Back From Chaos/Through Kestrel’s Eyes (Earth’s Pendulum)-Yvonne Hertzberger

Today you’re getting a twofer. Normally I’d do one then the other, but given that I read one *literally* right after the other, it’s just going to happen this way.

First things first.


For purposes of reviewing, the highest number I will ever give a book is a 4.5 out of 5. Only because I’ve found that five and one star reviews have the nasty tendency to be overly dramatic in either their praise, or dislike. Anything from OMIGAWDZ THIS IS AWESOME BUY THIS BOOK! to, PFFT. THIS AUTHOR SUX. Enter your own spelling variations where you please. I’m not doing it to be mean, or to tout myself as some sort of ‘expert’ on what a book should and should not be, Lord knows before I started reading reviews I was just as apt to give a book five stars because it was that damned awesome. Now, I know better. To keep things objective, my review ratings range from 1.5 to 4.5 with 1.5 being the lowest and 4.5 the highest. This is my personal preference and should in no way shape or form, skew your own rating system.

And now you know.

If you cannot complete the phrase, you fail at life.

Now that that bit is over with, there is part of me that really wants to toss the whole disclaimer out and just give the books a solid five stars. Then again, looking at the technicalities of my disclaimer, by giving it a 4.5 out 4.5, Yvonne Hertzberger’s series *has* been given a solid five. Technically. Shut up.

Bottom line: spend the total $5 it’ll take you to own both kindle versions (as per the author, DON’T purchase from iUniverse) and sink into the world she’s created. You will not be disappointed.

The series starts with Back From Chaos. Direct from Amazon:

Klast, loner, assassin and spy, has no idea that his destiny is linked to the maid he is sent to rescue. But even before he can fulfill it he must wrestle with his own demons, and help Lord Gaelen unmask a traitor. Failure will upset the Balance that Earth, goddess, needs to provide good harvests, health and peace.
Earth has shown Liethis, true seer, that unless Klast completes his missions, more catastrophes, like the Red Fever that ravages the population, will follow. Time is short.
Time is certainly short. One minute I’m reading the book, the next I’m scrambling to make sure I downloaded the second novel. Thank God I had. Yvonne Hertzberger has a wonderful talent about her, able to create a world that doesn’t need all that much explanation to understand, and a solid plot built around characters rather than something catastrophic like many of the popular dystopian novels lining bookshelves these days. Earth, the Mother, is out of Balance and it’s up to a spy with no emotion to save her by saving a maid, Bensa, whose been brutally raped. Playing in the background is the coming-of-age story of Lord Gaelen, whose suddenly found himself ruler of Bargia by the double death of his father and elder brother, and Marja, Lady of the conquered kingdom Catania.
Their joining is looked on by some with hope. But for another, it’s a different story-one that could spell disaster and death not just for Bargia and Catania, but for the Earth as well.
Political intrigue, romance, magic, what more could anyone ask for?
I found myself falling in love with each of the characters. Especially Klast and Brensa. Both are so flawed, so perfectly damaged it makes for a beautiful love story that had tears welling.
The book zips along wonderfully, making for a quick but satisfying read. I think the only real trouble I had was getting used to the author’s writing style. It is much more direct than I’m used too and very formal. However, once I was five chapters in the narration flowed more easily until I had to force myself to put my iPad down to sleep.
A hard thing to do considering.
From Amazon:
Through Kestrel’s Eyes, the sequel to Back From Chaos in the Earth’s Pendulum trilogy begins seventeen years later. The peace that followed the end of the Red Plague is shattered when the lords of Gharn and Leith are toppled by traitors, throwing the land into chaos Liannis, the goddess Earth’s seer, her apprenticeship interrupted by the death of her mentor, must help restore the Balance. Until it is, Earth’s power is weakened, preventing Earth from sustaining the rains needed for good harvests. Drought and famine result.Liannis battles self-doubt and the lure of forbidden romance and deep loss as she faces tests that take her to the brink of her endurance.But Earth sends a kestrel that allows Liannis to see with her eyes and a white horse to carry her, both with the ability to mind-speak.Time is short. The people with starve if Earth cannot heal and the Balance cannot be restored.
As with the first book we have murder, romance, intrigue, a coup-de-etat and chapters that are really too short for this reader. Not only that, but I’m terribly mad at this book. Not that it was horrible, or badly written, or that it made me roll my eyes and curse any and all indie-writers. Far from it. Left field far from it.
This story rejoins our characters seventeen years later. Klast has since retired from his position as master spy and has a seer daughter, Liannis, with Brensa. Gaelen and Marja are older both with children of their own and Bargia and Catania are at peace with a good harvest. But, all is not well. In the kingdom of Liethe, there is unrest that quickly festers into a open wound that must be cleansed. The story is told from Lianna’s point of view introducing new characters and new dangers that must be overcome to see the Earth restored to her natural Balance.
Again, another quick read that focuses on the characters, allowing the plot to build through them rather than the usual plot/character development seen in most books. Through them the reader is able to understand the world and the part she plays in the goings on of the books. A great story that had just one flaw.

It Sopranoed me.

Right in the middle of the damn plot.
Has Earth’s balance been restored? What’s going to happen to Merrist and Liannis (Klast’s and Brensa’s seer daughter)? What about Lieth, the demesne whose corrupted leader wound up getting his country infected with the Plague and burned to the ground? What’s going to happen to it?
What about Brensa? I know what happens to Klast and I cried like a little kid.
These are the questions that must be answered, that have me hoping the third installment comes out rather quickly.
The wonderful thing about the series is it’s just not about the characters driving the story. Earth, the Mother, is a living breathing thing, that feels pain and acts accordingly. If she is hurt, she cannot give. The people inhabiting her have to learn to live in harmony with her in order to ensure plentiful harvests. It’s phenomenal the way the author weaves the story as an action/consequence. Aptly named, the ‘Earth’s Pendulum’ series is just that, a pendulum. If it swings in balance the Earth is at her best, loving and giving. But, knock the weight even gently, and the world falls into chaos.
It’s a lesson wrapped up in a novel.
The author should be proud of her psychologically complex characters that are a joy to read and a world with a depth of her own, that is just as much human as those on two legs walking her surface.
I wait on pins and needles for the third book.
(I have to know what happens!)

3 thoughts on “Back From Chaos/Through Kestrel’s Eyes (Earth’s Pendulum)-Yvonne Hertzberger

  1. Yvonne Hertzberger says:

    RJ. You could not have made me more happy. Thank you so much. I have posted it to my website. Would you also do me the HUGE favour of putting it on, Goodreads and wherever else you network? It will help me a lot. Book three “The Dreamt Child” is about 1/3 written. Guess I’m going to have to put my fingers into overdrive. But I promise all your questions will be answered. This one completes the trilogy. Again, thank you. It is so gratifying to know that others are enjoying my work. Mwah!!

    1. rjkeith says:

      MWAH right back to you, my dear. Your books are absolutely wonderful! Consider the reviews re-posted onto Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N. Thank YOU for the brilliant reads!

  2. Wendy Reis says:

    Bang on! The author creates the most realistic and endearing characters, and I cried like a baby at the same point this reviewer shed his tears. Yvonne Hertzberger’s skill as a wordsmith is unlike any other writer.

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