I was tempted to stay home and use a personal day to finish reading this book (but I did NOT), I did end up staying awake late into the night/morning though.
All Things Urban Fantasy said “Written in Red isn’t just the best urban fantasy of the year, it may be one of the best ever.”
It is a captivating tale of a young woman escaping enslavement and finding a new community composed of Others (werewolves, werebears, vampires, medusa, werecrows) aka terra indigenous who live bordering humans, and tolerating them. The humans come with an attitude of superiority akin to the Europeans confronting the Native Americans, however, in this world the Humans do Not hold the upper hand, just the arrogance.
cs759, names herself, Meg Corbyn – she is a blood prophet or Cassandra Sangue – and is kept locked up to be cut for her prophecies which pay her Controllers big bucks, thus when she escapes they will want her back. Great characters, world-building, and fast paced.
Morgana’s mother arranges a marriage for her with a drover from a couple villages over in part to keep her away from the suspicious locals and partly because the mother is dying. Morgana, mute, is not entirely certain what to make of her gentle husband Cai, nor is he certain what he got himself into. Unbeknownst to them, there is a black witch in town who covets their keep. Morgana must come into her full witchly powers to save her home and husband.
Beautiful descriptions of the Welsh landscape, and a love-story form the backdrop for this paranormal tale. I liked the atmosphere of the book, almost as much of a character as the protagonists.
Tom-boy Caddie Woodlawn, is growing up on the frontier in Wisconsin.
I really empathized with Caddie, when her Mom punished her harshly, but Not her brothers, because “she was a girl and should have known better”. However, her father punishes the boys.
I liked the fact that when Caddie starts doing more domestic activities, that her brothers follow her, because they’re pals.
The author tells more and shows less, leading to a quaint, less accessible read. The story got better as it progressed.
Booklist: Starred Review!
This was a fun read! Unlike most romances where the relationship between the two protagonists is plagued by misunderstandings, and self-doubt. It is also an unusual romance novel in that the woman propositions the man. Martha, just widowed, needs to conceive an heir, within the next month, or the country estate falls to her rapist brother-in-law. Martha is a practical do-gooder. The rake that she hires to “give” her an heir, Theo, was exiled from London to the country by his father, for being a lay-about, money spender.
Both of them learn to be better people, Theo learns to take an interest in his estate, and start caring for people. Martha learns to let her hair down a bit, and get to know her neighbors as real human beings, Not charity cases.
There is humor and awkward sex. 3 out of 4 hot chilli peppers, as far as spiciness goes.
This book was recommended to me, by experts at the Reader’s Advisory Workshop I attended.
Harper Kane Olympic Swimmer gets caught up shady government operations, when her microbiologist brother Bobby is killed after he develops a serum that gives people psi-onic powers. Now the government that funded these experiments wants her dead, and they send in their best op Rome Lucian. Unfortunately, for the government, Rome realizes something is fishy, and decides to aid Harper.
This was a fun quick read. However, the plotting could be more credible, with less coincidences. Like why would Bobby be shot, the very day, the very minute, Harper arrives for a visit?
The adventures of Morgan and Miach continue as they search for the source of the evil that is flooding the land and then for the means to defeat this evil. Miach enters the Weger’s tower where Morgan has fled in order to avoid any magic (the tower is a magic sink). Miach attempts to convince Morgan to join him in the outer world. Then they journey to Torr Dorrain to meet with her elven grandparents who thought her dead. Afterwards Miach attempts to sneak off to take care of nasty evil by himself, sparing others the vile danger. Morgan hates being left behind, and eventually turns the tables on Miach, by sneaking off herself to close the well of Gair. Finally, Miach and Morgan pledge to Not sneak off but to involve their partner.
I really like the value given to libraries in this series. Almost every castle/fortress has a library, that has access to valuable information, in the form of history or spells, etc. When Miach bests the evil mage Droch at a challenge he claims his reward as 1 hour free reign in the library. Another time the 2 sneak over the walls of a fortress, not to steal some jewels or a magic sword, nay, but to gain access to the LIBRARY!
I am really enjoying Kurland’s books. Star of the Morning is the first full length novel in the Nine Kingdoms series. Orphan Morgan has been raised by mercenary bandits, and then left at an education-rich orphanage when her courses start, finishing her education by becoming a warrior extraordinaire. She hates magic and magicians alike; unfortunately, for her, it appears she has magical abilities, and will be the only person able to wield the Sword of Angesan needed to save the large Kingdom of Neroche from evil. The king of Neroche and his brother Miach, Archmage disguise themselves as commoners to seek their hero, someone to wield the sword of Angesan against the approaching evil. The story alternates between Morgan and Miach narrating their respective viewpoints of the tale. Kurlands writing sparkles with subtle humor, for example, when Morgan tells Miach, he aught to obtain a sword so he can defend himself, he replies “Oh, but I might cut myself” playing the innocent reminiscent of the effete landowner Zorro.
I cannot wait to read the rest in the series. Be forewarned, Kurlands’ other two series time-travelling romances, though interesting, don’t appear to be as well crafted as her Fantasy series of the Nine Kingdoms.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith’s story continues. Now free of the Theater, riding in a caravan Bertie and Ariel and her 4 fairy sidekicks search for Nate and for Bertie’s father (with Bertie fending off Ariel’s advances en route). Bertie is able to write stories in her journal that come true in the real world, but her wishes are fulfilled to the letter of the law, Not the spirit of the request. So she wishes for a feast, including a large scrumptious wedding cake, ideally the food would show up inside their caravan, but instead they come to a village where a large wedding is taking place, and No they have Not been invited.
I wondered if Matchev would be able to continue the magical storyline, given that the setting changes from the inside of the theater to the larger world outside. Though the tamber changes, it is a rollicking faster-paced adventure that stays true to the original world.
The adventures of Diana Bishop Royden de Clairmont, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, continue, as she and husband Matthew time travel back to Elizabethan England. Diana seeks a witch to tutor her, and they also search for the lost book Ashmole 782.
The time period is less friendly to women, and at first, it seemed like Diana was needing to be rescued and taken care of too much, but then, the she would take some risky action that you thought would be problematic, but turned out to be the correct solution, standing up to Mathew on numerous occasions.
I enjoyed visiting with historical characters such as Kit Marlowe and Walter Raleigh from the School of Night as well as traveling to Prague and the court of Rudolf II, the holy Roman emperor and king of Bohemia.
I also enjoyed the consequences of time travel showing up in small modern day changes.
I enjoyed Franny Billingsley’s book Chime so much, that I decided to check out her earlier fiction aimed at children. The protagonist keeps the “folk” at bay in the houses she serves, if she doesn’t she is the first line of defense and suffers intense pain and the possibility of death. She comes to a new estate where the “folk” are much fiercer than what she is accustomed to. She is hiding the fact that she is a girl, because “folk keepers” are not supposed to be female. She discovers other things about herself as she goes along.
Like Chime, the clues to the mystery are all out on display, easy to decipher, IF you know that there is a mystery to be solved, and if you can figure out which is the most important puzzle to solve.
So, you can see that Billingsley has really polished her writing over the years, but the essentials are present in this story.
Great Read! this was recommended by Angie & Courtney a while back, so glad I finally picked it up. Katsa has a special talent, the talent to kill. Then she meets Po, also “graced” with the ability to fight. Join Katsa as she travels across the 5 lands and learns more about her grace and the world and its possibilities.
2nd book in the series, where more family background is explained. Interesting series. Am waiting for the third book on CD.
Protagonist is a Grim Reaper (yep something different from the vampires, werewolves, etc). She can talk to the dead who haven’t crossed over yet, which is very helpful in her PI work. She also has a love interest with supernatural powers (to say the least). The BCD received great reviews (though I didn’t care for the audio narrator’s voice for the main character). What the review didn’t mention was just how spicy some of the scenes are.
This new mystery author weaves a cozy mystery around a strong female protagonist left widowed after WWI and set in the British countryside of a wool mill town. Kate Shackleton agrees to help a friend from the war days find out what happened to her father before the friend’s wedding day. Kate hopes to find the father alive so he can walk his daughter down the aisle, but warns her friend the truth may be much more unpleasant.