Sunday, January 29, 2012

QUICK REVIEW: "The Last Incarnation" - by J.A. Giunta

THE LAST INCARNATION” (The Ascension, #1)

REVIEWED BY: Ellen Fritz


The son of a trapper, raised by elves, befriended by animals, entrusted with magic, Barr was but a boy on a journey that had taken many, many lifetimes. Seeking to avenge his father’s death, he would cross into Lumintor, home to shapelings of all manner and size.

Little did he know, Revyn, the God of Change, had plans of his own, plans set in motion long before Barr was ever born. It was what Revyn had been waiting for, the time when one of the new races bore a child on its final lesson, a soul on the verge of enlightenment.

It was what Markus had awaited as well, enduring centuries of enchanted slumber so that he might one day rule all of Taellus - in Revyn’s name. The Emblems would no longer be hidden, and his revenants would stop at nothing to find them.

It had finally come, the journey’s end…

The Last Incarnation.


“The Last Incarnation” is a pleasantly refreshing old fashioned fantasy novel with all the right ingredients; elves, orcs, trolls, fairies, sages and even a big, bad wolf.  What struck me from the start was the neatness of this author's writing; his careful, almost poetic use of language and an organized plot line. Despite the large cast of characters in this book, I never got confused between them. The story is set in a fantasy realm in which the author expertly weaves the descriptions and explanations of his world into the book so that I never felt that I was getting a history or geography lesson, but instead could sit back and learn about the characters’ surroundings as the story progresses. 

When his adoptive father is killed by an unnaturally big wolf, Barr, the main character, is found by elves and taken to their tree city.  Here Tuvrin becomes his new father and his training as a sage begins.  As Barr gets visions from past lives, he has to learn how to control them but also to use the knowledge from those past lives to aid him in his quest.  I found the way in which the author slips these visions into the storyline very informative about where Barr got his powers from and what exactly they are. 

The story is full of action and adventure which builds up gradually towards a very exciting and dramatic ending.  Although there are many antagonists or just simply dodgy characters in the book, the author successfully keeps the real villain hidden in plain sight up to the end. Of course, as in all great fantasies, there is a prophecy.  A prophecy which those who now live in the Guilding Mists would like to interfere with - something which the higher powers would not allow as a prophecy must run its course. 

As “The Last Incarnation” is the first book in the Ascension trilogy, the author takes his time to build the fantasy world which will be used in future books.  I found the descriptions and characteristics of this realm and it’s people very original. Mr Giunta integrates known paranormal theories like lei lines, magical artifacts and psychic visions with his own extremely creative theories.

I highly recommend this book as a very enjoyable read for all ages. “The Last Incarnation” will definitely make you look forward to reading the rest of the Ascension trilogy and any other books written by J.A. Giunta.


“The Last Incarnation” by J.A Giunta has 11 reviews on GoodReads. View it here –


J.A. Giunta was born in Brooklyn, New York, in November of 1969. Though he spent most of his childhood growing up on Long Island, he has been living in Arizona for more than twenty-five years.

Joe started writing stories at an early age, creating adventures for his pen and paper Dungeons & Dragons campaigns on a Commodore 64. Spooled from a dot-matrix printer, that first stapled manuscript has not survived, but it has evolved over the years to form The Ascension trilogy.

His first Fantasy novel, The Last Incarnation, was published in February of 2005. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Arizona State University, he is both an avid reader and gamer. He currently writes full-time.

He currently lives with his wife, Lori, and six-year old daughter, Ada Rose, in the perpetual summer that is central Arizona. He credits all of his work to the advent of air-conditioning.



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