Book Review: The Amulet of Elements by Rose Marie Machario

Title: The Amulet of Elements

Author: Rose Marie Machario

Publisher:  Seventh Star Press

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genres: Epic Fantasy

Shelves: Female-fronted, female-author

Okay, let me start by being completely honest, because first impressions carry a lot of weight. Had this been a book I’d merely picked up on a whim, I don’t know that I would have read beyond the first couple of chapters. The storytelling felt rather simple, and I found myself having a hard time getting beyond that first impression. Being part of Rose Marie Machario’s blog tour, however, I felt compelled to keep reading.

I’m glad that I did.

The Amulet of Elements is like a fairy tale for adults, and that it precisely how it reads. Once I adjusted my expectations from the grand prose of epic fantasy to the (deceptively) simple storytelling of a fairy tale, I was pulled right in. Within a half dozen chapters, the narrative asides (Little did Princess Ellyria know, that is exactly where she did not want to be…) stopped feeling artificial or intrusive and became instead part of the storytelling charm.

The story opens rather simply, with a Lord who leads a naive Princess astray, an evil witch who captures her in a crystal cage, a transparent ploy that allows her to escape . . . and an inappropriate (but very fairy tale) kiss. On the surface, it’s all simple fairy tale sort of plotting, but as the story carries on, that fairy tale evolves into a classic fantasy tale. The turning point for me was this narrative aside:

The King and his men were now outnumbered. Although they had the upper hand, having a giant dragon, an oversized lioness, and a giant owl for allies…

At the same time, the story eventually puts aside the fairy tale innocence for some very dark scenes of violence and sexual assault. Only a few pages after the talk of dragons, we see Princess Ellyria being sexually assaulted by the witch’s guards.

She was not so lucky when the other man began molesting her too. They both took turns fondling her breasts, and then licking her face and neck. Both men made horrible grunting noises, while the stink of them was clinging to her bruised and violated skin.

I was rather shocked by what Machario forced Ellyria to endure, especially since the Princess seems to be trapped in that fairy tale, damsel-in-distress situation, left teary-eyed and feeling helpless until the men arrive to save her. That was not what I expected from the blurb, or from what I’ve read about Machario, but it’s another example of her setting expectations only to upset them and surprise the reader.

There’s no cliched training montage to transform fairy tale Princess into a fantasy heroine, just a personal vow to never be a victim again. We see her grow and mature throughout the tale, with the whole of The Amulet of Elements turning out to be a pleasant surprise. In fact, I think a large part of what I liked so much about it was the fact that it did set such expectations early, lulling me into looking for one kind of story, only to pull the rug out from beneath me and confront me with a different sort of story entirely. The magic and wonder never go away, and you’re always aware of that gentle tug between romantic fairy tale and violent fantasy, but that is what kept me reading.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ 1/2

My sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:  Rose Marie Machario is the creator and hostess of Dream Big. A show all about real people who are making their dreams come true.

When Rose is not inspiring others to follow their dreams, she is a nationally and internationally published pinup model, and a blossoming actress having worked in several featured, or principal roles. She has been seen in various television shows such as Ozark, The Originals, Nashville, Homicide Hunter, Killer Couples, Murder Chose Me, Murder Comes to Town, Snapped, #Murder, Justice by Any Means, Notorious, Fatal Attraction, Murder Mystery, Murder Decoded, and American Nightmare. Her movie credits include Tag, Super Fly, The Road Less Traveled, and The Last Movie Star.

Rose is also a published author of her debut fantasy novel, The Amulet of Elements. She also writes in the romance, and horror genres, and her column called Dream Big.

In her spare time, she enjoys a daily routine of yoga, loves to cook, and cuddling up with her fur-babies while watching her favorite television shows, and movies.




About The Amulet of Elements:

Princess Ellyria Rose found her special places in the books she read. Imagining herself in far off lands, she would dream of the knight who might rescue her one day from her dull, everyday life of needlepoint and lessons on becoming a lady.

Princess Ellyria Rose yearned for adventure and on her sixteenth birthday she got her wish, being rescued by the man of her dreams. Little did she know that would prove to be an adventure she did not expect to have.

Betrayed by the very man whom Princess Ellyria trusted, and left at the mercy of her father’s enemy, she had to use her wits to escape; along with the help of the very man who led her astray in the beginning.

Danger unfolds time and again, revealing an ancient story about a princess and a prophecy.

Tour Schedule and Activities

11/11   Sheila’s Guests and Reviews        Guest Post

11/11   The Book Junkie Reads         Top Ten’s List

11/12   Sapphyria’s Books      Guest Post

11/13   Sahara Foley Author            Author Interview

11/13   Midnight Review  Review

11/13   Jazzy Book Reviews           VLOG (Video)

11/14   Jorie Loves A Story     Author Interview

11/14   Carol Preflatish, Mystery Author Author Interview

11/15   MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape       Author Interview

11/16   Jorie Loves A Story     Review

11/17   The Writing Lobsters       Interview

11/18   She Leads he Reads     Review

11/18   Armed with A Book     Top Ten’s List

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