Image S. Ashwood
Image S. Ashwood

Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset
The Sunset Lands Beyond – Book 1
by Sarah Ashwood
ISBN-13: 978-1497465596 (Trade Paperback)
Pages: 370
Pub Date: March 2014
Publisher: CSIPP

A lot of us daydream about being the hero or heroine of a magical world just at the edge of reality. For Hannah Winters she’s kind of clueless to all this stuff until she decides to take a jog to clear her head. Her path will take her down by her neighbor’s field and to her utter surprise a Gandalf like character is standing there waiting for her. With a flash of blazing light, Hannah finds herself in Aerisia and it is here that to her utter astonishment she’s destined for greater things. But Hannah doesn’t really care, she just wants to go home, however possible that might be. The people of Aerisia know she’s the one, the Artan, who is prophesied as the legendary warrior woman to deliver Aerisia from the Dark Powers. It’s going to take a lot of convincing for Hannah to believe this.

I really enjoyed the creative world of Aerisia that Ms. Ashwood pens in her debut novel of The Sunset Lands Beyond series. However, Hannah, for the most part acts like a high school kid who can’t get her own way. Whining is the best word to describe this supposedly heroine of the realm. But, and I do mean but here, perhaps this is intended for the reader to latch onto. Hannah is suddenly hurled into a world where she is clueless as to what it is and why she’s here. Yes, she wants to go home, but that’s not going to happen. Hannah must face the reality that she is stuck here and has to adapt. The reader gets to see that transformation however painfully complaining she may get. Remember, not all heroines start out as Angelina “Tomb Raider” Jolie from the starting gate. Although there were some little issues in the storyline that could have been ironed out before it went to print, the story moved along at a steady pace. I’m certain that the following books in the series will make us feel better about Hannah as she gains her footing and grasps hold of the fact that the folks in Aerisia really need her. — Billi Caye