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Sword of Cho Nisi book 1 Rise of the Tobian Princess

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From the moment Erika makes a fatal mistake that could cost her father his kingdom, she meets the challenge of redemption head-on, tackling the Dark Wizard, rescuing her brother from a torturous curse, and wrestling with a stormy love affair. She's not alone, for the struggles are more than one person could handle, and her help comes from both family and unexpected sources. Regardless of who proves their allegiance, the Sword of Cho Nisi series is a test of courage for all our heroes.

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 The entire series along with book 5 The Keeper is available on Kickstarter until August 16, 2022. Come take a look!

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Customer Reviews

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Rune S. N.

3 days ago

Want to get a little misty-eyed? In need of an epic fantasy romance? Look no further…

When you don’t know an author and haven’t yet read the book, you only have the cover to judge the book by. As I liked the cover of this book, I had high hopes and I was not disappointed.

The cover image helped me to imagine how Princess Erika looked right from the first chapter, and throughout the 340 pages, I always enjoyed my time with her, whether she stumbled or took charge.

In the author’s words, the princess is a “goose flying against the skein” and one way D.L. Gardner shows us this is that Princess Erika not only wants to be a part of the royal army in the Kingdom but has wriggled her way into it, sort of. Quite a feat for a young woman in a man’s world, you might think. Does this really make sense? It actually does. I think almost everything makes a lot of sense in this book. Well done.

The plot and the romance
The beginning of the book is strong, and when we first meet the princess, she’s on an important mission with Prince Barin, her brother. This effectively kick-starts the plot, and while I found it harder to like her brother than her, thankfully the weight of the book is on the characters I liked.

The events unfold quickly, throwing Erika into the proverbial fray and later toward finding love. While this is romance fantasy, the weight is on the fantasy parts, and so if you're not all that much into romance, this book could very well be something you'd like. I certainly liked many of the minor characters such as the foppish royal wizard, Kairos, and Erika’s two sisters, and I enjoyed the romance bits of the book, too. I would not have minded a bit more, actually. The plot even managed to get me a little misty-eyed when things were going badly. That's always a good sign.

I think it’s great that Erika (to me) is a much more realistic portrait of a woman who’s trying to be a warrior princess (to get ahead in a man’s world.) A pleasant respite from that trend we see in fantasy these days, where every female hero feels like Wonder Woman (more like a dream than a relatable person.) I’d wish authors would make up their minds. On one hand, most fantasy worlds cling to a medieval-style society (including gender roles of the past) while on the other hand a lot of them disregard these roles (if only for their main characters.) While this sometimes makes good sense, it often seems a bit sloppy or crude. I like the world-building to make sense like this book made sense to me.

The other side of the coin
The book jumps around a bit (between characters and geographically,) and maybe because of this, I did not instantly like Prince Arell from Cho Nisi Island (I wanted to read about Erika,) but Arell quickly grew on me, and I soon hoped each chapter would be about Erika or him. I would have liked the lovers to have a bit more interaction, and for various things to be a bit more resolved by the end, but as this is the first in a series, I will just have to read that in the next books. There are four books in the series so far, so plenty more stuff to read.

Best feature: I always think it’s impressive if a book gets this “hardened” old fantasy reader a bit misty-eyed in places. Well done!

Writing/prose: 8/10 (an easy read)

Pacing: 8/10 (just fine, but a few chapters could have been cut)

Plot: 9/10 (the pieces of the puzzle fit well together)

Characters: 8/10 (I liked most of them)

World-building/setting: 8/10 (liked the Cho Nisi peoples and their island)

Originality: 7/10 (puts her own style on it)

Overall score: 8/10 (4-stars)


1 month ago

Beautifully written!

Mistakes are made and I love witnessing a character like princess Erika seeking to redeem herself. She fights amid terror of a dark wizard and her family’s ruin, and discovers a whirlwind of love. A story of family, love and forgiveness, The Swird of Cho Nisi series is a roller coaster fantasy tale, and I definitely recommend!

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