The Mage Heir by Kathryn Sommerlot

38374912

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Traitor: that’s what Tatsu is now. On the run from both Runon and Chayd, Tatsu and Yudai’s only hope for survival is to disappear into the wilds. However, when the siphon’s deadly curse returns, they have no choice but to travel into the desert kingdom of Joesar in search of a cure.

Battling the unforgiving elements of the sands, Tatsu starts to realize that the path towards destroying the siphon may claim Yudai’s life. Time is running out as Nota’s fury—and the siphon’s hunger—begin to spiral wildly beyond their control.

As their options slowly fall away, the only thing Tatsu and Yudai can count on is each other.

The Review

First let me tell you how excited I was to have both books in my possession when I finished The Life Siphon. I immediately grabbed for The Mage Heir and started reading. There was no way I was going to take a break. I needed to know what was going to happen with Yudai and Tatsu as they separated from Alesh and Ral.

The pair are running from Nota but also looking for a way to help Yudai and the way his magic acts as a siphon, stealing the energy and life of the environment around him.  My absolute favorite part of book two was getting to learn more about Yudai as he regained his strength. Yudai was smart, stubborn, a little frustrating at times, but you could honestly see how much he cared for Tatsu.

Their journey into the desert of Joesar is quiet intense. There were times I felt my mouth go dry from the heat and dryness of the sand. It was dangerous and just when you think they catch a break, they don’t. Poor Tatsu, he had thought they had reached safety and instead ended up suffering from the sting of a scorpion. This is where Yudai and Tatsu’s roles are reversed and Yudai has to help take care of Tatsu.

They took care of and pushed each other on wards during their journey. It wasn’t just one man being the savior. They were both saviors and if you didn’t have one of them, I don’t think you would have gotten the result we did at the end of the book.

My heart raced during certain scenes. My chest ached in others because I was worried about what was going to happen. I became invested in seeing this through. I needed them to come out on top. The settings were just as intense and important as they were in The Life Siphon. I would have been disappointed if they weren’t. I’m glad I wasn’t.

Yudai and Tatsu … Alesh and Ral … You can’t really have one with out the other, can you?

Ral was a wonderful surprise. Like I mentioned in my previous review, I knew there was something special about her. She always had the ability to make it through perilous situations, understand what was happening around her and she’d know what was coming. There was a reason for that and to see her character as not just a sister with a disability, but someone just like you and I, that made me particularly happy. She wasn’t disabled. She saw and experienced the world differently than those around her.

Tatsu chose to do what he could for the betterment of the world around him, even though he risked his own life to do so. To be faced with a decision of that magnitude, not once but twice, and he still chose the same, it made me proud to consider him one of my favorites.

Now for the romance, oh boy. Those kisses. There weren’t sex scenes but it wasn’t needed and wouldn’t have worked in this book. But those kisses. Yudai and Tatsu were gorgeous together and in a world of fairy tales, I would say they were made for each other. They just had to find each other.

If you’re a fan of fantasy novels, grab this duology. It is well worth it. I was able to lose myself in this world and when I was done reading the books, I was satisfied. You know how it is, where you just curl up in bed and let out a pleased sigh while you think about what could happen next for Yudai and Tatsu.

 

Buy it here!

The Life Siphon – Kathryn Sommerlot

32704637

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.

More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.

The Review

Tatsu has been spent his life in the forest and on the outskirts of Chayd. As an outsider, it’s where he has become most comfortable. It all starts when his childhood friend Alesh winds up on his doorstep, bloodied and exhausted from an illegal venture to earn money. It doesn’t take long before the crown finds her at Tatsu’s house and they both end up imprisoned. The queen offers them a deal in order to retain their freedom: steal the siphon that’s killing the environment and bring it back to Chayd.

They never expected the siphon to turn out to be what it was.

As you track their journey to Runon to acquire the siphon then getting back to the queen, you learn more and more about the kingdoms, characters and the magic of the realm.

One of the things I enjoyed was the fact that I could see their progress in my mind like a movie as I read. The settings and character reactions are extremely vivid from page one. I would love to be able to visit a place as rich as Chayd and Runon are. And the settings were just there in the background. Each setting was a character as well. What I will never forget is how menacing and horrifying the dead forest to be. It still gives me the creeps.

The pacing of this book was a little slow in parts but I found that it didn’t bother me. In fact I was thankful for all the little details I picked up when the rush of an ending hit. Do your self a favor and have The Mage Heir ready. Because that ending, WOW! I stayed up late to finish reading and when I was? It took a bit to calm down enough to fall asleep.

Tatsu was a character that I could really relate to. He is an outsider and isn’t exactly what the rest of his community of Chayd was. He was different and there was so much more to him then what you could see upon first glance. I think that was probably true for all of the characters but I understood Tatsu in a why I didn’t expect to.

Alesh and Ral, a sibling relationship that goes to show you how far you would go to take care of your family. Alesh, she was stubborn to the core but when it came to Ral, she’d do whatever in order to make sure her sister was happy and safe. Ral was enchanting. I knew from the moment we were introduced to her, there was something special about her. I couldn’t wait to figure out who she truly would end up being.

Now, for those of you looking for the M/M romance. It doesn’t appear in The Life Siphon buuuuut there’s book two, The Mage Heir. All that tension has to lead to something, right? If you like fantasy, a journey with a heavy task guiding it, then grab this book. There’s something about the writing that drew me in and made me want to be next to Tatsu, Alesh and Ral.

 

Go buy it here!

Into the Mystic Volume Three

39924922

Four out of Five Stars

The Summaries: There are nine lesbian/bisexual paranormal short stories contained in this volume of short stories.

It Started Before Noon – All stories must begin somewhere.

Heart’s Thaw – A frozen heart is no match for ignited passions.

Fire and Brine – Of all the bars in all the world, Alice had to wander into Cassandra’s. Are either of them ready for what comes next?

Dance with Me – Can a werewolf and a vampire put aside their differences to catch a thief in the Windy City?

My Cup of O Pos – Not every visit to the ER has to be stressful.

Home – A stray, an alpha, and a question: Where does she belong?

Swoon – Falling in love is tough when you’re a cursed pirate.

The Hunt – A first bite is never easy for a teenage vampire.

By Candlelight – A girl and her ghost await a funeral.

 

The Review(s)

Not having previously read the last two volumes of the Into the Mystic collections, I wasn’t expecting what I actually got. The cover had me thinking, like time travel, witches, Scottish highlands but that’s not what I got. Now I can say each of these stories were great in their own ways. Some of the authors are now on my list to watch for future work or previous publications.

I have come to realize that there are going to be stories I absolutely love and need an entire novel written about the characters, and then one or two that I’m not fond of. It’s just personal preference. If you’re looking for erotica, that’s not what you’re going to get in this collection. There’s one story, Fire and Brine by Lis Valentine would be the one that went more in that direction. The rest have a gentle, kind romance about them.

It Stated Before Noon by Ava Kelly is probably one of the three stories I wish there was more of. That’s how much I loved it. The concept wasn’t one that I had seen before. A muse planting and cultivating inspiration (comedies, tragedies, dramas, but never romances) tickled me. A romantic and a scientist working together, learning about life and falling in love? I was smiling the entire time.

Home by K. Parr hit my weak spot. I love a good werewolf story, and then you’ve got a little bit of an age difference. Yeah, buddy. A young bitten wolf is trying to figure her way out in the world and she ends up in the backyard of an alpha who makes her feels whole. And that ending *sigh* it was perfect.

Swoon by Artemis Savery was completely unexpected. Sirens, they aren’t my thing. But a lesbian siren who is morally conflicted with taking the voice of a woman she loves? It was beautiful, crushing and hopefully all at the same time.

The Hunt by M. Hollis and By Candlelight by Ziggy Schultz were YA stories. The Hunt had a vampire youth going on her first hunt and I squealed with how adorable she was. By Candlelight, it was a bit darker but the thing is it’s what anyone would hope for when they pass. The communication between the ghosts and the ending left me feeling warm.

Fire and Brine by Lis Valentine, is a steamy quick read.

My Cup of Pos by L.J. Hamlin, the title is a little unfortunate until you actually read the story and understand what it means. I think it was intriguing to see a disabled vampire and an explanation of the disability was extremely important because you don’t get that very often in books.

Dance With Me by Michelle Frost was okay. I think it would have made an excellent full-length novel. A PI werewolf with a vampire client. The two don’t mix or do they?

Overall, this is a great collection of stories. I would definitely recommend checking into these collections to find new authors to read because that’s exactly how I’ve been finding a bunch of my new TBR list.

It can be purchased Here!

Curses, Foiled Again

36516389

Three out of Five Stars

Summary: Felix is a vampire—a fierce creature of the night who strikes terror into the hearts of everyone unlucky enough to become his prey. Or at least, that’s what he thought was true, until he met John. John is completely unimpressed with Felix, much to his dismay. Felix becomes fixated on proving his ferocity to John—and when that doesn’t work, he strives to make any impression on him at all.

John is a witch, and as all witches know, vampires are notoriously stupid creatures who only have the power to hurt those who fear them. Besides, he’s under a curse much more frightening than any vampire. Felix’s desperate attempts to impress him annoy John at first, but gradually, they become sort of endearing. Because of his curse, John has pushed everyone in his life away. But Felix can’t be hurt, so there’s no harm in letting him hang around.

Felix is technically dead. John has nothing left to live for. But together, they might have a shot at life

The Review

 

Curses, Foiled Again features a cursed witch (John) who is not at all impressed with the vampire (Felix) that has focused on him. Eventually, John can’t help but be won over by Felix’s determination.

This is going to be an interesting review. At times I absolutely loved this book. Then there were times I got bored and set my reader down in favor of watching prison shows on Netflix. At times it felt like I was reading three different books featuring the same characters in each book.

The beginning I found funny. There was a vampire who was trying so hard to be scary it was comical. When John gave in, he gave in fast. The tone shifted to more of a contemporary romance kind of vibe. I was down for it. I like my romance any way I can get it. But after reading a little more, BAM! tone shift to the dark, thriller aspect I had expected since the beginning of the book.

I understand the curse, the spell Richard preformed between John and Felix changed John but, I didn’t like how rushed those last chapters felt. I feel like I missed a few chapters. I didn’t. I checked.

BUT!

I don’t think I ever met characters like John, Felix, or Lo. They were unique and I loved them. Lo kicked ass and had a mine like my own. Felix I adored. He made me laugh, hide from second-hand embarrassment, and how sweet he became with John made my heart melt. John, I related to him and his predetermined fate with his curse. Sometimes, with a chronic illness, I think why bother? John did this A LOT and I could completely understand that. John found a reason why he should bother in Felix.

So I was on the fence with this one and will give the author another go if I see something by her but I’m not rushing out to the store.

Purchase Here