Reviews of “Islands in the Mist”
All of the reviews below are from Amazon.com, where I invite you, Dear Reader, to add your own.
Thank you for reading, and may I continue to delight and inspire you!
ABNA Publishers Weekly Review 2013 This accomplished novel delves into Welsh mythology to deliver an engrossing read. In Britain, after the decline of Roman rule, Priestess Agarah and clan Chieftain Cadoc are violently killed in their southern village; sister clans to the East and North have fallen prey to similar attacks. Only the Island of the Sisterhood in the West has escaped slaughter, but it was there that the trouble was born. Lady Cerridwen is keeper of one of four sacred relics, the cauldron. Bitter that the potion painstakingly brewed to bestow wisdom on her deformed son was ingested by her nephew instead, she now uses her dark gifts to semi-resurrect slain men into a bloodthirsty “army of half-dead savages.” These cauldron-born will help Cerridwen secure the remaining three relics, and thus, control of the Crossroads and “the passage to the in-between.” Agarah’s daughter Seren assumes the role of Priestess and chooses her brother Bran as Chieftain. The appointment not only dashes the hopes of the beautiful young visionary who hoped to marry him, but enrages Seren’s dangerous lover, who feels entitled to the role himself. The remaining relics -- a sword, a helm and a shield -- are in increasing jeopardy as their keepers are tricked by a disguised Cerridwen into promising her whatever she wishes. The four clans must pool their resources and make tremendous sacrifices to restore the balance of energies that the Great Mother requires. The author masterfully knits together legendary story elements with consistently lovely prose, pushing through to a satisfyingly dramatic climax.
5 out of 5 stars - Very enjoyable September 25, 2015 I really enjoyed this story and can hardly wait to read the next book. It was like reading a classic myth.
5 out of 5 stars - Great Read. By Emily Redler Great read. It was different but compelling. I recommend it highly.
September 9, 2015 ByAmazon Customer I was totally drawn in. Looking forward to your next installment. Please keep writing and keeping us engaged. Thank youWhat an enjoyable read
By Glenda Marshall enjoyed very muchFive Stars
August 15, 2015 on This book was excellent. I am always drawn to this time in history and enjoyed the authors take on it.Awesome
July 31, 2015 By Dusty This is a very well written piece and one that I would have no qualms about suggesting this as a read to those who have an interest in fantasy. The plot is clear, the characters well defined and the ultimate outcome not quite as expected. I would expect to see more from this writer in the future.- A Well Written Fantasy
5 out of 5 stars - What a wonderful journey I have been on reading this book ByJen "bugnbeesmom" What a wonderful journey I have been on reading this book!!! It pulls you in & you are right there with the characters. Ms. Hofer's obvious love & knowledge of the genre make this read flow so beautifully that you won't want to put it down. I can't wait for her future works!
5 out of 5 stars - could not help but take it along everywhere January 19, 2015 By Lori I purchased the paperback (for myself and another for a friend) and could not help but take it along everywhere, just in case there was a chance to delve in again. Given the chance it would have been devoured in one fell swoop. An excellent story teller, and her characters come alive in full force. Cunning acts of malice juxtaposed with great bravery and romance, savagery and offerings. At times I found myself gripped with the fear of the "cauldron-born", and the resolve. Bring Kleenex. CANNOT WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL! and Book on CD. Definitely. Ms. Hofer must have magic in her pen.
5 out of 5 stars - Beautifully done! November 12, 2014 By Craig L Fisher I am a voracious reader of both fantasy and historical fiction. This book straddles both genres, and does so beautifully. J.M. Hofer weaves a tale that lets the reader feel what it might have been like to live in post-Roman Wales and superimposes upon that a story straight out of Welsh mythology full of love, loss, betrayal and adventure which will keep you turning pages. Her writing is enjoyable and quite lyrical at times, reminding me of the books of Morgan Llywelyn and Manda Scott. I can't wait to see what this promising new author has in store for us in the future. I'm sure I'll be reading everything she publishes.
5 out of 5 stars - Islands in the Mist does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the story October 21, 2014 Islands in the Mist does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the story. The characters are well developed and believable. The settings create a rich tapestry upon which the author project the story. While it draws upon the myths of Wales, the author does a great job of adding a new and unique twist to the story line. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Beowulf and the Arthurian legends. It is rich, well written and draws you in and leaves you wanting more.
5 out of 5 stars - has woven a tale of great adventure, romance and Celtic lore October 1, 2014 By Tawna Ms. Hofer has woven a tale of great adventure, romance and Celtic lore. You fall in love with these characters and the descriptive scenery. This is a page turner and an excellent read. I highly recommend this book, and you'll be swept away to a wonderful world of fantasy. This truly is enchanting. I even cried.
5 out of 5 stars - “May the Guardians keep you well.” September 30, 2014 By Steve Floor I was hooked after the first page. I’m not a voracious reader, but I did not want to put this book down. Hofer’s words are so very descriptive and clever, they flow like a river and give you the feeling that you are experiencing magick. I was transported to the time and place of the characters. The four clans, the four directions and the love story involving Lucia & Bran were very compelling. I loved seeing their relationship evolve and I was taken away with their journey. I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel; I hope she doesn’t keep me waiting too long. “May the Guardians keep you well.”
5 out of 5 stars - and great plot twists September 26, 2014 By William Berge Although it had a been a long time since I'd read a book in the fantasy genre, I became completely engrossed in Islands in the Mist. I couldn't put it down. The characters are complex and well developed. The story is exciting and engaging throughout. Islands has everything one could want in a story, intrigue and betrayal, action and suspense, demons, heros and lovers, and great plot twists. Ms Hofer's writing is descriptive and beautiful. She draws upon a deep knowledge of mythology and geography as well as passionate creativity to give the reader an experience that is riveting, fun and exciting. It is an outstanding first endeavor. I can't wait for the sequel.
5 out of 5 stars - A Perfect Gift September 23, 2014 By Nrsweet This is such an enjoyable read, I could not put it down. I read it all the way through on a marathon because it was simply more interesting than anything else I was doing. The story is engaging, with characters I really cared about, as if I was watching complex lives unfold, yet in a natural environment filled with mystical realities. The background of mythology is skillfully interwoven and gives the entire story a feeling of truth and history, made more real with magic and mysteries. This story is a perfect holiday gift, packed with romance (my favorite) and filled with surprising, gutsy action. This is a world to get lost inside, in a way that has not been done before.
5 out of 5 stars - A fun read. Get lost in this well written fantasy! September 23, 2014 By Rick This fun fantasy novel is full of well developed characters, adventure, mystery and intrigue. I couldn't put it down! I can't wait for the next one!!!
5 out of 5 stars - The book takes the reader on a quick paced journey... September 5, 2014 By Mona Lisa The book takes the reader on a quick paced journey in to Welsh mythology. Hofer captures within the pages the myths, history and fantasy of over 30 characters; clan chieftains, high priestesses, demons, lovers, fantasy creatures and heroes. Based on the legend told a sequel will bring this reader back for more!
5 out of 5 stars - A tightly woven plot with a unique approach to fantasy storytelling. August 28, 2014 By Gamyr Worf Ms. Hofer has brought something new and refreshing to the fantasy genre. It's so nice to hear a story that breaks away from the overused formulaic no name working class underdog turned unsuspected hero and all powerful wizard with the salvation of the world riding on his shoulders. It's particularly nice that she does so while exploring the Welsh and Celtic lore from our own world's history rather than finding the need to reimagine a fictional universe in which to base her story. Hofer's style is imaginative, rich in emotion, suspenseful, multi-layered, and extremely well thought out. For a first time endeavor, this break out author has got my full attention. Can't wait for the sequel! :)
5 out of 5 stars - Escape your life--enjoyable reading August 28, 2014 By Elizabeth "aname123" This book is a magnificent escape into another world. Looking forward to more from this talented author, J.M. Hofer.
5 out of 5 stars - Excellent Book August 28, 2014 By Michael S Bernier A must read!
5 out of 5 stars - Get ready to get sucked in! August 28, 2014 By Eleanor M Hofer Absolutely fantastic. The story is magnificent. The writing is just done beautifully. There's a real mastery when it comes to pacing - it gets you going right from the start. It's really involving! I love how well the words are crafted. You can tell there was some real attention and dedication to mastery from a writing standpoint. And I really like the story. It isn't fluff. It is powerful, deep and intriguing. It can put you on the edge of your seat. Great!
5 out of 5 stars - A must read! August 13, 2014 By E. Róka (Park City, UT United States) This book starts starts out intriguing from the first page and keeps getting better. Once you start it's hard to put down. The tale it weaves, of heroes and heroines, myth and magic, historical detail and imaginative storytelling, moves forward dynamically with plenty of unpredictable plot twists and turns. It's set in the shadowy, evocative period of Post-Roman Britain before the rise of Arthur - I'd estimate circa mid-400's A.D. It strikes me as very thoroughly researched. There are characters adapted from history, myth, and legend, intermingled with the writer's own creations. All are given flesh, blood, and bone as well as emotional reality. It's all wrapped in a lush, imaginative world populated by druids, priestesses, warriors, maidens, shamanic figures, salt-of-the-earth folk, but also sinister anti-heroes and monsters. Lots of strong female characters. All in all, this is a rousing, immersive adventure tale. In my opinion it compares very favorably to the best of the fantasy genre. It will appeal to fans of fantasy and Celtic mythology, as well as general readers. I can't wait to see what J.M. Hofer comes out with next!
5 out of 5 stars - She has jumped onto my list of favorite writers along with Jim Butcher August 2, 2014 By Amazon Customer I am a huge fan. Cant put the book down. I am halfway through and already looking forward to a sequel. She has jumped onto my list of favorite writers along with Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, and L. Ron Hubbard. Thanks for the great story!
4 out of 5 stars - creative and entertaining July 24, 2014 By Elizabeth Hanson Good read. Incredible imagery and great character development. Some unique concepts introduced in this novel. I'm looking forward to the sequel to Islands in the Mist.