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New Releases: July 2015 [Jul. 2nd, 2015|12:12 pm]
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And it's a new month, which means new DAW Books to drool over and devour! This month, we have new books from E.C. Blake, E.C. Ambrose, and Marshall Ryan Maresca, plus a paperback release from Joshua Palmatier. Here are the quick summaries and covers, as usual. Which ones are you dying to read!

****************

First up, the hardcover release of Faces by E.C. Blake, the third book in his Masks of Aygrima series.





The spellbinding third novel of The Masks of Aygrima is set in a land where people are forced to wear spell-imbued Masks that reveal any traitorous thoughts they have about their ruler, the Autarch.

Mara Holdfast is a young woman gifted with the ability to see and use all the colors of magic. Two other people share this talent: the Autarch, who draws upon the very life-force of his subjects to fuel his existence and retain his control over the kingdom; and the legendary Lady of Pain and Fire, the only person who has ever truly challenged the Autarch’s despotic reign.

After a devastating battle that takes a dreadful toll on both the rebel unMasked Army and the forces of Prince Chell, their ally from across the sea, Mara and her fellow survivors have no one to turn to for help but the Lady of Pain and Fire.

As the Lady leads them to her haven beyond the mountain borders of the kingdom, Mara feels that she has found the one person who truly understands her, a mentor who can teach her to control and use her power for the greater good. Together, they may be able to at last free Agryma from the Autarch’s rule.

Living within the Lady’s castle, cut off from her friends in the village far below, Mara immerses herself in her training. Still, she can’t entirely escape from hearing dark hints about the Lady, rumors that the Lady may, in her own way, be as ruthless as the Autarch himself.

Yet it is not until they begin their campaign against the Autarch that Mara discovers where the real danger lies. Driven by the Lady’s thirst for revenge, will Mara and all her friends fall victim in a duel to the death between two masters of magic?

****************

Next we have the paperback release of Elisha Rex by E.C. Ambrose, the third book in her Dark Apostle series.





Elisha Rex is the third book in the gritty, sharp historical fantasy series, The Dark Apostle.

Elisha was a skillful barber-surgeon, cutting hair and stitching wounds for poor peasants like himself in 14th century London. But that was before catastrophe ruined his family. Before he was falsely accused of murder, and sent to die in an unjust war. Before he discovered his exceptional potential for a singularly deadly magic, and was forced to embrace his gifts and end that war . . . by using his newfound abilities to kill the tyrannical king.

Elisha is no longer the lowly barber he was, but it is hard to tell exactly who he is now. The beautiful witch Brigit, his former mentor, claims him for the magi, all those who have grasped the secrets of affinity and knowledge to manipulate mind and matter, and who are persecuted for it. Duke Randall, the man who first rose against the mad King Hugh, has accepted him as a comrade and ally in the perilous schemes of the nobility. Somehow, he has even become a friend to Thomas, both the rightful king and, something rarer, a good man.

But he is still a regicide, and in order to solidify Thomas’s authority among the restive barons, he had to let the new king sentence him to a horrific public execution. With Thomas’s covert aid, Elisha faked his death and went into hiding, but the peasants of London are beginning to call it a martyrdom, as legends of Elisha’s spectacular “miracles” in the service of his country have spread. Yet Elisha is finally beginning to understand the dreadful power within him, and he has never felt less holy--or more terrified.

Because there is another force at work in the world, a shadowy cabal beyond the might of kings and nobles, that sees its opportunity in the chaos of war and political turmoil--and sees its mirror in Elisha’s indivisible connection with Death. For these necromancers, Elisha is the ultimate prize, and the perfect tool.

When the necromancers’ secret plans begin to bear black fruit, England teeters on the brink of a hellish anarchy that could make the previous war look like a pleasant memory, and it appears Elisha is the only man who can stop it. But if he steps forward and takes on the authority he is offered to save his nation once again, is he playing right into the mancers’ hands?

Why does it seem like his enemies are the ones most keen to call him Elisha Rex?

****************

Also new this month, a new book from Marshall Ryan Maresca, A Murder of Mages.





A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey--former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty--has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage--almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together--the ritual murder of a Circled mage--sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.

*****************

And finally, the paperback release of Joshua Palmatier's Shattering the Ley.





Erenthrall--sprawling city of light and magic, whose streets are packed with traders from a dozen lands and whose buildings and towers are grown and shaped in the space of a day.

At the heart of the city is the Nexus, the hub of a magical ley line system that powers Erenthrall. This ley line also links the city and the Baronial plains to rest of the continent and the world beyond. The Prime Wielders control the Nexus with secrecy and lies, but it is the Baron who controls the Wielders. The Baron also controls the rest of the Baronies through a web of brutal intimidation enforced by his bloodthirsty guardsmen and unnatural assassins.

When the rebel Kormanley seek to destroy the ley system and the Baron’s chokehold, two people find themselves caught in the chaos that sweeps through Erenthrall and threatens the entire world: Kara Tremain, a young Wielder coming into her power, who discovers the forbidden truth behind the magic that powers the ley lines; and Allan Garrett, a recruit in the Baron’s guard, who learns that the city holds more mysteries and more danger than he could possibly have imagined . . . and who holds a secret within himself that could mean Erenthrall’s destruction--or its salvation.

*******************

And those are the July releases from DAW Books! Go forth and plunder! And then return later this month and let us know what you thought of the books during their individual book discussions.
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Book Review: "Dragon * Princess" by S. Andrew Swann [Jun. 30th, 2015|08:54 am]
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Let's end the month with a book review!

This is the first book by S. Andrew Swann that I've read, continuing my attempt to read new-to-me authors this year. And it was a blast! Definitely a fun romp through fantasy tropes with a twist.





Premise: Frank Blackthorne is a not-so-great thief on the run after accidentally disrupting a virgin sacrifice to a Dark Lord. After rescuing the virgin, he finds himself in need of an escape from an entire kingdom. When a wizard approaches him with an offer to help save a princess from a dragon in exchange for the princess' hand in marriage, he's rightfully suspicious, but also out of options. Of course, the rescue goes horribly wrong and suddenly he finds himself trapped in the princess' body and deposited in the middle of nowhere. Now he has to find his way back, find the wizard, and hopefully get his own body back!

Again, this is intended to be a fun, glorious romp through all of the fantasy tropes you've grown to love and it's exactly that. The twist, of course, is the body swapping, which S. Andrew Swann handles wonderfully. The moment I started reading, I was caught up in the story and the adventure dragged me along and kept me interested, with likeable characters (a must for these types of books) and a plot that unravels and gets more complicated the more Frank finds out in his search for the wizard. The best part of the novel is that the plot hinges completely on the four major characters involved (princess, dragon, wizard, thief) and that each of those characters has their own story, their own motivations, and all of them are completely believable.

If you like fun, humorous fantasy, I'd definitely recommend this book (and its sequel, which I've already read). I'm now waiting impatiently for the third book in the series.
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Book Discussion: "Blood Red" by Mercedes Lackey [Jun. 18th, 2015|01:42 pm]
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The last book discussion for the June releases from DAW Books is for Blood Red by Mercedes Lackey, part of the Elemental Masters series. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: Rosamund grew up in a small cottage in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany, with her Earth Master teacher, a wise old woman. But when Rosa was ten years old, her teacher was attacked and brutally murdered by werewolves.

Luckily, Rosa escaped and found a new home with the Schwarzwald Foresters. Now years later, her adoptive Papa, the Hunt Master and an Earth Magician, has taught her to use her talents to protect herself and those under her care. Unlike most Earth Masters, Rosa is not a healer. Her path is to "cleanse" the Earth and defend the gentle fae from those evil beings who seek to harm them.

And so Rosa becomes the first woman Hunt Master and the scourge of evil creatures, with a deadly specialty in werewolves and other shapeshifters.

Rosa has been taught that there are three kinds of werewolves. There are those who transform themselves by use of dark magic. There are others who have been infected by the bite of the dark werewolves. Yet, there is a third kind: those who have been born with the ability to transform at will. Some insist that certain hereditary werewolves are benign. But Rosa has never encountered a benign werewolf! Nor could she imagine one.

That is, until Rosa meets a pair of Elemental Magicians from Hungary who have come looking for help. They suspect that there is a dread power responsible for a string of murders happening in the remote countryside of Transylvania, but they have no proof. Rosa agrees to help them, but there is a catch: one of the two men asking for aid is a hereditary werewolf.

Can she trust this Hungarian werewolf? Or is the Hunter destined to become the Hunted?
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Book Discussion: "The Birthgrave" by Tanith Lee [Jun. 16th, 2015|11:08 am]
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Time for the next book discussion for the June releases. This time we're looking at Tanith Lee's The Birthgrave, the first book in the re-release of Lee's novels, and the first book in her Birthgrave series. Who here has read it, either recently or back when it was originally released? What did you think, especially if you've reread it?





Cover Copy: Haunting and full of mythic depth, The Birthgrave is legendary author Tanith Lee's debut novel. This 40th anniversary edition celebrates the launch of her stunning career and features both the original introduction by Marion Zimmer Bradley and a new introduction by the author herself. Now a recognized master fantasist, Lee has won multiple awards for her craft, including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Horror.

A mysterious woman awakens in the heart of a dormant volcano. Shepherded into rebirth by a terrifying entity named Karrakaz, she has no memory of herself, but is offered a choice: remain in eternal darkness, or begin a cursed life above.

Emerging into a culturally devastated and brutal world, she embarks on a journey of discovery, despite the ruthless fate foretold by Karrakaz and the dark heritage she may be forced to accept. Inexplicably compelled to seek out a strange object she knows only as Jade, she could be anyone--mortal woman, demoness lover, fierce sorceress, last living heir to a long-gone race, or a goddess of destruction. She chooses to be all.

Rediscover Tanith Lee's realm of brilliant cruel beauty and seductive immortal ruins, of grand conquest, falling stars, and silver gods.
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Book Discussion: "From a High Tower" by Mercedes Lackey [Jun. 11th, 2015|11:45 am]
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Time for the next book discussion for June, the hardcover release of Mercedes Lackey's latest Elemental Masters series, From a High Tower. I know this is a popular series (one I should probably get started on reading, yes?), so who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: Giselle had lived the first fourteen years of her life safe and happy in an abandoned monastery tower. Her mother had told her that, as a young Air Master, she needed to be kept isolated during her potentially tumultuous adolescent years for the safety of herself and others. Mother knew about those things, for she was a powerful Earth Master.

When Mother was called away or had to go to town for supplies, Giselle was locked in her tower for days. Her favorite spot was her bedroom because it had four large windows and was filled with breezes and views of the lush German countryside; heaven for a growing Air Master.

Her sheltered life left her unprepared when a handsome young man appeared at the base of her tower. Giselle was instantly smitten. The only other men she'd seen were the magic-wielding Foresters of the Black Forest, who occasionally came to consult with Mother; men who were older and terribly serious. In two short days, the young stranger convinced Giselle to throw down a rope and help him climb up into her high bedchamber. But as soon as he entered her window, his demeanor changed. When the man tried to force himself upon her, Giselle was seized by terror and called the storm elementals: thunder and black clouds and lightning. She was saved by the appearance of Mother, who beat the man out the window he had climbed in--but this time without the help of the rope.

The following day, Mother called two Foresters to visit Giselle. The Foresters were Earth Masters whose job it was to cleanse the ancient forest of evil elementals. Over the next four years, they shared their fighting expertise to teach Giselle self-defense. Giselle became proficient with the knife, staff, club, and other specialized weapons, but her greatest talent was with the rifle. By the age of twenty, Giselle was an expert markswoman, rivaling anyone in her country. And after Mother suddenly died, it was this skill she used to survive.

Cutting her long hair, she masqueraded as a boy and entered shooting competitions, using the prize money to support herself. Despite her care, her talent caused a vicious guard captain to accuse her of avoiding military service. When she explained by admitting her true gender, she did not meet with sympathy, but a recurrence of the predatory behavior she had encountered as a teenager in her tower. Terrified, she called to her night-sylphs: "Take his breath!" But rather than the temporary unconsciousness Giselle intended, the captain died.

Haunted by the murder she had inadvertently committed, she fled and joined a traveling American Wild West Show touring the German countryside. She had read many Western novels, and she fit right in as the beautiful sharpshooter. Thus disguised, with the language help of her elements, she traveled as an American.

But she never forgot the first man who had assaulted her, and she could not find peace. When that stranger had fallen from her tower long ago, his body had never been found. In Giselle's heart, she was certain he was a magician and thus had survived the fall. Surely, it was only a matter of time before he found her and sought revenge. Would she be prepared to stand against his magic?
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Book Discussion: "Nova" by Margaret Fortune [Jun. 10th, 2015|03:41 pm]
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Our first book discussion for DAW Books' June releases is Nova by Margaret Fortune, a debut SF novel. The premise of this sounds exciting. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: *36:00:00*

The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.


Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.

Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time--literally--runs out.
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New Releases: June 2015 [May. 28th, 2015|10:40 am]
DAW Books Inc.

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It's time for new books from DAW! Here are the June releases for 2015, with new novels from Mercedes Lackey and Margaret Fortune, and the re-release of the first book in one of Tanith Lee's trilogies, especially poignant and relevant at this time. Here's a brief introduction to all of the new releases, with individual book discussions to come later in June! (This is being posted slightly early since I will be traveling during the first week of June.)

**********************

First up, the hardcover release of Mercedes Lackey's latest Elemental Masters book, From a High Tower, with a very short description up on the Penguin website.





From a High Tower is newest adventure in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, featuring a retelling of Rapunzel’s not-so-happily-ever-after ending.

************************

Next up, another hardcover, Nova, the debut novel from Margaret Fortune.





*36:00:00*

The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.


Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.

Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time--literally--runs out.

**********************

We have the paperback re-release of the first book in Tanith Lee's Birthgrave trilogy, The Birthgrave.





A mysterious woman awakens in the heart of a dormant volcano. She comes forth into a brutal ancient world transformed by genocidal pestilence, fierce beauty, and cultural devastation. She has no memory of herself, and she could be anyone--mortal woman, demoness lover, last living heir to a long-gone race, or a goddess of destruction. Compelled by the terrifying Karrakaz to search for the mysterious Jade that is the answer to her secret self, she embarks on a journey of timeless wonder.

Rediscover this realm of brilliant cruel beauty and seductive immortal ruins, of savage war and grand conquest, of falling stars and silver gods.

This 40th anniversary edition of legendary fantastist Tanith Lee’s debut novel includes its original introduction by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

***********************

And lastly, we have the paperback release of Mercedes Lackey's Blood Red, part of the Elemental Masters series.





Rosamund is an Earth Master in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany. Since the age of ten, she has lived with her teacher, the Hunt Master and Earth Magician of the Schwarzwald Foresters, a man she calls “Papa.” Her adoptive Papa rescued her after her original Earth Master teacher, an old woman who lived alone in a small cottage in the forest, was brutally murdered by werewolves. Rosa herself barely escaped, and this terrifying incident molded the course of her future.

For like her fellow Earth Masters of the Schwarzwald Lodge, Rosa is not a healer. Instead, her talents lead her on the more violent path of protection and defense--“cleansing” the Earth and protecting its gentle fae creatures from those evil beings who seek to do them harm.

And so Rosa becomes the first woman Hunt Master and the scourge of evil creatures, with a deadly specialty in werewolves and all shape­shifters.

While visiting with a Fire Master--a friend of her mentor from the Schwarzwald Lodge--Rosa meets a pair of Elemental Magicians from Hungary who have come looking for help. They suspect that there is a dark power responsible for a string of murders happening in the remote countryside of Transylvania, but they have no proof. Rosa agrees to help them, but there is a catch: one of the two men asking for aid is a hereditary werewolf.

Rosa has been taught that there are three kinds of werewolves. There are those, like the one that had murdered her teacher, who transform themselves by use of dark magic, and also those who have been infected by the bite of these magical werewolves--these poor victims have no control over their transforma­tive powers. Yet, there is a third kind: those who have been born with the ability to trans­form at will. Some insist that certain of these hereditary werewolves are benign. But Rosa has never encountered a benign werewolf!

Can she trust this Hungarian werewolf? Or is the Hunter destined to become the Hunted?

*********************

And those are the June new releases from DAW! Get thee to a bookstore and enjoy!
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Book Discussion: "The Dhulyn and Parno Novels, Volume 2" by Violette Malan [May. 28th, 2015|10:11 am]
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Time for the last book discussion for the May releases, the omnibus The Dhulyn and Parno Novels, Volume 2 by Violette Malan, which contains the third and fourth novels in the series, The Storm Witch and Path of the Sun. Who here has read them? What did you think?





Cover Copy: Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane are members of the Mercenary Guild, veterans of numerous battles and missions, and masters of martial arts. But more than that, Dhulyn and Parno are Partners, a Mercenary bond that can only be broken by death.

In The Storm Witch, Dhulyn and Parno have returned to their Mercenary House to clear themselves of accusations of kidnapping and murder. But before they can resolve these charges, old friends are taken hostage by the Long Ocean Nomads. As the pair reluctantly sets sail, Dhulyn is convinced they are journeying to Parno's death, which she has foreseen in numerous Visions as occurring in a drowning at sea. the destiny she has dreaded becomes all too real, when--roused by the magic of the Storm Witch, a powerful spirit from ages past who has taken possession of a young princess' body--the waters of the Long Ocean turn deadly. . . .

In Path of the Sun, Dhulyn and Parno escort the Princess of Arderon to her wedding with the Tarkin of Menoin--and are given a secret mission: find out what happened to two Brothers who were sent on assignment to Menoin a year ago, and who have disappeared. They soon suspect that the disappearance of the Mercenary Brothers is linked to a series of bizarre, ritualistic killings. Dhulyn and Parno track the killer into the Path of the Sun, an ancient labyrinth form which people rarely return. . . .
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Book Review: "Pocket Apocalypse" by Seanan McGuire [May. 21st, 2015|01:31 pm]
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This is the fourth book in Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series and the second in the series to focus on Alexander Price. It was an interesting book because it took us out of the US and to Australia, although I still think Verity Price is the stronger character in this series.





The premise: Shelby Tanner, Alexander's girlfriend, comes to Alexander to tell him that werewolves have popped up in Australia and her family needs his help, since he's dealt with werewolves before. Alexander overcomes his fear of the creatures from his previous experience and agrees to travel to Australia to help eradicate the disease, which manifests like rabies and is passed on by fluid contact, usually through bites. But once he arrives in Australia, he's uncertain about what might take him out first--the werewolves . . . or Shelby's family.

As usual, the writing is fluid and easy to read and the plot fairly light and straightforward. This series relies more on the characters and the situation to draw the reader in and hold them. Alexander Price is a fine character, although not as unique as Verity in her previous books. But unlike the last book, I felt that Alexander was his own character here, rather than just a male version of Verity (as I felt in the last book). I enjoyed this book more than Alexander's previous one. More focus was on Shelby's family here, and they were unique in their own ways. The sisters were far more entertaining than either Alexander or Shelby.

I did have some issues. One is an issue I have in many of Seanan McGuire's books: characters running off and doing things for no solid reason. In this case, Alexander, Shelby, and one of the sisters goes tearing off after another sister . . . and I'm not convinced that it was so urgent that all of them should have gone at that precise moment. There were more important things going on and at least one of them (Shelby or Alexander) should have stayed behind to deal with that. Having them all go wasn't quite realistic. There were a couple of other decisions in the course of the book similar to this that also didn't quite ring true. This always pushes me out of the enjoyment of the novel.

Another issue here is the Aeslin mice. I love them, they're fun, but they weren't used effectively here. At one point, early-ish in the novel, the mice say that they can sniff out the werewolves lair . . . and no one ever uses this fact. If they're hunting for the werewolves, why wouldn't they send the mice out to find out where they're hiding? It makes no sense not to use them, when they throw themselves into danger without a thought and do desperate unthinking things all the time.

In any case, the book was still fun. I wish that more had been done with the Australian cryptids, once that we wouldn't see here in the US, to make the story more unique. There were a few Australian faces, but did the werewolves really need to be in Australia? It would have been cool to have an Australian menace as the focus of the book. But now that we have the connection to Australia established, maybe this will pop up in a later book. For now, we'll have to wait for the next novel, which I believe is supposed to focus on Verity again.
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Book Discussion: "Shadows" by E.C. Blake [May. 21st, 2015|11:19 am]
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The next book discussion for the May releases from DAW Books is the paperback release of Shadows by E.C. Blake, the second book in the Masks of Aygrima series. Who here has read it? What did you think?





Cover Copy: In Masks, the first novel in The Masks of Aygrima, Mara Holdfast's life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch's Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: working with her father to make the Masks that must be worn by all adults--Masks imbued with a magic that would reveal any treasonous thought about the ruling Autarch. But when her own Mask cracked and fell to pieces during her masking ceremony, Mara was exiled from everything she one knew. Rescued by an underground rebel group known as the unMasked Army, Mara was recruited to their cause when she learned the shocking truth about the Autarch's reign. In a moment of crisis, Mara drew upon a volatile magical talent neither she nor her allies could understand or control.

In Shadows, Mara faces staggering new challenges as she struggles to master her terrifying, almost addictive ability to use all types of magic--and to rip magic from those around her to fuel her power.

When Chell, a young man from across the sea, is shipwrecked and washed ashore outside the rebels' hidden base, it signals the first contact in centuries with the world beyond the borders of the Autarchy of Aygrima. But whether Chell and his people will help the unMasked Army or betray them to the Autarch is very much in question. His arrival, and Mara's own need for answers that can only be found in the capital city of Tamita, sparks a covert mission to the seat of the Autarch's power. It is there that an act of unspeakable brutality tips Mara dangerously close to madness . . . and in the midst of a desperate and bloody battle, she discovers just how horrifying her power can be. . . .
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