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5+ stars for White Storks of Mercy Trilogy: Formation #fantasy #magicalrealism #bookreview

Title: White Storks of Mercy Trilogy: Formation

Author: Joni Anderson van Berkel

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Time Travel, Magical Realism, Mythology

Book Blurb:

The first book of this new trilogy is set in a world where reality and fantasy coexist. The story starts in ancient Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty and ends in twentieth century Portugal. A supernatural clairvoyant Sacred Stork of the Bach named Tara travels through time searching for a group of diverse women to join her on a mission to reset humanity’s moral compass.

Tara saves a pharaoh, a martyr, a warrior, a queen, and a Gypsy girl from death. She grants them eternal life and the ability to transform into the White Storks of Mercy. Her chosen companions must wear the magical talismans gifted by their leader or they will become mortal. The birds transform into human females called the Merciful Ones when their feet touch the earth. Tara manifests her own human body along the way.

Throughout the course of this epic journey Tara’s jealous sister, an ancient Egyptian Siamese cat named Reba, attempts to thwart the efforts of her moralistic twin. Reba possesses telepathic power and mind-controlling blue eyes. She conscripts a member of the White Storks of Mercy to spy on Tara. The cat also befriends a Druidess from the Iron Age and implores her to use Celtic magic in an effort to achieve a self-serving transformation of her own.

Will the White Storks of Mercy overcome perilous odds on their quest to inspire humans of diverse ethnicities, backgrounds and religions to live together in harmony? Or will the peacemakers be foiled by the schemes of the manipulative Siamese cat and her collaborators? Filled with magic, mystery, and mayhem, this novel promises to thrill and enchant its readers.

My Review:

Humanity has veered off course and it’s up to the White Storks of Mercy and their leader Tara to reset the balance and bring harmony to all of humanity. Tara, a Sacred Stork of the Bach, travels through time to guide and inspire humans to reconnect with one another. Tara’s twin sister is an ancient Egyptian cat named Reba who uses her powers for selfish reasons, including putting a stop to Tara’s efforts to help humanity. As Tara travels from ancient Egypt to modern-day Portugal, she anoints chosen people to become White Storks of Mercy. While Reba aims to stop Tara at every turn, the quest lives on, as do the White Storks of Mercy. But Reba has a secret weapon and she’s ready to destroy all that Tara and the White Storks have accomplished. Will Reba be successful in her greedy attempts, or will Tara bring peace to all?

White Storks of Mercy Trilogy: Formation is a riveting, all-consuming time travel fantasy I couldn't stop reading. This book captured my attention from the first page and didn’t let go until the last page. I’ve never read such a book where the narration is lyrical and takes my breath away. The writing is perfect in every way from the narration to the plot progression to the characterization to the world-building to the conflict to the uplifting message. The characters are so encompassing, they elicit an emotional response. You’ll either love or hate them. I detest Reba for her selfishness and bad deeds, yet I love Tara with every ounce of my being. Joni Anderson van Berkel takes mythology from different beliefs and breaths life into the myths in her story. I was shocked to learn White Storks of Mercy Trilogy: Formation is the debut novel of Joni Anderson van Berkel. It reads, not as a novice, but as an eloquent novel written by an established writer. Brilliant from start to finish, White Storks of Mercy Trilogy: Formation is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I look forward to more from this author. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5+ stars

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Author Biography:

JONI ANDERSON VAN BERKEL is a Colorado-born writer and artist who divides her time between Scottsdale, Arizona and Zurich, Switzerland. She is happily married to her Dutchman from Amsterdam.

She was educated at the University of Colorado and holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture degrees.

Joni studied script writing in Europe and wrote her first screenplay, Bad Julia, with the late David Sherwin.

She has spent more than ten years writing her trilogy, White Storks of Mercy. Visit her website at

The second book of her trilogy, Reunion, will be out soon.

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N

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