Friday YA: Once a King (A Clash of Kingdoms #3) by Erin Summerill

Once a King carries on the story of King Aodren and his fight to bring peace between his people and the Channelers who were persecuted under his fathers reign until most of them escaped to other kingdoms. This novel takes on the topic of drug dealing, although in a fantastical way. Someone is creating an oil called Sanguine that seems to give the non magical Channeler abilities, but in fact causes them to go mad with anger and cause death. Lirra, who we met in the previous novel, investigates the mystery of who is distributing this drug, reporting her findings back to Aodren. Whew!

While all of this is going on, there is a tournament between all of the kingdoms champions. It is a sort of Olympics but with jousting, sword fights and blood. Needless to say, this fake Sanguine (the real Sanguine is a miraculous healing drug and really rare) is being taken by the champions. Needless to say, bad things happen.

I really liked Aodren in the previous book and had looked forward to reading his story. I wasn’t disappointed! It’s easy to admire a character that wants to make a big change like racial discrimination and hatred. The tournament setting gave him the chance to be a “hero” in a physical way, which balanced well with the honorable aspects to his character. It made him come to life more than in the previous novel where he seemed to be not fully fleshed out.

I was a little confused by the Lirra in Once a King. In Ever the Brave she was more of a hard ass so I was surprised by how youthful she seemed. Yes, she was still heroic in investigating Sanguine but there was another side to her in this novel that was sweet and young. It made the budding romance between she and Aodren more believable. The young honorable King with the beautiful uncertain maiden. 

I liked the story overall and enjoyed Erin Summerill’s writing again. She’s a very consistent writer and I know what I”m going to get when I read one of her books. An enjoyable fantasy written with a lot of heart. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!*Once a King (Clash of Kingdoms Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick all rights reserved

*Amazon Associate

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Friday YA: Ever the Brave (A Clash of Kingdoms #2) by Erin Summerill

At the end of Ever the Hunted, Britta uses her Channeler powers to save King Aodren which breaks the tether between she and Cohen and establishes one with the King. Despite the tether, her feelings for Cohen haven’t changed, but she is starting to care for the king as well. With the kingdom in turmoil Aodren wants to overrule ill feelings his people have had for the Channelers since his fathers rule and the first thing they have to do is find the woman who had kept his mind captive. 

As I wrote in the above paragraph I realized how if you hadn’t read the first book, this synopsis would be so confusing! To simplify, Britta is a Channeler, she saved the king. The King doesn’t want to kill off all of the Channelers anymore in large part due to his feelings for Britta and well, that’s genocide. As the Bounty Hunter to the king, Cohen gets sent after the evil woman giving Aodren the chance to get to know Britta without Cohen around to remind Britta of her feelings for him. Yes, this story is based around a love triangle, and if Britta weren’t such a strong character this would’ve bothered me a lot more than it actually did. 

 I enjoyed the characters just as much as I did when I read Ever the Hunted. Britta is a strong, independent woman who can hunt and track just as well as the king’s Bounty Hunter, Cohen. Cohen should actually get used to Britta coming to his rescue but for some reason is always trying to protect her and keep her safe. Cohen, this is a girl that can keep herself safe! I do think he came to realize that by the end of the book, but that one trait was a little frustrating. Otherwise, he was a totally likable character.

Ever the Brave was the first time that we got to know an Aodren that was not under mind control. What we did get to know, I liked and I look forward to the next installment of this series, Once a King, which is his story. I think his character may be a little more fleshed out which will make him more of a hero, I hope.

If you enjoyed Ever the Hunted and haven’t gotten around to reading Ever the Brave, have no fear! This book is a fun second installment. Read it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I guess my main complaint with this series is that I just really don’t like Cohen and Britta together at all, and I don’t like Cohen.  Yes, he got better in this book, but he’s still one of those people that if I met him in real life I’d probably stay away from because he’s so male dog territorial, and I wanted him to stop….But other than that, a solid book.  I enjoyed it, and I’ll be happy to have it once the paperback comes out.” Fireside

“Britta was really a force to be reckoned with in this book. From who she was in the first novel to the strong, independent, powerful young lady she ends up being is very empowering and I thought that was a good representation of a proper character arc for her.” Amy Leigh Reads

Click this link to purchase!* Ever the Brave (A Clash of Kingdoms Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Ever the Hunted (A Clash of Kingdoms #1) by Erin Summerill

Britta Flannery is the daughter of a Bounty Hunter to the King. She grows up learning how to hunt and catch not only animals but criminals alongside Cohen who is apprenticing with her father. As they grow up, she falls in love with Cohen but he is destined to replace her father in the privileged spot as Bounty Hunter. When her father is off on a job, he is murdered, leaving Britta alone in the cabin she lived in with her father. Starving, she illegally hunts on the King’s land and is caught. Thrown in the dungeon, she is given a choice. Die for poaching or hunt her father’s killer. It sounds like an easy choice, but Britta wavers because she is told all evidence points to her one time friend Cohen. Believing their evidence she begins the hunt, which turns into a journey of discovery and learns more about herself than what she’d imagined.

Ever the Hunted was beautiful on the outside and on the inside. Seriously, the cover is gorgeous and the book was gorgeously written. The story felt like a hybrid Fairy Tale – Fantasy novel and the words on the page were written lyrically helping create that feel. Taking place mostly in a forest the story had elements of Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, however it was not a copy or re-imagining of any of those novels, but a unique story with only the feeling of a fairy tale element. As with other  fairy-tale and fantasy novels I’ve really enjoyed, this was more than just a love story, it was an action adventure novel with magical realism. Our heroine, Britta, comes to a realization about her feelings for Cohen, but also discovers the depths of power hidden within herself.

Having said all of these wonderful things, was the book perfect? It was perfect up to a point. I will not spoil the ending, but I will say that there was an unexpected twist that I still can’t decide if I liked or not. It felt like the author decided at the very end to turn this into a series when it could’ve very easily been a stand alone novel. That one twist took me out of the world this author created and made me go.. Huh. So because of that, I’m only giving this novel 4 hearts. Until that twist, I was enraptured by the story and world and would’ve given it a higher rating. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Ever the Hunted

Click this link to purchase! Ever the Hunted (A Clash of Kingdoms Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved