Rating:

51fEGFkU3LL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Reviewed by Alysia George

Salinor, by Samuel Alexander, is an epic novel spanning a millennium. The extraordinarily detail-rich story takes place in the fictional realm of Salinor, and its pages are filled with fantastical creatures living in a world that shares similarities with ours, yet is vastly different. Magic, talking hybrid animals, and unique physical characteristics are interspersed with more familiar concepts, bringing to life a world that exists only in the author’s imagination.

Two separate adventures, taking place 1000 years apart, are mysteriously tied together, against a background of mythological history. First, Leo and Danais are introduced, along with an eclectic cast of supporting characters. Upon meeting, the pair is immediately drawn to one another. Very soon they realize that their relationship is a catalyst moving them toward the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy about which they know nothing. Life as they know it begins to unravel at the seams as they are thrust into a dangerous life-changing journey. Despite many uncertainties, they put their trust in the cause, hoping that their questions will be answered and the risks will be worthwhile.

Next, the reader is taken back in time to 1000 years in the past. A whole new set of characters is introduced; in particular a brother and sister pair, a teacher, and three special young students. This group, much like Leo and Danais, is brought together by fate to fulfill a prophecy. However, this prophecy, to which they ultimately dedicate their lives, will take centuries to fulfill. In fact, could it be that it is the very same prophecy that brings Leo and Danais to their quest?

While Salinor has a lot of potential, it is exceedingly long – over 700 pages of tiny print on an e-reader – and is so vast in its concept that it is often difficult to follow. The characters and places have unfamiliar names and are not easy to keep straight. Frequent misspellings, including the names of main characters, compound the issue. A character guide and map at the beginning would make very useful additions, while paring the book down and condensing the story would make for a smoother reading experience.

That said, my overall experience with Salinor was an enjoyable one. Romance, adventure, and fantasy meld together in this book, culminating in a tantalizing cliffhanger, opening wide the expectation for a sequel.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Alysia lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and four children. She writes about family life, parenting issues, and other things of interest to her on her blog, Michigal.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Samuel Alexander. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.