Book Review: Jewels of Smoky Quartz

I gotta admit, I have been chomping at the bit to get into this book by author Anat Eliraz. I have been following Anat on Facebook for quite a while now, and have been intrigued by the posts she shared about this book, long before she was even able to publish it.

I was not disappointed.

Jewels of Smoky Quartz is a well-crafted fantasy set in a fantasy world not that different from our own.

When Jane, an emergency room nurse with a past of hurt and heartache, stumbles into a world that is different from our own, and yet strangely familiar to her, she finds herself instantly struggling to survive and find her way back home. Using her wits and skills in Aikido, she tries to navigate the world she finds herself in. In the process, she finds pain, danger, heartache, love, acceptance, and a mystery that she unwittingly is at the center of with a choice to be made that could change not just her life, but the life of every person in that world.

Okay... what did I like about this book? Just about everything! Anat did a phenomenal job with her character development, world building, and action scenes. She took great care researching various aspects of her character, while also building suspense, heartache, and hope for her main character. Jane is empathetic, but tough, confused and scared, but not willing to give up. She is the expected though unlikely heroine of the story, but the build-up to the "main event" is completely believable given her previous actions and reactions to the new world she is in.

My only hang-up in the book was a part where there was a separation from Jane and her partner, Owen, and Jane's reaction to that separation was non-existent considering the discovery of their past connection and powerful relationship. Beyond that one missing piece, I could not put this book down!

I highly recommend Jewels of Smoky Quartz to fans of fantasy romance (yes, there is sex in this book, which is easily skimmed over if you are like me and just do not care for it.) This book may not be acceptable for younger fantasy fans as there is sex and nudity, as well as some trauma and violence. That said, this is not heavy handed as in Game of Thrones, but is written with thoughtful insight in how to tell the story without sugar-coating the tale, but also not over-dramatizing for shock value.

I look forward to the next book(s) in this series.

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