself, Alan Morgan. I have had the pleasure to follow Morgan’s writing journey via his blog, Hyperactive Pandemonium, and I am happy to welcome him to my blog today.

You can get your copy of The Sibling’s from Amazon Kindle or read for FREE via Kindle Unlimited.

What draws you to the genre you write in?
I have always had a tendency to look at the darker side of stories. I am a huge horror and science fiction fan. I have always loved apocalyptic story lines, and have visualised many times what the world would be like if one day it turned on itself. There is a lot of evil in the world as well as good and I like to show this in different ways to how it is actually represented in the real world. Also, I am generally a happy soul, and when I am happy my writing tends to darken as it brings everything into perspective. When I am down, I tend to write happier scenarios as a pick me up. Unfortunately, those stories are few and far between.
The Siblings has been describe as ‘surberb, well written, and fast-paced’. What three words would you use to describe your debut novel?
Apocalyptic, heart-pounding, and exhilarating.
I’m going to throw 3 character names at you, and would love to hear a little insight on each.
Jest – Before the story was written, I knew that a man and woman was sitting on a hilltop watching the world end. Once I started typing, it became apparent that they were brother and sister. Jest was an intriguing concept as he was the older brother and a realist. He blossomed on his own and his character came into his own once the two became separated.
Fer – Similar to Jest, it was only once I started writing did I realise that she was pregnant. It is rare for me to find a book where the central character is pregnant, especially in the genre I chose (I am sure that there are many) and found this perspective daunting and exciting. I feel that throughout the story I wanted her to be much more than the naive child Jest saw her and become strong and independent in her own right.
Darla – In the original concept, Darla was a bit character that did not effect the story. She kinda weaved her way into the thick of things and I liked her character so much that she stayed in. She starts off as a distant and in a way under appreciated source that her leaders see as a tool rather than a person. But once her character meets others, her true colours show and she can be seen as much more.
Some of your characters have unique names. What process do you use for naming characters?
I dislike naming characters. That is one of the most frustrating parts of my writing. When it comes to naming pets I am fine. When it comes to naming pet names for people, that’s fine. As soon as I have to think of character names, my mind is blank. So usually I always start writing without a thought to the character’s title and as soon as I need to name the person I just type the first thing that enters my mind. 
I think that is possibly why they have unique names. In this book, there are a few characters that I chose the name of in advance as otherwise it would not have fitted with the plot. 
Also, if the first name is a standard everyday name like John, then I would keep with a similar approach to titles. As Jest was the first name to be written, I think I wanted to keep the flow going with a similar unique name for his sister.
Would you care to share a teaser from The Sibling’s- pretty please?
 This is an introduction to Private Young’s character:
‘It was hot. Not the kind that people used to complain about when the weather in England reached over thirty degrees. It was skin sizzling, dehydrating hot. Any longer out in the heat and Private Young would have passed out. He was bordering on it when he got relieved of his duty. Young bumped fists with this colleague in passing; enthralled by the prospect of a cold shower and a decent sleep. He had no kinship with the other soldiers and had never learnt their names. He had no time for them or any interest in socialising. That could lead to sympathetic stories being shared and their previous lives and loves brought to reality. Private Young could not risk that; even if the temptation to converse was there, his mission would not allow it.’
Do you have a particular writing routine? Any funny quirks to share?
 I have a varied writing routine. I cannot say I have a set in stone one. For the majority of the first drafts I write, as well as all the short stories and blogs, I will use my phone. This is either done on notes or the writing apps Werdsmith and WordPress. This gives me chance to write anywhere, and I will end up emailing a chapter to myself which will then be typed up on my laptop.
My most productive general writing times are first thing in the morning and last thing at night as I do this in bed before I nod off. I am a poor sleeper and only need a little shut eye, so have been known to be writing all night. To add to the funny quirk question, I once read an interview a long time ago with Ville Valo, lead singer from HIM, and in it he made reference that he wrote songs in the bath whilst suffering from a hangover. My quirk is that I enjoy a nice bath, but tend to come up with the next part of the story and write it whilst soaking. Many chapters have been written, and once a huge revelation was sparked when something occured to me about the colour of a bath bomb.
Where do you source inspiration, and of course, that much needed motivation?
My motivation comes from positive and ambitious people. These could come from all walks of life, but passion is a huge thing. I have known that I wanted to be a writer since I was five, and now, not only do I read and watch films, but I take note of certain elements, and I like peering into the world of the writer/creator. Also the blogs I read, including yours especially, motivate and inspire me by the myriad of varied information that gets posted. I generally get inspired by day to day chores and something completely separate begs me to listen to it. Sometimes, clearing my mind of the writing world churns up fresh ideas. Oh, and writing prompts. They are fabulous things.

What is next for Alan Morgan?

I am currently preparing to promote the hell out of The Siblings. I have started writing the follow up, but will not take that seriously until the middle of May, where I will give myself a strict time frame. I am hoping that this will be released by the year’s end. I am also experimenting on styles of writing that I am not comfortable with, whilst improving my haiku writing. Fingers crossed, there may be a separate, stand alone story next year.
Thank you for joining me on my blog, and I wish you every success for The Siblings.


Permission for use of excerpts and quotations must be sought from the author, A.Morgan.