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Review: Bellanok

Posted by on November 4, 2015

The Reluctant Savior

Bellanok is a haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in. Now the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated–a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian’s eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven’s secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.

Find it on Amazon

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Meet the Author

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She spins fantastical tales to encourage people to SHINE BEYOND. She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 5-part serial starting in October 2015!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

Connect with her:


Facebook         Twitter            Pinterest

LinkedIn         Goodreads      Google+


I know many of you have seen this book floating around and have probably already have read it. You’d think I would have read it already too, since I designed the cover. Um, no. That is until now. Ha!

I finally got around to reading Bellanok. It’s a little difficult to review since it’s only the first part of the series, and I prefer to read the whole book and then make my mind up about it. But for now…

I really enjoyed it. It wouldn’t be my first choice, since it contains a few elements that I’d rather stay away from such as a modern setting and a portal-type fantasy.

But it had a few cool things going for it. A realm preserved from the beginning of time filled with creatures from myths and legends. Fairies, dragons, and unicorns. But evil has found away in. And as the author has said, “it’s not every day a unicorn becomes a nightmare”. And there is hint of a great adventure not set in our world. So it caught my interest.

We only glimpse the island of Bellanok, so I am anxious to return there and explore it some more. Most of the story was set in the United States and on the run until they reach the island.

The fairy queen was not the only one who wanted Brian.

I enjoyed the characters. They felt real. The down-on-his-luck pastor, the damsel-fairy queen in distress, well, her world is, and she braves the unknown with her trusty but ornery dragon sidekick. I enjoyed their cultural differences. They definitely had their quirks and promise of growth. I look forward to getting to know them more and seeing how the author will develop them.



Burke’s novel has me wondering, what’s one mythical creature you’d like to see in real life?

Have a great rest of the week!


10 Responses to Review: Bellanok

  1. Ralene Burke

    Aw … Thanks for the fun review on your blog. I hope your readers check out and enjoy Bellanok!

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hey Ralene! Nice of you to drop by. 🙂 And you’re welcome. I’m looking forward to what happens next in Bellanok. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

      • Ralene Burke

        Oh, I totally didn’t answer the question. A unicorn would be at the top of my list, for sure!

        • J.L. Mbewe

          Very cool. And thanks for letting me know…I am very curious to see how the unicorn will play into your story then. 😀

  2. sparksofember

    Maybe I’ve had my head under a rock. I suspected you did your own covers due to offhand comments here and there but I hadn’t realized you do other ones, too. As a photoshop/gimp dabbler, I’d love a post someday about how you do some of that. 🙂

    As for the subject at hand, Bellanok is already on my radar. I’m quite into urban fantasy lately so the modern setting sounds extra intriguing. 😉 I’m not sure what kind of creature I’d love to see – unicorns and mermaids and cat-like creatures – but the nice ones! Not the nasty versions! 😉

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hey! I’m really just learning as I go, but I do enjoy it! Perhaps one day I will put together a post, but it’s usually just clicking on buttons and figuring out what they do. Probably not the best way to learn it. Ha!

      Unicorns would be cool and definitely mermaids, those were my two favorites as a kid. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Pam Halter (@PamHalter)

    I just started reading Ralene’s book yesterday. Enjoying it so far!

    The mythical creature I’d love to see in real life is … hmmmmmm … this is hard … I do love fairies, so that would probably be my first choice. But I think mermaids are pretty cool, depending on what kind they are. Some can be pretty creepy.

    • J.L. Mbewe

      Hi Pam! I’m definitely with you about the mermaids. And if they were true, I would be living near the ocean somewhere. IF they were nice ones. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Kessie

    Nice review! I’m holding out on reading it until all the parts are available–I’ve never liked reading piecemeal.

    A mythical creature I’d love to see in real life is a griffin. What’s not to like about a cat-bird?

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J.L Mbewe - Author