Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.
Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.
Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.
The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.
Rhys Ford’s dark, snarky fae mongrel Kai Gracen is back in Mad Lizard Mambo (Kai Gracen, #2) by Rhys Ford and never has a folded, jumbled up world looked so scary or so good. Now unhappily serving as a sort of go between for Lord Rider and the humans the sidhe are interacting/living with, Kai is once again called in for a favor. One he wants to be paid handsomely for as he desperately needs the money to help out his sick mentor/father figure Stalker. That the mission seems a little insane is about par when Kai considers that he’s dealing with Ryder the sidhe Lord he can’t seem to get out of his head and sidhe magics that he wants nothing to do with.
I really could read about Kai Gracen and his gritty conglomerate of a world all day long and never tire of either. Somehow Ford has managed to gather all the elements I love about the Fae (not your kiddies elves) and fantasy, throw them in with action/adventure with a great deal of mystery and UST, rub in a ton of dirt, grit and a big smattering of blood (yep always blood) and car chases to come up with a whomper of a tale.
Molding this universe must be like having the most twisted set of maps ever, laid out on Playdoh and crammed together by a child on a sugar high. Plains weave and warp, mountains are closer than they appear. Or are they? Oh, look pretty butterflies. But don’t touch or they may kill you. Nothing like having a story where I wanted to just sit and examine the landscape, the flora and fauna for a bit. Heck I wanted a whole new Natural History guide as the author’s imagination soars freely through the desert skies on dragon wings and lopes scarily along in herds.
Its up to the Stalkers to navigate these daunting territories and Kai Grace is among the best. That’s one of the reasons he’s been requested to head up the team to go looking for this mythological lost court deep in some Fae Mountains. Yep, like Kai, it smells rank too. But he needs the money. So to outfit such a endeavor, Kai heads to all the people who support the Stalkers and who helped raise him. Some we met in the first story, Black Dog Blues, some are new. The machines needed to transport them will conjure up images of Mad Max as armored monsters capable of getting them to their location, each as unique as their wonderful creator. I love all the secondary characters here. They are as elemental and tough as the desert they live on. You can see how each contributed to Kai, the person who stands before them. I don’t actually say Fae because Kai considers himself more human than Fae no matter what his biology says differently. His outlook is human. And when contrasted to Ryder’s, you get that absolutely.
There’s so many twists and turns here, lost cities and yes, be still my heart, dragons.
Ford also has some answers to Kai’s back history, startling ones, while opening new questions for future stories. This is a standard procedure for Ford and one I also always look forward to as it means another story. Bring it on!
Mad Lizard Mambo (Kai Gracen, #2) by Rhys Ford once again soars, rocks, and scrambles through the gritty urban fantasy world and brings us a story you won’t be able to put down until it over. I love this character and series, and can’t wait for more. Its really not a romance, all that UST running around. Its high action, swiftly paced, tons of twists and turns, and yes, fae (light and dark) and dragons! If that’s your thing as its definitely mine, I highly recommend this story and the one preceding it. I love them both and think you will too.
Cover art shows Kai and a special dragon. Love the colors, and the design. Perfection.
ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by DSP Publications
ISBN 1634777441 (ISBN13: 9781634777445)
Series Kai Gracen – add to Goodreads here:
Note from DSP Publications: Spend your weekend with Kai Gracen! Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford will be released on the DSP Publications website 3 days before other retailers, on September 10. Additionally, eBook one in the Kai Gracen Series, Black Dog Blues, will be 99 cents September 6-13, 2016.