Monday 16 February 2015

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic...

The Kraeshians join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

The rebels forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

The Watchers follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.

This was as great as I expected. Falling Kingdoms was a bit slower, but Rebel Spring and Gathering Darkness are equally great. I just love the scale of the story, and that it features so many great characters.

My favourite character is still Magnus, has been from the beginning. In the first book I felt a lot of pity for him and his situation, the way he was treated by his father. Although I still sometimes feel bad for him, that is no longer my primary reason for loving him. I love his strength. The way he has stood through everything. His father's deception, his sister's rejection, his mother's lies, his wife's hatred—and he has not broken yet. He has a clear goal in mind that he is constantly moving towards. He is determined. He has never faltered in his plans. Never doubted the necessity of it. He needs to take down his father, and he believes he is the best person to rule. That may not be entirely true, but he is not perfect. As Cleo said, "Who was cruel and kind, strong and weak. Who was selfish and selfless all at once.” But if anyone can sway him from his path, it is Cleo. And if anyone can make him worthy of success, it is Cleo. They could both get what they want and rule together.

Even during Falling Kingdoms, I had secret hopes for Cleo and Magnus. But after Theon, and then Jonas, I wasn't really sure there was any hope there, so I didn't get my hopes up. But I always thought they would make a great couple, if only they could see past their differences. Then after reading book 2 I knew, this is my OTP! There's no doubt anymore. This has got to happen! Although, I was expecting Cleo to acknowledge that before Magnus. I was surprised but very proud of him. Although I suppose he has less to forgive than Cleo. I am sort of glad that this series is so long, and things can happen so subtly.

I hated Jonas in Falling Kingdoms. He was so blinded by his hatred for Auranos and Cleo. It was extremely frustrating. I hated the way he saw the world in black and white. He got better in Rebel Spring as he became a rebel leader, started to realize where he was wrong, and tried to do the right thing. But in this book he was useless. I don't think I hate him anymore, but I am just not very impressed. He fails as a rebel, leader or otherwise. And he severely mistreated Felix. I really saw that coming. He jumped to conclusions about what kind of person he was, the same way he did with Cleo way back in the beginning, and I thought he had learned better. I really can't bring myself to care about whether or not has a romance with Lysandra, Cleo, or anyone else. He is the only disappointing character in this series.

Lucia is a fascinating character. I can't decide if she is good or evil. She is the only one like that in this series. Magnus is most definitely good in my opinion, when it really comes down to it. But Lucia has so much darkness in her, and sometimes she seems to revel in destruction. But she was so innocent in the beginning, before everything happened. Before magic, before Magnus. I am really sad about what happened to Alexius. He brought out different sides to her character, helped us understand her. But now, if she is working with the fire elemental, who knows what that will do to her. But I am interested to find out.

I was hoping something more would happen between Nic and Ashur. I liked Ashur in Rebel Spring and I was really hoping he wasn't bad. I am glad we saw more of him, but I am sad there can't be more between him and Nic. There are so many great and fascinating characters in this series, good and bad, I could go on forever. But those are some of my favourites, and some other major ones. It is really anyone's guess what will happen next, as anyone's actions could change everything. Everyone has their hand in the game now.

“Magnus had come to a horrible realization. One that he knew would cause him nothing but pain and suffering from that day forward. 
But there was no changing the truth of it. 
He had fallen in love with her.”

Friday 13 February 2015

Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time #9)

Genres: High Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: January 7th 2002
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Rand, with Min, is on the run, and Cadsuane, in Carhien, is trying to figure out where he is headed.

Mazrim Taim, the leader of the Black Tower, is revealed to be a liar. Faile, with her companions, is a prisoner of Sevanna's Sept.

With Elyas Machera, Berelain, the Prophet, and an "army" of disparate forces, Perrin is moving through country rife with bandits and roving Seanchan.

In Ebou Dar, the Seanchan princess known as Daughter of the Nine Moons arrives. In Tar Valon, the schemers and counter-schemers in Elaida's White Tower are shaken to the core when the rebels appear suddenly outside the walls.


This book was very eventful. Several major events that I knew were coming finally happened in this book. And I was so happy to see Mat again. He was not in the last book at all, and it took half of this book before he showed up. But once he did, a lot happened. The story in Ebou Dar ended up being my favourite, from anyone's POV.

I was happy to finally meet Tuon and she was not what I expected. She is a strong woman, like all the others in this series, but she is so young. I am curious how that will effect things. Will it make her easier to handle or harder? The other women in this series are all difficult. We last saw her, Mat had just realized that she was the Daughter of the Nine Moons, so I don't really know what to expect. His initial reaction was strange.

And I still love Rand. As uncomfortable as I am with his relationship with Min, Elayne, and Aviendha, I try to just ignore it. He spends most of his time with Min anyway, who is my favourite of the three, so I try to not let it bother me, because I love Rand so much, as a character and a hero. He has been trough so much, and it all effects him so strongly. He does what he must even as each action makes another mark on his soul, and each death turns him a little more to stone. But the incredible thing is that he knows what it will do to him, and he does it anyway. He is sacrificing himself a little bit at a time, for the sake of the world. And so far it is working. He has done such incredible things, and I admire him so much. Mat is my book boyfriend of this series, but Rand is my hero.

After 9 books, this is still the most epic story I have ever read. I don't know when this series is suppose to start dragging, but I can't believe it will. I heard one reader say they stopped after book 10, so I suppose I will just have to wait and see. But I will not stop with only 4 books left. That would be incredibly lazy. I don't expect to ever stop loving this series, world, and characters, but I will finish this series either way.

“A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool. We are all fools if we live long enough.”

Sunday 1 February 2015

Guns N' Boys by K.A. Merikan (Guns N' Boys #1.2)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Romance 
Publication Date: October 8th 2014
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 10 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5 

Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon.

The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father's footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself--with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn't a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

I enjoyed this more than part 1. I love how Domenico and Seth's relationship has grown. How I feel like they are now inseparable and forever, but Dom is still possessive and violent. I hope he never loses that. It gives their relationship an edge, so that you can never quite relax. And in his own way, it shows how much he needs Seth.

Dom isn't going to use words to tell Seth how he feels. While Seth said the 'L' word near the beginning of this book, it took the whole book and a near-death experience for Dom to say it back. Dom is more familiar with sex and violence and those are his best tools. Love doesn't change a man and I wouldn't want him to change.

I love the ending, as Dom puts everything on the line for Seth, leaving them in a very dangerous situation, and leaving Seth to take charge. Dom sacrificed so much for Seth already and if he needed anymore signs that Dom loves him, he got them.

I can't wait to read the next book and find out what happens next. The blurb says that Dom lost his memories after his injuries, and I am so looking forward to what happens when Dom meets Seth for the first time again. What will his reactions to him be this time? Will it be the same? How confused will he be about his feelings for his brother? I really hope that at some point he finds the pictures that he sewed into the lining of his coat. Perhaps that will be an eye opener for him. I expect to love it either way!

“I think I'll take a shower, shave, get refreshed." 
Domenico gave him a smile and lowered his voice. "Why? Because you still feel me inside?" 
Seth bit his lip and started playing with his fingers. "You're always here, inside." Seth pointed to his heart, and it was so sweet, Dom hardly recognize the horny beast behind that facade. 
He stared at Seth, unsure how to react to such honesty in reply to his dirty question.”

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