Tag Archives: Stephanie Mayor

Nobody’s Story: The First Kingdom by Stephanie Mayor

Standard

1stkingdomcoverNobody’s Story: The First Kingdom by Stephanie Mayor, paperback novel, 248 pages, published by This Story is Mine Publishing in 2016.

The First Kingdom is the second book in the Nobody’s Story series. This book follows on from The Golden Locket, which saw Stephanie, and her cat, Angel, arrive in the land of Metilia after opening her locket for the first time. Now the Familian Princes have arrived in Metilia purporting to want peace between the nations. Whilst Princess Stephanie and her friends are showing the Princes around Yorkyin Land, Stephanie suddenly disappears seemingly into thin air. She finds herself alone in a strange and unknown land. Her journey home is full of danger, excitement and new friends.

I was super excited when The First Kingdom arrived! It had been a long wait, and I was looking forward to a trip into Metilia. It seems first I had to visit with those awful Familian princes, Kirk, Joel and Nathaniel. They are such a scheming lot. Then back to Metilia and beyond, a beautiful country full of talking animals, Princes and adventures. Within this book, you will find clans of big cats and wolves, mysterious strangers, kidnapping witches, giants, exciting new lands to explore and even a dragon!

This fantasy novel is beautifully written with witty characters and an exciting plot. I really enjoyed learning the history of Artinear and Metilia through Zanir’s teachings. Mayor has created a fantasy world rich in culture and history, with many layers still yet to be unravelled. The landscapes are stunning, and the inhabitants intricately described. It was quite eye-opening to visit Camtra and Famila, two countries that are very different from Metilia!

I really loved the new characters, Zanir and Icha. The sly fox, Icha, was particularly funny, while his two little kits were very cute. Zanir was more serious, but still had her moments of humour, and I enjoyed the conversations she had with Stephanie while they travelled. The skirmishes between Angel and Chitchat also made me laugh a lot. Deep down, the feisty cat, Angel really adores Chitchat, despite his squirrelyness, I’m sure of it! Angel generally makes me smile with her sassy attitude and her dislike of all things princely, her fierce loyalty and love for Stephanie and her ability to sleep at the drop of a hat. She was rivalled by the newcomer, Zanir, who also becomes dedicated to protecting Stephanie. It will be interesting to see what sort of relationship Zanir and Angel will develop in the future.

The chapter titles gave me a kick. There were some great puns there, which made me snort-laugh more than once!

The First Kingdom is suitable for middle and upper primary through to high school students, and will appeal to anyone interested in fantasy and adventure. I was ripping along through this book, but I forced myself to put it down, as I just didn’t want it to end yet. Oh, the wait for the next book will be too long…. but it will be oh so exciting when it’s here!

 

*I received this book from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

 

Author Interview: Stephanie Mayor

Standard

GoldenLocketcover copyI loved reading the charming adventures of Stephanie and her cat Angel in Nobody’s Story: The Golden Locket. I am now eagerly (and perhaps just a little impatiently) awaiting the second book, which hopefully will be out early next year.

Stephanie Mayor has been writing from a very young age, and The Golden Locket is her first novel (read my review here). I was impressed with the story and keen to find out a bit more about the author. Luckily this very talented lady could fit in an interview with me!

 

First, a bit about you, your family and your home?

About me… I’m Nobody special? Seriously though, I’m just a girl with a couple of cats and a hyper heeler puppy. Stories and music are my favourite things in life. I have three brothers and a lovely sister by marriage. My parents are divorced, but amicable, fortunately. I live in a small town in Canada, which isn’t as cold as it sounds.

 

 What is the first book you remember falling in love with? What made you love it?

The very first? I have fond memories of being read Dr. Seuss when I was young. The first book I read and truly loved was most likely Charlotte’s Web. Only E.B. White could make me sad over a spider!

 

What was the last book you read?

One of the ‘William’ books, by Richmal Crompton. I have quite a few of them, old hard-covers that belonged to my grandfather when he was a boy. My grandfather gave them to my dad, and then he gave them to me, so they’re family heirlooms! Mostly though, I’ve been stuck reading my own books. It seems like I need to read them about a thousand times during the proof-reading and editing process. (It’s amazing how many times you can miss the same mistake.) Right now I feel a little guilty reading somebody else’s work when I’m behind on my own.

 

You started writing when you were quite young, didn’t you? Did you always want to be an author?

Actually, no. I really wanted to be a singer… but I started writing in school and just fell in love with it. Once I started Nobody’s Story, that’s when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I do still enjoy singing and song writing, though.

 

Is there a special place you prefer to write from?

Pretty much anywhere, depending on the circumstances. I do have a fairly comfy writing chair I have to fight Angel for, and a well-aged little laptop for long writing sessions.

 

What was your inspiration for the name of your fantasy world, Metilia?

I wish I had a good story for that, but it just popped into my head when I started the book. But fun facts I learned when looking it up later: lex Metilia is a Roman law about regulating luxury. (It is also a type of mantis, but I prefer to dwell on the former!)

 

The character Angel is based on your own cat, isn’t she? Could you describe the real Angel?

She certainly is! The real Angel is much the same as the one in the book, save the ability to talk. She’s feisty, protective, and very much my best friend. She has also been a part of my writing since she was just a tiny ball of cream coloured fluff. The shelter billed her as a ‘Siamese X’, but as she got bigger (and bigger), her markings changed considerably. One day, I found a picture of a Birman that looked almost identical to Angel, down to the ‘Roman nose’ and signature white socks. So I’ve been calling her one ever since. She always looks at me as if she’s known the whole time.

 

What is your favourite animal? Would you really like animals to be able to talk?

I love animals in general, but my very favourite are obviously cats, big and small. I have always had and loved cats. Yes, I definitely would. I think we could learn a lot from each other.

 

The Golden Locket is the first book in your Nobody’s Story series. When can we expect the next book?

Originally the book was supposed to be out in November 2015, but my Grandfather passed away recently and so at this point it looks like it will be sometime in 2016. Still hopeful for early 2016.

 

If you would like to find out more about the Nobody’s Story series, head over to Stephanie’s website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Nobody’s Story: The Golden Locket by Stephanie Mayor

Standard

GoldenLocketcover copyNobody’s Story: The Golden Locket by Stephanie Mayor, e-book, 220 pages, published by This Story is Mine Publishing in 2014.

Stephanie finds herself alone in the world when her parents mysteriously disappear. Her only companion is her cat, Angel. Whilst holding a golden locket that belonged to her mother, she accidentally pops open the clasp, and the locket transports her and Angel into a very different world to the one they were living in. This beautiful new world is called Metilia, and is a land of kingdoms, castles, princes and talking animals. Stephanie and Angel embark on the most exciting of journeys, traversing the seas with Prince Aidian to the Silver Isles. They encounter diverse vegetation, an evil presence, a dragon and some terrifying man-eating sea creatures. They also take on the nasty Familians, the people of another Kingdom who enjoy plundering, hurting and killing to get what they want.

I loved The Golden Locket right from the start. It captured my imagination and reminded me of the fantastical adventures I dreamt of having as a child. Such wonderful adventures, discoveries, and animals that can talk! The story is written with such detail, the land and the characters came to life as I read. The scenery was divine, the characters interesting, and the travels exciting. Though if I were travelling through Metilia, I might prefer to avoid some of the nastier creatures such as dirwins! I liked that we were introduced to some of the history and legends of Metilia, Camtra and Famila during the book. The story also contained some romantic elements, but it wasn’t overly soppy or forced. Romantic notions within the story were fairytale-esque with nothing explicit, good for younger readers.

Angel is such a sassy cat. She is feisty, rude and opinionated, but also brave and loyal. Dedicated to protecting Stephanie, she also comes across as over-protective and paranoid, but I liked her a lot. She has such a huge personality, just as I imagine a cat would if they suddenly had the ability to talk. I really liked Stephanie as well. She is strong, intelligent and caring, with plenty of charm, whilst also being quietly spoken and gentle. She is often apologising for Angel’s brash nature, but she loves the cat dearly.

There were many other characters in the story, all of whom were well developed. Prince Aidian, as the main male character seemed to complement Stephanie well, they have similar values, though rather different pasts. He is sincere and generous to all those he meets, and he genuinely cares about Stephanie and her quest. Being a Prince, he is of course somewhat protective of her, but she still gets to be herself with him. I particularly enjoyed the banter between the animals and people, with many of the horse’s and Angel’s comments making me laugh. Muddle the donkey was a memorable character that added a little bit of absurdity to every situation.

The Golden Locket is suitable for children in middle to upper primary school and beyond. It should be especially appealing to fans of fantasy adventure. It is the first book in the Nobody’s Story series, and I am very much looking forward to the second book to see what adventures Stephanie and Angel have next.

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.