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Strangehold (Crossroads of Worlds, #1)
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(Crossroads of Worlds #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Morgan Tenpenny has retreated from her painful, magical past, choosing to live quietly as a guardian of one of the gates between worlds. But her sister Gwen is married to a lord of the High Court of Faerie—and when Gwen asks her to protect her nieces, it's time for Morgan to emerge from her seclusion. The gates to Faerie have inexplicably closed, and no one knows why, not ...more
Kindle Edition, 185 pages
Published July 19th 2017 by Brown Dog Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  63 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,25 stars - Amazon 🍮Ebook - It had been a gamble coming here. Even now, the counsil curse tightened about his neck like a collar - Morgan has magic. Earth magic. Here house is in the near of the Leylines. So she can take magic out of them. She also has tattoos filled with magic. Her sister Gwen is Ambassador for the Humans at court of the Faerie Queen. The faerie Queen has a Hand who is the forfighter of the Queen. Morgan is bound to the children of Qwen to protect them when its needed. As magi ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is a strange story, but one I enjoyed. It's on the short side and the plot moves along at a predictable pace with few true diversions. Morgan treads carefully from one event to the other in a logical way. She's in her forties and of a serious bent, so this isn't precisely strange. The thing is, a steady pace isn't generally very engaging and the world building isn't that outstanding and the relationships are built subtly, as well. So this should have been downright boring.

Only I liked Morga
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this novella - my favorite new urban fantasy in ages! The heroine, Morgan, is a 43-year-old spellcaster who's grown into her power but suffered real losses along the way. She's a fabulous mix of mature strength, competence, and practicality (really rising to the occasion in difficult situations), but with a deep core of emotion running underneath - and she's isolated herself from everyone after a series of painful betrayals in the past. In this story, though, despite her po ...more
A novella centred around a threat to the current peace in the long history between Faerie and the human world. I liked the main character's practicality, and this was a rare urban/paranormal that did not feature an excess of aggressive display. I always endorse polite - it's more interesting than peacocks butting heads (to thoroughly mix some mating rituals there).

The most negative I can say about the story is that it was very straightforward. A problem arises and main character Morgan is only e
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review below. Review plus custom cocktail available at The Tome & Tankard Inn.

Strangehold is an interesting Urban/Portal Fantasy novella – it features Earth (or overhill, as it is known here), the land of Faerie (underhill), and a mysterious place in-between the two, known as Strangehold. The fae gates allow passage between Earth and Faerie, and a tenuous accord exists between them. There are old grudges and tensions between humans and fae, but this fragile peace has held for 40 years so fa
So so awesome. I really really really loved it.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo4
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This story follows Morgan Tenpenny, a spellcaster in our own world, who is one of the people who knows the truth of things; that the Fae are real, their world of Faerie is real and is connected to Earth, and that humans and the Fae have long held a treaty of peace.

But one day, all of the gates to Faerie (underhill) close, leaving Fae stranded on Earth (overhill), and leaving Gwen, Morgan’s sister and the ambassador to humans in Faerie stranded on the other side.
Patrick Samphire
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4 1/2 stars.

I borrowed an Advance Reader's Copy (ARC) of this book, which is out on July 19th, 2017.

They fae and humans have existed in an uneasy truce for decades, but now, suddenly, the gates between 'underhill', the land of Faerie, and 'overhill' have all been sealed and a mysterious and deadly sickness is sweeping through human spellcasters. Morgan Tenpenny's nieces are trapped in Fairie and in danger from the fae queen. She must find a way into Faerie, rescue her nieces, and find a cure for
Rene Sears
Jul 19, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
It's here!

I have always loved stories featuring the fae. Here's my take on a magical community unknown to most of the humanity and their strained relationship with Faerie. It's got family, friendship, nefarious deeds, people trying to do their best under difficult circumstances, hellhounds, curses, and plenty of magic both fae and human.

I hope you enjoy!
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: indie
I thought this one was a novel and my read was mostly "huh, this seems sparse" and I just realized it's a novella. Ohhhhhhhh.

Interesting world and characters, very much setting up further stories (not much is resolved here, or it resolves only to show bigger and worse issues) and I worry about everyone. We are all so vulnerable and know NOTHING.
Fangs for the Fantasy
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Morgan’s fellow student committed a terrible crime against the fae, Morgan retreated to a relatively quiet, isolated life. She certainly didn’t spend as much time with her sister as she’d like - not after she married a fae lord and became an ambassador to Underhill.

But when her sister begs for her help shielding her half-fae nieces, Morgan can’t say no and plans to be a bigger part of their lives… until all the gateways to underhill close ujknown to all, even Falcon, a fae she finds trapp
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading Rene Sears’ STRANGEHOLD this weekend. I was jonesing for a good urban fantasy, and I’ve seen earlier pieces of this story before, so I knew it would be good. Which it absolutely was. There’s some gorgeous writing here; sharp, vivid metaphors and descriptions do an amazing job of helping the reader visualize the setting and scene without wasting too many words, which is important for a novella. For instance, the main character is unsure what to say in a given moment, so Sear ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ksenia by: Stephanie Burgis
4.5 stars

I really liked this story; it feels like a start of a great “friendship”. The world building was quite well thought throw – a very nice take on Fae/Human relationship. The river of blood was may be a bit too much, but I definitely loved what Sears did with the Strangehold.
This is undeniably a character driven book, thought there were enough adventures too. I loved Morgan. For me it’s always a pleasure to find a book with main character over thirty something. Morgan even older, she is 4
Sean Cunningham
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
An interesting urban fantasy story about Morgan Tenpenny, a 43-year-old human caster who keeps an eye on one of the gates that leads to Faerie. When things go wrong between Faerie and our world, Morgan sets out at first just rescue her family members stuck in Faerie, but eventually to tackle the cause of a terrible sickness sweeping the human caster population.

I was a bit miffed when I finished the Kindle sample on a flight and had to wait to get the rest of it. This is my first trip into Faerie
Midwest Romantic
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on my blog Live Laugh & Love Books

I liked this book, the world that Rene creates is kind of fantastic and I think it is an interesting way to portray Humans and Fae. Even though it is lacking in the romance area, it does have adventure and well balanced characters that were really relatable. I do feel that maybe it was too short and I am sincerely hoping that future books hold more romantic elements. But I am looking forwarding to reading more from Rene Sears.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent start to a new urban fantasy series. It is a little more reality based than most and I think that made it a more interesting read. I really liked the main character, Morgan; she is smart, determined and independent. The story is fast-paced and easy to follow. The ending leaves lots of loose ends in anticipation of the next in this series. Bottom line, if you're looking for a creative, easy read in this genre, I would recommend this book.
I won a copy of 'Strangehold' in a Goo
Jeannie Lopez
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I hate when books give you a small taste and then you have to wait for #2.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a goodreads give away and I must say I really liked it. It’s a very unique story with a lot of symbolism.
Molly Smith
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Initial Thoughts: I really enjoyed this new series. Though it was a quick and could have been a full novel, it was not lacking just succinct. I enjoyed the blend of magic and fairy, the differences between human casters and fae magics. Our main characters are compelling and I'm eager to learn more about them, as well as the fate of Morgan's sister. I found her nieces intriguing and the plot concerning them interesting. However, I'm most interested in learning more of Falcon's background and his ...more
rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2018
Feb 20, 2018 added it
Shelves: read-in-2018
short but fun read, a really relaxing read compared to my school books. i liked the main character, because she is practical but caring. the story follows her struggle to find her nieces while racing against the clock to figure out a cure for casters who are struck by an abnormal disease. tbh i was more interested in the abnormal disease plotline, because i like morbid mysteries. (i'd have liked for this to be a full out morbid mystery novel where she just struggles to solve the epidemic killing ...more
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Sep 29, 2017
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Shannon Zak
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2017
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Jan 03, 2018
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By day, Rene Sears is an editor. By night, (or early in the morning, or on lunch breaks) she writes. She has had short stories published in Cicada, Daily Science Fiction, and Galaxy's Edge magazine and is the author of the Crossroads of Worlds series.

She lives in Birmingham, Al, with her husband, two children, and a dog that may or may not be part Belgian Shepherd. You can find out more at

Other books in the series

Crossroads of Worlds (3 books)
  • Sorrow's Son (Crossroads of Worlds, #2)
  • Queen of Storms (Crossroads of Worlds, #3)

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