Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
272 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2022
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Author Biography

Stories have accompanied me like friends on life’s journey, helping me to better understand the human condition. Some of my experiences have been difficult but all are treasured and are part of me and of Terralena.
After escaping a violent marriage, my mother raised her four children as a single parent. Whenever I was stressed by my situation, I would tell myself stories to escape from reality.
She worked as a pathologist for the VA, and we moved frequently: from Cleveland to Dallas to St. Louis, and finally to northern Wisconsin, giving me the opportunity to experience a diversity of American cultures.
When I was eight, my grandmother visited us in Dallas and discovered that I had never learned to read and taught me herself. I spent summer vacations with my grandmother in Mexico, where she continued my unconventional but progressive education.
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Medical Technology but had always wanted to be a doctor like my mother, but my young son needed surgeries, and I didn’t dare to quit my job and lose our health insurance.
Later, I met a kind, hardworking graduate student from Belgium, we married, and he supported me through the Physician Assistant Program, enabling me to fulfill my dream of becoming a medical provider.
Now my grandmother and mother have died, my children are grown, and I have retired from my job to spend winters immersed in the magical realism of Morelia, Michoacán.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Victoria Wattiaux has created a tale of magical discovery with the novel Terralena. Divided into four parts, the beginning of the book depicts the mass refugee crowding caused by the Mertonian Army destroying villages. Part One features Elmond, a mystic healer, leading a family through the Brenan Woods. During their trip, a young woman assists them when Mertonian soldiers attack the group. Lea joins the group. Part Two begins Elmond and Lea’s trip to Lorran. A budding relationship has begun between Elmond and Lea until they reach Eliza’s home. Eliza and Elmond were lovers in the past and Eliza intends to resume the relationship. Part Three focuses on Lea’s training for entry into the Shalena Coven. She finds she is followed by her dead sister’s ghost who insists on avenging her death. Part Four finds Elmond, Lea, and several allies facing the Mertonian Army.

Elmond appeared to be an honest healer at the beginning of the story. I began to dislike his character as Victoria Wattiaux revealed his less-than-honorable nature. Lea’s lack of trust in people is understandable since she lost her family to the Mertonians. The barbaric torture she is forced to endure leaves a lasting mark. Just as she starts to trust Elmond, she is faced with Eliza’s cruel nature. The journey from the start to the end is full of thrilling encounters with strange people as well as tragedy. There was never a moment when I couldn’t envision the characters and their surroundings. The details are vivid and describe the surroundings eloquently. The inner thoughts of everyone, including the supporting characters, are fully on display. None of the characters are perfect, making their dialogue and actions realistic. Terralena is perfect for fantasy readers who enjoy adventure, romance, and magical stories with characters who evolve along the way.