Book Review

Book Review: First Rider’s Call (Green Rider #2) by Kristen Britain

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 596 pages
Author: Kristen Britain
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: August 3rd, 2004
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

GHOSTLY RIDERS

Karigan G’ladheon had been a Green Rider, one of the king of Sacoridia’s elite magical messengers. Being a Green Rider was more perilous than Karigan had ever imagined, for a rogue Eletians had cracked the magical D’Yer Wall which had protected Sacoridia for a thousand years from the evil influence of Blackveil Forest–the arboreal prison of Sacoridia’s ancient enemy Mornhaven the Black–and had brought the threat of dark magic into the land. In the messenger service she had been caught up in a world of deadly danger, and though she had defeated the Eletian, she had nonetheless been tainted by his wild magic.

Exhausted in body and spirit, and determined to be the mistress of her own destiny, Karigan has returned to her home in Corsa. But Karigan’s determination was no match for the Rider’s call. Ghostly hoofbeats echoed in the deep regions of her mind, and when she awoke to find herself on horseback halfway to Sacor City–in her nightgown–she finally gave in.

Back at court Karigan found the Green Riders weakened and diminished. Rider magic was becoming unreliable, and she herself was having ghostly visions–visions of a strong woman with wild flowing hair and a blue and green tartan draped across her shoulder, pinned with a golden brooch. This woman was no stranger to Karigan nor would she have been to any Green Rider, for she was Lil Ambriodhe, First Rider, and founder of the Green Rider corps. But why was she appearing to Karigan? And would Karigan be able to seek the help of a woman who had been dead for a thousand years?

I’M INVESTED.

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this up. I decided to try the audio (highly recommend) to make it through this tome to really decide if I wanted to invest in this series. Ohhhh did the audio convince me! I really liked this epic fantasy and I feel excited to read book three.

After about 100 pages I started to settle [and remember] who was who and what was happening. By the end I found myself intrigued by the storylines and characters. I wanted to know more about everyone and I am HOOKED on the bit of romance this book is finally adding in. Some books need a dash of romance and this is the case for the series. There’s so much action and politics and things of that nature happening that a bit heavier addition of some soft, tender moments would send this into 5 star land for me.

There’s many maaaany different lines weaving together. I liked the change of POV’s and I was able to keep up with what was happening. They’re journal chapters that gratefully do lead to a HUGE reveal that I think is going to have some great threads for the next book.

I’m excited to continue this high fantasy. It’s nice to have a thick series to work my way through and will definitely be continuing with the audio books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, murder, loss of loved ones, fires, kidnapping, near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Adult Fantasy
Length: 672 pages
Author: R.F. Kuang
Publisher: Harper Voyage
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Rin’s story continues in this acclaimed sequel to The Poppy War—an epic fantasy combining the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters.

The war is over.

The war has just begun.

Three times throughout its history, Nikan has fought for its survival in the bloody Poppy Wars. Though the third battle has just ended, shaman and warrior Rin cannot forget the atrocity she committed to save her people. Now she is on the run from her guilt, the opium addiction that holds her like a vice, and the murderous commands of the fiery Phoenix—the vengeful god who has blessed Rin with her fearsome power.

Though she does not want to live, she refuses to die until she avenges the traitorous Empress who betrayed Rin’s homeland to its enemies. Her only hope is to join forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who plots to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new republic.

But neither the Empress nor the Dragon Warlord are what they seem. The more Rin witnesses, the more she fears her love for Nikan will force her to use the Phoenix’s deadly power once more.

Because there is nothing Rin won’t sacrifice to save her country . . . and exact her vengeance.

WHO’S SIDE AM I ON?

This book got me FEELIN’ over that ending. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW. I have THOUGHTS and I need resolutions in the last book or we might be seeing a book throwing scenario. I can’t trust anything in this series and I hate [read: LOVE] that. By the time I’m feeling settled in one scene and its movement I am twisted around by the next chapter trying to find my footing again. The intense action and politics are continuing on and I can’t even begin to tell you which side I actually stand on.

Rin annoyed me on and off this go around. Many many decisions were made for her and I wish that she would have listened or been more open about those in her life. It did move the story along, but it did leave me wondering what hill our main character is going to stand on. I did however, enjoy seeing Rin develop a lot of relationships (platonic, and maybe something else?!?). That was a big part of this read and I think is going to play an even bigger role in the last book.

I love the audio version and how well everything is narrated. I am easily swept away by the story and it helped pass the slower middle area quicker by listening rather than physically reading this go around. I am anxious to get my hands on book three to see how this all ends. WHO SURVIVES.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: rape, sexual assault, attempted assault and rape, extreme gore and violence; extreme blood and physical altercations; dismemberment, loss of loved ones, war scenes, racism, genocide, colonization, substance abuse and addiction, PTSD, suicide, self-harm, suicide ideation, forced medical examinations, animal death/torture

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Book Review

Book Review: The Song of the Marked (Shadows and Crowns #1) by S.M. Gaither

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 512 pages
Author: S.M. Gaither
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An ancient evil is stirring. The old gods are growing restless. Can she stop the coming storm?

A Devastating Sickness

For decades, the Kethran Empire has been plagued by a strange illness that leaches the very life and soul from its victims.

The Girl Who Survived

Casia is one of the Fade-Marked—one of the few people who caught this sickness and lived. Why she lived is a mystery even to her and the outcast crew of mercenaries she calls her family. It also makes her an intriguing target for the young, enigmatic king-emperor, who claims he wants to work alongside her to find a cure.

Unfortunately, working alongside him also means working with the handsome but infuriating captain of one of the most prestigious branches of the Kethran Army.

A Soldier With No Past

This infuriating Captain Elander also has secrets: A past that Cas can’t seem to uncover, a powerful but strange brand of magic, and a deep distrust of the very monarch that he’s sworn to serve. She feels oddly drawn to him in spite of these things…

But can she really trust him?

The Fate of an Empire

As the bodies pile up and strange monsters begin to wreak havoc throughout the realms, Cas and Elander will have to work together to protect their world whether they trust one another or not. Because one thing is clear: Something ancient and evil is stirring in the shadows of Kethra.

And the empire will not survive its full unleashing.

But how can they save a world where nothing and no one is what they seem to be— including Cas herself?

NEW FANTASY OBESSSION.

I’m always looking for a fantasy series to dive into, and this one is it. It was SO DANG GOOD. And the audio book was fantastic. Highly recommend that avenue if you’re interested. I flew through this fast. The pacing was well intentioned and never felt like a drag. I love the high stakes action and the plot itself. Gimme book two ASAP.

Of course, one of my favorite aspects is the enemies to lovers trope. It’s heated and tangled. Left me begging for them to actually kiss and then contemplating what I was supposed to do with AN ENDING LIKE THAT. It’s going to be a long haul and I am here for it.

I love a strong female main character and Cas IS THAT WOMAN. She takes charge, occasionally runs off into danger, but is fiercely loyal and is just looking for answers to save her loved ones. Cas got in on the action and drove this book forward with her stubborn tenacity. Can’t get enough of her. There’s been some mention of Throne of Glass vibes and I can definitely see that here (in a great way).

The ending left me reeling and I am not coping well waiting for the next book. I’m excited to continue this series because that first book was a hidden gem.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: brief open door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, creature attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: blood/gore depiction, loss of loved ones, a wasting sickness

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Book Review

Book Review: Glint (The Plated Prisoner #2) by Raven Kennedy

Rating: ☆☆☆1/2
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 441 pages
Author: Raven Kennedy
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 11th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“You want to make your life easier? Then be the caged bird that you are and sing.”

For ten years, I’ve lived in a gilded cage inside King Midas’s golden castle. But one night changed everything.

Now I’m here, a prisoner of Fourth Kingdom’s army, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out of this in one piece. They’re marching to battle, and I’m the bargaining chip that will either douse the fire or spark a war.

At the heart of my fear, my worry, there’s him—Commander Rip.

Known for his brutality on the battlefield, his viciousness is unsurpassed. But I know the truth about what he is.

Fae.

The betrayers. The murderers. The ones who nearly destroyed Orea, wiping out Seventh Kingdom in the process. Rip has power sizzling beneath this skin and glinting spikes down his spine. But his eyes—his eyes are the most compelling of all.

When he turns those black eyes on me, I feel captive for an entirely different reason.

I may be out of my cage, but I’m not free, not even close. In the game of kings and armies, I’m the gilded pawn. The question is, can I out maneuver them?

This is the captivating second book of The Plated Prisoner series. It’s an adult epic fantasy story blending romance, intrigue, and beautiful imagery. Return to the seductive story of magic inspired by the myth of King Midas, and get caught up in the world of Orea.

Please note: There is explicit language and romance in this book, not suitable for those under the age of 18.

AUREN FOUND A HAWK.

That’s the gist of this plot. Things started off well. Literally right where book one ended. But then, while with the enemy army, Auren basically spent the entire time trying to find a hawk. That’s what I got out of this.

I thought there would be a lot more something. Even the one love scene was between a side couple? Soooo not even a romance plot change? Somehow I kept reading, the writing has that kind of quality about it. I’m just sitting here typing realizing not all that much happened and it’s a bit annoying.

Rip was one of the best parts of this book. I love a fae warrior. I would have loved even more of him and his story with Auren! I see hints of where it’s going, but as always, gimme mooooore.

The ending ramped up at least. While highly predictable, it does add another layer to the story so YAY. I’m curious how that actually plays out in book three, which yes, I am going to read too. A pretty bland edition to the series that’s making this review hard to write because of the lack of things to discuss.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: one open door
  • Violence: murder, physical altercations

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