Review: Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith

Reviewed by Ronelle

The vast and frozen empire of Russalka has been ruled for centuries by a royal family who works miracles from the saints. But neglect of the people stirs rebellion in the streets and a neighboring country is on the verge of invasion. On the eve of her beloved brother’s funeral banquet, the young princess Katza is presented as the next heir to the throne. But it is a terrifying prospect for her as, since she was a child, she’s been tormented by visions of her bloodied hands destroying Russalka—a clear message from the saints that she must never rule.

Then she meets Ravin, a mysterious prophet with visions of his own: visions of Katza as a regal empress with unimaginable power. All she has to do is seize upon the holy magic of her bloodline. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza begins to wonder whether he has her best interests at heart. With revolution boiling over and war looming at the border, the greatest threat to Russalka may be Katza herself. [Read more…]

Review: For Crown and Kingdom by Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve really enjoyed Jeffe Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdom books, and it was an anthology that led me to it. Imagine how excited I was to see this story nestled in another anthology with one of the same authors who took part in Amid the Winter Snow! I was already a Grace Draven fan, thanks to Wraith King series, so I’m always down to read something else from her.

Let’s start with the Kennedy short. The Crown of the Queen is a novella told from Dafne’s point of view, but be forewarned, this is not a romance. (I think that comes in the next book.) Instead, this is like an extended epilogue to The Talon of the Hawk. It takes place immediately after Ursula took the life of her father, the king. Dafne has been hanging out in Annfwn for the past few weeks, but when she gets to Ordnung, Ursula still has not been crowned High Queen. The entire story follows Dafne’s efforts to guide Ursula through the process of taking the throne. [Read more…]

Review: Immortal Fire by Annette Marie

Reviewed by Ronelle

Once upon a time, Emi’s world was simple. Gods were righteous and wise, yokai were bloodthirsty and evil, and her duty as the kamigakari was straightforward. But when one of the kami sets out to destroy the mortal world as it’s known and the yokai are the only ones standing in her way, she’s faced with a far more terrifying reality.

Looming threat or no, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. She’s promised to break the curse that binds his magic and memories, and once his true self awakens, she’s afraid she’ll lose him forever. But his power and knowledge are needed for the impending war, and so they’ll gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes.

Together, they will find a way to save her world—but can they save each other? [Read more…]

Review: Dark Tempest by Annette Marie

Reviewed by Ronelle

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged her with finding and freeing the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

Shiro, mysterious as ever, is at her side and he is still lost, his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His shadowed history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why. But as their search leads them into the deepest reaches of the spirit realm, Shiro’s past begins to emerge and with each brief awakening of his true self, Emi loses a little more of him.

The fate of gods, humans, and even Shiro himself now rest in Emi’s hands. Does she have enough time to save them all? [Read more…]

Review: WarDance by Elizabeth Vaughan

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been a while since I read the original Warprize books, but I do remember that I enjoyed them very much. The first three centered on the Warlord Keir and his Warprize, Lara. A fourth book featured two side characters. This fifth one does as well. I remember that I always liked Simus. He was one of Keir’s Warriors; he was charming and larger than life. He is still a charmer here, but I feel like he has toned down a little as he takes the mantle as the hero of this story.

This book is a continuation of Warcry. Well, sort of. I’ve since learned that there was another Elizabeth Vaughan series woven into this world that plays in to the story as well. I didn’t read the Epic of Palin series, so there were a few holes in the story that I just had to gloss over and move past. [Read more…]

Review: Fantasy of Flight by Kelly St. Clare

Reviewed by Elle

Fantasy of Flight is the second book in the Tainted Accords series, that began with Fantasy of Frost.

We pick up the story, right as book 1 finishes – Olina has left the safety of the Kings guard, and with her blue eyes, is passing for a Bruma named ‘Frost’. In return for food and a roof over her head, she agrees to become a pit fighter, taking on some of the outer ring’s most brutal fighters. Her veil has been destroyed and the only way she can ever return to her position as Tatuma is to find the material to replace her veil. If she cannot do so, she’ll be stuck in the pits as her ‘Frost’ persona forever. But maybe that wouldn’t really be so bad? [Read more…]

Review: Thrones of Desire by Mitzi Szereto

Reviewed by Ronelle

Fire-breathing dragons, princesses, court drama, the fate of battles and kingdoms… everything that epitomizes fantasy is here. Paint those landscapes and scenarios with the best that erotica has to offer, and you get something both epic and blood-stirring. In these lush and timeless landscapes, the battle for flesh can be as important as the battle for power. Myth and legend reside here and good is not always the most attractive or captivating choice.

***

Every now and again, I get a hankering for something short and naughty (read: requires little time commitment but is still engaging). This usually happens when I get bored or stressed or have had a string of dud books. I then find myself browsing Audible’s erotica category and lamenting the lack of fantasy stories. In my most recent foray, I discovered Thrones of Desire and It. Was. Perfect. In fact, if the rest of his work is as good as this, Mitzi Szereto may have just jumped to the top of my list of favorite romance authors. [Read more…]

Review: Rosinanti by Kevin Kessler

Reviewed by Ronelle

Aleksandra, Seraphina, Valantean, and Kayden live in a world where the Rosinanti Dragons are nothing but legend. Humans rule the world of Terra and have done so peacefully for at least a millennia. But ancient evil has begun to stir once more, and for Val and Kayden, those old legends may hold the key to their past. As the awful truth of the Rosinanti’s supposed extinction comes to light, the four must embark upon a mission to maintain order and light.

Lifelong friends will face down the resurgence of the Rosinanti legacy, combat the greatest threat their world has ever known, and choose more personal sides amongst themselves. [Read more…]

Review: Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier

tower of thornsReviewed by Jen

I can sum up the best thing about this book in just one word: Grim. He is almost all of my favorite hero tropes, rolled into one man. Tortured. Gentle giant. Devoted to a heroine who he thinks he is not good enough for. Loyal. Steadfast. Good… except when it’s time to drop the smackdown. That’s not to say that I don’t like the heroine. I do. Blackthorn is incredibly empathetic in all of her anger, confusion and lack of social skills. For goodness sake, she has been through the worst kind of hell. But Grim is the soft gooey center of this book. [Read more…]

Review: Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

dreamers poolReviewed by Jen

It seems I am a little late to the party on this introduction to the Blackthorn and Grim series… and I’m even further behind when you consider that this is my first book by Juliet Marillier. For the most part, I enjoyed it. I think that has a lot to do with the three empathetic characters who lead the story.

Let’s start with Blackthorn. As the book begins, she has been in prison for a year –and not just the kind of prison where you miss good food and freedom. This is a pit, where she is abused and broken in every way.  She lives only for the possibility of vengeance, but it looks like that, too, will be taken from her. Just before she is to be killed, a stranger –an elf– shows up and offers her a choice. He will get her out if she moves north, leaving her vengeance behind. For the next seven years she must return to her calling as a healer, turning down no one who needs help.  Begrudgingly, she accepts. [Read more…]