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Devices of War #2

Knight of Wands

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Return to a world of mind blowing visuals, heart stopping action, and ships that sail the skies.

Nix, Queen of Wands, has exactly what she wants—Synn El’Asim, the greatest Mark the world has ever seen. Even though she bound his soul to hers, he is not easily controlled. If she wants him, she must do the one thing that pains her most. Let him go, and give him what he desires. Peace.

Armed with a treaty bearing Nix’s seal, Synn sets off to bridge the gap between the world’s two reigning tyrants—the Hands of Tarot and the Great Families. He struggles to trust Nix as he fights for control of his soul. He’s going to need every ounce of restraint when dealing with his mother, leader of the Great Families. She will not give up her power without a fight. Nix will honor her treaty only if Synn agrees to become her knight. His mother refuses to sign the peace agreement if he falls into the queen’s control.

Frustrated, Synn does the one thing neither woman saw coming. He invites all the tribes, currently voiceless in the war between these two ruling tyrants, to partake in the treaty negotiations. All they have to do is prove their worth in his Peace Games. As Synn’s influence and subsequent power grows, a new fight begins.

Who will control Synn’s League of Cities? Can he protect more people as a leader of the Great Families, or as the Knight of Wands?

Can be read as a stand-alone.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 1, 2013

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About the author

S.M. Blooding

45 books583 followers
Frankie Blooding lives in beautiful Montana with her darling husband, Captain Alaska, and their demon cat, Tesla.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for S.M. Blooding.
Author 45 books583 followers
October 3, 2013
You know me. I love all of my books! But...this one? OMW! I love-love-LOVE this book.

It can be written as a stand-alone. I'm just letting you know. I worked very hard to get that.

OMW! SOOOOOOOOOO good! Some of my favorite scenes are in this book!
99 reviews15 followers
November 14, 2013
Knight of Wands is the second book in the Devices of War Trilogy. I loved the first book, Fall of Sky City, and I was so excited to get to read book two. It was amazing to see what was happening in this beautiful world and to all the interesting characters. While this book wasn’t all about showing their Marks, or abilities, it was more political, it didn’t lose any of its appeal. The action was still there, but now interspersed with trying to gain peace in an unstable world.

The book centers on Synn as he struggles to gain peace for all the people in his world. His struggle with not only the Families, but with the Queens is brave and exciting. For every inch he gave, they took a mile. I loved Synn’s journey. Synn is still unsure of his leadership capabilities, so he tests himself constantly. He may not want to lead, but with the world looking at him, he proves a great deal about himself in this book. I love his story, and I have hope yet that he will find someone to love who isn’t a psycho that stole part of his soul.

Once again, I loved the secondary characters. I always enjoy a book that can make me just as interest in the secondary characters as I am the main character. I loved reading about all the people from the first book. Not all of their stories were as prevalent as the first book, but their personalities still shined through. The new characters and the ones that were explored more in this book were so fun to read about. I loved Aiyanna in the book. Her part wasn’t constant, but I hope to read more about her in the third book. I really enjoyed the introduction of the Kowka Clan, too.

I loved every part of this book, even the parts that broke my heart a little. The world S.M. Blooding created sounds amazing and frightening. I read it in a day because I just couldn’t put it down, and once I was finished I wished it hadn’t ended. This is a beautifully written fantasy that I think could appeal to anyone. Knight of Wands is full of political upheaval, adventure, deception, and danger. I cannot wait to read the third book, Menagerie.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Profile Image for Ash Rowe.
195 reviews
February 3, 2015

I was given this book for my honest review….

In the first book we get a look into this wonderful world that S.M Blooding has created. We get to see the history of the Great Families and The Hands also learn about the “marks” that some of the people have. In this book we get to see how Synn and the others are working to shape their future.

This book had a more political aspect to it than the last. That aspect added more to it. S.M Blooding does a wonderful job at creating a beautiful world. She is very good at describing it so you can easily imagine how everything would look. The “games” introduced us to some less populated tribes and some interesting character along with adding some great action scenes and friendly/ not so friendly competition between the different families and the hands.

Synn has grown so strong but is someone still pulling his strings in order to control his powerful mark? He’s still fighting his bond with Nix and he has his mother who is a leader in a Powerful family plus now there is the Queen of Swords and the Priestess. I like the priestess character and am excited to read more about her.I love that Synn is determined to make the world fair and just without seeking revenge and that he wants to put the best people in power to help lead the families.

I love reading about the bonds Synn has with his family and I enjoyed trying to figure out where he was going to be in all this? Was he going to accept Nix’s offer to be her Knight? Was he going to take over his fathers ship? or become leader of the League of Cities?

This book has great action, humor scenes and some twists that you don’t see coming. The ending I was shocked! My husband said just by looking at my face you and the sharp intake of breath something major happened.

This series is a great Steampunk, action filled book. I’m looking forward to the next one! I’d recommend it to anyone who likes shows like The Avatar and anyone who likes Steampunk reads. The Devices of War is a great series!
Profile Image for Phaedra Seabolt.
Author 1 book276 followers
November 8, 2013
I read the first book in this series a while ago (review: http://www.identitydiscovery.net/2013/05/bookreview-fall-of-sky-city.html) and fell in love with it. I loved the setting and the conflict that was occurring. Synn El'Asim escapes control of the Hands, four Queens that are destroying the world he loves, only to wind up being captured at the end of Book 2 by them again. However, this time he is being "trained" to withstand the bond that he accidentally forged with Queen Nix. Queen Dyna is determined to overthrow her sister. The only way she knows to do that is to show Synn how to defend himself against her since he is her weakness. She wants him for his mark, a mark that is considered to be the greatest mark ever seen, and his body. She simply has never had a man tell her no before, so she is determined to weedle herself into Synn's bed. In order to manipulate Synn, both queens set him free to create world peace. This story is about his efforts to unite the world. Of course, no one actually thought Synn could succeed, so there are problems along the way.

I have been anxiously awaiting my chance to read the second book, desperate to know what would happen next with Synn. A lot of women read books and fall in love with the main male character calling them their book boyfriends. Well I am in love with Synn, but not in a book boyfriend sense. He just seems so real to me. In a steampunk world, it is easy for characters not to be real, but Synn is different some how. It might be because you get to read all of his thought processes and they show you how human he is. It could just be amazing writing. I don't know, but I can't wait to read the third book now.

Read more reviews at Identity Discovery Blog.
Profile Image for W. Tinkanesh.
Author 21 books33 followers
February 18, 2015
In the second volume of Devices of War, Synn Kadar El’Asim (not Primus, he insists) of the powerful Mark learns about politics. Nix Primus (Queen of Wands) would do anything, including killing and destroying, for Synn to be her knight. Dyna Domitius (Queen of Swords) claims she wants peace. Suddenly Nix offers a peace treaty with the remaining Great Families, and wants Synn to be the emissary.

Are the adults forgetting that Synn is young, intelligent and an idealist? And that he has friends watching his back, and he is making new friends willing to follow him. Do they really think they can manipulate him? Synn is a leader and a hero, and he refuses to be a pawn. While inviting Great and lesser Families to join into a League of Cities and work on the terms of the peace treaty, Synn is waiting for Nix’s duplicity to reveal itself.

The author created a fantastic world, full of extraordinary possibilities. The readers might wonder if, given the option, they would choose to live in a sky ship (carried by an air jelly) among the clouds and along the winds, or in a lethara city (within a gigantic jellyfish) in the waters and following undercurrents. Or maybe, who knows, in Sky City to learn and read Tarot cards with the mysterious High Priestess Aiyanna.

‘Knight of Wands’ is an action-packed steampunk novel. Its first-person narrative is as visual and philosophical as in ‘Fall of Sky City’. Characters, old and new, keep on growing and developing for the eyes and minds of the readers. The author offers new questions and answers old ones before leaving the captivated readers with another breathtaking cliffhanger.
SM Blooding, where is the final volume of your trilogy?
Profile Image for Rae Ryans.
Author 8 books178 followers
November 14, 2013
Knight of Wands is the second book in the Devices of War trilogy. While it can be read as a stand alone, there are obvious spoilers if you want to read book one first. I go more in-depth on the world there, but here's the cliff note's version.

"What I really loved most of all were the creatures, and the idea of symbiosis that occurred with the Families. It didn’t matter if it was land, sea, or the air, they worked and developed relationships with these creatures. The Hands were the complete opposite, and much like the world we know today."

Synn's grown a lot from the trial and tribulations he's faced with both books. In book one we saw a drive for revenge after Nix killed his father and some of that pops up here too. It's a normal reaction and one many of us can most likely relate to. But his vision changes, and with it, his drive toward a new world of equality.

His Mark is both sought and feared, but Synn sees it from a new light. Power for the sake of power doesn't make him powerful. He of course used more eloquent terms, but that's the gist I took away. There's quite a bit of truth to his words. Spoiled brats might have everything handed to them on a silver platter, but it doesn't make them any different or better than the man who breaks his back to survive.

The message of this book far succeeds the previous. I really enjoyed watching Synn stumble forward in a world he's lost in. Does he command the skies, the waters, or does he take a leap of faith and become The Knight of Wands? Read it to find out
Profile Image for Stacey Blake.
12 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2013
I had never read a steampunk fantasy novel before I read Fall of Sky City. I didn’t even know what it was. But I forged ahead and read it and was completely amazed. The author created such a fantastical world with unforgettable characters and I couldn’t wait to read this second installment.
The characters are growing and developing. Synn is trying to figure out his role in the world. And with some powerful and strong-minded women in the mix, he is in for a bit of a time of it.
He wants to do the right thing but as almost every turn, he is faced with those who want only what is best for them. And one is his own mother.
And the villain. She is seriously evil and crazy. We find out a bit more about Nix in this one. We see a snippet of her past and it makes me think we will be learning even more about what made her into the deranged lunatic she is. Talk about manipulative, I think if you look up that word in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Nix. That woman seriously scares the crap of me. And she is even scarier in this one, if that is possible.
There is also plenty of action of this one; I loved the games they created and seeing them figure out how to complete them. This would make such an awesome movie!
Read Fall of Sky City first; it’s incredible and will introduce you to this mind-blowing world and these characters. And you will be lucky since Knight of Wands is already out and you won’t have to wait for it. But then you’ll be with me, stalking the author until the next is released.
Profile Image for Kristin.
527 reviews6 followers
November 23, 2013
I'd like to thank the author and Promotional Book Tours for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I signed up for this review, I was a little leery, as it is the second book in a series, and I never do well with jumping into the middle of a series.However, the author promised that it could easily be a stand-alone. It sounded like an awesome book, so I jumped on the chance to read it.
I got burned again. If you can get past all the back story that you're missing that's hinted at or not having the world and culture explained to you, then, yes, its a wonderful stand-alone book. For the first 50 pages, I was utterly and completely lost. Why does this psycho queen have this person? What the heck is a Knight and why is it so important? What are the Tarot, or the Hands? And who is this guy, in charge of an entire people or something?
Once we got past that however, the book got better. It got significantly better. It was almost completely understandable. There was a lot of the culture I didn't understand, though I think I picked up on a bunch of it along the way.
So if you're going to read this book, go for it. Its wonderfully written, and a great world. However, do both of us a favor and read the first book first.
Profile Image for Simone.
472 reviews17 followers
December 4, 2013
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is book two in The Devices of War series. The story begins with Synn El'Asim still imprisoned by Queen Nix. He repeatedly resists the draw she has on him. Her sister, Dyna, decides to use Priestess Aiyanna to get information on the location of Ino City. Queen Nix releases Synn after she sends out a notice stating that as her Knight, Synn would be drafting a peace treaty. Will Synn receive complete freedom? Will Nix's evil deeds prevail? Will Aiyanna divulge where her loyalties lie?

S.M. Blooding has done it again! This novel drew me and it was so difficult to put down. The action and vivid descriptions were so amazing; it was like opening a book and entering a new world. You will fall in love with Synn's obvious growth I this book. I wish there was more focus on Keeley and the feelings Synn has for her. The end was pretty unexpected and really threw me. All in all, an awesome sequel! I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

Profile Image for Vered.
Author 69 books298 followers
December 21, 2013
Synn has escaped Nix’s city, but not the Queen’s clutch. Desperate to rid himself of her influence and restore justice to his world, he launches a daring plan. But at what price?

The second book in the Devices of War Trilogy continues the story of Synn and his band of friends. Tribal politics take a central role in the book, as does Synn’s rising role amongst his tribe. While I enjoyed the new creatures introduced, I wanted to shoot Nix at various points in the story – enough already! This book clearly sets the stage for the third.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
195 reviews
March 2, 2015
The world is still amazing, the writing brilliant, and my issues with the main character have softened slightly as he's become a bit more self aware.

From the sneak peek at the next book, I suspect he regresses though, which will be annoying, because conflict due to being an arsehat is less interesting than working out how to manage yourself and interactions with other people.

I recommend this series for the world building and depth of character creation.

And if the author reads this review, you need a better editor, there were a few typos and awkward language use in parts of the ebook.
28 reviews
April 29, 2016
Overall I found this series interesting. It was a little hard for me to get into the first book, but as the series progressed each book got progressively better. Of the three, Whispers of the Skyborn was my favorite. The world the author has developed is well thought out. The people consist of different tribes, some who live on land, some who live on and in the sea, and some who live in the sky. By book three tribes of all types come together to form the League of Cities. If you enjoy science fiction, this series is definitely one you want to check out.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Henry Braithwaite.
3 reviews2 followers
May 17, 2016
A little slow at times, but it picks up and gets more intriguing. Def. worth the read.
Profile Image for Tameko.
13 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2017
An awesome story to read!

This is my first experience in reading a steampunk story that actually flows well from start to finish . Moving on to the next chapter!
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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