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I Belong


Review: Ruins & Revenge by Lisa Shearin

May 17th, 2017 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , ,

Ruins and RevengeTitle: Ruins & Revenge

Author: Lisa Shearin

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Raine Benares World (Book #9)

Publication Date: May 1, 2017

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 1620512661 (NLA Digital LLC)

ISBN-13: 978-1620512661 (NLA Digital LLC)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:


An ancient power.

Beneath a mountain on an uninhabited continent is said to be a fabled city, a city occupied by an ancient goblin civilization founded for only one reason—to protect and defend the Heart of Nidaar, an artifact that can harness the forces of nature as a weapon.

An elite team of combat mages.

Chief mage and goblin duke Tamnais Nathrach must help the guardians keep the legendary power out of the hands of a malevolent goblin brotherhood and their otherworldly allies, whatever the cost. Together with his hand-picked team—which includes elf pirate (and team demolitions expert) Phaelan Benares—Tam descends into a vast subterranean world both wondrous and terrifying, a world laid with deadly traps and filled with apex predators from another age.

The countdown to the end of the world.

Some secrets are meant to stay buried. When the Heart of Nidaar is accidentally awakened, and aimed at the west coast of the Seven Kingdoms, Tam and his team are in a race against time to prevent the deaths of millions. To succeed, they must confront their deepest fears, unmask their darkest secrets, and reveal their shameful pasts, testing the bonds of friendship and beyond. To fail means death for them all—and the end of all life in the Seven Kingdoms.

Quick & Dirty: In a race against time Tam and his team have to get to the Heartstone and save the world.

Opening Sentence: I knew that saving the world wasn’t going to be easy, but I would have appreciated fewer personnel issues.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Tam has selected his team and they have finally made it to the lost continent and are beginning their journey into the mountain. He just has to make sure his team knows that Phaelan is needed in order to complete the mission. As they get closer to the mountain and must go down underneath it, they discover the bodies of their enemies and they know that time is running out. The closer they get the more Tam begins to dream of the goblin Queen. She is warning them not to come closer.

Once they are inside they must get through traps and whatever has been eating their enemies. The Heartstone is guiding them and drawing them in, but what powers does it hold and will they be able to destroy it. When Tam shakes Agata out of dream state, he realizes that the Heartstone has bonded them, in a way that the goblins recognize as deeper than marriage. Tam has not informed his team of his visions.

When they realize that someone or someones are following them, Tam knows that time has run out. Will they be able to reach the Heartstone before the confrontation with their enemies? Will the Chi Nidaan accept their help? Will Tam and his team be able to save the Seven Kingdoms?

I have not read any of the Raine Benares books, so I started with Treasure & Treason in order to sort of understand this world. I am not sure that it fully helped, but I did recognize a name from the SPI series and that helped me connect to these characters. I was worried that my confusion would carry over to these books, but with the focus and some back stories told in this one, I really didn’t feel so lost. That being said, after reading those two I am glad I added the Raine Benares books to my list because I love Tam. I want to go back and read more about him.

I loved his interactions, and the storyline and I loved how connected her series are. In SPI they are on Earth, but here they are in the other world mentioned in those books and I love discovering this world. I think it is safe to say at this point that Lisa Shearin is becoming a must read for me.  Her books are full of action, romance, fantasy and just about everything I love. Plus, I love her goblins, like words cannot describe how much I love her goblins. Gone are evil little creatures, or ugly little creatures. Her goblins are just as beautiful as the elves, and it is amazing!

Notable Scene:

A null and thief such as Phaelan Benares. In addition, the Khrynsani would be looking and listening for goblins. Not listening with their ears, but with their magical senses. An elf registered differently than a goblin; an elf null would register as background noise, if at all.

Raine Benares World:

1. Magic Lost, Trouble Found

2. Armed & Magical

3. The Trouble with Demons

4. Bewitched & Betrayed

5. Con & Conjure

6. All Spell Breaks Loose

7. Wedding Bells, Magic Spells

8. Treasure & Treason

9. Ruins & Revenge

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FTC Advisory: NLA Digital LLC provided me with a copy of Ruins & Revenge. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Black City Demon by Richard A Knaak

May 16th, 2017 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , ,

Black City DemonTitle: Black City Demon

Author: Richard A. Knaak

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Black City Saint (Book #2)

Publication Date: March 14, 2017

Format: Paperback, 363 Pages

ISBN-10: 1633882756 (Pyr)

ISBN-13: 978-1633882751 (Pyr)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

Since he became the guardian of the Gate between our world and Feirie sixteen hundred years ago, Nick Medea, once Saint George, has battled to keep the darkest Feirie–the Wyld–from invading the mortal plane. With the dragon an unwilling part of him, Nick maintains balance between realms, often at great cost to him and those nearest to him.

Nick and his ragtag confederates–including the shape-shifter Fetch and Nick’s reincarnated love, Claryce–have battled the Wyld, but mortals as sinister as the darkest Feirie. Now, with Prohibition in full swing and bootlegger wars embattling Chicago, a murderous evil born of the mortal world has turned its attention to the power of the Gate…and Nick himself.

Nick must turn again to his most untrustworthy ally: the dragon within. Yet even together they may not be enough to face what was once a man…but is now a creature even dragons may fear.

Quick & Dirty: Nick’s darkest adversity to date rises straight from the past, will he be able to stop him this time?

Opening Sentence: I’d failed her.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Nick is back again, this time while visiting the grave of Clarissa (Claryce in a past life). He is attacked and he sees a ghost. When he rushes over to where the ghost had been the grave reads Claudette and Nick knows that she is another past life, but he didn’t meet her while she was alive. Stunned Nick turns to one of his allies for answers, but none seem forthcoming.  Nick doesn’t dwell on it too long, he knows that he hasn’t seen Claryce lately and he owes her a visit. Shortly after he arrives a Dr. Bond shows up and Nick knows that something is off about him. He just can’t quite place it.

As Nick begins to learn about Claudette and her place in his timeline, it turns out she died in the same year that H.H. Holmes did, and Nick begins to wonder if this is all tied together. His Lady summons him and wants him to get rid of the Beast, whom she has already sent to assassins after both of which failed.  Nick also finds the dead body of a high caste elf, and when he finally checks on the potential clients he finds them dead.

Things are spiraling out of control and it seems that all of these random things are tied together? Will Nick be able to unravel the mystery of Claudette? Will he be able to stop the Beast? Time is running short, and with only a few trustworthy allies, Nick may be forced to rely on the most untrustworthy of his allies.

I think the novel may have contained all of my favorite things, gangsters, dragons, St.George, Fae, and yup a serial killer. I couldn’t stop reading this, I was so wrapped up in how the author ties all of these things together. Plus, I may have sympathized with the dragon a bit and wanted to eat some of the people as well. Okay, not really but wow, it took a bit for me to figure out where this story was going, and it was worth every minute of it.

Nick is such an interesting character and for someone that has been alive so long you think he would have figured some things out by now, but thankfully for us readers, we get to see him grow and come to terms with things despite the longevity. I also sincerely love the fact that this incarnation of his past love is kicking butt and taking names, and I really need Fetch in my life. I mean who wouldn’t need a talking dog that’s really a Fae assassin (or was one).

Notable Scene:

Diocles’s sins went far beyond just my execution. He had let himself be influenced by the same Galerius into beginning a bloody persecution of the entire young Christain faith… of which I had become, without meanding to, one of it’s standard bearers. Galerius might’ve been the proverbial devil whispering in the emperor’s ear, but Diecles had been the one to willingly give the decree. For that alone, he should have been cursed to forever walk as a ghost, but for reasons I could not entirely accept, it appeared that my beheading meant more where his fater was concerned. No matter where I’d followed the Gate, Diocles had always been waiting for me in the nearest church.

Black City Saint:

1. Black City Saint

2. Black City Demon

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FTC Advisory: Pyr provided me with a copy of Black City Demon. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Enchanter’s Echo by Anise Rae

May 15th, 2017 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , ,

Enchanter's EchoTitle: Enchanter’s Echo

Author: Anise Rae

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Mayflower Mages (Book #2)

Publication Date: February 17, 2015

Format: Paperback, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 1616505400 (Lyrical/Kensington)

ISBN-13: 978-1616505400 (Lyrical/Kensington)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

Aurora Firenze lives a quiet life hiding in a junkyard. Her repair shop is the last hope for gadgets and gizmos before they get tossed onto the trash towers. Fortunately, Aurora can fix almost anything, including mages, though repairing people with metal enchantments is highly illegal.

Edmund Rallis, heir to the Rallis senate seat, has spent months hunting down his errant enchantress. He’ll play every game he knows to win her back and entice her to share the secrets she hides. But he’s inadvertently put her on the frontlines of a new game, one with an opponent who’s determined to destroy Rallis Territory and drive the Republic toward war. If the new enemy isn’t stopped in time, Edmund will lose his enchantress again-and this time there won’t be another chance.

Quick & Dirty: An enchantress and the Senator’s son…Will they be able to save their love?

Opening Sentence: The keep-out spell awoke at her approach.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Aurora is an enchantress, she spends most of her time at her quiet repair shop ever since her contract with the Noble’s ran out. She has been hiding from everyone including Edmund.  Mostly because she has made some illegal enchantments and if she is found it she will be killed. So when Edmund shows up with a metal eye that he knows she made, despite her best efforts his magic forces the truth out of her. But she is shocked when he destroys the enchantment to prevent anyone else from figuring out she made it.

Months ago both of them made separate vows of silence and they literally can’t answer certain questions. When Edmund’s bond with the land starts to tear they know there is trouble. When he invites her to the ball, and she finds out that the Rallis’s have lied to everyone about her father’s death, Aurora is distraught. The Rallis move to have her sign a contract with them. In order to help protect her secrets as well as their own.

The game is afoot though, and the real question is who is causing the tear in Edmund’s bond? Will Aurora and Edmund be able to figure it out before it’s too late? Will they be able to save their love?

Edmund is heavily featured in book 1, and I can’t quite remember if Aurora is introduced in that book as well or not. It was an interesting duo of books, the setting almost seemed too similar to that of the old South but in the modern paranormal era with cars and such. It could be hard to follow along at times, and I wasn’t always that interested.

Overall, I thought this was okay, a lot of potential, just not sure it was fully delievered.

Notable Scene:

She was right. The vibes of unnatural physique made it impossible for a ruling family to bind a mage and ensure his loyalty, leaving the mage a renegade with uncontrolled energy. That was reason enough for the founding families to despise it. But it wasn’t just the descendants of the Mayflower Mages who hated it. The uprisings of 93 and 02 that started in the south and spread to the northern territories would have never happened if the radical political group hadn’t had access to unnatural physique.

Mayflower Mages:

1. Syphon’s Song

2. Enchanter’s Echo

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FTC Advisory:  Lyrical Press/Kensington provided me with a copy of Enchanter’s Echo. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Across the Worlds Event: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

May 14th, 2017 @ 12:10 am
Posted by Bridget under Across the Worlds Tags: , , ,

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Today for Across the Worlds Event we get to visit the adventurous world of Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser! This is a stunning debut with a witty heroine, wonderful romance and great action. I have read this one and I LOVED it. My full review of the book will be coming soon, but make sure to add this one to your TBR. It will be releasing from Bloomsbury on June 6th!

For todays post Sarah did a wonderful guest post all about the world building in Song of the Current and where she got some of her inspiration!

*Enter to win a finished copy of Song of the Current at the end of this post!*

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Guest Post: 

When I was world building for SONG OF THE CURRENT, one of my biggest inspirations was ancient Greece. A lot of the names in the book have Greek roots as opposed to Latin. (Although, like J.K. Rowling with her Latin spells, I was pretty shamelessly obvious about it, so if you know your roots, you probably know some spoilers!)  The foods and especially the cities have a Mediterranean feel to them. But I also pulled lots of ideas from England, such as the wherries, which were historically cargo ships that navigated the rivers of the Norfolk area. There are muskets and flintlock pistols in the book, along with swords, so it’s a 1700s-ish setting. But a lot of the ships are from different eras, so I hope no historical experts yell at me.

Like most authors, I use Pinterest heavily for world building. First I threw a bunch of images into one big unorganized Pinterest board, but later I went back and compiled the best ones into collages.

Riverlands

The first collage is the riverlands, which is the main setting for the book. It’s a flat marshy series of rivers and lakes. Caro is first mate on her father’s wherry, so she is an experienced sailor who knows the riverlands like the back of her hand. In this world, there are gods associated with things from nature. Caro’s family is very connected to the river god. There are also frogmen in the book, who are half human half frog. There used to be water zombies, but they had to be cut during edits, and I’m still sad about it.

Siscema

This second collage is of Siscema, a busy trading city in the riverlands where the crew has some adventures. Caro’s mother’s family is from here, and we get to meet them in the book.

Valonikos

My last collage is Valonikos, which is Caro’s destination in the book. When Caro’s father is arrested for smuggling, she agrees to deliver a mysterious cargo to Valonikos in exchange for his release. This is a coastal city, which I imagine to be a bit like the Greek islands. It’s on a hill, with tiled roofs and whitewashed walls and lots of flowers everywhere.

If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the characters, ships, and settings for SONG OF THE CURRENT (and some for the sequel), they can be found here.

_________________________________________________________________________________

File-Feb-01-9-54-44-AM-400x400About Sarah:

Sarah Tolcser lives in New Orleans, where she wrangles iPads and rogue computers at her day job. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, she double majored in writing and philosophy. She enjoys video games, NBA basketball, and books about girls who blow stuff up. She is married, with three cats.

Sarah writes young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary.

The C in Tolcser is silent.

You can visit Sarah around the web here: Website Twitter  | Instagram Pinterest

Want to read more from Sarah Tolcser?

_________________________________________________________________________________

contest

This contest is provided by Sarah Tolcser!

One lucky reader will win a finished copy of Song of the Current!!!
(US only)

Song of the Current

Available June 6, 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books

About this Book:

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

Order From:

 

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Across the Worlds Event: The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

May 13th, 2017 @ 12:10 am
Posted by Bridget under Across the Worlds Tags: , , , ,

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Today for Across the Worlds Event we get to visit the dark and twisted world of The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King! This is Emily’s debut novel and it features a young girl who becomes the hundredth queen to a tyrant ruler! This will be releasing on June 1st from Amazon Publishing! For today’s post, I had the privilege of interviewing Rajah Tarek (the tyrant ruler)!!! You can check out his answers below and make sure to enter the awesome giveaway!

*Enter to win a finished copy of The Hundredth Queen at the end of this post!*

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Interview with Rajah Tarek

Dark Faerie Tales: Hi, mighty Rajah we are so honored that you agreed to take the time to answer a few questions for us today! To start things off, can you introduce yourself and tell us what you think is your best attribute?

Rajah Tarek: Of course! I’m always happy to spare a few moments for commoners.

I am the well-renowned Rajah Tarek, beloved ruler of the Tarachand Empire, the greatest nation in the world. I have ninety-nine beautiful wives and countless courtesans, who all adore me, and the largest imperial army on the continent. My wives would say I have many fine qualities, but my best is my mercy. Indeed, my benevolence outmatches the gods’.

DFT: You rule an amazing land and I would love for you to describe your favorite place inside of your kingdom?

Rajah Tarek: The Turquoise Palace is my home and private oasis. My imperial city is the richest and biggest in the four nations. We truly are the center of civilization. People travel far and wide to view my golden palace upon the hill and attend our rank tournaments in my grand arena.

DFT: Along with all of its beauty your kingdom also has many dangers, but what do you think is the most dangerous thing residing in it?

Rajah Tarek: Like the empire’s state symbol, the scorpion, my troops are armed and equipped to defeat our enemies. The most unwanted and deadly of them all are bhutas. These soulless demons have no place in our world. I will not rest until every last bhuta is eliminated.

DFT: I imagine in your life you have done some awful things to get to where you are today.  Do you have any regrets from your past that if given the opportunity you would want to go back and change?

Rajah Tarek: Rajahs have no regrets, as we never make mistakes. However, if I was to change one unfortunate event, it would be the loss of my first-ever wife. She died too young.

DFT: Being a man of great wealth and means has allowed you to live a very comfortable life. But that doesn’t mean you have lived a happy one.  What is the one thing that you think would bring you true happiness?

Rajah Tarek: My life has been blessed by the gods, and so it’s my duty to show my gratitude for them by seeking out and destroying our enemies, the bhutas. Saving my people from these filthy demons brings me great satisfaction.

DFT: Kalinda is a spirited young women and she becomes your hundredth queen. What was it about her that made you decide to take her as your wife?

Rajah Tarek: Kalinda…ah, she is a sweet blossom. I knew the moment I set eyes on her that she was meant to become my rani. I traveled across the empire in search of a woman who possessed the courage necessary to triumph in the rank tournaments. Kalinda not only has stunning long dark hair, but a noble heart. She reminds me of my first-ever wife.

DFT: Before you leave would you mind sharing with us a lesson you have learned that has helped you in your life?

Rajah Tarek: The greatest advice I can provide is that you must become indomitable. Harden your heart, thicken your skin, and gird your loins for the arena of life. Only by becoming faster, stronger, and shrewder than your opponent, will you survive.

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About Emily:

Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.

You can visit Emily around the web here: Website Twitter  | Instagram Facebook

Want to read more from Emily R. King?

_________________________________________________________________________________

contest

This contest is provided by Emily R. King!

One lucky reader will win a finished copy of The Hundredth Queen!!!
(US only)

Available June 1st 2017 by Skyscape

About this Book:

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

Order From:

 

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