slide code

Social Media Icons


Welcome, friend! Relax & rest awhile, if you please. I'm an ordinary girl, a follower of Christ, mama to Gabriel, & wife to Evan. Here in this little space of the online world, I share all manner of bookish things, including full content reviews, writerly snippets, encouragement for everyday life, and a whole collection of names & their meanings.

welcome to my blog

social media icons 2


category 1


category 2


category 3


never miss a post

Blog Tour! | Book Review

Welcome, welcome!
Today marks the final day of our blog tour, featuring Joan Campbell's Heirs of Tirragyl.  In this post, you'll find a book review of said novel, so read on!  And don't forget to sign up for the giveaway!!

A huge thank you to Laura A. Grace of for hosting the whole tour.  And, of course, to the author, Ms Joan Campbell! :]

{To see the Blog Tour schedule at the home blog of the Unicorn Quester, click here!}


Heirs of Tirragyl
The Poison Tree Path Chronicles #2
Joan Campbell

Enclave | October 10th, 2017
Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fantasy

Long live the queen...? 

Since birth, Nyla has shared everything with her twin brother — royal tutors, the right to the throne of Tirragyl . . . even their soul. Many believe it wholly belongs to Alexor and should be returned to Nyla’s brother regardless of the sacrifice — her death. However, Nyla’s future isn’t the only one in question.

A threat looms over the kingdom. The influential Lord Lucian intends to seize the Grotto, an underworld settlement known for harboring fugitives. And if legend is to be believed, it is also the hiding place of the most powerful of objects, the Guardian Rock.

As Nyla fights for her life, she realizes she’s not only a soul heir but also the sole hope for the kingdom’s survival.


About the Author
Joan Campbell is notoriously bad at finishing things but, ever since she found the key to the portal, she’s been escaping into worlds far more intriguing than her own. In her word-spun worlds, magic can be harnessed, kings and queens rule supreme and ancient books contain coveted secrets. Her characters face division, danger, their own fallible natures and—ultimately—grace. While her husband and two daughters have learned to fend for themselves, a hungry whine or meow inevitably breaks the spell and brings Joan back to her everyday life in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here Joan wields a tennis racket instead of a longbow and trains writers instead of warriors, knowing full well that the pen is mightier than the sword. Chains of Gwyndorr was a gold medalist in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
            If you love a great, intriguing fantasy world and faerietale, you will definitely enjoy this novel.  The world-building and places are so very interesting - they have a personality of their own, the characters relate-able and lovable and flawed, and their stories mysteriously appealing.  (I felt myself wishing for more and more background on some of the minor characters!)  When they make terrible mistakes, they come broken into the arms of forgiveness.  It's a great reminder that even though we fail, and will fail time and again, there is hope that we can find forgiveness and peace (in Christ) if we seek it.
            I will admit, though, that I found the first half to be rather slow and uninteresting to me for some reason.  And I believe this was due to my not having read the first book of this series.  It was mentioned that this story could be read as a stand-alone, and I agree to a degree, but I found that I didn't connect well with a set of characters, aside from the main few, due to this.  While you learn the background of their own stories - told in the first book - you do not experience it yourself, and I felt this disconnected me from them.  However, once the story picked up pace, I was definitely in for the entire ride!  And I enjoyed it!  So looking forward to devouring the first story now and, once it's released, the third.  

{Spiritual Content}
            A rather evil ancestor of the kingdom, Taus, is revered as a god.  Others worship the Ancient One (whom we are to liken to our Lord), and appears to many in the form of a bird, Tabeal (or at least the bird is a being who represents Him).  The people of Tirragyl believe that twins are born with only half-souls.  The two royals, twin brother and sister, have been taught that their entire lives.  And it is believed that the one should be sacrificed in order to release their half-soul to the stronger, "more-deserving" of the two.  [SPOILER] It is attempted by way of drowning. . .
            There are rocks that possess special powers of various elements.  It's not explained as to why.  They are magic!

            A wicked lord seeks to turn brother and sister against each other.  Characters are tortured, wounded by cuts and bruises, slashes, gashes, arrows, swords, daggers/blades, etc.  Warning!} A character is executed by being tied to a "fire pole" - home of brutal fire ants who eat the flesh of their victim.  (We are told it takes days for the prisoners to die.)
            There's a forest, known as the Rif'twine, that seems to serve as a kind of prison camp for rebels and the like.  All who enter, never return.  And those few who interact with others seem to be but empty shells of themselves.  Rather creepy. . .

{Language, Alcohol & Other Content (Worth Mentioning)}
            None of belonging to our unfortunate society.  The "curses" in this tale are more like "by Taus!" or "festering breath" or "by the abyss," and so on.
            Quite a bit of drinking.  Mead, beer, etc.
            A tavern woman shows a good bit of cleavage, and knows it.  At one point, we are taken to the slums of a city where everything is disgusting and revolting and people and children live in poverty and abuse.  Women argue and demean their husbands (one calls her man a - forgive me! - "whoring son of scum."  Probably the worse bit of language in the entire book.)  Someone defends another woman who was "forced out of desperation" to choose a certain lifestyle. . .
            A girl has a special rock of great power taken from her (for her own good), and I couldn't help thinking of Gollum and the One Ring. . . The rock calls to her and she yearns for it, neglecting her duties and friends, unaware that it could bring much danger to herself and others.  

            Again, I found this to be an interesting read!  It's chock-full of adventure, a wee bit of romance, magic, and intriguing characters.  (I rather found myself liking the mysterious master-spy, the Raven, and his character growth.  And Klyden.  Klyden's my fave!!)  And I would definitely recommend to all my fantasy-loving friends.  :]  Looking forward to the continuing of the series!

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  
All opinions mentioned above are mine alone!

Purchase Links

Social Media Links


Facebook Party!
Calling all book readers! Join us as we celebrate Joan Campbell's release of HEIRS OF TIRRAGYL, book two in The Poison Tree Path Chronicles, on October 14th from 10AM to 12PM EST (4PM South Africa Time, 9AM CDT, and 6AM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with the author, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Morgan Busse and Jill Williamson will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.


Want to dive into a new world of fantasy? Enter to win an e-copy of Joan Campbell’s Heirs of Tirragyl! (Open internationally.)


  1. Oh my goodness, Sarah, I never made that connection of Shara and the rock with reactions like Gollum and LOTR!!! :o You're totally right though. Also, I have to admit that I really came to love Klyden as well, even though I wasn't prepared for it. Haha!

    I really appreciate you sharing about how book one and how it didn't have the same experience with some of the stories. I was sharing with another blogger the other day that Shara's story was devastating for me to read due to the events in book one. She was so different and was greatly bummed by her choices in this one. Really hoping we get a powerful story of redemption in book three. :)

    So thrilled to hear you enjoyed Heirs! Thank you for participating in the blog tour! I really enjoyed reading your review. :)

  2. Haha! I know, but there's such a resemblance, right? ;D And yes, Klyden! Really wanna know how his character changes and grows. Can't wait for the next!

    Yes, but it shows that she's human and makes mistakes. She's definitely not some beautiful little angel of a girl who never messes up. But the thing I loved most about her, is that in the end, she knew she had done wrong and resisted the evil, even though the damage was done. (Sorry, can't describe any spoilers for the unknowing readers!) And yes, I believe she'll have her own redemption story in the next! So excited to see what that is!

    Thank you so much for this opportunity! I had a blast. :]


Post a Comment

To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

ppl love these

February Snippets!
Here are some Snippets from last month.  These hail from my WIP Safia and another project I'm …
Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near the brokenhearted;  He saves those crushed in spirit.  ( Psalm 34:18) > > >…
In the Midst of Despair [A Prayer]
Have you ever had one of those down days?  Where you feel like everyone and everything is against …
What's in a Name? || Surnames Edition
Good evening, y'all. It's the third week of AUGUST. O_o I'm picking up on my Name post ra…