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Empyreal Illusions

Empyreal Illusions

4.6 15
by Jake Bonsignore

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Fourteen-year-old Breena Taljain’s dreary existence in the slums of Purgaire comes to a sudden end when a chance encounter with a criminal mastermind known as the Patriarch goes horridly wrong. His assault on her for refusing to pay for her mother’s addiction leaves her comatose and teetering on the edge of life and death.

Galbrecht Atalir is a


Fourteen-year-old Breena Taljain’s dreary existence in the slums of Purgaire comes to a sudden end when a chance encounter with a criminal mastermind known as the Patriarch goes horridly wrong. His assault on her for refusing to pay for her mother’s addiction leaves her comatose and teetering on the edge of life and death.

Galbrecht Atalir is a washed-up doctor struggling to overcome his inner demons through alcohol and aggression. He never quite recovered from the unsolved murder of his family seven years prior. When he discovers Breena as his newest patient, he knows at once that the Patriarch is the one who eluded him for almost a decade.

The medicine Galbrecht gives Breena draws her into a heavenly paradise. When it ebbs away, though, the recurring trauma plunges her into treacherous hinterlands. There, Breena must learn to find power in courage, hope, and love to overcome fiends of hatred bent on permanently ending her existence.

With justice burning in his heart, Galbrecht begins a race against time to seek out the Patriarch in the underworld before Breena loses her struggle against the ever-darkening terrors of her mind….

Product Details

Jake Bonsignore
Publication date:
The Inferno Unleashed , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Jake Bonsignore is the author of multiple novels, including Empyreal Illusions, Awakening the Fire, and The Lioness. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida with magna cum laude honors. Outside of his literary pursuits, he enjoys playing sports and is a fitness enthusiast. He is currently working on his next book.

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Empyreal Illusions 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A few words that come to mind after reading this book- Eloquent, richly-detailed, intense, and well-developed. Breena is a young girl raised in Purgaire by her drug-addicted mother. Never knowing her father, Breena struggles to provide for herself amidst the desperation around her. After Korvan, the owner of the local bar (and also her boss) takes advantage of her, she quits, leaving her unprotected against the ills of the street. Tairo (aka known as many other names) quickly finds her. He exacts his form of justice against her since her mother owes him money for drugs and is unable to pay. He beats Breena to a pulp and leaves her to die. Miraculously, Breena is brought to the hospital, where she is placed in the care of Galbrecht Atalir. Galbrecht is a doctor who spends his free time drinking his sorrows at the local pub. His wife & daughters were murdered in the past, and he’s never given up on searching for the culprit. Seeing Breena in her deplorable condition reminds him of his youngest daughter & pricks his heart. He does everything he can to save her, even giving her powerful drugs that send her into a kind of wonderland coma. He proceeds to hunt down the character responsible for the deaths of his family and for Breena’s deathly situation. In her coma, Breen experiences growth & renewing of strength. She meets characters that reinforce her power and those she must fight to save herself & others. "It takes courage to live, yes, she had told Mulciber not too long ago, but it takes true bravery to stand your ground in a world aligned against you." The battle scenes are incredible and well-written. The depth of description is a playground for the imagination! 5 Stars for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Empyreal Illusions is an amazing fantasy novel. I was lucky enough to read it while it was being developed. Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down, and I couldn't get enough. The fantasy genre is not my usual cup of tea, but if more books were like this one maybe it would be! Surprisingly, the sequel is even better. Just you wait.... Epic doesn't even begin to cover this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jake Bonsignore has diligently created a world that blends mythologies together and creates new ones. His ideas are innovative and imaginative, and the imagery within this book is beautifully vivid. The protagonist is a convincingly cynical 14 year old girl by the name of Breena Taljain, who is a down on her luck miscreant living in a broken, drug addicted city. In Breena’s town, you are either a junkie, or being beaten up by one. She is left despairing of life, forced to grow up too soon. When a traumatic event destroys her body, she is thrust into a heady drug-induced coma world. Here, she discovers an amazing paradise where her dreams can come true. But there is a darker side to this perfect world, and it won’t rest until it finds her. In contrast to his main character, Bonsignore introduces us to Galbrecht Atalir, a drunkard doctor with a secret past. In the search for his own redemption, Galbrecht inflicts horrific violence against the regime of the shadowy Patriarch. Bonsignore does not shy away from these graphic depictions. Indeed, this is some of his most evocative work. This debut epic fantasy creates horror and splendour in equal measure, contrasting fantasy and reality until the reader no longer realises which is which. Bonsignore leaves his readers asking ‘what happens next?’
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished Empyreal Illusions about 2 minutes ago..I am still on emotional see saw! First off, Jake Bonsignore is going to be one of the new authors to watch...Just one snippet from this book and I was hooked. Jake has such an elegant style of writing, it just sucks you right in and all you can do is hold on for the rest of the ride. Few authors have pulled off a first fantasy novel like this one. Secondly, I was immersed in Brenna's despair, her happiness and her anger. The plot is a new one for me...not just another take off of another book...this one is original! It is not a difficult read, Jake writes simply, but oh..man...ever so wonderfully putting words together to make not just a picture, but a movie in my mind! My brain witnessed the despair of Purgaire, the achingly beautiful Araboth, the depravity of the Patriarch and the complex emotions of our heroine, Breena. Jake made her emotions mine. For a while, I was Breena! Third thing that just grabbed my attention after a little bit of reading was they symbology interspersed throughout. Very cleaver author using chains the way he did....Took me a while, but I eventually caught on. This one is going to be a re read for me....I kept forcing myself to slow down, but at points that was impossible...I was on the edge of my seat, my breathing elevated and it seemed like my skin tingled...was I hyperventilating??? Maybe...but it was well worth the emotional ride. I have put this author on my favorite new author list and believe that he will be a voice that will bring more youth into the realm of fantasy fiction! Congrats Jake on a book well done! Now write faster....
GingerDawnHarman More than 1 year ago
Empyreal Illusions By Jake Bonsignore Kindle, ASIN: B00D18OUU4, $0.99, Print Length: 388 pages A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman Empyreal Illusions is the first book in the Inferno Unleashed series. The novel begins in the slums of Purgaire, where 14 year old Breena Taljain struggles with her mother's addiction to Nepenthe and yearns for a relationship with a father that she never knew. Korvan, the owner of The Laughing Banshee provides no future and a life in the dregs of society. With the pressure from The Sin Ministry for payment of Breena's mother's use of Nepenthe, the patriarch takes matters into his own hands. Life hangs in the balance as Breena visits other worlds, establishes contact with her father, and must learn to trust new friends. Jake Bonsignore has created a fantasy novel that although entertaining and grammatically correct, it left me as a reader feeling unimpressed. Jake Bonsignore has many strengths. Creative fantasy must be entertaining with much emphasis on magical or mythological creatures, world building, and establishing cultures. Jake Bonsignore does establish these important features. However, I do feel his word choices and descriptions were lack-luster. For example, the author used the term "milky" and "violet" to describe the sky over ten times in the novel. In one description the author describes, "If only for a split second, Araboth was no better than Purgaire. Gone was the beauty of the two moons and milky, violet skies." Yet, a few sentences later the author repeats the description by stating, "Beneath the glistening array of stars dappling the milky, violet skies, a massive bird spanning over seventy feet in length unfurled his massive wings and let out a shrill cry." After reading so much of the milky, violet, and azure sky, I honestly began to feel lactose intolerant and began to lose interest in the plot. Furthermore, the author was inconsistent with information by telling the reader instead of showing the reader. Good writing tends to draw an image in the reader's mind instead of just telling the reader what to think or believe. The first example I gave tells but the second example of Bonsignore shows or provides an image. By not having consistency of establishing these details in rise and fall of action, the reader has a story more of prose and not enough action. Building the worlds of Purgaire and Araboth was very well done. Jake Bonsignore was able to make transitions between the worlds with ease for the reader to follow. Moreover, the author has a talented imagination that doesn't confine the reader to boundaries of the stereotypical fantasy novel. I did find the novel with identifiable central conflicts and it does support the authors theme of hope and courage. Yet, the character development was more information with no connection to the reader. I feel some of this is because too many characters were used. This made it hard for me to follow and made the plot a bit fragmented. For example the following line, "Veku nodded. He holes himself up in Muspelheim, a volcanic land deep in Yomi. He's more irritable than Ryujin, if that's even possible. With the Oni swearing allegiance to him and the Shikome to the other, things between the two clans are never easy" tells so much information that I had to refer to previous pages to understand who was what and where. Also by having characters with too unique of a name such as Kagutsuchi, Galbrecht Atalir, and Korvan, at times left me unable to keep track of who is who. Because I had to keep track of so many characters, I felt it hurt the narrative and made the plot choppy. The cover of the book is fantastic and really impressed me. Overall, Empyreal Illusions by Jake Bonsignore is not a terrible read or a highly recommended read. I found it as just indifferent with nothing that makes me want to continue to the second in the series. I almost wonder if the author did not trust his own voice while writing and held back. That may be the reason why I was not able to connect with any of the characters. This novel would be more appropriate for those who enjoy science fiction and fantasy.
toni-michelle More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Empyreal Illusion was a pretty good fantasy book. It started out pretty sad but things got going and cheered up. Bree’s struggle, heart ache and physical pain at such a young age made the book inspirational in a way.  The author did a good job in telling this story, but there were some boring parts, for me anyway. I would recommend readers give this book a try. My rating (3.5-4.0) is a bit undecided as it’s hard for me to really say 3.5 when the book was good. It just doesn’t sound like a good rating but really the book is not a bad book! 
Sarah_A_Kaider More than 1 year ago
Jake Bonsignore is a brilliant author with an incredible knack for spinning a tale. I fell in love with Empyreal Illusions within minutes of starting it. In the beginning, we meet poor fourteen year old Breena Taljain, a girl who lives with a Nepenthe addict and works her way out of starvation at The Laughing Banshee, a bar run by an abusive barkeep and his prostitutes. After standing up for herself, Breena quits her awful job and decides to leave her awful town, Purgaire. The Patriarch, the man who sells Nepenthe and rules over the town with his terror, comes to collect money from Breena's mother, and whips Breena into a coma when she refuses him. She wakes up in the beautiful world of Araboth, where she meets the coolest animal in the world, her guardian, Veku the Shisa, and reunites with her father. When Breena finally becomes accustomed to her new paradise, things suddenly go wrong.  Back in Purgaire, the Doctor, Galbrecht Atalir, finds Breena under the same conditions that his family had endured, and he knows that he must seek revenge against The Patriarch.  The story displays the beauty of the world that Breena is thrown into as well as the horrors of the town she used to belong to. Reading the story, I was constantly on my toes, loving to hate The Patriarch as much as I hated The Governor in The Walking Dead (and then some, for The Patriarch was even more evil, in my opinion).  I'm anxious to start Awakening The Fire, the sequel to Empyreal Illusions, because I absolutely must know what happens next.  Bonsignore has created an entirely new realm of mystical beings, magical occurrences and bravery. Look out, J.K. Rowling, because Bonsignore's world was as captivating as ever. I highly recommend the Inferno Unleashed Series to anyone who loved Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent. Just stunning. Jake is a masterful storyteller and his world creation is mind-blowing. I was drawn in immediately and I love that it’s not what I expected. I was thinking this would just be another YA fantasy, a fairly typical sword and sorcery tale. However, Empyreal Illusions is a fresh vision in the genre. Sure, there are all your standard fantasy tropes, but Jake has crafted something entirely unique. This does not remind me of anything else I have read, which is so nice to see in a book. Parts of it read like a Final Fantasy game, but anyone who knows me knows this is a wonderful thing! Two things in particular stood out for me in this novel. First, the language. The vocabulary is impressive. At times, it feels like it might alienate some of the target audience since I don’t know a lot of teens who know what the word “discomfiting” means. However, I have to say it is not overwritten. At no point did the diction take me out of the story and it is used to help strengthen the world in which the story is set. Secondly, Empyreal Illusions is dark. Very dark. Although it is set in a fantasy world, it tackles issues like drug addiction, corruption, life and death, the break up of families, and even sexual harassment. None of it is inappropriate and I would not have an issue with any reader capable of reading this doing so, but I kind of expected fluff. I am pleased that it was not. Jake takes risks in this book and with his writing and I admire that a lot. I strongly recommend checking out this book, especially if this is a genre you enjoy. Jake Bonsignore is a fresh new voice in YA and he is one to watch! 
WonderWmn More than 1 year ago
It’s been awhile since I read a YA fantasy novel like this. The worlds that Jake Bonsignore have created are truly original. He can write from one extreme i.e. the downtrodden land of Purgaire to the next, i.e. the magical world of Araboth without skipping a beat. I thank him for providing me a copy in return for an honest review. Reading this book was like watching a movie. The effects were not lost because the imagery is presented to you in a way that gives you guidance on what is being seen by the characters but also allows the reader to expand on that with their imaginative creativity. There are not many books like this. Even though you were flipped from one POV to another, it didn’t feel strained and the stories flowed seamlessly. The raw emotions throughout this book pulled me through the ringer. The hell that Breena lived with due to her mother’s drug habit was described in such a way that I could feel her personal struggles, her pain, her loss, her anger, etc. The loss of G­albrecht Atalir’s family was a nightmare nobody should ever have to endure. The evil monster that had changed both of their lives forevermore was portrayed in such a way that I felt a darkness envelope me as I read about him. The internal and external battles that were fought had me from start to finish. I recommend this book to anyone you likes a good fantasy novel with bits of every type of emotion under the sun wrapped into it. Plus there is mystery, suspense, revenge, hope and renewal that packages this book into a fantastic read. The cover drew me to the book, the writing sucked me right into it and I look forward to the next book in the series and any other writings of Jake Bonsignore.
KjReadsnRambles More than 1 year ago
This book has got to be one of the most wonderfully written books I have read this year, I am totally in love with this story. There was never a moment I wasn’t right in the story and seeing first-hand what was happening. The complete genius of following Breena from her impoverished life, to the beauty of the paradise she finds after being beaten so severely; to the parallel of the doctor racing to save her life and his own as well. I am not even going to try and explain, reading this story needs to be savored. I highly recommend this book to everyone, it is an awesome book, and with more to come I can only imagine the delights that are in store for us. I want to thank Mr. Bonsignore for giving me this book to read and review, it is without a doubt on the top of my favorites list. I have rated this book at 5 stars.
lesleypeck More than 1 year ago
I have always had a hard time imagining a man being able to write from a girl's perspective. I'm usually proven wrong (which I hate to admit, shhhh don't tell anyone especially my husband) but I really was impressed by this first fantasy novel by Jake Bonsignore. It was amazing! He has such an eloquent way of writing. You are sucked into this imaginary world where everything feels so real. I loved this book. I think fantasy is one of the hardest to read - either it's believable or it's not. And this so was!! I really can't wait to read more from him!
NyteMirage More than 1 year ago
Jake Bonsignore paints a colorful world full of magical creatures, hateful people, helpful heroes, and hope. Breena lead a dreadful life of poverty. Her mother was a drug addict and at fourteen years old she was the one that had to work to bring home enough money to not completely starve to death. Money she had to hide or her mother would find it and buy more Nepenthe. Her bad luck seems to continue and the Patriarch catches up with her. He is the one that sells the drugs around town. And he wants Breena to pay up for her mother's addiction. In the end she can't run fast enough and ends up being beaten within an inch of her life.  Galbrecht is one of the doctors that watches over her. She's in a coma in the hospital, but somehow she wakes up in Araboth. This is where the book makes you think. I'm not sure if everything that happens to her in this other world is just a dream or if it is an actual place. Is it just a drug induced stupor as she trudges through this coma. Or has her soul perhaps been transported to a whole different world? And Galbrecht has some debts to settle with the Patriarch as well. He wants to get even for the things that the Patriarch has done to his family. He goes off on a journey of his own to track him down and he wants to put an end to all of this before someone else like Breena gets hurt.  Just as well, Breena has embarked on a magical journey in this new world. One that takes her through beautiful sights, breathtaking views, and into bleak existences all for the sake of a war and stopping those on the side of darkness. In order to find out if Galbrecht or Breena are victorious in their quests you need to grab this book and read it! I give this book 5 stars!
Tlewis0830 More than 1 year ago
LOVED IT!!!  Wonderful novel, great author... go buy it NOW!  :)
bigfoot4030 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much. It took me some time to figure out what was going on. It was a twist that I think is great. the characters are full and believable. all i all it was a great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I will preface this review by saying that I found this author through an online author group and we really connected, so of course I wanted to read what he was writing. I normally don't read fantasy books (I usually cannot follow the story or plots) so I was secretly hesitant about picking up this book. Now, I look back on my hesitation and say WHY!? This book was amazing! The characters, although hard to pronounce, were actually really easy to connect with. I was able to get into an easy reading flow with them and truly understand their emotions and struggles. I wanted so badly to hurt Breena's parents for being deadbeats and absent. I was angry for her and I suffered for her. As a reader that is something that I want to do. I want to connect with my characters and feel their emotions, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to in this fantasy book! I was completely enthralled with the adventures Breena took after she meets Galbrecht. She was forced to find herself in a world and a place that was unknown to her. Her struggles to overcome these people who want to see her dead are what brings the story to life. Similarly, I love the descriptions that Jake provides for the reader. I can see the "caustic smoke wafting through her flaring nostrils" and other extremely vivid details that bring this world to life for my mind to explore. Lastly, the actual writing style is phenomenal. This isn't amateur writing. This is someone who really knows the grammar and stylistic ways of writing. This book is worth the money you'll spend on it. Overall, I CANNOT wait to see where Jake takes us on his other book adventures. He may even have ignited my curiosity for the fantasy genre. I will def. be coming back for more of Jake's work and Breena's adventures. Thanks for writing an awesome book!