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Book review: Vazdrag – Daniel J. Strait (@daniel_strait )

Onward the group proceeds through the black door. Onward in their quest and… around reviewin circles? Surely that can’t be right. But that is exactly what is happening. The latest Black Door seems to be a trap, sealing them within a strange labyrinth. Tempers rise and passions stir as they find themselves trapped. But as with all things, this too is a challenge to be overcome, a way to prove themselves of being worthy to journey onward. The Roarrgs possess a ‘magic’ of the likes this motley crew have never witnessed, strange contraptions, and metal ships capable of flight. They appear gracious hosts, but can they be trusted? These beings suggest they can be of help, but their help has a price, a dangerous price.

Daniel J. Strait’s Vazdrag is the third book in the Silver Tears series. Nakiata, Shadow of Thought master, has already gathered two other members of the prophecy, and only two remain. Vazdrag picks up from the point where book two finishes. During their latest adventure, you see a shift in the bonds already formed between the three main characters, Nakiata, Ka’tia, and Dravone, and building tension between them. Daniel J. Strait possesses a very direct tell-style narrative which favours explanations, and focuses on world and character building. From beginning to end you see the characters grow, develop, and evolve, not only with skills but on more personal levels too. I noticed the most alteration in Nakiata, and it is a development I will watch with interest. The direction of this particular instalment has taken a more science-fiction turn, showing the author’s aptitude for cross-genre writing. Action, adventure, trials, and danger await at every turn, along with the hope of new allies, until once more another adventure awaits.

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Book review: Libby Doyle’s The Vengeance Season

Zan knew loving Rainer was dangerous. She had known it for some time. Every time it reviewwas his turn to fight in The Turning she feared he may not come back, especially now Lucifer, Rainer’s father, had upped his game. Long had his father forsaken Balance and embraced only Destruction. He had made it his own and twisted it to his whims, just as he did with everything he wanted. While the warriors remained engaged in The Turning, in an endless perpetual battle, Lucifer had grown stronger, perfecting his weapons, but now came the most fearful weapon of all, and with it he had access to his son’s weakness, to Zan. Zan knew loving Rainer was dangerous, but little did she know she was about to discover just how dangerous it really was. The time has come for change, no more can the endless battle rage on. It is time to end it forever, to take the war to Lucifer himself. Failure is not an option, not with the stakes being what they are. Can the son finally confront the father who tortured and tormented him, while still keeping himself in balance, out of Destructions corruption? He had vowed to give anything for Zan, and now he will.

This book is amazing! I have loved the covalent series since the very first book, and this has really escalated the plot to a whole new level. Father and son are engaged in epic battle with the highest stakes. No human has ever beheld what Zan has seen, the truth and the horror she has witnessed. I love the Libby Doyle’s creative flair and distinct narrative. The graphically and emotionally fulfilling the plot will have you on the edge of your seat as worlds collide in a way they never should have. I loved the growth and strength shown by Zan, she is strong even in weakness. I just couldn’t put this book down. Tense, fulfilling, vivid, and satisfying this action-packed character-driven tale of love, horror, honour, and despair will keep you glued from the first page to the last. Questions are answered, truths unveiled, and rights wrongs. This series is a must-read for anyone who loves a great plot with string vivid characters presented in a flawless manner that never fails to keep the reader engaged. I whole-heartedly give this series my full recommendation.

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Book review: Daniel J. Strait Zondura (@daniel_strait )

Nakiata was a shadow of thought, or SOT, master. Her birthmark linking her to an reviewancient prophecy had seen she became the only female trained in this arte, and she was skilled indeed. Having located and inserted a key for the Black door she and her ally, Dravone, stepped through, entering a new world, and brought the awaiting race of hunters an enemy they had not seen for a very long time, the Morphan, the species Dravone belonged to. Hunted and pursued they flee the castle grounds, and find themselves on a dangerous adventure, uncovering more about the prophecy they seem destined to fulfil.

Zondura is the second book in Daniel J. Strait’s Silver Tears series. The start of the book provides a brief recap of the events of the first, making it easy to pick up from this point in the adventure. Like any overpowered protagonist Nakiata grows increasingly more brutal and less forgiving as the plot goes on, she cuts a path through anything she perceives as a threat, sometimes her actions are excessive, and even her allies begin to worry about her. The writing style focuses on a tell style so it always clear what is occurring, and things are meticulously described leaving complete images in the reader’s mind as the plot progresses. There are some interesting developments and ideas threaded throughout, and some character growth and development that hints as a complex relationship in the future. Unexpected allies, action, and adventure are found within, with the promise of more to come.

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Book review: Sidney Gray – The Ashen Queen

Sofia’s family had not been noble, but because she was born on a specific day she was to reviewbe their future Queen, and their status has risen. Sofia, born to be queen, didn’t feel she was ready for the role, in fact, she didn’t want it. All she had wanted was a normal life, to embrace the spirit of adventure and exploration that had always tore through her veins. But the closer she came to her 18th birthday the more her freedom was restricted. Betrothed to Alex her estranged childhood friend, and trapped in studies, she longs for the life she would have chosen. Fate works in mysterious ways and an old friend returns, taking her into a place she had always feared in order to escape a worse danger, and warn her something was coming, something it falls to her to stop.

The Ashen Queen by Sidney Gray is a gripping fantasy exploring many themes ranging from magic, misunderstandings, fate, and friendship. Sofia, the story’s protagonist is a well developed character with very real emotions, personality, and appropriate reactions and concerns. The characters are vivid and realistic, in fact, there were times I wanted to reach in the pages and slap her mother, she, and some of the other characters, are so well written and explored you will find yourself feeling genuine emotion towards them. This is a slow paced story which focuses on characters and world building before introducing the reader to the main focus of the story, the truth about the banishing and the Ashen, and the coming darkness. It is certainly a good foundation to what looks to be an interesting series.

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book review: Nicholas Rem – Exodus in Blush (@thewritingremmy )

It had only been four years since the Hummingbird’s last slaughter, and now rumours of reviewhis return are circling, cutting through the communities just as his own Blush does through those he wishes to destroy. There was another rumour too, one that states the Hummingbird mutated a select few, turning them into Cardinals, but this is not a rumour everyone agrees with. Just as ‘the truth’ is to be revealed news spreads of the Hummingbird’s return, a return marked by a massacre. Davlacé had been almost peaceful, until the accusation of the Cardinal origin emerges, then one turns rouge massacring all in his path, and starting a change in the people’s view on these gifted ones, that, in line with the Hummingbird return spells trouble, and people will need to unite, even if their short-term objectives differ, they need to uncover the truth, and it may not be what it seems.

Exodus in Blush is Nicholas Rem’s epic fantasy, perhaps with a touch of anime inspiration. It is filled with manipulation, questions, subplots as well as world and character building. It is easy to lose yourself in the world created, where detail is paid to things from commerce to social status and fickle minded opinions. Colourful writing with vivid details help you envision every scene as they unfold and you’ll find yourself eager to unravel the truth behind everything. There are characters you’ll love, motives you’ll question, surprising twists, and enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages. There are many layers and much depth to the book making it bound to satisfy lovers of the genre.

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Book review: Savannah Jezowski – After (@SavannahJez )

Conrad Ellis the Third, or Eli as he was known, was a spook. Spooks assisted the Royal reviewGuard by turning the creepers loose in the Neverway and keeping them outside the city. But Eli had an uncanny sense when it came to them, he could smell the, sense them coming long before anyone else could. He was happy to earn his keep and support his stepfather and brothers. Long had he given up hope on his twin, Roman, obtaining a marker for any of them so they could live a better life deeper in the city. Eli had enough on his plate with supporting the family and hiding the fact he was afflicted, but when the same brother who had abandoned them came calling for a favour he knew he was in trouble. Roman was on assignment but a new injury left him unable to see it through. Failure would mean more than loss of status for Roman, it could cost him his life. How could Eli refuse? but with the hand he had already been dealt, perhaps he should think twice before accepting his brother’s burden too.

After is the first book in Savannah Jezowski’s The Neverway Chronicles series. Within this gripping tale you will find pages of rich and vivid descriptions, and wonderful scene setting. You really start to get a feel for the city and the Neverway, a place filled with creepers who were once the loved ones of those within the city. The characters are not only well developed as individuals, but their relationships have been given due thought and attention making it a real pleasure to read as you get to know about the characters, with small aspects and history revealed through such interactions. There is a very fleshed out feel to the world, and it is a growth I expect would continue in subsequent books. Pick this up of you want to lose yourself in a heart-wrenching tale where things seem to progress from bad to worse, but where glimmers of hope can sometimes light the darkness.

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Book review: C. Wain, A Prayer for the Necromancer

Kaze had been sentenced to death, but his foes, including the High Mage King himself reviewand the resources at his disposal, had greatly underestimated his abilities. Dark magic had been banished from the kingdom along with any who had once practised it, and Kaze’s crime was returning, or at least that was the reason presented. You would think after all he had done a debt would be owed, instead the king has a secret to hide, and seeks to further his own ambitions. Kaze will not forgive the treachery, and vows to expose him, and his dark agenda. There is more to the king and his desires than meets the eye, and the very fate of the land is in jeopardy. A quest so large starts with a mission so simple, to save a life.

The first thing that sprung to mind when reading A Prayer for the Necromancer is that C. Wain has to be a fan of anime, or perhaps has been inspired by some along the way. There is just an air of anime about this book. C. Wain writes in a simple, easy to follow style and introduces enough mystery and subtleties you want to keep exploring the pages. If magic, the supernatural, gods, adversaries, grudges and secrets, presented in an anime-like fashion is what your looking for then this book may be right up your alley. As the first book in the series it does set some good scenes and the characters, whilst sometimes generic, have their own little spark that keeps them interesting.

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Book review: Kildare’s Dreamwander

The diagnosis had been both expected and a shock. Dementia. Cillian had suspected for some time his mind has been reviewbetraying him, hadn’t he? With this label under his belt though he found slipping into the strange reality much easier. Gone were the wrinkles, the aches, the pains. In their stead was a quest, a mission to slay Red Ruin, a dragon. He was welcomed a hero, said to have served this land before, but he couldn’t remember ever doing so. A world of angered gods, dragons, swords, and the tapestry of myths doesn’t seem like too bad a place to wither away into obscurity, at least his final day’s would be full of excitement. But what if this was real, what if he really was some place he could be young again and really had inadvertently freed a god hell bent on destroying all? Is Cillian truly an ancient hero reawakened, or is this his sanity’s last hoorah? Unravel the tale, join the adventure in Kildare’s Dreamwander

Dreamwander is the first book in Kildare’s In the Ruins of Eden series. Any book dealing with a step between worlds or realities has to be tightly crafted and clear in order not to confuse the reader, and the seamless transition is well executed. There is a surreal element to the settings, and the play on the diagnosis of dementia, the shifting perspective, faded memories or those which may even not have existed is expertly woven within to keep the reader wondering whether Cillian has just embraced a delusion, or is in fact living a new, younger life in an eerie, surreal, and magical setting in which he seems destined to be the hero, or at least central to the tale. These scenes are vividly crafted, and from the first page you are struck by a fast moving plot designed to keep the reader slightly off balance throughout. Be prepared for some interesting twists, unexpected developments, and great characters. 

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Book review: Robert E Kreig’s The Shadow Of Woodmyst (@robertekreig )

Alice Gyfford, Kayl’sro of the Agrodien, and a daughter of Woodmyst, was young, reviewsomeone a person would hardly believe was capable of the feats she had already accomplished. She had more blood on her hands than even the most seasoned warriors. She had protected her homeland, regardless of the cost. Now she turns her focus to rectifying the wrongs of those who were in the position of power before her. It started as a simple gesture to open conversation, the return of property previously stolen, but where it would lead she could not imagine, and the new loyal ally that had chosen her as its keeper was beyond belief, but she will need all the help she can get, there is a prophecy that speaks if the rise of a magi, a warlock, and the time has come for all to learn their place. Join the adventure in Robert E Kreig’s The Shadow Of Woodmyst, The Woodmyst Chronicles Book VI

Robert E Kreig has woven yet another captivating tale in the Woodmyst Chronicles. There is danger, strife, challenges, rising threat, new allies, and ancient enemies, not to mention a fantastic cast of well developed characters who enhance the plot alongside the protagonist, Alice. Alice is a remarkable character, whilst young she is both strong and experienced with a will and passion to do what is right, while also looking after those she protects. I first met her in the previous book, and she continues to grow and surprise me in this one. From the last book to this one, the characters aren’t the only thing to develop and progress Robert E Kreig as an author continues to hone their already impressive craft in The Shadow Of Woodmyst. Vivid descriptions conjure magnificent scenes that come to life before your eyes and weave their own spell of magic over you as a reader  and won’t fail to keep you entertained for hours.

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Book review: The Desert Botanist by Jennifer Stone (@JenStone4485 )

Erica had agreed to leave behind her luscious homeland as part of a cultural exchange reviewand learning experience with the desert dwellers. She was excited at the thought of learning what new plants and remedies could be revealed in their harsh climate. She had not expected everything she had witnessed, even Amira’s own attitude, to have been nothing but a deception. What she finds is not the city of cultural wealth and learning she hoped, but a land of debauchery and corruption, where people paraded like peacocks displaying their wealth and only those with riches were worthy of attention. Erica must quickly learn who she can trust, one wrong turn could destroy her, and there are those who would seek to do just that. She must have faith, for a storm is coming, one that will change the very future, and Erica has her own role to play in what will come to pass.

Having read the Earthen Priestess I was really looking forward to The Desert Botanist, and the author did not disappoint. I really enjoy the easy, flowing style of Jennifer Stone, it draws the reader in with its enjoyable characters, whilst finding the perfect balance of description to allow the reader’s imagination some creative license. A wonderful book and an enjoyable read.

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