Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Elise

When I heard about the release of this book, I was bitterly disappointed. What started as a novella for the author had turned into a full length novel. The release would delay the the final book in the Throne of Glass series. This is one of my favorite book series and I have enjoyed every book so far.

Tower of Dawn follows the journey of Chaol Westfall as he seeks to recover from a devastating injury sustained during the final confrontation with the King of Adarlan and collapse of the Glass Castle. In addition to healing, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, rightful Queen of Terrasen, has given him the task of making allies with those that rule the Southern Continent.

If I am being honest, I never really liked Chaol. His choices throughout the previous books have been dubious. Ultimately, his prejudices and equivocation cost him the things he held most dear. He has tried to make amends but it just never seemed like enough. The idea of reading an ENTIRE novel based on a character I wasn’t particularly fond of did not fill me with joy. I found myself picking up the book only out of loyalty to the series I adore. I had a preconceived idea of how the story would progress and I am delighted at how completely incorrect I was. [Read more…]

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Ronelle

When nineteen-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, she never expected it would change her life forever. That same night, a beast-like creature bursts into her home and demands retribution for it. He gives her a choice: join him in the treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends or die. At her family’s terrified urging, Feyre chooses life and exile, soon discovering that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate and they spend more time together, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s even been given about the Fae. But lurking on the borders of Tamlin’s lands is an ancient, wicked shadow and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever. [Read more…]

Review: Madfall by Grace Draven & Dana Marton

Reviewed by Jen

I’m such a fan of Grace Draven’s that any story with her name that crosses my path automatically finds its way into my TBR. This dragon-themed anthology features a reissue of a previously released novella, but it’s one I haven’t read.

Draconus tells the story of Leida, a woman who was once the favorite of a dragon lord. She ran away with a small piece of his treasure and as this novella begins, she has been located and dragged back to face him for her crimes. Magnus would be within his rights to kill her for stealing from him, but he would much rather keep her alive and in his grasp. It takes no time at all to realize these two still want each other desperately; his anger and her fear quickly give way to the desire and sexual undercurrent between them. There is a fair amount of on-page loving, and it’s pretty steamy. [Read more…]

Review: Queen of Shadow by Suz deMello

Reviewed by Ronelle

Janus is a planet lacking both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands divide the violently hot Lightside from the perpetually cold Darkside. Because of the world’s peculiarities, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Unless you’re the Queen of Shadow.

Audryn, made queen upon the deaths of her family members, has reached the time when she must either choose a King to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos. As nobles in all three realms vie for her hand and favor, and though she trysts with many, none have struck her as the right choice. She briefly considers Kaldir, the Prince-Scientist sent by the Children of Light for a time… [Read more…]

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Reviewed by Debz

This novella is set after the third book in Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Throne and Roses series and if you’ve read A Court of Wings and Ruin, you can jump right in. After the final battle against Hybren his armies and the three human queens, this books begins in the aftermath with Feyre, Rhysand and the crew picking up the pieces and rebuilding.

Especially after the attack on Vellaris, Rhysand and Feyre as the High Lord and Lady of the Night Court have their hands full, helping the people rebuild and restart their lives. They also have to make treaties with the other courts; and make sure none of the other Lords encroach on the human lands. All this to do, and it is almost time for the biggest celebration in the Night Court, Winter solstice.

The book is not just told from the POV of Feyre and Rhysand; there are chapters centered around the Morrigan, Cassian, Azriel, Elain and Nesta . All the painful memories and emotions about the horrors suffered during the battle are laid bare on the pages. Most prominent amongst them is guilt; guilt for the battle in Vellaris, a city which had previously been sheltered from the outside world for so long. Guilt for the number of Illyrian men who had to die to stop Hybren and mainly guilt that the lives of most children will never be the same. [Read more…]

Review: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Reviewed by Sara

A multifaceted fantasy, Song of Blood and Stone’s main character, Jasminda, is an orphaned goat farmer attempting to survive in a land where her race and magical ability mean she is a pariah. When she saves the life of soldier Jack she is thrust into an epic journey to save the nations of Lagrimari and Elsira and set right a century’s old wrong.

Jack is more than a spy or soldier, he’s the prince regent of Elsira and in the kindness and resolve of Jasminda, he’s found love, but can he and Jasminda be together when the nation, history and his own mistakes work against them?

More than once I’ve reviewed a book and complained about too much going on within the plot. While Song of Blood and Stone has a lot (A LOT!) going on, including the romance of Jack and Jasminda, Jasminda finding belonging, the story of Oola and Eero, the war with the True Father, etc, all are woven together to create what really is a complicated, but cohesive and truly epic story. I never once felt overwhelmed with the amount of plot points, but was eager to read more. [Read more…]

Review: Warlord by Nia Mars

Reviewed by Ronelle

Lukar Xon is one of the Emperor’s most brilliant and feared warlords. He’s won battle after battle, war after war, and the conquering of Tembria is no different…until it is. Because instead of being sent off to the next war as expected, the Emperor gifts him with a governorship and a princess.

Meela is the heir to a fallen kingdom, and the conqueror’s prize. But she will bow to no one–certainly not to the barbarian who killed her father and captured her planet. She might have to surrender her body to the warlord, but she refuses to surrender her heart. [Read more…]

Review: Naughty Phantasia by various authors

Reviewed by Ronelle

I’ll start this review by stating that I did not finish all the stories, either because they didn’t interest me (“Valentine”, “How the Alien Stole Christmas”) or because I found the plot/characters unappealing (“Alien Rights”, “The Ghosts of Substation #69”). Overall, though, I enjoyed the collection and appreciated the variety. Some of the stories put more focus on external plot, while some focused almost exclusively on romance/sex.

Rather than go over each story individually, here are some of my favorites/notables from the Naughty Phantasia anthology:

WEAPON OF CHOICE by Katherine Kingston

Selvya’s gift for controlling fire made her a weapon in the hands of unscrupulous men. The king’s commander offers a chance for revenge and redemption, but it’s a risk she’s not sure she can take. [Read more…]

Review: A Crazy Little Spring Called Love by various authors

Reviewed by Ronelle

A collection of fantasy and paranormal romance shorts all revolving around the theme of spring. The heat level varies, as do the settings and time periods. Also, I’m presenting these in the order I read them, as my ARC didn’t actually auto-start at the first story for some reason. I’ll also stress that this was an advance copy, so hopefully some of my complaints will have been addressed in the final publication. [Read more…]

DNF Review: The Fuchsia Lakes by Michelle Dare

Reviewed by Ronelle

A powerful knight and a beleaguered queen join forces to save her people and kingdom. Balance must be restored and betrayal rooted out, but even amidst such chaos, fate and love will have their way.

Plagued by memories of their previous encounter, Elliott Azure was more than ready to be in the presence of the enrapturing queen again. At twenty-three, Karis Fuchsia became queen of a land she wasn’t ready to lead. But with Elliott by her side, she felt protected for the first time in years. [Read more…]