Book Review – The Prisoner (Shifting Isles Book 1) by G.R. Lyons

The Prisoner
Shifting Isles Book
G.R. Lyons
5 Stars


It made me think, laugh, and cry…

Lyons has woven a magnificent tale of oppression and redemption, loss and love, despair and hope.

Benash is a member of the Hawk forces, and second in command of Sonekha prison. Weighed down by the utter sameness of his routine and duties, Benash dreams of more. His ‘sinful’ desires echoed in the words of one of the men he arrests, “Haven’t you ever just wanted to have a choice?”

As his unswerving loyalty to the Elder’s commands begins to crumble, he takes a fateful trip down the forbidden right fork of the forest trail he walks to the prison each day. This decision would set him down a path he never dreamed of before when his path crossed that of Vorena, a rebel trying to escape the isle of Tanas for a better life on Agoran.

This chance meeting will change the course of both of their lives.

Lyons weaves a seamless world that one finds easy to feel could truly exist, from realistic climate to a religious system as believable as any existing in our own world.

She made me think, laugh, and cry with this book and I highly recommend you pick this book up immediately.

“The Prisoner” on Amazon

My previous interview with this amazing author can be found HERE.


Author Interview – G.R. Lyons

Today my Gentle Readers, I have a treat for you. I was recently introduced to G.R. Lyons, a fellow author. I thought it would be great to make some introductions to all of you. In the style of my previous interviews, I will put my comments/questions in BLUE and Lyons will be GREEN.
Thank you for joining me today. Let’s start with something basic. I’ve learned that almost all writers got their start as readers. Tell me, how did you become a reader? Is there a specific event or person who fostered a love of reading for you?
I started reading at a very young age, and devoured just about anything I could get my hands on. I’ve always lived a fairly dull, regimented, uneventful life, so having the escapism of fiction was always a blessing.
Nothing wrong with a little escapism into books. Healthier than a lot of the alternatives. Do you have a favorite genre? Or many?
I’ve always loved the classics, and have a heavy collection of libertarian philosophy / Austrian economics texts, but my current love is m/m romantic fiction. Once I discovered it was actually a thing, I couldn’t get enough.
At some point this love of reading turned to writing. When were you inspired you to write?

I became a writer purely by accident. Had you asked me in high school or college if I ever saw myself as a writer, I’d probably have laughed in your face. It just never appealed to me. Then, in April 2009, all the memories I’d repressed from an abusive relationship suddenly came flooding back, and after finally breaking down and crying about it for the first time, I turned on my laptop and wrote out a description of my most vivid memory of being raped. It was incredibly cathartic. Just two pages, but it was like a dam had broken. The next day, that once ‘scene’, if you will, became a story idea. Five weeks later, I had a finished novel. Which turned into a trilogy. Which led to another story idea, and another, and another. Somehow, the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me turned into the best thing that ever happened to me. I finally found a passion for something. I finally had something I wanted to do with my life. I now live, breathe, eat, and sleep my stories, and I can’t imagine my life any other way.

I’m very sorry to hear about what happened to you. That must have been terrible. It is wonderful though that you have turned it into something positive and uplifting in your life. What genre(s) do you prefer to write?

I prefer fantasy, because even though it’s a lot of work to create an entirely new world, it’s also incredibly freeing. I’m not tied to actual historical events or places in the real world. I can make it all up. I’ve also recently broken into the m/m romance genre, and find I definitely prefer that, though I’m thoroughly enjoying placing all my stories into the fantasy world I’ve created, so they’re all going to be linked to some degree.
World Building is something I’ve always enjoyed as well. Why don’t you tell us a little about your journey as a writer? Any funny stories about editors or publishers you want to share? We can omit names if you prefer.

Thanks to the incredible help and encouragement from self-published author Lisa Clark O’Neill, I found the courage to self-publish my first series, the Lethean Trilogy. Not my best work, but the sense of accomplishment — having that first print copy in my hands — was indescribable. From there, I’ve charged in head-first, continuing to self-publish each book as it comes along. My main series is the Shifting Isles series, set in my little fantasy world. There are currently 5 of the planned 14 novels in that series available. I’ve also self-published an m/m romance trilogy set in the same world, entitled Matchmakers. Besides the 9 remaining Shifting Isles books, I have at least three other series planned, set in the same world.

That’s fantastic. I think a lot of writers look back on their first works as not their best, but it is about the journey and growing with each step. When you are not writing, what do you do? Day/Night Job? Family? Other Hobbies?

The dreaded day job is Service Writer / Office Manager for the family auto repair business (not a great position for an introvert!). I’m close to my father, step-mother, and my sister, though for the most part I’m definitely a lone wolf, and tend to prefer quiet nights of reading or writing. I was a belly dancer for 16 years, and would love to get back into it someday, but for now, my only other activity is CrossFit. The big thing in my life right now is that I’ve sold my house so I can have some funds to live off of for a few years while I try to be a full-time writer. I may never manage to make a career of it, but since this is the only life I’ll ever have, I have to try, just for the sake of it. To call myself a full-time writer? What a dream!
That’s a big leap of faith and I wish you all the best of luck with it. Thank you again for stopping by to answer a few questions so my readers can get to know you. If you want to see more from my featured author, G.R. Lyons, check the links below.