Sunday, February 2, 2014

Character Bios for The Palace of the Twelve Pillars Trilogy by Christina Weigand!!

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Title – Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One

Series – Palace of the Twelve Pillars
Author – Christina Weigand
Genre – YA Fantasy
Publication Date – April 26, 2013
Publisher – MuseItUp Publishing
Cover Artist – Marion Sipe


BOOK SYNOPSIS
The Peace Summit was in shambles, the prince kidnapped. When the rival king realizes he kidnapped the wrong prince, hostilities escalate. Loyalties to each other and country are tested for the twin princes of Crato, Joachim and Brandan. Joachim, captive of King Waldrom, faces deception and betrayal as he struggles to find his way home. Brandan, at home with a father focused on rescuing Joachim, wrestles with his own demons as he searches for his place in the world and the favor of his father. Torn from the safety and peace of their childhood, they are thrust into a world where bonds of family, brotherhood and roles as heirs to Crato are tested. Through war, spiritual journeys, death and marriage, will they choose the path of good or evil? Who can be trusted, as the world they know slips into a whirlpool of chaos?
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MY REVIEW



I was a little unsure of reading this series, because I don't normally read Fantasy books.  I have said this before, but I LOVE when a book surprises me!  

This book starts out with a demand that goes unanswered.  King Waldrum wants the Queen of Crato and wants one of her twin boys for his own.  Determined to keep her boys safe, Lilia keeps this demand to herself, which causes her husband King Theodric to think she decieved him, once he finds out.

When the Peace Summit takes place, King Waldrum comes with ulterior motives.  He has plans for one of the princes, and the plans aren't good.  He has given his life to the dark lord Sidramah, and wants to raise one of the twins to learn the dark magic.

Joachim and Brandan are very different boys.  Even though they are twins, Joa sees the good in people, and believes in the powers of Asha.  Brandan, on the other hand, believes that Asha doesn't exsist.  Why should they wait for someone that doesn't exist when magic can cure everything and make everything easier.  He also believes things should be given to him because he's the prince, and that his twin brother is favored by his father.  

When Joa is kidnapped by King Waldrum to get back at the Queen, Brandan is angry his father will not let him help find him.  Not understanding that his father wants to keep him safe, he sets out anyway to help get his father back.

This is where the story really begins.  Once Waldrum finds out that Joa is not Brandan like he expected, he is angry, but doesn't allow that to deter him.  He wants to turn one of the boys evil, but he doesn't realize the determination of Joachim to not follow the darkness.  As hard as it is, he fights to stay true to himself and parents.  It's a struggle that he fights with even after escaping.

What he doesn't expect is the betrayal of his brother.  He thought, once they were reunited they would go back home, but his mother makes a decision that makes it impossible.  It doesn't help matters that Brandon has joined with the enemy.

While in Waldrum's custody, Joa starts having visions, and one of them is him killing his father.  For awhile, he believes it really happened, but soon realizes it just something Sidramah wanted him to think. Once he escapes, he is reunited with his father, but it doesn't go the way he expected it to go.  It changes his life, and puts it on a course that will change him before he's ready.

As I said, I was unsure about how I would feel about this book.  It reminded me a bit of Lord of the Rings, although, I haven't read that series... yet!!  

I loved this book, and I was glued to it for about a day!  Joachim didn't want to think his brother was evil and would betray him, and up until the end believed it was the dark lord at work.  He was always loyal to his twin, even though Brandon made it difficult for him. 

I didn't like Brandan, because he seemed hellbent on setting up Joa to fail.  Everytime his brother was slightly happy, he would say or do something to make him doubt himself.  There were times he was under an evil influence, but not all of it was said because of Sidramah.  

I loved Joachim, and you knew he was inherently good.  No matter how much the visions tried to take over him, he always had the sense to not give to the evil.  He did struggle, but there people around him who sure he came back to reality.
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BOOK EXCERPT
Then his gaze fell on Waldrom. Here was the man, so smug and condescending, who sought to destroy Crato and threatened his parents. He didn’t seem the least bit imposing reclining upon his throne. Disgust overwhelmed the prince, and it was all he could do not to spit on the floor. The man was the antithesis of his father, who, with his broad shoulders and compassionate demeanor, commanded the respect of all who knew him. The king rose from the throne and waved for the guard to bring Joachim forward. “Prince Brandan, I presume. I’m King Waldrom.” “Prince Brandan? No, I’m Joachim.” Waldrom stepped back, and Joachim saw the fire burning in his eyes. “What do you mean, you’re not Prince Brandan?” Waldrom looked at the guard holding Joachim and waved his hand. A candelabrum flew from the wall, hitting the guard and igniting his beard. The guard swatted wildly at the flames while Waldrom advanced on Melvane, standing by the door. “How could you grab the wrong prince?” The wizard dropped to his knees. “My Lord, our spies told us Prince Brandan would be in the training room.

Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One

Character Bios:

King Theodric:  He is king of Crato. Born and raised in the Palace of the Twelve Pillars in the royal city of Wyrzburg. He was schooled in the neighboring country of Mahorg. His father the king died when he was only fifteen years of age and he was called back to Crato to assume rule of the country.

King Waldrom: He is king of Mahorg. Born and raised in Mahorg. He suffered from Evil Fire when he was a child and lost a finger on his left hand as a side effect from the illness. Waldrom attended school with Theodric until he cheated on some tests and was forbidden to do magic and banished from Mahorg. After Theodric’s marriage to Waldrom’s cousin and woman that he loves he returns to his country and stages a coup, unseating and killing his own father. He then assumes the kingship of Mahorg and with the evil magic of Sidramah begins harassing Crato. He allies himself with Mantion cave dwelling people and the Wizard Melvane.

Queen Lilia: She is Queen of Crato and wife to Theodric. She is also cousin to Waldrom. She was born in Mahorg and attended school with Theodric and Waldrom. She fell in love with Theodric and they married not long after his father died.
The three of them Theodric, Waldrom and Lilia were best friends until Theodric and Lilia announced their love for each other. Then Waldrom feeling the rejected suitor swears he will have Lilia. His drunken ranting and brawling get him thrown out of the wedding of Theodric and Lilia. The pair goes on to live their lives unaware that Waldrom has sworn he will have Lilia or he will destroy anyone who gets in his way.

Prince Brandan: Son of Lilia and Theodric. Although the blonde, handsome he is really the dark, moody son.  He does not do well in his studies of the “Annals of Time” or the magic of Asha. He feels limited by the rules of magic and constantly rebels against his teachers and other adults of influence especially his father. He both resents and loves his twin brother. He is willing to put his life on the line for his brother but only on his own terms and after he has taken care of himself. Next to his brother the only people he feels any connection to are his mother and his teacher Adept Croifan. But since Croifan is a Kningrad Brandan sees him as a lesser being and often disparages the master. Although at times the teacher is able to instill a little bit of fear into the prince it does not happen very often. He will set out with the intention of rescuing his brother, but ultimately betrays him because the grass looks greener on the other side in Waldrom’s camp.

Prince Joachim: Son of Lilia and Theodric, twin brother to Brandan. His dark complexion and subtle good looks would make one think he was the evil twin. However Joachim is the more studious and obedient of the pair. He excels in everything he undertakes, especially the magic of Asha.
Even though parents are not supposed to have favorites, Joachim shares a special bond with his father the king and it appears as if he is the favored son. Joachim also feels a very deep bond with his twin. It is so intense that he will do anything for his brother including taking on a punishment that he did not deserve. Perhaps his greatest fault is his loyalty to his brother. He hopes that one day Brandan will be reformed and is confused by his brother’s behavior.

Joachim is maybe too good for his own good. When he imagines he has done wrong he blames and punishes himself and that could be his undoing, as he lets evil forces into his psyche. He is his own worst critic and that might not bode well for him when he faces the trials of being kidnapped and betrayed.

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Title – Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two

Series – Palace of the Twelve Pillars
Author – Christina Weigand
Genre – YA Fantasy
Publication Date – September 20, 2013
Publisher – MuseItUp Publishing
Cover Artist – Marion Sipe

BOOK SYNOPSIS Brandan and Joachim have returned from the brink of Hell, but everyone questions if they are truly healed and one with Asha. As each prince tries to readjust to life, they must face the funeral of their father and their missing mother. They each take on the responsibility of ruling a country with new wives by their sides, but can they and the countries survive the trials that will ensue because of their choices?


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MY REVIEW

Wow.... that's what I have to say about this book!  Brandan and Joachim return home as Kings. Joachim is the King of Crato, and Brandon the King Mahorg.  

Where as the first book they were boys of fifteen, they are now men and faced with issues they aren't prepared to face.  Joachim is to get married to Maeve, who is daughter to the Kningrad King eyvindur. Brandan doesn't agree to the joining, believe it should be him that she marry.  Stating that Joachim isn't ready for marriage, but it falls on deaf ears.  

Although his brother has been taken away from the evil, and has been to the Cave of Njori to speak with the God Asha, Joa is still concern his brother still has evil thoughts.  He hates that there is a rift between his brother, and tries to get back the relationship they once had.  Brandan makes it difficult for him to do that though.

Maeve, proves to be a good wife for Joachim, but doesn't allow to him to berate himself too much about his brother.  She knows how Brandan is, and hates that he makes Joa feel inferior.  When her husband is injured at a tavern, she knows that the twin is responsible.  When Brandan blames Joa for his injuries, she knows he is responsible.  Brandan doesn't blame himself for anything, and will blame anyone else but himself.  

Joa, because of this accident, uses the use of his right arm.  It doesn't stop him from ruling his kingdom.  He is loved and respected, and he isn't prepared for the hostility of his brother.  

Also, there is a woman who has shown some interest in Brandan.  Magda is suddenly at his side, and no one at the palace trusts her.  They don't know who she is or why she is showing a sudden interest in the young king.  

Little do they know, someone from Brandan's past is determined to make the Palace of Three Crosses his own.  He has set up a plan that is fool proof and it works in his benefit. 

Waldrum is still alive and escapes his confinement.  He wants Lilia back, and wants the twins dead.  He knows with their death and the death of their mother, he can get back into the good graces of Sidramah.  

This book was just as good as the first one, but it was also heartbreaking.  Joachim and Maeve suffer a loss that almost ends her life, and causes Joa to almost lose hope.  He questions his faith to Asha and realizes his love for his wife is absolute.  He would do anything for her, and he knows he can't lose her.  
What he doesn't expect is the determination of his brother to make his life that much harder.  His brother knows Joa is surrounded by people he trusts and will protect him, and goes about taking them away.  He has plans for his brother, and they aren't good.  Joa, again, doesn't to believe his brother would betray him, and is in a lot of denial.  There were times I wanted to shake him regarding his brother, but it was who he was.  He was a good man who didn't want to see the evil in his brother. Even though he struggled with Sidramah himself, he didn't want to admit that his brother would fall for whatever the dark lord had to offer.  

Like book one, this book had me right from the start!  I loved it, and I can't wait to read book three. From reading the blurb, it's going to be just as good as the first two!!

Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two
Character Bios:
In Book Two Brandan and Joachim return along with a few new characters to continue their journey and battle of good and evil.

King Brandan: At the end of Book One we saw Palace of the Twelve Pillars we saw Brandan go to King Waldrom and be crowned King of Crato. At the end of the book he is betrayed by those he thought were his allies. His brother Joachim rescues him from near death, but Brandan is not convinced of his brother’s good intentions and is still in the thrall of Sidramah.
The twins return to Crato and Brandan is crowned King of Mahorg. A couple of Mantion spies
Brandan has not completely returned to the good side. He is cold and unreachable. After the coronation he leaves Wyrzburg and travels to Dun Dealgan. Magical and feminine wiles assault him he succumbs to the magical and feminine wiles of a Mantion princess and soon comes to despise his brother and all that his brother represents. He is also fully in the thrall of Sidramah at this point and continues Waldrom’s vendetta against Crato. When Joachim marries a Kningrad princess, Brandan’s anger is fueled and he travels deeper into the web of Sidramah.

King Joachim: Joachim is the reluctant king of Crato. He was crowned and thrown into a battle when he was unprepared and now he must try to rule the country that his brother seems to want to destroy. In spite of his brother’s actions he still hopes that they can share a bond of love and rule their respective countries in peace. He marries a Kningrad princess and childhood friend.
Brandan’s betrayal along with the death of their father and the disappearance of his mother plants seeds of doubt in Joachim that he will struggle to overcome as he attempts to rule Crato. When he is injured and loses the use of his right arm, he is pushed closer to the edge of his sanity.

Princess Gudrun/Lady Magda: She is the daughter to King Shigeo of the Mantion and sworn enemies to humans, especially Cratonites. Her people share an uneasy alliance with Mahorg but believe they should be the ones in control, not Brandan. To that end Melvane and Shigeo hatch a plan in which Princess Gudrun will magic herself to look like a human female. Then they will infiltrate the Palace of the Twelve Pillars in the guise of a noblewoman visiting for the coronation and royal wedding. Once inside the palace she will work her powerful evil magic on the humans especially Brandan.
Gudrun is a reluctant participant in her father’s plan. Her true love is the Wizard Melvane, and she longs for the day when she can get rid of his wife and children and become his wife. She resents her father for asking her to do this. The anger feeds the evil and adds to the extremes she will go to get 
what she wants. And she will not stop short of anything including sacrifice and death of innocents.

Princess Maeve:  She is daughter to King Eyvindur of the Kningrad. The Kningrad have long been allies and friends to Crato. At birth King Eyvindur and King Theodric promised to wed their children and strengthen the alliance between Crato and Imherp the Kningrad nation. Maeve is totally dedicated to the alliance between the two countries and will willingly marry whichever prince is chosen for her, although she secretly hopes it will be Joachim. As Joachim begins continues his slide to insanity she will stand by his side. She is a fierce warrior and a passable adept. She is a strong ruler and the people of Crato come to love her in spite of the fact that she is not human.  She even supports her husband’s loyalty to his brother even though she doubts that Brandan has any good intentions left.


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BOOK EXCERPT
Rupert looked through the window in his tower room at the landscape of Wyrzburg. Months had passed since the Battle of Harable Valley and the spring planting season faded into the wonderful summer growing season. The land progressed in its healing and would soon be returned to its former state. As he turned from the window, he thought about the things that hadn’t healed…the twins. Brandan and Joachim still had a long way to go to erase the darkness that infected them. Joachim seemed better, but at night he still dreamed of Sidramah, and the doubts about what happened still haunted him. Brandan appeared even further from the boy that left to find his brother. The darkness appeared to follow him day and night. He withdrew to chambers as far away from Joachim as he could get. Walking down the stairs to the great hall, Rupert remembered when the princes first returned; both had seemed healed and better than ever, maybe. But it appeared as if the tentacles of Sidramah still lingered. Any small opening the evil one could find, he exploited, and both boys were once again haunted by dark dreams.



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Title – Sanctuary of the Nine Dragons: Book Three

Series – Palace of the Twelve Pillars
Author – Christina Weigand
Genre – YA Fantasy
Publication Date – February 2014
Publisher – MuseItUp Publishing

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BOOK SYNOPSIS

Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.
With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.
Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?
Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?

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BOOK EXCERPT
“I have sent one who can save them, but he can also bring about their final destruction. “You, my Guardians, must seek him out. Protect him and ensure he is guided on the right paths.” Alorn lifted his great ruby-red head. “Tell us who is he, Lord, that we may fulfill Your wishes.” “I cannot reveal his identity…yet. Just know there are three who need you now. My power will be seen in all, but only one will be the savior in the end. However, all are needed to bring My Will about, and they must all be protected and nurtured.” “How will we know them?” Stefano leaned forward. “All will be children of Brandan or Joachim, and they will blend the lineage of the three races.” “We know of Joachim’s children, but Brandan has none.” “He has one, a half Mantion-half human child. Gorou is the third, and he will be the hardest to protect and nurture.” “Why a child of Brandan?” Cielo asked. “Brandan has already chosen the path of evil time and again. Would not a child of his be exposed to that same evil?” “Although, he fathered the child, Brandan knows not of his existence.


Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three

Character Bios:

King Brandan: King Brandan returns to the Palace of the Twelve Pillars even more cocky and sure of his place than when he disappeared. He makes some bold, selfish moves that will get him banished from the palace. We see even more of his disdain for his brother and wife.
As he travels on the prison ship the beginning s of a different perspective begin to emerge in his field of vision, but when his ship is wrecked and he is presumed dead Sidramah is able to fully infiltrate his person and a Brandan who is wholly evil emerges. He is worse than Waldrom he makes Waldrom look like a nice person as he ravages the lands starting with the Mantion, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake.

King Joachim: The kidnapping of his infant son and the disappearance of his brother finally pushes Joachim over the edge. As he sinks into despair he rejects Asha and his family. He embarks on a journey to find his son in spite of the odds against a successful journey.
He rejects Asha and his family swearing that he can and will do it on his own, leaving Maeve to rule the country.

Prince Airyn/Aaron: Son of Maeve and Joachim. He is kidnapped and disappears when he is an infant.  A magic spell is cast on him so that he will not be recognized and he is left in the care of a knight in Joachim’s army. He stutters when he is afraid or nervous which is most of the time, especially around his younger more talented brother. He champions the underdog and befriends a crippled Mantion. He attends the school for knights and adepts but does not think he belongs there, but instead should be tending a farm somewhere. His younger brother bullies him and he tolerates it although if severe enough or directed at his friend is quick to anger and strikes back. Unfortunately he usually comes out the loser in the confrontation so he has learned to control his anger.

Princess Enit: Daughter to Maeve and Joachim and twin sister to Airyn. Although a coddled and protected princess she chafes at the constraints placed on her by her position.
She is much like her father in her stubborn bull headed behavior. She does thing s without thinking and has to endure the consequences of her decisions. She resents her father’s lack of attention to her and his unceasing search for her missing brother. The one thing she longs for, desires the most is his love and attention. She is head strong.

Gorou: Son of the Mantion, Derdrom. He is the underdog. He has a short leg which causes him to limp. In spite of his infirmities he is a gentle loyal friend.  He cares for sick animals as well as people and is in training to be a healer at the same school that Aaron and his siblings attend. Most of the time he does not let the fact that he is picked on bother him. But he will jump to Aaron’s aid if he sees that Aaron is being pushed too far. He may appear cowardly and wimpy but behind that mask is a fighter and loyal friend.

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AUTHOR BIO
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania, returning there after a short sabbatical in Washington. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.
When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter’s school helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.
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STALKER LINKS


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AUTHOR GIVEAWAY


1 eCopy of all Three Books in the Trilogy (Palace of the Twelve Pillars, Palace of the Three Crosses & Sanctuary of the Nine Dragons).
***Note – Sanctuary of the Nine Dragons will be awarded upon its release.



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2 comments:

My Familys Heart Book Reviews said...

Wow such great reviews - thank you so very very much for taking the time to review the books & be part of the tour - Tonya

Jess's Journal said...

No problem! I loved being part of the tour!!

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