I adored this book. Excellent world building, terrific characters, engaging plot, lots of action, and filled with magic and imagination.
Being short inI adored this book. Excellent world building, terrific characters, engaging plot, lots of action, and filled with magic and imagination.
Being short in stature and fourth in line for her father's throne, Princess Sylviianel (Sylvi) is glad that for her, life as a royal brings little responsibility and the benefits of pretty things and food that she enjoys. She is able to observe the trials and tribulations of running a kingdom without experiencing much impact upon her everyday life--not even from the increasing numbers of predatory creatures long absent from Balsinland thanks to the high walls surrounding their kingdom. Her aspirations are few and expects that she will perform minor duties upon adulthood and that one day she will marry.
However, Sylvi's life drastically changes with her twelfth birthday. Like all royal and noble children, she is to be bound with a Pegasi offspring. The Pegasi are small, delicate, winged creatures* who have the intelligence and willingness to communicate with their human neighbors due to a treaty signed between them hundreds of years ago. The Pegasi were hunted near to extinction by the vicious native predators (ladons, taralians, norindours, wyverns, and rocs) until an exiled expedition party of humans stumbled upon the Pegasi lands. The humans were awed by these intelligent and wondrous creatures with whom they were able to communicate via their magicians and physical signing. In exchange for protecting the Pegasi by hunting down the native predators, the Pegasi allow this party to establish a new kingdom
Much to Slyvi's chagrin, the elaborate binding ceremony is steeped in traditional speeches, protocols, and magic, which requires her to perfect her knowledge of Pegasi sign-language, memorize the required oration and actions, and be on her best behavior so as not to embarrass her family. Nothing in her training prepares her for the shock she receives during the ceremony, which sets off a chain of events that not only affect Slyvii and her Pegasi bondmate Ebon, but will change Pegasi-human relationships and send Slyvi on an exciting adventure.
*Edited to change Pegasi description as they are not winged horses in this series....more
Richelle Mead starts off her Dark Swan series with this fast-paced novel. Eugenie Markham is a shaman-for-hire and very good at her job of ridding ourRichelle Mead starts off her Dark Swan series with this fast-paced novel. Eugenie Markham is a shaman-for-hire and very good at her job of ridding our world of demons, spirits, and creatures from the Otherwold (Land of Fae). Armed with a Glock .22 (loaded with either silver or steel bullets as needed), iron & silver athames, a gem-encrusted wand, and tattoos to aid with spiritual access to the Otherwold and the Underworld, Eugenie is a tough, no-nonsense, beauty ready to take on any job to pay the bills. But when client asks her to find his kidnapped 14-year-old sister who was taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie is hesitant to proceed. Traveling spiritually to the Otherworld is dangerous enough, but extended physical stays are practically suicidal – especially now that these creatures are trying to rape and/or kill her. Eugenie agrees, but soon discovers that secrets about her past are about to change her life in ways she could never have guessed – including who she is and who she can trust to help her.
Mead does an excellent job of creating fascinating characters that are often more than they initially seem. In much the same way, her plot is filled with twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. The tone alternates from romantic to harrowing to hilarious smoothly. Very quickly you are swept into Eugenie's world and are invested in these characters' fates. I'm excited to immediately read the next novel Thorn Queen, because I really want to spend more time in this world. The only downside is my now-constant craving for Milky Way candy bars! ...more
Book 3 of The Phoenix Chronicles (Any Given Doomsday and Doomsday Can Wait are Books 1 & 2) -- Despite Psychic/Shape-shifter/Vampire Elizabeth (LiBook 3 of The Phoenix Chronicles (Any Given Doomsday and Doomsday Can Wait are Books 1 & 2) -- Despite Psychic/Shape-shifter/Vampire Elizabeth (Liz) Phoenix's efforts, somehow the Gates of Hell have been opened and the Apocalypse is at hand. Demons are flooding the earth and if Liz can't prevent Satan from taking control, humanity will end. Her newly acquired vampire abilities are her secret weapon against the demon hoards, but she still needs to acquire the Key of Solomon and the Book of Samyaza (Satan) to stave off the Apocalypse -- without losing herself to her inner demon. With the aid of her ex-lover Jimmy Sanducci and mysterious Navajo shaman Sawyer, Liz discovers that someone she thought was dead isn't and will destroy everyone Liz loves to bring about the Apocalypse.
I've really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to Handeland's 4th novel Chaos Bites. ...more