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Book Review: Locked by Anyta Sunday

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Book Info

Book Series
Telluric Realm #1
About the Author
A born and raised New Zealander from Wellington, I’ve been exploring the literary world since I started reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Stories have been piling up in my head ever since. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), I started to put them to paper.

My genre of choice is romance, both adult and YA, gay and straight. You can take a closer look at my books, available as e-books for download in many formats!

When I’m not pushing my characters deeper into adventure, I chase my son around the house and fight my two comical cats for the desk chair.

Since 2014, I’m also part of CritShop Literary Services, specializing in writing workshops and editorial services for LGBT fiction.
Publication Date
April 26, 2016
A curse threatens the Winter Kingdom.
A brother is turned to ice.
A rebel uprising is on the horizon.

Marble-maker Rye Cunnings is at the center of it all—and doesn’t know it.

He doesn’t know he’s the lost summer prince. Doesn’t know his blood can unlock Winter’s curse. Doesn’t know why the marbles he makes flutter with magic. All he thinks is that he’s crazy. That he sees things others don’t, like dragons and strange markings on his skin.

But when a dark dragon snatches away Rye’s only friend Milo, he is forced to face the crazy in his life and figure out a way to bring Milo back.

Help comes in the form of Cerdic Leit, a warrior who finds Rye to take him “home” to the Telluric Realm and their kind. All Rye has to do is follow him into Gatreau, the gateway to the four Telluric kingdoms, and all his questions will be answered.

In the hopes of saving Milo, Rye steps into this new and dangerous world. A world where he learns of the Tellurics and their Hansian foes. A world that is swept up in a bitter battle of justice and hate.

And a world that won’t let Rye leave again.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Magic. Dragons. Marbles. What more could I ask for?
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, multi POV
Would I read it again – Yes
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Magic, Dragons, Gay


Magic. Dragons. Marbles. And an MC who has strange swirling patterns on his skin that no one else can see, that light up, and make him think he's crazy.

What more could I ask for?

With a whole lot of adventure and will-they-won't-they, the story took us from a loner kid in Bristol to a fantasy world full of dragons and political intrigue. But the change isn't instant or confusing; it's weaved very slightly into the story, with Rye's initial belief that he's insane, because he can see things that no one else can. The implications of his life and his feelings concerning his own sanity really lay the groundwork for the transition to Cerdic's world.

When it comes to characters, there really wasn't anyone – except the Kings and Royalty of the jury – that I didn't like. From Rye, Cerdic, Milo, Fin, Marc, Twain, Alyssa, Kaitlyn, Taruk and Drake, I loved them all. They all had their own little quirks, addition to the story and the progression of the plot.

I liked the idea of the marbles, because it was so unusual and had never really been done before, that I know of. It was a subtle, but clever way of introducing magic in a human world. Then, again, in a discreet way within the fantasy-world. The staffs and keys concept of the fantasy world was also incredibly detailed and unique. It was an excellent way of introducing magic into a world that, otherwise, would have seen naturally historical in nature, rather than 'fantasy'.

Sure, there were a few spelling/grammar mistakes (missing quotations, missing words or spelling mistakes etc) but they were so few and far between that I didn't see a need to take that into consideration in my rating.

For me, the lack of a fifth star comes to an indefinable feeling. Something I can't express, that felt as though it was missing. That and the complete lack of a romance, which I'd really been looking forward to. At multiple times, throughout the book, I expected a bit of romance – not too much, but just a little would have been nice – but got nothing. In the end, there was no romance, just a lot of hinting at one and a lot of skirting around the issue. Due to the language, situations and one or two intimate moments (not between the MC's) this isn't a Young Adult novel. But it's not exactly that explicit either.

Personally, there were too many POV for me. I don't see the need to have Kaitlyn's POV so often, though I do agree with having Rye, Cerdic and the Prince's POV. It would have been nice to have a little of Milo, too, but that might have given away too much.


Overall, I loved the fantasy world (though some of it was hard to follow and visualize) and I really connected to the characters. I'm invested in Rye's journey now, intrigued to see where the story with Hans might go and curious about Milo and Drake's part in it all.

What was I missing? Romance, in a word. There was so much hinted at and potential for Rye and Cerdic to have a romance, but it never happened. Similarly for Milo and Drake, who were the two bad guys that I was able to feel sorry for and understand. Not even Kaitlyn or Alyssa got their romance on. That was, in essence, a really big plot gap that just held me back a bit from loving this as much as I could have.

Refreshingly for a series book, this one doesn't have a major cliffhanger or leave you in the dark. The main portion of this books story is told, so you can close it with enough answers to keep you happy until book 2 comes along, to fill in more pieces of the puzzle.

I'll definitely be reading the next story and, fingers crossed, there's a romance in there somewhere.


Favourite Quotes

““You look like regurgitated hell, pudding.”
“And you wonder why I never let you into my bed.”
“You couldn't handle me, love.””

“Cerdic frowned. Dodging cars wasn't enough for him? Wooing was harder than he'd ever given it credit for.”

““Ah, speak of the devil...your mentor.”
Rye followed her gaze and there was Cerdic striding toward them. He groaned as the warrior shook the conductor's hand and looked down at him.
“Do you have a problem, Master Cunnings?”
He looked from Cerdic to the conductor and nodded. “This one's broken.”
“Excuse me?”
“He doesn't like explanations, and unless we have lessons in decoding grunt, I'm not going to earn this key with him.””
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