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Secrets Kept

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  26 reviews
With a curse, she will build an army.
With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice.
But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper.

Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, t
Paperback, Second Edition, 400 pages
Published May 14th 2015 by BrokenSeed Books (first published October 11th 2013)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  52 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Laura Grace
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have a lot of thoughts on this book, but not sure I could remotely capture even half of them! Haha!

Since Vian became one of my favorite characters by the end, I'm going to say that he was so relatable in his fear of the unknown creatures, but also his genuineness to keep learning so he be a good future King. I greatly admired him for that. I also laughed at his attempt to pronounce some of the names because I felt I was in the same boat. Haha!

The world of Nalu is amazing! It's huge and each r
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is full of secrets! Ayianna finds out she's betrothed to Desmond, the handsome nephew of a lord and a merchant. As she and her father are traveling to meet Desmond's uncle, Lord Ramiro, her father asks her to keep her heritage a secret (she's half-elf, half-human). She also learns that her father is guarding a secret. They're attacked by men who want her killed and her father taken alive, but he jumps in front of the sword meant for her and his dying words are for her to go to her brot ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Originally posted on: The Quirky Book Nerd

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Full Trilogy Review:

I really enjoyed reading this trilogy. There are so many secrets and twists and turns in the plot it is easy to become engrossed and it is hard to put down. The story moves at a solidly fast pace and is packed with many moments of gripping action which pulled me in from the start. There is a good deal of thought and time put into every element of these
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secrets Kept by J.L. Mbewe is a refreshingly brilliant and utterly sizzling beginning to an astounding epic adventure that emphasizes the innate desire in all of us to do what we fear the most – to truly live life to the fullest. I absolutely loved this story! It touched my heart on many levels and in ways that I never expected. The exquisite beauty and intimate meaning in this tale is just astounding and inspiring!

Each of us lives our life filtered by constraints put on us by ourselves, our fam
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ayianna against her wishes is betrothed to someone she doesn’t even know because her mother and father say it’s for the best. Unbeknownst to them, someone is in the works to destroy everything they have work so hard for.

Now Ayianna is on a quest to find her mother and to find out why her father was killed. Joining her is Kael, and Half-elf, Vain, a spoiled prince, and Desmond, Ayianna’s betrothed. As they track against forest and deserts their loyalties and trust are put to the test.

Sometimes s
H.S.J. Williams
Secrets Kept is an exciting tale of a half-elven girl trying to figure out her place in a society where she lives a lie. When disaster falls, she finds herself caught up in an adventure with people she fears to trust.

Ayianna is a girl easy to sympathize with. Her confusion, grief, and frustration is quite understandable, and though she makes some decisions and opinions that readers will shake their heads at, readers must remember they are not under her pressure. She feels duty to her betrothed,
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
You can see my tour post here.

3.5 stars

I wasn't sure what exactly to expect when I started reading Secrets Kept. I was hoping to get a chance to read Desert Rose first, but didn't (I'll still be reading it later). The story began as many Fantasy stories, and some of my favorites do, in a small town. However, the main characters and story-line never seems to stay there.

I definitely found the title a perfect fit for the story. The MC, Ayianna, has had some secrets kept from her and then in turn mu
(Jen) The Artist Librarian
J. L. Mbewe's debut Christian fantasy novel, "Secrets Kept," introduces us to the world of Nälu. Her detailed world-building and intense storyline is sure to appeal to mature readers much like Jill Williamson's "Blood of Kings" trilogy. Filled with diverse locales, languages, and creatures, this Adult/YA crossover is a welcomed addition to the Christian fantasy genre.

One of the biggest things that drew me to this novel was the diversity. I don't think that was a main focus of Mbewe's work, but s
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have been meaning to review this book for a while now, and what better time to do so than the week that the sequel (FINALLY) comes out? (No, there wasn’t a hugely long wait between books, considering that I only just read it in October/November of 2015… but I wanted the second book the moment I turned the final page, so the wait has seemed far longer than is reasonable).

Ayianna is a half-elven girl on the cusp of womanhood with dreams far above her station in life – wishing to sail on an elven
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Secrets Kept (Hidden Dagger #1) by J.L. Mwebe and read it quickly – a lot happens and I had a difficult time putting it down or not thinking about it when I was doing other things. I adored a few characters and despised a few others. And I can’t wait to read the next because of those adored characters. Ayianna herself is understandable but frustrating. She’s got some major growing up to do and I hope she does it quickly. Nalu is a rich, complex world full of interesting peoples and ima ...more
Secrets Kept, by J L Mbewe, is the fantasy story of a young woman, Ayianna, who discovers she's betrothed to a stranger and loses her family in one fell sweep. Then she is thrust together with three unlikely companions--a prince, an elf guard, and her betrothed--to flee for their lives, and then go on a quest.

I enjoyed this book very much, but it isn't the best I book I have ever read. Ayianna and her friends traveled all over their fantasy world called Nalu, encountering some things I found r
Shih-tzus Happens
Excerpt From:
“Secrets Kept.”
J. L. Mbewe.

Kael rolled his eyes and turned away. A few yards away a sliver of polished black stone glinted beneath a layer of dead leaves. Above
it, large twisted trees stood like sentries guarding the entrance to the Forest of Inganno. Grey mist hovered over the ground and clung to their crumpled bark.It breathed of dark magic and death.
Kael looked over his shoulder. Vian stood
behind him and stared up at the trees.
Vian sucked in his breath.
Let’s hope we don’t retur
I've always been a fan of fantasy ever since I got a boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia series when I was in elementary school, and I try to read it as much as I can. So, when I started reading J.L. Mbewe's book Secrets Kept, it didn't take me long to become engrossed in the storyline. With this book being fantasy, it does follow a lot of common tropes such as quests and good versus evil. While that is the case, it was the characters that I grew to like, especially Ayianna. She's half-elven, ...more
Cianna Sunshine & Mountains Book Reviews
Honestly, I love this book. I was into it from the first chapter. It might have something to do with how in love with the short stories she published previously I was! This world is amazing. It's just so detailed and there are so many layers!

So for this book, the plot is great! I really felt for the main character, getting thrown into something she's completely unprepared for and just having to figure it out. She's such a wonderful strong character, and she really bring the story along. I did ha
Emerald Barnes
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Secrets Kepts is a wonderful first book to the series. It follows Ayianna after she's learned about a secret that her family has hidden from her, and now, these creatures are after her and whatever it is that her family is hiding.

Ayinna finds herself betrothed to a man that she doesn't really know well, and then, she's unexpectedly joined a bizarre journey with the half-elf half-human Kael.

I found that some parts of the novel were a bit long for my taste and sometimes I wanted to smack Ayianna
A Satisfactory Start

I enjoyed this book and will read the next one, however, there were a lot of characters to keep straight and a rather complicated new world. Much of the book was laying the foundation to the world and as such there were sections of characters relating just world history.

The book is told from a few points of view. The main character is a bit too confused in my opinion and the reasons for primary characters actions are not always clear. Some reasons are elucidated as the novel
Victoria Rapaglia
Ayianna is in for a race against time as she and her companions try to find out to fight the evil sorceress. As all the secrets are coming out and her fathers death can Ayianna find out all she needs to know? Ayianna who was thrown in this race for answers and into a marriage she does not want. To find out what happens to Ayianna get your copy to I high recommend this series. With a curse, she will build an army.
With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice.
But first the sorceress must find
Tammy Hudson
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started out a little confusing. I finally caught up then it got pretty good. This book is a fantasy with a girl who is half elf and human. It has faeries, elves, trolls and giants. Her dad and brother dies and she is engaged to a real jerk. She feels obligated to marry him. Just when I was really getting into it. It ended I really hope there are more because it is like it just ended in the middle of something. That was disappointing overall it was a pretty good book.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-2013
First, I would like to thank the author J.L. Mbewe for giving me this book for an honest review. I really had fun reading this book. The characters were well developed and the world building was pretty good. I don't know if this is going to be a series, but I sure hope it is. ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story! I love the characters. Ayianna finds out her family deadly secret. It causes trouble in her homeland. Ayianna fights for her family. I highly recommend this book. It's well written story. ...more
Christopher Thomasson
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good read. Mbewe has a very good grasp on description and detail...bringing the reader right into her fantasy world.
Kristina Snyder
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THis is an emotional book and the author draws you into that world. I can't wait to read more from this author. It was very well written ...more
Helen May
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Action packed, entertaining adventure. Sometimes you just want to tell the characters to look.....listen to
Katherine M
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who do you trust?

Lovely, lyrical high fantasy. When her family is attacked, Ayianna must search for her mother, and learn the secret her father protected with his life. A fascinating, well-designed story with complex characters.
I tried to get into the book but I really could not. So there will be no review or star rating.
rated it liked it
May 25, 2016
jessica paish
rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2016
Donna Grace Miller
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Apr 09, 2016
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Dec 06, 2013
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Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She is currently living her second childhood with her wonderful husband and two precious children who do ...more

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