Fortuna Sworn by K.J. Sutton — A Review

Fortuna Sworn was a fantastic little read.

Fortuna is a Nightmare on a quest to find and save her brother. Along the way she finds allies who might be enemies. Everything is so foreign and uncertain in the Unseelie court, it’s difficult to tell who is on her side and who isn’t.

Was it fresh and new? Yes, and no. Set mostly in the Unseelie court of the fae, the book is full of familiar faerie tropes. That said, I’ve never read a book from a Nightmare’s perspective. What is a Nightmare? Think: manipulates fear. Normally, I would have said a Nightmare feeds on fear, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction this author takes.

I found myself riveted by this story; I didn’t want to put it down. And as it turns out, it was just the first book in a series, so I’m very excited to read the second book when it comes out.

I particularly liked Fortuna’s spunky, spitfire nature in the face of trials and the depth of character displayed by her mate and the character called Laurie. I’m eager to find out what happens next in Fortuna’s saga.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

The False Titanbringer: The Complete Trilogy by Riley Westbrook and Sara Lynn Westbrook — A Review

false titanbringer trilogy coverThe False Titanbringer: The Complete Trilogy by Riley Westbrook and Sara Lynn Westbrook

RaeleighReads Rating: 3 out of 5 coffee cups

“The young half-elf focused upon what he wanted, removing Martell from power. Restoring the elves as a people. Creating balance in a world that seemed in disharmony. Lov felt his mind settle as the possibilities for the future spread out before him.”

I received a copy of this trilogy in exchange for an honest review.

A decent fantasy novel with very human fantastical creatures.

Combining all our favorite fantasy tropes — good vs. evil, a hero that must mature into his role, several quests for things needed to ensure victory, and of course, magic, Breath of the Titans follows the story of Lovonian, or Lov, as he ventures to rescue those that are close to him and bring the disparate groups of his world together against a malevolent force.

Lov goes on some interesting adventures, discovers his true self and his power, and we are introduced to curious new scenery and characters throughout, but the book lacks a little cohesion, and it could definitely use more description, i.e., more worldbuilding.

Essentially this is a work of epic fantasy. For some reason it was originally split into three volumes. I think it makes more sense (as it is now) as one long volume. At around 610 pages, that’s perfectly acceptable for the genre. As it is, the three volumes individually need much more fleshing out. Westbrook introduces a new spin on the world of dragons, elves, orcs, fairies, and humans. He even gives us a new race, the Anuunaki. It would be desirable to have more time to really get to know this world and its inhabitants.

In terms of structure, this novel jumps around between various scenes of action, often moving us from a point of action in one location to a point of action in another location within the same chapter. That’s perfectly acceptable as a novel technique, but as I mentioned above, it would be helpful to have even more description so as to solidify in our minds the various story arcs and the various scenery.

Overall, a decent fantasy series. Those who enjoy books about dragons, elves, and orcs will probably find something to like here.

Some opinions you may find interesting:

This book was great from beginning to end. I really enjoyed the idea of a 16 year old half dragon.“– Alysia on Goodreads

“This series is a unique take on the fantasy genre. I’ve never heard of this particular take on dragons and their abilities. And with a half dragon and half elf as the main character, I was not disappointed with the creativity behind this fantasy.”– Rebecca on Amazon

Another opinion you may find useful:

For this book to really pop in the world of fantasy writing for me I would like much of the spoken conversation to be looked at again, the world created is a fantasy yet the language of the characters is too full of our everyday slang and colloquialisms, too many “hell this and hell that” when rich words to continue the fantasy theme could have really made individual characters stand out.“– Rosie Amber on Goodreads

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An Unexpected Bonding by Lilly Rayman — A Review

unexpected bondingAn Unexpected Bonding by Lilly Rayman

RaeleighReads rating: 4 out of 5 coffee cups

“The diaphanous fabric that clung to her waif like form did little to negate the coldness of the cavernous chamber. The darkness enveloped her like a frozen blanket of oppression. With a suppressed shudder she continued blindly on towards her destination.”

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This is an unexpected novel indeed! An Unexpected Bonding marries the worlds of the fair folk, wolves, and vampires with a little Egyptian decadence and Texas flair thrown in for good measure. The opening of the novel is absolutely wonderful — the writing evoking a fantastic atmosphere and cluing us in to the beautiful and frought world of these supernatural creatures.

The novel follows the story of Livvie, a rancher whose mother was human and whose father was a wolf. Livvie is no ordinary hybrid though. She is caught in the middle of a web, one that has been spinning for a long time, and she will play a central role in the outcome for all species involved.

There is a lot of time jumping, not time travel, just picking up the story at different points in time. There are also a lot of POV shifts. Occasionally I had a hard time picking up the story, but for the most part these were handled carefully and well. My only other quibble was the incorrect use of the verb to sit. Constantly. Example: “He was sat so still…” should be “He was sitting so still…” That happened throughout, but another round of edits should remove things like that.

Normally I avoid romance novels of any kind. That type of writing is just not my cup of tea. But this, whew! The romance in this novel is both steamy and down-to-earth. Every romantic moment between Livvie and her love interests felt authentic and personal. They say you should write about what you know. Well, in this reviewers opinion, Lilly Rayman knows about love. I would read her romance novels any day!

I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give too much away, but I thought this was a really great novel. If you enjoy reading about supernatural creatures with real emotional depth, if you enjoy novels that feel suspenseful from the get-go, and if you enjoy authentic, meaningful romance, go get this!

Some opinions you may find useful:

“So many exciting characters in this book. I enjoyed it! I could not put this book down. I love it!”– Alysia on Goodreads

“Fantastic read you will not want to put this down !! A must read – if you are a Twilight fan you will love this. Brilliant first book from a really talented author – can’t wait for the next book.”– Amanda Hartley on Amazon

Some other opinions you may find interesting:

“The book is pretty interesting. The pace for my taste is a little slow and the story a little too deep but it catches my attention either way.”– Joselyn on Goodreads

“In a lot of ways, An Unexpected Bonding makes a conscious effort to try and take the popularized formula [of paranormal romance] and mix it up in an interesting blend of different familiar things.”– Derek B. on Amazon

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