Prophecy of Stones, Mishka Jenkins
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
This was a fun read, a journey of adventure which I’m sure will appeal to YA readers very much. I’m way past that group! but enjoyed this novel even though its the opposite end to most of the fantasy I read. My eldest son is a fantasy reader too, and yet we love books at the very opposite end of the spectrum, only occasionally sharing ones we both enjoy. This is very much in his area, the classic fantasy style that authors such as Eddings and Pratchett write. Just shows how vast the range of books is that span this genre.
Anyway, the romance is core to the story, being the one thing that’s there but not yet acted up. The two concerned are very much in love but Milana has seen what happened to her sister when her Bond Mate died, and doesn’t want to go through that devastation herself, so even though she loves Riff she holds back. He understands her fears, its a dangerous world they live in and as prophecy participants they’re in more danger than most. He doesn’t like it of course, longs to hold her close and love her but respects her feelings. I really felt for him, denied love because of her fears but a true gentleman in not trying to force the issue.
They’re needed now though, to complete a quest along with other people. It’s a small group comprising Riff and Milana, bonded couple Otto and Cosmas, who are writing an account of the journey, Sindrin, who’s an Oracle and has visions from time to time, and young Kai. He’s the third in the prophesied trio and is just fourteen. He’s been brought up by the council with this quest in mind, and its the first time he’s left the compound where he lives so he’s bouncing with excitement. The little group face some grave dangers with Tildar and his Dwells attacking them constantly.They’re getting worn down but need to complete the quest if they are to save everyone from Tildars cruel reign.The journey they take is filled with action, and full of magical elements. I enjoyed the descriptions of the areas and the scenes. I’m not a great fan of prolonged battle scenes, I know they’re needed but I want them kept brief and Mishka does just that – letting them play out so we feel the danger, but not too long that I switch off.
Its a fun read, with interesting characters, and I was really saddened at some of the losses Sad smile but the ending – absolutely fitting. Right at the last moment, at the seat of the danger Milana needs to face her fears, and trust in the power of love. It was perfectly timed, built up to along the journey, Milana was given the chance at times to trust Riff, to return his love but didn’t act on it, and then at the very last minute….fantastic.
Stars: Four. Its a fun, magical easy to read story and I’m sure a five star for YA readers, just a little light for my five star match.
ARC supplied via author.
Sorceress, A fantasy romance set in an ancient land, Saskia Walker
Review from jeannie zleos book reviews
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this novel, but it proved to be a fun, spicy paranormal read. The paranormal aspect takes the form of magic, of the sorcery type – spells, curses,
light and dark magics, and an ancient Djinn and added a fun slant and sense of mystery that fitted well within the Eastern Dystopian feel of the book. The sex scenes are there but not over the top, and work with the story. The heat between Elishiba and Amshazar can be felt right from the start, even when she’s not sure she can trust him. That continues to grow throughout the book, with him reaching out to her, not just emotionally but to teach her that she also has powerful magic in her. She will need that in the very near future.
Elishiba thinks she’s going to negotiate a betrothal, bringing peace between the two regions, but unknown to her she’s caught in her future mother in laws lust for power. She’s the real control not her son, who is in love with someone forbidden and a peace-loving but weak ruler. She’s not giving that power up, so her future plans do not include Elishiba having a place in power, or a peaceful agreement between the regions. That brings the main players into real danger, where magic takes a high place in controlling them and killing others, and leads to some dangerous actions.
Its a fun read, I enjoyed the very Eastern feel with Gods being real and taking an interest in human lives. The characters worked well, and I was sad to see some die . There was a good selection of genuine and kind characters mixed in with some power hungry and malicious ones. The magic wasn’t a huge part of the story, only cropping up at certain times when the plots needed it.
Stars: Four. Its a decent read, one fairly simplistic storyline but that plays out well. I’d rather read one good plot than multiple badly done ones.
ARC supplied via Netgalley and publishers
Red Dirt Duchess, Louise Reynolds
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I thought this sounded a fun read, with the chance of some real bitchyness from Jon’s mum.
So, how did it work out for me? Well, Jon, to be honest at first I found him a bit of a burke, expecting so much from a tiny rural place…but I soon warmed to him. He’s a good guy really, and has a huge secret that’s impacted so much on his way of thinking. Charlie – she was great, not afraid to stand up for herself, even though she’d had her share of tragedy. She’s a glass half full person, and a complete contrast with her eternal enthusiasm to Jon’s wearied jadedness. When she came to UK, and met Jon’s family – wow – a culture shock. I couldn’t believe how cold Jon’s mother was, ditto the sister in law. His brother was kind of neutral about everything – the show stealer was Barker the butler – he was fantastic!! a real Gem.
The difference in cultures was very marked – that worked well for me. The paintings that linked them and proved a catalyst for everything seemed a bit too much of a coincidence, and yet, in real life, things like that DO happen…so I was fine with it, and it was worked into the story very well. I’d hoped for some more jealousy, for Jon’s mother to have lined up some potential wives or something that would provide some drama and emotion. There was drama here in the secrets that were revealed but they didn’t ( for me ) provide that much needed passion. I just felt it was very one level. The ending worked well, and I felt for Charlie when things didn’t seem to be working – and I need that empathy to enjoy a story.
Stars: Three, overall, I enjoyed this as a fun and easy to read romance but it didn’t have enough dramatics to be a four or five star read.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers
Louise Reynolds is an author of contemporary romantic fiction. Born in Sydney, she spent her childhood frolicking on beaches before moving to Melbourne at age 10. After one look at Melbourne beaches she got a library card and started to read. It was a logical step to take her love of romance novels to the next stage and tell her own stories. After some success in writing competitions she’s thrilled that her warm, heartfelt romances have found an audience.
By day, she works in the commercial lighting industry, lighting anything from bridges to five star hotels. By night, she’s working her way through a United Nations of fictional heroes.
After a lifetime of kissing frogs one finally turned into a prince and she lives with her partner in Melbourne’s inner north. She loves live jazz, cooking complicated meals that totally destroy the kitchen, and dining out. She has embraced Melbourne by wearing far too much black.