“You can never quit. Winners never quit, and quitters never win,” media mogul Ted Turner famously opined.
That inspirational quote could just as easily have come from the mouth of Fountain Hills author C.K. Donnelly, the self-described “unsuccessful quitter” who last week received an Independent Press Award for her fantasy epic, "Trine Rising, The Kinderra Saga: Book 1."
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C.K. Donnelly is the author from Fountain Hills whose book series Trine Rising is already winning praise and awards, and there are more books coming!
"Trine Rising, The Kinderra Saga: Book 1" wins the 2020 NYC Big Book Award for EPIC FANTASY.
Trine Rising has been selected as a quarter finalist in the BookLife Prize Fiction Contest.
"We had a huge volume of entries this year–almost 800–so the fact Trine Rising received one of the highest scores in its genre is very impressive. The quarter finalists were selected by the editorial staffs of Publishers Weekly and Booklife," BookLife editors say. Submissions with the 10 highest scores in each genre will move to the quarter-finals.
"TRINE RISING" scored a 9.5 out of 10, with the BookLife prize critiquer remarking, "Donnelly excels at crafting a seamless narrative that conveys the unique parameters of the universe at-hand through dialogue, character introspection, and balanced exposition."
Credit: The BookLife Prize
Cindy Donnelly Kibbe may be good at a number of things, but there’s one thing she can’t quite get the hang of: giving up.
This self-described “unsuccessful quitter” — and now first-time novelist — spent 20 years creating a fantasy world and populating it. Over more than two decades, she crafted adventures and challenges for her protagonist, watching her discover, learn, fall and rise. And now, fans of young-adult fantasies have been invited to immerse themselves in that world.
Wow, Trine Rising was full of twists and turns that I was not expecting. Mirana is a very unique character. While you think she is your archetypal young adult fiction heroine, she is just the opposite. She is not someone who thinks she isn’t special. She knows she is special and knows for a fact that she can be dangerous to people. Author C.K. Donnelly did a great job of building Mirana’s development. Mirana is no wallflower, but she grows and learns to be more comfortable in her skin as the story progresses. The mystery behind the Dark Trine and the Ken’nar attack was introduced strategically to have maximum impact on readers. I could tell that the author planned out this whole story to make it believable, entertaining, and nail-bitingly good.
With well-established characters, and artful plot development and pacing, Trine Rising will have you hooked, and needing the sequel. With unique worldbuilding, a well-paced plot, an phenomenal character and conflict development, this read truly exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more. 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. 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. 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.
Plot: Donnelly's YA novel is set in a strikingly well-conceived fantasy world. Gifted--or cursed--with a trifecta of powers, Mirana Pinal is one of a select few tasked with an enormous moral responsibility. Readers will become fully immersed in Mirana's narrative as she struggles to come to terms with her potential for restoration or destruction.
Prose: Donnelly excels at crafting a seamless narrative that conveys the unique parameters of the universe at-hand through dialogue, character introspection, and balanced exposition. Descriptions are lyrical, vivid, and nicely polished.
Originality: Stories of exceptional teens are frequent, but Donnelly's convincing worldbuilding elevates the somewhat conventional underpinnings of the premise.
Character/Execution: Mirana's behavior, thought processes, and motivations are clear and authentic. Villainous characters and allies are portrayed with nuance and dimension, while the world of Kinderra emerges as an engrossing character in its own right.
Credit: The BookLife Prize