Words cannot begin to explain how much I adore Anne McCaffrey's Pern series It's been so very long since I've read it, and it's begun to prey on my miWords cannot begin to explain how much I adore Anne McCaffrey's Pern series It's been so very long since I've read it, and it's begun to prey on my mind! McCaffrey is incredible in how well she makes me see the world she has created. As for that, her worldbuilding is also incredible. The clothing, the architecture, the mores, the culture, the songs, the educational system, the planet itself and its various ecosystems! Then she adds the dragons with their particular culture and their world's expectations. The series-wide conflict that underlies the whole.
Naturally, each individual story in the series must have its own conflicts, and McCaffrey doesn't disappoint. In Dragonflight, we're introduced to a class of people who have fallen so far in their world's estimation: the dragonriders. Thread, an organic-eating organism, hasn't fallen in 400 years and most of Pern's population doesn't believe it will ever fall again, and they are fed up with tithing food and products to a group they see as parasites.
It's a struggle for young F'lar to keep up his own and his wing's spirits, to keep training them for what he believes is inevitable, to hold his temper with what he sees as misguided, nay, stupid management and the humbling of the weyr. It's in his story that we learn so much about Pern's past and what F'lar believes will be its future. It also introduces us to the young Lessa, Pern's future savior.
If you enjoy fantasy, you will adore Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern....more
The Stories Mercedes Lackey's "Moontide" is mostly well-written with a clever young woman who takes charge of her own destiny and thwarts the kingdom's enemies. I have one niggle about it. If Moira only has a few capsules to contact the countess, why is she using them up so fast? I do love that she doesn't care about the Fool's deformity!
"Do not think overmuch of what they are not."
Tanith Lee's "The Heart of the Moon" starts with a bitter betrayal and leads to a penance of sorts, a challenge for Cliro that she must win during the Seven Nights on the Moon Isle. Nor does it seem that Cliro is the only one who must face a challenge and a penance.
It's an interesting tale of betrayal and discovery of one's self, and Lee weaves a curious story. It made me think of Mediterranean warriors and heroes of Ulysses' time.
I don't see where Araitha has a leg to stand on. She was the one in the wrong. As for Zem. Yes, he could have handled it differently, but he too had done much to try and help.
C.E. Murphy's "Banshee Cries" brings Joanne and her mother together again, giving Joanie new insight into her mother and her reasons for abandoning Joanne. The action is the Blade, the banshee, that is referred to throughout the series, so you don't want to miss this one if you're following the Walker Papers. This is also the story where Joanne goes from being a police mechanic to a police officer.
This short annoys me. Yeah, I appreciate getting this bit of background, HOWEVER. Joanne's mother is so angry with Joanne for not knowing why she died or all about her magical powers, and yet when Mommy chose to give up and die for the four months that Joanne spent with her, Mom didn't say anything to her about what was going on. So WTF does she expect? In all those four months, Mom didn't pick up on the fact that Joanne is totally clueless about all this?? Argh.
The Cover and Title The cover is gorgeous and feels more like a fairytale with its muted blues and browns and a woman in a long, flowing, white gown, her hair blowing in a stiff breeze, standing on the edge of a cliff above the shining sea, and looking up at the biggest full moon, a few fairytale-ish clouds drifting across its face. It's an interesting title that blends too well into the moon, but I do like the artistic effect of the double Os in the word moon. Very nice.
The title is the time of year and a full moon, the Winter Moon that plays an important in each tale's world....more
Twelfth in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and revolving around Gin Blanco, retired assassin. Based in Ashland, North Carolina.
This ARC waTwelfth in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and revolving around Gin Blanco, retired assassin. Based in Ashland, North Carolina.
This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review.
My Take Jesus, Estep had me on the edge of my seat practically throughout the entire story. I was terrified, worried, and desperate to know how, if, Gin gets out of this one. M.M., the antagonist, has set her trap too well.
That battle in the bull pen… whooo-wee. I couldn't read fast enough, and yet Gin claims the fire elemental still had plenty of magic left but by the next page, Gin's claiming that she's "trying to channel the last scraps of her magic". With no shots fired between either observation. Lucky for Gin that the bitch is scraping up shreds!
Whoa, then there's the arson attack at the restaurant where Gin quickly thinks her way out…or should I say under? I sure hope Gin, if she survives, and if she rebuilds, will put in some escape routes!
Then the party…*pant, pant, pant*…I'm exhausted. There are more ups and downs than a roller coaster as it races from one disaster to another.
There are flashbacks, reminiscences, and memories galore referring back to previous events in every other story that came before. Events and people that tie in with events in Black Widow, but not to worry, it's eminently readable without having read the previous stories. It would be a richer read, however, if you did.
Meanwhile, break out the barbecue and coleslaw and settle in for the ride of Gin's life with this warm and supportive yet lethal cast of characters!
The Story It's a clever plot, touting her mother's many "charitable" works, even as M.M. Monroe spreads her own cash to all the organizations she wants owing her favors.
It gets even more clever when M.M. strikes out at a wide variety of unexpected targets and throws Gin off balance: Roslyn, Xavier, Owen, Eva, Finn, Jo-Jo, Sophia, AND the Pork Pit all come under fire. A "fire" uniquely tailored to each one, perfectly fitted to destroy.
It's not long before Gin is dead…and crashing.
The Characters Gin Blanco, a.k.a., the Spider, is Gifted with elemental magic — Ice and Stone — and runs the Pork Pit, a restaurant renowned for its barbecue. She's also a retired assassin, although you'd never know it with all the attempts being made against her. Finnegan Lane is Gin's foster brother, an investment banker fascinated by Gin's little sister, Bria Coolidge, a police detective. Fletcher Lane, a.k.a., the Tin Man, had been an assassin and he'd taught both Finn and Gin everything he knew before he died. Owen Grayson, his gifts are in metal, is Gin's boyfriend. Eva is Owen's younger sister.
Sophia Devereaux is a Goth dwarf and does most of the cooking at the Pork Pit. With her Air gift, she's a dab hand at cleaning up dead bodies as well. Catalina Vasquez is Gin's best waitress. Jolene "Jo-Jo" Deveraux, Sophia's older sister, is an Air elemental and runs a beauty salon. Rosco is her basset hound.
Silvio Sanchez, a vampire, is Gin's new assistant. And surprisingly, her lawyer. Who knew? He used to be Beauregard Benson's right-hand man.
Roslyn Phillips is a vampire friend of Gin's and runs Northern Aggression, Ashland's most decadent nightclub. She's in love with Xavier, Bria's police partner. Phillip Kincaid is Owen's best friend while Cooper Stills is his mentor. Fletcher's old friend, Warren T. Fox, and his daughter, Violet, show up as well.
Charlotte Vaughn lives in M.M.'s neighborhood and owes Gin a favor.
M.M. Monroe, Madeline Magda Monroe, is Gin's latest adversary with the elemental gift of acid, and the daughter of the fire elemental, Mab Monroe, whom Gin finally took out. Emery Slater, M.M.'s bodyguard, is the niece of Elliot Slater whom Gin killed. Jonah McAllister had been Mab's embezzling lawyer, now he's M.M.'s. Lawyer, that is. I think he's too terrified to think of embezzling, lol.Shanna Bannister was a servant at M.M.'s home. Moira is a very young little girl. Connor Dupree is Moira's dad.
Ashland PD Captain Lou Dobson is a giant in cahoots with M.M. Nothing new there. Most cops are more corrupt than the criminals. Right along with the fire department who put out fires — or not — to order. The honest Dr. Ryan Colson is the coroner.
Winona Wright is one of the chief inspectors with the Ashland Health Department.
The poker game robbers Valerie, Will, Tomas, and Sonya had the same idea to raid the poker game as Fletcher and Gin.
Sandra Smyth is a socialite who pays for her lifestyle by selling prescription drugs. Lorelei Parker, Ron Donaldson, and Brock Paxton are crime bosses. Montoya is an example.
Jade Jamison is a madam with some troubles…name of Leroy.
The Cover and Title The cover is black with a smoky circle radiating still more rays of smoke outwards. It's a jeans-wearing Gin standing in profile and wearing a red tank top, her body cocked, hands filled with her signature silverstone blades, as she looks outward to our left and up.
I would'a thought "White Widow" would have been a more appropriate title, although, then again, M.M. does typify the Black Widow....more
My Take This is too much fun and combines the myth of Demeter, Persephone, and Hades to explain the seasons with Brunnhilde and Leopold into Lackey's fairytale of Tradition. And we discover that the gods had meant to be like the Godmothers we've read in other Five Hundred Kingdoms' tales.
I did enjoy the debate that Brunnhilde and Leopold are having about gods. It's a different twist on the origins of the Titans and gods and makes as much sense as any other. More sense in some ways. It also neatly ties in with the concept of Tradition that runs through this series.
Aw, Persephone is such a compassionate woman in her pity for the penniless dead. She'll make a good consort for the sober and understanding Hades.
The Story Her mother has tangled up all her plans. Today was the day Hades was "kidnapping" her. Oh, would she never get away from her mother!
Meanwhile Brunnhilde is anxious to find a way to make her mortal husband immortal, and these Greek gods seem to have a few ways to do that.
The Characters Persephone (her childhood nickname is Kore) is the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of fertility and marriage vows who also knows how to give immortality.
Hades, the god of the dead, is pretending to be Eubeleus, a simple shepherd. Thanatos is the not-too-bright god of death who collects the dead. Charon ferries the dead over the River Acheron. Minos is one of three judges of the dead. Rhadamanthus, the son of a Titan, is the ruler of Elysium.
Leopold, the People's Prince, and Brunnhilde, a Valkyria and battle-goddess, are man and wife, arguing over whether it's best to be a Godmother or a god. Erda is her mother; Wotan/Odin is her father. Siegfried is her nephew (a Firebird is his constant companion) who has just married Rosa, the Queen of Eltaria. Drachen is Leo's horse, one of a pair of Valkyria mounts given the bridal pair by Brunnhilde's sisters. Gina is a Dragon Champion. Fricka is Wotan's wife.
The Greek gods are… …half-fae, half-human whom humans believed into their roles. Zeus is the king of the gods. Hecate, a goddess of justice, is one of the Titans who took their side. Helios is the sun god. Hermes is a prankster and god of merchants. Apollo; Aphrodite falls genuinely in love, often; Athena; Poseidon is the god of the sea and Persephone's father; Ares; Bacchus is the god of wine; Artemis and Pan are in charge of wild animals; Crius is in charge of domestic animals; Hera is Zeus' wife and truly loves him; and, Hephaestus is married to Aphrodite and adores her even as he hates her little affairs.
Kronos, the king of the Titans, and his fellow Titans are in Tartarus. Celeus is Callithoe's father and Meitaneira her mother with a new babe, Demophoon. The other three girls at the spring are Callidcie, Cleisidice, and Demo.
Godmothers Elena and Lily are mentioned.
The Cover and Title The cover is the beautiful, blonde Persephone with pearls twisted in her dangling curls, a white gown and diamonds around her neck standing within a cave in the Underworld as she looks back to an opening from which moonlight pours.
The title is a combination of metaphor and situation, for Demeter's daughter weaves "A Tangled Web" of anger with her overprotective mother into a complicated kidnapping plot....more
An urban fantasy for young adults and focusing on Tomas Torres. There is another "Arcanum 101" by Mercedes Lackey in her Diana Tregarde series, and itAn urban fantasy for young adults and focusing on Tomas Torres. There is another "Arcanum 101" by Mercedes Lackey in her Diana Tregarde series, and it appears to be a different story from this one.
My Take This took an unexpected twist with an Hispanic family leaping into magic. Nothing unusual in it, just unusual for Lackey/Edghill.
How is working for Prestamo any different from working for the drug dealers or being in a gang? And how could he be so stupid as to not use care? I'd also like to know how the cops knew he'd be going to the bridal shoppe.
I am rather surprised that Mama is so intolerant about her children being gifted.
I do love how VeeVee introduces Tomas to the school. And it's so much fun to see all Tomas' expectations of the school get debunked. It's exactly what kids need. No judgements. No lies. An atmosphere in which to flourish in the arenas which interest them. I also like that not everything gets handed to them. They have to earn certain privileges. AND the school is determined to graduate kids who get jobs in fields they love. No one will "starve in a fast-food or mega-mart job". Oh, wow, these classes, even the "bonehead vocational classes" are a dream come true. There are a few I'd love!
They do each get a laptop with access to the Internet, that Student Union is to die for!, and the auto shop…whoa… They have school dances with music provided by student bands, but no one is forced to go. They have field trips — some normal and some not so normal. The not-so-normal trips are the learning experiences.
Poor Tomas. He's skated along in all his classes previously. Here the classes are too small for him to go unnoticed, and he'll actually have to do the work if he wants access to the auto shop in his off hours.
There are some fun challenges as well as some scary ones. VeeVee lays down a challenge on the dance floor that Tomas picks up. There are also monster hunts where Tomas learns that this school is for real. The more mundane conflict is that field trip date that VeeVee has to pass on and can't tell Tomas. Talk about misunderstandings!
I suspect it's the field trip Underhill that lays to rest Tomas' skepticism about magic. It's certainly a shocker when Lord Moonlight appears without illusion!
The Story So much for the American dream for the Torreses. There's no work for Mamacita in El Paso, and while she can find laborer jobs in New York City, it's not enough to do more than barely survive in this expensive city.
It's that robbery at the bodega that Tomas discovers what he can do. It's a way to make money. To help Mama.
For that, Tomas is willing to forego his promise to himself, to get entangled in criminal enterprises. Only, for such an intelligent boy, he's not too bright.
The challenge at St. Rhiannon's will be to ensure this boy with his pyrokinetic powers chooses the side of right.
The Characters Papi Torres left them, and it's Mamacita (Consuelo Torres) who is trying to support Tomas, who is very good with cars, and Rosalita (she talks to her invisible friends) in New York City with a useless education degree from the University of Mexico. Carmelita is Mama's cousin who sent the bus tickets.
Valeria Victrix "VeeVee" Langenfeld is a Fire Witch, skilled in combat magic and a techno-shaman with a secret passion for sewing. She'll be Tomas' mentor at the school. One of her ambitions is to be made a Knight-Mage Underhill and a Guardian like her parents: a Finnish Witch (Moira) who can whistle up storms and a father who is an hereditary German vampire hunter descended from the Van Helsings.
St. Rhiannon's School in upstate New York is… …a boarding school for gifted children: M-tracks are magicians whose power comes from magic while P-tracks are kids with psionic powers which come from the mind. The teachers include Eric Banyon who is a bard from the Bedlam's Bard urban fantasy series and part of the overall Elves on the Road series. He's also Sieur Eric, Bard of Elfhame Misthold and liegeman to Prince Arvin. Hosea Songmaker also teaches music; Jeanette is his possessed banjo. Inigo Moonlight is the headmaster, a 1,000+-year-old Magus Major elf, a.k.a., Lord Moonlight. Grace Fairchild and Tucker Bell are his assistants and do most of the work. Sarah Clifford is the school counselor with a passion for Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (oh, yeah!). The school founder is a half-Elven Mage and a multi-billionaire, Ria Llewellyn. She's a bit handicapped due to who her father was, Prince Perenor, an Unseleighe Prince who almost destroyed Elfhame Sun-Descending. Doctor Carter and Nurse Irene live at the Infirmary. Daniel Bishop, a psychometrist, trains the psionic students and teaches History. Mr. Balinsky teaches English. Ms. Bosworth teaches Bio and Chem. Kayla Smith is a healer who teaches advanced Computer Science. Mari Morales is the librarian. Ms. Mallozzi teaches algebra.
Dottie Davies (she's a character in the SERRAted Edge series) is the mechanic teaching Auto Shop. Tomas' fellow students will include Aaron Clark, Brian Walker is a water witch, and Destiny is an artificer.
Some of the students include Chris Shackleford, a precog, is the residential assistant with a Goth bedroom. Johnny Devlin can do apportation, Annabelle Young calls storms, Sarita and Kurt Richards heal, Lalage Chisholm is a witch who can talk to plants and has an eye for Tomas, Kenny Chandler can do telekinesis, Gordy Riley is a telepath, Aimee King is a sensitive, Tyler, Ethan Harris is an astral warrior, Megan Bennett, Jamilla Adams, Destiny Campbell, Chloe Howard has bardic gifts, Nina, Vanh, and Gareth Moore is an OCD mage and dating Lauren.
Nierin ap Bedwyr is an elf VeeVee knows. Aaron is Kurt's normal little brother.
LlewellCo is… …an alliance between Ria Llewellyn and Eric, a small group of Guardians, and mages allied with the Elfhames to monitor for problems.
In New York City Mr. de La Yedra owns the corner bodega. Tiburon Prestamo is el padrone, a man you do not disrespect. Jorge is one of his enforcers. Ms. Lyons is the Family Court judge. Mrs. Rodriquez is one of Tomas' victims. Linda Kenyon is from the DA's office and a Guardian. Marty Mitchell is the public defender. Mr. Blaylock is Tomas' probation officer.
The Guardians are a loose organization of Talented and Gifted chosen to stand between the Mundanes and things that go bump (or boom!) in the night. They are the elite of Mages, required to protect and defend. A Magus Major is one of the most powerful magicians the elves produce.
Underhill is a series of Domains powerful elves carve out of the Chaos Lands with each anchored by Gates and a Node Grove. Low Court elves are tied to their Node Grove or they've been sealed into a Domain. High Court elves are Dark or Bright, Unseleighe or Seleighe.
The bad guys include Shadow Warriors, vampires, nightflyers, a revenant,and a Trollking.
The Cover and Title The cover is a black background with a boy's head haloed with a corona of heat. The truly hot is the ball of flames he's holding in the hand he's thrusting at us. The oranges, yellows, and reds are also reflected in the title and the authors' names.
The title is a blend of the magic and class basics, for Tomas is heading for Arcanum 101....more
Twenty-second in the Kay Scarpetta forensic mystery series and revolving around a forensics center director and the people she considers family.
My TakTwenty-second in the Kay Scarpetta forensic mystery series and revolving around a forensics center director and the people she considers family.
My Take Cornwell uses a first-person point-of-view, Kay's, to tell the story, and again, it's lacking emotion. It's all tell with a whole heckuva lot of whining on Kay's part. It's annoying. Readers fascinated by bullet loads, power, distance, etc., however, will love Flesh and Blood. Most of the forensics, in fact, is about the bullets used and how they're loaded, the rest emphasises Kay and her relationships with Benton, Lucy, and Pete. Actually, the only character I enjoyed in this is Jack Kuster. There is a nice bit in here about Kay and her memories of her dad and his store. I also liked the description of Le Morte Café.
Seems Benton's changed. The damage he suffered from Granby in Dust, 21, has caused Benton to be more self-indulgent.
What is Kay's problem with making nice to her staff? How long would it take to eat a cannoli? Then she wonders why Pete tells her she's cold and standoffish?? Duh. And Marino is irritating me too. He is so insecure. Actually, they're a good match as Kay is being insecure too. I don't understand why she puts up with her mother either.
I have a slew of niggles:
Cornwell never resolves the pennies. Why is Joanna calling for Jamal in the house and asking what happened to him when Machado already told her? Cornwell never explains what happened in Nari's apartment, if it was Machado or why he would have been cleaning up in there. How does Bloom know so much about Kay's personal life? Why would Benton not be cynical anymore? It would make more sense if he were more cynical. Leo's situation is never resolved. Considering what happened a day or so ago, I can't believe the pool isn't one of the first places checked.
Why is Kay so het up about Pete's reactions to how Machado is acting, er, being eased out? I don't understand why Lucy, Pete, and Benton are so busy keeping Kay out of everything. What's the point? Is this Cornwell's idea of tension and drama? Cornwell is also working really hard to frame Lucy, and yet there are lots of alibis that prevent the frame-up from working. Including Lucy.
I love Pete's threats to Sapp. She so deserves this! As for Bloom's actions. He's a jerk, a major jerk, but then again, Nari should have been a lot smarter. And, then again, it sounds as if it's our "justice system" that's sent him down this path. There is no justice for the average person. It also seem as if the government and the agencies that are supposed to be looking out for us, you know, we the people, are more interested in feathering their own nests.
If Lucy is a sociopath, how is it that she gets emotional about people? How is it that she feels and wants to protect? And why is it I feel as if Benton is purposely trying to lead Kay astray? Then there's their dive trip. How could they possibly ignore those drift divers? With their experience and what they've learned about Carrie? C'mon…
There are some nasty lessons in this one: don't help the cops beyond the obvious lest they decide you must be guilty and don't count on your insurance company.
Again, this installment is more useful in terms of keeping up with events in the core characters' lives. I spent more time hoping to read something interesting in the plot, and I ended up unexcited about the story with all these irritating characters. I'm kind of wondering if this is more of a bridge story, but I suspect I'm reaching. Hoping.
The Story Kay and Benton are heading out in a few hours for a vacation in Florida. Until a controversial person-of-interest in Kay's past turns up dead. Public relations-wise, it has to be Kay doing the autopsy, and it turns into a very personal investigation with a psychopath stalking Kay and her loved ones.
The Characters Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a.k.a., Dr. Death, and an Air Force special reservist, is extremely intelligent with strong capabilities in a number of areas including medicine, forensics, and law. She's also the director for the Cambridge Forensics Center (CFC) in Boston and does some work for the feds. She's married to Benton Wesley, an FBI profiler who survived his corrupt boss in Dust. Sock is her rescue greyhound and Lucy Farinelli, her techno-genius, multi-millionaire niece, and her partner, Janet, an environmental lawyer, are taking him while Kay and Benton are on vacation. Jet Ranger is Lucy and Janet's bulldog. Seven-year-old Desi, the son of Janet's sister, Natalie, is a difficult decision to make for some. Dorothy is Kay's "self-absorbed…, narcissistic male-addicted" sister, "who's guilty of criminally neglecting her only child". Grans, Kay and Dorothy's mother, is an idiot who doesn't believe Dorothy can do any wrong.
Cambridge Forensics Center Dr. Luke Zenner is Kay's deputy chief and another pathologist. Jen Garate has replaced Marino as the CFC investigator, and it's a mistake. Bryce Clark is Kay's too-chatty chief of staff. Rusty and Harold are the transport team. Liz Wrighton is a firearms examiner in deep trouble. Georgia Cruz is a new security guard with an interest in Lucy. Anne, the radiologic expert, is dating Luke. Alex Delgado is the forensic anthropologist. Ernie Koppel is the cowboy from Texas who is the most senior microscopist and trace evidence examiner. Kay likes him because he's so thorough.
Michael Orland was a plumber who died and his Twitter account, Copperhead, has been hijacked.
Josh and Diego Bean run Bean Mortuary Services, an ambulance service for the dead.
Cambridge PD Detective Pete Marino no longer works for Kay; he's partnered up with Sil Machado these days. Quincy, Marino's "service" dog, gets a mention but doesn't show up. Officer T.J. Hardy is trying to handle the scene at Nari's. Gerry Everman is the police commissioner with an in with Benton.
MIT PD? Officer Collier died because the FBI chose not to share information.
Morriston, New Jersey PD Jack Kuster is the lead investigator and a master forensic firearms instructor with some great insight on Kay. He's also a friend of Pete's.
Marblehead PD Investigator Joe Henderson is doing Kay a favor, and Detective Sergeant Freedman isn't very friendly.
Boston FBI Marty is the new Special-Agent-in-Charge.
Broward County, Florida Dr. Abe Raine is medical examiner and a former quarterback for Notre Dame.
Jamal Nari was an FBI victim; now, he's dead. Joanna Cather is his wife and a psychologist with problems at Emerson Academy. Emerson is also the school Nari is suing. Leo Gantz is a troubled teen Cather has been counseling. Angelina Brown was a neighbor. Mary Sapp is a realtor with few morals. Sarah Angiers is Doctor John L. Angiers' widow. Julie Eastman was the daughter of Beth Eastman, an old girlfriend of Pete's. Patty Marisco was a realtor who was murdered. Gracie Smithers is fourteen-year-old accidental drowning victim, Dr. Shina Kato thinks. Dick Segal only appeared to be a suicide five years ago; his father, Jack, though is still furious. Well, he would be if he hadn't been shot. Artur Ruiz was a construction worker.
TBP Insurers is… …a big and nasty insurance company that prefers to use intimidation to force their clients to back off on claims. They want their clients' money, and they don't want to pay it out. Rand Bloom is one of their investigators. He used to be with the Justice Department before he was booted out. Clayton Phillip Schmidt lives in Springfield and owns a gray pickup.
General John Briggs is Kay's ultimate boss with the Air Force. Ruthie is his worried wife.
Congressman Bob Rosado of Florida was a real estate developer before he ran for office. Elaine is his wife who bought the very expensive PGF 300 Win Mag and its pretty jewelry-like bullets. His son, Troy, sounds like he's a psychopath with parents who buy him out of trouble. The congressman's Massachusetts real estate company is Gordian Knot Estates. Sasha Sarin appears to be his crisis manager.
Carrie Grethen was Lucy's mentor at the FBI all those years ago. She's also a psychopath who has been working for Russia for the past ten or so years after she escaped the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center. Newton Joyce had been her partner.
The Cover and Title The cover is reds. A deep, deep black red is the background with folds of red chiffon stretched and folded forming a blaze of "light" for the embossed text. The author's name is an iridescent light blue while red is used for the title and series info.
I'm guessing that the title is about family, Flesh and Blood, and all the plots revolving around them....more
First in the Hidden Legacy urban fantasy series set in Houston and revolving around Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan.
My Take Oh, I did like this with its drFirst in the Hidden Legacy urban fantasy series set in Houston and revolving around Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan.
My Take Oh, I did like this with its dry humor, reluctant romance, and a world that terrifies me. Think human transformers battling in the city.
It was hard to believe this was an Ilona Andrews primarily because it was so different. It is, however, as well-written as Andrews' Kate Daniels series and also set in a world like our own, but different. I wouldn't call it dystopian…more of an alternate world or history. I guess it depends on how you interpret "world" or "history".
It's definitely different with magic families having the influence. I wouldn't say they're ruling us, but it's not corporations that count in Hidden Legacy. It's the size of your House, and by that I mean the House's magic strength and how much money it's built up. Yeah, it's still a world run by the almighty dollar. We're still that human.
It's an interesting "romance" in this. She wants nothing to do with him, although she does have insta-lust for him. A lust she has a hard time hiding, and it's intriguing the heck out of Mad, a man accustomed to getting what he wants, when he wants. This boy has met his match, lol. I adore Nevada's family as well. Mama, Grandma Frida, and the kids don't take no shit, and they are amazingly supportive with some skills of their own, lol.
Mad isn't the only one used to getting what he wants, it seems that all the major Houses are accustomed to having their wishes fulfilled. No matter who they have to trample on.
There are some fun talents in Burn For Me. I'd like to see more of Cornelius'! Thank god he has some useful advice for Nevada.
It's irritating that Andrews is calling Mad a "mass murderer" when what he did was in the military during war. Sure, he's incredibly powerful with some amazing powers, but why does that make him so awful? EVENTUALLY, Andrews got me to believe he's awful, emotionless, but it took a LONG time, and it's all mostly tell. And then she twists it around on me. Again. Another niggle is Nevada's regrets over killing those firemen. Hullo. They were trying to kill her. They certainly had no regrets over killing innocent people who were in their way.
Nevada and Rogan make an interesting couple. She's too compassionate and he's too ruthless. Willing to kill for the heck of it. Even though Nevada annoys me occasionally, I do prefer her values and her own sense of self-worth. Then there's Nevada's honesty. It's so refreshing and so damned funny. You can't help but laugh and read on, hoping for more, lol.
The Story Kelly's son is in trouble, and she's desperate enough to call on the head of her former family for help. Turns out Montgomery International Investigations is also in trouble and Augustine is willing to dump it on Baylor Investigative Agency to preserve his bottom line and to save face. So what if it's a suicide mission. He'll look good, and if Nevada dies?? No big.
It's a tough line to walk, for Nevada has to bring Adam Pierce in alive before the cops gun him down, and she has to survive Mad Rogan's focused attentions.
The Characters Nevada Baylor is building the Baylor Investigative Agency back up after their dad's illness. Bern is a cousin on an academic scholarship and does the research for Nevada. Mom is a disabled vet, a sergeant whose skill as a sniper was owing to her particular magic. Arabella and Catalina are the younger sisters who battle constantly. Leon is another cousin. Grandma Frida is a mech mage who lives and breathes armored vehicles. Their dad has been dead for five years.
Aunt Pen and Mateus are freelance agents the family sometimes calls on. Makarov is a specialist friend of Grandma's who implants shockers as an aid against magic-users.
Major Connor "Mad" Rogan leads House Rogan, one of the major Houses. He's a complex and extremely powerful man with no scruples with whom Andrews acquaints us as the story unfolds. He's also known as the Butcher, the Scourge, the Huracan. Gerard was his grandmother's servant. Kelly Waller insisted on marrying for love and was cast out of her family, House Lancey, a minor branch of House Rogan. Tom Waller is the husband; Gavin Waller, a short-range teleporter, is their teenage son who got caught up with the wrong crowd. Troy Linman is Mad's latest hire. A man with issues whom Mad will own. Santino seems to be his HR. Dr. Daniela Arias is Mad's personal physician, and I wanna go to his clinic!
The psychopathic Adam Pierce is a spoiled rotten rich kid with very strong fire powers whose family is constantly paying to get him out of trouble. He's also a terrorist, for fun. Christina Pierce is his "blind" mother whose son can do no wrong. Peter Pierce is his older brother, a late bloomer; Tatyana is their sister. House Pierce is one of the major Houses. Hellspawn is a Pierce-specific spell. Cornelius Maddox Harrison, an animal mage, is Adam's reluctant childhood "friend".
House Montgomery bought out Baylor Investigative Agency, and the Baylors are slowly buying it back. Augustine Montgomery heads up Montgomery International Investigations and is a major jerk who will use people up to save his bottom line. Lina is his secretary.
Leonora Jordan is the Harris County District Attorney and can summon chains from thin air. She's incorruptible, powerful, and smart. Rynda Charles was the bride picked out for Mad.
Liz Rutger has hired Nevada to catch her husband, John, being unfaithful. Sergeant Munoz. Drawbridge Security is the alarm company monitoring Baylor Investigative Agency (and home). Kevin had been a regular, normal, stable boyfriend in college.
Mrs. O'Leary's cow Professor Itou is one of Bern's professors with an interest in Mrs. O'Leary's cow, and it's an interesting twist on that particular urban legend, lol.Colonel Rudyard Emmens got some of the early serum and was a firestarter. Edward was his only son, a Notable pyrokinetic. Frederick Van Pelt was one of four friends of Edward's. Mark Emmens is the great-grandson; Jesse Emmens is the great-great-grandson who disappeared from his dorm. Patricia Emmens Bridges was married to William and they donated land. Lieutenant David Harrison was with the police in Chicago at the time. Professor Magdalene Sherbo is doing educational outreach in India.
Gustave's Custom Cycles, owned by Gustave Peralta, is a drop. Reginald Harrison is an "employee". Harper Larvo is a harmonizer and part of the her family's dwindling generation.
The Pit, a.k.a., the Jersey Village Bug is one of Nevada's "freelancers", a surveillance specialist, a swarmer who shouldn't be alive. Napoleon, part French bulldog, is Bug's dog guide. Thea is the last warning before you head in to Jersey Village, territory controlled by House Shaw. Cherry is magic-warped. Peaches is a vicious, unstable gang leader who runs the Southside. Montrel runs the Northside.
The Osirus serum, which brings out psychic/magic talents, was discovered in 1863. It became a genetic tag which can be passed on and has led to dynasties of magic users which evolved into Houses. These Houses feud amongst each other and influence all that happens in their world. The Key is a House-specific spell that no one is quite sure what it does; it does appear to re-charge the user's magic reservoir. A tactile is one who can make you feel touched.
Magic users are segregated into Minor, Average, Notable, Significant, and Prime. I'm not sure where Stainless Steel fits in. Rare? Each magic-user has an active and a passive field. Swarmers process information at superhuman speed and can track hundreds of independent tasks at a time. The military pays out a huge bonus to family and the volunteers are usually the terminally ill — swarmers usually live 18 months after being bound. Equzol is a military drug designed to level you out.
The Cover and Title The cover is greens. It's an exploding city street with buildings erupting on both sides with Mad and Nevada slightly off-center. In typical enticement fashion, our hero is shirtless while the heroine is in a ripped, off-the-shoulder, black, stretchy number.
The title is what Mad does for her and for the city (and is hoping Nevada will do): Burn For Me....more
A collection of ten short stories that weave in and out of Mercy Thompson's World, an urban fantasy based in Washington state and revolving around a VA collection of ten short stories that weave in and out of Mercy Thompson's World, an urban fantasy based in Washington state and revolving around a VW mechanic who happens to shift into a coyote and has ties to the Marrok in Montana.
On a very positive note, Shifting Shadows holds every short story Briggs has published so far in the Mercy Thompson series (two are in the Alpha & Omega series) PLUS four new ones! Briggs has also included a couple of outtake scenes.
Mercy Thompson Series: "Silver" (NEW; centuries before Moon Called) "Roses in Winter" (NEW; MT 4.5; A&O, 2.5) "Redemption" (NEW; 7.5) "Hollow" (NEW; 8.5) "Fairy Gifts" (about a century before Moon Called and only connect to MT because there are fae in it) "Gray" (before Moon Called and only connected to MT because it has vampires in it) "Alpha and Omega" (Mercy Thompson 1a; Alpha & Omega, 0.5) "Seeing Eye" (a year before Moon Called, so 0.75??; only connected to MT because it involves the Emerald City Pack in Seattle) "The Star of David" (1.5; a fellow vet and friend of Adam's) "In Red, with Pearls" (6.5)
The Stories "Silver" is the first half of Ariana and Samuel's romance. How they met and why they parted. It's too sad, but incredibly detailed with back history on Samuel and Bran and how they came to be wolves because of Bran's black witch of a mother. This tale continues in Silver Borne, 5 (MT) 7 (overall).
"Fairy Gifts" takes place in an abandoned copper mine in Butte, Montana. It's a clever story in many ways with Briggs not telling us what Thomas is until the end. It's a twice-needed rescue for Margaret Flanagan and gives Thomas the greatest gift. A gift for which he is so very grateful.
It's an interesting story but convoluted. You'll need to pay close attention to this.
"Gray" is such a sad love story about a vampire who finally wins free to seek her old love. I absolutely adore it even as I cry.
"Seeing Eye" is an odd alliance of werewolf and white witch as they hunt for the wolf's missing brother and do battle against an evil coven. There is such a wealth of history in this one, and so much sadness as well. Yet it does end on a note of hope.
"Alpha and Omega" is one that I adore. It's Charles' meeting up with Anna and is so romantic — werewolf-wise, lol. It takes place in Chicago when Charles is forced to clean up an insane mess. We also get the background on why Charles was born and why his birth makes him so special.
"Star of David" is a Christmas side story about David Christiansen, a survivor along with Adam of the attack in Vietnam that turned them both into werewolves. It's sad and fascinating as David's estranged daughter contacts him for help for one of her foster kids. Yet another indictment of the fostercare system. The title is about Stella, the daughter David has always called his star.
"Roses in Winter" is an odd partnership of Asil and Kara Beckworth, the young girl who was attacked and whose parents have been trying to keep her safe and alive. It was her father in Blood Bound, 2, who had approached Mercy about his daughter. This short story provides a peek in at the rules that bind the werewolves, the Marrok, and Asil's past and sense of honor.
Asil speaks to Kara of his mate whom he had loved enough to want to destroy the world. I love that his memory of her is roses. That "roses smelled like happiness … [and that every time] … she smelled a rose, she thought of the day we met."
I love that Asil is so supportive of Kara and that comment he makes to one of the alphas made me want to cheer: "You are so anxious to kill her that you cannot wait ten minutes?"
"In Red, With Pearls" is a real twister of a story that starts with a zombie assassin after Kyle. Naturally Warren is very concerned and learns all sorts of things about those who might want his lover dead. Loved all the deductions Warren made!
"Redemption" is just too funny as it opens with Ben talking to a tech support guy in India about their lousy software. It's funny on so many levels what with Ben not being able to swear (and Briggs does a great job of making us feel Ben's efforts, lol) and Rajeev frustrated over the "half-written spaghetti code". It's ins and outs of geekery with the humanizing efforts the geeks include for their servers as well as the advantages some programmers try to take. Oh, boy.
It's a tale of harassment that forces Ben into greater personal growth, forces him to understand what truly makes a wolf dominant.
"Hollow" is a sort-of ghost exorcism as Mercy helps a couple of strangers get rid of an unexpected ghost haunting a man. There's also a quick bit in here about Mercy's decision to not rebuild her garage after events in Night Broken, 8.
An outtake scene from Silver Borne that relates to Samuel and Ariana's story during the rescue of Mercy from the fairy queen's Elphame when her mate bond with Adam was broken. Of Samuel's despair and Ariana's fear.
An outtake scene from Night Broken that Briggs simply couldn't work into the story and comes at the very end of Night Broken when Mercy is dying in the hospital and Coyote saves her.
The Cover and Title The cover has a blue sky background with snow-covered mountain peaks angling across the bottom with a profile of a busty Mercy caught between thin golden rails one of which includes a loping coyote within a semi-circle, perfectly replicating the coyote at the top of her bicep tattoo. She's wearing a form-fitting black tank top, her hair in braids, wearing long feather earrings, and appearing to be lost in thought as she looks downward.
I'm thinking the title reflects Mercy's world of Shifting Shadows for shifters keep within the shadows to protect their secrets....more
Second in the Farseer Trilogy fantasy series that is part of the overall Realms of the Elderlings series and revolving around Fitz, the bastard assassSecond in the Farseer Trilogy fantasy series that is part of the overall Realms of the Elderlings series and revolving around Fitz, the bastard assassin son of a dead prince.
My Take It's an interesting mash of great ideas and total boners as Fitz tries to navigate the dangerous shoals of Buckkeep castle and his half-brother Regal. Fitz is so young, honest, and caring, and it's mixed with the assassin skills and political maneuverings needed to stay alive and keep the kingdom and its rulers safe. Kettricken, too, has her work cut out for her as she tries to find a place within the castle and win the hearts of its people.
As I go over my notes, it starts much as the other two stories I've read in this series with Fitz writing in his journal, and this beginning is a foretelling of what the younger Fitz learns by the end of Royal Assassin as well as a summing up of events in Assassin's Apprentice, 1. Having started this series at the wrong end, Royal Assassin goes on to fill in some huge holes from Fool's Assassin, 7 (1st in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy) with what happens between Molly and Fitz, Burrich and Patience, Kings Shrewd and Verity, Kettricken, and Fitz's death by Regal.
"History is what we do in our lives. We create it as we go along. … The future is another kind of history."
And, as fascinating as it was to fill these gaps, Royal Assassin is quite depressing what with Patience's counseling on Fitz's love for Molly and Shrewd and Verity's tolerance of Regal. Part of me wondered why Chade or the Fool didn't simply remove Regal, but then it would have shortened this story up and saved the kingdom too easily. I suspect Chivalry would still have been alive if Regal had been out of the equation.
I must confess that I had a difficult time reading this because of how dumb everyone was. There are so many people who can see how the king is being mistreated and yet they don't talk to each other. They're like islands in this, and god forbid those shores should touch. They should have been questioning what's gone wrong with the communications. I mean, it is so obvious that Regal must be interfering and yet no one looks into this. I don't understand how Verity can be so ignorant of Regal and his motivations, his actions. He Skills to see what his people are doing, why doesn't he Skill to keep an eye on Regal? Why didn't they vet the staff around the key characters? When we first learn how Wallace is mistreating the king, why isn't he called on this? It's pretty damn obvious he's neglecting the king. Who has been in charge of cleaning the king's rooms previously? I can't imagine that his personal man did the cleaning or changed out the sheets. Where have they been?
They talk of Kettricken being a born queen, and yet they do so little to encourage her to gather up the reins when Verity sets out on his quest. Why don't they have some sort of rite to endow Kettricken with authority while Verity is gone? Doesn't Kettricken have some way of keeping in touch with her father? If Verity can Skill to Shrewd, why don't they conspire together to set Regal aside from the decision making? If Regal says the treasury is so bare and they must conserve coin, how is the king so unaware of Regal's expensive banquets. How come no one ever calls him on that? There are all these instances in which they know Regal is doing mischief, to be nice about it, but they have no proof, and yet they don't look for any proof either. They don't plan to accumulate any. Part of me feels as if they're all just asking to be offed.
I do not understand how Molly (or Patience) could possibly see Fitz as having left her or lied to her! With all the rumors running throughout the town and palace, they have to have heard what happened to Fitz in the Mountain Kingdom. I do wish these women would make up their minds and get on the same page. What husband does Molly know who devotes all his time to her that she can make these demands of Fitz? And how can she be so dim as to not see Regal for what he is? Why wouldn't Patience have warned her? Or Lacey? For that matter, why doesn't Fitz tell Molly what Verity has promised about their wedding? It's another lack of communication between Molly and Fitz with both too proud at all the wrong times. As for that comment Hobb makes,"what would Molly and Fitz have?" Well, if Molly and Fitz went off together now as Molly asks, they'd be together and would have so much more than what Burrich now has. Duh.
What is with that king!? There is so much evidence that Regal is a vicious, lying little bastard, and I know he's Shrewd's son, but Shrewd is also the king. He doesn't get the luxury of indulging this megalomaniac. Nor do I understand why he doesn't better protect himself. I know he's getting drugged, but he does have his lucid moments. Wallace is so obviously not competent and in league with Regal, so why isn't he replaced? Verity certainly has the Skill to determine if the replacement is loyal to the king or not.
I don't understand why Chade took so long to enlighten Fitz or why he was so stupid about Regal(!), nor why Fitz isn't lurking about the people more. I got the impression from the story that Fitz is drifting along on his own most of the time, and I suspect he'd have been better served if he'd spent more time thinking about cause-and-effect, about motivations, instead of whining about Molly. It takes Fitz much, much too long to figure out the truth behind Regal's actions. Of course, Fitz is young in years and experience.
How can Verity have lived as long as he has (and at Court) and have no clue about women?
If all these so-called allies within the castle would simply sit down with each other, they could have cleared a lot of this up. Stayed a lot of suffering. Yeah, yeah, I know, it would've shortened the story. Or made the author work harder to make it more realistic instead of sliding through this and relying upon the reader to be too emotional to notice the lame bits. Unfortunately, either Hobb didn't write well enough to make what she did write very realistic or she was in too much of a hurry to worry about it. There are such glaring shortcomings. And I really wanted to love this installment.
What's with the bit about the emerald necklace? When Fitz is looking for it, I got the impression that Regal had gotten to it, then I found out that Fitz did find it much later on in the story. What's with using Inland Duchy soldiers to guard Buckkeep prisoners OR its king? Where the heck are the Buckkeep guards?? Why does no one say anything?
We also learn that Burrich has some Wit ability, and yet he still rains censure down on Fitz. Why doesn't Fitz ever call him on this? Try to find out more about why Burrich is so anti-Wit. Well, besides that whole anathema thing.
Hobb sets up the circumstances that could lead to Fitz's dalliance with Kettricken but doesn't do much with it. It's like a thread that got tucked behind something and forgotten, right along with the watchman who was knifed in the back. There's also Kettricken's Will-questing that goes nowhere.
The Fool has an interesting premise about "premonitions and foreseeings of an entire race … written down, and cross-referenced and related to one another, might not such a people create a loom to hold the weaving of the future? … If such a loom were made, and such a tapestry of predictions woven, not for a few years, but for tens of hundreds of years, after a time it could be shown that it presented a surprisingly accurate foretelling."
On a positive note, it's a time of change for Fitz. In the Mountain Kingdom he learned respect. A stance and confidence he must hide in Buckkeep where Regal will try again and again to remove him.
Hobb does have some beautiful insights into what it means to rule, to be a friend, the sticky twists of politics.
Damn, I loved it when Verity explained to Fitz how Regal would become more involved in running the kingdom and eagerly waited to see the fallout. There were disasters, but not the ones I had hoped for. It's even worse at the very end when Fitz discovers why King Shrewd has truly been failing.
"The most distinctive part of your fighting style is the incredible way you have of surviving it."
Hobb's grants Fitz insights into the different characters throughout the story, moments of enlightenment which cross-reference his own experiences and help him understand different points-of-view. Learning experiences.
Oh, it's so sweet when the Queen's guard forms up. Their reasons for "switching" sides. It's also a conundrum and shows how stupid people can be in general. How is it possible for the town, the nobles, and the servants to believe Regal's "largesse" and his words when it's so obvious what he's doing. He is not a subtle man. He practically takes out an electronic billboard to announce what he's up to. As for Kettricken's bravery and her loyalty, how can they not see what a treasure she is? She's been out front with going after the Forged (and how she respected those poor things!) and doing battle when Regal can't be bothered. How can they avoid seeing such visible efforts???
Lol, so much for the ax being for the common man! Go, duke!
It seemed a brilliant plan until Chade explained why it had been a bad idea. He should have made himself more available…
I did enjoy this response of Fitz's to Burrich's question:
"How long can you share minds with one who scratches and licks himself, who will roll in carrion, who goes mad when a female is in season, who thinks no further than his next meal, before you accept his values as your own? Then what will you be?'
'A guardsman?' I hazarded."
The Story Fitz is finally well enough, well, impatient enough, that he insists on he, Burrich, and Hands setting out to ride home for Buckkeep from the Mountain Kingdom.
The Six Duchies under threat from the Outislanders who are raiding their shores and turning its population into the dead, or worse, the Forged. It's a fate no sane person wants for his or her family, and mothers, fathers, willingly slit their children's throats, their own, to keep from being Forged.
Meanwhile, the lonely Kettricken becomes a task set by Chade for Fitz, and Nighteyes is Fitz's dirty little secret he must hide.
The Characters FitzChivalry Farseer, a.k.a., Changer, is the bastard son of Prince Chivalry, the then-king-in-waiting, and now he is the King's Man in spite of having had his Skill burned out by the traitorous Galen. Sooty is Fitz's horse. Nighteyes is the wolf cub Fitz saves at the market, and who teaches Fitz the meaning of loyalty. Chivalry later married Lady Patience whose parents were Lord Oakdell and Lady Averia of very minor nobility. Lacey is Patience's ace-in-the-hole, er, I mean her lady's maid. Burrich, a.k.a., Heart of the Pack, was Prince Chivalry's man and is the stablemaster in Buckkeep with authority over horses, birds, and hounds. He has been charged with raising Fitz. Vixen is Burrich's bitch-hound; Ruddy is his horse. The Fool is Shrewd's fool, and not so much of a fool.
Molly "Redskirts" Chandler was a candlemaker and friend to Newboy (Fitz who fell in love with Molly) in Assassin's Apprentice. Jade was a seaman who took Molly away from Buckkeep. Molly's mother had been a tiring woman to Lady Heather when Queen Constance was alive (the older princes' mother). Brinna was the nasty fishwife. Kerry was one of the boys Fitz and Molly had run through the town with. Now he's a Forged one.
King Shrewd is Fitz's grandfather and the man to whom Fitz has pledged his life. Wallace (or as the Fool calls him, Wall's Ass) is the king's personal man and why they don't put someone in who is more loyal to Shrewd I do not understand…Queen-in-Waiting Kettricken is desperate for Prince, um, King-in-Waiting Verity's attention, however, Verity is distracted with using his Skill to protect the kingdom, using up his life force to try and keep them safe. Charim is Verity's servingman. Leon is his wolfhound, and Truth his horse. Rosemary is personal maid to Kettricken. Softstep is her horse. Foxglove is the captain of the Queen's guard; Whisper and Kerf are also Queen's guards and ride out with them to Neatbay. King Eyod of the Mountain Kingdom is Kettricken's father. Jonqui, is the King's sister, Kettricken's aunt, who has healed Fitz of the poisoning he suffered in Assassin's Apprentice.
Prince Regal is Verity's half-brother and a spoiled, bored — and Inland-bred — greedy wretch. Serene has taken Galen's position as the leader of the Skill Coterie in Buckkeep (he was Queen Desire's bastard son), and she hates Fitz with a passion. August has retired to Withywoods, his Skill gone. The other surviving members of Galen's old group are Justin, Will (he heads to the far north, to Red Tower in Bearns), Carrod, and Burl (he'll be sent to Neatbay Tower). The guards Regal uses include Chester, Bolt who enjoys beating Fitz too much, Kelfry takes no joy in it, and Verde among too many others.
Chade is another bastard son, and half-brother to King Shrewd for whom he serves as the royal assassin and spymaster. Part of his disguise includes Lady Thyme. He's also teaching Fitz his profession. Slink is his weasel.
The men who accompany Verity
Keen, Keef and Kef, Chestnut, Burrich, Charim, and Hod the arms master go with Verity to seek out aid.
Blade is a sergeant in the guards. Pluck is a page boy. The Rurisk is the largest of the ships Verity has built. Jharck is the mate; Nonge is one of the Outislanders who have volunteered for her crew. The Constance is another ship and will have Carrod aboard her.
Mistress Hasty is the palace housekeeper. Fedwren is the scribe who taught Fitz his letters. Mellow is the court singer. Sara is the castle cook and is both a smart, observant woman as well as an easily deceived one. Ginna's daughter is the one Fitz tries to save. Hands is the stableboy Burrich trains when Fitz is removed from the stables and his care. Stoutheart is the horse Hands rides.
The Red-Ship raiders are Outislanders. Kebal Rawbread started as a solitary pirate but brutalized Outislanders into going along with him. It seems the escralled, the Forged, started with him. Chade Farseer once traveled there and ferreted out some of this news, and that Rawbread fears a pale woman. The White Ship, perhaps?
There is Skill, there is Wit, and there are the Hedge magics. One is more respected, another is beastly, the user to be executed, and the last are both the charlatan and mythic. Skill is tied closely to the Farseer line; you must be blood kin to have any Skill magic at all. Skill allows one to reach out to another's mind and know what they're thinking, communicate, or influence their thinking. The Wit is out of favor, once a native, natural magic of those with a kinship with beasts. The danger is in falling too far into the beast mind, allowing it to take over your thoughts and actions. A king's man is one who gives of their strength to the one Skilling, AND knowing when to stop giving it to stay alive. A coterie is six to eight people with Skill who get on well with each other and at least one of them attuned to the king to receive his messages. The key member is usually a King's or Queen's Man or Woman.
The Six Duchies is the name of Shrewd's kingdom and Buckkeep is its capital. Those Duchies are split into the four Coastal Duchies which are suffering from the raids, and the two Inland Duchies which don't see why they have to pay taxes to protect the coast. The one that allows the trade ships in and out. Taker was the founder of the Farseer line and the start of the kingdom. Duke Shemshy of Shoaks; Bayguard is the name of the keep at Neatbay, the home Keep of Duke Kelvar and Lady Grace, the Rippon Duchy; Buck; and, Duke Brawndy of Bearns is the fourth Coastal Duchy. Brawndy is willing to accept Fitz as a son-in-law. Ripplekeep is the capital of Bearns. Faith and Celerity are his daughters. Duke Ram of Tilth and Lady Placid and Regal's cousin, Lord Bright, the heir to Duke Holder of the Duchy of Farrow are the Inland Duchies willing to help Regal strip Buckkeep. Lance is a stableman for Tilth. Tradeford is one of the traditional residences of the Dukes of Farrow.
Madja is a self-proclaimed prophetess (she renames herself Virago) whom Fitz must run out of town.
The Elderlings are a mythical race who supposedly saved the Six Duchies from the raiders in the past.
The Cover and Title I suspect the cover is the end of the story as Fitz and Nighteyes look inland from a mountaintop on a brilliant orange, pink, and purple sky under a crescent moon.
The title is the start and end of FitzChivalry Farseer, the Royal Assassin....more
This is what I’m calling 1a in the Songs of Submission romance series. The couple focus is on Monica and Jonathan Drazen. There are three installmentsThis is what I’m calling 1a in the Songs of Submission romance series. The couple focus is on Monica and Jonathan Drazen. There are three installments which make up the actual full-length novel, Sequence One.
I’m torn between giving this a “4” for the story as it is fairly well-written and a “3” simply because I’m pissed this is one of those shorty installment stories which the author uses to tease you into buying more. I hate that.
My Take Right off the bat this is confusing as Reiss sets up the initial scene as a dream sequence but it turns into a real performance. I like that Monica has a goal and is working toward it, that she doesn’t want a relationship that will interfere with what she wants.
Where does Monica get the idea that Drazen just wants to hurt women? This is the first indication I’ve gotten; there was nothing before and nothing after this comment.
I do love how Reiss makes me feel what Monica is singing when she really gets her groove on, when she injects her voice with real feeling and passion. Very nice.
The Story Spoken Not Stirred is struggling, like most bands, to perform. Mostly having to pay for the opportunity. But a lucky accident brings Monica to Drazen’s attention, and she’ll use it to file a harassment claim against his employee.
It’s that cheek, that nerve to stand up to him along with her looks that intrigues Drazen and sends him hot in pursuit.
The Characters Monica is the vocalist although she can play a variety of instruments. The rest of the band, Spoken Not Stirred, includes Harry on guitar, the suicidal Gabrielle on keyboard, and Darren, the drummer, Gabby’s brother. Vinny Mardigian is their jerk of a manager.
Yvonne is a waitress at Monica’s first job. Freddie is the jerk of a manager at the hotel owned by Jonathan.
Jonathan Drazen is a billionaire, known for his women chasing. He also teaches business at UCLA. Jessica Carnes, an artist, is his ex-wife with whom he’s still in love. Theresa is Jonathan’s sister. Sam is his friend and owns the Stock, a similar place of business where Monica gets another job. Debbie is her boss at the Stock and a real sweetheart.
Kevin Wainwright was Monica’s last boyfriend, a real control freak. Eugene Testarossa is the dream agent at WDE; Janet Terova is Testarossa’s boss; and, Arnie Sanderson owns WDE. The Frontage is one of the venues where Gabby and Monica perform.
The Cover The cover is clever with its splash of milk that morphs into a flower with a strong stamen. The background is also clever with its gray on black words of submission.
The title is the first installment of the overall story (Amazon is calling it "bundled"), and Beg is what Jonathan wants Monica to do....more
Third and last in the Beka Cooper fantasy series (and third in the overall Tortall series) for middle grade readers and revolving around a young womanThird and last in the Beka Cooper fantasy series (and third in the overall Tortall series) for middle grade readers and revolving around a young woman Dog, a policewoman of her day. This particular day begins with June 6, 249 H.E. — it's been three years since Bloodhound, 2. My Take This was absolutely brilliant! Pierce is such an excellent writer, you really can't go wrong in having your children read anything by Pierce. Trust me on this. There are, however, two things I hate about Mastiff. One is that it's the last I'll get to read about Beka Cooper and the second is its ending.
It's been an odd journey, reading about people as Dogs, that's the police to you and I. Pierce has never made any fuss about the "police" in Corus before, so it's an alien-seeming focus. It's almost odder that this series has been about Tortall, as it hasn't seemed to have a connection to the later Tortall subseries I've read. It does make me want to re-read from the beginning to see where that change comes about. I'm thinking that the Gentle Mother religion took hold somehow. It does not make it any less excellent.
I do love that men and women are treated equally in Tortall. Yes, it can be uneven, but women are in the navy, the Dogs, wherever they choose to be.
In this particular story, there's a major conflict with the mages of the kingdom, for the king wants to tax and license them like regular folk. It's led to rebellious actions for it has come at a time when the nobles have been stirring against the king. He's been cutting into what they see as their prerogatives AND having the nerve to spend the kingdom's money on…poor people.
It's kidnappings and murders, torture and betrayal. An awful combination. Yes, I did say this was brilliant, and it is despite the horribleness of its topic.
"To me, that noble honor is a wonderful thing. I see folk put it on and take it off all the time, and no one ever notices how wrinkled it gets."
Hmm, it seems there are reasons that Lord Gershom is trusted with this disaster. It's also interesting that King Roger began to take an interest in his kingdom when he married Jessamine. She'd been raised to take an interest in the running of the realm. And, as Pierce points out, no man likes to look a fool.
"'It might seem so to you, Beka.' Her mouth curled down bitterly. 'In your boots, it would to me as well. But for some of us, it is a garment that is the same as our own skin, impossible to take off and live.'"
We get some past history from Pounce, 3,000 years ago!, about some of the lands the team travels through.
Clever, clever Beka who manages to get out of wearing a stupid dress to conform to the Queensgrace inhabitants' ideas of proper mode for women, per their Gentle Mother codswallop. Beka sees it as stripping fighting women of the symbols of their battles. Jesus, I can't believe the insults lobbed at their own cousin by the Queensgrace people. It's weird that Baird appears to be in on their plans, but then helps them to leave the castle when that jerkoff of a count continues his lady's insults.
I DO like that Farmer. He's such a cheeky boy who enjoys tweaking the noses of snobby jerks, and he's very careful to hide his abilities. He can't do the higher magics, but dang, he is good at what he can do. He has a good philosophy about his abilities. That he can help on a Hunt or with the Dogs, to keep the balance in the world. All are characteristics so contrary to Holborn, qualities that appeal to our idealistic Beka. It's a slow and odd sort of courtship. That list that Beka creates in her mind is a good one for any person to hold to their own hearts as a check of what a good partner is.
Pounce has always been a strange character with Pierce's hints of his origins, the peeks at his powers, his vague and veiled pronouncements. He rarely takes an active part in protecting Beka, but in Mastiff, he decides to ignore the rules laid on him and brings Achoo back to life. Seems the god Mithros loves to see Achoo work.
It's a terrible betrayal yet to come. One that made me weep.
Then there's the epilogue by George Cooper, Beka's descendant, writing in his own journal in 430 H.E., not quite 200 years later of his ma stitching him up after a battle, for George is the Rogue now, and it's just after that initial meeting in Alanna: The First Adventure, 1 (& 4). And his mother's goddess visits him with prophecies when a purple-eyed cat takes some of his memories. A final note is of a young lad he's met, an Alan of Trebond…
I am curious to learn more about what happened to George's mother and how they descended to these desperate straits after the rewards that were heaped upon Farmer and Beka at the end of Mastiff. The Story Holborn's funeral is well attended, even Beka's informants among the city pigeons pay their respects. It's a hard thing grief, especially when guilt is such a large part of it. It seems that only Pounce and Rosto knew the truth about Beka and Holborn.
Beka hasn't long to dwell on her grief before Lord Gershom needs her for a secret mission. The king has need of the best. The Characters Guardswoman Rebakah "Beka" Cooper still lives in Mistress Trout's lodgings in Nipcopper Close in Corus. Holborn Shaftstall was Beka's betrothed and a fellow Dog; Ahern Walker had been his partner on that last raid. Granny Fern Cooper is Beka's grandmother and psychopomp mentor. Her sisters and brothers had loved Holborn, especially Dorine. Her brother Nilo is a palace courier; Willes is a saucy lad. Mya Fane is her foster aunt and Gershom's cook. Pounce is her "cat", a constellation and not a god, thank you very much. Achoo Curlypaws is her scent hound who is in great demand.
Farmer Cape is a young Provost's mage from Blue Harbor assigned to this Hunt with a gift for raising the images of something that's buried and a skill at embroidery. He also has a low tolerance for jerky behavior. Master Seabreeze was on of his teachers; Mistress Cassine Catfoot is yet another, a very highly rated mage who cares nothing for power and glory. Master Looseknot is the mage who caught Farmer playing with spells to entertain his sisters in his mother's shop.
The Dogs are also the Provost's Guards
Senior Guardsman Matthias "Mattes" Tunstall has been Beka's working partner (he calls Pounce bestaka, an endearment from his country) since Bloodhound, 2; he's still with the Lady Sabine of Macayhill, a knight of the court. And he still loves gardening. Drummer is my lady's destrier and Steady is her riding mount. Sergeant Goodwin has been working the evening watch as a desk sergeant. Lord Gershom of Haryse is both the Provost of the kingdom, Beka's ultimate boss, her mentor, and the head of her foster family. Lady Teodorie is Gershom's wife and dislikes Beka for too many reasons. Sir Acton of Fenrigh is Beka's district commander. Nyler Jewel and Yoav are fellow senior Dogs; Ersken Westover is of Beka's year and Kora's lover.
Beka's friends include:
Rosto the Piper is King of the Rogues and in love with Beka. Kora Ingensra is a mage who knows something of healing, Aniki Forfrysning is a swordswoman and a rusher, and Phelan is a former Dog who joined the Court of the Rogue after events in Terrier, 1. Her childhood friend, Tansy, and her husband, Herun, are there as were Beka's foster family from the Provost's House.
The royal family
Queen Jessamine is King Roger II's second wife. Queen Alysy was his first. Seems Jessamine is keeping him from straying better than Alysy. Prince Gareth is their four-year-old son. Ironwood of Sinthya is His Majesty's mage while Orielle Clavynger is Her Majesty's mage; they are forbidden to be more than 100 yards away from the king or queen. Lunedda was the prince's nurse. Mistress Fea was his mage. Tassilo was one of the guards who protected the young prince. Prince Baird is the king's brother and former heir.
Captain Elfed was part of the King's Own who accompanied their Majesties to the welcome party. Nond is one of the guards. Hereward of Genlith has taken command of the palace in Corus with orders to lock everyone down. EVERYone.
Sir Tullus is the deputy provost at Port Caynn (since events in Bloodhound). Sergeant Axman was the guard who had helped them in Bloodhound. Beka and Tunstall will be staying at Serenity's Ladyshearth Lodgings again. Ginmaree is one of her runners. Sergeant Nestor Haryse is a Dog and a bastard cousin to Lord Gershom as well as Okha Soyan's lover, a crossdressing singer who insist that Farmer and Beka join them for supper. Iceblade Regengar is a graduate of Carthak University — his gift is in wind and weather magic, so he's a mage on a peregrine ship — and Farmer can't stand him for some very good reasons.
The dust spinner Beka visits in Corus is Kaasa.
Lazamon of Buckglen was the Lord High Chancellor of Mages before he was murdered. Now he's pigeon-back and revealing some nasty plans. The Hunt Saucebox is the horse that Beka rides on this Hunt while Breeze is her packhorse. Moonhead, Chase, and Brushtail are the Halseander ferryman's hounds. Palisa Vintor of the Arenaver district is a victim. Ormer will be their guide across the swamp. Beldeal is the angry headwoman at War Gorge Marsh.
Corus is the capital city of Tortall. The Black God is their death god. A gixie is a very young girl while a mot is a woman. Peregrine ships are the most precious vessels of the Crown. Ferrets are the royal spies. The Gentle Mother religion is gaining a foothold. It believes all women should be shy and retiring, never take up arms or defend themselves, have no brain and no opinion.
Lady Sabine is related to nobles all over the kingdom, including Count Dewin and Countess Aeldra here at Queensgrace. Niccols is the steward. Master Elyot of Aspen Vale is a very powerful mage and a guest here along with Prince Baird and Graeme, the Baron of Aspen Vale. The countess' ladies-in-waiting include Lady Lewyth who loves her Snowball, a Butterfly Puppy and Lady Wyttabyrd who is a snotty little bitch as is the Lady Baylisa of Disart. No-Skin is a slave that anyone can beat but can't leave marks on. Linnet Beck is the young slave with a wealth of important information. Fay is, sort of, one of Beka's dinner partners, and she has the sight. Iris bakes good rolls. Fess is the spinner Beka encounters, who lifts her up to see a worrisome sight. Parris Eckard is a silk merchant.
The chief ostler at the Crown inn insists the four of them get on their way the night the inn practically burns down. Canart was one of the inn servants who talk to Beka through the pigeons.
The Viper and Dolsa Silkweb are the mages escorting Prince Gareth.
Lord Thanen is Sabine's cousin. Nomalla is another lady knight and Thanen's daughter. She's also a traitor along with her father. Daeggan is one of the slaves who escape. The Cover and Title The cover is consistent with the earlier two with its solid bands of color, — deep, deep green in this case (yes, I know it looks teal on the computer, weird…) — with the author's name and the title in white. The middle band is a silver foil graphic with Beka in her Dog's uniform, dangling a set of shackles, and her body facing out over a range of snowy mountains but with her face and Pounce's turned back to look at us.
The title is Beka's latest nickname: Mastiff....more
First in the Slow Burn romantic suspense series and set in Houston. The couple focus is on Ramie St. Claire and Caleb Devereaux.
If I could give this aFirst in the Slow Burn romantic suspense series and set in Houston. The couple focus is on Ramie St. Claire and Caleb Devereaux.
If I could give this a negative star, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Can you say M. E. L. O. D. R. A. M. A. T. I. C.??
Terrible. Absolutely terrible. I don't know what's going on in Banks' life, but she is not there for her writing. Of course, it's always possible that I disliked Keep Me Safe so intensely because absolute terror does NOT turn me on, and the insta-love was so instant that it almost occurred before they met. Naw. It definitely contributed, but Keep Me Safe is absolutely swimming in overly dramatic melodrama.
I ain't buyin' it. If the Deverauxs' security is so hot, then how was Tori allowed out without it? It didn't have to be overt security. It could have been covert. "Extremely high level of security", my Aunt Fannie.
Banks does do an excellent job of making us feel the melodrama of how her gift affects Ramie, the desperation that Caleb is experiencing, the speed of the torment all three are suffering in their own ways. What she doesn't make us feel is Caleb's guilt. Oh, Banks tells us that he feels guilty, but I ain't feelin' it.
If he were truly this remorseful about what he'd done, why does he run off and abandon Ramie? How much time would it take to ensure she gets some care? Heck, he can bring her along on his private plane. Yeah, yeah, Ramie tells him to go. And he actually listens. It's okay to ignore her pleas when he wants something badly enough, but he feels the need to heed her when he has what he wants? Jesus, at least drop a wad of cash on her!
Ramie sounds like an intelligent woman, and yet the horror, the terror, the fear of being hunted by this man has her running stupidly. If she's helped so many cops find victims, why isn't she approaching any of them? Surely ONE of them would believe her, would help her? She's figured out enough that she suspects her hunter has psychic abilities, so why hasn't she tried to figure out more about that connection? Figure out how to dull it, cut it, break it?
And she's such a goody-goody. Argh. It's so annoying. Sure, I completely sympathize with how Ramie thinks about demanding a price, but surely the victims' families have had some kind of response to what she does? They must have offered something to her after the victims are found. The way the connection affects Ramie is so horrible, that she must need some kind of help. Why does she think it's acceptable for her to be tortured?
Then there's her reaction to Caleb's concern. *Lotsa eye rolls* Ramie should be able to at least accept Caleb's gratitude. She so decries the help she provides that you'd think she'd found the cat's catnip mouse, ya know, the raggedy one that has lost most of its stuffing. Instead, she's saved the guy's beloved sister from death. How does she not see the value of that? Oh, no, it was nothing… Gag.
Oh, man, then she believes it would be better for her to be on her own and on the run. That, oh, no, she couldn't possibly stay in a well-secured house with a rich man who has a security company and wants to help her catch the bad guy. Noo…*more eye rolls*…
Okay, Ramie says she can only feel the negative emotions in people, then she goes on to say she feels Caleb's determination. And that it's not negative. Um. Yep. Psychic links are "hokey bullshit". Sure. Caleb believes in Tori's psychic abilities, in Ramie's, believes in what's being done to Ramie, but "psychic links are hokey bullshit". Is Banks even paying attention to what she's writing?
I'll buy Tori's reaction to Ramie. It is reasonable. But I do want to know how Tori knew that Ramie knows everything? The younger brothers' reactions? How dare they behave this way? When they owe Ramie so very much.
Yes, there is sex in this. And I skimmed most of it. So, it could have been hot, but how do you drop from terrifying, horrible fear into insta-hot, slick, desirable sex? All it did was turn me off.
They have this fancy monitoring system, and nobody is monitoring it? Caleb buys into the set-up?
It's quite clever how Banks has set up her bad guy, how he captures his victims. How do you battle something like this?
What? They don't think to tell her what happened at the end??
My recommendation? Do not bother. Unless you like overly melodramatic crap. At worst, borrow it from the library, as I don't think you'll appreciate having wasted your money.
The Story Ramie St. Claire is the Deverauxs' only hope to find their missing sister. That video tape…Tori doesn't have long to live. Although. That may be a mercy.
The Characters Ramie St. Claire is a psychic who experiences a connection with people when she touches something of theirs. Becky was a beloved foster sister.
Caleb Devereaux is the oldest sibling of the Devereaux family; Beau and Quinn are the younger brothers. Tori is their only sister.
Devereaux Security is… …the Deveraux family's response to Tori's kidnapping. Dane Elliot, Eliza, and Eric Becket are part of the security team.
Detectives Ramirez and Briggs are with the Houston PD and desperate to save another victim.
Charles "Charlie" Bloomberg is a quiet, good-looking man.
The Cover and Title The cover is black with random fluffy blue feathers darting across. The author's name is in a bright pink in the top half of the cover while the smaller title is in white.
The title tells us what Ramie needs, her one plea: Keep Me Safe....more
I hardly know where to start as to the series that Son of No One is in. It is a paranormal romance in her Dark-Hunterverse — #29, and the couple focusI hardly know where to start as to the series that Son of No One is in. It is a paranormal romance in her Dark-Hunterverse — #29, and the couple focus is on Jo Landry and Cadegan.
After that, it's also: #13 in Dark-Hunter #6 in Hellchaser #3 in Lords of Avalon #8 in Were-Hunter My Take The best I can say of Son of No One is that it is a part of a lot of different series, and it has a great cover. Other than that, it's a mess of tiny episodes that were strung together in comic opera fashion with a very young adult tone.
The story begins centuries ago in 1045 England and continues in the fall of 2014 and starts well enough. There's that slightly off-beat, fun mood that always makes me think "Kenyon" that starts with Jo ragging with Selena and continues with Jo's fall into the mirror world. I did like Jo's attitude, lol. It seems that Cadegan liked it as well. Yeah, there's some insta-love here, but at least Cadegan has a good reason. It's not even really love at first, but more of a thank-god-for-some-rational-and-mmmm-soft-skinned-company.
I am confused about Cadegan. He's a nice guy with every right to be angry, but amazingly clueless. He doesn't know much about the creatures in the land he's been trapped in for 1,000 years. Hullo. How can you possibly go for this long and not learn more? Gwyn talks about Cadegan being so cagey and skilled. Maybe when it comes to flailing a sword around.
As for Leucious, the least he could have done was hear his brother out.
Jo is amazingly clueless as well about the dangers of mirror world, even when she's exposed to it. I do love that she is so artless, but it does go too far.
This whole bargain business with Gwyn put me off. Sure, it's a great way to let us know how untrustworthy Gwyn is, but it goes against all the "legends" I've read about the fae. Isn't there some kind of penalty if you break the bargain? Wouldn't constantly changing the terms of the bargain be a breaking?? I always thought the fey were supposed to adhere to a bargain. I suppose it does help reinforce Gwyn's character. But wouldn't Cadegan have a good idea on how to bargain with the Fae by now? He's as clueless as a newborn babe. Hmmm, Gwyn will cede the bullocks of any offender to Cadegan. D'ya suppose Kenyon meant buttocks or ballocks?
I think it's at this point that it started to feel like a comic opera. As if Kenyon were sitting around the kitchen table and friends were chiming in with another awful clause for the bargain. It only gets worse when we go through the mutual I love him routine that the other refuses to believe. Yawn. Then there's the body-swapping. WTF? What? Why? Then there's Illarion. I like Illarion, but it was way too easy for that little adventure. Talfryn and Ioan add their clownish antics which simply contributes to the effect. Was Kenyon trying to hit all the lame tropes? To include every possible pantheon in the story?
That "illumination" about the dragons and their virgins is an interesting interpretation while the therapy horror was too funny.
In spite of the comic opera qualities of Son of No One, you can't help but want to cry for Cadegan. He's been hard done by his entire life. Not as badly as Ash or Styxx, but bad enough. The way Æthla used and destroyed him will break your heart, especially when Cadegan has done so much for her. Then Leucious' betrayal. Jesus. He'll listen to that little breeder but not his brother.
"No pressure there, right, buddy? Wow, Ash. I know why you don't have your own self-help show…Lifestyles of the Morbid and Terrifying. Stay tuned, folks. This week we learn how to end the world with a flourish and get rid of those pesky dog flea problems, all in ten minutes."
Okay. How would attacking a creature encourage that creature to help them? Another contradiction is that comment about "You protect each other, without a single word. Does this mean you don't care for one another?" Huh??
Ooh, I want an Electra!
Interesting side bit on why Savitar has isolated himself.
And it ends with lots of portents of doom, thus guaranteeing the ongoing misery of all the friends within the Dark-Hunterverse.
The Story It just doesn't pay to be responsible. Not for Jo. She's about to lose her home, and she's already lost her jobs. Nothing else would make her desperate enough to accept this job with Selena's friends! Even if it is to film the stories about paranormal possession.
The Characters Josette "Jo" (& Jo-Jo) Landry has always toed the line and look where that's gotten her! Henri, Belle, and Maisel are her babies. Dogs that have to suffer her baby talk. Gag. Barry Riggio is Jo's ex, the jerk.
Selena Laurens is Jo's cousin; Bill is her corporate lawyer husband. Tabitha and Karma Devereaux are two of Selena's eight sisters; Ian is Karma's son whom she's nicknamed "E.T." Rug is Ian's hamster. Karma's job is warehousing and cleaning scary relics and paranormal items; she's inherited custody of Valac from her sister, the now-deceased Tiyana. Aunt Rocky is Selena's mother. Aunt Xilla is another of the nutjobs in the family. Aunt Kalila helped run the family Voodoo store, Erzulie's, which Tabitha now owns. Tabitha is married to Valerius, a Roman general. Aunt Ana and Tiyana made soaps and oils for Erzulie's. Aunt Paulina will never let Jo work behind her counters again. Aunt Marie lives for genealogy. Cousin Amanda is Tabitha's twin, and Amanda is married to Kyrian, an ancient Greek general. Cousin Essie was the midwife for the birth.
Mama Lisa is the leader of the group putting together a new cable television channel. She's an exorcist and hosts the Voices Carry Internet radio show. The rest of Mama Lisa's posse includes Sister Jordan, her sister Sarah, Mistress Mercy, and Selena.
Cadegan Maboddimun is half-demon and half-fae/goddess-born, a waremerlin who guards the Shield of Dagda and has been imprisoned for over 1,000 years. His mother is Brigid, the daughter of the Dagda and the Mórrígan, which means Cadegan is their grandson, is a fey goddess whom Morgen turned to stone and now adorns Morgen's garden.
Leucious is his brother, a.k.a., Thorn, a.k.a., Forneus, whom we've met in other stories. Misery is one of Leucious' breeders (whatever that is). Josiah was Thorn's driver. Paimon is the demon overlord Cadegan believes is his father.
Dr. Troy Parthenopacus is married to Acheron (Ash); she and Dr. Julian Alexander are also specialists in Babylonian artifacts. Simi is Ash's Charonte demon who lives on his skin like a live tattoo. Kat is Ash's daughter.
The rescue posse includes: Fang who works as a Hellchaser for Thorn and is married to Aimee, a werebear; Cael; Amaranda; Zeke Jacobson, a Necrodemian, who does Pest Control; Ravenna; Tristan; and, anyone else skilled with swords and Dark Age tactics with the powers of demon, Daimon, or fey. Talon is an ancient Celt of the Morrigantes married to Sunshine, who is herself a granddaughter of the Dagda and the Mórrígan. Her mother is Starla, a member of the Tuath Dé, which makes Cadegan family. Styxx is Ash's brother and married to Bethany, the Atlantean goddess of woe. Urian is Styxx's oldest son; Ari seems to be his youngest. Dr. Grace Alexander will be Cadegan's therapist; she's married to Julian.
Mirror world is… …Glastonbury Tor, Terre Derrière le Voile, an alternate plane of existence whose grayness is said to be due to Merlin's magick being pulled in; it's a land where demons can be imprisoned and the fey rule. MODs are Minions of Death who would give anything to bite down on a human. Cadegan's Uncle Bracken is one of them. Brenin Gwn ap Nudd is the very untrustworthy shadow king, a sharoc. Talfryn and Ioan, alias Frick and Frack, are Adar Llwch Gwin, shapeshifting gryphons who will fly riders to their destination. Illarion is the last real dragon, a Katagari Drakos. Edilyn was his human wife. Maxis is Illarion's brother. Morgen Le Fey is a queen here. Queen Cordelia needs to make her appearance. Seems she's Gwyn's wife some parts of the year and belongs to Gwythyr ap Greidawl the other parts. Ademar was one of the knights of Camelot who refused Cadegan aid. Emrys Penmerlin is Camelot's ruler and the warlock we know as Merlin.
Cymara Clas, the monastery in A.D. 720 Brother Eurig was Cadegan's mentor in many things including honor and keeping one's word. Brother Owain had a gambling problem he was too comfortable in lying about. If the monastery was cloistered, how did Owain have the opportunity to gamble?Father Bryce was the abbot. King Elisedd ap Gwylog was the Powys king who dragged Cadegan from the monastery. Æthelbald was the Mercian king battling Elisedd.
Æthla was the woman Cadegan saved along with her family. How did her brothers not know what their father was demanding? What she had been doing with Cadegan all this time?
Graylings are fey creatures who ran afoul of Morgen and were cursed into these twisted forms. Sharoc are shadow fey. Dragon. Mandrakes are fey-born shapeshifters who can take the form of a man or a dragon. The addanc is a demonkyn's true form, a soulless, bloodthirsty beast. Katateros is a realm where Kat, Ash, Styxx and Bethany, and now Cadegan and Jo will live.
Kessar is a Sumerian gallu demon to whom the Smaragdine Tablet is precious. The Scythian Guard is a race of Drakaina, female dragons, a sister tribe to the Amazons. Echidna is their queen, the mother of all monsters, the fiercest of the Titans.
Valac is one of the oldest, deadliest beings in the universe and should never be loose. He was supposed to be in Karma's custody. Jared is the Sephiroth.
Cal is the owner of the haunted Gardette-lePretre Mansion on Dauphine.
Artemis is the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. And she's not the Artemis Kenyon has taught us to know.
The Cover and Title The cover has a deep, dark chocolate background and all the gold on it is raised from the author's name to the title to the raging dragon to the outline of the hexagon that the dragon is imposed upon. Emerging from the shape are orange flames.
The title is all about Cadegan, for he is the Son of No One....more
This free short story fits in just before Shield of Winter, 13, at 12.9 in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series. The couple focus is actuallyThis free short story fits in just before Shield of Winter, 13, at 12.9 in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series. The couple focus is actually on a threesome: Riordan and Noelle and they don't exclude Noelle's twin, Lissa.
My Take This was sweet with Riordan, Noelle, and Lissa determined to help bring the two packs together in emotional friendship and not just tolerant of the other. It's so great to see young people take responsibility and look to the future.
"because she was it for him. His port in any storm, his playmate, his laughter."
The Story It's New Year's Eve and Riordan, Noelle, and Lissa want this new year to start off right, and what could be better than a party!
The Characters Riley is SnowDancer and his mate, Mercy, is DarkRiver.
The rest are the younger adults (novice soldiers, university students, apprentices etc) in both the DarkRiver leopard pack and the SnowDancer wolf pack.
Noelle and Lissa are twins, and Noelle is in love with Riordan.
Grey is Mercy's youngest brother. Corey is the first to show offense, and the first to cross that line. Lucas is the alpha.
Riordan is in love with Noelle and has always been able to tell the twins apart. He cares enough about Noelle to always include Lissa.
Sienna (yep, she's the one mated to the SnowDancer alpha, Hawke) understands the importance of this party. Cadence.
Other partiers include:
Kit, Nico, Tai, Amos, and Jason ends up snuggled with Nicki.
The Title The title is a metaphor for what Mercy and Riley and Riordan and Noelle are hoping for, peace and friendship between DarkRiver and SnowDancer clans with "New Year's Kisses"....more
Another of the reviews I lost back in July. I do remember crying hard throughout this one. It's a critical read for those of you following Galenorn'sAnother of the reviews I lost back in July. I do remember crying hard throughout this one. It's a critical read for those of you following Galenorn's series....more
Fourth & last in The Duke's Men historical romance series and revolving around the Bonnaud/Manton family and their investigation agency, Manton InFourth & last in The Duke's Men historical romance series and revolving around the Bonnaud/Manton family and their investigation agency, Manton Investigations, the firm built and run by Dominic Manton and his half-brother, Tristan Bonnaud. The couple focus is on Jane Vernon and Dominick Manton. It's been twelve years since that fateful night in the Earl of Blakeborough's ballroom.
This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review.
My Take Okay, I'm still not impressed with this series. I've mostly enjoyed Jeffries' other series, but this one leaves me mostly annoyed due to a combination of melodrama and a strong intrusion of modern language. I like an historical story to reek of the time period, and not feel like a blend. I do think If the Viscount Falls is better than What the Duke Desires, 1, and yet Jeffries continues to employ some fairly lame tropes and continues to ignore the social conventions of the time. Jane should never have gone off with Dom on this investigative trip to York. I do understand why she would: the subconscious desire to be around Dom and her worries about Nancy's disappearance. Nor would I trust that Dominick would be as assiduous in hunting for Nancy! It's also doubtful in this time period that illegitimate children of a mere viscount would marry so well. Then again, Zoe has her own secrets to hide and Max's status puts him above most such concerns. Still, the modern tone clashes with the setting as does some of the language. Dom the Almighty? I can appreciate the intention behind it, but it certainly takes away from the period feel of the story.
I do like the general twist Jeffries has put on this series with a man rising by his own efforts in his rather modern detective agency. The people involved have good family values and they support each other, no matter what. There are yet more twists — setting aside the melodramatic execution and the expectation of seeing Snidley Whiplash twirling a mustache! — with the kidnappings and betrayals!
I did feel a bit off-kilter in reading If the Viscount Falls, and I think I'd have been better off if I'd read When the Rogue Returns, 2, and How the Scoundrel Seduces, 3, before this one. Jeffries does provide enough information to enjoy this story, but you know my OCDness *eye roll* I gotta know it all!
Jeffries takes us back to the beginning, for it's What the Duke Desires that introduces this story's hero: the much-put-upon Dominick. Cut from his rightful inheritance (which never did make sense), Dominick cut all ties to the life he knew and created a successful business on his own. A success that should have encouraged our "hero" to make it right with the love of his life. Coward. Still, knowing the desperate importance the ton puts on respectability and lineage, it is understandable that Dom doesn't want to do anything that would ever jeopardize Jane's happiness.
Interesting perspective on the duke's part about choice and what Dom did to force Jane all those years ago. The real reason Jane accepted the trickery Dom played on her. It leads to a quite thoughtful discussion in that carriage as Jane learns how Dom's early life influenced his choices.
It's rare that victims get to see their persecutor gets his comeuppance, and the Bonnauds and Dominick are favored by the gods when George goes beyond the pale in How the Scoundrel Seduces.
It's weird that a merchant's daughter and his ward would be so welcome in the ton. Normally, they'd have to be incredibly wealthy to even have a chance. And for Nancy to marry a viscount?? She must have had a HUMONGOUS dowry to have made a merchant's daughter acceptable. Although, as is pointed out in the story, George would do anything to thwart his younger brother.
Jane and Dom do sound like the perfect couple, with those odd preferences they share.
Oh, boy, Jane shares the truth about her parents, and I don't blame her one bit for holding out for what she wants. I suspect it's where her fear of what Dom may do to Nancy comes from. She's doing what every woman should do, realizing the truth about herself and her expectations from marriage and insistent on holding to her course. I also am enjoying the sisterhood who, along with Jane, scheme and plot to bring these two back together.
I haven't read the two intervening tales — When the Rogue Returns and How the Scoundrel Seduces — so I don't know the history between the various characters, and Jeffries intrigues me with what Dom suspects of Nancy having orchestrated that night twelve years ago. Seems she got her just deserts IF that's true. To be fair, I suspect Nancy is more grateful to Dom and company than angry if George truly was that much of a jerk.
I have to agree with Jane about "idiot men"! Dom is absolutely determined to believe the worst. I should think an investigator needs to be more openminded! I suspect, however, that the emotional combination of Jane and his inheriting his brother's title are throwing off his thought processes.
It's a space operetta with a strong dash of melodrama with this dancing about the truth of that night twelve years ago when Dom forced Jane to jilt him. And the melodrama continues as Dom and Jane learn more about Nancy's "escape" and the truth they are hiding from Dom.
As for Dom's infantile reactions…well, he had better remember who instigated that little scene and the result he orchestrated. He should never be blaming Jane for what he set in motion. The jerk!
It's an odd re-courtship as they chase down a runaway widow and rediscover each other. Jeffries does a nice job of keeping the suspense of what Jane's final intentions are.
"…you can set a plan in motion, but as soon as it involves people, it will rarely commence exactly as you wish."
The Story It begins with an explanation for that night. The night Dom lost Jane forever.
And begins again with a Whitsuntide house party at Winborough's and thinking back to that ball. If only he had inherited then… It's too late now. Jane is engaged to Blakeborough and will be a countess. He has no right to her.
Dom will build his own life. Without Jane. He's transferring the day-to-day business of Manton Investigations to Victor and intends to concentrate on reviving the Rathmoor estate. He doesn't count on Jane discovering Nancy missing and in dread trouble. The Characters Jane "Freckles" Vernon is a baron's daughter and had been engaged to Dom before she ended their engagement. She's now engaged to the Earl of Blakeborough. Her Uncle Horace, a wealthy merchant, is her guardian and Nancy's father. Hmph, the truth about that night comes out! The shallow Nancy Sadler married George Manton and became the Viscountess Rathmoor; she's now the widowed Lady Rathmoor. Meredith is Nancy's maid who has left for London to tend her sick father. The agoraphobic Mrs. Patch is her great-aunt who lives in York with her lapdogs: Rogue, Nell, and Braganza.
Dominick "Dom" Manton had been cut off by his brother, and he refused to marry Jane without being able to support her as he thought she should be. He now heads up his own private investigation agency in London. Skrimshaw, a.k.a., Shaw, is no longer Dom's butler but is still performing on the stage. George Manton, Viscount Rathmoor, is his older brother who treated him so poorly and committed illegal acts in What the Duke Desires; he died in How the Scoundrel Seduces and Dom has succeeded to the title.
Two years in and Jane and Dom have baby Ambrose. And Little Archer, their spaniel pup from Mrs. Patch's brood. Eugene is joined by his one-year-old sister, Claudine. Victor and Isa's 12-year-old Amalie is dancing with a young Max.
Tristan Bonnaud is their illegitimate half-brother now married to Lady Zoe Keane (see How the Scoundrel Seduces) and seems to have taken the name Winborough on marrying Zoe?? Or maybe it's simply the name of the estate? Jeremy Keane is Lady Zoe's American artist cousin. Lord Olivier is Zoe's "father".
Lisette, Dom's half-sister and Tristan's full sister, is married to Max Cale, the Duke of Lyons (see What the Duke Desires). Dr. Worth is Max's personal physician.
Jackson Pinter is Dom's benefactor and got Dom started as a Bow Street Runner. Lord Ravenswood, the undersecretary to the Home Office, is a spymaster giving it up for politics. Lady Ravenswood is one of the female plotters, lol.
Edwin Barlow is the new earl of Blakeborough, a good friend of the Vernons, and newly engaged to Jane Vernon. The now-disgraced Samuel Barlow, Edwin's younger brother, arranges prize fights. Yvette is the still-unmarried younger sister.
Hulton was the head of the magistrates at Peterloo. The Cover and Title The cover is cute with a swath of the viscount's velvet and ermine coronation robe that helps give rise to the title. It's a randy Jane losing the top half of her white gown and ready to resume marital relations with her ready Dom, naked but for his dark breeches.
The title is a cute sexual play on words with Jane quite pleased If the Viscount Falls before her, for Dom shows her that his pomp will always rise....more