Anyways, once the issues had been sorta-kinda, more-or-less patched up and the final clash occurred—it was precisely as powerful and action-packed as I thought it would be. Everyone they had met along the way tied in in some way to the final fight, and that was just amazing to read. There is also sufficient villain buttkicking—as well as the realization of what that kind of battle does to oneself, both on the side of the good and the side of the bad.
We need stories that remind us of the depths of what is occurring in those scenes, and the need to absolutely never do more than is absolutely necessary. As far as the ending… it shocked me. I adore the characters and I wish them the best. As I said before, the characters spend a lot of time dealing with the trauma from the last two books.
Blood and Bane: The Dragon Sage Chronicles by CJ McKee - Read Online
For better or for worse, going through something like that changes people, and that struggle and trauma is a lot of what this story is about. I guess it probably built on everything that had happened throughout the past two books, but in this one, you get to see the fullness and fulfillment of his journey. He puts the world ahead of himself and sets aside all his deepest desires to fight for a people that dragged him out of his normal life and tossed him into a living nightmare.
I adore his relationship with Charlotte, the way he cherishes her. I adore those moments where he does something hard to help his friends even when they shove him away. She was always a main character, but in this one, she takes center stage. She struggles. She fails. She makes some dumb mistakes.
But then she accepts, she grows, she learns, and she makes the biggest changes. She finds a way to do both: to stand for her beliefs and save the world at the same time. I hate his guts. As before, the writing is incredibly descriptive. Every moment next to them, the reader is right there. Altogether, we come in at 4 stars out of 5. And for all the times I yelled at the them and literally every other character in the book , I loved taking the ride with Charlotte, David, and the rest and I will cherish these characters forever.
What big series endings are you anticipating? Read one lately that just left you reeling? Note: I voluntarily and honestly reviewed a free ecopy of this book. Content Warnings: some language, intense descriptions of violence. Lessons and Values: Forgiveness. Locus award nominee fantasy for Well, this doesn't have anything to do with the book itself, but I really thought that the woman on the front cover looked a little like Hambly herself minus the excess decorations, and the lack of hair.
Icefalcon's Quest The poor people of the Keep of Dare. Just when they think that everything is going well again, some new disaster strikes.
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Two years have passed since Mother of Winter , and the Keep-dwellers have learned to live with the slunch. The hydroponics tanks are churning out enough food to live off of, and the ice in the north is still advancing. Ingold is gone on another book-foraging quest, this time leaving both Gil and Rudy behind. But strange things begin to happen after the Icefalcon brings in two strangers, victims of a bandit attack not far from the Keep.
Although the Icefalcon believes he recognizes the man, he cannot remember where he knows him from. The man's niece claims to be able to channel the spirit of a mage from the Times Before. Before Gil-Shalos can question her too closely, the strangers have disappeared, taking the young Lord Tir with them. The Icefalcon, furious at himself for bringing the strangers to the Keep in the first place, follows, watching as the man he thought he knew transforms back into his true form, that of Betkis, the Court Mage. Rudy, badly injured while attempting to get Tir back from Betkis, retuns with Gil return to the Keep.
The Icefalcon continues to track Betkis, who now owns some strange magical object that gives him far more power than he ever possessed.
Besides Betkis and the woman posing as his niece are several men who all look exactly alike, men whom Gil called clones before she left the Icefalcon. Back at the Keep, the armies of the Alketch are attacking, holding the impregnable Keep under siege.
Why attack the Keep of Dare when it's impossible to get by the door, and the people inside have already a store of food?
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No one understands. Ingold is away from the Keep, and Rudy lays near death. They track Betkis and Tir as they join up with Vair na-Chandros, the husband of Yori-Ezrikos, a man who has found a machine from the Times Before to create the clones who now make up his army.
He wants Tir for his memories, to find secrets now hidden under the ice in the North, secrets to help him take over the Keep of Dare and attack the kingdoms his wife rules in the Alketch. Parallel to the story in the present, though, is the story of Icefalcon's history - why the barbarian of the Real World joined the Guards, and why he came to Renwath Vale in the first place.
The story of his betrayal and exile from the Talking Stars People unfolds as he journeys through the land of his childhood, now covered by ice, and falls back into the ways of his people. But before long, despite his continuous ridicule of the "mud-diggers," the civilized people, he begins to realize that perhaps his heart has changed, and that the revenge he seeks on the one who betrayed him is not what he wants for his life after all. Published by Del Rey Books, February, Mother of Winter sample chapter. White Raiders analysis , written by Gil Patterson.
Icefalcon's Quest sample chapter. Sun Wolf and Starhawk The Ladies of Mandrigyn When Sun Wolf, a mercenary captain, turned down an elegant lady from the town of Mandrigyn and her preposterous request that he fight for her an unwinable battle, he had no idea what trouble he was getting into. Sheera had no intention of taking no for an answer, and as an unwilling prisoner, Sun Wolf begins to train the women of Mandrigyn as a fighting force.
His lieutenant, Starhawk, follows his trail to the city where all the men have been imprisoned by the last wizard to walk to the earth. Sun Wolf is foced to admit, before long, that he has violated ever rule about wizardry and love that his father handed down to him, and once reunited, both Sun Wolf and Starhawk in a theme which soon becomes familiar during their subsequent travels , are forced to leave Mandrigyn at the end of the story - and the newly-freed men to the surprises that their battle-trained wives and daughters have become.
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Locus award nominee, Published by Del Rey books in The Witches of Wenshar Sun Wolf and Starhawk, after being outsted from Mandrigyn, leave in search of someone who might be able to train Sun Wolf in his new-found powers. They end up in a desert city, where Starhawk joins the guards, and Sun Wolf is hired to tutor the son of the palace in the arts of war.
Sun Wolf is intrigued by the rumors surrounding the nearby deserted city of Wenshar, where an ancient order of witches once lived. When strange deaths at Court, and the strange abilities of the princess Tazey are brought to light, Sun Wolf travels to Wenshar to seek the answers. And yes, they're pretty much outsted from the city at the end, too. Published by Del Rey books in This winter, though, there seems to be a plague of very bad luck on the whole company, and Sun Wolf suspects a small, unprepossessing man who was captured from one of the looted cities, thought to be a wizard.
And when Starhawk is close to death, Sun Wolf has to decide between her and the well-being of his former troop. In case you hadn't guessed, they are forced to leave the camp at the end, too. Sun-Cross The Rainbow Abyss When Rhion's master, the wizard Jaldis, tells him of the Dark Well, a portal to other universes, and the magical cry for help he heard from it, he is inclined to not care.
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The world he and Jaldis live in fears, hates, and mistrusts wizards. What few mages exist are splintered into several sects. But Jaldis fears that the mysterious other world, where magic is dead, may mean that magic could die in their world as well and wishes to go to their aid. Before they can mount an expedition though the Dark Well, though, they are chased out of the city, and several years pass before Jaldis can make another Well, and try to go though.
Rhion emerges from the Well into a strange and alien place Published by Del Rey books, "Fifty years I am learning the wisdom of great men, the Torah and the Talmud and the names of the angels of each sphere of the world and the numbers by which the Lord rules the universe, and now at my age I find I should have studied to be Tarzan instead. There, the Germans are trying to re-discover magic for use in the war effort.
Rhion, as their prisoner, is doing his best to leave the war-torn and magicless world he has landed in - with the help of a red-and-black haired Jewish girl and her father. And if he succeeds, what will be left of the mages and magic in his own world? Hambly does a very good job with Rebbe Leibnitz see quote above. Published by Del Rey books, Locus award nominee, Benjamin January, a free man of color, has returned home after many years in Paris, fleeing a city that seems to speak his dead wife's name every time he turns around.
A musician and doctor, Benjamin is en route to a Carnival octaroon ball when a masked young woman calls for help in the street, shouting his name. After rescuing her, and progressing to the ball in time to start the first dance, he realizes the woman was an old piano student of his. Between dances, he slips out to see her, for Madeline, a white woman, has defied custom and tradition by invading the octaroon to go into what all the names for colored people in New Orleans at this time mean would take up too much space, but it's in the introduction ball January is playing for - a ball for white men and their colored mistresses, their placees.
Next door, in another, adjoining ballroom, are the white sisters, mothers, and wives of these same men, as Hambly puts it, wondering with pretend ignorance where their menfolk could have gone to January urges Madeline to leave before someone recognizes her and her reputation is ruined.
She, however, refuses to leave unless he sets up a meeting for her with the octaroon woman she has come to see - the most flamboyant of the free women of color present, Angelique, the placee of Madeline's recently deceased husband. Between the next set of dances, January does attempt to find Angelique, but she runs him off when a prospective lover enters the room.
He returns to the ballroom proper and begins playing again.
When Angelique disappears before the evening's planned tableaux, Benjamin watches with amusement as his sister Dominique, and her friends, search frantically for the girl - amusement that turns to horror when Angelique is found dead. When the police come to investigate, January realizes that he is the last person to have seen the girl alive, since the young man she was with when he left the room has fled to a country estate and is hiding from questioning.
The social climate is already chilly toward men of color, even free ones, and January finds himself having to go to great lengths to have to clear his name - and to find out what really did happen to Angelique during the Mardi Gras ball. Check out the signature on the front cover of this book. Published by Bantam Books, July, A cholera epidemic has seized New Orleans, sending the upper eschelons of both colored and white society to cooler and safer locations.
Benjamin remains in New Orleans to treat the sick and dying, where he becomes tangled with a runaway slave girl named Cora, who is wanted for poisoning her master, Otis Redfern, and stealing several thousand dollars. But Benjamin isn't sure she was truly the culprit. Then Cora goes missing, like several other colored people before her. In searching for Cora, Benjamin meets up with Cora's friend, Rose Vitrac, a free woman of color who runs a school for girls in New Orleans.
Rose and Benjamin work to find Cora and untangle the mystery of Otis Redfern's death and Cora's disappearance, helped along the way by the usual suspects of Hannibal and Abishag Shaw. And even when most of the clues fall into place, there are still surprises left. Interestingly, this book was based on a true historical incident, which was fairly horrific in nature, and this is detailed in the afterward.
Sold Down the River It was rather bizarre request, really. What free man of color would give up what few freedoms he possessed to return to life as a slave? He and Abishag Shaw contrive a system of messages in case something goes wrong, and cache copies of his freedom papers.
It is with this admittedly miniscule protection that he goes into the situation. For January, the life of a field hand is torture tinged with memory; his boyhood was spent in just such a place, and the lives of the other slaves mesh with his in the community made up of shared experience. It is because of these others that he is there as a spy - in the edge-balanced life of a plantation, when the entire group of slaves can and will be blamed for the poisoning, the sabotage of the harvest, for January to find the culprit will mean to save the others from the consequences of shared blame.
But to find the culprit, he learns, means to find a motive, and on Mon Triomphe, there are more motives than one can shake a stick at. Revenge, in many forms, creates a rich background of possibilities for a culprit. But when Hannibal leaves for a short trip and never returns, and Fourchet lies on his deathbed, the identity of the sabotager may not do January any good at all. Hambly creates, as usual, a rich and intriguing world in which her characters move. The tone of this one is slightly darker than the three previous January books, and this is mostly due to the setting.
In writing about the lives of the slaves of Mon Triomphe, neither they nor her readers are spared. However, despite this, she manages to bring out the feeling of shared community, a feeling that although life is admittedly terrible, there is a knack to living it, and a way to have something that can neither be measured nor sold. The ending is thankfully, for those still reeling from the end of Knight of the Demon Queen both resolved and fairly happy, if in a bittersweet way.
Published by Bantam Books on July 5, Die Upon A Kiss Book five.
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