Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs Review

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I am finally all caught up! And now I’m not entirely sure if I’m happy about that, because now I have to wait for the next one to release and it’s going to be sometime before that happens. Night Broken was a fun book though it had some irritants.

Night Broken begins with a call from Adam’s ex-wife Christie, saying that she’s in trouble because someone is stalking her. She asks him for protection and Adam and Mercy agree. Meanwhile, there is a powerful Fae who wants the walking stick back. He has a legitimate claim since the stick since his father crafted it. This is a bit of a problem since Mercy gave the walking stick to Coyote. As if that isn’t enough, Christie’s stalker turns out to be a super-powerful Volcano god bent on having her back. Typical day in the life of Mercy Thompson, so much to do and so little time.

I don’t know how Mercy even managed to stay alive all these years, although to be fair, her troubles started quite recently. But I don’t understand what changed and that confuses me a little bit. She was perfectly safe in the Tri-Cities for the past 10 years and then suddenly, everyone from the Vampires to Volcano gods is suddenly attacking her.

The Mercy Thompson series is fun and entertaining. They are fast-paced and full of action that keeps the reader interested and has them coming back for more. When I started the series I felt that maybe it would start feeling repetitive with her getting into a trouble in every book and while I did get that feeling in the middle, the fact that the antagonists are easy to differentiate makes it better. Also the main characters continue to grow and we keep learning more about the other characters. The way these books are written also help make them more interesting, the writing is funny but not silly with a healthy dose of popular culture references (she had me at Korra and Aang) Her writing is also compelling making me anxious to get to the end. With series that have so many books in the series, the stakes can feel low but Briggs keeps that from happening. The characters might be immortal (excluding one or two) but then can still die and that keeps the reader from getting complacent.

I like Mercy, she is a good main protagonist, in that, she is strong and stubborn (typical PNR character traits) but what I like about her is that generally, she doesn’t go looking for trouble, it quite literally finds her. But once she is in the middle, she doesn’t back down. She fights for those she cares about and for the most part she can hold her own. Additionally, she isn’t afraid to call for help because she knows that she’s outmatched. Too many PNR heroines (and even YA for that matter) keep getting into trouble but never ask for help, which only makes matters worse. She also doesn’t apologise for her actions because she recognizes that when she is in a situation, she won’t be able to walk away. But she does everything possible to make sure that she can take care of herself.

Adam continues to be the nice guy. Their relationship was very refreshing because, for the most part, it was free of the usual melodrama. Adam is an Alpha but he doesn’t try to control Mercy. He is also very supportive of her and always lets her know that he loves her. Moreover, he is supportive of those in the pack who he knows are different. He repeatedly stands up for Warren till the rest of the pack backs down. He is fiercely protective and doesn’t hesitate to protect those he cares about. I also love his relationship with Jesse and I wish we had more scenes with their interaction.

Christie is Adam’s ex-wife and a despicable character. She was more annoying and unlikeable than the main antagonist and I wish that Adam or Mercy had put her in her place a lot sooner than they did. I don’t understand why Mercy didn’t act sooner when it was blatantly obvious that Christie was actively trying to make trouble between Mercy and Adam. And I couldn’t get why the other wolves didn’t see through Christie’s performances. Giving Christie to Guayota would have been beyond cruel to Guayota because she would have made his life a living hell as well.

Aurielle and Mary Jo were being deliberately dense and I did not appreciate that Adam didn’t put them in their respective places. Aurielle was hostile to Mercy through most of the book and all of it was unprovoked. I’m glad that at least Darryl had more sense. After all the trouble Christie caused and knowing that she thinks that werewolves are nothing but monsters parading as humans, how could these werewolves think that she is better than Mercy!

The pack is an integral part of the series and with each successive book, we learn a little bit more about the individual wolves. In Night Broken, Honey was a surprise. She is as different from Mercy as oil is from water but she supported her when Christie tried to cause trouble once again. Moreover, she recognized Christie for who she truly is and she stood up for Mercy and showed the rest of the pack that Mercy wasn’t weak. I liked her and would like to see more of her in the upcoming books. Warren is an absolute sweetheart and I like Kyle as well. Ben has grown on me and I like that he doesn’t take crap from anyone.

Another character that I really like is Stefan and it is obvious that he really cares for Mercy but I can’t understand why she continues to treat him the way she does. He has never done anything to hurt her and two times that he was in her head was to save her. He goes out of his way to protect her and she keeps treating him like he’s a horrible person who can’t be trusted. If anything, he has proven, time and again that he can be trusted. I wish she would pull her head out her ass and treat him better.

Night Broken was a fun installment to the series and I can’t wait for the next book to release. I like the characters and the plots have been varied enough that I am curious to see where the story and the characters eventually end up.

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Book I’m Looking for. Please Help!!!

Hey guys, I need some help. I’m looking for the name of a book I read sometime ago, I can’t remember its name or the name of the author. I don’t remember the characters’ names either (sorry) But i can tell you the story or the general gist:

There are two kingdoms, One has invaded and taken over the other. The King and Queen are murdered but the prince (who is a baby at the time) escapes with the help of a loyal guard. They escape and set up the resistance, waiting for the prince to grow up. There is also a magical device that used to protect the kingdom from invaders that has been missing. The resistance is searching for this device because it could help them win the war.

The main character is a girl. She is also part of the resistance and has been training to get the chance to venture out, to be of actual use to the resistance. She gets frustrated when she is told again and again that she’s not yet ready. She is also in love with the Prince but they have been best friends since they were children. She finally manages to go on a mission with a few other people.

She manages to obtain an important document and just manages to evade capture. I think that they’re camp is attacked by the invaders but after this I am unclear as what happens

In the end, we realise that this girl is the actual princess and the boy was a decoy. Her mother somehow imbued her with the powers of the magical device. She also gets captured and is put with the slaves. The other slaves are told not to help her and that helping her could also get them into trouble so most of the other slaves ignore her. One girl decides to help her because she hopes that the girl really could help them. The girl’s brother (or brothers) are not convinced and threaten her not to give their sister false hope.  She is abused by the captors and made to work without any food or water. A little boy tries to help her and the guards beat him to death. She tries to protect him and she brings him back to life with her magic.

I can’t believe I remember all that and still can’t remember the name

That’s all I can remember and I hope this is coherent enough. It is driving me nuts that I can’t remember the name of the book because I really enjoyed it and even now I can visualize certain scenes but can’t recall its name nor the name of the characters.

Please help!!!

Spotlight – Summer Queen (Fairy Queens #02) by Amber Argyle

I am a huge of Amber Argyle. I have loved pretty much all the books she has written so far and I was thrilled to receive an Advanced Reading Copy for Summer Queen from her, I love her writing and especially marvel at how she can write such compelling and human characters that are still kick-ass. They never fail to amaze me and I always find myself spellbound by her books. The universe she creates for her characters is so well realised and so amazingly detailed. It is a pleasure to read her books because I know that I will not be disappointed. She is absolutely amazing. I absolutely loved her earlier series; Witch Song and I am sure that the Fairy Queens series will be even better. So without further ado, let’s get started.

SummerQueenCoverSummer Queen by Amber Argyle:

Nelay never wanted to be queen.

Poised to become the most powerful priestess in Idara, Nelay doesn’t have time to become a pretty bauble for the king. She’s too busy saving her people from the invading army sweeping across her kingdom.

But in defeat after defeat, Nelay begins to realize a bigger power is at play than that wielded by mere mortals. Only she can stand between the cinders of her once-great nation and the vengeance of a goddess.

 

Excerpt:

Nelay slipped down alleys, went through a bar and out the back entrance, and twisted down two more blocks to make sure she hadn’t been followed. She climbed up a wall, using a windowsill and beams as steppingstones, before hopping onto a roof.

She crouched, staring at a man of the desert tribes. Though she’d contracted with him to smuggle her out of the city, she’d never met him. They had communicated only through her spies, so now she scrutinized the man who held her life in his hands. He wore the robes and headscarf similar to that of an Idaran, but in muted colors that blended in with the deserts. With his veil tied up, only a thin slit of his eyes showed.

The skin around those eyes crinkled in amusement when he saw Nelay. “So, this is the woman willing to pay a king’s ransom to slip behind enemy lines.”

“I don’t owe you an explanation, Rycus.” She didn’t want him to say anything that would give away her identity to any listening fairies.

He tugged his veil down under his chin, revealing a surprisingly young face, only a couple years older than her. His nose was a little on the big side, and his forehead reminded her of a shovel. But he had liquid eyes the color of sand at midnight and a nice smile, with brilliant white teeth against his dusky skin. This was the most renowned smuggler in two kingdoms?

“No,” he replied, “but we’ll be sharing close quarters for two months, so we might as well be friends.”

Nelay had enough experience with criminals to know they had their uses, but they were also incredibly unpredictable, and therefore dangerous. “I don’t need friends,” she said.

“Everyone needs friends.”

“If I’d known you were going to be this talkative, I would have picked someone else.”

Rycus grunted. “No you wouldn’t have. You wouldn’t have settled for less than the best.”

Nelay tossed him the bag of coins she’d received in exchange for two of her ceremonial rings. When the high priestess found out, she’d be furious, but Nelay would deal with that later. “We must hurry—the Immortals are nothing to be trifled with.”

Rycus pushed the bag into the folds of his robes without counting the money. He would receive the other half when he returned her and her family safely to Thanjavar. “You don’t have to come with us, you know,” he said.

Nelay snorted. He might have a reputation as a fair man, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t cross her—say, if the king offered more money. “I already told you. It’s not a place marked on a map.”

“I could figure it out,” Rycus replied.

“No offense, but I don’t trust you.”

He shrugged. “And afterward, you’re sure you wish to return? Whatever has you running away will still be here then.”

“That is not your problem.” She might be Suka’s favorite, but even the high priestess couldn’t overlook what she’d done. Nelay’s only hope was to stand in the public bethel and announce herself the next high priestess. Then she had to beat Suka in the game of fire, the winner of which would become the next high priestess. King Zatal wouldn’t dare touch Nelay then.

And if she failed . . . she shuddered. She’d have the wrath of a king and a high priestess to face.

“What are you running from?” Rycus questioned.

 

Summer Queen Buy Links

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Queen-Fairy-Queens-Book-ebook/dp/B00RO84KX4/ref=pd_sim_kstore_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=1K9AKJB79WHMCR044NY7

 

Summer Queen Goodreads Page

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17185326-summer-queen?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_b

 

Additonal Info:

Also please note that the first book in the series, Winter Queen will be available for .99 cents till today (sorry today is the last day so hurry up!) So click on the link and pick it up. I’ve read it and loved it, believe me, you will not be disappointed.

http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Queen-Fairy-Queens-Book-ebook/dp/B00CA9YWMG/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=128WCM0FABEN0MZDAY22

Witch Song is still free across all platforms.

http://www.amazon.com/Witch-Song-Amber-Argyle-ebook/dp/B00E8MFVG4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Also, the novella, Of Fire and Ash is available for free for the time being on the following links, make sure to read that as well, it will give you an inkling into the main character’s early life and the circumstances that led her to make the choices she did. Do note that the links will only work for a limited time so don’t wait too long.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/njooof0afhzuixi/Of%20Fire%20and%20Ash%20%281%29.mobi?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cs16eym5eo2ewet/Of%20Fire%20and%20Ash_ebook.epub?dl=0

About the Author:

Author pic, blue scarf Amber Argyle is the number-one bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and the Fairy Queen Series. Her books have been nominated for and won awards in addition to being translated into French and Indonesian.

Amber graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less crazy larger people.

To learn more about Amber, visit her blog at http://amberargyle.blogspot.com

Amber Argyle author page links

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amber-argyle

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=amber+argyle

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amber-Argyle/e/B004YE1BR4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Mail chimp: http://eepurl.com/l8fl1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amberargyle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amber-Argyle/165661500156934?ref=hl

Blog: http://www.amberargyle.blogspot.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/amberargyle/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4629065.Amber_Argyle

Argylers : https://www.facebook.com/groups/857943497557771/

 

There is also a giveaway of the book in question, Summer Queen, just participate in the rafflecopter to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Queen (Fairy Queens #02) by Amber Argyle Review

summer_queenThank you to Amber Argyle for the advanced reading copy.

Summer Queen is the second book in the Fairy Queens series by Amber Argyle. I am a huge fan of Argyle and she never disappoints and Summer Queen was no exception. I loved Winter Queen so I had high hopes for this book.

It took me some time to really get immersed into the narrative for once and I found it especially difficult in the beginning. But as with the rest of her books, I soon found myself getting completely caught up in the events and the numerous characters. Summer Queen is set against the Clans’ invasion of Idara. At its centre is Nelay, an acolyte in the temple of the Goddess of Fire, she is powerful and ambitious. The High Priestess plans for her to wed King Zatal, but Nelay does not share her excitement over this union. She escapes with the help of her friend, Jezzel and together with a few tribesmen, sets out to ensure her family’s safety. While traveling together, she begins to fall for their leader Rycus and the feeling is mutual. When they finally reach her home she is too late. While still at her home, she finds that the Clan forces have come further into Idara than she previously thought. She gets captured by some of the Clan soldiers but manages to escape them. Forced to make her way back to the Idaran city of Dalarta, she finds herself back in the clutches of the king. Not only that, she soon finds herself defending her city and her people against the Clans’ onslaught.

Summer Queen is a very well paced novel, it never drags but takes the time to establish all the key players. While most of the action is concentrated in the third half, there is plenty of action interspersed with character development and growth. The writing, as always, was completely immersive and engaging. Normally, I am a very quick reader but this was one of the rare instances where I could pace myself and savour this book. The stakes were certainly very high with the fate of the whole of Idara hanging in the balance.

In the Winter Queen, we were introduced to the Clans and for the most part, they were portrayed in the positive light. They were a decent people, not cruel and certainly used to a very hard life. In addition to their harsh living conditions, they also had to contend with the threat of Raiders looting and pillaging. In Summer Queen, we are given the Raiders i.e. the Idarans’ perspective and this time they are on the defensive with defeat looking like a very real possibility. There are instances of brutality on the Clans’ hands; killing unarmed people, children to name a few. They claimed that they were seeking vengeance for what the Raiders had done to them but in doing so, they had become what they hated without even realising it. They were so blinded by hate that they never stopped to question what they were doing. True, that the Idarans had conquered a lot of lands and imposed their own beliefs on them and hadn’t treated them well but the way things were going, one side was no different than the other.

Summer Queen was rich in characters as well, both in quantity and quality. Another thing that I really like about Argyle’s characters is just how realistic they are. Also, she doesn’t write characters that are outright evil or good (of course there are the odd exceptions.) This makes for complicated and compelling characters. A prime example of this is King Zatal. He could easily have been portrayed as a tyrant and perhaps he was, but there was more to him that just that. The readers along with Nelay come to respect him because he is brave, cares for his people and willing to sacrifice himself to save them.

Nelay was the protagonist and she was an excellent character. I loved her spirit and grit. I loved how capable she was and that she didn’t need men to protect her. Sure she got injured a number of times, but that didn’t diminish the fire inside her (no pun intended) Her entire life turned upside down in the space of a few days and instead of falling apart, she blossomed. She went from being an acolyte to becoming the Queen and responsible for the safety of her people and her kingdom. She was a natural leader and a brilliant tactician. When Clans had marched nearly to the palace gates, even then she tried to think of ways to outfox them and she very nearly did. As the Summer Queen, she was majestic and terrifying all at once. What was also notable was that she was ambitious. So often, when we come across ambitious female characters, they are portrayed in poor light or the author is constantly making excuses on their behalf, there was none of that. Her ambition was a strength and Nelay never apologised for it.

Side note: I actually liked Leto. She was kind and helped Ilyenna when she didn’t need to. She could have easily let her die but she didn’t. She also helped her stay with Rone. I was sad to see her go.

I loved Ilyenna and I was looking forward to seeing her in Summer Queen, I just never expected that she would almost be an antagonist. There are so many similarities between her and Nelay; they’ve both suffered losses and were willing to do anything to save their loved ones. For now they are mortal enemies and their war will rage for some time, but I am hoping that they can in time, see beyond their hatred for each other.

I love the love interests that Argyle writes. Yes, they are strong men and protective but they also recognise that the object of their affection is capable in her own right. Rycus was the smuggler Nelay hired to escape her marriage to the king. Their relationship was initially a little rocky but Rycus finally managed to wriggle under her skin. He was funny, charming and clever. He was loyal to his people and once he committed to Nelay, he didn’t hold back. He was a steady presence and I really liked him.

There is a love story in Summer Queen, after all, it is the Queen’s consort who helps her retain her humanity and compassion. But I love how subtle their love story was, it was present and very beautiful and sweet but it was also unobtrusive. It was an important part of the narrative but it never hindered the broader narrative.

Then there was Jezzel and she was just awesome. Nelay was very fortunate to have her as her friend. She was a staunch ally but also wasn’t afraid to tell Nelay what she needed to hear. She was strong and capable in her own right. She was also protective of Nelay and one of the few people who cared for her without any agenda whatsoever. She was also really funny. I loved her.

Then there were a number of secondary characters like Maran, Delir, Scand, Chinab, Bahar and Harrow, who though not very important, were memorable nonetheless. We saw Nelay’s brother, Panar again and he as insufferable as always. Seriously, he was more dislikeable than most of the antagonists. Then there was High Priestess Suka, and I found her fate very satisfying, she got what she deserved.

And how can I possibly forget the fairies? Was it just me or were the Summer fairies not very nice? They seemed manipulative and a touch cruel. With the likes of Siseth, I wasn’t surprised at Nelay’s unwillingness to be a part of their plan. But once again, there were many different kinds of fairies, each with their own distinct personalities.

Summer Queen was an exciting and riveting installment to the Fairy Queens series. With its rich narrative and complex characters, it was thoroughly entertaining and I loved it every minute of it. I can’t wait to read more about Ilyenna and Nelay’s journey.