Ahe’ey was originally released in episodic format, starting with “Beginnings”, the first episode which was released in September 2016. This book is the complete collection of all the episodes, bundled up in one book. Each episode has several chapters. In the navigation on the first page, it’s easy to see where each episode begins, and the chapters, so you can easily jump to the spot hwere you left off. A necessity, because this book is huge. 551 pages on Adobe Digital Editions. But the chapter navigation easily allows you to go to the chapter where you stopped reading (even if you want to continue on another device not synchronized to your first device – like I did; I read this partially on the computer, partially on my tablet). The book also has some helpful tools, like a map of Ahe’ey, and a royal family tree.
Anyway, that’s the technicalities. I do like the idea of serials being combined into a complete book. And the blurb intrigued me right away, so I was eager to start reading. Once I started, I didn’t really want to stop, but I had to take a few breaks because 551 pages is just too long to read in one sitting.
On to the story. Morgan is a dreamer. She’s a romantic feminist, an art lover, and she’s full of contradictions and insecurities. That’s how the blurb describes her, and it’s indeed how she comes across. She’s very realistic. Her actions too are realistic, and she could just be the woman living next door or someone you run into at the local supermarket. She discovers the world of Ahe’ey, where women are in power, and where magic exists. But this dreamlike world may turn into a nightmare as it challenges everything she’s ever known. On top of that, there’s Gabriel, stunning good-looking, and Morgan doesn’t know how long she can deny the chemistry between them.
While I enjoyed the fantasy aspects, what really pulled me in where the topics relevant for today’s society, now masked in a dystopian society but equally as important. Topics like patriarchy, like nature vs nurture, feminism. Part of the book reads like criticism on today’s society, and I quite enjoyed that. The plot is quite complex, and it took almost the entire first episode to make me fully understand what was happening. Once I did, I was fully engrossed in the story, but at the start I struggled a bit to keep track of what was what and how it would all fit together.
I enjoyed the story, the links to today’s society, and the characters. It’s definitely worth a read, especially if you’re a feminist, or if you enjoy reading dual-world fantasies with links to the current world, and that are not afraid to give criticism and demand social change....more
Blood Moon, the sequel to Blood Rain, is even more exciting than the first book in the series. The cover art really blends in well with the art on the first book too. I’ve grown to like Mercy even more throughout this book than I already did in the first, and the author does a phenomenal job expanding on the world she established back in book one.
Mercy is on a ship bound for the Ashen capital. Mercy, Mirilee and Erebus sneak ashore to go to a festival, but things go wrong lightning fast when they witness a public execution and Mercy is captured.
I really enjoy the dynamics and interactions between the characters, in particular Mercy, Mirilee and Erebus. Each of them will be forced to confront some inner demons along the way, and fight their own battles to grow stronger. I don’t want to give away too much of the story since it’s a sequel, but I was suprised by some of the plot twists, in a good way.
Aina’s Breath takes off where the first book in the series, Jaeth’s Eye, left off. Enosh is the secret heir to a broken line of mages. His culture has been diminished, and only a handful of mages have been left. He’s helped raise a conjured beast to use as a weapon against the Dageians who are desperate to find the source of the agan – the life source mages uses for their power. But his plans fall apart when a powerful enemy escape and has to capture him.
We also meet Sume and Kefier again. Kefier was my favorite character in the first book and remains so in this second installment. In this book, he’s forced back into a life of violence. But despite Kefier being my favorite, all three characters shine in their own way. They grow and adapt and mature throughout the book, and it’s wonderful to be able to follow their development as a reader.
The storyline pulled me in even more than in the first book. The world-building is outstanding, and with the world ever expanding as the readers gets to explore more parts of it, there’s something new and intriguing we discover every few chapters. Highly recommended to fans of fantasy novels....more
With the characters being older than in regular YA books, I would classify Black Dawn more as a new adult read – although it’s a clean read, so young adults can enjoy it too. New adults might find it easier to connect to the main characters, though.
Anyway, Black Dawn is the start of a brand new series, and it’s a promising start at that. Emory Fae leads a quiet, normal life – until two mysterious, handsome soldiers show up at her apartment. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from a different world, the war ridden world of Kiero. Emory is the long lost heir of the royal line of Kiero, and is thus thrown right in the middle of the conflict, as soon as she arrives there, and urged to reclaim her throne.
The story is told in different perspectives, which could be a struggle, but it’s not the case here. If anything, it adds more to the story to be able to see it from differnet perspectives. The characters are three-dimensional, well-developed, and they act realistically, in particular Emory. I also liked Memphis. He had a complex, mysterious personality and it wasn’t always easy to figure out why he did what he did, which made him intriguing.
The pacing is fast, and there’s never quite time to catch a breath, which is pretty much how the whole experience must feel like for Emory, so to have the reader experience something similar works rather well.
The world building was pretty solid, the writing was fluent, and overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to all fans of fantasy novels, and look forward to reading the second book in this series....more
Drakon Book 1: The Sieve is the first installment in the Drakon series, and starts off strong. Da-Ren is an infidel barbarian who has fled to the Castlemonastery, where he offers a jar of honey in return for redemption for his wife and daughter. The monks ask Da-Ren to tell them their story, which he does. This book focuses mostly on Da-Ren’s earl yyears, growing up in a tribe of warriors and pagan witches.
The Sieve is a ritual all children in Da-Ren’s tribe have to go through, a forty-day initiation trial. Many will fall, but the strong will join the warriors of their clan, and an elite few will become leaders of their clan. The trials are brutal, and Da-Ren’s capabilities are tested to their limits.
Da-Ren is an intriguing character. He has a lot of qualities, but equally as many flaws. The story he tells the monks is heartbreaking but also shows us a glimpse of his world, with their own myths and traditions and stories, and I enjoyed getting to know Da-Ren’s tribe and their culture. The plot moved fast, the writing showed a good distinction between the parts told to the reader by Da-Ren himself, and the parts told by the monk helping to spread his story.
Overall, this was an excellent fantasy novel. I hope the world gets expanded in the next few books but for a first book, it’s perfect – we get just the right amount of world-building without getting lost in the details. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a solid fantasy novel....more
Jaeth’s Eye is the fast-paced, intriguing start of a fantasy series that will leave you wanting more. Kefier is on the run from people who once were his allies and friends and who now consider him a murderer. He’s aided by an unlikely ally, Ylir, who takes special interest in Kefier and making sure he’s not killed. Various different storylines come together and connect, sometimes in surprising ways, sometimes in ways I could slightly anticipate, forming a rich, multi-layered story that begs to be read.
The characters, complex storylines connecting, all of it reminded me of Game of Thrones – but not in terms of plot, this book is far different from that, but just in the way how all the different storylines just seemed to connect at some point, overlap, cross, and form one bigger story to be told from different perspectives. The characters also remind me of the characters in Game of Thrones, although they’re unique, they do share one common denominator: they’re all flawed, and none of them are true heroes. Not in the way you had Frodo in Lord of the Rings, or Pug in Raymond E. Feist’s celebrated Magician series.
Here, in Jaeth’s Eye, in the Agartes Epilogues, there is no true hero. Instead, there’s a collection of characters, some of them with potentials to be heroes, others with potential to be villains. It’s a much more realistic world we see here. We see characters with ambitions, characters thirsting for vengeance, characters seeking justice.
The storyline is complex, and the world-building is rich and detailed, but equally complex. It’s not the kind of book you can read brainlessly, almost skimming through the pages – no, you have to really keep focused on it. A bonus point for the book was how it embraced diversity between the different cultures in the book and didn’t just focus on one culture.
Recommended to readers who enjoy the more complex, epic fantasy tomes. I, for one, look forward to reading the next book in the series. ...more
A Daughter’s Curse is an intriguing fantasy novel, about Brisnay, a young woman who leads quite the miserable life, until she meets Nickolaus. He introduces her to a world where everything is possible, and to a love she never thought she could feel. But when she begins to hope about a better future, some shocking truths turn everything she thought she knew upside down.
Brisnay has to fight an enemy who is determined to destroy her. If she wants to be able to love freely, she’ll have to fight for it, and for everything she holds dear.
The plot never slows down. The world building was outstanding, and the author did a great job creating realistic, believable characters, in particular Brisnay. The plot had a lot of unexpected surprises and overall, this was an entertaining, intriguing read....more
I’ve read a lot of books about faeries, but Halayda was one of my favorite books in this subgenre. Sylvia Imanthiya was betrayed by a trusted mentor and now hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. One night each season can she see her best friend, a man whose destiny is far above hers – King Taylan Ashkalabek.
Taylan knows he shouldn’t be friends with a moral, let alone change halayda vows. But a brutal alchemical attack leaves Sylvie with strange abilities, and Taylan wants to protect her at all costs.
The story was amazing, and I loved Sylvia and Taylan from the start. Each character was great, but Sylvie was my favorite. She was such a strong, intelligent young woman. The world building was outstanding, and made the book stand out from other faeriei books I’ve read. While the romance was heart-warming, it didn’t take center front, leaving room for the other storylines to develop.
It was a truly outstanding fantasy read, and I would recommend it to all fans of the genre....more
Blood Rain was an intriguing, well-developed fantasy novel with a colorful, unique cast of characters. The savage Blood Wings have attacked her treetop village, and Mercy’s father, the chieftain, asks her to leave during the fight, and find the source of the storm that is raining blood upon them.
Mercy travels across the continent of Lacern where she must make allies to survive, and she has to befriend the most unlikely of sources, one of the Blood Wings who attacked her. But Mercy discovers secrets and lies accepted as truth during her journey, and the Blood Rain is only the beginning.
The world-building is solid, and the characters are amazing, in particular Mercy. She’s an easy to root for main character, and while she had several flaws, I loved her from the start. The cover art fits the story well.
Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop, and I can imagine it will be similar for a lot of people. This is a solid fantasy read, and I would recommend it to all fans of the genre....more
In Venus and Lysander, readers get to explore the Victorian city of Eden, along with the two main characters: Valerie and Lucrezia. Both characters have strong personalities. Valerie is sick of waiting for the world to change, and the discrimination she suffers builds into resentment. Valerie decides to take matters into her own hands, with disastrous concequences.
Lucrezia is Lady Chancellor for the Emperor. She’s also a sorceress, but is forced to conceal that part of her identity for fear of death. Two strong personalities are doomed to clash, but luckily both Val and Lucrezia manage to look beyond that, and see each other’s softer sides.
The book has a lot of action, and a lot of world-building. The romance almost seems secondary, even though it’s still an important part of the book. One can’t help but root for both Lucrezie and Val, despite their shortcomings.
A strong fantasy romance novel featuring two strong heroines and an intriguing setting....more
Solomon’s Bell is the second book in the Genie Chronicles series. Not having read the first book, I was confused at first – having the backstory definitely helps. However, a few chapters in, I had a good enough grasp of what was going on to enjoy the story. Ginn, our main character, is a genie, which is actually quite cool. To save her family, she transports herself and her friends to 16th century Prague.
I like historical stories, and Prague in the 16th century sounds pretty awesome. Not only that, but the fantasy spins add unique elements to the story. The Emperor of Prague and those closest to him are obsessed with magic, and to obtain magic, they’ve waved wars on the citizens of their city.
One of the main “villains” in this book is a golem. Golems aren’t often used in literature nowadays, although they’re very interesting, and so is their history and use in older stories. The connections between past and present worked really well, and I could easily feel a connection with Ginn and her friends....more
The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan is a truly outstanding read. It’s hard to review it, because it’s not just one genre, and it’s not just one story – it transcends both, becoming more than just a fantasy book, more than just the story of one man and the strange girl he met on a secret L train many years ago. It goes beyond that, way beyond, and combines myth and magic and mystery and fantasy in a tale with otherworldly qualities.
Richard K. Lyons has long forgotten the magical night he spent as a boy on the secret L train, an epic night with adventures beyond his wildest dreams. But now Rich has become Richard, a grown up man, an adult whose life is on the verge of ruin. He’s forgotten everything that ever meant something to him – he’s forgotten how to be happy, how to truly feel joy (a rather accurate reflection of a lot of people nowadays, if you ask me).
Another night with Francesca, another night on that secret L train, might take him back to the boy he once was, to the joy he once felt.
The author does a good job describing the mystical creatures Richard encounters on the magical east side of Chicago. It’s a whimsical, fun, humorous tale that can make one wonder whatever happens to the magic of childhood. An enjoyable book that I would recommend to anyone who loves something a little different....more
Tribulations is the second anthology set in the post-apocalyptic world of Rogue Mage. I previously read and reviewed Trials, the first anthology. I didn’t read the Rogue Mage series itself yet, but look forward to picking it up once I have some spare time.
The collection exists of stories by five authors, and several vignettes from the roleplaying game accompanying the series.
These anthologies really have some quality work. I was shocked by the depth and detail that went into the worldbuilding, the creative cast of characters and the quality writing all authors possessed. I have to admit I liked this anthology even more than the first....more
Lalin Bonheur is an extraordinary book. Set in New Orlean in the 1800s, it’s the story of Lalin, an extraordinary woman in an extraordinary era. Lalin is a healer, a voodoo priestess, a girl who can shapeshift and who knows things she shouldn’t know. Lalin meets Etienne Legendre, a French aristocraft who becomes her protector.
When Etienne’s wife dies under mysterious circumstances and he’s charged with murder, Lalin helps him scape from jail. Unfortunately they run from one danger into the next, and Lalin needs to use all the magic she knows to protect them both.
This was an intriguing book, not just because it focuses on a mixed-race relationship, but also because of its focus on voodoo and magic. I’ve always been intrigued by voodoo, and I enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about it.
The writing and storytelling was excellent, and the author managed to describe the historical period well, making me feel as if I’d actually transported back in time to New Orleans in 1830. Fans of magical realism and paranormal mysteries will enjoy this book....more
Lizzie & McKenzie’s Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid is the first book in a series of chapter books focusing on Lizzie and McKenzie. Lizzie and McKenzie are two best friends with very distinct personalities. McKenzie is a deredevil who doesn’t back away from any challenge. Lizzie is girlier, and loves frilly things, dresses, jewelry. Despite their differences, they’re best friends and get along really well.
What starts out as a regular day for the girls soon changes when it starts raining and a rainbow puddle forms near their feet, growing bigger and bigger until it reveals Princess Lovina from Exquisite City, where it’s okay to be different. Princess Lovina enlists the girl’s help to stop The Same Glam Goddess, a goddess on a mission to make all the little girls of the world look the same.
She’s already cast a spell to accomplish her wicked plan, but to make the spell permanent she would need the Seven Crystals of Sisterhood. Now, Lizzie and McKenzie have to get to the crystals before the Same Glam Goddess does.
A very imaginative, entertaining story featuring two protagonists kids can easily relate to. The book has gorgeous artwork that accompanies the text and really makes the scene come alive. On the one hand, you get the feeling you’re reading a book, on the other hand it’s almost like watching a cartoon TV series about Lizzie, McKenzie, and the new friend they meet in Madrid, Lucia. With their fancy gadgets, it’s like watching an episode of Totally Spies or Sailor Moon, and the artwork only makes the book more engaging than it already is.
I would recommend this book to all kids from age lower grade and up. I look forward to the next book in the series....more
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of the Lockwood & Co series. I devoured The Screaming Staircase, absolutely loved The Whispering Skull, and even gave another 5 star rating to The Dagger in the Desk, a novella set in between both books. For some reason, I completely missed the release of the third book, The Hollow Boy, and maybe that put me on the wrong track for this next book, but somehow I felt like The Creeping Shadow missed some of the magic the previous books had.
Before reading this book, I often compared the series in my mind to Harry Potter. Lockwood & Co is the best series I’ve read since Harry Potter, and although it deals with ghosts and is vastly different from the Harry Potter books, it had the same magical qualities I found only in those books – as if the characters are so awesome, the worldbuilding so amazing, that it somehow transcends the ordinary world and becomes something new entirely.
But I didn’t really feel that anymore when reading The Creeping Shadow. It’s still a pretty good book, but heck, I even skipped parts this time. It’s way too long and some parts are dragged out – like when, spoiler alert, Lucy and Lockwood go get her skull back but then fail, and when they have to figure out who took the skull in the first place. I was three steps ahead of Luce and Lockwood, and that scene just dragged on and on.
It takes a while before the story finds itself, but when Lucy and Lockwood team up again (they’ve split up, Lucy working as a freelancer for a while) and accept the Aldbury Castle case, the pacing picks up and the story regain some of that lost magic.
Lucy and Lockwood have some moments, but I wish there’d be more. Loyal fans have been waiting for Lucy and Lockwood to hoop up for ages (I know there’s no romance but give me freaking romance!) and if all we get are some sweet moments, then WE NEED MORE OF THEM. More, for God’s sake!
The story was okay. I mean, the author is very creative (I know that from the previous books) and we get some cool action scenes and some scary ghosts (The Creeping Shadow being hands-down the scariest one) but the whole conspiracy angle threw me off, and I didn’t like it as much as I liked the ghost-fighting scenes and the actual cases Lockwood, Lucy & Co worked.
Either way, moving on, the skull, a trash-talking ghost-inhabited skull Lucy keeps in her backpack and carries around with her most of the time, is AWESOME. He’s the best character in this entire series, outshining even Lockwood. The skull is hilarious and I even laughed out loud at some of his snappy comments.
Now, while I don’t think the book is as awesome and amazing as the first book, I still enjoyed it a great deal, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series which will, unfortunately, be the last Lockwood book...more
Emerge Beyond Circles whent above and beyond what I expected. Thuban-Pol is the latest in a lineage of Siberian witches. Her coven’s eternal aim is to guide humanity to true love, but in order to do so, they feel like three things must endure: sacrifice, perseverance and suffering, the last being the greatest of all. Since the dawn of humanity, they’ve summoned numerous couples, inflicting suffering on them with the intent to grow true love. They’ve never succeeded… But now they have their best opportunity yet.
A huge part of the book focuses on the characters’ relationships, and the author has managed to craft some very realistic and complex characters – both as individuals and couples. The book has a mystical, spiritual quality to it, and the plot is very compelling.
It’s not what you expect in terms of a fantasy book, but it turns out to be so much more. I can best describe it as a spiritual journey to find out what true love is. A truly compelling, engaging story....more
Zoysana’s Choice is an interesting coming-of-age fantasy novel in the style of Robin Hobb and Raymond E. Feist, with unforgettable characters and a plot that draws you in completely.
Zoe was found as a child living alone in the forest. She grew up in the castle, where she’s appreciated by everyone for her own merit. Her peaceful life is threatened when conflict arises in the king’s family, and she’ll have to decide where her loyalties lie.
Zoe goes back to her homeland, Kyabra, where she learns more about the ancient culture she is part of, and the hidden talents she has. Civil unrest brings her back to the castle she grew up in, but the cost for stopping a war is enormous, and Zoe is faced wih a dreadful choice.
I really liked Zoe. She was independent, resourceful, clever and caring, and she had tremendous strength. The story was strong, the writing solid, and the worldbuilding top-notch. I can’t wait for the next book in this series....more
One afternoon, TK woke up dead. Rather than returning for a second chance at life, he decided to stay a ghost, and haunt the living in his small Iowa town. There’s a lot more to TK and his life than you can guess at first, and as the story unravels, you find yourself more and more invested in his life.
TK died during a car accident. Then we’re taken back to the days before his accident, and what brought TK to that scene in the first place. TK is a very realistic, compelling character, well-crafted, sense of humor, and for a book heavy on characterization, that’s a plus. As a ghost, he meets other ghosts, each with their own life story and background that make them unique.
The plot was entertaining and different from what I expected, with a lot of twists I didn’t see coming. The supernatural elements were refreshing and original, and I really enjoyed this book – so much that I read it in on sitting....more
An interesting plot, definitely unique, and Emma makes an intriguing protagonist, the kind you can root for. However, sometimes the writing rambled on, and the book suffered from a few info-dumps, and repetitive scenes. ...more
The last installment in the Lizard Queen series is no doubt the most spectacular of all three volumes, offering a climax of events that was very impressive and kept me on the edge of my seat. The Lizard Queen Series Volume Three is the crowning glory of this epic saga that stretched across nine books, three volumes, and offered a vast, expansive fantasy world that I will always remember.
In the first part of the book, Time Goes Round, Amy has returned to her own world to pull herself together and regain some of her strength. Meanwhile, she discovers a few clues in her own world that could help her in the other world she has grown fond of. More than the other books, I thought this one focused on characters, as we now see Amy spend a lot of time in her own world too, but nevertheless, the plot made some progress too. Besides, focusing on characters isn’t bad – bringing Amy back to her own world helps show how much she’s grown and changed.
Then, in the next part, We Are The Waking, Amy and her friends are back on track to find out more about the prophecy and how exactly it will unfold. You can feel the end is near, that all dots are being connected, the mystery is close to being solved, loose ends are tied up. The action slowed down a little in this book, though, but this picked back up in the final installment, Root of the Rule.
I don’t want to spoil things, but book nine really pushed this volume from a 4 star to a 4,5 star read. It was epic. This whole series was epic.
I would definitely recommend fantasy fans check out the Lizard Queen series. You’ll be in for quite a few surprises, and you won’t be dissapointed at all. More like amazed....more
In The Travelers, protagonist Dagny lives a dangerous life. Dagny and her family are always on the run, using magic to stay safe and “travel” from one body to another, in an attempt to escape the enemy who is always just one step behind them. But then Dagny meets Marc, and dares to imagine a future: a future where she’s no longer running, where she’s living a normal life.
When her enemies start closing in, Dagny starts to wonder if she can ever have a normal life…and if she can really trust the boy she’s fallen in love with.
The writing was excellent, and Dagny and her family behaved very realistically, almost like real people. I particularly liked Dagny, but all the characters had something to offer, and brought an unique perspective to the table. The story unfolded nicely, one clue at a time, and kept me thoroughly entertained until the end....more
In Enlightenment, seventeen-year-old Thea wants nothing more than to be a normal teenager. She is anything but normal, though, as is revealed when she’s attacked by mysterious creatures she believed only existed in fairytales. Now she’s thrown into the realm of the Faey, where nothing is at it seems, darkness lurks around every corner, and she has no idea who to trust.
Oh my god, this book was amazing. Thea was awesome, just awesome. She had so much to learn, but instead of worrying, she just got right down to business. As usual in YA books, there’s a good deal of romance, and while the romance was a little fast for my tastes – I prefer the long, drawn-out build ups that can last for several books – I actually really liked the love interest and the chemistry he and Thea had in their scenes together. While all the characters were great, Thea and Isaac were my favorites. I particularly admired Thea’s courage and the great lengths she would go through to save her friends.
The world building was excellent. I want to know so much more about the world of the faey now, and I can’t wait to find out! The writing was wonderful, and I simply couldn’t put this book down. If you enjoy YA fantasy, I wholeheartedly recommend this book....more
In The Snows of Haz is a short, quick novella, that introduces readers to the mysterious town of Haz Gate. We meet characters like Esmine, who is suspected of murder when a wealthy stranger from the capital gets killed. We also meet Linna Nyx, a schoolteacher turned sleuth who has to dig through many deceptions to piece together the truth.
The protagonists are a strange duo, but that’s what makes the book work, and makes it unique. I particularly enjoyed the setting of Haz, the mysterious vibe that settled over the entire town, and the many deceptions and secrets it’s hiding. I enjoyed the characters too, in particular Linna, but I felt like some of the secondary characters could be fleshed out more. Maybe in a second book?
This was a dark, mysterious and suspenseful read with solid writing. Because it’s only a novella, it didn’t take too long to finish the book, but it did keep me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to reading more books from this author....more
This book had everything I loved: ghosts, a paranormal show, romance. Unfortunately, it all felt rather bland, mostly due to the writing style, which was mechanical and boring. The first few spooky scenes were creepy, but it went downhill from there....more
I absolutely loved this book. Alina is a construct, something made by the fae queen, and she only has limited time left. All the characters were amazing, especially Reign and Alina! This was the second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first book, but I wanted to ever since I finished this one. An excellent read. ...more
Fain knows what loneliness looks like. What it feels like. But when a group of monsters befriends her, she is no longer lonely: now she has friends to go on adventures with. This is a beautiful story of a girl’s journey of self-discovery through her imagination....more
The Lizard Queen Volume Two picks up where the first volume left off, and once again, transports the reader back to an imaginary world that is vast and intriguing, and rich in lore and history. The language used is reminiscent of Spanish, which I studied for about two years as a hobby now about a decade ago – nevertheless, some of the words sounded vaguely familiar, and I enjoyed that familiarity. It made it easier to remember what was what, how to pronounce the words, and so on.
Amy has grown a lot compared to the start of the series. Her role in the fate of this world grows clearer, but at the same time stays covered in mystery.
Once again, this volume exists of three books. You Are The Dream, the fourth book in the series, puts Amy between two warring factions as she struggles to find out what she’s meant to do, what her role is. In A Wedge Between, as the title suggests, it grows increasingly tougher for Amy to figure out who she can trust and who she can’t. Meanwhile, Amy and her friends are still on the quest to find the Extiguos and piece together the prophecy, but the story grows increasingly darker and the enemies increasingly stronger, until this culminates in Amy having to battle a terrifying foe in Furious Angels, the last part of this volume.
The story is amazing, and at times, even breathtaking. The Amy we now encounter is vastly different from the Amy we met at the start, and although she’s still struggling, she has changed a lot. The world grows vaster and larger, and the threat goes increasingly stronger. The pacing is faster than in volume one, and we’re thrown into the action almost right away.
This is a strong fantasy series with memorable characters and excellent writing, and I look forward to reading the third volume....more
The Lizard Queen, Volume One, is actually a mammoth of a book combining the first three books in the Lizard Queen series, a collection of sorts. The books are: The Shrinkiing World, From the Ashes, and A Spectacular Lie.
In This Shrinking World, we’re introduced to our main character, Amy, a recently dicovered CEO who goes on a jog one day, comes across an orange lizard, and is transported to a world very different from her own. Here, evil awaits around every corner, strangely colored people claim she’s been sent to rescue their world, and there’s a bounty on her head.
While the idea of a modern-day person being sent into a fantasy world is by no means original, the author does manage to give the story a lot of different, original spins, making it an intriguing fantasy world. It all starts and falls with the main character, and Amy is most definitely intriguing. As a nearly forty-year-old woman, you wouldn’t think she’d make a good choice as protagonist, but she’s excellent. She’s mature, accepts help when she needs to, she’s clever, witty, and brave.
This book is pretty much an introduction, and it has a slow build up, as the author describes the setting, the world the heroine finds herself in, the rules of this world and its inhabitants. In the second book, From The Ashes, the plot really picks up. I don’t want to spoil the plot, since we’re already in the second part of the three-part volume here, but the pacing picks up, the characters grow and change, and evil comes closer.
The third book, A Spectacular Lie, closes off volume one. The author keeps on expanding the back story and adding more to the history of the world Amy finds herself in, and that makes the story richer and grander, a fantasy epic in the making.
This is an intriguing first volume in a well-crafted fantasy series, with expansive world-building and memorable characters. While Amy was my favorite, I liked the secondary characters – in particular her traveling companions – too. The first part is a bit slow to get through, but the pacing really picks up in part two and three....more
The Fool’s Apprentice reminded me of Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy and The Fool Trilogy. The books are vastly different, but they both feature a fool as one of the primary characters. I loved Robin Hobb’s series, which I first read as a young child, so I was eager to read another book featuring a rather unconventional main character – the king’s fool.
So Denrikk has aspirations of becoming a knight. Unfortunately those dreams are ruined as he is chosen to be the king’s fool. He’s devastated, as he now believes he’ll never have a chance of winning princess Alendria’s heart. He reluctantly begins his training but soon learns that being the king’s fool means so much more than he thought it would be. When murder occurs within the castle walls and all evidence points toward Denrikk, he must utilize his new skills to prove his innocence.
I really liked Denrikk. His emotions were very realistic. I felt sorry for him at first, but loved seeing him grow and change as a character. The writing was very vivid, and the other managed to paint striking descriptions of the scenes in just a few sentences. I’ve grown fond of the world of Dragon’s Launch, and I hope Kelly Hess explores this world further in future books....more