Tagged: Fantasy & Magic

Reign of Shadows – Review

About the book:

Brianna can see her future, but it’s the past that haunts her. Plans laid in place centuries ago are threatening not only her and her sister, but all of the Seven Lines. As the shadows plot their way to old rule, the visions shift again. Her power has led to some hard choices—and the occasional stab wound—but this set of futures holds nothing but darkness.

Unable to bear the idea of losing the footing they’ve so recently gained, she turns the soldiers of the Seven. But with shadows hidden among the ranks, can she overcome the path they’ve set in place, or is she blindly following their lead?

About the author:

Melissa is the author of the Frey Saga, Descendants Series, and KING OF ASH AND BONE. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be spotted collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest. Contact her through the web at www.melissa-wright.com

For info on contests and new releases, sign up for the newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/zbisj

THE FREY SAGA
Frey
Pieces of Eight
Molly (a short story)
Rise of the Seven
Venom and Steel

DESCENDANTS SERIES
Bound by Prophecy
Shifting Fate
Reign of Shadows

SHATTERED REALMS
King of Ash and Bone

Sam’s review:

Hey to all those who have seen a review by me, as well as those of you who have no idea who I am. It’s Sam, and I am back with another review, completing the Descendants series by Melissa Wright. The final book that ties the fates of Brianna, Logan, Emily and Aern together just so happens to be called Reign of Shadows and is told in the third person perspective of all of the characters, which I find is great way to tell the story whereas you are looking not only at one character, but at the villians, and the good guys. So, yeah, good story. I loved how Callan (the anti-hero, I guess you could call him) has a very important mission, given to him by the other, more supreme Shadows, to find and capture Brianna, and Brianna only. Should he fail, the consequences would not be in his favor.

However, unlike the other Shadows, who want shadow prophets dead, he seeks to create a bond with his prey in order to keep her safe. But Logan, Aern, Emily, and Brianna herself don’t want him anywhere near the Division or the Council. When the other Shadows attack, Callan uses his gifts in order to alert Brianna of attacks. The war might be far from over, but it all ends one way or another for our heroes in the final book of the Descendants series. Now, this is just my opinion, but I loved how heart pounding the story was. If you love alternate universes, prophecies, and magic, then read the Descendants series by Melissa Wright.

Please tune in next week for our next review. If you have a book that you want me to read that you think that I might like, please recommend it, check out the link to Thrice Read Books.com, an online bookstore that accepts indie authors, like this video, subscribe, and enable notifications. I’ll be seeing you guys again next week! Bye!

Buy the book:

You can buy this book on its own from Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook format here. {affiliate link}

Or, buy the whole series here. {also affiliate link}

Read Sam’s other reviews for this series:

Bound by Prophecy

Shifting Fate

Bound by Prophecy – Review

About the book:

Aern’s only job is to protect the chosen. The trouble is, she’s the key to a prophecy and everyone wants her. Hiding a girl in the center of a secret war is tricky business, but when her sister shows up to take Aern hostage, all bets are off. 

A slim brunette in borrowed jeans should be the least of his problems, but there’s something about Emily he just can’t put to rights. And it’s not her penchant for using hand tools as weapons or the fact that she seems immune to his sway. 

Everything about her screams run. But when he discovers she’s working toward her own prophecy, he’s got no choice but to keep her safe. It might have been easy, if she didn’t think she was the chosen’s protector. When the opposition descends, their only hope is to stick together, but the truth unravels, and together might prove the biggest complication of them all.

About the author:

Melissa is the author of the Frey Saga, Descendants Series, and KING OF ASH AND BONE. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be spotted collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest. Contact her through the web at www.melissa-wright.com

For info on contests and new releases, sign up for the newsletter here.

THE FREY SAGA
Frey
Pieces of Eight
Molly (a short story)
Rise of the Seven
Venom and Steel

DESCENDANTS SERIES
Bound by Prophecy
Shifting Fate
Reign of Shadows

SHATTERED REALMS
King of Ash and Bone

Sam’s review:

Greetings, everyone! The bookish topic of today for this channel is Bound by Prophecy by Melissa Wright. One of three protagonists, Aern, brother of the antagonist, Morgan, hands the “chosen” too the Division, a choice that he believes will keep her safe from Morgan’s hands. Aern is caught by his evil brother, Morgan. Emily, the chosen’s sister, rescues him, only to hold him captive as she searches for Brianna, her sister. When they make it to the Division, he finds out that his chosen is a decoy, as well as a prophet. This is a quick paced adventure taking place on modern day Earth, but might as well be an alternate universe, plus it is captivating from the first paragraph to the last words. There is indeed a sequel to this, and I expect it to be done in the VERY near future, so keep an eye out for it. And I’ll be back. Sam out!

Buy the book:

You can purchase this book on its own from Amazon in Kindle, paperback or as an audio book here. [affiliate link]

Or…

You can buy the boxed set here. [affiliate link]

Stay tuned:

Book 2, Shifting Fates review

Book 3, Reign of Shadows

Shifting Fate – Review

About the Book:

According to prophecy, Brianna Drake was born to save the world. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the slightest idea how. Her visions should have given her the answer, but they’re beginning to shift, making the danger too unpredictable, even for a prophet.

If she can just help her sister restore their hidden powers, she might be able to stop what’s coming. But an old enemy returns, and he’s got plans for Brianna and her visions.

What neither of them knows is that fate has given a stranger one chance to find her. He was trained to protect the chosen—but if he fails, the future will crumble.

About the Author:

Melissa is the author of the Frey Saga, Descendants Series, and KING OF ASH AND BONE. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be spotted collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest. Contact her through the web at www.melissa-wright.com

For info on contests and new releases, sign up for the newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/zbisj

THE FREY SAGA
Frey
Pieces of Eight
Molly (a short story)
Rise of the Seven
Venom and Steel

DESCENDANTS SERIES
Bound by Prophecy
Shifting Fate
Reign of Shadows

SHATTERED REALMS
King of Ash and Bone

Sam’s Review:

 Hello, my name’s Sam, this is Sam’s Teen Reads Corner, but you should already know the name because it says so right on the video, and today our topic for the week is Shifting Fate, the second book in the Descendants series by Melissa Wright. I wouldn’t recommend watching this video unless you’ve seen the review for Bound by Prophecy, because this has some spoilers, as is the way with most of the reviews that I do. See, Brianna is the prophet, no longer the chosen. Of course, nobody else in the Division knows it, and she is attacked after Aern stabbed her, Morgan having place Aern under his sway. When her safety becomes vital, she is placed under the protection of Logan, whom she finds herself falling for, and hard. When she has a vision of their kiss, and alerts Logan of it, Logan uses that knowledge to know about whether or not they’ll die in troubling situations, because if the kiss doesn’t happen, then they can’t die; another useful reason to work with a prophet. Brianna goes searching for the place that Morgan held her mother.

From the notes that her mother hid, she learns that she is the Dragon Slayer, and a shade, a shadow, her powers bound by the broken bonds, the lines that run in the veins of the Seven Lines. Using what little she has, she connects the bonds, gives Emily her magic, and herself her abilities to see the present and the future. But Morgan, after being imprisoned, has escaped his prison. Will her powers be enough to stop him?

The second book in the series, it is captivating, just like its predecessor, filled to the brim with action and danger, as well as some parts of romance. Told in the view of Brianna, while the first was told in the view of Aern, Brianna’s story carried on the urban fantasy story. I loved how the intensity of the story makes it seem as if you are right there with the characters, there was subtle hints of romance, and how there is a dark secret behind Brianna and Emily’s family. It gets five stars, please don’t forget to subscribe, enable notifications, and like, and I’ll be back soon with the final book in the Descendants series. Bye!

Buy the book (or the series!)

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook formats here. [affiliate link] 

Or, you can buy the whole series in Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

The rest of the series:

Bound by Prophecy

Reign of Shadows

Three Dark Crowns – Review

About the book:

New York Times Bestseller * New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 Kirkus Best Book of the Year

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. And don’t miss the highly anticipated sequel, One Dark Throne!

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

Be sure to catch the stunning sequel to this New York Times bestseller, One Dark Throne.

About the Author:

Kendare Blake grew up in the small city of Cambridge, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York and received a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in London, England. She loves to travel, is an advocate for animals, and cheats a lot when she plays Final Fantasy. Adopted from South Korea at the age of seven months, she arrived with the following instruction: “Feed her chocolate.” Though not medically advisable, she and her parents are eternally grateful for this advice.

Kendare is the author of six novels: the contemporary SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, YA horror duo ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (2011 NPR Top 5, Kirkus Top Ten), and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES (2012 Kirkus Reviews Top Ten), and the Goddess War trilogy (ANTIGODDESS, MORTAL GODS, UNGODLY). 

Coming in September 2016: THREE DARK CROWNS, the first book in a fantasy series about warring triplet queens.

Sam’s Review

Hey, everyone, I hope your week has been going wonderfully, and our review will be about Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. On the island of Fennbirn, three queens are born, as is tradition. Each of then have a special gift: a naturalist, able to control the earth, a poisoner, able to withstand the harshest of poisons, and the elementalist, able to summon storms. Three queens, taken apart at six years old, and expected to kill each other for the crown. Sounds a little harsh, right? Well, one queen, the elementalist Mirabella, in the latest generation, refuses to kill her sisters, and hopes to bring peace to the three of them. Boy is she wrong. When Arsinoe, the proclaimed naturalist and trained to be cautious, takes Mirabella’s visit the wrong way, and her friend Jules loses control over Arsinoe’s fake familiar, hurting many at the start of the Ascension year, the year when the queens hunt each other, Mirabella and the poisoner queen, Katherine are both mislead about Arsinoe’s intentions.

Read the book to find out what is to come of the sisters. As the first book in a series, it will leave you begging for more. Luckily the second book is out, however we’ll be doing that book, next week. It gets two thumbs up and five stars for the amazing characters, really amazing places, and the airs of treachery and secrets, and I hope that you enjoy it too.Please subscribe, check out the little floaty link to the bookstore that’s to the right of my head, like, and enable notifications. I’ll see you next Friday! Bye!

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Other Reviews in this series:

One Dark Throne (book 2) coming soon

Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher – Review

Children's Fantasy Book Review by Sam - Ronaldo The Phantom Carrot Snatcher by Maxine Sylvester

About the book:

Ronaldo and Rudi discover friends come in all shapes and sizes as they embark on a superhero mission to help a lost wolf cub called Ernie find her pack.

Rudi comes up with a plan to find the pack and deliver a message during a speed test at flying school; but Ronaldo isn’t totally onboard with the idea. He desperately wants to break the speed record and the plan means jeopardising his chance of becoming champion.

Will Ronaldo go for glory… or will he discover the true meaning of friendship and sacrifice the race for Ernie?

Bumbling Wing Commander Blitsen, head of The Reindeer Flying Academy, and mischievous brothers, Dasher, Comet and Prancer also feature in this fun tale of bravery and friendship.

Published 23 November 2016.

About the Author:

Maxine Sylvester - Autho of the Ronaldo series, including Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher

Maxine Sylvester was born in London, England. She grew up with a passion for Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear. She also loved anything Disney and enjoyed drawing the characters. Maxine’s love of ‘fun’ art grew and she had the privilege of being mentored by cartoonist and caricaturist, Steve Chadburn. She completed further studies in children’s book illustration with talented artist and illustrator, Jan Nesbitt.

She is currently working on the fourth book in the Ronaldo series, due for release in Autumn 2018.Social media for Maxine:

Facebook    Twitter     Pinterest     Instagram    Website

Sam’s Review:

Ronaldo and the Phantom Carrot Snatcher by Maxine Sylvester is different from my usual teen read, but enjoyable nonetheless. Telling the tail of two reindeer and a wolf pup, I loved the story it told.

This book is the second in a series. Ronaldo (AKA Ronnie) and his best friend Rudolph (AKA Rudi) don’t know what to do when Ronnie finds a lost wolf pup named Ernie (just so you know, Ernie’s a girl) behind his house.

Rudi comes up with a brilliant plan to find Ernie’s pack, but Ronnie will need to go to the forbidden forest. Ronnie agrees to do so, but at the same time, he has plans to break the speed record. But he can’t do both at the same time. As it is, he’s taking a risk, and could get expelled from flight school if he’s seen at the forest.

Fun to read, easy to understand, and filled with good illustrations, this children’s book was a fun break from my usual teen read. It’s cute all the way through, and filled with humor.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Maxine Sylvester's Ronaldo The Phantom Carrot Snatcher - Children's Fantasy Fiction

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon:

Amazon US [affiliate link]     Amazon UK 

Other books in the series:

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy (rel Dec 2015) [affiliate link]

Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza (rel Oct 2017) [affiliate link]

Check out all the reviews for Maxine Sylvester’s Ronaldo series here.

The Child Wound in Gold – Short Story Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Megan O'Russell's short story - Child Wound in Gold

About this story:

A little knock taps on the door,
A little girl hiding under the floor,
The safety of the dirt shall build her bed,
While the monster rammoc flies overhead.
For years, the rammocs have tormented the valley, stealing villagers from their homes, destroying crops and cattle so those left behind face the constant threat of starvation.
The only hope the villagers have is the magicians of the convocation. They alone have the power to stop the rammocs. But the magicians demand a price the villagers are unable to pay. Left with nothing but rubble and death, one young girl finds hope in the flames.

About the Author:

Megan O'Russell - Author of Child Wound in Gold, Girl of Glass, Girl without Magic

Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include the Girl of Glass series, How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days (The Tale of Bryant Adams, Book one), and The Girl Without Magic (The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, Book One).


When not on stage or working on her books, Megan can be found blogging on LifeBeyondExaggeration.com


For more information on Megan’s books, visit MeganORussell.com.

Sam’s Review:

The Child Wound in Gold, written by Megan O’Russell, author of Girl of Glass and Girl Without Magic, is a short story. Even though it was but several pages long and had a cliffhanger, it was still enjoyable. Rena’s village has been terrorized by a fearsome creature known as a rammoc.

The Rammoc always attacks, never killing everybody in the village. I guess it knows how to make sure that it’s meals stay plentiful. Magicians are supposed to protect the villagers, supposed to being the key words here. They don’t do their job, but one day, a magician from the convocation (the magician’s council, I’m guessing.) tells the rather close village that they shall kill the wicked beast, but the village must give them something in return. That something must be of value.

Rena, desperate to help, offers her mother’s magician made veil, only to be turned down. The magician attacks her for some weird reason (seriously, there wasn’t an explanation. Maybe he thought that she’d stolen the veil when she clearly said that it came from her mother’s family as a wedding gift.). She finds out that the threads in the veil are nearly indestructible. This gives her the idea of a lifetime.

This was very captivating, and fun to read. This is  a part of the Girl Without Magic series, but Maggie isn’t mentioned until you get to the author’s note. For as much as I liked the story, there wasn’t a whole lot of context, which left me scratching my head in places. I was able to put together some pieces of information, but still.

Thrice Read Books & Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Megan O'Russell's short story "The Child Wound in Gold", part of the Maggie Trent series on our blog.

Get this story free here from Instafreebie.

Other books we’ve reviewed by Megan O’Russell:

The Girl Without Magic (Maggie Trent book 1)

Girl of Glass (Nola Kent Book 1)

Boy of Blood (Nola Kent Book 2)

Fury of Fire – Review

Jenn reviews Coreene Callahan's Fury of Fire, shapeshifter romance on Thrice Read Books review blog.

About the book:

Published February 7, 2012 by Montlake Romance

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Book one in the Dragonfury series

A clandestine race of half-dragon, half-humans known as dragon shifters lives among us. Bastian, leader of the Nightfury dragon clan, is sworn to protect humankind at all costs. For him, honor and duty always come first. When the clan dictates he take a human mate to sire a son, he falters, aware that for a human to birth a dragon shifter she must die. Myst, the woman given into his care, is the most extraordinary he’s ever met, and though he can’t bear the thought of harming her he is bound by duty.

Myst loves her life in the human world, but Bastian has captured her heart in an instant of electric connection. But Bastian and his warriors are in the middle of a deadly battle with the Razorback dragon shifters, intent on killing every Nightfury clan member—and the humans they protect—the fate of their world and ours hangs in the balance.

An extraordinary blend of action, fantasy, and steamy romance, Fury of Fire brings to life a dangerous new world intertwined with the survival of humanity, all while exploring the meaning of honor and the nature of true love.

About the Author:

As the only girl on all-guys hockey teams from age six through her college years, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write about them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics. But whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, Callahan finally succumbed to her overactive imagination and returned to her first love: writing. And when she’s not writing, she is dreaming of magical worlds full of dragon-shifters, elite assassins, and romance that’s too hot to handle. Callahan currently lives in Canada with her family and her writing buddy, a fun-loving golden retriever.

Jenn’s Review:

Dragons, damsels and divisive clan wars, oh my! Coreene Callahan kicked this series off with a bang in Fury of Fire, Book 1 in the Dragonfury series.

This is one of those binge-buying Kindle books I picked up (embarrassingly, almost 3 years ago!), and dove into for a bit of a break from ARCs. I was most assuredly NOT disappointed. 

In this shape-shifter-slash-urban-fantasy-romance, Bastian knows he needs to find a human female to impregnate. He’s not keen on the idea; it rubs his moral compass the wrong way, as the birth will inevitably result in his partner’s death. 

Myst stumbles into the middle of a wild, action packed battle between Bastian’s clan and their bitter rivals, and in the end, she’s literally swept off to Bastian’s stronghold in the mountains above Seattle because she refuses to relinquish the baby she delivered just before the battle.

The plot is engaging, the characters well developed and the world-building is mostly believable. This book should be on your to-be-read list if you are a fan of shape-shifter romance.

Fury of Fire by Coreene Callahan - Urban Fantasy/Shapeshifter Romance - review by Jenn on the Thrice Read Books review blog.

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Spirit Animals: Book 1: Wild Born

Fun book.  Great for upper elementary school to middle school.  The book flows great but may be to easy for more challenged readers of age bracket.  This is book 1 to a series. There is a code so your child or children can play the online game unlocking their own spirit animals.  Fun read at any age.  Great book for 4th and 5th graders to sink deeper into book reports with, as they will want to read the book and share what they read, as they find their favorite of the spirit animals talked about.

You can buy a used copy of this book here.

Song of the Sparrow – Book Review

About the book:

“The year is 490 AD.  Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat,  the daughter of one of King Arthur’s supporters,  lives with her father on Arthur’s base camp,  the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine’s only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur’s older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur’s second-in-command. However, when yet another girl — the lovely Gwynivere– joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire? (From amazon.com’s product listing)

Jenn’s Review:

I read this book myself a few years ago, and fell in love with the long-poem form of it. The author did an amazing job of recreating King Arthur’s court and imagining subtle side currents to the main story that most of us have come to know so well. Well written and engaging. I would rate this a high middle-school level, and let my 11 year old read it recently as she was exploring epic poetry style writing, and she loved it.

Thrice Read Books has a hardcover edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover or paperback edition here. [affiliate link]

Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic – Book Review

What happens when you mix a mediocre witch, her foster sister, a necromancer, a vampire and a clan of werewolves? Mischief, mayhem, and murder ensue when a vampire shows up at Jade Godfrey’s Vancouver cupcake bakery, investigating a series of bloody… erm… bloodless, rather… murders of magic-wielders.

Jade is the vampire investigator’s primary suspect, yet he knows that she isn’t the one murdering the shape-shifters. Jade doesn’t know what to think of the whole situation, as she resists the idea of her hand-made trinkets, little collections of discarded objects strung together, containing enough magic to bring down some of the Adept community’s biggest and baddest.

During the days that follow the vampire’s appearance at her door, Jade learns that the bland history of her own life has been a web of lies and deceptions, that all she’s believed about herself all along has been an illusion. And the sister that she’s always trusted, is the most dangerous lie of all.

Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic is the first in the Magic Dowser series by Meghan Ciana Doidge. Ms. Doidge’s story telling is as addictive as her character’s delicious sounding cupcakes.

You can purchase this book in Kindle, audiobook or paperback through Amazon here. [affiliate link]