Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Sapphire Storm by Amy Lignor

Title:  The Sapphire Storm
Series:  Tallent & Lowery #2
Author:  Amy Lignor
Published:  March 5th 2013 by Suspense Publishing
Length:  286 pgs
Format:  ebook
Genre:  suspense
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★★★


After going up against a man who believed he was the Devil, himself, the beloved characters from 13 - Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery - are beyond exhausted. Now they are about to embark on the most terrifying journey imaginable…a trip to meet Leah’s parents.

When Leah arrives where the ‘home fires burn,’ her sarcasm burns even brighter, while Gareth Lowery - the handsome adventurer - uses his charm to sway the ‘odd’ Tallent clan. But when a frightening call from Gareth’s sister arrives telling him that her love has disappeared, the daring duo is soon running away from one horrific situation directly into another. A new puzzle from the past has come to life. Following clues left behind, the courageous couple becomes embedded in a world filled with liars, killers and greed.

And when the riddle of a famous ‘Bard’ is solved, a strange woman appears who has far more in common with Leah than she can possibly imagine! The heart-stopping suspense of this new quest takes them from Coptic Cairo to the magical world of Petra, in search of a cave deep underground that once housed a true ‘Illuminator.’

Yet again, they must find the answers and stay one step ahead of true villains who are determined to make sure that – this time – Tallent & Lowery do not survive.


Nothing mattered now except getting to the end of his journey…

A thunderous crash from up above sent Emmanuel’s heart into overdrive. The harsh winds had apparently slammed shut the door of rock that’d been built to protect the Treasury.

As he reached through the barrier of sapphire light to grab the object in front of him, Emmanuel screamed in pain as his flesh began to sizzle. Immediately, he ripped his hand from the ball of pulsating light and watched the steam rise off his now blackened fingers. A pair of cold blue eyes appeared and sent an evil hiss into the room.

Emmanuel found himself in a state of shock as the illusion simply disappeared. Holding his breath as pinpricks of yellow light appeared through the sapphire glow, he was mesmerized; they looked like tiny suns trapped in an intense blue sky. The excruciating pain of his burned flesh was forgotten when words appeared before his eyes. On and off like a light switch, the golden names materialized and danced along the shaft of the ancient weapon.

“I need Gareth Lowery,” Emmanuel whispered; his voice sounded foreign to him in the suddenly terrifying room.

Harsh winds raced down the staircase and pelted Emmanuel with shards of ice. He covered his face, trying to stop the sleet from blinding him, as the large weapon suddenly sliced through the air and knocked Emmanuel to his knees.

The golden names flashed brighter and brighter—faster and faster—familiar names from an ancient world. A shrill bell pealed through the room and Emmanuel covered his ears, as the chamber began to shake and mounds of snow cascaded down the narrow staircase like a white waterfall; an avalanche that successfully cut off any chance he had of escape . . . or rescue.

The rod hit the ceiling of the chamber and then plummeted to the floor. Emmanuel winced, praying it wouldn’t snap in two as it crashed to the ground. But the object simply stopped its descent, taking its original place between the two famous men. The sapphire light immediately dimmed and Emmanuel raised his gaze to stare through the now soft, blue beam, recognizing the one and only name that was now etched in golden script at the top of the shaft.

Emmanuel gasped. “It’s her?”

Crawling over to the staircase that was now buried by snow, he peered into the small pipe that stuck out from the wall. Emmanuel felt the pulse of the sapphire light coming from the center of the room; it felt as if the object was breathing. And once again he stared at her name, woven like a golden signature into the sapphire rod.

Closing his eyes, Emmanuel shoved his burned, raw hand into the snow bank that now barred his way to freedom. As his fingers went numb, he thought about the woman with eyes the exact same color of the magical artifact, and hope beat inside Emmanuel’s chest. She was brilliant. After all, she was the one who found Gareth the missing pieces of the puzzle that’d led him straight to the gate. It had been her strength, courage and wisdom that’d carried them through the darkness of a maniac’s mind in order to survive the first time . . . Her!

As a picture of the lovely lady appeared in his mind, Emmanuel smiled. She’d figure it out. After all, there was no better choice than a brilliant librarian who never took the facts at face value to follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare.

Emmanuel put his mouth against the pipe and screamed, “Leah!”

The shout echoed through the ancient pipes, and Emmanuel closed his eyes. His insides grew numb as the air inside the chamber began to freeze his soul.

“Leah,” his voice cracked. “Please help me.”

As the snowflakes around him turned blue, the chamber one again turned peaceful . . . reverent . . . quiet—what it must feel like right before someone dies. And as sleep overtook him, Emmanuel begged any and all ‘powers that be’ to help lead Leah Tallent safely through the sapphire storm.

My Review:

Lignor jumps right into the action from the very beginning of the story. She mixes religion, myth, symbolism, and the everyday together to create a suspenseful yet intelligent storyline. I appreciate how Lignor gives background information on the previous novel in the series and on the characters’ histories. There is enough for someone to start reading the series here but not so much recap as to bore those who have read it.

Lignor employs extremely visual and captivating descriptions that leave an imprint in your mind. The symbolism worked into this novel is also astounding. It not only creates a picture for the audience but also helps to further the storyline, giving you hints and insights into the future.

I really appreciate the strong female lead in this story. She doesn’t take a backseat to others but at the same time doesn’t feel the need to do everything on her own. The two lead characters actually play the perfect counterpoint to each other. They complement and balance each other. Based on their interactions with each other you can really see how and why they fit together so well.

Lignor continues to develop the characters that we met in the first Tallent & Lowery novel. We now know them on multiple levels. She also introduces new characters who are quite well developed. The realistic interactions between the characters not only serve to add an extra element of realism to this story but also to give you more insight into the various characters and their relationships with each other. It leads to a very well rounded cast. I love the wide variety of character types that you come across in this novel. No two are alike yet you can see the intricacies of their relationships.

Overall, this novel is intellectually stimulating and creatively brilliant. I would easily recommend it to all.

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About the author:

The daughter of a career librarian, Amy Lignor’s first love has always been books. She began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing. Working in the industry for twenty years, she is now the Owner/Operator of ‘The Write Companion’, an editorial house offering authors a range of services.

Appointed the Editor-in-Chief of a brand new traditional publisher–Hallowed Ink Press–Amy somehow finds the time to do it all while still putting out the most amazing series that has received every ‘Top Pick’ readers can think of!

Her popular YA Series: The Angel Chronicles (Until Next Time, Gilded Wings & A Privilege), introduced her to fans who now wait with bated breath for the next ‘Tallent & Lowery’ suspense/thriller to arrive.

Inducted into the International Thriller Writers Organization, Amy is also a writer/contributor for various magazines, companies, and review organizations; Authorlink, The Feathered Quill, Suspense Magazine and more.

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