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review 2013-09-24 23:12
A Laugh Out Loud Read!
The Emperor's Edge Collection - Lindsay Buroker

I got a free download of The Emperor’s Edge from Amazon. In exchange, I offer the author this, my honest review.

I very much enjoyed The Emperor’s Edge! The story is filled with witty, complex, and even humorous characters trying to save the emperor (Sespian) from those near him who seek to rule in his stead. 

Amaranthe flees for her life and is forced out of the Enforcers, then engages the assistance of a motley crew consisting of a drunkard (Books), a gang member (Akstyr), a male-model-escort egotist (Maldynado) and an assassin (Sicarius). So well drawn are these characters that I can easily imagine individual works wherein any one of them would be the main character. 

Amaranthe is a nail-biting but strong heroine, prone to use the skills for leading others that she learned in her business school training, as well as the weapons skills she garnered from her Enforcer training, to bring order amongst, and to encourage support within, her unlikely group of assistants. Though Amaranthe works in the underworld with these unsavory characters, she resists engaging in criminal activity herself. She manages to do this even while planning to get out of her current fix by threatening to make and then distribute counterfeit bills—actions sure to catch the attention of those in power, as counterfeit currency would seriously disrupt the economy. (“You need to work on this criminal stuff,” Maldynado informs Amaranthe when she refuses to steal the printing press she needs to follow through on her plan.)

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review 2013-09-23 15:09
Anathema: Cloud Prophet Trilogy: Book One - Megg Jensen

I got this book as a free download on Amazon. In exchange, I offer the author this, my honest review.

A fifteenth birthday should be special, but for Reychel, what makes it special is that she is to be branded as the slave that she is. Awakening bright and early, first to have her head shaved (as slaves must do so that they may be identified easily), Reychel finds her best friend, Ivy, the one who was to accompany Reychel to her branding ceremony—missing. Left in her place is a coin. Reychel rightly concludes that someone from the outside has freed Ivy. 

Reychel's owner will not allow her to see the clouds—except on those rare occasions when Reychel is called to him. The reader is presented with many questions. Why is Reychel the only one who is not allowed to see the clouds? What does the master want with Reychel? Will Reychel be freed before the dreaded brand is placed upon her? The answers to these and other questions are provided, and more questions are delivered, as the reader is brought along on a journey with Reychel and her new found friends, including some capable of wielding unusual magic.

Jensen presents a story complete with mystery, treachery and a bit of romance. For this reader, the betrayal was expected, the true “identity” of the master anticipated, and the romance not entirely believable, but the story was quick and refreshingly original. Anathema will bring YA readers to a satisfying conclusion even while offering them more questions to be addressed in the follow up parts to this series.


Also posted on my website at www.oathtaker.com and on Goodreads, noted on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/PatriciaRedingAuthor), Tweeted, and Pinned.

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review 2013-09-23 04:44
How Clever is That!
Lichgates - S.M. Boyce

I received Litchgates as a free download on Amazon. In exchange, I offer the author this, my honest review.


Note the terrific new cover for this book:  


I open by saying that I was torn between 4 and 5 stars. The reason for this was that I had one fairly significant issue with the story, against which I had to weigh another truly significant bonus for the story. In the end, though BookLikes allows me to post half stars, I decided that I had to go for posting 5 stars!

Litchgates opens with Kara finding her way upon an unkept trail in the Rocky Mountains. There, she has been vacationing with her father, even as the two continued to mourn the death, months earlier, of Kara’s mother—a death for which Kara feels responsible. Coming upon a gate, Kara enters, and is delivered to another realm—a realm of unusual creatures and, of course as fantasy requires—magic, a world wherein Kara becomes the new and long awaited Vagabond.

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review 2013-09-21 20:10
All Prejudices Aside
The God King - James A. West

I dowloaded a free copy of The God King from Amazon. In exchange, I offer the author this, my honest review.

At the outset, I will note a couple of things that under most circumstances might have made me set this book aside—both are issues wholly personal to me and are not likely to speak to other readers. The first is that I am one of those readers of fantasy who does not appreciate the use of the apostrophe for the names of people or things. For example, how exactly do you pronounce Geh’shinnom’atar or Pa’amadin? It’s an odd prejudice of mine that has turned me away from more than one fantasy book or series that I’m sure would have been wonderful to read. Other than the form of such names with which I easily identify—O’Day or d’Artagnon, for example—I just find that reading such names causes me to stumble—over and over again. Thus, I avoid them. The second issue—also personal to me—is that I don’t like “dead people walking.” Whenever a story includes any sort of “zombie” type people—those who cease to live yet are somehow infused with the ability to continue on—I just get the creeps. Both issues were present in The God King and so, I might have put it down. . . .

However, notwithstanding the apostrophes and dead people, I kept on with The God King. The reason that I did so was simple: I just found the story so well written. Largely the tale of Kian, Hazad and Azuri, three Izutarians who reminded me a bit of The Three Musketeers, West weaves his tale smoothly and colorfully, if rather violently. So, here were the things I especially liked:

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