Join us as we travel to the land of Mercia and meet the Chosen One…
TITLE:Return of the White Deer AUTHOR:Robert Sells INFO:Paperback, Fiction, 296 pages PUBLISHED:CreateSpace, 2015 SOURCE:Received from Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for honest, unbiased review.
It’s not easy growing up in seventh century Mercia, an ancient kingdom in England. Bit more difficult when you are the Chosen One and on track to become the next king. Especially if you have no army, no training, and no noble background.
At least that’s what Pen thought after being kidnapped by the King and locked away in a dungeon. And, who could help him now? His father, a mere farmer? The few people in a backwater village, not even on some maps?
Ahh… but a village of secrets. Secrets about a matronly woman with a dark past and her feisty daughter who somehow had become an expert archer. Secrets even about his father who, without a weapon, took down an armed soldier. Secrets about his mother, long dead. Secrets about an old black horse which could outrun all others. But, most of all, secrets about a strange white deer lurking in a forbidden forest.
After being rescued, Pen finds himself in the middle of a rebellion and on a roller-coaster ride ending with his coronation or, far more likely, his death. Success hinges on this fifteen year old boy growing into a man in a few short months. Yup, growing up in Mercia wasn’t easy.
Pen looked at her profile. The glow from the flames accented individual hairs curling from the rest that was haphazardly bound into a ponytail.
“You are so wise, Liana. And…and…”
He wasn’t sure how to tell her she was beautiful. Besides how would she react?
“… so right. I have been thinking only of myself. I forgot the people who taught me important things…how to persevere…like Songor does with his cooking,” he chuckled.
Liana said nothing while she stared at the embers.
“I don’t want to end up like my uncle. How can I be a good king if I make those kinds of mistakes now?”
She studied him. The face she saw was not the carefree one she so enjoyed seeing nearly every day in their youth. Nor was it the haughty one which assumed pretentious airs. His body has filled out with muscle and sinew, but his face was leaner and more lined than before. For a moment she regretted her harsh words to him. But only for a moment. Right now, though, he needed soft words. She covered his hand with hers.
MY TAKE: I found this to be a fun and entertaining read. The author has created a world populated with characters that his readers can become very attached to and invested in. Mr. Sells has been described as a “storyteller” and I believe that is a very apt title. It would be very easy to imagine him sitting in a room with several children (and adults) raptly listening to him regale them with this tale.
It was hard to not get immersed in Pen’s world and his adventures. As he learned more of the secrets of his past and started his journey into adulthood, it was easy to see how he could become a great ruler. I liked the depth of Pen’s relationships with both his father and Liana. The story is packed with many such multi-dimensional characters and moves along at a great pace. I highly recommend it for readers of any age and I feel that it is one of those books that could easily grab the attention of those hard-to-please kids and turn them into avid readers.
Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it 4/5:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Short Biography for Robert Sells
I attended college at Ohio Wesleyan where I struggled with physics. Having made so many mistakes in college with physics, there weren’t too many left to make and I did quite well at graduate school at Purdue.
I worked for nearly twenty years at Choate Rosemary Hall, an exclusive boarding school in the heart of Connecticut. More often than not, students arrived in limousines. There was a wooded area by the upper athletic fields where I would take my children for a walk. There, under a large oak tree, stories about the elves would be weaved into the surrounding forest.
Returning to my home town to help with a father struggling with Alzheimer’s, the only job open was at a prison. There I taught an entirely different clientele whose only interaction with limousines was stealing them. A year later Alfred State College hired me to teach physics. I happily taught there for over ten years.
My wife’s boss, the superintendent of a rural school in western New York, begged me to teach physics and earth science. Helping young high school students was particularly appealing to me at this point in my career and the salary was more than reasonable, so I find myself happily teaching at Mt Morris Central School.
Five years ago, my wife pestered me about putting to “pen” some of the stories which I had created for the children and other relatives. I started thinking about a young boy and a white deer, connected, yet apart. Ideas were shuffled together, characters created and the result was the Return of the White Deer. This book was published by the Martin Sisters.
Years ago I gave a lecture on evolution. What, I wondered, would be the next step? Right away I realized that silicon ‘life’ had considerable advantages over mortal man. Later this idea emerged as the exciting and disturbing story called Reap the Whirlwind.
Two years ago I stumbled upon an old article in the local paper about a Brinks’ robbery in 1992. Apparently over ten million dollars were stolen and most of it was never recovered. Although the mafia was peripherally involved in the heist, it was unlikely they took the missing millions. This was the seed which has now grown into the young adult novel, The Runner and the Robber.
I have many other stories inside my mind, fermenting… waiting patiently for the pen. Perhaps someday I will even write about those elves which still inhabit the woods in the heart of Connecticut.
GIVEAWAY: Robert Sells is generously gifting one lucky winner with a $10 Barnes & Noble GC! The random winner will be drawn during this Goddess Fish Promotions tour via Rafflecopter. Be sure to enter below and check out all of the other great tour stops HERE for extra chances to win.