A Lila Review: The Windmines of Bora Bora (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden Book 2) by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”Betrayed by his sister and sold into slavery to die in the dreaded Windmines of Bora Bora, Ivan has nothing but sarcasm and spite for the Lotus Knights’ well-worn catchphrase. No one ever cared for him – not when he was a young noble, not as a tortured Quetzal pet, and definitely not as a runaway slave gang leader in the slums of Yaiciz.

But all that changes when one of his fellow inmates turns out to be a genuine Lotus Knight, offering help and a way out of this misery. Suddenly, even Ivan can’t help but feel like there might be something good in his life to look forward to.

The Windmines of Bora Bora is a dark, snarky adventure and the the second book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, bromance and patchwork family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire.

The Windmines of Bora Bora is a hard book to rate. On one hand, it’s an intrinsic, epic story with a well-developed world and characters. On the other, it lacks a satisfactory resolution. It’s a transitional book, a second act, ending on an intermission.

From the beginning, we are drawn to Ivan and his life. We get to see him as a young adult and as a child, through his sister’s eyes. The memories and the present time chapters are intermingled to perfection. It’s easy to move back and forward without whiplash.

The story’s plot moves abruptly from Ivan to Yaden. Leaving the reader looking for a switch back. Yes, it has an ending. And yes, Ivan gets to restart his life but… it ends before we can get real closure for him. Yaden story gets wrapped nicely but for Ivan is just the beginning.

I will continue to look forward to this series, and other books by these authors. I’m a fan of their imagination. In this case, I simply hope the next book gives Ivan a little more happiness to compensate for all the suffering .

The cover by Anna Tiferet is simpler than the first one but it gives a sense of place to the story. Plus, it matches the series well.

Sale Links: Amazon | iBooks | Smashwords

Book Details:
ebook, 215 pages
ISBN: 9780463799727
Published: August 13, 2019, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Edition Language: English

Series: Virasana Empire
Book #1: The Demon of Hagermarsh
Book #2: The Windmines of Bora Bora

New Release Tour:The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus (excerpt)

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The Demon of Hagermarsh

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new MM fantasy book out: The Demon of Hagermarsh.

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?

Getting to know the villagers only complicates things – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt

Banner of Hagermarsh Meme

Instantly, Yaden was on his feet and in the sales room, only to realise that he had absolutely no reason to do so except for his curiosity, but now it was too late for a credible retreat.

“Good day, Sir,” he greeted Colin, hoping he’d come across as a diligent shop servant and not some weirdo.

Colin looked a little startled at his sudden appearance, but he gave him that sunny smile of his. “Good day, Yaden. I thought I’d break with tradition and come in first, so the rest of them can follow. Me being the other most recent newcomer to the village and all.”

“Oh?” So that was why Colin seemed so out of place in Hagermarsh. “You’re not from here either?”

“Actually I sort of am. My family has owned that bakery for generations. But my mother and her sister ran away to Schimmelbach. They hated this place, so, I wasn’t born here.”

“Really? But what’s to hate here? Hagermarsh seems pretty nice so far.”

“I don’t actually know,” Colin replied with another smile, this time bittersweet. “Mother died when I was little, so Aunt Mildred raised me. And she rarely talked about their time in Hagermarsh.”

“So there’s a terrible, dark secret to this village?” Yaden tried to keep his tone down and not too hopeful.

Colin laughed out loud. “In Hagermarsh? If there is one, I haven’t been initiated yet. I only moved here a few years ago, when my Grandpa died and I took over the bakery. And so far, it’s been the nicest place I’ve ever lived in.”

Not a useful lead. Yaden feverishly tried to figure out a way to ask more questions without making their conversation sound too much like an interrogation, until he noticed that Colin was looking at him with that beaming smile of his. It made him terribly nervous.

“So … What are you looking to buy?” Inelegant, but at least it was a way out.

“A few odds and ends. We do need the General Store to open again. Which reminds me, can I have my basket back, yet?”

“Actually, I dropped it off with your apprentice yesterday. Didn’t he tell you?” Yaden had specifically told the youth to let his master know, but had only received the usual grunt in return.

Colin groaned dramatically. “Rory! That lazy foghead is going to be the death of me one day! Eithne insisted that regular work would be good for him and he would improve, but I swear he is getting worse. That’s what you get for listening to a kind old lady trying to barter off one of her grandsons.”

“I’m … sorry?”

“No, no, not your fault at all.” Colin’s smile was back again in a blink. How could a man smile that much? “I’ll deal with him. After all, he is my apprentice and I’m responsible for him. I’ll get him into shape eventually.” He pulled a small note from his pocket, scanned it and for the first time properly looked around the sales room, his eyes going wide. “Wow! This is so orderly. And so much. It looks like you have at least one of everything.”

Before moving from Erys to Lagoona, Yaden would have agreed. He vividly remembered the first time he and Darios had visited one of the big shopping malls in Ridge, the highrise quarter of Agami, and gaped at the sheer amount of stuff on sale they hadn’t even known existed. They sure had felt like clueless country bumpkins. But after a year in the Empire’s capital, he had gotten used to it to a point where the General Store’s range of goods felt rudimentary to him.

“Mostly I need a new pen and a whole bunch of different spices.” Colin smiled at Yaden hopefully. “Could you show me where everything is?”

“Sure, though we may not have exotic spices in stock. But we can order them for you.”

“That would be great. Okay, let me see. Most urgently, I need some garnak, ideally whole pods, and some dried lurka leaves. Do you have any terran caraway, by chance?”

There wasn’t much assistance Yaden could offer, apart from showing him where they kept the spices. Deciphering the labels on the tins would have taken him much longer than Colin. But he recognized them at a glance, and Yaden stayed with him to portion out the amounts he needed and bring them over to the counter.

When Colin followed him to the counter, he noticed Darios properly for the first time and did a double take at his size.

“Master Darios, who actually owns the store,” Yaden introduced.

Darios greeted Colin with an amicable grunt and put his book down to ring up Colin’s purchases.

“I promised Master Colin a discount in exchange for his welcoming bread,” Yaden reminded him.

“Oh, no, that is absolutely not necessary.”

Colin looked embarrassed, but Darios glanced at Yaden with a decidedly amused twinkle in his eye. Instead of figuring in a discount, he pulled two extra pencils from the box he kept under the counter and pushed them over to Colin.

“Thank you.” He smiled first at Darios and then at Yaden again. For a Leichnami he smiled suspiciously much, but his smile was warm and pretty and Yaden couldn’t bring himself to mind. “Well, I should be on my way before the rest of Hagermarsh starts wondering whether you have eaten me.”

Walking him to the door was ridiculous, of course, but Yaden trailed behind him.

“Will I see you at the scribba training tonight?” Colin asked when he stepped out onto the porch.

“I thought that is only for the fighting citizens?”

Colin shook his head. “No, it’s a bit of a social gathering, too. Lots of people standing around, drinking beer and giving useless advice to us poor fork-wielding folk.” He smiled yet again. “I could introduce you to some of the younger villagers.”

Yaden gave an exaggerated shudder. “I’m not sure I want to meet them if they are anything like Bridget from next door,” he grabbed the opportunity to gather more information.

“Oh, so you met Bridget?” Colin’s smile gained a decidedly snarky edge. “Did she give you the ‘in this village we don’t tolerate any bullying and you better not step out of line’ speech?”

“Actually, she asked me lots of questions. And she gave me the ‘if anyone bullies you, I’ll protect you’ speech.”

“She did?” Colin looked amused and indignant at the same time. “Now, why do you look worthy of protection to her and I get treated like a ticking time bomb?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I look harmless?” Which was more than a little ridiculous considering what Yaden was capable of.

“Mmh,” Colin huffed and shrugged. “Granted, Bridget is a bit odd. But there are some nice folks in Hagermarsh. They only act gruff when there is a chance of strangers observing them. Hagermarsh is a real community where people look out for each other. I think you’ll like it here.”

Colin gave him that movie-star smile again, but Yaden had to struggle keeping up his own.

Those last sentences had triggered all alarms in Yaden’s head. All of that sounded way too much like propaganda, crafted to keep the population calm, happy and ignorant of any ugly things happening behind the scenes. It sounded very much like the slogans the Lotus Pavilion PR team had drummed into his head. Colin had even the right kind of wholesome handsomeness that made believing such stories so easy. If Yaden managed to pinpoint where this propaganda was coming from, he’d be on the right track.

“See you at the training, tonight?” Colin asked.

Yaden only managed an affirmative grunt.

“Looking forward to it. Oh, and you may wanna bring some beer. That’ll go a long way in making you less of a stranger.”

Yaden grunted again. Maybe not beer, but he had unpacked a whole crate of different kinds of schnapps and brandy earlier. Those would surely work just as well. He managed a parting smile before Colin turned around and left across the road.


Author Bio

We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.

Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.

Beryll: An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.

Osiris: An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.

Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011014541510

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brackhaus

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brackhaus/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E

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A VVivacious Review: Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Vash is a female orc trying to survive the aftermath of Queen Nakuru’s death with her horde of children in tow. As the orcs gain freedom from the Queen’s control they find themselves thrust into an eventuality they wouldn’t have ever even dreamt of had the thought of being free from the Queen’s control ever entered their mind.

Imra is the Champion of the Free Races, the one who ends the life of Queen Nakuru and the one who pledges to create a new world where all species can live and prosper – the elves, the dwarves, the humans and… the orcs.

As Vash and Imra’s paths intersect they forge between themselves a companionship that threatens to be so much more.

This story starts where most fantasy stories end to tell a tale more fantastical than you could ever have imagined.

I truly enjoyed this story, it has a slow beginning but once the story really gets going, I had no way to apply brakes. This was just such a delightful tale and so unique.

Building a village, fostering relationships between species who were at war with each other until most recently seems like tedious work, mind-numbing work with victories few and far between. But the way this tale is told makes you realise that all this mind-numbing toil of working together of uplifting a species that got the short end of the stick is amazing because when there is so much good will and perseverance at play, things are stunning and immersive, almost magical.

I loved how we spend a lot of time in the beginning with Vash to truly experience her journey as she finds herself and begins to truly express herself and as she realizes there is room for a lot of good things in this brave new world. She comes to see her maggots as more and comes to love them in a way she has never let herself before. But what was truly magical was coming to the same realisations as Vash does about just how truly magical freedom is.

“Maybe being free to be whatever they wanted to be was much, much bigger than she had imagined.”

Imra is a champion who never believed she would be one. She truly finds it hard to believe that she attempted the feats she did let alone was actually successful at them. But even though she finds it hard to believe you realize it from the very beginning that Imra is strongest where it matters, in her heart and mind.

“And when he had been killed, if they had offered to take her home, would she have accepted? The answer she had come up with every single time was no. Even had she known all the horrors that awaited her the answer would have been no. If there was work to be done, she did it, whether it was fixing a fence, or killing a Dark Queen or saving orcs from extinction. She might be shitting her pants the entire way but she would still do it.”

Imra and Vash’s romance is a slow burn magical thing which blossoms in this story as a celebration but I feel it is very well balanced with all the other elements of the story which is very much like a fantasy novel about one unlikely hero on the journey to do the impossible. And as history would tell you I am a sucker for those.

This story was amazing, I found myself constantly teary eyed seeing all these people attempt such marvellous feats to leave a world much better than the one they were born in. There are a whole horde of characters in this book and they are all amazing.

This is an absolutely stunning story.

Cover Art by Anna Tiferet Sikorska. I loved the artwork on the cover and especially loved the font of the main title and how that light just hits you right in the eye. It is pretty amazing.

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published October 13th 2018
ASINB07GVF4ZQ3