For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the troSynopsis:
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Color me surprised. I found this book entirely by accident. I'd never heard of it before, though a couple of my GR friends have read it. Possibly, I just wasn't paying attention because I haven't read anything YA in like a year. I'm so behind on all of my YA series it isn't funny. I wasn't truly looking to start yet another series, but after reading two books in a YA series that took me completely by surprise by how much I enjoyed it, I ended up on the hunt for more. I wanted something paranormal-ish like the Allison's Story series I began this week, but then I ended up with a dystopia and then this more fantasy than paranormal read. This book gave me the same level of enjoyment as The Elect and The Vanguard and I just couldn't put it down just like the both of those books. I started reading this as a sample and ended up buying the full length book before I even got to the end of it.
This story starts things off at a gallop and I felt the momentum remained throughout. I adore Cecile. No whiny, wilting flower of a heroine here! She starts off terrified and certain that she's going to do and transforms into a girl who is brave and determined to save herself. She can be impulsive as Cecile tends to be ruled by her heart. She is quite capable of using her brain, however. Thanks to some quick thinking, she's actually able to get out of some tough situations. She does get tripped up by troll manipulation from time to time, but this is by no means a stupid girl. I love the way that she loves Tristan. It isn't easy being bonded to him. They sometimes hurt each other, but they have a strong love even though it is fragile and new. At the end of the book, they get split apart, but Cecile is determined to save her man.
I really liked Tristan as well. At first, I didn't know what to make of that dude. He was rude and condescending. As the story goes on, though, we see different sides of him. I was really thankful for the chapters told in his POV, though there aren't a lot of them. They provided some much needed insight, though. Cecile could tell Tristan was up to something and it isn't too long before we find out just what he is up to. It's a while longer before Cecile gets an idea of it. Tristan isn't the most trusting. Trolls can't lie, but humans can. And though trolls can't lie, they can find ways to say things in such a way that they may as well be lying. Looking back on it, I should have picked up on the true nature of the trolls much faster than I did. It wasn't until Tristan let on that they originally came from somewhere else that I understood what the trolls really are. Cecile still doesn't know, but I'm sure she will eventually. The most surprising thing about Tristan is how deeply he loves. He started out not wanting to love her, but then he just couldn't help himself. He ended up risking everything for her. I'm worried about what he's going through now. I hope Cecile can save him.
I liked a lot of the other characters, too. Marc, Vincent, Victoria, Elise and Zoe were all great. Anais was iffy for me, but she really was a good person. Just more devoted to Tristan than anyone or anything else really. Tristan's father I hated. Angouleme, too. I wonder what Angouleme will try next. He wanted to expose Tristan, but it wouldn't have helped much. I can't believe how badly they all got played. Amazing.
Seriously, all is not what it seems in this book.
I absolutely cannot wait for book 2 in this series....more
In the battle between good and evil, humans have never been more than collateral damage. Now they are prey. Mankind doesn’t need a hero. It nSynopsis:
In the battle between good and evil, humans have never been more than collateral damage. Now they are prey. Mankind doesn’t need a hero. It needs a sinner.
Corrupt. Wicked. Nefarious. Contemptible....
The Baddest Boys in History are back!
You read about them in school. Now learn the truth. Real men. No vampires, no werewolves, no magic. Just down and dirty raw power—sin to sin, evil to evil, bad to bad. They fight for humanity. It was that or eternal damnation.
They agreed to risk their souls. No one told them they would lose their hearts.
THE BASTARD Vike died in blood, in battle, in betrayal. His ruthlessness was second only to his brutality. Now one woman makes his blood sing and he’ll stop at nothing to save her. He only has to face half of Hell to do it.
Lacy is unknowingly descended from an ancient Holy line. Someone is slowly destroying her life and wants her dead. A fierce Viking comes to her rescue, and in his arms, she finds more than safety. If Vike can’t protect Lacy, he’ll have to kill her. And for a bastard, what’s one woman worth when the entire world is in jeopardy?
It looks like it took me a long time to read this book, but it really didn't. I started in June, but wasn't up for M/F then and put it aside. I re-started it on July 18th and finished it the very next day because this book is awesome like that.
I really enjoyed Lacy and Vike together. They weren't too mushy and they didn't have unnecessary fights. There was a misunderstanding near the end of the book, but that was due to outside forces and it wasn't over something stupid. Lacy saw something she shouldn't have, but it wasn't her fault that she saw it. I'd have believed my eyes if I'd seen that, too. She womaned up and went to Vike when things got cleared up, so that's what matters most to me. Lacy was really likable to me. Maybe a bit too perfect girl, but she was real enough. She didn't just automatically accept things when the whole truth came out. I didn't like that she ran, but that really wasn't an unexpected human reaction and it could have been so much worse. When she slept on it and thought about it, she realized that she'd already gotten to know these men, so what they did in their First Lives didn't tarnish what she knew of who they are now. Plus, I liked that she stood up to Zale. As much as the guy intrigues me and I even like him, he can be a douche. I understand his motives, but he goes about things the wrong way. Except for with Annie. He's good with Annie. I wonder how long before they get paired off.
And of course there was Vike. He was a badass, but such a softy for a good woman. He could be so tender with Lacy, but still knew he wasn't a good man. History called him evil, but he wasn't really. Just easily led by his heart and the Berserker rage he can fall into. Those aspects of him in the wrong hands can lead to a lot of bloodshed. In Lacy's hands, I think Vike can do a lot of good. There were some moments when Vike really needed to cool off or even try to keep Lacy out of his head and focus, but he's still damned handy to have in a fight. He's also loyal if you show him loyalty. Vike trusts his fellow Forsaken, save for Zale, but then Zale didn't exactly make himself trustworthy to Vike. I can't wait to see how Vike reacts when Zale falls hard for a woman. If that woman turns out to be someone other than Annie, I'll be shocked. That should make things even more interesting since Annie is Lacy's sister. I can't imagine Lacy or Vike being too pleased if those two hook up.
I really like all of the other Forsaken as well as Sela. Sela is a fierce and badass leader, but I hope she gets a love of her own as well. She's a Vangelus stuck on Earth leading the good fight and she has her men, but it's not the same. That Righteous of Michael's seems to really have a thing for Sela, so I'm really interested in seeing that play out. I really want to know who the hell that guy even is. Then of course we have Rex, Nomad, Dray and Myth. I already talked about Zale and these guys are just as interesting. When their identities were revealed, I was surprised. They really are some of history's baddest. Nomad was the only one that I wasn't surprised about. Dray and Rex I really should have guessed. Probably even Myth, too. Zale was a complete surprise. I really look forward to seeing the type of women that will make these guys fall hard the way that Vike did. We get the meet the woman for Rex next and I can't wait.
Samael, our villain, can go get bent. This guy is evil. He's also pretty sick. The dude and his Chiefs have some nasty sexual habits. I'm not looking forward to his revenge on the Forsaken and Sela. After they kept him from turning Lacy, his vengeance is going to be insane, I just know it. There really isn't anything likable about it. He is a villain through and through.
Michael, the Vangelus leading the Righteous is a total prick. I can't fault Sela for carrying a grudge against him for millennia. Not with the way that he acts. After that stunt he pulled when Sela went to him for help after what went down with Lacy, I hope at least some of his Righteous will realize that Michael isn't so great. Speaking of the Righteous, most of them seem like douches. Perhaps will meet more less douchey Righteous warriors than the one that I'm sure will be the love for Sela since the Forsaken are about to have a lot more contact with those dudes (and ladies!) than they usually do. Rex training them to take over fighting the Soul Leeches while the Forsaken make sure they keep all Scions safe should get really interesting. The Righteous don't know shit about modern fighting as they've been in Paradise guarding some gates that don't sound like they get run on by Samael's people very often. They were all warriors in life, so maybe it won't be too hard for Rex to whip them into shape, but who knows? Good luck, Rex. I wonder if one of the Forsaken will hook up with a female Righteous. That could get interesting.
Then of course, there's a traitor Vangelus running around helping Samael. I have no idea who it is, yet, but whoever he is, he's an idiot. He really thinks Samael just wants to go home and is fighting some kind of good fight. No fool! He's torturing souls! He wants to rule over all! When this fool gets found out, I hope Sela kills him.
The fight against Samael has a ways to go and I'm not sure how long this series will be, but I plan to ride it all the way out. I at least want to see all of the Forsaken and Sela find their loves. If any of the Righteous get their own POVs and I get to like them as well, I hope they get to find their loves, too....more
Rebel Spring is the second title in the gripping New York Times bestselling series, Falling Kingdoms. Perfect for fans of George RR Martin'sSynopsis:
Rebel Spring is the second title in the gripping New York Times bestselling series, Falling Kingdoms. Perfect for fans of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones.
Auranos has fallen. The three kingdoms are united. But in Mytica not everyone is on the same side - and for the victor a dark magic beckons.
Cleo is a prisoner, forced to watch the evil King Gaius lie to her people.
Lucia is haunted by the deadly magic her father cast to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas and his rebel army are ready to fight.
King Gaius is building a road through the Forbidden Mountains; tunnelling towards the Watcher's Sanctuary. Little does he know that what happens next will change the face of the land forever. It is what the rebels have been waiting for.
I loved this book even more than the first one. We get some new characters and a couple of new POVs as well. Some of the new characters, I like. The others, I hate. There's a lot of behind the scenes manipulation and none of them fully know what's going on. Some of the characters surprised me with the lengths they'll go to get what they want or to keep something bad from happening. It was also surprising that some of them don't hate each other the way that they started out doing. I was happy that they came around, though. They could accomplish so much more if they would just work together.
Cleo is still my favorite character. She can't do much to further her cause because she's a prisoner in her own castle, but she tries to find out as much about her ring as possible. It isn't until the very end of the book that she realizes how to use it. She knows what it's for, but until she realizes the truth about Lucia. She then gets an idea in mind, but can she pull it off? Can she use Lucia to take down King Gaius? Before all that happens, Cleo goes through quite a bit. She gets kidnapped by Jonas and lives with the rebels for a while. She and Jonas even have an intimate moment. I think that if circumstances had started off differently for them, they could have been friends and maybe even lovers. I think they would make better friends, though. The reason behind Cleo's kidnapping ends up getting thwarted, though and the new plan she and Jonas come up with fails utterly. Cleo is now a Damora. She hates it. Still, she seems to be getting glimpses of Magnus' true self. I really hope for something between these two. If Cleo, Magnus and Jonas could work together and get Lucia to go along with it, they could save the world from a lot of hurt.
Magnus is still his broody self in this book. His obsession with Lucia does seem like it begins to lessen over the course of the book, but it hasn't gone away. He seems to be thinking of Cleo more often, though and that makes me happy. They trade some nasty barbs, though. I hope they get past that. I really hope that Magnus can get Cleo to see that he's nothing like his father and that together, they can take him down. Magnus finds out something near the end of the book that his father has done that has made him decide once and for all that he no longer wishes to be anything like that man. I want Magnus to be happy. On more than once ocassion, his love for Lucia does nothing but hurt him. Magnus can do some bad shit, but he spares people more often than not. Just don't get on his bad side or you'll end up like a certain irritating pissant did...
Jonas is still coming into his own as a leader of the rebels. He makes some mistakes, but he's still the best one for the job. He and Brion have a problem or two thanks to newish rebel member Lysandra, but in the end, the three of them are a united front. At least, until they all get separated. I hope Jonas can get Lysandra back, but I think he'll need Cleo and Magnus' help to do it. Maybe this is what will get these three to work together? At the very least, I'm sure Cleo will help him.
Lucia has found herself betrayed by someone she thought she could trust and falling in love with a Watcher. I was shocked by Althea's revelation, but a POV from her made me understand. She didn't know there was another way much closer at hand. That's what all of this distrust and hate causes. The thing the queen feared most about Lucia does begin to happen once she wakes, though. Lucia's elementia is corrupting her. She does some pretty awful things under the influence of it. She even ends up hating Cleo on sight once they finally meet because she's jealous that Magnus' attention may be turning to Cleo even though Lucia herself doesn't want him in that way. Hopefully, with Cleo and her ring around, Lucia's deadlier impulses can be blunted. At least she's afraid of herself enough that she may accept help.
King Gaius continues to be obsessed with power and will do anything to obtain it. I was surprised to discover who he was getting help from. He thinks that once he gets the power he desires, he's going to turn on the one that's been helping him. I wonder if he'll get that chance. The Watcher helping him is powerful and manipulative. I'm sure she's using him. Much in the same way that she's using Alexius.
The Watchers have their own little dramas going on as well. Two of them end up biting the dust. I was really shocked by the one that happened at the end of the book. I still can't believe that happened. I'm sure that whole encounter has Jonas beginning to believe in magic now. After all, he's seen it with his own eyes. Not to mention he'd be dead as hell without it. I am wondering if in the end Alexius will do what he's agreed to do for Melenia. Will his feelings for Lucia stop him or will his desire to save the Watchers win out? So conflicted. There have been two times in this book that have alluded to disaster occurring if the Watchers succeed and do things their way. And in order to do them, a certain someone has to die. So far, none of main characters still living know that. I hope they find out before it's too late.
And then there's Prince Ashur from the empire across the Silver Sea. He seems willing to approach anyone that can give him information about the Kindred. He isn't being subtle about it, either. First, he gives Cleo something dangerous to use on her wedding night should she choose. Now he's after Nic to get answers about Cleo's ring. Nic's finally realized that Cleo won't love him. I hope he doesn't accidentally-or purposefully-betray her because he needs affection. I don't know why Ashur wants the Kindred, but I don't trust this guy.
There are so many ways that this could all go wrong. I have a feeling that it will get worse before it gets better. I'm afraid for Cleo and Magnus especially, but I want these two to find happiness more than anyone. I don't know who Morgan Rhodes will kill off next, but I expected the unexpected with her. I just hope she doesn't break my heart too badly....more
In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadl**spoiler alert** Synopsis:
In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.
As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.
Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.
Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.
Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....
This book had me hooked. When I'd intended to stop reading last night and go to bed, I kept on reading. I had my laptop shut down and everything. Before I realized it, I'd gone from 12% of the book read to 40%. I had to make myself go to bed because it was 3 in the morning. That's how deeply I'd gotten into reading this.
In the beginning, I wasn't sure who to like. Cleo isn't the most mature girl and has a tendency towards getting herself into serious trouble. Magnus seems cool and aloof, but he loves extremely deeply, which can backfire on him. Lucia is a sweet girl, but her anger is dangerous. Jonas is one angry boy and his blind hatred leads him down a dark path. That isn't all there is to these characters, though. All of them make mistakes and more than a few of them have killed out of anger, out of fear, out of vengeance and out of a desire for power. Cleo mostly makes her mistakes out of good intentions, but the road to hell can sometimes begin with good intentions.
In this book's case, the road to hell starts with a sudden murder. Cleo was totally in the wrong place at the very wrong time. It likely still would have happened, anyway had she not been there (because Aron is a drunken douchebag with an inferiority complex), but it was much worse that she was there because it dragged the royal family of Auranos into it. Could she have kept it from happening had she allowed her bodyguard Theon to step in when he initially tried to? Maybe, but there was no guarantee of that. I hated that she felt so guilty over what happened. It wasn't her fault. Could ordering Aron to pay Silas what he was owned have stopped the tragedy before it even began? Maybe. She was trying so hard to protect her secret that she kept silent and a world of pain and death ended up brewing. Lots of people blame Cleo for what happened like she ordered Aron to kill that boy even though she had nothing to do with it. Still, she is a symbol of the rich and privileged from Auranos and that is enough on its own to make the people of Paelsia to hate her, especially Jonas.
Jonas is a really angry guy through nearly the entire book. He spends most of it hating Cleo and plotting her violent demise and the overthrow of Auranos. The murder of his brother was the final straw for him. He already hated the royals and pretty much everyone in Auranos. It was a blind hatred, but it became more focused after what Aron did. Oddly enough, Jonas seemed to hate Cleo more than he hated Aron and Aron was the one that actually committed the murder. Thankfully, Jonas begins to come to his senses, but it's too little too late. He's already gone to Paelsia's chief to talk him into overthrowing Auranos. He's surprised to find out that Chief Basilius has already decided to do just that--with King Gaius of Limeria as his partner. It takes a while, but Jonas begins to question Gaius' intentions and he's right to. Doesn't matter by that point, though. Too many have died by the time he tries to talk Basilius into anything. Basilius is an idiot, anyway. He deserved what he got.
Then we have Magnus, King Gaius' son. This dude has his own problems. He's afraid of his father, but still desires his attention. He's also got a bad case of forbidden love. This guy is pretty tragic. He wears a mask of coldness, but he isn't nearly as cold as he pretends to be. His love for Lucia is his weakness and Gaius and Gaius's mistress Sabina both see it. Lucia is obviously to it until she can't be anymore. Her reaction practically breaks him. Considering it comes swiftly on the heels of his first murder (which causes Cleo to hate him), I don't blame him for trying even harder to be like his father. He doesn't quite pull it off, though.
Then there's Lucia. She's a very kind girl. Mostly oblivious to what's going on around her, but she's intuitive. She's also very powerful and that power gets used by Gaius in a really spectacular and deadly way. She even develops a bit of blind hatred for Auranians during the war when Magnus nearly gets himself killed and so many people die. I thought that was odd and it makes me feel a little conflicted about her. She isn't a bad person, but that hate is completely misplaced in my opinion. I do wonder what will become of her. She helped her father succeed, but at a high price. Will she allow him to use her so badly again? I hope not. That man is detestable.
All of our characters have their own goals now, but I'm totally team Cleo. She's lost so much, but that girl is fiery and I think she's up to the task. Will she accept the help that has been offered to her from someone that's threatened to kill her in the past? She'll need someone to help her. Still, she's got a goal in mind and Cleo is the type to let nothing stop her. What will Magnus do? He knows how ruthless his father is. Will he keep trying to prove to Gaius that they are just alike? Will Lucia feel remorse over all of the lives lost during that explosion she caused? Can Jonas truly organize Paelsians into a decent rebel force? And what will the Watchers do? I'm worried about what they might do. I don't trust them, not even Alexius. I need to know, so I'm reading the second book straight away....more
The second novel in a unique and action-packed urban fantasy series from the acclaimed author of the Morgan Kingsley series! Once, Nikki GlasSynopsis:
The second novel in a unique and action-packed urban fantasy series from the acclaimed author of the Morgan Kingsley series! Once, Nikki Glass was an ordinary private investigator, running her own business in Washington, D.C. Then, her world turned upside down when she accidentally stole the immortality of a descendant of Hades. Now immortal herself, Nikki is plunged into the world of the Liberi Deorum, descendants of the ancient gods, discovering that she is descended from the goddess Artemis and has new supernatural abilities. While she still longs for the normal life she left behind, Nikki is now part of a team of immortals, led by the mysterious Anderson Kane, bent on making the world a better place. Which would be a lot easier if it weren’t for the Olympians, a rival group of immortals who exploit their powers for their own benefit. In a strange twist of fate, the Olympians come to Anderson to ask for his—and Nikki's—help. The Oracle, a descendant of Apollo who is Olympian to the bone, has had a disturbing vision of a man with a jackal’s head being captured by the government. This vision coincides with a rash of wild dog attacks that are terrorizing the city, and the Oracle believes her vision means these killings were perpetrated by a descendant of Anubis, the Egyptian god of death. It’s up to Nikki and the rest of Anderson’s team to track down and stop this serial killer before the authorities do. But the more Nikki investigates the crimes, the more she comes to suspect that the Olympians haven’t told the whole truth, and the more terrifying the killer becomes…..
I enjoyed this sequel every bit as much as the first book. It was interesting seeing the aftermath of having found Emma and living at the mansion with the others. Emma seems to be a huge bitch, though. She and Anderson frequently have screaming fights. Nikki as the newest member of the group is especially uncomfortable around this, though it seems everyone is.
If that's not enough to make her feel unbalanced, Steph drops by with a file regarding Nikki's adoption figuring that now that Nikki knows she likely got her Descendant abilities from her mother's side, that Nikki would want to try to track her down. Nikki is adamant that she doesn't want to do this, but she can't help but to be tempted. I really do hope something happens on that front. I want to know why her mother left her in that church. And whether or not that church in particular was something significant. And why didn't she leave Nikki's brother, too? And is who Nikki's father was in any way important? I'm seriously curious about all of this.
My favorite part, though was all of the interaction between Nikki and Jamaal. I shouldn't want them to get together considering what he's done to her, but maybe I'm as much of a bleeding heart as Nikki is because I managed to forgive him, too. That man has been in some serious pain. When he opened up and told Nikki the truth about his past, I was shocked. I liked seeing them start a bit of a bonding process. And then all that sexual tension reared up. I hope we get something more there, too. It actually seems like Nikki might be good for him. He actually pushed himself to learn how to deal with his death magic despite believing it was impossible. And he never would have tried if not for Nikki.
The case they were working on really had me wondering how they would get out of the situation Kerner set up for them. And then Emma tried to make it even worse because she wanted revenge against Konstantin. Not to mention, she hates Nikki's guts. I still don't understand her jealousy there. I've not had the least bit of an impression that she actually loves Anderson, so why is she so dead set that Nikki is his new girlfriend? Why is she so damned delusional? Neither Nikki or Anderson have done anything to provoke this situation. I was glad when that bitch made the decision she did at the end of the book. I'm sick of her ass already. Maybe she'll take a permanent leave of absence by the time the third book is over....more