White Storks of Mercy: Reunion
Book Reviews

White Storks of Mercy - Book Two - Reunion

The second book of the White Storks of Mercy trilogy, Reunion, is recommended for readers who appreciated the evolution of Book one, Formation, set in a world where fantasy and reality entwine. The foundation of that introductory story revolved around the myth of the legendary White Storks of Mercy, a coterie of time-traveling peacemakers who assume the forms of both birds and women.

Reunion continues the transformative experiences of the White Storks of Mercy. Their leader, Great and Honorable Zendala, takes them on new missions of mercy replete with numerous challenges as the storks continue their quest to inspire loving kindness and acceptance of diversity in humanity.

Joni Anderson van Berkel crafts a superb blend of mythology, mystery, history, and fantasy that works well in this second book, which will receive applause and attention from fans of the prior story as well as new readers.

The author engages her audience with action-packed scenes that include insights on how past choices and their consequences continue to resonate in the future, affecting the Merciful Ones and everything they encounter.

Excellent perspectives on good, evil, and redemption follow Reunion just as strongly as they did in Formation, as Zendala confronts the reality of a loving reunion with her sister, Reba, the ancient Egyptian Siamese cat, that goes awry.

Concluding on a further note of possibility and transformation, White Storks of Mercy: Reunion is a ‘must’ for libraries strong in mixes of mythology, fantasy, history and mystery, and will delight both newcomers and prior fans with its rich adventures and intersections between acts of mercy and survival.

The war to end all wars is on the horizon…will the White Storks of Mercy offer humanitarian aid to all who suffer or will their plans be thwarted? The White Storks of Mercy – Reunion is book two of the trilogy and it is quite moving. The descriptive narration is immersive in its lyrical form. The characters are beautifully written. The historical accuracy is impressive. The world-building is flawless. The story itself will sweep you away.

Let’s start with the characters. There are returning characters as well as new ones to interact with. Each of the ‘white storks’ have a backstory which shapes them into who they are today and how they transform to help the cause. I connected with all of the characters and truly got caught up in the story. How each character reacts to humans’ propensity for war is a dichotomy in today’s society.

The narration is so beautifully portrayed, it is the reason why I love reading this author’s work. The way every scene, emotion, movement, and dialogue are detailed with an almost poetic nature allows the reader to become part of the story. The author paints a story like an artist with a canvas. Stunning.

The setting and world-building work well to offset the characters and action. The setting switches to various points in history but it’s not jarring. The author takes her time with transitions as well as historical details. It allows the reader to soak it all in.

Another brilliant book for this author. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, more than I did the first book. If you’re looking for a lush, original story to dive into, pick up The White Storks of Mercy – Reunion.

N.N. Light's Book Heaven Book Review

Salomé, Zurich Switzerland
The White Storks of Mercy is about an astonishing feat of a fantastic effort to avoid cruelty and bring peace to humanity over thousands of years. The initiator is Tara, living eternally, and clandestinely intervening in history. I’m most impressed by the accuracy of all historical events mentioned in this book, which is used as a basis for the development of the story, but then lavishly worked into a fantasy all its own. There must be an incredible amount of research going into it.

As promised by the title, tome 2 of this trilogy brings two alienated lines of a family together, something imaginable in strictly human terms, but at the end of this book, there is a surprising split of spiritual powers which leaves me shocked, puzzled, and eager to read “Reconciliation”, the third book to come – hopefully soon – providing a final conclusion.

Debi Hansen, Zurich Switzerland
This book continues with the immeasurable knowledge and historical details that have amazed all of us so much in Formation. For those readers who enjoy a detailed character guide, the author has included an informative section. And keeping with the easy-to-read flow of the first novel, there are twists and turns which may change your feelings about some of your favorites. As well as lots of suspense to keep you eagerly waiting for the final reveal to come in the closing novel of the trilogy. Towards the end of the book there is a big surprise that will possibly change some of your perceptions regarding the characters themselves. The big question is whether the White Storks of Mercy can help restore peace and harmony. Only the author knows.

Judith Skowronski
What a fabulous imagination author, Joni Anderson van Berkel displays in Book 2, Reunion, of the White Storks of Mercy trilogy. This magical novel is written, with such detailed description that I could visualize each person, place or thing. I loved how she connects historical events with fictional ones and weaves a lovely storyline. What a cliff hanger!

I anticipate the opening page of Book 3, Reconciliation, of the trilogy.

For anyone who read book 1, Formation, yes, there are many characters to keep track of, especially all the deities! What a bonus having the Cast of Characters to refer to at the end of the novel.

I wish the White Storks of Mercy fantasy was true. The world needs hope and faith in mankind and this book shows this in spades. May the author’s younger readers realize, after reading White Storks of Mercy Trilogy, that the future is in their hands and like the mystical Merciful Ones, we have the power to make the world a better place.

Joan Levine
White Storks of Mercy Trilogy Book Two – Reunion is a captivating continuation of an intriguing fantasy series. The author carries on engaging the reader with interesting plots and well-defined unique characters.

In the second book of the series, we are reunited with familiar faces and new extraordinary characters. I was charmed by Bobo Balou’s passion for birds, delighted by lona, the gypsy girl’s witty dialogue and the Druidess, Orchid MacCloud’s shape shifting abilities.

Unexpected twists and turns kept me guessing as to what would happen next.

The return of Reba, the ancient Egyptian Siamese cat towards the end of Reunion was the perfect cliffhanger: Will the White Storks of Mercy succeed in their quest to make the world a better place?

Would love to see this as an animated feature film!!

White Storks of Mercy: Formation
Book Reviews

White Storks of Mercy: Formation is the first book in a projected magical realism trilogy and opens with a lovely description of clairvoyant supernatural storks that soar over the skies in the Bronze Age.

Events move from ancient Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty to twentieth century Portugal as the Sacred Stork of the Bach, Tara, embarks on a time-traveling journey to locate women who are willing to help her reset humanity’s moral trajectory.

Tara’s mission involves rescuing selected women and transforming them into White Storks of Mercy whose mission is to use their newfound immortality and loyalty to Tara to enter human form and promote transformation.

All is not about altruistic good deeds in this story, because Tara’s jealous sister, an ancient Egyptian Siamese cat named Reba, is set to thwart her good intentions and tries to corrupt the cause of White Storks of Mercy, using magic to turn their power in a different direction.

Joni Anderson van Berkel’s ability to capture the magic, moral dilemmas, and changing tides of influence from ancient to modern times enhances a story that evolves on several different levels. While fantasy readers will find its magical components thoroughly engaging, readers who look for more depth will find that underlying the magical encounters and conflicts is a running stream of ethical considerations involving storks, women, and humans in an alternative vision of healing that takes place on many levels.

The motivations and power plays of healers and wounded alike intersect on a broader playing field of adventure to expand the concept of magical realism and what it means to use magic to make dreams come true and redirect human affairs.

Readers seeking compelling reads equally steeped in mythology, history, and revised views of good, evil, and the choices that lie between them will find White Storks of Mercy: Formation engrossing and hard to put down.

Its special blend of magical realism and the quest of disparate peoples to live in harmony provide many points for book discussion groups, making it a top recommendation for libraries strong in fantasy and folktales that go beyond action to probe the motivations and perceptions of those involved in quests for power, healing, and peace.

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

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!
N.N. Light's Book Heaven Book Review

“The author rounds out her novel with indelible imagery, such as a sunset that painted the sky the color of ripe nectarines. An epic character-driven story with a heroine who can travel through time.”
– Kirkus Reviews

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5 Star Book Review

The first book of the White Storks of Mercy trilogy, titled Formation, is an intriguing work of fiction written by Joni Anderson van Berkel. The author weaves imagination with Egyptian mythology and history. The main characters are mystical storks that transform into women, as well as a supernatural Siamese cat. What follows is a tale of calamity and adventure.

This work truly captivates the reader, fantasy lover or not. The story is crafted meticulously, leaving the reader marveling with each passing page. The very first chapter introduces a majority of the cast of characters within the book. Every chapter is dense with background information, plot twists, and character development. However, this doesn’t hinder the book’s readability. Anderson van Berkel’s beautiful writing carries the reader through the story swiftly and eagerly. She fills so many details into every page it feels like watching a movie, a picturesque one at that.

Reviewed by: Margie Przybylski, Hollywood Book Reviews

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Hollywood Book Reviews
5 Star Book Review

Joan L.
The White Storks of Mercy, Volume 1, takes the reader on a magical journey through time. The storks transform into strong women whose universal mission is for peace and goodness around the world. The reader is transported to the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, Andalusia, Tibet and more with a fascinating cast of characters including Napoleon, Louie XIV, Marie Antoinette, and Joan of Arc. An enchanting as well as educational read!

Catherine Colby
If I were to place White Storks of Mercy on my bookshelf with likeminded books, I would place it next to my Harry Potter series. The brilliant imagination of this author is on a par with JK Rowling. High praise, I realize. Anderson Van Berkel weaves together a plot that borrows characters from history (Joan of Arc, Mary Queen of Scots), unites them with fictional creatures (Orchid MacCloud, Zendala), and effortlessly transports us through time telling a story that captures the reader right from the first page. The goal of this band of women to reset mankind’s moral compass is one many of us long for. The character development is exceptional with the reader becoming totally enchanted by the shapeshifters (are those wings I feel?). Her research is so extensive and impressive ( How many of us are familiar with the Coptic language?) that the ten years in writing is understandable. Despite all these historical references and details we never become bogged down or stuck in a cul de sac. This book leaves us feeling hopeful, optimistic and keenly waiting for Book 2.

Aldina Copeland
It is a delightful story. Very well written. I could not just breeze through it as history is very important for me. As a fantasy it is amazing but the historical details and accuracy are extraordinary. I would love for it to be turned into a series. One of the ladies in my book club commented that the beautiful cover gives her a feeling of tranquility.

I really enjoyed this book! It’s fascinating how the author embeds this magical story into real historical contexts, not just in one era but across centuries. Following clever characters who fly through time to manipulate people’s lives (for better and worse), seek love and revenge, and hold supernatural and human powers in balance… I was on my toes the whole time.

A cool read for anyone who enjoys the intersection of fantasy and historical fiction.

Judith Skowronski
A magical journey through history, fantasy and the unique characters in each era of time. After reading the first chapters, that introduce the characters, we are transported to another time and like Alice through the looking glass we travel to different events awaiting new and exciting moments. The story grabs your imagination as it becomes a real page turner: awaiting part two of the trilogy.

Kaye Lyon
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It seamlessly combines magic and actual historical people, events, and places that kept me reading late into the night. I can’t wait for book #2. The saga continues!

I really enjoyed this fabulous tale! The characters are so well defined, I preferred to “see” them rather than remember them by name. Except for Cat and Hat, and the beautiful Orchid MacCloud. No spoilers here! The book is full of magic, time travel, transformations, shape shifting, history, fairies, and the forces of good and evil. It is one heck of a good read! The Merciful Ones, The Mischief Makers, Where is this going? What is next in the trilogy? The White Storks of Mercy would be an incredible movie!

An adventure through fantasy and reality, historical figures, and the message of the formation of those whose mission is peace; a much needed message for our times. The author has a fantastic imagination in concert with research of the varied time periods and locations depicted in the story. Looking forward to the second book of the trilogy and continuation of the story. What will happen next!?

Good Reads Book Reviews

White Storks Of Mercy: Formation by Joni Anderson Van Berkel is the first book in the White Storks Of Mercy trilogy and is an adventurous historical fantasy read that will take you on a magical rollercoaster of unexpected surprises.

I enjoyed reading this book thoroughly because it had so much going on throughout the story. The multiple plot lines interspersed with the main story of the book kept me glued to the pages late in the night. I loved the story thoroughly and I’m now early awaiting the next book in this series. I loved the writing, the characterization that brought this story to life and the pacing of the events.

Reading about the various exotic locations added a fun touch to the story as it made it all the more engaging and entertaining! I would highly recommend this book to all historical fantasy readers.

The Reading Bud Book Review

Right from the start you had some amazing descriptions of the characters as well as their surroundings. It was very clear what your vision was, making it helpful for me since I sometimes have a hard time imagining what characters are supposed to look like. Side note; thank you for giving your characters short and easy to pronounce names. As an avid reader of fantasy sometimes authors tend to go overboard with names.

The story itself was great! The merge between reality and fantasy was well done and I think you did an amazing job tackling the concept of time travel which can often be a difficult task. I loved the message the story brought and at times it had me reflecting on what goes on in our present day. The book also left me with a sense of empowerment which is a great feeling to have.

I can’t say I found anything that would have deterred me from finishing the book.”

– Erin Rex at Changing Hands Bookstore – Phoenix, Arizona

Changing Hands Bookstore