The Smiling Stallion Inn (Legends of Arria, Volume 1)

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Basha was born and raised in the town of Coe Baba, but unlike his older brother, Oaka, Basha has never truly felt like he belonged. The truth is that Basha was adopted; his mother arrived in Coe Baba pregnant and under mysterious circumstances, and she died soon after giving birth to him. Now Basha is seventeen and thinks he is ready to participate in the town’s Courtship Ritual and propose to the woman he loves, Jawen, who he has had a tempestuous relationship with off and on throughout his life. Only, he freezes up when his time comes and, instead, finds himself offering to go out and seek out the legendary relic Tau’s Cup!

The Smiling Stallion Inn is the first volume in a new series, Legends of Arria. Courtney Bowen has come up with an intriguing story. The country of Arria, and the world in which it is set, has a rich history, which Bowen elaborates on through stories told by Coe Baba’s mysterious Old Man, snippets remembered from Basha’s history lessons and blurbs at the beginning of chapters. The characters are interesting, if not entirely likeable, and the different layers of story told through different perspectives will keep readers interested. Some of the dialogue was a bit stilted, a bit awkward, but if that’s the worst that can be said about The Smiling Stallion Inn, well, then there’s not much to complain about. With the hints of a prophesy swirling around Basha, Oaka’s apparent magical heritage, the Old Man and his protégée keeping watch over them, and the evil Doomba to be contended with, it is obvious that Bowen has her work cut out for her in continuing this story. But she just might be up to that task; looking forward to the next volume to see where this story goes.

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Star Count 3.5/5
Format eBook
Page Count 383 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 01-Dec-2013
ISBN Buy this Book
Issue April 2014
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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