Rise of the Fomori Prologue Sneak Peek

Check out this Sneak Peek of the Rise of the Fomori Prologue!

Prologue: Vision of the Past

“Ah, our esteemed leaders, come to check on us lowly wretches out here in the trenches.”

 “Watch your mouth, Bres,” Fand snapped.

 She flipped her long pale hair over her shoulder, sitting outside her tent on the mossy ground, one hand holding a stone, her sword laid out before her. Bres lingered near, next to a broad leafy tree, his shoulder-length hair pulled into a ponytail. His eyes, brown with an odd red tint, glazed over Fand. The knife in his hand carved back a layer on the small piece of wood he whittled.

Fand’s attention had been drawn to two men dressed in leather armor a short distance away, who had barely exited a large official tent and were deep in conversation. One man, tall and stiff, spoke with an unyielding intensity, a golem attached to his upper right bicep. The other, who stood with a more casual air, sported a red dragon. Their rich reddish-brown leather was smooth and polished. Fand ran a finger over her own cracking, dirt brown cuirass covering her front. 

“Oh yes,” Bres said, not glancing up from his whittling. His leather armor also appeared a little worn and was the same light brown color as Fand’s. “You wouldn’t want such favored guests to discover what it’s truly like out here. Keeping all those palace faeries safe so they can sit in their nice cushy position and act like they’re the honored heroes—Do you think they find it all that taxing? Come on Fand, you know you’re worth ten of them.”

The corners of Fand’s mouth twitched. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” She nodded toward the two men. “They are the Sons of Tempest.”

Bres paused and looked toward the men. “Are they now?”

She nodded. “Slayers of the demon horde at Mystic Rune. Victors over the great Vampiric Challenge and retrievers of the Glaive of Light from the Lair of the Dragons.”

Bres recovered. He studied Fand, who watched the newcomers. “Thought they’d be taller.”

Fand shook her head, setting the stone in her grasp aside as her lips curled upwards. “Still think I’m worth ten of them?”

“Easy to make a name for yourself when you carry extra protection,” he said, tapping his bare arms, “and have the right lineage.”

Her smile faded.

“We both know you are one of the best soldiers here,” he said. “But even if by some miracle you performed an act of valiance and bravery that got you into the king’s guard, there’d always be that separation. You’d always be that special case. There’d always be that doubt over whether you belonged there.”

Fand tore her gaze away from the two men, rubbing the skin of her own bare arms. “Who said I’d take a place among the king’s guard even if they offered it?”

He gave her a flat stare, and Fand matched his gaze with unflinching eyes.

“I hadn’t realized how much you enjoyed the constant battles and stench and death,” he said.

“Bres.”

“Or that the life expectancy of a faerie guarding the outer realm for all those cushy faeries is a fraction of what—”

“It is an honor to protect our realm. If not for us, chaos would reign.”

“Honor,” Bres spat. “This afternoon we are going up against a horde of faerie-eating ogres. Either they will slaughter us or we will slaughter them.” His jaw clenched once before adding, “I hear they have a dragon.”

Fand paled.

“Fand.” Both Fand and Bres turned at the sound of the new voice. A woman dressed in dark armor with three feathers notched in the shoulder stood several paces behind them. Her braid hung past her shoulder blades, the sides of her head shaven. “I wish to speak with you.”

Fand stood, picking her sword up off the ground and dropping it into the sheath on her belt. She and Bres bowed to the woman and the two women walked away together, leaving Bres staring after them.

“Since when are you spending time with that instigator?” the woman asked Fand.

“Bres? He’s harmless.”

“Hmm.” The woman didn’t appear convinced. They walked past tents and soldiers lounging about. Rocky stone peaks covered in gray forbidding clouds loomed over a deep forest beyond their camp.

“We’re going into battle. Lately, you have gotten a little reckless,” the woman said.

Fand stared straight ahead, an unyieldingness in her step. “I do what the situation warrants.”

“Like when you took on an entire flock of wyverns by yourself? You almost got torn to bits.” Her sharp tone didn’t mask the pride on the woman’s face.

Fand’s chin raised. “I was distracting them. The company was pinned down. I look out for my own.” 

“I know you do. You make me proud. But Fand, I see you like my own daughters.” She shook her head. “Maybe more than my own daughters, and this time—this time please watch out for yourself.”

“I will, Aunt Uaine.”

Fand glanced back at the Sons of Tempest talking, now farther away but still within her line of vision. Arius and Dramian. Without warning, a dragon appeared, large flapping wings spread out and rough red scales covered its body. The two men climbed onto the dragon and it took to the sky.

Fand sucked in a breath. “They’re leaving? They are not fighting with us?” 

Uaine followed her line of vision. “The Sons of Tempest? Did you expect them to? They have their own mission. We can handle things here.”

Discontentment crossed Fand’s face as she watched them soar away.

A messenger approached. “My Lady.” The faerie bowed. “The ogres are on the move. You are ordered to split your division into forward and rear segments and to move to the front, taking the foremost position by the left bank of the shining stream.”

“Tell General Corrigan it shall be done,” said Uaine.

The messenger bowed.

{BREAK}

As if on cue, fleshy creatures came down from the mountains, charging toward the faerie army. Fand’s shoulders tensed. They towered over the treetops. Feet pounded the earth and gigantic maces swung, tearing trees from their roots then launching them at the line of faeries. Dirt sprayed as a large tree crashed right in front of the lines where Fand stood. Like an electric current rushing through wire, a shock of nervous fear shot through the eyes of the faeries waiting. Several shifted in anxious anticipation.

Fand’s face grew grim as she watched the oncoming ogres.

 “You know this fight was wholly avoidable,” Bres said from beside her.

She gave him a look that clearly questioned his sanity.

“I speak the truth. Those ogres are only angry because we have restricted their territory.”

“We have been more than generous—”

“Generosity isn’t enough when you used to have the entire world to roam around. Not to mention, if we hadn’t given up our powers, this fight would be over in seconds. You know that’s true.”

Fand gripped her sword and turned on him. “That’s treason.”

But Bres pointed toward the oncoming foaming, roaring figures, maces and axes tossing trees aside like kindling.

“You can report me if we both survive,” he said, his face a shade of green.

Rise of the Fomori will be available May 30th! Preorder your copy today!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black Book Review

I really enjoyed the first book in the Folk of the Air series! The Cruel Prince is told from the perspective of Jude who is a human living in the land of Faerie. Cardan and his friends torment her but as she dives deeper into the world of Faerie she learns that Cardan may be the least of her worries.

It was a little difficult for me to get into the book at the beginning. Despite the cruel and action packed beginning, the one sentence chapter 2 and the excessive telling in some of the chapters after really put me off. Plus, I found some of Holly Black’s writing style a bit jarring in the way she would word things. However, as the story became more complex, I found myself getting more and more into it.

Her descriptions in the book are amazing and really draw you into the world. The world is complex and mixes modern and old classic style elements. Despite the rough start, Holly Black does a great job of drawing you into the story with her awesome descriptions and your curiosity of what is going to happen next. The pacing and suspense are very well done.

The characters are unique and distinct. Jude is tough and Prince Cardan isn’t as terrible as she always imagined. It was fun to see them begin to interact with each other and interesting to follow Jude through her tough choices.

I found this book to be a very compelling read and I can’t wait to read book 2! If you are into a dark fantasy story filled with bloodthirsty and dangerous faeries, then check out The Cruel Prince.

To check out more of Holly Black’s writing, click here.

Disillusioned by Roxanne McNeil Book Review

This stand alone fantasy romance was a fun read! As one who has always been a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I found this book had an enjoyable Jane Austen feel about it while adding the right mix of danger and magic to make it a quick and compelling read.

Lillian is a young woman who is a powerful sorceress. She has the power to bend light and make illusions. Dan is brought on as her proud, condescending protector. At first the two don’t get along, but as time passes their mutual attraction turns into a deep love.

The book is written from the point of view of both Lillian and Dan which I found worked really well for the book. The switch between viewpoints kept the book moving along. It was fun to see them grow closer together as a couple and come to appreciate each other’s strengths.

The one drawback that I sometimes had a hard time with was when Lillian would act a bit like a child or when Dan would get super overprotective in an unhealthy way. The romance was a bit formulaic. But I enjoyed how Lillian grew into her own powers and how eventually Dan came to see her as capable, even if it were a bit overstated at times.

This is not my style of book. Usually I enjoy a lot of action with some nice romance on the side but the cute relationship between Lillian and Dan was enjoyable and these were characters that I genuinely enjoyed getting to know. Again I think the Pride and Prejudice feel really hit it home for me. The magic and action on the side were a great bonus to make this feel like a nice well rounded fantasy romance. I felt like what the author did with Lillian’s powers was very clever, using her ability in new and refreshing ways that I hadn’t considered before.

Overall an entertaining read! If you are into reading clean fantasy romance with a regency era Pride and Prejudice feel, then check out Disillusioned by Roxanne McNeil!

Official Blurb:

An unwanted bodyguard, an underestimated sorceress, and their powerful, mutual dislike. 

Expecting to guard a powerful sorcerer, Dan Forell instead finds himself the unwanted bodyguard of a young sorceress, a pretty girl who could destroy his dreams of prestige in the army. If he wasn’t falling in love with her, he might hate her entirely.

When Lillian Loraine is pushed into accepting an irritable defender, one who clearly doesn’t want the job, her social life and happiness are threatened with utter collapse. She shouldn’t fall for him or trust him with the truth of her abilities, but his quiet intensity and devotion make her question her resolve.

As a foreign power works to annihilate the sorcerers protecting their homeland, Lillian and Dan must repel enemy attacks, overcome first impressions, and somehow convince each other that love is worth the risk of heartbreak.

Disillusioned is a sweet romance with fantasy elements for fans of Pride and Prejudice and fairy tale endings.

Other Information:

You can purchase a copy of Disillusioned on Amazon.

Follow Roxanne McNeil on her website, Instagram and Facebook.

The Spectra Unearthed by Christie Valentine Powell Book Review

This was a fun fantasy story about a Sprite named Keita and her friends who are fighting against the evil Stygian army. The Stygians have taken over the six kingdoms and Keita and her friends are some of the last remaining royalty in the land. In this first book in the series, they are in the Nome lands that have power over earth. The book has a nice complex world and the differences in the girls personalities and powers are well established and fun.

I think what I really enjoyed in this book was the girls relationships with each other. I loved seeing the way they interacted. Some of the dialogue also was very clever and well done and I enjoyed reading about their friendship. The pacing was pretty good with action coming at the right moments so that you don’t get bored. There were also some fun twists and turns in the book as well.

The thing that I found was the hardest part with this book was that often I would be reading and then all of a sudden I would be lost and have to go back and reread, sometimes several times, to see if I had missed something or to try to fully understand what had happened. Better transitions and checking for flow I feel would have alleviated that problem.

There also was a steep learning curve in this first book and most of the time the author did a really good job of keeping us on track and reminding at the right times. Sometimes the decisions the girls made didn’t make complete sense to me or a major goal suddenly shifted and I wasn’t aware of it.

The characters in this book were very enjoyable and the world felt unique and complex. I liked how each girl had a moment in the book to showcase their powers and the lessons learned in the book were often beautiful and poignant.

If you are into fantasy that includes a unique world with ATLA style division of nations, then check out The Spectra Unearthed!

Official Blurb:

Hiding kept exiled princess Keita Sage alive.

Her nature magic wasn’t enough to save her family or her home. She helps those worse off from behind the scenes, until a traitor hunts her down and a prisoner begs for assistance.

Defeating her enemies requires the unity of all six kingdoms, each with its own magical abilities. Finding representatives from some will be easy: Keita’s best friends would cross deserts for her. But to make her world safe again, she’ll have to accept the title she never wanted and the attention that comes with it.

Other Information:

Purchase a copy of The Spectra Unearthed on Amazon.

Follow Christie Valentine Powell on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.

Blood Numbers by CF Kreitzer Book Review

This book is a timely story about a dystopian society that is divided between Donors and Recipients. Aston lives in donor society where everyone is raised to one day donate their blood and to be judged by the number of antibodies they have. Recipients control all the money and resources and bids on the top donors. The recipients are sick from a illness that the donors are immune to. They need their blood to survive. Aston hates the idea of being forced to donate and being drugged into submission, even though she has higher numbers of antibodies than anyone has ever seen.

This futuristic story has a great and relatable protagonist and awesome connections to past. The secondary characters are well developed and the whole premise draws you into the story. The harsh world and moral questions that Aston faces feel real and complex. The choices that they make always come with a cost. The love triangle with Marcus, another donor who feels more alive to Aston than anyone she’s ever met, and Gannet, a kind but drugged donor technician, was meaningful to the story instead of just a gimmick to be done for YA books.

There’s great twists and turns in this story that keep the reader engaged. I can’t wait to read book 2!

If you are into dystopian societies that have meaningful love triangles and surprise twists, check out Blood Numbers!

Official Blurb:

There are only two kinds of people left on the earth: Donors and Recipients.

Sixteen-year-old Aston Vazeto hates the idea of selling her blood for money and is determined to be the first Donor in New World history to never donate.

But after a suspicious accident at her father’s power plant leaves her family diving deeper into poverty, Aston has no other choice except to enter the annual blood auctions, where Recipients bid on the richest blood. With the highest test results ever seen, Aston’s blood becomes the most sought-after in history, and will likely bring a large price at auctions.

Other Information:

Purchase a copy of Blood Numbers on Amazon.

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson Book Review

Mild Spoilers

In a dive into epic high fantasy, my husband and I finished reading Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War. I felt like this book has met my expectations for the fourth book in Brandon Sanderson’s series. I really wanted to see Kaladin’s arch resolve in this one, since it didn’t in the last one. I also enjoyed reading from Navani’s perspective and reading about her growth. I really didn’t want Dalinar to come in and save Navani when the tower is taken over by the enemy, and that didn’t happen. So that was super satisfying.

I was expecting a little bit more out of Shallan’s growth and for Adolin’s arch. In this book no victory comes without a cost or without qualifications, which is great. However, the qualifications tacked onto Shallan and Adolin, made their victories not as awesome as they could be, AND I was hoping to see their victory tie into some of what was going on at the tower more.

That being said, there was significant progress made there, so perhaps it is a minor nitpicking thing. Like I said, Kaladin and Navani’s archs were super satisfying. And the expansion of what is going on with the spren, including Dalinar’s pov, really added to that.

In this book, Brandon Sanderson expands his world to a cosmic level, not yet taking us off planet but discussing about how different worlds exist, that Wit is from a different planet (although that’s been suspected for a while) and that Odium has plans of cosmic proportions. I’m not quite sure, as a reader what I feel about this yet. I will have to wait to see how Brandon Sanderson builds it out from here, but a part of me was kind of sad. I liked the world and conflict on its own terms. I was ok with the humans coming from another planet to this one, but I was a little disappointed for the conflict to turn cosmic even though its been hinting at that since book 3. Whatever happens, I hope the main conflicts remains rooted in Roshar at least for the next book or two.

As always Brandon Sanderson’s world building is amazing if not a bit long winded at times in the description department. His character archs are awesome and the complexities he deals with are very well done. And even though his books are long, he does a great job of keeping your interest and building tension into a very satisfying resolution.

I keep using Brandon Sanderson’s stormlight archives books as examples in my writing group, even though I know I am the only one who has read all of them! Haha! Maybe because they are the only books I’ve been reading for a while, but I think there are writing concepts that he uses so well in his books that are demonstrative of certain writing aspects.

I look forward to reading book 5!

To check out more of Brandon Sanderson’s writing click Here.

Shifters and Secrets by RL Medina Book Review

This book was a fun story with a hard core latina female protagonist and some great complex side characters. The main character, Rose, has just lost her father and the beginning does a great job of drawing you into the story, and the complexities of the relationships within Rose’s family life. The cultural aspects of Rose’s life are weaved in expertly and add a refreshing feel to the genre.

The climax and the ending were action packed and exciting. The story line includes everything from a magic academy, and a mysterious backstory to witches, wereworlves, shifters and vampires. Rose is forced to attend the GRIMM academy against her will where she has to learn about how to defend earth from the ‘extraordinares’ who are magical creatures willing to attack humans. The book hints at a much expanded world with complex reasoning behind the current status quo where everything isn’t as good as it seems.

I really liked Javi and Grayson. I felt like they were well developed and complex side characters. Rose, I also liked although sometimes her attitude became a bit much. I’m hoping to see her really grow in the next book and hopefully do something badass. Like maybe save Grayson or something to justify her hard core attitude with some ability.

After the beginning, it felt like the pacing of the book slowed significantly. I would have preferred to be dropped into the setting and into the classes themselves so that I could really understand what it was like at GRIMM instead of being taken on a tour of the buildings and layout of the school.

This is a book with teens drinking, smoking and swearing. The romance is a slow burn which I liked, and starts out as a kind of a Pride and Prejudice feel. I’ll be interested to see how it develops in book 2.

This was a fun book! If you are looking for a book with an uncompromising protagonist, a magic academy, and a compellingly complex backstory, check out Shifters and Secrets by RL Medina!

Official Blurb:

Monsters. Magic. Family secrets.

After an attack by a shifter, Rose learns the truth of her parent’s past and her own dark destiny. She was promised to a notorious coven and now the witches are on the hunt. But they’re not the only ones laying claim to her. The only family she has left are GRIMMS—monster hunters—and they are determined to turn her into the perfect soldier.

Can Rose escape her fate or is already too late?

Shifters and Secrets is the first book of an upper YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal series set in the Inner World universe filled with lots of snark (sometimes swearing), all the supernatural and magical beings we love, and an enemies to lovers romance. 

Other Information:

You can purchase a copy of Shifters and Secrets at Amazon.

Follow RL Medina on her website, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

Book Review Policy

  • I review mainly YA fantasy/Sci-fi/dystopian novels (all subgenres included). I will also review MG and adult books in the same genres on occasion.
  • I review books that contain limited to no swearing, no erotic or sex scenes (off screen ok) and no gory descriptions of violence.
  • Although a rare occurrence when the above conditions are met, I reserve the right to not finish a book and not publish a review for any reason. I will contact you if your book has been previously selected and this happens.
  • I provide honest reviews that will include what I liked and did not like about a novel.
  • In order for your book to get noticed and a better chance at being selected, please provide the following information when submitting: Title of book, genre, a short blurb, link to your book/website, format the review copy will be available in (ebook or physical copy). In the subject line of your email, please put “Book Review Request.”
  • I will contact you via email if your book is selected to be reviewed. I leave reviews on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Send requests to jacurtisbooks@gmail.com
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Talismans by Lisa Lowell Book Review

Talismans is a clean adult high fantasy book that is the first in a series. Lisa Lowell back wrote her books to give the backstory to a lot of the characters from her earlier published books. This is the beginning of the story with Owailion and Raimi, who have been transported to the Land as adults without memories of their previous lives. The Land is being tended by dragons who, will soon go into a deep sleep and leave the Land to the humans. This Adam and Eve style story has explicit religious overtones and fun world building (literally) magic.

I really feel like Lisa Lowell did a great job of building her physical world. The descriptions were easy to picture and beautifully written, but not so overly done as to bog down the story. I was able to follow the location of things despite all the places (I am horrible at directions so this is saying a lot). I loved the dragons. They were fun and wise and added a distinct magical feel to the story.

I found the magic system to be a bit confusing since they seemed super powered, and then would randomly seem bound by rules. I would have liked a bit more foreshadowing of the rules of magic. Also, I was a little put off by the fact that Owailion would always dive into Raimi’s personal thoughts to figure out what was wrong with her without abandon, but I don’t remember Raimi ever once doing that to Owailion. It felt like a very one sided invasion of privacy in that sense.

I liked that Raimi came with insecurities that ended up playing into the themes of the overall story. It made the ending all the more poignant. Emotionally, I would have liked more of a balance between Raimi and Owailion to make them feel more equal. It was clear that Raimi had all the problems and Owailion was the man there to comfort and protect her. Although, this strangely served to make the ending a bit more satisfying.

The plot started out a bit slow, but the author notes this in her book description so that you are aware that is the case. It begins to pick up about halfway through, and gets more and more engaging from there. I feel like there were parts that were very cleverly done in how they find solutions to the ‘Name magic’ problems. (ie. using name magic to control people).

There were some grammatical mistakes. I am not one to notice a few grammatical mistakes, but there were enough in this book to trip me up a few times and have to stop and reread sentences.

As someone who is not a huge fan of fated stories, I found this one intriguing and well done. The dragons were fun, the climax intriguing, the ending poignant, and the descriptions beautiful. If you like religious based fantasy, then this would be a great book to check out!

Official Blub:

Rocked from his cave by explosions, Owailion emerges with profound amnesia and comes face to face with Mohan, an enormous, powerful dragon. Owailion becomes an apprentice to the dragons, gifted with magic and charged with protecting the land from destructive intruders. And he must do this alone. Soon, Owailion begins having mysterious visions – and discovers that the realm’s precious runestones have been stolen. The first of the Wise Ones novels, Talismans explores Owailion’s quest to recover the irreplaceable artifacts from demons and destroyers, as he learns that even limitless powers cannot change fate. Aided by a mysterious woman from his dreams and impeded by a deceitful sorcerer, will Owailion thwart the thief – and discover a way to bring the Wise Ones to power?

More Information:

Purchase a copy of Talismans Here.

*Available in Spanish

Listen to Talismans on Audible.

Follow Lisa Lowell at her websites: lisalowellbooks.com, magicintheland.com, https://magicinthelandlisalowell.wordpress.com

Robin’s Hood by Jacque Stevens Book Review

This is my first encounter with Jacque Stevens fairy tale retellings and I loved the story! This story is a gender-bent twist on the classic Robin Hood tale as Robin of Locksley has gone off to war and Marian is left at home to care for the estate and the nearby town. When Robin of Locksley fails to return from the crusades, the evil sheriff moves in and claims Marian’s land for himself, laying heavy burdens on the town in the form of taxes. To fight back, Marian dons Robin’s Hood and pretends to be Robin’s spirit come back from the dead.

I loved Marian and her willingness to help her people. This is a great story that is complex and deals with the gender roles of the period while at the same time presenting a heroine that is relatable and strong. I loved the gender-bent twist and the side characters were also very well done. These fun fairy tale retellings are a bit shorter and currently Robin’s Hood can be found only in the Enchanted Kingdom’s Anthology. Although I do believe Robin’s Hood will eventually be available for purchase on its own.

This review is only of Robin’s Hood and not the entire Enchanted Kingdom’s Anthology.

I can’t wait to find out what happens in book 2!

If you are into fun gender-bent fairy tale retellings with a relatable female protagonist, then check out Robin’s Hood by Jacque Stevens.

Official Blurb:

Who is the girl under Robin’s Hood?

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

More Information:

Purchase a copy of the Enchanted Kingdom’s Anthology Here.

Follow Jacque Stevens on her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, and Bookbub