Synopsis: For readers of C.N. Crawford, Laura Thalassa, and Jennifer L. Armentrout. Interior design student Grace and twelve other humans are forcibly recruited to participate in a contest, redecorating various rooms in Hell–which haven’t been redone since ancient or medieval times. The winner gets a lucrative contract, a few extra decades of youth, and one soul reclaimed from The Pit. With sexy demons Razenath and Apollyon distracting Grace from her goals, can she avoid being eliminated after each round?
TW: doubtful consent related to kissing, touch; some physical harm/abuse; reference to family murder/suicide; gore, horror, demons, monsters; torture; child neglect; cannibalism
Review: Wow. I was drawn in from the beginning as we travel with plucky Grace into a contest she didn’t want to be a part of. I quite enjoyed Grace’s relationships with other contestants and Razenath and Apollyon, especially how they grew and developed. There was a lot of hellish description that one really has to be ready for before reading this. I personally didn’t feel that any of the hellish tortures were done in such a manner to trigger me, but that line will be different for everyone. I quite loved the depth of different backgrounds and sins the contestants and their families had. There was clearly a lot of influence from other things in the naming and characterization of some characters, but very fitting. The interior design aspect of the book was not skimmed over but detailed and quite enjoyable to read. I am very much looking forward to seeing what more might happen in Rebecca F. Kenney’s Hell.
Synopsis: Kirian and I were just twelve years old when I pulled him from the icy waters of the creek behind my house. As he looked in my direction with unseeing lavender eyes, I quickly realized our age was just about the only thing we had in common. He spoke with an accent, he had pointy ears, and he was so beautiful it made my heart ache. Oh, and he claimed to be a fae prince cursed by witches who stole his sight.
I thought he was crazy from hypothermia. Turns out, he wasn’t, and for some reason he keeps coming back. But a day in my world is a year in his. Every time I see him, he’s older. Wiser. Hotter.
Over the past six years, I’ve tried not to fall in love with him because the terms of the curse are clear: If he doesn’t wait for his fated mate in all ways, including an innocent (or not-so-innocent) kiss, he’ll be blind forever.
So when Kirian kisses me and pulls me through the portal to his realm, I make it my mission to do some damage control. It’d be a whole lot easier if he wasn’t determined to marry me… And if someone wasn’t trying to murder me every step of the way.
The Fae King’s Curse is a full-length novel with no cliffhanger.
Review: I will say this book has a nice slow burn, though some of the major plot twists were a bit obvious. I actually really loved how Quinn wasn’t your typical heroine; she had faults, and she didn’t think being transported to a magical place was going to make everything and everyone suddenly accept her–far more realistic than what happens in most novels. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. The other world was brilliant and well described. While I did think there were several well done intimate scenes, the mention of constantly always being in need seemed a bit much and almost like an excuse to bring up sex when there was more pressing plot points going on.
I certainly have some expectations for Damon’s story and I look forward to reading on!
Synopsis: Throne of Glass meets Black Jewels in this twisted yet alluring dark fantasy tale.
Quinn Darkova, freed from the chains of slavery, wants nothing more than vengeance against those who sold her. But with her dark powers on the rise and her ascension nearing, Quinn’s blood retribution will have to wait in favor of her immediate survival.
Lazarus Fierté is a nobleman without equal. He’s as controlling as he is stubborn, and for the last six years he’s been waiting for a woman to appear—but not just any woman. A Maji of great power, capable of terrible things. She could be the key to everything he holds dear.
His savior … or his destroyer.
The only thing he didn’t predict was that she would become both.
*Please note, this is a dark fantasy series. There is a heavy romance subplot between two consenting adults but the material is dark in nature. The characters are not heroes. This isn’t a story about saving the day.*
Review: From the beginning, this book had me drawn in. From the beginning we’re shown that Quinn has something to fear, something to run from, and something she wants vengeance for. There are different stakes at every turn, and every choice leads to potential ruination. The multitude of subplots gives the book a great build where you never really want to set it down, because who knows what might happen next! The slow build up of relationship between Quinn and the other vassals and Lazarus is both gradual and intense at the same time. I quite enjoyed falling into Quinn’s world, and am greatly looking forward to continuing on in the series.
Synopsis: Lord Enchanter Evariste has been missing for years. Everyone has given up all hope of finding him—except for Angelique.
Because he dared to befriend her when all other mages scorned her due to her dangerous magic, Angelique is determined to find him—no matter the cost. But as years have passed and she has failed to locate Evariste, she’s forced to realize that he was more than a friend.
Battle weary and sick of politics, Angelique is close to breaking…until she hears a rumor that Evariste was taken north.
To confirm the information, she’ll have to break into a den of black mages, hide her identity, and master her magic—which she fears above all else.
But when she finally finds Evariste, she learns she is woefully unprepared for the enemies that hold him captive.
Trial of Magic is an epic fantasy fairy tale that follows a reluctant heroine who wants nothing to do with romance, magical battles, and curse breaking, but finds herself mucking with all three. Like its companion series, Timeless Fairy Tales, this series has clean romance.
Review: Worth the wait! Was definitely bummed when I read the first three books in quick succession with plans to read the entire series because I couldn’t get enough of Angelique and Evariste and came to find out only three books were done! I was so excited to see Angelique grow as a person, and learn more about fairy tale enchanters and how the aging process works. It was also awesome to have so many badass heroines that weren’t simply having children as soon as they were married.
There were still so many questions and so much left to lose (and gain) at the end of this book! I found myself reading slower and less towards the end because of course I don’t want it to end and have to wait for more, but this was a very substantial book, considered epic fantasy for a reason. I cannot wait to see more of Angelique and Evariste and what happens in the continent, though I’m also hoping to learn far more about Pegasus as well!
**Potential Spoiler!** Given Evariste’s reaction my prediction is that he might be more human/powerful than Angelique knows, though I am fairly certain he can actually talk.