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***** Magical Journey                Review by Rox Burkey

Author Michael Scott Clifton delivers the 3rd installment in this series focused on good versus evil and magic versus heart. His world-building continues in delightful detail, from every aspect. I wanted to join in beside many of these endearing people and creatures.

The character development continues with the evolution of Alex and Tal. The surprise for me was Lady Margaret or Maggie to her friends. This complex individual had me rooting for her failure as much as her success. Her character explores the problems one must resolve from fear, guilt, and remorse to move forward. You can feel her ability to alter the world of Markingham early on after she struts into the room, adding a provocative element.

“Margaret placed a hand on his arm. “Do I need to hang on to something?

” Alex’s heart raced. She’s flirting with him! Suffocating jealousy rose in her, and she found it hard to breathe.

Tal’s lips formed a thin line. “Lady Margaret. What a pleasant surprise. I thought you had decided to be uncooperative.”

Margaret leaned closer. “Oh, there are some things I can be very cooperative about…and as you have no doubt surmised, I am no lady.” She snorted. “Call me Maggie. No one calls me Margaret except Father.”

“Margaret, now is not the time for this,” the earl warned. Ignoring him, Maggie caught Alex’s eyes with her own.

Stroking Tal’s arm, she said, “Perhaps I can repay your demonstration with one of my own.”

This story shows the evil side of magic with the creatures created by the dark queen, but also how lasting hope is possible without magical elements. Alex grew throughout this series, learning about herself and her value to a world she must negotiate using all her abilities.

For Alex’s love, Tal has growing to do. The author delivers that growth mentoring in surprising ways, outside of his mentor resources. Varg presents a challenge to Prince Talmund, forcing him to learn control and focus. Boorba helps the young Tal look at creatures and respect their differences. The rich character universe through this story makes me sad this story is over, but maybe another one is in the works. I can hope. I recommend this story to those who like fantasy, mythical creatures, excitement, thrills, magic, and portions. This book has it all with a heavy dose of romance on top.

About the Author

Multi Award-Winning Author Michael Scott Clifton, a public educator for over 38 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator, currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas with his wife, Melanie and family cat. An avid gardener, reader, and movie junkie, he enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys…action, adventure, magic, fantasy, and romance. His fantasy novels, The Janus Witch and The Open Portal, received 5-Star reviews from the prestigious Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, and he has been a finalist in a number of short story contests with Edges of Gray winning First Place in the Texas Authors Contest. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. Clifton’s latest book, The Open Portal, won The Feathered Quill Book Finalist Award, and launches the fantasy book series, Conquest of the Veil.
He is not only an author, but also a blogger and speaker as well. To find more about this multi award-winning author on his website: “Journey Into Realms Of Magic And Mystery.”

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