Quest for the Red Sapphire by Rival Gates: Book Review + Interview

Title: Quest for the Red Sapphire 
Author: Rival Gates
Pages: 490 pages
Published: July 9th, 2013 
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure 
The book centers around Linvin Grithinshield, a half-elf general called home from the goblin wars to run the lucrative family trading business after his father's disappearance. 

Only after his mother's murder does he discover his destiny is to be the Master of the Red Sapphire, the most powerful magic any mortal can possess. Together with his wise but mysterious Uncle Anvar and his infuriating cousins Bander and Rander, Linvin must flee the would-be assassins and find the gem before the sinister forces from whom he flees find the stone and take it for a dark purpose. 
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**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and opinions** 
I had the pleasure of hosting and interview with the author of this book. The interview was set before I read the book so I would get a taste of Mr. Gate's inspiration and passion towards writing this book!

Q. So goblins, elves, and dragons! Can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to write a book in the genre of fantasy? Have you always had a love for fantasy books (like me ;))? 
I can't remember the exact age but I was very young when my mother gave me a copy of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe", by C.S. Lewis for my birthday. I started reading it and could not put it down. From there I had to have the rest of the series. Every fantasy writer I came across drew me in more and more to the genre. After all, who doesn't like a good sword fight or a little magic on the side?

Q. Are any of your character's personalities based off of families, other authors, friends, or even yourself? 
When I originally envisioned Linvin (the protagonist) I planned to base him on me. As I prepared to write the story, however, I discovered that we actually had very little in common. It would seem I did not want to put an imagine of myself out there for the world to see and so I did what I enjoyed most. I created something totally new. In the end, I made them all from scratch.

Q. Plot and character development go hand in hand and are vital for the structure and substance of a book, however, which element do you think is more important when it comes to writing your stories (if you had to choose only one of the two)? 
That's a tough question. After some thought I would have to say character development is most important in my stories. People want to connect with these characters and watch them grow. That holds your reader more than plot. If the plot is excellent but the reader doesn't care about the characters, they're never going to finish the book. Good characters can carry a story. With all that being said, plot should not be ignored.

Q. Did you always know you wanted to become and author, or did the thought come to you in a dream? 
I wanted to be an author since I read that first book I mentioned earlier. Ideas have always crammed my mind. In school I was labeled a daydreamer and "Daydreamers never actually do anything." I resented that comment. In my mind it was the daydreamers who came up with some of the man's greatest creations. I wanted to go down in history as having created something magnificent that I was proud to call my own. Being an author is my first, true love.

Q. What are your top 5 fantasy books (excluding your book) you would recommend to the readers the enjoyed your book? 
The Hobbit, anything by David Eddings, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Last Battle, and of course The Lord of The Rings trilogy.

Q. Weird question but what is your favorite snack to munch on when you're writing or reading? 
Reading=Doritos. Writing=Milk Duds.

Q. Did you read a lot as a kid, or did you just happen to be born with an active imagination? 
I was into cartoons and comic books more than regular books as a child. As I started to write I sought out different authors to learn from and pick up different styles. For me, imagination was always superior to reality.

After having the answers to my interview with Mr. Gates, I became more open-minded about reading his book! I mean, reading so many author review requests can sometimes make a girl cranky! When I am normally in reading slumps, I depend on fantasy books to pull me out of them. So I said: Hey, why not read this book since I have to finish it for a review anyways? To pretty much sum up this book, it's everything you'd want in YA fantasy book almost as spectacular as, say, the movie Stardust (if you've ever watched it). The beginning sort of had that rustic and nostalgic effect on me.

I liked the beginning. I really really liked it. It was mysterious and although I was pretty much clueless to what was going on, it made me all the more curious to find out what was happening. So I continued to read... and that's where things got a little bit more interesting because right away we're introduced to some death threats here and there and some deceiving.

The narrator's point of view is actually our main character, Linvin, who is actually a half elf, half human. It was definitely unique to read from a supernatural creature's perspective, other than reading from the same mundane humans (thumbs up if you know the reference).  So we have this elf acting almost human-like, and he's intelligent and sly! Mr. Gate's characters just felt so real and relatable. From the interview, I asked Mr. Gates if he preferred plot or character development. And to my surprise he said character development. I really feel like these are the questions he asked himself when he was writing this story. He executed all these elements in a well-mannered and eloquent way.

If you like adventure, this book is definitely a page turner for you! The change of setting/scenery was one of the things I loved most because we were able to follow the main character on his trek to find the Red Sapphire. I don't know how the author was able to pull off writing from an elf's point of view! I'm in awe. Unless... Rival Gates is an elf... But seriously, that kind of characterization and portrayal is hard to pull off in novels.

So does this book go for the legendary 5 stars? Every book has their flaws and although I didn't particularly find one, I just thought this book deserved somewhere between a 4.5 and 5 star rating. Fantasy book with elves? Quest for the Red Sapphire by Rival Gates is worth a shot.


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