The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli – a Review

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli – a Review

 

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Description:
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl. 

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

 

 

Review:

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli is the 1st book in her new YA fantasy Iskari series.  Ciccarelli has created a complex and interesting fantasy world of Dragons, Royalty and a heroine, who is considered a princess, but is hated by many.  Asha, our heroine, is considered an Iskari, bringer of death.  When she was a young child, she suffered a disfigurement when she accidently hurt Kozu, the first and most powerful Dragon. The town had serious deaths & damage by the fire of an angry Dragon, which the town blamed her for that disaster. From that moment, Asha became the Iskari, and her job was to kill all dragons and bring their heads to her father, the King. Though this is noted above, it is worth reprinting to explain the difference between an Iskari and Namsara.

                “In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.”

In current time, Asha is determined to find Kozu and kill him, which would free her from having to marry the commandant, Jarek, who truly was evil.  While killing another dragon, she returns home to Figaard with a burned hand that can be poisonous.  Jarek’s slave is nearby and attempt to help her, but he is not allowed to touch her; he does anyway in order to help her, but she will keep his secret.  The slave, Torwin, is besotted with Asha, but knows this is forbidden.  Asha herself, wants nothing to do with the slave boy.  Things during the course of this story will slowly change, as will Asha’s life. 

Because of the burn, or due to her desire to find, Kozu, Asha has dreams during the night about the old one, and is given things she needs to do to be able to find Kozu.  First she is given blades to fight; then is given a young dragon that she must protect; lastly she is given fireskin, which allows her to go through fire and not get burned.  The key to the story is that Asha would always kill dragons, thinking that is her destiny.  But when she must protect the young dragon, Shadow, who follows her everywhere, she begins to have feelings for the dragon.  Torwin, who is now on the run from Jarek and death, does everything he can to help Asha and Shadow; and a friendship is born, but one of secrecy.

What follows is an addictive adventure that will have Asha and Torwin running for their lives, especially when she realizes that she has been betrayed from the beginning, when she was burned as a child.  Her half cousin, Safire and her brother, Dax try to help her and together they will find the truth that will also save Dax’s life.  What was amazing was the Dragons, especially Kozu, who would become a very big part of Asha ‘s life, as we raced to climax, which was an exciting last half of the book.

I can’t tell too much more, as it would ruin the story for you. The Last Namsara was an exciting, captivating story, in a fantastic intriguing new world, which includes villains, dragons, forbidden romance and a great heroine. Kristen Ciccarelli has done a fabulous job writing this story, and I cannot wait for the next book. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan – Review & Giveaway

The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan – Review & Giveaway

 

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The Legion of the Flame
The Draconis Memoria series – Book #2
by Anthony Ryan
Release Date: June 27th, 2017

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Description:
Empires clash and a fell power stakes its claim in the second in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow Trilogy.

For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it.

Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire and for all of civilization.

 

 

Review:

The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan is the second book in his The Draconis Memoria series.  The Legion of Flame picks up after The Waking Fire left off.  Being an epic fantasy there is a lot of detailed information, as the story line progresses.  In this intense world, the humans and blood blessed (humans who drink the blood harvested from dead dragons), are in a fight for survival in a war against the onslaught of all dragons (blue, black, green, red and the new ultra powerful white).  It is also a world filled with magic, war, danger, destruction, ships, and dragons.

Lizanne and Clay, who are both blood blessed, continue as the main characters with POV’s  in this series.  Hilemore, the captain of one of the fleets, also has some POV;s, and Sirius, who has been captured by a white drake (dragon) now has his own POV, as he has been changed into a human-spoiled controlled by the White.   With the danger escalating, and the world very much in danger of being destroyed by the attacking Drakes;  Lizanne, Clay and Hiemore  take on various assignments to stop the enemy before it’s too late. 

Lizanne, after being successful in her last mission, will now go undercover to a city that is a prison for rough tough mean prisoners that survive in the city of undesirables.  Lizanne, who is an agent and assassin for the syndicate, is determined to find someone who has the ability to build items that could help fight the Drakes.   Clay follows a vision to also discover more about the Drakes, and someone who might be able to help them win this war.  Hilemore must push his men on the ship to fight the continued attacks by the Drakes.  Each of them faces terrible odds of survival, especially Lizanne and Clay.

What follows is an exciting, dangerous, intense storyline filled with non-stop action.  All three of our heroes are on their own, with no contact; and as the tension grows, we fear for their lives. The journey for each will take them to depths of hell.    To tell too much more is difficult, as in fantasies there are many details that need to be read to understand.  I loved Lizanne, as she was some tough heroine, who refused to ever give up.  I liked Clay too, but to me Lizanne stood out the most. 

Anthony Ryan does a masterful job in writing this complex story that intensifies the further we delve into the horrors we witness in a world that is falling apart.  As in most fantasies, this is a big book, just under 600 pages.  If you enjoy epic fantasies, in a sort of sci-fi dystopian world, with lots of action, then you should be reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – Review & Giveaway

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – Review & Giveaway

 

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Red Sister
Ancestor series – Book #1
by Mark Lawrence
Release Date: April 4, 2017

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Description:
I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

 

Review:

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is the first book in his new Ancestor series. When I started this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect, since some of the new fantasy books that I have read recently have been ok.  I am happy to say, I loved Red Sister. Wow, what a fantastic story line, equally fantastic characters and wonderful world building. 

In Red Sister, Nona Reeve is our young heroine, but there are a number of young girls that play major parts in this story.  The story starts with 8 year old Nona facing execution in the gallows, only to have a nun save her.  The Abbess Glass, who runs the Sweet Mercy Convent, manages to whisk Nona away and brings her to her convent, which is filled with young girls, who are novices in training.  Nona, who is a peasant, is at first uncomfortable surrounded by those who come from families, who can afford the Convent fees.  Why is Nona brought there, as she has no family and is still being sought out for murder?

The Nuns in the convent all have strange and magical abilities, and in each class the girls are trained how to use those abilities, such as weapons (knives, throwing stars), shadows, paths, poisons, spirituality, etc.   These trainings were unique, strange and very difficult; much time is spent on watching the girls learn from these nuns.  But early on, Nona will find two friends to trust, and eventually others will accept her, and they will form a wonderful group of friends.  I loved Nona, Ara, Clera and Hessa.  But the cloud over Nona’s head remains, as those who are determined to get Nona back to pay for her crime,(which was truly done in self defense), will stop at nothing to get her.  The Abbess will once again save her, at a horrible cost, but Nona, will have to find a way to use her untrained ability to win the battle.  We know that though she is saved, those villains will continue to haunt her for the rest of this story.

What follows is an intense, harrowing and exciting tale of a young girl, her friends and their growth to be more than they were destined to be; in a place where they are trained to become self sufficient, and learn to be deadly killers, if need be.  Nona will become a kick-ass heroine, who will need to use her anger to utilize some of her special Hunska blood that will help magically enhance her abilities.  Nona not only is tough, but her loyalty to her friends makes her special.  Some of the other girls will also learn from their training from their at times dark atmosphere, strange and tough teachers to be equally powerful.

The last half of the book upped the ante that left you holding your breath as Nona, and the girls faced danger & death defying situations.  They will also learn more about Nona, and her abilities as they struggle to survive. What a fantastic climax to a wonderful story.  There was an epilogue that has us waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series.   If you enjoy fantasy, in this unigue intriguing world, with a fabulous heroine and other wonderful characters, you must read Red Sister

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

About The Author

Mark Lawrence


Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, THE BROKEN EMPIRE, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Following The Broken Empire comes the bestselling RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. The BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy, in an entirely new setting, commences with RED SISTER in 2017. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.

 

 

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Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

 

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Onetime lieutenant of the evil Emperor Jagang, known as “Death’s Mistress” and the “Slave Queen”, the deadly Nicci captured Richard Rahl in order to convince him that the Imperial Order stood for the greater good. But it was Richard who converted Nicci instead, and for years thereafter she served Richard and Kahlan as one of their closest friends–and one of their most lethal defenders.

Now, with the reign of Richard and Kahlan finally stablized, Nicci has set out on her own for new adventures. Her first job being to keep the unworldly prophet Nathan out of trouble…

 

 

Review:

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind is the 1st book in his new series, Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles. I am a big fan of Goodkind’s  Sword of Truth series, and was happy with the end of the arc of Richard and Kahlan.  Though she was a villain early on in the series, Nicci became one of my favorites (besides Cara) later on.  I was happy to see that Goodkind has started a new series that will revolve around Nicci, starting with Death’s Mistress.

At the start, our powerful sorceress Nicci and the wizard, Nathan were on a trek to visit with the witch, Red, whom Nathan had a request.  Nicci and Nathan have been assigned by Richard to visit other realms and spread the word that the war and slavery is over, and everyone is free.  Nicci decides to go with Nathan on his visit to the witch, protecting him since he would be entering dangerous grounds.  Before they leave the witch, she will tell them of their destiny;   Nathan to find the land that will restore his wizard powers, and Nicci to save the world.

What follows is an epic adventure that will bring in some new characters to join them, as they face some wild and dangerous situations that always come into play in these types of fantasy novels.  At many different stops along the way, they come across dangerous and terrible situations  with sea creatures  or sand monsters, as well as two evil beings that lost their way from using powerful spells buried deep over the years.  It will take the ultra powerful Nicci to use her magic to help save the others, as well as Nathan to help find the hidden information to stop the villains from destroying the world. 

This is an exciting, non stop action filled story that has you totally engrossed in this adventure.  It is difficult to tell too much more, as you need to read and visualize the action.  I loved Nicci, and despite her being hard core, she has changed so much since changing her total loyalty to Richard, and in this book we begin to see a small change to her becoming emotionally attached.  The two new characters who we meet early were very likeable.  Bannon is a young man whom Nicci helps save, and then he joins her and Nathan on their adventure.  Thistle is young girl, who loses her family in one of the horrible attacks; she too joins with them.  There were many emotional moments throughout the book, which included being on the edge of your seat, fear and even tears. 

Terry Goodkind has given us a new series that allows us to stay in the Sword of Truth world, with the focus on Nicci as our heroine.  I for one am thrilled about this series, and will be waiting for the next one.  If you are a fantasy lover, as well as Sword of Truth fan, I recommend you read Death’s Mistress.


Reviewed by Barb

 

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Demons of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

Demons of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

 

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Description:
Raised to understand and control advanced magics, the Fae Rii know they must be careful with the wild, abundant energies of their new desert homeland. They must also downplay the awe they inspire in the Bronze Age humans around them. Still, they have managed to create some equilibrium between the two factions, primitive versus advanced—at least, until new outworlders arrive, tipping the scales out of balance.

Strict and power-hungry, the ruthless Efrijt take the phrase “deal with the devil” to a new level. A treaty may be possible; however, the solution proposed will in turn give birth to a new problem: A chaos that will dance its way through all three races trying to survive in the burning heat of the Flame Sea…

 

 

Review:

Demons of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson is the 2nd book in her Flame Seas Fantasy series.  Demons of the Flame Sea picks up years after the first book ended.  Here is a brief refresher of this series: a group of Fae’s known as Fae Rii, who are Fair Traders, live in peace with a human tribe, making life habitual for them.  Over the years the land now called Flame Sea has advanced into a wonderful community for all, including many fae/human inter species children.

Ban, the Fae Rii leader’s warrior, has been travelling around this world to gather information from various tribes, as well as bring back needed minerals for them.  Near his last stop, he visits a small tribe and learns about another species that is living nearby.  The Efrijt pay the tribe money to pull out mercury, which the Efrijt’s need to help them survive, but the mercury makes the humans sick.

Ban will bring this information home to Jintaya (the leader), and they will ask for help from the Fae council to send them more people.  We get to meet some more characters in this story, some who will be instrumental to negotiate a deal with the Efrijts, who the humans now call Demons.

What follows is an interesting storyline giving us a look at three different species (Fae, Humans & Efrijts).  Jean Johnson has written a very nice story that continues the flow of this world building, and has created some great characters.

This is fantasy and world building that is very well done.  However, if you are looking for an exciting, action filled story, you will not find it in this book.  It a slow build, but enjoyable story of meeting all the characters; learning how they survive together; and how they will handle a new species that could be dangerous.  The negotiations between the Fae and Efrijt has just begun, with the Fae looking out for themselves and the local humans who are suffering; the Efrijt, are willing to agree to terms, as long as they get what they want and to stay in this world.   I expect Jean Johnson will be pulling some surprises as we head toward the final book in this trilogy. I look forward to seeing how this ends.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan – Review & Giveaway

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
The Waking Fire is set in a vibrant new world where the blood of drakes—creatures similar to dragons—is valued beyond reckoning, and can be distilled into elixirs that grant fearsome powers to those who are “blood-blessed.” The novel follows an unregistered blood-blessed as he searches for an elusive variety of drake so potent, its capture would mean unrivalled riches; the second in command of a blood-burning ironclad ship; and a young woman in a lifelong contract to a trading syndicate, whose espionage mission places her on the front lines of a newly declared war. As empires clash and arcane mysteries reveal themselves, these characters are tested again and again and soon discover that the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

The Draconis Memoria is a remarkable new epic fantasy series with steampunk flavor, full of the phenomenal worldbuilding and non-stop action that have gained Anthony Ryan a global fan base.

 

 

Review:

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan is the first book in his The Draconis Memoria series.  This series is an epic fantasy, with an amazing world building, that includes magic, agents, war, ships, thieves and dragons.  Though the dragons are a major part of the storyline, it is the blood blessed humans who drink the blood harvested from dead dragons that give them the magic to perform many amazing powerful feats.  The story revolves around a war &  finding an unproven myth of a White Dragon that is more powerful than any of the other dragons (Black, Red, Green, Blue), and therefore, the white blood will be more powerful. 

The Waking Fire centers on the pov of three interesting and different main characters, who are sent on separate missions, which will bring them to the same resolution, finding that dragon and saving the world.

Lizanne:  she is a agent and spy for the Ironbound Protectorate.  Lizanne had been trained to be a top assassin since she was a young child, and is considered one of the best.  We see how good she is when she manages to get herself out of difficult situations.  Lizanne starts off as somewhat cold as she is efficient early on; this will change as the story evolves.  

Clay:   He is also blood blessed, but not as powerful or registered like Lizanne.  He is an adventurer and thief, who is forced to help his uncle on a mission to find out the truth of the mythical White Dragon, which Lizanne’s superior, Madame Bondersil  has assigned them on.  Clay by drinking bue blood, allows him to communicate with Lizanne mentally from far away, keeping her up on what is happening on his assignment.

Hilemore:  He is a naval officer, who was just assigned to be on a new warship.  In a short time, he will earn the respect of his ship mates, and when faced with war, will take over command.  He has little interaction with the others main characters, but we can see at the end, this may change in the next book of this series. 

With an epic fantasy type of book, there will be many characters, and The Waking Fire had quite a few memorial ones: Lizanne’s superior, who ruled those with an iron fist; Clay’s uncle and other people on their trek into dangerous and unknown territory; Tekala, a young girl, who will eventually open up Lizanne’s cold heart;  Hilemore’s ship mates, including the captured pirate queen; the missing academy  member, Ethelynne Drystone, who was presumed dead after leaving years before to look for the mythical White Dragon.   Ryan did create some wonderful and complex characters.

The entire book had a lot of action, with many battles against the attacking dragons.  Why are they all of sudden coming after the humans in full force?  Is the White Dragon real and does this have something to do with the attacks?

The Waking Fire was very well written by Ryan. I did think early on it was a slow, but as normal in the start of an epic fantasy, there is a lot of world building and character introductions.  I liked the element of blood blessed drinking Dragon blood to give them more powers, but I would have liked to see more Dragons that were good, or even talked.  I loved seeing one that communicated and helped protect Ethelynne.  I hope they utilize this more in the next book.  The Waking Fire ends with more to come, and the main characters to continue the quest to save the world. If you like fantasy, world building and a big book, I suggest you read The Waking Fire

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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Anthony’s publisher is offering a Hardcover copy of The Waking Fire to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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The Aeronaut’s Windlass – The Cinder Spires by Jim Butcher – Review & Giveaway

The Aeronaut’s Windlass – The Cinder Spires by Jim Butcher – Review & Giveaway

 

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Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

 

Review

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher is the first book in his The Cinder Spires series. I was not sure of what to expect when I decided to read this new series by Jim Butcher, as I am a fan of his Dresden series. This was a bit different with a steam punk background in a different fantasy world, with aristocrats, magic, technology, ships and people who have some powers.

Early on we meet the leading characters who will all play a big role in the story.  Captain Grimm, of Spire Albion, is the Captain of the ship Predator, which despite it being an older ship, is one of the most successful.  In the midst of an attack, Predator holds its own, until Spire Aurora sends in a battleship that will damage Predator, as they limp home.  We are in the middle of war between the two Spires, which is now escalating even more.

In another area, we meet Gwen Lancaster, of the Lancaster Vatterys.  Gwen is determined to join the Spire Guard, and leaves home to do what she was expected to do.  Gwen meets up with her cousin Benedict, a seasoned warrior, who will help her.  Gwen is tough, and speaks her mind, even if it turns off others.  Benedict is the opposite and he has no qualms teasing  Gwen about her abrasive nature.

Next we meet, Bridget Targwen, who is forced by her father to go out and join the guard, as it is what she has to do when you reach a certain age.   My favorite character is Rowl, a blueblood cat from his own tribe.  Rowl loves Bridget, who can speak cat language; he stays with her to protect her. 

All of them are commissioned by the SpireArch of Albion to help find out how Aurora is finding out Albion information, and who the leak is.  They will work with together, and have been assigned to work with Master Ferus, an Etherialist  and his apprentice, Folly.  Both Ferus and Folly seem somewhat mad, especially in the language; but they have so much power, seeing things in the future.  I did like Ferus, but Folly, who needed her Ethereal crystals, to keep her mind clear. 

What follows is an interesting, and early on confusing adventure that will put them very much in danger, especially as the war escalates.  Once we get the feel of the story, it becomes very exciting, with each of them finding themselves right in the middle of death defying situations.   They will discover an evil that will threaten their world as they know it.  The main villain, Cavendish, is a counter part of Ferus, but her powers are used to kill others mentally, as well as creating evil beings.  I liked all the characters created by Butcher, and found myself becoming totally into this story in the last half.  Many times throughout the adventure, we thought some of our heroes would die. 

Butcher does a wonderful job explaining the naval battles between Predator, other ships and those from Aurora.  We could feel the men on Predator doing what they could to salvage the ship against the attacks.  Very well done.  As I said before, Rowl was  a great addition, especially when he had to get other cat tribes to help save Bridget and the others from those violent beings.  After a slow start, which is to be expected when starting a new world, and trying to introduce the main characters; the story line picked up full speed ahead, with a wild exciting finish.  I look forward to what comes next in this series by Jim Butcher.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Giveaway

Jim’s publisher is offering a paper copy of The Aeronaut’s Windlass to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood – a Review

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood – a Review

 

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Description:
Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.

The bond between dragons and their riders is deep and life-long, and Maia’s desire for a dragon of her own to train, ride, fly, and love drives her to take a risk that puts her life at stake. She is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors, thralls of the enemy, and a faceless creature drawn from her fear. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she exposes a conspiracy, unearths an ancient civilization, and challenges her understanding of her world—and of herself.

 

Review:

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood is the first book in his Evertide series.  This is Lockwood’s debut novel, and it was an excellent start to a fascinating fantasy series. The world building by Lockwood was very well done.  This series centers on our heroine, Maia and her family who raise and train Dragons for the Military to use in battles. 

When Maia and her brother are walking along the valley, they both see the Summer Dragon, a fabled High Dragon. When they hurry back home, their lives will change, as seeing a High Dragon could cause doom or major changes.  On top of this news, comes word  that in another valley, where they also train Dragons has been destroyed, with everyone murdered by creatures called Horrors. This will have the military and political people visit and bring havoc to their land. Maia has also set her heart to keeping one of the little dragonettes as hers, to train and become the dragon’s rider.

In a short time, those people will put the blame on Maia, as a witch who is bringing darkness to their land.  Maia and her family will do everything they can to prove them wrong, but when they tell her she will not get her own dragon, Maia will run away.  Along the way, she spots those horrible creatures coming closer to their land, and torturing a full grown Dragon, and his baby.

What follows is a wonderful, but tense storyline, where Maia will prove herself to be a true warrior, but no matter how good she does, and those she protects, the political enemies attempt to stop Maia.  It is an exciting story that will have three factions as enemies….the Horrors, the Dark mind control Dragon, and the political faction trying to kill Maia.  But most of all it is a beautiful love story between Maia and Keirr, her dragonette that she saved and adopted.   I loved them both together, as Keirr was so much fun, and loving, learning the language from Maia.   There were many characters, both good and bad in this story, but everything revolves around Maia.  She was such a great heroine; smart, savvy, sweet, passionate and a fierce warrior when she needed to be.  Getting to know all the Dragons, who lived with Maia’s family to help breed baby dragons was also fun.  Watching them talk to their riders, as well as to help in the battles that came against a terrible enemy, was so much fun.

Todd Lockwood tells a fascinating story that I could not put down, about a world with Dragons, with a slight historical belief and the political factions who want to stop the truth of the past.  Most of all, Lockwood has created a wonderful heroine, and her dragon as the story will be left open ended to continue this story in future books of Evertide.  If you like Fantasy tha is well written; a great heroine and exciting, I suggest you read The Summer Dragon.

 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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