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The Branches of Time

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Author: Luca Rossi

Published: June 13th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published March 21st 2014)

Format: Paperback , 148 pages

Isbn: 9781497438682

Language: English


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A shower of splinters exterminates the people of the island of Turios. Only Bashinoir, badly wounded, his wife Lil and the Priestess Miril survive. They would like to give a worthy burial to their loved ones, but the corpses have disappeared. Their only hope of salvation lies in the magical protection of the Temple. But they must cope with dark threats. A shadow haunts the A shower of splinters exterminates the people of the island of Turios. Only Bashinoir, badly wounded, his wife Lil and the Priestess Miril survive. They would like to give a worthy burial to their loved ones, but the corpses have disappeared. Their only hope of salvation lies in the magical protection of the Temple. But they must cope with dark threats. A shadow haunts their hearts, threatening to divide and destroy them; their bodies seem to be less consistent. The closeness between the two women contrasts with the isolation of Bashinoir. In the realm of Isk, wizards and advisors must submit to the insatiable greed of sex and war as well as the power of King Beanor. The last of his young wives, however, does not want to surrender to the loss of love and freedom. Will games and tricks under the sheets be the key turning point of a millenarian war?

30 review for The Branches of Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    An entire population of an island is wiped out by a stone shower. There are only three survivors: a husband and a wife couple and a priestess of the local temple. The priestess is the last remaining person in charge of sustaining of a containment barrier which prevents a hostile nation from any kind of seafaring, thus she must ensure the barrier holds no matter what. The nation is question on the other hand will do anything in its power and beyond to remove it. I rarely read books from new author An entire population of an island is wiped out by a stone shower. There are only three survivors: a husband and a wife couple and a priestess of the local temple. The priestess is the last remaining person in charge of sustaining of a containment barrier which prevents a hostile nation from any kind of seafaring, thus she must ensure the barrier holds no matter what. The nation is question on the other hand will do anything in its power and beyond to remove it. I rarely read books from new authors these days. When I do I hope to discover something new and exciting, but I try to keep my hopes low as there are a lot of mediocre books from the new authors on the market lately. In this case I did not expect anything at all, but was pleasantly surprised. Initially I was curious reading a fantasy book from an Italian author; the good cover increased my curiosity. The novel held my interest from the beginning to the end. Some of the ideas, like introduction of time travel in the traditional fantasy look refreshing; I do not recall a good use of time travel paradoxes in genre out of the top of my head. Not all of the characters came out equally good, but for the major part they were. Some warnings are in order. The book ends in a cliffhanger. I actually expected it to be much bigger, but still do not expect the resolution of all of the plot-lines. The king of the rival nation I mentioned is a sex maniac. He has his POV in the novel, so do not expect it to fit into PG rating, but the subject was handled tastefully, thus this is not a porn book. Two surviving women on the island develop feelings for each other; if this bothers you skip the novel. Considering all the bad and good parts of the book the final rating is 4 stars. This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/100435...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christoph Fischer

    "The Branches of Time" by Luca Rossi was a wonderful surprise for me. Reluctant to follow the author from his amazing and inventive science fiction works to more traditional fantasy fare I found myself unexpectedly immersed in his beautiful and mysterious world creations of Turios and Isk. Rossi once again comes up trump with his signature style full of effortless elegance and poetic esprit. Whether dark, light-hearted, sexy, mystic or magical, the writing flows easily and takes you smoothly throu "The Branches of Time" by Luca Rossi was a wonderful surprise for me. Reluctant to follow the author from his amazing and inventive science fiction works to more traditional fantasy fare I found myself unexpectedly immersed in his beautiful and mysterious world creations of Turios and Isk. Rossi once again comes up trump with his signature style full of effortless elegance and poetic esprit. Whether dark, light-hearted, sexy, mystic or magical, the writing flows easily and takes you smoothly through the story. The characters are truly fascinating and something to really engage your mind with - and so is the plot. While an entertaining fantasy tale on the surface, the book provides ample material for literary analysts and interpretation. The story spans millennia and although everything takes place in distant parts of human history the elements of both, change and continuity, to me highlight the similarities and the contrast of the ancient and the modern times. How much can change and how little at the same time. Kings and wizards are pwoerful but remain subject to their own human weaknesses and foibles, a truth and fact that runs through the sap of the branches of time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Boyko Ovcharov

    Immersive! Undoubtedly, the plot of this book is something to look forward to. It is multidimensional, dynamic with lots of flashbacks, and yet quite systematic and easy to follow through with excitement, anticipation and deep understanding of the human soul, desires and aspirations. More specifically, the skill of portraying a whole world or a universe predominantly via the lives of only 3 people, that is, a tiny community and its unusual interactions with the outside world, seemed astounding in Immersive! Undoubtedly, the plot of this book is something to look forward to. It is multidimensional, dynamic with lots of flashbacks, and yet quite systematic and easy to follow through with excitement, anticipation and deep understanding of the human soul, desires and aspirations. More specifically, the skill of portraying a whole world or a universe predominantly via the lives of only 3 people, that is, a tiny community and its unusual interactions with the outside world, seemed astounding indeed. The book reads excellently as a fairy-tale, whereas, it could also be interpreted as a profound psychological story with symbolic and dystopian elements. There is something in this narrative for each of us today, bearing in mind all our past, present and future, as well as the complicated process of interweaving among those variables, nicely represented as branches of a tree, in other words a live organism. The fine contrast between intelligence and lower levels of existence, including pleasures for their own sake, is a thing to be appreciated as well. I am grateful I have got a copy in exchange for an honest review and am frankly looking forward to the second volume.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Carey

    Imagine it is the end of your world and you are left to fend for yourself with only your wife and a high priestess. Branches of Time is a most unique story of magic, love, lust, greed and friendship. Talented author Lucca Rossi spins this tale of those left behind in a world so far away and yet so close. These three souls try to find the meaning of what happened on that fateful day when evil arrived and destroyed their land and all their people. How and what they will evolve into will shock you. Imagine it is the end of your world and you are left to fend for yourself with only your wife and a high priestess. Branches of Time is a most unique story of magic, love, lust, greed and friendship. Talented author Lucca Rossi spins this tale of those left behind in a world so far away and yet so close. These three souls try to find the meaning of what happened on that fateful day when evil arrived and destroyed their land and all their people. How and what they will evolve into will shock you. The story toggles back and forth to another time to let the reader see how all of the lives here are connected. You can’t but help love the unusual but beautiful friendship between Lil and Miril, the priestess. The author describes the lives of each character so well you view them as three dimensional. A beautiful legend not to be missed!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lilian Roberts

    This is the second book that I read by Luca Rossi and I loved it just as much as I did Galactic Energies. The author is very talented and the story quite great. Luca is a master in providing twists and turns in his books that keep you glued to the pages. This book starts at a wonderful wedding that was taking place on the island of Turios. Next thing you know a huge catastrophic and devastating disaster destroys the place and kills the people on the island but for a priestess Miril, Bashinoir an This is the second book that I read by Luca Rossi and I loved it just as much as I did Galactic Energies. The author is very talented and the story quite great. Luca is a master in providing twists and turns in his books that keep you glued to the pages. This book starts at a wonderful wedding that was taking place on the island of Turios. Next thing you know a huge catastrophic and devastating disaster destroys the place and kills the people on the island but for a priestess Miril, Bashinoir and his wife Lil. While you try to get over that incident, quickly you find out that every dead body on the ground starts to disappear and soon you are in another day and time. The twists and turns of the story the time travel and the complicated plot will take your breath away. There is a wonderful mixture of fantasy, sexual overtone, Sci-Fi, excitement, adventure and utter entertainment through out the pages. I liked the characters in the story and Luca made them likable by providing details about their existence. I loved the book and I will recommend it to all my friends who love this type of material. It is really a great read. The plot is exciting, sexual, thrilling and kept me eager for more. Luca Rossi has done an amazing job once again and I can’t wait for his next book where the adventure moves to another wild level.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Regina Puckett

    Another Time & Place The Branches of Time Luca Rossi The intense action on page one drew me in and the wonderful characters wouldn’t let me go. The Branches of Time is a roller-coaster of a ride. The use of magic sets off a series of events that no one could have predicted. Do you believe in time travel? If you don’t before you begin reading The Branches of Time, you will afterwards. Mr. Rossi does a wonderful job of creating a new world and its people. Not every author is talented enough to develo Another Time & Place The Branches of Time Luca Rossi The intense action on page one drew me in and the wonderful characters wouldn’t let me go. The Branches of Time is a roller-coaster of a ride. The use of magic sets off a series of events that no one could have predicted. Do you believe in time travel? If you don’t before you begin reading The Branches of Time, you will afterwards. Mr. Rossi does a wonderful job of creating a new world and its people. Not every author is talented enough to develop something from nothing but he does exactly that. I loved this book and will definitely be reading more by this author.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peri June

    What was supposed to be a joyous occasion turns into a horrific day when an entire island is killed save for three survivors. From the very first scene I was hit with the intensity of this world--grisly deaths tend to do that, you know? The mystery of the magic kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was the reason for this atrocity. Was vengeance really worth all theses lives? There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing and anxious to find out the truth. Filled with vivid im What was supposed to be a joyous occasion turns into a horrific day when an entire island is killed save for three survivors. From the very first scene I was hit with the intensity of this world--grisly deaths tend to do that, you know? The mystery of the magic kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was the reason for this atrocity. Was vengeance really worth all theses lives? There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing and anxious to find out the truth. Filled with vivid imagery as if I was right there with the characters. Really enjoyable!

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Dolan

    During my misspent youth (when the Earth was young), I used to read a lot of fantasy novels. My hero of the sword/pen was Michael Moorcock, who with a few well-structured, poetic sentences could create new worlds and fire up the imagination of his loyal fans. This was in stark contrast to the 'epic' works of a certain J.R. Tolkein, whose plodding, endless descriptions almost put me off the genre permanently. Recently, I have gone back to reading dystopian and fantasy tales in the hope of reigniti During my misspent youth (when the Earth was young), I used to read a lot of fantasy novels. My hero of the sword/pen was Michael Moorcock, who with a few well-structured, poetic sentences could create new worlds and fire up the imagination of his loyal fans. This was in stark contrast to the 'epic' works of a certain J.R. Tolkein, whose plodding, endless descriptions almost put me off the genre permanently. Recently, I have gone back to reading dystopian and fantasy tales in the hope of reigniting my passion for the genre. In that spirit, I was fortunate to pick up a copy of Luca Rossi's 'The Branches of Time' during a free promotion on Amazon. I am happy to say, Rossi belongs - in my humble opinion - to the Moorcock school, rather than the Tolkein school, of fantasy/scifi writing. His descriptions of the culture, geography and climate of his universe are just enough to allow the reader to fill in the gaps with his own imagination, and without bogging down the narrative in spurious detail. 'The Branches of Time' features the mandatory evil monarch, but also a cast which includes damaged wizards, a sneaky royal advisor, and a hot priestess, among others. The story arc veers between magic and an old-fashioned adventure yarn, with some erotic detours and a few surprises along the way. Oh, and did I mention there is a great opening scene? I was a trifle miffed that the book ended on a cliffhanger (well, two actually), but I am sufficiently engaged with Rossi's yarn-spinning to come back for the sequel. Highly recommended for the sword and sorcery lovers out there.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Gallagher

    The Power of a New Umberto Eco of Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Rarely since reading Ursula K. Leguin in my adolescence, has a writer created such a believable new world for me. Were the story longer I might be tempted to compare Rossi’s world building to that of Umberto Eco’s “In the Name of a Rose”. Great writing communicates realistic mood and the flow of the prose cements the characters to their place in the world the author builds. Luca Rossi’s haunting new book, “The Branches of Time”, The Power of a New Umberto Eco of Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Rarely since reading Ursula K. Leguin in my adolescence, has a writer created such a believable new world for me. Were the story longer I might be tempted to compare Rossi’s world building to that of Umberto Eco’s “In the Name of a Rose”. Great writing communicates realistic mood and the flow of the prose cements the characters to their place in the world the author builds. Luca Rossi’s haunting new book, “The Branches of Time”, bursts at the seams with compact prose packing the punch of poetry. Right from the outset the author hooks the reader and weaves startling new threads into the narrative at every turn. Magic, usually the realm of children’s literature, melts subtly into a background of sado-masochistic bouts and medieval power plays. Royalty, the King, reigns supreme, obsessively fondling every woman in his grasp and governing with a head-chopping style. Life on a mythical island sustains itself on deep historical hatred and mystifies the reader with disquieting technologies. Complex personalities evolve smoothly and fight to mitigate the ramifications of earth shattering events. Don’t take my word for it. Pick up this brilliant book and find out for yourself. The silver screen will soon consume Rossi’s work, but reading the prose in this kind of writing always sneaks into the heart of the reader in unsuspecting ways.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gale Stanley

    The Branches of Time hooked me with its unique plot and many unexpected twists and turns. The story begins with a wedding on the island of Turios. Suddenly, a shower of lethal splinters turns the peaceful scene into chaos. Only three people survive. Even the bodies disappear. What caused this catastrophe? A meteorite? Aliens? Or some higher force? The combination of time-twisting fantasy, scifi, and erotica provides a page-turning read. Rossi's writing reminds me of Philip K. Dick, one of my fav The Branches of Time hooked me with its unique plot and many unexpected twists and turns. The story begins with a wedding on the island of Turios. Suddenly, a shower of lethal splinters turns the peaceful scene into chaos. Only three people survive. Even the bodies disappear. What caused this catastrophe? A meteorite? Aliens? Or some higher force? The combination of time-twisting fantasy, scifi, and erotica provides a page-turning read. Rossi's writing reminds me of Philip K. Dick, one of my favorites in the world of science fiction. Highly recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eric J. Gates

    Those familiar with Luca Rossi’s previous book, the collection of short stories ‘Galactic Energies’, will not be disappointed with this, his first full-length novel. ‘The Branches of Time’ takes the reader on an intricate journey using Rossi’s genre-busting mix of fantasy, science fiction and erotic overtones in a tale that will entertain as it challenges our perception of time. The premise is original and is handled with mastery: the effect on a small isolated group of people of changes made to Those familiar with Luca Rossi’s previous book, the collection of short stories ‘Galactic Energies’, will not be disappointed with this, his first full-length novel. ‘The Branches of Time’ takes the reader on an intricate journey using Rossi’s genre-busting mix of fantasy, science fiction and erotic overtones in a tale that will entertain as it challenges our perception of time. The premise is original and is handled with mastery: the effect on a small isolated group of people of changes made to the timeline where they exist. Rossi’s approach is intimate in that he explores how the events influence the individuals, rather than the totality of the world they inhabit. By employing this tactic, he invests the reader in his characters and their particular understanding of the alarming occurrences that befall them. Sci-fi, particularly, is all about pushing the boundaries, and the author creates a fast-paced tale which will have the reader question their understanding of the solidity of history and time itself. In doing so, he adds to the richness of genre in a way that Clifford D. Simak, Philip K. Dick and many other great writers have previously done. Highly recommended for readers who like their entertainment with deep significance.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angel Sefer

    A fascinating, fast-paced, and well-written tale seasoned with hot erotic scenes! “The Branches of Time” is a masterful blend of adult fantasy and science fiction. It has a very intriguing and original plot with lots of unpredictable twists and turns, as well as captivating characters. Before I knew it, I was drawn into this new world the author created, full of wizards, priestesses, time-travel, and magic… This is the first novel in this genre that literally kept me glued to the pages and is defi A fascinating, fast-paced, and well-written tale seasoned with hot erotic scenes! “The Branches of Time” is a masterful blend of adult fantasy and science fiction. It has a very intriguing and original plot with lots of unpredictable twists and turns, as well as captivating characters. Before I knew it, I was drawn into this new world the author created, full of wizards, priestesses, time-travel, and magic… This is the first novel in this genre that literally kept me glued to the pages and is definitely worth a 5 star rating!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alan Hardy

    This is a fascinating story, original and gripping, full of incident and unexpected shifts and twists. The stunning beginning of the story takes place on the island of Turios where the inhabitants are attending a wedding. The tranquil scene is devastated by a catastrophe from the heavens, a shower of lethal shards of piercing stones which wipes out the inhabitants, save for Miril, the priestess, and husband and wife, Bashinoir and Lil. Then the mass of cadavers spread out around the temple begin This is a fascinating story, original and gripping, full of incident and unexpected shifts and twists. The stunning beginning of the story takes place on the island of Turios where the inhabitants are attending a wedding. The tranquil scene is devastated by a catastrophe from the heavens, a shower of lethal shards of piercing stones which wipes out the inhabitants, save for Miril, the priestess, and husband and wife, Bashinoir and Lil. Then the mass of cadavers spread out around the temple begin to disappear… The story then moves through time. We hear of the lords of the Northern Lands, from whom the ancestors of Turios had escaped two thousand years ago; the cruel, sadistic and debauched Beanor, king of those lands, who wants to break the barrier around his lands which he and his forces are unable to penetrate beyond; the magical skills of wizards and priestesses; the twists and strands of time travel where forces of evil attempt to pervert the course of time and prevent others re-arranging their own destiny. Added to all this there are very graphic descriptions of Beanor’s insatiable sexual appetite, and his callous exercise of this within the generally perfectly willing and amenable members of his harem, let alone the lesbian relationship at the centre of the tale, and we have an expertly-plotted, thrilling tale that will keep you enthralled. And there’s something more… It’s beautifully written. Check this out.

  14. 4 out of 5

    S.R. Mallery

    AN ENGROSSING TALE Never one for stories set in distance lands or paranormal/fantasy time travel, imagine my surprise when I started reading the first couple of pages of Luca Rossi’s “THE BRANCHES OF TIME” and got hooked. Filled with vivid descriptions, rivalries, black magic, astral projections, sacrifice, pure evil, duplicity, time travel lessons, mindreading, and sex, this book kept me turning one page after another. The more I read, the more I felt the characters were archetypal––the Evil King AN ENGROSSING TALE Never one for stories set in distance lands or paranormal/fantasy time travel, imagine my surprise when I started reading the first couple of pages of Luca Rossi’s “THE BRANCHES OF TIME” and got hooked. Filled with vivid descriptions, rivalries, black magic, astral projections, sacrifice, pure evil, duplicity, time travel lessons, mindreading, and sex, this book kept me turning one page after another. The more I read, the more I felt the characters were archetypal––the Evil King, the Innocent Female Student, the All-Knowing Priestess, the Faithful Husband, the Enslaved Wives. It’s all in there and makes for an engrossing story, all the more colorful and rich by its well-developed characters. In fact, halfway in, I found myself thinking if I really enjoyed this book, a person who leaves the room whenever “Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit,” or “Time Bandits” comes on the TV, just think what fans of this paranormal/fantasy genre will think! Recommend it? Yes, indeedy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    R.E. Weber

    Although I'm not a huge fantasy fan (sci-fi being more my thing) I thought I would give this a try as I enjoyed Luca's previous book, Galactic energies. It took a little while to hook me in and get to grip with the characters, but once I had, I couldn't put it down. The writing is first rate, the scene descriptions are highly evocative and descriptive (without being over wordy), and the characters are intriguing and three dimensional. It has shades of 'Game of Thrones' in its adult content, howe Although I'm not a huge fantasy fan (sci-fi being more my thing) I thought I would give this a try as I enjoyed Luca's previous book, Galactic energies. It took a little while to hook me in and get to grip with the characters, but once I had, I couldn't put it down. The writing is first rate, the scene descriptions are highly evocative and descriptive (without being over wordy), and the characters are intriguing and three dimensional. It has shades of 'Game of Thrones' in its adult content, however the fantasy aspect is stronger and more developed, which really piqued my interest. I'm now looking forward to part two to see what happens as my appetite has been well and truly wetted. The only criticism was that it was a little short and I wanted to read on further, but it is better to be 'wanting more' than 'couldn't care less'. Well done, Luca, it was a great read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shane O'Neill

    I think I can safely say this is a novel quite unlike anything else I have ever read. A mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, and erotica set around a catastrophic incident that opens the story and the resulting mystery. Rossi throws in a series of twists and turns and pushes the limits as the sci-fi genre allows you to. I have no doubt this book is going to be a major success in time, and the author with it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elias Zapple

    I do enjoy my sci-fi and especially when it comes to time travelling and Luca Rossi's The Branches of Time is just my cup of tea. It's highly-developed with good pacing and many twists - some elements remind me of the Greek Mythologies too. There's also an ample amount of naughtiness. Looking forward to his other books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stevie Turner

    A well-thought out Sci-fi novel with some convoluted twists, some erotica, and an exciting ending. Well done Mr Rossi!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    Finished in a couple hours, review to come. Not sure how to rate yet, as its outside my normal realm of reading, and it's only volume 1. ++++++++++++ http://allthebookblognamesaretaken.bl... www.facebook.com/AllTheBookBlogNamesA... www.twitter.com.SarahsBookNook I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. First, I'd like to provide the synopsis as was given to me by the author: "The population of the island of Turios is mercilessly exterminated by the workings of bla Finished in a couple hours, review to come. Not sure how to rate yet, as its outside my normal realm of reading, and it's only volume 1. ++++++++++++ http://allthebookblognamesaretaken.bl... www.facebook.com/AllTheBookBlogNamesA... www.twitter.com.SarahsBookNook I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. First, I'd like to provide the synopsis as was given to me by the author: "The population of the island of Turios is mercilessly exterminated by the workings of black magic. Only Bashinoir, badly wounded, his wife Lil, and the Priestess Miril have survived. Determined to give their loved ones a worthy burial, the three soon discover that the corpses have disappeared. Their only hope for salvation now lies in the magical protection of the Temple, as sinister threats continue to pursue them. A shadow spreads over their hearts, dividing and destroying them, as their bodies appear to be fading away. Feeling increasingly isolated, Bashinoir watches as the two women grow closer… In the Kingdom of Isk, wizards and wisemen alike must bow down before the insatiable King Beanor, whose greed for power and war is matched only by his hunger for sex. A young woman he has chosen as his next bride does not, however, wish to surrender her freedom to love and live. Will games and tricks under the sheets turn the tide in a war that has lasted thousands of years? Imagine that, another work of fiction. People who know me well are going to wonder what happened and where the real Sarah has gone. No worries though, it is still me. I was contacted by the author, Luca Rossi, via Twitter and he asked if I would be interested in a copy of the book. I decided to accept, despite the fact that science fiction/fantasy, etc are so NOT anything I am typically interested in. I am firmly ground in the here and now or, honestly, in medieval England. What got my attention though, was the tag line as seen on the cover, "Can you live knowing that those who love you never existed". It was intriguing to me, though I wish had taken a peek at the summary or prior reviews on Goodreads to have a heads-up about some of the more violent/sexual aspects of the book as related to King Beanor, who is a completely irredeemable and cruel despot who thinks of nothing but his own wants. Those mostly have to do with sex, and he has several wives who he treats horribly, as well as prostitutes who he thinks nothing of beheading in a flash of rage. He is also keen on destroying the barrier that keeps his kingdom isolated and annihilating those responsible for said barrier. He's awful, but I can not tell you whether or not he gets what he deserves - a slow and painful death - because that would be a spoiler and that's just not nice. One thing the reader should be prepared for is this one to end very abruptly and it will be a bit of a shock if you are not. I was not, as I said I avoided other reviews (and the Goodreads page even, which would have showed me that this was #1 in the series). It was a disappointment for me that it occurred when it did, because it was at a crucial point for the two characters who I was most interested in, as they dealt with happenings in Beanor's Kingdom of Isk. I can't say anything about WHY this point is crucial, because it will give away important events, but I did not want this volume to end where it did and I know I will have to read the next one to know what happens. As stated in the synopsis, far from Isk is the island of Turios, whose inhabitants have all been killed by forces of black magic raining down sharp shards of rocks that have literally sliced and diced nearly all of the populous. Three survivors seeks refuge in the Temple - a husband and wife, Bashinoir and Lil, as well as priestess of the temple, Miril. The priest was slaughtered with the rest of the citizens as he was officiating a wedding ceremony, and now Miril must try to keep the barrier protecting the island up all by herself. Again, if I say too much more it will give away major plot points. The most interesting aspect of the book to me comes in two forms: first, the time-travel aspect and how someone has gone back to change things and Miril realizes they must themselves travel back as well to try and survive. Someone has changed time, causing the bodies of their dead loved ones to disappear. Lil starts disappearing briefly, right before Miril's eyes. This made the story for me and made me want to keep reading. The second aspect of the story that was most interesting to me is Ilis, an apprentice wizard in the Kingdom of Isk employed by King Beanor, and Milia, the newest of King Beanor's forced wives. For a third time, I can't say anything else about my worry for them without giving more plot away. But they are the most interesting characters to me at this point, for where their story could go. I hope they get the chance. The biggest reason I did not feel I could give the book four whole stars is due to the sexual content. King Beanor is violent and cruel and the glimpses we see of him and his wives were VERY off-putting to me. I would have preferred his cruelty be shown in a different way, but then it would not have provided the catalyst needed for certain events to be set in motion. For me, the science-fiction is most interesting, the time travel plot going on. This is of course purely subjective. Some people won't mind it, some people will feel the way I do. In all honesty I prefer books without sex. When the story itself is interesting, I'd rather the focus be on furthering that. I have a strict no romance/erotica/etc policy because too often, the sex IS the plot. It was certainly not the plot in this book, for which I am glad, but I hope there is less in the next book. In some ways reviewing fiction is much easier than reviewing non-fiction. With the non-fiction, if I misquote an author or misuse the facts, I am the idiot who did not remember what I read and thus lost the whole point of the book. Fiction, on the other hand, is kind of up to me. I can love or hate a character and the author has no control over it really. There are characters I have absolutely abhorred that friends loved and vice versa. The real problem with fiction then, is the fact that with books like this that have twists and turns, I can't say a whole lot without giving away important parts of the plot - something I mentioned above three times. So, all in all, I would say this is a book I can recommend to those who enjoy the sci-fi/fantasy genres. I am interested in reading the second volume as well to see how this adventure continues.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alan Lampe

    It's an okay book, but it has problems. 1. Too many characters have similar sounding names, Miril, Lil, Turil. Even the king and the last surviving male on the island have similar names. 2. The book ends before the story does. Only then do you see that this story is part of a series, and you have to get book 2 to read the rest of the story. If you a write a series, make sure it is advertised as a series and the cover says it is a series, as well as the book's Amazon page. Don't make the reader com It's an okay book, but it has problems. 1. Too many characters have similar sounding names, Miril, Lil, Turil. Even the king and the last surviving male on the island have similar names. 2. The book ends before the story does. Only then do you see that this story is part of a series, and you have to get book 2 to read the rest of the story. If you a write a series, make sure it is advertised as a series and the cover says it is a series, as well as the book's Amazon page. Don't make the reader come to the end of the book and then surprise them with "Surprise, this is a series, purchase book two to continue the story." 3. The king is a degenerate sot, but yet he still bows down to tradition and waits for everything to be in place for his wedding. It doesn't fit the character of a raging egomaniac who does what he wants when he wants. 4. We need a back story for the wizard Aldin. I suspect he plays a bigger role in book two, but his presence in book one is confusing since his actions aren't explained. 5. The story jumps 2000 years to the past, and it is noted at the beginning of one chapter. However, the other chapters in that same period are not noted, so you have no idea of the time change until you're halfway down the page. Also, the past needs to be expanded upon so that the reader understands why the author is jumping back 2000 years in the middle of a story. Really wished the story ended at the end of the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Roberta Franklin

    On a faraway island in a different time, all the inhabitants have gathered for a wedding – but a lethal rain of shards kills them all, except for a young couple whom the priestess takes to the temple for shelter. She knows what happened and why, but she hardly dares to tell Lil and Bashinoir anything about it; it has got to do with a kingdom across the sea, an ancient curse and a barrier that keeps the inhabitants of the kingdom from travelling unless all the people on the little island of Turio On a faraway island in a different time, all the inhabitants have gathered for a wedding – but a lethal rain of shards kills them all, except for a young couple whom the priestess takes to the temple for shelter. She knows what happened and why, but she hardly dares to tell Lil and Bashinoir anything about it; it has got to do with a kingdom across the sea, an ancient curse and a barrier that keeps the inhabitants of the kingdom from travelling unless all the people on the little island of Turios are killed. Beanor, the evil and lecherous king of Isk, is furious when he finds out that the barrier is thill there – that must mean that there are survivors! He commands his old wizard Obolil and his talented young apprentice to find and kill them by any means. Meanwhile, the priestess Miril tries to figure out a way of escaping from the island and the king’s wrath – and she comes to a terrifying conclusion: maybe they will have to go not only to another place, but also to a different branch on that great tree called time? A fascinating story of magic and time travelling, and at the same time of love, duty, betrayal and good and bad in general, “The Branches of Time” will satisfy even the most demanding readers of supernatural action-romance. And, of course, it’s a cliffhanger: we will have to wait for Part 2 to learn about the outcome of this magnificent adventure… And, honestly, we can’t wait to read it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jana Petken

    Turios, a beautiful island is shattered when shards fall from the sky. Wow, that got me interested right from the very beginning. I loved this book for so many reasons. First of all, the time travel and characters met was inspired storytelling. The writing was skilful, never losing the plot, literally. I loved the sorcerers, high priestess and way in which the story just weaved all these brilliant protagonists together. I believe there is a follow up to this story. I certainly hope so. Sex, time Turios, a beautiful island is shattered when shards fall from the sky. Wow, that got me interested right from the very beginning. I loved this book for so many reasons. First of all, the time travel and characters met was inspired storytelling. The writing was skilful, never losing the plot, literally. I loved the sorcerers, high priestess and way in which the story just weaved all these brilliant protagonists together. I believe there is a follow up to this story. I certainly hope so. Sex, time travel, war, and adventure, all rolled into one great book. I recommend this to lovers of all genres

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I have to say, Luca Rossi has done it again. The Branches of Time is a whirlwind, literally, of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From the first bloody scene of what is supposed to be a beautiful wedding to the twists and turns that send you off a cliff at the end, this book is not for the faint of heart. Beautiful yet gruesome imagery, heat, and flights of fancy, this book will be one you will never forget.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Bond

    The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi is a fantasy fiction novel that moves quickly keeping you on the edge of your seat. From the beginning, a gripping series of events that seem impossible occur but you become so curious about how the characters will make it, you can’t put it down. The book weaves events in two concurrent locations which have a tangled past. The Island of Turios and the Kingdom of Isk, though far apart, a linked due to a barrier that protects the island but prevents anyone from t The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi is a fantasy fiction novel that moves quickly keeping you on the edge of your seat. From the beginning, a gripping series of events that seem impossible occur but you become so curious about how the characters will make it, you can’t put it down. The book weaves events in two concurrent locations which have a tangled past. The Island of Turios and the Kingdom of Isk, though far apart, a linked due to a barrier that protects the island but prevents anyone from the Kingdom of Isk from traveling. The characters of Bashinoir, his wife Lil, and the Priestess Miril must adapt to a post-apocalyptic life where they rely on each other as the only survivors. I felt great compassion for Bashinoir who suffers great lonliness from the new arrangements as he must give up his marital relationship with his wife in order for Lil to learn the magic needed to keep them safe. I liked the character of Miril, but I found myself wanting to know more about her story and what she thought of her life before the tragedy that killed the rest of the islanders. The character of King Beanor is one not to like. At first I was repulsed by his misogynistic behavior, but in time I came to regard him as the jerk he is and there are just people like that. I equate him with King Solomon but without the wisdom. His wives and concubines have a complete society of rules and norms whose sole purpose is to please the king. There is an amount of erotica due to the King’s activities where he is demeaning to women. The story also takes you through the thoughts and actions of wizards who are trying to remove the barrier so the people of Isk can travel. The wizards use old magic, teleportation, and ESP. At one point there is a time travel spell used that allows the wizard to go back in time to change the sequence of future events. This, in conjunction with the spell that killed most of the islanders, causes the three islanders to find a way to survive without causing them to cease to exist. **** SPOILER ALERT***** The ending was too abrupt for me. I did not realize the novel was the start of the series and therefore, did not have an ending per se. I found the ending a bit confusing because earlier Miril said that the branches of time will fix themselves if a branch withers and someone in that time was meant to be a king or do something great. Since the islanders’ branch withered, and the two locations had similar events at the end, I wondered if the islanders were shifted into being members of King Beanor’s court. I was trying to decide who was the counter of whom, but couldn’t. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happened. I will say it was very engaging . Rossi is an excellent writer, creating an imaginary world that you can accept as real. The characters have depth and the story is complex and full of surprises. His descriptions of emotion, scenery, and progress of the story have depth and imagination. I did not find one grammar, syntax or other editing error. Rossi can be commended for a well-edited novel. I would highly recommend this book and recommend watching Rossi for future literary work. He will most certainly do well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    C.C. Yager

    Fantasy novels occupy a very small part of my favorite genres list. I enjoy reading a good one every once in a while and I'm a loyal reader of "Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine." So, I looked forward to Luca Rossi's fantasy novel, to strong fantasy world-building, interesting characters with intriguing development, and an action-packed plot. The first page grabbed me and promised a fulfillment of all my expectations. The first chapter raised more questions than it answered, urging me to read Fantasy novels occupy a very small part of my favorite genres list. I enjoy reading a good one every once in a while and I'm a loyal reader of "Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine." So, I looked forward to Luca Rossi's fantasy novel, to strong fantasy world-building, interesting characters with intriguing development, and an action-packed plot. The first page grabbed me and promised a fulfillment of all my expectations. The first chapter raised more questions than it answered, urging me to read on. I looked forward to Lil's and Bashinoir's new life and struggles to survive. It's very tricky to have a story with an ensemble cast, writing chapters from different characters' points of view. For the most part, Rossi pulls this off well. However, this approach to the story ends up diffusing conflict rather than intensifying it. For example, I wanted much more about the wizard Aldin, but we get only one chapter that explains nearly nothing, only establishing him as a player in the story. So this was my main problem with this story -- it seemed to jump around from one character to another with no unifying conflict that involved all of them and served as the dramatic momentum to carry the reader through the story. It didn't help at all that this book ends suddenly and with a cliff-hanger. I would have liked to have more resolution in some of the characters' lives. My other issue is King Beanor. This character really does very, very little to move the story forward, and his chapters in his POV focus on his sex addiction in explicit terms, stopping the momentum entirely. There's also a chapter of Bashinoir's that is sexual and also stops the momentum of the story. What these chapters establish in terms of revealing character has been solidly established earlier and in more interesting ways. But if your tastes run toward erotica, these chapters will not bother you at all, even as they stop the story. I LOVED how Rossi developed the relationship between Lil and Miril -- well done! These two characters felt authentic to me and characters I'd want to follow possibly farther. The idea of the branches of time is familiar to anyone familiar with some spiritual and New Age beliefs, although I wondered how the notion of simultaneous time would affect the story. Rossi does a good job of introducing this idea and using it as a story device. A couple characters appear with no explanation as to who they are, where they are and how they fit into the story: Ili and Nal. I cannot speak to Rossi's writing in Italian because I read the English translation. However, I wondered if there'd been a good edit of the English translation. In my opinion, it could have used one. I understand this book has done extremely well and garnered a lot of positive responses. Without a doubt, Rossi is a writer to watch, and this book shows his great promise. Recommended to fantasy lovers only.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tina Collins

    The author, Luca Rossi, has become a major hit with readers of all shapes and sizes. Some of these are delving into a genre way outside their usual fare, including me. So, what has attracted them to The Branches of Time? The novel is set within the complicated elements of time travel and slips. It is a fantasy world caught up in the grips of black magic, love and war; a book that you can safely lose yourself in as soon as you 'turn over' the first page. The points that stick out for me are: The Br The author, Luca Rossi, has become a major hit with readers of all shapes and sizes. Some of these are delving into a genre way outside their usual fare, including me. So, what has attracted them to The Branches of Time? The novel is set within the complicated elements of time travel and slips. It is a fantasy world caught up in the grips of black magic, love and war; a book that you can safely lose yourself in as soon as you 'turn over' the first page. The points that stick out for me are: The Branches of Time has many scenes of love and sex which, for some, could be a problem. If they become a regular feature of a book and do something to move the story along, then the book should be marketed as erotica as well. Too much in a book that does not require it and you could alienate those who prefer not to read about sex. I do not regard the sex scenes in The Branches of Time as erotica. Does it give anything to the book and story? Is it even well written? This book could do very well without any mention of sex. It wasn't the language or the acts themselves that caused me a problem, but the excessive focusing on some of them. For example, the King Beanor really kneaded this one particular piece of dough almost out of existence. Excessive, yes. Necessary, no. There is a fine line between what is considered erotica and porn. If you're not careful any scenes you write about sex can come over as tawdry. The novel is shorter than what I would have liked. It seemed to me that it just ran out of room to fully establish the characters and the roles that they played overall. Without a doubt, some characters are stronger than others but I became confused as to whether they mattered or even if they were going to be a continuing part of the story. I feel the book could be edited further. Some of the words are surplus to requirements and removal of these would have made the book much more enjoyable. Was something, again, lost in translation? It's possible, but I doubt it. Research more into how people generally communicate with one another and it can help to give a more natural feel. A good tip is to read your novel or story out loud. If it makes you wince then you know it can be improved upon. There are separate stories going in within the one novel which can be disconcerting. It's an awful lot of jumping around in such a short space of time. Fantasies are another genre that can quite easily confuse me: too many long, strange names, battles and unusual worlds. So a lot of happenings can really spin me around. Overall, Branches of Time is an interesting read but do be aware of its sex and violent content if you decide to give it a go.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robert Clark

    The Branches of Time, a fantasy novel by Luca Rossi, is the first book of a series. It is not, and is not intended to be, a stand-alone novel. It takes place in a world very different than ours, one in which magic works. It is not a light-hearted book, starting with the brutal magical massacre of all but three of the people living on an island. While not always as graphically described, the level of violence isn’t reduced as The Branches of Time continues. It must be emphasized that none of the The Branches of Time, a fantasy novel by Luca Rossi, is the first book of a series. It is not, and is not intended to be, a stand-alone novel. It takes place in a world very different than ours, one in which magic works. It is not a light-hearted book, starting with the brutal magical massacre of all but three of the people living on an island. While not always as graphically described, the level of violence isn’t reduced as The Branches of Time continues. It must be emphasized that none of the violence is gratuitous. Rossi presents only what is needed, and in the amount of detail needed, for the story to work. His characters, good and evil, are skillfully drawn. The plot, while convoluted, is strong, the writing is excellent. Time travel is an integral part of The Branches of Time, something the title itself deliberately gives away. Aside from flash backs to past events, actual time travel takes place. Rossi does everything he can to make the absurdities inherent in the concept of time travel at least marginally acceptable to the reader. The fact it is a fantasy world in itself makes the idea a bit more palatable. Rossi’s consideration of the changes caused in the present by meddling with the past also helps. Yes, all of it can be picked apart, but the same thing is true of any story dealing with time travel, and Rossi’s The Branches of Time handles the problems as well as they can be handled. Does it call for suspension of disbelief? Of course. That’s why The Branches of Time is called fantasy. Leaving aside the aspects of the novel dealing with time travel, The Branches of Time remains complicated, jumping from time to time and place to place. While this kind of writing can leave a person confused, Rossi’s capable writing keeps the reader on track, knowing what is happening, when and where it is taking place, and, with a few deliberate exceptions, understanding why things are going on. Only a skillful author could take all the threads in The Branches of Time and weave them together without losing the reader. Rossi does it. Do not expect the book to actually end. It doesn’t. It leaves the protagonists in a very bad place, setting up the start of the next book in the series. I am sure anyone having read The Branches of Time will read the next book when it comes out. If it is as good as this one, it will deserve to be read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    I was given a copy by the author and voluntarily reviewed it. The Branches of Time ultimately didn’t work for me. I loved the idea behind it, the intrigue and mystery and I love books that screw around with time. There are some good moments in the book, plenty of tension, drama and intrigue that kept me guessing. However, there are so many elements that left me cold. There is very little world building in the novel and the descriptions of the island and the world the characters inhabit are too v I was given a copy by the author and voluntarily reviewed it. The Branches of Time ultimately didn’t work for me. I loved the idea behind it, the intrigue and mystery and I love books that screw around with time. There are some good moments in the book, plenty of tension, drama and intrigue that kept me guessing. However, there are so many elements that left me cold. There is very little world building in the novel and the descriptions of the island and the world the characters inhabit are too vague for me so I didn’t get a real sense of place. I’m not saying I wanted the world described in minute detail but give me something to work with. The characters are okay but none of them are heroic or very interesting so I found myself wondering why these three had been saved. Surely there were much more interesting people that could have been kept alive. There is too much tell and not enough show. The priestess launches into lengthy explanations about what she thinks is going on which could have been better executed. There is a lesbian romance hinted between the two women which is not believable and made me cringe at times. As I lesbian myself I usually cheer when a writer introduces some girl-on-girl action but I just cringed at the awkwardness of the whole thing. There is a lot of sex in the novel. I’m not a prude and the amount of sex wasn’t an issue, it was just bad, awkward sex that made me roll my eyes. The novel opens well with a shower of rock shards slaughtering everyone on the island, a mystery that still isn’t solved. I also liked the chapters shifting from what’s happening on Turios to Beanor’s kingdom of Isk. Beanor is pretty much a wanker and I hope someone slits his throat real soon. I did enjoy these parallel storylines. However, there were so many elements that didn’t work for me which made The Branches of Time very disjointed. I do want to know what happens; how does Beanor’s story end, why did the people of Turios die and is the priestess’s theory right. I just don’t know if I would continue reading the series as some elements put me off.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Mendelson

    In the words of Billy Idol, “It’s a nice day to start again. It’s a nice day for a white wedding.” Beautiful snow. Crisp hope. New beginnings. Innocent love. All to be obliterated by rocks falling from heaven, and all that white now crimson. Three lives are shattered. Sanctuary obliterated. Questions unanswered. The enemy remains unseen, a shadow of doubt, and the dead disappear under a veil of mystery. Dark magic is at hand. Betrayal begins to twist and burn. Love’s loss now becomes Love’s lust. In the words of Billy Idol, “It’s a nice day to start again. It’s a nice day for a white wedding.” Beautiful snow. Crisp hope. New beginnings. Innocent love. All to be obliterated by rocks falling from heaven, and all that white now crimson. Three lives are shattered. Sanctuary obliterated. Questions unanswered. The enemy remains unseen, a shadow of doubt, and the dead disappear under a veil of mystery. Dark magic is at hand. Betrayal begins to twist and burn. Love’s loss now becomes Love’s lust. Forbidden Fruit is the deadly apple of poison with nothing more than a dagger to heart. Innocence is blinded by temptation. Truth falls deep beneath lies and illusion. Who’s telling fables, and who’s telling the truth? All roads lead past the mad king and back, back to where the story really begins. All those lives lost. All those lives known. Gone without a trace. Erased by one man’s hand for nothing more than freedom, but as he bends and breaks the branches of time, what has he left in its wake? What fate awaits him along the new branch awaiting his return? Freedom or Death? Like a delicate spider, The Branches of Time unfolds as harsh tragedy, a gaping hole begging to be filled. Intricate lines dance across oblivion, tortured souls struggle to exist and arecaught in a web of fate. As we tangle across characters forever changed, are we ensnared in a series of events, events that have erased the past and haunt the future, a future waiting? We cannot escape for we are pulled in further and further by magic and mystery written so very brilliantly by Luca Rossi. And we hunger for more, immersing ourselves in worlds such as Game of Thrones, The Librarians, and now, a series that begins with The Branches of Time available on Amazon.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julia Grantham

    Author Luca Rossi has masterfully combined great storytelling with universal themes. The Branches of Time was a mind-bending, shape shifting story, a mix of science fiction and fantasy, even erotica. The story spanned thousands of year, had magic and wizards, ancient kingdoms, evil and pathos, fantastical spells and time travel. Yet the human emotions and psychological drama was what anchored the story and made it a fantastic read. The story began with a cataclysmic event on the island of Turios Author Luca Rossi has masterfully combined great storytelling with universal themes. The Branches of Time was a mind-bending, shape shifting story, a mix of science fiction and fantasy, even erotica. The story spanned thousands of year, had magic and wizards, ancient kingdoms, evil and pathos, fantastical spells and time travel. Yet the human emotions and psychological drama was what anchored the story and made it a fantastic read. The story began with a cataclysmic event on the island of Turios where the people were brutally exterminated with only three surviving: Bashinoir, his wife Lil, and the enigmatic Priestess Miril. Without their knowledge, evil from the past had seeped into their lives, and then slowly began to poison relationships, threatening to destroy their existence. In the kingdom of Isk, far away in time and space, the brutal King Beanor ruled with an iron fist and malevolence, driven by greed, debauchery, and a lust for power. The mystery of how these two worlds intertwined and collided kept me glued to the book, pulled into the emotions of every character, caring for most, and wondering what would happen to them. The magic and fantasy felt real, with disbelief suspended, because the drama was so touching and poignant with themes of marital love, betrayal, abuse of power, loss and bereavement. I was particularly sympathetic to Bashinoir: his sense of loss and isolation were so evocative for me, the beauty of his scene trying to recall the intimacy with his wife, his spiraling alienation and desire to connect even with a magical force felt so real. This book has garnered wonderful reviews and it is easy to see why. I look forward to reading more from Author Luca Rossi.

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