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Latest Reviews For The Crimson Orb


5.0 of 5 stars


Ebook Reviewer on October 17, 2014


An enchanting fantasy adventure that should appeal to all ages. The crimson orb is great fun with fantastic characters and scenes that will live long in the mind. Recommended.


5.0 of 5 stars


by Brendan Murphy November 7, 2014


A wonderful, magical tale fit for a gourmand! Nissa is a believable hero, who grows as the book progresses; it was great to see her blossom. 


5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner!, July 21, 2014

By Valentina 


I took this book with me on our vacation and it was a very lovely companion. It’s definitely a page turner and I enjoyed it a lot!



5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 18, 2014

By Tom Lyons


Great job Joyce. I enjoyed your book immensely!!
Author Tom Lyons




5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book with a good heart! July 14, 2014



A delightful read for young fantasy readers, The Crimson Orb offers a mix of fantasy and adventure in the spirit of a cosy read that draws you into a world of magic and science. Plucky, young mistress, Nissa, sets out on an adventure to rescue her friend the wizard, Madoc when he disappears while returning from a visit to his family. Determined to find her own adventure and prove that she can hold her own as a young woman in a man's world, Nissa turns out to be a courageous and talented girl who will brave many perils to save those she loves. I enjoyed this book for its clean storyline and for the lovely characters.




5.0 out of 5 stars June 21, 2014

By Leila Lodencraft


The Crimson Orb is the story of a Quest. Two siblings, a brother and a sister set out to find their mentor, tutor and friend who not only knows about the world but also knows a bit of magic. Nissa, our heroine, is longing to do more of what the boys do, fight with weapons and go on adventures. Little does she know that she's about to do just that. When her friend and mentor, Madoc fails to return from a journey, she and her brother go in search of him. Together they traverse land and sea, meeting and overcoming obstacles as well as meeting and becoming fast friends with Madoc's siblings who join there search.


As they search for Madoc, others are searching for the Crimson Orb, a magic item that does ...something. No one is certain but the legend of what the orb can do grows as does the lust of those who want it to gain power.


As their search takes them far to the north, the grow in both experience and in character, find out about themselves and others in their world around them. Some of what they learn is happy, other lessons are sad.


This is a great start to what promises to be a fun series for the younger set. It's filled with excitement but also things that you can learn at the same time you enjoy NIssa's adventure.This is also a book that you can give an older child without worrying about inappropriate content..I recommend it highly for anyone who likes to "go walkabout."



5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently Readable Otherworldly Adventure, Well Told... June 18, 2014

By Cynthia Reed


I bought the Kindle edition of this book to pre-read on a long weekend away before gifting my book-hungry grandchildren with a hard copy. I wasn't quite certain which of them would enjoy it AND I wanted to make sure it was suitable (fairly stuffy parents lol). I've concluded that it's bound for two out of the three of them, one a teenage boy (the swordplay! the wizard!} and one a pre-teen girl (the heroine! the cat! the magic!). I suspect that the third one, who's just nine and still utterly soccer-crazy, will be along to read it in due course.


The fun begins on page one, when our heroine, Nissa, sitting and petting her cat whilst (jealously) watching her brothers practice swordplay, is joined by Holm Manor's wizard, Madoc. Need I say more? A girl who yearns to master the sword, and wizardry? And probably some rapid beating of the young heart along the way? And pesky sisters, too? Yes, you've got it.

By the end of Chapter One, I'd learned the difference between magic and wizardry and that, even in Nissa's world, girls haven't been allowed to do the same things as boys. Bah! But is she going to put up with that? I think not, would you? The story of Nissa and Master Madoc, the wizard (and more), was definitely my favourite part, and central to the story. When Madoc goes missing, the quest begins.


Ever wonder if a wizard is a such a good wizard, why he can't free himself when the baddies get him? Yeah, me, too. Now I know; I think that was somewhere along about Chapter Twenty-Four.


By the end of Chapter Forty-Three, I'd learn how to turn a skirt into wide-legged riding britches, who didn't make it across the Frozen Tundra, where the Crimson Orb was (but how to get it???) and what the swamp inhabitants were doing with it.



5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful adventure tale. July 6, 2014

By glennie


Wonderful coming-of-age, adventure story! Nissa is frustrated with her life of being told she can't do certain things because that's what boys do. Stuck in the sewing and cooking world of the girls is just not enough for her. An adventure unfolds as she and her brother leave home to find their missing wizard. Nissa learns a lot during her journey. "Boy" tasks and "girl" tasks are both useful and important. There are a lot of interesting characters and strange lands in this book. I look forward to their next adventure.



5.0 out of 5 stars Joyce Hertzoff Has Real Talent June 23, 2014

By Gorblimey2


What does the Crimson Orb do? We aren't sure and no one else is either, but everyone knows it does something. We follow our heroine, Nissa, on a grand journey to find her mentor and, along the way, the Crimson Orb. She finally gets her wish, to be the equal of the males in her group. Nissa has a lot to learn and faces many battles and challenges along the way. You fall in love with her pluck and intelligence. This is a good story for everyone, but a great story for girls and women. Very empowering.


Joyce Hertzoff did a wonderful job developing the characters and giving us plenty of people to cheer and several to boo. I liked this story a lot and can't wait for the sequel...which I hope will be soon.




5.0 out of 5 stars The Crimson Orb June 17, 2014

By Leona Pence


I thoroughly enjoyed the Crimson Orb by Joyce Hertzoff. The quest of Narissa and her brother, Blane, to find their friend Madoc the wizard, was fraught with peril. They braved the inclement weather of The Frozen Tundra, kidnappers, people obsessed with the Crimson Orb, and yet knew the pangs of budding romance.


This book held my interest as an older person just as much as it will for the younger generation. Kudos go to Joyce for an amazing first novel. I’m looking forward to book two of the series.

Reviews for A Bite of the Apple - all Five Stars

by Leila Lodencraft on September 11, 2016

Ms. Hertzoff's second book, A Bite of the Apple, is a great fantasy book for older children and younger teens. The main protagonist, Bet, (short for Anabet) is a lovely older girl/young woman who, while she loves her family and their farm, yearns for adventure. Well, she gets her wish in a manner she could never have imagined. Her Aunt, a portal traveler, has decided that it's time for Bet to begin her training -- and that's where things get interesting. Through the workings of fate, Bet finds herself alone, on an alien world, filled with things she never imagined, and it's up to her to find the solution to the issue that got her there in the first place. Written in the first person, we see that world through Anabet's fresh eyes as she continues with her adventure. This is an excellent read for older children and young teens, particularly girls who might yearn for adventure.

By Lisa McCoy on October 25, 2016

Joyce has created an interesting realm for her portal characters. The story is fast-paced and fun. A sweet YA story that I hope she continues!


Miri on April 14, 2017

This review is from: A Bite of the Apple: Portal Adventures Book 1 (Kindle Edition)

This is not something I might have normally picked up but I wanted to have an idea of Ms Herzoff's writing and it did not disappoint. A quick and easy read, the well thought story is written with a young audience in mind. It should appeal to middle grade children and up.

My favorite line:

'Nearby, enclosed by a very low fence to keep it from escaping, was a small square of grass with a tiny tree bravely growing in its center, battling the glass and metal for every ray of sunlight.'

It describes very well how small patches of greenery must feel in New York City.

By Victor Acquista on December 19, 2016

A delightful YA fantasy adventure. The protagonist, Anabet, is cast into the "deep end of the pool" with a mission she is ill prepared to accomplish. She relies on her sharp wits and help from new friends to navigate in a strange new world.

5.0 out of 5 stars A lighter novella with a clear narrative

By Zachry Wheeler on November 10, 2017

In a genre overflowing with epic worlds and massive character ensembles, it was refreshing to enjoy a lighter novella with a clear first-person narrative. I enjoyed following Anabet through her portal adventures, a plucky protagonist that echoes Meg from A Wrinkle in Time.

If you enjoyed any of my books, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

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