Archive for January, 2012

Eye of the Sword-Karyn Henley

January 30, 2012

Eye of the Sword

Karyn Henley

WaterBrook, Mar 13 2012, $9.99

ISBN: 9780307730145

 

In Camrithia, King Laetham completes the ceremony that makes Trevin a comain military leader.  At the same time, Dregmoorian Prince Varic arrives at the castle with a peace proposal that Laetham considers as a means to end the raids from his neighbor to the east.  Varic offers to marry Princess Melaia, who Trevin loves.  Daughter of a late angel, Melaia tells her father that she will wed Trevin only, but after she obtains the three missing harps that will restore The Wisdom Tree.

 

Laetham sends Trevin on a mission to find the missing comain; while Melaia asks him to bring back the harps; one of which is possessed by the Dregmoorian Secondborn Benasin.  Trevin loathes leaving her with Varic, the sly treacherous heir to the Dregmoorian throne.  Still he leaves on his missions to prove his worthiness to his beloved Princess and himself.  On his horse Alamarin who once had wings, Trevin’s journey begins when his steed leads him to Eldarra Prince Resarian and the Golden.  As Varic tries to kill him, Trevin’s horrible deeds while working for the Dregmoorian FirstBorn Lord Rejius, haunts him. 

 

The second Angelaeon Circle thriller (see Breath of Angel) is an exhilarating quest fantasy starring an honorable champion who’s driven by his love for the princess and his obsession to for redemption.  The storyline is action-packed from the moment the vile Varic and the tense Trevin meet and never slows down until the readers learn why the Dregmoorian heir wants the newest Camrithia comain dead.  Though it behooves the audience to read the first tale to better understand the complex Henley mythos, fans will enjoy walking and riding in a realm where the Angelaeon interact with people and often rule.

 

Harriet Klausner

Witchful Thinking-H. P. Mallory

January 30, 2012

Witchful Thinking

H. P. Mallory

Bantam, Feb 28 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345531452

 

Almost thirty, fortuneteller Jolie Wilkins gave up on dating after the last few losers were deader than the reanimated she has brought back from beyond.  Her self-image is pitiful; however, that was when she was just another mundane human trying to eke out a living.  Her world spun off its axis when Rand the Warlock entered her shop.  Soon afterward, she becomes a witch resurrected from the dead by Mercedes.  Jolie is proclaimed the Queen of the Underworld of vampire, werewolf, fae, and witches; she has no earthly or other plane understanding of why or how it happened except some ties back to 1878 where she almost killed Rand.

 

Even more confusing for the new royal is Rand the hunk seems to want her.  Throwing her already out of control life further into chaos is Sinjin the vampire who desires her Highness while vowing to protect her.  Not used to one man coveting her let alone two, Jolie cannot make up her mind.  However, Jolie has no time to ponder choosing one as a deadly paranormal species threatens genocide of her subjects even while she begins to learn governance is not a matchbook cover endeavor.

 

This is an engaging urban fantasy starring a self-deprecating heroine and two hunks who vie for her affection.  The storyline starts off a bit choppy as the backstory (from self-published E-books) is provided.  Once the game is set, Witchful Thinking turns into a wonderful amusing thriller as the paranormal seem real in the Mallory mythos.  Wisenheimer Jolie makes the tale as she struggles with two males wanting her, preventing ethnic cleansing by malevolent mobsters, and learning governance of four conflicted species (like post Tito Yugoslavia).

 

Harriet Klausner

Nightborn-Lynn Viehl

January 28, 2012

Nightborn

Lynn Viehl

Signet, Mar 6 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451413215

 

The High Lord of the Immortal Darkyn wants the alleged scrolls that contain the secrets to immortal life and the maps that lead to Templar treasure buried in the early fourteenth century.  He sends his best warrior Korvel to France to obtain the scrolls. 

 

As he drives the worst road in France, Korvel is warned others are making an attempt too.  Soon he is attacked and hurt, but defeats his enemy, but is aware more await him.  His quest leads Korvel to Simone, the daughter of the scroll’s guardian.  She seeks them too in order to return them to safety.  As they team up with killers pursuing them, they begin to fall in love, but Simone fails to inform her new partner that once she obtains the scrolls, she is to kill Korvel.

 

The first Lords of the Darkyn romantic urban fantasy is a great entry inside the magnificent mythological world of Lynn Viehl.  The storyline is fast-paced from the first assassination attempt until the final confrontation as readers will wonder whether Simone will complete the mission as ordered.  Fast-paced, fans will appreciate the opening act in the new trilogy due to the strong protagonists who make the Viehl realm exciting to visit.

 

Harriet Klausner

Eternity’s Mark-Maeve Greyson

January 28, 2012

Eternity’s Mark

Maeve Greyson

Kensington Brava, Mar 1 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758273390

 

On Jasper Mills, veterinarian Hannah MacPherson grieves the death of her husband though he died in Iraq four years ago.  Frustrated by her lack of response to the missives he sent to the stubborn Hannah that she inherited a Scottish castle, dragon-human Taggart de Gaelson arrives in Jasper Mills to bring her to Taroc Na Mor.  Though wary, she goes to Scotland with Taggart.

 

He and his race need her to save his breed as she is the last sacred guardian of the Draecna magical dragons who guard the portal between worlds.  Hannah is a whisperer who talks with animals.  Taggart believes her uncanny skill will bring out the hatchlings from their eggs.  However, she soon finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the bitter war between brothers.

 

This is an award winning entertaining romantic urban fantasy starring a stubborn American and a desperate hybrid.  The romance seems too stereotypical as a woman in mourning for several years attracted to an outsider wanting to disrupt her life is a sub-genre staple.  However, the dragons waging an inbreeding dark good and evil civil war with the Yank tilting the edge to one side makes for an exciting thriller.

 

Harriet Kalsuner

Bloodrose-Andrea Cremer

January 28, 2012

Bloodrose

Andrea Cremer

Philomel, Jan 3 2012, $18.99

ISBN: 9780399256127

 

Bellicose Calla knows if she is to be the Alpha of her pack, she must prove her leadership skills in combat and choose a mate.  Ren and Shay vie to be that male.  However, Calla makes it clear to both competitors and her pack she will not select anyone until the Keepers and their magic are defeated.

 

Calla also shows her loyalty when she protects her brother Ansrel, stripped of his essence, from those who want to kill him for being a traitor.  However, it is what she prays is the final battle that she focuses on; a war Calla does not expect to survive and if she does she knows she will live with regret of having led brave warriors to their deaths; though she feels she had no choice.

 

The final Nightshade fantasy (see Nightshade and Wolfsbane) is an exciting thriller starring a heroine who was forced to detach her feelings for others in order to lead her side in war as she knows she will leave brothers and sisters in arms dead and maimed.  A stunning twist adds to the realism that people die in war.  Andrea Cremer provides a shocking but strong finish to an intriguing trilogy.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Eternity’s Mark-Maeve Greyson

January 28, 2012

Eternity’s Mark

Maeve Greyson

Kensington Brava, Mar 1 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758273390

 

On Jasper Mills, veterinarian Hannah MacPherson grieves the death of her husband though he died in Iraq four years ago.  Frustrated by her lack of response to the missives he sent to the stubborn Hannah that she inherited a Scottish castle, dragon-human Taggart de Gaelson arrives in Jasper Mills to bring her to Taroc Na Mor.  Though wary, she goes to Scotland with Taggart.

 

He and his race need her to save his breed as she is the last sacred guardian of the Draecna magical dragons who guard the portal between worlds.  Hannah is a whisperer who talks with animals.  Taggart believes her uncanny skill will bring out the hatchlings from their eggs.  However, she soon finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the bitter war between brothers.

 

This is an award winning entertaining romantic urban fantasy starring a stubborn American and a desperate hybrid.  The romance seems too stereotypical as a woman in mourning for several years attracted to an outsider wanting to disrupt her life is a sub-genre staple.  However, the dragons waging an inbreeding dark good and evil civil war with the Yank tilting the edge to one side makes for an exciting thriller.

 

Harriet Kalsuner

Born Wicked-Jessica Spotswood

January 27, 2012

Born Wicked

Jessica Spotswood

Putnam, Feb 7 2012, $17.99

ISBN: 9780399257452

 

By 1896, The Brotherhood established a harsh Christian theocracy in which the prosecution of witches is a major endeavor.  Practitioners are condemned to death or worse: the prisons ships and the asylums.  Additionally when a female turns seventeen, they must marry or join the Sisterhood.

 

Cate Cahill’s mom died trying to produce a male offspring.  Her mother made her make a death bed pledge to care for her two younger sisters, but Cate is running out of time as in six months she must choose.  Adding to her dilemma is the three Cahill siblings are closet witches, which makes her courtship by Paul McLeod a going nowhere relationship and her dalliance with Finn Belastra possessing even less staying power.  As Cate reads her mother’s missing diary, she realizes her time problem worsened with a terrible fate that dooms the trio; forcing her to peruse banned books in an attempt to keep her and her sisters safe while townsfolk suspect them of wickedness.  Then Sister Elena arrives to help them.

 

Born Wicked is an exhilarating alternative New England historical fantasy starring a courageous but increasingly desperate heroine.  Her sisters and Elena are top notch characters while their late mom comes across as full blooded also through her diaries and her daughters’ observations.  Although the males seem thin, fans will enjoy Jessica Spotwood’s engaging witch hunt.

 

Harriet Klausner

Forbidden-Syrie James and Ryan M. James

January 27, 2012

Forbidden

Syrie James and Ryan M. James

Harper Teen, Jan 24 2012, $8.99

ISBN: 9780062027894

 

In Southern California, sixteen years old Claire hopes this time she and her mom stay in one spot so she can makes friends at the Emerson Academy that she attends on a scholarship. Her nomadic mom has them relocating seemingly even before they can open their bags.  At the school Claire meets new student Alec, an angel attending school for a bit of R&R though if caught by the Elders he will be executed for desertion. He explains to her why her mother constantly is on the run; as Claire is a half-angel, a hybrid species considered an abomination by the angel Elders.

 

Alec and Claire fall in love while Helena begins sending visions to Claire with a warning to tell no one, not even her beloved, of her psychic powers.  Unable to resist Claire reveals all to her friends.  When her life is threatened, Alec risks his to keep her safe.

 

Although angels are a large population in the paranormal romance subgenre (see His Dark Bond By Anne Marsh), team James provide an entertaining teenage romantic urban fantasy.  The storyline is fast-paced while the antics of the heroine are fun to follow as her hormones war with her brain.  Although the support characters are out of the genre’s typical casting mold, Alec is a unique individual who is wary and in love.  Readers will enjoy Claire’s coming of age not so angelic Los Angeles joy ride.

 

Harriet Klausner

Legend-Marie Lu

January 26, 2012

Legend

Marie Lu

Putnam, Nov 29 2011, $17.99

ISBN: 9780399256752

 

The Republic of America has twenty million citizens and seems to be at constant cold and hot war with its neighbors the Colonies.  The laws are strictly enforced regardless of economic and social placement though the elite have all the special advantages and privileges.

 

From a highly prominent affluent family, fifteen year old June is mentored to become a member of the inner most military leadership.  However, her fast track to the top is derailed when her brother Captain Metias is murdered while officially hunting for criminal teenager Day, the number one most wanted person in the Republic, who, in spite of security video cameras all over Los Angeles, his face remains a mystery.  Commander Jameson claims Day killed June’s sibling.  She vows to avenge her brother’s murder.

 

Although the High Noon encounter goes the way one would expect even with a fascinating twist, this is a superb futuristic dystopian police procedural.  The storyline is fast-paced as readers will appreciate the teenage chess match between the elusive felon and the obsessed soldier; as checkmate is an intriguing spin.  Marie Lu provides a fabulously exciting thriller starring two teens from polar opposite sides of the track.

 

Harriet Klausner

Lenobia’s Vow-P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast

January 26, 2012

Lenobia’s Vow

P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast

St. Martin’s Griffin, Jan 31 2012, $12.99

ISBN: 9781250000248

 

Today Lenobia is the horse mistress of the House of Night in St. Louis and Zoey Redbird’s favorite teacher.  She and her mother were servants in 1788 at the Chateau de Naverre in Evreux, France.  Her father the baron seduced her mother, impregnated her and cast her and their offspring aside.  That child Lenobia looks identical to her spoiled half-sister Cecile. 

 

When Lenobia is sixteen years old, the legitimate daughter dies from ague.  Leonia’s mother arranges for her daughter to masquerade as Cecile in order for her to marry an affluent aristocrat.  The plot works perfectly as Lenobia and other unmarried young ladies travel by ship to New Orleans to marry rich French aristocrats.  While traversing the Atlantic, evil sorcerer Bishop Charles recognizes and announces the fraud as he coveted her back in France and plans to make her his mistress.  A nun protects her and she decides to go to the cargo hold on the last level of the ship where she meets Quadroon Martin in the stables.  She falls in love with him and the Percheron horse that his employer bought. He sent Martin to go to France so that he could take care of them over the long sea voyage.  n The Bishop soon makes his move to rape Lenobia using all means available to him while Martin vows to keep his beloved safe.

 

The latest House of Night Novella (see Dragon’s Oath) focuses on the teen years of a secondary but popular character.  Readers learn what shaped Lenobia’s present mysterious life as the child is the adult even if two centuries have passed.  At sixteen, Lenobia displays the same traits she shows as a teacher: courage, honesty and inner strength.  She wanted to be happy, but her choices were limited to be or not to be until a third option was offered.  This is an engaging biographical fiction as the Cast crew entertains their fans.

 

Harriet Klausner