Book Eighteen of 2012: THE KING’S FIRST JOURNEY by Launa Sorensen

“Deception, illusion, and wits. Who can out-maneuver the other?”

When a false murder charge sends Jim Taylor and his family fleeing from an enraged mob, they find themselves entrenched in a new world. Areane is a land of myth, infused with magic and creatures of legend, but it quickly proves to be as dangerous as it is strange. Faced with assassins, black magic, and the Areane underground, Jim and his sister Diane attempt to unravel the dark mystery surrounding their arrival and their destinies; a mystery that not only threatens their lives, but the existence of a nation.
A tale of mystery, family, loyalty, and friendship, The King’s First Journey begins The Areane Journals, a new series chronicling the darkest time in Areane’s history, and the young man who could bring hope to a nation on the verge of destruction.

I actually personally know this author, believe it or not. She is an amazing young woman with a strong mind and soul. Seriously, I’m usually a competitive and petty person, but for some reason Launa is an author I don’t feel like I have to prove myself. She doesn’t flaunt her abilities and is so down to earth that even I feel like I need to better myself. She wrote this back in Junior High and I’m sure if she had the inclination, the writing style would be drastically different. That said, I really love this book.

I first read this book back when she published it on her own. Even then, I wanted to write an opinion piece. The only reason why I didn’t was because my mother thought I would get all evil. I wasn’t, by the way.

The first thing I noticed, was that this version was different from the first time I read it. The story is still the same, but how it’s written is definitely better. There are some noticeable word issues, for example “weather” instead of “whether” or the “than” and “then” mix up, but honestly, those didn’t bother me. Also, if you think about it, that’s more of the editor’s and publisher’s mistakes than the writer’s. After all, she was 13 at the time she wrote it (another reason why I love her, she could finish something I just now accomplished: a first draft).

The main characters are well written. You can tell that Sorensen took great time in understanding her characters and world. This is important to me, because I like wondering about that common character (Patrick McMillan in this case, cute red head!) or the sexy rogue King of Thieves (Ronan… *sigh*). I love characters with a lot of personality and Sorensen doesn’t disappoint. They are relatable, humorous, and above all a group of people that I would have loved to hang out with. Sure, they are all teens, but they are teens who act like teens and somehow are able to show growth in just the first book!

If you are wondering about the story, think of the HARRY POTTER series and LORD OF THE RINGS meeting in a danky bar and hooking up one fateful night. This is THE AREANE JOURNALS. The first installment reads similar to the HARRY POTTER books, but has the high fantasy quality of LOTR. It is enjoyable for the thirteen year old or, in my case, the twenty-four year old. There’s fighting, adventure, friendships, intrigue, and above all a handsome rogue King of Thieves (Ronan… *sigh*).

What’s really great is that these books are affordable on eBook. After all, the last two can really only be found in that way. Which is a bummer because I have the first two in hard copy, but that’s okay. Seriously, give this book a try. You’ll be surprised.

*On a side note… my favorite character is actually not Ronan *sigh*. My favorite character happens to be a spunky girl who kicks ass and then asks questions; Diane Taylor. I just happen to ship Ronan and Diane. ^_^


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