Book review – Catling’s Bane by D. Wallace Peach

Catling’s Bane is the first book in the Rose Shield tetralogy by a beloved blogger/author D. Wallace Peach.  The captivating story is woven with the perfect balance of all the elements that only a skilled writer and a masterful storyteller is able to achieve. There is excitement bubbling in me even as I am typing up this post.  So, here goes my first book review…(I promise to do my best to exclude spoilers.)

Catling's Bane


A quick synopsis:

The story begins in Mur-Vallis, a city in Ellegeance.  All its three moons are absent, leaving the city pitch black.   A child’s cries is heard amidst the sounds of women squabbling.  We meet Catling, the little girl with a mark around her eye that resembles the shape of a rose.  We learn of her mother’s horrific attempt at removing the mark, one she is convinced will shackle them to the lowest of lives.

Mur-Vallis, like the other cities in Ellegeance, is tiered in both its physical and social structures.  A caste system as rigid as its indestructible structure, its poorest live in the squalid warrens while the upper class and the powerful tower over them in the higher tiers.  Public hangings of men, women and children are frequently held ; Far-Landers, the original occupants of Ellegeance, a constant target.  These are made possible by the Influencers who, true to their name, are skilled in manipulating people’s feelings to suit their political agendas.  Robbed of true emotions, we see hanging victims willingly submit to the noose and the crowds celebrating the cruel deeds.  No one is immune to the Influencers’s control, except for Catling.  The rose mark around her eye provides a shield against their magical prowess.  Her ability seems increasingly more like a curse than a gift as she finds her life in constant peril.  The question is how will she choose to wield her ability? Would she even have a choice?


Favorite Quotes:

“Don’t trust anyone.  We’re all influencers one way or another, aren’t we?” – Farrow

No one likes their emotions manipulated.  Even for a just cause.” – Qeyon


My take:

If you are acquainted with Diana’s blog, you would have already known that she is an incredible writer (and human being).  If you haven’t, hop on over. As prolific as she is versatile, Diana writes and excels in them all – prose, poems, shorts stories and even children stories.  Writing novels, though, I feel, require a different set of skills than writing shorter blog posts- think running short distance vs. long distance .  But boy…does she kill it!

Catling’s Bain is a fantasy intricately threaded with the oh-so-relatable complexity of human nature and reality.  Some of its characters possess magical powers (you’ll even encounter water dragons) but they are living in a world steeped in brutality, injustice and manipulations.  It carefully explores pertinent issues such as class system as we see the poor stuck on destitute while the powerful engage in dirty politics to maintain control.   There is also the matter of free-will,or rather the lack of it, thanks to the Influencers’ ability to manipulate people’s emotions.

The book also highlights the clear, fluid beauty of Diana’s writing style.  It treats the imagination to gorgeous,vivid details of an enchanting world while maintaining a well-paced and exciting story that will keep you fully engrossed. There will be plenty of surprises but you will be spared the obstacles of tedious,unnecessary details and meaningless, bombastic words.  Added to that wonderful combination are solid characters, all deliciously flawed and vulnerable, including Catling, herself.  They will become your friends and enemies, switching places at times along the way.  Some will even linger in your consciousness long after the last page.  A warning – don’t get too attached.

As I cherish each heartbreaking and heartwarming moment in Catling’s Bane, I can’t help but wonder about Catling’s destiny.  According to  Merriam-Webster dictionary, Catling means a “little kitten” or a “double-edged pointed knife used in amputations”.  What does Diana have in mind for her main character and for Ellegeance?  Will Catling be a force to bring much needed changes to Ellegeance?  Or will she succumb to hatred, revenge and corruption? I know for sure that I will be savoring the next three books in the series and I’ll be sad when I reach the end.  Be sure to give this book a read!!! 

Feel free to share your thoughts if you have read the book/series.  Also, I would love to hear if there is anything I can do to improve the review.  🙂  Have a beautiful and blessed week ahead.


~ Maia












97 thoughts on “Book review – Catling’s Bane by D. Wallace Peach

    • Thank you, Sandmoos. Your support means the world to me. I agree that she has one amazing imagination! And a great understanding of human nature too, which makes the book such a great read. Happy blogging and writing. I love following your stories. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Am workin’ on writing one, as I’m home now from work.
        The time of “the cliff” was about 5 years ago. We ALL go through trials and have to remember they are spiritual battles as well.
        Thanks very much for your support, but am doing well now. Have to keep truckin’ as I have my Pops to take care of.
        In order for my blog to be less depressing (haha!), I slip in a K-stuff topic or two, to liven things up. Glad you’re enjoyin’ ’em too.
        Have a lovely evenin’.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Can’t wait to read your new post. Sorry if I missed the timing of your story…my blurry eyes and brain weren’t functioning…hehehe….
        I hope your dad is feeling better. You are such a wonderful daughter. ❤️


      • just mentioning about writing one on k-topics next.
        read if\when u might like to.
        took awhile as i had to watch my pops at the same time.
        no, im not good daughter.
        we all try to do our best with family.
        but sometimes we can lose our minds and cool.
        i do often.
        hv a great day! 🌅

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you so much, Maia, for the amazing review. You are a wonder, and I’m just delighted that you captured the themes of the story just as I intended. I love writing flawed characters, and this series is loaded, I hope. And of course, I’m thrilled that the book made you want more. 🙂 You made my day, my friend. Sending huge hugs. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh Diana, I am glad you like the review. I wasn’t sure if it does your book justice…I could go on and on forever…but then no one would read it. Lol….I am in the middle of the second book now and I am trying to go as slow as I can…I don’t want to leave Catling’s side…I am stuck to the Kindle thanks to you. I love this series so much, Diana…you are one amazing author…❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • The review was wonderful, Maia. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am, and I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying book 2. It’s an amazing feeling each time a reader gives a book a try, and it’s why I write. Thank you again for your kindness and generosity. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s neither kindness or generosity. Thank you for giving me the joy of reading, Diana. It’s too precious. 🙂 Have a great day, my friend. Hope it’s warming up in your part of the world…Mine is dithering between cold and warm…perhaps it needs your “clarifying shampoo”. Wahaha….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
    My heart is brimming with the kindness of bloggers who’ve been reading my books and sharing their reviews. What a happy feeling. Maia writes beautifully, and even her review of Catling’s Bane demonstrates her lovely talent with words. I had to share. Thank you, Maia. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Terrific review, Maia of both the book and Diana’s writing! She writes like no other and her imagination is incredible. How true that parts of this book will stay with you long after reading it and yep, a good warning about not becoming too attached to some characters. Lovely to come across to your blog via Diana’s and look forward to reading more of your reviews/posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Annika, I cannot agree more. It’s such an amazing book/series…it’s hard to fully describe how wonderfully written it is. I hope I captured a little bit of it for those who haven’t read it yet. Diana is such a tremendous writer. I fell in love with her writing as soon as I visited her blog. So glad to connect with you too. I look forward to visiting your blog. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the wonderful comment, Annika. I don’t know how I missed it (and a bunch of others too – ack!). Maia’s review was amazing and I couldn’t have been happier. And I’m glad you found Maia’s blog. You’ll love her posts. Happy Weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I loved this book and I’m currently reading book III. The series gets better and better with amazing, deep character development and complex yet sparkling clear plot twists. I can fully live and breathe in Catling’s world- so well developed I forget its not real. A stunning and intriguing series. I’m so glad I found it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Sheri, for the wonderful comment, and I’m so sorry that I didn’t reply sooner. I’ve been distracted with all the visits to my parents and getting them settled. But glad to find it now. You made my day! Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am impressed by your heart-felt yet professional style of writing a review Maia… talking about Diana’s style of writing, characterisation and dropping hints that would allure a potential reader! Well done! Thanks for writing this superb review of an outstanding author. I know how much of effort goes into writing such a review.
    I am delighted to connect with you through Diana’s blog. Congratulations Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Balroop, and I am so glad to get to know you. Your words just made my day. I was worried the review would come off like a boring book essay but I am relieved that you like it. Diana is one tremendous writer…and after reading the book, I just felt like I had to write about it. 🙂 Never planned on writing a book review but it’s one of those moments… I will be visiting your blog soon. Have a lovely day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I try to review each book I read, as they mean a lot to the authors, especially Indie authors who have to make their place on their own these days. I have a separate page for reviews but only a few, which touch me deeply are published at the main page. Most of the reviews just sum up the book but yours is talking about the craft of the writer and how it affected you. Wishing you too a lovely day.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the sweet comment, Balroop, and I apologize for the late reply (I think I was preoccupied with parent stuff). Maia’s review was wonderfully professional and I think I’m still glowing. Ha ha. I’m glad you connected with her blog and I know you’ll enjoy each other’s posts. Happy Writing and have a wonderful weekend

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh my gosh, Maia. I have no idea how I completely messed up replying to all these lovely comments! No excuse, really, but I’m glad I thought to take a peek. Yeesh. Thank you again for the wonderful review and for your kind replies to all these visitors. As I mentioned somewhere above, this return visit is a treat and I’m doing a happy dance all over again. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Diana, you made my day. I have been so busy…and haven’t be able to blog nor do anything else really. In between my driving though, I have been reading the tetralogy and it has really been my delightful companions for this week. I am nearing the end of the last book and not sure I am ready to let go. I should thank you, my friend. How I would miss your writing, otherwise!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re nearing the end, huh? I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t comment further about it. But I’m so tickled. 😀 I hope that whatever is keeping you busy also includes some fun and productive activities. Have a great weekend, my friend. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Diana, I have just finished the last book. I have been so busy that it took me longer than I had expected. You have no idea how scared I was…how much I was hoping you would be merciful to your characters…LOL!!! My husband thought I had lost my mind as I entered the last few chapters. I could barely breathe. He kept asking if I was okay. Bravo, my friend! What a story, what an ending! I kept re-reading the last bit. It is hard letting go. I don’t think I am ready. Does it have to end yet, though? Could you be secretly writing a fifth book? Perhaps even a sixth? Okay..I am getting too greedy now. I shall stop…hahaha…

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re so kind to me, Maia. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and I’m tickled that you want more. Alas, that’s it. Catling and Whitt will have a wonderful life together. Many children, much love and laughter and peace. 😀 Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts and for the fabulous review. I can’t say enough about how much it means to me. Have an amazing day, my friend. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • The pleasure is all mine, dear friend. This is one story that will always stay with me. Looking back, there was another theme I should have added…ode to nature. I don’t know how I missed that in the first book. What a gift you have given your readers…and I know how much you have poured into your work. I look forward to reading more of your books in the near future. Have a wonderful rest of the week, Diana. Take good care! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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