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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-03-06 17:51
Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

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How do you kill a god? As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.


Lot of hit & miss here. First the premise is intriguing but kinda heavy-handed... and ridiculous.  A bunch of local villages have little to no contact with each other yet have so much in common: customs, language, traditions & their subjugation to the will of a powerful being.  It's explained Peruxolo just showed up one day, brought everyone to their knees with his powers & it's been downhill ever since.  They still venerate the goddess they've always prayed to- who never intervened in any of this- but this one's here, now & wants stuff.

 

The idea of a girl leading a village is unthinkable, yet Rasmira's father finds himself in just that situation what with having no sons in all of his brood.  His wife even feels the brunt of his disappointment for her role in all this and responds by both shunning her precocious child and seeking what she considers redemption in a very un-motherly way. Fortunately, Rasmira's sister is a master healer who's created a poultice that heals wounds almost immediately- based on properties of some of the local monsters- and packs a whole bunch of them for her before leaving.  Oddly enough, these come in pretty handy later on.  Whew- glad we dodged that bullet.

 

During her exile, Rasmira meets an unlikely pair of likewise exiled boys- Iric & Soren- who've been surviving in the wild for about a year now, via their partnership.   After the usual getting to know you/can we trust you process, Rasmira convinces the boys that by working together on their mattgurs, they can all go home- especially if they complete theirs first.  Luckily, Iric happens to be a master at smithcraft to make their weapons & armor and Soren's a pretty darn good hunter himself with a heart as big as the world, the kind of heart a girl could learn to appreciate in a guy.  Wow- what are the odds of all that happening?

 

Being a YA novel, the three teens with skills & reasoning far beyond those of the adults bond together and manage to do what the adults failed to even attempt in hundreds of years- including bonding together just to survive in the first place.  Go figure.

 

The concept of the mattgurs is almost incomprehensible.  You failed your Rite of Passage- now go away and die.  We'll assign you a challenge to make it look like you've got a chance to come home but, seriously- fuck off.  Why?  With almost no contact between villages, monsters all over the place and a god who demands so much tribute you need every able-bodied person on hand to meet quotas you're having trouble meeting... why would you do that? Finding, trapping & killing the monsters to complete their quests took some work, but it's nothing anyone else couldn't have done if they'd ever so much as TRIED!  Granted, solving the mystery of Peruxolo takes some effort & daring, but that's the worst part of the book: making everyone else dumb so the main characters seem smart by comparison.  It's made clear that no one's ever even attempted to before just so these three can save the day.

 

It's also LGBT-friendly, as Iric's open homosexuality isn't even an issue & his primary motivation is to get back to his village to reunite with the boy he loves.  The social commentary subtext feels forced seeing how same-sex relationships are normal yet women can't be warriors or leaders.

 

There's plenty of stuff to like here- the mystery of Peruxolo never really is one, but unearthing the details will hold your interest.  And there's some character moments & insights that are clever and the world itself is interesting.  It just all feels like set pieces that never really fit together.

 

3.5/5 stars.

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text 2019-02-22 21:35
Reading Progress: Warrior of the Wild & Priory of the Orange Tree

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***As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.***

 

I'm on page 199. Wasn't feeling it too much at first; seemed more focused on the idea of romance than telling the story. The heroine, Rasmina, was more intent on getting her first kiss from a boy than focusing on passing her battle test, even during the battle. But I gotta admit- I didn't see that particular twist coming.

 

Things have picked up since her exile: Rasmina discovers allies out in the Wilds and makes progress in her seemingly impossible quest to kill a god (who clearly isn't one). The idea that NO ONE ever ventured beyond the confines of their village is kinda odd and feels forced, but it's not that improbable. Like most YA books nowadays charactersare also LGBT- friendly.

 

 

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***The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

 

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

 

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.***

 

I'm up to pg 317 of 848. This is the best book I've read in a long time! A true heir to the GoT style of storytelling, this a broad, sweeping drama of grand legends, noble beasts, evil monsters, tireless conspiracies, unsung heroes, hidden legacies and schemes high and low coalescing into a perfect storm. And like GoT, there's plenty of people you really shouldn't get too attached to. And I'm not even halfway done yet.

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review 2018-11-14 02:52
Swashbuckling Adventure with an Enchanting Twist
Daughter of the Pirate King - Tricia Levenseller

 

 

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Audiobook

 

We're outnumbered. Outgunned. Seven of my men lie dead on their backs. Two more jumped overboard as soon as they saw the black flag of the Night Farer on the horizon.

 

- opening paragraph

 

Seventeen-year-old Alosa is not only the daughter of the Pirate King, but also a captain of her own ship, and a powerful fighter with more than a few tricks up her sleeve. She allows herself to be captured in order to complete a mission for her father - to find one-third of an ancient map which leads to a legendary treasure.

 

Alosa is a strong, smart, fierce fighter, and she has a secret which can bend any man to her will. I like her character, but she seems a bit cocky at times and I couldn't figure out why (until the reveal). I love that Riden (the first mate of the pirates who unwittingly take Alosa prisoner) is clever enough to see through most of Alosa's tricks. Their rivalry makes it impossible for them to even imagine liking each other, but they can't deny they are both clever and strong-willed.

 

Alosa is easy to root for. Her relationship with Riden sometimes seems a certain disaster and other times seems meant to be. This book is well-written, exciting, and filled with action and unexpected twists. Even during the last battle, things happen that you won't see coming.

 

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a high seas adventure with a strong female lead - young adults and adults too.

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-07-26 21:28
4.7 Out Of 5 "Pirates vs Sirens" STARS
Daughter of the Siren Queen - Tricia Levenseller

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~BOOK BLURB~

Daughter of the Siren Queen

Tricia Levenseller

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The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

 

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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What an awesome ending to this duology.  I love these characters Alosa is a fiery girl pirate, whose not afraid to do what needs to be done.  I love how she interacts with her crew. Rilen is freaking adorable…love him.  I also loved the sweet, but not sickly sweet, romance between these two.  If I have any complaints about this second book at all, it's Alosa's indecisiveness or waffling regarding her feelings for Rilen.   How could anyone doubt his loyalty?

 

It feels like the author really loves the Pirates of the Caribbean and this story was born from that love.  I recommend it for your pirate fix, as long as your not looking for the bodice-ripping pirates, because this keeps it pretty PG…maybe, slightly PG-13.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope. I believe this is a duology.

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Book Cover~ Love it…reminds me of my fav scene in Finding Nemo…"I wanna touch the butt…"

Narration~5 for Marisa Calin, she was quite amazing, actually.  Perfect for this series.

Series~ Daughter of the Pirate King #2

Setting~ The Ocean

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-05-13 14:22
Daughter of the Pirate King - Tricia Levenseller

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I received this book from Booklikes in exchange for an honest review.

Let's start with the cover. Damn, this book is beautiful. Love the font, love the design. Definitely makes you want to read it. On the inside cover, there is even a wonderful diagram of the Night Farer. Absolutely beautiful. I kind of wish there was an diagram of the Ava-lee as well, but Alosa spends way more time on the Night Farer in the book so I get it. Bottom line: the book is gorgeous.

Onto the plot. I loved that Alosa is the captain of her own ship and embodies a remarkable combination of strength and power along with sensitivity and compassion. She isn't a female captain pretending to be a male captain. She sticks with what she believes in and is 100% herself. The plot was very interesting. There are so many twists and turns (some are predictable, but it is still a fun adventure). There are so many layers to this book that it is easy to get lost in the story. Very engaging. 

I wasn't a huge fan of the whole love interest thing. Yes, Riden is ridiculously charismatic (and apparently hot), but the whole Beauty-and-the-Beast-Stockholm-Syndrome thing just isn't my taste. I was a little weirded out by the various references to threats of rape and assault. It made sense in the story, but I think it could be handled a bit better for the audience. 

The narration gets a bit repetitive at times. As the narrator, Alosa has a habit of telling the reader exactly how she feels and doing a lot of information dumps that don't fit with the rest of the novel. Sometimes I just wanted Alosa to get on with the plot instead of trying to psychoanalyses herself in the narration. Yes, we know your conflicted, get back to the fighting. 

The book sets up the next book in the series nicely, solving some issues while leaving others open to be explored later.

Overall, a good entertaining read. I really liked Alosa's character, but could have done without the love-interest aspect. As a YA book, I get the inclusion, but sometimes I want a cool magical book that doesn't spend so much time developing some boring relationship. But the plot was cool and the espionage aspect was exciting. 

This is definitely a book you can easily get caught up in. 

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