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. I confess, this is a blatant, no holds barred Invitation to Readers/Reviewers who find themselves interested in my books to provide a review in return for a FREE Ebook. BooknVolume now has a new dedicated page (At the top of the homepage) to REVIEW MY BOOKS that I am sharing with all of you today. Thank You for your Kind Support, For Any Shares/Reblogs you choose to Offer, and, if nothing else, for humouring me 🙂
This page is information about Dark Fey and The Mercy Series for those who may be interested in providing a review of my books. A FREE Ebook is available in return for an honest review. My only proviso being, please post your review on your Amazon marketplace, Goodreads and your blog or website.
After looking through the provided information, if you find yourself interested, please contact me via the contact info at the end of this page.
Additional Links for Information about my books: Cynthia A. Morgan Author Website
Ayla was discovered at a very young age to have an especially rare combination of gifts: empathic telepathy, discernment, and the gift of healing. She was dedicated by her parents to become a Guardian of Childfey and spent her young years in the seclusion of the Temple where she studied magic and the ancient rites; where she was taught about the mortal enemy of all Fey of the Light, The Reviled; and where she attempted to learn how to protect herself from the emotions and thoughts of others, although never successfully.
Gairynzvl is a Fey of the Light who was abducted by The Reviled at the age of seven and suffered the intentionally cruel process of neglect, abuse and deprivation is designed to turn childfey from the Light and twist them into monsters. Now fifteen years later, he is a Dark One. He comes in shadows and silence; lingering near Ayla and trying to communicate with her. After many months and while she is alone guarding a childfey, Gairynzvl crosses into her home, but he is also unlike anything she ever imagined a Dark One could be. Rather than opening a portal for his Legion so they may enter and take what they want; he commits an act of treason against his own kind and closes it; protecting her as well as the youngling in her care from their cruelty, but what he wants from her is just as terrifying and equally as dangerous as a full Legion of Reviled. Through her extraordinary gifts she listens to him when no others will; she touches his pain and discovers she cannot turn aside from helping him, but the conflict that unfolds is vicious and exceedingly costly, pushing them to their limits and forcing them to grow beyond them.
Dark Fey The Reviled is an epic fantasy filled with suspense, mystery, action, magic and romance. It shares the inspiration of positive hope; the resilience of love, and the power of forgiveness through a tale that is rich with beauty and horror alike.
Gairynzvl risked everything to escape his captivity in the darkness, including committing an act of treason against the Reviled. Yet, in spite of the dangers involved and the very great risk of sparking full-scale war with the Reviled, Gairynzvl has an irrepressible need to go back into the darkness to rescue as many of the childfey trapped there as he can find. The success of his plan will hinge upon more than courage and military strategy; it will call upon the unique skills and magic of each individual who chooses to join his band of Liberators, and it will require a level of dependence upon each other for which few of them are prepared. Their actions will test all of their limits, could easily divide loyalties, and will shake the foundations of everything The Fey of The Light have accepted as truth for thousands of years.
Slipping into the darkness through darkness is easy. Escaping out again with terrified childfey is another matter, but if they are captured by the Reviled, the band of Liberators will pray for death long before it comes. The risks are enormous and the possibility for success is doubtful, but the compulsion to do what is right and what is necessary is too great to ignore.
Inspired in part by the true-life events of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA, a rebel militant group in Uganda that commonly abducts children and forces them to commit horrifying acts of violence against each other and their own people in combat, Standing in Shadows reaches deeper into the darkness, but never strays entirely out of the Light. Relating a tale of both fear and hope, the story allows readers to share Gairynzvl’s journey into a restored life; his challenges in making new friends and forging alliances, and the struggle to trust, rather than fear, those around him.
Breaking into the Light relates the inspiration of Hope and the power of forgiveness through a tale that is brutally beautiful.
The Reviled are the enemy; merciless, untrustworthy. They embody brutality and devastation. The Fey of the Light have lived with these truths for millennia. Daring to think otherwise invites tragedy.
Gairynzvl was a Reviled Fey and lived the riotous life of all Dark Ones; yet now he is rescuing younglings from the darkness. The actions taken by him and his band of Liberators are fulfilling Ancient Prophecies and proving long-accepted beliefs to be inaccurate. Those who have lived in the Light all their lives, who enjoyed the luxuries of abundance, are suddenly faced with unavoidable questions.
How is Peace achieved? Can Light unite with Darkness?
Will the Fey of the Light sacrifice everything to achieve that which seems impossible or will they turn their heads and ignore the shadows weeping all around them?
It’s the year 2446, and the first three Horsemen of Revelation’s Apocalypse have ridden. Pestilence, War and Famine have changed the world into a dictatorship ruled with an iron fist. Commoners have few rights, and liberty is a distant memory. Before the final Horseman is released, the Archangel of Mercy – Tzadkiel – makes a bold plea, asking for permission to find even one human who remembers the meaning of mercy and compassion. He is given 100 years, until Death will sweep across the land. Taking human form and coming to Earth, he finds a place ruled by greed, hatred and fear. With time running out and Death growing impatient, can Tzadkiel find what he’s looking for… and how much will he need to sacrifice?
It’s the year 2446, and the final horseman of apocalypse – Death – is preparing to ride. The Archangel of Mercy, Tzadkiel, has come to Earth and found the last merciful person among the callous human throng. Together, Tzadkiel and Lourdes escape to the French countryside, but are relentlessly tracked by a sadistic officer determined to control the Archangel and claim Lourdes for himself. Forced to make choices neither ever anticipated, they discover more than simply how to survive. Yet while love blossoms, Death grows impatient. Unable to ride until released by the Archangel, he unleashes a calamity that will push them to their very limits. To succeed they will need more than hope and love. They will need a place of mercy. .
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Aliens. Assassins. And the Apocalypse. They killed his mentor. They tried to kill him. And now, they are trying to kill her. Tortured by his past and uncertain of his future, the Assassin Core’s most promising apprentice, Aero, vows revenge on the time-shifting Anarchists, but soon finds himself caught in a web of lies, deceit and espionage. The Central District is under attack from above and within: the Alien Hosts have been silent for days, the Assassin’s Core has a mole, and when Aero discovers Fletcher, the man like a father to him dead, it’s all but too late and things spiral out of control. On the run, he encounters Astrid, the undefeated decagon champion who seems to be at the center of the murders, and despite his best efforts, seems to always be one step behind. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape the Anarchist’s clutches-and if they fail, they’ll lose everything, including their lives… Hit “Buy Now” and start your ya scifi, cyberpunk journey today. ★★★★★ A short, heart-pounding thrill-a-minute, post-apocalyptic dystopia!
Tell us your initial thoughts of Assassin Rising?
I don’t typically read much science fiction, but I do read a lot of dystopian futures. I loved the unique twist that Assassin Rising has, and how simple yet well thought through the characters are.
What was your favorite aspect of Assassin Rising?
I love how anything goes. Aliens, alternate universes, Neuralink technology, why not? It seems like it would be overpowering, but there is just a pinch of everything and it ties it together.
Who was your favorite character? Why?
Even though he was only in Assassin Rising shortly, I loved Ben. I loved how he interacted with the other characters, and was mature and professional enough to not lash out against Aero or respond to Aero trying to get a rise out of him.
Who was your least favorite? Why?
I don’t have a specific least favorite character, but I do remember when I first read through I had a dislike for Larissa. I’m not quite sure why, as reading through a second time, I see nothing that she did or say that would make me dislike her. In fact, after reading it again I have to say I like her character more, and loved how she interacted with the others in the second scene she’s in.
If you were to compare Assassin Rising to any other book, which would it be? And why?
I can’t really compare Assassin Rising to anything I’ve read before, as this is the first time I’ve read something like it! It’s something fresh and new, yet still has the dystopian aspect like in The Hunger Games.
Who would you recommend read Assassin Rising?
I would recommend Assassin Rising to people who love dystopian futures. I’ve already recommended it to a few friends who love books like Divergent, The Giver, and Legend. It’s not your typical dystopian storyline, but instead takes it and twists it into something new and exciting.
What sparked your interest in this story that made you want to read it?
The first sentence really pulled me in, but what really caught my interest was the tie in with events happening in our current year, how it affects the rest of the timeline, and how they deal with it.
What surprised you about the story that you didn’t expect?
I was not at all expecting the end of the book. The last few chapters were a big surprise, especially the thing with Astrid. I especially loved chapter 15, the final chapter, due to how different it is from most books and movies.
Which scene has lingered with you the most? Why?
I can’t stop thinking about the scene in chapter two, where we get a backstory for what has happened. I love how Assassin Rising talks briefly about COVID and nuclear wars. That scene also had me wondering about other things that were mentioned, and to top it all off, I loved the interactions between Ben and Aero.
If you could ask the author anything about the book, what would it be?
I’d love to learn more about the Sky Wars, as it’s just mentioned once or twice, enough to keep the reader interested and needing more information.
What are you hoping to see happen as the story moves forward?
As a tie in to the previous question, I’d love to dive deeper into the backstory of the Sky Wars, and learn what went down in 2044. I’d also love to read an interaction with the Hosts, and meet them
Assassin Rising: 2044 The Alien Gene Project is the first novella in the series. Stay tuned for next in the series, coming out late 2020!
ENTER THE WORLD OF PENTHARA … a world governed by five elements and their five seasons …
The human kingdom of Barredom has been at war with the qindrid territories of Aggedon ever since the Qindrid Curse gripped the land. What were once humans are now grey-skinned, ageless, sleepless abominations, enhanced by the shadow element of their descendancy.
When the entire border army of Aggedon vanishes overnight, the obsessive General of Barredom orders the Westwalker, the infamous hunter of hunters, to investigate the disappearance. But the actions of men may test the resolve of the outsider who was long ago forced under the cursed transformation himself.
The new cycle of Kingfall proves worthy of its name when the savage elvan king of the Glace Isles is slain during an ambush. His elite war party, along with his three legendary axes, are deposited in the dungeons of the Frostdale Deeps, the domain of the Royal Inquisitor Honorah Bayn. Her task is to extract information from the enigmatic prisoners, but her desire is to exact revenge, and her lust for suffering is set to thwart the distracting aspirations of her unwitting son and daughter.
The unusual fortune of Barredom delivers one other gift when the leader of the Aggedonian qindrid surrenders herself into the custody of the elusive king of Barredom. It’s up to the renounced prince of Barredom, Ondrew Roth, and his motley group of spurned knights to escort her on a clandestine mission beneath enemy territory, through the underground tomb of an elvan race thought long defeated.
Prepare for a dark tale where all are the many hues of grey, and where any might not be as they seem
My 5-Star Review!
Let me tell you a little about the beginnings of creating this story. I’m thirty years old now. But the idea for The Journals of Ravier series started back when I was fifteen. It was in the Fall, the first week of school. Oh yeah! I almost forgot to mention I was homeschooled K – 12th grade. Though not an ideal way to grow up, as I spent a lot of time alone, I survived. A lot of things happened, prior to school starting that year. I was never the same. This story helped me to stay sane, during a time in my life when I was lost and lonely; hurting so, so bad inside. I needed an escape. And I got it through writing that first horrible, ugly draft in a spiral-bound notebook. It’s true what the battle-scarred authors say. First drafts are never pretty. The original story began with something like this: ‘What if horses had wings, and could fly? A boy once found this horse, and he named her Angel. He found her in the woods by his home. A boy named, Tyler Craven. This is their story.’ Not a good beginning, I’ll admit. But it was a beginning.
In 2005, around the time Hurricanes Katrina then Rita hit, is when I made the start. It was such a sad year. Yet a good year. Lovely Texans opening their hearts to their Louisiana neighbors . . . that was a beautiful thing. Recently home from a lengthy visit to Texas, my heart was bursting with so many emotions. Through it, I found a love for writing. And here I am, fifteen years later. My third book will be out, at the end of this year or sometime at the start of 2021.
In 2013, I changed the focus of the story. I made it better. Closer to what it is now. Caucasian Tyler Craven became Tyler Malik Ravier—half Caucasian, half Iraqi. Angel was renamed to Awngelic and then finalized as Awngeleik, similar in sound to the name of Angelique. I won’t even mention what Gemma Galloway’s name used to be. I will say this, however. Tadashi’s name was Ted! Amira was Gloria. All the characters were Caucasian. But I changed that, in 2013. Started thinking of new things. New names. New storylines. Then I wrote a rough draft, in 2015. That draft became the foundation for the first three books in Tyler Ravier’s series.
I’ve spent countless hours dreaming of the landscape of Muraine, tweaking it as needed . . . I wanted something unique. See, I grew up in a place with few trees around. Southwestern Wyoming. Always took twice as long for trees to grow to a “normal” size. It was a place at risk of droughts, well, quite a lot. Very dry. Unbelievably windy. Lots of snow, in the winter (usually). As you can imagine, I wanted a place vastly different to escape to. A place with lots of trees. Hence, Paragon was born. A model of excellence. The ideal sort of place I’d love to escape to. I later realized it needed a foreign name. Therefore, Pawv’Ragaen it became. I think that was in 2014.
Writing the books in this series has been a wild ride. I never thought I’d be an author. Though I’m self-published, I’m proud of it. Proud of the work I’ve put it. My writing isn’t perfect, but it is heartfelt. I’m honored to be the author, who’s steering Tyler’s story. Being a writer is so many things, really. I hope the product of my imagination wins you over. And know that I’m just warming up. I can feel it. Tyler demands that more be said than what the three books contain. And who am I to stand in the way of an amazing story being told through his eyes? Truly, there are days I simply feel like the characters are writing the story. That I’m their voice. Lol! I feel what they feel. I laugh with them, cry with them, cheer for them. As they grow, I grow. Not the other way around. Being a writer has changed who I am, as a person. I’m better, kinder, stronger. I actually like who I am. I didn’t, before. I simply existed. But that’s not living.
In parting, I must tell you . . . if you want a dream badly enough, chase it. Don’t give up. Just know that it takes time. Persevere.
J.R. Vaineo is a self-published indie author, residing in Salt Lake City, UT. In 2018, she published her first book: Kings of Muraine. When she’s not writing, she and her husband, Jessie, have many adventures together. Mostly in cooking, hiking, photography, analytical talks, and fawning over their two adorable fur-babies.
While J.R. Vaineo writes mostly fantasy fiction—combining elements of epic, portal, paranormal, and dark fantasy—she enjoys reading all genres; except, perhaps, for horror stories. After finishing a creative writing program, through the Institute of Children’s Literature, she continued to improve her craft of writing. In 2013, she graduated with her AA degree in psychology. During that time, she expanded on many things, especially focusing on what would prove invaluable for fleshing out characters and plot twists. What started out as a writing prompt, in 2005, has now become a nine book series she is currently working on: The Journals of Ravier. Sometimes, she is quite jealous of the characters’ abilities, found within her own writing. If that is a sign of anything, it is this: Obsession.
All the best,
Find Julie on:
Where to Purchase
Barnes & Noble:
Thank you so much to Julie for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her story with BnV and Word Mongery and Musings 🙂
Winner – Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.
Runner-up – Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Finalist – Foreward INDIES Book of the Year Awards.
Finalist – National Indie Excellence Awards.
Darkness stirs in a world that is ill-equipped to confront it.
A prophesied king is born, but not all will benefit from his foretold conquests. In a realm where only clerics are permitted to practice magic, Kibure, a mere slave, draws the attention of much more than just his master after wielding an unknown force in a moment of desperation. In a twist of fate, Sindri, the priestess hired to strip Kibure of his power, defies the law, revealing designs of her own. But trust is in short supply in a land ripe with deceit. This wayward pair will have to work together if they hope to evade capture at the hands of the Empire’s most potent wielders.
Halfway around the known world, Aynward’s knack for discovering trouble drives him deep into conspiracies within which he does not belong. Too arrogant to accept counsel, he will have to learn the hard way that some actions have consequences that cannot be undone…
This epic fantasy series will be especially enjoyed by fans of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Michael J. Sullivan, Patrick Rothfuss, and Michael Wisehart. .
In a unique Reverse Interview, Author Derrick Smythe interviewed on of his readers for more insights into the book:
I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my (Blogging) family….Word Mongery and Musings…a new blog focusing solely on Books, Reviews, Author Interviews…Reverse Views….Editorials about Books…Characters, Plots, Favorite Scenes and schemes….ok, you get the idea, right?
Book blogs, review rendezvous, spotlight sprees, hype headquarters, and chutzpah hullabaloos. What do they all have in common?
Writers! Word mongers and musers. Oh, and the essential other half of the equation: Readers!
Creation is a two-fold phenomenon. A Yin and Yang, action-reaction, cause and effect, inception and conclusion relationship. Writers create worlds, characters, and circumstances with which readers can connect. Readers search for writers whose creations hold a resonance that seems to speak directly to them. It’s almost a symbiotic relationship where one cannot exist without the other. Or at least, one cannot truly be fulfilled without the other.
The reader reads what the writer writes, then writes about what they’ve read so other readers may also read what was written. That’s where the aforementioned book blogs, review rendezvous, spotlight sprees, hype headquarters and chutzpah hullabaloos come into play. Because as sure as the reader will read what the writer wrote, there are other writers who will write about what was written so readers know what to read.
Are you dizzy yet? So am I.
This is the bewildering boondocks into which each writer wanders when they put the proverbial pen to paper. This is the maelstrom that spins around us in a confusing concoction of words, phrases, jargon, lexical madness and magic that leaves all of us more than a little muddled.
This is the realm into which Word Mongery and Musings will wander, leaving a trail for others to follow. A trail of writings for readers and readers for writers.
Please stop by and say Hi 🙂 OH and don’t worry, there’s plenty of poetry in this brain to keep BnV readers happy 🙂
So here it is…the very first (Possibly ever!) Reverse Book Review where the reader reviews the book and then is interviewed by ME….and YOU! Yes, thats right, you can ask any questions you like about the book(s) and Chad will be happy to answer them. So lets get right to it, shall we?
Misericorde (Mercy Series Book One)
Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2020…..Cynthia A Morgan wrote the Dark Fey trilogy and I loved that…this is a very different sort of book. For one, it’s slower paced and the work of a very talented author who has time (there are 3 more books to come in the series) to let the story unfold, to allow the reader to know and understand the characters, times, environments. She is patient and assured – 2 words I would hesitate to use to describe most anything culturally. We are raised on soundbites and fed headlines, but this book/series is, especially the more I think about it, so difficult to adequately distill into a short synopsis. It’s spiritual and human. It’s violent and tender. It’s desperate and deeply hopeful. I can’t wait to see where she takes us from here.
Who is your favorite/least favorite character and why?
My least favorite is easy: Sauvage. In a space that is forgetting any resemblance of gentleness or care, his absolute lack of humanity is repulsive.
My favorite has been Chevalier or Levesque for the same reason. As I raged at their apathy and unwillingness to DO SOMETHING, I knew why they didn’t (or couldn’t.) They did for the same reason we stand idly by while the least of us are utterly taken advantage of and great violence is inflicted. Morgan couldn’t have known the specific political/social landscape when she wrote it, but this story is perfect for us, now. I guess it’s perfect for any time, because we are too often Chevalier or Levesque and not enough Tzadkiel and Lourdes. (As it turns out, why I love them is that they DID finally DO SOMETHING and I am proud of them, and it gives me hope for us, for me.)
What surprised you about the story that you didn’t expect
In my reviews I talk about your patience. It’s shocking to me that this story is given such beautiful space to breathe and be exactly what it is. It feels much less like a contrived product driven by bells and whistles and more like a living breathing organism. Then when the bells and whistles do come, they are genuine and unforced and we discover that we actually care deeply for these characters. It’s like we’re watching lives unfold and not just an event.
What are you hoping to see happen as the story moves forward?
Of course, I hope they find their way home and that they can heal from the tremendous amount of pain they’ve suffered. I don’t know if I can hope for anything other than Death to ride, it sounds like that is written so it shall be done. I just hope they all find peace. I love a happy ending (whether there can be a complete one with Death is doubtful.)
Which scene has lingered with you the most? Why?
The 2nd rape/abuse scene at the campsite was horrible and not something I will soon leave behind. It was much more impactful than the 1st (though the act itself is so vile) because I had grown to love them. I read it through tears, with an upset stomach. The visceral reaction I had was surprising…actually, I was absolutely sure the abuse wouldn’t happen. Absolutely sure! And then it did, written so descriptively it was REAL, and I barely kept from throwing up in horror. I still can’t move on.
Does the story remind you of any other books/movies?
There’s nothing like this.
Did you disagree with any of the characters decisions and why?
I think the disagreement was in the complete breakdown in human kindness and civility, like “how can they do that???” But I know, I know. It’s a mirror of what we can become and an invitation to become something more of what we were created to be.
Did you get any message / positive inspiration from the story?
The invitation I mentioned previously, and the quote, “May we show our thankfulness through kindness and appreciate our blessings through generosity,” has become the subject in a series I am teaching in our faith community and has been quoted often in my life. We should all aim so high.
If you could ask the author anything about the book, what would it be?
How does it end???? And How COULD you DO THAT to HER???????????
Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2020
Chad Slabach is a friend I’ve known for twenty+ years. If you are a long time follower of my blog, he was the inspiration for The Burning Question series. He is the leader of a non-denominational faith community based in south-central PA as well an as avid music fan and writer. You can find Chad on his WordPress Blog The Bridge Faith Community.
I’d like to Thank Chad immensely, not only for his enthusiastic support, but for taking time out of his busy schedule to read and review The Mercy Series AND to provide his insights in this Reverse View 🙂
Amazing Original Artwork by the following Exceptionally Talented Artists:
Lee Jun at DeviantArt.com
Book reviews are a marvelous thing. For an author, each one is the Holy Grail; an invaluable treasure we are ever searching to acquire. Yet, I have found very often after reading a review that I want to know more. Whether the review is for one of my own books or a tale I want to learn more about, I am always left wondering what else the reader thought.
Limited in most cases to under 300 words, reviewers typically choose and use their lexicon wisely, but how do you adequately summarize a daring adventure, sweeping romance, or beguiling mystery of over 100K words with so few?
Being a creative problem solver, I have thought about this repeatedly, wondering how to free the reviewer of the constraints of social media attention spans and give them the opportunity to pontificate pleasingly and profusely.
Here enters the Reverse ‘View. Note the apostrophe, please. It’s placement is intentional. Not only does this title indicate what you are about to see or read is not what you might anticipate, but it denotes, in this case, the omission of the letters INTER.
How often have you read an author interview? Come on now, be honest; how often have you actually read the entire thing? I confess, I’m as guilty as most, but what if I interviewed YOU? We do it all the time. We ask each other what we thought about the movie we saw over the weekend, how the restaurant we went to compared to others; we even ask each other about books we’ve read.
We interview each other. So why not interview READERS about the books they’ve read? This is what you want to know…not what the author wants to tell you to make you buy it, but what the reader thought. Was it good or an epic failure? Did you read it all in one weekend because you couldn’t put it down? Why? What made it so good?
Now, imagine if YOU could read the reader’s interview and then ask them whatever it is YOU want to know. It a nifty notion, not? (Ok, I love alliterations, but ‘lest I digress..) Enter the Reverse ‘View. An interview of a reader. An interactive interview! Interested? (sorry, it was right there!)
Before I lose you…In the coming weeks (and months, depending on how much YOU like them) I will be posting a series of Reverse ‘Views. Interviewing readers about books you may or may not have ever heard of… and giving YOU the opportunity to ask them questions too (in the comments, of course!)
I hope you will enjoy them. I hope you will join them. And, of course, ultimately, I hope you will read them 🙂
Beautiful photograph found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer and Artist. Thank You.
Overjoyed to learn Misericorde has been given a 5Star Review and critique by ReadersFavorite. (Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins)
“Author Cynthia A. Morgan has crafted a lavish and detailed read which audiences are sure to devour from cover to cover thanks to its quick pacing and highly engaging plot. I particularly adored Tzadkiel as a central character, whose determined belief that humanity may have hope yet is a central theme that endears him and his quest to us. There is a great atmosphere in the writing and lexical choices made by the author, painting the pseudo-medieval world with a bleak and desolate brush. This makes the juxtaposition of hope all the more important and prominent when the search reaches its potential conclusion. I found the plot structure to be well-timed and with plenty of ups and downs to keep the story interesting. Overall, I would certainly recommend Misericorde for fantasy fans everywhere.”
READ the Full Review: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/misericorde#
Misericorde on Amazon: http://mybook.to/misericorde
As soon as Jean stands in the sun’s ruby light, a world of darkness draws him and Princess Linka in. The Nordic royalty – albino Eternals of myth – transport their guests deep beneath the Arctic ice to the legendary city of Hvit.
Their mother, Queen Serena, offers the pair sanctuary, but all is not right. Betrayed by the royal family and almost drowned in an orca hunt, Jean must leave Linka behind. His mood is darker than ever and the world will feel his fury. Renewing old acquaintances, Jean must solve the mystery of who manipulates him and the deepening saga of his parents’ deaths. Now, Jean fights for more than just himself; he fights for love.
Once again, aided and abetted by the increasingly manic Merryweather, and the mysterious beauty that is Princess Aurora, Jean seeks retribution. Both hunter and hunted, trapped between wolves of land and sea, all directions point north. Jean must return to Hvit, the cloying, lavender stench of death, and the never-ending quest for blood.
Having thoroughly enjoyed my initial foray into author Richard Ankers unique vision of a futuristic vampire tale brimming with gothic imagery, steampunk ingenuity, and engaging, well-developed characters; I was eager to immerse myself yet again into the shifting landscapes of Earths far distant future. Told in first-person voice by the lead character who is neither grotesque vampire nor human, Eternal Lord Jean relates his tale through a seductive combination of cynical mirth and revealing honesty.
In this second installment of the distinctive trilogy that seamlessly pairs a vampire tale with dystopian, sci-fi and steampunk elements, Jean finds himself in the legendary city of Hvit, home to the incomparable Nordic Royalty: Albino Eternals who live amid the wastes of the Arctic in a close-knit community and unexpected brutality. Jean quickly discovers how valuable any alliance with the Nordics can be, particularly the newly introduced, mysterious Nordic Princess Aurora.
For me, the graceful, immensely powerful, often stoic Nordics ‘stole the show’. I found myself repeatedly reading the passages that described their super-human (and even super-vampiric) capabilities; their enigmatic home deep in the ice of the Arctic plain, and their shocking hunting prowess. Nordic Prince Grella became an immediate favourite, as his brooding personality and unpredictability left me eager to know more about him.
Jean’s quest to understand the truth about those who try to manipulate him, as well as the truth of his own life, leads him full circle, which is as metaphorically ingenious as it is compelling reading. I highly recommend delving into this little-know gem of a tale!
Bravo, Richard! Again!
Learn more about book one of the series in my review of The Eternals
By Mary Yarde
War is coming to Saxon Briton.
As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.
Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.
Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.
Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?
Having only recently finished the first book of this series, which I enjoyed thoroughly; I was delighted to have the opportunity to voraciously dive right into the second. I was not disappointed. Not only has Mary Yarde meticulously researched the history of the 6th century in which the story takes place, allowing readers to experience how different life truly was so long ago, but she draws the reader deep into the mystery and intrigues of the plot. She spins a web of romance, lust, violence, and the darkness of self-loathing.
Merton emerges as the dark anti-hero in this part of Yarde’s epic saga, and readers are hard pressed to not like him, in spite of so many things that might make him unlikeable. I found myself aching because of his sorrows, yearning with him for something more, and hoping with him when love reaches out to touch him. The characters of Yarde’s tale are complex and bound together through dichotic and intense associations that twist the moment you think understand them!
Although there is enough backstory to make this a standalone, you would be cheating yourself if you did not start with the first books of the series. Highly recommended and absolutely enjoyed, this reader is anxiously awaiting book three!
Undeniably 5 Stars!
Emilia: The darkest days in history of Nazi Germany through a woman’s eyes
This story is dedicated to all the victims of sexual slavery in German concentration camps, who had to endure inhumane suffering under the Nazi regime.
For many years after the atrocities had been committed, both sides – the abusers and the abused – still vehemently denied certain aspects of the Holocaust, and even the victims refused to admit the ugly truth about their incarceration, some out of fear, some out of shame, until several women decided to break an unofficial oath of silence, and brought their stories to life. This book is based on one of those stories.
Emilia is a young Jewish woman, whose life slowly turns into a nightmare as she finds herself facing a dreadful choice: to secure her family’s very existence by offering herself to one of the men who had put her behind the walls with barbed wire, or perish together with the least fortunate ones. Only, the Krakow ghetto and her very first abuser pale in comparison to what is yet to come, as she’s being sent to a place that soon will turn into her own personal hell and that will scar her for life…
‘Emilia’ tells the darkest tale honestly, drawing the reader into this fictional young woman’s harrowing life as subtly and surprisingly as Emilia herself was drawn, yet it shows so accurately what happened to countless victims. You cannot help connecting with Emilia as you turn page after page, reliving her nightmare told with startling candor.
This is an inspiring tale of courage, yet the horrors of war fill every page. Ellie Midwood successfully conveys this young woman’s tale of rape and abuse through poignantly compelling, as well as frighteningly sadistic, characters; transporting the reader into the heart of a young woman desperately trying to survive.
Not for the faint of heart, Emilia’s story shares more than just the dreadfulness of her darkest days; it goes beyond them into her determination to recover and find renewal, emphasizing the strength of Positive Resolve and Power of Hope that all survivors understand.
5 Stars Without a Doubt!
Heavensgate Joy by Leo Kane
Death is obsessed with her.
Angels adore her.
Evil desires her.
Joy, the unloved child of the local virgin miraculously resurrects years after drowning in the North Sea. Everyone craves her company, but no-one remembers her for more than a fleeting moment.
Stalked by Death, Joy becomes trapped in Heavensgate, where she falls victim to the demonic supernatural, Jake. She is willing to sacrifice her immortal soul for his love. He wants to defile and destroy her.
Can she escape Heavensgate, or will the Beast steal Joy from the Mortal Realm?
A Tumultuous tale about tortured souls.
I shall begin by saying that this is definitely not a standalone: If you haven’t read Heavensgate Hope and think you can jump into the story in this second book, your thoughts will end up more twisted than the main characters. Yet having stated that, I will also say that Leo Kane has written a masterful sequel to her initial story, filling page after riveting page with confusion, disarray, and enough steam to power a locomotive from the character you love to hate and hate to love: Jake.
As the story delves deeper into the incursions and capitulations of the main character, Jacob, and draws in the new, haunting character of Joy, you are lead down an increasingly twisted avenue into the darkness, connecting you in an extremely powerful way to the tortured soul(s) about which Leo write. You begin to THINK you understand; then the carpet is pulled out from beneath you, leaving you re-reading frantically trying to figure out just what you missed. But the truth is, you didn’t miss anything and that is the Brilliance of the author’s writing which allows you to experience the inescapable chaos of the main character(s).\
I found myself emotionally and mentally drained after reading this second installment, yet thirsty for more! Bring on Book Three, Leo…I’m ready….I think!
Read more about Leo Kane’s character in the recent Character Interaction she did with Booknvolume