Book Review

ARC Book Review: King’s Bride (The Chronicles of Urn #1) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 500 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Pluma Press
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


He’s the God of Death. She’s the bride sent to kill him. Their union may be the end of them both.

The Everfrost is ruled by the King in his castle of ice. Some call him the Ice Phoenix, others the God of Death. The clans survive by one law alone: pay the King the homage he is due and never take what belongs to him. But when Sunnëva Morkhàn’s brother falls gravely ill, she will have to do exactly that.
Against every warning, she sneaks into the castle to steal the one thing that would save him—a magical rose. But you don’t steal from the King and live to tell the tale. When the Ice Phoenix discovers her theft and demands payment, the cost is too steep. Mourning and enraged, she challenges him, only to lose. To spare her clan from the King’s wrath, her father offers her as a bride, and for a reason she cannot fathom, the King agrees.
Revenge is a delicate game Sunnëva is determined to play, even if killing the God of Death is no easy feat. But as secrets unfold around the alluring King, and dark threats emerge from the shadows, Sunnëva struggles to hold on to her hatred—and her heart.

Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, King’s Bride is the first book in Beck Michaels’ companion prequel series, the Chronicles of Urn—dark fables founded in forbidden love and strong-willed women who bring kings to their knees.

Thank you Storygram Tours and Beck Michaels for an eARC.


This book took me on a journey. I realllllly enjoyed it. It’s a captivating beauty and the beast retelling and I loved that it was in the same world of Michaels other series and I noticed a few world building and magic system themes that carried over. I love connections like that.

I was worried the romance would have been off to the races and I was happy to see that it did keep to a slower paced burn. I thought the chemistry between Sunnëva and Jökull was fiery and very well heated. There were a lot of moments I highlighted because I love a swoony death god with words. Spice wise, it went over my line of plot vs. spice. There was an extra scene or two that didn’t fit with the plot and took away from the story for me. Otherwise, I truly was rooting for this relationship and loved all of the development throughout. For a standalone I thought this covered a lot of bases well and wrapped up things too.

There’s a few small plot/writing quirks that I noticed that brought me to a four star. I thought pieces of the ending felt rushed (though I will say I still loved the very end, it’s a HEA don’t worry!!). I’m curious now to make more connections between the two series and seeing how this story intertwines (this do NOT spoil anything for the Guardians of the Maiden series and can be read as a standalone).

Overall audience notes;

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language; some strong
  • Romance: 4+ open; high explicit
  • Violence: moderate
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of past sexual assault trauma (the act is not show but given to understand), loss of life, battle themes, blood/gore depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: Shattered Souls (Guardians of the Maiden #3) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 763 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: September 27th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Survival demands more than blood. It demands souls.

Alone and afraid, the time has come for Dyna to be her own savior. She will use every skill and spell her Guardians taught her to survive. Because the damsel is dead. This time, she fights.

Cassiel and the Guardians are desperate to find their Maiden. Except they cannot do it alone. The journey to cross Troll Bridge proves harder than ever as they race against the impending winter. When the High King summons him to answer for his crimes, Cassiel will sacrifice everything in order to save the one person he can’t live without. Even if it means his fate will end in exile—or a throne.

Dyna and her Guardians will all face a trial by fire as they confront their greatest threat yet. Themselves. And when ice meets flame, will they pay the price?

The hunt for Mount Ida reaches new heights and dark lows as the Guardians of the Maiden continues in this heart gripping tale about the bounds of love, duty, and power.

Thank you to the author for a gifted audiobook.


I have had an up and down ride with this series, and this installment overall made me want to continue. I still feel invested in the overall plot and storylines for this cast. Towards the end there were multiple villain era-esque lines popping up and I AM HERE FOR IT ALL. Let’s make some of these characters a bit more gray because I have been waiting books to see this happen.

But 750 pages? Nooooo. Way too long. The amount of time spent on Dyna and Cassiel’s romantic relationship was, good heavens, expounded upon past the point of true enjoyment. I enjoyed some of the scenes that we did get (and that spice is kept on the more minimal side!), but I just needed less. I’m really interested in a new potential romance that’s brewing and some of the other character arcs almost more at this point. I did think it was interesting to get the villain’s back story because a lot more things make sense in regards to his dynamic now too.

The plot stalled here and there (as previously mentioned). There was some movement and I liked seeing where things are going. I truly did enjoy the audiobook a lot. It’s how I’ve read all of these books and I will continue to do so. The narrators do an amazing job and I continually found myself wanting to listen to this book.

Curious where the ending will take us next!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some mild
  • Romance: vague open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of life, murder, kidnapping, torture, battle and war themes

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Book Review

Book Review: Bonded Fate (Guardians of the Maiden #2) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ★★★☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 531 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Pluma Press
Release Date: August 3rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Joined by blood. Bound by destiny.

The stakes are higher, new questions will surface, and more blood will spill in the thrilling sequel of the Guardians of the Maiden fantasy series.

Reeling from Cassiel’s confession, Dyna struggles to understand what the Blood Bond means for them both, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a newfound enemy. When reuniting with a familiar sorceress, she realizes the only way to defeat Tarn is to find her Guardians—all of them.

Cassiel never meant to tie himself to a human, especially one that inexplicably draws him. But then the bond develops a startling change, and it puts into question everything he thought he knew.

Zev straddles the line between human and wolf, unsure if his dark thoughts truly belong to the Madness. It’s growing stronger, determined to take over—and he may just let it.

The journey to get the answers they each need will test them all. But what Dyna doesn’t know is that it comes with a price, and it may cost more than she bargained for.


I wanted to love this more, BUT I’m still planning on moving forward with book three so all hope is not lost. I mostly feel like not that much actually happened? The crew kept getting attacked, but made no actual progress on their journey.

What did progress were some romantic plotlines, YAY. I did love those and am in love with all things Cassiel. Dyna, eh. She’s just not the heroine I’m here for [yet]. I will give her credit for making some progress. Dyna is a bit whiny and naïve about way too much, buuuut she did take the time to grow some necessary skills in magic/weaponry and practices moves us forward y’all. They’re relationship is all things I love about fantasy romance and I am here for more of it allllllll.

I love all of these points of view. It feels very epic fantasy with many characters and moving parts. I think [hope] a lot of the smaller things that happened here are precursors to the wild amount of things that can happen in book three.

The depth of the villain is starting to show and his buddy Von. I love that we get to see there side of the story too and needless to say, I’m cautiously excited to see where this moves to next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: med-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: servitude, physical and magical weaponry, suicidal ideation, grief, PTSD, near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: Divine Blood (Guardians of the Maiden #1) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 467 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Pluma Press
Release Date: June 3rd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


The Shadow demon nearly took everything from Dynalya Astron, and it would soon return for more. When she discovers a way to fight back, she must go on a perilous journey and risk it all for those she holds dear.

Along the way, she meets Cassiel, a Celestial Prince with magic blood and wings as black as his heart. He wants nothing to do with Dyna until he learns she could lead him to a place he has been searching for all his life.

But reaching their destination is not as easy as they thought, nor are they the only ones who search for it. With danger at every turn and harrowing secrets between them, the quest will require much more than determination. They must fight for what they desire—or die trying.

For fans of Throne of Glass,The Cruel Prince, and The Lord of the Rings comes Beck Michael’s debut novel with remarkable characters, a budding romance, and gripping action. Divine Blood is the first book of an Epic Dark Fantasy series that explores the depths of loss, acceptance, and the true meaning of courage.


A great start to a new fantasy series that might have me hooked! I listened to it as an audio book and really enjoyed that format. Definitely recommend that way if you like audio books!

Don’t quote me here, but apparently this is somewhat LOTR-ish? I’ve never read or seen the movie, but if that’s your jam, maybe you’ll enjoy this series too.

I love the world building here and allllllll of the magical creatures; elves, fae, angels, humans, werewolves, and many more! Everyone fit well together and I liked the initial set-up of everything. I’m curios how things will keep expanding and look forward to learning more about the magic systems as well.

There was an overwhelming about of POV’s. I generally love multiple, but this was a bit much initially. By the end, when I had a better grasp on who was who and which side of the divide they stood on, it was much more enjoyable. I’m starting to get a feel for this cast and I only want more. The only character I didn’t like was Dyna. Wow was she the epitome of [what she was referred to multiple times in the book] a stupid human. She came off whiny and had to be rescued more times than I could count. Hopefully that means there will be character growth over the series. That + a more intricate romance will sky rocket this for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, gruesome animal mauling, magical weaponry, brief battle scenes

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