Gavin Stoutheart’s father the baron is missing, along with Gavin’s brother the heir. He must step up to lead his people as they flee before an invading army.
His only hope is that a combination of prohibited animal magic and his knack for strategy will keep them safe as they make their way through a fractured kingdom with an army on their tail.
Melissa interviews John M. Olsen, an editor for the publisher Immortal Works, and a fantasy author, in this week’s episode of The Book Break.
John has written countless short stories, and a three-book fantasy series, “Riland Throne.” The three books are “Crystal King,” “Crystal Queen,” and “Crystal Empire.” John is also a member of The League of Utah Writers and regularly teaches at conferences.
*This interview was pre-recorded before the COVID-19 outbreak.
John M. Olsen | The Book Break | Season 3 Episode 22
John M. Olsen maintains his world as he moves the characters forward. Through the other two books and Crystal Empire they all continue to grow and learn and change. He shows that through ingenuity, adverse circumstances can be faced and overcome with results that are helpful to all involved.
Crystal Empire brings more depth to the characters surrounding the king and queen. There are many more viewpoints as this part of the story unfolds. Many characters from the earlier volumes return to continue sharing from their perspectives. This brings more depth to them. New characters are introduced to add to the complexity of the story, as it should be during a time of war. The richness of this book comes from the variety of voices that tell their parts to bring the story to its climactic conclusion.
There is still more story of the Crystal Kingdoms, now Empire. Mr. Olsen has left us enough threads to see that the fabric of the story has not yet been completely unraveled. I do not know if he plans on continuing to tell stories in this setting. If he does they will be welcomed additions. If not, there is room for our personal imaginations to grab ahold of one of those threads and see where it leads us.
This is a wonderful conclusion that started with Crystal King when we are introduced to Garvin before he is even a baron, and his unpredictable rise (link to review). The story continued fluidly into Crystal Queen. In this book, we learn more about Lilia and what she had gone through in her life to be trained to be the heir apparent of the Graven kingdom (link to review).
The books are written for young adult readers. They are appropriate for any readers who may have concerns about the content of the story. There is enough intrigue to keep more experienced readers engaged and still be light enough to provide a relaxing read at the end of the day. If you have enjoyed John M. Olsen’s other works or similar material from Immortal Works publishing you will enjoy this one. Crystal Empire is published by Immortal Works.
About the Author (from the book)
Motivated by his lifelong love of reading, John M. Olsen writes about ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hopes to entertain and inspire others. His father’s library started him on this journey as a teenager, and he now owns and expands that library to pass his passion on to the next generation of avid readers.
He loves to create things, whether writing novels or short stories or working in his secret lab equipped with dangerous power tools. In all cases, he applies engineering principles and processes to the task at hand, often in unpredictable ways. He usually prefers “Renaissance Man” to “Mad Scientist” as a goal and aesthetic.
He lives in Utah with his lovely wife and a variable number of mostly grown children and a constantly changing subset of extended family. You can join John’s musings at his blog: johnmolsen.blogspot.com.
King Gavin Stoutheart and his council face war like the world hasn’t seen in ages. The enemy kings will soon lay waste to the countryside, and it is up to Gavin to fight with the tools given to him to avoid destruction.
While gathering his forces for war, Gavin must also work through unexpected ambassadors, secrets among his closest allies, and hidden clues from the past within the Riland Capital to avoid repeating the mistakes of those who preceded him.
While an abundance of crystals helps Gavin’s army to control more war animals and to speed training, nothing ever goes as planned while defending against the remaining four Crystal Kings. The enemy has surprises of their own as they seek to overwhelm and crush Gavin and his allies.