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Tower of Parlen Min (The Narrow Escapes of Ves Asirin, #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny ... if he can escap ...more
Nook, 345 pages
Published July 23rd 2010 by Xell, Matt
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Novels On The Run
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Tower of Parlen Min, is a YA book aimed at age bracket 14-18yrs. I did enjoy a lot of Matt's writing as he is very creative. I personally was a little conflicted with this rating as to me it is a middle grade book as most of the characters ages are 11-15yrs. The story is mainly surrounded around Ves Asirin who is only 11 yrs old , I would feel better if Ves was as an example, 15 yrs old as it would help it to fit into the YA bracket as the book has a lot of violence in it. The book cover screams ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Where to start with this particular book? Well, it's very, very long. It's taken me over a week to plug through it, usually it only takes me a day. I think my overall reaction is 'too much'. There's just a little bit too much of everything and it kinda spoiled my enjoyment of the story. The Sword Challenge is only a small part of many different things going on at once, I really enjoyed reading about that but then there was murders going on somewhere in the village and wolves attacking and family ...more
Michelle  novelsontherun
Tower of Parlen Min, is a YA book aimed at age bracket 14-18yrs. I did enjoy a lot of Matt's writing as he is very creative. I personally was a little conflicted with this rating as to me it is a middle grade book as most of the characters ages are 11-15yrs. The story is mainly surrounded around Ves Asirin who is only 11 yrs old , I would feel better if Ves was as an example, 15 yrs old as it would help it to fit into the YA bracket as the book has a lot of violence in it. The book cover screams ...more
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
Ves is unlike any main character I have come across and you find out early in the book that he's a negative thinker. I felt a little bit at ease after reading the author's own take on his character in a blog

post he did on July 17 2011 in which I quote "I mean, who wants to read a book told by an anti-social introverted orphan with memory loss disorder who has pretty much nothing to say or think about but paint a cynical view of us fun and happy people with social lives?"

There is one point in the
Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Tower of Parlen Min tells the story of 11-year-old Ves Asirin, who wins a trip to the famous Tower of Parlen Min. Ves is a seemingly ordinary boy. He lives at the Orem Orphanage, and has a strange memory disorder that makes him forget everything that happened the day before. It's like a reset button on his mind. In the beginning of the book, this is mentioned frequently, and he goes to doctors to help his memory, but as he goes to the Tower, it's rarely regarded. That's one of the problems I had ...more
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Originally Posted at:

Tower of Parlen Min captured my interest when I read the blurb. The Sword Challenge sounded like The Hunger Games, so I decided to give it a shot. Amazing. I haven't read a fantasy book in ages, and this one lived up to my expectations– and went ever further than that! It mixed in fantasy with paranormal creatures, history and mythology and adventure and mystery. This book has it all!

Ves was an interesting character. He has this memor
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
T his book was really exciting. It was such a cool storyline, and it was so long it really felt like a true adventure. A TON goes on in this story, and at times it feels like the book is never ending. This really helped me relate to the children, because most of the time they really did not know what was going on around them or what they got themselves into. And not knowing what was in store for them, and not knowing when it was going to end or a major shift in the plotline was going to happen r ...more
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Fragments of Life.


I’ll start by saying that Tower of Parlen Min is one of the most unique books I read this year. Matt Xell is a genius when it came to blending fantasy and mythology with his own ideas. I’ll never forget them. I’ve read a wide range of mythology from Greek to Norse and I’m familiar with the different tales regarding the paranormal, the mystical and the unexplained. But still, reading Tower of Parlen Min surprised me. It went beyond my expectations.

Ves wa
Jade Walker
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Original review at

My first idea of this book, from the blurb, was that it was like a darker, more fantastic version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I don't know why, but that's just what I got from the synopsis. It isn't what I got from the book, instead, I got an exciting and thrilling story that I really enjoyed.

Firstly, let me get the bad stuff out of the way. I didn't like the writing style at the start - it was like a voiceover introducing our main c
Originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on Jul 15 2011:

It didn’t quite work out between us…all that promise, all those possibilities…*sigh*
I’m not sure what it was that spoiled our potential chemistry; there were many parts I appreciated about Matt Xell‘s work, the plot itself is original, with a fresh blend of creatures, some religion (wasn’t too keen on that…) and plenty of action. I did like the battle scenes more then all the rest, and I generally don’t quite go for those. Here, perhaps
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Review from my blog:

Summary: This story is about Ves Asirin, an orphan, who was chosen along with 19 other children to visit the Tower of Parlen Min--a large tower owned by a wealthy man (think sort of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory golden ticket sort of ordeal). When the children arrive there, they are given an opportunity to compete in a Sword Challenge in which the winning team will receive a $12 million prize. The kids go begin the challenge and go through a
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbb-review
I didn't know where to begin with this book. A part of me wanted to like it; simply because I thought the book has huge potential, whereas another half just couldn’t shake the feeling of dislike; because there seemed to be so many weaknesses I sensed even in the first few chapters. I gave up after reading only 35% of the book, which I think is very unfair for both the author and of course, me as I rarely didn’t finish a book. Tower of Parlen Min, for a few moments kept me fixed to it at the begi ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought that Tower of Parlen Min sounded like a really exciting and awesome book full of puzzles and tasks that the main character Ves would have to go through throughout the book. While it did have that element to it, there was also a whole lot more to the story.
I really enjoyed Tower of Parlen Min. I’ll admit that at first I thought things were a bit boring and slow going but that was only because the characters and the background for the story had to get set up. Once the story got deeper in
Sift Book Reviews
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kellie
At first, I had some trouble getting into this one, but once I was, it was a really intriguing read. The main character Ves deals with some pretty strange memory issues, has a chance to will $12 million and has to get through some pretty intense challenges to get there.

I've always been a big fan of games, challenges, puzzles etc in books and this story has a bit of everything, as well as a great storyline to tie it all together. A lot of what Matt Xell decided to put his characters through was h
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Right from the start Tower of Parlen Min had me curious. The main character, Ves, has a condition where he loses his memory every day. I was anxious to find out why, especially once subtle clues were dropped...but as to what those clues were, you'll have to read the story to find out for yourself.

This book was packed full of action, and while reading, it constantly keeps you on your toes. Right when you think that the action has stopped, something happens again and the action starts all over aga
A Book Vacation
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This novel is a rollercoaster ride of suspense and mystery, complete with nonstop action and a conclusion that will leave you reeling. Needless to say, this is a great novel for all ages! It has a very interesting premise and the prologue had me hooked within moments. Although the writing style of the prologue is a little different, reading more as an informative narrative than an actual story, it gives the reader a much-needed rundown of Ves Asirin and his life leading up to the openin
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I read the synopsis I expected something entirely different of this book. But my expectations weren’t only met, they were excelled. Ves was a great character, especially with his memory disorder. Although it was difficult to memorize the events that happenend, he always managed to do so. I also liked Vikey, one of the children who went to the tower with Ves. She was lovely, but sometimes I found her a bit too jealous. She was nevertheless really adventurous, which I liked about her and help ...more
Miss Bookiverse
Jun 22, 2011 marked it as didnt-finish
Shelves: f-ebook
The author personally asked me to review his self-published book. I loved the cover and thought the summary sounded interesting, so I gave it a try. Unfortunately I only made it to page 130 (about 38% of the book). Matt Xell has some really cool ideas for creatures (I loved the wolves and their secret language) and setting. Also his world building and the names he chose for characters and places made me curious but the rest just failed to pull me in. Maybe this book just has a slow start and get ...more
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Tower of Parlen Min sounded like a book full of fantasy, excitement and mystery but there is a lot more than what the synopsis hints.
Although the beginning was sort of slow for me and I struggled to keep my attention on the story, I realized later in the book that it was needed to set the background and bases of Ves' world. Once he gets to the Tower of Parlen Min, the pace is faster and full of action and adventure that doesn't stop until the very end of the book.
There are several things going o
I was asked by the author to write an honest review for this self-published book.

Ves Asirin, an orphan with a memory loss disorder, wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min where he will get to meet a wealthy inventor. But this awesome trip isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Secrets lurk at the tower, and Ves is the only one who can help!

The author has some really wonderful ideas. The setting is fun and Ves is such a different character. His memory loss certainly hinders him at times, but it doesn’t d
Rida (Raindrop Reflections)
This book was bursting with ideas. I haven’t read a mix fantasy and mythology like this before, and there were certainly some ideas that were very unique. However, the main character, Ves Asirin, wasn’t someone I liked much. Losing your memory is no excuse to act unpleasant, in my opinion.

I also felt like there was a lot of telling, and not enough showing. For example, there would be a description of exactly what a character was like, instead of showing the character’s actions and leaving it to
Aine Massie
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
See full review at

3.5 blood drops

The Tower of Parlen Min was an interesting and creative YA read filled with puzzles, fantasy, and mythology. The idea behind this story and it’s accompanying blurb were what drew me into wishing to read the book (I requested to review and was provided an ARC by the author).

It’s a bit out of my normal personal reads but I did enjoy the story greatly. While there were some ‘telling’ issues and it flowed a bit uniquely at tim
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
This book follows Ves Asirin an orphan who suffers from a memory loss disorder. I liked Ves in the beginning and I did feel sympathy for him, but when he arrived at the Tower he turned into somewhat of a jerk. But the one trait I admired was that Ves was always up for an adventure and liked to learn new things.But many times he would get himself in trouble with the adults and children while doing that.

I only had three problems with the story and the writing. There was a fair amount of grammatica
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The action in it was great the writing was superb and I really overall enjoyed the book.

Of course I did have some problems with it and I'm going to get that out of the way first. My first problem was that Matt Xell introduced his characters a little too quickly. There was twenty children to remember their names and that in itself was a lot but when he introduces them all in the same paragraph that is really hard to remember.

Another problem
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Review originally posted at Magical Books

Tower of Parlen Min opens up with a strong and mysterious prologue. A boy is sitting on a bus in the middle of the night. He's covered in blood, wearing other people's clothes and can't remember anything. Instatntly thousands of questions pop into my mind. These are the kinds of prologues I love. Exciting, mysterious and making you want to know everything about the characters and their story.

In the first chapter we get to know the boy when he has yet to e
Missy (Missy's Reads & Reviews)
This was yet another fun story that I had the pleasure of reviewing for the author. Honestly, when I saw the MC (Ves) was on the younger side, I thought I was going to be severely disappointed with the story. I was expecting a lot of immaturity and things that I would know longer be able to relate to because of the age gap. Fortunately, that was never the case with this story.

Sure, there was a few moments of immaturity but given the age and circumstances, I don't think that it crossed the line i
Amy Jones
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell is packed full of action and adventure. You will immediately be fascinated by Ves Asirin, a mysterious and exceptional orphaned boy. Ves's journey is one of a kind. Everyday Ves awakes to a new mystery, literally, because each night he experiences an excruciating mind robbing headache that erases all of his memories from the previous day (or at least most of them). Ves's condition has made his life quite challenging but he is not completely in the dark. Like ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
First getting to know Ves, you can tell right away he doesn't fit in with the other kids at the orphanage, instead of playing cards, gossiping or just hanging out at lunch, he gets out his notebook and draws.

This notebook, is the most important thing to Ves. Not only can he express himself in it, by drawing, but also it's what lets him remember things. Yeah, we all have photo albums that remind us of good times we've had in the past, but this notebook allows Ves to remember things his done yeste
Red Haircrow
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
“Tower of Parlen Min” was full of potential, but sentence and paragraph structure were problematic for me. There is so much information and descriptions presented, I felt major streamlining of the characters, plot and ideas, or possible rearrangement would have made for easier understanding and reading. The main character Ves Asirin just didn’t engage my interest enough for me to want to really know who he was so I could empathize with him and root him on in his endeavors. We are given some of ...more
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a wonderful story about an 11-year old boy with a memory loss disorder. Ves Asirin can’t remember anything after 10-15 hours so he is forced to leave clues for himself to help him remember what he’s done all through out the previous day.

Matt Xell has packed this book with action, adventure, mystery, and magic. The characters are alive and breathing through the page, But Ves stood out most to me with his witty solutions for every problem he comes across.

The concept is quite tangled in imp
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