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Rachel Neumeier

Rachel NeumeierRachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student; her first publications appeared in journals such as The American Journal of Botany and and would probably be interesting to a readership in the high dozens. She is confident that her fantasy novels have much greater appeal! Rachel’s first YA fantasy, The City in the Lake, was published in 2008, and was followed by the adult fantasy Griffin Mage trilogy in 2010 and by her second YA, The Floating Islands, in early 2011. She gets her ideas from artwork, from history, from other authors’ minor characters, and from just throwing words on the page and seeing what happens. Rachel now lives in rural Missouri, where, having allowed her hobbies to take over her life, she has a very large garden, a very small orchard, two cats, and many beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Learn more at Rachel Neumeier’s website.

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The Griffin Mage Trilogy

The Griffin Mage Trilogy — (2010) Publisher: Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes. Their feathers, ruffled by the wind that came down the mountain, looked like they had been poured out of light; their lion haunches like they had been fashioned out of gold. A white griffin, close at hand, looked like it had been made of alabaster and white marble and then lit from within by white fire. Its eyes were the pitiless blue-white of the desert sky. Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path — or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human… or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.

Rachel Neumeier The Griffin Mage Trilogy 1. The Lord of the Changing Winds 2. The Land of the Burning Sands Rachel Neumeier The Griffin Mage Trilogy 1. The Lord of the Changing Winds 2. The Land of the Burning Sands 3. Law of the Broken Earth Rachel Neumeier The Griffin Mage Trilogy 1. The Lord of the Changing Winds 2. The Land of the Burning Sands 3. Law of the Broken Earth

Lord of the Changing Winds: A good solid fantasy

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Lord of the Changing Winds by Rachel Neumeier

Lord of the Changing Winds is a very well done, straightforward fantasy novel. While there isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new here, neither is there a sense of “same old story.”

Rachel Neumeier takes an interesting direction with Kes, one of her main characters. Kes is a 15-year-old orphan girl, raised by her sister in a small, quiet village. She has healing abilities and doesn’t quite fit in. So far, all the clichéd standards. Kes, however, is not a cliché. Once Kes meets the griffins and is taken by the griffin mage who awakens the magic within her, she changes. She becomes more and more distant from her human emotions. Kes isn’t your typical teen heroine and I for one was happy that this wasn’t just another “youth bonding with a magical creature” book. The other main character... Read More

The Land of Burning Sands: Another well-crafted story

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The Land of Burning Sands by Rachel Neumeier

The Land of Burning Sands is another well-crafted story from gifted author Rachel Neumeier. Instead of carrying on with the characters from the first book, we interact very little with the griffins and Kes in The Land of Burning Sands. They are a presence, but mostly as a menace overshadowing the developing story. I for one appreciated Neumeier introducing her readers to new characters. So many trilogies stick with the same main characters throughout, and it can get old in a hurry. In addition to new characters, The Land of Burning Sands changes settings as well. Here we get to find out more about Casmantium.

Gereint Enseichen sat on a narrow pallet in the lowest cellar of the Anteirden townhouse, waiting.

Gereint is a geas-bonded slave who is trying t... Read More

Black Dog: YA werewolf fantasy with a Latino spin

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Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

Black Dog (2014) is a YA urban fantasy that takes the werewolf shapeshifter subgenre and puts some unusual spins on it. The teenage Toland siblings, 15½ year old twins Natividad and Miguel and their 18 year old brother Alejandro, have been orphaned in their Mexico home by a mass attack of enemy black dog shapeshifters led by their father’s long-time enemy. Alejandro is a black dog, Miguel is a normal human, and Natividad is what is known as a "Pure," one of the rare girls born with magical powers, including the ability to cast protective spells and to quiet the wild shadow that is an inseverable part of those who are black dogs.

When their Mexican mother and American father both die in the attack, the three siblings follow their father’s last instructions: leave Mexico and travel all the way to Vermont, where there is a strong p... Read More

The Keeper of the Mist: A quietly charming traditional YA fantasy

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The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

Kerianna, the illegitimate daughter of the dissolute, ailing Lord of the country of Nimmira and a former serving girl, is a baker in the town of Glassforge who prides herself on the quality of her wedding cakes and other baked goods. It’s a struggling business, and Keri has to run it by herself since the death of her mother, but it’s modestly successful and Keri has hopes for the future.

Rule over Nimmira passes from parent to child, along with the magical power that enables the Lord or Lady of Nimmira to maintain the magical mists that hide the entire country from the powerful countries around it that would quickly take over Nimmira, if they only knew of its existence. Though Keri has daydreams of being the next ruler and fixing the problems of Nimmira, she, like everyone else in the country, expects leadership to fall to one of her three ol... Read More

The White Road of the Moon: An enchanting tale of black-eyed witches, pale ghosts, and the white road

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The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier

In The White Road of the Moon (2017), a YA high fantasy filled with magic and ghosts, 15 year old orphaned Meridy lives in an isolated mountain village with her aunt and cousins, all of whom despise her (and the feeling is mutual). It’s partly because Meridy’s mother Kamay raised her with a love for books and old languages and stories, partly because Meridy is the daughter of a man her mother never named, who bequeathed Meridy her duskier skin and black eyes, and partly because Kamay had the audacity to die when Meridy was 11, leaving Aunt Tarana with the inconvenient obligation of raising Meridy. To make matters worse, Meridy’s black eyes are a sign of a witch, someone who can see ghosts and bind them to our world ― a magical ability that the practical-minded and suspicious Tarana detests.

So when Meridy's au... Read More

More books by Rachel Neumeier

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe City in the Lake — (2008) Young adult. Publisher: THE KINGDOM’S HEART is the City. The City’s heart is the King. The King’s heart is the Prince. The Prince is missing. Ever since the Prince disappeared, nothing has been right in the Kingdom. Something has disturbed the strange, old magic that whispers around its borders… something cunning and powerful. And the disturbance extends to the farthest reaches of the Kingdom, including the idyllic village where Timou is learning to be a mage under her father’s tutelage. When Timou’s father journeys to the City to help look for the Prince, but never returns, Timou senses that the disturbance in the Kingdom is linked to her — and to the undiscovered heritage of the mother she never knew. She must leave her village, even if it means confronting powers greater than her own, even though what she finds may challenge everything she knows. Even if it means leaving love behind.


YA fantasy book reviews Rachel Neumeier The Floating Islands The Floating Islands — (2011) Young adult. A sequel is being considered. Publisher: When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings. Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own… a dream a girl cannot attain. Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths. But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands… Filled with rich language, and told in alternating voices, The Floating Islands is an all-encompassing young adult fantasy read.


fantasy book reviews Rachel Neumeier House of ShadowsHouse of Shadows — (2012) Publisher: Orphaned, two sisters are left to find their own way.  Sweet and proper, Karah’s future seems secure at a glamorous Flower House. She could be pampered for the rest of her life… if she agrees to play their game. Nemienne, neither sweet nor proper, has fewer choices. Left with no alternative, she accepts a mysterious mage’s offer of an apprenticeship. Agreeing means a home and survival, but can Nemienne trust the mage? With the arrival of a foreign bard into the quiet city, dangerous secrets are unearthed, and both sisters find themselves at the center of a plot that threatens not only to upset their newly found lives, but also to destroy their kingdom.


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