BIRTH by Donna Russo Morin (Once, Upon a New Time) Publication date: February 15th 2019
New worlds don’t appear. They are born from the labor of those who envision them. Count Witon has grown weary of the constant war between the races. Together with his wife Belamay, and Persky – first of a rare Human / Elf breed – Witon plans to create a new society: a utopia for anyone who longs for peaceful coexistence. They recruit pilgrims from every city and species; most to success, some to failure. Together, they set off to a small, yet promising island, found by chance in the middle of the churning ocean. But the journey there is fraught with challenges, and none of them is as dire as the one they face once they reach their destination. Will they have the strength and determination to give Birth to this New Time? Once, Upon A New Time is a medieval fantasy with a double-edged sword: one of blood, the other of lust.
4 out of 5 (very good)
Birth is the first book in the Once, Upon A New Time series, and we start off in the middle of a battle. Our main male is determined to save one of the injured, and carries him to his lover, who is both a warrior and a healer. He has an epiphany, and throws down his sword. He doesn't want to fight any longer, and is determined to start afresh somewhere new. He finds like-minded people of most of the races to go with him.
This was a great introduction to their world, and I really can't wait to continue. Witon doesn't have it easy, either at his old 'home', or the new, for reasons I won't go into. Suffice it to say, it makes for heck of a read! Belamay, the warrior healer, is left behind with the rest of the families as Witon tries to find this new world. Mishaps happen to both of them, but I loved how Belamay dealt with the hand she was dealt.
This is the first book, so expect the world-building. It is almost two-fold, as you have to learn what life was like for them, before you can understand just how different the new world is. The characters are all multi-dimensional, and grow throughout the book. There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading, and I found the pacing to be perfect. It isn't all gung-ho for the whole book, there are quiet times too, which are needed just as much.
A fantastic start to the series that I highly recommend, and I can't wait to read more.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Donna Russo Morin is an award-winning historical fiction author. Donna has dabbled as a model and actor, working on Showtime's Brotherhood and Martin Scorsese's The Departed. Branching out with her storytelling skills, Donna is now a screenwriter. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Donna lives on the south shore of Rhode Island close to the ocean she loves so very much. She is the proud mother of two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.
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