Picking Up the Pieces, by Paula Vince

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

In Picking Up the Pieces, Paula Vince has tackled some very complex and emotional issues. How to forgive someone who has done something so vile it haunts you? Is it even possible? And what of the families of the two young people whose lives take a sudden and dramatic turn one fateful night?

Claire Parker and Blake Quinlan are characters you won’t forget in a hurry, as they each struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of one evening. This is a story about choices and consequences. It shows how the choices one person makes, affect not just themselves but those closest to them.

I became involved quickly in the story of Claire Parker and Blake Quinlan and their families and regretted each time I had to put the book down to do something else . A well written novel with a fast moving plot, it is the characters that will stay with you long after the final page is closed. This is a book to make you think.

This is the first of Paula Vince’s books I have read. I am sure it will not be the last.

Picking Up the Pieces, Paula Vince
Even Before Publishing

This book can be purchased from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.

Quenarden – The Dark Secret

Ever since he entered the mysterious land of Quenarden, Troy has been convinced that it is his job to overthrow the evil scanator, Pythos. But as Scanator’s reign of terror continues and Troy and his friends are forced into hiding in cave systems below the ground, it seems that the time for Troy to fulfil the prophecy is not getting any closer.

When Pythos captures Amber Embley it sets into motion a chain of events which no one could have foreseen, even with the prophecies about Pythos’ overthrow to guide them. Troy is determined that Pythos be defeated sooner rather than later.

The Dark Secret is the last title in the Quenarden trilogy, and fans of the first two books will not be disappointed with this offering. As with the other books, there are plenty of twists and surprises, with ongoing character development.

This is a satisfying conclusion to an outstanding trilogy.

Quenarden: The Dark Secret, by Paula Vince

Quenarden – The Castle of Light, by Paula Vince

Nathan, Beth and Troy are still stranded in the land of Quenarden, where it is believed they will fulfil a prophecy and overthrow the scanator Pythos, a horrendous beast who controls the land.

In this, the second volume of the Quenarden trilogy, they are joined by Pedor Macaulay, the boy who was largely responsible for Nathan being taken prisoner by Pythos, but who has now repented. When Pedor uncovers a plot by Pythos to take all of the rebels prisoners, he must act to save them. But will they trust him enough after his previous deception?

The Castle of Light continues the story begun in the first of this trilogy, The Prophecies. The shift of perspective in this volume, where much of the action is seen from Pedor’s perspective, gives the reader fresh insight into this intriguing character. The developing drama as the youngsters move towards their goal of overcoming Pythos, will draw the reader in in and have them eagerly awaiting the next and final instalment.

Great reading for ages 12 and over.

Quenarden: the Castle of Light, by Paula Vince
Apple Leaf Books, 2002

Quenarden – The Prophecies

When Beth finds a young girl wandering the property where she works, she has no inkling of the strange chain of events that will follow. The girl claims to come from the land of Quenarden and wants Beth’s help to find her way home. Beth enlists the helps of cousins Troy and Nathan, whose parents own the property, and the three follow the girl through a crack in a hillside, to find themselves in Quenarden.

Quenarden is ruled by an evil scanator and the residents live in constant fear. Their one hope is that three strangers will come to fulfil an old prophecy about the overthrow of the scanator. Beth, Troy and Nathan don’t think they could be the three, but when they are stranded in Quenarden, events unfold that suggest they could be – if they survive long enough to fulfil the prophecies.

Quenarden: The Prophecies is the first in a new trilogy from talented author Paula Vince. Vince has created a carefully depicted fantasy land, which is the key to creating believable fantasy, and her teen heroes are both plausible and likeable. All three grow during their adventures, each one discovering new things about themselves and the others.

Quenarden: The Prophecies will appeal to young fantasy fans aged 12 and over, who will eagerly move on to the second title in the series.

Quenarden: The Prophecies, by Paula Vince
Apple Leaf Books, 2002