Above all, this is a high fantasy adventure. In all three books, the heroine, Aerial, is traveling across an extremely fantastical landscape, collectiAbove all, this is a high fantasy adventure. In all three books, the heroine, Aerial, is traveling across an extremely fantastical landscape, collecting magical objects that will help her accomplish her goal.
The bulk of the books is spent on world-building and describing the landscape, and strange creatures and characters Aerial comes across. It is extremely descriptive and spends a lot of time using old-fashioned English that is hard to understand. Call me spoiled, but I much prefer the way YA books are written today--spending a large portion of the book in internal monologue, exploring characters and their motives, and expanding the story. But if you love the strange new worlds of high fantasy, this definitely has that in abundance.
I didnt feel that I really knew Aerial or Irrylath, or what was really going on in the story. And I did not find the relationship between them believable. (view spoiler)[At the end of the first book, after Aerial released Irrylath from the curse, he was a completely different person. He didnt even look the same. I have trouble seeing how Aerial could love him before, and after. One or the other version of him, but not both. And I also had a problem with the fact that they were first cousins. I know back in the day people used to marry their cousins (and still do today in some countries). I believe the heroine from Austen's Mansfield Park even married her cousin and that was only 200 years ago. Also, this series is set in a completely different world where that may be acceptable. But the book was only written 30 years ago, in America. Why try to force us to accept something that she knows would be completely foreign and uncomfortable compared to our way of life? The fact that they were cousins served no purpose. And not only was Aerial Irrylath's cousin, so was the other woman who was in love with him--his first cousins from the other side of his family. The ending totally sucked. It didnt have an HEA. If I had known that ahead of time, I probably wouldnt have read it. But as I said, I wasnt really attached to the characters too much, so I'll get over it. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Another 4.5/5 for Drakon, and very nearly 5/5. This is such an amazing series. Such a great concept, crossing historical romance with dragons. And I lAnother 4.5/5 for Drakon, and very nearly 5/5. This is such an amazing series. Such a great concept, crossing historical romance with dragons. And I love the men in it so far! I loved Zane even more than Kip, but they were both so naughty yet still dignified. Zane isnt even Drakon but there was still something about him that was just magnificent and Alpha. I am slightly in awe of him. I really cant blame Lia for being in love with him most of her life. For making a move on a man in his mid-thirties when she was only 14. I am sure she couldnt have helped herself. But the way she was dedicated to him was inspiring. She knew him her whole life, him being a friend of her mother, and she knew what he was. A criminal, a thief, a liar. But she loved him. She knew his future (or a possible future), and the terrible things he was capable of, yet still she loved him.
The story in this was much grander than The Smoke Thief, which was about a jewel theft in London. In The Dream Thief, Lia and Zane go to Hungary to track down a legendary diamond that can control the Drakon. There is much at stake. There are powerful new enemies, and powerful new allies, and you dont always know which is which. There is sacrifice and love, and a possible dark future. The sense of desperation between Lia and Zane, caused by her dreams, was nearly intoxicating. The scene where they made love just after Zane had found out the power of the diamond, was heartbreaking and beautiful. The more I write about this book, the more I wonder why I didnt give it 5/5. The writing is breathtaking, its beautiful and hypnotizing. I added 12 quotes from the book to Goodreads. Nearly every word is worth remembering and making note of. Its like a song.
I cant stop thinking about this series, and I have to order Queen of Dragons from my library right away. It is about a character we met in this book. She was only 11, but Zane was only 13 in The Smoke Thief, so I'm sure several years will have passed. I am extremely excited to hear her story. The rest of the series has lower ratings than the first 2 books, but I hope I will love it anyway....more
This was a great way to end this series, and a drastic improvement from book 2, The Serpent Sea. This probably deserves a 5-star rating, since I feelThis was a great way to end this series, and a drastic improvement from book 2, The Serpent Sea. This probably deserves a 5-star rating, since I feel that it was the best in the series, and I gave book 1 a full 5-stars. But I think that was probably just because it was all so new to me at the time, and I had never seen a world like this one before. But now its not all so new and I am not as blown away by it.
I loved the story in this one because it manged to incorporate a lot of new Raksuran courts and culture, but was also very focused on the Raksuran enemy, the Fell. The sinister villains and the fascinating culture of the Raksuran are two of this series strongest qualities. I loved seeing both the Opal Night and Veridian Sea courts, and how they treated Moon. The interactions are fascinating because they are not human, and even the subtlest body language means something different than it would to us. Its all new and I loved it.
One of the things I found most fascinating was the difference in gender roles. Moon is consort to the Queen and the way he behaves towards her is a way that I could never see a human man behaving towards a woman under any circumstance. On more than one occasion Moon was hurt or weak and Jade carried him. And it just seemed so natural. And the way the men act towards each other as well. They are so affectionate. After Shade faced the Fell progenitor he cried himself to sleep in Moon's arms. When Moon was sick Stone cradled him in his lap. When Dare was dying Moon held him close to his chest as he took his last breaths. I just thought it was beautiful to see these males unafraid to show each other how much they care.
The final battle sequence was just epic and heart-pounding, and everything comes together in the end for Moon and Jade and the Indigo Cloud court. I find I am even happy for Pearl. I will miss the Raksura.
ARC provided by NetGalley on behalf of Night Shade Books, in exchange for an honest review....more
This book thoroughly exceeded my expectations. I loved The Lost Prince, but I think it was still missing something that the original four Iron Fey booThis book thoroughly exceeded my expectations. I loved The Lost Prince, but I think it was still missing something that the original four Iron Fey books had. Then I didnt even give Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden books 5-stars. I enjoy them but they dont even come close to how much I love The Iron Fey. But The Iron Traitor has everything that I ever loved about The Iron Fey.
The sense of adventure and of being on a mission was very strong in this book. Every step they took had a purpose. The story didnt wander around at all. Even if Ethan didnt always agree with their mission's purpose, and even if they failed in the end, it still took them somewhere important.
I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters better in this book, even Ethan. He was the MC so we got to know him pretty well in book 1, but I am really impressed with him now; with how loyal he is to Keirran despite everything (well, I dont know about after the ending, but we'll see), with how he treats Kenzie. The amount of romance was increased quie a bit from book 1. Ethan may be an asshole to most people, but really, he is a wonderful person inside who will always be there for you. Kenzie is pretty badass, and yeah, she reminds me of Meghan. :P Annwyl is a sweetheart and I cant blame Keirran for falling in love with her. I hope to see more of her in the future.
Then there is Keirran. *sigh* Keirran, Keirran. What can I say about you? Keirran is just what you would imagine the son of Meghan and Ash to be like. He is polite, kind, loyal, brave, fierce, unstoppable, loves passionately, and he is totally hot. Whatever is happening to him, I cant hold it against him. I feel so sorry for him, and afraid for him. I dont know what is happening to him, but it cant be the amulet that is stealing his soul, since he was acting strangely since book 1 when he did not save Ethan from the Forgotten. Although, perhaps the amulet is making it worse. It could have something to do with his parentage. The curse of crossbreeding Fae. It reminds me of Perry's family's curse in Under the Never Sky. I love Keirran and Ethan both for different reasons, and I cant really say which I prefer, but I really hope everything turns out ok in the end for both of them.
I love the fact that Ethan has developed his own group of friends and companions with their own strengths and resources, and he doesnt have to rely on his sister. But I also love the fact that Meghan and her friends are still around and willing to help if they are needed. Meghan wasnt in it too much, but I loved seeing Ash, especially in his role as a father. When he told Keirran that he understood how he felt, how he needed to do anything to save Annwyl, I nearly cried. Grimalkin was...well, Grimalkin. But Puck was in this the most out of the old characters and he was great. I couldnt help but smile the whole time he was around. And he risked his neck for Meghan's brother and son on more than one occasion. I cant help but wonder if he still loves her, or if he is just doing it for a friend.
The result of all of this is an incredible addition to The Iron Fey saga that did not disappoint me in the slightest and I cannot wait for book 3. I dont know if it will be the last in the series, but if it is, well, my heart is racing just at the anticipation of all that is going to happen in the book. I'm sure it will blow my mind!...more
This book was amazing, and I did not doubt that it would be. I have only read one otheThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
This book was amazing, and I did not doubt that it would be. I have only read one other book by Crista McHugh, Tangled Web, but it was enough for me to know that I wanted to read everything by her. This wasnt quite as good imo, but that is just my personal preference. A Soul for Trouble was a bit more light-hearted than Tangled Web, and more of the typical epic fantasy, with wizards, princes, adventure, and romance. Tangled Web was an erotic court intrigue. But they are both extremely riveting, fast-paced stories with kick-ass heroines.
A Soul for Trouble has everything you could want in a fantasy, but its main focus is still the romance. There is a love-triangle between Arden, the barmaid who is suddenly the soulbearer for the exiled god of chaos; Dev, her sworn Elf protector; and Kell, the prince who is doing everything in his power to save her life from charges of witchcraft. I really loved Dev from the moment he appeared on the page, and I didnt understand why Arden took so long to warm up to him. She was mean to him and ungrateful for his protection. And I was like, "Bitch, he's amazing! Shut up!" Haha, I did love Arden too, though. But Kell? It took me pretty much the whole book to warm up to him. And in the end I was just agreeing with Dev--begrudgingly admitting that I would probably respect Kell if he wasnt trying to steal Arden. It reminded me a lot of the love-triangle in Throne of Glass. Powerful girl is wooed by prince's charms, while brooding friend who gives her strength is obviously the better choice. All three have their own POVs, as well as occasional chapters from the villain.
There is no explicit content in this book, and is fairly clean, although I would still categorize it as adult. I cannot wait to read A Soul For Chaos and hopefully see Arden and Dev's relationship develop further. I already bought book 2 and will be starting it immediately. :)...more
This book's best feature is easily the original story idea and unique combo of genres. It is in a post-apocalyptic setting, set in Toronto, Canada, apThis book's best feature is easily the original story idea and unique combo of genres. It is in a post-apocalyptic setting, set in Toronto, Canada, approximately 60 years after a cataclysmic war. But despite the futuristic setting, and even before taking Weaver's powers into consideration, it felt like a fantasy in theme, characters, and adventure. With the mysterious, seemingly all-powerful villain, who will likely remain faceless till the end of the series (which is fine, as long as he isnt Weaver's father :P); the boy hero who discovers that he has a power that is the last hope. And Weaver and his friends seem to all have a sense of duty and self-sacrifice in protecting the Shield, which is common in classic fantasy. I am not surprised to see in Najeev Raj Nadarajah's bio that he was inspired by many famous fantasy authors. But this was its own unique new world. Apocalypse by design, where dreams come to life, and fire ignites creatures of nightmare.
The writing style in this was extremely descriptive and had some beautiful imagery. I really enjoyed it for the most part. But sometimes it seemed a bit beyond YA, and a bit word-heavy. And the characters didnt talk like normal 16-18 year olds. It was too formal to seem natural. And some of the characters didnt have enough distinguishing characteristics to tell them apart. Most of them didnt stand out, and I kept mixing them up, despite remembering their names.
But Weaver was a great hero, with great potential. He accomplished much already, with the little knowledge of his power that he has. I cant wait to see what he will accomplish in the future. And I hope to see Toggen there in that future too. I had no problem remembering Toggen. He was a great character, and a great friend, despite denying wanting any friends. He was so loyal and noble, and stoic. Haha, great combo. I cant wait to see what he is capable of either. Considering what faces them in the Dream Eater, they have far to go and much more to do before they are safe and it could be totally epic. I hope it is. I look forward to finding out.
I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review....more
This book was even better than the first, and perhaps even better than anything I haveThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
This book was even better than the first, and perhaps even better than anything I have read all year. It is a prequel to Phoenix Angel, and shows what Maggie and Lily's lives were like before, as Margariete and Esilwen, and even explains some of the events referred to at the end of Phoenix Angel. Sadly, Kyle was not in this at all, and there was very little of Carter, but we get to learn a great deal more about Carter, as well as Raeylan and Feralblade. And what we learned was fascinating. There are so many character revelations in this books, it continually surprised me. I had so many misconceptions before starting it, and I loved the way Amanda Gerry and Christy Hall laid it out.
I have read some other YA fantasy lately, such as Grave Mercy, Bitterblue, and Throne of Glass, and they all disappointed me. They were also all very similar. But Guardian of Time was one of the most original YA fantasy I have read and I would even recommend it for adult fantasy readers. It had a highly developed magical system and amazingly complex mythology and world building. And the story was non-stop. Just when you think you may know where the story is going, another villain is introduced, another threat against Thyella, against the First Kingdom, or against a loved one. But it all flowed together perfectly and kept me reading.
Again, it focused on Margariete and Esilwen. I think this is meant to be both of their stories. Two incredible women as close as sisters, and their loves and losses, as they fight for the lives and freedoms of their world and others. And this book is not afraid to go dark, as it explores the darkest parts of a person's soul, what motivates evil, and how far someone is willing to go for what they believe in.
I cant even think of enough words to describe how amazing this was. I am completely captivated by the world of Shardwell and its stunning imagery. I cannot wait to find out what happens next, how Margariete meets Kyleren, how they end up in our world, and what Kirion will do next!
I would like to thank the authors for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review....more
This book wasnt what I expected it to be. It wasnt as smutty as I thought, but I still really enjoyed it for other reasons. The story starts with ColiThis book wasnt what I expected it to be. It wasnt as smutty as I thought, but I still really enjoyed it for other reasons. The story starts with Colin awaiting execution for a murder he didnt commit. He is then rescued by a mysterious woman who was hired to save him. While waiting for the person who hired her to come and retrieve Colin, someone tries to kill her. So Colin and Madeline run. They have four days before Colin's childhood love marries his brother, to prove his innocence, find out who hired Madeline, and who tried to kill her. They run all over London and surrounding towns non-stop, dealing with resurrectionists, fighting soldiers, and sleeping in barns. It is a very exciting and interesting book.
All the while, Colin and Madeline are also trying to deal with each other. At first they do not trust each other but have little choice but to work together. But then Madeline starts to develop feelings for Colin when she sees how brave he is. How he always knows the exact thing to say to her to make her feel better when she is scared or weary from their journey. But she tries to deny it because she knows Colin is just waiting to see his love again, and stop her from marrying his brother. But Colin and Madeline were really sweet together. They were a perfect couple and they complemented each other perfectly. The story focused on the romance and the action/mystery most of all, but there were 3 rather explicit sex scenes near the end for those who love their historical smut. :P But it was not as memorable as the romance for me. What I will remember most about this book is how well Colin and Madeline worked together, and how it was instantly clear to me that they belonged together forever. :) ...more
I enjoyed this a bit more than The Vicious Deep with 3.5/5. There was more action, more romance, high stakes.
The characters are starting to grow on me. They are still nothing special really. Tristan is funny and a very realistic teenage guy, but most teenage guys arent that special. :P But he loves Layla and that just raises him up so high for me. A guy who truly loves his girl is priceless.
Tristan and Layla have an interesting relationship. They never really talked about what they wanted, or revealed their feelings to each other. It sort of just happened, like North and Sydelle from Brightly Woven. They are adorable.
There were also some twists in this that I didnt see coming and they will complicate things in The Vast and Brutal Sea. I look forward to seeing Tristan fight for Layla. I actually dont care whether or not Tristan becomes king. There are a few other champions who would probably make decent kings too. I just hope that everyone will be ok in the end....more