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Rune's Folly (Tower of Shells Book 1)
For some the tower of shells was folly. For Tansy McCoy it was destiny. By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control. Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he's willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly. Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways. But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10


Plot: The quest is fun, as are the characters who embark upon it, but the pacing could be structured a bit better to improve the book. The lack of a true setup and explanation of certain concepts can hinder the immediacy of many of the actions in this storyline.

Prose/Style: Technically, this book is very well-written. Detailed descriptions and a steady flow make this a breezy read.

Originality: In some ways, this is a standard fantasy quest; however, the dynamics between several of the characters, as well as the relationship between the "real" world and the Otherworld, give this book its own place in the genre.

Character Development: The primary characters are well-rounded, with properly explored motivations, but the supporting characters would benefit from more exposition about their origins and motives.

Blurb: “Rune's Folly” is a well-conceived adventure tale with an entertaining main cast and some exciting twists, but a lack of development in key areas of the plot and in the supporting cast keep this book from achieving its potential.

Date Submitted: April 03, 2019