In many ways this was just the kind of book that I love. A solid fantasy (not high fantasy) that plays w...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
In many ways this was just the kind of book that I love. A solid fantasy (not high fantasy) that plays with alternate worlds, gods/demigods, demon-like creatures, a magical war, and a quest between worlds and back. Though I had a few problems with the book as a whole, for the most part I really enjoyed it.
Words of Divinity is told from the opposing viewpoints of Daniel and Liam, a mage and a hunter. We first meet Liam on the streets of the capitol. He's been living on the streets since the age of fourteen, a runaway from an abusive alcoholic father. While wandering the streets at night, Liam is attacked by a giant rat that nearly kills him. But in his fight for his life, Liam is able to kill the rat barehanded, an almost impossible feat that is witnessed by another man who takes Liam to the local regiment's barracks. Liam is extremely distrustful of authority, but he soon learns that he's there to recount his impressive tale and immediately offered into the ranks of a new group of warriors, a special subset of the country's military that has been organized to fight a new menace -- the demon spawn called up from the Underworld by the dark mages of a neighboring country.
Liam finds a place among the hunters. Completing training faster than any of the others, he finds that he's exceptional at something and the center of a group of warriors that look up to him. Maybe it's this new respect that inflates his ego, or more likely just part and parcel of how his experiences so far have molded him -- his abusive father, his early sexual experiences and his casual disregard of how he's been used by both people and authority. Whatever it is, this new and cocky Liam is the epitome of a bad boy -- sleeping his way across the regiment, and then into the group of mages traveling with them and the local boys at every village they pass as they march from battle to battle.
Liam soon finds that not everyone is susceptible to his charms. Daniel is a mage that the other mages avoid. He's held in high esteem by the Crown Prince Erik who accompanies their ragtag company, and they soon grow a friendship, though Daniel shuns any other company. He's secretive, and for good reason. Daniel is their biggest asset because of his ability to hear the thoughts of the demons they hunt. He has more secret abilities, however, that seem to have a mind of their own, constantly wanting to be used. While he's fighting the demon spawn with the other mages and hunters, he's also waging a war among his own powers and his own history, which he keeps locked away among his deepest secrets. When Daniel first meets Liam, he's taken by his charisma, confidence and sexy swagger. Their friendship, though, is brief when Daniel sees some of his worst qualities -- his endless meaningless conquests and his loose tongue. Liam likes to brag about his conquests and getting prudish Daniel to give it up for him is his goal, including spreading the tales afterward to anyone that wants to listen.
Now pitted against one another, they spend quite a long time at odds, only growing in animosity. They're soon thrust into a quest where they have to open up to one another and rely on each other to survive. And even more than that, they are forced to reevaluate their preconceived notions about the other.
What Kayla V-B did best in this novella is in these two characters. At times I wasn't quite sure how I felt about them. In fact, for probably the first half of the book I really hated Liam. We don't quite get a lot of his history until much later in the book so even though we know about his asshole father, we don't quite understand his vulnerability, which just makes him seem like an asshole. I think that Daniel (at least for me) is a bit easier to get close to. It's easier to understand him and to really pull for him because his vulnerability is on the surface… he's extremely tormented. The format of the book (the quest is like an obstacle course they have to maneuver, with tests that manipulate them and their feelings) makes the two come together because, honestly, I doubt they would if they weren't forced to. They're so opposed to one another. In fact, I don't know that I've read an m/m romance in recent history that deals with the enemies to lovers trope where the characters hated and misunderstood the other more. And with the world around them manipulating their actions, they constantly seem to come together to be torn apart. It makes for some nice angst that I didn't feel was too overdone. And I really liked the fact that the characters are who they are with a real fierceness, if that makes sense at all. They're both passionate, and that makes them alternately rub each other the wrong way, while at other times they can co-exist.
I had a bit of a difficult time getting into the story, though. The first few chapters traverse several years in order to set up the story, introduce both characters and a bit of their history, and then show the few years they travel together and how Liam and Daniel grow to hate one another. I think that it all comes down to pacing. At the start of the story the pace is extremely fast. We're given a lot of information while time speeds forward every few paragraphs to chapters and then when the characters are forced on their journey together the pace changes. Also, while this part of the story is interspersed with skirmishes and battles that we're shown in present time, there's a lot of narration to fill us in on the world and the characters. It wasn't until I finished the book that I could see the jog in the pace and I started to think about the beginning. Rather than telling us about their past, I would have rather been shown those scenes. It would have meant adding quite a bit more pages, but I think there would have been more balance.
But, in all, this was quite the enjoyable read and I'd definitely recommend it to fantasy fans. I'm not sure whether the author plans to extend the story at all, but I'd definitely be there, in line to read it if she wanted to. The story definitely ends with a pretty solid HFN, on the line to an HEA. I only doubt the HEA because of their past history and we don't see where their adventures are headed. It's nicely done to either let the story rest or open it again at a future point.(less)
To be honest, I wasn't going to read and review this book, but I decided to try it out anyway. i think this is th...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
To be honest, I wasn't going to read and review this book, but I decided to try it out anyway. i think this is the longest thing I've read by this author and definitely the first thing in a long time, at least over a year. So I was curious. I was at first … nervous, shall we say. I knew this was going to be tale of the fae from the beginning of the story and as it unfolded and I started to see a rather cruel side of the fae I wasn't sure whether this would be to my taste or not. I've learned over the years that while I love stories of the faerie, I'm not a big fan of them when they only show a cruel and terrible side of them with no redeeming qualities. I prefer, instead, a lighter side. But, in the end, I was very happy with this story and I enjoyed reading it very much. I even stayed up through the night to finish instead of waiting until the next day.
Ciarnán McKay is in route to visit his sick uncle when his party is attacked. All his guards are killed and he barely makes it away by the swiftness of his horse. His flight leads him to a manor very like his own. They quickly shelter him and nurse him back to his proper state. While there, he becomes friendly with the family -- the two brothers, Lord Tiernan Roxbrough and his younger brother Leannán Roxbrough. The situation at Oakwood Manor seems a bit strange, but Ciarnán quickly learns that the brothers' parents died the year before, leaving Tiernan the Lord of the estate as the oldest and their sister, the middle child, already married and moved away. The strange vibes come from Mr. Boyle, the steward and friend to the late Lord Roxbrough. He seems displeased by many things, but the brothers assure Ciarnán that he was once a disciplinarian to them like their father and old habits die hard. Tiernan leaves quickly after Ciarnán arrives to visit his intended wife, and in the week that Ciarnán has delayed his visit to his uncle, he and Leannán become close, both of them recognizing the attraction to the other. But their days of walks into the woods and picnics under the trees on the estate (as well as a few shy kisses) must be put aside so Ciarnán can finish his intended trip. Leannán asks him to stop by for another visit on his return.
A month later Ciarnán returns to Oakwood Manor, but finds a very different scene than the one he left. Tiernan is still gone, leaving Leannán with Mr. Boyle. Leannán has changed, however, and urges Ciarnán to leave and never return… that no matter their feelings it is the best choice for all, no matter how obviously difficult it is for Leannán to turn Ciarnán away. But when he leaves, Ciarnán can't seem to stay away. When he hears rumors about the strange fae happenings at Oakwood Manor at a small inn not far away, he returns not knowing what he'll say to get Leannán to reconsider. Instead, he finds Mr. Boyle talking to a beautiful and strange man with wings, and learns the truth of the whole situation: that Leannán is one in a long tradition of lords from Oakwood Manor who are required to pay the tithe. His sacrifice will ensure protection for his family and replenish the fae in a seven year cycle of renewal. By not leaving as he should, Ciarnán is taken prisoner under the hill to work as a servant for the cruel fae queen, where he'll be released after the sacrifice of Leannán. No matter how much he tries and how many friends he makes among the fae, there's no escape. And now that Leannán and Ciarnán have more time together, even if it is borrowed time, they'll make the most if it, falling further in love.
I mentioned earlier that I have a difficult time reading books with really cruel fae characters in a situation like this, where the characters are being held captive by them. So I was really pleased to see a well balanced representation of the faerie characters. The queen is quite Machiavellian, but she's really the only one that is shown as cruel. The others range from remote and aloof to Ciarnán to friendly and sympathetic and we get to see Ciarnán spend much more time with these characters. Most of the story takes place under the hill, while the two are held captive. I also thought that the relationship between Ciarnán and Leannán was sweet but not too sweet. The tone that comes across when they spend time together is really loving and they reassure themselves a lot of their feelings for one another. Sometimes this bothers me in other books, it can be a bit much. But it never went too far to me into sickly sweet territory, partly because of their circumstance (which requires reassurance), but also because of the time period. The story isn't placed firmly in any time or place, but resembles a historical period with Irish influence. And the "love that dare not speak it's name" type romance set apart from their world and in a place where anyone is free to love anyone else (the faerie realm) went really well with the sweet romantic periods the two had when they're together. And even more than these two things, I liked that their relationship was very much based on how they felt, individually, about their circumstances. Ciarnán never refuses to give up looking for a way to escape, because he's facing the prospect of losing Leannán and then having to carry on without him. Leannán, however, vacillates between his need to accept his fate to assure the well-being of his family (and assure that one of them isn't taken in his place) and his desire to forget the circumstances and envision a life with Ciarnán. His feelings fluctuate with the actions of the faerie queen.
I won't get into it much, but I really really loved the fae characters that get close to Ciarnán, Sorcha and especially Cáel. If there is one thing that I didn't like about the book, it's that the turn in the climax of the story rests on what seemed to be a rather easy bit of information. The answer to all of Ciarnán's problems just seemed to come a little out of the blue for me, and while it didn't bother me a lot, it made me sigh a little. I would have preferred the outcome to come a little more organically.
I definitely recommend this one and I really enjoyed reading it!(less)
I decided to review this story on a whim, just because when I saw it and got it, it intrigued me. It might n...moreReview posted at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I decided to review this story on a whim, just because when I saw it and got it, it intrigued me. It might not have if I had not read anything by this author in the past, but after Jen reviewed this author's story, Unseen Touch, and I read it, I really wanted to see what else this author had to offer.
In a few ways this story is a bit of a disappointment compared to that story. It is much shorter and doesn't begin to plumb the depths of the world within that that story did. But, I also suspected, from the blurb and story length, that this wouldn't be much more than an erotica story, and that was fine with me.
The story follows Kit, who is turning nineteen and determined to seduce his boss and savior. Just over a year ago, while still a minor at 17, Kit was a throwaway and picked up by Leon on the steps of the older man's restaurant. For reasons that the man won't completely divulge, other than pure philanthropy, Kit is given a place to stay and a job at the restaurant. The place and Leon soon become his new family, but Kit can't help but still want Leon, just as he did from that first meeting. But Leon won't make the final leap, even though Kit suspects the man has feelings for him too. With determination, Kit's surprise for Leon is derailed by a mysterious tattoo appears on his back and he starts drawing all kinds of strange attention from weird strangers.
Though this does has one rather steamy scene, just rounding out the short story, even rated as an erotical story this was only so so for me. Most of the reason is the length. If the focus of the story was only sex, then I might not have been bothered, but a rather complex world is just barely hinted at, and it only made me want to understand all the questions that went unanswered. Sadly, the one scene that didn't seem to further the story that had already been set up made me a bit frustrated. And though it was hot, it wasn't enough for me to be satisfied.
I'm looking forward to reading more of Arvel Amaya's work, perhaps the sequel to Unseen Touch. But, sadly, at $2.99 for only 8k words, it just isn't worth it, in my opinion. If I were you, I'd skip this one and read the other story.(less)
I want to preface this by saying that though there are a few universal problems I found with this book, it's larg...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
I want to preface this by saying that though there are a few universal problems I found with this book, it's largely the style of the story that I didn't like, so my rating is entirely subjective in this case.
Caleb and Gabriel have been best friends since they were little. They grew up in the same town, the town near the boarding school they now attend. Gabriel is known as "The Prince", and he's very much perfect in every way -- his looks, his intelligence and academic dedication, and his good nature. Caleb is the bad boy of the pair, eager to defend his best friend, even with fists, and frequently being called out for bad behavior and marked down for his slovenly appearance. Both of the boys have their admirers at school, especially among the girls, who seem to take every chance to get one of them for themselves.
Caleb thinks their friendship is perfect -- well, he does feel a bit as if Gabriel doesn't need him anymore. Their whole lives Caleb was Gabriel's protector, confidante, and emotional lodestone. In many ways, Caleb acted as Gabriel's big brother until a few years ago, when Gabriel filled out, shot up and became even better looking than him. And suddenly it seemed as if he wasn't the vulnerable boy Caleb would protect to any lengths. In fact, things are changing. Gabriel still won't tell him and their two best friends (and boyfriends themselves) Elliot and Jinx, who he's in love with. For years he's been mooning over a secret girl, but just keeps telling them that it can't happen. Jinx, new in love and eternally optimistic, encourages Gabriel to visit the Bell Tower on campus at midnight on Valentines Day. The legend worked for him -- if you stand under the bell and listen to all twelve rings as you hold the picture of your love in your hand, your love will come true.
As I'm sure you've already guessed, Gabriel decides to chance it and it isn't a girl he's after. What he doesn't know, is that the legend is true, in a way.
I suppose that my first problem with this book was that it just wasn't what I was expecting. I mean, it's YA, but I didn't expect that from Dreamspinner. I figured that if it was YA it would be at Harmony Ink. And more than that, the characters are all really emotionally young. The problems they go through are all incredibly and easily solvable, but they're too young to have enough maturity to deal with them. Second, the prose is a little too overly sweet for me. It is something that might completely charm another reader, which is why I prefaced the review by saying how much more subjective this review is than normal, but I kept getting frustrated by how the characters acted. A lot of their actions and dialogue was supposed to be… cute, I think. But I just didn't really get it.
So, I really can't recommend this reader. I'm conflicted, in a way, because I'd actually like for many of you to read it so that I can hear what you think. I think many will feel the same as me, but I have a feeling that there will be many readers who really love this, something that I kept thinking the whole time I was reading it. So, if the blurb and summary interest you, give it a try. Maybe since you have an idea now of the story (YA, really sweetly written), it might not come as a surprise and therefore you might enjoy it more. If you read it, let me know!(less)
Fihr works at a market, selling fae charms made by the family of Satu, an upper middle class fae family. Fihr has...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
Fihr works at a market, selling fae charms made by the family of Satu, an upper middle class fae family. Fihr has long looked forward to Satu's visits to the stall. He makes many of the charms they sell and Fihr has been harvesting a crush on him for a long time, but isn't sure whether Satu is interested in him as well. One day, Satu doesn't show up at his normal time, and when Fihr does finally see him, Satu's face is bruised and he claims to be on his way out of town. Fihr can't let Satu go away, not with how he really feels -- so he sets out to figure out what happened and to try to fix it -- hopefully ending up with Satu as his in the process.
This is a cute story, but I think I missed not knowing much about the world. We get very little detail about the world, only that Satu is fae and we don't even find out what Fihr is until near the end, but we know that he can use magic in some forms. The romance itself is cute. Fihr is driven and impetuous and willing to fight to make Satu his, and Satu is humble and talented and genuine, a far cry from the family he comes from who will do anything, including sacrifice their son, to make their way up in social circles. So, the story really only focuses on the two and the beginning of their romance. While it was cute and sweet, I suppose it just wasn't enough for me. I wanted to know more about the world we only got glimpse of, as well as see some of that magic in practice (more about the charms too).
Sasha Miller still remains one of my favorite authors and I look forward to every story/novel she releases with Less Than Three Press, but this one didn't wow me like I hoped.(less)
Valtiel is a frost elf who absolutely hates humans, even the dragon knights who were once human and are now their...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
Valtiel is a frost elf who absolutely hates humans, even the dragon knights who were once human and are now their allies. Though something about Kero, one of the dragon knights, seems to draw his eye, he refuses to get close to him in any way. Only when he does start getting to know Kero, he finds that he isn't at all as he expected.
While this story is rather short, it seemed much longer than it was. I felt like nothing much ever happened, and that we don't learn very much at all either. That's not to say that we don't learn anything about the history of the world and why the frost elves and the dragon knights have become allies. We do get that information, but for some reason I just didn't connect with the story or the characters in any way. The writing style is very subdued, with very subtle transitions from one scene to another, which made me unsure at times of setting and place. There was some forward motion, but just a little with Valtiel's changing perceptions of Kero and the dragon knights. I didn't really feel as if this was much of a romance, per se, maybe a prelude to one. And in the end, I just felt like this was the prologue to the real story, just the setup, before the characters really got to know each other, before anything really happened or there was any forward motion in the plot.
So it didn't really work for me. I think that's why this story felt longer than it was to me. 12k goes by really quick, but for me this story dragged, with Valtiel thinking the same things over and over (in relation to humans, the dragon knights, and Kero), as the bulk of the story. I can't recommend this one.(less)
I have been waiting for this book for quite a long time now! I loved the first book and I was looking fo...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
I have been waiting for this book for quite a long time now! I loved the first book and I was looking forward to more of the team's adventures, specifically with Rory having more power and magical ability. This is a good sequel and definitely accomplished everything I was hoping for.
This quite long novel (at 114k words) starts dealing with some of the issues left over from the first book. The biggest of those is the symbiotic relationship between Rory and Paul. I actually had to refresh myself just a little bit because it has been at least a year and a half since I read A Hidden Magic. In the end of the first book, Paul had to offer his magical power in exchange for the life and future wellbeing of Rory, his team and himself. The joke was on the fae king, however, because Paul's secret was that he didn't actually have any magical power of his own. However, the exchange did leave him permanently weak. In a celebratory fashion, Rory and Paul cemented their relationship at the end of the book, and in a serendipitous moment the condom broke -- the exchange of bodily fluids forging an unexpected connection that allows Paul to live on Rory's magical energy whenever they're in the same room (and he has a LOT of magical energy to spare after all).
They're having to deal with that issue in this sequel as well as a secret from Rory's mother, which completely changes everything that Rory thought he knew about himself, his mother, his whole childhood, and most unexpected, the absence of his father. When a few creatures show up and try to grab him that are associated with the Earth element and come from somewhere up north, they decide to get out of town. Rory wants to visit his father who lives in Seattle, now that they've gotten back in touch, and Paul agrees both for Rory's sake and hoping that they're visit north will help get them answers about who is trying to use Rory for his powers this time.
I get nervous when I have to review a long book, even though I've read many longer than this. If I hate it, it's just that much more for me to have to force myself to read because I have to review it. Thankfully that wasn't the case here, and though I had a few issues with the characters at times (more on that below), I never wanted to put this down. The magical world is given more scope as the series progresses -- with more creatures and the worlds they inhabit opening up to us (including the elemental worlds, which I really liked seeing). Also, now that Paul and the team have seen exactly the lengths that others will go to to use a Blaze as strong as Rory (a mage with an unnaturally immense reserve of power). Though Manny is mostly left out of this book (aww, I like Manny!) we do get more with the other characters on the team, specifically Aubrey, who I love in all his grumbly, snarky glory.
The few things that bothered me were minor, but I also hope they aren't indicative of future books (and there are going to be more books… I think? At least, I hope so!). The issues arise from the balance between external and internal conflict in the story. Most of the plot here is based on the external magical world, with only a few romantic entanglements between Paul and Rory. I wanted there to be a little more balance because though the first worked well for me (I love this world), the relationship in this book was pretty rocky. There's so much going on, world-wise, that there isn't any time for Paul and Rory to talk or even get to know each other better (and they still haven't known each other that long). Rory can be a difficult character at times, and not entirely likable. Though his issues all make sense in the context of his childhood, I sometimes found him a bit self-righteous and very quick to emotion and temper. As a whole, I found many of the characters here quick to temper and a little melodramatic (a flouncing off in a huff type of thing), but Rory in the context of his relationship with Paul is the only on that really matters enough that it bothered me. I wanted him to stop sometimes and think (which goes for most of his actions, actually, not just his relationship). I realize that I don't have to like a character for him to be a good character. I'd never blame an author for that. But I also hoped that some real-life relationship issues might be brought into play as a result, because I often found Rory acting in such a way but not much coming from it. Again, not a fault entirely. Some readers might not like the book as much if they feel the same way, but that's the nature of our subjective reading experiences. Still, when I finished this book, I wished that there had been more time (even extra time on top of the length) for Rory and Paul to work on their relationship.
I'm willing to let most of those feelings go though, both for the reasons I've said and the fact that their relationship is still so early in development. The one thing that really bothered me was that I wasn't quite sure that Rory realized in the end of the book that he'd done some pretty bad things (I'm talking about a fundamental decision in naiveté towards Doug). Not bad, per se. I just want Rory to grow up a little, not have to have other's tell him to use his head once in a while. I'm getting ahead of myself, talking about the future, so I'll leave all of that up to my hopes for the series. I'm definitely looking forward to more from this world and I hope that Angie continues to deliver. I think fans of this series will definitely like this book. It is very much not a standalone, so anyone who is reading this book is probably already a fan from the first book. That includes me, and I'm very glad to see something being published again from this author. I always look forward to reading what she has written! Recommended for fans of the series!(less)
A fascinating and slowly unfolding story about an amnesiac faerie prince who sings charms. The...moreOne of the LiAW stories reviewed at The Armchair Reader.
A fascinating and slowly unfolding story about an amnesiac faerie prince who sings charms. The tone of this very short story was charged with a sort of melancholy and stirring hope. In such a short time, Eden pulled off the amnesia storyline by making it less about mystery and more about the remaining thread of soul connection between lovers.(less)
There is a real benefit to reading the books later in a series, besides having more information at the reader's disposal. For the most part, each of these books are tied together by world only, the lands of each book separated by country, culture, and geography. Each book has a whole new set of characters. With these later books that means that the newly restored gods from previous books can make a timely reappearance. The best part about this novel, however, and the reason that I've been looking forward to this book about Verde the most, is because of the one character, who more than any other, has made appearances in most of the books. Poison, like several of the previous books, revolves around more than one central romance, and of these is the character I've come to love most of all of them, Ailill.
In the 900 years since the fall of the gods, Verde has had 9 times to get it right. Every 100 years the White Beasts, the Voice, and the Triad come together to recreate the Ceremony to hopefully restore the power of the gods in their avatars. Each time they convene under the Oak, something goes wrong, ending in the deaths of the Triad, the Pegasus, the Unicorn, and the Faerie Queen. Suspiciously, there are no records kept about the days leading up to the Ceremony from years past, so when things start to go very wrong time time around, no one has any clue what to do about it. Three of their neighboring countries have successfully restored their gods, but with Verde falling apart and the people of the country reverting to their animal nature in a savage state of anarchy, there seems to be no hope that Verde could finally see the same hopeful restoration of their own.
I have been enjoying this series, but because of the nature of the stories -- that they're all so inherently different from the others -- I have enjoyed them in different ways and some more than others. Poison already had one thing going for it, the return of Ailill. We first met Ailill in Treasure, but only for a very brief time. We get to know him most in Burning Bright where he falls in love with Vasha, the leader of a band of mercs trying to protect the street thief and Vessel Raz. They parted ways at the end of that book, and we finally get to see the resolution of their romance in Poison. I love this couple, they are part of what made Burning Bright my favorite novel of this series. So to see them reunited here automatically made this book of my favorites.
We also meet Gael and his secret lover, the Voice. Gael is the only male of the Triad, the avatars of the three lost gods of Verde. He represents the Unicorn and is increasingly dissatisfied with the rigid tradition of their lineage. Reborn after every tragedy, the three migrate to one another in a love affair that Gael no longer wants part of. He no longer loves his sisters that way, though still he loves them as family, but the alliance between the three is the core strength of Verde. Much of that dissatisfaction is also due to his lover Noire, the Voice of the Triad. Gael is afraid that their secret affair will undermine their rule with his betrayal of his sisters and lovers, though his love for Noire.
Ailill is put to the test (along with Vasha, in a surprise visit) when each of the White Beasts (almost a council of sorts, each representing an animal of the shifters of Verde, whose minds literally keep the peace among their citizens) falls prey to a poison one by one in the months leading up to the Ceremony. As each White Beast falls, and Ailill waiting for his demise as the Jaguar, the country and those ruling in the palace start to fall into anarchy, each unable to trust the others. Megan Derr is so wonderful at writing in depth fantasy worlds, especially the subtle political machinations at court, that this is what really made the novel shine -- the suspicion and alternately, the trust among some and the betrayal among others. I don't think that I could find fault at all with the writing here and fans of this author will once again delight in this story. The only thing fans of the series will have to decide is if they like this book as much as the previous ones, and I have to say that next to Burning Bright, it was my favorite. As the series draws to a close (one book left -- Chaos), more information is available to the reader to put the events as a whole together, and that's where the real art of the writing lies. Each of these stories can be taken as a standalone novel (though this one in particular would be better served by reading Burning Bright first). However, very little information has been given to us outright about the actual fall of the gods 9 centuries in the past, and because of that we have very little information about the end of the overall plot arc of the series. And I cannot wait too see those fireworks!
This is really a series I would rather urge you to read rather than dissect myself (unless you have and want to talk about it!), and I think, overall, this is probably my favorite series by this author. Everyone knows that Megan Derr is one of my very favorite authors, and because of that, I love most of her work, so that is really saying something about the beauty of this series in particular. Each book offers a progression of the world, but a completely new and captivating reading experience. It is such a great way to engage readers, because with a series we love something that is different, but not too different. The format of these does that well.(less)
An engaging read from Amber Kell, who seems to be able to give the quick, satisfying read a little more depth than similar books. They're alw...more3.5 stars
An engaging read from Amber Kell, who seems to be able to give the quick, satisfying read a little more depth than similar books. They're always a joy to read and I feel like I get a bit more world-building in her books than in others but I still get a satisfying guilty-pleasure type book that I can usually read in under an hour.
This book ended with more questions than when it began, and it's pretty obvious that it is the beginning of another series. I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes. The ending leaves the impression that the focus of the next book will also be about Randall and Sasha. I hope so, because I would really love to have a single relationship series instead of another with short installments that go from couple to couple, it seems less satisfying that way.