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review 2018-05-28 22:49
Book Review of Balanced on the Blade's Edge (Dragon Blood Book 1) by Lindsay Buroker
Balanced on the Blade's Edge - Lindsay Buroker

Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…

 

Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.

 

Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade—her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in the Dragon Blood series. I loved it!

 

Colonel Ridge Zirkander is a wonderful character. I really liked him. In fact, I have a bit of a book boyfriend crush on him. I love his irreverence and dry wit. It reminds me of the way Richard Dean Anderson portrays Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG1. He is one of the best pilots in the Iskandian army. He is charming, though irreverent, and his flying skills are in great demand, but due to an event that sees him punching a diplomat he has been given new orders and sent to prison mine in the Ice Blade mountains as the new commander. The mine contains crystals that power their dragon fliers - planes that are designed to look like the dragons that once lived millennia ago. When he arrives at the mine, he is confronted by an unusual sight - a woman wearing a summer dress in the middle of winter.

 

Sardelle Terushan is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a sorceress and a healer. When her home, where the Referatu lived came under attack, she found refuge in a mage stasis chamber. There she stayed until she woke three hundred years later, when she was found by a couple of miners. Determined to locate her soulblade, Jaxi, but struggling to come to terms with the amount of time that's passed, she finds herself confronted by the challenge of hiding her powers in a world that detests magic users, and her attraction to the new mine commander.

 

This story is a mix of steampunk and fantasy. I started to read and didn't put it down until I finished it. I found myself completely hooked from the first page. I love the world-building the author has done to bring this book to life. I also love Jaxi, Sardelle's soulblade. She is a young sorceress who died due to illness, but before dying, her soul was magically placed within a sword. Soulblades bond with their handlers until their handlers die; guide or assist them when needed, then either bond to a new handler or allow themselves to die when they no longer wish to serve. Jaxi is six hundred years old, but because she died young she has a decidedly teen outlook at times, with sarcasm being one of her tools, as well as an irreverence for a person's privacy. I love her witty banter, some of it had me giggling.

 

Iskandia is at war with Cofahre, a rival nation that is determined to take over Iskandia. The Cofah use dirigible type balloons to fly over the ocean, thus the steampunk feel to the story. The Iskandian pilots fly planes that are shaped like dragons but remind me of the old-fashioned planes from the early 1900s - lightweight - though with a mix of propeller and thrusters which reminds me of the Harrier jets that use something similar sans the propeller. The author has mixed these two to create something unique. As the story progressed, I found myself looking forward to seeing how it all played out.

 

Ridge and Sardelle make a wonderful couple and their chemistry is instantaneous. I love how the author wove their love story together with action filled sections that kept me on the edge of my seat. The magical owl is uber scary! There are a couple of scenes between these two that are a little steamy but not explicit. I must admit that I felt a little sorry for Ridge at times, as he gets two for the price of one in this relationship, but he seems to take things in his stride. I reached the end of the book and immediately went and purchased as many books in the series I could, as well as pre-ordered the next book in the series which was due to be released. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Deathmaker, as soon as I can.

 

Lindsay Buroker is a new author to me. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful too. I haven't read any of her other books before, however, she has found a fan in me. I am looking forward to reading her other book series as soon as I can.

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature (though not explicit) and some violence, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love steampunk, paranormal romance, low fantasy and epic fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-05-26 00:01
The Thief and the Sword (Cleopatra in Space #2) - Mike Maihack
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Awesome continuation of the series. This one picks up right where the last one left off and goes deeper into the prophecies mentioned in the first book. Same great artwork, dialogue style, and characters with a new, mysterious thief and a devious plot involving the charismatic Cleopatra.

Great adventure story that is funny, entertaining, and fast-paced. Just like the first one, this is a perfect read for young graphic novel fans or those just getting into graphic novels. 

I really enjoy all of the action sequences. They are set up in a similar way to fighting scenes in action movies with a great balance of fighting and finesse without being gory or graphic. 

Overall, a wonderful book and an awesome series. I just picked up the third book and am very excited to read it. 
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review 2018-05-15 15:43
The Sword Of Shannara - Terry Brooks

Lo, these many years ago I read this. After seeing the TV series I decided to revisit the books. I remember borrowing them from the Libraries at the time but I only read so far before stopping, I think I just stopped caring and now that I'm revisiting I'm finding that I don't really care what happens to the characters outside of seeing where the plot is going to lead them. It is interesting to see a world that 's more SF than fantasy as it's a post apocalypse story where Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and all of that are as a result of a catacalysm and it's quite complicated.

Shea Olmford is a half-elf and Allanon takes him from his familiar world to help save the world from the Warlord King as he's the last heir of Shannara and the only rightful bearer of the Sword of Shannara.

It has a few lazy "all x do y" moments but otherwise quite readable.

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text 2018-05-06 17:36
May Flowers TBR
Sisters of Heart and Snow - Margaret Dilloway
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Sword of Summer - Rick Riordan,John Rocco

Okay, so I am completely dragging my feet these last 2 months, and I finally realized part of the reason why. I have been off my anxiety meds since the end of February because my new pharmacy doesn't do autorefills and they are inept morons. They couldn't "get in contact with my doctor" to get the authorization for my Lexapro. Usually I'm okay for a few weeks without it, but I will become progressively more distracted and find it hard to focus on thing I usually enjoy. After about the 5th time of these people saying they hadn't heard back from my doctor, I fired off an email to him and within SECONDS he had them on the phone with my refill instructions. Somehow, the man wasn't dead on the other end of the line. Weird, right? When they send faxes to his designated refill line they claim they get nothing but all I do is send an email and he resurrected from the grave. I'm finding a new pharmacy with this next refill. I used to use Target because they did the autorefill and would even call in when I ran out of refills so I didn't have to do anything but show up once a month. Then Tricare dropped them. Maybe I will go back to Walgreens? Target is CVS so I can't use them. Ugh. But I have my pills again to get my brain back in line.

 

It's terrible to be trapped inside your head. I had to install an app on my phone to remind me to put it down because I was so obsessive about checking posts and just wasting time. The app pops up with a notification that says "isn't there something else you can be doing?" Hahaha, uh, yeah, I think so. I've backed off social media, and I'm forcing myself to read.

 

I should be back to myself in a month, once the Lex gets back into my system and makes the spinning thoughts slow down. I told my husband "I literally cannot read. I pick up the book and I can't focus on the words." He went and picked up the pills for me. I have a good hubby. If any of you have this problem, you understand it is not joke. It's exhausting. 

 

 

So I'm going to do my best to finish last month's books, then read all the comics I got from Free Comic Book Day. And maybe knock out some of my piles up Humble Bundle graphic novels.

 

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text 2018-04-18 16:02
Reading progress update: I've read 330 out of 664 pages.
The Sword Of Shannara - Terry Brooks

I read this many many years ago and thought to read it again, it falls into the racial trap a lot, aka all x are y; and I'm tired of this.

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