Review: Dark Sword series by Donna Grant

I spent last week binge reading this series. For some crazy reason, I read the two series that followed this, Dark Warriors and Dark Kings, but I never read this one. So weird.

The Dark Sword series is about Scottish warriors who have gods living inside of them. The gods come to the strongest in each clan. The men had no idea they had god inside of them until the evil Deirdre took them captive and unbound them. These book are their stories of how they escaped and how they vowed to seek revenge and destroy her.

Each story is filled with action and adventure and, most of all, love. There is the perfect woman for each man. And of course, then men don’t feel worthy, due to there being a god inside of them. They’re afraid of the god taking over and making them evil, so they try to stay away from the women they want. And plus, Deirdre will do anything to hurt them and bring them back under her mountain. She wants their power and will kill anyone that gets in her way.

Since I read the first series last, I saw so many familiar faces. It makes me want to do a massive reread, but I just don’t have the time. *pretend I’m making a sad face* You’ll feel the same way once you read these also.

If you like a world filled with magic and druids and sexy highlanders, then this is the series for you.

~Melpomene

Grab the full series
Dangerous Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2zc8w56
Forbidden Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2x0r7Ax
Wicked Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2xJzy7A
Untamed Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2yrc5qm
Shadow Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2zeN9Qx
Darkest Highlander~ http://amzn.to/2yNU9rA

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Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Epic, emotional and exciting!

This book is a combination of three POVs. Chaol, the recovering ex-captain of the king’s guard, Yrene, the healer we met in The Assassin and the Healer, and Nesryn, the current captain of the king’s guard. It was supposed to be a novella but it turned out quite a bit longer and way more indepth. However, my feelings were all over the place here. I found myself not caring about anything but Yrene for a while. The life she has lead and the reason she is where she is, is just insane. She is truly an amazing healer. My heart wanted a novella, so it was stubborn.

Chaol. What can I say about him. There’s a lot under the surface that he needs to deal with before he can move on and heal properly. And while he’s trying to heal, he must convince the khagan to give them support and deal with the utterly crazy royal family. And I mean crazy in a somewhat good way. Never a dull moment.

Nesryn actually gave me the only scene I teared up in. I didn’t think I was going through care about her storyline but I did. I’m glad she found what she was looking for. I hope nothing happens to her in the next book. I’d be very upset.

This story gives us a few answers to questions we’ve been asking. And also gives us quite a few new discoveries. It makes me rather anxious to get to the final book now. I do wish that there was a little more from Chaol’s past though. We see snippets but not enough, in my opinion. This takes place in the same timeline as Empire of Storms and we do get a few glimpses into what’s happening with Aelin and the rest of the crew.

As for the YA/NA jump, ToD had a few scenes that were definitely not in the young YA world but less than the full on NA. So be prepared. I did block a few parts off since my kids aren’t ready for that.

Now the only thing I have a problem with was the usual changing of the loves. Sarah has a habit of getting us invested in a couple, only to have them break apart a few books later. She does this in both her series. While I love her stories, it hurts to get invested in a storyline, only to have it shattered later on. I need to seriously think about taking another chance in her future series. My heart can’t take this.

~Melpomene

Buy Tower of Dawn http://amzn.to/2jSBlk9

Get caught up with the Throne of glass series:
The Assassin’s Blade http://amzn.to/2xvMuvX
Throne of Glass http://amzn.to/2fHFYJc
Crown of Midnight http://amzn.to/2yxmxL7
Heir of Fire http://amzn.to/2wO3rhy
Queen of Shadows http://amzn.to/2yyCC3l
Empire of Storms http://amzn.to/2y0iU3n

Review: Secondborn by Amy Bartol

Fantasical and exciting! I was sucked in from the very beginning. Amy Bartol knows how to write fantasy that is gripping and emotional.

Roselle has lived her life in front of cameras. Being a secondborn, her life is not her own. When’s she’s transitioned, it seems that very few people are on her side. She must find a way to survive and make this new life her own. Each decision she makes not only affects her, but the world around her as well.

I liked Roselle. A lot. She’s 18 and had this new life thrust upon her and had to choose to give up or fight. She’s got a lot of spunk and it’s quite wild to watch her. What I most especially like is that I know this is the type of book my daughter will love. A girl who isn’t the damsel, but the knight. I can’t wait till she reads this!

“I want to write the story of my life to suit me. I want to see the world without restrictions. I want to use my mind to obtain freedom, like she had.”

I really enjoyed diving into this new world. As with most first books in a series, there’s a lot to cover and introduce you to. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t overwhelmed with all the information. I tend to struggle with first books. My brain can’t seem to keep up. On top of that, the scenery was described in a way that I could imagine being right in the midst of it all. There are quite a few characters for you to love, and perhaps a couple to hate. My mind is turning with all my theories for the future. I’m gonna need the second book ASAP.

Well done, Ms. Bartol!!

~Melpomene

Buy Secondborn http://amzn.to/2vp2tMM

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh


“Never doubt. Never fear. Never overthink.”

I will admit, I wanted to read this book based only on the cover alone. It’s gorgeous! Plus I read Renee’s, Wrath and the Dawn duology, and loved those, so I assumed I would like this as well. Flame in the Mist had a very Mulan feel to it, but with a twist. It felt real. I thought I was living the story, instead of merely reading it. Pure magic.

She was not a half. She was wholly her own.

Mariko’s life isn’t headed in the direction she wishes it would go. After falling into the hands of the Black Clan, she must conceal her identity and slowly find the answers to why her life was threatened. But as she grows closer to the Black Clan, she realizes that some things aren’t what she originally perceived. There’s more to these men than she’s been told.

“To me, you are magic.”

As she learns to fight with these men, she grows closer to one in particular. And when he learns her secret, her entire world gets turned upside.

“My heart knows your heart. A heart doesn’t care about good or bad, right or wrong. A heart is always true.”

All trace of amusement vanished from his expression. “I may lie every day of my life, Hattori Mariko. But my heart will always be true.”

I do enjoy escaping to a foreign land, and Renee’s books let me do just that. They’re filled with the perfect combination of adventure, fantasy and romance all set in the beautiful locations. My heart was racing, and stopping, at quite a few spots. I am rather anxious to read the next one!!

~Melpomene
Buy Flame in the Mist here: http://amzn.to/2oYGCYv

Review: Seeker by Veronica Rossi

A very adventurous and exciting story, filled with enough action to make even the most stubborn of readers get engaged. I know the teens are gonna love this.

Because this is the second book in the Riders duology, I don’t want to say anything spoilery. But what I can tell you is that this has to be one of favorite true YA series. My kids and I read the first book, Riders, right when it came out. Then I just did a relisten last week, with them listening every now and then, and all the excitement came back to me. In fact, my non reader son actually found ways to be in the same room as me so he could listen to the book, but not making it obvious that he was listening. The audible was very addicting. I found myself actually doing chores just so I could listen to it more. That, my friends, is a sign of a good book.

And my anti romance daughter was equally intrigued with this story as well. I’m always on the lookout for exciting YA books that aren’t completely centered around romance, and this one fit the bill as well. It enough to keep us both happy, and that’s a rarity.

Well, enough about Riders, now onto Seeker. Seeker takes place about 8 months after Riders end. The characters are trying to work past what happened and try to find a solution. Since they’re younger and less mature, they don’t always make the right decisions. They try and do things on their own, so save others from harm, but what they really need to do is work together. Once they realize this, then things start to fall into place. I’m not saying that nothing bad will happen, but it’s easier to deal with the bad, when you have your friends and family close by.

It’s very bittersweet to have this book end. I will miss these characters and I wish there were more books coming, but alas, there is not. But I am happy to see their trials complete and them still together and moving on as a family. 

This series will be added to my master list of YA books and I have a feeling it will be recommended often.

~Melpomene

Grab Riders here: http://amzn.to/2pkiUHD
Grab Seeker here: http://amzn.to/2pkwP0c

Review: The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

“There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.”

This quote depicts this book perfectly. Battles of the mind, body and soul will be fought. To be victorious, Kjell must hold fast to who he is and trust in himself. My heart was taken with Kjell and his journey. There was so much for him to learn. I feel honored to get to watch him grow into himself.

Now this book wasn’t without heartache and pain. Oh no, definitely not. It was a slow burn and running smoothly…until it wasn’t. Then the real pain began. I made the mistake of reading this late at night and had to stop just when it was coming to a head. But I woke up at 3 am to continue my torture, and it was glorious. I live for these kind of books. The kind that drag you into the depths of despair and keep you there until you think you can’t go on any longer. Then BAM. Yes, as you can tell, I enjoyed this book very much. This story blew The Bird and the Sword out of the water for me.

Sasha was such a well written character. She was so strong, even when she wasn’t. She had to be. Her entire world depended on it. I love how fierce she was. Sasha wouldn’t take any crap from anyone, even if it put her life at risk. She loved with a fierceness that I adore. No matter what life threw at her, she remained true.

Amy Harmon has mastered the art of fantasy romance. The world is believable and the stories seem so real. I felt like I was sitting in the clouds watching this transpire. I hope she’ll write more from this genre. And possibly more from this world. *hint hint*

~Melpomene

Buy The Queen and the Cure here: http://amzn.to/2pBPp2R
Meet Kjell first in The Bird and the Sword here: http://amzn.to/2pQH8sS

Cover reveal: The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon


Release day: May 9, 2017

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2p7KQut
iTunes: https://itun.es/us/Lobbjb.l
Kobo: http://bit.ly/KoboTQATC
Barnes & Noble: coming soon!

Blurb:
There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

Cover design: By Hang Le – http://www.byhangle.com/

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About the author:
Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in fifteen different languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.
Amy Harmon has written eleven novels — the USA Today Bestsellers, The Bird and The Sword, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as From Sand and Ash, The Law of Moses, The Song of David, Infinity + One, and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her recent release, The Bird and the Sword, is a Goodreads Best Fantasy of 2016 finalist.

Find Amy online:
Website: http://www.authoramyharmon.com
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