Books

Night Shift Dragons [DFZ, Book 3] Review

DFZ book 3 released a while ago and I finished the audio book.  I have to say, hands down this was one of my favorite series.  I liked it more than The Heartstrikers books, if I’m being completely honest.  This is going to be one of my shorter reviews, because I really don’t have anything bad to say about it.  Loved it from start to finish.  But as I am prone to do, let’s get into some gushing about the book!

 

Night Shift Dragons takes place 2 months after Part-Time Gods.  Opal and her Father are dealing with a lot of their issues, and Opal is also dealing with being a Priestess to the DFZ.  I thought it was really interesting seeing the DFZ and how her personality has developed over the 25 year span since the Heartstriker series.  It isn’t something you need to have read the first series to get, but if you have it’s just a nice touch seeing her develop  into  who she is in the story.  There were some really entertaining cameos in this book as well, which once again you don’t have to have read the first series to get, but it makes them all the better if you have and if you plan to read the Heartstrikers series, major spoilers from things in that series by these cameos.
But what I love about this series, is how grounded it is.  Sure, we’re dealing with demi-gods and magic, and dragons.  But at its core, it’s the story of Opal and Yong trying to figure out how to have a relationship with one another where they aren’t just shouting at each other all the time, and Opal realizing that her actions have major consequences, and she’s just as much at fault for the bad things going on in her life as dealing with her Dad is.  It was really refreshing seeing Opal own up to her mistakes, while at the same time acknowledging that Yong was also in the wrong.  Yong also has to realize Opal isn’t a kid anymore, and what he’s been trying to do to keep her close has only driven her away was huge character growth for him as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters, where they just talked things out and figured out how to be a Father and daughter again.  After that, the scenes with them having more tender moments, and their action scenes together, were just so amazing and I loved seeing them lean on each other for strength, and support.  Of course their mannerisms don’t entirely go away, but they’re both working on building this relationship, and it’s beautiful start to finish.

 

I was a bit worried after reading the blurb for the book that Opal and Nick’s relationship would suffer.  Especially after what happened at the end of book 2, I was seriously stressing that there would be an obnoxious will they, won’t they lovers on opposite sides of a battle thing going on.  Lucky for me, that didn’t happen at all.  Once again, Rachel Aaron demonstrates her depth in understanding of how her characters work, and uses a realistic dialogue between the characters to set up plot points for the book.  Never did I feel like either side didn’t trust each other, never did I feel that their relationship wasn’t strong enough to weather any storm.  It was just really well done, seeing the depth of care they had for each other, and super refreshing for a genre plagued with irritating romance tropes.

 

The overarching plot of the story was interesting enough, but honestly it was mainly the backdrop for the characters growth and development.  I pretty easily predicted what was going to happen, though there were certain curveballs In the last few chapters that genuinely had me surprised.  The final battle was epic, and the true culmination of Opal and Yong’s relationship.  And the ending after that was super satisfying, and open-ended enough  to have some novellas featuring Opal and Nick.  Which, I hope is what happens, because if I’m being honest, I like them waaaay more than Marcy and Julius.  There’s just something about Opal that’s so much more engaging, and makes me like her far more as a character.

 

I read this in audio book format, because that’s how I started the book, and I tend to stick with how I started reading a book.  Emily Woo Zeller is fantastic, her voice for Opal especially is super well done.  Opal, Yong, and Nick were very well defined as characters in her narration.  There is a certain point, where the voices don’t get super distinguished, but the characters personalities still shine through so well that it doesn’t bother me so much.  My main gripe is with the characters from Heartstrikers, but that’s mainly because I’m so used to the voices from the Heartstrikers books that the ones in this book throw me off a bit.  I just put those voices in my head and imagine the other narrators deliveries with them, and it doesn’t bother me too much.

 

But yeah, this was a fantastic finale to the series.  Like I said, this story has always been grounded in the simple struggle of a young woman wanting to live her life, but not wanting to strain her familial relationships to do so.  Both sides having to adapt to one another’s wishes, while still loving and respecting each other was perfectly portrayed in this 3rd book. I always thought Yong was a great character, but seeing him fleshed out in this book was great, and his character arc along with Opal’s was fantastic.  Like I said, I really hope to see more of all of these characters, because I prefer them to the cast of the Heartstrikers series.
I recommend this story to anyone who’s an urban fantasy fan that has a strong like of character based stories, and quirky humor.  These books are well rounded with drama, action, character and plot, and I thoroughly enjoyed this being a one on one character story, instead of evolving into the end of the world scenario Heartstrikers did.  Both are great series’ but I prefer this one to that one, no contest.

 

Have you read Night Shift Dragons?  Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Books

Bite-Sized Book Reviews #2

Time for another round of Bite-Sized book reviews, this time for a few series I’ve read recently.  I have full reviews for the individual books on my Goodreads page, so if you’d like to see more detail for them, head on over there.  This is basically my excuse to gush about these series’, because I really enjoyed all of them and waiting for the installments in them reminds me why I don’t like to read books unless the series is finished, because waiting for all of these is going to drive me nuts!

 

The Forgotten Kingdoms Series by Lichelle Slater

 

This is a fairy tale retelling series that at first, feels rather bland.  I didn’t find The Dragon Princess to be particularly attention grabbing, but I finished it because I’m all about The Little Mermaid (my favorite fairy tale) and The Siren Princess was next in the series.  It was worth getting through book 1, because book 2 was really action packed, the Princess who was the main character was a lot more fun, her romantic interest was waaaay better, and all in all the polish of book 2 and book 3 made me super hyped for books 4 and 5.  There’s a consistent character throughout all of the series that I really enjoy his character arc, and he was the reason why I continued the series in the first place.  I think this series overall does a really good job of keeping the stories self-contained, while still furthering the over-arching plot of the series.  The Beast Princess was amazing start to finish, and hands down my favorite one in the series.  I find narratively, this is one of the better fairy tale retellings, and while it pays homage to the fairy tales they are inspired by, it doesn’t focus solely on fairy tale tropes like other retellings I’ve read.  The cast is well fleshed out, plot and world are great, and overall this series is an enjoyable fantasy romp that I can’t wait to read to its conclusion.

 

Fairy Tale Adventures by A.G. Marshal

 

Do you notice a trend here? I majorly got into reading fairy tale retellings in the early months of the year.  Fairy Tale Adventures however takes a very mature angle with the fairy tale retelling genre, and deals with heavy topics like not feeling like you’re good enough for your family, finding your own self-worth, and overcoming obstacles.  The romances in the series are really well rounded, and none of the couples feel like they are out of place.  I read Princess of Mermaids first in the series, and in this series it actually does affect your knowledge of the rest of the narrative because A.G. Marshal does have plot points from previous books interlink.  It wasn’t a huge hindrance, I just went back and read the first two books in the series, but it did make way more sense after doing so.

 

I think Princess of Shadows is the weakest book in the series.  I liked Leena fine, but her love interest I really didn’t care for and while it said it was a Princess and the Pea retelling, it really wasn’t.  It was an interesting story, don’t get me wrong, but fairy tale retelling as far as I know the story The Princess and the Pea was a stretch.  A better job was done for both Princess of Secrets and Princess of Mermaids, so I feel like Princess of Shadows just was a case of rocky book 1 writing.  But, if you want an awesome series, with powerful Princess that live up to having both feminine and masculine traits well balanced, pick up this book series.

 

The Elvan Alliance Series by Tara Grayce

 

I saved the best for last, as I adore this series!  The premise is a human marries an elf so an alliance between the two peoples is formed, but the books are so much more than that.  Essie and Farrendal’s relationship is just so sweet, and the themes of working towards growing your relationship, choosing your partner, making the best of a situation, and creating a family bigger than yourself out of two is just so wonderful.  I just finished book 2, and the cliffhanger at the end is so ugh!  I can’t wait to read book 3, I really need to revisit this world and see how it ends for the characters!
The world building is really interesting in the series too.  Sort of a steampunky industrial evolution vibe, but also with magic interwoven into the Elvan world masterfully.  I can picture all of the landscapes and structures described in the book, and while romance is definitely the focal point of the series, the politics and court intrigue aren’t just shrugged off for lovey-dovey bits.  There’s tons of lovey-dovey bits, don’t get me wrong, but both politics and romance take center stage when they need to.  It’s just overall a really enjoyable series, I can’t wait until September when the third book comes out!

 

And that does it for Bite-Sized Book reviews #2.  If you decide to read any of these series’, let me know!  I’d love to be able to talk about these with other people!

 

Once again, for more detailed reviews of these books, head on over to my Goodreads Page.  Thanks for reading this post, and happy reading any books you’re reading right now!

Books

The Spoken Mage by Melanie Cellier Full Series Review [Spoiler Free]

Sometimes you just find a book series you really enjoy.  It may be the characters, may be the world building, may be a bit of both.  It isn’t necessarily the best series, but you don’t care:  it just ticks all of your boxes, and you enjoy it for what it is.  I’m not one of those people who thinks everything should be a literary masterpiece, because that would be no fun.  What I like is an engaging story, that has a satisfying ending, and a great ride to get to said ending and for me, The Spoken Mage series is that.  Does it have story telling flaws?  I think so, especially with some of it’s pacing in the 2nd, and 4th books.  Is it a bit cliché?  Yeah, totally.  But do they do a good job building up the overarching plot, romance, and ending the story well?  Absolutely.  So for that, I honestly loved reading this series and recommend it to fantasy romance fans.

 

The premise of the series is what got me to pick this up in the first place.  In this world, the magic system revolves around writing.  Only nobles can  channel magic in a way that won’t kill them, so the common born are banned from reading and writing, so they don’t channel magic poorly and harm others.  Elena is a common born, who finds out she can use magic through speaking, not writing, and she’s sent to a magic school for noble born children to channel her gifts, and learn how to use them.  Crazy adventures, politics, and romance ensue  as the four book series is Elena’s time at the school.  Basic premise, right?  Other than the magic, I wasn’t super keen on a magic school setting.  I don’t dislike it per see, but there are a lot of tropes built into this sort of a setting and I hadn’t read a school setting since Harry Potter.  But, I had nothing to worry about, as there’s so much more to this world then just going to school.  I really enjoyed the themes set forth in this book, that Elena had to navigate the political landscape she was thrust into, and figure out how to fight for common born rights among a world of nobles.  She realizes however, being common born has its own set of issues, as does being mage born.  She and her classmates learn from each other, as they both had stereo types about each class group in their heads and it was nice seeing the characters grow from one another’s experiences.  Elena herself grows a lot throughout and it was just really enjoyable to read.
The romance is great too.  I love Prince Lucas so much, he was hands down my fav character and him and Elena growing and learning from each other was so fun.  I will say there were some parts in the series as far as their romance that were pretty groan worthy, but overall it was fun to read and I hope we get more stories with them in the future.

 

Now, the nitpicks I have mainly pertain to the 2nd and 4th books.  In book 4, everything was tied up a little too neatly, and there was a stretch in the middle of the book that just felt unnecessary, and only seemed to be an engine for the author to make sure all the plot points she wanted to happen for sure happened.  The book was the longest one, so I had hoped we’d get a bit more fleshing out for some characters, and that we’d get an extra chapter or 2 of wrap up.  I liked how it ended, but just an extra chapter or 2 would have pushed it over the top for me.

 

Book 2, I have so many issues with.  Like it was my least favorite in the series, it moved the plot forward the least.  I can’t super remember what happened in it?  I remember important things pertaining to Elena’s powers took place, and her and Lucas’ relationship happened as well, but other than key characters popping up and Elena’s powers developing, book 2 feels like a lot of missed potential.  There were moments like that throughout the entire series I feel, but they got glossed over by how much this series did right so it didn’t bother me too much.

 

The Spoken Mage series is a lot of fun.  Like I said, it ticked a lot of boxes in fantasy I like:  A lot of action, great romance, interesting magic and world, great characters and character development.  If you like a fairy tale style page turner of a series, you can read the entire series in this compellation here

 

I hope I was able to share my love of this series sufficiently!  I really enjoyed reading it, it was so much fun start to finish.  I think it’s important to highlight indi authors, and I plan to do so more later on this blog.  I’ve pretty much been reading self-published stuff exclusively for the past few months, I really enjoy the different things an indi author can do in their books as opposed to guidelines traditionally published authors have to follow.

 

Have you read any good self-published authors you like?  Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Books

Kindle Unlimited Impressions and Thoughts

For the past 3 months, I was able to get a 3 month free trial for Kindle Unlimited (thanks Black Friday!).  I’ve been using it a lot, and this past month I decided to read nothing but Kindle Unlimited books to see if it was worth the money.

For those of you who don’t know, Kindle unlimited is amazon’s book borrowing service.  It costs $9.99 a month, and you can borrow ten books before you have to return 1 to get another.  You can keep the books for as long as you want, and then return them, find other things to read, rinse repeat.  It’s a pretty useful service if you read a lot of books, but is it worth the subscription fee?

I’m going to just write down my thoughts in a numbered list of pros and cons, because I honestly have mixed feelings about it.  The library is extensive, that’s to be sure, but there are definitely cons to what is available in the Kindle Unlimited library, because any book in the program has to be exclusively sold on Amazon.  But I’ll get into that more as we get into the list, which will be right now!

 

  • As I just said, there’s a big library of books to borrow.  But, because of the Kindle Unlimited exclusivity, there’s more self-published books than not.  I’m not saying that self-published is bad, I’ve found a lot of gems in the fantasy section which is what I read.  But not having access to traditionally published stuff is a bit of a con, as if you have Unlimited, you’d have to pay the $9.99 subscription fee, and also buy books you’d want to read that aren’t in the Unlimited program.  Money wise, that would add up pretty quickly if you read a lot, which I do so that’s part of the reason why I’m torn on the service.
  • Because you have access to such a big selection of books, and only have to pay a flat fee, there is more freedom to read more and not worry about spending a ton of money. When I first got back into reading, I spent about 50 dollars on buying a lot of books, and it wasn’t nearly as many as I’ve read on Kindle Unlimited.  Now sometimes the quality of read is shotty, you have about a 50/50 chance of it being amazing, or really bad.  But, you have the same chances with a traditionally published book, because everyone’s reading preferences are different.  I did some approximate math on all the books I’ve read, and I saved a lot more money reading on Kindle Unlimited exclusively for the past few months, and was just as satisfied with my reads.
  • I find myself reading more, because you can check out ten books, and it’s free. Well, not free, but you get my drift: the subscription fee helps you just look at a book, see if you like it, and download it.  If you don’t like it, you don’t have to kick yourself over wasting money on a book.  I’ve found myself reading a synopses of a book, downloading, reading a bit and not liking it and just DNFing and returning the book.  Whereas if I had spent money on the book and not liked it, I would have forced myself to finish it so I wouldn’t have wasted my money, and been dissatisfied with the read.  So once again, a pro in the freedom category, because you don’t feel obligated to finish a borrowed book.  If you don’t like it, just return like you would at the library.
  • I’ve gone back and forth about one major question. I’ve been using this 3 month free trial, but if I had to pay for it, would I?  And my answer is…maybe.  I’m going to keep it for an extra month, because I’ve found a lot of authors that I like and are coming out with books in the month of March.  But after that, I think I’m going to try a month without it, and see how I like it.  There are a lot of books I’ve been putting off buying because I’ve had Kindle Unlimited, so this is a bit of a half pro, half con.  Because while I can read a lot of good books on this service, I’ve been putting off books I’ve wanted to read for a while because I have access to the borrowing program.  This is more on me, nothing is stopping me from straight up buying books, but just the fact that I don’t have to buy  if I want to read is a factor in itself for me.  Of course it’s up to everybody, that probably isn’t a factor for someone else, but it does stall me with reads I’ve had on the backburner for months and haven’t purchased yet.  So if you have the same sort of mindset as I do, just something to consider.

 

I think that’s pretty much everything I wanted to cover.  I like Kindle Unlimited for what it does, and it’s fun to have access to so many books.  Like I said, I’m a bit torn on whether it’s worth it or not, we’ll see how I feel when I’ve paid for a month of service.

 

Have you tried Kindle Unlimited?  How do you like it.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Books · Editorials/Opinion Pieces

Fairy Tale Retellings Trope Talk

I was planning on writing a few reviews of some fairy tale retellings/reimagining’s that I’ve been getting into recently.  I read a few in the past month, and when I sat down to write the first review for one of the series’ I found myself coming up blank.  Not because I didn’t have a lot to say about the book, but because after reading a few in consecutive order, I realized what I wanted to talk about wasn’t just with that book series, and was more a fault of the fairy tale retelling genre in general.
So, for the first time, I’m going to be talking about tropes that I dislike.  With a lot of the retellings, they had a really good premise, and the synopses made them sound really interesting.  But after reading through them, there were parts of the books that just frustrated me, and permeated throughout the genre.  Out of the six that I read, there were two that I just found beautiful and a really good take on the fairy tales they retold.  They added to the lore of the original story, fleshed out certain aspects of them, and made them a true joy to read and had me thinking about them for a long time.  These retellings however, stuck very true to the originals, and simply expanded upon the source material with character work, magical lore, and world building.

 

The retellings I had more of an issue with, were the ones that were calling themselves retellings, but were really a reimagining.  Think of The Lunar Chronicles:  those books are heavily inspired by the fairy tales within them, but at the same time they stand on their own ground as an interesting series with a lot of fairy tale whimsy in them.

 

The reimagining’s I’ve read recently though, don’t hit a good balance between either of those.  They set themselves in a fantasy world, with its own lore and magic systems, but then they try and throw so much of the original fairy tale in there, while making it modern and cool, that the tropes were just so easy to pick out after a certain point.  I’m not saying tropes are bad, one executed well is always fun to see.  But if I can read a story, see a character pop up, call the trope before any hints are dropped and be right, well…that’s entirely too many tropes used to propel  your story forward, and it got pretty annoying after reading a few of these.

 

I’m not going to list these in any particular order, but I want to point out the ones I’ve noticed the most, and why they bug me so much.

 

  • The Prince is evil trope.  I blame Frozen for this honestly.  I notice it more in stories that were written after 2013.  But the whole a Prince shows up, is too good to be true, then oh snap, without any sort of hints or setup, he’s evil!  Then you find that out 3 or 4 chapters before stories end, and you’re just supposed to be on board with this.  It frustrates me especially because a lot of the time, this trope isn’t set up like in Frozen.  Instead, we see two love interests, one treats the main character like a jerk, the other like a charming, perfect gentlemen.  We see the nice guy court our heroine throughout the entire story, get invested in their romance, then without warning, bam!  He’s evil because…he has to be!  After all of the nice moments we saw throughout the book, seeing them connect and be a super cute couple, the Prince just turns out to be evil and it’s always infuriating.

 

I’ve seen it done well once.  Where the Prince turns out to be distant for a reason, and doesn’t turn out to be evil.  The relationship between him and our main character develops nicely, and while you may not be rooting for them when the story starts, you see their relationship grow into something nice.  The nicer guy turns out to be evil, but there were breadcrumbs left for us throughout the story to see this slowly shifting in the character.  I think it’s important to realize, that in Frozen, because it’s a movie, it’s fine to not see the Prince who turns out to be the bad guy in the movie.  We didn’t know much about him anyway, so him being evil wasn’t a big surprise:  We didn’t spend time with him or the main character, not long enough to be invested in their relationship, so it’s not a shocking blow when he just turns on our main characters.

 

But in a book, you have so much room to set up glimpses of a darker nature.  You can have the Prince and our main heroine connect, and have a relationship blossom, but we can have other scenes with the Princes darker side.  We don’t even need different scenes, we can just have glimpses when he’s with the MC or something.  But just having the rug pulled from under the reader is really irritating to me, and even though this isn’t a numbered list, this has to be the top thing that bothers me the most about fairy tale retellings.

 

  • The strong, independent woman trope.  Now I like strong women in stories, they’re usually my favorite characters.  But in fairy tale retellings, the MC is always the extreme of this trope.  I have a feeling it’s because of the makeup of the original fairy tale, where the women are always docile and more of a set piece  in their stories.  But there can be a nice balance between a strong, independent woman, and the more docile fair.  You can be strong in a non-sword toting, kick butt and take names kind of way and I rarely see this in fairy tale retellings.  The few exceptions I’ve seen are in Kate Stradling’s works, especially in Brine and Bone.  The Lunar Chronicles as well has a good balance of both fierce women, in masculine and feminine ways and I just wish we saw that more than the 1 type of woman.

 

  • The secondary love interest, who is a jerk to our heroine the entire story.  But for some reason, he has this sexy allure and the Prince is evil, so she winds up with him at the end!  Granted, this isn’t just a fairy tale retelling trope, it’s in a lot of books and will never become not frustrating.  But seriously, a guy being a jerk to you for the entirety  of you knowing him, him softening up not because he wants to, but because you call him out on his garbage treatment of you, then falling for him because he’s the supposed better choice?  I can’t stand it.  It’s obnoxious, and like I said earlier, it only happens when the Prince is evil!  I mean, why can’t our MC just end up with no one sometimes?  That’s ok too.  The only time this trope works is in Beauty and the Beast retellings, and for obvious reasons:  Because that’s the entire point of the story.

There are others I could point out, but they honestly aren’t as offensive as these 3.  The main character having a friend they meet that is the only one that likes them, the animal sidekick, the MC being clueless or down on herself, the MC having secret siblings and parentage they don’t know of.  All of these don’t bother me nearly as much as the ones I outlined earlier in the post.  Obviously, if my ranting isn’t an indicator, the evil Prince trope bothers me the most and it just has gotten to the point where it makes the read unenjoyable because that trope is so easy to spot.  Can we please get some more original stuff in these retellings, please?

 

All of that being said, I do thoroughly enjoy fairy tale retellings.  While they may blend together after a certain point, they do have interesting ideas in them, are major page turners, and the romances for the most part are an enjoyable ride.  The action in them is well thought out, and I really respect the author’s ability to craft a fairy tale connected universe, while having each book be a standalone.  The fantasy worlds are well thought out, as are the magic systems, and it’s always fun to spot references to the original story in their midst.

 

But the tropes…ugh, the tropes!

 

I hope you enjoyed this rather different type of post.  I enjoyed ranting about said tropes, at least.  Do you have any tropes in media you watch that you can’t stand, while still enjoying said media?  Let me know in the comments!

Books

Bite Sized book Reviews #1

If you haven’t noticed, this blog has kinda been taken over by a lot of bookish content.  It’s not going to completely convert to being a book blog, but I go through phases where I want to write about one thing, and do one thing more than other things.  Right now, that’s reading, so sorry to anyone who sticks around for the anime and television reviews.  I want to work on doing a bit more opinion pieces and editorials also, just have to get some scheduling and organizing out of the way for that.

 

But I figured I’d like to get some reviews out of the way for some books that I didn’t feel like I wanted to write a full blown review for.  I honestly don’t have enough comments about these books to say more than a paragraph or two’s worth of things about them, so in enters my first edition of Bite Sized Book Reviews!

 

 

Uprooted By Naomi Novik

 

I was so excited about the premise of this book, and when I read the free preview of it on Amazon, it got me hooked enough to buy it and read it the same night.  The beginning of the book I really enjoyed, and the mystery set up about The Wood I found super fascinating and gripping.  However, as the story progressed, we stepped further and further away from this mystery and only returned to resolving it at stories end, and that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.  The main character wasn’t very…intelligent, rather naïve, and her failure to use common sense in a lot of the sections in the middle of the book really started to get on my nerves and detracted  from the story for me.  When we got back to the actual interesting plot about The Wood, the reveals for said plot just felt really out of left field, and wasn’t the payoff I expected overall for the story.  I enjoyed aspects of this book, the beginning and the end I think make up for the slog in the middle.  But at the same time, you can just feel the potential of what the story could have been if we stuck with the story set up in the beginning, which was what is up with this haunted wood?  It didn’t make me dislike the author at all:  her writing style is gripping, and there’s only so much you can expect from a fairy tale retelling.  It just didn’t quite hit the mark I was hoping it would, but overall was enjoyable, and I do plan to check out the author’s other books because of the really captivating writing style.

 

The Tahaerin Chronicles Series By J. Ellen Ross

 

 

This is for a trilogy of books:  An Oathbreaker’s Vow, The Heretic’s War, and Fear and Bitter Thorns.  I’m not gonna lie, while I don’t classify things as “guilty pleasure reads” this would totally go into that sort of a category for me.  It’s fantasy romance at its finest, full of drama, fluffy lovey-dovey romance, straight up good vs evil conflicts, and interesting enough plots to keep you reading.  There’s a certain charm to this series that while I was rolling my eyes at how tropey and predictable it was, at the same time it was an easy to read page turner where I wanted to continue reading.  Each book is episodic in nature, and while you’ll get something more out of reading them in order, you also don’t have to to get what goes on in each story. It’s more of a trilogy because all 3 books are set in the same universe with the same characters, not because it’s a story arc carried over 3 books.

 

The characters are engaging enough, the relationships both romantic and platonic are really well done, and you root for every one of the good guys to wind up with their happy endings.  Just don’t expect this series to subvert any tropes or be some super enriching experience, because it’s nothing more than light hearted fantasy fun.  If you can predict it, it’ll happen, and the good guys always win the day no matter how tough the situations may become:  But I super enjoy reads like that, and used these books to lighten the mood after a more somber read I had previously.  As much as I shook my head at how all 3 of these panned out, I still was rooting for the characters, and was happy when things turned out right for them.  But these I feel are a highly acquired taste, so I’d suggest only reading if romance novels and soap opera style stories are your thing – which, I’m totally into so enjoyed these immensely.

 

The Queens of Innis Lear By Tessa Gratton

 

And this is the read that I love to pieces to the point where it can do no wrong and I would throw it at people to read.  A fantasy retelling of King Lear, it crafts this beautiful world, engaging characters, and the writing is just so lyrical and beautiful and heart-wrenching, that I couldn’t tell if dialogue was lifted from Shakespeare or not half the time.  It’s a beautiful tale of 3 sisters and their Father, and not letting “destiny” rule you.  Not letting peoples expectations for you define who you are, making sure your self and identity are sound enough in your mind so you can live a life satisfactory to how you want to live it.  It’s just so perfect, I felt for every character in this book and honestly, I want this to be the new cannon version of King Lear.  A great standalone fantasy I’d highly recommend reading for one of those life altering sort of experiences, just can’t sing the praises about this book enough.

 

And that’s my first round of bite sized reviews!  If you have read any of these books, or decide to, let me know how you feel about them in the comments!

 

Books

Getting Into Goodreads

At the end of last year, I found out that Kindle on PC was accessible.  Now me being an avid reader, I dove into reading a lot more than I used to.  I gotta say, I’m so happy that I did, because there’s a part of me that really missed reading and I’m just so excited to be able to read as much as I used to as a kid.

 

I watch a fair amount of Booktubers, and always hear them talking about using Goodreads.  I figured since I got back into reading, I’d go join and give it a shot.  I didn’t realize how much fun I’d have with it, and it’s honestly helped me stay on track with reading, find books I wouldn’t normally find, and just really enjoy getting engaged in reading in a way that wasn’t possible before.  I’m usually not one for apps if I’m being honest, but there’s just something about the features that I like to use on Goodreads that makes me really enjoy Goodreads as a whole, and I wanted to share that with you.  Keep in mind, I don’t use nearly close to all of the features on Goodreads.  I think that’s a good thing about the site though:  You can choose what you like to use, and not feel like you have to use every aspect of the site to enjoy what you do enjoy using on Goodreads, if that makes sense.  I notice a lot of apps try and upsell you to use EVERYTHING on its platform and that always has annoyed me, so it’s just nice to use what I want to use, leave the site, and call it a day until I’m ready to hop back on and do it all over again.

 

The main features I use on Goodreads are the progress updates on what you’re currently reading, hunting down book recommendations, using the shelves, and writing reviews and rating books.  My favorite feature out of all of these is the update progress feature.  All you have to do is mark you’re currently reading a book, and you get to update your progress in page numbers or percentages.  You have the option to leave little notes about how you feel about the book you’re reading too, and this is my favorite part of this feature.  When you’re done, you can go back and read what you thought and it’s just a lot of fun to me to see if my thoughts about the book have changed, if by books end I liked it a little or a lot, and it helps me with reviews, as I can see my general thoughts of the book overall and use that for my rating and reviewing of the book.  I also like that when you mark the book finished it counts towards your reading count for the year instantly, and towards the reading challenge you set for yourself for the year.  It’s just a really convenient way to track your reading, and it’s my favorite part of the site.

 

I really like how after you’ve rated a certain amount of books, Goodreads recommends very on the nose books to you after a certain point.  Sometimes it isn’t what I’d personally want to read, but I get why it recommended the book to me in the first place because it would be  something someone who liked the genre I read the most would like.  Reviewing and rating is fun and easy too, and it helps me stay engaged in reading consistently.  Seeing my progress just makes me feel accomplished as weird as that sounds, and just reading without Goodreads to track this sort of stuff in the past has made me fall off the wagon.  The reading challenge really helps with that too, and I’ve set it up so I can hopefully read 30 books by the end of the year, like I wanted to do a few years ago.

 

All in all, Goodreads has been a really enjoyable experience for me.  It’s helped me find books to read, given me enjoyment in tracking my reading progress, and it motivates me to read a bit more than I would be without it.  It’s highly accessible for the parts of it I use, and there’s so much of it that I haven’t touched on here simply because I don’t use those aspects of the site.  Will I use things like lists, communities, and friends more in the future?  Maybe, but as of now I honestly really enjoy Goodreads just being for me, and I think that’s something that gets lost on people sometimes.  I use Goodreads more as an enjoyable efficiency  tool, and have enjoyed every moment of doing so.  I’m not ready to make that change, so as of now it’s just going to stay as a book tracker and recommender for me.  So

happy I decided to use the site though, really like it!

 

What aspects of Goodreads do you like to use?  Let me know in the comments below!

Books

The Autumn Republic Book Review [Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 3]

The Autumn Republic is the best book in the Powder Mage trilogy for me, hands down.  All pacing issues are gone, every character feels like they matter, and there’s a satisfying ending to every characters story arc.  Not all of them get the ending you’d expect either, but it’s a fitting ending for them and it was nice to see the author take risks and actually go there with a lot of the stuff in this entry of the series.  Of course, you’ll need to have read the first two books for this one to make any sense:  it once again takes place directly after events in The Crimson Campaign, but man is this one a roller coaster I couldn’t get off of, start to finish.

 

This book cements the Powder Mage universe as one of the best fantasy universes out there for me.  I have to admit, I wasn’t feeling it the first book.  Second one, it still grabbed me enough to read on, but not there yet.  Third?  I can’t wait to read the next series of books and all of the novellas, just such a fantastic job with this book and a worthy conclusion to the saga for these characters.

 

Read it if you’d read the first two books, you won’t regret it!

 

I usually put the book synopses after my brief review, but the one for this book holds spoilers to things in The Crimson Campaign, so I’m just going to launch into the review from this point on.  Here we go!

 

PLOT

 

The plot is really good in this  installment, doesn’t have nearly as much pacing issues as I found in the last two books.  I think that’s because we’re in the end game here, and every character’s plots get interwoven into the final stretch of the narrative.  Nila, Adamat, and Bo are my favorite set of characters overall in the series, but their plots in this range from empowering to heartbreaking and it’s all just such good writing.  Tamas’ plot, and story arc finish in this book, and while it wasn’t what I was expecting for the character, it makes total sense for it to have happened and for me it was the most satisfying out of all of the story arcs.

 

The least satisfying for me was Taniel’s sadly.  He branches off from the main group early on, and it just seems like there wasn’t enough time to give him a better plot than he had in this book.  I like his scenes with Vlora, and she got fleshed out way more in this book, but what they did to Ka-Poel really made Taniel’s plot less enjoyable, and I’ll leave it at that to not avoid spoilers.

 

Another part of the plot that came to a conclusion, was having to do with the gods of the world.  It didn’t feel rushed to me for the most part, but one character that was in the series throughout is revealed to be something they weren’t before and it just felt off to me.  Throughout the series, McClellan has done a really good job of leaving clues for us for other plot threads, so we could figure it out so the lack of such for this specific character just seemed a bit off to me.  If we had seen more of them, or if it had made more sense why the reveal wound up to be them it would have worked far better than it did.  It didn’t really hinder the reading experience for me, but I could see it being an issue for someone else so figured I’d bring it up.
Other than that, flawless execution of the story.  The first two books led up to the third so well, and this series shines because of it.  You do have to read all of the books to get the full effect of the plotting though, since this is more a continued story over three books than it is episodic books with self-contained plots that have overarching story in it.  Since all 3 books are out, I’d highly recommend reading all 3 consecutively instead of reading something in-between any of the trilogy to get the full effect of the narrative.

 

CHARACTERS

 

Every character that was introduced in Promise of Blood has a satisfying conclusion to their story, as stated above.  Not much development is given to them per say, but they’re put in situations where they have to act differently than they would, and their morals are pushed to the brink because of it.  You really feel for all of them honestly, but still stand outs for me are Nila, Adamat, and Bo.  They all were always my favorites since book 1, and that never changed.  I’d love to read a spin off book about Nila and Bo, and see where their stories further lead, but I also like where they left us with their plots  at the same time.

 

Tamas’ full story comes to fruition here, and in this book I realized that if you don’t like him, it’s fine.  We as the reader, were never supposed to like him.  If we did, that’s fine, but this story was always meant to tell us about a man driven by grief and revenge, and the destructive path being led by those emotions ultimately leads us.  It was really well executed, and as stated above, although I wasn’t expecting Tamas’ story to end the way it did, when it happened I was like “Yes,  this totally makes sense” and I’m so happy McClellan didn’t shy away from the darker stuff in this series, because it really shines because of the darker subject brought up here.

 

Taniel doesn’t super change throughout the series.  I enjoy his character, but other than circumstances pushing him forward, he doesn’t feel like he grows at all.  He gets what he wants in the end, but I just wish he would have gotten a tad more growth than he did, and we got to see his and Tamas’ relationship develop more because of his growth.  What we got was serviceable, just wish we got a bit more.

 

Adamat, poor Adamat!  His story along with Nila’s shows what happens when people are thrown into something because of someone else’s  desires.  Adamat never wanted to be any part of this, but Tamas dragged him into it and that anger towards the man really shines through in this book.  He’s my favorite main point of view character for sure, really enjoyed his investigations, his scenes with Ricard, and his family.  The investigations in this book are the most gripping to me, and I think The autumn republic is the best use of his character for sure.

 

WORLD BUILDING

 

We’re back in familiar territory here, where the story began.  No real ground broken here, nothing really expanded on.  Just back to the French Revolution setting of the book.  But I like that where a series starts, it ends sort of thing so being in familiar settings the entire book totally worked for me.  It may not for others, but for me seeing the inner workings of the city after everything that had happened was a lot of fun and added to what this book series ultimately was about:  One man, and how his choices effected a world, for better or for worse.

 

WRITING

 

The pacing is way better in this book.  The writing is still raw and gritty, but more polished so it just feels more raw, if that makes sense.  I think McClellan’s dialogue writing has definitely gotten better in this book, felt way more realistic than in the past two.  Other than that, pretty much the same as the prior two books.

 

CONCLUSION

 

This review is shorter because honestly, I can’t say much more about this series than I already have in the prior two reviews.  If you’d read Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign and enjoyed them both enough to get to The autumn republic, you’ll want to read this book.  How much you like it depends on how much you liked the other two since this series is purely linear in its story telling, and the full story spans all three books.  For me, I enjoyed this book especially and it fixed most of the problems I had with the series as a whole.  Just was a really good ride start to finish and the slow burn of the first two books was worth it.

 

I’d highly recommend The Powder Mage trilogy.  Only reason I’m not starting the next series in the Powder Mage universe is because the third one isn’t out yet  (by the posting of this review, the third book will be released).  But as soon as it is I plan to buy all 3 and read.

 

Pick up this series if you like a lot of action, interesting plots and world building, and really good political intrigue.  You won’t regret it!

Books

The Crimson Campaign Book Review [Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 2]

The Crimson Campaign is a vast improvement over Promise of Blood.  It also has its set of issues, but I found myself caring a lot more about the characters in this one than the first book.  That may be because we focus far more on the supporting cast, which as I said in my first review was far more interesting than our lead, but I just found myself caring way more about this book than Promise of Blood.  We get to see the bigger world out of Tamas’ sphere of influence, and that was a welcome surprise to me, who really doesn’t care for Tamas and the people who are loyal to him, therefore they justify his less than noble actions.

 

This book is also a slow burn, but just…more interesting than the last time.  This series, as I stated in Promise of Blood, definitely plays the long game and wants to use all 3 books in the trilogy to fully realize it’s world and characters.  I usually prefer self-contained stories per book that also pave way for the overall plot in a series, but it works in the Powder Mage trilogy far more than in other series I’ve read because this is a crazy war, and the long game is what a war is all about.  So it makes sense to have these two books be the calm before the storm that the third book is going to inevitably be.  Er Pr taks place a few month afomise of Blood, so you definitely can’t jump into this one without reading the first.  If I were waiting a year for the 2nd book in the series, I’d find that pacing to be a bit of a problem, but since I’m reading these all together with no lulls between books, it’s perfectly fine to me.  Just as a note, you’ll want to read each book right after the other, and not read another book in-between these if you’d like to get the full impact of the overall story because of the flow of the trilogy and how little time passes between each of the books.

 

With my overall, spoiler-free review out of the way, into the nitty gritty!

 

BOOK SYNOPSES

 

When invasion looms…

Tamas’ invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counteroffensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies, and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy’s best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back over the mountains so that he can defend his country from an angry god, Kresimir.

But the threats are closer to home…

In Adro, Inspector Adamat only wants to rescue his wife. To do so he must track down and confront the evil Lord Vetas. He has questions for Vetas concerning his enigmatic master, but the answers will lead Adamat on a darker journey.

Who will lead the charge?

Tamas’ generals bicker among themselves, the brigades lose ground every day beneath the Kez onslaught, and Kresimir wants the head of the man who shot him in the eye. With Tamas and his powder cabal presumed dead, Taniel Two-shot finds himself as the last line of defense against Kresimir’s advancing army.

In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets? The Crimson Campaign is the epic sequel to Brian McClellan’s Promise of Blood.  – From Audible

 

PLOT

 

The plot is once again split into the three main points of view of Tamas, Taniel, and Adamat.  Once again, I find Tamas’ plot the least interesting, as it just feels like semi-filler that while interesting character beats happen to him in it, doesn’t super feel like was necessary.  I’m already reading the third book, and it doesn’t seem like it really impacted the story much other than his troops thought he was dead for a few months.  This rumor caused infighting, betrayal, and a shift in the military that was foreshadowed in the first book, so that aspect of him being split from the cast was interesting.  His actual story however, didn’t add much to the story for me and I found myself getting bored of the military battles getting done over and over again in his story.  The ending of it was interesting, and I liked that we saw that when Tamas wasn’t with people who were loyal to him, that they saw him for the terrible person he was and didn’t condone his actions.  This book doesn’t shy away from the fact that he’s just an awful person doing what he thinks is right for revenge, and since that wasn’t made clear in the first book, it made me feel justified in my feelings for his character.  Still don’t like him, but I can live with a book that calls its lead out on their garbage actions.

 

The most interesting plot for me was Adamat’s.  I really liked seeing his relationship with Ricard, and seeing all of his sleuthing finally pay off.  Getting to see him interact with Bo, and other key characters in the story was really cool, and he’s one of my favorite characters.  I don’t want to spoil anything in his plot, but it’s action packed and shows how much he’s willing to do for his family and I just found myself continuing to wanting to read his plot the most out of all 3 main points of view.

 

Taniel’s plot is…middle of the road?  I liked it when I got to read it, more because I like Taniel as a character than the actual plot.  The plot wasn’t bad, mind you:  he had to deal with trying to keep the army together when everyone was pushing against him, and trying to change the way the army was ran, and I love a good man against all odds story – but what was happening to taniel, his relationship with Ka-Pole, was really what sold his story for me.  Like I said it was enjoyable to read, and I think impacted the overall story the most, but it wasn’t the one I was most excited to read.

 

The pacing of these three stories is well done in this book.  The first book had to setup the world, and character motivations, so the plots where unevenly distributed I feel, but this one every character’s plot had it’s time to shine.  Although it was slow paced, and the last fifteen chapter or so were where the action picked up, once again like in the first book, I didn’t find it boring to read in the middle like I did in Promise of Blood.  Like I said only thing I wasn’t a fan of was Tamas’ plot, but to be expected since I don’t like him as a character.

 

The end of the book brings all of the characters together to set up for what so far is an epic third book, so fingers crossed The Autumn Republic stays as such ‘til the end.  I’m 20 chapters in and can’t put it down, so I’d say that’s a good sign that The first two books in the series, while slow at times, did their job properly.

 

CHARACTERS

 

The characters get a lot of development in this book, and side characters that seem like they weren’t going to matter totally prove you wrong, and matter a great deal.  Stand outs for me are Bo and Nila, I can’t get enough of them and I totally ship it so hope they wind up together by series’ end.  We get to see Adamat grow, Ka-Poel and Taniel grow, even Vlora gets her plot, that was introduced in the first book, resolved and becomes a pretty decent character.  Not as fleshed out as the others, but enough to be a good supporting character.

 

Tamas, we get to see more of his motivations and inner workings.  As I said it doesn’t make me like him any more, but it shows us his headspace, and I can respect an author for doing that.  I don’t think Tamas was ever meant to be this grand war hero, and The Crimson Campaign makes that abundantly clear.

 

A lot of other cool side characters introduced here, which once again if I listed we’d be here all day.  All good additions to the cast, and they only serve to make the world more interesting as a result.

 

WORLD BUILDING

 

The world gets expanded a tad in this book, as we see Tamas go through Northern Kez.  Nothing super interesting if I’m being honest:  We don’t see their culture, or any of the people other than their army and royals, so it doesn’t really serve to flesh out the world more than say, using it as a set piece.  The magic system is expanded on a bit which is interesting, but nothing groundbreaking that makes the system different enough to mention.  Just more of the same, which isn’t bad, but nothing majorly expanded on.

 

WRITING

 

The writing definitely is improved upon in this book.  It wasn’t bad in Promise of Blood, but a lot of the sparceness is gone for a more realized writing style.  It’s still got that raw and gritty style I really enjoy for this sort of genre, but it seems a lot more polished than in the author’s dayview novel.  The pacing is vastly improved as well, and that also lends to a more seasoned author.  The third book only gets better, so the author is totally coming into his own as a writer and I can’t wait to see where his writing career progresses.

 

CONCLUSION

 

If you’re invested in the Powder Mage trilogy, you’ll want to read this book.  I’m happy to say it gets better with each book in the series.  If you decided to DNF Promise of Blood because of lack of interested, then obviously you’re not going to want to read this book.  It’s good though, made me invested in the series far more than Promise of Blood did.

 

Have you read The crimson Campaign?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Books

Promise of Blood Book Review [Powder Mage Trilogy Book 1]

I was told by a friend to read this series a few years ago if I liked Full Metal alchemist.  While the distinct FMA vibes are there in the beginning of the story, they fade and the story becomes much more its own world and plot.  I’ll say right off the bat:  This book is definitely a slow burn.  There’s a lot of setup that is more for the entirety  of the series than the enjoyment of this singular book.  Not to say this book was unenjoyable – but there’s definitely a feeling of this book is making sure the groundwork is set for the other 2 books in the trilogy to be able to be the best they can be.  The last ten chapters were the most gripping for me, the rest was good enough to read but at certain parts during the middle of the story I found myself wondering if I was going to continue this series.

 

After finishing book 1, I instantly bought books 2 and 3.  They sit in my Kindle as we speak, and I’ve already started book 2.

 

So I’d say book 1 does a good job in the end at making you want more, and as of now I’d recommend this series if you like really well thought out plots, magic systems, and political intrigue.  If you like characters, however….

 

Well, we’ll get to that later in the review.  With my overall thoughts out of the way, let’s get more into it!

 

BOOK SYNOPSES

 

The Age of Kings is dead…and I have killed it.

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king….

It’s up to a few….

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail. But when gods are involved….

Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should….

The Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 1 – From Audible

 

PLOT

 

The plot is the most interesting part of the book.  I’ve always wanted to read a novel that takes place after the big grand stand against the monarchy is done, and the aftermath of it.  This book definitely doesn’t disappoint on that front, and we see all of the tough decisions, gritty world, and hurt people that a revolution would produce.  I will say while at times the plot tries to make this war seem more like in their own mind, both sides are right, but for the most part we’re supposed to feel like our main POV characters are the ones in the right, and that they truly did the right thing.  This doesn’t exactly gel with me, because I find the main character of the book to be a self-righteous jerk, so for all of the book in his POV I found myself just getting upset that he was tearing this nation apart with no real plan.
I mean, he had a plan, but just the fact that he thinks running a nation is going to be smooth sailing other than a few bumps in the road, and that he thinks he’s in the right really erks me.  It doesn’t make him a compelling character, and for that the plot suffers a tad.  The pacing is a bit wonky here and there, since we’re split between 3 major POVs, and 2 minor ones.  It isn’t terrible pacing mind you, I’ve read worse – but when you’re invested in one plot, and then the very next chapter hops to another plot, you find yourself wishing more time was spent with the POV in the chapter before.  This would have been easily resolved if we just spent maybe 2 or 3 chapters with one character, then were sent to another storyline.
The last ten chapters fix this problem, as all plots are brought together to culminate in the 1 plot the book was leading towards.  I will say it was worth the slow burn of the previous 30 chapters, and the 2nd book so far has a very streamlined plot as all characters have been brought together and do a bit less wandering on their own.  We’ll see if this continues, I’m only seven chapters in, but it’s a vast improvement from book 1 already.

 

WORLD BUILDING

 

The world   building in Promise of Blood is the best part of the book.  The world was based on the French Revolution, and it shows:  the attention to detail, the grittiness of the writing, makes me feel like I’m there.  The magic system is split between 3 types:  average sorcery, the powder mages, and the knacked.  Powder mages ingest gunpowder to enhance their shots, and have a sort of gun telepathy to them, and knacked just have 1 skill they’re good at (perfect memory, don’t have to sleep) – the sorcery in itself is interesting also, as they have to use their fingers to connect to what they call the else, which is basically a magical energy resource.  It’s really interesting, and lends itself to super intense fights.
We’re on the brink of industrialism in this book as well, so we still have rifles, carriages, and old technology.  But it’s on the brink of being advanced and that really adds to the world, as we’re not just dealing with medieval swords and sorcery here.  I love seeing guns vs magic, and how inventive the fights get at times.  It’s just a really fun world to sink your teeth into, and I can’t wait to sink further.

 

CHARACTERS

 

The characters are the least interesting part of the book to me.  They aren’t…bad characters persee, but they aren’t interesting enough to grab my attention.  There’s attempts at depth to them, but it’s just so overshadowed by the plot, and there honestly isn’t enough depth to want to be interested in them further than them being engines for said plot.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading a few of them, only a few I genuinely disliked, but they just feel like walking manly man tropes that get a little tiresome after a while.

 

My favorites are Taniel, Olem, and Nila.  Those three are more side characters, but they have enough to them to have made me excited to read their story arcs throughout the whole book.  I really don’t like Tamas, which is a shame because he’s the main character: but for the reasons I stated above, really couldn’t get into his struggles.  I will say he got…a little better by books end?  But he just seems so one note to me, hopefully he changes in the net 2 books.

 

Adamat is our last main POV character, and I thought his plot was fine.  He  was investigating things for Tamas, and the first half of the story it worked well.  The second half however, we found out the answer to what he was investigating before he figured it out, so it just seemed like unnecessary filler after a certain point.  Taniel’s story I liked the most out of all of the POVs, Tamas I liked the least.  Like I said they’re serviceable for propelling the plot forward, but not much else.

 

The side characters I enjoyed far more.  The rest of the council, a royalist laundress, a master chef:  all of them were a lot more fascinating to me, and I hope the spotlight gets shined on them more as we see how Tamas’ short sighted cu has affected the little people, so to speak.

 

WRITING

 

The writing is simple.  The writing is raw, and gritty.  There aren’t any flowery pros, everything is just stated outright as far as our characters know.  It matches the world so well, adding to the atmosphere of this sudo French Revolution setting.  It melds so well with the world, that I honestly can’t imagine it being written any other way.  I tend to shy away from the overly flowery fantasy novels, so reading this writing style was really refreshing and I’ve never seen an author know what story he’s telling, know what writing style to use, and go all in with it.  The writing is raw, just like the battles, and emotions of war, and it’s just really well done.  I’m looking forward to reading more of McClellan’s writing in the future.

 

CONCLUSION

 

 

There are definitely flaws in this book.  The characters could be better, there could be a bit more tug of war between both sides morals, showing us that just because one side thinks they’re right, doesn’t mean that they are.  As it stands, it’s more of a one sided war story where we should think the main characters are the ones in the right.

 

That doesn’t detract from the excellent world building, unique writing, and very well done plot.  I’d say at least read Promise of Blood to see if you’d be interested in the rest of the series, and be prepared for a slow burn book that amps up at the very end, prepping you for what’s to come in the next 2 books.

 

Have you read Promise of Blood?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!