Book Review: One Realm Beyond

Cantor D’Ahma has waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift, the young Realm Walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms.
But mere hours after he first steps through a portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are not as safe as they once were, and members of the Realm Walkers Guild have become corrupt and can no longer be trusted. To make matters wrose, his first assignment–finding a dragon to assist him on his quest–has led him to one who is clearly inept.
With the help of his new friends Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt Guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But can his skills progress in time? And will Cantor remember where his true allegiance lies?

First of all, the cover of this book is delicious!
A good balance of color and movement.
Lots of details from the book so that when I finished I could go back and spot my favorite tidbits. ๐Ÿ™‚

Donita K. Paul has a real gift for creating worlds,
and One Realm Beyond is no exception.
Dragons, portals and realm walking…oh my!
Her story world is very rich,
and very unique.
Loved it!

I was also really impressed with the female protagonist, Bixby.
She was very strong and so creative.
Truly made me want to know more about her.

I wasn’t as connected to Tyrin as I wanted to be,
and it took me awhile to get attached.

The story was good,
but the jumping point of view was sometimes distracting,
(even for me who reads ย a wide range of fiction with lots of shifts in the writing).

Also, Tyrin’s quest was…rambling,
and, although the ending was good,
it didn’t completely satisfy because I didn’t really understand Tyrin’s goals.

All in all though, Paul is a wonderful writer,
and the story still managed to catch my fancy.
When I finished I wanted to know what happened to the colourful cast of characters.

I would recommend this book to those who love rich story worlds and solid characters.
The book is clean with nothing terrifying,
and although there is conflict it is safe for the younger YA audience.

I give this book:ย fivestarsย fivestarsย fivestarsย fivestars

A great read from a great author!
I look forward to reading more. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can learn more about Donita K. Paul here.
You can pick up her book here (or here in Canada).

Happy reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

Truth #11: Puzzle pieces are Awesome!


My shoes squeaked on the cold, gleaming floors.
The bell rung, rattling my confidence.

Why on earth am I here?

I clutched the strap of my backpack and took a deep breath.
I had been ripped from my home of ten years,
and transplated ย in a whole new town with no friends,
two daysย before I started grade nine.

No big deal.
I could do this.

I took a deep breath and stepped into Room 217.
The room went silent.

It looked like any other classroom:
desks all in a row
chalkboard and
standard ugly metal desk at the front

My fellow classmates were similar to the ones I left,
perhaps a little better dressed,
but the average teen.

Yet every single one of their eyes held a note of disdain.

Then I remembered…

My skin was the color of rich coffee with a dash of cream.
(I often forgot having been adopted and growing up in an all white neighbourhood…
which is a story for another time).
In front of a sea of white…

From that moment on I did everything in my power to fit in.
Mended my jeans to be super skinny.
Bought uncomfortable knock off designer shoes.
Straightened my hair.
Laughed at their jokes.
Kept my voice quieter.

It was a mark of success when I got invited to sit with them at lunch.

But my heart was like a deflated balloon.

You see, I was not happy.
I wasn’t myself.
Everything I did was an act.
I wanted so badly to fit in,
to be like everyone else.

Cookie Cutter.


I had forgotten the importance of…me.
The special gift of…me.
Known and knit together before I was born.
Each step planned long before I walked.

God made us all special and unique.
Each finger swirl, guffawing laugh, flamboyant hairstyle:
Unique but beautiful.
Not cookie cutters.

Puzzle pieces.


Coming together to form a beautiful mosaic.
Beautiful because of our differences.

So I urge you to maintain your Uniqueness,
be who God wants you to be,
and let your True Beauty shine through
(“weird” and “different” look good on you!)

And what of me in that fateful grade nine year?
I found some true friends who made me feel comfortable.
They told a joke,
and I laughed.

Really loud.
And long…(my sides hurt!)

And they still cared about me.

With all my uneven corners. ๐Ÿ™‚

What makes you Beautifully Unique? Share with me in the comments-I love to hear from you! If you like what read consider clicking the Follow button top right or join me on Facebook or Twitter. ๐Ÿ™‚