Red and Black by Nancy O’Toole Meservier

The characters do have a lot of introspection and awareness of their own faults with good reasons for their choices. At times I thought they were maybe a little too aware of their own shortcomings during these self-examinations but the characters really were wonderfully handled. Even Calypso and other support characters had motives beyond just being bad, for the sake of being villains.

The Ragged Blade by Christopher Ruz

This one was an assorted bag of fabulous, and some odd, not quite sure how I feel about it stuff. It’s a slow building world that relies on the MC Richard, to tell the story through a combination of flashbacks - partly through sharing stories with his daughter Ana (who is mute for the most part), combined with present day events.

Gedlund by William Ray

As military fantasys go, I found a lot to like in this one. There’s a lot of battles which get progressively bigger until the finale. There are organising troops, gun use, and marching - some of my favorite parts were the parade row marching and just any of the scenes where they had to keep or use a tempo. I especially loved the use of sound combined with the visuals to bring the scenes alive.

Pride Month: RainBook Recs – Part 2

We thought it would be fun to do a little something in recognition of Pride Month here at Rockstarlit BookAsylum. So, I went through and picked books that I had enjoyed that had some LGBTQ content, and matched the pride flag to the dominate color of the covers, with varying degrees of luck.

The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind by Jackson Ford

This opens with a bang, befitting the title but it’s weird bang - kind of like small town fireworks with the reload time between the bursts of color, as this stops mid-action to give us a bit of catch-up. Once we are caught up though, it’s go-time, and the rest of the book is an easy, quick, and fun read.

Pride Month: RainBook Recs

We thought it would be fun to do a little something in recognition of Pride Month here at Rockstarlit BookAsylum. So, I went through and picked books that I had enjoyed that had some LGBTQ content, and matched the pride flag to the dominate color of the covers, with varying degrees of luck.

The City Screams by Phil Williams

There were a few things I was unsure of - like why just being from Ordshaw made Tova a special interest to anyone in the first place, and some of the ending was a bit unclear to me. But this did what I think these extended series novellas should do - and that is get me interested in the world, give me a taste without giving me everything, and do it while being a ton of fun. In that, this book succeeded on all levels.

Crown by Jesse Teller

This is a very dark book/series all around - you know how Hell gets depicted as this scary screwed-up place full of intense horror images, and nasty stuff happening to good people… well, that’s the main world in this book.

Sweetblade by Carol A. Park

If you enjoyed Ivanna in Banebringer and want to know more about her past, Sweetblade is going to be right up your alley. If you liked the world and magic and are looking for more of that then you’ll need to wait for Banebringer’s sequel. If none of that matters then this is just a good solid read and has me even more excited for the sequel to Banebringer.

A Kingdom Under Siege by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

The final book in the Wardens of Issalia series, jumps right back into the action following An Imperial Gambit, where unfortunately, not everyone will make it to the end. But don’t worry, the author isn’t cruel enough to take our favorites out of the running (depending on who your favorites were that is).

He Who Fights by Mike Morris

I did enjoy the journey and I quite liked a lot of the ideas in this story. And the fights. I really enjoyed the fights, and after my recent binge of fight movies, I felt I knew some of the moves they were pulling off, which is always cool. I will be curious to see where things go in later books, if there are any.

The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang

Without Misaki this would have been a great book with some very cool fight scenes (I’m still in awe over the Matsuda brother’s Ice Dragon) and a good solid base for a later series. With her though - it became an outstanding piece of storytelling that needs to be experienced, and one that is going to stick with me for a long time.

Where Oblivion Lives by T. Frohock

Some books just click and this was one of those times. It wasn’t even that there is much in the way of my bullet-proof likes either - Angels are not an auto buy for me, and historical fantasy is probably closer to an auto-skip. But there was something about this story that resonated (a little pun intended) and part way through I knew I was going to have to go back and read the rest of the series, as soon as my schedule allowed.

The Glass Dagger by M.D. Presley

The Glass Dagger continues the story in the same style, with a current timeline picking up at the close of The Imbued Lockblade and a past, working forward timeline, giving us a new POV, that of Solace Graff. Now to be honest, I was a little hmm… about getting his background. He didn’t spark my interest quite like Luca did, but he ended up being an interesting character and we follow him as he leaves his home and sets off to school in Lisford with a single goal in mind - to be the greatest Weaver in all of Ayr.

Jack and Jill: Up a Hill by Vance Smith

This is a fun, quirky little story with a bit of a deeper “big bad” plot underneath. Though I am probably a little older than the target age - I really enjoyed it and never felt that it was too young for me plot-wise or character-wise.

The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer

This story finishes up tidily, while leaving lots of space to continue. I really liked how it set itself up for book two. There were a couple of additional characters added that I am excited to come back for - one of them being Captain Martennan and I’m hoping for more Cara. Overall this was a quick enjoyable read and I’m excited to continue this series.

An Imperial Gambit by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

Each book has opened this world up a little more, as we learn more of the world and the people, it gets harder to tell whose side is right and whose is wrong. The series itself is just a whole lot of fun and has been a nice little breather between dark and grim. I think this is the strongest one so far.  

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