Having already read the first book in Elizabeth Vaughan's Star series, it's safe to say that I am a huge fan! This is the first in the WarlorThoughts:
Having already read the first book in Elizabeth Vaughan's Star series, it's safe to say that I am a huge fan! This is the first in the Warlord series, which happens to be Vaughan's debut novel.
For a first book, it's really impressive. Solid writing, the world has a history and the politics are well thought out. The cast of characters come from standard fantasy worlds, but of course Vaughan makes them her own and the characters end up being quite lovable. This book is more of a getting to know the world setup. Getting to know basic characters, the land and nations. The evil villain is Xylara's brother, it was a nice setup the way Vaughan did it. But it felt rushed, like the evil king needed to be dead by the end of the book. Of course I'm not saying there isn't some potential evil villains left to plague the series later on.
Xylara defied everyone, including her late father, and became a healer. She stands up to her brother and fights for what she believes in. Clearly she is a character to admire. My only complaint, is that as smart as Xylara is it takes her a while to stick her head out there. Certain situations could have been solved if she would have been as brave as everyone said she was. Then again, when you think you're a slave and are in a new culture, one can never tip-toe too carefully.
The love interest, is more of an idea at this point. Kier is a respectable and fair Warlord, who has dreams of uniting his people with Xylara. He wishes to court her as a Warprize, which will herald change to the people. Sadly enough that's all the reader is really given on him. I'll admit I'm shallow enough that I was cheering the couple on.
It's fun watching Xylara realize what her people need (especially a little womans rights!), and how she is willing to sacrifice things to make her country better. My only compliant is exactly what Keir voices. That he expects her and her people to change, but he and his people are not making any efforts. This is another thing I hope will move along.
This may not be mind blowing, but it's well worth it for the fantasy lover to invest in. New readers of fantasy will probably think this is the cat's meow. If you're looking for steamy love scenes, look else where. If you're looking for a sweet (very high school like) romance, you've found it. I can't wait to read the next books in this series. If her Star series is any indication, Vaughn is going to grow into a great storyteller in her later books.
First off before I read this book, I was prepared to dislike it. It's shelved in the romanceGenre: Paranormal Romance (AKA Romantic Fantasy)
First off before I read this book, I was prepared to dislike it. It's shelved in the romance genre, and no matter how many romance books I read I'll still always be wary of that lay of the land. The description on the back of the book had me giggling with it's silliness, and then someone told me this was a series about finding ones soulmate. Personally the over the top soulmate thing had me trying to check out before I could even crack open a page. Before I found out anything about the book I had already bought it, so I new I was going to read it. This book has loads of great reviews for it, and then there are the reviewers who are skeptic romantics like me who just thought it was hokey.
Well this skeptic has been silenced. Turns out this book has more then hot sex scenes surrounded by thin plot lines. In fact it was quite the oppisite.
The world Wilson built is a fantasy world that many an aspiring writer would love to have developed. You can see the races, sink into the life of the people, and let the history of this rich land poor over you. The Faye are intriguing people who live VERY long lives, many of the Faye characters living for over a thousand years. It's had creating character that can show the weight they carry living that long--sure Wilson doesn't really pull it off--but you can feel it at times. Its a sorrowful note that she hits. The Celierians are the humans in this book that are "good." They've had alliances with the Faye and have fought to keep the Elden off of them for generations. The Eld are the evil Mages of this tale. Who want to crush the Faye at all costs. Of course not all of the people of Eld are mages. Instead of being free people they are nothing but tools, Marked at birth until the age of six when they are nothing more then pawns for the mages to take control of there bodies. There are also other races, notably the Elves. Not much is said about them in history or in the progress of this book. I've always been a fan of elves so I'm curious to get more information on them. Plus, why aren't they really mentioned in the history?
Wilson has created a cast of characters that interact so well. Many times I found myself laughing out loud with the characters, to fist pumping in the air victoriously. Side character stole my heart just as much as our leading characters Ellie and Rain. I found myself at times respecting, laughing, and enjoying the Celierian Queen--clearly she's a bad apple. The plots that are building up around her making me worry, especially after Wilson reveled the love story around how the King came to court her. The Faye protectors of Ellie have warmed their way into my heart with their fierce loyalty and their humorous antics.
The plot builds up nicely with this title and I had no problem sinking into the politics and culture. If you're afraid that this is going to turn into sex and no plot, be assured. There's a lot of plot threads that start to build up and not all of them are resolved at the end of this book. There's a lot of lip biting moments in Lord of the Fading Lands.
The love story between Ellie and Rain plays out nicely. All that sex I was afraid this book was going to be dedicated to, not here. The Soulmate/bond thing isn't something that makes the two characters just jump in bed together. Instead Ellie still gets the choice of falling in love with Rain. It's a pleasure to watch both of them discover each other. Rain at times can be over protective, but lets be honest his enemies are going to want her dead or worse. So clearly a little over protectiveness is nice. Rain nearly destroyed the world when his lady love was killed over a 1,000 years before of the events of this book, so I was worried how much Wilson would play that card. She plays it nicely, never making the reader feel over powered by Rian's suffering, but still making us want to shed a few tears for him. At times Rain can be annoyingly ill tempered to a fault, sometimes reminding me of a spoiled pouting child. In the end that's the charm of Rain Faye to the bone, flying cat at heart. Ellie is still getting fleshed out in this book. You can see the strong and determined woman she is gong to develop into.
This book needs to be checked out just for the buzz alone that it's stirring. Don't let the soulmate and romance shelving fool you, this book could hold its own in with the Epic Fantasy. It has a fantasy world that rivals many that I've come across, plus has the added bonus of making me fall in love with more then just the main characters. You'll laugh out loud with this book, have "fist pump of victory" moments, bite your lip in worry, and just get all tangled up with this book.
Some witty sexual jokes, a few slightly graphic scenes, and then one sex scene at the end. Nothing to over the top.
Man this title has been collecting dust for quite a while. Yes, this is a title that I bought years and years ago and shamefully left it alone. ThankfMan this title has been collecting dust for quite a while. Yes, this is a title that I bought years and years ago and shamefully left it alone. Thankfully this popped up as a group read and I had decided it was time! Dragon Actually proved to be a steamy, comedic, gritty, gory, laughable, and fun read! It's not an Urban Fantasy. No it takes place in a world worthy of any Epic/High Fantasy series. Part of me wouldn’t mind lumping Paranormal Romance, Dragon Actually doesn't spend enough time playing in the world for my liking but there’s enough high fantasy to call it Romantic Fantasy. But categorizing the Dragon Kin series is silly, because it's a wonderfully blend that I look forward to discovering further.
The cast of characters introduced are definitely worth looking forward to in future books, which will focus on different couples. Apparently readers get to see the main two characters of this book and further develop what's happening in the Dragon Kin universe. Which is good because the sparks burning up the pages from Annwyl and Fearghus are far from being explored. Which is one of my main complaints with this book. These two have so much more to develop.
Overall this book would have been a grand read for me. If not for the short story tagged on to the tale end of this book. Tale of Two Dragons. Some couples should remain in mystery. The power couple revealed here had excited me. Wondering how Rhiannon, the dragon queen, and Bercelak the Great got together was tickling my mind. In a good way!
Sadly I just didn't feel it. Don't get me wrong, it was hot. But I felt like the story could have been a full book, because it was rushed so much that I just wasn't feeling it. It would have been better for me to just have gone on wondering how those two had hooked up and created the epic story that dragons still gossip about! Or to have the mystery tease on for a couple of books.
In the end maybe I just felt bitter that Dragon Actually was too short, it did well mind you and I loved every minute of this genre blending awesomeness. The story just did not feel whole. Blending gore with humor perfectly. Chains & Flames is probably going to please a lot of readers, kinky dominating sex ahead! However, it just didn't hit the romantic spot for me. No I was not feeling the love. There's plenty of characters here to look forward too and the world is fantastic!! Don't do what I did and leave this poor book alone. You want to try it out. Just do it. Because I’ll be checking out the Dragon Kin universe again.