“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Search The Web

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"The River of Time Series" by Lisa Bergren --An Adventure To Sweep You Away!

The River of Time Series: All the romance and suspense of Twilight, with none of the vampires.

I bought the first book in the River of Time series, Waterfall, back in 2011, right when it was released.  I was drawn to it because it seemed to be full of everything I loved:  knights, medieval history, castles, chivalry, romance, and a kick-butt heroine.  It seemed like a clean read, yet still promised a lot of romance.  Yes, I knew I would love it.  O yes, yes, I did.  I consumed this book like there was no tomorrow.  I pre-ordered the next one and the next.  They fulfilled my expectations and more!

Waterfall is the first in the River of Time series by Lisa Bergren.  In this book, the reader is introduced to the main character Gabi Betarrini, and her sister, Lia, who also plays a huge part in the series.  Gabi, the eldest, is the more outgoing of the two.  Lia is the quieter one who excels at archery (a skill which comes in very handy later on in the series).  Their parents are famous archaeologists.  Gabi and Lia always have to tag along with their parents to archaeological sites in Tuscany, Italy during their summer vacations.  Their father has recently died from an accident at a dig and their mother has been very distant.  One day at one of the dig sites, the two sisters put their hands on a hand print in an ancient tomb and travel back in time to fourteenth-century Italy!  When they emerge in this new time period, they are in the middle of a skirmish between several knights.  Luckily, they end up with Marcello and Luca, two of the good knights in the fight.  They may be safe for a time, but they are caught up in a war that is a lot bigger than they bargained for.  They even find themselves taking up arms, trying out some moves, and finding that they are pretty good at medieval combat.  There's an even bigger war for their hearts...especially Gabi's with the gorgeous Marcello.  Will she even want to go home after meeting the man of her dreams? 

Cascade is the second book in the series.  Gabi and Lia have returned home, but Gabi wants to to go back to Marcello, a dashing knight who has stolen her heart, and who also lives in the 14th century.  She also has another problem:  she cannot go unless her sister returns along with her.  Lia is a little more reluctant and practical.  Their lives will be at risk, because they do not know how the time travel operates.  They may not survive or be able to return.  They will also be returning to a time that is fraught with dangers and politically charged.  Lia does finally agree.  This time, their mom comes along.  When they arrive, it is a few months later and Gabi and Lia are famous for helping to win the battle for Siena against Firenze.  They are not yet free from the danger as the enemy seeks to retaliate.  The mighty She-Wolves of Siena (what Gabi and Lia have been nicknamed) must draw weapons with their men once again as their safety is threatened.  Their mother adapts well to the culture and joins in the fight.  She and the girls finally start to connect and grow closer in the midst of the battle.  Gabi's love for Marcello has grown to the point where she has considered marriage with him.  The only problem is that if she marries him, she will be forcing her sister and mom to stay with her in the past.  She also has another reason for possibly going home.  She and her family have played with the idea that they could possibly go through time and rescue her father.  But it is a lot to risk, not knowing how the time travel operates.  What will she choose? 

Torrent is the third book in the series.  For reasons explained in the book, the Betarrini family travels back in time once again to fourteenth-century Italy, knowing they will be braving the Black Plague, one of the most ravaging pandemics in history.  The battle between Siena and Florence also continues and their lives are at risk.  Throw in kidnapping, a forced marriage and imprisonment and it makes for quite the suspenseful read.  Gabi is set up in an arranged political marriage to Lord Greco, an ambassador for Firenze.  Will Gabi be rescued by Marcello or be forced to marry someone she does not love?  Or does she?  What about the confusing feelings she starts to develop for Lord Greco?  What is Lord Greco's real role in the story?  What is the fate of the She-wolves of Siena?

On all three of the books:

Bergen writes in a style to which teens will be able to relate.  I love Gabi's comments and thoughts; sometimes humorous, other times sarcastic.  The story is full of plot twists, making my heart pound throughout most of every book. I had to keep turning the page to find out what happened next. Each book got better than the previous one.

All of the characters are very well done.  Each is fleshed out and I feel like I know them.  I especially love Gabi's character.  She is certainly the "kick-butt, full of heart" heroine that I was hoping for.  She isn't perfect and struggles with real-life issues.  I appreciate her struggle (in Cascade) with whether to marry Marcello and force her family to stay in the past, or be forever separated from her one true love.  That is a really tough decision.  What would you do if you had to make that choice?   

I love that these books are full of romance and suspense, both things I enjoy in a good read.  Faith is interwoven into the series, but in such a way that it is not preachy.  The lessons are ones that can apply to anyone, not just teens, and I found myself growing in my faith as I was reading these stories.  I have thoroughly enjoyed these books and give them five stars!  They are all clean reads. 

I am looking forward to reading Bourne, which came out February 27, 2012 and features Lord Rodolfo Greco on the cover.  I was so happy when I heard Lisa Bergren was going to be writing this.  It is an e-novella and it is #3.1 in the River of Time Series. 

BOURNE SUMMARY (from www.lisatawnbergren.com):
In this e-novella, River of Time #3.1, the dramatic tale about the Betarrinis and Forellis continues, picking up directly after where Torrent left off…  The battle is done at the front, but the battle is only beginning back at Castello Forelli.  Marcello fights for his life; Lord Greco fights to find his place; and Lia fights for love.


  1. Wowee, thanks for the comprehensive review! So glad you jumped into the River with us...

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by Lisa! Well it was easy to write since the books are so good : )

  3. I love this series and I can't wait to read the final book.

    1. Hi Melissa! I know, this series is so amazing! I hope you enjoy the last book as much as I did. Thanks for stopping by to comment!