All posts by Arwen

The Necromancer’s Bride: Book Blitz

The Necromancer’s Bride CoverThe Necromancer’s Bride (Gaslamp Gothic, #4)
by Kat Ross
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling

Meet A New Book

I’m currently reading this book and oh wow, I’m loving it! If the cover isn’t mood enough for you the book make you feel the heat of a Bermudan afternoon and the drizzle of a London rain. Kat Ross, as always, delivers a tale that I can hardly put down (drat real life responsibilities.) I cannot wait to finish this one!

Synopsis:

Forgiveness is not Gabriel D’Ange’s strong suit.

A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies, he vanished after Anne Lawrence stabbed him with his own dagger.

The smart thing would be to let him go.

Unfortunately, Anne’s life isn’t just lonely without Gabriel. It’s insufferably boring.

Determined to heal the rift between them, she goes in search of her tempestuous former lover, black parasol in hand and daeva magic crackling at her fingertips. But Gabriel has his own plans afoot and Anne finds herself drawn into one of his tangled webs, much against her better judgment.

Gabriel’s nemesis has reappeared in Brussels, a vile slaver who’s plundering the Congo Free State with the blessing of King Leopold. Gabriel might be willing to give Anne a second chance, but not until Jorin Bekker’s head is lying at his feet.

Back in London, the quasi-reformed necromancer Balthazar sets his sights on the same quarry. He holds a very personal grudge against Bekker — and killing him might be the only way to keep Gabriel D’Ange from Balthazar’s own throat.

When the hunters collide at a lavish gala thrown by the king, Anne learns just how far she’ll go to save the man she loves.

Note: The Necromancer’s Bride is the sequel to A Bad Breed (read my review), which should be read first.

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Angst: Review

Angst
by David J. Pedersen
378 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Humor
Release date: April 5th 2012

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

Synopsis:

When Angst turned 40, he knew it was over. Angst had longed to be a knight of Unsel, to make his mark in history, to be remembered for heroic deeds and wondrous acts. He grew up knowing he was destined for something great, but now it is too late. Not only is 40 far too old to become a knight, Angst is one of the few able to wield “the magics.” For 2,000 years magic has been outlawed, repressed, even outright destroyed throughout the world of Ehrde.

By law, Angst is reduced to using his great power only to file papers. His marriage is on the rocks, his friends are bored with him, and he hates his job.

The one person that makes him happy is the young Princess Victoria who seems to adore him. Unfortunately, that makes his boss, the Queen, hate him.

Without warning, Unsel is besieged with dangerous monsters – birds with metallic beaks, monkey creatures that can dive through solid ground, mindless horse-eating giants. The world that shunned magic now turns to Angst for help, and he is happy to listen once his back stops hurting.

On the edge of a mid-life crisis, Angst drags his reluctant friends along with him on an adventure into the heart of magic. He’s not sure where they’re going, what they’ll find, or even if they’ll survive. But he knows this is his one chance to be a hero because the only way to fight magic is with magic.

Review:

  • Note I received this book from the author as a gift, because he enjoyed my review of his other book Clod Makes a Friend so much. Which makes me smile every time I think about it. 😊

Ah 40… while it’s not what it used to be, I like to think the hill has moved to 50, but it represents a milestone most of us aren’t looking forward to. In fact…

I TURN 40 THIS FALL! 😲

So I figure it was the perfect time to read this book.

Angst is an unusual hero in an unusual story.  I read quite a bit of fantasy and have never come across anything like it. Angst is like the Dilbert of the fantasy world. Except he is a Dilbert with dreams of being a knight.

Often fantasy stories feature a self-assured hero, or a chosen one, or someone  who is still learning the ropes, pretty much all of these hero-types are given quests that have pretty clear goals. Frodo must take the ring to Mordor. Roland has to reach the Dark Tower.  Matthias needs to protect Redwall. Thomas needs to solve the maze. Alina has to defeat the Darkling. That sort of thing. In Angst David threw all of those norms aside to create a self assured (sometimes) man on a quest to do (something) he doesn’t really know what. The end goal of the quest being somewhat in flux drives his friends nuts. It was a fun twist on the fantasy quest troupe.

The world building is unique too. Unsel is a place both familiar and new to fantasy readers. It has it’s castles, knights, giants, magic etc. But so many new things were added… I wish I could tell you about them all but that would be spoiling it. I want you to go into the story and be as pleasantly surprised as I was at each new element.

I loved this book (though probably not as much as I loved Clod.) As one reviewer on Goodeads put it, “Angst isn’t a breath of fresh air, it’s a whole gust,” Dusty Craine. I absolutely agree.

Bottom Line:

The perfect read for someone just about to turn 40, or who recently turned 40, or just wants to read something with a character going through a mid-life crisis and contemporary fiction isn’t your thing. Angst is a funny and quick witted fantasy romp.

Goodreads / Amazon

Lineage: Book Blitz

Lineage
by C. Vonzale Lewis
Publication date: July 16th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Meet A New Book

Synopsis:

Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?

Read an excerpt.

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Thorn: Cover Reveal

Thorn
By Intisar Khanani
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: March 24th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

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EXCERPT:

I lead the king down to the back entrance to the gardens, and we walk along between plots of dill, thyme, and chives. I wait, knowing he will speak when he is ready.

“How much does your mother confide in you?” he asks as we near the middle of the gardens.

I slide a look at him from the corner of my eye. “Enough. My lord.”

His lips quirk, the first true smile I have seen from him. “Is that honest?”

I pause beside a bed of borage. “How much do I need to know, my lord? You are here seeking a wife for your son.”

“I am,” he agrees. “How often do you participate in the discussions between your mother and the council?”

“I don’t, my lord. You should know I am not . . .” I hesitate, aware that I have no place telling this king what he should or should not know. Or jeopardizing such an alliance for my land.

“Not what?”

I struggle to find an appropriate way to finish. “Not—it is not thought my place to attend such meetings.”

“You would never inherit the throne?”

I could inherit, it is true, but I doubt the council would allow it given my history—and certainly not now that I might marry into another royal family, one that would be happy to add our lands to their own. Either way, should my brother die, the council would certainly pass over me in favor of our nearest cousin. “It is unlikely,” I say finally.

“I doubt that,” the king says. “It has been my experience that even young men die. What you mean to say is your council would not accept you should your brother die without issue and you were yet unwed. Why?”

If he knows all the answers, why is he asking? I look him in the eye and quip, “Perhaps I am too honest, my lord.”

He laughs. “And too straightforward. You will have to learn to play with your words more.” He reaches out, his fingertips brushing my arm where my brother held me. I flinch back reflexively, as if the bruises have already darkened—as if he could see them through my sleeve. He watches me, his eyes glinting in the sunlight. “Once you are Menaiya’s,” he says, “your brother will never hurt you again.”

 

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