Love Fantasy? Check Out the Tour for “The Stones of Power” series by M.D. Grimm (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

The Stones of Power

Check out this amazing MM fantasy series from M.D. Grimm – “The Stones of Power.”

About the Series:

Lord Morgorth is a dark mage on the planet Karishian. His peers consider him a villain, but there is more to him than they choose to understand. Cursed by a dark destiny and tormented by painful memories of the past, Morgorth struggles to find his place in the world. Far from innocent, Morgorth has teetered between embracing his destiny and fighting against it his entire life. A decision that is made easier when Aishe comes into his life.

Aishe is a creature of the forest, a warrior and healer. He has the moral compass that Morgorth needs, and Morgorth gives Aishe the companionship he craves. Together, they forge ahead, weathering the storms and fighting the enemies fate puts into their paths.

However, their greatest enemy is not a living being, but gemstones infused with deadly power. They are addictive, seductive, and completely treacherous. Morgorth hates them and is determined to find and imprison all of them.

But he soon realizes they are keys to a greater power. He learns his destiny is not all he thought it was. And an even greater enemy stirs in the darkness.

Enter the world of “The Stones of Power.”

Amazon Series Link


The Books:

Ruby: Lost and Found (book one)

Ruby Lost and Found - The Stones of Power series

Lord Morgorth is a dark mage on the planet Karishian. He’s considered a villain by his peers and relishes the title, having embraced the role early in his life. However, not all of his actions are necessarily villainous.

Despite owning several of the Stones of Power—gemstones infused with powerful magick—he doesn’t use them, preferring to keep them hidden away and out of destructive, power-hungry hands. He hates them more than anything. So when a sorcerer gets a hold of a major stone, Morgorth has no choice but to go after him. But, to his irritation, he is not alone. Aishe is a dialen whose tribe was massacred by the sorcerer, and is now on a mission of vengeance. The attraction is instant between them, but Morgorth keeps his distance. Because of a traumatic childhood and a deadly destiny, he has no desire for emotional complications. But Aishe’s very presence challenges Morgorth’s resolve.

Not only does Morgorth admire Aishe’s strength and intelligence, but he begins to see Aishe as a friend. As their hunt continues and their time together lengthens, their bond deepens, as does Morgorth’s fear. If he becomes the monster that destiny claims he will be, will he hurt Aishe? Will he harm the one person who sees right through him? Who accepts him wholeheartedly? Determined to not let that happen, Morgorth keeps Aishe at a distance. But when Aishe is kidnapped by the sorcerer, what will Morgorth do to get him back?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4WCKF2/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544166257/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/701995

Peridot: War and Peace (book two)

Peridot War and Peace - The Stones of Power series

Morgorth is considered a villain by his own people and known as the Dark Mage of the North. But now all he feels is light and love as he pursues a budding relationship with Aishe, a dialen of the Ravena tribe. Morgorth hardly believes his good fortune. He has allowed Aishe into his home, into his bed, into his heart. He laughs more, smiles more, and feels happier than he ever has before.

He should have known such bliss never lasts.

The Council of Mages, the ruling body over all mages on Karshian, knows he has Rambujek, a major stone of power—a stone won from an evil sorcerer. They also know his destiny—to become the Destroyer. Fearful, they send two emissaries to take the stone from Morgorth, using whatever means necessary. This includes tricks, threats to those under his protection, and the threat of war. A war Morgorth knows he would never survive.

Conflict soon arises between him and Aishe. Their tenuous relationship is put into jeopardy, their very beliefs about themselves and their love is put into question. Morgorth doubts if he should keep Aishe in his life. He doesn’t know if he can protect Aishe from his enemies. Or from the monster he might become.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XFG4T1F/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546858660/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/708461

Amethyst: Bow and Arrow (book three)

Amethyst Bow and Arrow - The Stones of Power series

Every story has more than one point of view.

As the mate to the Dark Mage Morgorth, Aishe has learned a lot about magick, love, and himself. He tries to find a home with Morgorth, to be accepted into his world; to survive in a world full of magick, treachery and deception. But all the while he struggles to keep a secret about his past and their intertwined destinies. Despite all the obstacles thrown at both of them, Aishe is determined to stay by Morgorth’s side, no matter what the future brings – even if that future turns dark with death should Morgorth embrace his grim destiny.

But when Morgorth leaves with his mentor to collect another stone of power, Aishe is left behind. It is then that a surprise attack comes and Aishe, determined to protect and defend his new home, decides to take the invaders on by himself. It might prove to be too much for him to handle… especially when he learns the one who leads the invaders is a mage.

The third book in the “Stones of Power” series allows us a glimpse inside the mind of Lord Morgorth’s better half, a dialen named Aishe: his motivations, his personal sorrows, and his struggle to find a place to call home.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZZDQ3J/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546977864/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715607

Agate: Then and Now (book four)

Agate Then and Now - The Stones of Power series

Time travel. For mages, it violates their number one rule: what the Mother has written, let no one unwrite. The Mother writes the destinies of the creatures on the world of Karishian. If her writings were undone, it is feared that Creation itself could be undone. The Dark Mage Morgorth takes this rule to heart, but there are others who do not.

Morgorth is about to claim a stone of power when it is stolen from him by a female mage he hasn’t seen in decades. As they struggle for the stone, she activates it, and Morgorth is unwillingly plunged into another time and another place. It isn’t long before he realizes what time he’s found himself in and there are a few familiar faces.

Most notable is a much younger version of Aishe. His mate.

Living with a tribe who will be massacred, caring for a young lad who will become his mate, and fighting a battle against a mage who can travel from past to future at a whim; Morgorth’s life has never been easy but now he must contend with the will of the Mother. Unable to change the future and the tragedies of Aishe’s life, he must decide what his role in his mate’s past will be, and ask himself one vital question: how does one defeat time?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZYDWQZ/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547286482/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715609

Emerald: Good and Evil (book five)

Emerald Good and Evil - The Stones of Power series

Home. Family.

Those words often invoke a sense of love and comfort. But for the dark mage Morgorth, they mean hate and pain. As the seventh son of a seventh son, many believe Morgorth’s destiny is to become the Destroyer. His father embraced such a future and trained Morgorth through torture and fear to become his weapon. Morgorth managed to escape his father’s cruelty, but not the nightmares that still haunt him. For many years he’s lived with the stain of his father’s savagery, but now he must confront his nightmares head-on.

His father has found a stone of power.

Morgorth must return to his land of birth, to the memories he’s tried his entire life to suppress. Aishe is determined to help Morgorth defeat his inner demons, but he knows he might not be enough to save Morgorth from embracing his darkness. They know it will be a fight to the death and know Morgorth won’t be the same if he survives. With Aishe by his side, Morgorth hunts for his father, and finds answers to questions he never dared to ask—and must live with the truths they reveal.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZNS5B6/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547286822/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/715642

Carnelian: Dreams and Visions (book six)

Carnelian Dreams and Visions - The Stones of Power series

Lord Morgorth is haunted by dreams of his father. Although Morgorth killed him, his father’s presence and brutality won’t completely die. But now he has more to worry about—in the form of the Council of Mages’ inquiry into the duel between Morgorth and an elder of the council. Morgorth expects sabotage and prepares accordingly. He fears for Aishe’s life, knowing that the best way to sabotage the inquiry is to eliminate the witnesses. He sets into motion a desperate plan that, though it will protect Aishe, could put a strain on their relationship not easily removed.

Yet the true danger lurks unseen, and it will take all of Morgorth’s skill, strength, and devotion to Aishe, to save his mate from the hold of a foe Morgorth has yet to tangle with: a dream demon. Now Morgorth must throw aside caution, restraint, and fear if he is to save the one most dear to him. He must call upon the power of the one thing he hates more than even his father: a stone of power.

But even if he manages to save Aishe, his mate’s experiences in Dreamworld—at the mercy of the dream demon—have changed him forever and could shatter their bond irrevocably.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KJ5RC3/

Amazon print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548466158/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/730540

Lapis Lazuli: Forgotten and Remembered (book seven)

Lapis Lazuli Forgotten and Remembered - The Stones of Power series

A bond they thought couldn’t be broken…

Lord Morgorth, Dark Mage of the North, has never felt so far away from his precious mate as he does now. Still reeling from the events of a month before, Aishe struggles to come to grips with what the dream demon did to him while pretending to be Morgorth. For his part, Morgorth is haunted by the chilling vision the Mother sent him while he traversed Dreamworld—a vision where he kills the one most precious to him. Due to that knowledge, he knows he must choose his magick or his mate.

A choice with devastating consequences…

When Morgorth goes missing, Aishe must search for him, frightened that he has lost his mage forever. In his heart he knows they were meant for each other and refuses to allow his own horrid memories to tear them apart. But when he finds Morgorth he is stunned to realize that Morgorth doesn’t remember him. In fact, in Morgorth’s mind, he is a young lad named Lazur.

Sometimes the most well-known truth is the greatest lie…

For his entire life, Morgorth always knew his destiny was to become the Destroyer of his home world. His birthright as the third seventh son of a seventh son guaranteed such an outcome. Everyone told him so—except his mentor, Master Ulezander. Morgorth will learn that his mentor has been keeping the greatest secret of all: his true destiny.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TZQJ8DF/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/947353


Giveaway

MD is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4777/?


Excerpt

The Stones of Power series meme

I knelt on the floor in front of a large bowl of cream, freshly churned that day. After lowering my head until my chin touched my chest, I lifted my sigil-covered hands palms up. The summoning sigils had been made with black ink, standing out starkly against my pale skin. I closed my eyes, and since I’d memorized the ancient words to chant, I repeated them now. They slipped out, winding around my tongue and charging the air. The familiar burn of my magick flowed out of my core and through my veins, lighting up my insides. I never paused in the recitation, not even when I breathed. If I did, it would be considered rude, and the creatures of the summoning might decide I wasn’t worth their attention.

My magick, infused with the ancient words, pulsed in the room before sinking below the floorboards, into the ground, deeper into toxic Underworld.

I vaguely noted the heavy breathing of my brother, Olyvre, while Lyli, his daughter, made little squeaky noises of excitement. Of Aishe, there was nothing. Not surprising. He didn’t make many sounds these days—either with words or simple footsteps. He seemed to have withdrawn from existing.

Feeling my focus waver, I snapped back and infused the words with more magick, hardening my resolve. The krattyie would protect my brother and Lyli if I did this right. They might have been demons of Underworld but they were the benevolent kind. If treated with respect and given lots of cream, they would protect a home, property, and all those who lived and worked there. As a result, my brother and his daughter would be safe as would those who worked for Olyvre on his acres of farmland. It was one of the main reasons he’d agreed to the summoning. He would never seek protection for himself, but for those he loved? He would do anything.

When my magick and words touched something, I kept the touch persuasive and coaxing—a humble request, nota demand. One never demanded anything from the beings of Underworld, not unless one was certain they were stronger than the creatures. Sure, I might have been stronger than the krattyie but I wanted their trust, and I needed them to accept Olyvre as their patron if this was going to work. I couldn’t watch my brother all the time, and after the events of the inquiry several weeks before, I could not deny that everyone I loved desperately needed protection.

I opened my eyes when I sensed otherin Olyvre’s house. Lyli giggled and something tittered faintly back. Krattyie adored children, and Lyli was the sort to walk up to a strange animal and try to pet it.

I peered around the room, still chanting, still pulsing with magick. Shadows flickered at the corner of my eyes, sneaking around the furniture, soft sniggers accompanying the movements.

Then I said the final line of the chant. A question.

Will you accept?

The answer was a playful flick to my hair…a gesture Aishe used to do. Shoving aside the longing for his touch, I hardened my focus once more and nodded.

I stopped chanting and pulled the magick back into my core. The pulsing in the room faded with it, although the krattyie stayed. I stood, wincing at my stiff legs. How long had I knelt there? Didn’t matter.

“Follow my lead,” I said, my voice hoarse.

“Lyli.” Olyvre held out his hand and Lyli took it dutifully.

I bowed with my right foot forward, toes pointed. I tucked my left arm behind my back while extending my right, palm up in both offering and gratitude. The others followed my actions, and when I considered the bowl of cream in front of me, I noticed flickering shadows crowding around it. I counted five. A good number. They might be small but they were fierce and their loyalty was absolute. They would guard this house and its occupants forever as long as they received the respect they deserved and as much cream as they could guzzle.

When the cream was gone we all straightened.

I smiled at Olyvre and nodded. “Just follow the instructions I gave you and you’ll be fine.”

“Thank you.”

Lyli dashed over to where one of the shadows wavered and giggled as it danced away. It laughed with her. She chased the krattyie and they howled like loons. Olyvre watched with a soft, indulgent smile.

We’d stayed with Olyvre last night, and I’d hoped the change in scenery would open Aishe up. Lighten the tension that stiffened his body. So far it wasn’t working. I focused on him now, allowing myself to really look at him. He still appeared pensive, troubled, distant.

So very distant.

Lyli’s antics didn’t even produce a smile, although his eyes did soften and warm. That was something. We’d been doing relatively well for a week or two after the entire inquiry and dream demon debacle. Then he’d started to close up. Shut me out. And I didn’t know what in the Mother’s name to do or say to open him again. I was flailing in the dark without a light to guide me. Aishe was my light and he was dim and indistinct now.

“I hope you can stay.” Olyvre picked up the empty bowl and regarded both of us. “I know summoning the krattyie was your reason for coming but… stay, at least for another day. I know Lyli would like you to. So would I.”

I tried to meet Aishe’s eyes but he wouldn’t allow it. I swallowed the frustration that was becoming all too familiar, and the darker sensation of impending doom. “Sure. We can do that. Nothing presses us to leave.”

“Perfect.” He smiled and touched my arm lightly. “I have to get supper ready. Why don’t you—?”

“It’s cloudy, Daddy!” Lyli said and ran over. “I want to watch the cloud creatures.”

“Why don’t you take your uncle with you?”

Panic tightened my gut as I threw Olyvre a glare. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Please?” Lyli grabbed my hand, hanging onto it with all her weight.

I staggered at the attack before gazing down into big brown eyes that reminded me of Grekel’s pups. Wichtln puppies were as cute and adorable as the adults were fierce and bloodthirsty. Despite Olyvre’s fair looks, Lyli was darker of skin and hair and eyes. Either from her mother—who was deceased—or from the other side of Olyvre’s blood. He was fair like our mother, but our father and the rest of our brothers were dark.

Aishe watched us, silent. He wasn’t going to save me. Why did I think he would? He hadn’t spoken much to me in weeks.

“I don’t even know what we’ll be doing.”

“Watching cloud creatures!” Lyli said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

I pleaded with Olyvre with my eyes. “Why are you doing this to me?”

He grinned, eyes sparkling. “You need it.”

“You—”

“Come on!” Lyli was stronger than she appeared, and with a determined tug had me stumbling out the front door.


Author Bio

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/the-stones-of-power-series

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=md+grimm

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-grimm/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M.D.-Grimm/e/B00I0KZMY6/

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

A Free Dreamer Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

At age eighteen, when they become marriageable, all royal children in the Thousand Kingdoms must either go questing to rescue another royal or be hidden away to await rescue themselves. Some go the traditional route of princes rescuing princesses, but not all princes want to be rescuers…and some would rather rescue other princes.

Then there’s Prince Gerald, who has no interest in getting married at all. When he refuses to choose a role as either rescuer or rescuee, his royal parents choose for him and have him magicked away to a distant tower to await a spouse.

Gerald, however, is having none of it. He recruits his guardian dragon and a would-be rescuer and soon the trio is dashing to all corners of the united kingdoms on a quest to overturn the entire system.

“Royal Rescue” presents a delightful twist on the common damsel in distress trope and since I love tropes turned on their head, I jumped at the chance to read this book. I’m happy to say it was a very enjoyable experience.

I’m glad the author went with a more serious route, instead of comic relief. Gerald’s experiences aren’t always easy or happy, but they make sense.

I might not be asexual, aromantic or live in a world full of royals and magic, but society still expects me to marry and have kids, which I don’t want. The way A. Alex Logan described Gerald’s feelings on the matter were exactly the same as mine. It’s just so frustrating to have to explain yourself over and over and over again to each and every single person who has no business sticking their nose in your affairs in the first place. So, even though Gerald and I might not have much in common on a superficial level, I found him to be extremely relatable and likable.

Also, there’s a dragon. A sentient dragon, that’s capable of human speech and complex thought processes and yet its personality is completely different from humans. That was a prime example of a very well developed secondary character right at the beginning of the book. And the dragon didn’t remain the only three dimensional secondary character. Gerald’s eventually surrounded by a group of people and each and every one of them felt like a real individual. There was really only one person who didn’t get enough on-page time for my liking. Mikkel, one of the other royals, seemed like a very interesting person.

I absolutely loved the actual story of “Royal Rescue”. The marriage system is actually quite liberal for royals. The young people can choose if they want to be rescued by someone or go rescuing somebody themselves and the gender of the rescuer/rescuee doesn’t matter at all. Homo- and bisexuality is just as normal as heterosexuality and no problem at all. In fact, Gerald has two mothers and one of them actively asks him which gender he’d prefer to be rescued by. There are no arranged marriages, everybody gets a choice. You might even get away with marrying a commoner, as long as it’s True Love. But as the story progresses, we learn that it’s actually still quite restrictive and doesn’t account for people who aren’t interested in marriage at all.

The author did a really good job at unfolding a wild adventure with real depth and pretty solid world building. I still would have liked just a bit more world building and a bit more focus on the guardians of the towers.

Overall, “Royal Rescue” is a truly brilliant book, not only for lovers of YA Fantasy. Just don’t go into this expecting a “normal romance”. Gerald is aromantic and that doesn’t change.

There is potential for a second part, but the book also works as a standalone. I, for one, would love a sequel.

The cover by Natasha Snow looks good and fits the story, even if the flying creatures remind me of dinosaurs and not dragons.

Sales links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412419
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

At age eighteen, when they become marriageable, all royal children in the Thousand Kingdoms must either go questing to rescue another royal or be hidden away to await rescue themselves. Some go the traditional route of princes rescuing princesses, but not all princes want to be rescuers…and some would rather rescue other princes.

Then there’s Prince Gerald, who has no interest in getting married at all. When he refuses to choose a role as either rescuer or rescuee, his royal parents choose for him and have him magicked away to a distant tower to await a spouse.

Gerald, however, is having none of it. He recruits his guardian dragon and a would-be rescuer and soon the trio is dashing to all corners of the united kingdoms on a quest to overturn the entire system.

Well, I just love this story!  New author and new fantasy story all in one.  Love it when that happens.  Especially when the author manages to take several standard fantasy elements and give them their own take.  Here Logan uses the familiar knight quest/damsel in distress/rescue as a major element, along with the dragon that guards the tower.  And promptly turns all said elements on their narrative heads to my total entertainment and joy.

It starts with Prince Gerald, who’s mothers, the Queens want him to get married.  That’s right the Queens.  In this world, the many kingdoms have apparently long come accustomed to various sexualities and their pairings.  Marriages made between men, women, gender fluid people…like Princex…all good and accepted.  But there’s one last huge area not understood or even thought of….that of being asexual.  That is Gerald and his current problem because he doesn’t want to get married and can’t seem to get anyone to listen to him to understand exactly why this is so deeply affecting him.  He doesn’t feel the way they do.  He doesn’t understand everyone being a “sexual” being nor does he want a sexual marriage and that’s want is being forced on him and whoever he marries.

Logan, using Gerald as our point of view, brings us into his heart, mind, and frustration over the lack of empathy and the poignancy of his situation.  Which only gets worse.  Then unexpectedly through Gerald’s kindness and intelligence, gets better.  For not only himself, but for several species that had been forced into servitude, including dragons, and wholes generations of new young royals coming of age.  In other words, Gerald and a small group of friends become heroes.

And it will start by Gerald saving himself.  Really, doesn’t get any better than that.

Logan does a superb job of world building, crafting the characters and creating the rigid political structures that have led to the situation all have found themselves in.  I found myself totally invested in every aspect of this story.  I was rooting for them all to succeed while admiring different aspects of the author’s storytelling.

There is a small group of royal friends and a sapient dragon, several quests of their own making, and a remarkable ending.  Yes, this is a character and troop of characters to root for.  Especially as I thought the author did an excellent job with bringing Gerald’s pain and frustration over his asexuality to light to those around him, including the readers.  What hurt and was perhaps realistic was still a matter of total understanding from those closest to Gerald at the end of his asexuality.  That he might not ever get all the approval or total acceptance he was hoping for.  That it would have to be enough…for now.

And it was.  You have to read the book to understand that.  There’s hope and Gerald was leaving to go where he wanted, on a path of his own making.  Sort of perfect.  Just like this story.

Yes, I definitely recommend this story for YA fantasy lovers or just lovers of fantasy.  There is no heat level as you can imagine.  But lots of adventure and plenty to cheer about.  Dragons and heroes or every sort!

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  I think Natasha Snow is just nailing her covers including this one.  Perfect from the dragon to the setting. Love it.

Sales links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412419
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Dragon Magic by Megan Derr

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Four strangers. A shared moment long forgotten. A bond forged in desperation.

On the first day of the Festival of Counting, the beginning of the royal census that takes place every ten years, the royal city is filled to overflowing. Everyone is happy, excited, and proud to be counted amongst those who live in the glorious kingdom of Orhanis.

Then a demon strikes, killing thousands in mere seconds and leveling the city. As the royal castle burns, only four men remain to drive the demon away—and in their desperation, accidentally bind themselves together in a legendary Oath, unable to part ways until they find and kill the demon once and for all.

Mahzan, the King’s Jester, an orphan who clawed his way to the top and hides a fearsome magic… Sule, the notorious North Captain, who sacrificed everything to live as a strong, capable, highly respected man… Cemal, a priest who traveled the continent bent on revenge and now lives lost… and Binhadi, the mercurial shadow mage with a dark history and bloody ties to the throne…

Four men used to standing apart, standing alone, who must learn to stand together if they hope to save themselves and all of Orhanis.

When it comes to fantasy, Megan Derr is  one of my go to authors.  I love her marvelous ability to transport me out of the mundane and into realms where dragons soar,  wounded mage’s seek reparation and love, and unique bands of warriors go forth on sagas that have continued to live on in my heart and mind long past those words…The End in book after book.

In Dragon Magic Megan Derr brings together another unusual band of mages.  This time, they will form not only a working relationship but a romantic one between the four of them.  Not something of a norm in her stories. Or in the stories I normally read because I haven’t found many authors that make a  polyamorous relationship work within a storyline to my tastes.  Here, among four strong mages, who fight the bonds between them from the beginning, watching the emotional ties form, along with the lust and love feels natural.  It helps that they can “feel” each others thoughts and emotions, so the instinctual walls  others erect start breaking down or are broken between the four of them from the start, laying their “secrets” out before the others.

Derr switches the story back and forth between the emotional vulnerability and revelations that is happening between the four as they become a true “family” and the perilous state they find themselves in while searching out the demons and those responsible for the destruction of the Capitol.  I expected to “like” one of the characters more than the rest, maybe Mahzan or Sule, but each mages here is a little broken each in their own way.  Each strong as well.  Turned out I loved them equally.  Semal and Binahdi  no less than Mahzan and Sule.  What great characters all.

The only thing that kept this from a 5 stars story was the odd little out of timeline break at the end.  I understand why the author did it but it still felt jarring.  And honestly asked more questions than it answered.  I didn’t need it.  And in my opinion the story didn’t either.  But that’s just me.

Either way, if you are a lover of high fantasy, Megan Derr or both,  Dragon Magic is a book you won’t want to miss.  And yes, once again she has created some wonderful demons for our mages to fight against.  Can’t miss out on those either!  Put this and this wonderful band of mages on your TBR list today!  I highly recommend it!

Cover art:Phillip Lloyd Simpson.  It’s colorful.  Don’t know that it’s my favorite of Megan Derr’s covers.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: March 28th 2018 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684312016
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Review: The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.

Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom look almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.

 

The Heart of the Lost Star brings two lonely men together despite their differences. They come from different stations in life and have achieved success through hard work. They complement each other and understand their need for independence and to have space to take their own decisions.

 

Some of those decisions put them at odds with their families, the court, and those around them that want to control their lives or feel the need to look down at them due to their circumstances. Throughout the story, we experience how they deal with all this and the future they built, separate and as a couple.

 

This is an unorthodox romance story since the characters spent more time apart than together. Even so, their relationship works and we get invested in their journeys. We do follow their courtship from the distance and that allows the reader to experience, in real time, what the characters did.

 

The differences between genders and nonbinary characters are shown a bit more in this installment. I need to admit that I didn’t realize them during the first two books in the series. The author did an excellent job integrating all the information between the culture and world-build. Every small detail added to the overall feeling of place in the story.

 

We also get updates about the previous couples and they do play a recurring role. Also, we learn more about the relationship between the kingdoms and their geography, politics, and culture. And during the story, as it is to be expected, we get small hints about the next story in the series, The Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon.

 

The cover by John Coulthart follows the style of the previous two books. It’s beautiful and it fits the story to perfection, showing us a profile view of Jader and Benta.

 

Sale Links: LT3 | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Book Details:

 

ebook, 320 pages
Published: August 23, 2017, by Less Than Three Press
ISBN: 1684310601 (ISBN13: 9781684310609)
Edition Language: English

 

Series: Tales of the High Court
Book #1: The High King’s Golden Tongue
Book #2: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep
Book #3: The Heart of the Lost Star

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Obsidian Moons (Obsidian #2) by Jon Keys

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

obsidian-moonsSequel to Obsidian Sun

After achieving the impossible and releasing their people from the Varas slavers, Anan and Terja, a spellweaver and spellspinner, start the arduous journey back to their homeland. A winter trek across the grasslands is dangerous enough, but the traitor, Xain, is tasked with recapturing the slaves, and failure will mean his death. As added insurance, the Varas High Regent hires a Triad of legendary Ubica assassins and assigns a full regiment of his personal guards, along with their captain, to the task. Their mission is clear: recapture the escaped Talac slaves destined for the Varas pleasure houses—and the bed of the High Regent—at any cost.

The newly freed Talac travel toward their homelands with the full knowledge they are likely being pursued. The flight westward is fraught with new and unexpected dangers as Anan and Terja struggle to save their tribe. The battle for shelter, food, and a way to defend themselves becomes an all-consuming task, but they are reminded by the avatars of their gods that all is not as it appears.

The sequel to the amazing fantasy epic Obsidian Sun (Obsidian #1), Obsidian Moons, enlarges on the peoples, cultures and religions of the world that Jon Keys started in his first story.  In Obsidian Sun, we met Anan, a spellweaver  and Terja a spellspinner of the Talac people and followed them on a tale of blood revenge and rescue while learning about their culture, their religion, their part of the world and yes, their enemy, the Varas, a frightening people.

Keys forgot nothing in building up his universe from the grasses and insects to the climates.  It was an jaw-dropping bit of artistry and the story laid on top of it was just as incredible.  Even more amazing for being his first published novel.

Now comes  Obsidian Moons.  How does it stand up?

Very well.

While I jumped into the first story immediately, this novel took a bit to get into.  Keys re-accounts some of the past history for readers unfamiliar with his tale (by no means should you skip the first story, this is not a standalone).  It felt denser, less forward moving in the narrative than the first. Of course the first started with a massacre, so that’s hard to top.

But while I was getting reacquainted with all the familiar characters, the wonderfully magical and fascinating like Anan, Terja and the Talac (even Xain, that traitor), Keys starts introducing his new elements here.  Again all marvelous additions to his world building.  Keys brings in other cultures, religions, magic even. Keys gives us a triad of contract assassins from Ubica to hunt the escaped Talac (a vocabulary is supplied in the front which is maybe not necessary but definitely worth checking out), and a wild mountain tribe Meke, a separated tribe that…well, that part of the story is better left to the saga, and more. Each addition comes fully established, down to the clothes they wear, the weapons they carry, and the deities they worship. All blended so smoothly into the narrative that its seamless.

While the enemy is hunting for the escaped Talac, we see the growth in both Anan and Terja, individually and in their relationship that was born out of a blood revenge oath.  Yes, there is multiple points of view here but it works and never feels too jumbled or too much to keep track of.  In fact, sometimes I wished for less because this is a scary, daunting, and pain-filled journey.   Not without cost of life.  Some of those voices will be lost.

It won’t take long to get back into this saga and these people as they are hunted across some of the harshest terrain this world has to offer.  Jon Keys brings it all vividly to life. Every snow bound  step, all the predators after them.  The loss of hope, and the hope found once more.  Its  an incredible story.  And it ends just as another journey is about to begin.  I can’t wait for that novel and that story too.

Jon Keys has an incredible saga here.  One you should put on your TBR list if you are a lover of fantasy.  Or of love and hope.  Its an amazing tale.  Start with Obsidian Sun and then come here to Obsidian Moons.  I highly recommend them both.

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond. I loved the first cover.  Found that one amazing.  This one doesn’t live up to that one’s standards imo.

Sales Links

        

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: September 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777182 (ISBN13: 9781634777186)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Obsidian – add to your Goodreads shelf here:

ObsidianSunFS