Not Magic Enough.
For Delae – a lonely landholder on the edge of the Kingdoms – a frantic knock at the door on a stormy winter’s night brings a cry for help.
After centuries of war, Elves have little contact with the race of Men, but Dorovan can’t bring himself to ride past those so obviously in need. One small act – with enormous consequences. Not Magic Enough is a tale of love and honor, duty and determination.
After centuries of war an uneasy peace has finally been negotiated between Elves, Dwarves and Men, thanks to Elon of Aerilann, Elven councilor to the High King of Men. One final task yet remains, one final bone of contention – to set the boundaries between their lands. It’s a task that will be easier said than done. Although most of the lesser Kings signed the Alliance, not all wish to see it succeed and some are willing to oppose it.
For journeyman wizard Jareth it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.
What he doesn’t know is that the journey will test him to his limits and forge a friendship that would last for centuries.
Review 3 of 5 Stars
Not Magic Enough and Setting Boundaries are novellas from Valerie Douglas’ Coming Storm series. Despite trying to be Tolkien-like they don’t really have much in common except that there are elves and humans in both stories. So I’m going to give some overall comments and then take them one at a time. Ms. Douglas definitely has the talent to turn a phrase. The rhythm is good and they mostly flowed pretty well aside from some repetitiveness; however, a little more proofreading couldn’t hurt. That being said, I was able overlook the mistakes more in the first of the two than the second, but that was because of the quality of the stories being told. Now on to the stories themselves.
Not Magic Enough is a truly beautiful love story and of the two I definitely enjoyed it the most. I’m a sucker for a good elf and lesser races love story where the people are participating in a forbidden relationship. It just adds to the intrigue. It’s a fabulous daydream/fantasy and this story was one that could have easily taken place somewhere in an out-of-the-way holding. There is an overall sadness to the story being told and in a lot of ways it’s a story about settling for less than what you can’t have, but it’s also a beautiful story of a truly loving friendship between two people who know they are not for one another in the long run. If I were reviewing these separately this story probably would have received a 4 just for the story itself.
But since they were bound together we move on to Setting Boundaries. Once again some of the writing was truly lovely and some needed to be proofread again (and that’s exactly what I was thinking as I read this). However, this story didn’t have the depth that I’m looking for in something of its ilk. The elves and a human wizard set off to set boundary stones to mark the lands for the older and younger races and this is a story about their journey. Mostly the journey is pretty uneventful and I was a bit let down after the first one. There are a couple of points where there’s some action, but I got the feeling that this would have been a good intermediary chapter between much more exciting chapters to break the tension if there was an actual book involved. It was a story of friendship and fighting against prejudice, but in my opinion not all that gripping or memorable and thus the set of two novellas was brought down to 3 because I would have given this one a 2 if I had read it on its own.
In the end I thought Not Magic Enough was a good standalone love story. Setting Boundaries I could take or leave. Another problem here is that these are novellas and though these two are bundled together for a pretty low price, the two I saw from later in the series are just barely under $5. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in buying a ton of novellas at $5 each, which really just seem like overly long chapters to try to build a book myself. If the two stories are related aside from being on the same world then there isn’t much to relate one to the other that I could tell aside from the elder races and the younger races being at odds. So there you have it. It was a mixed bag for me. Though the romance of the first story was done very well, I wasn’t that impressed with the second one and won’t be trying to build this book one chapter at a time on my own by purchasing the later novellas. If she truly finds the thread to join it all together it might be a good book somewhere down the line, but I think I’ll just wait until then.