Book Review: Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams

Today is release for Gillian Bronte Adam’s Songkeeper!

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Genre: Christian, Fantasy.

Age Range: 15+ for violence.

Favorite Quote: “I’ve freed you once tonight, and I would rather not do it again. I prefer to commit treason as few times as possible.”

Series: Book two in the Songkeeper Chronicles, needs to be read in order.

Stars: 5 out of 5 stars.

I love this book and the characters. I was sucked into the story and everyone’s life. If you’re a lover of action packed fantasies, pick this series up!

I find it unique that the series isn’t just focused on two teenagers, but we get an adult as a main character, too! And Amos is a great main character at that! I love his humor, his lilt and his relationship with Birdie. I’m glad we get to know a little more about him in this book.

We finally get to see more of Ky and the underground! The underground is an organization of teens and kids who live underground, obviously, and steal to feed themselves. It’s quite an interesting network! Gillian did an amazing job of developing the personalities of all the minor characters, which were quite a few! Throughout the book, I wanted to squeeze Ky and fend off anyone who dared hurt him. I feel so bad for him… and I can’t say why because of spoilers. Ky has matured greatly because of his experiences, he is, a lot stronger and a great leader, . He was so protective of Meli, a young girl from the underground. He’s going to make a great father one day!

Birdie is an interesting protagonist. She’s so confused about the song and her family, and no one can answer her questions. I really felt for her and her struggles, and at the end I cried for her and was ready to hurt everyone who even looked at her wrong. I like her a lot more in this book, and she’s currently competing with Ky for my favorite character. She’s stronger, bolder and just plain out awesome.

I thought it was different that there were lions in this book! Riding horses is outdated, apparently. It was really unique and I wish they were there throughout the whole book.

I have to talk about Gundhrold, the griffin. He was quite an interesting character! He wants to help Birdie, but more often than not he isn’t around when she was in trouble. I love the conversations between Gundhrold and Amos! Amos wants “his girl” to stay safe and sound, and away from all the action. While Gundhrold thinks she is perfectly fine out there and no harm will come to her. So they clash often, which makes for some great conversations!

Highlight to read minor spoiler. Won’t effect you unless you’ve read the first book. I didn’t really like the betrayal that happened. It was almost identical to the one in the first book, and it was obvious (to me at least) that he wasn’t to be trusted. EEnd spoiler.

You Might Want to Know:
     There is a scene at the end that is scary/creepy, so I would caution young readers.

About the Author:

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I’m a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author! Blog and Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received this book from the author, Gillian Bronte Adams, and the publisher, Enclave Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.

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Mini Review: The Exile Queen

EQ_coverTitle:  The Demon King

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Genre: Fantasy

Series?  Book 2 of 4

POV: Third person, past tense, multiple narrators.

Cliffhanger?  Unknown

My Rating: 1 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Author’s Website

DNF page 306.
I liked the Demon King. I wasn’t expecting this book to be amazing or anything, but I was expecting more than this.

I just can’t do it anymore. I kept thinking it would get more interesting. It’s not. And I’m hating Han more and more every time I pick the book up. Sure he is street smart. He proved that in the first book. He also spent the first book trying to leave the street life behind. Now all he does is use his street smarts to get revenge. Every decision he has made since the book started is completely stupid. I can’t put up with him! I cannot believe how petty the plot became. And if the author uses the words “put on trader face” one more time…..

Raisa was boring and unbelievable. I didn’t care about her anymore. This is suppose to be her big running away scheme, but it had a completely different feel than her scheming in the first book.

I wanted to like this, but I’m so disappointed by it! :(

 

Content: pretty much the same as the previous book.  Kissing, made up swear words, an addition of a gay couple.  Another reviewer said there in an inappropriate romance scene. I didn’t make it that far..

 

Review: The Heir War

The Heir War.jpg

Genre: Christian, Fantasy

Age Range: 16+

Series: The Heir War is the second book in a three part e-book collection called King’s Folly. King’s Folly is the first book in the Kinsman’s Chronicles.

Stars: 3.5/5 stars
Thoughts:

I liked the names of all the characters! They were all very unique and interesting.

I love Wilek! He is definitely my favorite! I’m hoping he wins the Heir War, because I DESPISE Janek!

The story has a very fast pace. The story didn’t lag at all and I was shocked when it was over! I guess that’s what happens with a 170 page book…

I didn’t like all the talk about prostitutes. I understand it’s the culture, much like Bible times and concubines, but it made me uncomfortable.

I wasn’t a fan of the “dark” magic and mantics. Besides being a little creepy, I was very confused with everything that was happening.

The multiple points of view is a little annoying. There are at LEAST five different views, and some of them I just didn’t care about.

Overall:                                                                                                                                                   I really enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to the next installation. When all three are out, I plan on writing a full review for King’s Folly.

I received a copy of this book from the author, Jill Williamson, in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The Demon King

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Title:  The Demon King

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Genre: Fantasy

Series?  Book 1 of 4

POV: Third person, past tense, multiple narrators.

Cliffhanger?  Kinda

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Author’s Website

About the Book (from Goodreads)
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

 

My Thoughts
I’ve been in the mood for high fantasy, and this book was an enjoyable beginning of a series.  I had my reservations about it, especially since it is called “The Demon King.”  After reading some trusted friends’ positive reviews, I decided to go for it.

The Queendom
Modern politics annoy me to no end, yet I am intrigued by court life and the political decisions royal families had to make.  This book had an excellent balance of fantasy elements, and the royal affairs.  First off, it’s a Queendom!  I’m pretty sure this is the first book I’ve read set in a Queendom.  That alone is pretty cool.  But the relationships between the cast members and the royal household really made the book.  As is typical with court life, the relationships are complex and sometimes strained.  Many of the relationships, including those between wizards, clans, queens, and royal guard are defined by tradition set up by Hanalea a thousand years ago.

The World Building
The world building in this book is just fantastic.  We get a clear grasp on how the realm operates, without too much boring information dumping sessions.  The history of the queendom is built on legends, which have multiple versions.  It was interesting to see how different races and classes interpreted the story to suite their culture.  This world is steeped in magic, so a reader needs to be comfortable with that to enjoy it.

The Princess Heir
Raisa is the princess heir and possibly the most infuriating character in the book.  I like her, but I don’t.  When she is looking out for the Queendom, scheming, or otherwise seeking trouble, she was quite likable.  I can definitely root for that aspect of Raisa’s character.  But when she was insisting that she is not marrying anytime soon, yet is kissing every young man she meets, I wanted to slap her.  It’s not like she was boy crazy, she was just flippant.  She acted like it didn’t matter.  Raisa was not infuriating because I didn’t like her, but because sometimes I did.  I’m really hoping her character grows as the series continues.

Han
Han is definitely my favorite character in the book.  He is the man of the house, and is determined to look out for his little sister.  He has a history with the gangs, and often ends up at odds with the queen’s guard.  At first I found his perspective more interesting than Raisa’s.  It was really hard switching back and forth between them, because they were so different.  After a while, I didn’t notice this as much because I kept reading to know what happens next.

Some Confusion
During the beginning of the book, it was slightly confusing trying to figure out the world I was entering.  I thought Han was part of the clan for the first part of the book.  Some other confusing aspects are the use of the same word for two distinctly different things.  Apparently “girlies” is a type of coin, but is also used when referring to girls.  It was VERY confusing at times.

The Ending
I was really disappointed with the ending of this book.  It could have been great, but I didn’t like how it was handled.  I can’t really say anything about this without spoilers so….[Highlight to reveal spoiler] I guessed that Han was possibly a wizard.  It feels wrong to have hid it from him for so long.  I felt just like Han, betrayed by people he trusted.  That’s the problem.  I feel like we are still suppose to like Willo, and Elena, and the clan.  Yet I’m not sure they really did what was wise.  It does feel like they are just telling Han because the clan is in need of his skills.  And how convenient that Lucius is immortal and can straighten out the legends.  Seriously?   Plus I hate that his family died.  It was the one thing that he really cared about.  It kept him from acting entirely for selfish reasons.  What does he have now to motivate him to help the clan? [End spoiler] Overall I enjoyed the book enough to continue the series.

Content
d*mn and bl**dy are used couple times. More often “Blood of Hanalea” (a respected queen of old) or “blood and bones” are used like swear words.

There is nothing beyond kissing, but Raisa seems to have kissed every boy she knows and is serious about none of them. It’s not a big part of the story, but annoying all the same.

Book Review: Kiss of Deception

1391213154Title:  Kiss of Deception

Author: Mary E Pearson

Genre: Fantasy

Series?  Book 1 of 3

POV: First person, past tense, multiple narrators.

Cliffhanger?  Yes!

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Author’s Website

About the Book (from Goodreads)

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive— unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

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My Thoughts
The first time I saw this book, I was taken in by the beautiful cover.  I know, I know.  But how exactly does one stop judging books by their covers? The title did give me pause.
Kiss of Deception?  Is this a romance?  And I don’t know about the deception part…
In the end, the cover, the description, and the promise of fantasy won out. I’m glad it did!

This book is simply too beautiful for words.  The story, while appearing simple at first, is intricately woven.  There are so many surprises along the way.  Once a new development is revealed, it is easy to see how everything before it fits.  Yet upon reread, I see that there was even more foreshadowing that I missed!  The writing is brilliant, and not everything is what it initially seems.    After rereading it, I love it even more!

Not only was the writing so amazing that I now want to read every Mary E Peason book in existence, it also had short chapters!  Perhaps I should amend that.  The chapters were not always short, but when they weren’t, there were page breaks.  And they did not end cliff-hanger-y.  I don’t think this can be appreciated enough!  It actually makes the book go faster, because I will read just one more section.

The Last Testament of Gaudrel and the Song of Venda
In between some of the chapters, there would a little passage from either the Last Testament of Gaudrel or the Song of Venda.  While they are interesting, at first they do not seem related to the story.  Even when I thought I know why they were there, I had another surprise coming.  It was really fun to reread this book and see how each of these passages fell in to place with the story.

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Lia
I love Lia.  A lot.  She is a spunky, strong-willed princess of Morrighan.  She is not afraid of hard work, if it contributes to her plans.  I love how much Lia’s character develops throughout the story.

Paulina
While completely different in personality, Paulina is a loyal friend to Lia.  I love how her relationship with Lia developed over the course of the story.

The Love Interest(s)
Technically, there is a love triangle.  While Lia is conflicted, it is pretty obvious early on who has her heart.  Besides, no one is who they seem to be, which make this pretty interesting as a reader.  The reader has more insight than Lia, but don’t be too confident.  I did say this book was full of surprises.

While a love story was present, it is not the main aspect of the book.  I think Lia’s personal growth played a much bigger role than the love story.  This is excellent for me, since I am not huge on heavy handed romance.

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The Culture
While the religion of Morrighan is one the features several “gods”, it was interesting reading about the traditions and celebrations.  Lia is tired of blind tradition.

“Your kind. You’re surrounded by the noise of your own making and you attend only to what you can see, but that’s not the way of the gift.”

The gift is a knowing that comes from the gods.  Lia has grown up thinking it is rare.  She later meets someone with the gift, who teaches her that hearing the gods is not just following the traditions.  She has to spend quite time listening.  While this is speaking of the gods and traditions of Lia’s world, this also applies to Christianity.

The Ending
Yes, the book just leaves off.  WHERE IS THE NEXT BOOK??
It ends the same way the chapters do, not in cliff hangers, but still making you want to find out what happens next.  Gah!

 

Content:  Unfortunately, this is not a clean book, and I only recommend it to those 16+
Why did it have to be this way?  I would’ve recommended it to everyone!
Sexual: frequent flirting.  Non-descriptive kissing.  Some groping.  Pregnancy out of wedlock.  Threat of rape (towards the end) and one close encounter.
Violence: Moderate violence.  Frequent talk of slitting throats.  A non-descriptive, witnesses from a distance, massacre.  Talk of a girl killed by an arrow through the throat.
Language: Infrequent.  ?ss.  B?st?rd.  D?mn.  Wh?re.
Drinking: Lia and Pauline work in a tavern.  Frequent drunkenness.

Novella Review: By Divine Right

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 9.07.06 PMTitle:  By Divine Right

Author: Patrick W. Carr

Series?  prequel novella to The DarkWater Saga

POV: First person, past tense, one narrator.

Cliffhanger?  It solves the immediate mystery, but it leads right into the series….

 

Author’s Website: http://www.patrickwcarr.com/

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

About the Book (from Goodreads)
Willet Dura ekes out a living as an assistant reeve in the city of Bunard, the royal city, investigating minor and not-so-minor crimes in the poor quarter. Ever since a terrible battle, Willet’s been drawn to the dead, and has an uncanny ability not only to solve their crimes, but even to know when one has been committed.

When a gifted singer is found dead in the merchants’ quarter of the city, everyone assumes by the signs that the old man simply died of a stroke, but Willet’s intuition tells him better. When he learns that this is the second death within the last month of one of the gifted, those with a rare inherited ability, he begins to suspect that something more is afoot, and he soon finds himself chasing a mystery that could bring down the very kingdom of Collum

My Thoughts
Honestly, I did not read the description before reading this novella.  I have had many people tell me how amazing The Staff and the Sword trilogy is.  Then I saw this free novella by the same author and decided to read it.  It is short and ebooks work best for me since school started.  I can just pull up the app anywhere and read a few pages instead of carrying another book around.

I was amazed by this book from the very beginning!  The writing drew me and and painted scenes well without being overly descriptive.  I loved the medieval fantasy feel of the story, though that might just be because this is my favorite genre at the moment.

The characters are vividly drawn, even the minor characters.  There was one little boy who was only in the story for one scene, yet his personality was clearly portrayed.  This said, some of the characters, including our protagonist had quite a bit of mystery surrounding them.  It definitely kept me reading to learn more about the characters.  There was one character in the king’s court that I did not like too much.  This had nothing to do with her being poorly written, but rather I found her very manipulative.  I was frustrated that the protaganist was drawn to her.  It will be interesting to see how this relationship plays out in this series.

This novella was wonderful overall.  It is definitely one of the best books I have read this year.  I cannot wait until The Shock of Night comes out!  I will definitely be watching for more books from this author and I am even more interested in The Staff and Sword trilogy!!

Book Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 10.53.16 AMTitle:  Eragon

Author: Christopher Paolini

Series?  book 1 of 4 in the Inheritance Cycle

POV: Third person, past tense. One narrator.

Cliffhanger?  No

Author’s Website:
http://www.alagaesia.com/

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

About the Book (from Goodreads)
One boy . . .

One dragon . . .

A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

 

My Review
I liked this book more than I thought I would!  I had heard many different opinions about this book and was not sure that I would like it.  Plus it is really really long, and I kinda get intimidated by really thick books.

I’ve heard some people say this is like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.  Well, does have similarities to those stories.  But it is still an amazing adventure. It did not take long for me to get into Eragon’s story.  There are some moments where the story drags just a little, but overall it was really fun to read.   Throughout the book I thought it was a solid 4 stars, but I LOVED the ending, which bumped it up to 5 stars.

The ending was just so perfect.  It is comparable to the ending of The Fellowship of the Ring movie.  The whole story has lead the main character to one decision.  While that immediate conflict is solved, there is clearly more story to tell.

I was surprised by how much magic was in the book.  Eragon is a rider, so he naturally has the gift of magic.  He has to learn the spells throughout the book.

 

Audio Review
The audio for this book was Amazing!!  Definitely one of the best audio books.  The reader, Gerard Doyle, was really easy to follow.  It was very clear who was speaking.  It was also very clear if a character was thinking or if the character was speaking aloud.  There is some background music during certain scenes, and they are well placed.