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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Fairs' Point - Melissa Scott (Astreiant #️⃣4)


  • Author: Melissa Scott 
  • Editions: Paperback, E-book 
  • Publisher: Lethe Press 
  • Stars: 4.75 / 5 


Mystery / Fantasy

During Dog Moon, the chief entertainment in the great city of Astreiant, for nobles and commons alike, is the basket-terrier races at New Fair. This year, with spectacularly bad timing, the massive and suspicious bankruptcy of a young nobleman has convulsed the city, leading to suicides, widespread loss of employment, and inconvenient new laws around the universal practice of betting on the races. As well, a rash of mysterious burglaries seems to suggest a magistical conspiracy.

Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is naturally in the midst of all these disturbances—as is his lover, foreign former mercenary Philip Eslingen. When Eslingen receives a basket-terrier puppy in the redistribution of the bankrupt’s household goods, he makes the best of it by having the pup trained for the races, an action that draws him and Rathe deeper into the coils of a mystery somehow involving New Fair’s dog races, bookies and bettors, the bankruptcy and its causes and fallout, burglaries, and a new uncanny form of murder. 


Review 

This series just keeps getting better and better, as with each book we learn about our characters a little more. I still adore Nico and Philip as they settle into being Leman's and living together. these tales Point Of Hope (1995), Point Of Dreams (2001), Point Of Knives (2012) and now Fairs' Point (2014) are all set in the city of Astriant, which to me has many similarities to Renaissance England but I have heard that it is modelled off the Italian Renaissance and especially Venice? This world is built around star consultations, where astrological predictions make the lives of everyone in this world, isn't that an amazing idea?! And the best part magic is real and women are the dominant sex. 

The main characters Nicholas Rathe and Philip Eslingen continue to be wonderful and thoughtful characters as their relationship depends and strengthens in spite of the continued tension over Eslingen's career choices. The Royal Guard are looking at creating a regiment in the city and want Philip to be their captain, however Rathe believes the guard will take the Pointsman's power away from them. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book of this series which is Point Of Sighs, how will the guard affect the points? And what does Scott mean by 'we see just how bad Philips stars are for water..." :0 I hope the book comes out soon as I am itching to read more about Nicholas and Philip. This book had some really touching quotes which I loved! 

"They usually spent the night apart, though in the morning they woke twined more often than not, as though in sleep their bodies sought each other.in wine and dream comes truth: the old proverb slipped through his mind unbidden."

If you enjoyed the other books in the Astriant series you wont be disappointed with this one. It was brilliant.

Song Of The Navigator - Astrid Amara


  • Author: Astrid Amara 
  • Editions: Paperback, E-Book 
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing 
  • Stars: 5/5 


Science Fiction/ Space/ Dystopia


Worst Possible Birthday: Being sold into slavery by none other than your lover.

Tover Duke’s rare ability to move anything instantly across light-years of space makes him a powerful, valuable asset to the Harmony Corporation, and a rock star among the people of the colonies. His life is luxurious. Safe. Routine.

He has his pick of casual hookups passing through Dadelus-Kaku Station. His one brush with danger of any kind—the only bright spot in his otherwise boring life—is Cruz Arcadio, a dark-haired, hard-bodied engineer whose physical prowess hints he’s something much more.

When a terrorist abducts Tover, hurling him into a world of torture, exploitation and betrayal, it’s with shattering disbelief that he realizes his kidnapper is none other than Cruz. As Tover struggles to find the courage to escape his bondage, he begins to understand the only way to free his body, his mind—and his heart—is to trust the one man who showed him that everything about his once-perfect life was a lie.


Review 

Astrid Amara is one of my favourite authors after falling in love with her work after reading Archer's Heat and The Devil Lancer. Therefore I knew I would love this book and pre-ordered it months ago. This book reminded me a lot of Line and Orbit which I also demolished in a day and adored! 
Song Of A Navigator was simply perfect for me and I'm devastated that I finished it so quickly. I bought it in paperback as a) I wanted to re read it and b) it deserved it. 

Written solely from Tover's point of view I was hooked almost from the first sentence and fell i love with Tover's character quickly and easily there was an inner strength that shone through for me throughout his ordeal. Throughout this book he learns to start thinking for himself and to not be so ignorant of the world around him. Tovers character growth is not fast and certainly does not happen over night but gradually over the course of the novel. He also doesn't immediately accept Cruz's cause out of love. Cruz challenges Tover's view of the world and makes him see himself as more than a commodity and worth more than what he can do and I loved this aspect of the book as Tover learns to see himself in a different way. 

For me this book was simply incredible and I loved the characters and the setting, but most of all the love story between Cruz and Tover as it struggles and then comes through in the end. 
When I finished the book, much to quickly I must add, I was engulfed by a feeling of satisfaction and didn't want to start another story just so I could bathe in the after glow of this amazing novel. 

This book clearly deserves 5 stars and a recommendation to anyone who enjoys Amara's work and also to anyone who loves reading book that don't leave you easily ;)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Point of Dreams - Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett

Author: Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett 
Editions: Paperback (fs ed. 2001), Paperback (sd ed.  2013), 
E-Book
Publisher: Tor Publishings and Lethe Press 
Stars: 4.5/5 

Mystery/ Classic Fantasy/ High Fantasy

The citizens of Astreiant have become obssessed by a new play, The Drowned Island, a lurid farrago of melodrama and innuendo. Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is not amused, however, at a real dead body found on the stage and must investigate. A string of murders follows, perhaps related to the politically important masque that is to play on that same stage. Rathe must once again call on the help of his soldier lover, Philip Eslingen, whose knowledge of actors and the stage blends well with Rathe’s own hard-won experience of human greed and magical mayhem.

Their task is complicated by the season, for it is the time of year when the spirits of the dead haunt the city and influence everyone, and also by the change in their relationship when the loss of Philip’s job forces him to move in with Nicolas. Mystery, political intrigue, magic, and romance—on and off stage—fill the pages of this Lambda Literary Award-winning novel.


Review 

I think I preferred this book to the first one, which was brilliant don't get me wrong. I just love Nico and Philp being lemen together it makes me so happy. And I adore how Scott and Barnett write their relationship, it is there, but also so subtle making the moments of tenderness more heart moving and wonderful. 
I really want all my books to be set in this world, where everyone is bisexual and it doesn't matter. Nico and Philip are lemen and its just the perfect setting for a story that is driven my a crime and murder. Before finding Astreiant I read Scott's Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey series and adored the books but I think Point Of Dreams even tops those series I just loved the suspense and the angst that comes with loving someone. Nico is completely besotted and in love with Philip but finds it hard to admit it to himself which I find adorable! 

Point Of Drams starts quite soon after Points Of Knives, where Nico has been promoted to Adjasent Point of Dreams and Philip is working as Master of Swords in a play that is causing quite a few unusual deaths. This book still has the astrology aspect as the lives of these people run on the stars but now the language of flowers is bought in, as the murders seem to be linked to them. On of the things that I lobe about this series is that we get to explore the whole world not just the normal people. Rathe has some powerful friends and knows how to interact with people with money and people without. 

I saw a review that described this book as feeling like "  dark chocolate syrup, rich, bittersweet, and luxurious." and I thought it sued up the way this book moves at a leisurely pace through the tale and has an  Italian Renaissance feel  and the stylized social structure is fascinating. 

What I enjoyed the most was the society is Matriarchal  which was refreshing as all the high up jobs were run by women and it really got me thinking how Particle our society still is today as I found it difficult to wrap my head around a Matriarchal society.
I almost forgot about the ghosts, a part of this tale I really enjoyed as we delved into the people that have stuck around our heroes the people who can't seem to let go and I wish we has seen more of Philip's ghosts because of war and the friends he must have lost. I want to know more about Philips past and how he feels now he is away from the regiment.

This is a 5 star novel for me and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery/ thriller/ fantasy. I mean really what more could you want

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Shadow Magic (Havemercy 2) - Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett


  • Author: Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
  • Editions: Paperback, Mass Market Paperback (2010)
  • Publisher: Spector 
  • Stars: 4/5
Classic Fantasy / Steampunk/ Magic 


Led to victory by its magic-fueled Dragon Corps, Volstov has sent a delegation to its conquered neighbors to work out the long-awaited terms of peace. Among those in the party are the decorated war hero General Alcibiades and the formerly exiled magician Caius Greylace. But even this mismatched pair can’t help but notice that their defeated enemies aren’t being very cooperative. The hidden truth is that the new emperor is harboring a treacherous secret—and once it is revealed, Alcibiades and Caius may be powerless to stop it. 

With their only ally an exiled prince now fleeing his brother’s assassins, the countryside rife with terror, and Alcibiades and Caius all but prisoners, it will take the most powerful kind of magic to heal the rift between two strife-worn lands and unite two peoples against a common enemy: shadow magic.

Review 
How is this book under M/M romance or even GLBT? There is no romance in this novel. Yes there is the build up of will they won't they but then no reward! ?? Hanet wrote on Goodreads that she felt like the entire story was composed exclusively so that fan fiction could be written about it later and I completely agree ,I want to go and write my ending where we get to see Casius and Alcibiades living together on the farm (and don't worry thats no spoiler because it doesn't happen.) I really wanted these two to be together and this is what kept my noise glued to the book as I devoured it, and I did devour it, and I did enjoy it, I just feel a little led on and felt like I deserved a more rewarding ending. An ending which the books genre promised me. 

What I did love about Shadow Magic was that we got to explore more of the Ken-Han empire which is so much like ancient Japan, and I loved it. I loved the customs and the acts of honour, and I could almost see it as being adapted into an anime, which I would love. This tale is relationship driven rather than plot driven but don't get me wrong, this is a positive note and the plot flowed well too, almost better than Havemercy. However with the sexual tension building up between Casius and Alcibiades, and Mamoru and Kouje I felt I didn't get what the book promised me. Even though I love the scenery and the world building I do not think I will be carrying on with this series. I think I will by leaving  the series on a  high note rather than struggling with the next to books in this series.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Point Of Hopes

  • Author: Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett
  • Editions: 2nd Edition (2012 paperback) 
  • Publisher: Lethe Press 2012 
  • Stars: 4/5 
Thriller/ Mystery/ Fantasy 


Nicolas Rathe is a pointsman, a dedicated watchman in the great city of Astreiant. During the annual trade fair, with a city filled with travelers and merchants, someone is stealing children. The populace is getting angry and frightened and convinced that a foreigner must be to blame. Rathe calls on the aid of both an out-of-work soldier, the handsome Philip Eslingen, and the necromancer Istre b'Estorr. The art of astrology is a very real power in the kingdom and plays as much a role in politics as greed and intrigue. Rathe finds himself struggling to find the children before a major astrological event brings about catastrophe. The first in a series of fantasy novels filled with adventure, intrigue and gay romance.

Review 

What I loved about this book was that everyone was bisexual, but in a very subtle way, and I thought this was brilliant. Melissa Scott has always been a writer I admire as I devoured her book Death by Silver and A Death at the Dionysus Club. And Point Of Hopes is very much like these two books in its mystery and writing style. In a lesser writer the book may have been seen as dull and slow, however Scott and Barnett somehow drag you in and keep you hooked with the brilliant world they have created, and their brilliant charismatic characters.
 
The Kingdom of Chenedolle is much like Renaissance London in my mind, as the world is ruled by a childless queen, whose time on the throne is coming to an end and she must choice an heir. To me this sounds a lot like Queen Elizabeth the first, who was also unmarried and childless. This world Scott has created is fascinating and packed with detail so that nothing seems different from our world, although you are reading High Fantasy. The world is easy to follow and keep up with the laws of the universe. Chenedolle is under two suns the true sun and the winter sun, and is a place where astrological predictions govern nearly every aspect of everyday life.