Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The hills have spies by Mercedes Lackey

From the time they were little children Perry, Abi and Trey have been raised to keep their wits about them, keep themselves safe, and figure out how to escape if they happen to be captured.  Normal children might find the training and testing tiresome, but when your parents are both Heralds and you have grown up with the Royal children as playmates you are anything but normal.  Life in the palace complex is interesting and challenging, with classes and training, but Perry is very aware that he has not been Chosen - and so are his parents.  Despite his strong gift for animal mindspeech, Perry has not attracted the attention of any of the Companions, and with two of the Royal children Chosen it is becoming clearer that he may never be.  

On one hand Perry is okay with not being Chosen as he has other options, but on the other hand he has been raised to be a Herald and everyone expects him to follow in the footsteps of his parents.  When Mags is asked to investigate some mysterious disappearances near the Pelagirs it seems like the perfect opportunity for Mags and Perry to spend some time together alone and to work on skills that Perry will need if he is a Herald.  Disguised as a merchant trader and his son, Mags and Perry start the journey uncertain of what they will find.  It seems like something of a fools errand at first, the nebulous worries of a retired Herald with too much time on his hands, but it soon becomes clear that there is indeed something strange going on.

Someone, or something, is taking the people that no one will miss and spiriting them away.  With the help of some new strange and unexpected allies, Mags and Perry investigate, putting their own lives at risk to get to the bottom of the mystery.  With part of the conspiracy uncovered Mags must report back to the King, but Perry is determined to act, even if it means going against his fathers wishes.  It's a race against time to find the answer to the mystery, and by putting himself in harms way Perry may solve the mystery, but he risks disappearing like the other victims.  Mags has been preparing Perry for his future, but with the future upon him can he cut the apron strings and let Perry tackle the problem on his own?

One of the most startling things about reading The hills have spies is that the dust jacket description of the book and the contents of the book don't match - in any way - apart from the fact the story is about Mags and his family.  Once you get over that fact and get involved with the story it is a thoroughly engaging story that brings us back into the lives of some very familiar characters, while also introducing the next generation.  Perry and his siblings are what you would expect from children of Heralds, they are strong of character, care for the people around them, and in Perry's case have a powerful gift of animal mindspeech.  Perry is a great character and very quickly won me over, particularly because he wasn't perfect in the way that some of the other characters are/were.  The story was well paced, has lots of little interesting twists and moments that make it feel like a real quest, and you get an ending that is satisfying without being too pat and perfect.  

A very enjoyable addition to the Valdemar universe and now comes the wait for the next book in the series to see where it goes next!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

Monday, June 4, 2018

Lost Creed by Alex Kava

Lost Creed is the fourth book in the Ryder Creed series, and while it can be read as a stand alone novel I highly recommend reading the series in order starting with Breaking CreedSilent Creed and Reckless Creed otherwise this review contains ***SPOILERS***.

For years, Ryder Creed has been driven to help find the lost - his passion driven by the loss of his sister more than a decade earlier, a pain that has never healed and never gone away.  Training search and rescue dogs lets him give the rescue dogs he finds, or that are abandoned on his property, a new life and purpose to help people in need.  Not everyone in search and rescue knows the pain of that loss, the pain of never knowing what has happened to a loved one, the pain of not being able to bury someone you loved and lost - but Ryder Creed does, because they never found his sister Brodie.

Nearly sixteen years to the day since she disappeared, FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell makes an unexpected discovery - a clue about what might have happened to Brodie all those years.  Despite being exhausted after a grueling search and rescue with Bolo, nothing is going to stop Ryder from getting involved with the case - even though being involved will open up old wounds and bring him face-to-face with the past he has worked so hard to distance himself from, and the one person who lost just as much as he did.  No case is every straight forward though, especially when you are dealing with a cunning and manipulative criminal who wants to make sure the truth never sees the light of day.

Lost Creed is the latest book in the Ryder Creed series, and with each book I fall more in love with the characters and the dogs that fill his life.  Ryder is impulsive, driven, and not afraid to go after what he wants - even when it lands him in trouble.  The people around him are battling their own demons, making their own mistakes, and finding their own salvation.  The dogs are all bright and individual characters, holding their own in a world that is complicated and messy, little beacons of hope that keep the story moving and keep you wanting and hoping for more.  

Hopefully we don't have to wait too long for the next book in the series!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

Friday, June 1, 2018

A court of frost and starlight by Sarah J. Maas

While you can read A court of frost and starlight as a stand alone novella I highly recommend reading it after you have read the trilogy that starts with A court of thorns and roses.  There are ***SPOILERS*** in this review and in A court of frost and starlight if you have not read the rest of the series.

Winter Solstice is a time for family and friends, a time to remember and a time to celebrate.  For Feyre, it is her first Winter Solstice as High Lady of the Night Court, and her twenty first birthday.  It is supposed to be a time of celebration and joy, but it is hard to celebrate when everything seems so fragile and ready to fall apart.  The once beautiful and peaceful city of Velaris bears the scars of the war that threatened to tear their world apart, and there are people who are just as scarred as the buildings around them.  

The war has left Freyja, Rhys and their family battered, bruised, and scarred - and some members of their family are changed for ever by what happened during the war.  For Freyja the changes are no less great, not only was she Changed into Fae, so were her two sisters.  The shock of the change is bad enough, as being Fae is so much MORE than being human, but it is all the other changes that make it hard for them to bear too.  The loss of their humanity is bad enough, but now Nesta and Elain have to deal with being Fae and what it means to be Fae - Mates and all.  Will Freyja, Rhys and their family make it through this Winter Solstice in one piece?  And will they be able to find the peace they all seek?

I have been looking forward to reading A court of frost and starlight for months, and I was not disappointed one bit.  Once again Sarah J. Maas has taken us into the city of Velaris and the lives of the people who live there - people we have come to care about a great deal as they have planned, plotted, fought, and survived.  As well as being a great read, this is also a very good story for bridging the gap between the series, and giving you more story without being another epic and exhausting read.  Highly recommend reading A court of frost and starlight as it focuses on the humanity of surviving a war - and that sometimes just because you survive the war doesn't mean you aren't scarred by what happened.

If you like this book then try:
  • A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Arrows of the queen by Mercedes Lackey
  • Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
  • The Fire rose by Mercedes Lackey
  • Home from the sea by Mercedes Lackey
  • Reserved for the cat by Mercedes Lackey
  • Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey
  • Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
  • From a high tower by Mercedes Lackey
  • Deerskin by Robin McKinley
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Rose daughter by Robin McKinley
  • Spindle's end by Robin McKinley
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Reviewed by Brilla