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Fantasy Romance Review: The Shadow & The Sun by Monica Enderle Pierce

The Shadow & The Sun by Monica Enderle Pierce (Militess & Mage #1)


Egalley thanks to Stalking Fiction

Synopsis from Goodreads
Among the living or the dead, he’s never needed anything from anyone.

Shadow Mage Gethen is a powerful necromancer, keeper of the border between the living and the dead, and brother to the king of Besera. But with his dark powers failing and a vengeful entity attacking, Gethen should be happy when a formidable lady knight appears at his gates. He’s not. The price for her aid is steep—his allegiance in a war against his brother.

In battle or in bed, she’s never met a man she considered her match.

Militess Halina is undaunted by the threat of war between her country and neighboring Besera. She earned her titles by shedding blood and breaking bones. She uses her body to reward soldiers who serve her loyally, and to punish those who don’t. And Halina’s never met a man she couldn’t command or crush.

Until now.

Passion and power unexpectedly ignite when a blizzard traps Halina at Gethen's citadel. With the evil entity’s onslaughts rapidly deteriorating Gethen’s sorcery, they have little time to understand their unexpected attraction. But could their passion be the key to defeating an ancient enemy that’s hell-bent on obliterating their world?


Amazon kindle US/UK

7/10

* * *
I haven't read anything else by Monica Enderle Pierce yet, but I certainly will. This is a solid book. Good world-building, interesting characters, and it just ended when the plot found its footing which is why I gave it a lower rating than expected. It just needed a bit more pizzazz. *grins*



Gethen and Halina are strong characters on their own. He is a shadow mage who refused the path forced onto him by his predecessor. He doesn't kill to infuse his magic, instead he borrows energy. Which is why he is in the middle of transition from a shadow mage to a sun mage, when the dark force rises.

Halina is a formidable warrior with an older brother who is embarrassed of her behavior but still loves her, and an unfeeling father who just dreams to marry her off with the utmost profit, so no matter what she does, she is expendable. An outcast.

When these two are  thrown together, there is a lot of mistrust. Gethen can't make her understand why he won't help her father fight against his own brother, and Halina doesn't believe in his story about his powers failing him. I also had a minor gripe about Halina "using her body" to get what she wants. She might think she does, but she doesn't act they way she describes herself. She takes men to bed, but it's no different from men in her army taking women to bed - for companionship, for stress relief, for fun. She doesn't behave like a cold, manipulative woman. This is more of usual male/societal bullshit with slut shaming leaking through heroine's perception of herself. You are a badass warrior, girl! Own it!

Despite liking Gethen and Halina, I felt like they needed more spark between them, more brightness. While you feel the underlying potential, this is a tentative novel. I am hoping for more oomph in the next installment. Recommended for the fans of Grace Draven, Jeffe Kennedy and Amy Raby, a nice read with a lovely cover.

* * *
Я больше ничего от Моники Эндерле Пирс ещё не читала, но буду. Это совсем неплохая книга. Хорошее построение мира, интересные характеры, и хотя книга закончилась как раз когда она наконец стала набирать темп, потенциал было видно. Ей просто не хватало дерзости, чтобы призвести на читателя более сильное впечатление.

Гетэн и Халина - сильные герои в своем праве. Он - теневой маг, отказавшийся следовать пути, на который его пытался насильно вывести его предшественник, и вместо жертвоприношений и страданий живых существ, его магия питается энергией, одолженной у зверей, которые отдают её добровольно. Из-за своего необычного пути, Гетэн постепенно превращается в солнечного мага, и в этом переходе, когда его магия практически не работает, ему приходится сражаться с порождением тьмы, пытающимся вырваться в наш мир.

Халина - талантливый воин и генерал армии, со старшим братом, который хоть и любит её, но пытается вернуть её на более традиционно женскую роль, так как ему за неё стыдно. Её отец - король, использует её таланты, однако постоянно пытается выдать её замуж с наибольшими для королевства преимуществами.

Когда Гетэн и Халина вынуждены проводить время вместе, меежду ними много напряжения и недоверия. Она пытается нажать на него, чтобы он принял сторону её отца и начал работать против собственного брата - короля соседнего королевства. Халина также не верит, что Гетэн лишён своих магических сил, и ему нужна её защита. Только атака тёмных сил заставляет её оказать ему помощь.

Не могу не пожаловаться на то, что хоть и в синопсисе указано, что Халина "использует своё тело" чтобы манипулировать мужчинами, всё это какая-то шовинистская чушь. Она ведёт себя также как её собратья в армии. Она использует секс чтобы скрасить одиночество, избавиться от стресса, да и просто для забавы. Но почему-то её восприятие самой себя в этом плане совершенно негативно и окрашенно осуждением. Гёрлфренд, ты - офигительный воин! Веди себя под стать своиму таланту! Нечего оправдываться!

В общем, хоть и неплохая книга, отношения между Гетэном и Халиной очень робкие, нерешительные. Хотелось больше яркости, дерзости, юмора. Надеюсь, мы получим это в книге следующей. Рекомендую фанатам Грэйс Дрэйвен, Джефф Кеннеди и Эми Раби.
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