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Trine Rising


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With well-established characters, and artful plot development and pacing, Trine Rising will have you hooked, and needing the sequel.

This first installment in the Kinderra Saga brings with it all of the essentials for an engaging read. With well-established characters, and artful plot development and pacing, Donnelly will have you hooked, and needing the sequel. Lately, I’ve been craving a new fantasy world to escape to, and Trine Rising provided exactly what I needed. With unique worldbuilding, a well-paced plot, an phenomenal character and conflict development, this read truly exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more. 

This book discusses themes of power, morality, and prophecy through the protagonist, Mirana Pinal. As Mirana approaches her sixteenth summer, she is faced with destructive secrets. In a world where people are gifted with powers of sight, strength, and healing by the Aspects, Mirana finds she is one of the few who possesses powers from all three. She is a Trine. However, there is a prophecy suggesting that one Trine who is destined to save Kinderra, one is meant to be its destruction. With three known Trines, where lies Mirana’s fate. When Mirana receives terrifying visions predicting a devastating battle to come, she must reveal her secrets in order to give her people, especially the man she loves, a fighting chance. Will she be Kinderra’s saving grace? Or will she be responsible for its demise? Donnelly invites you to discover the answers for yourself. 

From a structural standpoint, this novel perfectly achieves its purpose. Within the introductory chapters of the novel, readers are presented with many layers of conflict. We learn of Mirana’s Trine identity, and begin questioning whether or not she is gifted with a blessing or a curse. We learn that her love interest, a healer named Teague, is unaspected, and their relationship is doomed. If that wasn’t enough to peak a reader’s interest, we also learn there is a malicious Trine among the enemy Ken’nar forces. As a result, readers are forced early on to draw three very important conclusions: We’re faced with an epic battle of good and evil, Mirana’s relationship and future are on the line, and a bloody battle is on the horizon. Pair those things with an effective use of foreshadowing in visions and the prophecy, and you have readers turning pages needing answers. 

Likewise, Donnelly provides readers with a well-developed fantasy world in Kinderra. I felt the balance of exposition, character development, and conflict fit what was needed for a first installment in the series. The world maps were helpful in creating a frame of reference, and providing context for readers as it became necessary was an effective way of developing this story. It's easy for authors to give too much exposition in books, and it results in a slow start for readers. This book does a great job avoiding that tendency. By introducing readers to the characters and the conflict first, this book hooked the audience, and then allowing them to fall in love with the nuances of the world the characters live in. As the plot progresses in the novel and the conflict builds, I found myself entirely invested in the fate of the characters. 

This novel isn’t a "resolve all" kind of read, and as much as I need the answers, I love books that make me wait for them. As the novel peaks, Mirana is forced to face her true identity, but readers are left with more questions to be answered, another battle lurking on the horizon, and more secrets to discover. With Mirana’s Trine ancestor, Jasal Pinal playing a larger role than previously anticipated, readers learn that this journey is only getting started for Mirana, Teague, and the characters in the story. Where will this journey lead? We’ll have to find out in the next installment: Trine Fallacy

Overall, Trine Rising was a phenomenal first installment in a new fantasy series. With engaging characters, a riveting plot, and well-executed structure, C.K. Donnelly provides a refreshing and engaging read for fantasy lovers. 

Reviewed by

Hi! I'm Kayla, one of the co-founders of Queens of Coffee and Canon. I am a High School English teacher working in Chicago Illinois, and I'm a lover of all things books! I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, but personally enjoy Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Fantasy!


About the author

While other kids read under the covers at bedtime, C.K. DONNELLY wrote stories. The award-winning journalist and self-described "unsuccessful quitter" released her first novel in 2020. C.K. lives in Arizona with her husband and little black dog. She no longer writes under the covers. Usually. view profile

Published on July 21, 2020

100000 words

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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