I really, really liked this one. It’s almost like a fairy tale where the ugly duckling turns...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
I really, really liked this one. It’s almost like a fairy tale where the ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan and two men – Ling and Prince Damarion – are so lonely their lives have been completely miserable. Now, they are both in positions that make their lives even more hellacious causing Ling to runaway and find employment in Prince Rion’s castle. From there they meet when no other servant wants to take Rion his meal and what eventually blossoms is not only a friendship but a love as well.
There’s something about this short little story that really gets to me. I just adored it and I loved both Ling and Rion. Where Ling has been hated for simply being the son of the Oracle, Rion has been hated for being the son of the False King. They are like two peas in a pod and completely understand each other because of what they’ve had to endure simply for being born they way they were. It’s sad but it’s also sweet the way they connect so easily. The story is about that connection but also about them finding out the truth and really understanding who they are inside. And let’s just say, they are both surprised in what they end up finding out by the end.
My only issues with this one is that, again, it is too short. I would have loved to see Ling and Rion while they got to know each other. So many conversations and pranks they played that was just told instead of shown. I missed out on that. Another thing is that six years have passed since events in The Oracle's Flame end and A LOT has happened such as how Prince Edan got the throne back. I was a little confused because we didn’t get to see that taking place in The Oracle's Flame nor in this book so I was a little disappointed we didn’t experience something that seemed so crucial.
All in all, this was still a good story. It’s sweet and a little sad but short enough that you could read it in under an hour. I really enjoyed it and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment, The Oracle’s Golem!(less)
Wow, this book was just… amazing. From the beginning I was intrigued by the tale Ms...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
Wow, this book was just… amazing. From the beginning I was intrigued by the tale Ms. Derr was weaving but as the story progressed, I became more and more engrossed in the dangerous world that harbors so many varied but deadly creatures.
I can’t even begin to describe just what that world is so I will leave you to find out. What I will say is that this book contains a lot of different elements: a wish granted, a night of debauchery, hidden strengths and developing friendships and love. Not to mention there’s an evil-being right in the Legion’s mix, chaos reigning everywhere and so many loyal, faithful beings dying to stop such evilness with sacrifices and an ultimate bond that just might not be enough to save everyone. Now, if all that doesn’t intrigue you… well, I don’t know what will!
One of the reasons I enjoy fantasy is because of the worlds that are created. Ms. Derr is one of my favorite fantasy writers because even with how many books she’s written, they all still seem to be different and unique. This one is no different and is so elaborate that there are layers upon layers of how this world became and how it operates. For someone like me, it’s extremely captivating and I loved reading every single detail about the war that ravaged the countries and ultimately made it into what it is now.
At the same time, the characters were just as fascinating. At first, Raffé is a bitter but self-loathing individual who only sacrifices himself so that he and his family won’t be killed. After his Blooding, he takes to his position as a Prince of the Blood remarkably well. He was like the ugly duckling that became a beautiful swan. He changes so much over the course of the book that by the end, he is barely like his old self but he’s better now: aggressive, sure of himself, a warrior.
Cambord (which isn’t his real name but I don’t want to give that away) is first attracted to Raffé when he’s an ugly duckling but grows more enamored with the Princeling as the story goes on to the point that his obsessive, possessive behavior becomes dangerous to everyone. Honestly, I loved this because even though Cambord was dangerous, he was only deadly to those who threatened his Prince. I couldn’t get enough of it and the soul-deep bond they created and if I could change anything, I would just ask for a little more time that Raffé and Cambord had together.
My only issue with the story (and the reason I can’t give it 5 stars) is that there were so many different creatures, so many secondary characters, so much power I couldn’t keep it all straight. Whenever someone was brought it, I would think I understood their role in the Legion but then they’d do something that would make me think they weren’t the creature I thought they were supposed to be. It was a little overwhelming. Also, I still was confused on how the villain was able to open so many seals when he was leagues away from the sacrificial sites. Beyond that, there were a few inconsistencies throughout the text. For example, the mention that someone ‘stood abruptly’ when they were already standing or during one sex scene – ‘reaching around Raffé’ when Raffé was initially on his back with no mention of him turning over. It happened enough times for me to notice but not enough to dim my enjoyment – just worth a mention.
In the end, when I finished the book, I couldn’t help but give a satisfied sigh. It was a great book that had me worried at times things wouldn’t work out but also giddy when certain events took place. I went through a wide range of emotions while reading Of Last Resort and honestly, that right there is what made this book so amazing. It’s not often that a story literally pulls so many emotions from me. If you’re a fantasy lover and you enjoy characters that evolve greatly with a lot of action and suspense, give this one a try because I doubt you’ll be disappointed with it.(less)
This is a peculiar story about Koby who has been contracted to work in Antarctica as part of...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
This is a peculiar story about Koby who has been contracted to work in Antarctica as part of his contract for his Doctorate degree. Thinking working in a parium mine will be boring and easy, he’s very unprepared for what it really is: a place where imprisoned vampires mine the parium where no torture is off limits to them. Horrified at what he sees, he and a few of his colleagues, with the help of his friend Ivo, devise a plan to not only free the vampires but take down the very man who approves of such horrors.
There’s a good cast of characters in this one. Our main guy is Koby, who is the scientist on his way to studying the cohabitation of dead and living cells in a single body. He’s eager but nervous and very confused when he meets the criminal, Mircea. Mircea is the old, wise vampire that has made peace with the life he has, although he still wishes to kill the very men who make his life so bad. Other characters include Sophie and Ivo who give Koby the courage to do what he ultimate does and a few other minor characters that make it all happen.
The plot of this story is very intriguing. The fact that vampires are widely known and, more or less, accepted interests me a great deal. How Earth has completely ruined its ozone to the point that only something called parium is able to keep the atmosphere intact, is very intriguing. I liked that the author decided to go with this because it opened the story up to a lot of possibilities and made for some interesting discoveries.
At the same time, while the story had a lot of potential, I don’t think it lived up to it. I loved that it was set in the future but I also felt like I was missing a lot of the background story to completely understand not just the parium was used but the vampires and how they came to be so known. I also felt like a lot of the important parts where skipped over. I would have liked to see exactly how the vampires managed to leave or what Koby had to go through during the two year separation between him and Mircea. As it were, a lot of it is skipped, ignored or told very briefly to the point that it wasn’t very satisfying.
Beyond that, if you’re looking for a romance, this isn’t the right story for you because while there is romantic elements towards the end (the date is very sweet), it doesn’t come into play until literally the end. By that point, I didn’t feel a connection between Koby and Mircea. All I really knew was that there was some bone-deep pull Koby had towards Mircea but did Mircea feel the same? I could never really tell :(
In the end, I won’t deny that I still liked the story. There was a lot that I felt was missing that made the book feel almost like an outline but I enjoyed this author’s writing and found the world that she managed to create fascinating. I really wished it had been longer so that not only could the events be more detailed but we could actually see the connection and relationship between Koby and Mircea.(less)
I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really want to read this book. When I w...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t really want to read this book. When I was browsing Less Than Three Press’ Coming Soon page, I came across The Oracle’s Hatchling and wanted to read it ASAP. Unfortunately, it was book two in The Oracle series and when I saw that book one, The Oracle’s Flame, was ménage I almost, almost said forget it… but the second book was just so tempting so I took the plunge and I read this one.
It’s based around how the Oracle saw the world consumed with greed that turns into disease. The world was sick and it was all caused by a corrupt false king. That’s where Dragon comes in. A newly made Dragon of Fire, he has one of the highest positions in the Monastery and the Oracle sends him on a mission to protect the prince before the false king kills him. Just days into his mission, however, he’s brought onto a pirate ship where he meets the twins Shev & Shov, where more than just attraction develops between them. What’s Dragon supposed to do when he finds himself falling for both twins especially since neither of them know why he’s really on the ship?
Now, I’ll freely admit that I actually enjoyed this one. I absolutely adored the world and loved the idea around the Oracle and her efforts to not only save the world but to make her people happy. It’s a sweet tale about finding that missing part of yourself. We see that in the way Shev and Shov take to Dragon so quickly and their desire to make him part of their little love nest.
I really liked that this story revolved around finding the missing Prince. It’s obvious who the prince is but it’s still fun to see Dragon war with himself over his wish to have Shev and Shov but to also do his duty and protect a prince he still hasn’t officially met. Where Shev is the mischievous and adventurous twin, Shov is more for comfortable in the kitchen. Dragon is like that connection between the two twins because he’s able to be adventurous with Shev but also laid-back with Shov.
As I said, it’s a sweet tale about finding that person that completes you and taking that final step to embrace it. While I enjoyed it, I did have some issues. Mainly, I felt like the story was too short. I didn’t really feel a connection between the three characters and I didn’t feel like I understood the world that Dragon came from. Also, I was a little sad that we didn’t get to see the missing prince take back the throne from the false king. However, even with that, there’s something about this author’s writing I really enjoyed that made me want to keep reading.
In the end, I still liked the story. It was a short, sweet read that passed the time for a little bit. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author and seeing where she goes with this series. A word of caution, though, this story contains some incest (although briefly) but readers should be aware that Shev and Shov are twins and they’re also lovers who want to make Dragon their third.(less)
When I read the blurb for this story, I was immediately intrigued. As someone who l...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
When I read the blurb for this story, I was immediately intrigued. As someone who loves fantasies, I find unique and complex worlds fascinating. So, right from the bat, this story had a lot of potential for me to enjoy it especially mixed with that cover and an edge of steampunk, I was all too eager to get started. Unfortunately, while I loved that the author put so much effort into the world building, the length of this story really hindered not only my enjoyment of it but my understanding of what exactly was going on.
To put it simply, Jules is an engineering sage who’s Master has been killed for conducting an illegal project… or harboring an illegal machine part (I’m not sure which). As such, creatures known as rippers were sent out to kill him and Jules. Fortunately for Jules, he was able to escape and ends up coming across Obadai, someone with seed magick. Knowing just how much danger Jules is in, Obadai agrees to help him fix an airship but before they can complete their task, the ripper shows up with the intention of punishing both of them and the punishment for their supposed crimes? Death.
Let me just say that I really liked these characters. Obadai is a strong, confident man who is willing to help someone when the situation calls for it. In contrast, Jules is more timid and shy unless it has to do with tinkering with machines and then he’s a whole nother person. In this story, the relationship between Obadai and Jules is just starting. Literally, it is like a seed in the ground: it’s been planted and just waiting to grow. The two together are both sweet and fierce and even though they just met, they are all too willing to put their lives on the line to save each other.
The best thing about this story is the world but unfortunately it is also the worst thing. Since the story is so short and the world is so massive, the author tried to cram so much information into a little over 17,000 words. The result of which only left me confused and frustrated. Not to mention there were so many unique words to describe the land, country, creatures, etc. that I kept stumbling over them because I didn’t understand what they meant and most of the time, they weren’t explained in a simplistic way. The beginning is particularly hard to get through because it is filled with a lot of info dump in an attempt to understand the setting but because of that, for me it was just a bunch of nonsense I couldn’t decipher. Add to that, there were a lot of complex names and individuals mentioned that didn’t seem necessary in the grand scheme of things.
To put it mildly, this was only an okay story. If this story had at least 100 more pages, the author could have spread out the descriptions on the world, the inhabitants and the numerous people that were mentioned but never appeared in the story and it would have been fine, or at least more understandable, but because there was just so much information to learn and understand, the end result was not comprehensive for my simple brain :( I liked the characters and I liked the concept of the mission Jules had to go on but as much as I wanted to enjoy the book, it was hard to really get into the story when so many details were pushed together in such a short tale.
As it is, while this is the start of a new series and wasn’t as good as I was expecting, I’m willing to give the sequel a try in the hopes that most of the information told in this story won’t weigh down the rest of the series.(less)
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, is on his way home with tea for his grandmother when...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, is on his way home with tea for his grandmother when he stumbles upon a man getting beat up. Chasing off the ruffians, he has every intention of helping the man who can’t even stay conscious. What Marcus didn’t realize is the guy he saved, Robin Harris, is the very person who created the machine that killed his father. With mixed feelings, Marcus still helps Robin because it’s the right thing to do. On top of that, Marcus and Robin share an attraction that is a crime to indulge in but will they risk everything for the love that’s obviously there?
Awww, how sweet this story was! Even with how short it was, I totally fell in love with the characters. Robin is a clumsy, absent-minded genius/scientist that does what he can to help people in need of mechanical medical help. He’s had a rough life after being taken advantage of and now he’s just trying to survive in it. Marcus shows up and changes everything in Robin’s life for the better. I adored Marcus and his inability to just leave Robin after he found out who he was.
Marcus is the perfect gentleman who just wants to help Robin get healthy and whole. Not to mention he’d love to do some other naughty stuff to the awkward scientist! I loved them together and when they finally got together, it was all the more sweet because they’re perfect for one another. I want to mention that Marcus’ grandmother is a freaking hoot! That lady is all kinds of insane awesomeness. She wasn’t the classic stick-in-the-mud ton lady but had a lot of personality that supported both Marcus and Robin. I adored her so much!
I only had two big issues with this one. One, the beginning was rocky for me. I kept getting confused on what Marcus was talking about. I don’t know if it was because the words used to describe the situation of the world were outside of my vocabulary, which made it difficult to understand, or something else. Secondly, the transition between some chapters were choppy to the point when a new chapter started, I wasn’t sure how much time passed, how Marcus and Robin got to the point they were in or exactly what they’ve done between the time that passed. Although, there is a brief mention a few times on what has occurred during the passing of time, I would have liked to experience some of it.
In the end, even with my little niggles, I still really enjoyed this story. It’s a good mix of steampunk with a hint of magic. I loved that Ms. Ford had a world destroyed by the makings of such magical machinery, it was interesting to say the least! If you’re looking for something short but unique and intriguing, give this one a try because it definitely fits the bill!(less)
You know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly ho...moreYou know when you’ve just finished a great book and you sit there thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to review this?” Yeah, well, that’s exactly how I felt once I finished Throne of Glass.
To say I adored the story would be a gross understatement. I devoured this book within hours (as a slow reader that’s an amazing thing) and even bought the print editions of not just the first but the second book, Crown of Midnight, and the collection of short stories, The Assassin's Blade, right after I finished it.
Throne of Glass is about Celaena Sardothien, who earned the title of Adarlan’s Assassin, before she was caught and sentenced to slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier. Now a year after her sentencing, an unexpected offer comes her way in the form of Adarlan’s Crown Prince, who gives her the option of her freedom… for a price. All she has to do is defeat twenty-three other candidates for the role of King’s Champion. If she wins, three years of service is all that separates her from complete freedom.
The story is centered around Celaena’s fight for that freedom, the numerous tests she has to compete in to advance to the next round but most of all, Celaena’s just been thrust into a new and unfamiliar world where evil magic is being used to kill off her competitors. On top of that, she has the Captain of the Guard who hates her and doesn’t trust her and the Crown Prince who’s getting a little too close for everybody’s comfort. Will she claim the title of King’s Champion or will all her efforts be for nothing?
Honestly, there’s so much that happens I don’t want to spoiler any of it. Some people won’t like this book because of the simple fact it’s not strictly a romance. While I’m also hesitant to call it Young Adult (things get very gruesome at times), I will admit that there’s ‘hints’ of a romance brewing. Actually, there’s hints that a love triangle is already starting and while I normally don’t like love triangles, it worked very well in this story because the possible love interests are so different. One of them I believe suits Celaena better than the other but that’s just my opinion (and I’m also biased because I just adored Chaol ^_^). Also, readers should be aware that these characters are very young; Celaena is only eighteen, Dorian is nineteen and Chaol is twenty-two.
One thing I loved about this book, though, was the characters. While Celaena is the main voice, POV shifts to multiple people that are significant to the story. Some of them I liked more than others (a personal preference because I hated Kaltain) but all were what made the story the way it is. As characters, Celaena, Chaol and Dorian are all very well in-depth. Celaena, while an assassin, is a little rusty in her skills but she’s also emotionally damaged in more ways than one. She’s surly and flippant but makes it her goal to get a rise out of Chaol or Dorian if she can. She has a lot of layers that still haven’t been uncovered but I loved being able to see some of them being peeled back by Chaol and Dorian. Most of all, Celaena is a fragile, vulnerable young woman who needs protecting in some ways and Chaol and Dorian unintentionally give her that. Dorian is the classic charming prince although he’s one that is disgusted with his father, the King. He’s not quite a man but Celaena makes him want to become one. Chaol is an intriguing mix between a sad, lost man and a severe, all business captain. All three characters are very young and, honestly, still have a lot of maturing to do even though they’ve been forced to live through some harsh realities.
As a huge fan of fantasy, one of the things I look forward to the most is the new world I get to discover. With Throne of Glass, while we don’t get a full detailed description of this new place as a whole, I have no doubt we’ll get more of it as the series progresses and Celaena journeys to different countries. What there is of the world, is phenomenal. I loved that it was a mix of a historical setting and a fantasy one with a flair of magic but the brutality that has consumed the world since the King has been decimating countries was interesting to read about and also quite sad.
In the end, this was an amazing story. I loved experiencing the growth in all the characters, as well as, seeing the tests that Celaena has to go through, not to mention the secondary characters made things more interesting. The mystery surrounding the evil inside the castle was a blast to uncover and while I have questions about some of the things that happened during the book, I think I’ll get my answers as we learn more about Celaena and why she’s so important to everything.
I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fantasy lover, who doesn’t mind the romance developing over several books because while there’s only a hint of it in Throne of Glass, I have a feeling it’s going to be an epic one by the time the series finishes!
When Ackley saves the crown prince of Morcia from possible death, he inadvertently gets magi...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
When Ackley saves the crown prince of Morcia from possible death, he inadvertently gets magically bound to the prince. Now tasked with being constantly within Prince Ealdwin’s presence, the two must figure out how to counter the spell that brought them together. But what’s a Skirfallan mage supposed to do when he’s in a country that hates his very race and his every action is only met with suspicion?
In the m/m genre, one of the things that I find lacking is the amount of true high fantasy stories out there. You have what I call ‘contemporary fantasy’ which is basically fantasy elements in a contemporary setting and ‘semi-fantasy’ which is a fantasy world but with only the bare bones for descriptions. Battle of Will is, in my opinion, a classic high fantasy tale filled with a ton of descriptions, two prominent warring races, a royal prince, a traitor and a forced bonding between enemies. Basically, everything I could want in a fantasy!
And how I loved every second of it! From the moment that Ackley realizes what is about to happen to Prince Ealdwin to the last word in the story, it satisfied all my cravings for a true high fantasy tale. It has a slow build-up, with descriptions left and right about the war, the layout of the country, and the spells that Ackley is forced to look through. You have the very real animosity between Ackley and Ealdwin, the inability to believe what the other is saying is the truth and the very real possibility that if someone kills one of them then the other will die too. It has some action, some twists and some sweet moments written in a way that had me spellbound throughout the book.
The characters have such depth that I felt like I knew them each personally. Ackley is very surly and stubborn. He’s not afraid of saying what he wants especially to a prince and absolutely will not back down even when Ealdwin is at his most scariest and intimidating. Ealdwin isn’t used to anyone sticking up to him so Ackley not only confuses him but intrigues him. I loved how Ealdwin was a respected prince who had no issues with fighting the war from the front lines but I also liked that even with their situation, Ackley couldn’t put away his bodyguard instincts and not protect Ealdwin, even when he didn’t need to… or want to. It was sweet the way they hated each other but slowly created a friendship that had so much trust, there was never any doubt of the other person’s actions… until Ealdwin tried to show Ackley his true feelings.
I had a few issues with this story, though. My biggest being that I felt the resolution to who the real traitor was and how to deal with him very anticlimactic. With everyone that was killed and everything that happened to not only Ealdwin and Ackley but to the King of Morcia, I expected more action to be taken to handle the King’s killer. I felt there also needed to be more editing considering there was a lot of typos, grammar mistakes, punctuation errors and inconsistencies throughout the novel. Also, while I loved that the fantasy and the desire to end the war was front and center of the story, I wished we could have seen more of the developing romance between Ackley and Ealdwin. I feel like we were missing just a little something between them.
All in all, even with its flaws, I still really enjoyed the story. It’s more fantasy than a romance and focuses more on the journey Ealdwin and Ackley go through from being enemies to allies. It has a lot of world-building and descriptions with an emphasis on the daily work of a prince turned King. I absolutely loved it and recommend it for those who enjoy a good, meaty fantasy that has very little romance. I’m also hoping we’ll get more stories in this world because I’d love to see what happens next especially if it involves Leavey getting his own HEA!(less)
On the island of Sagrario, Francis Holland is just one of the many men wanting a safe and we...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
On the island of Sagrario, Francis Holland is just one of the many men wanting a safe and welcome home to be who they really are: men who love other men. Francis has been on Sagrario just long enough to feel the effects of being alone but when he’s tasked with cleaning up a mess on the shore, his life changes forever when he finds Wick, an unconscious merman, and brings him back to health. Before he realizes it, Wick and Francis develop a relationship that is necessary to keep on living but how can they have a lasting relationship when one is bound to the sea and the other to land?
Who knew such a little story could pack such a big punch?! I sure didn’t! This one is short and sweet but it had me almost crying when I thought things weren’t going to work out. I loved the fact that there was such a huge language barrier between Wick and Francis to the point they couldn’t necessarily understand each other. The fact that Francis is from the land and Wick is from the sea created enough conflict to make me want to keep reading and see how everything turned out.
While the characters don’t have as much depth as I would have liked (especially Wick), I still enjoyed how they formed their relationship and what of their personalities we saw. Francis is lonely and just wants someone to spend his life with while Wick is mysterious and drawn to who Francis is. It was interesting to see the effect they both had on one another and the all-consuming emotions they shared.
My only qualms about this one is that I wish it were longer. The world is fascinating and I loved the historical/fantasy combo but I really would have liked to know how Wick fits into that world after everything is said and done. Not to mention being able to finally see Wick and Francis hold an actual verbal conversation or being explained on how Wick was able to put himself and Francis on more even footing. I also had a few more questions about Wick, how he ended up on shore, how he got injured, etc.
All in all, this was a short but sweet, feel good story that had just enough angst to make my heart clench. It was a story I loved reading and didn’t want to stop and I hope the author continues with Francis and Wick’s tale because I’d love to know how they both adapt to their new relationship. Definitely recommended if you’re looking for something short but that will leave you happy and satisfied.(less)
On the recommendation of his brother, Lord Vellem from Belemere is arranged to marr...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
On the recommendation of his brother, Lord Vellem from Belemere is arranged to marry Prince Perdith of Tallideth in an attempt to end the war between the two countries. With peace in sight and the wedding only months away, things take a decidedly bad turn when more than one attempt on Vellem’s life is made, pushing the marriage to happen sooner than desired. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop tragedy from striking again in a way that changes both Vellam and Perdith’s lives. Now with more responsibilities then they ever thought they’d have, they both have to get accustomed to not only ruling a kingdom but having a stranger as a husband.
Well, this was not the story I was expecting! To be honest, I was thinking this would be closer to steampunk themed than fantasy but how wrong I was! This book had so much happening and so much loss that it was very tragic and heart-wrenching at times. It’s filled with betrayal and suspicion and just when things start looking up, something happens that brings everyones’ hostilities back up and makes things way more tense then they were to begin with. Yes, I am purposely being vague! LOL. But this is the type of book that is enjoyed much more when you experience the revealing at the same time as the characters. It’s a great book and an even better journey especially if you love fantasies.
Speaking of the characters, there will be readers that don’t like Perdith for the way he acts but it was easy for me to understand him and what he’s been through. Originally low-key and wrapped up in numbers, he’s forced to bring out the King in himself and change in a way that others will respect. Underneath it all, he’s still shy and nervous but lets Vellem see his wild and care-free side in bed. At the same time, Vellem is this lowly soldier that doesn’t understand politics even though he knows his war strategies. He’s been through a lot and while he might be clueless in being Regent, he knows how to demolish and rebuild structures. The two together are a force to be reckoned with and brings truth to the saying, “Two heads are better than one”.
My only issues with this story was that it needed more editing. There were a lot of typos and punctuation errors not to mention Vellem’s dragon, Krisanta, (who is just so lovable and amazing!) tended to be forgotten a lot then would show up out of the blue. Also, some chapters picked up weeks/months after certain events were trying to be decided. It was a tad confusing because I couldn’t figure out exactly how much time had passed and I really would have liked to see some of these scenes played out so that we could see when/how plans were formed. I am left with one question that was never answered, though. How in the world are Vellem and Perdith supposed to produce an heir that’s of BOTH their bloods?! Am I sensing a sequel?? With hopefully mpreg?! Oh, yeah, I went there, people!
Beside that, this was an amazing book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ms. Derr writes fantastic fantasies that I can’t get enough of. It still amazes me with how much she’s written that she can come up with unique worlds and this one is no different. If you enjoy a good fantasy with some mystery, deception, a little angst, great characters and an amazing world, give this one a try. It’s definitely not worth missing!(less)
A few months ago, I read a story that not only blew my socks off but made me immedi...moreThis review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.
A few months ago, I read a story that not only blew my socks off but made me immediately want to read the sequel AND purchase the print books of both stories. In Liam's Wake (see my review here) was a ball of craziness I could not let go. I was nervous the sequel wouldn't live up to it but, to my pleasure, it was so much better...
This is the journey that Johann Andreas IV takes from being a self-conscious, overweight nobody to a person who finds his place in the world and a person to love him. I'm not going to go into details about what happens because, honestly, I wouldn't be able to explain everything that Johann goes through or the shear craziness that is this story (in a good way!). What I will say is that Tanner and Johann go through many things together and apart. They live separate lives but yearn for the same thing. It's about self-discovery and acceptance, love and friendship, right and wrong and how you have to lose things before you realize the importance of what you lost. It's a gripping tale that kept me captivated from beginning to end.
I loved the characters. Johann has so much depth to him that I wanted to save him from himself. He's not a perfect character. He's overweight, selfish, somewhat conceited but all he craves is someone who wants him for him. Tanner is that someone. Where Johann takes, Tanner gives everything he has just to make Johann happy, even at the cost of his own happiness. It's heart-breaking, to be honest, because these two have more of a history than anyone could ever know and no matter what they do, everything seems to conspire against them being together... even the 'needs' they think they each want. When all is said and done, the influence they have on one another not only grows them as people but matures them and cements them into the lives they were meant to live.
My only niggle with this story was that I felt like Johann was very self-centered, to the point it was frustrating to read. Considering how he grew up, I could kind of understand it but I just wish he would have taken into consideration how Tanner was feeling or how hard Tanner was trying to make Johann comfortable. I felt so bad with how Johann treated him at times that I wanted to yell at Johann :(
In the end, I absolutely adored the story even if there were some moments I wanted to smack Johann. The simple fact that Johann grew so much throughout the story, though, leveled out my dislike of his selfish moments. Tanner captured my heart and didn't want to let go, and the numerous twists and turns throughout the book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The world Ms. Forge has managed to create is awe-inspiring and I can't wait to read more about the characters within it!
If you're a science fiction lover like me and enjoy stories that have multiple conflicts, an intricate world and heart-wrenching characters, then you'll enjoy this one as well, so give it a try!(less)
This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bishop and I came across Written in Red when I was looking at the nominees in the Goodreads Choice A...more4.5 stars
This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bishop and I came across Written in Red when I was looking at the nominees in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013, I saw the cover and I thought “Hmmmm, that seems interesting” (yes, I’m a cover whore). So I bought the book, expecting to read a typical paranormal story. What I found instead was something amazingly fascinating and wholly unique.
If I had to classify this story, I’d say it’s urban fantasy but even that doesn’t exactly explain it. Nevertheless, this novel took me on a wild ride set in a gruesome, cruel world where the terra indigene, the Earth Natives, rule the world. These Others only tolerate humans for the technology they’ve managed to create but even then, the relationship between humans and Others is uneasy, filled with fear and sometimes hatred.
The story follows Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, as she seeks refuge with the Others at Lakeside. Taking a position as a Human Liaison for them, she’s safe from the Controller who is looking for her as long as she stays on the Others land. Unfortunately, Meg has secrets and Simon Wolfgard, the leader of Lakeside Courtyard, knows she’s hiding something and determined to figure out just what that is and why a human such as Meg doesn’t smell like all other humans, like prey.
Beyond the amazing world that was created, the author managed to bring life to just about everything within the story, including the characters. The descriptions surrounding Meg and her role as a blood prophet made me fall in love with who Meg was and broke my heart over what kind of life she’s been forced to endure. I adored the savagery around Simon and his fight to stay in his human skin but mostly I loved how much Meg unintentionally changed Simon and his way of thinking of humans. The chemistry between Simon and Meg is a slow but intense burn. Meg is so innocent that she doesn’t quite understand what is happening between the two while Simon is unwilling to think, and ultimately accept, just what Meg is starting to mean to him and Sam, Simon’s nephew. It’s hard to adequately express just how much I loved this story, ALL the characters and what they end up going through.
The only issue I had with this novel is mostly with a certain character’s POV. Asia Crane is a human looking to find out information about the Others in Lakeside Courtyard. At first, I found her interesting but as the story progressed, her inner monologue grew tiresome and annoying. She fancied herself an actress and a special investigator but her constant mention of a TV show that wasn’t going to happen and her abilities as a SI (special investigator) for that show were very repetitive. I dreaded it when the POV shifted to her because I felt like a good majority of her thoughts were monotonous.
Regardless of that, I found this to be an intriguing and captivating story. The world Ms. Bishop created was just phenomenal where the Others are frightening and deadly creatures who only barely hold onto their humanity and only barely tolerate humans. Meg and Simon were interesting characters and the conflicts Meg inadvertently drags to Lakeside Courtyard were very well done in both conclusion and description. Not to mention the writing pulled me into the story so quickly I stayed up multiple nights until early morning to keep reading. It’s suspenseful at times and gruesome at others. It’s the type of story that touched my heart and even made me tear up a few times and I cannot wait to read the sequel!
In the end, I’m so glad I picked up this book. It’s one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and paranormal but also who can appreciate the uniqueness around this world and the viciousness that inhabits it.
Lucas Tripp has a problem… or make that several problems. Not only does he have to worry himself to d...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Lucas Tripp has a problem… or make that several problems. Not only does he have to worry himself to death about his family, his money and his responsibilities but now he has to worry about where his sister’s smitten suitor has disappeared to and forced to find the missing man. His only help is his gigantic dog and his boyfriend, Alex Booker. But, before he knows it, Lucas is sucked into an adventure that has him talking to strange men who speak a different language, losing his spoiled brat of a cousin and thrust into a magical mystery he had no idea even existed. The only shining part in all this? Alex. Will Lucas be able to make his life sane or will things blow up before he even has a chance to figure out just what is going on?
This is a difficult review to write. There were parts of the story I enjoyed and then parts I struggled with. I enjoyed the characters, for the most part. Lucas is very naive for the world he lives in and quite oblivious when it comes to certain things as well. He’s adorably cute when he’s flustered or nervous or upset… or, well he’s adorable all the time. Alex is very dashing and charming. I loved that he’s such a huge contrast of who Lucas is because that makes their relationship all the more appealing… especially since Alex has a jealous and possessive streak a mile long. The story doesn’t revolve around them as a couple, it’s more about the adventure, but their relationship and their chemistry is interwoven throughout the story so that you can understand their connection to this point, which helps because Alex and Lucas are already a couple when the book begins.
One of my issues with this story is that it’s a bit dry for my tastes. I’m sure Lucas’ thoughts were supposed to come off as funny or at least amusing but I found them a tad annoying, which brings me to my next issue. His inner monologue is very long-winded and runs off into multiple directions that were hard for me to follow, not to mention the repeating his monologue into dialogue sometimes grew annoying. I didn’t find him and his thoughts humorous or witty, they were just… irritating and a bit boring… and confusing. To be honest, I don’t even remember, or understand, half of what Lucas was thinking. It grew tiresome keeping up with his thoughts, which lessened my enjoyment of the book a great deal.
However, I won’t say there isn’t anything good about this book. Actually, if you can get passed Lucas’ inner monologue, the plot is somewhat suspenseful and interesting. It was intriguing trying to figure out how Lucas and his land played a part in everything that happens and even funny to see Lucas squeal or screech when he was startled… not to mention how he would swoon. One character I really enjoyed was Laurie, Lucas’ cousin. I absolutely adored the spoiled little prince and how much trouble he caused everyone.
In the end, this book had it’s good parts and it’s bad parts. I do like Ms. Cummings’ writing although Lucas’ inner monologue was just too much for me. The world that was created and the adventure that Lucas and Alex are forced to take was intriguing and fun. With the way the book ended, I’m looking forward to seeing what other mischief Lucas and Alex get themselves into… especially if Laurie ends up causing more trouble for the two. If you don’t have issues with an overabundance of inner monologue or a fantastical historical setting, give this one a try.(less)
I’m going to shamelessly say that covers are the first thing that draw me in so when I saw t...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
I’m going to shamelessly say that covers are the first thing that draw me in so when I saw this one, I was intrigued. Then I found out that it was not only fantasy but had shifters and I just knew that I had to read it… and I’m very glad I did.
Jerath is eagerly awaiting going through The Choosing, where he can finally find out the nature of his animal. Unfortunately, he can’t do that until his fangs come in, which don’t seem to be in any hurry to grow. One day Jerath and his friend Serim are catching fish as part of their chores only to realize on the way back to their village that raiders have taken over the village and captured some of their people to sell as slaves. Scared for their lives and their captured loved ones, they try to seek help with a southern village, Chastil. The journey to Chastil is long and tiring but comes with a few unexpected surprises. Jerath thought he’d never find a mate but when he meets Meren, one of the warriors from Chastil, that just might change his whole future. The real question, however, is whether Meren and his people can help Jerath free his fellow shifters and whether they’ll both survive it to be able to see where their connection leaves them?
I must say, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this story as much as I did. I found Jerath amusing. He’s fierce and possessive but sweet and innocent. It was endearing to see him flustered one moment but then aggressive the next. Meren was the opposite in that he was bold and confident but then easily melted whenever Jerath decided to take the reins. I adored these two and the connection that they make. It’s sweet but intense, loving and hot. I wished there had been more of them because while I feel like I know them, I don’t feel like I know them as well as I could.
The characters are definitely a great addition to this book, however, I think the main appeal was the world the author created. It’s complex but easy to understand. I loved that shifters were freely known about and even that there were whole communities dedicated to them. I liked that the women were born knowing their shifter animal while the men had to wait until they completed The Choosing to know theirs. It added mystery and conflict to the story and made it interesting seeing how the rituals were done. I also liked the fact that it wasn’t just ‘expected’ that they were going to eventually shift but there was always that fear for Jerath that it might not happen.
I had a few niggles with this story. Mostly, I felt like sometimes Serim (Jerath’s female friend) outshined not only Jerath and Meren but the relationship they were building. At times, I felt like the bond between Serim and Jerath was stronger than the one between Meren and Jerath. (This is actually even more prominent when you look at the cover and see the black panther (Serim’s shifter form), which leaves me wondering why is there a black panther on the cover? I would think there would be a jaguar instead.) Personally, that lessened my enjoyment at times because I wanted to see more of the bond between Jerath and Meren not be reminded of the connection between Serim and Jerath. Beyond that, there are a few inconsistencies but I would have loved to see more of Meren’s culture since it seems so different, yet similar, to Jerath’s culture.
Readers should be warned, however, that there is m/f sex in this story. While necessary to the development of the story arc and of Jerath, I know some readers would appreciate being told of this. I’m not all that fond of girly bits in my stories and while I didn’t exactly like this part, I did think it needed to happen so I was fine with it overall.
All in all, even with my issues, I absolutely adored this one. It’s refreshing in a way, unique in others in how different it is from other shifter stories. Add to that, the world is quite fascinating and engaging and the bond that Jerath and Meren ultimately develop was nice to see. I’m hoping Ms. Jacobs decides to write more stories in this world because I’d love to explore it further, especially if that means seeing more of Meren’s culture and rituals.
Definitely recommended for those looking for a different kind of shifter story with an interesting journey and a good HEA.(less)
Eight years ago, Liam was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thrust into a world that’s c...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
Eight years ago, Liam was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thrust into a world that’s considered ‘Topside’, life as he knew it was just about over. His only saving grace is Riley, the man who was sucked into the mysterious place with him. Unfortunately for them, they had to endure one hellish situation after another to survive. Now Liam’s been in the ‘Colony’, a more civilized place than Topside, for five years but Riley’s been in a coma for just as long. Liam’s world is slowly falling apart but what will happen when Riley finally wakes up? Will Liam’s natural affinity to causing problems put them in more trouble then the two can handle?
I just want to say for the record that this book is really crazy! There are so many layers to not only the world and the characters but everything that Liam and Riley have to endure. They each had their own problems and now have the emotional and physical scars to prove it but this book is one that is constantly moving forward. When something happens, it doesn’t just resolve itself in a matter of moments but propels the story into another situation and another to the point that they’re all interwoven and almost all can be resolved in a specifc way… by Liam registering with the Eletes.
To be honest, I don’t feel comfortable trying to explain this story because it would be hard to recreate all that in so many words. What I will say is that this book definitely took me for a ride. Whenever I thought something was going good, Liam would inadvertently cause another problem or part of Riley’s mysteriousness would start to unravel and we’d learn something new about the characters and how much more complicated things could get.
About the characters, I absolutely adored them. Liam is so broken, complicated and almost naive. He’s… well, he’s a hot mess. He just wants to break Riley and him free of the Colony and go back to New York but he can’t do that and each time he’s denied his way of going home, he starts to unravel more and more, losing his mind, becoming anxious and panicky. He has these built in receptors that are extremely dangerous and could kill him if he gets too worked up, which he gets close to doing multiple times. He always thinks he’s found a way to get out of the ‘prison’ he’s in but each time it falls through and he slowly loses hope to the point that he becomes suicidal in his mission to get them back to New York.
Riley is like Liam’s rock but, at the same time, their situation is unique. Riley is even more complicated than Liam because, as the story progresses, you learn over and over how Riley is different from anyone else alive but not exactly how he got that way. It’s amazing and intriguing to see it all play out. Even more so because of the connection between Liam and Riley. Which, while I wouldn’t exactly consider it a sexual one at first, it is definitely an emotional one. They’re linked together through their shared experiences and have created a bond that is hard to break completely.
I had a few issues with the story, though. My main one is that I was confused a lot. The transitions between one problem and the next weren’t very smooth so I was always left scratching my head wondering how Liam or Riley ended up where they did, almost like there were scenes missing between one chapter break and the start of another. It was hard to follow when mixed with Riley’s disadvantage of losing his memories or with Liam’s panic attacks that cause them to black out.
Another thing I had trouble with was understanding Liam and Riley’s relationship because sometimes they would be in love and other times it was almost like they hated each other or were disgusted with one another. I’m not sure if it was meant towards one another or at something else that was keeping them apart but it made me semi uncomfortable… but then they’d confess their love and their emotional connection would be so prominent that I was able to overlook it sometimes. Beyond that, I must admit that I still have a ton of questions about the world and Riley and Liam’s relationship. What is going to happen to Riley? What exactly is Riley? How did he get that way? What is his place in the Colony? Why is Riley still so apprehensive about being touched during intimacy? There’s just so many questions revolving around Riley that I’m burning to know the answers of… but then I also want to know more about Liam and these mysterious people still trying to kill him. Or how the Elete will change him? What will the Elete do to him now? What about Norman? Or Vlad? Omg, there’s just so many questions that I want to know NOW!
Phew! In the end, this was an amazing story. It’s been a while since I’ve been so intrigued with a book that, even though it was a crazy story, I just couldn’t put it down. I was so invested in this one and how Liam and Riley would make things work or how Liam would get out of his next fuck up that I didn’t even notice I was gobbling up huge chunks of the story at a time. I didn’t expect that this would become such a complex book but I’m so glad I read it. I can’t wait to read more in this series and in this world. It’s such a fascinating world with emotionally damaged and fragile characters. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something different that’ll grab you by the balls and not let go… so to speak. LOL. I loved the book so much I even bought the paperback! :D (less)
When I first started reading this book, I had no idea what it was going to be about. I didn’t even kn...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
When I first started reading this book, I had no idea what it was going to be about. I didn’t even know it was two stories in one because all I literally knew was that it contained goblins. Imagine my surprise when it became a book that I just could not put down.
Wulfren & the Warlock is about the seventh son of the Goblin King who becomes enamored with a self-assured, blond warlock who goes by the name of Ash. While Wulfren’s original intentions with Ash are to annoy him, Ash never takes the bait. Soon enough, Wulfren becomes more than just curious when it comes to the quiet warlock to the point that being captured isn’t as bad as he first thought. Being with Ash means getting sucked into a human life-style and it doesn’t take long for Wulfren’s family to come ‘rescue’ him but Wulfren doesn’t want to be rescued. All Wulfren wants is to live his life with his warlock but with his meddling family, is there anyway to make their strange pairing work?
Quiller & the Runaway Prince is about Quiller, the third son of the Goblin King, and a human named Cashel, he finds injured on the road. Like Wulfren, Quiller becomes captivated by Cashel from the first scent of his ‘royal’ blood to the point of escorting him home and even trying to save his family from a power-hungry noble and his son willing to kill anyone to get what they want. But will Quiller be able to save Cashel and those he loves before things get worse?
As soon as I started, Ms. Tushmore’s writing drew me in. Never having read about goblins before, I wasn’t sure if I’d even like the little creatures. With these, however, I fell in love with them all. They’re mischievous little things that like to cause trouble and with curious natures. I found the world they inhabited was equally amazing. I just could not get enough of it; from the detail of the goblins’ powers to the Goblin King himself, even going as far as the homes Cashel and Ash lived, I was just in love with both stories and everything the characters go through.
The characters are a real treat, as well. Wulfren is young in goblin years but older than Ash. However, Ash is an old spirit and has much more confidence and maturity than Wulfren does. He grounds Wulfren and gives Wulfren a purpose in life he didn’t have before. Quiller and Cashel are just about the same but Quiller is the confident (or should I say, cocky) one while Cashel is the innocent one. The two pairs are cute together but the relationships and connections they create are what really made the story for me.
In the end, this was a book that I’m extremely glad I took a chance on. The world, the characters and the plots were something I very much enjoyed reading about but the writing is what brought it all together and made it something that I stayed up all night reading. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series because I’m really looking forward to reading about the other goblin princes! Until then, I’ll content myself with reading more from Ms. Tushmore. Definitely recommended for those looking for something engaging with a fascinating world and great characters.(less)
This is a difficult book for me to review. There are some things I adored about the story and some things I struggled with.
As it is, I loved the first half of the book simply because I found the secret inner strength Jonathan had admiring and entertaining. He's had a terrible life filled with nothing but cruelty and being unwanted yet he adapted to situations very well. Granted, he had a rocky start with Adrian, he still made the best of it and then showed everyone the true 'Jonathan'. The one that can take down a whole army with only one arm. It was amazing to see and I really loved that Jonathan was an underdog that shocked everyone when he blossomed into a great character. I'm not quite sure if I like Adrian or not. With him (and Jonathan if I'm to be honest) there were moments when I wanted to smack him silly to pull his head out of his ass then there were moments when I absolutely adored him. Adrian did grow from a spoiled prince to an honorable king by the end of the story and I did appreciate the fact that he fell so hopelessly in love with Jonathan that he'd do anything for his consort.
The story revolves partially around getting Jonathan out of the horrible scenarios his father has pushed him into but then veers into Jonathan and Adrian coming to terms with ruling as a couple, learning each other, trying to trust each other and settling the issues Jonathan still has with his horrible father and then turns to something horrible that Adrian has to go through. I liked that we got to see the different transitions between each conflict because it allowed the reader to not just see Adrian and Jonathan settling into their new relationship but showed them as an existing couple that experiences some of the same problems ordinary couples face.
I liked that there were essentially three parts to this story but at the same time, I feel like that hurt the book, IMO, because I ended up struggling between the end of one conflict and the start of another. At times, I wish it had been separated into three short stories because there was always a sense of finality to the end of a conflict, only to learn there's still more to come. By the end of the book, I was actually a tad depressed by the final problem, which didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. On top of that, this book needed way more editing and had too much sex for my liking. It contains some elements that are cliched that causes a lot of tension but ultimately kind of made me want to shake some sense into these usually level-headed characters.
All in all, I liked the story. It's not perfect but it pushed all the right buttons for me. I might not have liked some parts of it but I adored the arranged marriage between Jonathan and Adrian and enjoyed the journey they ultimately traveled from complete strangers to a great union.(less)
When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the ru...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the run, he’s exhausted, hungry and in pure terror while trying to get himself off world to get help from the Coalition of Worlds but with dozens of mercenaries looking for him, it’s almost impossible. Lucky for him, he runs into Hadrian Ice, the Augustus Regnant to the Hell’s Gate Clan Hellstorm, a world that creates genetically enhanced soldiers. With Hadrian’s help, Raphael can finally get off world and do something about the Pretenders taking over his rightful position. With so many roadblocks in their way and so many people looking to kill them, will Raphael be able to reclaim his throne or will everything he’s going through be for nothing?
First I want to say that I really loved this story. I was simply captivated by the world that the author created. It’s complex but at the same time simple and, for me, easy to follow. I liked that there were so many different worlds out there with different levels of advancement and especially that we got to see them. The scenarios that Hadrian and Raphael got themselves into, kept my attention throughout the whole book and I loved the fact that we got to see it all. I also liked the fact that we got to see most of the fights they were forced into.
As to the characters, Raphael is definitely a mystery. At first, I thought he was this weak, spoiled prince who didn’t know how to do anything besides run. Over the course of the book, you slowly start to see his true self, what he’s been trained to do, how strong he is both inside and out and ultimately how much he develops character-wise while still maintaining his good heart. It was definitely something I enjoyed to see unfold over the whole story. I liked seeing how much Raphael affected Ice but also seeing how Ice handled things. I found the fact that he was this super soldier simply fascinating; he’s complex but has a sense of honor that I really liked knowing about. More than that, I loved seeing the development between Raphael and Ice and how they got themselves out of some situations that I thought for sure was the end for them. It was sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always held my attention.
My only issue with the story was that there was a bit too much sex for my liking but I still have a few unanswered questions such as what exactly do the marks on Ice’s face mean? But more than that, I wish we had learned more about Ice’s culture and his people. There are some references to it and we do get to see more of his people but Raphael’s culture definitely outshined Ice’s so I was constantly left curious about Hell’s Gate. Did Ice still have parents? How does being the Augustus work? It would be awesome to get deeper into the Hells Gate world so I’m hoping there might be a sequel one day that would let us experience more of this world especially since I think it would be great to see Ice and Raphael after everything has settled down, where they decide to live and to explore more of Raphael’s abilities.
All in all, this was a great book. I adored the world but I also loved the characters. It had a good amount of suspense, action, romance and the world to make this an interesting one and combined with the well-written story it turned out to be a very well done book. I hope there’s more to come of characters in this world because I’d love to explore it more in the future!(less)
When I read the blurb for this book, I knew right away it had the potential to be a wild ride. Any au...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
When I read the blurb for this book, I knew right away it had the potential to be a wild ride. Any author that has the balls to have such an attention grabber for the start of a blurb was something that I wanted to read and I’m happy to say this book lived up to my expectations and more.
The story revolves around Vorgell, a brute of a man who unwittingly kills a unicorn, eats some berries and then becomes so horny he fucks himself with the unicorn’s horn. Now cursed with the unicorn’s magic, he’ll live the rest of his life unable to control his lust. Being jailed for his crime, he’s thrown into a cell with Maddog, a witchkin who’s forced to wear a love collar that binds him to the Baron. When they meet, Vorgell feels so much lust for Madd he’s willing to force himself on Madd but instead Vorgell settles for a kiss, turned bite, that Madd uses to tap into Vorgell’s new magic, allowing them to escape.
When their emotions settle down, they reluctantly decide to work together. Vorgell will help Madd break the collar while Madd will sate Vorgell’s constant lust. Unfortunately, to get rid of the collar, they’ll have to break back into the very place they just escaped from, steal an unhatched basilisk egg and do it all without getting caught. Madd attracts trouble, though, and things aren’t that easy. Now, they’re not just saving Madd from the Baron but trying to stop the wizards from increasing their powers through the Baron’s wife. With so many roadblocks, will they ever be able to succeed and gain their freedom?
I loved these characters. They were quite surprising from how they develop over the course of the book. Vorgell more than anyone because of his sexual appetites. Vorgell starts off as this mindless gigantic brute who will take what he wants and not care who he hurts in the process. He’s aggressive, forceful and quick to battle. He hates witches with a passion and vows to slaughter any he comes into contact with until he meets Madd. Madd is just the opposite, he’s small, determined and stubborn with no problems taking advantage of Vorgell’s magic. With his life, he needs to be in control. He’s a thief and has no loyalties to anyone, in fact, he pretty much hates everyone and couldn’t care less to help them.
As they work together, though, they form a bond that neither of them are willing to let go of. Now, Madd and Vorgell will do anything to stick together even if it means getting killed in the process. They develop a weird sense of honor but definitely form a bone-deep bond that allows them to trust and have faith in one another. It’s sweet, in a way, to see Madd go from something resembling a hissing cat to one who would do anything to keep Vorgell from getting used… at least from anyone besides himself. Vorgell is the same in that he won’t let anything happen to Madd. While they don’t necessarily love each other, there’s affection there and growing adoration that definitely could develop into love if their story were to continue further.
The world is quite amazing. I loved that it was so deep into the magical community centered on wizards and witches and the differences between the two while mixed in with an almost historical setting. The witches are women who believe that men are just tools to give them more magic and to create life while wizards are men who gorge themselves on all things related to necromancy, killing witches to strengthen themselves. Madd falls somewhere in the middle. He’s a witchkin which means he doesn’t practice necromancy but can’t necessarily create his own magic without refueling from an outside source, which generally means consuming living things. It’s a crazy world where magic is essentially part of everything. The journey Madd and Vorgell go on takes the reader deeper and deeper into the layers of witches and witchkin. It was fascinating for me because it provided enough information to stay interesting but not so much that it’s overdone and becomes too heavy in world building. It was a nice balance between adventure, affection and the overall world.
The only fault I found with the story was that some aspects of it are unresolved. Not majorly so but it’s left with a possibility of more to come for these two and I, for one, would be extremely happy if there were a sequel!
The book flows well from the start with an engaging first chapter that had me wanting to read more. The writing is smooth and has action interspersed throughout the whole story. When things would start to slow down, Madd and Vorgell would find themselves in another situation that required them to fight for their lives or go through dangerous territory. It’s filled with twists and turns but even while Vorgell and Madd develop, they never shed the criminal actions that got them caught in the first place. It was refreshing that they weren’t born again innocents but instead kept their gruff and dangerous exteriors. They’re completely hot together and I loved the ‘mastering’ (if you can even call it that) that takes place between the two. They’re very, very surprising characters and while I was afraid of the direction the story would take a few times, overall, I loved the way it was executed.
For someone looking for a true romance, you won’t find that with this story. This is pure fantasy with more of lust than love in the developing of feelings and companionship but you won’t find undying love in this book. It’s rich in a unique world, a fascinating journey and an interesting cast of characters and creatures. It was a fun, adventurous read that got intense at times but I’m so glad I read it because I loved it. I do sincerely hope there’s more to come of these two because I’d love to see what mischief Vorgell, Madd and Petal get into next. And if you want to know who Petal is… well, you’ll just have to read it and find out yourself!(less)
According to the King, Ingram is worthless as a prince. He can’t use a sword, barely knows h...moreThis review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.
According to the King, Ingram is worthless as a prince. He can’t use a sword, barely knows how to fight and faints at the sight of blood. But under that ‘weakling’ exterior, he’s a magnificent strategist with a soft heart that just wants what’s best for his kingdom. When the King loses a bet to a foe, Ingram suddenly finds himself wedded to Lord Mallory and his life turns upside down. Not only does he have to leave his home, and his beloved siblings, for Mallory’s lands but he finds himself forced to play spy for his father to accuse Mallory of a rebellion that hasn’t even happened yet. As time progresses and Mallory and Ingram get closer, will Ingram be able to betray his husband or will he finally stick up for himself and do what’s right?
These characters were fun to read about. I loved Ingram because of how naive he was in the beginning. He just wanted to be loved and accepted by the King but everything he accomplished and did never lived up to the King’s expectations. He’s sweet but innocent and I loved the journey in his development of who he was and the courage that was always inside of him. Mallory is more of a mystery. From the beginning Ingram constantly questions why Mallory chose him and that made me wonder as well. I liked Mallory, although I wished we knew more about him, but I loved that while he didn’t verbally tell Ingram about his feelings, it was there in his actions and his expressions with his courtship. The two of them together are just so sweet and their personalities fit perfectly, IMO.
The story revolves, at first, around uncovering whether Mallory is using Ingram and whether he’s starting a rebellion. As the story progresses, however, we slowly get into Ingram’s self-discovery and his developing relationship with Mallory. It’s a slow read that doesn’t have the traditional sense of romance. I’d consider it ‘light’ in romance even though there is an obvious courtship that spans the whole book. It’s the start of a new series so there’s, of course, the build up to what I imagine will come next. It’s filled with surprises and I kept wondering what would happen next and the last half of the book literally had been an anxious mess with the intensity and twists associated with it. By the end, while it leaves with a set up for the next book, I couldn’t help but feel I was taken on a wild ride that I can’t wait to continue. More than that, I adored the secondary characters as well. Ingram’s siblings were touching while Mallory’s people, Aiden and Eirlys, were enchantingly grumpy individuals that had me chuckling a few times over their antics.
While I loved this story, I can’t deny it had its faults. For one, I was confused a lot on who or what some of the characters were talking about because no explanations were given on it. For instance, well into the story, Mallory brings up Cormac a few times but we don’t know who that is. More than that, I had to wonder, considering Ingram’s heritage, why did it take so long for him to come into his powers when Ella was able to use hers so freely? In regards to Ingram, there are a lot of questions I still have left over that I’m hoping will be answered in the sequel. My only other issue is that when things were just getting interesting, the scene would end and Ingram would wake up somewhere else which left me wondering what happened during the blacked out period. I’m not referring to sex here but fighting scenes and the like. I was a tad disappointed that we didn’t get to see things played out between those lags of time.
Overall, this was a fantastic read. It’s a slightly slow book that is light on romance but sweet in its intensity all the same. I loved the characters and I loved how much potential depth there is to the world this author created. I was on the edge of my seat a few times and the farther I got into the story, the more I wanted to know what happened next especially since it gets intense in the last half of the book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and I think readers who enjoy fantasies that are easy to read will enjoy this one as well.(less)
Twelve years ago, Edander went to the Conservatory to try and control his fire power. Now that he can,...moreThis review can be found at The Armchair Reader.
Twelve years ago, Edander went to the Conservatory to try and control his fire power. Now that he can, he’s stuck at the Conservatory until he finds a bondmate, that one person who can stabilize his power so that he doesn’t spiral out of control. When a stranger, Ignifer, shows up at the Conservatory unannounced, he’s slightly curious of the man but doesn’t really take a notice of him until later. It’s not long before the two are forced to take on a brigade and then strike up a friendship filled with stories and all the information Ignifer can give Edander about the war. Ignifer is leaving soon, though, so that begs the question, will he take Edander with him and ask to be bondmates?
The blurb is a little misleading in the sense that while I was reading, I didn’t necessarily get the feeling that Edander was desperately waiting for his bondmate nor did he think of the stranger becoming his right from the start. It is more in the way that Edander finds a kindred spirit in Ignifer and how easily they seem to work together and get along. With that said, I really enjoyed this one because of the characters.
Edander is a bit melancholy because he hates the winter at the Conservatory, which seems to consist of rain and wind. Regardless of the fact he can manipulate fire, he’s always so cold until he meets Ignifer. Ignifer, on the other hand, is like a ray of sunshine. He has a very scarred face but that doesn’t stop him from taking enjoyment and amusement wherever he can and, with Edander, he seems to get that. The two work very well together in fighting but also seem to be a perfect fit in getting along.
This is one of those stories that had a lot of potential but because of the length of the book doesn’t go in as much depth as it could have. We get a sense for the world they live in (which I found fascinating) and even a slice of fighting. We see how the two start their relationship and get a brief taste of how it blossoms. I really enjoyed all of it but I think the biggest problem is how short it is. This story could have been very good if it had been longer, expanding on not just the developing relationship but also how Ignifer and Edander work outside the safety of the Conservatory as they get closer to war.
Overall, this was an enjoyable story. For such a short book, the author did a good job of making the characters shine and even giving the reader a good sense of how the world operates. It’s well-written and easy to read but a longer and more detailed story would have made this story much more entertaining. Hopefully there will be a sequel so that we can see how Edander and Ignifer handle life together and what all happens when Ignifer meets Edander’s family.(less)