Author: Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Blog Book Tour | A special scrapbook glimpse into an author’s tour & a review of “The Breedling and The Trickster” (Book Two: Element Odyssey series) by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Posted Thursday, 3 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: In 2016, I was on the blog tour via iRead Book Tours for the first novel in this series “The Breedling & the City in the Garden” wherein I reviewed the story but also hosted a guest author feature: an interview with Ms Bastian. It was a difficult time for me back then, as it was close to the time of my father’s stroke and thus, upon receiving the sequel, a lot of the back-story of the series was lost to me until I read the details over again which Ms Bastian thankfully etched into “The Breedling & the Trickster” to help re-establish our knowledge of her world. I was asked to participate on her Spring blog tour to run concurrent to her real-life book tour throughout the Mid-West.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Breedling & the Trickster” direct from the author Kimberlee Ann Bastian in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What I appreciated about reading “The Breedling and the City in the Garden”:

Such a curious opening sequence – where we meet quite the interesting two characters – of whom start to set the tone for the story itself. The Tales Teller is an interesting character because she embodies the history of the origins within her mind and is electrically charged through her emotional angst for not being able to contain herself when she’s feeling vexed; despite the curiously magical situations surrounding her – such as self-brewing calming vapors by an apothecarist whose own intentions are as masked as her own. From the angle of entrance into this world, we’re curious to know more about the original origins of the Elements and how everything was first spun into orbit before it outspun itself into chaos – there was an organisation shift and a purposeful distortion of order causing a catalyst of after effects.

The back history itself reads similar to Earth’s own origins – about how natural elements are as important as the mathematical language which speaks for the universal codes. Elemental magic and elemental biochemistry are quite fascinating sub-focuses in scientific history but it’s how these particular elements were divided and then segregated away from each other that was most telling in the opening chapter to prove how disportioned this particular world had become since it was first conceived. There are only four elements hanging in the balance: Flame (in lieu of Fire), Wind (in lieu of Air), Earth (as itself), and Sea (in lieu of Water) who are being manipulated to exist outside of their own natural instincts. The spirit realm or the area known as Heaven (otherwise known as Aether outside of religious thought) is not separated into a fifth element but rather drawn into Wind – as Wind was cast out into Heaven whereas Flame was sent to Hell. Bastian has created an abridged origins story for her world which runs parallel to contemporary understandings of religious history through the eye of spirituality with takeaways from natural religious orders and the Far East. Metal and Wood are sometimes additional elements used to speak to the origins of balance in the natural world, however, they were not highlighted in this story.

There are twofolds to the story – the organisational backstory of the Elements themselves and how they influence and effect life in human society. Those who exist in the Elemental side of the world have a certain structure of duties and expectations – they are sent with specific goals in mind to carry out the will of those of whom control their actions, but what they hadn’t expected is one of their own to go against their rules and draw his own conclusions about what his purpose in his life was going to be outside of their controlling mandate.

Although I knew going into reading this novel it was loosely based on the Irish folktale of Stingy Jack – the only mentions of the fellow is fleeting on the outskirts of where Buck and Charlie are moving the story forward – even the Elements themselves have taken a backseat, allowing what happens in Chicago to become center-point to the evolving drama. Not that this is necessarily a negative but I did find it quite interesting how much time was spent on developing Charlie’s character – he’s very much well-defined and fleshed out, whereas Buck is loosely patched together with only a few inklings of his heritage and origin pierced together from the opening to the short revelations he’s giving to Charlie or the reader; as part of his point of view is in the narrative itself. You almost have to ‘take out’ the folklore origin story and follow Charlie on his path – as he’s the main character of the novel, which surprised me in a way, as I thought it would be Buck (given the title) but instead, I found myself drawn more to Charlie’s plight than worrying about what would become of Buck at this junction until the last quarter of the novel.

This is where Bastian pulled together why Buck was different from others like him and why Charlie and the Priest Charlie befriended were so very important to Buck – each of them were providing Buck with one piece of a puzzle only he could solve. There are great forces of good and evil weaving around the evolving plot as it thickens in and out of preference to continue telling Charlie’s story. Charlie’s story is very much hinged to Buck’s in a way that surprised Buck in the end as it was not what he was expecting to be true. Bastian wants her readers to read between the lines inasmuch as pay attention to the details she’s giving out in measured installments – you can tell she spent a great deal of time setting the scope of the series whilst sorting out what needed to be present and what could wait to be seen lateron.

You find yourself pulled into a story of ethics and morals – of sorting through the will of one vs the will of the majority and who decides what is right for themselves. There is far more to this story than what you first think is going to be revealled because Buck is set on a journey towards understanding why he alone is set apart from his kin and how his evolution away from tradition is a marked fixture of how time is yielding to reveall something altogether new to the Elements who until this point in time were a bit dormant in power. Bastian has written a story that encourages you to think back on what was revealled and when each revelation changed the perception of each character affected by the hidden truths of her world.

-quoted from my review of The Breedling and the City in the Garden

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | A special scrapbook glimpse into an author’s tour & a review of “The Breedling and The Trickster” (Book Two: Element Odyssey series) by Kimberlee Ann BastianThe Breedling and the Trickster
Subtitle: The Element Odysseys : Book Two
by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Source: Direct from Author

“He was the lad who did it twice, tricked the Devil by a roll of the dice . . . He goes by the name of Stingy Jack; with a turnip lantern in hand to light his way through the black.”

For immortal soulcatcher Buck, acclimating to newfound freedom in 1934 Chicago would have been impossible if not for the selfless actions of Charlie Reese. Now separated from his mortal friend, Buck accepts a new mission: to save the Shepherdess, whose unclaimed soul will soon stand trial in his old world, Euxinus.

Buck must find the Shepherdess’ beloved, the infamous Trickster Stingy Jack, and convince him to testify on behalf of her soul. Furthermore, Buck must ensure Stingy Jack is worthy to stand as her witness. It’s no easy feat; Hades, sworn enemy of Stingy Jack, threatens to thwart Buck’s mission at every twist and turn in hopes of seizing the Shepherdess’ soul—and the secret she holds—for himself.

Set on a whirlwind path that leads him on an odyssey across the American Midwest, Buck must rely on untested skills while being ever mindful of his dangerous surroundings as he prepares himself for his return to the dark, desolate realm of Euxinus.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1634890885

Also by this author: The Breedling and the City in the Garden

Also in this series: The Breedling and the City in the Garden


Genres: Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

on 19th September, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 274

 Published By: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (@Wiseink)

The Element Odysseys series:

The Breedling and The City in the Garden byThe Breedling and the Trickster by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

The Breedling and the City in the Garden (Book One) | (see also Review)

The Breedling and the Trickster (Book Two)

The Breedling and the Shepherdess (Book Three) | → Winter 2019!

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. When she is not in her writer's room or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of her Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture. The Breedling and the City in the Garden is her debut novel.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 3 May, 2018 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Magical Realism, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Blog Book Tour | “The Breedling and The City in the Garden” by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Posted Friday, 9 December, 2016 by jorielov , , , 9 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for The Breedling & the City in the Garden hosted by iRead Book Tours. I was blessed to be able to receive a print copy of this novel in order to review it for the blog tour as I cannot read digital copies of novels due to chronic migraines; I do offset my reading ques now with audiobooks which is working brilliantly towards lessening the onset of them. This was a surprise for me – to be able to read and review the novel, as I originally thought I could only interview the author. Truly blessed by the author’s kindness. Secondly, I am thankful for the author’s grace in understanding why I had to push my review forward and why reading whilst blogging took a backseat in my life since Black Friday. iReads was one of the touring companies I work with who was able to accommodate a change of schedule last minute, for which I was full of gratitude as well.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Breedling & the City in the Garden” direct from the author Kimberlee Ann Bastian in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I am drawn to curiously curious genre-benders of a certain variety:

Three stories came immediately to mind whilst I was setting my sights on participating on this particular blog tour – they were as follows: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Merriweather Lewis by Andra Watkins (see Review); The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (see Review); and Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman (see Review). They are united in their individuality and their unique literary voicing of both their characterisations and of the layers of world-building their writers spun into their pages. They also happen to be three of the books I loved reading (despite my indifference to which ‘category’ of literature Angel of Losses was classified) which did not quite as ring as wicked brilliant to other readers – they were either a big hit or a bit of a miss with readers I’ve encountered of late – with the exception of Wecker’s novel, which seemed to gain the most traction overall. I’m one of the few readers whose anxiously awaiting her ‘next chapter’ of the Jinni in 2018!

I love finding stories which etch out their own niche in literature whilst curating an experience within an adventure which truth be told are set to their own wicked beat of literary exploration. There are other stories I’ve read (some I’ve even blogged about!) which fit within this nifty niche of stories, too – however, these three percolated in my memory because of how interestingly unique they were imagined and how their writers craftly write Speculative stories within quasi-mainstream genres or at least, which were recognisd by quasi-mainstream genres! lol I personally love different designations of genres in literature – not so much as a be all / end all route of where I will go visually through literature as my mind expands itself around the sphere of a story but rather, a bit of a road map of where I’d like to travel at any given point of time in my reading life. I love sorting out the different variances of how genre can become bent (in theory, you already know dedicated readers how much I love seeing how ‘time’ is bent: i.e. time shift, time travel and time slip are all readily explored on my blog!) whilst seeing how wickedly inventive writers are at curating their own spin on an established genre by re-creating what is plausible within it’s folds.

I think it has a lot to do with how I personally write my own fiction (something I explored in an essay via Priya’s blog [originally written in 2015] wherein I talked about being a ‘writer’ whose moonlighting as a book blogger) – I like to see where my muse can lead me and how the stories ‘talk’ to us as we’re creating the words to paint the palette of where our stories are guiding us to traverse.

It also speaks to my bookish heart firmly attached to Speculative Fiction – as first and foremost, the very first manuscript I dreamt into existence was Science Fiction based on Science Fact. I lean towards what is futuristically possible by what could be considered improbably impossible today – whilst keenly invested in the imaginative innovation of where our creativity can take us through the written vortex of worlds spun out our imaginations daring to ask the questions of ‘what if’ and chart new horizons where readers can continue to travel with us on this journey through stories.

This is one reason why I love participating in Sci-Fi November and the Sci-Fi Experience – even if my participation can get off-track due to illness or life’s unexpected emergencies – the joy I have for the Speculative heart of fiction is hardcore. I love finding the dreamspinners of inverted and invented genres who provide an unknown niche of literature by how their stories transcend through the needle of time in proportion to character driven literature. This is simply my ‘next find’ in a lifelong pursuit of originality and bookish joy in discovering the niche makers.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Breedling and The City in the Garden” by Kimberlee Ann BastianThe Breedling and the City in the Garden
Subtitle: The Element Odysseys : Book One
by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

​These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781945769047

Also by this author: The Breedling and the Trickster

Also in this series: The Breedling and the Trickster


Genres: Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism


Published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing

on 20th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 280

 Published By: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (@Wiseink)

Quite fittingly, I started 2016 by reading ‘Becoming George Washington’ by this publisher and I am now featuring a second title by them in the closing chapter of December. How wicked is that!?

 Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. When she is not in her writer's room or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of her Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture. The Breedling and the City in the Garden is her debut novel.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 9 December, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Folklore and Mythology, Genre-bender, Good vs. Evil, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Magical Realism, Orphans & Guardians, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction