I picked these books up when I was 13 (oh, so many years ago now) - right after I'd gone on my Anne Rice glom of all things vampire.
Sleeping Beauty -I picked these books up when I was 13 (oh, so many years ago now) - right after I'd gone on my Anne Rice glom of all things vampire.
Sleeping Beauty - okay, I liked fairy tales, I loved some of her vampire books so I was ready to give this a shot.
I can not even begin to tell you how this blew my 13 year old mind! I think I was wide eyed throughout the whole trilogy, but I read it compulsively. It was nothing I'd ever considered, thought of, or even realized existed in any shape or form. I'm not sure if that made me sheltered as a child or what, but I remember being incredibly embarrassed and yet transfixed.
That being said - I read them once again when I was older, around 19 or 20 maybe, and they were much, much less engrossing. They felt overly long, rambling, and repetitive. They read like they were written for shock value. Nearly everything you can imagine (and a lot of things you never did) are inside these pages.
Additionally, there's also the absolutely abhorrent behavior of the majority of characters which is presented as desirable and sexy. The book opens with rape for crying out loud. And I really have trouble believing that any loving parent would ship their kid off to a place like this - or what this could possibly teach them about running a kingdom. Also, how damn many kingdoms were there in this world? So many people were here, and IIRC they were all princes and princesses.
Anyway, before I get into a long rant or ramble...I'm not rating this because it's been many years since I've read them now, and I honestly am not sure where I'd put them. Though it's somewhere between 1 and 2 stars...
I have fond (that's not the right word, but it'll work I guess) memories of the series, because I think it's funny that my introduction to erotica was with this series. ...more
This is probably only my second or third read of this book, I'm buddy re-reading the series with Sarah in preparatiReview of The Warlord Wants Forever
This is probably only my second or third read of this book, I'm buddy re-reading the series with Sarah in preparation for the release of the fourteenth book in the series - someone's book that I've been looking forward to for a few years now. But I won't spoil that here.
Kresley Cole is a master of weaving together and intricate tale that involves overlapping storylines, and many, many characters. The Immortals After Dark world is populated by the Lore - immortal beings that have managed to hide themselves from humans, for the most part. There are Lykae - not the standard werewolves you may be thinking of; Witches, Vampires, Demons, Ghouls, Phantoms...and my personal favorite: Valkyries. All these factions fight for themselves, looking for their other half - whatever they call it, Mate, Bride, etc - and living their lives. Every five-hundred years comes the Accession to mess that up. As told in the book, the Accession...
...Bringing prosperity and power to the victors, the Accession wasn't an Armageddon type of war--it wasn't as if the strongest factions of the Lore met on neutral turf after an invitation to "rumble." About a decade into it, events began to come into play, as if fate was seeding future, deadly conflicts, involving all the players at a startling rate. Like windmill vanes on a rusted spoke, it began creaking, creeping to life, only to gain momentum and soar with speed every five hundred years.
Some said it was a kind of cosmic checks-and-balances system for an ever-growing population of immortals, forcing them to kill each other off.
In the end, the faction that lost the fewest of their kind won.
So here we are; at the beginning of what many in the Lore are starting to believe is the start of the Accession. A time when immortals find their mates - sometimes in very unexpected places, alliances are made or discord is sown between the different factions of the Lore.
I'm speaking a lot about the world, because after thirteen books it's still my favorite thing about this series. The world and overall plotting is masterful. Kresley Cole blows my mind time and time again with the way she casually ties things together, references events we won't hear about for books to come, and never once have I caught a slip or mistake in these books. I'm awed by the ability she has to keep it all straight. There's a side reference in this book, Book 2, that doesn't get fully explained until Book 9! All of these events are taking place so close together as to be on top of one another. You're always right in the middle of it, hoping that these characters you come to love will make it through.
The other thing I can guarantee you, in every book, is that Kresley Cole loves to put her heroes and heroines through the wringer before giving them their HEA. Not just at the hands of others either - she pushes these characters to the very limits of what they might be able to forgive their fated other-half...and for some it might step over the line. I struggle with this from time to time. I read these books, I love these books, and even still I wonder if I shouldn't be objecting more to some of the treatment the characters do to one another.
I suppose I should talk about the main characters of this book: Emma and Lachlain. Emma is the half-breed daughter of a vampire and a valkyrie. She's been raised by the valkyrie, hidden from the vampires, her entire life. Lachlain is the lykae king - imprisoned for 150 years (by vampires), he finally breaks free to find his mate.
As you can imagine the fact that Emma is (part) vampire is a source of tremendous torture to Lachlain's fragile sanity. He can't imagine why he's been mated to one of his hated enemies, but still he fights to protect her, even from his own rages. I definitely understood what Lachlain was struggling with, and honestly his recovery is really, really quick - just the hell that he puts Emma through in the meantime can sometimes be cringe-worthy. I like him a lot. He's like the prototype of 'bash-em-over-the-head-and-drag-her-back-to-the-cave' type. But he's also all - and I do mean ALL - about making sure his mate is happy. He makes mistakes, so it's a good thing he's got Emma to call him on it, and bring him into line.
Almost as much as I hate to say this, everything that happens to Emma just makes her stronger, more sure of herself, and more able to handle everything thrown at her. She starts the book as Emma the Timid. The most exciting thing she's ever done is go to Paris by herself to search for the father - whose name she doesn't even know. And even then she was protected by the money she had from the coven to protect her. She continues to think of herself as this in some small moments for about half the book. The truth is something far more complicated. Emma's been conditioned to think she's not good enough, not strong enough, not brave enough. It wasn't intentional, it wasn't anyone's fault, but the consequences of growing up with those that she did - the strong, brave, and fighting valkyries. She shows from very early on that she's not afraid to defend herself, think for herself, and stands up against Lachlain over and over again.
I admit the first time I read this I didn't love Lachlain or Emma. I liked them both, but I was irritated with how Lachlain treated Emma (especially in the beginning), and Emma's timidity. I'd bought too much into her own image of herself instead of seeing what was shown to me. I loved Emma on this re-read. She's fantastic. She continues to grow and evolve as a character throughout the book, and kicks ass along the way. Lachlain I still have some problems with. He does some pretty neanderthal things, especially in the beginning, but I understand too. He's coming out of fifteen decades of torture, and has finally found his mate and is terrified that she might leave him. By the time Emma reached the end of the story I felt that Lachlain was a good match for her, and that they'd be great together.
In the end, I ended up loving this book so much more than the first time I'd read it. the main characters are great, the world is phenomenal, the plot is amazing, and the secondary characters continue to make me wish for many, many more stories in this series! ...more
This is my favorite series ever - the first book, some people have trouble with (I loved it from the start), but it's SO worth it!!! The entire series is on sale!!!
Review: Kate Daniels is a mercenary for the Guild. She’s having a bit of trouble making ends meet when she gets a visit suggesting that she get in contact with her guardian. But when she tries she gets stonewalled. And then she finds out he’s dead, killed by an apparently unknown magical being.
Now Kate’s on the job, searching for the answers, which brings her into contact with some of the most powerful beings in Atlanta. She’ll travel from the heart of the vampire’s power, the People’s Casino, to the shapeshifter’s Keep, ruled by the Beast Lord and everywhere in between.
I read this book quite a while ago, finally, at the insistence of one of my best friends – who had been recommending the series to me for over a year! What on earth took me so long? I’m doing this review now because I just got done listening to the audiobook and wanted to comment on both.
First, I absolutely love Kate. Not only does she kick ass and have a smart mouth, but because when she does talk, she can back it up – unless she’s trying to aggravate Curran of course. She’s not perfect, she makes mistakes, she has flaws! Sometimes she even makes rash decisions. And this is probably one of my favorite things about her – when she does any of the above, it doesn’t always turn out the way she wants and sometimes she has to accept the consequences of her actions. I’ll say it again, because I think it’s something that’s missing in a lot of urban fantasy I read – Kate’s (and truly all the characters) actions have consequences and they don’t just go away, they have to be dealt with. And it’s not always easy. Another thing to love about Kate is that she has a personal code of conduct, and she sticks to it. Honestly, there’s not one thing I didn’t love about Kate. Impressive, considering how difficult it is to make me truly like a heroine.
Now, I’ve spent all this time talking about Kate and haven’t mentioned a single other character. And there are so many wonderful characters to mention. Curran, I can’t even describe how much I love Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta. Strong, sexy, dominating, fierce. He’s arrogant and eminently sure of himself – with good cause. I was immediately enamored of him.
Honestly, I can’t do justice to all the well-developed characters in this book, so I’ll just say that all of them are fully three-dimensional and intriguing.
Magic Bites moves at a very quick pace, with lots of action set in a fabulously complex, detailed world. The world is a character all itself. I love the idea of the magic and tech asserting themselves at ever-changing intervals and the effects that has on our protagonist. The world building was flawlessly integrated into the story, and I never got hopelessly lost in it, though I was completely immersed.
I highly recommend this series if you haven’t started it already. Magic Bites a rocket-fast story, set in a vivid, ever-changing world with characters that fairly jump off the page and make you beg for more....more
It's so hard for me to review the books in this series, it's one of my favorites and has been since the first moment I started reading them. The yearIt's so hard for me to review the books in this series, it's one of my favorites and has been since the first moment I started reading them. The year wait between books was, at times, truly awful...and always worth it. This is the first book, in the first trilogy set in the Nine Kingdoms and it really centers around Morgan, and Miach (MEE-ach).
Morgan's spent a good portion of her life learning to be the best of the best, at sword-play. She had no time for soft sentiments, or nearly anything but the next siege she can stage. But when the man that was the closest thing she's known to a father asks a favor, Morgan can't deny him anything. Morgan is such an incredibly competent, kick-ass woman. She is absolutely comfortable in who she is, calloused hands and all. She knows that it's unlikely for anyone to be her equal in battle and has no problem ensuring that she gets the respect she deserves. I just love her.
Miach. *sighs happily* What can I say about Miach? He's absolutely the best. I love him, dearly. Even with the deception against Morgan about who he truly is, I loved him from the very beginning. As Archmage of the realm, it's his duty to ensure its safety - no matter the cost, even to himself. Miach is honorable, sweet, smart, so incredibly kind, and so incredibly powerful - not that he lets it go to his head. He's also one of the most down to earth characters I've read.
The story here is pretty standard, Morgan sets out on a quest, with some companions - meets with some unexpected allies and foes and learns more about herself and the world in the process. This isn't your standard epic fantasy though. Don't take that to mean the world isn't well-developed, because it is. I can picture it clearly, feel the urgency of need to protect it, and understand easily how all the different groups work together (and against one another).
But the thing I love most while reading these is how much I end up smiling and laughing. The banter between the characters, their thoughts and actions...all of it combines to just simply make me happy. As I was reading this time I ended up highlighted passage upon passage of dialogue between different people, and more than once I had someone ask me what I was laughing at.
I highly, highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun fantasy-romance with great characters. I wish I could get more people to read them, because they're so special to me....more