I am 2 days late for this month’s TBR Challenge theme – SFR, fantasy, urban fantasy or paranormal – which is right up my alley, as I’ve been able to finish reading a couple of fantasy series that I’ve been following.
The first of these was The Princess of the Sword by Lynn Kurland, the last book on the Nine Kingdoms series which I’ve been following. And what a satisfactory finale it was, peppered with Ms Kurland’s typical light humour and chaste approach to the romance angle. For the uninitiated, here’s a summary of this instalment:
Morgan of Melksham, an avowed magic hater, can no longer deny the magic within her veins when she learns of her true heritage. Morgan’s father unleashed a well of evil, and it’s up to her to cap it. Archmage Prince Miach is looking for the spells to complete their task, but retrieving them poses its own set of dangers. Capping the well is only the first problem, for the evil mage Lothar has plans for total domination.
As you can imagine, there were a few mini challenges to overcome before the two protagonists meet with the arch villain, and what a confrontation it was. This book is an adventure all on its own, though not as taxing to comprehend as other books on wizardry and mages. Great, light hearted romantic Fantasy reading.
IMB rating: 5.0
Now, The Dream Thief by Shanna Abe didn’t sit quite right with me for the same thing that Jane at DearAuthor was uncomfortable with (you can check out her spoiler to understand why). The synopsis goes:
Lia Langford is the daughter of the tribe’s Alpha, the result of generations of potent dragon bloodlines, but by all appearances she is Giftless. The youngest of five children, quiet and shy Lia harbors a secret: she dreams the future. And in it, she is the final witness to the end of her kind.
She realizes that the only man who can help her stop what is to come is the very mortal destined to destroy her world: Zane, a darkly clever master thief, the sole human trusted by the tribe—and, Lia knows, her future lover.
A London urchin who was once rescued by the drákon, Zane has grown into a man of feral practicality and knife-edged control. His loyalty to the tribe is tested only by his desire for power; with Draumr in his hands and Lia at his side, Zane will truly become a force beyond reckoning.
The quest to find and destroy the Dream Diamond was a thrilling adventure, but at some point, the unseen narrator’s notes started to annoy me, so I admit to skimming and skipping some of it. This is a library read. I wasn’t motivated to buy a hard cover copy of it after returning the library copy.
IMB rating: 3.0
The next instalment, Queen of Dragons, was a worthy investment. Maricara is now grown now, and in her bid to warn Lia’s brother, the Alpha ruler of her tribe, of the imminent danger that the drakons are facing, she left the Carpathian mountains to fly across to the lair to meet and prepare them for battle.
Kimber is prepared to do all he must to protect the tribe, and the tribe having engaged him to be married to Mari without her knowledge, he must now, at all costs, get her to agree to the union in truth. Even while human hunters stalk them, Kim courts and persuades Mari to the reality of their attraction to each other. As one by one, the drakons of his tribe were picked off and killed, suspicion of Mari’s innocence and motives began to put a strain on their burgeoning love.
Of course, there is a happy ending for the lovers, but the mystery of the killers’ true identity remains unsolved, so that there will be a next instalment. There is also the subplot of Zane and Lia’s involvement which needs some explanation. Sherry Thomas has a good interview with Ms Abe posted, so do hop over to understand the authors’ inspiration behind the series, and what’s in stored for the shapeshifters.
IMB rating: 4.0