ALMOST ADEPT by Olga Godim
Tattle stares out at the snow blown scenery beyond the office window. "I like snow when we're warm and comfy inside." She turns to watch Wrye boot up. "Do you know how to keep snow from giving you cold feet?"
Wrye gives the questioning eyebrow lift. "Huh?"
"You don't go round Brrrr-footed. Tee hee."
"Snoooow-funny m’snow bunny. What do snowmen eat for breakfast?"
"Easy...Frosted Flakes but what does the snowman eat with icebergs? Chilli sauce," she quipped before he could respond. "I can put out snowman jokes all day."
"But you won't, know why?"
"Cause is it our Love of Literature Leap into a Burst Books review?"
He hands Tattle her coat, hat and gloves. "Let's ride like a snowman and get there using a By-icicle!"
Tattle groans as they leap into Olga Godim's fantasy ALMOST ADEPT.
Tattle settles next to the character Eriale behind the curtains as the young magician spies on Gordin, the nobleman who had smitten her. Tattle winces as he insults Eriale to his comrades, and then can't help giggling when Eriale turns him into a muttonhead.
"That's not funny," Wrye says despite his grin. "Her father, Aram, is a mage, her mother, Leyale, is a healer and her sister, Tamara, is the Queen, not one of them is going to be happy. The girl is in trrrrrrrouble!"
"But look at her, a spitfire, a rebel, not to mention adorable wee bit of a thing! Trouble with her, me thinks, makes for good reading. Besides, the sheep spell will wear off in a week and the toad deserved it." Tattle ponders a moment. "Maybe, she should have used the toad spell."
Wrye double-finger-tipped his temple, like a salute to her wisdom. "You'd be right, m'danger-questing bud, errr not about the toad spell but about this page-flipping book. It yanks you in and holds you fast. All Eriale wanted from Gordin was a decent romp to end her bothersome virginity. The one thing holding her back from applying for Adept testing, which would make her a full magician in the Guild's eyes, and now that will have to be put on hold while she unknots the fix she just put herself into."
A twinkle forms in Tattle's eyes. "Will she become Adept? Won't she? Is there anyone worthy to take her virginity?"
"Maybe the hunka hottie courier who shows up at her door with a parchment for her father. At least, she thinks the man is a possibility. Only, Kealan isn't just a courier, but used to be a Captain of the High Guard, the elite fighting force of the Grumesh Republic. Now, conquered by the Roodim Empire, all the nobility of Grumesh along with high ranking military are being systematically slaughtered including children and babies! Kealan, using Grumesh's hidden treasurer has been relocating his kinsmen and setting them up in new lives. He has no time for an unruly little mage in training."
With a twirl of skirt and a wink, Tattle spurts, "Ah ha! Look at this," points to a scene, "her father to the rescue... ummm... kinda... sorta. Aram receives a request for help from the same area he had intended to send Eriale to keep her from the repercussions of her unauthorized spell. People are missing. There is suspicion that the Empire might have concocted a new spell or a new weapon. As a Jouneyman, Eriale is qualified to investigate and uncover the truth."
"This is the perfect quest for Eriale," Wrye agrees, "and despite her mother's protests, she is soon on her way. Actually, officially running away from her own troubles to everyone else's eyes but on a true quest for her father. However, she is just suppose to report back. Eriale being Eriale, instead involves herself to the nth degree, including helping Kealan escape from jail and becoming involved in his own dire circumstances. Somehow, their troubles become interlocked and...."
"Oh no you don't." Wrye yanks her out of the story. "Let the readers take pleasure in uncovering the plot on their own. They will enjoy every twist and turn, every interlude and every ominous misstep. If you like fantasy, it will cater to those spell-twirling needs. If you like adventure, it'll have you clamoring after every word. And if you like a touch of romance, you'll find just enough to trigger a swoon."
"Yes, yes, yes! As a consummate fantasy reader, I highly recommend ALMOST ADEPT. Olga Godim's writing style is like being on a sled ride, downward on a steep hill, without brakes. It is smooth, racy, and breathless. You simply don't want to put the book aside. The only hitch is if you start reading it at night, prepare yourself to greet the dawn without having a bit of sleep."