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review 2014-06-02 23:37
Son of Dragons by Andrea R. Cooper
Son of Dragons - Andrea R. Cooper

Okay, so we are introduced to some new characters in this second installment in the Legends of Oblivian series: Mirhana, Brock's elf-born twin sister who looks more human than elf; Prince Landon, a man who seeks a chance to find his own way in the world and not be treated like the royal he is; Gillespie, Landon's right hand man who knows how important the prince is to his kingdom and doesn't want anything too horrible to happen to him; and Jeslyn, a mysterious woman who joins our crew after helping to stave off some very nasty enemies. This is actually just naming a few, not counting a Drow Queen, a pack of very fierce dragons, and a ton of undead. Whoo!! Sounds like a lot, huh? But actually it doesn't seem that way when you read the book. The story flows nicely enough that the characters never really seem to get jumbled up. They are all there for a purpose. Some for their own gain and some having to do with the prophecy mentioned in Cursed in Shadow.


Now I must say that I adored the character of Mirhana in this. I always love finding a character that is relatable, in a sense, to me. She is a very strong girl who has gone through quite a lot compared to her brother. At least if you consider his life and hers before he was turned into the Vaer. She has been a bit unlucky in love, sometimes by just time and other times by the undead changing them and her having to kill them herself. But, as they say, "It is better to have loved...", right? But it isn't until she meets Prince Landon, who obviously doesn't tell her he is a prince due to his whole thing about wanting to do for hisself, that she realizes all the others were minor players compared to him. And no matter what she does, she cannot shake the feeling that they are pretty much meant for each other.


Now besides all heart-to-heart, love stuff that goes on, we actually do have quite a bit of action. The characters, who initially start out on their own separate paths, meet up and head out on a journey together to end the Warloc's reign. Or at least the threat of his new reign through his protege, the mysterious Sorceress. No one knows who this chick is, but she is bound and determined to end at least one of their lives to keep the prophecy stating his demise at their hands from coming true. And boy does she have quite a few tricks up her sleeve. She will do anything to bring him back.


Now, while this book does see our heroes and heroines reach the Sorceress and attempt to stop her, I was a bit confused by the ending. Or should I say the outcome of the "battle" that ensues. I actually had to go back a few pages in the second to last chapter just to figure out what had happened. It just felt too abrupt. And along with that, I felt some of the scenes throughout the story were a bit rushed. Some of them felt like they could have been developed more, and by developing them more they could have added so much more to the story. This actually felt like it could have been two books instead of one with just a bit more detail both into their journey and in the last part of the book where they face the Sorceress. Because, I must admit, I actually kind of expected that final scene where they find the Sorceress and attempt to thwart her plans should have been it. And with a bit more detail, it could have been.


I really did love this, and I would definitely read another book in this series if it is in the works. I really want to know what is going to happen next after that epilogue of "WHAT!!!" I mean, seriously, I so want the good guys to win. But I also kind of don't want to lose any of them. Well, the important ones anyway. The main ones. But there is one that I could definitely live without right now after reading this last book. *insert ominous music here* I just get a bad vibe with this person. Like I cannot trust them any more. And I have a feeling that person is going to play a big part in the next book. And it is not going to be pretty.

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review 2014-05-26 20:40
Cursed in Shadow by Andrea R. Cooper
Cursed in Shadow - Andrea R. Cooper

For those of you who have read the first book in this series, The Garnet Dagger, this book is quite a wonderful little read.


Taking place after the destruction of the Warloc, Cursed in Shadow follows Celeste and Brock as they journey back to Brock's home of Tamlon to find the prophecies of the four, because of course defeating the Warloc can't be enough. Now they are going to have to deal with someone who is just a tad bit miffed by the Warloc's defeat. His protégé, his progeny. And boy is she going to make her first act against our hero and heroine a big one.


Of course, though, before this first act, we get to see the general reaction of the elves toward Celeste and Brock bringing her to Tamlon. You see, due to the fact that humans are basically forbidden to enter there, she makes quite a few enemies by basically doing nothing. Just the fact that she exists inside their land is reason enough. And Brock isn't fairing any better. He already had enemies before he brought her there, and now...well, this isn't really helping matters.


They won't be staying long, thankfully, as they need to find some important players to aid in ridding the land of the sickness and evil that is rotting its very core. One of which was long thought dead...Brock's very own long lost twin sister.


But before they leave, you know that big first act that I told you about? Well, the curtain is rising and Brock is going to get quite a surprise. A very revenge-filled surprise.


Things are getting quite juicy...


This is kind of the perfect quencher of my literary thirst between the first and second books in this series. It segue's wonderfully by allowing the little pit stop in Tamlon. A very important pit stop, mind you, because it kind of allows a little introduction to who our characters will be dealing with now. Someone who has learned from the Warloc certainly cannot be good.


This story also delves a little bit more into Brock and Celeste's relationship. Not just physically, mind you, although it does get a bit steamy, but also how they truly feel about one another. But I can't help but get a bad feeling about this. Something is not sitting right with me. It is unexplainable, but I think that maybe one of them could possibly turn against the other. I don't know, but it could be one of them could very well join the dark side of this fight. They do have cookies...so I guess that would appeal?


I don't know, it is just a feeling.


But anyway...READ THIS!!! And if you happen to read this one before The Garnet Dagger, READ THAT ONE TOO!!! I can only imagine how the rest of the story will play out...and I am quite excited to find out.

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review 2014-05-03 18:49
Solid Story, but I needed more development!
Son of Dragons - Andrea R. Cooper

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Initial Reaction... 
After LOVING the novella, Cursed in Shadow , I was really excited to launch into Son of Dragons. But when I started Son of Dragons I found myself rereading the story of Cursed in Shadowwith new details woven in. It made for a slow, frustrating start and, despite how great the novella was, I would recommend skipping it and getting straight into Son of Dragons. You'll have a much better start than I did. And since the action doesn't ever stop, you'll be gripped to the very end. 

NOTE: Book 1, The Garnet Dagger, is on sale for only $0.99 until May 3!

The Characters... 
Besides the frustration of having the entire novella included inSon of Dragons, the characters were a bit of a disappointment for me. They were good characters, but I really wish we'd seen them fleshed out a lot more. Andrea introduced us to a LOT of new characters in Son of Dragons and, in my opinion, we could have stretched this book over two (or maybe let the first 100+ pages stand as the novella) so that we could REALLY get to know them. Despite wishing I knew them better, I did like the new additions to the story. I'll mention just the ones that stood out to me most. 

Mirhana, Brock's sister, is introduced to us shortly after the section that retells the novella and I loved her instantly. She's a mix of youth and aged wisdom that worked in a fun way. As an elf living among humans because of her human-like appearance, she's outlived generations of humans and from that vantage point she has years of experience under her belt. And yet, she's still young from an elvin perspective - and she makes young mistakes, like acting too hastily. I wish I'd gotten to know her much better. 

We also met a young prince, Landon, who seems anxious to escape his life of privilege and act like a commoner. When we first get to know him, he's asked one of his fighting men - Gillepsie, who we met in The Garnet Dagger, to come with him in search of the young woman who saved Gillepsie from undead attackers. It was good to see Gillepsie again and I enjoyed seeing the way Landon tried to get Gillepsie to treat him as a commoner. Landon is a bit naive, but he has a good heart and, again, I wished I gotten to know him better. 

We still see a lot of Celeste and Brock, but they felt a bit stagnant to me in comparison to The Garnet Dagger. Celeste had been this strong, fierce woman to me in that book - and while she still holds that quality (indeed- one of the things I love most about this series is that woman are often as strong - if not stronger - than the men), it took a backseat to her role as the woman Brock loved and felt saved him. There's something about Brock that I just don't like - maybe I'm supposed to feel that way, since he is the Vaer (Bringer of Death) and, good intentions aside, he does suck the life out of all he touches. He has this menacing, haughty, weak-minded quality about him and while I'm not his biggest fan, it fits the story well. 

The final member of the group, Jeslyn, we got to know the least and I felt that it was a real shortcoming of Son of Dragonsbecause she had the makings of a really compelling, complicated character. She's mysterious from the start, hailing from a land unknown to all the travelers, but clearly strong and capable. She's beautiful and feminine, while also being as tough as the men (when we meet her, she's helping save their collective asses). I think the story would have been much richer if we'd gotten to know her better. 

The Story... 
Like The Garnet Dagger, the story of Son of Dragons is that of a quest guided by prophecy. Here Andrea shines - the way she drags the characters across the countryside and leads them into one struggle after another is compelling. There are so many new magical characters in Son of Dragons (including Dragons, of course) and they add so much fantasy and excitement to this historic-like setting. I love this setting - with the traveling by foot and horseback, camping in the woods, etc. 

The prophecy was much easier to follow and see work itself out than in The Garnet Dagger, but I still found the flow of the story a bit jolting. The story was great, but the transitions and descriptions didn't flow, making it a little more difficult to really feel and get immersed into. Again, I feel this is a situation where the book could have been stretched across two books so that we slowed down and really experienced everything. I wanted to get a bit more immersed in the action and the characters and it just fell slightly short of that for me. 

Concluding Sentiments... 
I love the story that Andrea's telling with the Legends of Oblivion. I just wish I could get the pace to slow down a bit, so that I could really savor the characters and the action, because then it would be truly great! Thoroughly looking forward to the next book!

Source: fantasyismorefun.com/2014/04/son-of-dragons-andrea-r-cooper-release-day-review.html
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review 2014-03-31 05:16
A Great Taste of What's Coming Next!
Cursed in Shadow - Andrea R. Cooper

My Initial Reaction…

I didn’t realize until picking up Cursed in Shadow how much I missed Celeste and Brock! This was just enough to remind me of what I loved about this series and to get me ready for the next full-length book, Sons of Dragons, which releases next month.


The Good…

Cursed in Shadow does a fantastic job of quickly reconnecting you to the characters. I hadn’t readThe Garnet Dagger since August and only quickly reread my review before launching into Cursed in Shadow, but it was enough! I immediately started remembering all the important details and it was like reuniting with a long-lost friend.

I don’t want to say too much here, because you really need to go read book 1, The Garnet Dagger if you haven’t yet. A really neat shift in this short, though, was that it takes place almost entirely in the Elvin lands. We haven’t seen much of them in The Garnet Dagger and this expanded our view. I can’t say that I’m much of a fan of the Elves – with a couple of exceptions they’re kind of the bad guys, except Brock is one of them and is sort of trying to save them, and you do want him to succeed. But their not the villains, exactly, just a very scared and angry race that has been living separate from the human world for too long! Andrea did a great job letting us see their anger, fear, and confusion – coupled in with the existence a few more likeable Elves – in such a short space.

I don’t usually give such short books a five star rating because, even if I enjoy them, it just doesn’t seem possible for them to fully satisfy me. Cursed in Shadow did! There was great action and magic, some pretty great romance, moments that made me angry or sad, and even world building! It also set up really well for Sons of Dragons, leading us towards the search for the four (which you’ll understand when you read the books!) and letting us know that we’re going to see some pretty exciting new villains moving forward (I’m dying to tell you about this one scene, but I don’t want to ruin it!)


The Bad…

Umm… okay I had to really think, but Celeste (who is my favorite character) had a reaction to Brock at one point that I found really unexpected and didn’t really fit her character. But that was really the only thing that bothered me at all in this short, except I guess, that I wish it weren’t so short!


Concluding Sentiments…

Andrea did a fantastic job utilizing all the elements that she built into The Garnet Dagger to make this short do the work of a novella or maybe even a full length book. I’m eagerly anticipating the release of Sons of Dragons now!


I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: fantasyismorefun.com/2014/03/cursed-shadow-andrea-r-cooper-coyer-short-review.html
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review 2014-01-17 17:10
Interesting world, Weird plot, awkward pacing, meh characters
Viking Fire - Andrea R. Cooper

**This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages


I like my historical romances but the ones I usually read are set in the 19th century. My one attempt at reading something set farther back was a complete fail *cough Born in Sin cough*. This book is set even farther back, in ‘856 CE’  but the idea of Vikings being involved was intriguing enough for me to overlook the last time I got burned. 

This was certainly a whole lot more tolerable than Born in Sin but the story itself was lacking. The setting was pulled off really well but when it came to the plot and characters, things just didn’t work out.

Starting with the main character, Kaireen, who is a speshul snowflake. She isn’t ordinary like her sisters, her father taught her how to use a bow and arrow and she also happens to be the only sister who gets a dowry. I do not understand. Why is she so special? She seems too brazen for a girl in that time. and is always running around doing things she shouldn’t be. The only quality about her that I actually like was how she was somewhat self-centered. We’ve encountered all those female leads that are so nice it’s sickening. The ones who probably go skipping around town throwing flowers everywhere from their special flower basket *gags*. I liked how she was actually aware of her position as the daughter of the leader of the clan. She wasn’t rude to the servants but she didn’t go out of her to be nice… and she actually got pissed at how she was treated during the term of her punishment (which she got for running around doing things she shouldn’t have… so that’s another plus).

I was really surprised by how everyone around her seemed to be fawning over ‘the enemy’ and she was the only one who had the common sense to actually realize that he was the enemy. Hotness shouldn’t be used as a way to redeem a character. That never helps. I suppose he’s never done anything ‘wrong’ but how can they be so certain he isn’t like the rest of the Vikings that raid their lands? What happened to self-preservation?

Getting to said enemy, Bram, why? Why is he so enthusiastic to marry her? I mean from what I understand he basically creepily observed her and fell in love and wanted to marry her. What? No. Ugh. He also happens to be a tad bit too perfect for my liking. Stopping men from beating up their wives, rescuing sisters (not once but TWICE), swearing fidelity to a girl he hasn’t married and who knows nothing about him, oh and he’s really hot.

The romance set off all my alarms, INSTA LOVE ALERT. One day she is hating on him, the other she is worried he is going to die. What? How did you even get there? I thought you didn’t want to marry him and now you’re telling yourself you don’t love him. Huh? Let’s not forget they know NOTHING about each other (well Bram did creepily observe her).

The plot did not work at all. It lacked substance. It was like trying to piece a puzzle where the pieces obviously did not fit. The pacing in general was messed up. Events occurred one after the other but they were never dwelled on. It was almost like a check list. They get attacked, check, there is a fire, check, etc. I just don’t understand what the point even was. The villain was very dull and seemed more like a wannabe than anything else. Like being evil for the sake of being evil and nothing else. I didn’t completely understand what made her tick and why she was out for blood. Some of the things were just vaguely mentioned never to be talked about again. The plot was all over the place and things didn't really tie back.

Simply put, this book did not work. It was decent enough but it lacked substance and couldn’t keep my attention. 

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