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Prayer of the Handmaiden

(Legends of Ithyria #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  24 reviews
When the Goddess Ithyris appoints shy priestess Kadrian to become Her first shaa’din, or holy warrior, in a millennium, everyone is mystified by Her decision—especially Kade herself. On the battlefields of Mondera, as Kade struggles to defend Ithyria from a dangerous new enemy, she’s also brought face-to-face with her greatest personal temptation: the childhood sweetheart ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published March 16th 2015 by Bold Strokes Books
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3.98  · 
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 ·  190 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Book Worm
A wonderful sequel to the Sword of the Guardian. And I must say that the questions and criticism I had in my review of that book have partly been answered or amended.
In my opinion, this book was much better than the first one.
First of all the conflict was more concise and required more struggle and character development. In the first book, I had the feeling that the whole Goddess intervention came as a cheap resolve. It seemed to be disconnected from the personal struggle of Talon and Shasta an
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved Sword of the Guardian and was expecting to like this too, but I actually liked it even more (I'm also glad I was able to read them back to back--I can't imagine waiting years between them like so many other people did). It was even more emotional and the romance was even more hard won. I was glad to see more of Talon and Shasta, especially as they worked through some of their challenges.
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have loved and enjoy reading Sword of the Guardian and have been waiting for this "sequel" ever since.

The writing is just superb, reading the book, you can almost feel Kade's out of the world experience with Ithyris, everything is described so vividly right in front of your eyes. Admittedly, I've tried to take a peek at the end of the story and lol.... glad to say for once that there are so many different twists and turns that I end up starting again at where I've left off. To some, Kade will
D. Leigh
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book by this author that I didn't like and this one is no exception. She's a fantastic writer of fantasy. Her world-building is impeccable, and her plotting full of twists and turns. "Handmaiden" brings back her much loved characters from "Sword of the Guardian" and continues the story by bringing two new characters to the forefront. There is magic, battle scenes, an unlikely heroine and -- I especially like -- a maid who never sees her station in life as less than anyone else' ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ff-fantasy-magic
I am left without words. First I thought it couldn't get any better from the Sword of the Guardian, but I had known Merry has a brilliant mind and she would surprise me again, but I didn't dare utter it. When I finished reading this book I was like in a moment of unspeakable BLISS!!! Rin and Kade have me wishing yet again that I would be lucky enough to find a love as strong as theirs. My, what a powerful surge of hope filled my heart.

Sometimes in life, one thinks: how will they make it through
Lex Kent
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
While not as good as the first, this is an enjoyable sequel. The book wraps up the main story, at the end, but leaves it open for another. I hope Shannon writes another, maybe staring Talon's sister. That was another nice thing about Prayer of the Handmaiden, you got to continue the stories of the character you love from the first book. Though, Shannon did make Talon much more annoying in this book. Hopefully, she'll fix that in the next.
If you liked the first book, you will enjoy this.
Rahnuma Khan
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ff, book-series
Effie Calvin
It's incredibly rare that I enjoy a sequel more than the original, but that was the case for Prayer of the Handmaiden. It took me a little longer to get into, but when I did, I loved it. The author is particularly good at explaining her unique fantasy elements without breaking up the flow of the story, and her descriptions make the fantastic settings easy to visualize. Sometimes the dialogue is a bit odd, and character motivations can be a little weak, but the benefits outweighed the drawbacks i ...more
Michelle n Jodie
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would recommend reading the first book in the series before this one so that you already have an understanding of the world and its characters. Such a delightful story. The characters have depth and the plot well developed. You will not be disappointed. The Goddess ceremony with the new Shaa'din is delicious. The villain is ruthless and creates enough tension for you not to want to stop reading until you reach the conclusion. I love that this book includes the characters from the first, but th ...more
Leila Anani
Sword of the Guardian was the first Bold Strokes book I ever picked up and it really set the bar - Merry Shannon remains my favourite BS author and this 2nd Legend of Ithyria lived up to all my expectations.

It follows Erinda (Rin) - lady in waiting to Princess Shasta and her doomed love for her childhood best friend Kaderin (Kade) who ended their relationship to become priestess of the goddess Ithyris. Kade is shocked when the Goddess singles her out to be a Shaa'din (warrior-nun) the first to
Oct 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, q
someone took merry shannon aside and told her to stop using the word "swarthy," which i appreciate, but to replace it she started calling the people from the enemy country "barbarians" and, frequently, "animals"

this book also features a priestess meeting her goddess and going into raptures about how beautiful she is, how she is the template of Woman, how straight her nose is

could we, potentially, not.
Tony Hisgett
Oct 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed the first book in this series Sword of the Guardian but I’m afraid I really didn’t like this story. My problems start with the over long descriptions of nearly everything, but my biggest problem was the continuous self-sacrifice angst, which was not only nauseating, but became really tedious.
nisie draws
Eh, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first one. The angsting was too long and tedious for my tastes, and the weird spiritual sex between the priestess and her goddess was a bit TOO MUCH for me
I can't remember much except that I didn't like the characters a ton.
Love Bytes Reviews
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 heart review by Roberta

I have been lucky enough to be able to read some of the f/f books coming out on our website and I was intrigued by this story. A young priestess and her childhood best friend and sweetheart, are put on a path that will either bring them together or finally pull them apart.

Kadrian “Kade” is this shy young woman who has always felt this need to join into the service of the Goddess Ithyris. Yet, even feeling the urge to join the service, Kade has the best friend that mean
Find this review & more @ bookishsilvertongue

I was given a free review copy through netgalley

Prayer of the handmaiden is not a good fantasy novel. The plot is predictable, the characters have weak motives to be involved in the war, the antagonists are worse than two dimensional, and the worldbuilding is pretty much non-existent. It's a mediocre fantasy novel, only reaching good in its shiniest moments.
So why four stars?

Well, because while this is not an exceptional fantasy novel, it is a fan
Shira Glassman
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Prayer of the Handmaiden by Merry Shannon is actually the second book in a fantasy series, but since it’s about a completely different pair of women than the first one, just set in the same universe, you can start there like I did and not be the slightest bit confused. As someone who doesn’t like the pressure of having to read a dozen books at a time just to get a full story, and who writes her own series such that each book can be read independently of the others and out of order, I was gratefu ...more
Nov 20, 2015 rated it liked it
oooooookay so, it's possible that at thirteen this would've been my book of the year. moreover, if at thirteen i could produce a (quite professional) fantasy text, i would've written a story like that one - forbidden lovers! hijinks! daring rescues! resurrection by the Power Of Love! - and would've been quite pleased. but as of now, i was gritting my teeth through the most of it, because the setting is painfully Fantasy 101, and the bucketfuls of angst slopped all over it are based on literally ...more
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing.
I loved Branded Ann and Sword of the Guardian and my love for Merry Shannon's books definitely continues in the Prayer of the Handmaiden.
I devoured the book within two days! And I would have finished it within the day if not for my need to prolong the read.
I truly hope Merry continues her writing. She is one of the few authors that make me connect to the characters so well that I could actually feel the turmoil of emotions.

Prayer of the Handmaiden is a must read for those
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer
Both this book and it's predecessor made me cry so many times while reading it, both with happiness and sadness. Some of the ideas might be bordering on cheesy/cliche (a maid and a celibate priestess?) but that doesn't come across while actually reading it and it's written very well and really dragged my emotions along with it. Very night to just get totally involved with a book while it takes you along for the ride.
Sex scenes, which were well written and I don't think overdone, but if you're s
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded up. :) I don't remember much of Sword of the Guardian, because I read it when it came out almost 10 years ago, but it was nice to be in that world again. I was occasionally irritated by the characters' choices and reactions to things, but overall really enjoyed the journey. Looking forward to more stories set in Ithyria!
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtq, romance, arc
I enjoyed the book - particularly the non-romance, angsty bits. Those were fine, too, but I really like the other parts the most.
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lesbian romance novel fun. Enjoyable read. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
Nolly  Sepulveda
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice follow up to Sword of the Guardian, hope to read more of the battle between the Goddess Ithiris and her evil brother Ulrike.
Ekaterina SP
rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2015
JB Marsden
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2017
Mrs Emma Wallis
rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2017
Ethelene Waters
rated it it was ok
Jan 02, 2017
rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2015
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Merry Shannon was born in California and grew up a military brat. Raised in a conservative family, she was not allowed to watch cartoons and moved around so much that she made few friends; and so she turned to books for companionship and entertainment. She fell in love with reading at a very young age, and soon began to write her own stories.

Her love of fantasy and adventure began very early, and

Other books in the series

Legends of Ithyria (2 books)
  • Sword of the Guardian (Legends of Ithyria, #1)