Book Review: ‘The Thief’s Daughter’ by Jeff Wheeler

Sequel to ‘The Queen’s Poisoner’ in the KingFountain series, this book continues the story of Owen Kiskaddon and his life as a one of King Severn’s most trusted advisors.

Many of the same central characters feature alongside some entirely new ones, who add new dimensions and qualities to the story.

Time has passed, naturally, and Owen has grown from the child hostage and stranger in the royal court into a man, rewarded with a Duchy for his loyalty, and charged with the duty of serving the king and protecting those closest to him. 

It is a magnificent and epic fantasy story, enriched with magic, deeply involving the reader in both the personal lives of the central characters the fate of the kingdom of Ceredigion, a kingdom that is richly and intricately detailed to the point where it seems real. The reader gains a deeper understanding of the complexities of the problems that face the king, fully aware as he is of the reasons why many distrust and fear him, yet also strongly motivated by his sincere love and concern for his kingdom and subjects. 

Although the connections between this story and the elements of English history during The Wars of the Roses, particularly the life and personality of Richard III, are clearly discernible, the story maintains an original and unique plot that sets it apart from those events and ensures its distinction as a fine work of fantasy rather than historical fiction.  

This book delivers a rich and deeply involving story that captivates the reader. It is difficult to put the book down once started, and as the momentum of the story builds, the story becomes even more compelling. It really is a most excellent read.    

The Thief’s Daughter has been awarded a Gold Acorn. 

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Shadow’s Edge: The Kyn Chronicles Book 1’ by Jami Gray

‘Shadow’s Edge’ is a really well constructed urban fantasy/paranormal/mystery story that hooks the reader right from the start and envelops them in a web of mystery and conspiracy that holds them captive until the very last page.

Also evident from the outset is the writer’s skill at developing character, a setting and scene through powerful writing and stunning imagery. This author is a wordsmith, a creator of imagery and fluent, compelling narrative that makes reading this book a pleasure.

Contrasting with that, however, is a small number of typographical errors that take the reader by surprise and break their concentration from the flow of the story. While this is disappointing, it should also be acknowledged that these flaws are fewer in number than those I have encountered in some traditionally published classics, so they remain a minor irritation and nothing more. 

The characters are varied and interesting, each a unique blend of characteristics that work well for the role they play – the hard headed boss, the investigators with tough exteriors, or the mysterious nemesis, all of them are very finely crafted.

Raine and Gavin are both really well developed. The reader feels as though they come to know them well, although the secrets of their pasts are only hinted at, keeping the reader guessing about their back stories and the inner conflicts each one conceals. These complexities are compounded by sexual tension between them that is so ripe, it’s about to fall off the vine. The frisson of energy that results adds to the intrigue and suspense of the story, building and rumbling like not-so-distant thunder as theIr individual investigations deepen and interweave.

The story is action-packed and suspenseful. While some satisfying resolution is achieved within the story arc, there remain some tantalising questions and connections that tie this book to the next in the series. 

All in all, this is a riveting read that, once started, is very hard to set down. 

‘Shadow’s Edge’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Curse of the Dragon Stone’ by J.B. Richards

This is a story of powerful contrasts: friendship and treachery, love and enmity, good and evil, life and death, dragon and wolf. 

The tale is well crafted and beautifully told. The narrative is well paced, balancing drama with action and darkness with lighter moments. The characters are varied and interesting, each having unique interests and motivations that help to develop and drive the story.  

Kirin is a complex and conflicted central character. Tyriel complements his fiery nature, yet also presents Kirin with one of his most profound dilemmas. Together with the Fabiola Sisters, these two must take up the fight against evil and seek to right the wrongs of the past. 

A convenient novella length read, this book certainly delivers a rich and inviting narrative that will have definite appeal for readers of fantasy and paranormal romance. 

This first of three parts of The Dragon’s Heir Trilogy certainly whetted my appetite for  the next two books in the series.

‘The Curse Of The Dragon Stone’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn 

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Lavender Mist of May: A Cat Collier Mystery’ by Carol Ann Kauffman

‘The fifth novella in the Cat Collier mystery story continues the story of Cat and her fiancée Carter, while she investigates various matters as a private detective.

I really enjoyed this story, which is well paced and provides well developed, balanced moments of tension, drama and action as the narrative progresses.

In keeping with the rest of the series, this is a short read, comfortably finished in a little over an hour.

‘Lavender Mist of May’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Solitary Hunter: A Shifter Novella’ by Cherime MacFarlane

Set in the snow-draped wilds of Alaska with a cast of just four characters, ‘Solitary Hunter’ is a really good paranormal romance read. The storyline and settings are interesting and well developed, with heightened drama emanating from the unresolved tension between Ken and Alicia that is evident right from the outset. 

The thoughts and emotions of both Ken and Alicia are explored in depth, but there are still some enjoyable surprises for the reader as the narrative pdrogresses. 

As the story unfolds, the reader is reminded of the importance of telling someone that you care for them rather than taking the risk of losing them altogether. Granted, their situation has a significant complication, so it’s good to see both Ken and Alicia grappling with how best to deal with it rather than simply blowing it off as happens in some other books. We may not all be shifters, but each of us has something that makes us fear the rejection of others, especially if it’s a person whose acceptance we long for. 

Being a novella, the story is an ideal length to fit into a busy routine and still get satisfaction from reading something that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. 

A ‘Solitary Hunter’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn. 

Find your copy here

Book Review: ‘Storm at Keizer Manor’ by Ramcy Diek

The story opens at a point where the relationship between Annet and Forrest is complicated by their different pasts and by their different aspirations for the future. As is often the way, their feelings for one another really only crystallize when they are blindsided by events that change everything for them. 

As the narrative progresses, the reader is reminded of the importance of both communicating one’s love for another so that nothing is left to assumption or doubt, and of making the most of every moment, not taking each other for granted. 

This book delivers a fascinating study of the contrasts in moral judgements and social expectations of women between the 19th and 21st century, and challenges the reader to contemplate how they might cope if they found themselves in a different time, and without electricity, cars or smart phones. Annet is challenged not only by the differences between the two time periods, but also by the prejudice with which she is treated by those who have no understanding of her origins or culture. 

The story is quite well structured and progresses at a good pace. The characters are realistic and varied, and generally quite well developed, although I did feel that Forrest was a little too prone to dithering about and moaning without really developing or progressing the story much at a crucial part of the plot when he could have heightened the drama and suspense had he responded differently. 

The use of alternating points of view enabled the reader to have quite deep insight into the thoughts and feelings of both Forrest and Annet, engaging in their circumstances and becoming quite invested in how the complications of the story might be resolved. 

Overall, this was quite an enjoyable and interesting book. 

Storm at Keizer Manor’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here

New Release: ‘The Enchanted Crossroads’ by Dora Blume

Would you give up everything to save the world?

Kaira lived a normal existence in Minneapolis, MN. One night she met a mysterious man, she was instantly attracted to him. She couldn’t explain it, but she wanted him. Leif drove her safely home from the bar. Entering her apartment, she was attacked.

Morrigans were after her. Leif came to her rescue but at what cost? She wasn’t willing to give up her life as lawyer to fight Morrigans. She didn’t care about her power or Leif trying to help her understand the new magical world. She wanted no part of it. She saved people in her own way, as a lawyer, fighting against the Opioid crisis.

Hecate, the Goddess of Mages, came to give her a choice. She was born a descendent of the Goddess and only her and her four siblings could end the God, Morrigan’s destruction of good witches everywhere.

Is she willing to give up her whole life for the cause? Would she give up Leif to go back to her normal life?

Read the gripping first installment of the Enchanted by the Craft Series.

Available on Amazon.
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q3V6TBG

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07Q3V6TBG

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07Q3V6TBG

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07Q3V6TBG

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Dora Blume is a middle school English teacher by day, writer by night. She tend to write spunky, bad-ass female characters. She has an Urban Fantasy series called The Shikari. It’s filled with quirky characters on a quest to save Minneapolis from demons. Forever will be the first in The Immortal Vampire, a dark fantasy series.

Being a teacher, she couldn’t help but write a young adult drama. Haunted by a Moment is a dramatic novel about a girl who’s life is falling apart and she’s trying to pick up the pieces before she goes mad. It’s about the darker side of being a teenager.

In her spare time, she reads a ton of books. Something like a book a day if she has time. She loves to read as much or more than she love to write. She reads everything.

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