I started reading this story, which picks up immediately after the conclusion of the first. Due to the complex nature of the fantasy, I found it diffi...moreI started reading this story, which picks up immediately after the conclusion of the first. Due to the complex nature of the fantasy, I found it difficult to be able to follow it without having read the first one recently. I am setting this one aside for a while until I have the time to reread the first book (Hunter and Fox). It is an enjoyable story - but complex!(less)
Duncan is one of the five fabled Warriors of the Mist who sleep within the River of the Damned. When a darkest began to descend over her estate, Lady Merewen called forth these ancient warriors to help rid the land of evil. At the end of the first book, My Lady Mage, Duncan set out in search of answers to help destroy their enemy. At the beginning of Her Knight’s Quest, Duncan is en route to an abbey which is rumored to hold ancient, magical texts. He is playing the part of a scholar looking for work as a scribe.
Lavinia is the head of the abbey and sworn to protect the secrets within its walls. She is all to aware of the evil at hand and the man at the root of the dark magic, Duke Keirthan. Lavinia is able to perform magic of her own, including scrying for visions of what the future may hold. So when the magic waters share more than one image of Duncan, Lavinia realizes he will be someone significant in her life.
Her Knight’s Quest is the delightful sophomore story in the Warriors of the Mist series. After providing basic framework for the world and mythology in her first book, Ms. Morgan takes the time to further explore several of the characters, including backgrounds and talents. There is a much deeper explanation of what is occurring to the land and its citizens, plus there are several scenes from the POV of the Duke - providing excellent insight into his desires and motivations. I was drawn in by the additional details and supplemental mythology regarding the magic at hand. Despite the fact there is a lot of new information provided, the plot progressed forward with an exciting intensity.
Although I would classify this series as fantasy, romance is a crucial part of its core and story lines. In Her Knight’s Quest, we witness the pairing of Lavinia and Duncan. However, there is also follow up with Merewen and Gideon, the primary couple from the first book. In addition, we witness the beginnings of a relationship between Murdoch and Alina, who we also met in the first book.
Lavinia and Duncan feel sparks of attraction right from the start, however both are duty bound and feel there is no time or place for any type of relationship. Their first kiss is sexy, yet hesitant, knowing that their responsibilities come first. Both Lavinia and Duncan appear simultaneously mature and innocent, able to focus on task yet full of wonder from the brush of romance. The juxtaposition of these seemingly conflicting needs creates a smoldering desire brewing beneath the surface.
As the pair grow closer, they individually struggle with the conflict between duty and heart. One of my favorite scenes involves such conflict. The pair disagree on the direction the other should take - and whether to leave the abbey. Yet when it comes down to it, Duncan pushes to claim and love Lavinia, even if they may never see each other again. Both put their heart out there, knowing love may be lost. The scene was emotionally intense and passionate.
The conflict between duty and love is echoed in the other romantic relationships within the story. Although Merewen and Gideon made peace with the fact that once the battle is over, he will have to return to the river and leave, the pair shared tender moments in Her Knight’s Quest as the realize the truth of the situation. This sentiment is echoed in a touching scene between Murdoch and Alina. I adore Alina’s courage in sharing her feelings with Murdoch, and for Murdoch to graciously accept her offer rather than push her away “for her own good.”
By the end of Her Knight’s Quest, I was thoroughly hooked on Ms. Morgan’s series. The fantasy elements and overall mythology are engrossing and exciting. The added components brought forward in this book helped to enrich the overall story arc. In addition, the character development was stronger in this book, and I have come to care for the Dammed Warriors and their companions. I admire that both persons in each of the pairings is willing to give one-hundred percent of themselves and their love, even knowing that heartache is ahead. I look forward to finding out how the Warriors of the Mist fair against the darkness of Duke Keirthan.(less)
The Devil's Due by Lora Leigh (Breeds series) Although the opening prologue was confusing, these early events do not have a big impact on the entire novella (although for readers of the series, it will probably come into play down the road). The entire story flows smoothly after the group move to the US and settle in.
Katie and Devil are SO HOT together! This is the Breeds I’ve been missing in the last few titles. The pair are overcome by the Breed’s mating hormone - and since both are Breeds, they both exhibit the signs, including insatiable lust and desire. What makes the story fun is that Devil realizes immediately that the mating hormone is being produced, even though he had thought it was just rumor prior to his own experiences. And poor Katie--she has no clue.
Overall, The Devil’s Due is a hot and sweet story of two breeds coming together. They both enjoy their mating heat and don't fight the coupling--in fact they want it, which is a refreshing change from most Breed books. There is little conflict within this story, but hints of a war brewing in the larger story arc. Things were left open ended with respect to the bigger picture.
The Curse of the Black Swan by Alyssa Day (League of the Black Swan prequel) The story is sweet and fun. I adore both Sean and Brynn - two lonely people who come to realize that they can be themselves and be accepted. The story follows their courtship while Sean attempts to solve the mystery as to who is starting magically enhanced fires.
Without spoiling the story, my only negative is that I wish we'd been told how “things” transpired at the end to come to the conclusion it did. The Curse of the Black Swan is a wonderful little story, happy and sweet. I adored both the romance and mystery. Although it ties into the overall mythology of Ms. Day’s new series, it can be enjoyed as a stand alone.
Salvage by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas) I just love Ms. Brook’s world. Salvage is yet another marvelous stand alone story in her amazing Iron Seas series. Thom and Georgiana are wonderful characters, both strong as individuals, but not so much as a married pair. The reader learns so much of their situation through their individual POVs. Thom's POV is so sad. He loves and craves Georgiana; he just never figured out how to give her what she needed. And Georgiana thought she was so clear in her coversations with Thom, but it’s not until the pair are held in captivity do they really talk it all out.
Salvage reads with the details and descriptions usually found only in a full-length novel. The action is fairly intense and exciting; the plot is engrossing. All of the characters are well-developed and fun. It is a wonderful story about second chances. Being kidnapped and threatened with death allows Thom and Georgiana to share their feelings and passion uninhibited.
Ecstasy Under the Moon by Lucy Monroe (Children of the Moon) Ecstasy Under the Moon is the only title in the anthology that is a new-to-me author and series. Thankfully, Ms. Monroe includes a detailed prologue; however, even with the details, I was lost for a while.
Ecstasy Under the Moon has a traditional fantasy feel, more so than a paranormal romance. The world-building is extremely complex and intense. I enjoy fantasies, so this did not bother me; however, if you are looking for more of a light-hearted PNR, this one may not be for you. The highland/Scottish clan setting also gave it a historical feel.
I liked the easy-going nature and flow of the story after I became grounded in the world. Bryant is a noble man/wolf, and I admire what he is trying to accomplish with his Faol brethren. I enjoyed the stories of his history, which piqued my interest and left me wanting to know more. The story had a strong message of good over bad and “never judge a book by its cover.” It never got deep, but had a solid message.
There was also a bit of humor - subtle, but fun.
Overall, Ecstasy Under the Moon was enjoyable. It was my first introduction to Ms. Monroe's series. Even though it is obvious that there is much to Ms. Monroe's world, and possibly several other books, I was able to enjoy this as a stand alone.
In conclusion, Enthralled is an extremely enjoyable anthology, especially for those that read some or all of the series represented. (less)
Note: This is a free ebook short story, provided by the author via book seller websites. I got the Kindle version, and this very short story ended at...moreNote: This is a free ebook short story, provided by the author via book seller websites. I got the Kindle version, and this very short story ended at the 51% mark of the book.
NightDrake is set roughly 300 years in the future, after a natural disaster created a problem with Earth's axis. The future world is populated by humans and The Strange (paranormal). It reminded me of the cartoon Thundarr the Barbarian!
The story is told in the first person POV of Nisha the Merc. Nisha will do whatever it takes to survive and make a dollar. Her family was killed when she was younger, and she is extremely bigoted against the Strange. In this story, Nisha is contracted to pick up a package and make a delivery. Seems straight forward, until she realizes that the package contains a living creature.
Although the instructions say not to let the package get wet, Nisha pulls a move straight from the movie Gremlins and attempts to give water to the man/being in the crate. Well, as you can imagine, her captive is set free.
Nisha makes the decision to help Drakor escape, and the pair continue on a path towards freedom. It was hard for me to buy Nisha's 180-turn from hating Strange to helping Drakor. Not only that, but he claims he loves her after being together for maybe 24 hrs and one hot romp in the sack?!
In addition, near the end of the tale, Nisha finds out that her past isn't what she thought and learns a huge secret about herself. It was a little too quick and didn't sit right with me without the space and time needed to adjust to the changes.
Overall, the premise behind the story is fun and would probably make an exciting longer-length book. Unfortunately, there just wasn't time for character development or the space to foster an emotional connection. However, the descriptive detail is excellent and the mythology entertaining. It is a free read, and in the end, it's enjoyable. (less)
4.5 stars: Loved it - enthusiastically recommend(A) Review originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About Review copy provided by publisher.
Harbinge...more4.5 stars: Loved it - enthusiastically recommend (A) Review originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About Review copy provided by publisher.
Harbinger is the fourth and final installment of the marvelous Books of the Order series by Philippa Ballantine. Although one could probably get away reading it solo, I do not recommend it. Ms. Ballantine has created an immensely rich fantasy world with stories that build from book to book, and it is best read from beginning to end. Harbinger truly is the climatic culmination of every moment and event from the previous three books - and a fantastic one at that!
The story opens not long after the dramatic conclusion of Wrayth, with the Order of the Eye and the Fist is ruins, the broken Emperor of Arkaym, Kaleva, set on revenge, and our favorite heroes (Sorcha, Merrick and Raed - along with the Rossin) on the run, recovering from the destruction brought about by Derodak. With so much of the world in disarray, the barrier between Arkaym and the Otherside grows incredibly thin, bringing all sorts of terror down of the citizens of the Empire. The trio work to start a new order and defeat Derodak before he breaks the barrier completely, letting through every geist, spirit and other nasty into the world of the living.
Once again, Ms. Ballantine has developed a unique story that gels into the overall story arc from the Books of the Order. She shares all of the secrets, answers many of the questions, and gives finality to a story that has spanned four books. What makes this such a wonderful fantasy is the author’s ability to spin a fantastical tale that is smart and enjoyable. The details are sublime, and the continuing mythology is engrossing.
The thing I love most about these books, which holds true in Harbinger, are the relationships and dynamics between the main characters. What started out as rigid and rough has transformed over time into a beautiful yet necessary symbiosis. Unfortunately for the characters, as the world draws to an end, their bonds are stretched and strained under the weight of individual growth as each comes into his/her own powers. Watching each deal with the changes and loss of the closeness of the bonds was heart-wrenching. Each must makes choices necessary for the good of the people, giving the story added suspense and drama.
Overall a wonderful story and fantastic ending to this complex and engrossing series. I have come to enjoy the trio along with the Rossin, and what occurs during Harbinger is a perfect ending for this series. Prophetic in nature and grandiose in scale, Harbinger takes the group we’ve come to care about and puts them through the ultimate tests in a battle for Arkaym. The story was completely riveting - much along the scale as the earlier three books. On its own merits, it is a worthy tale full of excitement and action. However, as the crowning jewel of an epic tale, it is extremely successful.
Each of the characters evolve into more - into what is needed to survive, yet it’s organic and not contrived. The ending battle was epic, but not overdone. The goodbyes were sad, but I was left with hope for the future. The Books of the Order series is a must read for fans of fantasy.(less)
Welcome back to Ms. Ballantine’s amazing world of Arykham. It’s been two months since the explosive ending to Spectyr, the second Book of the Order. We discover that our heroine Sorcha has been in a catatonic state since those events, only able to move her eyes and push emotions through the bond with her Sensitive partner, Merrick. The opening of the story is full of immediate and intense action. There is no learning curve in Wrayth, and because of this, I highly recommend reading the first two books before jumping into this one.
The primary storylines find our three heroes each fighting their own battles. In order to be revived from her comatose condition, Sorcha makes a deal with a geistlord that leaves her (and the reader) a bit uncomfortable (you know it's going to come back and bite her in the rear!). Raed has been captured by another geistlord, the Wrayth (think creepy version of Star Trek TNG Borg), and he has struck a bargain with the Rossin (the geistlord that shares his body) so that they can work together to survive. Finally, Merrick discovers that a very dangerous man has the ear of the Emperor, but before he can warn anyone is accused of kidnapping the Grand Duchess. I will tell you that for much of the book I felt hopeless. Yet, this is a good thing! I was so caught up in the storylines that I empathized with the character’s plights. I was extremely nervous almost the entire time, and couldn’t put the book down.
The continued character development is so satisfying, and probably the best thing about this series. Starting with the first Book of the Order, the characters and their relationships have always been the heart of these books, endearing themselves and this series to me. They have all gone through so much, with each step adding to the whole. In Wrayth we learn more about Sorcha’s mysterious past, which is exciting in its own right. However, it’s Sorcha’s fortitude and how she reacts to the situations that allow her character to shine. Similarly, observing Raed and the Rossin in action together as they make “deals with the devil,” allows both halves of this man to stretch and grow. Just when you think that maybe Raed has figured out how to live with the Rossin, Ms. Ballantine tosses in a twist that has me worried for Raed. Finally, Merrick, the novice Sensitive takes center stage in Wrayth as her learns he can stand on his own two feet without Sorcha to protect and guide him.
In conclusion, there is just so much to love about Wrayth, especially for fans of the series. The action is intense, with a step up in suspense and intrigue. The character development progresses by leaps and bounds. Finally, the overall story arc is peaking, and with only one book left in this series, let me assure you that you will be itching for its release the moment you finish reading Wrayth.(less)
When Merewen’s father passed away, her evil Uncle Fagan stepped in and was awarded custody over the keep. His greed and desire for power has corrupted many men in the keep, and Fagan’s neglect as all but broken the manor. After finding an ancient text that promises the help of the Warriors of the Mist, Merewen dares a trip to the River of the Damned to call upon the gods. And the gods answer her call by sending the fabled warriors to aid her.
The mythology of My Lady Mage isn’t one hundred percent original, however it’s different enough to make the story interesting. The world-building is subtle yet complete, drawing me in over the course of the book. The setting is similar to the historical lands of England, with god-sent immortal warriors in a river instead of a Lady in the Lake and King Arthur. Each of the five warriors have secrets and stories to share that will be divulged as the series progresses.
Right from the get go, there is an attraction between the Damned captain, Gideon and our heroine, Merewen. However for me, it read more like a father - daughter relationship in the early stages of the book. Yet, once the story progressed, my earlier concerns were lost in the engrossing story.
The fates of Gideon’s men are tied to his actions. He is judged after each calling, and if he fails to meet the gods expectations, they are all doomed to an afterlife of wandering alone in the dark. Gideon constantly weighs his decisions, and I admire his careful thought process. One such exchange that I felt was superbly executed was when Lady Merewen open’s herself up emotionally and offers herself to Gideon. She is honest and so unsure, but willing to put it all out there knowing they may not have another chance. Her strength is amazing. Gideon wants her so badly, but must weigh his individual needs against the good of his men and what the gods will bless or condemn. The entire section was emotionally satisfying and even a bit romantic and smexy.
In the end, I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading the next story, Her Knight’s Quest, coming March 2013. My Lady Mage is first and foremost a solidly-written fantasy, and the romance is secondary to the overall tale. The book lays the groundwork for the future of the series, which holds much promise. Although a fantasy story, it has a paranormal-historical feel that I think will appeal to a large audience. (less)
Hunter and Fox is a true fantasy and with that comes a complex new world full of magic and inhabited by beings with an array of abilities. Ms. Ballantine has created an intricately detailed world, full of mysticism. She spent the first three or so chapters expertly laying the foundation for her world, detailing not only the conflicts and points of the plot, but giving the reader just enough of this world to understand enough to be captivated.
Plain and simple, Hunter and Fox is a elaborate and involving tale. On the surface it appears to cover the potential rebellion against the evil oppressor, Caisah, and finding freedom for the Vaeril and all of the inhabitant of Conhaero. The Variel were once the dominate species; they had great power and were widely respected. Now they are shells with their gifts removed during the Harrowing, and even worse, they feared because of Talyn, Caisah's Vaeril Bounty Hunter. Our three primary “heroes,” Talyn, Byreniko, and Finn, must go on his/her own journey to open their minds and hearts so that they may find truth and direction. They are watched over by the original inhabitants of this world, The Kindred, who are like spiritual beings of the earth. They are sort of helping, but not interfering.
Unlike more current urban fantasies where the setting is typically familiar, Hunter and Fox is a traditional fantasy where the entire world is built from the ground up. The world created by Ms. Ballantine is enchanting, full of mysticism and fantastical races. She does an excellent job of not only detailing each, but giving us enough background and history to understand and recognize the important changes coming into play. It took some conscious effort to learn about each, but I never felt that the details were spoon-feed or forced. Although complex, the flow of information was seamless.
As the story progresses, the intricacies of the story increases by leaps and bounds. Hunter and Fox is about the journeys of these individuals as they try to find their way to a better place. It had the feel of an epic fantasy; a complex world on the brink of massive change. The time of oppression is coming to and end, and we are witnessing the start of something new. Unfortunately, we never got to find out what that new world order is. This book was only the first "chapter" of the saga, and I have to admit, I was disappointed. It was a long journey to get through this book and to end without conclusion was difficult to swallow.
This story requires time and energy; it's not a quick read, nor is it light. It is, however, an exciting and involved fantasy. For those like me that enjoy fantasy, Hunter and Fox is worth the read, but be aware that you are getting yourself into something larger than one book. I eagerly await what comes next.(less)
Lady Leila Staines is widow and a Malcolm. She is cousin of Ninian, who was heroine in the first book, Merely Magic. Dunstan Ives is the brother of Drogo Earl of Ives, hero from first book. Although this is the second book in the series, it most definitely can be read as a stand alone.
Leila has questioned her "Malcolmness" her entire life... She has dark hair, while all other Malcolm females are blonde. She doesn't seem to have any talents (magics), but she has an acute sense of smell. Her life dream is to create her own perfumes, but her late husband refused to support her. Now that he is gone, she has hired Dunstan, the best agronomist in England, to get her flowers to grow.
Dunstan has a black cloud above his head. His high-society (adulteress) wife, Celia, was murdered and most think Dunstan is responsible. He has some interest in clearing his name for the sake of his son, but he is a little worried he may be guilty. He takes the job with Leila so he can make enough money to hire an investigator.
Must Be Magic opens strong and jumps right into the plot. I enjoyed the determination in Leila from the get go - she wants so badly to have her own talents, and she knows in her heart that she needs the roses to make it happen. She is accustomed to the upper class lifestyle, but prefers to hide among her flowers without the make up, powdered wigs and fancy clothing.
The story is filled with wonderful dialogue and scenes. One of my favorites is when Lily/Leila and Dunstan come together for the first time. It was in a heated spring and the steam coming off the pages was extremely sensual. Soon after, Dunstan learns the truth of who Lily is and confronts her. Although he gives her a hard time about misleading him, he cannot stop himself from wanting her. He tries his best to put up a wall, but their mutual desire is palpable. The words left me aching for Dunstan!
Over all, Must Be Magic is a lovely romantic tale wrapped around a murder mystery. I adore that Dunstan acknowledges Leila's gifts rather than makes excuses for them. They each embrace the uniqueness of the other, and together they are a formidable pair. They are equals from the beginning, and although they don't always listen to each other during the book, there is always respect for differences and of talents. I think this is what made this one so enjoyable. (less)
The Lord of Illusion takes place roughly 30 years after the conclusion of The Lady of the Storm, with that story’s heroes, Giles and Cecily Beaumont, still in Wales and caring for half-breeds hidden from the oppressive Elven Lords. Their foster son, Drystan Hawkes, has lived in Wales almost his entire life, afflicted by haunting visions and voices from the Elven Lords’ magical scepters. Drystan seeks out the mysterious woman from his visions - one that supposedly holds the key to unlocking the gateway to Elfhame and sending the Elven Lords home.
The story started very strong. I was immediately drawn into Drystan’s quest. I adored how much he loved Camille right from the start - he is a true gentleman with courage and desire. Although he needed Camille to help free England, his care for her wellbeing superseded his duties to his country. It was refreshing that they did not dwell on secrets, but rather embraced their love for one another.
I did not like that the book jumped forward so far from the 2nd book, and in doing so, “skipped” two stories in the 30 year gap between the two books. In addition, it then went on to conclude the entire story arc in the last third or so of the book. So in other words, what should have been 5 stories was condensed into this one book. I felt that this unnecessarily rushed what should have been a more dramatic conclusion to the story arc.
All-in-all, the romance between Camille and Drystan was sexy and steamy. I was a bit overwhelmed with the number of names to keep straight. But I'm a sucker for fantasy and still enjoyed the book, especially since I had read the second story in the series. (less)
In the prologue, we learn that long ago seven elves opened the gate between Elfhame and the human world, divided England into seven sovereign territor...moreIn the prologue, we learn that long ago seven elves opened the gate between Elfhame and the human world, divided England into seven sovereign territories, and treated the humans as their personal slaves. They mated with humans, creating hybrid humans with magical powers; however if a child showed any potential magic that could be used to defeat one of the elven lords, the child was destroyed. This brings us to our heroine, Cecily.
Cecily is the half-human daughter of Lord Breden of Dewhame, one of the elven lords, but she has been hidden from her father and protected by the Rebellion for her entire life. When Lord Breden’s armies attack Cecily’s village, she is forced to use her powerful water magic to defeat the soldiers.
Giles Beaumont has a bit of elven in him as well. He is a loyal member of the Rebellion who as played the village blacksmith for 9 years while secretly protecting Cecily. When she uses her powers, Giles reveals his true identity to Cecily, and they leave at once to find out what happened to Cecily’s adoptive father (and fellow Rebellion member).
Ms. Kennedy does a marvelous job generating a fanciful rewrite of Georgian England, integrating her own creations into this historical setting. The combination of the fae-based mythology and the English countryside made for a delightful read. Although a little predictable at times, the story was exciting and adventurous.
Cecily and Giles have great passion for one another, each hiding it from the other for many years. Due to circumstances, neither were willing to express his/her true desires until Giles thinks he has lost Cecily forever. Once this happens, their passion ignites and they are ready to marry and live happily ever after. I have to admit I was a bit put off by their sudden and immediate attitude changes, but I suppose since they had all those years of unrequited love, they were ready to explode.
Of course, things don’t go so smoothly and the pair have to deal with many hurdles to find peace. Giles “sacrifices” his love for Cecily when he feels her future is doomed with him... doing what he feels is best for her (even though she disagrees). I’m never a big fan of this type storyline; however, I like that although Cecily realizes what is going on, she continues on with her life rather than trying to continually change Giles’ mind.
The hero and heroine finally reconcile near the conclusion, and the story picks up pace to climax with a fairly exciting scene involving a dragon. As the story ended, I felt like there was unfinished business for both our main couple and a few minor characters that were introduced within the story. I hope that Giles and Cecily have a future helping the rebellion and would like to know what happens next. I look forward to read the next book in the series, The Lord of Illusion, coming February 2012.
Just like its predecessor, Spectyr, is full of amazing details, distinctive locals and unique lexicon. It is a beautifully crafted and involving story...moreJust like its predecessor, Spectyr, is full of amazing details, distinctive locals and unique lexicon. It is a beautifully crafted and involving story that requires a reader’s full attention. The action is intense, and the plotlines are elaborately crafted. I will admit that I had forgotten several details from Geist, but Ms. Ballantine did a marvelous job “reminding me” of key events.
As events unfold, sections of the Empire began to crumble and I was left wondering what will happen next. Although this book didn’t have what I would term a “cliff-hanger” ending, it did leave many unresolved issues and open-ended plot lines. I cannot wait to find out what will happen to Sorcha, Merrick and Raed, along with the fate of several new an returning characters. I will warn you, this story is NOT a quick read, and while it may take a bit longer to complete, it is addictive and worth the time!
The Sea Forest world is magical land that is completely covered in water, where massive trees grow up from the ocean floor to support an entire eco-sy...moreThe Sea Forest world is magical land that is completely covered in water, where massive trees grow up from the ocean floor to support an entire eco-system within their branches. There is no ground: only roots, branches, and channels. Dwellings are carved into these magnificent trees. In this world there are two classes of humans: the Royals and the Water-rats. The Royals control everything, including the sacred zabbaroot, which gives those with tolerance to its poison, special mental abilities.
Ms. Kennedy has created an amazing and original mythology. The planet is lush, full of beautiful flora and fauna, unique creatures, and fascinating abilities. Mahri and Korl share a sexy and passionate bond. Both have faults - he is ignorant at times and completely arrogant, she is equally as willful and refuses to trust Korl - yet they both are genuine and likable. He is persistent in his demands for her body, mind, heart and soul. But Mahri doesn’t trust the Royal with her heart--thinking he only wants to control her. However, her physical attraction for Korl is undeniable, and when she eventually gives into her desires the sparks fly! The emotional connection between Mahri and Korl - their personal struggles for freedom and equality and for love and trust - make this a book worth reading. I truly enjoyed this entertaining tale.
My Rating: 4 stars: Really enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Welcome to Arykham, where the presence of ghosts and spirits (geists) are unfortunately commonplace. But thankfully, the geists conform to a set of kn...moreWelcome to Arykham, where the presence of ghosts and spirits (geists) are unfortunately commonplace. But thankfully, the geists conform to a set of known parameters, and the Order protects the citizens from ultimate danger. The setting of the book, Arykaham, is historical in nature - no electricity, and horses, ships and dirigibles are the modes of transportation, etc. The society is run by an Emperor, with the Order acting as a quasi-religious group that protects the world from the geists.
Ms. Ballantine has created an elaborate world that is rich in details with its own unique mythology. And due to this, the book is not a quick and easy read. Between the lexicon of the Order, the intricate mythology (world) and the complex storyline full of twists and turns, it can be formidable at times. The first part of the book - the “getting to know you” phase - was tough, but soon I got into the “honeymoon” phase, and the story was so interesting and I enjoyed it immensely. My only request: a list of characters/titles/positions and glossary (with the runes listed) in any future books.
Although the book is full of exciting action and amazing adventure, the trio created of Sorcha, Merrick and Raed is fascinating and the true heart of the story. Ms. Ballantine does an amazing job with the character development. The trio each sees things in a unique way, bringing a full spectrum of views in each situation. I enjoyed the give and take that makes this relationship work.
My Rating: 4 stars: Really enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS FOR "A Tangled Web" by Mercedes Lackey ONLY:
This is an interesting and fun re-telling of the famous Persephone and Hades tale fro...moreNOTE: THIS REVIEW IS FOR "A Tangled Web" by Mercedes Lackey ONLY:
This is an interesting and fun re-telling of the famous Persephone and Hades tale from Greek Mythology. In this story, Persephone and Hades are in love and try to find a way to be together. Hades sends Thanatos, the god of Death, to “kidnap” Persephone and bring her to the underworld-reasoning that her mother, Demeter, could not take her away if “death” claimed her. Well, unfortunately, Thanatos claims the wrong goddess which causes plenty of grief for everyone.
While the story was simple, cleaver and cute, it was tough to follow. I know a little Greek mythology and no Norse mythology - both of which are prominent in this story. Names are tossed around and situations inferred as if I should have an understanding of it all. I felt completely lost at times, especially at the beginning.
Although I never fully overcame some of the confusion, I still enjoyed the tale. Ms. Lackey’s portrayal of the Greek gods is entertaining and refreshing... They are still self-involved, but more simple and oafish than their usual vindictive depictions. The Norse goddess Brunnhilde and her husband Prince Leopold are a welcome addition to the tale. They are logic and order to the chaos of Olympus when Persephone (and Brunnhilde) are taken to the underworld.
This is an enjoyable story. My Rating: 3 Stars Liked it, there were a few issues - recommend (B)(less)
Welcome to the exciting world of Egyptian mythology! This story is deeply routed in a complex mythology based on ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses,...moreWelcome to the exciting world of Egyptian mythology! This story is deeply routed in a complex mythology based on ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, and many other existing underworld stories. It took some time for me to get a clear grasp on each of the characters and their roles in this elaborate world, but figuring it all out was half of the fun.
Sins of the Heart has a great mix of action, mystery and romance, and in spite of the open ending, it was an enjoyable read, with complex mythology and whodunit tale. I look forward to the next installment of this series, Sins of the Soul, due out on August 31, 2010.