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review 2017-06-22 21:16
Review: Warrior of Fire (Blood & Silver #2) by Shona Husk 4 out of 5 stars
Warrior of Fire - Shona Husk

This is the second installment in the Blood and Silver series. I honestly feel that this story cannot be read as a stand alone to be fully enjoyed as there are many aspects that would be missed if the first story is not read, well, first.

Leira and Julian are both part of an ancient yet almost extinct magical race called Albah. Because of prejudice and misconceptions about magic, their race has been hunted for as long as they can remember and now Julian is a target of those that want to end the Albah.

Fate plays an important role here but it’s not the focal point. The author manages to dance around it by making the characters think there is an already established path for everyone but also plays with the outcome by giving them infinite options depending on the choices people make.
In the case of Leira, and because of her magic, she knew she and Julian were supposed to meet but as the story progressed she wasn’t so sure anymore if that meant if they were supposed to be lovers or if he was just supposed to be in her life as something else. Julian knew there had to be more than magic and fate involved in their relationship because of the chemistry between them, and it was not just physical attraction but something deeper. And I definitely thanked the author for that because she didn’t go for the insta-lust here.
In the end, in spite of magic, fate, and crazy people going after them, they decided that risking it all for an uncertain but happy future was worth the risk.

The pace was a little slow for my taste but I’m willing to overlook it because I really liked this fantasy world, the complex characters and I thought this was a well-developed story.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-03-01 03:10
ARC review: Lady of Silver (Blood and Silver, #1) by Shona Husk (4 out of 5 stars)
Lady of Silver (Blood & Silver) - Shona Husk

I've read pretty much everything this author has published in the US so I jumped at the chance to read this new series. It was a short but engaging read that I’m sure I’d have finished reading in one sitting if it hadn’t been because life got in the way.

As a detective investigating a savage murder, Dale has no other choice at the moment but to seek assistance of “psychic” Saba Venn. The only problem was he thought her to be a huge charlatan that took advantage of people that did believe in that sort of things. As an Albah, Saba knew more than she let on but she couldn’t tell Dale much because for one she had secrets to protect, and two because there wasn’t much he was willing to believe.
I liked the world setting and creatures depicted in the story. For such a short reading all characters were well developed and so was the plot. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out who the villain was and that the hero was not the typical Alpha, overbearing type of guy. I thought it was a nice change from other, longer stories.

I also thought the author made a great job creating a believable story between detective and civilian, even as the relationship changed gears to more romantic. Their attraction was there from the beginning but it was not insta-lust and even though it was a short read I never got the feeling that the romance was rushed. Even though Dale’s hesitancy and inflexible attitude put a restraint on the romance it actually gave it a sort of angst-y feeling. But don’t worry, there is a definitely a HEA and there will be more to come since this is just the introduction to the series.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2016-06-17 06:11
Warrior Queen (Skeleton Key) by Shona Husk
Warrior Queen - Shona Husk

Warrior Queen is part of a series called the Skeleton Key. The premise of each story is that someone finds the magical key and enters a world of magic and endless possibilities, however each story is completely different from the next and each can be read as a standalone.

 

In Warrior Queen we meet worn out cop Bryce Allard who after a serious mistake at work decides to leave that life behind and try something new but on the night of his last day of work he somehow ends up with the Skeleton Key and is transported to Queen Keleti’s kingdom.

Now I have to say Keleti rocked my world. She didn’t sound bossy because clearly she knew she was the boss and knew there was no need to overuse her power. She knew what she wanted and didn’t need to seduce it out of the hero to get it, she simply was. Because of her traditions she didn’t need a husband and there was no need for a king, so she basically could rule by herself but she was allowed to have a consort. I loved that she took that matter into her hands and decided when and how that was going to happen.

 

 

And Bryce, although he used to be a cop he was calm and never overbearing; never the annoying alpha that tried to overprotect "his" female. He knew his place and actually stayed out of the way when he thought it was best and help when he thought it was prudent.

If anything, Shona Husk has written some of my favorite PNR/Fantasy non-alpha heroes I’ve ever read and Bryce is one of them.

 

The whole idea of a magical key that opened to different worlds sounded intriguing. I would have loved for all of these keys to have a very specific purpose or to have a background story to the key but that wasn’t the case or not that I know of. As it is, this book was a semi-quick read with plenty of fantasy, action, and funny moments to keep me turning the pages. 4 stars.

 

 

** I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review **

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review 2016-04-17 16:07
The Darkling Lord - Shona Husk

Henry Saint must kill someone and take their soul every year on his birthday to exist. He was the product of a human and a grey - a banished fairy. A kiss will steal the soul Henry needs. Henry has survived over a century which is a rarity for a Darkling. He started out in poverty and worked himself up to a successful man.

There seemed to be something left unresolved by the end of this story. I really didn’t like that. Also a lot of the time this story had problems keeping my attention and I barely finished it. Just really didn’t interest me very much.

I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.

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review 2016-03-11 17:52
How to Breathe Fire by Shona Husk
How To Breathe Fire - Shona Husk

Each year, the prosperous island nation of Adar offers one of its women to the Fire God as a bride in order to appease him and keep from being buried under lava and ashes. The newest offering is Camea. Although most other women would be trembling in fear, Camea is secretly elated. She figures that it's one of the witches who kills the women, and not the Fire God himself. If she can overpower the witch, she can escape Adar on one of the trading ships and see the world she's always dreamed about.

It isn't a witch that kills the bride...but it also isn't the Fire God. Matai is a prince of Adar who, many generations ago, was punished by the Fire God. He was turned into a being of fire and, each year since then, has been forced to live with a bride for a year and then kill her in order to save Adar. Even as Matai tries to keep as much distance from Camea as the Fire God will allow, he finds himself intrigued by her fearlessness.

This story was okay, although too short to be more than that. It reminded me of the “Beauty and the Beast” story, with maybe a hint of the Persephone myth. Matai was the prince who was transformed for being a jerk to a witch. Camea's frustration with being locked up inside the volcano reminded me of Persephone's desire to see the world above. A lot of what kept me reading was a desire to find out what Camea and Matai's happy ending would look like, and how they would manage to achieve it.

The “Camea and Matai getting to know each other” stuff was much less interesting than I'd hoped, in large part because Matai was pretty boring. I liked Camea's determination. If she had to be Matai's prisoner, then she'd at least convince him to let her out enough so that she could see the sky. If he refused to talk to her, she'd make it so that he couldn't ignore her. Matai, on the other hand, hadn't even thought of testing his own abilities until Camea started asking him questions.

Additional Comments:

I should mention that Camea was raped by the farmer's son she would have had to marry if she hadn't been chosen to be the Fire God's newest bride. It happened before the story began and was referred to in such a low-key way that I kept forgetting about it. I was a little bugged by how it was handled. At most, it made Camea nervous about having sex with Matai.

 

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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