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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
The Golden Hourglass, volume one of Tales of Cubonia by Ben Mariner, is a fantastical story that starts with a man scaling the massive Ka’li’Na Rock on his way to the Temple of Ma’on’Al. To get to the top, a traveler pilgrim had to be quick of wit and sound of mind and body. It is no easy task, but Broderick Porter is good at his job and he leaves the place with the treasure he sought. As Cubonia’s most famous treasure hunter, Broderick is no stranger to various high-risk requests. Stealing a necklace from Queen Annelise and Sir Raulf Henry’s daughter, Alexandra, should have just been another job; however, Princess Alexandra surprises him with an offer. The youngest princess finds a life of royalty to be boring and she constantly daydreams of leaving the Royal Palace and hunting monsters. She sees an opportunity for escape when she meets the would-be thief. The two come to an agreement regarding the necklace and set off on an adventure neither of them expected.
Ben Mariner’s The Golden Hourglass has taken me on a wondrous journey through Cubonia. Mariner has certainly given great attention to detail in creating this book. This work was truly a labor of love. I found myself in constant awe at the creativity of the plot and the ingenious setting. The theme, storyline, setting, and characters blend so well together and have created a truly intriguing tale. The main characters caught my attention from their very first introduction! Who wouldn’t be intrigued by Broderick’s bold adventures as a treasure hunter? And I really love Princess Alexandra’s determination to seek her own path, different from the one expected of her as a Royal Princess! These two are thrust into an unexpected partnership from the very first meeting and watching them on their journey has both been exciting and entertaining.
The Golden Hour Glass is an adventurous tale that had my attention from the very first chapter. This book took me through an incredible and memorable journey. The characters are diverse, the plot is engrossing, and the setting is imaginative and beautiful. I found the ending to be somewhat satisfying and I’m actually looking forward to more from Mariner. This is truly wondrous work! I also appreciate the brief guide to Cubonia at the end. It really helped me understand the places and visualize them more easily as I read the book. Overall, wonderfully done! Great job!