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Votive (Curse of the Bond Rider #2)
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(Curse of the Bond Riders #2)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Return to the beautiful, deadly world of The Curse of the Bond Riders, where the stakes are ever higher as Tallow morphs from talented boy apprentice to unwilling female courtesan and assassin


The stakes are higher than ever when the Maleovellis inform Tallow they are now her patrons. Realizing she is a girl, they clean her, dress her in gorgeous robes, change her name to
Paperback, 628 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Random House (first published May 1st 2011)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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I was reminded while I was reading this, the second in ‘The Curse of the Bond Riders’ series, that a trilogy needs to manage two, contradictory, demands – that each novel needs to be self contained but also needs to be part of a developing problem and narrative; my concern that the final chapter of Tallow (the first in the series) was more about setting up the sequel than resolving the narrative was borne out, but I am reminded was an insoluble problem. This kicks of right where Tallow off, and ...more
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind August 29, 2016:

This book was good when it focused on the characters I cared about. Unfortunately, it spent significant portions of time with characters I wasn’t interested in at all, which made for a very long book.

Adopted by the Maleovelis, Tallow is now in training to become the city’s most celebrated courtesan. Believing Dante to be dead and everyone else she loved lost, Tallow hardens her heart and does as they dictate. But various pol
Christine Bongers
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya
Compulsively readable second installment in Karen Brooks's Curse of the Bond Riders trilogy. The gentle candlemaker Tallow has been suborned by the corrupt Maleovellis and transformed into courtesan and assassin Tarlo. The machiavellian intrigues of this beautifully realised world have me on tenderhooks for the final installment. Bring on Illumination!
Jacinda Brown
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book! What I expected after I finished Tallow. Althought it makes me sad to see what Tallow has become, I'm also humbled when she finds Dante again. Thank god Dante survived!!! I'm soo happy and can't wait for the the third one. Bit of a dense read, but in a way thats good!
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heartbroken, but hopeful... It was one of the most difficult books I ever had to read, but I am absolutely addicted. The narration is perfect, the overall story entrancing. No lower than a five stars book.
This bittersweet continuation of Tallow’s story is full of manipulation, blackmail, plotting and entrapment. Intriguingly sad reflection on the patterns of human nature. Hope, love and faith are strong undercurrents...all I need now is the next book!
Alisha Brook
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Tarlo has given up candle-making in favour of being a courtesan. She's a courtesan with a difference though, and her candles still have a role to play. Masked, she is able to travel the high society of Serenissima without fear - but also without feeling. Why oh why had she ever gotten herself into this mess? Tarlo can trust even fewer people than
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
This is the second book in the Curse of the Bond Riders series and it jumps straight in where Tallow left off. Once again, the setting for the most part is a fictional but very recognizable version of Venice, Serinissima. In the first book, Tallow was a young girl, who, disguised as a boy, is hidden by a family of candle makers. Tallow is an Estrattore, someone who can extract emotions from people, the reason why they are outlawed and despised. In the second installment, Tallow had been betrayed ...more
Review of Audible Audiobook.

Narrator Eloise Oxer does a fantastic job once again. She brought this long story to life with very good voices for the many different characters.

Continuing on from Tallow, this second part is quite a bit darker, more disturbing and adds far more politics into the storyline. Tallow learns a new way of life, believing Dante dead and she, left alone in the world joins with the Maleovellis. They promise to teach her many things and to bring back the Estrattore in exchang
Sheryl Gwyther
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I adored this story - it's part 2 of the series, 'The Curse of the Bond Riders', following the first book, TALLOW.
I was lucky to get hold of a copy before its release (thanks, Leonie Tyle!) and after having read 'Tallow' and enjoying every word of it, I had high hopes for 'Votive'.
The book lived up to my high hopes.
You do need to read Tallow before you read Votive though – well worth it as the world where Tallow lives is complicated and fascinating and her quest, intricate.
Karen Brooks is a b
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent follow up to Tallow and you could see the talent this author has begin to really come to nfruition in this book. The world of the nobiles in a fantastical Venice, renamed to Serinissima is fascinating. The political maneuvers and scheming were all consuming. The complex plot and the originality of the Estrattore and the Limen were fabulous. I recommend this book wholeheartedly!

As soon as I finished this book I downloaded Illumination. I have not been able to put that down
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book because I won the third book in this trilogy from goodreads. If you want to enjoy a science fiction journey with both characters and a world which keeps you entranced, then you have found it here. The second book in the Trilogy introduces you to a formerly high class family which has fallen on very hard times and uses the main character to retrieve their former status and work toward even more. It continues to expose more of the outside forces in the world trying to get the ...more
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I adored this book. It follows directly after where Tallow (Curse of the Bond Riders #1) left off. This story made me so sad at times reading what Tallow was going through and what she was forced to do and become.

The author is so descriptive with the setting which is one of the reasons this book is quite thick. I liked it as it helped set a picture for me, however, I can see it annoying others who may just want to get to the point of the story. I can't wait to read the final book in the trilogy
Sharni Benson
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alphabet-soup
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Perez
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing read! Got hooked right from the start and picked up exactly the moment from where "Tallow" left us readers at.
The story arc continues and twists and turns dramatically! The same world with more added to it, the same writing style and the same, if not, better imagery which really inspires the senses. parts of the story not as predictable as parts of Tallow where you could see things happening later on and I liked that about this.
Can't wait for the third instalment!! It just see
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Votive is a fine accomplishment by Karen Brooks. The protagonist (Tallow from the first book) was such a meek character I had difficulties in picturing how Brooks would convert her into a brazen courtesan. Brooks achieves this feat (and more!) with a deft and convincing touch, which left me eagerly anticipating the final instalment. The darker elements that are beginning to emerge in the story are well handed as well.

Recommended for those who like both 'high' fantasy and historically based novel
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Took me a while to get into (long gap between reading Tallow and this one) but once in, I was hooked again. I'm looking forward to #3 already. Brooks has created a believable parallel world, with most of the action centred on her Venice-like Serenissima. Love and politics too - my favourite sort of fantasy.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Absolutely brilliant. 4.5 stars.
Votive's pace is a lot faster than Tallow and more gripping. In this novel it feels as though Brooks' writing has matured somewhat and she has found her rhythm. It is beautiful in its character development and plot weaving. There are many characters at work and plans in play. I can't wait to see what the last part of the story has in store.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Katharine is a judge for the Sara Douglass 'Book Series' Award. This entry is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

I won't be recording my thoughts (if I choose to) here until after the AA are over.
Kay  Linda
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Am really loving this series. I can almost smell the dirtier canals! Am finding the character's development across both books to be seamless and well written. Am holding off on starting the third book until I am on holidays and have nothing else to distract me!
May 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Nooo! What about Tallow and Dante! Karen you better bring him back from the dead or else I will scream!

Eagerly awaiting for this second book!
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
if you have not heard of or read these books you should!!! wonderful World she has created with Characters to fall in love with and share emotions with.... i totally loved it!!!
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So much love for this series. Addicted from page 1!
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
on par with the first!
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
More wow. I am looking forward to continuing this series
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Once I started it I could hardly put it down. Find it difficult to wait for the next book.
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
omg. GREAT READ!! :D
Robyn Begg
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Could not wait to start this book after reading Tallow. The book did not disappoint. I loved it from start to finish and wanted to get straight into the third book.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Not the best book, a bit slows. Too many characters points of view with not all coming together to make it exciting by the last page. Disappointing second book in the trilogy. Hopefully the third book will make up for it.
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Other books in the series

Curse of the Bond Riders (3 books)
  • Tallow (Curse of The Bond Riders, #1)
  • Illumination (Curse of The Bond Riders, #3)

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