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Friday Mini Reviews #13 - Assassin's' Gambit, Darkborn and The Hallowed Ones

Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby (Hearts and Thrones#1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
 Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.

Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
I can only say that I've been very lucky with my fantasy books lately. Not only Assassin's Gambit is exceptionally well written, it's unapologetic about the matters of sex, emotional trauma, and has one of the best no-nonsense, sensible approaches to relationships I've seen in a long time. Also, of course it helps that Vitala totally kicks ass! Read it, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
* * *
С огромным удовольствием читала дебютную фэнтэзи Эми Раби. Витала не только фантастически выписанная главная героиня-ассассин, она ещё к тому же совершенно прагматична в вопросах секса и отношений, а также их эмоциональных аспектов, что меня ну просто безумно порадовало. Реалистично, аккуратно и без особой драмы. Рекомендую любителям Сары Джей Маас.

Darkborn by Alison Sinclair (Darkborn Trilogy #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads

A new romantic fantasy of magic, manners, and espionage that is also a "fast-paced thriller" (Carol Berg).

For the Darkborn, sunlight kills. For the Lightborn, darkness is fatal. Living under a centuries-old curse, the Darkborn and the Lightborn share the city of Minhorne, coexisting in an uneasy equilibrium but never interacting. When Darkborn physician Balthasar Hearne finds a pregnant fugitive on his doorstep just before sunrise, he has no choice but to take her in. Tercelle Amberley's betrothed is a powerful Darkborn nobleman, but her illicit lover came to her through the daytime. When she gives birth to twin boys, they can see, something unheard of among the Darkborn. When men come for the boys, Balthasar is saved by the intervention of his Lightborn neighbor-and healed by the hands of his wife, Telmaine. Soon he finds himself drawn deeper into political intrigue and magical attacks, while Telmaine must confront a power she can no longer keep sheathed in gloves, a power she neither wants nor can control.

Amazon  US | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
 Great, atmospheric, neo-Victorian, slightly steampunkish fantasy with Dark and Light elves, wild magic, rigid morals, high society and plenty of dangerous intrigues. I dearly loved it, literally inhaled the book and will be reading more. Recommended to fans of G.W. Dahlquist.
* * *
Ещё одна офигительно атмосферная, немного стимпанковая, (нео-викториаская?) книга фэнтэзи. Какие-то эльфийские мотивы, высшее общество, заговоры, и в то же время дикая магия и строгие моральные нормы для аристократии. Безумно понравилось, буду читать дальше. Рекомендую любителям Гордона Далквиста.

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle (The Hallowed Ones #1)

won from Carolyn Crane

Synopsis from Goodreads

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
One of very few and fab dystopians I've read this year. This is not the first time I'm reading Laura Bickle, and it's not the first time I notice her very sensible approach to female sexuality without any extra drama involved. The characters leap from the pages, the atmosphere is extremely creepy, and the vampires are classically scary and bloodthirsty like in old Eastern European folk stories. There is absolutely nothing sexy about them, and this is exactly what this pretty gory horror story needs. For the fans of World War Z and The Immortal Rules.
* * *
Очень удачная дистопия с хорошей атмосферой классического фильма ужасов, кровавыми, леденящими души сценами и характерами, которые без труда оживают на страницах книги. Большой плюс - прагматический подход писательницы к женской сексуальности, что я не впервые вижу у Лауры Бикл и что мне безумно импонирует. Для любителей World War Z и The Immortal Rules.


Blodeuedd said...

I do wanna read the first one! :D

Melliane said...

I loved the laura bickle book and I'm so curious to read book 2!

Victoria S said...

All of these look great! :) Thanks for lovely reviews, as always.


Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Darkborn and The hallowed ones are high on my reading list :D

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Not heard of Darkborn before but it looks good!

kimbacaffeinate said...

I just finished book two and eep..cannot wait for your thoughts, I am so glad you loved this one too.

Heather Roddenberry said...

Hey Karina!! Long time:) So, I got The Hallowed Ones recently on sale at the Kindle store and I think I am going to read it over Halloween:) I love when the bad guys are truly BAD and horrible:)

Aurian said...

I want to read the second book, that sure sounds awesome. I do have the Hallowed Ones on my shelves.

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