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The Well of Tears (The Dream Stewards Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Roberta Trahan
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

More than five centuries after Camelot, a new king heralded by prophecy has appeared. As one of the last sorceresses of a dying order sworn to protect the new ruler at all costs, Alwen must answer a summons she thought she might never receive.

Bound by oath, Alwen returns to Fane Gramarye, the ancient bastion of magic standing against the rise of evil. For alongside the prophecy of the benevolent king, a darker foretelling envisions the land overrun by a demonic army and cast into ruin.

Alwen has barely set foot in her homeland when she realizes traitors lurk within the Stewardry, threatening to destroy it. To thwart the corruption and preserve her order, Alwen must draw upon power she never knew she possessed and prepare to sacrifice everything she holds dear—even herself. If she fails, the prophecy of peace will be banished, and darkness will rule.

About the Author

A lifelong writer, Roberta Trahan’s first works of fiction draw upon generations of family history originating in Cornwall and Wales, as well as her love of the mythology and culture of her ancestral home.

After graduating from the University of Oregon with a journalism degree, Trahan pursued a twenty-five year career in sales, marketing, and publicity. Eventually the lure of writing drew her back to her creative roots, and she is now a full-time novelist and core member of her local writing community—as a speaker, instructor, and member of several writing organizations.

The Well of Tears is her first book, but hardly her last. She is a Pacific Northwest native and currently lives with her family near Seattle, Washington.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 489 KB
  • Print Length: 327 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612183727
  • Publisher: 47North (Sept. 18 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00773A6DO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,126 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, good writing, but... Feb. 2 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book very much; it was well-paced with great characters, the good ones were likeable and the bad ones despicable. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the protagonists' families. The characters were not isolated as they are in many novels, but had the support of their loved ones as they fought their battles.
Now to the 'but': It stopped suddenly, mid-story. There was obviously much more to this tale and nothing was resolved. I hope this is not one of the cheap tricks to make readers buy the next book in the series in order to find out what happens next. It's all right—even expected—to end a chapter with a cliff-hanger because you only have to turn the page to find out what comes next, but not a novel. This happened to me once before, and I vowed never to fall for it again. It's so amateurish and no professional publisher would use such a trick.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Potential in Rushed Attempt at Epic Aug. 11 2012
By Kevin M. Derby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"Well of Tears" by Roberta Trahan ranks as one of the more puzzling fantasy novels I have come across in some time. Trahan is a fine craftswoman of sentences and paragraphs though--like too many fantasy writers--she needs to work on her dialogue. While the book starts slow, Trahan picks up the pace and the plot does hold the reader's attention but it then moves too quickly. My chief problem with the book is the indecision that hovers over it and the pacing. Traham wants to work in a historical setting and a fantastic one. She wants to write an epic of kingdoms and intimate stories with dashes of romance novels thrown in (the sex scenes often seemed a little out of place). She wants to bring in Arthur and Wales and her own characters, along with notes.....all within less than 350 pages using heavy spacing between text lines (I have a reviewer's copy). Simply put, Trahan puts 20 pounds of groceries in a bag that can support about 10 pounds and the book suffers for it. Still, there is enough potential here to keep an eye on Trahan and she did seem to mature as a writer as the book went on. With a strong lead and an interesting enough story, Trahan was able to overcome some of the flaws of her book, enough to make it readable if not salvage it all together. There is enough potential here to read future books by her. Readers of fantasy should like "Well of Tears" despite the problems.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Middle Ages out of the Middle Ages Oct. 1 2012
By Hrafnkell Haraldsson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Well of Tears by Roberta Trahan is one of those books that is difficult to rate. It is billed as a historical novel which begins in 905 CE. But here is a strange thing: by page 73 of the 400-page novel, history is little in evidence. The storyline involves a gathering of four sorceresses to act as an advisory council to the Welsh king Hywel ap Cadell. The protagonist, Alwen, is living at the time in Jorvik, in Frisia. In order to answer the summons, she must cross the North Sea to Northumbria and travel overland from there to Wales to the secret bastion ruled by the wise old Ardh Druidh (First Wizard), Fane Gramayre.

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against sorceressees in the Middle Ages. The people themselves believed magic was real and I like a little fantasy mixed with my history. But as I will show below, the history has gone missing.

Alwen makes the journey across the North Sea without even a mention of Vikings or longships, even though this was a time of war as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle makes clear, not only between Dane and Saxon but between Alfred's successor, Edward, and his uncle's son, Ethelwald. Nor is there any mention of Alfred the Great, who had just died four years previous, or of any Vikings to speak of or even Saxons, on the road to Wales. It brought to mind the New Testament accounts of Jesus' travels, also oddly detached from history in that Galilee was full of bandits who never seemed to find Jesus or his disciples as they wandered about. At least make the setting plausible, please, if you're going to write this type of story.

I think if I were writing a historical novel set in these times, I would have at least found some way to provide this historical context. You might make a comparison between Trahan's book and those of Bernard Cornwall, set during Alfred's reign. Obviously they are different types of books but you would not know that they inhabit the same universe from the way Britain is portrayed in each.

I do like that Paganism is presented in a positive light but beyond an acknowledgement that the Ardh Druidh and his people are Pagans there is really very little of Paganism in the story. The gods get some mention without being named but there is no manner of worship, no ritual. The Old Ways are mentioned but no details are given. It is as if not only the religion but the history of Britain and Wales in the early 10th century have been sanitized, which is an odd thing for a historical novel. It might as well be a fantasy set in an alternate Britain, a al Guy Gavriel Kay though his The Last Light of the Sun is far more compelling.

In every comparison I can make, The Well of Tears comes in second best. Yet it is not a bad read. Though Trahan's prose wants for detail, the plot is not a bad one for speculative fiction. The dialogue is not bad and Alwen is a sympathetic character. It just leaves me feeling it could have been so much more. It is not one of those books you can't put down or having done so, can't wait to pick up, neither is it one of those books that you are reluctant to pick up. Reading it was neither a great pleasure nor a chore.

Perhaps I am being too hard on it but I like my historical novels to at least make an attempt to include a historical setting and context. I am assuming the Ard Druidh is supposed to be the chief druid but this chief druid lives in a stone fortress rather than a grove of oaks. Certainly Trahan is free to do what she will with her druids since we know next to nothing about what they were or did historically but turning them into fantasy-type wizards seems a stretch. The English used the term druid to refer to wizards but the native meaning was priest, and for the Welsh it meant seer (this at least the Ardh Druidh is though she calls him a wizard) which is a different thing altogether.

In some ways, the story seems to embrace a sort of Wiccan substitution of magic for sacrifice and though magic coexisting with Paganism it was not what Paganism was about.

The end result is that this is a hard sell for me. I can offer 3 stars for the writing skill of the author but I cannot give it five because it is not really a historical novel at all, divorced from history as it is. The author would have done better to do as Guy Gavriel Kay does, and contrive a pseudo-European setting for her tale.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shoots for epic. Doesn't quite make it Sept. 15 2012
By Ammy_Evaluator - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a fairly entertaining retread of familiar territory, and I did find parts to be extremely moving (especially when dealing with loss).

However, the book failed to impress me for a number of reasons:
1/ A slew of cliched situations and plot devices (ancient prophecy, circle of power, unnamed evil afoot, etc. )
2/ The characters were entirely one dimensional, and it was apparent at first encounter who was good and who was evil. No shades of grey.
3/ Each character's motivation was similarly obvious. Greed/power for the evil, and duty/honor for the good.
4/ The major plot line was extremely weak, was resolved with minimal fuss, and ended with a just-as-weak cliffhanger.

This is not epic GRRM, and neither is it even close to the more mass market efforts by Goodkind. What it is, is a lazy read with minimal fuss and excitement, that won't raise your pulse rate as you read it.

I gave it 3 stars for writing style, 2 stars for content, and rounded up.

Happy Reading!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical fantasy; I want more July 24 2012
By D. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
In ancient Wales and Cornwall, known in this novel as Cymru, Alwen arrives at Fane Gramarye, the stronghold of the Stewards, a guild for sorcerers. She is the Mistress of the Spiritual Realm, and, as such, is second in line of succession. Madoc, the leader (Ard Druidh), realizes that he is getting old. He and his successor must go to the Well of Tears and perform a ceremony that adds his memories to those of all the previous Ard Drudhs and pass those memories on to the successor.

But who will the successor be? Is there treachery afoot that will destroy the world of Fane Gramarye, and thus Cymru, as it does Alwen's daughter Eirlys?

This is a very enjoyable historical fantasy novel with helpful back matter - a lexicon of the stewardry, the hierarchy of the stewardry, and the bloodlines (descriptions of the characters and their clans). The novel's style and pacing are very good; the characters are well-developed; the plot is engrossing. The ending seems to be hanging a bit, but that simply leaves things open for this to become a series. The author's biographical matter does indeed state that The Well of Tears is " her first book, but hardly her last," and I do look forward to more.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For my son Feb. 23 2013
By Jim Z - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Our son has always held a great interest in mythical and magical things. He even owns a full set of armor which he purchased with his saved allowance at the age of 14.
So I obtained this book for him , having heard about it on a local radio program.
He said after completing it , that it held all the elements that make this style of writing so appealing to him.
He said it flowed well , was easy to follow and that he will recommend it to his "geek" friends.
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