Tag Archives: elves

the scouts banner

Book Review: The Scouts, by Kasia Bacon

The Scouts, by Kasia Bacon, was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight and the author sent me a copy for review.

the-scouts-cover

Lochan and Ervyn—an assassin and a sharpshooter—remain in service to the queen as part of an elite reconnaissance unit.

The Scouts are ghostlike. Elusive. Deadly.

They strike at enemies of the Crown without mercy. They get the job done, leaving no loose ends or witnesses. When Magic Supremacists threaten the safety of Elven Country, they do their duty—whatever it takes.

Lochan and Ervyn belong to each other, but will serving together as comrades-in-arms strengthen their bond as lovers or tear them apart?

The Scouts
is the third book in the Order Series. In this volume, Ervyn loses control, Lochan stops fighting his feelings and Verhan… well, remains Verhan.

my review

Oh, I have such a fraught relationship with Bacon’s writing. I love her characters and jovially informal narrative style. But I’m a dedicated binger. Be it reading a novel in a night or watching an entire season of a show on Netflix, I want all of a story. And Bacon’s publications are far closer to a serial than a series, in my estimation, which I find incredibly frustrating.

I say all of that because it would be unfair to judge my review of her works without factoring in this strong preference on my part. But I do still keep coming back, even when I know what to expect. Because these short works are also full of the feels and, as I said, I like the characters and writing style. I’ll add world too. I find the world, with all it’s Elvin races and cultural norms intriguing.

I did find the occasional phrase felt anachronistic and there are quite a lot of characters for such a short book. But those are my only critiques. No doubt, when next Bacon publishes, I’ll be in in line to read it too.

the scouts

fatal illusion

Book Review: Fatal Illusion, by Tameri Etherton

I grabbed a copy of Tameri Etherton‘s Fatal Illusion when it had a freebie day on Amazon.

fatal illusion, by tameri etherton

Don’t believe what you can see.

Fae are disappearing at an alarming rate and Rori MacNair must find out why before civil war ignites between the Seelie and Unseelie queens. When she wakes up alone in a strange forest, she must rely solely on her own wits to prevail against the dark forces rising against her people.

Assassins are taught to trust none but themselves, but Rori rarely plays by the rules. Dare she trust the mysterious stranger Therron when illusions cloud reality and nothing is as it seems? Her life, and those of Faerie might depend upon it.

Therron Mistwalker is hiding a secret. Having forsaken his kingdom, he lives as a thief among the fae, but when Rori enters his life he fears his days of autonomy are at an end. It’s a day he’s been dreading since he was born.

Relations between Faerie and the human realm are about to turn from respectful to hostile, and it’s up to Rori and Therron to find the enchantress responsible. . . if they can get over their differences long enough to do so.

my review

I thought this was amusing, but shallow. There were too many elements plopped into the plot but not elaborated on. There’s a curse to be broken and maybe a fated mate scenario, plus a potential war (that you never really feel the threat of since the queens get along well), evil sorceresses, and a mysterious threat from the human realm. But none of that is delved deeply enough into to grab the readers attention. Honestly, the fact that some of it is mentioned and not integrated into the plot is a big reason I won’t rate this higher. The whole ‘Rori could break Terron’s curse’ thing especially. What’s the curse? How might she break it, etc? It felt VERY left out. Mentioned, but nothing more.

Also, Rori has to be the worst spy ever. And she’s supposed to be a SPY in the book, even though the blurb says assassin. Maybe those two are one and the same and the words can be used interchangeably, but I’d expect to understand that to be the fact, having finished the book if it was the case. But, again, Rori has to be the worst spy ever. Everyone seems to openly know she is one and though Therron (not a spy) knows who she is (a spy), she doesn’t know him or his name despite being the heir to a neighboring kingdom.

All in all, the writing is easily readable. I don’t remember any editing mishaps and I liked the characters well enough. But I felt like I was reading an outline to a book, rather than a wholly developed one.

fatal illusion

Review of The King’s Dragon, The Prince’s Dragon, & The assassin’s Dragon by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

I purchased a copy of W.M. Fawkes‘ and Sam BurnsThe King’s Dragon, then borrowed a copy of The Prince’s Dragon through Amazon. Then, several months later (once it had been released) I borrowed a copy of The Assassin’s Dragon and returned here to update the review post.

Description of The King’s Dragon:

Lord Tristram Radcliffe has a secret—he is the only dragon at the king’s court in Llangard. It’s a secret he’s kept from the knights he’s fought beside, from the ladies who bat their lashes at him, and from his closest companion, Prince Reynold. If it were to get out, he’d be banished to the Mawrcraig Mountains along with the rest of his kind, but the kingdom of men is the only one he’s ever known, and his heart lives in the stone halls of those who’d count him an enemy.

When the old king dies and Prince Reynold takes the throne, two visitors from the north throw Tristram into the middle of the ancient conflict between dragons and men. They put him on a collision course with the king’s shadow, Bet Kyston, a dangerous assassin who may want him dead or may want more of Tristram that he’d ever thought to give.

With the eyes of dragons upon him and a threat from the north creeping toward the home he loves, Tristram must weigh his allegiances before his dual legacies tear him apart.

Review:

You know, mutual “I’m too dangerous, defiled, unworthy for this beautiful perfect being” is apparently my jam. I love to see those men pine from the shadows and then see them stand in gobsmacked awe when they realize that their feelings are actually reciprocated. I really enjoyed Tris and Bet. I thought Rhiannon and Sidonie were lovely side characters, as was Gillian (whom I’m hoping she gets her happily ever after with a certain individual I won’t name in the next book). And little Roland (though too mature for his age) was still marvelous. All in all, I can’t wait for more.


Description of The Prince’s Dragon:

The last place Lord Tristram Radcliffe ever expected to find himself was right hand to the Llangardian throne. His parentage should have seen him banished, but he managed to keep his draconic secret. Now, King Reynold is dead. Long live King Roland.

The boy ascends to rule a kingdom in chaos, and Tristram must undo the damage of the last king’s reign to save his people from lean winter and wolves in the palace itself. Reynold’s former shadow, Bet Kyston, is determined to root out King Roland’s enemies, but his version of help may cause as much harm as good.

There remains a traitor near to the throne, and when the king falls mysteriously ill, Tristram’s strongest ally is forced to leave court. As his enemies move closer, the strength of Tristram’s regency is more precarious than ever. Abandoned and friendless, Tristram must sacrifice everything to protect his homeland or risk not only Roland’s life, but his own.

Review:

What’s interesting about this story is how many sorts of romantic couples it allows for. There is M/M, F/F, M/F, and the start of an age gap coming into play (not to mention cross-species). In my experience, books tend to focus on one or the other but rarely have multiple couplings. And I adore all of them.

I liked seeing Bet finally accept affection and how low angst some of the other pairs were. (I’m avoiding spoilers.) I was distressed that the book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and the next book isn’t out yet. But all in all, I loved it.


Description of The Assassin’s Dragon:

In Atheldinas, everyone’s secrets have been uncovered. Tristram is a half-dragon, Nicholas is a villain scheming to take the throne from his cousin Roland, and eternally sharp Bet is nothing less than a hero.

The cost has been high, and now Tristram is forced to amass the armies of Llangard to save his king from Jarl Vidar, the mysterious figure who’s hellbent on tearing Llangard in two. To get his king back and defeat the impending Tornish invasion, Tris will need the help of not only all his Llangardian allies, but the dragons of the Mawrcraig Mountains. If he cannot bring his two peoples together, no other stands a chance.

But one last secret remains hidden in the harsh north, and uncovering it might be the undoing of all that Tristram and his allies have fought to protect.

Review:

I quite enjoyed this. I like all the characters involved and the world. I enjoyed seeing the humans and dragons come together, I honestly laughed far more than I expected to and the writing is fabulous. So, ultimately a success for me.

However, I did think that there were too many couples involved. I 100% appreciate that in the multiple couples we are given several examples of different types of love and relationships (sexual and platonic). However, this has all the couple from both book one and book two and it caused the book to jump around too much in my opinion. I had trouble keeping track of who was where and with whom.