Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To Ride A Puca Tour: Review

Hi Readergirls and friends, thanks for having me over. Today I’m dropping by to celebrate the release of my young adult historical fantasy about the last of the druids in ancient Ireland, To Ride A Puca. Though parts of it were heartbreaking to write, this one was a labor of love that will always hold a special place in my heart. Here is a bit about it:

Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again.

Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?

Disclaimer: This novel contains some violence and difficult subject matter. It is recommended for mature YA and up.

Available in eBook and hardback at B&NAmazon, and other retail sites.

I’ll be giving away great prizes, a new one to a new winner, every week for the next four weeks. There will be signed books by some fabulous author. Stop by my blog to enter!

Our review: 
When I come across a really good fantasy novel I don't fully realize it until I've reached the final period. When the author's words have the ability to suck me into a new world filled with new faces, powers, settings, and more, and then keep me hooked throughout the ups and downs until I've forgotten I'm a reader and thinking I am the main character--that's the true sign of something wonderful. Heather McCorkle's To Ride A Puca is such a novel.

I've always been fascinated by the druids but I haven't read many fictional accounts that have been entertaining. The druids of this world are slowly revealed to the main character, Neala, as the determined sixteen year old girl discovers in bits and pieces about her people and herself, while she also learns about the lies her parents fed her throughout her life. Bren is a young man who helps her one day when she becomes lost in the woodland mist and is then injured. Always with her trusted horse, Dubh, the beautiful black stallion feared by many who see the huge animal, Neala accepts help from Bren, instantly feeling he is like her--a druid. Once they begin to talk, she learns there are more of their people living close by and they speak freely about themselves. This is so unlike her 'healer' parents who are tight lipped.

The Danes are approaching Ireland by ship and Neala rushes to learn how to control and work her powers as well as defend herself with a lance, something her older brother, Lacan, began to teach her before he died in battle. Bren steps up to teach her and her attraction to the strapping young man grows and is mutual.

To Ride A Puca contains all of the fantasy elements needed to provide an entertaining read, but it is the emotion and feeling of the author's passion for this story--what I call the 'heart' of the tale--which is evident page after page. The attention to detail from the swishing of fairies' wings  to the smell of the pine needles covering the forest floor, to the way Neala watches sweat run down Bren's exposed torso as he works in his blacksmith shop, I felt grounded in this fantastical world which may become dark with evil, as long as there is hope, love and a fierce determination to survive, anything is possible. This may be my first Channeler novel by Heather McCorkle but I am now a fan and need to read her other novels. To Ride A Puca is highly recommended for older YA fantasy fans and adults. Get lost in this magical tapestry of mythology, druid clans, love, family and coming of age, all set a midst the Emerald Isle of yesteryear. 

Rating: I LOVED IT!

Favorite excerpt: "Dubh froze in mid-stride. The tension running through him made Neala tear her gaze from Bren and scan the forest. Beside her Bren’s horse started to shift about. “We’re not alone,” he whispered. 

“I know.”

Swinging his leg over his horse’s neck, he dropped to the ground and handed his reins to her. “Hold onto him for me, please. I can’t chance him getting hurt, he’s our only horse.” 

Her pulse sped up and she locked gazes with him. The protectiveness in his eyes was noble, but also annoying. She wasn’t helpless. But then, she hadn’t expected to come across any trouble in the forest. As he drew his sword she realized, he had. She felt foolish. This wasn’t her forest. The dangers lurking within it were unknown to her.

“I can fight too,” she said. 

Bren gave her a crooked grin that made her blood heat with anger. “Ye don’t have to with me here,” he said."

Cover comment: Beautiful. Since Dubh is such a prominent character for an animal, I like having him grace the cover.

Book source: I received an ebook version of this book from the author in return for my totally honest review during a book tour.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how much your fabulous review touches me. To know that you as a reader fell in love with this novel as much as I did means the world to me.