dinsdag 2 september 2014

Ellery Adams – Murder at the Mystery Suite

The first book in the Book Retreat Mystery series, published August 5, 2014.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: lovely

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Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.
But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There's no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…

Ellery Adams has written another winner. This book managed to break through my hay day addiction, and I finished it in one day. Ellery has such a vivid writing style, I got sucked in this story from the beginning, and I really want to go on vacation to Storyton Hall now.

Jane Steward was recently widowed and pregnant with twins, when she accepted her great-aunt and –uncle’s offer to become the new manager of Storyton Hall. Storyton Hall is an old English estate that has been moved stone to stone to Virginia, America, and rebuild there. It has several extensive libraries and lots of quiet reading spaces. Perfect for readers to relax with a good book, in a beautiful environment. There is excellent food in different locations, as well as room service. There are all kinds of activities to sign up for, and guests can use the Hall’s car service to visit the village of Storyton, with its bookstore and lots of nice shops. The bookstore is run by Jane’s best friend. They are truly pampered during their stay.

There is a lot of staff necessary to maintain the house and grounds, and care for all the guests. It is becoming difficult to pay for the necessary repair costs, so Jane has come up with the idea of a Murder and Mystery week. There will be all kinds of activities, based on the most famous detectives ever written. With a costumed ball, a scavenger hunt and pickleball contest.

But when her aunt has a heart attack, and Jane is told the heavily guarded secret of Storyton Hall, and that she will now be its Guardian, she not only has to retrieve a valuable book from her aunt’s personal collection, she has to find a killer ....
With the help of her prized staff, who have also been hiding their true jobs from her, Jane has to run the Hall and find a killer before the Hall’s secrets are brought into the open.

I loved this book, and everything about it. Jane and her family, her book club friends, the setting of this book, the small village and its shops. Nothing is cardboard; everything is well worked out and original. The secret of Storyton Hall is surprising and good, and the murder mystery is engaging and the weapon of choice pure evil.

What more can I tell you, so far I love everything that Ellery Adams has written, all her series are different, with different characters and storylines, and I do recommend them all. If you want to try a cozy mystery for the first time, pick one of hers and you won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait for the next one!

10 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 1 september 2014

New books to look forward to for September 2014

This is the list of new releases for the month of September 2014 I am looking forward to:

Jennifer Ashley – Scandal and the Duchess – Mackenzies 6.5
J.F. Lewis – Grudgebearer – Grudgebearer Trilogy 01
Alexis Morgan – Honor’s Price – Warriors of the Mist 3
Catherine Coulter – The Final Cut – Brit in the FBI 1 PB
Catherine Coulter – The Lost Key – Brit in the FBI 2 HC
Christine Feehan – Dark Blood – Dark 26 HC
Clive Cussler – The Eye of Heaven – Fargo Adventure 6 HC
Clive Cussler – The Mayan Secrets – Fargo Adventure 5 PB
Heather Graham – The Betrayed – Krewe of Hunters
J.D. Robb – Festive in Death – In Death 39 HC
Jean Johnson – Birthright – Flame Sea 1 Kindle?
Karen Hawkins – The prince who loved me – Oxenburg Princes 1
Kim Harrison – The Witch with no name – Rachel Morgan 13
Kresley Cole – Endless Knight – Arcana Chronicles 2 PB
Patricia Briggs – Shifting Shadows – stories from Mercy Thompson HC
Robin D. Owens – Ghost Layer – Ghost Seer 2
Sherrilyn Kenyon – Son of No One – Dark Hunter 25 HC
Susan Wittig Albert – The Darling Dahlia’s and the Silver Dollar Bush – Darling Dahlia’s 5 HC
Susan Wittig Albert – The Darling Dahlia’s and the Texas Star – Darling Dahlia’s 4 PB
Suzanne Enoch – Christmas Brides anthology
Thea Harrison – Night’s Honour – Elder Races 7
Yasmine Galenorn – Priestess Dreaming – Otherworld 16
Erin McCarthy – Close Up – BD 04-06

I have read a total of 7 books this month, which is disturbingly low. I need to make a serious effort to kick the addiction to Hay Day.

Did I match my reading solutions for last month? No.
I have read 1 cozy mystery:
- Ellery Adams – Murder in the Mystery Suite

2 books longer than 1 year on my shelf:
- Anne McCaffrey - Dragonsdawn
- Nora Roberts – Song of the West

0 books I have won / been gifted / given for review:
although I am reading my ARC of Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs.

and for my Kindle freebie/Nora Roberts challenge:
- Nora Roberts – Song of the West

I promise to do better this month, and I will have to succeed. I will be on holiday for a nice long weekend soon, and perhaps the quiet will help me focus.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 30 augustus 2014

Anne McCaffrey - Dragonsdawn

A book in the Renegades of Pern series, published October 1, 1988 and many times after that.
Genre: fantasy
Cover: my book is in Dutch, and I do like my editions cover a lot.

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Deadly spores threaten the human colony of Pern unless the colonists, with help from geneticist Kitti Ping, can develop fire-breathing dragons to combat the menace.

Those who have followed my blog for a while, know that I am a huge Anne McCaffrey fan, and that her Dragonriders of Pern are my favourite series. I have re-read Dragonsdawn for the umpteenth time now, and was surprised that I had not yet written a review about it.

This book explains how the humans travelled to Pern, a 15 year journey, with most of them asleep. They brought everything they would need to build a low-tech society, the animals and plants thought compatible with the Pern soil and environment. And dolphins to guide their ships and help map the coastline. It was a one way journey, with no way back.

The first eight years went well, they build a society, and farms, and everyone could earn a big piece of land after working hard on the colony’s behalf. The story follows a few people, but for me the focus is on two children, Sorka and Sean, who are the first to make contact with the little firelizards and imprint them, and that will be of major importance for the continued existence of humans on Pern.

The strange hobo planet in the Rukbat system has been closing in on Pern for the past few months, but it will pass harmlessly. Or so they thought. The strange trajectory of the planet brings it through the Oort cloud, and in its tail it brings a deadly Thread to Pern. It eats everything alive. The little firelizards have been trying to warn their people, getting them and the animals inside, but the humans did not understand. Until the first threads fell, eating them and their crops and animals. The firelizards breathing fire are the only things saving them, and the stone roofs of their houses.

When the people understand what it is, and where it is coming from, and that it will fall for 40 to 50 years, they need to make plans, and fast. They need to come together, back to Landing, and fight this stuff with fire. But the airsleds were not built for such extensive use, even if they have enough HNO3 to fight with. The only possible solution, is to make the little firelizards bigger, and able to communicate with humans. In their midst is the ancient biologist Kitty Ping, who has studied with a very advanced race, and she agrees to try to alter the little firelizards to their needs. It takes a lot more time for them to succeed, and then for the dragons and their riders to grow up.

I really enjoyed seeing Sorka and Sean grow up, and learn their way around Pern. Sean is from a gypsy family and they don’t really like him socializing with Sorka, but they stay friends. Sorka teaches him the rules he did not bother to learn before he skipped school, and together they explore the beaches. I loved it when Sean earned his horse, and how the biologists and vets were able to design it exactly as Sean wanted. Both Sean and Sorka become apprentice vets, and they both imprint one of the dragons Kitty Ping has designed. Together they will lead the dragonriders of Pern in their battle against thread.

Of course not everything is going allright, there are some dissidents and other stupid people on the colony. Avril Bitra thinks she can escape Pern after mining some of the precious black diamonds and other valuables, and she doesn’t hesitate to kill to get her way. But the brave Sallah Telgar is on to her, and at the cost of her own life, stops her, while helping her planet by providing some extra helpful data.

Then there is Ted Tubberman, a very unhappy man, and after the dead of his children in the first Fall, he has gone mad with grief. Against the colony’s wishes he sends out a distress signal asking Earth for help. Of course it will take 10 years to reach Earth and there is no guarantee at all that they will come to their aid. And at what cost? But he also starts tinkering with lethal earth animals and that will leave a legacy not easily forgotten or killed.

In the end they will have to flee the Southern continent and move up north, where they will have to live in extensive caves but with all the luxury of home. There has to be room enough for the dragons as well ...

It is a very engaging read, and it makes me wish I was living in the future and able to go to a new planet to start a new community with likeminded people. It sounds like hard work but very rewarding and I would love to be the first one to see or do things. Of course I want a firelizard of my own as well.

I do recommend this series. A note of warning: lots of books are stand alone, jumping hundreds of years through time and give us new heroes and heroines and stories. Some books are connected though, following the lives of a few people. I just love them all.

From moderate technology, they will become more middle ages without much technology as the machinery they brought with them becomes irreplaceable and knowledge is lost because of plagues and accidents. But slowly they relearn things, and when they discover their ancestors Landing and the spaceships they left behind, they will finally be able to fight the planet that brings them Threat every 250 years.

Anne McCaffrey has written many engaging science fiction and fantasy series, and I love most of them. I will re-read those often. I have most of her books, and hope to find the missing ones someday.

10 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 28 augustus 2014

Nora Roberts – Song of the West

A stand alone novel, published April 1982.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: ehh

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The towering mountains and windswept plains called to her. But she'd never intended to stay forever until Jake Tanner stirred her emotions like a summer tornado and made it impossible for her to leave. But no man was going to seduce Samantha Evans to give up her dreams. Even a cocky cowboy who made her blood go hot...

One of the first books Nora Roberts has written, and it shows. Samantha has come to Wyoming to help her sister Sabrina, whose pregnancy is not going well. She needs to rest for the coming months. So Sabrina quit her job, and has rushed to her sisters side. Taking care of her and her husband, who is a hard working farmer and can’t spend the day looking after his wife. The sisters have always been close. Their mother has always pushed them to be the best, and to marry well. Sabrina is a virtuous musician, and Samantha is a former Olympian gymnast, and is now a gym teacher.

Sabrina has little time for herself, but whenever she can she goes outside to breathe in the fresh Wyoming air, and to admire the glorious surroundings. She certainly has fallen in love with the land, and that for a city girl.

Jake Tanner is their closest neighbour, and Dan and Sabrina’s best friend. He is still single, but according to Sabrina, Lesley Marshal has set her cap for him, and what Lesley wants, Lesley gets. Jake sure is a catch, very rich and handsome.

Jake Tanner takes one look at Samantha, and decides he will have her. Samantha can deny it all she wants, but he will keep chasing her, and he won’t take no for an answer. Samantha can’t fight her attraction to Jake, but she refuses to steal another woman’s man. And Lesley has made it clear that she is almost engaged to Jake. Samantha is not an innocent young girl, but her few sexual encounters have not made her eager to repeat the experience. So in Jake’s eyes, she is still very much an innocent. He will give her the time she needs to take care of her sister, but after the baby is born, she will be his. He won’t take no for an answer any longer, he knows she desires him as well ...

I have always disliked heroes who threat their heroine as brainless and without the power to say no. Jake Tanner is a bit like that. He sees her, he wants her, and what Sam wants doesn’t matter. How can she not want him, right? Her sister likes the match a lot, because if Sam and Jake get married, her sister will stay right next door! And so she conspires to bring them together for a whole day.
Still, it is a Nora Roberts book, so I kept on reading, and the story itself is nice, as are the two sisters together. Jake never once says he loves Samantha, or that he wants to marry her, and that fact almost makes her flee the state to go back home. I really wish her sister had not interfered and that Jake would have had to chase her, and fall on his knees instead of taking her hostage and carrying her away over his shoulder.

Still, it was a sweet story, and I liked Samantha a lot. It was nice to read about her past, and the strange way their mother raised them.

6 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 26 augustus 2014

Guestreview by Sullivan McPig: Zombies vs Unicorns anthology

When I mentioned on my blog a while ago that I had bought this book, a few of you were curious about my review. Unfortunately, I decided it really was not a book I wanted to read. So I gifted it to my zombie loving friend: Sullivan McPig, who was very happy to receive it, as it was a book from her wishlist.

For those of you who haven’t read it on her blog already, here is her review:

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Zombies vs. Unicorns
Anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

What is it about:
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

What did I think of it:
Because this is an anthology I will tell you a little bit about each story, but first I will tell you about my overall reading experience.

This is a very cool anthology. It is meant to settle once and for all which creature is cooler: the zombie or the unicorn.

I myself don’t need to read a book full of zombie and unicorn stories to know the answer to that question (team zombie all the way), but this anthology sounded cool enough that it had been on my wish list since it was published in 2010. You can imagine how happy I was when Aurian gave it to me.

Overall I loved this anthology. Out of all twelve stories I enjoyed (if not loved) nine of them. There were just three stories that I didn’t much care for (all three were unicorn stories coincidentally enough).

There was one thing that was off for me though. Before each story Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier are discussing the stories with each other. Justine Larbalestier is a lot snarkier than Holy Black, which made her seem a lot less likable than Holly Black. I think they should have tried to keep their banter at the same levels of snark, now it felt uneven.

But in the end this book is about the stories and not about two editors snarking at each other, so I didn’t mind that too much.

On to telling you a little bit about what I thought of the stories:

The Highest Justice
By Garth Nix

A young girl and a unicorn are on a journey to fulfill the dying wish of the girl’s mother.

I wasn’t too impressed with this story, even though it had a kind of zombie next to the unicorn. It didn’t feel like a complete story, more like it should be part of a larger story.

Love Will Tear Us Apart
By Alaya Dawn Johnson

A zombie discovers he might still have feelings after all.

I really liked this story. It was moody and atmospheric. And it was named after one of my favourite songs, so how could I not like it? ;-)
Seriously: this is a beautiful zombie love story. The one thing I can say against it, is that some things were kept too vague in my opinion.

Purity Test
By Naomi Novik

A unicorn asks a ‘virgin’ to help him rescue baby unicorns from an evil wizard.

This was a really funny story. The heroine is a modern day woman who doesn’t believe in fairytales, so she is reluctant to help out the unicorn who asks her for help. There’s more banter than action in this story, but I enjoyed it none the less.

By Carrie Ryan

This post apocalyptic story is set on an island that is supposed to be a safe haven for the relentless zombies.

This story is beautifully written and has a heroine who starts out unlikable, but I ended up rooting for her. The story switches from Before to Now to show you how Iza used to be and how she changed over time. I really liked the ending: it really showed how much Iza has grown. There’s also some really cool zombie mayhem in this story.

A Thousand Flowers
By Margo Lanagan

A story about people witnessing the relationship between a young girl and a unicorn.

I didn’t much care for this story. There were several view point changes that were unclear, so I was confused who was telling the story at times. The first view point character was also very coarse and that didn’t help getting into the story.

The Children of the Revolution
By Maureen Johnson

A young woman has to baby-sit some unusual children.

A really cool zombie story. The lead character has to take care of some creepy children, and you just know what’s going on. Still I was grabbed by the story and was creeped out it.

The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn
By Diana Peterfreund

A girl rescues a baby killer unicorn and tries to raise it.

This was a really cool story. The unicorns are the proper kind of goaty unicorn, and they’re lethal killers! The world that’s set up in this story was intriguing and cool. I understand that Peterfreund has a series that is set in this world, and I’ll definitely am going to get my hands on the first book in that series to give it a try.

By Scott Westerfeld

In a post apocalyptic world it might be the children and teens who will adapt the quickest and find new ways to survive.

This story was both beautiful and strange. The adults in this world are trying to hold on to what was, while the younger generation is longing for change. The way they set this change in motion was original and a bit creepy.

Princess Prettypants
By Meg Cabot

A teenage girl gets a unicorn as a present for her sixteenth birthday.

Another really funny unicorn story. Cabot manages to take all the unicorn clichés and puts them in this story in a way that had me snickering. The story was fun, sweet, and very entertaining.

Cold Hands
By Cassandra Clare

Adele’s fiance gets killed, but in Lychgate that doesn’t have to mean the end, because the dead don’t stay dead.

I loved this story. It’s a beautiful and touching story about love that reaches beyond the grave. The setting was really intriguing, and I’m a bit sad this is a standalone story, because I’d love to read more about Lychgate and its inhabitants.

The Third Virgin
By Kathleen Duey

A unicorn is trying to find a special kind of virgin.

This wasn’t a bad story, but it was very depressing. The lead character in this story is a unicorn, and I didn’t much like him. He’s both moody and unlikable.

Prom Night
By Libba Bray

In a post apocalyptic world only teens survived and they try to keep their town running.

A very disturbing story. It was well written and I was totally engrossed in this depressing view on the zombie apocalypse. Not much happens, but the mood and the world building were so well done, I didn’t miss the action.

All in all this a very cool and entertaining anthology, that I can recommend to everyone who loves unicorns and/or zombies. I will check out the bibliography of several of these authors.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool anthology full of zombies and unicorns

Thank you for sharing your review with my readers Sullivan! For those of you who don’t yet follow her blog, here is a link: reviewblog
There is also a seperate blog following Sullivan’s travels and adventures: travelblog

maandag 25 augustus 2014

Recommendations from Karin for August 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Karin from Austria.


I have read 15 books this last month and more than half of it are beloved re-reads. I did read those three books I had waited for so long and I found them to be good but not excellent. Still, I want to talk about them (at least shortly):

My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas

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Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

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The Winter King by C. L. Wilson

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Sherry Thomas did what she apparently likes doing best; she wrote this book in the style that I have read time and again. She jumps between the “present” and the “past”. It was helpful that I have read “The Hidden Blade” before, because there she explains the two main characters in more detail. This book combines a historical romance with martial arts which I found very interesting. The romance part was covered quite well but I just did not really get a good connection to our heroine, Catherine Blade. As I said, it was enjoyable but not too captivating.

I normally love Ilona Andrews’s books but I had my problems with “Magic Rises” and these continued with the latest instalment. Curran is MIA for the biggest part of the book, and it was full of action. I love Curran, I missed him terribly and the ending is anti-climactic to say the least. 99% of the reviews I read adored this book so I let you be the judge of it – I wonder what you might think about it.

I have waited so long and hard for „The Winter King“ and then I found it to be an average run-of –the-mill romance with a trope I detest (Hero: I think I love her; I have been betrayed by a woman I loved before. Therefore I will not trust her. This will make problems that will end up in her not trusting me. So this will confirm that I can’t trust her, …..) There is magic thrown in and well: this is it.

So all this sounds very depressing and normally I would write about books that were just good. But as I said, I have recommended these books before they were even published and so I wanted to comment on them.

But what I really liked were my re-reads of the Guardian Series by Meljean Brook – in my opinion they are truly excellent and I highly recommend you read them. As I did that once before I will not recount the books in the series but I just want to say one thing: Go ahead and enjoy!! 

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Karin! I did enjoy the Winter King very much, and I am sorry you did not like it. I thought it original with the use of types of magic and Summer against Winter. I still have not read the Meljean Brook novels, but someday I will pick them up. I know Maia enjoys her writing as well. And I am ashamed that I have not read the new Ilona Andrews book yet, but I am determined to wait for the paperback to be released first.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 24 augustus 2014

C.L. Wilson – The Winter King

The first book in the Mystral series, published July 31, 2014.
Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: cheesy, don’t judge the book by its cover.

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An epic new fantasy romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author C. L. Wilson

After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.
Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom - and her first taste of overwhelming passion.
As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion - she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

I have never waited longer for a book than I have for this one. The release date was put back time and again, but now it finally arrived, and I started reading it at once. It even managed to break through my addiction to Hay Day a few times, but usually late at night. I really enjoyed this book, and hope the next one will be out soon.

Khamsin was been raised almost in secret, even though she is a legal princess of Summerlea. Her father has hated her from birth, and he blames her for killing her mother. Khamsin’s brother and three sisters, the Seasons, love her and visit her whenever they can sneak away, but that is no life for a young girl. She is raised on the legend of Summerlea’s biggest hero, Roland, and she thinks her brother is just like him, and so does she try to be. But her brother is no hero after all, when he runs away with Wintercraig’s king fiancée, and their biggest treasure. He also kills the king’s young brother during his escape, and that plunges their countries in a deadly war for three long years. Winter uses his icy magic to plunge Summerlea in winter, freezing their famous crops and orchards, bringing the people close to starvation. Still the proud Summerlea King won’t surrender until forced to on the battlefield. When Wynter demands one of his beloved daughters, Spring, Summer, or Autumn as his wife to seal the treaty, he instead gives him Storm (Khamsin), after severely beating her into submission.

Khamsin finally agrees to marry Wynter, she no longer wants her father’s love or approval after what he did to her, and how he thinks of her. This is her chance to escape before he does kill her. Wynter is not pleased with the deception, but ever since he saw Khamsin the palace, dressed as a maid, he has wanted her, been thinking of her.
And so they set out to Winterscraig. Wynter’s people are not really welcoming to Khamsin, after all, she is the enemy. They have all lost loved ones during the war. As Wynter virtually ignores her during the day, so will they. Especially Reika, the sister of Wynter’s runaway fiancée. She wants the power of being Queen of Wintercraig herself. But at night, neither of them can deny their attraction and how well their passions match each other. Wynter is not afraid of Khamsin’s deadly storm power, nor is she of his icy gaze. Her Summerlea warmth keeps her safe from his cold. Still, Wynter does not trust her, so he dares not spend too much time with her. Until Khamsin almost dies in his arms ...

Slowly they start trusting each other, and they both enjoy spending time together. But there are traitors in Wintercraig, one working with Khamsin’s renegade brother and father, and one who wants the Ice King to resurrect ... Danger comes closer and closer, and Khamsin will have to stop being afraid of her own powers, and embrace them fully, to be able to fight their enemies.

I loved this story a lot. Khamsin is a great character, feisty, not afraid to confront people, but afraid of her own powers especially as she was always told she killed her mother when her temper tantrum at age three made the lightning strike a tree, and its falling branch killed her mother. If not for her mother’s nursemaid, who loves her dearly, she would have been utterly neglected. Still, Khamsin is not one to sit still and be confined; she isn’t the Mistress of the Storms for nothing. At her father’s court, she never had to practice the manners she learned, but now, as Queen, she will have to. And she is miserable. Until Wynter arranges for her to learn how to ride a horse, and with her new young companion she starts roaming the country side, trying to befriend the villagers. If she can’t bear Wynter a child within a year, she will face the “mercy of the mountains”.

After being betrayed by Khamsin’s brother Falcon, who could charm any lady or bird he wanted, he doesn’t dare trust Khamsin, even though she is the only one who keeps the cold of the Ice Heart from completely consuming him. His best friend and advisor is even more distrusting of her, due to the attraction Khamsin has for Wynter.

The book reads like a fairy tale, filled with great characters, a great adventure, magic, betrayal, monsters, evil, kingdoms fought over, and a magical sword. Still, it managed to surprise me a few times, and I really fell in love with the main characters. Khamsin does her best to be a Queen after her horrible childhood, and now in Wintercraig she is still lonely and without real friends. Still, she perseveres and tries to do the honorable thing.

I do recommend this book to everyone who loves romantic fantasy. It was well worth the wait.

9 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian