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The Devil's Concubine

(Devil of Ponong #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  66 reviews
QuiTai, ruthless concubine of Levapur’s mysterious crime lord, the Devil, receives an unexpected invitation to cocktails with disgraced Thampurian Kyam Zul. She doesn’t trust Kyam enough to drink anything he pours, and won’t help him no matter how hard he begs – or threatens. But when QuiTai’s ex-lover is murdered, Kyam is the only one who knows the name of the killer, and ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published April 28th 2013 by Wayzgoose Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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*Netgalley ARC in exchange for honest review*

This book was a bit hit or miss for me. I absolutely loved the vivid, lush descriptions. I could get lost in this authors ability to describe the jungle, ocean, and vibrant people of this island. Her wording is fabulous and she has some real skill at setting a scene.

The first 25% of the book pulled me into the mystery of the island and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the relationship between QuiTai and "the devil". I couldn't tell if they
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, fantasy
Imagine a world. Imagine a world beautifully entrenched in Far Eastern culture. Imagine a world in which fantasy and technology battle for supremacy. Where your usual UF monster is transplanted. And all of a sudden he represents the devil (in this case both figuratively and historically, if you remember your Far East history class).

Imagine a writer who can wax poetically about jungles and intrigues and make you wish you were there.

The Devil's Concubine is definitely this kind of book. One that
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good read. From the title, I was expecting a romance, but what I got was organised crime, spies and a mystery plot.

QuiTai is the concubine (but also the right hand) of the Devil, the crime lord (and werewolf) who, together with the foreign colonial government, rules Ponong, QuiTai's home. Rumours of smugglers bringing and unknown shipment to the island, without giving the Devil his cut, and then a murder find QuiTai working with the spy Kyam Zul, who serves the country who conquer
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jill Braden has written an intriguing fantasy around Ponong, a Polynesian type island with a touch of Asian flair. Her world is nothing like I have ever read before. The Ponongese people are humanoid with snake like qualities, which include fangs and poisonous venom. They are ruled by the Thampurian government whose people are known as sea dragons. Since no troubled world would be complete without an evil underbelly they have a crime syndicate, which happens to be run by werewolves. However ther ...more
Christina Bearden-white
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and all the sequels so far. Thanks Ms. Braden, for writing a fun book in a style I also want to read.
Carrie Slager
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

I am seriously in awe of this book. Not only is it well written with amazing characters and a fast plot, but it also takes place in a fantasy world that’s not based on Medieval Europe! Instead, it’s based upon a tropical island culture with elements taken from both island and Asian cultures as well as some European ones.

QuiTai is now one of my favourite characters—ever. Considering how many books I
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tsundoku Reviews

Brief Summary: QuiTai, the Devil’s concubine and crime mastermind is already playing a dangerous game—simultaneously placating the Devil while also scheming for the freedom of her people the Ponongese. But when Thampurian spy Kyam Tul comes to her about a deadly Ravidian plot, the stakes are raised.

The Tsundoku Scale: Top of the Pile, 8 out of 10.

The Good: QuiTai is that appealing, hard-to-go-wrong character trifecta of sassy, sexy, and smart—traits that go a long way to making a
Emily Embree
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So the devil goes down to Ponong and sets up castle, taking a mistress named Qui Tai.
He's big and bad, and sometimes downright mean which should be a sign for Qui Tai to run as far as she can in what ever direction will take her the farthest from the Petrof, but she's not the kind of heroine to run away from a good challenge. Especially when she's got her own nasty agenda.

But first, she has a mystery to solve involving an old lover (something that isn't making Petrof, real happy.) One she might
reviewnutt Torres
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dear Author,

I read this, loved it, and can't wait to read the second.

However, I have several suggestions which you should take as thinly disguised demands: Since I'm going ahead to read the second novel in this series you must continue it. I expect a third and fourth book by the end of the year. Failure to comply will result in extreme temper tantrums and associating your name with some of the less savory authors of history (Mein Kampf ring any bells?).

Secondly, you have werewolves in this one,
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Devil's Concubine is set in a world that is so well described and so fully fleshed out that it is almost effortless to slip into it. The humidity of Ponong could almost warp the pages of the book. If you were reading a paper copy. Which I wasn't. Thankfully, my nook didn't sweat. The skittering lizards and howling primates really just make this one of the most beautifully written worlds I can remember taking part in.

The character development of QuiTai, our protagonist, is probably the best p
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With “The Devil’s Concubine” Braden blows a breath of fresh air into fantasy literature that seems swamped with poorly edited stories. I am having a difficult time trying to find fault with it. You seriously need to get this story. Right now (6th May 2018) you can get it for free on Amazon.

“The Devil’s Concubine” is part of a series called “The Devil of Ponong“. Currently there are three books in the series. I want more of them They all have proper endings without cliff-hangers and the “problem”
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book pleasantly surprised me.

The world building was fantastic, and not what I'm used to. So often world-building recycles the same European driven influences, but this had a much more Asian feel to it. As such, it was fresh and interesting; a lot of care and thought went into it, which I always appreciate. I didn't even mind the werewolves; Jill Braden did a good job of integrating them into her world-building.

The story itself was interesting, and while it might frustrate some readers to fo
E.M. Prazeman
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is just my sort of book. Intrigue? Check. Main characters that respect each other, even if they don't always like, trust, or treat each other well? Check. Complex personal problems that can't be solved simply by communication or thirty seconds of easy-to-follow advice? Check. Rich setting? Check. Characters that grow more interesting as you realize that their behavior has deeper reasons than the ones the characters show on the surface? Check.
I'll be checking (heh) out the rest of the serie
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable. At first I thought it was a little complex; a fantasy foreign culture, it was a lot to take in, but the plot had a good pace and plenty of interesting turns. It's strong female lead (I would say) was it's best quality. She was determined and not scared to do what she had to, even if her actions could be questioned as 'evil'. And she didn't let past tragedies brake her.
I will read the next in the series, but I'm not rushing out to buy it.
I enjoyed the mix of cultures. Some of the descriptions actually rang true for me. I am not a real fan of Sci-Fi (if that is what this is) but I found the characters interesting. Of course it's the old "good vs. evil" and if you took away all of the descriptive trappings you could plop this story into any timeline or country. I did like the end though. the "Lady" is a hero in my book.
Kathleen Young
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I took a chance reading this as not what I typically like and I am glad that I did. Excellent story, well written,, character development is excellent as well. Highly recommend!
This was everything I hoped it would be and more. The worldbuilding grabbed me right from the start, it really has the sense of taking place in a big world full of history. The plot is good, keeps you guessing, and Braden's writing style is so unobtrusively flowing.
Mina MacGabhann
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book or not, but was free from Amazon through Book Bub, and looked interesting.

The story was intriguing. I definitely want to read the rest of the series.
Peter McLaughlin
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had some trouble with the early chapters but once I absorbed the concept I enjoyed the book. Specie variation is a extremely interesting concept and this book was an excellent example of the possibilities.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was a little far out for me as far as fantasy. It was an interesting read none the less. If you are into fantasy and other worlds, you will probably like this one.
๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ
3.5 stars. Most people who try to write wit, fail, but Braden does so with surprising success. The characters were refreshing, original, flawed and likeable. The lore is rooted in historical reality which gives it authenticity, rawness and memorability. Well done.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book

The book was interesting and had lots of action and intrigue. This book is worth reading and I am sure the next one will be too.
Delena constant
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who is the Devil

Well written intrigue, can not put this will twist you to read one more page and another! Bon Voyage
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some good and some and bits
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
excellent perspective of colonized people and a fabulous independent heroine!
Dec 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m usually not someone to abandon a book unfinished, but this one was just not my cup of tea. Didn’t even manage to get passed chapter 2...
Sissy Bumpus
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book!

Always love a book with a powerful heroine. Could not put the book down. Can't wait to read book two!
Heidi Kneale
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Loved this. Imaginative worldbuilding reminiscent of Southeast Asia, including the issues that come with colonisation. The inclusion of a layer of fantasy made this a rich, beautiful world.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I absolutely loved the backdrop of this story, especially the idea of jellyfish lanterns. The characters that stand in front of it, I did not love as much. I really needed a character chart and a glossary of the species running around this world to get what was happening. I got so confused that I gave up and just focused on the main character and her main story of finding out who killed her lover. She wasn't a particularly interesting character to follow, mostly she had banter with a new love in ...more
Nora Black
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, a totally unique new voice. Qui'Tai, is the 'Devil's Concubine', a position she owes as favor to the devil for giving her vital information when she needed it to take revenge for a horrific family tragedy.
Fantastic world building seduces the reader into a magical, wonderfully wrought environment, part Asian, part ancient, part steampunk, part European. The thought and imagination necessary to conjure such magnificence is almost mind-boggling, it is utterly beautiful, original and f
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Devil of Ponong (4 books)
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