Book Jacket


rank  Editors Pick
word count 34244
date submitted 18.03.2012
date updated 30.06.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Fantasy
classification: universal

The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction

Cara Goldthorpe

She told stories to fill an empty spirit, hiding from the truth. But the world bleeds from enemy wounds, and she cannot run forever.


It is Midsummer Day, and the sun dawns over a city resonating with the sounds of Life. The people honour their Triple Gods, and celebrate the third year gone by without an enemy siege.

But they are oblivious to a new threat that is coming.

Her Natural Balance disrupted, the world of Meridisia plunges into chaotic struggle. In the midst of it all, one lonely storyteller, one lost girl, grapples with assuming a new identity. Uprooted from poverty, and thrust amongst the powerful, suddenly she must make the right choices to save her people.

But she will learn that nothing is ever simple.

When the enemy strangle your home with flames, seize your loved ones and crush your hope, dark emotions grow within like a gangrenous disease.

And then, no one is a hero.


The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction is the first book of ‘The Fires of Light and Dark’ series. With poetic prose, spiritual links and symbolic layers, this tale explores the plight of the human race – in all its weakness and glory.


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HarperCollins Wrote

I enjoyed ‘The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction’ in terms of its plot development, scope for action and fantasy nature. It has the potential to fit into the Children’s fantasy market if given some serious thought and clarification, and I believe with a bit of reworking this could be an interesting read. However, the tale is currently a little confusing and could do with a stronger tone of voice and clearer formatting.

Whose story is this?: You flit between three voices. The ethereal, the survivor, and the storyteller. But whose story is this?

I am assuming it is Adrianna the storyteller’s but it is unclear from what I have read whether you know this yourself. If it is hers, give her voice, thoughts and actions a stronger presence. She needs to be stand out. As it happens, I did not empathise with her and could not quite fathom why someone would risk their life for hers – this could have been a very powerful moment – her connection to people needs to have more prominence.

The ethereal voice is creepy. I love this. She/he/it seems to get darker as the titles continues and although I didn’t reach the end I was intrigued to find out what or who this voice is. Don’t be afraid to make this darker still.

As far as I have read I do not know what importance the survivor of the battle is in terms of the rest of ‘The Awakening’. I could not even work out whether she was from another time or indeed country.

At one point it seems as though the ethereal and the survivor join forces, but then again maybe not. These two threads are confusing and need more clarity (not just in formatting – although these would help greatly).

See what you can do about making the three voices of the story three separate entities.

The art of telling stories within stories:
Any title that has a storyteller for a heroine gets a great big tick from me, but it needs to be done effectively and it needs to weave in and out of this better than it currently does in this title. The audience needs to believe in the storytelling as much as the characters in the story. It is clearly important to you that she tells stories, and I love this, they are integral to her winning favour with others in the book, and I think this could be more magical.

Adrianna’s stories are vital to her development within the book, her use of words to bewitch her audiences and to ultimately gain her a better place in society is what drives the story. Show us this more. Does she get just as lost as her audiences? Does she even know where the stories are coming from? Who was that woman in the bonfire? Was that her imagination of was it real. How powerful are her words?

Although intrigue is great in a character and it’s nice to have a bit of mystery, there needs to be some clear facts to grab hold of. Even if Adrianna herself is unaware of her history, tell us more of what she does know as well as what she doesn’t. The same goes for Cain. He is a fascinating character but you tell us too little too late.

A wealth of imagery: You have a great knack for description, it flows well and never sounds forced. This text is very visual and rightly so – don’t be afraid to show us more; especially where the contrast in poverty and wealth lies. Show us how they differ side by side at the bonfire.

It seems as though poverty, wealth, faith, and protection are key elements to this tale, build on these and you might just have an intriguing and adventure filled book!

not really there wrote 694 days ago

Wow. You have a fantastic writing style.
It's easy to tell the difference between prose which is manufactured, and prose like yours which comes from pure talent. You're one of those writers who could write about just about anything, and what will/should always come through is your passion for the story.

When I read books, more often than not, I find myself wishing the author would shut up and stop interfering with what's going on. You're the opposite of that. Reading you is like encountering the story moments after it's first been realised; I know I'm reading fiction, but you make it real.
That all comes down to the mystery of authorial voice. It can be faked but it can never be taught because, especially in 3rd person, it's the very essence of the author. And you clearly have a poetic soul.
To quote John Keats – and yes, he is (not was) a poet, but this equally applies to prose: “If poetry comes not as naturally as the leaves to a tree it had better not come at all.”
You may already have heard that one. Still, don't forget it. The natural poetry he speaks of doesn't just exist in the unforced simile or metaphor, it works its magic throughout the overall vision of what is being conveyed. That's a gift, and if only more novelists had it, the world would be a much better place.

You remind me of Ursula K. Le Guin. Not that you write like her, but because your enthusiasm and instinctual understanding of mythology and its power is authentic.
If I'm to be tough on you with regard to the opening chapter – which is a difficult thing for me to do as I was so enraptured in the spirited images you've created – I would have to say I was, but only after a certain amount of reflection, reminded of scenes from LOTR.
Am I bothered about that? Mmmm, no, not really. Should you be bothered? I don't know, but I don't think so.
Actually, no: while the setting is a touch reminiscent of Rohan, and Taalin reminds me of King Theoden's niece Éowyn, your story has the feel of what would happen if a younger, Éowyn-type character was given her own novel; and in my opinion, that's a good thing. That she's a storyteller makes it an even better thing.

Now of course with fiction you can write whatever you like. However, for me, while I have no problem with elements of our world merging with other, even more fantastical worlds, Christophe is obviously a French name. Fine. Can't say I loved it being shortened to 'Chris', though.
An anachronism too far? That's for you to decide.

Something else for you to think about is this sentence: “Taalin sighed, and pulled her eyes away from the ominous sight.” A good editor will ask you how a character can pull their own eyes away from something. What you mean is clear enough, and most readers won't care; but, one day, when your work is up in front of the harshest literary critics, do yourself an easy favour and don't give them any ammunition.

The only other thing is the title. 'Dawn of Destruction' has been used in so many things, from books to video games to music, that it's practically become a cliché. Don't fret too much about titles for now, though; that's a conversation you will have with whoever publishes you.
Don't fret about my criticisms, either; believe me, in the grand scheme of things, they're so minor as to be almost unnecessary.
I believe the most important thing for you is to just keep doing what you're doing. Whatever 'it' is, you have it. Most writers will never have it, no matter what they try or however hard they try.
Yes you should and I'm sure you do pay close attention to word selection and sentence structure – BUT, never over-think the way you write, or you might be in danger of losing the magic.
Don't. Lose. The. Magic.

A few days ago some bloke sent me a friend request. I accepted it and sent him a message; he sent one back suggesting I should back him. I told him as soon as somebody took their book off my shelf, I would back him, because he has written a decent book. (I'm not upset that he didn't really want to be my friend, nor am I bothered he unfriended me and deleted our correspondence in order to hide his questionable tactics: people tend to lose their marbles and sense of perspective when they're close to the desk.) However, now that liberscriptus has informed me she intends to take her book down, thereby creating a space, I'm going to go back on my word and support you instead.
Your book will stay on my shelf for as long as you want it to be there; I've already read further on, and I will continue to read it at my leisure. But bear in mind, the real world is where you belong; Authonomy might help, but whether it does or it doesn't, readers like me and readers I know – young and old alike - require you to persevere and find a way.

JamesRevoir wrote 678 days ago

Oh my goodness Cara!

The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction is simply amazing, amazing writing at its very finest. The beautiful, poetic diction throughout the prose, at times making it virtually indistinguishable from poetry makes this novel nothing short of a work of art.

While you are entering into the fray of a genre which admittedly has a tremendous amount of competition, this work truly stands in a class all its own. I have become admittedly burned out from reading and rating so many fantasy novels, but I was pleasantly surprised at how unique this novel is. Little wonder that it has achieved such a high ranking.

Well done!



Scott Toney wrote 701 days ago


I can not express enough my admiration for this author! Cara Goldthorpe exceeds and excels all expections I had entering her work, with a mind which is able to construct the vivid concepts which great Fantasy demands and bring about a colourful and beautiful work which is by far my favorite Fantasy book on all of Authonomy! I will go beyond that to say that she is one of the most talented Fantasy authors I have yet to read!

Cara writes in such a way that transcends genre prefrences, giving her work the ability to easily appeal to lovers of many genres from romance to suspense and beyond! This is because her characters emulate true emotions and because her world conveys truths about our own that enhance and make us reflect on our lives. The mark of a truly great author is in their ability to relate to and capture their audience in what the author creates. Cara does this flawlessly! Her work inspires, takes hold of the mind and enthralls! Her main character, Arian, is a large part of that and this girl, with her many facets, is a great part of why The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction is so relatable and unique!

COMMISSIONING EDITORS PAY ATTENTION! The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction is a Fantasy novel with the ability to touch the heart, take hold of the reader's mind and inspire them in their own world! This work transcends genres and is a unique gem for any library's collection!

BACKED to the desk!

Have a vivid and wonderful day!

- Scott, The Ark of Humanity, Eden Legacy and Lazarus, Man

Jue Shaw wrote 730 days ago

From someone who has never before read anything from the Fantasy Genre.

Author, Cara Goldthorpe is a wordsmith in every sense of the word. I have just finished reading ten chapters of the most beautifully crafted story that I have read in a long time. If I were to describe this book to a friend, I would describe it as literary fiction in a fantasy hat. With bells on. Every character is a delicious mystery that we get to unravel and know as we read on. No quick fixes here, no giving it to the reader on a plate, simply a great story with equally great characters, taking us on a journey of discovery. I'm ashamed to say that I wouldn't normally touch this genre with a barge pole, but once in a while, something stunning comes along that changes your mind. This is it. :)

Stark Silvercoin wrote 755 days ago

The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction is a unique entry into the fantasy world genre. I’ve never really read anything like it before. There is a great epic fantasy story being told, but the various characters are also contemplative in a way that makes readers examine the human condition. These moments tend to skew a bit towards the darker side of human nature, but that goes hand in hand with the overall atmosphere in the novel.

Author Cara Goldthorpe has said that this is the first book in The Fires of Light and Dark series, and I have to say that starting out a long series is one of the hardest things to do as a writer. There is always too much of a desire to add in background data that is important later on, without hooking the reader into the current story. That does not happen here. The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction could easily stand alone as its own tale, yet it also sets out to show that the city and characters shown are part of a much bigger world, and makes readers long to learn more about what will happen as the people of Linuina struggle.

I don’t really have any negative things to say. I’m surprised that this is one of the first novels that Goldthorpe has written. It’s publishable in its current form, and I don’t think it would have much trouble finding a legion of adoring fans.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

HauntedWasabe wrote 375 days ago

Up to chapter 8. Still excellent imagery. Reminds me a bit of of Ursula Le Guin's works. The small chapters though feel like they don’t give enough info about the characters. They all seem wrapped in secrecy. I will keep reading to find out more. Good luck in your quest for a publisher.

When you find time please give my YA book, Valence a look.

HauntedWasabe wrote 382 days ago

Just read the first two chapters. Will definitely read more. I love your descriptions. They paint a very vivid picture of the scene.

Torkuda wrote 496 days ago

When reading, two things tend to catch my attention. Very well created characters, and very well written language. The characters in this story are decent, but nothing spectacular, however the writing is very good, using a form of prose I don’t see very often in writing.
I didn’t really find any major problems, the poetic expressions added to the atmosphere rather than becoming grating and unnecessary, I wasn’t blown away by the characters but I didn’t find them vacant either. Maybe that’s what I might emphasize. I would like to finish this story, like many I’ve read here, (you’d have to read and review or back mine for me to go through and do a full read and review). However if you were to ask me what attracts me specifically, other than the use of prose, nothing really comes to mind. After reading four chapters I’m not really attached to anyone, nor was I really caught off guard or shocked by anything. I might try to work something in that’s eye catching besides a healthy use of prose.
Really this is a great story so far and I can see why it’s on the editors desk.
(If you haven’t already, remember to return my read, sorry I took so long to get to you.)

Tarzan For Real wrote 519 days ago

Cara that's an awesome review from HC. I'm so happy for you. Keep writing dear friend!--Jl "The Devil Of Black Bayou", "The Wings of the Seraph", & "Shadow Ghosts of the Moonlight"

Fred Le Grand wrote 523 days ago

Why are these reviews anonymous?

Was it written by a bloke or a blokesse?

It's a great book though I have a feeling the above comment falls short of the praise it should have!

made wrote 554 days ago

Ok first of all wow really really loved and I just felt i was in the story and it was so original and imaginative well done author well done

LCF Quartet wrote 616 days ago

Dear Cara, I read the first chapter of your book last night, and I'll definitely read the rest of it over the weekend. The ambiance and atmosphere that you have created in the book was easy to envision. You kept me flying through the pages. So far, I found this to be a very intriguing read, and I have the feeling that your book possesses a capacity to become a movie in the near future. Great style!
Lucette Cohen Fins-LCF QUARTET

Jennwith2ns wrote 635 days ago

Incidentally, the observation below about Christophe/Chris in 'not really there's' comment occurred to me, to. I thought mentioning it might seem trivial, but since someone else pointed it out, it makes me think other readers might find it mildly jarring, too, and you might want to consider some sort of alteration.

Jennwith2ns wrote 635 days ago

OK, that's annoying. Yesterday I commented here, but it seems not to have posted.

Anyway, this is a really well-written, well-conceived story. I've starred it highly and hope to come back and read more.

Jennwith2ns wrote 635 days ago

OK, that's annoying. Yesterday I commented here, but it seems not to have posted.

Anyway, this is a really well-written, well-conceived story. I've starred it highly and hope to come back and read more.

Jennwith2ns wrote 636 days ago

I always have trouble getting into the heads of more than one of my characters. You do this well, and I'm already drawn into the story by he first shot. Great storytelling! High stars.

Scott Toney wrote 646 days ago

{The Awakening: Dawn od Destrcution} Vengeful Land -- Chapter 55


I really enjoy these new chapters in the first book with Taalin in them. I loved the raw feeling here as she dealt with the horrors going on about her. Your descriptive language makes me experience this scene so fully and also relate it back to Arian and her own escape and emotions. I like that connection between the two and am looking forward to watching how the parallels connect and bloom in the books to come!

The journey with Jasmine in the end of the chapter was also very powerful and provoked deep emotion as I read. And the way you ended the chapter was just right.

"The girl was strong.
The girl lived on."

These two lines speak volumes of your work and what is within them holds great sway over one of the things I so enjoy about your writing.

Thank you so much for giving me the ability to enjoy this! Are there any other new chapters I can partake of? :)

Have a wonderful day!

- Scott, Eden Legacy

Scott Toney wrote 650 days ago

{The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction} Unearthly Touch -- Chapter 26


Here is another excellent read and a great place to leave your reader on Autho! I highly enjoyed it and your descriptions, as always, drew me so fully in to your realm! I loved the experience through Arian's eyes and your descriptions of the structures. And in the end of the chapter as Arian comes in to contact with this woman I was eerily moved.

" "Be strong," the woman said, and brushed an arm against hers. "You have control. Remember: harness your emotion. Feel it, experience it, but never let it rule you." "

I loved this section because it speaks so truly of humanity and how things in life should be. You speak to the human condition throughout your work and that is so valuable.

Have an amazing day and thank you so much for always giving me a great read to start my day!

- Scott, Eden Legacy

P.s. I LOVE {Daughters of Ash} That is an amazing, unique name and I think you should go for it!

Chris James wrote 651 days ago

I love what I have read so far, I think you have a truly unique voice for writing. I get the feeling your influences are the likes of George R R Martin or Tad Williams, your world seems a lot like theirs in the first few chapters i have read. Like I say, I like what I see so far.

Just one criticism, however. I found it hard to keep up with the characters, the dialogue seems a little fragmented or disjointed. Or maybe it is because I am not a big fantasy reader. Who knows! I like this and i intend to shelve it.

Keep up the good work.

lisa85 wrote 652 days ago

Hey Cara,

First of all, big congratulations on making it to the desk and good luck with your HC review :) Sorry it took me so long to get to you, and remember that the following is my opinion only :)

- Chapter 1 is brilliant. Period. It's bright, unique and colorful.

- Because of the above chapter 2 let me down. I was disappointed by the change of style, and I found the chapter boring.

- The change of characters, situations or places in every new chapter was honestly unnerving. It breaks the rhythm and continuity.

- I stopped reading in the middle of chapter 7, because I thought that the prose degraded much. I was hooked by the first chapter but then unhooked progressively, sorry to say that :(

- There is no connection between certain events. For instance, what happened between the moment the princess was attacked and then dragged to captivity? What is the connection between the conversation of Adrianna and Cain and her conversation with Fredrik? What is she doing at the palace? Why do they dance all of a sudden? I find it all a little confusing

- If I may, I'd advise you to write about the same characters for at least a couple of chapters before switching to a whole different story. Don't shift places as well, because we have no idea how the character got there.

- Your style seemed really great in the beginning, but you started overdoing later on. In the first chapter you found this brilliant tick to stress the atmosphere with colors. I was envious of that.

I hope this doesn't sound too harsh. I know how hard it is to construct a neat fantasy story, especially with a lot of characters and plots. So, good luck and courage! Also, your pitch is great! Very intriguing and engaging.

terryj wrote 653 days ago

i can immeidiately seewhy this got to the desk- superb writing

Scott Toney wrote 653 days ago

{The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction} Rescue -- Chapter 26


There is such strength and emotion in this chapter! I loved that when he came to her Taalin thought he was her father... the emotions that surged through her in that moment! This is extremely well done and I pictured everything so vividly as I read! I feel for the one who frees her as well. It reminds me of when Evanshade freed Sift out of pity... though I never actually wrote that part in to The Ark of Humanity.

And my favorite part of the chapter came when the man's demeanor changed and Taalin took off into the darkness, through the woods. The change in his emotion was fantastic and the image you created with her sprint was very enjoyable to read!

I always love returning! Is there any chance that I can get my hands on other new chapters soon? :)

Have a wonderful day!

- Scott, Eden Legacy

upforgrabs wrote 654 days ago
Scott Toney wrote 654 days ago

{The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction} Trapped Mother -- Chapter 21


Such a powerful chapter... such beautiful yet dark words. How is it that every time, every time I return you take such a strong hold on my soul with your writing. No other author does that. This chapter is simply amazing, as is your work, and I can't wait for the day when I can hold a copy in my hands!

"She looked up to the stars. A thorn of grief stabbed her heart, stirring hatred, urging her to flood the night with screams." I loved all of the lines of this chapter, but here is one of my favorites!

You write with such depth of emotion that I feel it fully in your characters as I read!

You are an extremely talented author and it is my honour to call you my friend as well! Have a fantastic day!

- Scott, Eden Legacy

Eftborin wrote 656 days ago

WOW! I know others have expressed in the same manner and commented on a brilliant well written story. I cannot add to their wise word and can only say...again...WOW!

Richard Geiwitz wrote 661 days ago

I'm not an avid reader of fantasy books, but I'm very glad to have read this. The wording is clean and concise from the first page to the last. Very descriptive and visual. Congratulations! Keep going!

forenacct wrote 661 days ago

Cara, I was referred here by David Billingham, The Life Inside Maggie Pincus. I am glad he referred me! You are a masterful storyteller!! I look forward eagerly to more of your work!!

Scott Toney wrote 661 days ago

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :) It is WELL deserved!

We had a nasty storm that's knocked out the power where I live {still no power and they think it may be out until Thursday} but luckily work still has internet and power :). I was so excited to be able to be online as The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction was taken to the desk and when the power went out the night before I was extremely dissapointed! CONGRATS! I'll be e-mailing soon. Thank you so much for the edit suggestions in Eden Legacy too!

Doesn't it feel good to have that medal and be able to breathe? I can't wait to read HC's review! You have an excellent work here! I can wait to have a copy of it in my hands!!!

Have a wonderful day!

- Scott

Hodgey96 wrote 662 days ago

I did leave you a message asking for some advice on my work, but then I realised it would not be fair of me to not read your work as well. I've only just started reading it, and I'm really not very far in, but so far, it is amazing! Your writing style is so fresh, and poetic. I really like how you've written it. The story is also very intriguing and I'm looking forward to reading more. Anyway, if you'd like to read my work, I'd really appreciate it. In a way (excluding the writing style), my work is similar to yours-ish. The problem of the new threat no-one saw, fantasy world, no-one is a hero, etc, etc. I like that sort of book, and that's what mine's like.
Josh Hodge
Legends of Xerio

Brian Bandell wrote 662 days ago

The Awakening has been recognized as one of the favorite Authonomy books of Brian Bandell, author of science fiction thriller Mute from Silver Leaf Books.

Here are my thoughts on The Awakening and the other elite level books by emerging authors.

Brian Bandell

AustinHG wrote 662 days ago


LittleMissWriter17 wrote 663 days ago

So beautifully written, I love the way you write!! You so deserve to be 4th on the ranking!!! Well done!!! xx

SnugglePuggle wrote 663 days ago

My goodness, Cara. This is amazing. Your writing style is awesome! I read the first two chapters while sitting in this airport and am loving it already. I will back it so you can keep your Top 5 rating. I hope you will like my books when you can get to them. And I will defiantly read more! -Lauren

Anything but Serenity
Unseen Danger

JTMcInnis wrote 664 days ago


I've read enough of this to be enchanted, and it didn't take very long. Your opening chapter is beautifully written. You give the reader more than enough to want to go on. Your writing has a poetic sensitivity that makes the story more than simply a plot. Keep in mind that this is the predominant impression in my mind now, after three chapters. It takes much less time to say this than the technical observations I make below, but it is more important. I wish you all the best with this. I want to read more. Happy to support it. Take the suggestions below for what they're worth, and remember they're just suggestions about polishing your wording or punctuation. But I'm generally impressed and interested in this so far. There may be magic here.

Sometimes you use a semi-colon where you need only a comma. Example: "Everyone buzzed with excitement; the festival promising [...]". I was taught that semi-colons are used most often to separate independent clauses (clauses that could stand as complete sentences on their own). In this case and others, what follows the semi-colon is not a new independent clause--only a clause or phrase that is dependent on the main clause that precedes it.

You appear to separate a verb from its direct object with a comma in this sentence: "Mysteries eluded him, though he searched to understand, a quest as fruitless as a journey to the end of the rainbow." Is he searching to understand a quest? If so, the comma bewtixt the verb and its object is a disruption of the natural flow, to both the sound and the logic of your sentence.

Is it Linuiana or Linuana? Check near the top of Chp. three for typo.

Why use the word "Pause", as its own sentence, to indicate a silence between dialogue, when you already more naturally convey the silence with intermediate descriptive sentences? See the "Pause" in chp. 2 in talk between Cain and the storyteller. Seems to me you could take it out, and the pause in dialogue would be just as apparent. Actually writing "pause" seems redundant and crude here. But don't misunderstand me. Sometimes your one-word sentences seem very effective to me. Just consider not overdoing it, or your prose as a whole may seem affected.

Consider not overusing the word "emotion" or "emotions". If there is a confusion of emotions, maybe that's OK, but try not to be vague with "emotion" when you can be more specific about which emotion is happening. For example, near the end of chp. 2, you say the story-teller's voice is "laced with emotional undercurrents", but that doesn't tell us very much. You tell us immediately after this what this undercurrent actually is: "reaching out to him like a hurt child for the comfort of a mother's embrace." Why not simply jump to that, without the unnecessary and vague talk about "emotional undercurrents". I think you'll find that you lose unnecessary words, with with no loss of meaning: "The voice sounded gentle, reaching out to him like a hurt child for the comfort of a mother's embrace." Or you could break it up in two sentences if that sounds better: "The voice sounded gentle. It reached out to him..."

In your description of Linuana near the top of chp. 3, you speak of a "radiant atmosphere" hovering over poor houses in the present, when it had once "huddled like a wounded creature" against the fortress walls. You may be trying too hard here. This seems too abstract to me, and mixing metaphors, which is not always a bad thing in my book (some of the best writers have done it), but which may be excessive (and with little benefit) here. "Atmosphere" is like "emotion". It can be a very vague word. Poets like to use images to communicate things to the reader. This is rarely done well, I think, with such abstract, vague words as "atmosphere". You are poetic elsewhere with good, concrete images. Why resort to a vague phrase here? What is the reader imagining, or seeing, when you write "radiant atmosphere". I can see a radiant face, or radiant light reflecting off the water, but what exactly is a radiant atmosphere? How does one picture it? And then you say that radiant atmosphere was once huddling like a wounded creature against a wall. This seems a confused mixture of images to me, all applied to a kind of abstraction (atmosphere). If it once huddled in the shadow of the wall, how could it have been radiant? How can an atmosphere huddle? What does that look like? And why do you need to do all this when your next sentence concisely, and poetically, tells us all we need to know? You write: "With their melodies, minstrels lit up the shadows where beggars once lurked." You see? This is much better poetry than the abstract "radiant atmosphere". If you speak of minstrels enlightening things with their melodies, you've communicated "radiant atmosphere" without having to write "radiant atmosphere", and it's always better to show the atmosphere in this way than announce to the reader that it is radiant. If you speak of past shadows and present enlightenment by the minstrels' music, you've concretely and poetically shown the reader the radiant atmosphere having overcome the gloomy atmosphere. And so you don't have to announce it as radiant before you SHOW it BEING radiant and displacing the past darkness.

Another case where less may be more is in chapter 3 when you describe the story-teller's voice as "commanding attention" because of its "mesmerising quality". Isn't this redundant? What does "mesmerising" mean? Well, nearly the same thing as "hypnotize". To hypnotize or mesmerize MEANS to command someone's attention, as when Dracula in the films mesmerises his victims when they look into his eyes. He commands their attention. They are in a trance. And so you could simply say the voice "hovered in the air, commanding attention" or "hovered in the air, mesmerising its listener". I like the hovering, by the way. You consistently use good verbs.

OK. better go. Good luck with it!

Jeff M.

Betwixt the Trees

Sunflower2011 wrote 664 days ago

I don't read fantasy, as a rule, but i think this book is well worth of it's place on Authonomy. Well written and very compelling. six stars

ILoveHorses wrote 665 days ago

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm--hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Th-dump, th-dump, th-dump, th-dump. Great book, Cara. Backed.
Th-dump, th-dump, th-dump, th-dump. Swish. Th-dump, th-dump, th-dump. All I ask for is some fly spray. The horse flies are brutal this year, and my tail can't reach them all. Hmmmmmmmmm-hehhhhhhhh!
Th-dump, th-dump. Swish. Th-dump, th-dump, th-dump, th-dump ...

Ulysses Q wrote 665 days ago

Really exceptional stuff - you obviously got the WORD.

Sara Stinson wrote 665 days ago

I hope this message finds you still at the top! Your writing style is amazing and should be seen by millions. I would rate it more,
but there are no more stars!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

AunyaCatya wrote 665 days ago

Congratulations on getting rank 5! You deserve it! Now you're on your way to the Editor's desk! I'm so happy for you! :D

turnerpage wrote 665 days ago

There are colours galore in this magic kingdom of yours, Cara. I like the phrasing in such sentences such as this one: They tumbled atop the tower in a continuous stream, armour clanking against the stone archway, evil touching the highest point of her fortress. You can clearly write and if this is your first book, this is a very impressive debut.

I am less confident about the sense of place in The Awakening because I can't quite work out the real world aspect to the book yet. There is a character called Taalin which conjures up Celtic myth for me but that doesn't gel with another character called Christophe which seems to be a contemporary French name. This is nitpicky and I wonder if these points matter with the readership you are writing for. Because one thing is for sure, I do think you really know your audience. So top marks to you for that.

I am not sure where the dialogue in phrases such as "Adrian 'ad himself a girlie last night 'ey" puts me geographically but it does sound a bit like Thomas Hardy country. And that's not a criticism because I don’t know that this matters for your readers. It's because don't know enough, or indeed anything much at all about the genre conventions for fantasy.

One thing is for sure I believe that you have an extremely promising writing future ahead of you, Cara. I was planning to put this on my shelf for next month but I see that you may be on the desk for June! What a terrific achievement and look at all these fans and supporters you have, all raving about your work.

I'm really looking forward to hearing what the HC reviewer has to say about this.

Lambert Nagle
Revolution Earth

Geddy25 wrote 665 days ago

This is fantastic!
At first, in the first chapter, I kept thinking of the battle for Helm's Deep and the siege of Minas Tirith in Lord of the Rings, but this soon went. You writing is amazing - the descriptions you use are so poetic yet steer away from cliche just when you think they will turn into something they are not.
At the end of each chapter I had the feeling of "I'll just see what happens at the beginning of the next chapter", then getting lost in your story telling until I reach the end of the chapter and have to find out what happens next. You really grabbed my attention and held on to it with ease.
Your text appears faultless and I don't think I would have noticed errors as I was swept along with your tale.
Great work! I'm awarding this 7396 stars (or as close as I can get to that anyway!)
Good luck with this - it's going on my shelf!
(Rudolf Goes Bananas)

Scott Toney wrote 665 days ago

Congratulations!!! :) Very nice!

Kestrelraptorial wrote 665 days ago

Hi Cara,

I've now read the first ten chapters of "The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction". The writing is beautiful. I especially like the story of Adrianna the Storyteller, and her merging of her vision of the white woman with the world's creation made me very intrigued as to how the mythology and events of the series will tie together. I was easily able to experience Taalin's torment in captivity. You have amazing build-ups to your plots. I can't think of anything to suggest at this point. I'll want to finish the entire first book so I can see how the story all works together.

I notice you've at last made the top 5 for the month. Congratulations!


Ghosty wrote 665 days ago

Your writing is confident and poetic, your imagery quite beautiful, particularly when you describe Taalin and her struggles and Adriana's thoughts and storytelling. I found no obvious fault, but I was more focused on the story than editing. Anyway, high stars and a backing. Good luck.

daylineaton1991 wrote 665 days ago

First things first: I'm definitely backing. You have such a fantastic writing style. While Iwas reading, I could actually picture what was going on. One thing I am always on the fence about with my writing is dealing with a characters personal loss. I thinkyou did a wonderful job of capturing that with Taalin. Great job. I can't wait to read more when I get the chance.


Daylin Eaton

The Chronicles of Tyson Jenkins: the Witch Sisters

Shelvis wrote 665 days ago

I really don't know what to say. This is so beautiful I feel as if I'm reading a painting or a song. I love the radical shifts from a world of joy to a world of pain, like alternating ice cream and blazing black coffee.

I was only able to read through chapter 6, but I want to read much more. I definitely want to experience your story. Very well done.

~ Shelley
Sea of Jasmine

Courtney Markland wrote 665 days ago

Wow, Cara. This book is great!

You capture your scenes with brilliance. I loved it.

All of the comments I would have had are already addressed by others, so I will leave you alone now. I really enjoyed your book, though, and I hope you realize just how darling it is.

Elizabeth Moore wrote 665 days ago

You don't need me to tell you that you obviously have a real talent for writing. Fantasy isn't the genre of writing that I enjoy, but I can appreciate its appeal. My only reservation with any fantasy novel is the fact that finding an original idea is always going to be a struggle. It has all been written about before, most noteably with Lord of the Rings. It is always going to be a difficult one to follow and must be a real thorn in the side for any wannabe author who wants to publish and achieve their own identity. Kingdoms, battles, gods, the fight for good to ultimately conquer evil. How do you achieve a new slant on this basic structure? Your writing style flows beautifully and allows the reader to be a part of the world into which you take them, but how many of us have been there before? You have real talent and I hope you find the success that you deserve.
Wishing you lots of success,

JamieY wrote 666 days ago

wow, cara, you're a very talented writer. you write like a poet or a painter. I've only read your first 5 chapters, but I'll definitely be reading more. is this your final draft or still a work in progress?

Sue50 wrote 666 days ago

Beautifully written! Definitely placing your work on my shelf. Hope you have a chance to take a look at Dark Side by CC Brown.

arne wrote 666 days ago

ok, it is comming together nicely! I am enjoyimg the story, thank you for letting me in on it!

Daniel Rider wrote 666 days ago

"The Awakening: Dawn of Destruction" is an interesting, well-written tale that I am enjoying reading. There have been some changes since I read the beginning, including a brand new chapter, but all in all it is a completely worthy read.

For me, there are two things that make this stand out. One, as many have mentioned, is the characters. They are well-drawn and realistic, their motivations thought out and intriguing. The other is the language itself, particularly the descriptive language, which is evocative without being too heavy. I love the end of the prologue, for instance, where the darkness reaches up to grab the bird flying toward the rainbow. Wow! Later on, in Chapter 2, Adrianna's heart leaps "forth in her chest like a bird taking flight." By itself this line isn't the most interesting of similes; paired with the earlier description of the carrier pigeon who is halted in his ascent, this takes on a special, effective meaning.

The whole prologue itself is effective. While largely an action scene with an army (it's called an army, at least; it's described more as a magical black cloud, a darkness that takes over everything) invading a palace, the scene is given more depth and meaning as brother and sister Talinn and Christophe (sorry if I've misspelled at all) face the onslaught. Talinn bravely stays, while Christophe makes a run for it. I was particularly taken by Talinn's bravery in the face of the darkness, and the neat visual descriptions (flowers, rainbows) that so contrasted with the invaders. I do wonder how exactly the invaders are supposed to be imagined by the readers at this point. Are they supposed to be vague, maybe an army and maybe just darkness, or does the author have something more specific in mind, for instance warriors who are followed by the darkness. It's hard to tell. I was at first reminded of the nothingness that overwhelms the inhabitants in the movie "The Neverending Story," but the word "army" does confuse me. Is it one, the other, or both, or am I getting ahead of myself?

The first chapter wasn't there when I first read, but I think it a nice touch to add in Cain's admiration of the storyteller and let the reader know who he is. It adds to Adrianna's going to see Cain in Chapter Two, and in particular it makes her powers of storytelling more obvious. It was good to have that view of her first, also, so that the reveal would be surprising for the reader as well. Going even further, the first chapter does the book a service by not putting Adrianna's introduction too close to Talinn's demise (I think.) My first thought was that Talinn had survived and was masquerading as Adrianna, and I'm not sure that's what the reader should be thinking here.

Chapter 2 gives us the very interesting Adrianna, the deliciously disgusting baker, and the promise of a friendship between Cain and the newly revealed storyteller.

This is good work, and I see why it's highly regarded on Authonomy. The only real issue I have--and it's not much of an issue, considering that it didn't faze me--is that I didn't really like Cain's dialect. I can see that grating on me after a while. Then again, dialects tend to show up often like this in fantasy, so perhaps it is actually an asset to the piece. Still, that was the one part of the story I wasn't a fan of. Very nice work!

Daniel Rider
"Indian Summer"

PTingen wrote 667 days ago


I just had a chance to read a bit of your story. I'm admittedly not a great fan of fantasy writing, but you are clearly very gifted! 6 stars and I'll keep you on my watchlist. All the best to you!! (If not to the desk this month, next month for sure!) :-)



Cara Gold wrote 667 days ago

Keep pushing Cara. Almost there :)


Thanks so much Phil! :)

Philthy wrote 667 days ago

Keep pushing Cara. Almost there :)