Quest of the Dreamwalker (Corthan Legacy Book 1) by Stacy Bennett

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Quest of the Dreamwalker (Corthan Legacy Book 1)
By Stacy Bennett
Narrated by Zachary Johnson
Publisher: Miramae Press
Format: Audible Audio
Unabridged:  14 hrs and 48 mins
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:

A perfect captive, Cara didn’t know her will had been stolen until she escapes with borrowed courage.

Cloistered in the Black Keep with only her father for company, Cara is an unwitting prisoner bound by chains of ignorance and lies rather than iron–until she meets a captured mercenary in her father’s dungeon. He kindles within her a spark of compassion she never knew she had and lends her an unfamiliar strength. But, the mercenary is slated to die, sacrificed to her father’s magic like all the others. Only this time, Cara can’t turn a blind eye. Unable to endure her father’s cruelty any longer, she vows to help the mercenary escape.

Now, as they flee to a world she’s only dreamed of, she finds defiance has a steep price. Her very existence endangers everyone she has come to care about. Who is she that her father refuses to let her go? To uncover the secret of her past, she must unravel the mystery of her dreams and claim the heritage of her own magical blood—before her father claims her as the last sacrifice.


(New) ThoughtsWow! Well this was my bombshell for 2017. I admit I went in with an open mind but not expecting a whole lot. I could not have been more wrong.

 Side note: Please excuse any misspelling of names. This is an audiobook review. I made every effort to research proper spellings at the time this was written.

Cara is shackled to the Black Keep by the lies of her father, the sorcerer Sidonius. An unwilling pawn in his quest to achieve immortality, she lives a bleak existence of solitude. That is until freedom and friendship present themselves in the unlikely form of two of her father’s captives, mercenaries Captain Khoury and Archer. Through them, Cara finds not only the strength to escape but the means to set on a journey to discover the truth of her past and the power that lies within her own blood. But her adventure does not come without cost. Can Cara stop her father and avoid becoming his final sacrifice?

Quest of the Dreamwalker is a character driven, epic fantasy, backed by an incredible plot. Cara begins the story as a young girl who has been manipulated and used repetitively. She is meek and helpless. Lost. Through the unlikely guidance and support of Khoury and Archer, she evolves into someone complex and driven but not perfect or without weaknesses. The author brings together an unexpected ensemble that provides a dynamic and ever-changing setting, playing effortlessly on feelings of loss, fear, love and courage as we follow Cara and her companions on their quest. I found myself admiring and appreciating various aspects of each new encounter.

A rich plotline offers a story full teeming with depth that supports continual growth. While world building unfolds slowly, it is in a rewarding manner that fosters a viable setting that feels almost familiar and tangible. This is an adventure based on exploration.  Exploration of characters and exploration of the land. Each scene is a moment to be relished as we are immersed within their quest. Packed with exploits and action, this is a fast paced read (listen) that is difficult to put down (turn off).

The writing is even and well-balanced, implementing multiple elements that play on varying emotions with incredible ease. Stacy Bennett ensures that the readers establishes an early connection with characters and maintains that throughout. Her writing feels comfortable and natural, but not without the necessary punch.

Initially, I experienced some concern in terms of audio narration. It felt strange to place Zachary Johnson’s narration with our main protagonist Cara. But he won me over after a few chapters. I soon realized he has a special knack for story telling. He lent an air of enthusiasm and emotion that managed to carry Quest of the Dreamwalker with great proficiency.

The final result was a high fantasy story that examines life and self discovery in a very gratifying fashion, offering endless entertainment along the way. I cannot recommend this enough to anyone who enjoys character driven titles or fantasy.

*I would like to thank the publisher and Audiobook Jukebox for this copy. The above review is my own, honest and unbiased opinion.

Untitled design Enjoyed over several cups of black tea spiced with cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg.

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Purchase Links:Amazon.com Book Depository

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

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Ever the Brave Release Blitz!

EVER THE BRAVE-RDB

I am very excited to announce the release of Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill this week with Rockstar Book Tours! I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Erin (you can read it here) and reviewing the first book in the series, Ever the Hunted.

As part of the celebration, this blitz also includes a giveaway for a 3 finished copies of the book courtesy of Erin, HMH,  & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter be sure to enter at the bottom of this post!

(New)TheBook

EVER THE BRAVE (Clash of Kingdoms #2)

By Erin Summerill

Pub. Date: December 5, 2017

PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 464

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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Synopsis:

Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.

After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only
wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the
King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much
she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are
those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a
way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be
lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as
Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

Purchase: AmazonB&NiBooksBook Depository

 

The First Book

EVER THE HUNTED

By Erin Summerill

Pub. Date: December 27, 2016

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

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Synopsis:

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her
dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father,
the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is
murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or
inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When
Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she
is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former
apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke
her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad
kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power
than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will
make her a daunting and dangerous force. 

Purchase: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks


(New)Excerpt

The king and his men ride away into the Ever Woods.

 

Gillian sweeps in, face beaming. I want to shake her shoulders and erase
that smile. I slam the door.

 

“You look murderous.” Gillian spins around, her skirts swishing against
the stone.

 

“I am.”

 

A blink. “You don’t like the dresses?”

 

“Really? You’ve been living with me for a month.”

 

“Right. So they’re not your usual choice, but they’re variety. Something
different form brown trousers.

 

“They’re for the Royal Winter Feast Ball. He wants to sprinkle royal dust
on me and make me noble.”

 

Gillian presses her hands to her cheeks and pretends to swoon.

 

“Stop it,” I snap.

 

She flounces into the bedroom and lifts a rose dress from the bed. That
grin. Seeds. She’s as mad as the King Aodren.

 

The pull to the king, still taut in my chest, halves my attention from
her squealing prattle. I press my palm to my sternum. I’d give anything to be
free of him. To be able to live in peace on Papa’s land. But I don’t know how
to break the bond.

 

If Enat were still alive — the thought flattens me — she’d know what to
do. She’d tell me how to free myself from King Aodren. He’s been gone for five
minutes, and I can still pick out his location in the Ever Woods.

 

I pound my fist on the door. I have to figure out a way to rid myself of
the bond. I have to.

Gillian jerks to a stop. “It’s not the end of the world.”

 

I start to respond, but an answering rush of something strange and
shuddery slips under the surface of my skin. I lurch, cradling my suddenly
clammy hand, eyeing Gillian, then the door with growing alarm. Unease spreads
from the top of my head to my heels, a drop of poison fanning through a jar of
ale.

 

I’ve felt this way before.

 

“What is it?” Gillian’s fists crinkle a rose-colored gown. Breath
suddenly short, I yank the door open and stare deep into the Evers. The
breeze’s icy fingers caress my face. There’s nothing to see, but something is
very wrong.

 

“The king.”


(New)About the Author

ErinErin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin

graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had

aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher
than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional
photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of
shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally,
provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut
YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding,
she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could
be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.

Follow Erin: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads


giveaway

Giveaway Details:  3 winners will receive a finished copy of EVER THE BRAVE courtesy of Erin, HMH, Rockstar Book Tours (sorry US only). Ends December 12th midnight EST.

Enter Here

Good luck and happy reading!

Danielle ❤

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The Girl in The Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

34050917(New)TheBook
The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2)
By Katherine Arden
Release date: 12/5/17
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN13: 9781101885963
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy /Folklore

Synopsis:

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.


(New) Thoughts

I am openly stating the usual that as always, this is a review of a sequel in a trilogy so while I do my best to avoid them, there is a small possibility that spoilers may be encountered if you have not read the first book. If you prefer to read my review of The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1), it can be found here

Every now and then I will stumble across a title that is so deeply atmospheric it transports me not only to another time and place, but another season as well. The Winternight Trilogy is a brilliant example of such rare read, making this the perfect compliment to any cold winter night, a comfortable blanket and a nice, hot cup of tea. Be prepared to settle in, because this one will not release you easily.

The Girl in the Tower returns the reader to the extraordinary tale of Vassila Petrovna, or Vasilii Petrovich as the sequel would have it.  Resigned to fleeing the only home she has ever known  after being branded a witch by local villagers due to her unusual abilities, Vasya is now a young woman traveling with only the companionship of her faithful steed Solovey. Masquerading as a male traveler, she sets out on her own but soon encounters unexpected trouble in the form of bandits kidnapping young girls and burning the countryside. When her efforts to thwart the bandits and rescue a group of stolen children land her in the Grand Prince of Moscow’s inner and trusted circle where she is reunited with her brother and sister, she must keep her real identity a secret or place everyone in grave jeopardy. However, everything is about to change when she uncovers a plot to overthrow the Grand Prince and just might be the only one who knows the true danger lurking among familiar faces.

Vasya’s evolution from a young, awkward girl into a courageous and spirited woman is a testament to the character development you can expect in The Girl in the Tower. A well-balanced mix of personas, religion and politics offer a dynamic cast that is ever-growing and changing.

Skillfully incorporating characters and influences of  Russian folklore and fairy tales throughout, Arden establishes a world that immerses the reader into an alluring era. The unknown quickly transforms into something captivating as you find yourself surrounded in harsh winter lands not without their own magic and beauty.

Arden’s prose is sophisticated and enchanting, assuring an effortless experience that carries over each page with incredible ease. She writes with a confidence and knowledge that bestows upon the reader a story full of depth while refusing to become lost in frivolous details or complexities. All components are flawlessly executed, ensuring a tale that rivals its predecessor.

The Girl in the Tower merits a deserved spot among my favorite reads of 2017 without question. The Winternight Trilogy may very well become one of my favorite series of all time. Read it, experience it!

* I want to thank Del Rey Publishing and Netgalley for this advanced copy. The above review is my honest, unbiased opinion.

Untitled design Enjoyed with several cups of double spiced chai and cinnamon.

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Pre-Order Links: Amazon.com Book Depository

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