Gods of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

Gods of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

 

Gods of the Flame SeaAmazon / B&N / BAM

Description:
The Fae Rii and their descendants encounter another universe-hopping race, the Efrijt. But where the Fair Traders are after just that, fair trade with other worlds, the Efrijt are after whatever they can get, and the two sides must fight to establish a peace between their clashing interests, or the native humans may end up crushed between them.

 

 

Review:

Gods of the Flame Sea is the 3rd book in Jean Johnson’s Flame Sea fantasy series. Here is a brief refresher of this series: a group of Fae’s known as Fae Rii, arrived  many many years ago and helped create the lands for them and humans who joined them to be habitual.   Over the years the land now called Flame Sea has advanced into a wonderful community for all, including many Fae/Human inter species children.  In the last book we learned more about another species, Efrijt, who live in another land, mining for Mercury, which they need to survive.  Both Flame Sea and the Efrijts keep their distance, but have formed laws to keep a hostile peace.

 Ban, one of the original Fae Rii, spends time with the young mixed race (Fae/Human) children to train them to fight.  Udrin is one of the students, and even Ban has noticed some changes in him, especially his arrogance.  We spent a few chapters in the beginning watching Udrin, who is mixed race between Fae and Efrijt, eat Mercury and steal anima (magic) from others, as well as create little strange creatures.  In a short time, Udrin’s powers grow, as does his insanity. 

What follows is an interesting and exciting storyline, where the Fae and humans begin to see Udrin’s instability, and how dangerous he has become.  Once he hurts one of the female Fae’s, almost to the death, they know they have to do something to stop him. Jintaya , who is the leader,  and many of the Fae team, do everything they can to try to stop Udrin, who continues to become more powerful than even they are.  Rather than tell too much more, it would be spoilers, but the race is on to find a way to stop Udrin, including getting help from the Efrit’s. 

Jean Johnson has written a very nice story that continues the flow of this world building.  I will say that the first few chapters were very slow, when we watched the making of Udrin.  But a third of the way in everything became very exciting, and interesting to see what they will do to try and stop him.   I was under the impression this was a trilogy, but I felt this was sort of left open for a return to the Flame Sea. If you enjoy Sci-Fi fantasy, I am sure you will enjoy this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Etched in Bone  by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview & Giveaway

 

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Etched in Bone
The Others series – Book #5
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Etched in BoneAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

 

Review:

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop is the 5th book in her wonderful The Others series.  Anne Bishop is one of the authors that are always on the top of my list.  She never ever fails in giving us another fantastic story in each of everyone of her series.   Etched in Bone ends the Meg/Simon story arc, and it was a fabulous and exciting ending.  I know Anne will continue The Others world in a different arc that will come next year, but I will miss the wonderful characters in Lakeside.

At the end of the last book (Marked in Flesh), the feared Elders (old time powerful  Others) and Elementals eliminated the humans who plotted and brutally killed many of the terra indigene (the Others) throughout the world.  A refresher:  The Others are non humans, such as wolves, crows, vampires, elementals, grizzlies, etc), who control most of the world. The series revolves around Meg Corbyn, a human, who is also a blood prophet. Since Meg has arrived in Lakeside Courtyard, the terra indigene have protected her and learned to change their ways to live with humans.

In Etched in Bone. Lakeside and other communities, who have survived the mass destruction work toward returning things to normal.  Bishop does a wonderful job allowing us to see how Meg has helped changed both human and others perspectives.  The police play a big part in this story, with Monty in the middle, since his brother has come to live in Lakeside.  Jimmy Montgomery is bad to the bone, and upon arrival has expected to live freely, taking whatever he wants; but soon, the Others begin to see that he is trouble.  When Simon and his group want to evict Jimmy immediately, they are stopped by two Elders, who want to learn more how humans and the others get along; they want to see how Jimmy is different than other humans.

Jimmy was one of those nasty people who will use his own family to benefit him.  A few of times during the story, he plots to take what doesn’t belong to him, and even with the dire result on the first attempt, he continues to plot again.  Monty and Twyla (their mother) have to separate themselves from him, so not to be in the middle of the eventual fallout; and throughout the story, we kept hoping for nasty Jimmy to be thrown out of Lakeside. 

The last third of the book was extremely exciting, with pulse pounding action that had us on the edge of our seat.  Meg’s life was in danger, and they all knew, if anything happens to our Meg, poor Simon would leave Lakeside heartbroken.  It will take the police, the Elders and the rest of the terra indigene to work together to try and save Meg. Will Meg survive? Will Simon and Meg finally find a way to be together?

What I loved the most about Etched in Bone was spending time, and probably our last with these wonderful fantastic characters Anne Bishop has given us….Meg, Simon, Vlad, Tess, Sam, Nathan, Henry, Merri Lee, Monty, Burke,Skippy, &  the Elementals, just to name a few. I for one will sorely miss them .  I also love that Anne has given us a satisfactory conclusion to Simon & Meg (and Sam).  Bravo Anne Bishop for another fantastic book, and series that no one should miss.  I wholly recommend you read The Others series by starting with the first book, Written in Red. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Anne Bishop photo

 

Hi, Anne.  We are excited to have you back with us again at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your new release “Etched in Bone”, as well as to give us an update as to what else you may be working on. 

 

 

TRC:  For those of our members who have not read this series, can you please give us a description of the premise of The Others

Anne: The Others novels take place on an alternate Earth where the earth natives, the supernatural beings known as the Others, have always been the dominant predators, evolving with the world. Humans, while inventive and clever, are nowhere near the top of the food chain and have to deal with the Others for all the natural resources they need. The appearance of Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet who has run away from her controller, adds to the ever-present tension between species in the city of Lakeside. Meg’s presence is the pebble that starts the avalanche of changes in Lakeside, and the question, more and more, becomes who is going to survive those changes.

TRC:  Etched in Bone is being released tomorrow.  Can you please give us a brief description of the book?

Anne:  It’s the post-war story. Communication between regions is broken, so no one really knows how many human cities and towns in Thaisia still exist. Thanks to Simon, Meg, and Monty, Lakeside is in pretty good shape, but there is a sense of isolation and uncertainty. And the thinning of the human herd isn’t done. Two Elders return to Lakeside to observe the humans and Others interacting. When Monty’s brother, Jimmy, arrives in Lakeside, the Elders have a chance to observe something else—how one human’s actions can break the trust and balance in a pack made of humans and Others.   

TRC: How did you come up with the idea of The Others?

Anne:  It wasn’t one idea but a lot of little ideas that clicked together in the right way. The “ah-ha” moment was when I wondered what the world would be like if the Others weren’t humans that became something else but were a different species altogether, supreme predators that had the ability to take another shape in order to mimic and study other predators. That meant that even when they took the shape of a human, they wouldn’t think like a human. That collision of world views intrigued me. Once I added the idea of the blood prophets, and Meg, who becomes the catalyst for those world views colliding, the story began to tell itself.  

TRC:  Etched in Bone is the final book in The Others series.  How hard was it writing the finale of Meg, Simon, Sam and the others in Lakeside?  I know I will miss them. 

Anne:  I don’t feel like I left them behind. They just stepped off the stage to let other characters have a chance to stand in the spotlight. They told the story of world-shattering changes, and their work is done. I picture them all heading to a beach on the shores of Lake Etu. Meg and the female pack will build sand castles. Simon and Sam will dig the moats and chase the seagulls. Everybody will have a good time.  

TRC:  We know you are continuing with a new series, Lake Silence, in the same world as The Others.  What can you tell us about the new series coming in 2018? 

Anne:  I don’t know yet if it’s a new series or a standalone book in the Others’ world.  I started the story as a “Crowgard cozy”—a kind of story that would be sold in Howling Good Reads. When I started it, I wasn’t sure if it would be a short story or a novella or a novel. I just wrote to see what would happen with these characters. Then, because my stories always change from simple to layered, “cozy” turned into “suspense” and grew into a novel.  

TRC: How many books are you planning for your new series?   

Anne: That will depend on whether or not Vicki and Aggie find more bodies.  

TRC:  When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Anne: That depends on the season. In the winter, I read, watch movies, and spend time with friends. From spring through fall, I putter in the garden instead of watching movies.

TRC:  What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Anne:  I don’t outline. I think a lot—sometimes for years—before I begin writing the story. I make notes as characters begin to take shape and the place comes into sharper and sharper focus. I have a general idea of the storyline but the fun is discovering how the characters get from that first meeting and problem to be solved to the end of the story. I have a little space in my house that is the writing corner. That’s where I go to meet the Muse. I start after breakfast and work until I reach my word quota for the day. Then I take care of email and paperwork for a couple of hours. I do that five days a week. The other two days I spend on the mundane things that keep the household running.

TRC:   Would you like to add anything else? 

Anne: Etched in Bone is my twentieth novel. In 2018, I’ll celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Daughter of the Blood. Some of you have been sharing these worlds and stories with me from the beginning. Some of you are just discovering the Others and the Blood and the other worlds I’ve created. Thank you. It’s a joy to share the people and their stories with you. 

TRC:  Thank you, Anne for giving us an update on Etched in Bone, as well as what we can look forward to with your new series.    It was a pleasure having you visit us again. 

To learn more about Anne, you can find her at the following links
          Website / Facebook /  Courtyard / Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Anne is graciously offering TWO (2) giveaways.
           – A Hardcover copy of ETCHED IN BONE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe
         –   Paper copy of the first Four book in The Others series 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.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging in, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

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7. Follow ANNE BISHOP  on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open to USA only.

9. Giveaway runs from March 6 -10, 2017

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Valen (Guardian of Hades #2) by Felicity Heaton-a review

VALEN (Guardians of Hades #2) by Felicity Heaton-a review

Valen

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About the book: RELEASE DATE February 25, 2017

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Lightning, Valen was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Cursed by Zeus to never know love again, Valen has brought up barriers around his heart to protect it, but with each new barrier he creates, the dark hold his power has over him grows, becoming all he needs.

Until the night he finally crosses paths with the assassin who has been watching him from the shadows, a bewitching mortal possessing the name of an angel and the skills of a devil—a woman who awakens his passionate heart and stirs dangerous desires.

Eva has built a fearsome reputation for herself in Italy’s underworld, but her latest job in her beloved city of Rome has left her feeling that she has stepped into a dangerous world and this mission might end in her death—either at the hands of her mysteriously seductive client or by the blade of the wickedly alluring warrior who is her target.

As the threat from the daemons escalates and more than just the Rome gate becomes their target, will Valen be strong enough to face the fears in his heart and the ghosts of his past to claim everything he desires or will they lure him deeper under their spell and into the darkness?

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: VALEN is the second installment in Felicity Heaton’s contemporary, adult GUARDIANS OF HADES paranormal / fantasy romance series very loosely based in Greek mythology, focusing on six brothers- the sons of Hades and Persephone -sent to Earth to guard the gates to the Underworld. This is Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Lightning Valen, and assassin for hire Eva’s story line. VALEN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order as the brothers struggle against an unknown enemy to keep the human world and the Underworld from colliding.

NOTE: The Guardians of Hades series is Felicity Heaton’s interpretation of, and does not follow, the actual Greek mythological family tree or events.

Told from several third person perspectives including Valen and Eva VALEN follows assassin for hire Eva as she is tasked with taking down a man she knows nothing about. For months our heroine has tracked Valen without success until a run in with her target, and a broken vial of what she believes is poison, finds our heroine in bed with the man who will change her life. Enter Valen, the Lord of Lightning, and a man who believes he is incapable of love. What ensues is the search for the truth, and the building relationship between a mortal and a god.

The relationship between Valen and Eva is one of forbidden love. Eva was hired by a powerful man to bring Valen to his knees; Eva is a woman who for most of her life has remained hidden in the shadows, trained to kill but a woman who will fall in love with a man not of this world. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense without the use of over the top sexually graphic language and text.

All of Valen’s brothers including Ares and his mate Megan (ARES #1), Daimon eldest brother Keras, Marek, Clalistos, Esher, their mother Persephone, and uncle Zeus play secondary and supporting roles. The requisite evil comes with many faces including Benares and his sister Jin-the pair who hired Eva.

Like many of Felicity Heaton’s story lines the tale is told through written narrative, introspection, reflection and internal dialogue but it is the narration that carries most of the story. The premise is entertaining; the characters are broken, colorful and energetic; the romance is passionate and breathtaking. VALEN is an imaginative take on Greek mythology; a spirited look at forbidden love.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of ARES (book 1)

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

 

Born of VengeanceAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
A fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.

Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn’t ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.

 

 

Review;

I’m going to start off by saying that Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my all time favourite authors and I have enjoyed all her stories to date. However, I seem to have mixed feelings over Born of Vengeance.  After reading Born of Legend I was hyped and ready for the next installment as I become quite intrigued by Bastien, and the position we found him in, in previous books.  Now after reading Bastien’s story I can’t help but feel a little cheated.  I was expecting more present day situation/events surrounding Bastien and Ember, but I felt like we got more back tracking and repetitive scenes/history from Hauk and Jullien(Dagger)’s books.  When we do finally get up to speed and join the present everything happens so fast that before I knew it I had the book read.  I was like, ‘that’s it, it can’t be, I want more, there needs to be more’.  Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book, just wish there was more present day events.

Bastien is everything I hoped he would be and then some.  He’s a warrior who’s been to hell and back but somehow managed to hold onto his soul and humanity thanks to the love he still holds for Ember.  It’s that love that sustains him through his years as a Ravin, a criminal placed on the run by the League to be hunted and killed.  Bastien winds up seeking refuge on the planet Oksana where it plays havoc with communication and transmission devices.  He’s planned to hide out and wait out his Ravin sentence so that he can return to his planet Kirovar and seek revenge on Uncle Barnie as he likes to call him, and ex-wife Alura(Ember’s sister) over everything that’s happened to him.  Mind you, through all the back tracking/history of Bastien’s time on Oksana we do learn more about him; how he becomes friendly with the Sentella and is offered a position with them should he ever want one, we see more of his relationship with Jullien and his family, as well as how he becomes friends with Thraix and Trejan.  In hindsight I guess you can say the back tracking wasn’t all that bad, and did serve a purpose for when we reach present day.

Once we do reach present day and Bastien is gunning for revenge, events from here on in do move fast.  Bastien and Ember are reunited and have a common goal, Bastien learns he has a son with Ember, Florian, whom he loves instantly upon meeting the boy.  Absolutely loved this scene, it was perfectly written and the interaction between Bastien and his son is priceless.  In this scene we see the true Bastien come to the forefront, the man with a heart of gold, who will die before he sees any harm done to those he loves and holds dear. He may be a warrior honed in the fires of hell, but underneath it all, he’s just a cuddly teddy bear.  We also see this side of Bastien whenever he’s with Ember.  He loves her so deeply that there is no Bastien without Ember.  His love for her, and Ember’s love for Bastien flows off the pages and makes you root for them to finally get their HEA.  Bastien and Ember are solid characters who match each other in everyway which makes them perfect for one another.  Even her sisters adore him and welcome him back with open arms, which was another cute scene that makes you want Bastien to succeed all the more.  Another fun scene is when Bastien meets Trajen once he’s finally rid of his Ravin tracking device. Upon introduction via  Jullien he uses Bastien’s royal title, to which Bastien quickly lets him know ‘it’s just Bastien, or Bas, asshole if you must’.  Trajen’s response is priceless; “Aw god, there are two of you in this universe.” As he shakes his head and walks away muttering under his breath.  I was LOL, at poor Trajen at this point. 

Of course it wouldn’t be a Kenyon book without her rag tag band of unique characters.  It was nice to see many of our old and current favourites return, along with some newbies to help Bastien, Ember and her sisters out.  The interactions between these characters is ROTFL’ing moments where you can’t help but think ‘my goodness how have they survived this long’.  Their antics and actions are off the wall and completely insane at the best of times.  It’s no wonder they all get along and have formed friendships, they’re all a little kooky.  It’s one of the reasons I love Kenyon’s books, her characters crack me up. 

Another highlight of the book was the little bonus story/chapter after Born of Vengeance.  It centers on Nyk and Jullien so we get to see how they’ve may in roads to being more brotherly with each other.  Nyk is entrusting his eldest daughter to Jullien to be trained in the Tavali ways.  Loved the interactions between these two and then watching Jullien with Nyk’s kids is simply adorable.  It’s a lovely written chapter, one that leaves you wanting more from these two brothers.  Here’s hoping we get more of these bonus chapters, or maybe, hopefully Thia’s story being told in the near future, with more brotherly interactions. 

After writing up this review I’ve come to the conclusion that yes I did indeed enjoy Born of Vengeance, even though I had some issues with the back tracking/history lessons.  It was full of the ingredients I’ve come to find in a Kenyon book and has me wanting more as I wait for the next installment.  Guess that’s why she’s the author and not me 😉  For any Kenyon fan this is a good addition to the series, now bring  on Mack and Ryn!!

Until next time my fellow Menyons, happy reading!! 

Reviewed by Marcie

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Hard to Handle by Christine Warren – a Review

Hard to Handle by Christine Warren – a Review

 

Hard to HandleAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
A SEDUCTION STRONGER THAN STONE

The only male among four sisters, Michael Drummond is no stranger to women’s strength and formidable will. His Dublin pub, the Skin & Bones, is his refuge, a reassuringly masculine retreat. Until a fierce woman warrior from another realm bursts into his life, bringing with her a battle between good and evil…and an explosive dose of desire.

The first and only of her kind, Ash is a lone female gargoyle, a creature destined to protect mankind from Demons determined to unleash their darkest forces. But her arrival on Earth is more confusing than she expected: her bone-deep instinct to do battle is matched only by her untamed attraction to stubborn, stalwart Drum. If they manage to keep the world safe, can they turn the passion crackling between them into a love that will withstand the test of time?

 

Review:

Hard to Handle by Christine Warren is the 5th book in her Gargoyles series.  This is the first book I am reading in this series, and it did read very well as a standalone, as Warren does give us information on the some of the other characters from the previous books.  In the first 4 books, the hero is a male gargoyle , who is a restored from stone, when the threat of demons and hell become real.  They are considered Guardians to protect humans from the darkness. For each Gargoyle, there is a Warden, who helps them.  

In Dublin, Ireland, Michael Drum (Drum)mond is pulled away from the pub he runs, becuase his sister, Maeve, has a vision of extreme danger from monsters.  On the way home, the earth quakes and it is not an earthquake.  What they perceive is a monster with wings, is actually a Guardian being summoned to life, as a terrible darkness is about to endanger all their lives.  Ash, our heroine in this story, is the first female Guardian, and she enlists the aid of both Maeve and Michael to find the warden who requires her help.  Wheras, Maeve, who has the sight and sees visions of the future, is more than ready to help Ash; but Drum wants nothing to do with monsters, demons and wants to head back to his pub.  But then they are attacked, and Ash is able to save them.  Ash is able to take a form of human female, when not being the Gargoyle.  In a short time, she will discover that Drum, who treats her rudely, is in fact the Warden she has been looking for. I thought that early on, Drum was easy to dislike, and even though he is being pulled into something he knows nothing about, I did feel he went overboard in his distaste for Ash, or her quest.

What follows is a very exciting action packed adventure, where Ash and Drum must try to find and kill the demons, and along the way they both begin to have feelings for each other.  When the danger escalates, Maeve will find information on the other Guardians/Wardens, and some will come from America to Ireland to help with the war. I loved meeting two of the previous heroes, and it was fun to watch them learn about each other.  The last third of the book was intense, with lots of action and dangerous situations, which had you sitting on the edge of your seat.  

Hard to Handle has a nice ending, but the war has just begun.  Drum and Ash’s romance heats up with a happy conclusion. The Demons are still around, and all the Guardians and Wardens will find themselves together at some point in future books.  Excellent suspenseful adventure, written very well by Christine Warren.  One day I need to go back and read the earlier books.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

 

Death's MistressAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
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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Feversong by Karen Marie Moning – a Review

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning – a Review

 

Feversong
Fever series – Book #9
by Karen Marie Moning
Release Date: January 17. 2017

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Description:
Karen Marie Moning returns with the epic conclusion to her pulse-pounding Fever series, where a world thrown into chaos grows more treacherous at every turn. As Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada struggle to restore control, enemies become allies, right and wrong cease to exist, and the lines between life and death, lust and love, disappear completely.

Black holes loom menacingly over Dublin, threatening to destroy the Earth. Yet the greatest danger is the one MacKayla Lane has unleashed from within: the Sinsar Dubh—a sentient book of unthinkable evil—has possessed her body and will stop at nothing in its insatiable quest for power.

The fate of Man and Fae rests on destroying the book and recovering the long-lost Song of Making, the sole magic that can repair the fragile fabric of the Earth. But to achieve these aims, sidhe-seers, the Nine, Seelie, and Unseelie must form unlikely alliances and make heart-wrenching choices. For Barrons and Jada, this means finding the Seelie Queen who alone can wield the mysterious song, negotiating with a lethal Unseelie prince hell-bent on ruling the Fae courts, and figuring out how to destroy the Sinsar Dubh while keeping Mac alive.

This time, there’s no gain without sacrifice, no pursuit without risk, no victory without irrevocable loss. In the battle for Mac’s soul, every decision exacts a tremendous price

 

Review:

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning is the 9th and final book in her fantastic Fever series.  I am a big fan of the Fever series and Karen Moning.  When I heard that Feversong would be the end of Mac & Barrons story, I could not wait to get my hands on this book.  The fact that I was able to finish the book (560 pages) in one day proves how good an author is that you are so immersed into the story that you could not stop reading; and Moning is one of the best.  I have loved my time in the Fever world, and loved loved these great characters; Mac, Barrons, Dani/Jada, Ryodan, Cruce/VLane, etc.  Even the secondary, as well as evil characters were all great.

In Feversong, Mac finally takes control of her destiny and becomes what we had hoped she would be.  When we left off in the last book, the evil Sinsar Dubh takes control of Mac after she saves herself and Dani.  Along the way the evil being in control threatens anyone who stands in the way, which includes the death of some characters we have known for awhile.  Also in Dublin and around the world, things are falling apart, with Earth slowly crumbling.  

The group who has led us here throughout this series tries desperately to find a way to stop the Sinsar Dubh and try to stop the overall destruction.  Mac will find a way to rise up and become a strong fierce person and take control again; but for how long and for what cost?

What follows is an exciting, pulse-pounding action filled adventure that at times is dark and terrifying, and other times gloriously happy and romantic.  I do not want to give spoilers, since each fan of this series needs to read Feversong.  I loved how Mac became what I had hoped she would, and loved the sweet conclusion to her and Barrons arc.  I love everything about Dani, who has been one of my favorites from the beginning.  To see her have the strength of the tough confident Jada was great, but to see my Dani back was awesome.  Ryodan was his normal self; controlled and always looking out for Dani, even to letting her go…just a little.  Dancer was a surprise and this was a nice, but bittersweet element to the story.  Cruce/Vlane was either his nasty side, or the charming friend that Mac trusted at one time.  I loved finally learning more about Dani’s Shazam.  What is he?  Is he real? You will have to read Feversong to find out.

The last third of the book was wild and emotional.  So much happens that you cannot blink, and you will need some tissues close by.  As I have noted before, in the Fever series, Moning has given us some wonderful complex characters that have kept us along for this emotional  roller coaster of a ride. I loved Feversong, but please please Karen, even if this is the end of the Mac/Barrons story; I want and need more of Dani, as she has so much more to tell.  Thank you Karen Marie Moning for another fantastic story.

Reviewed by Barb

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The Dead Seekers by Barb & J.C. Hendee -a Review

The Dead Seekers by Barb & J.C. Hendee -a Review

 

The Dead SeekersAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
In the dark reaches of the eastern continent, Tris Vishal travels from village to village, using his power to put unsettled spirits to rest. He works alone, having learned that letting people close only leads to more death. Still, he finds himself accepting the help of the Mondyalitko woman who saves his life a woman whose gifts are as much a burden as his own.

Mari Kaleja thirsted for vengeance since the night her family was taken from her. She has searched far and wide for the one she thinks responsible, known only as The Dead s Man. But before she can kill him, she has to be sure. Mari hopes traveling with Tris will confirm her suspicions. But as they embark on a hunt where the living are just as dangerous as the dead, she learns the risks of keeping your enemy close…
Because it s no longer clear who is predator and who is prey.”

 

Review:

The Dead Seekers by Barb and J.C. Hendee is the 1st book in their new Dead Seekers series.  We meet our hero Tris Vishal very early on, when he was first born.  Shall we say he was born dead, but within minutes he came back to life.  From then on, Tris life has been all about death.  His mother adored her miracle child, and his father hated and feared him.  When he reaches the age to move on, Tris lives up to his nickname “The Dead’s Man”, as he is the only one who can force the dead to move on into the next world.  Tris keeps to himself, talking very little.  He has a mentor, Heil, who teaches him how to handle the different types of ghosts he must face.

Mari Kaleja has spent all her life seeking vengeance against the man who killed her family.  Mari was only a child when she saw the strange apparitions (ghosts) viciously kill everyone in her village.  She grew up in different homes, not staying long anywhere. Mari meets Tris one night when he is summoned to remove a ghost.  She suspects he is the man who has been looking for, and to confirm her suspicions, Mari agrees to help him on another case. As they travel together, Mari has mixed feelings about Tris.  She worries that though he seems like the right person, something is too nice and quiet to be that vicious killer.

As they end up in the town where multiple deaths have occurred, with sightings of ghosts like apparitions doing the killings.  Both Tris and Mari work together to set up traps, and just when they think they have removed the threat, all hell breaks loose with many more.   Tris desperately calls for his friend to join him, as the threat as escalated beyond his ability.  The three will team up to help the soldiers and town eliminate the many threats to all the humans, and in doing so, Mari sees a dark apparition trying to come through the portal…..this dark vision is the one who killed her family.   What does Tris have to do with this dark ghost?  Will Mari trust Trish and continue to help him?

What follows is an exciting, action filled fantasy that does start off a bit slowly, in order for us to understand this new world.  It is a different type of story line, and an interesting one.  Though there is a resolution to this case, we are left open as to who is the dark one who Tris fears, and who Mari wants to complete her vengeance against.  I look forward to the next book, and find out more about what the Hendee’s have in store for us.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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