This Chick Read: The Taellaneth Series by Vanessa Nelson

This series was recommended to me but I could never remember the author in order to look it up. It just so happened that it was recommended to me AGAIN and I was getting ready to look for my next book. It’s a Kindle Unlimited series, which I do subscribe to, so I thought “no harm no foul” if I don’t like it I’ll just close the book and send it back. Little did I know that I would read non-stop, with only breaks to go to work, eagerly reading this fun series until I turned that last page in book #5.

Our hero Arrow is half human and half Erith, a race that is magical with elf-like physical traits. Having been determined to have magical talent at a young age she is entered into an Academy where she overcomes the odds and becomes a war mage despite all sorts of discrimination from the Erith for her half-human blood. As we get to know Arrow she is oath-bound to the Taellen to solve any task she is given. In the first novel she is given the task of investigating the death of the mate of the highest ranked shape-shifter, traveling to human lands to complete her task.

In Concealed, Arrow eventually solves the mystery but reveals an even bigger dilemma that all three races need to work together to solve, each book leading to Arrow becoming a stronger mage, important ally of the shifters, and eventually free from her ties to the Taellen- the committee of law-makers among the Erith. Her identity is also revealed in stages that keep the reader fascinated and the plot draws you in deeper until you have to read until the end to see how Arrow and the mystery resolves.

If you, like I, have never heard of this author then you are in for a treat! This series is fantasy-candy. There is only a hint of romance, it is pretty much straight up magical-fantasy. There are some very likable characters and you’ll certainly have your pick of who you want to follow but there is no better than our heroine Arrow. Misguided, misunderstood, and straight-up bad-@$$. I loved her to death and hope that this author’s other series are just as addictive. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase the first book!* Concealed

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Storm’s Whisperer (The Broken Lands #5) by T.A. White

Eva is the Kyren’s chosen Ambassador to broker an alliance between their two races. At their invitation she and Caden take a group of Trateri into the herd lands to form a colony and become the bridge between the two groups. Evil follows them and threatens the threads of their alliance. Eva must figure out her new abilities in order to save the man she loves and the two people’s her duty calls to her to protect.

It seems a simple synopsis but there was a LOT happening in this novel! Eva is the Kyren’s chosen Ambassador, but when trouble knocks on the Trateri’s door, her alliance seems to dissipate leaving Eva reliant upon the Trateri’s strength and her own uneducated skills as a Caller. Despite the dissipating alliance with the Kyren, Eva still finds strength in her friends and shows incredible leadership when it comes to her responsibility for other side characters like Brisa a young Tenrin who becomes attached to both she and Jason, her apprentice and future Trateri warrior. These subplots are what ultimately bring the book together and give it the meat it needs to reach its conclusion.

I mention Jason, above, because despite the love story between Eva and Caden, Jason’s character shows the most growth in this story arc. Eva has her calling and sometimes seems to struggle finding the strength and will to overcome her obstacles. Jason acts as the impetus to drive her character. As her apprentice and responsibility it’s through her interactions with him that we see her “become” her destiny. I liked that for him as a character because despite his whiny self-involved beginnings he has turned into a strong character and has become one of my favorites.

Did I like Storm’s Whisper as much as the previous novel? No. Despite it reaching its conclusion I didn’t feel the tension of the first novel, or any of the first three in the series. Even so, it was a decent story, and showed knew aspects to the world these stories reside. So to me it was worth the four or five hours of reading. I do hope she picks Jason as the next character to follow in the series. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* The Storm’s Whisper (The Broken Lands Book 5)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Wind’s Call (The Broken Lands #4) by T.A. White

After escaping her village Eva stumbles across the Trateri and decides to join with them, becoming a Herd Mistress, taking care of the animals she’s always loved. Kind of a loner she is close to only a few, relying more on her horses than she does people. When she discovers a winged horse caught in a net, she risks her life to save him earning his regard. Her ability to hear the Kyren’s mind speech puts her in the middle of a fight with evil that could bring war to the Broken Lands.

The main characters from books 1-3 are put on the back burner so we can follow Eva and Caden, Fallon’s 2nd in command into the Highlands to follow the Anatari’s hope of brokering an alliance with the Kyren. I liked Eva as a side character and grew to like her straightforward personality even more in The Wind’s Call. This is a person who doesn’t have a hidden agenda, speaks all truths, and may be a difficult person to love but her self-sacrificing tendencies give her heroic qualities that instill confidence in others and are the traits of a true leader. Caden, as Fallon’s 2nd, is all warrior. He looks death in the face and kills with an instinct reserved for the soulless. However, Eva calls to him and shows a different side of his personality. Together they make a pretty awesome couple, complimenting each other’s strengths. The funny thing for me is that neither of them are romantic or mushy and yet their romance was very sweet!

I love that in a fantasy novel you can have wonderful characters with humanistic character traits who are not human in the least. Take Sebastian, they Kyren with whom Eva bonds. Kyren are not pegasus, or angelic horses with wings, they are beings with human intelligence and can communicate with the help of a Caller, such as Eva who can her their words in their minds. Just as humans are, they can be good or evil and seeing behind what they look like is part of the fun of reading a good fantasy novel. The Wind’s Call has some awesome secondary characters who are a big part of the plot but who are not “human”. My favorite is Eva’s horse Caia, who will not deal with anyone but Eva and has the biggest personality of all of the dragon-like characters in this book.

I thought it interesting to choose new characters to write about yet keep the books in the same series as Shea and Fallon’s novels. I’ll admit, it was fun to see what Shea was up to and how she and Fallon’s relationship has progressed. The Broken Lands has been so much fun to read and explore that I’m hoping after Eva and Caden’s story is completed that this author can pick another character to carry on this lands story. I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series because the knowledge of the world this novel takes place in really builds from book to book and I feel like your experience will be more well-rounded. However, this is the first novel in these two characters story and could be picked up and read as a stand alone.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Wind’s Call (The Broken Lands)

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy #2) by Nora Roberts

At the end of the previous novel The Awakening, Breen had left her legacy in Talamh to go back home to the US to see her friends and tidy up the life she’ll be leaving behind when she returns. She knows that despite the growth of her powers she still needs training and can’t remain in the US too long while her evil Grandfather is trying to break through to Talamh to conquer and rule. Despite her saying she would return Keegan, the man who leads Talamh, and her lover, can’t take the chance that she won’t return and comes to take her back, and accidentally transfers her best friend Marco as well. Now she and Marco are in Talamh, where fairies, dragons, and mermaids reside to try to help save Talamh.

The uber talented Nora Roberts doesn’t always hit a home run when she writes fantasy novels and The Becoming, for me, follows that theme. I love the world she has created. Talamh is one of those places we’d all like to visit, a veritable fantasy land filled with gorgeous creatures both animal and human. Despite our heroine’s love for her family in this world I just don’t feel a connection between she and Keegan who is her love interest. He seems to have a switch that turns on and off. He wants her, he doesn’t have time for her, he is a taskmaster, and then he is a lover. It may just be that if I were Breen I would’ve looked elsewhere for a partner. Yes, Keegan is their leader, but leading is not always the best qualification for love.

I was so happy that Marco’s story arc expanded. He is so much fun and his own love story gave me what I needed. Romance! It also helps that he is just so likable and seeing Talamh through his eyes is so much fun.

I am looking forward to the third novel in this series because I want to see how the author will tie everything up. Keegan needs to show a little emotion for Breen. How will they end their war with her grandfather? Will Marco and his lover find happiness? There are a lot of pieces that need resolving and Ms. Roberts is very good at capturing all of those loose ends into a fancy bow.

❤️❤️❤️❣️

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

Click this link to purchase!* The Becoming: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 2 (The Dragon Heart Legacy, 2)

*Amazon Associate- If you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Fated Blades (Kinsmen #3) by Ilona Andrews

When Ilona Andrews releases a book I eagerly anticipate the drop into my kindle so I can read it right away. Fated Blades is the third novel in an older series called the Kinsmen. I’ve read the first two books a couple of times each but I’ll admit it’s been awhile. Not letting that stop me from reading this one right away I jumped right in. It is novella length so it didn’t take me more than 3-4 hours to read it in its entirety.

Fated Blades takes place on Rada where a few families all with Seca powers reside. This power enables them to become bladed, and as such their history is filled with violence, but currently people have forgotten who dangerous they can be. The Adlers and Baenas are two of the families with these powers and despite living relatively close, they consider each other enemies. When Ramona Adler shows up in Matias Baena’s place of business and tells him that her husband and his wife have run away together, and they both stole their research. The two of them join forces to investigate who is behind this plot and are determined to bring them down. What they haven’t taken into consideration is their immediate attraction and connection, something that the two of them may not be able to live without.

As I do with all Illona Andrews books, I read a book first, and then follow it up with listening to the audiobook pretty quickly after. I think with this one, I’ll need to go back and start at the beginning of the series. Not because this book wasn’t good, it certainly was, but because I feel like there are some details I’m missing that may make my journey with this story even better.

As with the Hidden Legacy series these novels fall into the romantic fantasy genre. My favorite genre and this author duo excels at bringing life to the page and their characters. Fated Blades was no different, and in fact I’d like to see a longer length novel for these characters or at least in this world. If you’re a fan of this author I’m sure you’ll feel no different. If you haven’t read the previous two books, you don’t really need to, but like I said above, a refresher might have been necessary and might enhance your pleasure in this well written novel.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Fated Blades

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associates- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11/29/21)

I love the long Thanksgiving weekend. With the exception of spending time in the kitchen it’s all about relaxing. We even put up our tree last weekend so that chore was checked off the list. What have I been doing? You got it! Reading! Here’s what I’ve been reading.

JUST FINISHED

My favorite writing duo dropped a book from an old series last week and I eagerly dove into it this weekend. It’s novella length so it didn’t take me long to read, but it was a fun new world to relearn and the characters were great!

JUST STARTED

The series that got me started with binging Kristen Ashley novels. It’s been awhile since I’ve read these so I decided to read one or two. They are so fun!

Now that you know what’s on my coffee table, what books did you read this weekend?

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2) by Janella Angeles

Starting up right where “Where Dreams Descend” left off, Kallia has been swallowed into the mirror in her magic performances during the Spectaculor, a magician’s contest. On the other side of the mirror is a whole different world where sunlight is obliterated by “devils”, and magicians duel for power and status. Kallia’s power has been depleted and navigating this new world takes wit, courage, and magic. When Night Breaks shows us a different world, where darkness reigns supreme and only the absolute best magicians survive.

Confession time! I struggled with this novel. It’s only because I liked the first one so much that I was able to stick with it and make myself finish. If it had been any other book I would have put it down and picked up a different novel. Maybe it’s because this is my second fantasy novel in a row where the story was desperately dark, a sign of a writer trying to create during a pandemic. I felt that pain too, but my own pain was in trying to see the light and find something positive to talk about in my review. Here’s what I found.

  1. Jack- Whereas Kallia felt less interesting to me, her nemesis Jack became even more interesting. He was also confusing, but I’ll stick with why I thought he was interesting. Jack was always a dark horse. The magical being who held Kallia captive in “Where Dreams Descend”, and who she had a love hate relationship. She still does, but in this new world, Jack’s back story is revealed and we see why he is what he is, and how he struggled to break out from the hold Roth (a new character in this book) had over him.
  2. Eva- or Vain as she’s named in this novel. The famous Daron DeMarco’s assistant, and sister, who disappeared into a mirror during an act. She is alive and has risen to the top in this new world. She was way more interesting than Kallia and I found myself looking forward to the pages with her story.
  3. World building- The author didn’t do herself any favors by having to create a brand new world in When Night Breaks. As it’s ‘through the looking glass’, it runs parallel to the real world from which Kallia arrived. Dark to the other world’s light, the differences were surprising and kept me reading.

Everything in this book led us toward the big conflict at the end, but that conflict was a confused mess. I had trouble following what was going on and the reasons for why these things were happening. The conflict didn’t feel too different from the rest of the book, and therefore not enough of a conflict for me to feel any sort of resolution for the characters, even with the built-in happily, happily. It was just ho-hum.

Despite my overall feelings of doom and gloom, I couldn’t give the novel lower than a three rating. Yes, if I hadn’t loved the first novel so much I wouldn’t have finished this one, but it’s because I loved that first novel so much that I am giving this an average rating. Please feel free to disagree and read this book and pass your own judgement. My bad 4 days of reading this book may be the best in your life. ❤️❤️❤️

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

Click this link to purchase!* When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards Book 2)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Hollen the Soulless (Dokiri Brides #1) by Denali Day

The Dokiri guard the mountains on their dragons and make sure that those within don’t make their way down to the lowlands to wreck havoc and kill. They are a race that bears only men and so they have to get their brides by stealing them from the lowlands. Hollen is the leader and when he see’s the Lady Joselyn riding her horse he knew she was the wife for him. Unfortunately Joselyn was on her way to her wedding and is furious to be taken, despite fearing the man she was to marry, she is a dutiful daughter and her marriage was to keep her people safe. She’s determined to escape and bides her time until she has the chance to make it off the mountain.

This was a really interesting book! Definitely a romantic fantasy but there were some very dark themes. One of which is that the Dokiri carve a brand into their chosen brides, the day they meet. You can see how that might put a woman off the romance of the whole thing! Hollen is determined that over time Joselyn will come to love him and will stop making her attempts to leave. Despite starting out branding her he does not make a move to complete their union wanting her to choose him herself. If I were Hollen I may have gotten tired of Joselyn’s shenanigans. He had so much patience, much more so than I.

I couldn’t help but make comparisons to Kristen Ashley’s Golden Dynasty novel which was also romantic fantasy. The Dokiri went around bare chested and scarred themselves for every significant life event. KA’s Dax Lahn were barbarian-like and chose their wives by chasing them and raping them. (Yep, very disturbing). Hollen, as a comparison wanted Joselyn to choose her fate and come to him, so not rape, thank goodness. Branding was bad enough.

There was so much more to this novel than the whole bride thing but that was certainly at the heart of the story. As with any great fantasy novel there was a lot of world-building and character building as well. The other people in the Dokiri tribe were interesting and Joselyn made a couple of friends who also put up with her questionable behavior. I guess the good thing about bride-stealing is that there are normally a lot of bad behavior until everyone settles into their place in the tribe.

So what did I think?? I actually liked it! I did get tired of Joselyn pushing back but couldn’t really blame her at the same time. I am very interested in Hollen’s brothers. They are all so different and I want to see their stories. I loved Hollen. He was just a guy that wanted to be loved. Who could blame him? I am totally reading book #2, I just don’t know when! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Hollen the Soulless: A Fantasy Romance (Dokiri Brides)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Seventeen year old Vhalla Yarl works quietly as a library apprentice shelving and reading books all day unless required to research a project. When her crown prince becomes poisoned, she and the other apprentices work night and day trying to identify that poison and the notes Vhalla takes finds its way into his hands. What she doesn’t ever imagine is that that Prince Aldrik would seek her out wanting to meet the young apprentice who helped him get well. What he finds is a girl with a unique talent of sorcery, a magic that hasn’t been seen in a long while and is feared by many, but may help them win the war they’re fighting. It’s Vhalla’s choice to embrace her sorcery or eradicate it and live as a normal human, but that decision may be taken out of her hands.

The first novel in the Air Awakens series, this story is all about the awakening of Vhalla’s talent and her growing friendship with Aldrik one of the greatest sorcerer’s in their kingdom. Aldrik has his own agenda, of course, wanting to use her talents to help them end the war but knows that not everyone will be as happy as he is to find Vhalla in their midst, for her kind were thought to have been eradicated in the past. As Vhalla researches her own kind, she discovers hatred and bigotry which makes her nervous to embrace her magic. She also has to face how what she has become changes the way her friends view her and how she is treated.

I was intrigued by Vhalla and the world she inhabits. The parallels of her world’s magical inequality, genocide, and bigotry by using sorcery in place of race or religion was interesting and as a reader you can’t help but draw similarities between what goes on in the real world and in this made up place. Vhalla was treated pretty harshly, even by those she called friends and I can’t help but think she will get her revenge in future novels. As a young seventeen year old, her ideals seem so young. Some of the things she goes through in this novel make her grow up pretty quickly and I’m curious to see how it shapes her character in the books to come.

I can’t end this review without saying something about the cover art for Air Awakens. It is eye-catchingly beautiful and is definitely the reason why I gave this new to me author a chance. I feel strongly enough about this story that I immediately purchase the second book in the series and can’t wait to get started on Vhalla’s next step of her journey! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/23/21)

A rainy weekend is the perfect time to read on the couch while listening to those drops hit you window. The only thing that would be better is if the temp was a little bit chillier. I started two books this weekend, one of which is an audiobook and both were fantasy novels. I seem to be in that mood!

JUST FINISHED

This cover is totally romance worthy isn’t it? But that title is all fantasy novel! I ran across this on Amazon and as it was a Kindle Unlimited book and I’m a subscriber I thought I’d give it a try. I read the reviews and they said this was good and I have to admit, I really enjoyed the story! It was a lot darker than I’d been prepared to read but I guess when you start off with a dragonrider kidnapping a young woman to be his bride it’s not your typical romantic fantasy. The characters were very interesting and the story took me somewhere completely unexpected. It’s not often I’m surprised and in a good way! I’ve already gotten the second book in the series and can’t wait for another rainy day to read it.

JUST STARTED

From the same world as Kill the Queen and Protect the Prince, Capture the Crown is the story of Gemma the Gargoyle Queen. I’m listening to the audiobook of this novel and hope it captures my interest as much as her previous series. I loved the action-filled story and the side-story romance. Will Gemma be as interesting? We’ll see!

Which genre is your go-to genre when you want to get away from real life drama? I’ve been on a total fantasy kick lately! Let me know in the comments.

Have a great Monday!

Deb