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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (The Traitor Son Cycle #1)

Wow! …move over Erikson…there’s a new singer in Fantasy land!!

Violence and magic lurk just beneath the veneer of this medieval type world, The Red Knight.
The Wild is closing, strange creatures are abroad and protective garrisons are undermanned.
By the fourth page the Red Knight and his mercenaries pass through a farm littered by its dead, including a nun. The steading is a supporter of the fortress nunnery Lissen Carak.
The Red knight surveys the carnage and asks the question.
'How did the Wild make it here?
...Past the wall was the wild, many leagues beyond the mountains.'    
'Some fool must have asked them in,' was the reply.

Thus the reader falls into the mayhem and magic from the beginning, displayed through the violent carnage, as witnessed by the half consumed body and 'a single clear footprint...the size of a warhorse's hoof or bigger, with three toes.'
The story has barely begun...and much more is to come.
Magus, knights, kings, queens, practitioners of the arcane arts, traitors, creatures of the Wild, ordinary men, and extraordinary powers are caught within the pincers of opposing forces. This is a tour de force, a complex saga, where the story bursts from its pages into life and legend fantastic.

A NetGalley ARC

Witch bane...the Wild and War! Let the story continue!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alex Lidell...an exciting new voice!

The NetGalley pre publication blurb grabbed me immediately,
‘Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.’

Two of my favorite authors! How could I not want to read this?
I did and I loved it! Alex Lidell's voice is a gratifying addition to the YA milieu!
All the necessary elements of a complex and fascinating world are present in the Cadet of Tildor.
Readers! Walk in!
The leading voice is Renee, a female cadet struggling with warrior training amongst a mostly male, elitist cohort, with all the baggage that brings.
As her world unfolds Renee must contend with warring groups, a father's disdain, a friend’s addiction, an illegal Mage bond, rescue a hero, defeat a gang and satisfy a king.
She must decide between law and grace, law and friends.
Action and contradiction swirl throughout Tildor and around this particular lead player. Crown, Family and Vipers jockey for key positions in the kingdom. Group suborns and attacks group by any means. Mages, both bonded and non-bonded intertwine in the plots and sub plots.
I can hardly wait for the next installment.

A Netgalley ARC

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

'There is a reaper. Death's his name.'

Once again the executioner’s daughter is embroiled in mayhem and mystery.
This time Magdalena's father Jakob Kuisl, the Hangman of Schongau, has been lured to far off Regensburg where he is falsely accused of murdering his sister and her husband.
Meanwhile, Magdalena and Simon having fled Schongau and become embroiled in the same plot.
Someone wants the executioner Kuisl dead, and more, revenge!
At the same time prostitutes are disappearing from the streets of Regensburg. Not enough to rouse the interest of the authorities, but enough to arouse the reader's.
Dastardly plots and political mayhem color the very air of Regensburg confusing the senses Plots and sub plots abound. All lead to a very dangerous, cunning and nameless enemy of the Hangman of Schongau, and his family. The only clue, ‘Weidenfeld, 1637!'
Who is that? Kuisl worries at it, as through a glass darkly.
Who is friend? Who is foe? The possibilities extend!
We are introduced to the brotherhood of 'cousins' of executioners with the inclusion of the Hangman of Regensburg, Philipp Teuber and his family.
And in the afterward, Traveler's Guide to Regensburg, Potzsch takes us on a guided tour of Regensburg, with the novel metaphorically tucked under our arm. Certainly for me, if I ever visit Regensburg, Potzsch's travel guide will be a must do literary expedition, and a fascinating way of exploring the area--though the creative eyes of the author and the deeds of his characters.
Another superb story from Oliver Potzsch not lost in translation by Lee Chadeayne.
This whole series is truly a gem from one novel to the next...and there's more to come!

A NetGalley ARC

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cynster Family series by Stephanie Laurens

Have been reading this series by Australian author Stephanie Lauren's.  

Her forward on why she writes and advice to aspiring authors is quite interesting.
This comment resonated particularly,  (On a Wicked Dawn, p.20)

'Find your voice--not anyone else's, but yours. Then tell your story, the one you've been given to tell. That's the story you love, the story that moves you. Take the creating one step at a time, but remember: you can only find your voice by writing your book. So write the book--and then rewrite and rewrite, by yourself, until your voice rings clearly. Until your book sings.'

Lauren's Regency Romances are redolent with heavy breathing, sensuality, reformed rakes (masking warriors with the to have and to hold motto) and the odd bit of adventure.
Enjoyable reads, not much thinking required except to keep straight who is related to whom, who married who, and where all other family and non family members fit in. Stories are formulaic, but Hey! still a pleasing if not repetative reading. Certainly don't require the thinking that Peter Carey and Umberto Ecco do.

For detailed information about Cynster Family novels                            

I am working my way down the series from:        
Devil Cynster and Honoria *
Kept thinking of Devil's Cub (with a twist) by Georgette Heyer
99c promo ebook from Amazon via HarperCollins. Great!

Vane Cynster and Patience *
 99c promo ebook from Amazon via HarperCollins. Excellent!


Scandle's  Bride  #3.
Scandal Cynster and Catroina (Lady of the Vale)*
I  really enjoyed this!
99c promo ebook from Amazon via HarperCollins. A fav..!


Demon (Harold) and Felicity  *
I bought this on promo from ibook store but it is on promo at Amazon

A Secret Love #65    Gabriel Cynster and Althea

All About Love #6. Lucifer (Alasdair ) and Phyllida

All About Passion #7  Gyles Rawlings (Earl of Chillingworth) and Francesca I rather liked Gyles

The Promise in a Kiss #8 (1)  
Sebastian (Duke of St Ives) and Helena (in later novels Dowager Duchess)
Where it all began!                                                                 

On a Wild Night #8  Amanda and Martin (Earl of Dexter)

On a Wicked Dawn #9. Amelia Cynster and Lucien Ashford, 6th Viscount Calverton

The Perfect Lover #10. Portia Ashford and Simon Cynster

The Ideal Bride #11    Michael (Hon's brother)  and Caroline

The Truth about Love #12  Gerard (Patience's brother) and Jacqueline

What price love?  #13. Dillon (Felicity's brother) and Priscilla

The Taste of Innocence. #14  Charles Morwellan (Althea's brother) and Sarah Conningham

Temptation and Surrender  #15 Jonas Tallent (Phyllida's twin) and Emily Beauregard an impoverished innkeeper 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

…paranormal play in Perth!

This intriguing offering from Australian Peta Crake, grabbed me from start to finish. I just had to keep reading.

I loved the main character, Ophelia (Phi to her friends). Feisty and energetic (I’m sure she wears blunnies on the job!), yet often emotionally weary, you feel her sadness in the face of huge odds, and you her admire for her pluckiness and integrity.

The interaction of the pantheon of Greek gods, from the Furies to Pandora and more, with mortals in the modern setting of Perth, Australia is provocative.

Putting Zeus and Hera as Phi’s uncle and aunt with the various gods as probable relatives is masterful.

Phi is just your average Aussie girl—NOT! Her day job is messenger for the gods. At night she hangs out in a bar in Perth. But now there's a new bar owner, (demigod Adonis-Aden for short) and Phi doesn't mess with the gods. But when Aden sends her on a series of exhausting non stop deliveries things go from bad to worse and the stakes are upped. For some reason Phi’s job has just became dangerous.
She has always been safe in this role…until now!
Who is Pravus?
Who is Phi’s real father?
What part does Aphrodite play?
Who is Simeon?
What is Ophelia/Phi’s destiny?

As the goddess Luna tells Phi,
‘Your life will always be intertwined with the gods my dear—at their peril, not yours.’

A fascinating work from a fresh voice.
I do hope there’s more to come.

A Netgalley ARC

Bridegroom wore plaid...fans only!

Disappointingly, The Bridegroom Wore Plaid is not the greatest Burrowes' book .

The characters are enjoyable but the plot's a tad crowded.

There were some interesting happenings but again just too many. One could see the story evolving a mile off. It was predictable.

But on a meltingly hot, or wet, or snowy afternoon (depending on your hemisphere) it will while away the time.

Burrowes' fans will buy it just because.

A Netgalley ARC

Rake redefined

Waking up with a rake by Connie Mason

At the beginning I stifled a 'ho hum' and thought, 'not another 'rake' story!' Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised.
The story of Olivia and Rhys has several twists and turns that add spice and dash to the happenings surrounding these two increasingly interesting characters. Olivia is not quite the shy, retiring wallflower first depicted and Rhys,the seemingly uncaring rake, hides a tortured past behind by his well honed facade.Murder and mayhem hide under the surface and thoughtless lust is overturned by innocence.
I gave it 4 stars on Amazon and 3 on LibraryThing.
Really I feel it's a 3 but an Amazon 3 is a barely ok and I think this was a bit more than that. Mind you, the various paths of the novel give an opportunity to develop more fully the lesser characters. That however is not what this novel was about.

A quick and quite enjoyable read.

A Netgalley ARC