The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri- book review

The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri features three amazingly complex women. Here is my review of one of my favourite reads of the year.

Perfect for Fans of

Indian inspired fantasy featuring strong and complex women.

Series : Burning Kingdoms Book 2

Publication Date 18 August

Genre Fantasy

The prophecy of the nameless god – the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa – has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with the strength of the rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.
The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.
Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya’s souls remain as entwined as their destinies. And they soon realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn – even if it will cost them.

Review

The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri continues the stories of three amazingly complex and morally greyish women after the events of The Jasmine Throne. 

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I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Malini, Priya and Bhumika continue to remain, women who will do anything to achieve their goals and I love the fact they have no guilt. Malini and Priya continue to have a complex relationship and while I am not a fan of romance in general- I did find their forbidden love sweet. I thought there wasn’t much character development with Priya and Malini but Bhumika has developed into a selfless leader and is definitely the most interesting of the three women.

The world-building is vivid and the descriptions of food just made me hungry every time the author described another delicacy. 

The mythology of the Yaksha is explored in more detail and it is definitely more intriguing than the ongoing political battles between Malini and her brother Chandra but just by a bit.

The book has plenty of magic, battles, romance and drama and an explosive ending.

I can’t wait to read book three.

Content warning

Child abduction, immolation.

The Silver Queendom By Don Koboldt- Book review

Here is my review of The Silver Queendom by Don Koboldt- my favourite kind of fantasy with lots of magic, action and a clever heist.


They may be bad at running an inn, but they’re the best team of con artists in the Old Queendom. When a prospective client approaches Darin with a high-paying job, he knows he should refuse. But the job is boosting a shipment of priceless imperial dream wine, the most coveted and expensive drink in the world. And, thanks to a stretch of bad luck, he’s in deep to The Dame, who oversees criminal enterprises in this part of the Queendom.
If they fail, they’re as good as dead, but if they succeed… well, it’s enough money to get square with the Dame and make all of their dreams come true. Plus, it’s an option for Darin to stick it to the empress, who he has good reason to despise. Then again, there’s a very good reason no one has ever stolen imperial dream wine.

Review

I love a good heist story especially when it’s a heist story with magic and The Silver Queendom by Don Koboldt doesn’t disappoint.  This was an easy, quick and fun read.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

The book is told from the points of view of the four main people carrying out the con- Darin, the charismatic leader, a reluctant magic wielder and a magnet for trouble. Evie, the noblewoman fallen from grace, Tom, the friendly muscle and Kat, the newest recruit.

Darin and his gang pull off con after con but they always seem to end up in more trouble after each one and they hope this heist will be final.

The heists are suitably twisty and clever. The plot is fast-paced with plenty of swordfights and crossbow action. There is just a hint of romance between Darin and Evie ( which was perfect) and the magic was subtle enough to enhance the story but not overpower it. The world-building was easy to understand as is the politics. The characters were a little predictable, but I loved all of them with their little quicks.

I’m not sure if this is part of a series but I really hope we read more about Darin and the Rooster Inn gang.

Perfect for fans of

The Six crows or Hustle or Knave of Secrets ( review here)

Content warning

Reference to domestic violence, child labour

Genre: Fantasy      Source: Angry Robot and Netgalley  Publication: 23 August 2022

Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- Book review

Here is my review of Turn in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- The Curious, Calamitous Cockamamie Story of Starr Weatherby and the greatest Mythic Reality Show ever. I think the title says it all.

Publication date: 16th of August 2022

Genre: Sci-fi/humour

Source: With thanks from the publisher Rebellion

She’s just a small town girl, with big mythic dreams.
Starr Weatherby came to New York to become… well, a star. But after ten years and no luck, she’s offered a big role – on a show no one has ever heard of. And there’s a reason for that. It’s a ‘reality’ show beyond the Veil, human drama, performed for the entertainment of the Fae.
But as Starr shifts from astounded newcomer to rising fan favorite, she learns about the show’s dark underbelly – and mysterious disappearance of her predecessor. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep her dream job – though she might just bring down the show in the process.

Review

I can safely say that Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn is unlike any other book I’ve read- a strange concoction of sci-fi, fantasy, expose of behind the scenes of a reality TV show, humour and romance. But despite this, it was a fun and easy read.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Starr Weatherby( or Sam) is the easy-to-like main point of view character and you could sympathise with her conflicting wonder and bewilderment of suddenly being part of a reality TV show for mythical beings ( which is actually scripted). But Starr has to learn about this new world all the while trying to deal with the homicidal lead actress, Fiona.

The world-building was unique and it is safe to say there isn’t a fantasy world quite like this- a television studio filled with mythical creatures with horns and tails and brownies as well as an unseen audience.

I found some parts of the book really funny and it was a quick enjoyable read. There is a hint of romance between Starr and her leading man ( or men) as well as a hint of an unsolved mystery- what happened to Amelia the actress who vanished before Starr started.

I thought Fiona felt a little two-dimensional as a villain and a bit boring considering how vivid the other characters are. The book was sometimes a little confusing and I found it hard to figure out what was going on.

Perfect for fans of

The closest book I could compare this to would The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Top Ten Tuesday- Books written ten years ago that I love

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s TTT theme is books written more than ten years ago that I love and I have to say it was a struggle to choose just ten!

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 1990

Aziraphale and Crowley have been enemies for millennia working for God and the Devil respectively, so of course, they become friends of a sort, enjoying a comfortable existence on earth. But then a child is born who will bring about the end of days who is placed under the careful guidance of Aziraphale and Crowley and they have managed to lose him.

Aziraphale and Crowley are like an old, married couple but amazingly incompetent despite their God-given gifts which makes this one of my favourite books.

Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 1970

 I was hooked when I read the hilarious author’s note on his inspiration for this book.Dent is the hapless human who somehow manages to hitch on a spaceship and escape the destruction of earth. He is joined by Ford, an alien journalist for the Hitchhiker Guide and they bumble their way through four books to solve the mystery of life. I’m now in my forties and I have with the Hitchhikers guide’s view on towels- very useful to pack when travelling.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 1847

 I first read this when I was 14 and this complicated and dark love story still appeals to me.

The Game of Kings ( The Lymond Chronicles) by Dorothy Dunnett 1960

The Lymond Chronicles is one of the best series I have ever read and I always have a reread every year. This book was ahead of it’s time with a bisexual hero,strong women and intricate plots- I see Dunnett’s influence on so many authors.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde 2001

This is my go to book when I need a laugh featuring amazing ideas like a kick ass Miss Haversham and an anger management group for the characters of Wuthering Heights.

Red Dwarf by Grant Taylor 1990

I read the books before I watched the TV series and no matter how many times I read this book; I find myself laughing hysterically.

The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman 2001

The third book in his dark materials is a complex mixture of physics, philosophy and religion and I hope my kids will enjoy it as much as I did.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher 2000

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher remains one of my favourite ongoing series and the first book Storm Front kindled my love for urban fantasy.

Guilty Pleasure by Laurel Hamilton 1993

I discovered the Anita Blake Vampire Killer series and I loved Anita Blake who was the perfectly written female heroine who rescued a lot of men ( which was not that common pre Buffy). Guilty Pleasure remains one of my favourite book despite my disappointment at how the series has changed.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philipa Gregory 2001

I wasn’t too happy when my book group chose this as the book to read one month but I couldn’t put it down. This alternative take on Tudor history gave me a new genre to love- historical fiction.

Thank you for stopping by

Please leave a link to your TTT so I visit your site.

Tinderbox by W A Simpson- blog tour and book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Random Things Tours for Tinderbox by W A Simpson- epic fantasy with an inspired reference to fairy tale.

Isbet returns home to find the witch who raised her murdered and her prized possession, the Tinderbox stolen. She discovers a common man has used it to seize the throne. The same who conquered Prince Bram’s kingdom. Isbet’s goals are vengeance and reclaim the Box. For Bram, it is to free his homeland. When they are summoned to an underground kingdom, they must set aside their personal desires as they learn dark fey are bringing an ancient source of magic back to life. If they cannot halt the rise of the old magic, it will tear apart the Riven Isles.

Review

 Tinderbox by W A Simpson is the epic fantasy for you if you enjoy reading about conflicted witches, captured Princes, underground realms and a villain corrupted by magic.

Continue reading “Tinderbox by W A Simpson- blog tour and book review”

Nexus Point by K. Pimpinella – Blog Tour/Book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Escapist Tours Blog Tour of Nexus Point by K Pimpinella- a fast- paced time-travel science-fiction thriller I couldn’t put down. Click link below to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book (open internationally)

Winner of a 2021 Canada Book Award
Quarter Finalists in SPSFC
Editor’s Pick, BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly

The year is 2198. Earth has unified under one government, Utopia. War has ravaged the planet, forcing many citizens to immigrate to space stations and colonies. As human life expands into space, the Nexus Point and its abandoned station are discovered along with their time-travel capabilities. Time travel becomes the new luxury vacation, but some citizens go rogue and as history starts to change, the Time Rangers are born; a specialized unit tasked with chasing down the Time Runners. Following family tradition, Kai Sawyer, joins the Rangers. His first mission as a commander; travel to1634 France and defeat a Time Runner trying to jump start the progression of medicine. As Sawyer struggles to save his team and the future of Utopia; he learns of a more sinister plot that might include his father, the Rear Admiral of the Time Rangers. Should the Runners succeed, they will rewrite the future of all mankind.

Review

I enjoyed Nexus Point by K Pimpinella-a fast-paced time-travelling thriller.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This sci-fi thriller ticks all the boxes for me- great story, interesting characters,  intriguing world-building, science and history as well as plenty of action.

Kai Sawyer is a spawn- the genetically created and enhanced son of a respected Solider of the Time Ranges. The Time Rangers are the official body hunting down rogue time-travellers and keeping history right.

I admit to not warming up to Kai until the end of the book but this could be partly due to his genetic make-up and his harsh upbringing at the hands of his father but he comes into his own at the end Lately, I seem to find the secondary characters in books more interesting and this is no different in Time Nexus.  While Kai’s father seemed to be a two-dimensional bad father on the surface, there does seem to be more lurking under the surface. Hawk- Kai’s best friend, Perry- the specialist and Santiago the resentful second in command are interesting in their own right and I would have loved to read more chapters with them in.

There is plenty of action in various periods, and the world-building in both the present and past is well described.

I liked the idea of time travel initially being used for a corporate profit before being policed by the time rangers and hopefully this will be expnaded on in book two.

This is the first book in the Time Rangers series and I would definitely read book two after that epilogue.

Content warning

References to child abuse, drug use,torture

Perfect for fans of

Time travel fiction

GIVEAWAY ( CLOSING DATE 17/8/22)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK ( OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

Author Site: www.kpimpinella.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/k_pimpinella
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k.pimpinella/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimeRangersBookSeries
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21135489.K_Pimpinella

About the Author

Author Bio & Information:

Long Bio:

An author and lover of all things science fiction, K.Pimpinella grew up with the greats like Star Wars, Star Trek and the original Battlestar Galactica, and still enjoys them today. The theme of teamwork  which dominated Stargate, the camaraderie of the character dynamics of the video game Mass Effect, and the time-travel ideals of the TV show Timeless, were the foundations of her world-building and characters of the Time Ranger series, of which, Nexus Point is the first novel.

She now lives in Uxbridge, ON. In her spare time she enjoys ice hockey, snowboarding, western horseback riding and spending time with her husband and two dogs, Dallas and Tonka.

This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper- Blog Tour and Book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Random Things Blog Tour for the Wild,Wild Country by Inga Vesper- historical fiction featuring unsolved murders in two fascinating periods- the Gold Rush and the hippie movement.,

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication date: 4th August 2022

Source: with thanks form Manilla Press and Random Things Tour

Perfect for Fans: Historical fiction featuring interesting woman and complex family dynamic, historical  murder mysteries .


1933. Cornelia Stover is headstrong and business-minded – not the kind of woman the men of Boldville, New Mexico, expect her to be. Then she stumbles upon a secret hidden out in the hills . .
1970. Decades later, Joanna Riley, a former cop, packs up her car in the middle of the night and drives west, fleeing an abusive marriage and a life she can no longer bear. Eventually, she runs out of gas and finds herself in Boldville, a sleepy desert town in the foothills of the Gila Mountains.
Joanna was looking for somewhere to retreat, to hide, but something is off about this place. In a commune on the outskirts a young man has been found dead and Joanna knows a cover up when she sees it. Soon, she and Glitter, a young, disaffected hippie, find themselves caught up in a dark mystery that goes to the very heart of Boldville, where for too long people have kept their eyes shut and turned their heads away. A mystery that leads them all the way back to the unexplained disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother Cornelia forty years before . . .

Review

 I don’t think I have read many books set during the hippie movement, so I was so pleased to be invited to the blog tour The Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper. This book has it all strong ,interesting women, a decade old mystery ,murder and corruption

Continue reading “This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper- Blog Tour and Book review”

Death at the Manor by Katharine Schellman- book review

I enjoyed this Regency mystery featuring a locked room murder, ghosts, and touch of gothic romance. My review of Death of Romance by Katharine Schellman.

Genre: Historical crime

Series: Lily Adler Mystery #3

Publication Date :9th of August 2022

Source: NetGalley and Crooked Lane Publishers

Lily Adler is looking forward to spending some time with her Aunt Eliza with her friends Lady and Lord Carroway ( Ofelia and Ned)  but instead, she is embroiled in a strange murder that appears to be committed by a ghost at the nearby Belleford manor. Can Lily solve the murder with her friends while dealing with her feelings for Mr Spencer?

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

Review

This is the third book in the Lily Adler Mystery series, but I was able to get into the story and the characters without having read the previous two books. The book is told from a few points of view which makes the story a lot more compelling.

 I loved the diverse range of characters in the book that naturally blended into the story and the expected prejudices are present but overall I loved how the characters in the book were able to accept Ofelia’s mixed-race descent. If anything, Ofelia’s difference from the other people in the village is her noble status.

Continue reading “Death at the Manor by Katharine Schellman- book review”