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"It captured my imagination..."

Stephanie finds herself alone in the world when her parents mysteriously disappear. Her only companion is her cat, Angel. Whilst holding a golden locket that belonged to her mother, she accidentally pops open the clasp, and the locket transports her and Angel into a very different world to the one they were living in. This beautiful new world is called Metilia, and is a land of kingdoms, castles, princes and talking animals. Stephanie and Angel embark on the most exciting of journeys, traversing the seas with Prince Aidian to the Silver Isles. They encounter diverse vegetation, an evil presence, a dragon and some terrifying man-eating sea creatures. They also take on the nasty Familians, the people of another Kingdom who enjoy plundering, hurting and killing to get what they want.

I loved The Golden Locket right from the start. It captured my imagination and reminded me of the fantastical adventures I dreamt of having as a child. Such wonderful adventures, discoveries, and animals that can talk! The story is written with such detail, the land and the characters came to life as I read. The scenery was divine, the characters interesting, and the travels exciting. Though if I were travelling through Metilia, I might prefer to avoid some of the nastier creatures such as dirwins! I liked that we were introduced to some of the history and legends of Metilia, Camtra and Famila during the book. The story also contained some romantic elements, but it wasn’t overly soppy or forced. Romantic notions within the story were fairytale-esque with nothing explicit, good for younger readers.

Angel is such a sassy cat. She is feisty, rude and opinionated, but also brave and loyal. Dedicated to protecting Stephanie, she also comes across as over-protective and paranoid, but I liked her a lot. She has such a huge personality, just as I imagine a cat would if they suddenly had the ability to talk. I really liked Stephanie as well. She is strong, intelligent and caring, with plenty of charm, whilst also being quietly spoken and gentle. She is often apologising for Angel’s brash nature, but she loves the cat dearly.

There were many other characters in the story, all of whom were well developed. Prince Aidian, as the main male character seemed to complement Stephanie well, they have similar values, though rather different pasts. He is sincere and generous to all those he meets, and he genuinely cares about Stephanie and her quest. Being a Prince, he is of course somewhat protective of her, but she still gets to be herself with him. I particularly enjoyed the banter between the animals and people, with many of the horse’s and Angel’s comments making me laugh. Muddle the donkey was a memorable character that added a little bit of absurdity to every situation.

The Golden Locket is suitable for children in middle to upper primary school and beyond. It should be especially appealing to fans of fantasy adventure. It is the first book in the Nobody’s Story series, and I am very much looking forward to the second book to see what adventures Stephanie and Angel have next.

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Sara Reid - Today We Did - September 20, 2015

"good characters, twists that catch your breath"

Short story, good characters, twists that catch your breath, and some background. The mystery will surprise you, as will the story about the characters. Overall I enjoy reading this one. another one that you don't want to miss.

Eumire Mendoza - December 3, 2015

"will keep you reading for hours and hours"

What a great book to read! I am happy that I downloaded this! This is such a great story that is full of adventure with twists and turns and lots of surprises! I love reading these kind of books, and this one didn't disappoint. This isn't a short novel on here, it will keep you reading for hours and hours, great book to read on a rainy day when you need something to entertain you! The author has really great writing skills and captured my attention right away with this plot. The characters are well developed too. I loved it. Thanks.

Kitty Kat - November 1, 2015

"amazing and full of adventure"

This book is amazing and full of adventure. Right away the author captured my attention right off the bat and I couldn't stop reading this book. The book is full of surprise and twists and turns, and adventure. The book is well written and it will keep you reading for hours. I found myself excited while reading this, great book to read on a rainy boring day.

Leo Veres - November 1, 2015

"...reminiscent of Lloyd Alexander's writing style."

I bought this book on Amazon. I think this is a good first book by S.Mayor. I found the story to be reminiscent of Lloyd Alexander's writing style. It's a roaming adventure story that can be enjoyed by young readers to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity. I laughed at the comical remarks made by Angel the sarcastic cat and for the young girls who read the story there is a handsome prince to fall for :) The ending of the book leaves you wanting to read the next chapter in the lives of this small band of travelers.

Jody Brin - August 26, 2015

"Highly recommended!"

I received this book as a free gift from the author in exchange for an honest review. I love, love, love this story. I was drawn in from page one and looked forward to reading every page after that in order to follow the adventure of Stephanie, Angel and Prince Aidian. Yes....I'll admit....I'm a sucker for a well-written fantasy. I love that Stephanie's special locket opens the door to an amazing adventure for Stephanie and her furry friend. This book is an excellent and ideal book for young people or adults like me that still love a good fantasy. It is beautifully written, engaging and full of adventure. Get this book for yourself, a friend, your teenage niece or anyone you know that loves a great story. You won't be disappointed! Highly recommended!

Jessica Clark - July 7, 2015

"Excellent, engaging story!"

I was so happy to receive this book as a gift from the author in order to share my thoughts about it online. The Golden Locket is an engaging story of a young girl, Stephanie, who after the loss of her parents unexpectedly finds herself in an exciting adventure initiated, oddly enough, by a special locket given to her by her mother. In the blink of an eye, Stephanie enters a world that she is unfamiliar with and embarks on the journey of finding out why she is there and to discover the secrets of her special locket. She is accompanied on her journey with her feline friend, Angel who acquires a voice in this new world and thus is able to express the sassy, outspoken typical cat attitude in words. Overall, this is a delightful story that draws you in and keeps your interest from start to finish. I can't wait for the next book! Excellent story!

Terry Ward - July 8, 2015

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"...beautifully written with witty characters and an exciting plot."

The First Kingdom is the second book in the Nobody’s Story series. This book follows on from The Golden Locket, which saw Stephanie, and her cat, Angel, arrive in the land of Metilia after opening her locket for the first time. Now the Familian Princes have arrived in Metilia purporting to want peace between the nations. Whilst Princess Stephanie and her friends are showing the Princes around Yorkyin Land, Stephanie suddenly disappears seemingly into thin air. She finds herself alone in a strange and unknown land. Her journey home is full of danger, excitement and new friends.

I was super excited when The First Kingdom arrived! It had been a long wait, and I was looking forward to a trip into Metilia. It seems first I had to visit with those awful Familian princes, Kirk, Joel and Nathaniel. They are such a scheming lot. Then back to Metilia and beyond, a beautiful country full of talking animals, Princes and adventures. Within this book, you will find clans of big cats and wolves, mysterious strangers, kidnapping witches, giants, exciting new lands to explore and even a dragon!

This fantasy novel is beautifully written with witty characters and an exciting plot. I really enjoyed learning the history of Artinear and Metilia through Zanir’s teachings. Mayor has created a fantasy world rich in culture and history, with many layers still yet to be unravelled. The landscapes are stunning, and the inhabitants intricately described. It was quite eye-opening to visit Camtra and Famila, two countries that are very different from Metilia!

I really loved the new characters, Zanir and Icha. The sly fox, Icha, was particularly funny, while his two little kits were very cute. Zanir was more serious, but still had her moments of humour, and I enjoyed the conversations she had with Stephanie while they travelled. The skirmishes between Angel and Chitchat also made me laugh a lot. Deep down, the feisty cat, Angel really adores Chitchat, despite his squirrelyness, I’m sure of it! Angel generally makes me smile with her sassy attitude and her dislike of all things princely, her fierce loyalty and love for Stephanie and her ability to sleep at the drop of a hat. She was rivalled by the newcomer, Zanir, who also becomes dedicated to protecting Stephanie. It will be interesting to see what sort of relationship Zanir and Angel will develop in the future.

The chapter titles gave me a kick. There were some great puns there, which made me snort-laugh more than once!

The First Kingdom is suitable for middle and upper primary through to high school students, and will appeal to anyone interested in fantasy and adventure. I was ripping along through this book, but I forced myself to put it down, as I just didn’t want it to end yet. Oh, the wait for the next book will be too long…. but it will be oh so exciting when it’s here!

*I received this book from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Sara Reid - Today We Did - October 15, 2016

"looking for more reviews..."

Stephanie and Angel would love to know what you think of The First Kingdom. Please send your reviews to Stephanie at this dot com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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