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review 2018-01-26 00:35
Mannethorn's Key: Book One of the Key of... Mannethorn's Key: Book One of the Key of Life Trilogy (Volume 1) - Simon Lindley

Fans of the epic fantasy genre who appreciate complex, well-detailed and absorbing quest sagas will find Mannethorn’s Key the perfect choice for a long winter's night. 

 

The story opens with an intelligent drakehawk bird who is being called back home via magic. It turns out that Ka is the decoy for bringing Grailborn to the wizard's door, and the reward for her loyalty is betrayal. 

 

Algarth Willowbrow's kingdom is in ruins: Grailborn has overcome his wards, his magic tricks and drakehawk have failed, and all that's left is a secret that involves a costly compromise and a final encounter that will ultimately determine the fate of Drageverden. 

 

In another world, former broker Bartholomew Waxman has also gambled everything and lost; but he's about to embark on a journey between worlds he never knew existed, on a quest that could change them both.  

 

Can a wizard stripped of his powers and an unsuspecting human who has already lost everything amass a power between them that can save both realms? 

 

One pleasure of Mannethorn’s Key lies in its ability to depict two very different worlds and purposes and bring them together in unexpected ways. 

 

As Bart and Algarth consider their choices, breaches of tradition, and most of all, their failures, other characters enter the story that also have lost much and made decisions that conflicted with their interests.

 

Rage and revenge, a key hidden by Mannethorn that involves Bart in impossible circumstances, and mythical relics that explain much but are never found all make for a gripping story. 

 

It should be cautioned that violence, swearing, and clashes on more than one level permeate the story line. These are always in keeping with the tale at hand, but add an extra dimension of spice and angst to the story that may stymie fantasy fans looking for clean action reading. 

 

It should also be mentioned that Mannethorn’s Key is the opener to a series and only explores Bart's first day of experiences in Drageverden. More books are in order, and will likely flush out the story of guardians, spells, and dilemmas of a man who knows he is no savior, but seems to have been thrust into this unlikely role, with Mannethorn Lexipath holding the key to everything. 

 

Readers of epic fantasy looking for a powerful winter read will relish the detail and world Simon Lindley has crafted here, which sets the stage for further books in the Key of Life trilogy. 

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text 2018-01-03 12:48
Reading progress update: I've read 245 out of 336 pages.
Archie: The Married Life Book 6 (The Married Life Series) - Fernando Ruiz,Paul Kupperberg,X.J. Kennedy,X.J. Kennedy

I'm actually enjoying this more than I suspected I would.  

 

But - Archie OD.

 

I need something else, so Clive Barker's Nightbreed and flying through some Judge Dredd Humble Bundle instead. 

 

Also, possibly some actual catching up with the comics I buy week by week, because my pile is still grossly large on that side of things.

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review 2017-09-26 16:43
For Life or Until: Love and Warfare series book 1 - Anne Garboczi Evans,Heather McCurdy,Gregg Bridgeman

For Love or Until by Anne Garboczi Evans
This story starts out with Ness, a Celt and she's warming the water. Cedric loves her since forever. He wants to set up his farmland before he asks for her hand.
She plans her farmland and wants to raise sheep and weave the wool.
After the dance she's informed he had asked someone else to marry another girl.
The Roman tribune, Aquillus wants to marry her to raise their children as Romans and she accepts in retaliation of not being wed by Cedric.
She thought she'd be closer to her family but is not within days of their location any longer. She tries to befriend women and they just hate her, like she's from the wrong side of the tracks.
She has to go through so much pain and heartbreak and you wonder if the couple will ever be happy at all...
Parts that struck me the most were those of what she has to do to survive for her children and herself as she lends to the fields. She follows her passions and something she always wanted to do.
Like that after the Latin phrases are spoken they are translated in English so you can not left in the dark. Enjoyed listening to their traditions as they are explained.
Love the travel and that she had brought seeds for the land she was moving to. Love that knitting is mentioned and things other make and sell to make money for the family.
Love learning new words as I look them up to find out what they mean.
Excerpt from the second book in this series is included.
Received this review copy from the publisher Olivia Kimbrell Press via Bookfun.org and this is my honest review.

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text 2017-09-17 11:36
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon Book 4) - Eli Easton

"The thing about dogs was, they were incapable of artifice or guile. They just wanted to be loved. They were far superior to humans in that regard, and in pretty much every other way besides."

Yep. Dogs are just 100% better than people.

 

 

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review 2017-09-04 20:31
If you’ve ever wanted to read a book that makes you feel good...
How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon Book 4) - Eli Easton

...leaves you smiling and wanting more and makes you laugh every time you talk to your own fur baby and he tilts his head at you like every word out of your mouth is vitally important and he knows exactly what you’re saying and you’ve been left wondering “How much do you truly understand?”…you need to stop right now and check out Eli Easton’s ‘Howl at the Moon’ series because it will do all that and more.

 

I love this series…from ‘How to Howl at the Moon’ to ‘How to Save a Life’ we are introduced to some of the most adorable and loving characters a reader could hope to meet. ‘How to Save a Life’ simply continues this tradition as we watch Rav and Sammy meet and fall in love.

 

Rav was first introduced to us in book #3 ‘How to Wish Upon a Star’. He runs a rescue shelter in Arizona that cares for older and hard to place dogs frequently saving them from surrounding shelters known to have a high kill and this is how Rav and Sammy first come to encounter each other. It’s when Rav looks into Sammy’s eyes after rescuing him from a shelter where his time was running out because dogs are euthanized after 90 days that Rav’s reminded of the dogs he’d met from Mad Creek.

 

Sammy’s life as a dog hasn’t been good. After losing his first person and then being cared for by her sister who loves him but has an abusive partner, Sammy ends up being taken to a local shelter knowing that her partner will only continue to hurt Sammy and she’d sworn to her sister that she’d care for him.

 

Ironically, it’s Sammy’s escape from Rav’s shelter that brings both Sammy and Rav to Mad Creek. While Rav’s drawn to Sammy, it’s actually Mad Creek that calls to him and makes him want to settle there. Rav’s never been a big fan of people but his love of dogs is strong and what motivated him to start a rescue shelter. It’s not until Rav arrives in Mad Creek that he actually meets Sammy in his human form.

 

While Rav is a confident dog loving, bad boy, biker dude who spends his days rescuing dogs. Sammy is a sweet, earnest, naïve and eager to please newly quickened Chocolate Lab.

 

When Rav sees Sammy for the first time he’s definitely attracted to him but he also realizes that if he’s going to get close to Sammy it’s going to take time and patience and since staying in Mad Creek is Rav’s end game giving Sammy some space is something he can do.

 

This one’s a slow burn and probably one of the sweetest building romances I’ve read in a long time…possibly ever. Sammy’s incredible sweetness and innocence combined with his wonky sense of humor and enthusiasm for his new human form and just life in general was for me irresistible, especially when combined with Rav’s patience and the pleasure that he got from just being with Sammy to make this story a total treat to read from start to finish.

 

Along with Rav and Sammy’s story we get to enjoy catching up with the other couples from Mad Creek that we were introduced to in previous stories as the town of Mad Creek pulls together to not only save their town but ensure its future.

 

I’m not sure if Ms Easton has more planned for this series but if she does then just sign me up because I’m there and if this is the end of the journey than I can’t really complain because the trips been a whole lot of fun and puppy love and everyone knows you can never go wrong if there are fur babies involved.

 

********************

An ARC of ‘How to Save a Life’ as graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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