Book Reviews

Book Review: Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence (2018).

I have been so thrilled to read the second novel of the Ancestor Series authored by Mark Lawrence. After reading it’s predecessor Red Sister, I have been curious to see what would happen next with Nona and her friends, and this latest addition has certainly been worth the wait. The book recommences with Nona and her friends continuing their studies at Sweet Mercy, still grieving the loss of Novices Hessa and Clera for two completely separate reasons.

The storyline itself is written with all the fundamentals that are uniquely Mark Lawrence, providing much needed humour in some serious situations that these brilliantly portrayed characters find themselves in. Nona herself goes through a rainbow of emotions as she follows the ups and downs of life at the convent and then deals with having everything suddenly snatched away, finding herself alone in a cruel world. The author writes each wonderful character into a dramatically woven web of suspense and utter surprise with twists and turns which made me want to go back and reread several scenes, especially when Nona and Ara perform some amazing feats using the Path. Each scene written in a way making each character and their stories real for readers with even minimal imagination.

This novel is one that continues to grow on the reader long after the book is finished. So many questions left unanswered! What is next for Glass and Kettle? Will they return to their positions and posts at Sweet Mercy? Will Nona and friends join them? Where else could they go? Is Sherzal telling some truth in her claims at trial? Will everyone survive to answer any of these questions? And then there is Zole. Naïve Zole who has no idea that she is in all kinds of trouble now she has come into the possession of an ancient relic.

Overall I have extremely enjoyed Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence and would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy. It really has been an adventurous read and my favourite so far this year. Thank you Mark Lawrence for delivering fans another unbelievable addition to the fantasy genre. I give Grey Sister a rating of 10/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (2017). Book of the Ancestor – Book 1. 


There was a reason I couldn’t wait to read this book and as soon as I began I realised why! Mark Lawrence has out done himself with his latest creation – Red Sister. An amazing book, making it impossible to put down, Red Sister begins with story of Nona, and how she finds herself caged in the clutches of a child-taker after being given away by her village. Mark Lawrence spins an amazing tale for this character and builds her into a person the reader barracks for throughout the novel. 

Of course Nona is not the only character of the book, and she is eventually joined by others when she reaches her destination. She finds herself housed by nuns and befriended by girls she had only dreamt of meeting. Friendship being of utmost importance to Nona, and she shows this numerous times throughout the novel. 

With her sisters, Nona finds herself in a variety of predicaments and adventures. Some of them adding to her learning as a Red Sister, others adding to the bonds of friendship. The most strongest friendships being forged with Clera, Ara and Hessa. Together they learn their trades of magics and fighting with and without weaponry. Each girl showing their own special talent. 

The novel is full of thrilling adventure, love and death. Each page holds the answers to the questions of the pages before and all together form a wonderous story that has the reader glued throughout. Mark Lawrence has revealed his Own form of magic in creating this novel, producing words that create a tale to be remembered long after the last page has been turned. 

I have loved every chapter and every page of this book. From chapter one I have been engrossed in the world the author has created for some amazing characters that can easily be seen in the minds eye, they are written so real. I recommend this book to anyone interested in fantasy of the age of young adult onwards. I have given the book a rating of 10/10 stars. Thank you Mark Lawrence for giving us the most exceptional novel I have read so far this year. 

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Providence of Fire, by Brian Staveley (2015).

This is the second book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn authored by Brian Staveley which has been a fanastic continuation to a hectic adventure of war and magic. Adare struggles to be the best queen for her people, even though it has always been a male upon the throne, she feels that she is still the best person for the job, especially since her brothers, Valin and Kadden are either missing or unable to perform the tasks needed.

The threat of war from the people beyond the kingdoms borders is becoming more real and the inevitable battle closer each day, and the realm is in turmoil in either repetition for disaster and war or fleeing for safety.

This has been a fast paced adventure with some interesting characters and the inclusion of magics really make the story intriguing. I found this book quite good overall although I did find myself very confused in a variety of areas, although after a few rereads was able to get back on track. I will continue on with the series, but I do hope I can figure things through a bit better with the next instalment. Even saying that, I did enjoy the overall storyline.

Overall I believe this book has been well with the read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels that are in the “Game of Thrones” type genre. I give this book a rating of 8.5/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Emperor’s Blades, by Brian Staveley (2014).

The Emperor’s Blade is an intense fantasy novel full of suspense and adventure. After the death of the King, it is up to his children, Valin, K and Adare, to take up the reins. The there. Have been separated for some time as the two boys were sent away to study whilst their sister was kept behind to learn the running of the kingdom from home.

This book takes on a fast pace from the beginning picking up the story and running with it. Although a little confusing at first, it wasn’t long before I was turning pages far into the night. I particularly enjoy the inclusion of the Kestrel. Not only are the giant creatures important in the storyline they make fantastic characters.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy novels that travel along the “game of thrones” style. Definitely looking forward to the next book. I give this book a rating of 9/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Lover at Last, by J. R. Ward (2012).

Blurb:

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young- just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.

Review:

Lover at Last of the 11th book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series authored by J. R. Ward. This storyline has been a long wait, to the point where I honestly believed Quinn would continue to live life pretending NOT to love Blay and therefore remain alone forever. Even though Quinn has given the Chosen Layla the gift of a child and will always be the father child deserves, he still would have been pretty much alone if not for his love for Blay. Thankfully in this novel, both Brothers get their act together and sort their fears and emotions out!

Throughout this novel Blay and Quinn run Into numerous issues from the fact Blay is dating Quinn cousin and the fact that Quinn laid with Layla during her needing and Is now pregnant. But even with these issues Quinn never stops loving Blay. And no matter how much Blay doesn’t want to admit it, he still loves Quinn with his whole heart, no matter how hurt he is by all of the rejection his friend throws at him.

Overall, I must say I have enjoyed this novel, but I found it just didn’t have the same pizazz as It’s predecessors. I recommend this novel to anyone interested in romance and the vampire genre. I give this book a rating of 6/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lover Reborn, by J. R. Ward (2012).

Blurb:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Now back in the Brotherhood – and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was – Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams – trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld – Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he’s told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed . . .

Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free?

Review:

Lover Reborn has become my favourite of the series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood, authored by J. R. Ward. Of all the novels, this one has the most heart felt storyline so far. I have fallen in love with the whole Tohr and Autumn saga, forbidden love, but only of their own accord. One could almost wonder whether or not such a love could survive with the heartache that is ingrained in each of their souls. The fact that their fractured existences combined fill each other’s voids until the create a new whole that is also separate and unique to themselves just in a new light. It really struck me as a fantastic storyline founded beneath brutish modern vampires that speak in a way that makes them seem less than they really are.

The storyline of Xhex and John Mathew is intertwined with the first by the attachment of Autumn being Xhex’s birth mother. The whole revelation from previous novels is still strange and new, so it is still hard to swallow in terms of adding another broken vampire into the mix. But this allows the story of Xhex finding her own path in what is a very patriarchal society. While the brothers continue to take their cues from John Mathew, she will never truly be free to fight and be her own person. Thankfully, although it goes against the nature of a bonded male of the species, she can do such a thing. Freeing herself as well as opening a path for future females to carve their own paths without interference of a male making judgement for what is and what could be. Feminism taken to its utmost limits!

Overall, I have enjoyed Lover Reborn, the tenth novel in the series, quite a bit, giving me hope that the rest of the series will continue to keep my interest piqued. An author can’t continue with a series inevitably without the readers attention laxing or becoming completely non-existent. Hopefully the next few books prove me wrong in this aspect. I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in the Vampire genre, especially if you like a bit of romance added in. I give this book a rating of 7/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lover Unleashed, by J. R. Ward (2011).

Blurb:

Payne, twin sister of Vishious, is cut from the same dark warrior cloth as her brother. Because she is a fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.

When she suffers a paralysing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat as only he can – and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night – like vampires – he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.

As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries-old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

Review:

Lover Unleashed is the Ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series authored by J. R. Ward. This novel looks at Vishious and his sister Payne and how they uniquely fit into this strange family of sorts. Vishious and Jane having difficulties was bound to come to a head eventually, especially with all the pent-up emotion he had to have been hiding behind his masculine testosterone fuelled visaed which makes some of us wonder what Jane sees in the guy when he is acting up and not like himself at all. Though throughout the novel readers still root for the home team, in that no one wants to see V and the Doc split up in any way shape or form. Hopefully he will find it easier to come to terms with his issues after Butch had his one on one time with him.

As for Payne, she brings light into how harsh the vampire world can be. Her treatment and that of her brothers as they were growing up is nothing short of appalling and it is sad to see that their mother still seems to hold no residual effect from watching and even acting upon some of what had been done to them. Payne being imprisoned for such a long time on the Far side and the acts of violence and torture forced upon her brother are nothing short of absolute evil. The fact they survived with their sanity speaks highly of their resilience and strength of character, which J R Ward has portrayed wonderfully throughout tis novel.

Overall, I must admit to enjoying this novel and I would recommend it to anyone that has a spark for fantasy and the romance/vampire genre. I give the book a rating of 6.5/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lover Mine, by J. R. Ward (2010).

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Blurb:

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was – or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who e once was in order to face off against evil incarnate. Xhex, a sympathy assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

 

Review:

With the eighth book of the series Lover Mine, we learn more about the destiny of John Matthew and how it will include a lot of heartbreak and frustration before it culminates to anything considered good. As known from previous volumes of this series, John has a special something burning in his chest for the assassin female Xhex, and it is somewhat reciprocated if their past interactions are anything to go by. However, Xhex is nowhere to be found after the rescue of Rhev in the previous novel, and John is frantic as would any male of his race would be when his future shellan is in possible peril.

Although I can’t say that I enjoyed this novel as much as it’s predecessor, but I feel that it has continued on with the fast pace action and hardcore romance which is typical of this author. Xhex and John may be broken and their love tender and kind to counteract the evil that is bestowed upon both characters, but it just doesn’t connect the dots like Rhev and Elhena.

Overall, I continue to recommend this series and this novel to anyone interested in the Vampire and Romance genre. I give the book a rating of 6/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lover Avenged, by J. R. Ward (2009). ‘

Blurb.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the brotherhood – even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lesser. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Elhena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him – and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Review:

The seventh instalment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is Lover Avenged authoured by J. R. Ward, and has turned out to be my favourite so far. We always knew that something was a little off when it came to Rehvenge, and it wasn’t the obvious choice of him having a sympath  side to contend with. There was obviously something that always bothered him, and the secret meetings he attended along with whatever other business not referred to in other novels. But it isn’t till this instalment that the hidden is revealed.

So far I think the romance between Rehv and Elhena is my favorite so far. The way he mutilates himself due to the endeavors with the horrid sympathy princess in order for him and Xhex to live as normal life as possible for two Vampire/Sympath half-breeds. But the way he tries to save his female from being what he sees as tainted by his demon’s is so sweet and kind that its hard no to sympathize with the beast and begin to “root for the home team”. Throughout the novel most readers would want the character to find his happily ever after.

Overall, I think this has been a great novel by J. R. Ward and quite an exciting twist of characters and their attempts at survival. I recommend this novel to anyone interested in romance and the Vampire genre and really think many fantasy lovers would enjoy this addition to what is becoming quite an addictive read. I give Lover Avenged the rating of 7/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Lover Enshrined, by J. R. Ward (2008).

Blurb:

In this “frighteningly addictive” paranormal romance saga there’s a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives…

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished. As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love…

Review:

Lover Enshrined is the sixth title to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series authored by J. R. Ward, and what a twist this book has given its readers. This book looks at the Brother Phury and his destined future. He has promised Vishous to take his place as the race’s Primale which means that his future is now set in stone as the race’s prime stud. Phury takes what time he has left and douses it with a good dose of pain and destruction, which causes the brotherhood to make some rash and unexpected decisions. But what other way to help the brother was not possible to really see. There was no other way.

As for romance and the erotic side of the novel, J. R. Ward does enter some steamy love scenes throughout the novel which will make flames of any burning desire smouldering on the surface for readers. Phury is meant to be the eventual lover of all the Chosen who await on the Other Side. He is to be husband to all and father to all their children. The Chosen Cormia is to be his first mate and this works out well for them both, in and out of the bedroom.

I think as a reader I have come to love this author’s style of writing, although the grammar freak in me comes out with vengeance often, I find that without a lot of the lingo used the storyline just wouldn’t be the same. The flashbacks which are written in a very different prose shows that the language is an evolution from the past, and these Vampire phenomena have much more depth behind their storyline than what I had first thought.

Overall, I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in the Vampire and Romance genre. It is an exciting and romantic (at times) story, that captures readers imagination easily. I give this book a rating of 6.5/10 stars.