Succumb (The Hierarch Series: Book 1) by Ebony Olson

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Title: Succumb

Author: Ebony Olson

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: August 30th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Series: Hierarch Series

Succumb – Book 1

Where you can find Succumb: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Some say the terrors of the past can haunt you, that they will mold you into the person you will become. If that’s the case I’m going to be very dark and twisted.”

For years Seraphina Gaelach has resisted being part of the Alvöru she was born into. After an abusive childhood, Phin thought she left the days of being a helpless victim behind and taken control of her life. All that changed the night Sebastian Maviper, High Lord of the Alvöru, decided to claim her. 
Three years later, by reuniting with an old friend who is like a brother to her, Phin’s life is put in peril and she is dragged back into Sebastian’s world. Can she forgive what he did to her?
Old enemies are stirring and uniting in an effort to control the Alvöru, and everyone in it. When they kidnap Granger and Phin as bait to lure Sebastian to their trap, Phin must make decisions and alliances that will potentially destroy all those she cares about.

Trigger Warning: Rape, Death scenes

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Saving Sol’kyr by Jennifer Amriss

Saving Sol'kyr

Title: Saving Sol’kyr

Author: Jennifer Amriss

Publisher: Magelight Press

Date of publication: August 8th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Number of pages: 164

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Saving Sol’kyr: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

For millennia, Morough watched his friend suffer in silence.
Now there might be a cure.

An unlikely meeting leads Morough and Solíkyr to a quest to save a human girl, Haylie. While she’s in a coma, they travel to the human realm to bring back the only thing that could possibly help her nowhere cat, Punkin.

While Solíkyr takes care of Punkin, Morough watches his friend slowly change before his eyes and he realizes that they might have stumbled onto a way to heal more than just one soul.

All proceeds from Saving Sol’kyr will go to help a cat in need.

As part of the Kal’brath Universe, this novella is meant to be read after Race Against the Dark, which is FREE. Grab your copy today and enjoy both stories while helping a furry feline have a better life.

Trigger Warning: None

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The Archbishop’s Amulet (The Windhaven Chronicles)by Watson Davis

The Archbishop's Amulet: The Windhaven Chronicles by [Davis, Watson]

Title: The Archbishop’s Amulet

Author: Watson Davis

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: April 17th, 2016

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Number of pages: 334

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Series: The Windhaven Chronicles

The Devil’s Library – review here

Not Dead Enough – review here

The Archbishop’s Amulet

Where you can find The Archbishop’s Amulet: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

On the frontier of the Nayen empire, the last few human kingdoms cling to independence, and the Onei hide in their wastelands. The Nayen armies, a military force supplemented with creatures summoned from a list of hells, batter the human defenders while the newly built Nayen monasteries sacrifice conquered souls to the infernal realms to pacify their subjects.

Caldane, a young Onei shaman enslaved when his clan was destroyed, a survivor of several sacrifices, yearns to return to his homeland to find a new clan, until he learns his mother’s fate. Aissal, an idealistic blue-skinned coulven lass who chose to come to this world to fight the evil spreading through the realms, finds herself captured and alone in a world she does not understand. Rucker, a young southlander boy from Timyiskil, wants to go back to his family at the brewery and have things go back to the way they used to be.

Overseer Fi Cheen, a Nayen monk with his career path on his mind, tracks the escaped slaves across the southlander kingdoms to Windhaven. General Esmela Silverhewer, a Giantess from the realm of Stone, revels in her charge of conquering the human kingdoms and killing every last Onei on the planet, a commission straight from the Empress herself.

But when Caldane escapes, he takes more than a few useless slaves with him; he takes the Archbishop’s Amulet, a powerful magical item central to the Nayen spells used to remove the hopes and dreams of the subjugated populace.

My Review:

Dark Fantasy has been a long time favorite genre of mine to read. I actually started reading this genre around 2000. I had picked up Daughter of The Blood by Anne Bishop at Barnes and Nobles, thinking it was regular fantasy and ended up getting hooked. While I have expanded my view, greatly, on reading different genres, dark fantasy is and always will be one of my favorites to read.

The Archbishop’s Amulet is another great book written by Watson Davis. Told several generations after The Devil’s Library but before Not Dead Enough, it brings you full force into the Nayen Empire and their desire to wipe out all who oppose the Empress. It also tells a tale of a people who will fight the Empress and the Empire to their last breath. I really enjoyed, as I did in the last couple of books, how the author intermingled Asian and Norse mythology. Like in The Devil’s Library, it made for a very interesting book to read. Just the differences in the religions alone were fascinating to read.

Caldane was such a strong young man. To survive what he survived, no wonder he didn’t want to make friends or feel anything for anyone. He was just trying to survive in a world where he could die any minute and if he didn’t, any friends would die. So, I was a little surprised when he decided to take Rucker along with him and when he went back to get him after almost being free. Which resulted in him getting caught again and resulted in another sacrifice.

I didn’t understand the purpose of the sacrifices until that scene and I was sickened by it. But when it went horribly wrong and Caldane, Aissal, Rucker and Cole were freed, I cheered. I cheered, even more, when Caldane took the amulet off of the Archbishop. The only reason I cheered was because I knew that amulet would play a huge role in the book. And I was right but you need to read the book to find out.

I did get annoyed by Aissal, Rucker, and Cole. Cole was beyond aggressive, Rucker was just annoying and Aissal was too optimistic. Even after everything that happened, two of them still got into shenanigans and wouldn’t listen to Caldane. Which made me want to rip my hair out of my head and smack a couple of kids upside the head. But then I got to thinking about it and they were acting like typical tween/teenagers…even though they were on the run and their behavior made since.

The other storyline with Fi Cheen and General Silverhewer was very interesting. Very interesting because General Silverhewer was bribing Fi Cheen to get more money and Fi Cheen was going along with it because he wanted the slaves and the amulet back. Also added into the mix was that General Silverhewer had an ace up her sleeve when it came to the kids and she wasn’t afraid to use it.

The storylines were wrapped up perfectly at the end of the book, leaving Caldane’s open. I really hope that the author is planning on writing another book in this world because I loved it. He did such great world building and adding that the worlds are multidimensional, yeah, I need to read another one. I am actually hoping that Aissal’s people get a book because I would love to know more about them. Blue skinned, white-haired witches from another dimension….sigh me up!!

How many stars will I give The Archbishop’s Amulet: 4

Why: Again, another great book by Watson Davis. It has a great plot, characters that grow on you and enough action that I will be satisfied for a few weeks. Plus, don’t forget that it’s a fantasy, so there is magic all around!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Beyond The Dark Gate (The Flow of Power: Book 2) by R.V. Johnson

Beyond The Dark Gate: Epic Fantasy Adventure (The Flow of Power Book 2)

Title: Beyond The Dark Gate

Author: R.V. Johnson

Publisher: Lost in The New World Publishing

Date of Publication: December 13th, 2016

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Number of pages: 532

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Flow of Power

Beyond the Sapphire Gate – Book 1 (review here)

Where you can find Beyond The Dark Gate: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

The Flow of Power Rages On.

Faced with a choice that could save or destroy those Crystalyn loves, madness looms at the edge of her broken mind. Jade’s aura-reading ability develops, evolving beyond wholesome. Garn’s enslavement ends, something far worse taking its place.

Determined to destroy the foundation of power on Astura, the hooded man’s intrigues wreak havoc on the land.

A brilliant Dark robe executes a bold plan that, if successful, will unleash a great malevolence.

Enduring in the shadows for millennia, a new influence emerges. Gaining strength from others, its alien cunning has subjugated entire worlds with none the wiser.

With peril lurking everywhere, Crystalyn’s great and brittle strength becomes ever more imperative to her friends’ and families’ welfare…but only if she can hold up.

The epic saga continues in this action-packed second novel of The Flow of Power series.

My review:

There are times where I dread reading series, mainly series where I absolutely loved the first book. My expectations are usually too high and it’s a let down when the 2nd book isn’t as good as the first one. Fortunately for Beyond The Dark Gate, my expectations were beyond met and I was most definitely not let down.

Beyond The Dark Gate starts off almost immediately after Crystalyn, Jade and company returned to Astura through the gate in Ruena Day’s office. The reason why they decided to back to Astura, to find and defeat Darwin Darkwing, a powerful Dark User and one-time love interest of Crystalyn.

Jade seemed to get the short end of the stick in this book, again. Not only is she separated from Crystalyn fairly early in the book, she is taken over by the entity called The One Mind and is completely under its power. It takes over people by inhabiting their minds and forcing them to do its will. Jade is able to keep a part of her mind separate from The One Mind but she is aware of everything that it is doing. For some reason, it reminded me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the old cult classic). Luckily, for her, before she got possessed, she actually met up with Garn. I say luckily because It listens to him.

Crystalyn, however, keeps getting sucked into battle after battle….on top of trying to locate her missing sister. I don’t know how she did it because I would have been overcome with exhaustion. Plus, she kept getting injured and bouncing back. I couldn’t believe it when she was up and walking after getting her head split open by Brother Craven. I did like seeing how she was a very strong female leader who didn’t take anything from anyone. Her anger issue was still there, from the last book, but she seemed to be better at controlling it and channeling it into her symbols.

The secondary characters were what made the book. From Broth, Crystalyn’s bondmate, to 8 foot tall Lore Rayna who was half tree and had a dress that was made out of leaves to Atoi, the Dark Child who has allied herself with Crystalyn for reason’s only known to herself to Hastel, the one-eyed warrior, and many others. They wove a rich backdrop and played vital roles in the story for both Jade and Crystalyn.

I think I was very surprised when Sureen, Garn’s wife and Jade’s and Crystalyn’s mother, showed up not only alive but as a User. There were hints in the first book but I wasn’t ready for her appearance in this book. Neither was Crystalyn. The talk that they had about her disappearance was exactly the one I would have had if my mother had disappeared on me years ago.

There were some unexpected deaths’ in the book that made me very sad and a bit surprised. I was not ready for this character’s death and I think I might have let a few curse words slip out.

The end of the book was fantastic and oh my, what an epic battle.

How many stars will I give Beyond the Sapphire Gate: 4

Why: 3 Dimensional characters and a plotline that kept my attention.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen

Why: Violence and talk of sexual situations (just talk, nothing is described)

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Not Dead Enough: Tales of Windhaven by Watson Davis

Not Dead Enough: Tales of Windhaven by [Davis, Watson]

Title: Not Dead Enough

Author: Watson Davis

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: September 20th, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

Number of pages: 99

POV: 1st person

Series: The Windhaven Chronicles

The Devil’s Library – Book 1 (review here)

Not Dead Enough – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

 

Book synopsis (through Amazon):

A Vampire Assassin and a Book of Evil.

With the Empress’ soul bound into the pages of a book, all Gartan the Cursed has to do is destroy it to be free of her forever, free to wreak his vengeance on those priests and nobles who treated him like a subhuman animal, free to return home to the ruins of a city he ruled centuries before.

But the Empress did not escape from Hell by accepting Her fate, and She is nothing if not cunning.

In this collection of sword and sorcery short stories set in the world of Windhaven, Watson Davis takes us on a harrowing series of adventures through ghost towns and vibrant cities, into the mouths of angry volcanoes and across stormy seas filled with monsters.

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The Devil’s Library: The Windhaven Chronicles by Waston Davis

The Devil's Library: The Windhaven Chronicles by [Davis, Watson]

Title: The Devil’s Library

Author: Watson Davis

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: February 8th 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

POV: 3rd person

Number of pages: 283

Series: The Windhaven Chronicles

The Devil’s Library – Book 1

Can be read out-of-order from series: Yes, first book in series

Where you can find this book: Amazon | Goodreads

Amazon synopsis:

A Rogue, A Renegade, and a Treasure Beyond Belief

Gartan finds a map to a treasure across the sea, and he decides he must have it. He plots and plans and refuses to be denied the greatest raid in history, even if he has to face down two of the greatest empires in the world.

And then the dragon arrives.

In this action-packed sword and sorcery novel of The Windhaven Chronicles, Watson Davis tells a tale of pride and greed, of magic beyond comprehension, and creatures beyond belief.

Buy it today.

My review:

As most of you know by now, if you have followed my reviews on Amazon or reading my blog long enough, I am a huge fan of anything in the dark fantasy genre. So when I was approached by Watson Davis to review this ARC, I jumped at the chance and I wasn’t disappointed.

Gartan, the Onei leader, reminded me of a 3-year-old. Very impulsive, selfish and prone to just doing what he wanted without thinking of the consequences. He drove me nuts for about half the book and I seriously wanted to smack him at times. Around the middle of the book, after the battle with the kraken, he started turning around for me. I believe it was when he kept Dyuh Mon from drowning after the kraken destroyed the boat he was on.

On the other hand, Tethan, Gartan’s son, the exact opposite of him. He spoke Shiran, so was able to communicate with about almost everyone that they came into contact with….not that it did any good with Gartan just killing them. He was against Gartan’s quest (following a map on human skin to a great prize….sounds like a good time (sarcasm here). But like a good son, he followed his father into battle. Hell, he even killed a dragon, earning the respect of the clans and  his father.

I didn’t trust Dyuh Mon when he first appeared in the book. I don’t know if it was because you could tell that he was lying or his pointy teeth or what but he rubbed me the wrong way. For someone who used to be the Librarian for the Eternal Council, he was a weak little thing and he was more than happy to let Gartan do his dirty work for him. I did feel vindicated at the end of the book about my feelings for him (want to know what, read the book).

There are so many secondary characters that this post would be taken over. When I say I got very upset when some of these characters died (like Nohel), I am not lying. Normally, the secondary characters are flat and two-dimensional. These are not and they add so much to the story.

I will say that I liked the take on the magic users in this book. They were not all good , they used their magic in battle and they killed people with it. Which was utterly refreshing to read. Listen, I am all for magic being used for good with hearts and sparkles everywhere. But sometimes, you need to have magic that can blow a head off or explode a person.

I did get a laugh out of the book. Sorry but I was gigglesnort laughing at the description of a honking kraken. For some reason, I had the image of a very angry goose…..lol.

I will also warn everyone, there is a lot of violence in this book. The Onei are barbarians and they definitely act like it. Between people getting blasted by magic, attacked by a mind controlled dragon and getting killed in raids or by ships being attacked, the violence was through the roof and it was bloody. Now, it didn’t bother me any but it might bother someone who hates any type of violence.

I will say that the Gartan/Dyuh Mon storyline, once it merged, did surprise me at the end. I was not expecting what happened to happen. I don’t want to give too much of that away but the chick that was freed…….she was creepy.

The end of the book was pretty open and I really wasn’t surprised at by what I read. The way the book was set up at the end, though, would make a great intro to book 2.

How many stars will I give The Devil’s Library: 4

Why: I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were well written and very 3 dimensional. I also liked the fact that magic wasn’t fluffy and cute in this book. It was used for good and bad. While the violence portrayed in the book didn’t bother me, it might bother other people who are sensitive to it.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes but with a warning about the violence

Age range: Adult

Why: Violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**