From the first few pages I thought this one was going to be the kind of good I've been looking for, and it was. Loved it from beginning to end and jusFrom the first few pages I thought this one was going to be the kind of good I've been looking for, and it was. Loved it from beginning to end and just wanted it to go on. The mythology is centered on greek gods and magic but the peoples and countries are the author's own.
Cat is a soothsayer in a circus where she has spent eight years hiding her heritage and true talents when the Beta Sinta, Griffin, kidnaps her. He and his team are determined to take her to the capital city where she can put her talents to use in service of the Sinta family who have recently taken control of the country. Cat is determined to escape but can't help but be drawn to Griffin.
Bouchet did a great job of balancing the fantasy and romance elements and her world-building is very well done. The sparks that fly between Cat and Griffin are great and I loved the dialogue (very nicely balanced with action and adventure). Great stuff. Can't wait to read the next in the series.
If you like Elizabeth Vaughan's Warprize series, you'd love this one....more
This was really a 4.7 for me and I was really loving it from start to finish. Ildiko and Brishen are great together and I loved the friends to loversThis was really a 4.7 for me and I was really loving it from start to finish. Ildiko and Brishen are great together and I loved the friends to lovers development. The thing that ticked it down for me was the epilogue. I knew this was a first in a series (Wraith Kings, #1) and I expected some set-up at the end for book two but that epilogue and the description for book 2 just revealed too much. I needed a moment to settle into Ildiko and Brishen's 'happy-for-now' moment and instead I'm told that they're about to be crushed by coming events.
I certainly expect continuing conflict in a series, but I just didn't want it all dumped on the happy ending moment.
I was looking through my recent reads to find a book I just loved. A lot of things lately have been solid, but not great. Except for this one. Purple and Black is brilliantly done. Tightly woven. Thought-provoking. And all of that in a slender 113 pages. This is a fantasy novel, but don't let that prevent you reading it. It's only a fantasy in that it has a made up country. Everything else about it reads like historical fiction.
The story is told through a series of letters between Nico, the reluctant emperor who only got the job because the rest of his male relatives killed each other off competing for the position, and Phormio, one of Nico's best friends from school who is now a reluctant general trying to quell a rebellion on the border. The title of the book refers to the ink used in the letters they write to each other. Purple is the official color used when communicating with the emperpor and black is the ink they use in their more informal (off the record) communications. While Nico struggles with the back-biting, competition and scheming at court, Phormio is struggling in a more direct way. A shadowy group is staging guerrilla attacks on border towns and it's Phormio's job to find and conquer this mysterious foe.
I'm not a huge fan of epistolary tales. I really only have one other that I can rave about and that's Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road. Even as I type that I'm struck by the realization that so much of what I love about Hanff's book is present in K. J. Parker's - even though one is a memoir and the other historical fantasy. Wit and dark humor and characters who jump off the page and the sort of stick-with-you kind of feeling only the best books evoke. That's all here. I finished this book in an evening, but thought about it for days afterward. Wonderfully done....more