King’s Highlander (Highland Wishes, #4) by Jessi Gage – Review

Tags

, , , , , ,

About King’s Highlander

Danu, goddess of Wolfkind, has fallen for a mortal. Ever since fate thrust her into the body of a mortal woman, potent desires have plagued her. Surely, returning to her true form will cure her of the longing to fall into bed with the handsome King Magnus. Unfortunately, in her current state, she has no power to transform herself. Worse, she has no power to save her people from the wicked demigod intent on subjugating them.

King Magnus has waited fifty years for Seona, the human woman prophesied to become his queen and the mother of his heir. Now that he has her, she wants nothing to do with him. Until a terrible accident steals her memory. Where Seona once hated him, she now flirts with him. Where she once fled his protective custody, she now marvels at every nuance of life within his castle walls.

Magnus has been betrayed too many times to trust easily. Seona’s new behavior is suspect. But try as he might, he cannot deny his growing passion for her. Just when he begins to believe Seona will finally be his in every way, he learns a truth that rocks him to his core and puts his kingdom in peril. To save his people, he must rely on a new, fragile faith that challenges everything he thought he knew, and risk losing a love that transcends mortality.

Warning: Two pairs of “happy ever afters” are on the line in this wild ride of a fantasy romance. It is recommended that readers experience The Wolf and the Highlander (Highland Wishes, Book 2)

Review of King’s Highlander

In 2015, at an online Facebook party, I received the audiobook of The Wolf and the Highlander from author Jessi Gage in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved it (review here). That book was #2 in the Highland Wishes series, but the nature of the series makes book 4 more of a sequel to book 2.

I don’t often go directly to authors to ask to review a book, but I made an exception this time.  I had great expectations for King’s Highlander and I was not disappointed one bit. The situation with King Magnus and Seona took such an immediate and compelling turn that I could not put this book down.

Danu, in the body of Seona, is both goddess and mortal. Both aspects of her personality appeal to Magnus but he is in the dark about how Seona changed from hating every fiber of his being to flirting at every opportunity. Magnus is suspicious but also terribly attracted to the new Seona.

Sadly, his attempts to act on that attraction will be thwarted by an attack on his kingdom. All the children disappear overnight. To understand how terrible this is, you must realize that the Wolfkind are a dying race. They have very few females and many are past the age of child bearing. So to lose the children is a horrendous blow.

While Danu is in the body of Seona, Seona is in Danu’s body and therefore, in her prison. Put there by the demi-god Hyrk, Danu was despairing of escape. It must also be hopeless for Seona, though she does have a friend. Fae Duff promises to help her escape, but she must make a promise in return.  Because that is just the way of the Fae.

The subsequent story of Magnus going after Danu’s enemy is full of energy and action and high emotions. I would not miss this story for the world! Add the story of the children and of Seona and Duff and you have a full course dinner of passion, tensions and excitement, with an ending that brings in an unexpected blessing. King’s Highlander is such a well told story. You can read this book without reading The Wolf and the Highlander, but reading the two in order would make for a fuller experience.

The author graciously provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Links

Add King’s Highlander to your Goodreads shelf

Purchase The Wolf and the Highlander and/or King’s Highlander:

Advertisements

Raven, Fire and Ice (Touch of Truth, #1) by Nita Round – Review

Tags

, , , , ,

About Raven, Fire and Ice

Lucinda Ravensburgh sees the truth in everything she touches. When Captain Magda Stoner of the airship Verity, asks for her help in a very strange and messy crime, Lucinda cannot refuse. From that moment on, Lucinda’s life is changed forever. She discovers, no matter what the obstacle, nor the troubles they encounter, finding the truth is paramount.

Review of Raven, Fire and Ice

Oh wow! As soon as I started reading Raven, Fire and Ice, my eyes were glued to the page. Do not let the very brief book blurb fool you. This is a riveting story of rich characters, compelling earth magic and a vibrant setting that pulls you right into the scene.

Okay, that was a typical wrap-up paragraph for me. But I wanted to get your attention. The reason I decided to read Raven, Fire and Ice is because the author described it as steampunk. When added to the blurb, I thought, sure, I’ll give it a go. Wise move.

When the story begins, Lucinda Ravensburgh is doing her thing, using her gifts in her position as… Well, you don’t know what she is, so you just keep reading to figure it out. And it takes a while, but in the mean-time the action is riveting. The author’s style of writing is mostly dialog and action. There is not an abundance of descriptive narration and almost no internal character musings. It works well and made the story move very quickly for me, despite the 422 pages (so says Amazon).

The just right amount of descriptive narration vividly paints settings. From the Angles tower to the huge airship that must cause a bit of airship envy. From the new Raven Tower to the city of Wash Town with it’s many levels and layers. The brilliant settings seemed to take a life of their own, as much as the characters did.

And since characters make the story, I should say a bit about them. Lucinda is both confident and unsure. These two traits seem contradictory, but her honesty about them is both humble and boastful. I like her direct manner very much. Captain Magda Stoner made a brilliant entrance into the story clinging to proper titles so much that it became almost irritating. But it set the tone for her character. Correct, maybe a little uptight, but extremely capable. She is Captain of the airship with an assorted crew of able airship operators. Officer Ascara is in charge of security on the airship and off of it. Her seemingly casual manner is supplemented by vigilance and she is relentless when performing her duties.

This trio of women are an unlikely team of detectives that will discover the truth about disappearing people in Wash Town. While Lucinda was the person hired to do the job, Magda and Ascara are the catalysts that help her complete the process. Individually, each has her strengths. But as the team, the sum of the whole is greater than the parts. I like them very much!

They are more than a team which you will discover when you read about the Raven Tower and its emergence. They do spend a little time naked together and admiring each other in their nakedness. Are they meant to be more than a crime-solving team? In Raven, Fire and Ice, they do not become lovers, but the implication is that there might be something in the future. Each approaches the possibility of such a relationship in her own unique manner: amusement, pointlessness, hopefulness. I like that the relationship stays on a professional level, at least for now.  These three women as main characters overshadow all the other characters.

I will leave you with a passage from early in the book. More of foretoken of things to come, it also ties into the title:

As the door closed Lucinda leaned back in her chair and stared at the bare walls over the book cases. There were three quotes etched into the wall, and Lucinda recalled reading them over and over again. “Wise birds whisper,” she read, “Rage of fire,” on another part. Finally, “Strength of ice.” The words didn’t mean anything, yet they gave her a kind of comfort. No one knew why the words had appeared, but it had been in the early days of the tower’s formation.

The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Links

Add Raven, Fire and Ice to your Goodreads shelf:

Purchase Raven, Fire and Ice:

 

The Sky Woman by J. D. Moyer – Review

Tags

, , , , , , ,

About The Sky Woman

Car-En, a ringstation anthropologist on her first Earth field assignment, observes a Viking-like village in the Harz mountains. As Car-En secretly observes the Happdal villagers, she begins to see them as more than research subjects (especially Esper, a handsome bow-hunter). When Esper’s sister is taken by an otherwordly sword-wielding white-haired man, she can no longer stand by as a passive witness. Knowing the decision might end her career, she cuts off communication with her advisor and pursues the abductor into the mountains.

Note: This short blurb I read on NetGalley, is what convinced me I wanted to read The Sky Woman. However, Goodreads has a far more detailed book blurb, that is somewhat spoilerish, for those that want more details (see the link below).

Review of The Sky Woman

In determining the fate of planet Earth (actually the history of Earth at this stage in the story), so many popular disaster theories have been brought into the mix. A series of events has de-populated Earth. Low birth rates, extreme economic decline, cultural collapse, and natural disasters, culminating in the catastrophic eruption of a Mediterranean supervolcano. The Sky Woman takes place on and above a post-apocalyptic Earth, centuries later when the earth is becoming habitable and civilization is making a comeback. This is a fascinating future Earth, where those that escaped the apocalypse live in the sky, in ringstations.

The viking-like village of Happdal that Car-En is assigned to observe seems to be very much like their ancient ancestors. The practices and rituals seem to have Norse influence. Before the discovery of this village and a few other similar pockets of civilization, it was thought that technologically oriented cultures were extinct.

But discovery of such a village challenges the ringstation people and their plans for repopulating Earth. The people of the ringstations are centuries ahead of the people of Earth – technologically. In their lofty position, they think they are trying to do what is best for Earth and for themselves. Many opinions, and therefore, politics, argue for the best way to move forward. Car-En’s supervisor, Adrian, is one such politician and he will use Car-En to further his own agenda. And when I say use, I actually mean abuse. Technology is not always a good thing. I will leave it at that.

There is a second story line developing alongside the ringstation Repop efforts. It is linked the Repop story line through the residents of Happdal. That is the story of the gast. The gast is thought to be a supernatural creature that abducts people and they are never seen again. Happdal daughter Katja is one such abductee. However, Katja refuses to accept her situation and her efforts to go home will reveal a strange truth about the gast. This seemingly supernatural aspect is intriguing and, giving away nothing, I will tell you that I am anxious to see how it will mesh with the ringstaton Repop story line.

I really like the character of Car-En, the unobjective anthropologist. Watching the village people, she gets caught up in their lives which leads her to defy her boss and go off the grid, so to speak, in order to help them. The book blurb might lead you to believe she will become involved romantically with Happdal resident Esper. In fact, the sub-title inludes the phrase “an Epic Struggle of Love….”. It’s not really that. It is just two characters that become a couple, but the romance aspect of their relationship is not part of the story. It just happens. I just wanted to let you know in case you are looking for romance. It’s not really there, except as implied.

Which does not detract from the story at all. The Sky Woman scores on so many points. Great characters (I include the ostensible bad guy Adrian), several intertwining complex stories, a highly imaginative future Earth for a setting and the possibility of exciting future installments.

I also love the cover!

The end of The Sky Woman definitely leaves some things hanging. At the end of the book, there is an interview style Q&A with J.D. Moyer where he states, the next book, The Guardian, is in the works. I do classify this as a cliff-hanger, but because so much was resolved, I deduct only a half of a star, making this a 4 ½ star book. So yes, I’ll round to 5 for the popular review sites.

Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Links

Add The Sky Woman to your Goodreads shelf:

Pre-order The Sky Woman (release date September 6th):