Five Star Reviews of Brother, Betrayed

5.0 out of 5 stars  
Great characters make this book a must-read!, June 28, 2011
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This review is from: Brother, Betrayed (Kindle Edition)
Just finished reading this book and loved it! The story is wonderful, but the thing that pulled me in and hooked me was the relationship between the brothers. Each brother has a distinct personality, and as you watch them interact you begin to really care about them. Their dialogue is perfect! The writing is also superb, and the book left me hoping that Danielle continues writing more stories in the land of Miscia! 

5.0 out of 5 stars  
A Highly Entertaining and Thought Provoking Fantasy Adventure, June 24, 2011
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This review is from: Brother, Betrayed (Kindle Edition)
In broad terms, Brother betrayed is a grand, epic fantasy-adventure, and as such it has the sort of travel, adventure, swordplay, knights, kingdoms and battles that would be expected of such a work.

But there's much more to it than that.

It's also the story of three brothers. Each of those brothers have unique personalities and interests and the author defines those differences subtly but masterfully. A glance here, a comment there and we have a visceral feel for the character of each player with most details not being overtly stated.

The tale is larger-than-life and the language is appropriately dramatic and poetic. While never over-done, many scenes are scripted in a manner that leaves the reader simply appreciating the beauty of the written words.
And while the story is anchored with classic fantasy elements, there are surprises at every turn. I never knew quite what to expect and there where many moments that left me thinking: "Wait a minute . . . what was that? Did that just happen?"

A thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced, unpredictable story that entertains from beginning to end. I'd highly recommend it to anybody looking for such a read. 

5.0 out of 5 stars  
Pain of betrayal, September 4, 2011
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This review is from: Brother, Betrayed (Kindle Edition)
would the brothers have betrayed each other if the witch had said nothing? how could she not speak? it was a land which rejoiced in the conquering of others and there was such a high conceit in the royals, all but the youngest. he alone realized that his land and those he loved were playing with karma, building up such a debt to those around them that someday that debt would come due. the middle brother was a follower, a people pleaser even though he thought of himself as a leader of men and so the betrayal struck him from a different direction, blindsiding him along the way. as for the eldest...the first born son nearly always hungers to please their parent, to be like that parent, and so he boxed himself in and chained himself down without realizing he ever had a choice. three brothers, unconditional love unknown, war a heritage burned into their blood. I want more :) 

5.0 out of 5 stars  
Captivating Fantasy at it's best!, August 16, 2011
By Rachel Tsoumbakos "Barefoot.Writer" (Melbourne, Australia)
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This review is from: Brother, Betrayed (Kindle Edition)
Let's get started by saying that I LOVED this book!

It is exactly what happens when you take a whole bunch of Arthurian tales along with a large chunk of Tolkien's world, tear them up into little pieces and then stitch them all back together.

At no point in time did I ever question the validity of the world in which I had been placed. It is painted beautifully. The descriptions of both place and person are rich in detail.

Who would I recommend this book to? This book is a work fantasy, so anyone who is a fan of this genre will be very happy indeed with this book. I did also feel flavours of tales such as those found in the Mabinogion, so anyone who is also partial to tales of either King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table or The Lord of the Rings (or, indeed, anything written by Tolkien) will also find this book a fascinating read.

5.0 out of 5 stars  
An Epic Fantasy in the Classic Sense, August 5, 2011
Connie J. Jasperson (Tenino, WA USA)
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This review is from: Brother, Betrayed (Kindle Edition)
This tale was a real pleasure to read! Indie author Danielle Raver has created a very real world, called Misca. The three brothers, Oman, Fasime and Syah are very close and love each other very much, although they each have widely divergent interests and personalities.

The tale begins with the three brothers going on an extended journey. Omens and portents abound; and the brothers find themselves contemplating the words of a witch after they return.

The land of Misca is nearing the end of its long golden age, and is poised on the edge of violent change. As the story progresses, each of the brothers becomes more clearly defined, as do their hopes and ambitions. They love their father the king, and they love their land of Misca. Each brother makes decisions that affect the land for good or for ill based on that love. Oman tends toward paranoia and fear; Fasime is caught in the middle, and the youngest, weakest brother, Syah, is the voice of reason.

The old King is a wonderful, brave character, beloved by the people as brave warrior and a benevolent ruler. The circumstances surrounding his death plunges the land into a civil war, and divides the brothers.
The battle scenes are inspiring, particularly the last battle of the old King. His strength and wisdom are some of the best scenes in a wonderful tale.

Raver's prose is lyrical, and the tale is told as if by a bard or a chronicler. This tale seems to be left open for a sequel; although it is an excellent tale in itself. 

5.0 out of 5 stars  
Beautiful classic fantasy, May 17, 2011
Alison Deluca "New Jersey Mom" (Jackson, NJ United States) 
This review is from: Brother, Betrayed (Kindle Edition)

If you enjoy battle scenes with archers and pikesmen and swordsmen, then this is a must read. Brother, Betrayed has amazing descriptions of armies in action, so well written that you would swear you could hear the clang of metal and the cursing of the knights on horseback.

There are also elements of fantasy - there is a dragon, there is a witch and a prophecy, and of course the three brothers, who are princes, struggling to maintain their kingdom in the midst of battle.

On top of that, Raver has given each brother a distinct personality. I always enjoy flawed characters - people who have something to learn, and mistakes to make. The brothers are definite people; my favorite was Syah.


"Alone" with a Good Book

"When you're reading a good book it's not as lonely as staring out the window, even if you're doing it by yourself."

~ The words of my mother while speaking with her on the phone this afternoon.

We were talking about how playing a game on-line with others is nice for the social aspect, but there is something about playing a game you enjoy and getting into the characters.

I believe that this is an amazing thing: that we can feel a connection with others, even though we are not engaging with them, and even though they may not be real.

What is a book or game that you have slipped away into; though you were alone, you were not lonely?

Being Present in the Moment

Bigger TV, better car, better clothes, more free time, faster computer, better phone, more spending money, bigger house, better vacations.

Fame, fortune.

All things we've been taught to strive for. Just below the surface, to constantly long for them, and to not be satisfied with what we have. Buy more, buy bigger, buy better, replace the old. Always have the latest model, the newest version. Messages given to us by retail companies and fashion designers.

More alarmingly, the duration of one fad and replacement with another is shortening. A new cell phone or computer barely lasts a year before a newer version is available and the old "needs to be replaced".

When we rely on material possessions and external image to effect our happiness, we become subject to the whims and fancies of a money-driven society. Exaggerated expectations lead to disappointment.

Several counseling theories are based on seeking hapiness by being "present in the moment". Most notably are Gestalt and Adlerian Therapy.

Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, came up with techniques to help patients become aware of their perceptions and how they effect their reality.

Altering your perception and your requirements for "true happiness" can change your general feelings of joy and satisfaction.

The Freedom Tower Rising

"Freedom Tower Rising" Digital Art by Danielle Raver

After September 2011 I rarely have watched or paid attention to the news. It is too difficult to watch. So many of us had different reactions to the attack on the Twin Towers. I recently read the Yahoo! article link on the construction of the "Freedom Tower" on the ground zero site in New York. Reactions are just as varied now as they were ten years ago.

I still cry when I see pictures of the towers burning. I made myself look at them the other night. I asked myself "Why are you so upset? Why do you cry when you read 3000 people? That many people die every day, probably in Alabama alone." But I know it was the manner by which they died, suddenly and at the hand of terrorists. 

A mix of "feelings" are going into the construction of the Freedom Tower at ground zero. People have many "thoughts" - such as who was responsible, what should happen to the site, who or what should be allowed to be built near the area. I made this painting to express what lies underneath all these words.

Reading of "Deep Dark Waters"

Deep Dark Waters

It’s so lonely of you
To sit and watch the tide stop at midday
And roll back to the abyss
From which memories and dreams have come
And faded into
And faded away
And born again like a swift change of wind
Opening the sails of a sinking ship
Pushing up the wings of a dove
With nowhere to go
With no home
Except the sea
Flying above
Looking down into the deep blue
A fullness that is empty
That glistens on the surface
But is truly dark, cold, and deep beneath

It’s so lonely of you
To sit on the edge
Watching the white tide
Fizz over the hot sand
And letting its coolness splash on your hot skin
But all too quickly fade away
And the sun is on you
Drying the droplets that remain
And the sand beneath you burns like the sand in the dessert
And you, the cactus, tapped
Cool water leaving you from the wound
Dripping down you to the hot sand
But the sun bears down
Sucking it up with its heat
And the tide comes back to meet it
But it’s dying, dripping, drying
And the sun is burning
And the tide is coming closer
Closer, closer
But it is fading
And the tide is here
But all it meets is dry, hot sand
And it cringes, clenches
And turns away

~Written and read by Danielle Raver

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