Red Madrassa by Terah Edun

Red Madrassa (Algardis, #1)

by Terah Edun

Book Blurb

A magical accident threw them together. But when Fate holds all the cards, it can be impossible to tell the difference between pure chance and Destiny… 

The Madrassa, a magical school for mage practitioners, is the stuff of legend. With selective entrance exams and quotas for only the most advanced of mage children, it’s almost impossible to attend.

When Allorna, a guardian trainee for the royal family, ends up on the doorstep of the citadel on the eve of the final day of a recruitment ceremony, she decides it must be fate.

She was sure she knew the path her life would take before she enrolled. But sometimes life has a way of throwing in magical curveballs and strange friends, just to see if you’ll trip up.

Oh, and one of those friends is a mage accused of murder, another is a slightly psychotic dragon, the third a healer facing an existential crisis, and the last is a female storm-caller with more hidden secrets than a thief lord.

Do they all belong at the new school they call home?

My Review 

Owl rating

To preface this I’m a fantasy nerd yet with the way YA is trending, it’s hard to fine a good, solid epic fantasy ala LOTR for teens.  So I was generally very happy when the author contacted me to review Red Madrassa.

Red Madrassa is an epic fantasy unlike many books I’ve read mainly because it has LGBT themes as well as a racially diverse cast of characters.  The characters in this book truly reflect how the “real world” is, and from the book’s cover alone, it really caught my attention.  I thought the characters were strong, developed and believable, that being said, there were a lot of them and although the writing was strong the multiple POVs were a bit confusing and slowed/bogged the story down for the first few chapters.

That’s why I’m giving the book a four owl rating rather than a five, multiple POVs in epic fantasy is hard to do and I’ve only read very few authors that do it well, most notably George RR Martin (A Song of Fire & Ice), however it’s necessary in order to keep the story moving.

On a final note, while there are LGBT & racial themes they are huge, they’re hinted at in a very subtle & well-written way which I like because I prefer (as I’m sure most readers to) to be shown things rather than to be told everything (in a word-vomit(y) way).

I loved the storyline and the world of Red Madrassa, there were so many interesting elements in it that I cannot wait for the next book in the series.  So if you’re interested in reading an epic fantasy that follows a misfit band of teens with a tad bit of romance in it (that’s woven in very nicely), go and get yourself a copy of Red Madrassa today (it comes in paperback & Kindle) 🙂

*This is a 100% honest review, I received the book from the author to red & review.*

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Interview with YA Author Terah Edun

Hi Readers –Good Afternoon!!!

Today I have with me Terah Edun author of the YA Epic Fantasy Novel Red Madrassa (review to come later today!).

Hi, I’m Terah!

I’m currently a humanitarian aid worker, so that’s what takes up most of my time and energy. I’m young, starry-eyed and a daydreamer who loves to read. I became an author after writing novels for my best friend and growing frustrated at the lack of strong, young women being published in epic fantasy. *cough* There could be five hundred books a year and I still wouldn’t consider it enough. *end cough*

What is your favorite place to write?

I’m pretty easy to please. I need a quiet environment, a desk and my iPhone. I can’t write outdoors. My favorite place is comfortably ensconced in my apartment with a blanket wrapped around me.

What is the first story you remember writing?

It was a story I submitted for an English Arts project in high school about a girl climbing into a mountain cave and discovering a magic lizard. I still have it and the comments from my teacher written across the top in red. She loved it!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Hmm when I held the print copy of my first book – Red Madrassa.

If you could be any character from a book, movie, play, or musical who would it be and why?

I’d probably love to be Queen Selenay from Mercedes Lackey’s Arrows of the Queen series. She’s a compassion and loved Queen in Valdemar history.

What is the best piece of constructive criticism you ever received?

Keep writing.

How do you overcome “writer’s block” ? 

I take a break, listen to music, watch t.v., do anything else and then come back to the story fresh.

Coffee or tea?

Chai.

Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know?

I would love to own a Newfoundland and a Bernese Mountain Dog.

What was the publishing process like for you?

A step at a time. As a self-published author I’ve learned everything on my own with the help of a very supportive writing community. Many times I’ve made mistakes but I’ve learned from each one.

What is some advice you would impart to writers who wish to be published?

There are so many ways to get published nowadays – pick what’s best for you and keep moving forward.

If you could have breakfast with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?

Barack Obama.

What is your favorite movie(s)?

Air Force One and Mulan are oldies but goodies. I’m really looking forward to the release of Beautiful Creatures though.

If you had/have an animal spirit which animal(s) would it be…why?

Probably a crafty fox. 😉

What is your favorite childhood book and/or author?

Hands down the Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce.

What is the next book you want to write?

My latest book is Sworn to Raise which releases in March 2013. After that I’ll be writing the sequel to Red Madrassa.

Imagine you are writing your memoir…what is its title?

The girl who tried to have it all and succeeded.

Last words???

I love readers – stop by my website teedun.com

Thanks for joining me today, Terah!  I’m really looking forward to the release of the Beautiful Creatures movie as well:)

–Readers: If you have any questions for Terah feel free to ask them in the comments section below 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC