Welcome to my MTMC Tours stop for Amulet of Wishes by Rita A. Rubin!
A very important fact to start this review off with is — I love dragons. Shapeshifting dragons? Even better. Thank you to Amulet of Wishes for delivering 😌🙌🏻 This is a YA story jammed pack with classic fantasy tropes and adventures, quests and magical objects, mysterious villains and tortured pasts. It has a tight-knit friendship group that goes through fractures as their quest starts to fall apart. It’s set in a queer-accepting fantasy world, too! And let’s not forget there are elves, shape-shifting dragons, soft-hearted royals, guardians here to protect everyone, and demon realms you do not want to tamper with.
When Derek learns about the existence of Milrath’s amulet, he becomes deeply obsessed with finding it. Everyone says “um, that is a bad idea, it’s demon magic!?!” but he can’t let it go. He’s haunted by his traumatic past where his family was brutally murdered by an anonymous villain, and all Derek wants to do is go back in time and get his family back. He’s tried to make a new life for himself (escaping a previously abusive adopted parent as well) and he’s just become a newly minted Guardian, meant to save and protect. (Although as a half-elf he’s often ostracised because of his heritage.) But he can’t step out of his past. I liked that the book was deeply about trauma repercussions — how it shapes you and the negative ways people can react. Derek is MESSY. He lashes out quite often and people who love him usually take a hit full of verbal shrapnel. His current adopted father Darus is an absolute gem 🥺 Utterly soft for Derek and trying to help him, refusing to give up on Derek no matter what. (Got to admit Darus was maybe my favourite character 😭 The line where he basically yells “GIVE ME BACK MY SON” at the villains ajfdksald.)
Milrath’s amulet. Those two words brought him back to that night, nine years ago, sitting in bed, a storm raging outside while his father told him a story about the daemonic amulet that held the power to grant wishes.
When Derek takes off on his journey for the doomed amulet, he brings along his best friend Jared (who happens to be the prince!!!) and Jared’s cousin, Arabelle. They are a fun friendship group, though Derek makes some low decisions that hurt the others quite often. I wasn’t mad at his selfishness because of what he was dealing with? But 😭 son, see that your friends love you and are not the enemy!!
The writing style is also quite straight-forward and easy to read, perfect for younger-YA audiences or upper MG (with some swearing and stabbing involved). The character were all pretty black and white, the villains being Super Evil, and the heroes being noble at heart, so it gave me all these throwbacks to reading things like Narnia which was so nice. (I grew up rereading Narnia all the time!) I definitely want answers about that red-eyed villain aghhhhhh.
With a combination of cinnamon roll characters, dragons, broken pasts and future steeped in dangerous magic, Amulet of Wishes is a fun romp of a classic YA fantasy. Also head over to my Instagram for the INTL giveaway!
“He doesn’t need to hide his ears,” she snapped. “You only hide something when you’re ashamed of it and Derek has no reason to be ashamed of who he is.” Arabelle looked at him with a hard-eyed expression. “Don’t you dare let anyone make you feel ashamed of who you are.”
Title: Amulet of Wishes (#1)
Author: Rita A. Rubin
Publication Date: April 28th, 2021
Genres: YA Fantasy
Purchase a copy: Amazon | Book Depository| Blackwell’s | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
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The Guardians are the protectors of Aloseria. They are the keepers of the peace and have the unique ability to transform into creatures that have been extinct for many years—dragons.
Derek Draco is one of them.
Haunted by memories of his past, Derek finds a piece of a mythical amulet, said to hold the power to grant wishes once all three pieces are brought together. Seeing an opportunity to undo his past and bring back his parents, Derek sets out on a journey to find the amulet. However, Derek is unaware of the true power of the amulet and using it to fulfill his seemingly innocent wish could have disastrous consequences.
Australian born, Rita was raised on the farms outside of Melbourne and grew up surrounded by wide open spaces, tractors and lettuce aplenty.
For as long as she can remember, Rita has always loved to make up stories. Her first literary work was an Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction when she was 11. Now Rita spends a lot of her writing time working on her YA fantasy series, Chronicles of the Guardians.
Apart from writing and reading, Rita’s interests include drawing, video games and pop culture. She is also the proud owner of a fat house cat named Bella, a spoilt dog named Sadie and Angel the goldfish.
Hi Rita! Thanks so much for chatting with me today about Amulet of Wishes! Tell us a bit about your publishing journey and how your book went from first idea to finished novel on our shelves?
These characters and this world have been something that’s been something that’s been swimming around in my head since my early teens. Since then I’ve tried writing many different stories for Derek and the others until I finally came up with the idea that grabbed hold of me and which turned into Amulet of Wishes. It took me three years to write it, in between the chaotic mess of life, and decide it was something I wanted to publish. Originally, I intended to go down the traditionally published route but after connecting with so many talented self-published writers through Twitter, I came to the decision that self-publishing might suit me, and this book in particular, better. After that, there was no looking back.
That’s an amazing origin story! So glad you found the perfect way to get AoW out in the world 😍 What is your favourite thing about writing fantasy?
I’d say it would have to be the freedom of letting my imagination run wild with all sorts of ideas for not just the plot and the characters, but the world-building as well.
Oh that is such a mood. Love the limitless possibilities of fantasy. Tell us two facts about Derek?
His star sign is Cancer, and he can turn into a black and blue dragon.
Can you give us a teaser about what you’re working on now?
One of the things I’m working on now is the sequel to Amulet of Wishes, which is titled, Lady Night, and I’ll say that it picks up pretty much right where the last book left off.
Oh so excited to find out what happens next 👀 Especially after that epilogue 😭 And lastly! What are some of the best author moments you’ve had so far?
Definitely, some of the best author moments I’ve had have included people falling in love with my story and my characters. So much so that someone even named their plants after my characters.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Rita!! And congrats on Amulet of Wishes being out in the world 🤗✨
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