Title: The Crystal Ordeal
Author: M.G. Dekle
Series: Legends of Leone #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publish Date: July 18, 2013
Length: 303 pages
Format: paperback, ebook
Description: At a young age, Leone Verrat learned that her ability to cast simple magical enchantments was limited by a peculiar handicap. Unlike other sorcerers, her spells would not permanently costume the components necessary for magic, resulting in much weaker and shorter effects but returning the ingredients unscathed. Even though she earned barely passable grades in order to graduate from Blueroot Academy, a school specializing in magical studies, an unknown benefactor still saw fit to recommend her for Morgan's Ordeal, a test necessary for any respectable career:
She is soon inextricably linked to her theatrical Ordeal partner, Falchion, as they must brave the dangers of the test together. They both quickly discover that the Ordeal is the least of their concerns when they find themselves in the middle of an ancient power struggle.
The Crystal Ordeal follows Leone from her graduation day through a catastrophic magical mishap and its immediate consequences.
This thrilling full-length novel begins the "Legends of Leone" Young Adult Fantasy series.
My Review: Well, after reading the description I was expecting epic adventures and a tremendous growth in Leone as she makes her way through the Ordeal. However, this novel took me an extremely long time just to become interested in it. And I don't think I ever was completely interested. I found my mind wandering a lot during this novel.
For majority of the novel I did not understand what was so important about the Ordeal. I understand from the description that the Ordeal is important to obtain a respectable job but I don't understand why Leone had to be recommended for it. If the Ordeal is vital to get a job why wouldn't everyone be eligible for it?
Also I think the relationship between Leone and Falchion was very strange. They joke around with each other but have a very weird relationship dynamic. At one point in the story Falchion accuses Leone of believing that she is better than or more powerful than he is because of the fact that she can cast spells. I understand why he thinks this, because of the separation of the schools, but Leone herself admits that she can not do spells well at all.
Excerpt: “Oh, no, I understand,” he said, strapping the blade to his back. “It’s very emotional leaving your home of several years. Most students have a good cry on the last day.” “Did you cry?” She asked.
“What? Of course not,” Falchion exclaimed, a little too loudly. “What kind of a warrior would cry?” “It’s alright if you did. Like you said, it’s very emotional.”
“Well... I might...” he started. “I mean, I didn’t cry,” Leone said.
Falchion coughed. “Neither did I.” Then, quickly changing the subject, stated, “So we need to leave through the main road. They’re handing out supplies to everyone taking the test: food, water, things like that.”
“Okay,” Leone said as they began walking. “I have plenty of room in my pack. Split it half and half?”
“It’s only supplies for two days. Probably just peanut butter and crackers since they’re pretty cheap. I can handle it,” he boasted.
“No, no, I don’t want to risk you pulling a muscle. We’d have to stop walking so you could have a good cry,” she teased him.
“Well that’s just uncalled for,” Falchion said, looking away in mock injury. “Maybe we won’t need the food, though, since we could just go fishing. You brought enough bait.”
“Spell components,” she corrected him. “And a fishing vest.”
“Because it has pockets!” she exclaimed.
Overall Opinion: I think overall I was just underwhelmed with this book. I didn't really see why many things were important and I found the characters to be ordinary, despite the magic. The characters didn't really stand out to me and I think the story was very predictable. I give The Crystal Ordeal 2 stakes because I think it's an ok read if you need something to read but I will not be reading this again.
Get to Know the Author: M.G. Dekle (born August 2, 1983) began writing at a young age and continues to love storytelling. He studied literature at the University of South Florida, earning a Master of Arts degree, and continues to teach Composition classes at local schools.
He began writing in elementary school and found creative teachers who helped guide him as he developed his love of books. Throughout childhood, he would wake up extra early just to read more tales of King Arthur, Robin Hood, and any other fantastical stories before the sun came up. In high school, a production by the drama club of one of his plays, performed for local elementary schools, cemented his path to becoming a writer.
His works are usually centered are usually centered around fantasy and humor, focusing on the characters as they encounter unusual predicaments. He likes for every story he writes to have at least some humorous aspect.
He is also a husband and father. When not writing, he and his family love to visit theme parks and travel.
Where to Get Your Copy: Amazon
You'll Also Like: The Tiger's Curse series by Colleen Houck is similar in that it features a main character who needs to go on adventures, or quests, to obtain a goal. However, I think that Tiger's Curse series is much better.