Welcome to the tour for Masters & Beginners, by Daley Downing, book one in The Order of the Twelve Tribes series!
Read on for a review, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book.
Genre: YA Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Magic
Publication date: August 2017
Masters & Beginners is an enjoyable YA fantasy tale with some teen drama, cute romance, bloodthirsty villains, and a whole lot of mystery and magic. It also has a huge cast of diverse characters.
I particularly enjoyed the concept of house cats transforming into menacing warriors to protect their “contracted” families.
The story emphasizes the importance of teaching family values and how children behave responsibly and think rationally when treated with respect, empathy, and understanding.
The conflict between humans and enchanted creatures who live among them in disguise (some harmful to humans, others helpful) comes out clearly in Sophie’s narrative. The need to belong, to find one’s identity is one of the defining features of young adults.
The setting of the story is modern day, where smartphones, magic, and travel portals exist side by side.
I don’t read a lot of fantasy, so I’m not sure if the creatures described in the book — fairies, demi-feys, cat siths, Nephilims, elves, changelings, and angels — are common but I enjoyed reading about them and their origin stories. The author describes these creatures without making it sound like a history/mythology lesson. She has also cleverly woven Christian mythology into the story.
A humorous touch in the story was the existence of an archive with magical artifacts that has a mind of its own i.e. it can throw its occupants out if it doesn’t like them.
I felt a bit let down by the end because there was so much preparation to fight the villains, but the enemy was not as formidable as it seemed. I also felt that the romance was rushed and forced, and it was difficult to keep track of all the characters. Perhaps an index in the beginning of the book could help.
Masters & Beginners looks at the conflicts that “special” teens face when attempting to mingle with ordinary humans, and the responsibilities they bear with respect to their destined occupations.
Thank you to the author and Shannon for my review copy!
When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving, and protecting, the existence of faeries. Sophie and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, happily adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, joining the ranks of generations who have kept the fey and mortal realms separate for centuries. Before the first month of their new life is over, they’ll encounter romance, elves, talking cats, ancient secrets, and potentially lethal danger. What could possibly go wrong…
About Daley Downing
Daley Downing is an autistic author, parent to special needs children, a dance teacher, and cat whisperer. She spends her days attempting to write just a few more words than in the previous 24 hours, and lovingly refers to her genre as suburban fantasy.
Visit her at: https://daleydowning.wordpress.com/
Blog Tour Stops
I love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Kiki’s Books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/kikis_books/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Rajiv’s Book Reviews (Review) https://www.rajivsreviews.com/
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Read and Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/
Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Book Reviews by Satabdi (Review) https://satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com
Giveaway: Signed Copy of Masters & Beginners by Daley Downing
Blog Tour Organized By: R&R Book Tours