16-year-old Milla loses everything in an instant—her family, her home, her life as she knows it—over a sacred scroll that can merge her realm of Asper with Earth.
Ignited by grief, she sets out for vengeance but quickly discovers she’s no match for the murderous queen who has usurped the power of sorcerers before her. A queen who will stop at nothing to rule both worlds.
Undeterred, Milla takes a forgotten portal to Earth so she can master her craft without being hunted, and return for the kill. While there, she bonds with 17-year-old Parker who believes in her and her unfathomable stories when no one else does.
But when a spell her father cast to bury her memories begins to wane, Milla glimpses into a past she doesn’t recognize. Secrets and lies, love and hate, friends and foes—the lines are blurred and she’s left questioning everything.
Rhonda Smiley lives in Glendale, California with her partner, James Hereth, and their spoiled terrier-mix, Jojo.
After earning her BFA in Film Production from Concordia University in her native Montreal, she returned to L.A. to pursue screenwriting. She started out as an assistant to filmmaker (and Academy Award winner) Zoran Perisic, while also freelancing as a story analyst for several production companies.
She went on to co-found Hyper Image, providing animation, special effects, and post production for movies and series, including “Starship Troopers: The Roughneck Chronicles,” “Liberty’s Kids,” “Strawberry Shortcake,” and the Emmy-nominated “Our Friend, Martin.”
During that time, her writing took off and she wrote and story-edited for many series, including “Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation,” “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures,” “Born Free,” “Rescue Heroes,” and the Rick Springfield show, “High Tide.” She also wrote and produced the sci-fi animated movie, “Race,” which aired on the Showtime Network.
In May 2017, she published her first novel, “Asper,” for young adults who enjoy the darker side of fantasy. It received the B.R.A.G. Medallion with a 5-star rating.
Currently, she’s working on a graphic novel “Blowback” with her oft-writing partner, James Hereth, due out in 2018.
Rhonda Smiley creates a really cool adventure in Asper. When Milla loses her father at the hands of an evil queen, she flees the magical realm of Asper to Earth where she can plot her revenge in secret. There she meets Parker, a kind boy who pushes her in directions she never thought possible. I loved Smiley’s dual world concept and especially love the dynamic between Milla and Parker. With good twists and well-crafted narration, this one’s perfect for anyone that loves fantasy out there!
This book drew me in right from the start and I am not a reader of fantasy at all. I loved the world building and the characters, and that it took unexpected turns. I particularly liked Inferno, the "pet" flame of the queen and Mirtha, the wall that came to life. Parker, the earther, could have had a larger role, but I like how Milla remained committed to helping to save her world. Very enjoyable!
If you are reading a book and then you take a break from said book then try to get back into it, don't do it. That is what I did with this book and I felt lost for the remaining part of the book. I knew it was something along the lines of a girl having her Codex (magic spell book) and she had to jump in between worlds, I felt like that was just unnecessary. I felt like if we were just stuck in one world, the book would have been a lot shorter and the author could have made the world building a lot easier. I felt like the whole idea of going to Earth made this reading experience not as fun as I would have hoped it would have been. It also plays with the trope of girl trying to overthrow the kingdom/monarchy by killing off the queen because she sent guards to kill her father. Overall, I just feel like this book was just not meant for me.
Fables meets Game of Thrones. What starts as a light-hearted YA fairy tale turns bloody. Milla has to hop between worlds while evading monsters and soldiers wearing Mi Go armor in an attempt to stop a spell from destroying existence as we know it. If you want a dark fantasy YA novel, this is it.
This was a really fun read. Swords... Sorcery... Secrets... What more could you ask for? Well, a motorcycle, obviously. And you get that too!
As a reader, I’ve always been intrigued by high fantasy, though maybe not the YA flavor so much. When it came to Asper, the cover art pulled me in despite my reluctance, and the novel inside rewarded me for taking a chance to broaden my perspective.
The first thing that stands out are the distinct characters. Every time someone new shows up on the page, they have a unique personality and point of view, from the main protagonist and antagonist, all the way down to the minor characters who grace just a paragraph or two.
And, of course, there’s the story itself. In addition to the epic adventure that our heroine, Milla, is thrust into, the moving of the narrative from the mythical world of Asper into familiar present-day Earth (and back again) creates a mirrored set of fish-out-of-water scenarios that add a whole other dimension (pun unintended, but I’ll embrace it nevertheless).
What starts out as a tale of revenge gradually morphs, along with the maturing Milla, into a story of relentless determination in the face of incredible odds and self-sacrifice for the greater good.
Unlike some other books in the genre, Asper happily avoids a dry or overly-serious (okay, I’ll just say it - pretentious) storyline. Instead, it’s infused with a rich dose of humor threaded throughout. Primarily, this comes from the witty dialogue - both Milla and Parker have an especially funny and combative banter that perfectly punctuates their evolving love/hate/but-mostly-love relationship. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning Milla’s mischievous friend, Tobly, who - despite only communicating telepathically - wields quite the rapier wit himself.
In short, if you find any of those aspects alluring, Asper is definitely worth checking out. You won’t regret it. And with a little luck, maybe we’ll get a chance to see more of these characters in the future…
This is the first book I read from this author and let me tell you that I loved it! Such a good book with great characters that keeps you obsessed with every page since the first one. The ending of this book.. come on! I just didn´t expect it! Can´t wait to read other books from this great writer! Amazing job! a must-read! A fantastic book that has it all! I happily endorse this story to any and all who are looking for a fantasy enjoyable read and a completely different experience than anyone could imagine on their own. ¡Great book!
I read a lot of YA book but I am definitely not in the age target for this book, it was quite juvenile.
In only the first chapter, Asper’s father gets killed for a magical scroll, she sworn vengeance and plan to kill the evil Queen right away. A little bit later, she realizes that she is no match for the sorceress and travel to earth through a portal, not really knowing what she is doing.
She then meets Parker, a human boy and his grand-parents. There is also his ex-girlfriend who is over the top jealous and obsessive. The baby drama was rush and unnecessary. Teen pregnancy doesn’t have it place in a so call adventure fantasy story.
I could see the story twist right away and I felt I was in a bad episode of the show “Once Upon a time’’ with all the family tide between the characters.
I couldn’t care less about Asper and her quest for vengeance, nor remember why the magical scroll was so important.