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Publisher's Summary

The glow itself seemed to be alive, breathing, spreading under the baby’s skin. One question filled my mind: Who is this child?

Tavi Malin is born facing the sun, filled with greater magic than any other sun-blessed child. At age 14, her magic awakens, but her uncontrolled power nearly destroys her school, leaving her confidence as shaken as her surroundings.

Tavi and her friends train to use their gifts, unaware of the threat developing in a distant city. Dissidents have banded together, and they’re killing to attain gray magic, an ominous new force that breaks the rules of ordinary magic. But to seize true power, the Grays must grow their ranks - and Tavi is a prize worth pursuing.

In a fight where confidence is as crucial as strength, even extraordinary gifts aren’t sufficient. If Tavi is to prevail against the Grays, she must find a courage that goes deeper than magic itself.

©2018 Carol Beth Anderson (P)2018 Carol Beth Anderson

What listeners say about Facing the Sun

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpected new favorite series

Great start to a new series! A new spin on the Gifted-at-birth type of magic world, as seen through the eyes of very relatable characters.

I was hooked quickly and didn't lose interest at all. The narration is well done and definitely added to my enjoyment.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating

Many thanks to Carol Beth Anderson for the complimentary copy of this audio book for my honest review. As a lover of L'Engle's Time Quintet, Lewis's Space and Narnia Series and Rowling's Harry Potter Series I found the start of the Sun-Blessed trilogy to have similar appeal. I also confess that I love listening to audio books narrated by the author because it gives a personal connection to the novel and Anderson has an excellent quality in her voice throughout the narration. Like others have commented, Facing the Sun is a clean, coming of age, magical, fantasy book. I love the deeply descriptive adjectives Anderson uses to describe the locations, people and emotions of the characters in the book. I especially enjoyed the short excerpts at the beginning of each chapter from the key midwife, Ellea Kariana, which sort of set the stage for what might be coming in the chapter without giving away anything. The plot of the novel was well developed and the weaving together of the various storylines - the Sun Blessed, Tullen of the Meadow and the Gray - was masterfully done. I enjoyed the hints of romance, but appreciated that the focus was more on finding oneself, standing firm in ones convictions and genuine friendship. I also appreciated the close family elements of the novel with all the good and bad aspects intertwined. I highly recommend this book and look forward to listening to the rest of the trilogy. In one simple statement, I'm hooked.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enchanting

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced complimentary copy of this book, here is my honest review. This is the story of Tavi and her young friends who were blessed at birth by being born face up but they don't come into their gifts/powers until puberty. The gifts vary in both expression and intensity, it's an emotional roller coaster as each "awakens" and they learn to use their particular gifts. I found this to be a new and imaginative take on the classic good vs. evil story. I was literally moved to tears twice as the story unfolded; first, during the telling of Tavi's birth and, secondly, when Tavi awakened and discovered the true and overwhelming power of her gifts. Tavi and her gifted friends undertake a journey that culminates in a show-down with some powerful "grays" (persons who have learned to use their gifts for evil).

The author does a great job as the narrator of the series. I noticed a little background interference during the prologue but was quickly distracted from this by the story being told of Tavi's birth.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, both on paper and on audio, particularly for a first time author and narrator. I'm eagerly awaiting the second installment in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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New world - new adventure

The imagery the author describes makes it so easy to view the scenes of this book in my head. I truly enjoy books that let my imagination run amok. The characters feel real. I was attached to Tavi, Sall, Narre and Tullen shortly after meeting them.

And something you don’t always see/hear with fiction books - the author narrated her own story and did a fabulous job. I’m sure the voices matched how she heard them in her head when writing the story because the accents and tones felt normal and relaxed. I would listen to any book narrated by her.

I’m looking forward toward the next book in the series, Facing the Grey.

If you enjoy a good story, magic, a little romance, and some action, I think you’ll enjoy this book. P

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Born with Magic

I'm so torn about this book. On one hand, the concepts were amazing and new, but on the other hand, they were terrifying. Let me explain.

Some children are born with magic. The magic of most is limited to a specific form, speech or hearing or touch are a few types. Very rarely, a child is born facing the sun, which means they have greater magic in multiple forms. Tavi is one of these rare, special, magical children. Some seek to use her, but she avoids them as she learns how to use her gifts. The ways she uses them are also beautiful.

Yet, there are limitations to all magic - limits placed by Sava, the giver and creator of magic. Magic cannot be used to kill or hurt a person. It is also limited by how much it can be used without resting and recharging (potentially also because that would cause harm to a person). But these limits can be frustrating to those who are suddenly and without warning unable to use it. This is where the story becomes a little terrifying. Because some people are discontent with the limits and want complete control - even if that means hurting someone to gain control.

The cost for unlimited magic is high. It requires death, specifically murder. If someone with magic kills another person with magic, the murderer's magic is transformed into gray magic. Gray magic promises power without limit. Yet, there are limits to gray magic as well. First, only those born with magic can gain it. Second, while it enhances the magic one was born with, it does not give the user other types of magical abilities. Regardless, the enhanced powers are far greater than those without Gray magic.

Carol Beth Anderson did a tremendous job showing how magic feels, how it works, and what the process of learning it is like, something many fantasy authors forget to do. As a narrator, Beth is fantastic. She captured both the good and the evil and all of the characters perfectly. I'm a bit in awe of her ability to do that so well. She also created a fantastic new magical system and showed how the system can be broken. While religion has not been too prominent in the story, it holds the story together, and there is something wonderful about a god who limits his gifts so that people cannot use them for evil. There was a political story on one side and a coming of age story on the other and they were somewhat, though not strongly, intertwined.

The Grays want Tavi. (This part of the story hinted of The Golden Compass, although I didn't see it going the direction of the Grays attempting to kill the god.) Do the Gray's just want Tavi's power? How would they use her? Can she be turned? While this is not the end of the story, these questions remain unanswered. The story ebbs and flows, sometimes quite slowly, although the action in the last third of the book makes it impossible to put down.

By the end of the book, the darkness was starting to feel pretty dark. The evil seemed like it really could win. And there were numerous deaths throughout the story, some described in enough detail that I hesitate to recommend the book for children. For those who can handle the violence, as well as those who enjoy fantasy and thought-provoking situations, I highly recommend it.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and have reviewed it willingly.

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Original and Impossible to Put Down!

Wow! I'd read part of this series as part of the beta team, but it's still so exciting to see it finally edited and almost ready for the world! This book is a High Fantasy and in being so does have some slow spots, but overall the world-building and characters are so interesting that it keeps readers interested.

That said, that's got to be my favorite part! The world is much like ours in some ways, perhaps a couple centuries back, when nursemaids were common, and smaller towns and villages were more common than the mega-cities we have everywhere now. The magic system is beautiful and completely original! When a child is born, the nursemaid asks the goddess to bless the child, that's where the magic comes from. (There's a bit more too it, but you should read it for yourself, I don't want to spoil it!)

A lot of the story is about Tavi (Well, she's a main character in all three books, but this one deals with her struggles being different among the children of her village, before going on the the overall story line.) There is also some action, and even some pretty big surprises!

I love originality, and this book/series delivers!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Facing the Sun

A great start to a new series. I love the originality of how the magic is discovered and awakened. As the characters learn to embrace their magical talents, they are also moving toward adulthood.

The author, Carol Beth Anderson, not only wrote a strong story, but she also performed it very well. There’s definitely something to be said for experiencing a book exactly the way the author intended.

I really enjoyed this story, and I look forward to finding out what comes next!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cute

This was a cute, pure story that left me feeling a little glowy myself. I didn't absolutely love the story but the world building was pretty good and the characters were interesting. The magic system was incredibly unique so that was fun to discover and experience. The book was super predictable though.
The narrator was probably the best part of the book because she was able to express each character to their full potential. IDK if I would continue the series but I'm glad I listened to this one.

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    5 out of 5 stars

fun story. i like longer books like this

great cast in story. really got to know them. good reader of the book. went real quick.

i was given a copy of this book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Blessed, All Blessed, and Sun Kissed indeed

I was given a complimentary book Iexchange for an honest review. Carol Beth Anderson is very talented. Not only did she weave a fantastical adventure about magic in a unique and attention grabbing sensation, her voice brought life to each character. This book was about the transformational journey of the blessed kids. Tavina, known as Tavi was all blessed, which meant she had magic throughout her whole body and she was also sun kissed, which meant she was born with her face towards the sun. I recommend you listen to this adventure and become just as engrossed as I was. I can't wait for the next book in series.