Review: Melissa McPhail – Cephrael’s Hand

Cephrael’s Hand
Melissa McPhail

Welcome to Innovative Online Book Tours’ stop for ‘Cephrael’s Hand’.

This is a fantasy epic of the adult variety – thick, meaty reading that is excellent for Summer reading – the world within the book is an extension of our summers. Lots of characters to appeal to all readers, and lots of plot points to keep you satisfied and to keep reading.

The official blurb:

“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin…three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him…
In the kingdom of Dannym…the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord…
In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

My review:

I was upset that I was reading a ebook copy, as although I dutifully read the table at the beginning that detailed all of the characters and the various terms, I couldn’t keep them all straight in my head when I started reading. Had this been a hard copy, I could have easily flicked back and forth. Nevertheless, the novel was very enjoyable – although as an epic I struggled to keep them all straight in my head!

I gravitated towards liking various characters from the beginning. Trell hit a note with me, as did Franco, even though it seemed as if Franco wasn’t all that he has put himself up to be as. It’s so difficult to discuss the characters in detail because so much is important to the plot. I didn’t like Ean, and he seemed like a bit of an idiot. Yes, noone knws what is going on with the strands, but then again, he doesn’t have to torment the poor young truth reader so!
For character development, I would have to give five stars for Trell’s development, and not quite so many for the other characters. If you’re looking for the interest here, it’s Trell. If you’re more of a plot person, you’ll want to follow the other characters more.
The descriptions was subtle, and the world building impressive. Although it was quite confusing at first, and I didn’t really know what was going on as a larger picture, I knew that the constellation of stars was probably shared by the people in the same world, and so that provided a grounding point for me. Sounds confusing? You’ll understand it when you read the novel.
I loved the tongue in cheek humour that peaked through in parts, and also the irony that became apparent as I continued to read. There were so many cases of mistaken identity and also the things that appeared to be something else. It’s quite masterful really, and it really reflects the style and ability of the author that she can keep all of these straight. On this first reading (I’m saying I might have to do a second to really appreciate it more), I didn’t pick up any inconsistencies.
This is a very heavy reading novel, and it took me quite a few tries to finish reading it. I’m glad I persisted though. I’m not saying the novel was bad in any way, but if you were looking for something to read in a weekend, this probably isn’t it. I’d also put this firmly in the adult category  although it could also be suitable for older teens (provided they don’t mind the odd sexual innuendo and hints).

Find it on:
goodreads_icon copyAmazon-Icon-e1335803835577-300x294 copybookdepository_icon copy4star

About the Author

Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the Fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations.

Ms. McPhail lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats. Cephrael’s Hand is the multiple awar
d-winning first novel in her series A Pattern of Shadow and Light.

You can find her at:

Twitter @melissagmcphail


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Not sure if you like my opinion? Good thing this is a tour! You can look at some other reviews, guest posts and promos at each of these tour stops:

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