The Set Stealer by Jonathon McElhaney – My Review!!

The Set Stealer – My Review!!!

The Set Stealer Cover

It’s time to head back to the fantasy realm. This time it’s The Set Stealer by Jonathon McElhaney, a book from a fellow Georgia author and one that showed up in my Amazon recommendations. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):

A Set is a gift. A power that one can bring from within themselves and manifest to change the physical world. Everyone has at least one, ranging from the mundane to the all powerful. That is, everyone except Kayla. But when her father is murdered in front of her, Kayla is sent on a collision course with destiny as she is forced on an adventure to discover not only who killed her father but who she is. Searching within herself, Kayla must find her own power – even without a Set to protect her – and save not only herself but the world she loves.

What I liked:

Overall, The Set Stealer was a good story. I liked Kayla’s character and her quest for knowledge. The pace of the story was good, and there was plenty of action with plenty of blood and violence to go along with it. The training sequences interested me, and the final battle added an interesting twist. If you enjoy dark fantasy, add this one to your TBR list.

What I didn’t like:

At times, especially in the battle scenes, the book seemed more like a superhero battle than a fantasy novel. I would have liked to have more information on exactly what a set is and why the sets manifest themselves so differently in each person. Lastly, The Set Stealer could have used another pass by the editor.

Overall impression:

I liked the book! Good characters, lots of action, intrigue, and Kayla’s quest made for an enjoyable read. On the downside, my biggest issue was the book could have used additional editing. However, if you like action filled fantasy, read this one.

My rating:

3.5 Stars (rounded to 4 stars)

Connect with Jonathon McElhaney:

Find Jonathon McElhaney on his Amazon Author Page or his website. Visit, look around, and maybe pick up a book for yourself! While you’re there, please consider leaving a comment or a review.

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Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) – My Review!

Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) – My Review!!

Blood Relic Cover

I read the first two books of the Paranormal Peacekeepers series by Lucretia Stanhope and thoroughly enjoyed them. I added Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3) to my TBR list a while back and finally got a chance to read it. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author):

When a string of dead witches points to the illegal practice of making relics that eternally drip with magic blood, Alice is called to go deep into the vampire underground. The mission plants her as the lead on a military targeting squad, serving a branch of the PPK she despises. To reject the task means the blood of witches on her hands. To succeed means her and Amarok will never be simple ambassadors again – if they ever were.

With her and Amarok one step closer to serving the military division of the PPK, she finds comfort in her new, albeit temporary, partnership with the vampire Matthias. While balancing their own evolving relationship, Matthias prepares her for what she will see in the blood dens.

Once she steps into the seedy world where ruthless vampires pay to play with magic blood it is quickly clear that everyone underestimated the vampires’ cravings. Can the power she keeps hidden from her keepers save her life without changing it into a life of service not worth living?

What I liked:

After reading the first two books, Alice is like an old friend that you are eager to catch up with and find out what she’s been doing. Amarok and Matthias make great foes and love interests for her, and Alice’s growth into a complex woman continues. Lots of action and intrigue with this one and many twists and turns kept me interested throughout. If you like dark fantasy, Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers#3) is your kind of book!

What I didn’t like:

Despite the action, there were a few slow parts in the book. In addition, Alice’s quandary over who she loves got a bit repetitive.

Overall impression:

I enjoyed Blood Relic (Paranormal Peacekeepers #3), though not as much as the previous books. This one is quite a bit darker, with more violence and blood, and delves deeper into sexual situations that the other books. Overall, an entertaining read for dark fantasy fans!

My rating:

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)

Connect with Lucretia Stanhope:

Find Lucretia Stanhope on her Amazon Author Page or on her Facebook page. Discover more about the Paranormal Peacekeepers and her other books (and maybe buy a few). While you’re there, consider leaving a review or a comments!

Connect with me:

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The Reviled (Dark Fey Book One) by Cynthia A. Morgan – My Review!!

The Reviled (Dark Fey Book One) – My Review!!

The Reviled Cover

 

I’ve had my eye on The Reviled (Dark Fey Book One) by Cynthia A. Morgan for a while. I added it to my TBR list and it finally reached the top. Read on for thoughts on this epic fantasy novel!

Synopsis (from the author):

Ayla has an exceptional combination of magical gifts: empathic telepathy, discernment, and the gift of healing.

Gairynzvl was abducted by The Reviled at the age of seven, and suffered cruel neglect, abuse and deprivation – a process designed to turn childfey from the Light.

Now, fifteen years later, he is a Dark One who lingers in the shadows, trying to communicate with Ayla.

Through her extraordinary gifts and against all odds, Ayla listens to him when no others will, and touches his pain.

What I liked:

The Reviled (Dark Fey Book One) had everything I like in a fantasy novel. Good characters, surprising twists, a little romance, and action. Ayla was a personable character, but Gairynzyl stole the show. A Dark Fey trying to return to the light, his contact with Ayla sets the stage for the story. Ayla’s struggle to decide between two worlds and two loves made it a great tale. Overall, an excellent read!

What I didn’t like:

In spite of all the good things in the book, it did get a little slow in spots. Other than that, not much to complain about!

Overall impression:

The Reviled (Dark Fey Book One) kept me turning pages. Good characters, nice storytelling, good conflict, and well-written action sequences make this a book for any fantasy fan.

My rating:

5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Find Cynthia A. Morgan on the Dark Fey website or her website. If you read (or plan to) The Reviled (Dark Fey Book One) or any of her other books, please consider leaving a review.

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You found the blog, so consider leaving a comment or subscribing. Connect with me on social media, too! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Say hi and let’s start a conversation!

Annwyn’s Blood by Michael Eging and Steve Arnold – My Review!!

Annwyn’s Blood (The Paladin of Shadows Chronicles, # 1) – My Review!!

Blood Cover

I usually prefer my fantasy books to be a bit on the lighter side, but occasionally I will delve into the darker side of the genre. Annwyn’s Blood (The Paladin of Shadows Chronicles, # 1) certainly fits the bill. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When Marianna was spirited away by unknown raiders, everyone expected a ransom demand to soon follow. Such was the peril of everyday royal life in the chaotic times following abandonment of the misty isles of Albion by indifferent Rome. But when weeks went by without word her father, High King Mattheus, dispatched teams of trusted warriors to find her and bring her assailants to account.

Young Erik, Scion of the House of Birkenshire, was one of these. Separated from his comrades and alone in hostile territories, he plunged headlong into forgotten vales and desolate coasts in pursuit, driven onward by precious memories of stolen tender moments. Then he stood before the grim fortress – wherein he found, not the innocent damsel of his youthful desires, but a terrifying beauty borne of an ancient evil that bound his soul to an even more primal force bent on regaining its place in the halls of human exaltation.

Now caught between two worlds, he must resist the temptations of his beloved-turned-succubus while protecting his family, his people and his world from the encroaching grasp of Arawn, Lord of Annwyn, Ruler of the Dead, Elder God of the Mabinogion. In this journey to regain his soul, the knight must find a way to strike the fatal blow against a resurgent primal darkness.

What I liked: Annwyn’s Blood has all the elements I like in a fantasy book! Evil, good, magic, and a quest to restore a soul all combine to make the book a great read. Erik, our protagonist, searches for Marianna, the daughter of the King. Unaware of the evil lurking where he finds her, he battles an evil being and loses his soul. But, enough, I won’t do spoilers! Suffice it to say, if you like dark fantasy, try this one!

What I didn’t like: I only had a couple of small issues with Annwyn’s Blood. First, it was difficult to follow exactly who was who and I found myself having to reread some parts for clarity. Secondly, Some of the interactions at the convent seemed out of sorts with the story.

Overall impression: Annwyn’s Blood is an excellent start to The Paladin of Shadows Chronicles. Definitely not for children, the book is dark fantasy well-suited for adults. If you are a fantasy fan, read this one!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

If you’ve read Annwyn’s Blood, what did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know. More importantly, consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and I’m sure Michael Eging and Steve Arnold would appreciate it! If you want to contact the authors, find their Amazon Author pages here and here.

If you want to connect with me on the socials, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can also email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to connecting with new friends!

 

The Dark Levy by Alaric Longward – My Review!!

The Dark Levy by Alaric Longward – My Review!

The Dark Levy Cover

The Dark Levy by Alaric Longward caught my eye as a recommendation on my Amazon feed. It’s definitely dark fantasy, but with an intriguing twist that grabbed me immediately. Read on for more!

Synopsis (from the author): In this epic dark fantasy adventure story, Shannon and Dana visit their wise, old grandmother in Wales, and finally learn why their lives have been strangely tormented and cursed. There is a family secret, old as time itself, and that secret might kill them if they try to ignore their destiny. They also learn that there is a dangerous way to embrace that secret, because on that day, a harrowing creature of an alien world calls out for the few and the special, talented humans of the Tenth world. Our world.

Dana performs an irreversible murderous deed that opens the gate to the Jewel of the Nine, the world of Aldheim, and they meet the strange creature calling for them. In this world they find their true calling, their special talents, the truth of the gods and also a world of mystery, danger, and adversity. Shannon and Dana struggle with their previous relationship as one grows cruel and power-driven, while the other learns to value friendship. Much is demanded of Shannon, who struggles with her loyalties.

Despite the many dangers and their apparently hopeless situation in the brutal, mage-filled world of monsters and dragons, there is hope, for Shannon has special, coveted powers of healing, reserved for the chosen of the gods. If she perseveres, she can change the past and bring back even the gods.

But the price will be great.

What I liked: The Dark Levy is a great dark fantasy read! Shannon is the vulnerable yet strong and unlikely heroine. Dana repeatedly shows her dark side and is ruthless. The supporting cast plays the important background role, providing conflict and shifting loyalties to enhance the story. And the gorgons are great antagonists. Norse mythology elements add  an extra layer  to the tale. All in all, an excellent fantasy read!

What I didn’t like: My only complaints about the book are some parts seem repetitive and I found myself rushing through them.

Overall impression: Despite my criticism above, Alaric Longward’s The Dark Levy combines all the elements of a great dark fantasy book. Action, conflict, impossible choices, and fantastic villains blend together to take the reader on an epic journey. If you read fantasy, put this one on your TBR!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read The Dark Levy? What about any of Alaric Longward’s other books? Find out more about them on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit, look around, and leave him a comment. Please consider leaving a review, too, since reviews let authors know what reader’s think of their work.

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What did you think of my review? Love it? Hate it? Leave me a comment and let me know! And, so you don’t miss a review, subscribe to the blog. I’d love to connect with you on the socials, too! Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest and say hi!