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quote 2018-04-24 10:15
there was nothing I could do but watch as the King of Hybern stepped from belowdecks and smiled at my mate.
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review 2018-04-24 08:05
Havalds Erwachen
Der Wanderer - Richard Schwartz

„Der Wanderer“ ist der letzte Band von „Die Götterkriege“. Es ist der letzte Band einer 12-teiligen Reihe, das Ende einer Reise, die 2006 mit „Das Geheimnis von Askir“ begann. Das Finale erschien 2015. Seitdem war der Autor Richard Schwartz nicht untätig. Erst schloss er 2017 die „Lytar-Chronik“ ab, die er ursprünglich unvollständig unter dem Pseudonym Carl A. deWitt veröffentlichte und die nun neuaufgelegt bei Piper ein Zuhause fand. Sein nächstes Projekt wird im Oktober 2018 erwartet: der erste Band der „Eisraben-Chroniken“, „Fluchbrecher“, eine Mischung aus Science-Fiction und Fantasy. Ich weiß noch nicht, ob ich dieser neuen Reihe eine Chance geben werde. Nach „Der Wanderer“ wird sicher einige Zeit vergehen, bis ich wieder zu einem seiner Bücher greife. Ich denke, ein wenig Abstand wird uns beiden guttun.

 

Einst wurde Havald prophezeit, der Engel des Soltar zu sein. Es ist seine Bestimmung, das Schwert des Lichts in die Heerscharen der Feinde zu tragen, die Legion der Toten zu befehligen und den Krieg der Götter zu beenden. Jahrhundertelang weigerte er sich, die Prophezeiung anzunehmen und sein Schicksal zu akzeptieren. Er schuf seine eigene Legende, wurde der Wanderer, der die Hilfegesuche der Schwachen erhörte, Trost spendete und Hoffnung schenkte. Doch nun kann er die Vorhersehung nicht länger verleugnen. Er muss sich dem Nekromantenkaiser entgegenstellen, um all diejenigen zu retten, die er liebt. Er darf nicht zögern. Er darf nicht zweifeln. Havald muss erkennen, wer er ist, denn nur dann hat er eine Chance, Kolaron Malorbian zu besiegen und den tödlich Griff Thalaks um die sieben Königreiche zu brechen. Die Zukunft der Welt ruht auf seinen Schultern.

 

Die Lektüre von „Der Wanderer“ war ein feierlicher Moment meiner Lesekarriere. Ich muss widerspruchslos anerkennen, wie schwierig es ist, eine Reihe nach 12 Bänden befriedigend abzuschließen und dabei allen inhaltlichen sowie charakterlichen Entwicklungen gerecht zu werden. Persönlich brauchte ich diese 12 Bände, um endlich zu verstehen, worum es in „Die Götterkriege“ tatsächlich geht. „Der Wanderer“ hielt überraschenderweise eine Epiphanie für mich bereit. Es geht nicht um den Krieg der Götter, obwohl dieser der Reihe ihren Namen gibt. Es geht um Havald, um seine persönliche Entwicklung, seinen Konflikt mit sich selbst und seinem Schicksal. In Wahrheit sind „Das Geheimnis von Askir“ und „Die Götterkriege“ nicht nur ein simples Heldenepos, sie sind die Konkretisierung der klassischen maskulinen Heldenreise in drei Akten, wie sie von Joseph Campbell 1949 postuliert und von Victoria Schmidt 2001 verfeinert wurde. Dieser Theorie zufolge durchläuft der Held auf seiner Reise bestimmte Stationen der Erkenntnis und der Veränderung, die ihn darauf vorbereiten, im dritten Akt vor die Wahl gestellt zu werden, zu erwachen oder zu rebellieren, was sich direkt auf den Erfolg seiner Mission auswirkt. „Erwachen“ bedeutet in diesem Kontext, sich seinen Fehlern zu stellen und den Wandel seiner Persönlichkeit zu akzeptieren, wodurch er letztendlich siegreich sein wird. Alles wird leicht, sobald der Held zu sich selbst findet. Genau diese Phase erleben wir in „Der Wanderer“: Havald nimmt sein Schicksal an, erkennt, wer er ist und ist deshalb endlich bereit, den Nekromantenkaiser herauszufordern. Durch die Verschiebung meines Blickwinkels ergeben viele Hindernisse, die ich während der Lektüre des zweiten Zyklus überwinden musste, rückblickend einen Sinn. Das heißt nicht, dass ich Richard Schwartz meine weitreichende Enttäuschung gänzlich verzeihe, weil „Die Götterkriege“ meiner Ansicht nach trotz dessen unnötig kompliziert und umständlich sind und er sich wesentlich stärker auf Havald hätte konzentrieren müssen, statt sich von ziellosen Nebenhandlungssträngen ablenken zu lassen, aber jetzt begreife ich zumindest, was all das Trara sollte, das „Der Wanderer“ in einer actiongeladenen Handlung kumuliert. Ich fand das Finale daher angemessen, wenn auch nicht völlig überzeugend. Einige inhaltliche Details fallen unter den Tisch, andere werden zu fix abgehakt, doch insgesamt schien es mir der emotional mitreißendste Band des Zyklus zu sein. Die Legende des Wanderers ist wunderschön, die Loyalität der Legion der Toten verursachte mir eine Gänsehaut und die philosophische Ebene, die hinterfragt, wie Göttlichkeit definiert ist, verleiht der Geschichte deutlich mehr Tiefgang, als ich erwartet hatte. Außerdem kann und möchte ich nicht leugnen, dass sich ab und zu ein bisschen Wehmut in mein Herz schlich. Mich von Havald und seinen Freunden nach all den Jahren verabschieden zu müssen, war traurig. Allerdings stellte sich ebenfalls ein Gefühl von Erleichterung ein. Wir haben es geschafft.

 

Zu Ehren des Abschlusses des Zyklus „Die Götterkriege“ habe ich versucht, ein Interview mit Richard Schwartz zu finden, in dem er sich dazu äußert, wie er die Erfahrung, eine 12-teilige Reihe zu beenden, erlebte. Leider konnte ich nichts Brauchbares auftreiben. Stattdessen stolperte ich über Interviews, die Schwartz zu Beginn seiner Karriere gab, mitten im Entstehungsprozess des ersten Zyklus, „Das Geheimnis von Askir“. Es war unheimlich interessant, zu lesen, wie er seine Arbeit damals einschätzte, wie er seine Geschichte und seine Figuren wahrnahm und welche Pläne er für den zweiten Zyklus hatte. Vieles kam völlig anders als gedacht. Ob das nun gut oder schlecht ist, ist reine Spekulation, aber ich gebe zu, trotz meiner zahlreichen Schwierigkeiten mit „Die Götterkriege“ empfinde ich für „Der Wanderer“ eine Menge Respekt, weshalb ich mit meiner Bewertung großzügig war. Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass Schwartz irgendwann noch einmal in dieses Universum zurückkehrt und ja, ich würde ihm folgen. Ich mag von seiner schriftstellerischen Leistung in diesem Zyklus nicht begeistert gewesen sein, aber ich betrachte seine Figuren noch immer als meine Freunde. Und Freunde verdienen immer eine zweite Chance.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/richard-schwartz-der-wanderer
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text 2018-04-24 07:10
New Release Blitz - In Azgarth's Shadow

 

Title:  In Azgarth's Shadow

Author: Cassie Sweet

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: April 23, 2018

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 94100

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, LGBT, steampunk, fantasy, friends to lovers, fae

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis:

 

When popular artist Nicholas Alexandre is shot and killed in a patron’s bedroom and his body dumped in Whitechapel, it is up to the talents of Drs. Mikhail Stanslovich and Dante Savoy to bring him back to life. Since the death of his beloved sister a few months before, Nicholas has lamented his pact with the fae master, Azgarth—for the world of the fae is one of broken promises and terrifying illusions.

 

Fae agent, Roman Cetanni has spent his tenure as one of Azgarth’s representatives trying to shield his charges from the fae master’s wrath. But what once seemed a division of worlds has now morphed until the lines between the human and fae world are blurred.

 

Even as Roman tries to help Nicholas recover from his injuries, a new threat looms. Lately more beings from the fae have invaded the human realm, and Oiredon, another fae master, wishes an alliance with Roman and his charges to aid in overthrowing Azgarth. In these uncertain times, one thing is for certain: war has come to the fae and the lives of the humans they’ve touched hang in the balance.

 

Excerpt:

 

In Azgarth’s Shadow

Cassie Sweet © 2018

All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter One

 

Light caressed Lady Clarissa’s bare breasts, creating interesting shadows as supplied by the long dark hair that cascaded over her shoulders in tousled curls. The strands revealed as much as they hid. She lay on the bed, gaze fixed out the window, staring at the moonlight. A pensive expression filled her lovely face. She didn’t do pensive well. Pouting and preening were more in line with her nature. Oh, there were the intrigues, instigations, and incidents, but they were solely to amuse.

 

“How much longer, Nicholas?”

 

“Not too much, my dear.”

 

Nicholas Alexandre put the finishing touches on the canvas and stepped back from his work. He’d painted her as Tatiana from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most people assumed Shakespeare wrote the play as a fanciful comedy. What they didn’t know, or understand, was the fact the Bard wrote it from his experiences of the fae realm.

 

Lady Clarissa was as much Tatiana as any woman Nicholas had ever known. Petty and jealous, she lived in a world where her needs and desires were met at the cost of those around her. He indulged her because her behavior, though outrageous, amused him. He enjoyed the way her schemes horrified society. These days, it was the only thing that lifted his grief.

 

He studied the details of the painting, not quite satisfied with the illumination. Not to worry, he’d add flourishes later. For now, he was exhausted and wanted only to pack up his paints and—

 

The door burst open and banged against the wall.

 

“You wretched whore!”

 

Lady Clarissa screamed and grabbed at a sheet to shield her naked torso from her enraged husband. “My heart, it’s not what you think.”

 

Sir Rodderick Danworth laughed and held the dueling pistol pointed at Nicholas’s stomach. “You expect me to believe that? In my own bedroom?”

 

Nicholas wiped paint from his brush, unperturbed that the angry husband threatened his life. “As you see, I came here to work. I’m nothing more than a humble painter.”

 

The laugh this time came out bitter, pained. “There is nothing humble about you. Do your promises mean nothing?”

 

A prick of conscience and a slight brush of regret. “My word is still good, but my purse is not subject to the whims of honor. I still need to eat and live. I have a grieving mother to support.”

 

The fact his mother hadn’t left her bed since his sister’s death, notwithstanding.

Rodderick kept his gaze focused on Nicholas, much as a hunter might a wild animal. Something stirred in the depths of his eyes, not entirely of the man himself. “You are nothing more than a deceiver. A liar.”

 

Nicholas inclined his head in a subtle acknowledgment of the accusation and let his suspicions fall to the ground unvoiced. “And so I am what the world has made me.”

Realization and pain morphed into fury, filling Rodderick’s eyes. He fought an inner demon that shone in the dark depths. The gun went off.

 

Nicholas watched in horror as the shot struck him true. Crimson bloomed across the front of his white shirt, spreading like paint through a jar of mineral spirits. Odd how no pain registered.

 

The paintbrush dropped from fingers that no longer worked. Sound became a distant, hollow thing. A scream came from behind him, but even that had the quality of a train entering a tunnel, the whistle fading into the dark earth.

 

If he’d had the ability, Nicholas would have laughed. A mortal wound would not kill one such as him; it only released him into the hands of the fae master, Azgarth. And therein lay his real fear. Servitude on this plane was one of commerce, a way to provide for his family in the manner they’d become accustom. Being one of the chosen in the fae realm for eternity was not the thing of beauty Azgarth promised. The thing he’d seen welling in Rodderick’s eyes.

 

The only one to derive any pleasure from such an association was Azgarth himself. However, it might give him a chance to see Juliana again. To see if she’d been taken into the fae realm on her death and protected.

 

Rodderick stood over him, his face white, lips pale. Tears streamed down his face. The darkness had faded from his eyes. “Look what you made me do.”

 

He was unsure if Rodderick meant Nicholas, Clarissa, or Azgarth. He moved his arm to try to cover the wound and staunch the flow, but could do nothing more than watch as the blood began to soak into the carpet beneath.

 

Lady Clarissa finally rose from the bed. She stood over Nicholas, looking down on him.

 

Her mouth was pinched with displeasure, no doubt for the stains that ruined the Aubusson. “I knew your jealousy would one day be your downfall.”

 

Rodderick still held the pistol. Disbelief pulled his mouth down at the corners. “I’ve killed him.”

 

Nicholas tried to inform Rodderick that he was very much mistaken—he still lived and heard every word they said. The one to kill him was much worse than Rodderick could ever imagine.

 

Lady Clarissa took Rodderick by the arm. “No. We will keep this between the two of us.

 

Call Charles and have him dump the body in Whitechapel. No one will bat an eye for one more murder in that part of town.”

 

Rodderick nodded mutely. He started out of the room, then turned back as Nicholas took one last shuddery breath.

 

Purchase:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

 

Cassie Sweet lives in beautiful Pensacola, Florida and often enjoys watching the Blue Angels do practice flyovers from the window in her writing nook. Growing up with a great love for the Grimm’s Fairytales and the original Star Trek, her stories might involve paranormal elements, space travel, or a combo platter of both.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Giveaway:

 

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review 2018-04-23 14:58
ARC Review: How to Break an Undead Heart (Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #3) by Hailey Edwards
How to Break an Undead Heart - Hailey Edwards
How to Break an Undead Heart

Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #3
Hailey Edwards
Urban Fantasy
Black Dog Books, LLC
March 30th 2018
eBook
296
ARC Review Copy

 

The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, Book 3

 

Grier finally has the one thing she’s always wanted: Boaz Pritchard. Too bad her dream boyfriend is keeping her up nights, just not in a sweaty or fun way. Boaz has dialed down the Southern charm and stopped returning her calls. His job forces him to keep secrets, but his radio silence is cranking up her suspicions. He’s a shameless flirt, but he’s her shameless flirt…right?

 

Soon an attack on Woolworth House leaves her with bigger problems than he loves me, he loves me not. Vampires are on the prowl, and they aren’t the only predators circling. A new threat has emerged, one with blood rights to Grier. With enemies closing in on all sides, she must choose her allies, and the decision could make or break her…and her heart.

 

Warning: This book contains a buttload of zombie parakeet poop. Like grab a poncho and thank me later. Watch out, y’all. It’s about to hit the fan. Hearts will break, and heads will roll. Literally.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

** Note: You do need to read this series in order.

 

How to Break an Undead Heart is by far the best in the Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series to date. I devoured this extraordinary novel in one sitting.

 

WOW, the title should have been a dead give away, but I wasn’t expecting what happens to happen. The author left me an emotional wreck and I’m still getting tears in my eyes, when I think about what happened.

 

The story takes place close to where How to Claim an Undead Soul ends. Not much time has passed between books. Grier and company sparkle off the pages. Boaz is out on a confidential assignment, Amelie is working through her house arrest, and Linus is trying to help Grier get knowledge on her necromancy skills.

 

Their are a few different conflicts introduced in this one. The master is still trying to take Grier under his care, Linus and Grier are trying to understand what Grier can do, and Boaz is being sketchy.

 

In the last book Boaz said he was all in and it seams like they where finally going to be TOGETHER, but she has some concerns that he’s not as in as he said he was, especially since he’s talking to Amelie all the time and only shows up when Grier is severely hurt. I really liked Boaz and was hoping for the underdog to come out on top, but what Boaz does made me say Goodbye.

 

As for Linus; I still don’t see him as a lover, but the possibility is open. At this time he’s more a friend and teacher. I liked that we got to see more of Linus and his different masks he wears and his Wrath. The combination is interesting and Linus plays more of a role in this installment. He gets Grier out of the house, shows her a different life, and helps her grow. With what Grier went through she never got to have the life she dreamed and now she learns that she will never be the same Grier and it’s time to let go of many things and move forward.

 

So much happens in How to Break an Undead Heart. We learning more about Grier, get to meet new creatures, and have our heartbroken. Edwards ripped out my heart at the end. I’m not sure if I’m glad she did it, but I see it needed to be done. Grier needed to let go of so many things. No one likes to let their first love go, but it’s something that happens in life.

 

I’ll leave you with this. My heart broke for Grier and Woolly, the house, so have tissues ready. I cried the last 15% of this book, but I couldn’t stop; because it’s such an important and impactful moment for everyone involved.

 

Rated: 5 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Hailey Edwards with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/04/arc-review-how-to-break-an-undead-heart-beginners-guide-to-necromancy-3-by-hailey-edwards
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quote 2018-04-22 22:38
Remind me to give you a salary raise.” I choked on a cough. “For what?” “For the sage counsel—and the other vital services you provide me.” He winked. I laughed in earnest, and squeezed his face as I pressed a swift kiss to his mouth. “Shameless flirt.”
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