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review 2018-09-25 12:46
The spies uncover further secrets in the second book of the series!
Palace of Treason - Jason Matthews

The Palace of Treason is the second book in a series of three that the author has written about espionage, the type of espionage that could very well be taking place today, in the real world, since the United States and Russia are actively engaged in spying on each other all of the time. 

Dominika Egorova has risen up the ranks in the Russian Intelligence Service. Her life and limb have often been threatened, but even as others are gravely injured and die, she seems miraculously to survive each time. She rises to fight for what she believes in for another day. Trained as a Sparrow, she uses her feminine wiles to get information from susceptible dupes. 

Her handler and sometimes lover is Nate Nash who works for the American Intelligence Service known as the CIA. The agents in the service are dedicated to keeping Captain Egorova alive, for Diva is a double agent, also working for the CIA. Even as she rose to the rank of Captain, in Russia, obtaining her own division to run, and becoming a valuable asset to Putin, she continued to pass information in and out of Russia. The CIA is determined to protect her, as they protect the life of each agent they use in their efforts to keep America safe. The agent’s life is sacrosanct to them.

Dominika uncovers information that is extremely valuable to the security of the United States. Using a system that enables the safe transfer of secrets in and out of Russia, she is able to warn them of upcoming dangers. She learns that Iran, with Russia’s help, is secretly planning to develop weapons grade uranium in a facility hidden from the UN watchdogs.  Using the skills she learned in Sparrow school, she develops a relationship with Yevgeny, the man who is the right hand of her archenemy, Zugurov, her irrational and vicious boss who is bent on eliminating her from the picture since she presents a severe danger to his dreams of success. She keeps besting him at his own game, and thus, she has caught the eye of Putin. Zugurov's right hand man, Yevgeny, whispers secrets to her during their lovemaking sessions, secrets that Zugurov keeps from her to prevent her from achieving further success in the spy game. Through Yevgeny, she learns that there is a mole in the CIA, a mole named Triton, a traitor who intends to reveal her identity along with other valuable government documents. 

There is a great deal of action and intrigue as the story travels through parts of the United States, Russia and Europe. There are spies everywhere, but the Russian spies, in particular, seem to be particularly brutal, defying age old unwritten rules that were supposed to keep them from deliberately harming diplomats. They engage in extremely violent methods to root out information from the foreign agents, methods of torture that sicken those that have to witness and/or carry them out for the monsters that order them to do so. 

The first book was a bit better than this one. It seemed to proceed more smoothly. Additionally, it didn’t contain as many unnecessary prurient references, even with the chapters about the training at Sparrow school. The recipes continue and they break up the tension that the story creates. The narrator does an admirable job interpreting each character and they are easily discernible throughout the novel.



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review 2018-04-26 13:55
Palace of Treason (Red Sparrow Trilogy #2) More realistic spies this episode
Palace of Treason - Jason Matthews

Palace of Treason made me happy. It was the spy novel closest to the ones I love - international intrigue, CIA officers who crack wise with each other, bungling upper managers who couldn't carry a mission in a bucket, stupid puns, great characters on all sides, honor, loyalty, danger, intrigue... That this second novel in the series was so good surprised me, given I thought the first book was just OK. I am headed off to bed with the final part of the trilogy having just grabbed it from the library today. That worked out very well (though I will admit I'm ignoring a few book club books to read these first.)


Nate and Domi (now settled in to her place at the SVR and her code name DIVA) are joined by a larger cast, though the main players are still around. There's levity whenever the CIA team gets together because they are good at their jobs and good at digging each other. Their banter offers space for a breath in a very suspenseful plot.


Basically it's another mole-hunt extravaganza, but this time there's a mole that could expose DIVA's real name. She has a terrifically talented new handler in Moscow, and Dominika doesn't make it easy for anyone to handle her, so she does daring things, putting herself in terrible danger more often than anyone would like. She's never stupid though, and her reasons for putting herself in danger make sense.


Beyond that, Nate and Domi are still together (though usually apart) and they're much more careful in this book. That made my reading less exasperating and my life less terrifying. Please real spies - keep your pants on! Their affair is constantly a point of contention within the CIA and frequently gets Nate in trouble (also he gets called the Dumbassador of StupidLand by his boss, which is cute. The team that handles DIVA from the CIA side are a great trio of characters, with Nate being the least interesting of the three.)


Dominika is gaining ground in the SVG, partying with Putin and the oligarchs and working her way up in Moscow while reporting back to Washington (or wherever the guys are currently stationed - Athens mostly in this book.) One can only imagine what might happen in the final installment. Domi was barely alive when this one ended, so I need to go read that final book of the trilogy now.

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review 2018-01-26 06:19
The Lion of the South - Book Review

If you loved the Scarlet Pimpernel, then you are going to love this book.

Julia Dandridge is back to visit friends in the state of Virginia. Around them, the Civil War is raging, and many families have been torn apart by the ravages of war. As she attempts to fit back into the mold of familiar surroundings, she is struck by the coldness of her once dear friend Landon Graham. Instead of welcoming her back to the home she lived in as a child, he seems angry that she is even there. Living with the weight of the death of his brother, Landon cannot seem to rejoin the world that he once so enjoyed. Instead he drinks heavily and hides himself away in his room.
With Julia there, small snippets of the past seem to slip through, only to be replaced with the cold contempt that has become his norm.
But the war is not one where women sit silent. Many women are involved in listening to the conversations around them and gain valuable information that can be used for military intelligence. Julia has been told that her brother is being held in prison, and that he will be hanged as a traitor if she does not help figure out who the Lion of the South is.
The Lion of the South has been raiding behind the enemy lines, making off with prisoners and officers alike. No one knows where he will strike, and he seems to come and go like a ghost. Julia is offered her brothers life in exchange for the Lion of the South. As she prepares to give the information, she finds that someone she is extremely close to may be involved, and may cause her to not only lose a brother, but the love of her life as well.

I enjoyed reading this book, but from the middle of the book on, it read just like the Scarlet Pimpernel in a different setting.


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review 2017-11-26 07:32
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Fire War 11: Treason - Michael T. Murray

This one was better but a quicker read. I really felt bad for Mr. Jackson and what he went through in this book. The President was even worse in this book then the first one. A lot of things happened in this book for the length of this one compared to the first one.

I really enjoyed the two children of Mr. Jackson, and what happened at the end of the last book, to one of them was just sad. But also what made Mr. Jackson finally open up his eyes on exactly who the President is. As well as what the President is trying to do to are country. So the ending was full of action and gives us the readers, some answers that we might have had. I would definitely recommend this series to my family and friends.

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review 2017-11-13 00:00
Fire War 11: Treason
Fire War 11: Treason - Michael T. Murray Jackson oldest daughter Maya has been taken by the government for rehabilitation for having propaganda in her procession. Jackson wants to get his daughter back so he turns to the only people he knows that can help him and that is the Apocolyte a rebel group that is trying to over throw the government and bring out the truth in order to take back their country and save the people.

The Apocolyte have agreed to help Jackson but in turn he must do a favor for them. It is like you scratch my back and I will scratch your back kind of thing so of course Jackson agrees. After his daughter was taken away it caused Jackson to open his eyes more to really be able to see what the president is doing. With his position at the White House as the president’s top security guy Jackson has access to a lot of information that could help the Apocolyte.

Jackson must now decide which side he wants to play on. Which side does Jackson believe in? Does he think that the president is doing the best thing for the country? Is the president the good guy or the bad guy? Is the Apocolyte the good people or the bad people? Whose team does Jackson want to play on?

Fire War II: Treason has been a fast read it will grab your attention with the first word and will hang on right up to the last word and leaving you wanting more. This has been an awesome journey one in which I can’t wait to follow more of in the next book Fire War III: Uprising.
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