Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! I want to read it again.
Magic, technology and lots of humor.

Aranya is the story of a young princess who must face a terrible fate. In the Island-World, one country has been systematically taking over island countries, and now it is Aranya of Immadia's turn. Her father wisely decides to surrender rather than face the sure slaughter of his entire kingdom, but Aranya must pay the price...
Published 6 months ago by Trish (I read too much!)

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I grew tired on occasion and wanted to put it down: then again I didn’t!
3.5 STARS

***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Marc Secchia definitely has an eye for imagery. All the locations and battles you journey through in this book are portrayed so vividly that you could reach out and touch the stormy clouds. There was also a great amount of world...
Published 16 days ago by Anna (Enchanted by YA)


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! I want to read it again., 1 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Magic, technology and lots of humor.

Aranya is the story of a young princess who must face a terrible fate. In the Island-World, one country has been systematically taking over island countries, and now it is Aranya of Immadia's turn. Her father wisely decides to surrender rather than face the sure slaughter of his entire kingdom, but Aranya must pay the price. She becomes yet another hostage of the Sylakian Empire. Her entire life to be locked away in a tower with other royal hostages, like herself. Then again, there is the magic and dreams of a black dragon.

There are so many things I love about this story. It was easy to fall into this world, to be engrossed and absorbed by it. I loved the dirigibles, the cloudscape that separates the islands, the technology (and lack thereof), and, of course, the magic. Everything comes together so well and so naturally, even in such a large body of work.

I am a big fan of the epic fantasy genre, and I definitely feel this one counts, but unlike some in that category, this one doesn't plod on or focus too much on details. Yes, there are details and there are elements of history and political intrigue, like in any good epic fantasy, but they are sprinkled in only when needed and in efficient packages that don't detract from the action. And, yes, there is quite a lot of action. I found it incredibly difficult to put this book down, though it's size made that necessary.

I also loved the witty banter between the characters and the way relationships developed. Then again, some of the banter lost me. There were at times too many comebacks, and I didn't always realize immediately why the characters thought them funny. Most of this abated by the end of the book. I think upon another reading, I'd probably get more of the jokes. Still, what I got, I loved. I also liked the nicknames. I won't go into those for fear of spoilers.

Overall, this is epic fantasy at its finest. I think that even folks who are intimidated by long stories might find this one manageable because of its quick pace, action focus, and compelling plot line. As the first book in the series, it ends with more story left to tell, but not in a cliffhanger. I do want to read the next, but I feel like I can wait for it. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy fantasy, particularly of the epic variety. This is definitely one of my favorites this year.

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest non-reciprocal review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite brilliant!, 6 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Marc Sechhia’s ‘Aranya’ is a rare fantasy treat. If you’re like me who constantly scoured the virtual bookshelves of Amazon just to find that one great book that will haunt me for days—and they come so far and few between—then you understand why I’m completely bawled over by a book like this. Fantasy fans will sink their teeth in March Secchia’s book—and I mean that in the most possible way. If you end up wildly recommending this book to like-minded friends after reading it, then don’t say I didn’t “warn” you.

Even the first few pages are starkly beautiful and haunting—there is something so profound about the opening scene, for example, where Aranya watches the oncoming onslaught of Dragonships—dirigibles from another kingdom whose ruler has one goal in life: to be the boss of everyone else. Aranya’s world—the Kingdom of Immadia, for starters—is so sinuously woven, so culturally authentic (it’s like these people actually exist!) that the suspension of disbelief happens so smoothly—give the first ten pages a chance to drop your jaws, and they will.

Secchia’s writing bears the mark of a seasoned wordsmith—his phraseology, his prosody has none of the occasional awkward turns or the face-palm-inducing verbosity that plague so many other books by new authors. In fact, you feel like you’re reading, say, the work of the offspring of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (if such a hypothetical copulation could make sense)—only this one’s actually better. Let me suffice it to say that Secchia has created in Aranya a bracingly sturdy character, amid an intriguing gallery of fantastic beings and incredibly nefarious villains.

‘Aranya’ should be winning a literary award somewhere—or optioned by Hollywood. And thank God this is only the first book in a series—if the next one comes out, I will buy it in a heartbeat. Get a copy—see the first few sample chapters and see what I’m talking about. Also makes a great gift to fantasy fans. This book fully deserves all the five-star ratings it gets.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid fantasy and coming of age story, 6 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Aranya by Marc Secchia is an epic fantasy adventure and coming of age story about a shapeshifting dragon-princess named Aranya. She is a teenage girl plucked by circumstances out of her control into the Sylakian kingdom under a ruler intent on subjugating all of the other kingdoms under one tight-fisted rule. She befriends Zip, a fiery little princess with a chip on her shoulder, Nak, a wily but lovable old man that will make you laugh, and others. There is plenty of adventure, action, intrigue, and even a little romance. I am not an avid reader of fantasy but this story and its characters are so well crafted that it drew me in. The book is well written, the characters are engaging and their relationships are believable. If you are a dragon lover, this book is for you as it contains plenty of detailed and interesting dragon lore. The dragon elements are the strength of this one. Secchia is a master world-builder who balances action and rich visuals skillfully.

The book is appropriate for teenage readers as it does not contain sexual content or coarse language and the violence is acceptable (speaking as a parent).

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest non-reciprocal review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic fantasy as rich and fantastic as any reader could desire!, 11 Sept. 2014
By 
Marius Gabriel "Author" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Marc Secchia was a revelation to me--this is a story as rich and fantastic as any reader could wish. There seem to be no limits to this author's imagination! This is a sustained fantasy which swoops along at a blistering pace, epic in scale, and yet also incredibly detailed. It unfolds in the manner of a widescreen movie, and creates not just a new world for the reader to live in and delight in, but multiple inhabitants too -- dragons, princesses, warriors and aviators, beings that don't even have names!

I loved this book, and fantasy is not a genre that I often read. I have already bought another Marc Secchia book, and am half-way through it now. Completely addicted!

Highly recommended epic fantasy that will appeal to young adults and mature readers alike.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living, breathing, flying Fantasy!, 14 Jun. 2014
By 
D. B. Rose (South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
You want fantasy? Here it is, in its purest form. You want dragons, danger and drama? You want heroes, heartache and hidden secrets? You want more? What about monsters, magic and military conflicts? How about some vicious villains, valiant adventurers and a very strange new world, to hate, admire and discover? Cheer on your heroine; laugh out loud at her, and then wipe that surreptitious tear from your eye. And when you finish this book, give a satisfied sigh and have a nice cup of tea like Oyda makes. Then fire up your computer and start figuring out how to get the next one, just like I'm doing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars I grew tired on occasion and wanted to put it down: then again I didn’t!, 12 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
3.5 STARS

***I received the ebook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Marc Secchia definitely has an eye for imagery. All the locations and battles you journey through in this book are portrayed so vividly that you could reach out and touch the stormy clouds. There was also a great amount of world building - at appropriate times (rather than in big chunks at the beginning) which meant you knew the world as well as being able to see it.

Admittedly this meant that parts did drag, particularly the scenes in between battles/events where it wasn’t filled with dialogue. Being such a long book already, this meant I grew tired on occasion and wanted to put it down: then again I didn’t, because I wanted to know what happens next already!

It was definitely the characters that won me over, with two fierce princesses and their interesting companions. Aranya was such a strong person/dragon/whatever you want to call her (so long as it isn’t “beast” or she will burn your ass) and was never willing to just sit on the side-lines when she could be making a difference. What’s more is that she needed no man to do this. There was a love interest, but after his and Aranya’s instant connection at the start they spent the majority of time at a distance and that’s where possible love blossomed which I thought worked well!

This book also delved heavily into different types of relationships – not just romantic. You see the importance of friends, family as well as the more unusual beauty of dragon & rider. This is something I often miss in YA novels, and the witty banter made it all the more enjoyable to read about.

Now then, the ending concluded everything beautifully, and that’s where my trepidation to pick up the next book lies… I’m satisfied with leaving it as it stays and it’s now been a while since I read this first book so I’m not sure how easy it will be to jump back into the world. Nevertheless I enjoyed this book, and whether you read it as a standalone or the start to a series I’d recommend you check it out.

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Aranya is a fantasy to get lost in, a page-turner, 10 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Aranya by Marc Secchia is an epic adventure that begins with an exquisite map, matching the realistic detail in this unique world of islands with two suns and three moons. Aranya is a fantasy to get lost in with a beautifully imagined world, compelling characters, and a riveting story. It’s the type of story where you have to turn the page to learn what happens next.

Princess Aranya of Immadia watches her people surrender to the overwhelming Sylakian army, knowing she will be offered to Sylakia as the ritual royal hostage of war. Her island is the last to succumb, and now Sylakia rules the world with a cruel fist. Aranya is a fearless fighter, gifted artist, and secret enchantress. Her forbidden powers grow and she struggles to control them, trying to hide the spontaneous fires and use her healing magic to save the people she loves. Aranya is immensely likable as she matures, finding friends amidst terrible adversity while adapting to her constantly-changing self and environment.

Princess Zuziana, or Zip, is a fellow hostage in the Sylakian tower. Zip is equally fearless but more spontaneous, living in the moment; a deep friendship develops between these dynamic women, with wonderful banter. Yolathion is a Sylakian warrior who begins to question duty versus honor. This is a world of ancient legends, different cultures, deadly creatures, and many kinds of dragons. Rebellion against the Sylakians is inevitable, and the adventure soars on dragon wings. Highly recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and enjoyable., 28 July 2014
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Highly enjoyable, Aranya is certainly one of my favourite fantasy reads this year. The idea of shape shifting Dragons may not be new but the plot and characters make a really brilliant story. The world building in particular is very imaginative and comes to life in the imagination with ease. I am looking forward to more in the series in the near future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner, 16 July 2014
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Now this is a book that I could not put down. From the beginning the story captures the imagination of the reader. As you go through Aranya's journey of discovery of her true identity one can't help but admire her determination and strong character. There is also nothing like the major battle scenes in the book to truly keep you on the edge of your seat!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!, 8 July 2014
This review is from: Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Aranya is a girl, plucked by circumstances out of her control, into the machinations of a kingdom and king intent on subjugating all of the other kingdoms under one tight-fisted rule. In isolation, she meets Zip, a fiery little thing with more than a little chip on her shoulder, Nak, a lecherous, wily old man that will make you laugh, enemies aplenty, Dragonships that I pictured as the old style Zephyrs that flew the skies, adventure, intrigue, and even a little romance.

Through all of the twists and turns of the story, Aranya handles herself as a girl of strength and courage. Someone that goes out and fights against the injustices that befall her and her friends and family, rather than someone that sits idly on the sidelines hoping some dashing prince will come to her rescue. Don't get me wrong, princes are great, but this girl is a take-charge, kick-butt kind of girl, and she stole my heart because of that.

The actions sequences are unbelievably real, the characters so life-like they seem to spring off of every page, and the imagery and world building just phenomenal. At nearly every turn and page in the book I was astounded at the world that Mr. Secchia has created. It's a very lush, vibrant, REAL world. One that you can see, hear, and almost reach out and touch.

I give Aranya a hearty and well-deserved five stars, and I can't wait to read more of this author's works.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Aranya (Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1)
£2.49
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews