A MelanieM Review: Magic Triumphed (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #3) by Andi Van

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Mages’ Guild Trilogy: Book Three

Zaree Muna’s loyalty to her brother Tasis has taken her to some strange places, but she never could’ve predicted ending up where she now finds herself. The victims of a spell, Tasis and his familiar are unable to wake, leaving Zaree and her allies to face the mad king of Archai on their own. Their quest brings them face-to-face with the Maker herself, and she offers a dire prophecy: they’ll suffer three deaths as they fight for the fate of their world. They’ll lose two people close to them before the final death threatens their chance of victory.

But Zaree isn’t planning to give up—not on Tasis’s dream and not on their future. If that means staring down death, she’s ready. A thousand years is too long to let their struggles end in anything but triumph.

Magic Triumphed (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #3) by Andi Van is the exactly the right conclusion I was hoping for.  It’s soaring in its imaginative qualities, full of adventure and suspense.  All the characters we have come to know and love are present and fully involved in saving the world in a manner that has us cheering for more.  And Andi Van gives us additional characters barely hinted at but now fully fleshed out, complete with their own relationships, and roles to play.

The only thing missing?  I really wanted to see those giant dogs!

I love a saga that gives me a origin mythology and dragons too.  Be still my heart.  Plus Van leaves room at the end for further, if not sequels, then connected stories and hopefully more series because the world building here is exceptional.  From the Grey Forest elves to the gryphons, to the Maker and all the dragons and Guilds, the continued expansion of the universe that the author is creating throughout the trilogy just cries out for more.

That goes for the relationships here too.  The triad of Emlynn,Jorget, and Nabiha (with baby brother Malik of course) need their story along with Zaree and Reikos, should that be who she ends up with, you never know.  There are so many powerfully conceived characters here who deserve stories all their own in this marvelous universe, empty Guilds that need to live again and a world that still needs so much healing.

Andi Van brought all these beings and this world alive to me.  I sank into it for three stories.  Magic Triumphed was an emotional high, It brought a complicated magically gorgeous saga to a great ending yet made me feel as though another journey could yet still be ready to start.  I hope that Andi Van is listening….

Love fantasy?  Here is a trilogy to dive into and become a part of.  Beautifully written, fantastical creatures and wonderful characters, it will leave you both satisfied and wanting more.  How great is that?

I highly recommend the entire trilogy which should be read in the order is was written.

Cover Art: Tiferet Designs.  Gorgeous cover with the beautiful rendering of Zaree on the cover.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 214 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Harmony Ink Press
ASIN B07LH1CWFM
Edition Language English
Magic Fell
Magic Wept
Magic Triumphed

A MelanieM Review: The Rising Tide (Liminal Sky #2) by J. Scott Coatsworth

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Liminal Sky: Book Two

Earth is dead.

 

Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever, a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

 

Control the AI, control the people.

 

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide.

 

Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

When I finished The Stark Divide, the first novel in J. Scott Coatsworth’s science fiction trilogy, I knew I was into something extraordinary.  Not only was it highly imaginative, but the science was there as well as the emotional, mental, and physical elements from the characters (and  pulled from the readers) that went along with the death of a home world and the launching of a vessel for space exploration and the saving of the human race.  That story has it all.  Intrigue, AIs, a magnificent space vessel  called Forever that was home to the remnants of humanity and at the end the introduction of a familiar villainy.   I was hopelessly lost  and hopelessly addicted.  There was  romance in a place where gender plays an increasingly lesser role. But romance is not the main factor here.  It’s the survival of Forever and humanity that’s at stake and that’s where we pick up in The Rising Tide.

As I have stated before, I’m prone to reading author’s introductions so you all know that I started with J. Scott Coatsworth’s here.  He tells the story of the titles of the novels, how they came about as well as the overall one for the trilogy, Liminal Sky.  In The Rising Tide we dive into the true meaning of that in epic proportions!

There is not any way to discuss individual characters within this novel in a review, especially for The Rising Tide.  There are simply far too many important main characters, scads of them really.  Each and every one has a different, startling role to play within this mind boggling science fiction tale.  How do you highlight Andy and leave out Marissa?  You don’t.  To discuss how beautifully each character is created would take up gobs up space and quite frankly I’d rather you all read the book.  There are simply no throwaway characters here, even ones that make brief appearances are used to high emotional impact.

There are also some very dark moments for the people here and that comes through science and it’s misuse, something they thought they had left back on Earth.

There are moments when I wept, pages of high anxiety and suspense, times when I went as limp as a noodle when momentarily the action went slack, and yes, sniffled again when it all came back together in an astonishing climax!  What a wild narrative ride this was!  I loved every word of it.  The author did an immaculate job here and I applaud him.

The Rising Tide is the middle or transitioning story of the Liminal Sky trilogy.  The term liminal can mean occupying both sides of a boundary or a threshold, the initial stages of transitioning which is what is happening here.  The people are transitioning away from the Old Earth ways and heading finally towards whatever future lies ahead, what they find, what they make as they voyage through space on Forever.  Through a journey of adventure, horror, love, sacrifice, science, even death,  J. Scott Coatsworth delivers an epic tale of transition.

There’s one book left to go.  I cannot wait to read it.

Earth is dead.   Let’s find out what J. Scott Coatsworth has in store for humanity in the last story in the Liminal Sky trilogy.    What a magnificent two novels to date!  I highly recommend them both.  They must be read in the order they are written.  Then meet me here as we eagerly await the release of the third.

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson.  I love these cover.  This  one is absolutely gorgeous and is a great representation of an element of the story.

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by DSP Publications (first published October 16th 2018)
ASINB07D8GFSJW
Series Liminal Sky :

The Stark Divide

The Rising Tide

A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

When one drunken night forever scars three best friends, will they ever find a way to pick up the pieces?

Eaten up with guilt, Ivan Black spends ten years hiding from the world. He retreats to his family forge to wallow in misery. Alone. So lonely his heart aches with it.

Wesley Cook and Rolland Spence have been together since university. They struggle through the physical scars of the accident, building a life in the ruins of their dreams. They find happiness but continue to miss their angry ginger Viking—Ivan.

In all the anger of wasted years, the three men find a way to forge a relationship as hot as the fires in the smithy.

I’ve long been a fan of the novels of Dahlia Donovan, but Forged in Fire may be her best story yet.  It is a deeply moving love story between three men who lost each other and their chance at major careers in rugby directly after the university. Young men drove drunk and disastrously crashed, rolling the car, ending their triad through grievous injuries and the guilt one still carries to this day.  That would be the driver Ivan.

All this we learn in bitter bits and pieces one wet, flooded night as the waters rise about the village of Boscastle and Ivan’s family’s forge high on the hill.  It’s over a decade after the accident and “Ivan the Terrible” as his family calls him has fully retreated from life to his forge, shutting off all contact, including the two men who used to mean the most to him.  He’s plagued by memory loss from brain damage, deep guilt, and a deep seated rage that is his legacy from his father, now in prison.  His past not only haunts him but he fights it every second of the day.  And it mostly wins and tears him down.

Ivan is a savage portraiture of a man.  Driven by his demons yet Donovan continues to make us understand him as she reveals more and more of his past and his struggles to get by them.  They include his father who we meet in prison and who Ivan is named after.

But the heart and soul of this story is the dynamics, return of love and relationship of the triad. Born in the rising flood waters in Boscastle, it’s painful, so slow its like slogging through the rising tide, full of anger, resentment, pain, and loss.  They have a decade of issues to work through…even abandonment.  Incredibly, the author also manages to bring in laughter, giggles, light touches, and some incredibly  sexy scenes that show that the pull between all three men isn’t just some surface attraction.  No, it’s cellular.  These men need each other in order to be complete.  Donovan makes us believe it absolutely.  We feel it as much as the men do.

If Ivan is a complete character, so is Wesley Cook and Rolland “Rolly” Spence, who have been together as an existing couple since the accident.  They have returned to get their third, Ivan, and bring him “home”.  Each one of them, so clearly defined and beautifully written that its a joy to meet them and be included in their relationship.  It’s fun to watch and listen to, the dialog shows the ease of a couple who has been together for years as does the sex between them.  Loving, quick, and warmhearted.  Yet still they yearn for Ivan, all prickles and anger who they’ve missed all this time.  And he’s missed them as well.

The emotions here are huge, the growth, the pain, the fear the oozes off of Ivan as he faces his past, his father, his disabilities and even his future, it will scare even you.  Bring tissues.  For 130 pages, this is a big book.

I can’t begin to tell you all how much I love it and the men here.  It will leave a lasting impact.  One incredibly stupid decision and three lives changed forever.  Now we how the aftermath turns out and lives change again.

I highly recommend this story. The writing is incredible, the descriptions vivid and carry such emotional heft, and the characters so real you believe in them and invest in them absolutely.

And for those of you who are wondering, no this is not connected to her Sin Bin series other than a brief mention of Taine Afoa.  It’s completely standalone.

So yes, go pick it up, dive in and lose yourself in these men and their road back to each other.

Cover art: Claire Smith.  I love this artist’s work and this cover is no different.  It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published July 14th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07DS6HLPJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

Forged in Flood is a British contemporary M/M/M romance. With heartache, hot men with foul mouths, and plenty of heat, enjoy getting to know Ivan, Wesley, and Roland.