(BookR) And I Darken by Keirsten White

                                                                       >>Buy It Here<<

Pages: 496

Cover: ★★★★

Book:★★★

Publishing Date:  June 28, 2016


My Review:

This is a dark novel set during a period of unrest within the Ottoman Empire. Lada, short for Ladislav, is a young girl determined to win her fathers respect and affection and protect Radu her younger brother. Unfortunately her father is a useless excuse for a vassal king and she has to constantly compete and show how unafraid and vicious she can be to do so. Fast forward a couple of years and the pair are being held as surety by the Ottoman empire. While there they befriend Mehmehd, middle son of the existing Sultan and this changes their lives forever. Amazon lists the reading age for this book at 12 & up, but I would recommend parental guidance instead of just listing the age as the limit as religion and sexuality are openly discussed in parts of this book, though there are no outright sexual scenes. The thing that I did not like about this book was the character of Halil Pasha, Kiersten White spent quite a bit of time developing his character and about 2 secconds destroying him in the end. It seemed a little too easy. Overall I disagree with other reviews I read about this book, while it is dark, the title tells you that in the beginning and after all, everything in life is not Love and Sunshine so why should you expect a book to be.

Description:

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

About the Author

KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Timesbestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times. Visit Kiersten online at kierstenwhite.com and follow @kierstenwhite on Twitter.

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(BookR) Faith and Moonlight part 2 by Mark Gelineau, Joe King

 

 frontcover

>>Buy Faith and Moonlight: Part II Here<<

**I was provided an advance readers copy for reviewing purposes**

Pages: 97

Cover: ★★

Book: ★★★¾

Publishing Date: May 15th 2016

Excerpt:

All around him was carved stone. The high walls of the structure and the long, curving benches were marvels of smooth, polished perfection. Almost all the available spaces were filled with people. Below the audience was a large pit of sand, glowing golden next to the white stone of the arena walls.

It was glorious.

Above them, thick fabric had been stretched between poles, all in the familiar colors of the various Razor schools. Roan noticed they had come out under a stretch of bright white cloth.

“Look there,” Gideon said, pointing. Inside the sheltered area, comfortable seats were filled with men and women wearing fine clothes. “Over there, standing next to High Chancellor Ellis, that’s Tonamil, winner of last year’s Grand Tournament,” Gideon said. For the first time since Roan had met Gideon, there was no edge to his voice. He sounded young.

The pounding of drums rose from the sand below. The low noise mingled with the tumult of the crowd, and they quickly took their seats.

Roan sat forward, excited for the matches to start. As he leaned his arms on the edge of the railing before him, he caught Gideon’s eye. “Watch and learn,” Gideon said, his eyes serious.

The fighting began, and whatever Roan had been expecting, this was not it. Multiple Razors took to the sands, throwing themselves into battle with abandon. The air was filled with the roaring spirits of the Ascended. With so many Razors coiling, the sound was wild and rough, like the howling winds of a storm.

My review:

Roan and Kay have made it into the school, but are now living on two separate sides of the same world. Roan has accepted his spot at the side of the Royals and has become the favorite of Kay’s enemy Dreah. Kay has finally been accepted into the school, by means of the shard, but is not accepted by the royals.

This leaves them both with the same question to ask themselves though, at what cost are they willing to win?  This second installment of the Faith and moonlight series leaves you begging for more and I can’t wait to see what will happen between Roan and Kay.

On a side note: I think Dreah finally got what was coming to her.

Description:

Roan wants to escape a brutal past. Kay, a dark future.

They are Razors now, with the power to break the very laws of the universe. The power to become everything they ever wanted.

Or exactly what they fear.

(BookR) Sirens Song by Mary Weber

Sirens-Song-Mary-Weber

Click on this link or on the picture above to purchase this book

**I was provided an advance readers copy for reviewing purposes**

Pages: 384

Cover:★★★★

Book: ★★★

Publishing Date: March 1, 2016

My review:

This book starts out with Nymia, elemental savior of Faelen,  and Eogan King of Bron making their Exit from the Terrene kingdom of Tulla after expelling Draewulf from Eogans body in Siren’s Fury. They head to Cashlin to seek aid from Queen Laiha and hopefully convince her to help them rescue  her daughter, Princess Rasha from Draewulfs clutches and ultimately get rid of Draewulf for good.

Two of the major issues that I had with this book were:

One: I kind of feel like the author just ran out of ideas or she originally meant for this to be a two book series. Myles (once again) has to decide whether he is going to be evil or help save the world. Draewulf is (once again) able to slip into their midst without being caught by hiding inside someone they trust. Nymia almost dies for good, Eogan almost dies (Thrice, though we only see one of these instances… two of them we don’t actually know how this comes about we just hear about it later)… and last but not least the day is saved at the last possible moment when you think defeat is almost certain.

Two: Nymia can’t really conquer anything by herself, and the one somewhat major fight that she gets in with a subset of the wraith army, Nymia ends up being rescued by Eogan.

On the plus side, Myles, Princess Rasha, Nymia, Eogan and everyone who doesn’t die during the final battle gets their happily ever after and we know this time Draewulf is gone for good.

Overall it wasn’t a bad book to read I was just hoping for a little more….something.

Description:

“The realization hits: We’re not going to win. It’s why I couldn’t defeat Draewulf in Bron—because this power was never mine anyway. I drop my arms and let the energy die off. And turn around to Face Eogan.”

After a fierce battle with Draewulf, Nym barely escaped with her life. Now, fleeing the scorched landscape of Tulla, her storm-summoning abilities are returning; only . . . the dark power is still inside her.

Broken and bloodied, Nym needs time to recover, but when the full scope of the shapeshifter’s horrific plot is revealed, the strong-willed Elemental must race across the Hidden Lands and warn the other kingdoms before Draewulf ’s final attack.

From the crystalline palaces of Cashlin to the legendary Valley of Origin, Nym scrambles to gather an army. But even if she can, will she be able to uncover the secret to defeating Draewulf that has eluded her people for generations? With a legion of monsters approaching, and the Hidden Lands standing on the brink of destruction, the stage is set for a battle that will decide the fate of the world.

This time, will the Siren’s Song have the power to save it?

(BookR) Risuko By David Kudler

>Get It Here<<

Can one girl win a war?

My name is Kano Murasaki, but most people call me Risuko. Squirrel.
I am from Serenity Province, though I was not born there.
My nation has been at war for a hundred years, Serenity is under attack, my family is in disgrace, but some people think that I can bring victory.
That I can be a very special kind of woman.
All I want to do is climb.
My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls me Squirrel.

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★★★¾

**I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for my review**

My Review:

Samurai. Intrigue. Attempted Murder. A fast paced story about a girl just trying to make it in the world and with any luck redeem her family honor. I had to force myself to slow down; so as not to devour it all at once. That being said, Risuko is another book set at an unusual school determined to help her find her way out of her inauspicious circumstances, and it is her very ability to climb that ends up getting her into trouble and saving her life at the same time.

** This was the very first book review I ever wrote, and looking back now I see how short and to the point it really is, and I hope that my readers will forgive me for my slow start.**

 

Other Reviews:

 HISTORICAL/SUSPENSE THRILLER:  “Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale” is set in Japan in the sixteenth century with female warriors, one of whom is called Risuko. Along with two other apprentices, Emi and Toumi, Risuko arrives to their new home, which is filled with lots of secrets. Risuko is a nickname meaning squirrel – and she has an uncanny ability to climb just about anything!
Not a lot of authors write about Japan and Japanese culture, although it’s very interesting. David Kudler does an admirable job of describing sixteenth-century Japan, with tons of details to make the setting come alive. The characters are easy to relate to, especially Risuko. The women were portrayed as strong and independent, especially unique if one thinks this was set in the sixteenth century. The story was filled with action, suspense, and a unique, well-crafted storyline.
[…]
It is easy to invest in the characters, and once the reader starts this book, it’s almost impossible to put it down. Risuko goes through a lot of character growth throughout the book. An entertaining story with excellent writing and haunting descriptions, a relatable heroine, and fast-paced writing.  — Majanka Verstraete, InD’tale Magazine

In this YA historical novel set in Japan s Sengoku period, a girl who adores climbing attends an unusual school. Your mother sold you to me this morning. With this, young Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) for her love of climbing, learns she s to accompany imperious old Lady Chiyome s palanquin. Risuko s father was a samurai, a prestigious occupation in war-torn 16th-century Japan. After being disgraced, he had to find work as a scribe; he taught Risuko to read and write, but with him dead now, the family is near starving and Risuko s best option is to comply. The traveling party undergoes a cold and dangerous journey as it tries to dodge the fighting between rival warlords. Along the way, Risuko displays some of her abilities not just climbing, but calligraphy, bird calls, and presence of mind when attacked. When they finally reach the Mochizuki compound, Risuko becomes a novice, believing that she s being trained as a shrine attendant. There s talk of initiates becoming kunoichi, which no one will explain: you ll just have to find out on your own. At first, the novices perform only menial tasks, especially kitchen work, but they eventually receive lessons in music, singing, and dancing. But suspicion and intrigue (both political and romantic), plus attempted thievery and worse, tear apart the Mochizuki community, leading to a dramatic confrontation with the truth. Kudler (How Raven Brought Back the Light, 2014, etc.) draws on one of the most fascinating elements of Japan s feudal period the kunoichi, or female ninja. (Mochizuki Chiyome is a historical figure who trained young women as spies and assassins, using cover identities such as shrine attendants, servants, and prostitutes.) Also intriguing are the cultural details that Kudler weaves into his story, such as the Retreat, a small building where Mochizuki s women stay during their periods. The characters are nicely varied and all the pieces fit into place deftly, such as how Risuko s dance movements and kitchen skills can be used in fighting. A tight, exciting, and thoughtful first volume in what promises to be a fine series about a female ninja. –Kirkus Reviews

 

About the Author:

David Kudler is a writer and editor living just north of the Golden Gate Bridge with his wife, actress, teacher, and author Maura Vaughn, their author-to-be daughters, and their apparently non-literary cats.

A published author, he is currently working on Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, a young-adult historical adventure novel set in sixteenth century Japan.

He serves as publisher for Stillpoint Digital Press. Since 1999, he has overseen the publications program of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, for which he has edited three posthumous volumes of Campbell’s previously unpublished work (Pathways to Bliss, Myths of Light and Sake & Satori) and managed the publication of over fifty print, ebook, print, audio, and video titles, including the third edition of the seminal The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Currently, David serves as vice-president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.