Monday, 27 May 2013

Review: Tristis Manor by J.R. Wagner

 Hello, Therians!
Welcome to my first stop in the JKSCommunications Blog Tour for J.R. Wagner's Tristis Manor.
J.R. is a truly gifted writer and I enjoyed the first book in his epic fantasy series, The Never Chronicles, so much that I couldn't wait to read this novella.


Margaret lives in a constant state of fear. Fear of her mother, whose constant state of anger and unwillingness to speak of Margaret's past have long since pushed Margaret away. Fear of disappointing her father should he ever discover the events of that day. Most of all, Margaret lives in fear of her abuser's return. Margaret turns to self-harm to cope with her pain and fear. Only when her self-inflicted injuries bring her near death does she realize she has the power and the support from an unlikely place to stand up to her fears and believe in herself again. Tristis Manor is a novella from The Never Chronicles, an epic fantasy series.

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I have to admit, I never read the synopsis for this novella. All I knew was that is was written by J.R.Wagner and it was a, The Never Chronicles novella, and I was sold.

My heart ached for Margaret and I physically felt the pain she inflicted upon herself. I couldn’t believe that such a young girl would put herself through that trauma, but as her story unfolded and the truth about the horrible incident that constantly haunted her was slowly revealed, the escape the pain provided was clear and evident, making me want to protect her all the more.

Her mother was wretched and my loathsome feelings only multiplied the more I read. Her fate was well deserved. I was appalled that she even allowed the Marquis back into her home after what he had done, and without even taking into account her daughter’s feelings. Of course, the reasons for her total disregard for Margaret came to light in the latter part of this book, but still, now that I think of it that woman deserved a slow and torturous death.

I was pleasantly surprised by Margaret’s strength of character. She didn’t allow the incident to completely break her. She fought back, driven by her need to protect her sister as well as herself— she refused to go down without a fight. And then, when she was sent away, she showed a high level of maturity. Understanding and accepting the situation for what it was, even as it broke her heart.

Wagner is a master at creating vivid scenes that jump out from the page. He captures his characters’ feelings so well that as a reader I felt everything. I only wish the story had been longer.

It gets…

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J. R. Wagner was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, during a blizzard. The snow made travel by car impossible, so his father called an ambulance when his mother went into labor. The ambulance became stuck at the bottom of their home’s driveway, prompting the dispatch of a fire truck, which towed the ambulance to the hospital where he was born.

Maybe it was this experience that destined J.R. to love adventure.
A competitive cyclist, triathlete, mountain biker, and adventure racer, he once received a medal for saving a woman’s life during the kayaking section of an adventure race.

J.R. drafted his first story, a sequel to Return of the Jedi, when he was ten years old. A self-proclaimed Star Wars geek, he had lofty aspirations of working with George Lucas on filming the project. In 1990, he began filming his version of The Lord of the Rings in his parents’ basement, but the plug was pulled after he nearly burned down the house. Since then, J.R. has written two full-length screenplays and a thriller novel.
After graduating with a kinesiology degree from Arizona State University, J.R. returned to Pennsylvania, where he took up writing once again.
He began writing Exiled while vacationing in Maine.
Connect with J.R. Wagner:

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