Tuesday 30 September 2014

Keep Me by Anna Zaires (Twist Me #2)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romance
Publication Date: September 30th 2014
POV: Alternating - First-person, Present tense
Smut-O-Meter: 10 out of 10
My Rating: Did Not Finish


Abducted at eighteen. Held captive for 15 months.

It reads like one of those headlines. And yes, I did it. I stole her. Nora, with her long dark hair and silky skin. She’s my weakness, my obsession.

I’m not a good man. I never pretended to be one. She can love me, but she can’t change me.

I can, however, change her.

My name is Julian Esguerra, and Nora is mine to keep.


I absolutely loved Twist Me by Anna Zaires, and I wrote it a glowing review. I had been impatiently waiting for the sequel, Keep Me, for nearly a year, and doing everything I could to help promote Anna Zaires and her books.

Twist Me was dark and uncomfortable. And although I did not enjoy the BDSM aspects, or the "hero", I was impressed by the psychology of the story, and the way that it played with my emotions.

When I began Keep Me, I still felt uncomfortable with Julian, but I figured it would pass because the story and relationship between Julian and Nora was enough to distract me from any squick factors. I continued to read but it just got worse. Everything Julian said and did disgusted me, and when he took Nora in the gym, I had had enough.

I could not see it as a 'love my captor' story anymore. No matter how I looked at it, I could not see it as a story that intended to entertain. All I saw was an abused and severely traumatized woman who was being used by a monster. I began to see all the woman stuck in abusive relationship, who stay because they think he will change, because they think it is what they deserve, because they are afraid of the consequences of leaving. I can no longer find enjoyment in the glamorization of abuse that is very real for many trapped women.

Sometime between now and when I read Twist Me, I must have experienced a paradigm shift. I cannot explain it. I have longtime enjoyed stories like this, that stir emotions both good and bad, but I think perhaps this just reached a limit I didn't know I had. I quit at 28%. But I will still be following Anna Zaires closely, and reading any more books she releases (not Hold Me, book 3). I still support her efforts and I am really looking forward to more Krinar books.

Monday 29 September 2014

Sisters' Fate by Jessica Spotswood (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction/Alternate History, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: August 14th 2014
POV: Female - First-person, Present tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5


A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.


This was a great conclusion to this series. It has been almost exactly 2 years since I read Born Wicked, and I have enjoyed the whole experience. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time.

I really enjoyed the danger in this book, with all the sneaking around and secret meetings. Cate and her friends were never safe from the Brothers or Inez, and you truly never knew what was going to happen next. Yet Cate stood strong through it all. Her and her friends are extraordinary young women. They have gone through so much for each other, for other women they don't even know, and for the betterment of all of New England. I really have a hard time hating any of the young Sisters, even Maura and her posse. Yet Cate is still the most amazing of all. I wonder why the prophecy put so much focus on Tess when she didn't really do that much. She is a brilliant and strong little witch, but so are many others. And her visions weren't even that helpful. It seemed to me that Cate really was the one that everyone rallied behind.

I think Star Cursed is still my favourite book in this series, but Sisters' Fate is a close second, and Born Wicked is not far behind that. The action and suspense in this book were heightened even more from the previous books, as was the death count, with a huge climax as Inez enacts her final plan, which is more heinous than I could have possibly imagined.

I think the ending was the best way to settling things. I am only surprised at what Cate and Tess did. I was not expecting such drastic measures from them. But Finn was as adorable as ever, and I loved how he and Cate came together again, despite what was done to him. And I am also glad that Tess and Cate managed to reconcile with their father and tell him the truth. Only Maura was left out of a wonderful Christmas. But I wish I could see more. I know things will be better now, but I would love to see it. I would love to see Cate and Finn get their relationship back to where it had been. I would love to see Elena on the city council. I would love to see Tess grow up into a wonderful woman. And I would love to see what becomes of Rilla and Alistair. Perhaps we will get a short one day, set a year or so later. That would be wonderful!

"I'm falling in love with you more every day. I don't know if they were the same things I loved about you before, but now--the bit of red in your hair. The way you tilt your chin when you get angry, like you're charging into battle. How fiercely protective you are of the people you care about. How big your capacity for forgiveness is. You are an amazing woman, Cate Cahill."

Thursday 25 September 2014

Tech Support by Jet Mykles

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Novella
Publication Date: January 16th 200
POV: Male - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Aaron is a whiz with computers but horrible with people. Painfully shy, it's sometimes all he can do to communicate when he's face to face with anyone. The fact that he has unusually red hair and gorgeous green eyes only makes it worse because people don't want him to hide. But then he's called upon to troubleshoot a problem with the laptop of Yoshiki Fukui, a big shot executive with his company.

Ki is brash, outgoing and painfully handsome and just being in his presence makes Aaron all jittery. When Ki asks Aaron to help him set up a state-of-the-art entertainment system in his new house, Aaron can't resist the lure. Little does he suspect that Ki's got more than just technical help in mind.


I really enjoyed this. I love the idea of a shy techy guy as the MC. He was adorable and I really sympathized with him. I feel quite the same in social situations.

I loved when Aaron and Ki first met. When Aaron walked into his office and they both just stood there are checked each other out. You knew instantly where things would go, even if it hadn't been in a Jet Mykles story, and I was surprised how long it took. But you gotta be delicate with a guy like Aaron, and he didn't suspect anything. Not until he was comfortable enough with Ki to let his guard

"The thought of being without you anymore is too depressing for words. Say you'll come home with me, Aaron."

After weeks of just being friends Ki finally swoops in and makes his move, and like most of the other Jet stories I have read, the poor boy fumbles and tries to push him away. But this story is too short for him to walk out. Things have to start progressing, so Aaron gives in after very little conversation, because really, there is no denying he has wanted Ki since the first moment he saw him.

I really enjoyed their banter and Ki's brashness. They could be pretty funny together, and despite the nature of the conversation, their sexting scene was pretty funny.

I really appreciate that we got to see Aaron telling his parents. Shorts often cut out any afterthought, but I love seeing supportive families. It really made this story feel complete, and unlike with most shorts, I am not left feeling like this was too short or needed another chapter or epilogue. Not that I wouldn't love to see more of Aaron and Ki and how they are doing now, but I was given assurance that they are doing well and got to see the whole story of how they got there.

"Did you mean it when you said it? Did you fall in love with me? Because I finally realized that I fell hard for you."

Tuesday 23 September 2014

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Publication Date: December 17th 2013
POV: Alternating - First-person, Present tense
My Rating: 3 out of 5


Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.


I was really looking forward to reading this because I found the concept so interesting. I wanted to see a girl who didn't understand "why she breaks the rules, just to be near him." The idea of a girl not knowing anything about boys, having never even seen one before, yet falling for one all the same, without even knowing he was a boy. It sounded like a 'love conquers all' type of story, which is pretty much the whole reason why I read romance. The more obstacles a love has to overcome in order to survive, the happier I will be in the end.

Although I still enjoyed this story overall, it ended up not being what I had thought at all. The mystery of Taylor's gender is actually solved within the first few chapters, after he reveals the truth to Mary. No one else knows, but it is no longer the obstacle it was. Actually, I suppose his true gender is more of an obstacle than being a girl ever was, because Mary has been taught to fear men her whole life. She didn't even know what the relationship between a man and a woman could be. They figured it out through bits and pieces of surviving information and instinct. Once Mary comes to terms with who and what Taylor is, and her eyes begin to open to the true potential of life, they decide to strike out on their own.

The time they spent together in Section Seven was both sweet and painful. I enjoyed seeing them try to live the domestic life together, and learning new things about each other. But that inevitably leads to clashes of opinion, like any new couple would. But with their lives always at risk being separated could cost them dearly, and they almost lose everything when they stumble upon another group of survivors. I did get pretty frustrated at times with the amount of near misses, the amount of times Mary and Taylor got separated and continued to come so close to being reunited, but not quite making it. The story felt more like a post-apoc than anything else, as Mary and Taylor attempt to survive in a world ravaged by disease.

The narration and characters felt a bit flat and two-dimensional, although I did appreciate certain things about them. Mary and Taylor were very dedicated to each other, even if they didn't tell each other soon enough, and some things could have been avoided if they had only known how the other felt. I especially loved hearing all the sweet things Taylor thought about Mary. How she was the sun in a world of gray. I still cared a great deal about them, and I was nearly pulling by hair out with worry at times. It was a simple story about finding love in a broken world. Not highly recommended, but I am glad I read it.

“I love you. Not your body, not your face." I hold her hand to my chest. "As you are. As you will be.”

Monday 22 September 2014

Purgatory by Jet Mykles (Heaven Sent #2)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Novella
Publication Date: July 25th 2006
POV: Male - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Lucas Sloane defines beautiful for Reese. Tall and sleek with gorgeous red hair and deep, dark eyes to drown in, it's no wonder that the famous bass player is the hero of many a starry-eyed teenager's dreams.

Reese used to be one of those teens. Back when Heaven Sent was no more than the house band for the local club, Purgatory. Back then, it was easy to get to know Luc. To become friends with him. Somehow, Reese found the courage to take heart in hand and confess his love to Luc… only to be soundly rejected. Luc wasn’t gay. Not long after, Heaven Sent left town and skyrocketed into rock and roll stardom.

Now, six years later, Luc is back in town for a visit and more gorgeous than ever. Surprisingly, he not only apologizes for his treatment of Reese years ago, he comes onto him. Seems Luc's discovered the pleasures of being with a man and wants to know what it'd be like between the two of them.

But Reese can't. He just can’t. He lives the straight and narrow. He teaches high school. He's got a girlfriend. He has a normal life. He can't be gay.

Of course, it's really very hard to deny the man who's defined everything beautiful in Reese's artistic mind. Okay. No one has to know about it, right?


This book was just scorching! I loved Reese and I sympathized with his situation. He was so sweet when he came on to Luc in the prologue, and I really wish that Luc hadn't lashed out.

I enjoyed Luc and Reese's playful relationship, Luc's bossiness and the way that he called Reese 'Tiger'. They were just too perfect together. I enjoyed Luc's heavy-handedness in the bedroom, but not in Reese's personal life. He didn't respect Reese's wishes to keep their relationship secret. He just wasn't ready to come out yet and Luc was not very understanding about it.
When Luc got Reese fired and then ran off, I am glad that Reese did not chase after him. He took time to recover, but then he moved on. He let it go and I think that was the right decision. Even if it was only temporary, he needed time to discover who he was without Luc defining him. But it all turned out in the end, and Luc and Reese make so much heat together. Wowza!

"Your ideas suck." 

"So does my mouth. Why don't you get over here and I'll demonstrate."

Sunday 21 September 2014

Uncivilized by Sawyer Bennett

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: September 8th 2014
POV: Alternating - First-person, Present tense
Smut-O-Meter: 10 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Putting a woman on her knees before me is what really makes my cock hard. I fuck with dominant force and absolute control. I demand complete surrender from my conquests.

Savage man, loner, warrior… I am dangerous at my core. I have lived amidst the untamed wild of the rainforest, in a society that reveres me and where every woman falls before me in subjugation. Now I’ve been discovered. Forced to return to a world that I have forgotten about and to a culture that is only vaguely familiar to my senses.

Dr. Moira Reed is an anthropologist who has been hired to help me transition back into modern society. It’s her job to smooth away my rough edges… to teach me how to navigate properly through this new life of mine. She wants to tame me. She’ll never win.

I am wild, free and raw, and the only thing I want from the beautiful Moira Reed is to fuck her into submission. She wants it, I am certain. I will give it to her soon.

Yes, very soon, I will become the teacher and she will become my student. And when I am finished showing her body pleasure like no other, she’ll know what it feels like to be claimed by an uncivilized man.


Everyone has been comparing this to Tarzan, and yes, there are similarities. But I couldn't stop thinking of George of the Jungle myself. I think the similarities are greater because he goes home with her and tries to assimilate with the modern world, but struggles with his split loyalties. Of course, George of the Jungle was a kids movie, and not 3/4 sex.

This book starts with a flashforward. It starts with a scene of Zach and Moira together, several weeks after they met. Then it goes back to the beginning and tells us how they got there. I really did not enjoy how this book started. I feel really uncomfortable reading sex that does not include an emotional connection. I cannot read about casual sex. And without having seen how Zach and Moira got to that point, it was a horrible way for the book to start for me. I almost shut it right then and there. But that is just me, and I am sure most erotica readers aren't as sensitive as me. But I am glad that I decided to keep reading.

In the beginning Zach is so hard and emotionless, because that is how Caraican men showed their strength. But as we get to know Zach, we learn that he is actually really sweet and he has a great sense of humour, and he just embraces all the things he learns in the modern world. He was amazing. I loved when Moira called him her beautiful man, more so than when she called him an uncivilized man. He wasn't really uncivilized in the end. He was still Alpha, but I think beautiful is a more apt description.

Moira was an independent woman who didn't mope and cry, and she was good at her job. But she wasn't too special either. She wasn't an amazing heroine. But I really enjoyed the story and her relationship with Zach, how she helped him settle and taught him about life here. She was good with him and he was good with her. They had great chemistry, in and out of the bedroom.

I am once again impressed by Sawyer Bennett. I recommend that anyone who enjoyed Uncivilized should check out her book Confessions of a Litigation God. I plan to read more of her work, and keep an eye out for new projects.

"I was tired of fucking hiding what we have. Do you know how much it kills me not to be able to touch you when I want, or to keep my eyes averted for fear someone might guess that we're fucking each other? I was sick of it, and I'm glad I did it, and I'd do it again."

Thursday 18 September 2014

Heaven by Jet Mykles (Heaven Sent #1)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Novella
Publication Date: May 30th 2006
POV: Male - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


The Weiss Strande Hotel is in trouble. Business just isn't what it used to be when Tyler’s father ran the family-owned hotel. On top of business being down, dad's sick with cancer and bills have skyrocketed.

Desperate to save his family interest, Tyler and his best friend sink their hopes and what's left of their money into a new venture: a nightclub at the hotel. It's imperative that the White Room is a success, or else the hotel will go under. Lady Luck seems to be with them, however, because they manage to sign the mega-popular rock group Heaven Sent to play the grand opening.

Already a huge fan of the group, Tyler couldn't be more excited to welcome them to his hotel. He's not at all prepared for the bomb of lust that hits him when he's finally face-to-face with the painfully gorgeous lead singer, Johnnie Heaven. No, it couldn't be lust. Yes, Johnnie's probably the most beautiful person he's ever seen, but Tyler is straight. It must be a misguided form of hero worship that he's feeling.

Tyler finds out that he and Johnnie share an obsession: video games. When Johnnie invites Tyler to his room to play, Tyler jumps at the chance. Who wouldn't snap up the opportunity to spend time with their idol? He and Johnnie have a great time with the games, but Tyler soon discovers that Johnnie's got more in mind. The rock star's aims to introduce Tyler to a whole new level of game play.


I loved loved loved this! Why was it so good?! I was just looking for a bit of fluff to hold me over till I decided what I really wanted to read. But instead, I ended up wanting this to last forever! I think it deserves more of a 4.5/5.

This was my first 'Gay For You' story, and I think that is really what did it for me. I loved all of Tyler's insecurities, and the fact that he loved Johnnie so much he had to be with him regardless of his gender. It just takes things to a whole new level and I love that. They were both great, but I think I preferred Tyler. Its really hard to say though.

I loved how the only obstacle to their relationship was Tyler coming to terms with his feelings. There were no real fights except regarding Tyler's feelings, no homophobic family to worry about, no issues about Johnnie's lifestyle. Johnnie was even the first to say "I love you", which I hadn't been expecting from a rock star, but Johnnie is no stereotype. I loved hearing him say it and knowing that someone loved Tyler so easily.

Although I was a little surprised since Johnnie had previously said, "F***ing a guy doesn't mean you're gay. It means you're open to so many more types of pleasure, not just the ones that are widely accepted." It led me to believe that he just loved sex so much, he didn't care where he got it from, but he wasn't actually into men. I thought their relationship may surprise them both. But it ended up coming to Johnnie so easily that it left Tyler reeling and confused. I really felt for him and it was really touching. I just wish there had been more! It felt way too short, and I would have loved to see him tell his sister and to witness her support. I know that she would not have judged him at all. I cant wait to read Purgatory!

"I know that's not what you want to hear. I know you probably don't believe me. But its true. I love you. I cant think about anyone but you."

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Present tense
My Rating: 3 out of 5


When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for.


I enjoyed this a bit more than Grave Mercy because it had more interesting characters and not as familiar of a story. Although the story in Dark Triumph felt a bit simple and the book felt, overall, short; it was more interesting to me than Grave Mercy.

Court intrigue has been done, and done again. So I was glad that in the second book of the His Fair Assassin series, things are viewed from a more military POV, as Sybella and Beast fight the French and D'Albret's rebels. It is still the same fight, but Sybella is very different from Ismae. And Beast is way more interesting than Duval.

Duval was a Lord, and Beats was a soldier. He is a Duke too, I think, but he identifies more as a soldier. He was so tough and confident. I totally loved him, and the fact that he was so ugly made him more endearing, although I wish that Sybella would have stopped pointing it out.

I felt really uncomfortable with Sybella's brother Julian. I know we are not supposed to accept the incest or rape, but in the end Sybella and Julian were still close, and she forgave him for everything. I felt really uncomfortable with the whole situation. After what he had done, I felt like he should have been a villain, but he wasn't. I felt like I wanted to hate him, but he wasn't portrayed that way. I just didn't know what to do with him and I didn't like it.

This series does not focus on the romance as much as it does the heroine, and her journey of self discovery. I personally would prefer more romance, but they are still good stories.

I really enjoyed reading the Author's Note, where she explained the similarities to historical events, and why she made certain changes. It was really interesting and it shed a new light on the story. I look forward to reading Mortal Heart.

“And just as love has two sides, so too does Death. While Ismae will serve as His mercy, I will not, for that is not how He fashioned me. Every death I have witnessed, every horror I have endured, has forged me to be who I am -- Death's justice.”

Thursday 11 September 2014

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time #5)

Genres: High Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: October 15th 1993
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5

The bonds and wards that hold the Great Lord of the Dark are slowly failing, but still his fragile prison holds. The Forsaken, immortal servants of the shadow, weave their snares and tighten their grip upon the realms of men, sure in the knowledge that their master will soon break free...

Rand al' Thor, the Dragon Reborn, knows that he must strike at the Enemy, but his forces are divided by treachery and by ambition. Even the Aes Sedai, ancient guardians of the Light, are riven by civil war. Betrayed by his allies, pursued by his enemies and beset by the madness that comes to the male wielders of the One Power, Rand rides out to meet the foe.


I enjoyed this book more than the last one. I suppose I may have simply gotten used to the Aiel, but I think that it is because they weren't focused on as much, even though they are always there. The Wise-Ones are by far the worst thing about this whole series, and trying to tolerate them is a chore. Also Aviendha and Egwene, although I am beginning to hate Egwene even more than Aviendha.
The women in this series are all ridiculous. They seem so hateful. Its not quite hate, but they just don't seem to like anyone. I can't stand any of them except Min, Moiraine, and Nyneave. Min is kind and brave. Moiraine is refined and strong. Nyneave is unrepentant and a force to be reckoned with.

But the men! Goodness the men! Perrin is a true hero and his wolves are bad ass. Mat is a reluctant hero but he is so charming he makes me tingle. :P And Rand is magnificent. There really isn't a better word for it. He is magnificent! Although unlike Mat, my feelings for him are completely platonic. I love him like I love the adult Ender and Colin Morgan's Merlin. Which is to say, a lot!

I love all the intertwining stories and seeing how they are all coming together, and how characters cross over and join a different side story. You never really know who is going to pop up next and where. Although I missed Perrin in this book. [And I am going to miss Asmodean. Why is it that I liked one of the Forsaken so much? I don't know. But I am so sad that he died. More sad than I am about Moiraine because I know that she will be back.]

I love how each book in this series ends with a climactic battle. It keeps it exciting but also keeps the story moving forward. There is constant progression as Rand defeats one obstacle after another and sweeps across the land. I am so glad that there was only one book that dropped to 4-stars before going back up to 5 and I really can't read this series fast enough!

“We'll toss the dice however they fall, 
And snuggle the girls be they short or tall, 
Then follow young Mat whenever he calls, 
To dance with Jak o' the Shadows.”

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (Lumatere Chronicles #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: September 29th 2008
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 3 out of 5


At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere.

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere's walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.

Ten years later, Finnikin is summoned to another rock--to meet Evanjalin, a young novice with a startling claim: Balthazar, heir to the throne of Lumatere, is alive. This arrogant young woman claims she'll lead Finnikin and his mentor, Sir Topher, to the prince. Instead, her leadership points them perilously toward home. Does Finnikin dare believe that Lumatere might one day rise united? Evanjalin is not what she seems, and the startling truth will test Finnikin's faith not only in her but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

In a bold departure from her acclaimed contemporary novels, Printz Medalist Melina Marchetta has crafted an epic fantasy of ancient magic, feudal intrigue, romance, and bloodshed that will rivet you from the first page.


This book did a great job with its world building, which is a must for high fantasy. It even introduced its own mythology, all smoothly done and I needed no adjustment time when I stepped into its world. But I always put the most importance on characters and relationship, and unfortunately I didn't feel that drawn to the characters or invested in their relationships. 

This is surprising considering that there is an important romance at the center of this book. Its not only involving the two primary characters, but it is central to the story and almost everything of significance for the last 10 years has been pointing to it. But I didn't really see or feel what was between them, I was only told. Their relationship felt a bit distant and forced to me. As if it was a matter of fact that I should accept without being convinced of the 'why or 'how'.

I really enjoyed all of the characters, though, independent of any relationships. Pretty much all of them were interesting and unique. Evanjalin included, even though sometimes she grated on me. I actually found the most interesting relationships to be Evanjalin and Froi, and Finnikin and Trevanion.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story and the world and magic, and how everything unfolded and fit perfectly together in the end. I look forward to reading Froi's story and learning more about Skuldenore.

"But it is her hope that bewitches me, and that hope I may never get out of my system, no matter how many times she's to be gotten. Can you not see it burning in her eyes? Does it not make you want to look away when you have none to give in return? Her hope fills me with... something other than this dull weight I wake with each morning."

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