Blog Tour and Review: The Dragon Orb - Mike Shelton

The Dragon Orb by Mike Shelton
Series: The Alaris Chronicles #1
My rating: {★★★☆☆}

YA Fantasy
Published March 1st 2017 by Michael Shelton

Source: YA Bound Book Tours
The fate of a kingdom rests on the shoulders of three young wizards who couldn't be more different.

Bakari is a brilliant scholar wizard who's more at home in a library than a battlefield. Alli is a beautiful young battle wizard whose grace in battle is both enchanting and deadly. Roland is a counselor wizard with a seemingly limitless depth of untapped power -- and the ego to match it.

As the magical barrier protecting the kingdom of Alaris from dangerous outsiders begins to fail, and a fomenting rebellion threatens to divide the country in a civil war, the three wizards are thrust into the middle of a power struggle.

When the barrier comes down, the truth comes out. Was everything they were taught about their kingdom based on a lie? Will they all choose to fight on the same side, or end up enemies in the battle over who should rule Alaris?
There is something about this book that I really enjoyed. The writing was simple and yet effective and there was lots of description to help the world building along.

The plot was well thought out and included everything that a good fantasy world needs - history, culture, politics, magic, adventure and intrigue.

It is so refreshing to see such diversity in what I would class as a middle grade read. I think it's so important as a reader to be exposed to as much diversity as possible and our lead protagonist is a person of colour and as far from the stereotypical hero as you could get: More geek than gym class hero, Bak is a scholar wizard with the particular ability to recall anything he has seen or read.

All of the characters were interesting with their own back stories and struggles, and I think there is something for everyone to connect to and sympathise with. The main protagonists are all young apprentices and wizards but there is also a good deal of content including their mentors and the adult political leaders - there's treason and power plays happening all over the place. It's a kingdom on the brink of civil war and perhaps these young wizards possess the power to hold their country together.

In any book I very much dislike it when world building is flat and there is one version of history that everybody can absolutely agree on. Thankfully that is certainly not the case here. I love that there are conflicting histories contained in the world building and it's also great to see the major social and cultural groups aren't monolithic. It makes the world far more realistic and easier to relate to in that way.

Now obviously I only rated this book 3 stars (more like 3.5). So here's the negatives for me:

The writing didn't quite flow as I would have liked it and it definitely wasn't as... emotional? ... as I would usually prefer. It's narrated in a very matter-of-fact style which made it difficult for me to connect to and didn't elicit too much emotion from me as a reader. The dialouge came off as stilted at times and the actual words just weren't wielded as deftly as they could have been.

Even with the negatives there was just something about this book that kept me engaged and interested in reading more. The premise of the entire story, the interesting characters, the complexity and the plot carried it along for me.

It's a great coming-of-age story for readers of all ages and is a solid and promising start to a new exciting fantasy series.

" time, you learn it doesn’t matter what others think of you if you are acting in accordance with what you think is best."

Buy Link: Amazon

About the Author

Mike was born in California and has lived in multiple states from the west coast to the east coast. He cannot remember a time when he wasn't reading a book. At school, home, on vacation, at work at lunch time, and yes even a few pages in the car (at times when he just couldn't put that great book down). Though he has read all sorts of genres he has always been drawn to fantasy. It is his way of escaping to a simpler time filled with magic, wonders and heroics of young men and women.

Other than reading, Mike has always enjoyed the outdoors. From the beaches in Southern California to the warm waters of North Carolina. From the waterfalls in the Northwest to the Rocky Mountains in Utah. Mike has appreciated the beauty that God provides for us. He also enjoys hiking, discovering nature, playing a little basketball or volleyball, and most recently disc golf. He has a lovely wife who has always supported him, and three beautiful children who have been the center of his life.

Mike began writing stories in elementary school and moved on to larger novels in his early adult years. He has worked in corporate finance for most of his career. That, along with spending time with his wonderful family and obligations at church has made it difficult to find the time to truly dedicate to writing. In the last few years as his children have become older he has returned to doing what he truly enjoys - writing!

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Blog Tour Schedule

June 12th
SolaFide Book Club Promo Post
Mythical Books Promo Post

June 14th Promo Post
Shh, I am Reading Promo Post

June 15th
Illuminite Caliginosus Promo Post
Book Reviews by Di Review
What Is That Book About Promo Post
Hooked To Books Promo Post
Just Us Book Blog Promo Post

June 16th
Perspective of a Writer Review
RiverMoose-Reads Review
Rambling Reviews Promo Post

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Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
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Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween
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Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Fall/Winter
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