Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships�rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens mSynopsis:
Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships�rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown's oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.
For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her�a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea's young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.
But the fate of the Vestrit family�and the ship�may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles...and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will....
I really enjoyed this more than I expected. It can be difficult sometimes going from series to series yet set in the same world with different characters. I tend to get attached to the ones that I meet first. In the end, I discovered that I'm pretty attached to some of the characters that will be appearing throughout this trilogy as well.
King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz--or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and hisSynopsis:
King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz--or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest--perhaps to death. Only Verity's return--or the heir his princess carries--can save the Six Duchies.
But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him--currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was....
Ah, but this book left me not quite sure how to feel. There's a lot that happens and the ending may or may not work for you. I honestly cannot see how it could have ended any differently. Still, if I did not know that there's more to Fitz's story, that ending would have chafed even more. I want more for Fitz than what he got. And while Verity got what he wanted, I want more for him, too.
The Skill-dreams Fitz had of Molly revealed much to him. For a time, he was content that they were safe even if Molly believe him dead. And even if Burrich eventually came to believe it as well. He was glad Burrich was there to keep safe what he held dear. Until that last Skilling and he saw that they had both moved on from him. That broke my heart. Then it broke again when he thought he knew what he was offering Verity, but it turned out to be something quite different. I know why Verity did it, but Fitz didn't know how to really deal with it.
A lot happens in this book. Fitz does manage to get revenge, but in a way I did not expect. Disaster does get averted, but it feels that for everything he lost, Fitz really didn't gain anything. At least he still had Nighteyes who as always, was awesome. I'm really thankful that Fitz has him.
I'm also happy that Fitz has the Fool. Despite how their last meeting ended, Fool was happy to meet with Fitz again. He'd thought he'd failed in his duty because he believed Fitz to be dead. Finding out differently restored him. Fitz and the Fool grow closer once they all set out to find Verity. That certainly made me happy.
Overall, I was pleased with the way things took place. Fitz suffers, but when is Fitz not suffering? I always want to hold him and shield him, but I know it can't happen. He does get a bit of what he wants, but it's a bittersweet thing.
Alone in a world on the brink of war…two unlikely allies will discover a love greater than time.
Exiled from her home, powerful oracle CosminaSynopsis:
Alone in a world on the brink of war…two unlikely allies will discover a love greater than time.
Exiled from her home, powerful oracle Cosmina Cordei holds the key to uniting those protecting mankind from evil. But just as she makes her way into the holy city to perform an ancient rite, the enemy closes in for the kill…
Drawn by a destiny he won’t accept, elite assassin Henrik Lazar detests the mystical curse handed down by his mother. But when the sorcery in his blood is activated and past pain comes back to haunt him, his new abilities come into play and he must learn to control them.
Rescued by Henrik in the heat of battle, Cosmina must decide whether to trust the assassin who loathes the goddess she serves or face certain death on her own. Forced into an untenable position, Henrik is left with a terrible choice—protect the magical Order he despises, or deny destiny and lose the woman he loves forever.
4.5 stars rounding up.
I'm really enjoying this series. For whatever reason, it just works for me. It's not the most unique PNR and it's got the usual tropes that make a paranormal romance what it is. However, I'm still loving the series despite that. I like the characters and I like the magic. The men are all pretty sweet with their women and they just want to be loved, even when they think they don't deserve it. The women try hard to depend on no one but themselves, but they can't seem to help themselves when the guys come along. It's usually because they've landed in an impossible situation. They don't have much choice but to accept help. That's not to say that they lose all independence and cannot defend themselves, because I don't consider that to be the case. The Blessed are not helpless. They may not all be warriors, but they usually have some way of defending themselves.
Cosmina was a good example of this. She's pretty damn good with throwing knives as well as using them in close quarters combat. She's just unlucky that the Al Pacii are the ones that have been made her enemies now. Even still, she's determined to see the mission the Goddess gave her through even though she's practically bleeding to death thanks to an arrow in the arm from Halal. If Henrik, Shay and Andrei (with Tareek and Kazim as backup) hadn't tracked their former comrades to White Temple, Cosmina would have been a goner. As it is, her mission is a success and she even ends up helping the guys despite barely being able to stand on her own and ending up temporarily disabled. The thing Cosmina struggled with the most is over the way she wanted to rely on Henrik despite having lived on her own for the past five years. She's used to being cautious and keeping her guard up, so trusting Henrik so soon seems wrong to her. However, thanks to her gift, she comes to accept this on her own and without too much annoying introspection. Once she does accept it, even when she wants to cling, she refuses to. She goes balls to the wall and with no remorse. I admired that about her. And when Henrik does do something to hurt her, she doesn't wallow in bitterness forever. She also doesn't mope. She continues her mission and saves one of her fellow Blessed. When Henrik does come to his senses, she doesn't forgive him easily. She makes him tell her how he feels. Good for her.
I adored Henrik. I liked him from book 1 and his character was pretty consistent here. We learned some more about his past, though I would have preferred that he revealed in to Cosmina directly instead of the way that she found out. I'm glad that scene wasn't as angsty as it could have been, though. Thanks to Cosmina, Henrik was able to overcome a lot of bitterness with regards to the Goddess of All Things. It doesn't happen right away, so it felt right to me once it did happen. Having someone like Cosmina love him went a long way to helping him heal. He'll likely still have some issues (for a strong guy, Henrik has some strong fears), but at least he isn't alone anymore. You could really tell how alone he'd been feeling when he felt relieved not to be the only guy stuck with magic. He never wanted magic, but now that all of the others seem to have it, too, I think he'll better adapt to his new abilities. It helps that he doesn't detest the Goddess anymore, for sure. My main problem with Henrik is that he fell into the same trap that Xavian fell into with Afina. He thought he wasn't good enough to be with someone like Cosmina. It made him think a little too much. I wanted him to just decide one way or another and stick with it. He was really sweet with her, though and he wasn't overbearing. He was alpha, but not in a really annoying way. Plus, I liked that he enjoyed bantering with her and really seemed to get into it when she took control.
We also got POVs from Tareek, Cristobal, a Blessed named Nairobi and Halal in this book. Halal gets himself upgraded, but so far, it hasn't given him too much of an advantage as the Seven have been upgraded as well. Plus, those dudes have three dragons on their side. Still, I'm sure Halal will get some licks in soon enough. He probably won't lose all the time. I really dislike that guy and the Prince of Shadows can go kick rocks. Tareek is still fiercely protective of Henrik thanks to their history, but he's got scars of his own that he has to overcome. He starts to begin to here, but I'm sure we will see him grow more over the course of the series. We get a few POVs from Cristobal as well and at first, he's terrified of the changes he's going through. His are really invasive, but the end result is pretty deadly and incredibly useful. It seems he's also got himself a connection with Cruz and I'm sure that will come in handy, especially now that Nairobi has arrived. Is she the one the voice Cristobal was hearing was telling him to find? With the way he was acting towards him after Cosmina saved her, I'm inclined to think so. I'm assuming that their book will be next. Nairobi seems like a pretty self-sufficient type of woman and headstrong, too. I have a feeling that Cristobal will have his hands full with her.
I'm glad that we got to see all of the guys get some decent amount of page time in this one. In book 1, I kept completely forgetting about Kazim and Razvan because I'm pretty sure they didn't have any speaking lines in that one. We actually get to see a nice deal more of Kazim and I rather like him. Razvan I'm not sure about yet because while we got see his awesome new abilities, we didn't see a whole lot of him. That should change as the series progresses. I was happy that there was plenty of Andrei and Shay. I really like those two. I wonder what Andrei's issue with water is, though. I'm really looking forward to when he finds his own mate. He didn't think Henrik getting attached to Cosmina was a smart move, so I'm wondering how hard he will try to resist falling in love. I really want to see him fall hard. I also look forward to seeing what type of woman Shay will fall for. He's the youngest of all of them, but he's damned deadly still and I like his sarcasm. I also like that he took to his new magic really well. So did Kazim and Xavian. I can't wait to see what happens next....more
In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out ofSynopsis:
In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him—dead or alive.
For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good—if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.
Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic—and handsome—hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead.
Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop adventure.
Giving this 4.5 stars and rounding up.
I really enjoyed this and got sucked into it pretty quickly. I enjoyed Xavian and Afina quite a bit. They frustrated me at times, but that's pretty much to be expected in a PNR and it's better than them never doing anything wrong. Besides, I really liked Afina, so I was quite happy that she didn't do typical dumb heroine things. Xavian had some typical alpha male hero tendencies, but I still really liked him.
The story starts out with Xavian right outside where Afina has been hiding out with her sister's two-year old daughter Sabine. Xavian has been sent to retrieve Afina for the man who wants her. Xavian doesn't know why Vladimir Barbu wants Afina and he shouldn't care, but he gets curious. It also turns out that another man has sent Xavian after Afina (though this turns out not to be what he expected) and Xavian isn't too sure about what he's going to do exactly until he does it. The next thing you know, he's stealing Afina and Sabine away to take them to his keep Drachaven. In the beginning, Afina is both drawn to Xavian and terrified of him. She doesn't know why she wants him and berates herself for it on more than one occasion. What she is sure of, is that she has to take Sabine and get as far away as possible. She's being hunted and for all she knows, Xavian is taking her to the man that is hunting her. The one time she does try to escape, she gets herself into some serious trouble. Lucky for her, Xavian knew she would try and was following her when it happened. That's when we really start to learn what it is about Afina that makes Vladimir want her so badly.
For Xavian's part, he could be hot and cold. He really, really wanted Afina, but felt he had no right to her. So when (view spoiler)[they sleep together the first time and he discovers that she's a virgin (hide spoiler)]man is he pissed. To him, she's been lying the whole time and Xavian cannot abide by lies. He isn't nice to her after that. He was doing it on purpose because he was pissed that what he felt was a lie caused him to break his oath, but he was pissed at himself, too. Luckily, Afina gets herself into trouble after that and he rescues her and that doesn't last too long. He does try avoiding her later on in the book even after learning about the connection they have because he seriously thinks that someone like him doesn't deserve someone like her. Afina sets him straight on that front, though. I was proud of her for that. She wouldn't let him hide from her.
There were a couple of unexpected discoveries. I was especially surprised by Henrik's connection to everything. I wasn't actually expecting the Goddess they talked about to interact with them, either. So now we have a band of former assassins fighting the good fight. Somehow, all of the women they'll end up will be helpful to that in some way, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of the Seven better. So far, I've got a little bit of a handle on Cristobal, Henrik, Andrei and Shay, but I totally forgot about Kazim and Razvan unless they were mentioned during a fight. We never really saw Xavian interact with those two. I am really curious to know if the dragon shifters will get their own books. I'd love to see Garren especially fall in love.
I'm sure we'll be seeing more of that bastard Halal. I don't like his POVs because I just don't like him, but they at least add to the story. He'll probably be around for the whole conflict as other than the Goddess's nemesis, he's the Big Bad. I hope that Xavian and his crew can keep too many more boys from falling into that asshole's hands, but I'm sure there will be setbacks along the way.
I'll be following along to see what happens. I just hope there won't be too long of a wait between the rest of the books like there was between this one and book 2. Nearly two years!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? WeSynopsis:
We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…
When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.
Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.
I was so hooked by this book. I likely would never have known about it if not for the recommends from Amazon on my Kindle Fire HD. I kept seeing it there on my home screen and thought, "I need to check this out." I'm very glad that I did.
The book is told entirely from McKenna "Mac" Fraser's POV. I found myself liking her a lot. She's not a complete badass. She pretty much only ended up working for the SPI because they realized she was a seer and they needed a new one. She has no training whatsoever. All she's really supposed to do is check to see if some misbehaving supernatural is hiding behind a veil or a glamor and let the big boys and girls come in and clean up the mess. This time, though, she manages to land herself right in the middle of a horrific murder mystery with some odd espionage to boot.
It doesn't take long for things to just start going wrong and keep going wrong. All Mac wanted to was catch a nachtgnome for a friend, but she ends up--along with her partner Ian--finding a really nasty dead body instead. And of course, a monster is involved. Not just any monster, either.
It doesn't help that the bad guys are always a step ahead of them. The identity behind the mastermind came as a surprise. I never would have seen that coming. The other aspect of it was a shock, too. I was pleasantly surprised by how this all played out and who all was involved. Vivienne and Ian both get some unpleasant blasts from the past and you know they'll really be out for blood next time around.
I like the interaction between the characters. Mac and Ian get closer as partners over the course of the book and genuinely seem to care for each other. There's no real romance, yet, but I'm sure that will develop. The seed has definitely been planted. I also really liked Yasha, Kenji, Calvin, Rolf, Roy and Vivienne. I'm very much looking forward to seeing them all again in the next book. I read this one straight through, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy the next one just as much if not more....more
Ever since he’d been part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figured he’d used up any good karma he had when DeSynopsis:
Ever since he’d been part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figured he’d used up any good karma he had when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races were left with a messy, monster-ridden world and Stalkers were often the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy and dark moved into the neighbourhood.
There certainly were no shortage of monsters or people stupidly willing to become lunch for one.
It was a hard life but one Kai liked. And he was good at it. Killing monsters was easy. Especially since he was one himself.
After an accident retired Dempsey out, Kai set up permanent shop in San Diego, contracting out to the local SoCalGov depot. It was a decent life, filled with bounty, a few friends and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him he wasn’t really human.
That was until a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego and Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It was supposed to a simple run; head up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary with the new Court then back to San Diego. Easy, quick and best of all, profitable. But Ryder’s “simple” run leads to massive trouble and Kai ends up being caught in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.
No one ever got rich by being a Stalker. But then hardly any of them got old either. The way things were looking, it didn’t look like Kai was going to be the exception.
I found this a bit slow to start at first. Especially after we got to know the main players in the Empire and then suddenly, there was a whole new setI found this a bit slow to start at first. Especially after we got to know the main players in the Empire and then suddenly, there was a whole new set in Darujhistan. I had a hard time connecting the dots at first, but then things started making sense and I just had to know how events would play out. I was very surprised by the way things turned out. I was hugely surprised the first time Whiskeyjack used that magic item and the conversation with Dujek revealed that they knew so much more than they lead their men to believe.
I loved all of the Bridgeburners. Can't wait to read about the next mess they get themselves mixed up in....more
Anne Bishop plunged into dark fantasy with her first book, Daughter of the Blood. She described a world where Blood Witches have always ruledSynopsis:
Anne Bishop plunged into dark fantasy with her first book, Daughter of the Blood. She described a world where Blood Witches have always ruled, drawing males to their courts through seductive power. An ambitious High Priestess destroys more powerful females before maturity and has enslaved the strongest males, weakening magic and corrupting natural bonds between men and women. Sexual violence permeates Terreille. Jaenelle, born to be Queen, is vulnerable until adulthood. Though guarded by male Warlord Princes, Jaenelle is violated. Daemon, her destined Consort, rescues her but is convinced he attacked her and goes mad.
In Heir to the Shadows, Jaenelle's vampiric, adoptive father, Saetan, and her foster-family of demons shelter her. To restore her memory and emotional balance, they move to Kaeleer, where Jaenelle befriends the kindred--animals with magical and communicative powers--and gathers a circle of young Queens. She also heals Lucivar, Daemon's half-brother, who offers a brother's love and a warrior's fealty. As she recovers strength and memory, Jaenelle resolves to restore Daemon and cleanse Terreille.