Romance, rodents, and witchcraft, oh my!


Radiance (Wraith Kings #1), Grace Draven.

I love, love, love this book! And the cover–so perfect! It’s a sexy romantic thriller about two people who wed for political purposes. Brishen is a prince of Kai, a race of dark-skinned, sharp-toothed, white-eyed (no pupils) people who flourish in the dark and considers all humans ugly. Ildiko is a noblewoman whose value to the king of Gauri rests in her ability to make a strategic marriage, even if it’s to someone humans consider monsters. It sounds like your typical “opposites attract” trope, but Draven has created two wonderful characters and completely pulls you into the story of how they come to respect and love each other. NOTE: includes fairly graphic sexual scenes. First of a duology.

Redwall, Brian Jacques.

Like The Nightshade Chronicles by Hilary Wagner, this is another wonderful book that features a heroic mouse. Jacques’s book tells the tale of peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey, who must defend themselves against an army of rats. They need the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior to win, a forgotten weapon that falls into the hands of a bumbling young apprentice, Matthias. Great adventure, a bit simplistic in how it presents characters, but still endearing and fun. First of a series.

Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin.

Yes, I’m going way back for this one, but it’s a classic for a reason. Levin is a master at creating a seemingly ordinary world that simmers with tension. The story follows Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, who move into a building with a reputation for witchcraft and murder. They’re befriended, obsessively so in Rosemary’s opinion, by neighbors who, it turns out, worship the Devil. When Rosemary becomes pregnant after a very disturbing “dream” she starts to believe she’s carrying Satan’s son. Eerie, chilling, best read in a well-lit room.


Relic (Pendergast, #1), Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

From Goodreads: Visitors are being savagely murdered in the New York Museum of Natural History’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human… But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate a new exhibition in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who–or what–is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop a massacre? Sounds dark but intriguing.

Ruthless Magic (Conspiracy of Magic #1), Megan Crewe.

From Goodreads: Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages’ Exam… Okay, this has the tang of fanfiction, with two teens who fight to keep their magic, become unlikely allies, and begin a poignant romance. Reviewers have noted similarities to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Still, it looks promising, if only to see how Crewe makes it all work. First of a series.

That’s it for now. Any you’d recommend?

Thanks for reading.



Magic abounds in this batch of books.


MASTER OF CROWS, Grace Draven.

Draven writes wonderful fantasy romances and this one is no exception. Lush and compelling.

Silhara of Neithis a desperate sorcerer. The god called Corruption has invaded his mind, seducing him with promises of limitless power. As Silhara seeks to destroy the god that wants to fully possess him, a conclave intent on exposing his defilement sends him an apprentice. Martise is determined to succeed in her spying, for it means freedom from the mage priests who’ve enslaved her.

Of course, nothing goes well, and the two play a cat-and-mouse game that unexpectedly turns into love. I especially enjoyed how Silhara changes his perception of the woman he knows is a spy and how they learn to trust each other. There are several follow-up novellas too.

THE MERMAID’S SISTER, Carrie Anne Noble.

A wondrous tale of two sisters, Clara and Maren, who lives with Auntie, their hedgewitch guardian. Auntie says Clara was left by a stork, Maren arrived in a shell. and their best friend, O’Neill was found beneath an apple tree. Quite a beginning!

When Maren discovers shimmering scales just beneath skin, Auntie declares the girl is changing into a mermaid. She must be taken to the sea or die. But no fantastic journey is without its pitfalls. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill race against time to save themselves and the slowly-weakening Maren. A charming story of love, family, adventure, magic and self-discovery. Be aware: it starts out a bit slow.

MORTAL HEART, Robin La Fevers.

The third book in a trilogy called His Fair Assassin, a series about murderous nuns in 18th century France.

This time around, we follow Annith, who has watched her sisters at the convent carry out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain and is eager to serve Death. But the abbess wants her to be the next Seeress, a fate that means being forever trapped in the catacombs of the convent. Unwilling to accept that destiny, Annith strikes out on her own.

Although not quite as strong as Grave Mercy or Dark Triumph, whose main characters were more compelling, it’s a worthy end to the trilogy. Be sure to read the first two books before tackling this one so you have a firm grasp on the world you’re entering.



When the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables, they encounter an enraged girl who hurls a stone at the hated invaders, penetrates their magical shield, and flees. Now the Guild is desperate to find this untrained mage before she destroys herself and her city. Reviews on Goodreads are mixed, but it sounds like a decent read and I love the cover.

That’s it for now. Any others you’d recommend?

Thanks for reading.




Eerie, enticing, and easy to enjoy.


EIDOLON, Grace Draven. Book #2 of The Wraith Kings duology. Draven continues the story of Ildiko and Brishen, a human wedded to a Kai prince who sleeps by day and lives at night. He’s not a vampire, just part of a race with strange opalescent eyes that can’t bear sunlight. In this sequel, the lovers battle a force of demons unleashed by his mother. Fast-paced adventure laced with adult romance.

ENDER’S GAME, Orson Scott Card. Terrific sci-fiction. The plot: Earth is threatened by an alien species determined to destroy the human race with superior technology. The defense: A military program that trains gifted children in search of a commander who can’t be broken. They think they’re playing a video game, but it’s so much more. A wonderful classic.


THE EGYPTOLOGIST, Arthur Phillips. Billed as a “darkly comic labyrinth of a story.” Follows an archaeologist who discovers King Tut, an Oxford professor who has a rare scrap of hieroglyphic porn, and an Australian detective. Could be fun.


THE EYRE AFFAIR, Jasper Fforde. Imagine time travel as a norm, and literary portals that allow you to enter books and ensure the characters are acting as the author intended–or change what happens. Clever premise. Reviews at Goodreads are all over the place, so I might wait.