Tag Archives: Alexis Calder


Book Review: Kingdom of Blood & Salt, by Alexis Calder

I accepted a review copy of Alexis Calder’s Kingdom of Blood & Salt through Rockstar Book Tours. The book was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. After spending years training to defend my people from our enemies, I never expected that my enemy would be the one keeping me alive.

Athos is the last human city. A treaty with the Fae keeps the fae, the vampires, and the wolf shifters at bay, while we fight against the dragons at our border. Being a human in this world is dangerous and we all make sacrifices to survive.

When the delegation sent by the Fae King arrives to claim the human tributes required by our treaty, I never expected to forge a connection with their leader.

Ryvin is as dangerous as he is handsome. I know he’s my enemy, and I know I’m supposed to hate him, but with each passing day, he’s more difficult to resist.

But things are changing in Athos. Humans no longer want to bend to the Fae King.

Alliances blur and centuries of lies begin to unravel.

And I’m faced with a choice.

No matter how much I hate him, Ryvin might be the key to preventing war.

But it may mean sacrificing everything….

my review

I’ve read several of Alexis Calder‘s books now. I pretty much knew what to expect going into this, so I was neither pleasantly surprised nor disappointed. The book was largely as I expected. Ara was as combative and strong-willed as any of the other Calder heroines I’ve read. Ryvin was as smug and domineering as any good alpha a-hole. The wring was just as readable.

While I did have complaints (which I’ll address in a moment), where this book shined for me was in the illustration of navigating complex and conflicting relationships with gray characters. (It’s one of the book’s themes, in fact.) There were several points in the book where a character was faced with having to decide what to do about loving someone who betrayed them (and being loved by them), protected them despite being an enemy, or had understandable reasons for abhorrent behavior. I enjoyed this aspect of the book a lot.

blood and salt photoI did think that the book felt a little rushed and simplistic in the sense that the world is sketched out but not embellished. People exist, but the important cast is small. Emotions emerge, but the reader doesn’t get to see what they’re based on.

All in all, however, I’d happily continue the story. But I suspect, as has been the case with several of Calder’s books, I’ll probably forget before I manage to get my hands on the next book in the series.

Other Reviews:


Book Review: Darkest Mate, by Alexis Calder

I accepted a copy of Alexis Calder‘s Darkest Mate for review, as part of its tour with Rockstar Book Tours. It was also previously featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight.

Weakness means death. Or worse.

After I was abandoned as a child, I was taken in by the Shadow Pack. A group of
ruthless, lawless, shifters who have only one rule: never let anyone see your

In exchange for them keeping me alive, I owe them. The leader of the Shadows is
as handsome as he is ruthless. And he’s offered to wipe my debt in exchange for
marriage. He’d offer protection, but it would cost me my freedom.

Survival in the Shadows depends on back alley deals and shady alliances. It’s
become a way of life that I stopped questioning years ago. When a routine
burglary goes wrong, I find myself captured by the one family I never should
have crossed.

The Umbra family owns this city. They make us Shadow wolves look like the good
guys. They should have killed me for my crimes, but there’s a tiny problem… It
turns out Madoc Umbra is my fated mate.

Instead of killing me, I’m a prisoner. The rest of the family doesn’t know of
our bond and I intend to keep it that way. Madoc’s brothers want to end my
life; he wants to break the bond. I just want to get the heck out.

As long as I don’t let them see any weakness, I might have a chance of making
it out of here alive.

Darkest Mate is a full-length paranormal romance. 17+ for dark content,
steamy scenes, and language. This is book one in a trilogy and is not a
standalone. Mind the cliff.

my review

This was a fairly middle of the road read for me. If I used star ratings on the blog, I’d give it a 3. But I think whether people like the book or not will depend on if they like the tropes used or not. Because there isn’t anything new here. Almost every aspect of this plot and the characters will be familiar to anyone who read the genre. But if you happen to like those elements, they’re done as well as anywhere else. The writing is also quite good.

The thing for me, though, was that I spent the entire book honestly angry that Ivy was being so unbelievably stupid. And I don’t just mean that as she was doing something excessively stupid, but unbelievably stupid in the sense that I absolutely did not believe that the character, as written, would do the stupid thing she did and continued to do. It was 100% unbelievable AND stupid, which pretty much undermined the legitimacy of the story.

The book got moderately more interesting for me at about the 80% mark. But at that point it wasn’t enough to save the book. I’d like to know what happens between Ivy and Madoc. But I don’t think I’ll continue the series. I just don’t think my temper can handle it. But different strokes for different folks and you may not have the same reaction.

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Book Review: Wolf Untamed, by Alexis Calder

Wolf Untamed is book two of the Moon Cursed series, the first of which is called Wolf Marked. I read it as part of my Wolf Marked reading challenge.

I accepted a copy of Wolf Untamed from Amber at Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR at the same time that  I requested one of the Wolf Marked books for that reading challenge from her. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the Alexis Calder Wolf Marked that I went to Amber for, as I’d already bought a copy, it was the Harper A. Brooks one (because it wasn’t released yet). But when I told her I was going to do a Wolf Marked challenge, including Calder’s Wolf Marked, she mentioned that she had book two of the Moon Cursed series coming available soon. So, I accepted, though I didn’t receive it in time to read and review it and Wolf Marked at the same time. So, they’re getting separate posts.

If you want to see my review of Book one of the Moon Cursed series, Wolf Marked, it is here:

Book Review: Wolf Marked, by Alexis Calder

Man, it gets really confusing to talk about several books with the same title. And probably no one else is all that interested in the minutia. But I think it’s all the round aboutness of getting books with the same name, but from different series, from the same source really ironically funny. I accept it’s probably just me,

Wolf Untamed

You can only trust yourself.

They say it’s more dangerous being a lone wolf. I say having friends isn’t worth the pain. Everyone I’ve ever known has betrayed me. You’d think by now, I’d learn not to trust anyone.

My old pack wants me dead. My true mate wants to complete the bond. My inner wolf is a no-show. The decks are stacked against me and if I survive this, I have no idea where to go next.

I’m out of tricks and out of allies but there’s one path I haven’t tried: finding out about my father. My mom warned me against him but at this point, how can my life get any worse?

my review

I’m still interested in how this series progresses and ends. I still like Lola. In fact, I probably like her more as she’s starting to strengthen up. I like her found family. And the writing is quite readable (minus a few editing mishaps). But I’m kind of losing my patience with the serial nature of it all.

I went into the series knowing the books end on cliffhangers and are not stand alone. So, I can’t complain about that. But this book is only 156 pages long. The first was only 232. One can’t imagine the next (which I think is the last, though I’m not sure why I think that, so I could be wrong) being much longer. I just don’t see any reason for this story to be broken into 3 books. And you can really feel that here in book two. It feels like the middle of a book—not the middle of a series, the middle of a book.

And while book one was about werewolves, here we suddenly have goblins, and fae, and vampires, and witches thrown at us. Though all but the last are merely mentioned, not integral to the story. So, we get hints of a bigger world. But it feels random and out of place showing up in book two, without mention of any of it in book one.

Despite having said all that, I am still curious where it’ll go. So, I’ll be on the hook to read book three.

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