Blade Dance – Cold Iron – D.L. McDermott

Finn has done a lot of changing throughout this series. Actually, it wasn’t until the end of the last book that he started to change and that was only because he wanted Ann Phillips, a school teacher who came to his house to discuss his grandson who she thought was his son.

I thought Ann was a busy body overreaching her authority as a school teacher to go talk to a known crime Lord about the attendance of his grandson. School teachers don’t do that. They go through the proper channels to do that.

In this book, she goes to Finn because he’s the only one who knows who will help a child in desperate need of help. She discovers that the parents of one of her second graders has had the child’s arms tattooed which is illegal. The nurse tells her to stay out of it and not cause trouble with the Beautiful People. She knows a lot of the people in the area believe in the Fae but she’s not convinced. The principal also threatens that if she reports it, she will tell them that she is lying.

She turns to Finn who she knows has a connection with the child’s parents. Finn proves to her that the Fae really exist and he tells her she might not be fully human either.

Things take a dangerous turn when the child goes missing.

The romance between Ann and Finn was okay for me but I was more interested in the new character who was introduced, lobath, who lives a life of penance for horrible things he had done in the past. I’m pretty sure he will be featured in the next book.

Stone Song – Cold Iron #3 – D.L. McDermott

I knew this book was going to be about Elada because he was the most likely choice from the characters in the series so far. Plus, there was an excerpt of the beginning of this book at the end of the book. 😁

Elada has been bound to the Fae sorcerer, Miach, for most of his long life which started before the days of the Romans. To save Elada’s life Miach released him from his bond. Now Elada is free to pursue his own life and even marry if he likes.

Thousands of years ago, the Far Court was banished by the Druids to the Otherworld but the wall between worlds is weakening. The Druids were wiped out by the remaining Fae who worked with the Romans to destroy them. At least, that’s what the Fae thought until they discovered some Druids had survived and there are a few of their descendants strong enough to bring down that wall.

Of course, no Druid would willingly bring back the Fae Court because they are cruel and lack any kind of empathy. They’d hunt down and kill all Druids and any half-blood Fae. Most free Fae don’t want to see the Fae Court back because they have fathered generations of half-breeds with humans.

The Prince Consort, however, would love to bring back the Fae Court. The Queen was his lover and he is just as cruel as she was and he wants his former glory back. He and his followers have identified Druids all over the world and are going after them take away their will and bring down the wall. Now, it’s a race for Elada and his allies to find these Druids before the Prince Consort finds them.

When Miach hands Elada a file with a photo of a Druid, he immediately recognizes her. She sings at a local pub and her voice drew him in to watch her. He’s been infatuated ever since. Miach tells him to win her to their side or eliminate her because she would be dangerous if the Prince got ahold of her.

Sorcha is a talented singer and instrumentalist. She knows of the Fae and knows to stay away from them. She’s seen Elada at the Black Rose where she performs many times but he has never approached her until now. Her last encounter with a Fae had not gone well so she decides to get the heck out of Dodge.

The one thing that always drives me batty is when the female protagonist runs from the good guys when she knows there’s a powerful evil guy out there who will crush her if they catch her. It doesn’t make me think they are brave. It makes me think they are stupid. The bad guy always catches them and the good guy always has to save them. Ugh!

Luckily, the female protagonist in this series are badasses on their own so I can get over the running like an idiot bit and it didn’t ruin the book for me so I can go on to the next book without rethinking my choice in series.

Silver Skin – Cold Iron #2 – D.L. McDermott

I am glad to see the plot become more complex in this book of the series because I was worried that the simple plot of the first book would wear thin and wouldn’t have anywhere to go for future books.

I knew this book would be about Miach who had a thing for Helene, the best friend of the protagonist in the first book. Miach is a Fae who is more than three thousand years old. He was one of the only Fae who was not locked away in the Otherworld by Druids. He’s lived so long in this world that he has fathered generations of half-breed Fae. He only has one living son, Brian, and lots of great great (or more) grandchildren.

The Fae in the Otherworld are called the Fae Court or Wild Hunt. They are cruel and like to play sick games for pure entertainment sake. They abhor half-breeds and would torture and kill them all if they were ever set free. For this reason, Miach wants to keep them from escaping but the wall between worlds is weakening and someone is trying to use that to open a gate and free the Court.

Helene is losing big chunks of time. She knows something is wrong but when she calls her best friend to tell her, she can’t. No matter how hard she tries, only pleasantries come out so she tries write an email, the same thing happens. Her only choice is to go to Miach who she knows is a Far and a criminal. He is constantly trying to woo her with gifts but dislikes him so much that her best friend, a Druid, put a geis on him to hinder him from sexually seducing Helene.

When she goes to Miach, he discovers that someone has tattooed a skin-colored spell onto her shoulder that makes her unable to speak of her time loss. Miach is able to remove it but fears the spell that is making her lose time could kill her.

They decide to investigate where she goes during her time loss. Someone has been summoning her for some unknown reason but Miach thinks it has to do with bringing back the Fae Court somehow.

This book gives a glimpse into some of the background characters who might have bigger roles in future books. I always like pondering where things are going and how the author will make it work.

The next book is about Elada.

Cold Iron – Cold Iron #1 – D.L. McDermott

I liked this book. It was stimulating…in more ways than one…and the author wasn’t afraid to get a little dark at times. It made the story seem more real…well, as real as a story about the Fae and Druids can feel.

Beth is an archaeologist who finds Celtic tombs through a gift she has. She’s not sure why she has this talent but her ex-husband, Frank, has used it to his advantage to make a name for himself. He’s even made it to where Beth has to work under him on digs because he manipulated his bosses into believing she’s somehow not as adept as he is.

They were on a dig in Ireland when things became strange. They had found a tomb under a hill or mound but everything looked pristine and fresh instead of ancient. She felt someone touch her when the lights went out but nobody was there when the light came back on. Later, at the inn, a man came into her room and tried to seduce her. He was Fae named Conn. She knew it even though they were supposed to be a myth.

She was able to resist him and even threw him across the room with her voice somehow. The innkeeper, an ancient looking woman, told her tales about the Fae and how they had ruled the land and people feared them because the Fae had no empathy and liked to play games. If a Fae took a woman, he’d keep her sometimes for a while or sometimes not but the woman would slowly die afterwards if starvation and a list of the will to live because they were somehow bound to the Fae and couldn’t live without him.

Frank stole the sword and other artifacts like gold and silver from the mound and that pulls her into a world of trouble. Conn needs his sword back but other Fae have other ideas. The sword and Beth are what they need to bring back the banished Far Court who are vicious and cruel. Beth, it turns out, is a powerful Druid. She can open the door between worlds to bring the Fae Court back. Now, she has Fae after her who want her to do this and Fae who would rather see her dead to prevent her from opening the gate.

I have already downloaded and read the second book in this series.

Tower of Dawn – Throne of Glass #6 – Sarah J. Maas

BEST BOOK I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME!!!

I’m in love with Sartaq! Could there be a more perfect man? He’s prince of a kingdom that I would equate to Alexandria, Egypt in ancient times and from the description that the author gave of the people of the land, I pictured a gorgeous, dark eyed, Middle-Eastern man. He’s called The Winged Prince because he leads a squadron of rukhin, men who live on the highest peaks of the land and ride giant predatory birds called ruks. He said two things to Nesryn in this book that wreaked havoc on my emotions. I can’t tell you what they were without giving away spoilers but the first one sent chills down my spine and the second had me bawling. He’s my new book boyfriend.

His brother, Kashin, wasn’t bad either but his puppy-dog love for Yrene and the way he obeyed his father without question put him out of the running for a book boyfriend. But is it bad that I wanted Kashin to win over Yrene instead of the leading male character, Chaol?

If you follow the series, you would know that the last book ended with the heroine of the story, Aelin, being captured by the evil Fae queen, Maeve.

This book wasn’t about Aelin. Well, it was but did not feature her directly. This book focused on Chaol and Nesryn who were sent off to Antica, a continent across the narrow sea to the south by King Dorian so that Chaol could find a healer for his broken back.

This story happens concurrently with the last story so Chaol and Nesryn aren’t privy to what the reader already knows and find out as they occur.

Chaol was hit in the back with the powerful evil magic of the King of Adarlan while he was possessed by a Valg prince and now Chaol’s legs do not work. Chaol was Captain of the King’s Guard but Dorian made him tge Hand of the King and made Nesryn the Captain of the King’s Guard.

Nesryn and Chaol are lovers but something cooled between them on the three week ride across the sea. Chaol became an asshole, brooding on his injuries and pushed Nesryn away. I really stopped liking Chaol so much in this book.

Healing his back isn’t their only goal. They need to get the Great Khagan to join them in the war but he won’t even have an audience with them because he’s in mourning for his youngest daughter who “jumped” from a terrace.Their arrival couldn’t have come at a worse time.

This was the best book of the series so far. It could have done without the tedious healing scenes or, at least, less of them but that didn’t make me enjoy this book any less.

Feversong – Fever #9 – Karen Marie Moning

The first half of this book drove me bonkers! You know those movies where things are fragmented and you don’t know if the scene is a memory or something that is happening in the present or those scenes when that wonky whooshing sound comes on as scenes flash by? That is how I felt. It wasn’t just the fragmented thing that bothered me though. It was the pages and pages of introspection that I skipped over because that kind of thing bores me to tears. I almost didn’t want to continue reading but I had read that this was the finale to the series and really wanted to know what happened to certain characters like Dani/Jada, Christian and Dageus so I trudged on. Luckily, the second half of the book was much better and reminded me why I love this series.

If you aren’t familiar with this series it is about a young woman named MacKayla who goes to Dublin to get answers to why her sister was murdered. She discovers she can see things others cannot like Fae creatures living amongst the humans without them knowing. She sees their true features. She meets other women just like her who are called sidhe-seers. They are able to see Fae creatures in their true form. Each has their individual talents but Mac seems to be a little more powerful than any of the rest. To make things worse, she is being stalked by something called the Sinsar Dubh which in the beginning was an evil book but as the series goes on we learn that the Sinsar Dubh is more than just a book. It somehow burrowed its way into Mac and continuously taunts her and tries to use her for its evil goals.

She met a man named Jericho Barrons who is the man of my dreams. He’s powerful, mysterious and is a man of few words. She knows what Barrons really is. He is part of a group called The Nine who are a lot like him but he seems to be their leader. She and Barrons become an item. They don’t seem to be the most romantic couple but you can tell that they would die for each other. The way Karen Marie Moning writes it, is superb and it is hard to describe their relationship since it developed over the course of the series.

MacKayla isn’t the only protagonist of this series. There is also a sidhe-seer named Dani who has super speed and strength who stars in these books. Dani starts out as a vibrant 14-year-old but gets lost in something called the silvers and over a period of just a few months comes out again as an adult because time moves different in the silvers. Dani then became known as Jada, a cool and calculated young woman who made me miss Dani very much.

The wall between the two worlds of the Fae and humans collapses and Fae start trying to take over the world but Mac, Dani and a bunch of other characters fight against it.

At the end of the last book, the Sinsar Dubh possessed Mac so this book starts off with the point of view of the Sinsar Dubh and switches to other character’s points of view throughout the book. Mac is stuck somewhere in a dark within her own body. She has time to reflect A LOT on what she did wrong and how she might be able to overcome the Sinsar Dubh.

Meanwhile, there are other threats to the world. There are black holes that are hovering above the ground all over the Earth. They suck in anything near and become larger. The fear is that if one of them touches the ground, it will suck in the Earth and the whole universe and life will cease to exist anywhere except other realms and worlds that can be reached through the Silvers.

I am glad I continued to read on instead of giving up on this book because it ended up being a great and emotional end to the series.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior – Immortals After Dark #11 – Kresley Cole

What a scrumptious read! My favorite so far. Do I say that about each one of these books in this series? I guess they just keep getting better as the story gets deeper and more complex. What is crazy is that I have already read this series once before and although I remember the basic story, I have forgotten details and even the endings of some of the books but because I recall enough of the plot, it makes it all the more exciting to me.

A lot of these books run concurrently alongside the other books so we sometimes know a lot more than what the characters know. For example, in this book Regin, the female protagonist, worries about her half-sister Lucia but Lucia’s book was #9 in the series so we know what happened to her already but since this book is happening along the same time period as Lucia’s story, Regin has no idea what is happening.

Regin the Radiant is a Valkyrie whose skin glows. We have gotten to know Regin through previous books. She is the prankster of the group and loves to kill vampires and bad demons. She’s been known to make demons eat strange things like hubcaps just for kicks. Her best friend and half-sister is Lucia. They spend a lot of time looking for ways to kill an evil god who wakes every Accession. He is intent on abducting Lucia for his own and triggering the end of the world. The Accession is a war that happens every 500 to 600 years in the Lore where factions take sides, alliances are made and a lot creatures from the Lore find their mates. It is meant as a sort of population control since many will die.

Over a thousand years ago, Regin met a Beserker named Aidan the Fierce who fell in love with Regin. He vowed to earn Ohalla and marry her. The god Woden bestows Ohalla on a warrior who fights for him after he has won 200 battles but Aidan couldn’t wait so he had sex with Regin before he became immortal. A vampire killed him just afterwards but he promised to return and find Regin. He has returned over and over again but gets killed directly after they make love. Regin is expecting him again soon.

Declan Chase hates immortals, all of them. He and his parents were tortured by a nest of Neoptera, some of the most dangerous and evil immortals of them all, when he was just 17 years old. He found his brother in the kitchen with his throat slit and after days of torture, his parents didn’t make it but Declan was saved by a man named Webb who told him about the Lore which he called miscreations or miscreats who needed exterminated out of this world. Webb ran something called The Order which captures, studies, tortures and kills immortals and inducted Declan into it. Now, Declan runs a facility on an island where he captures and imprisons immortals of all kinds and studies them.

What Declan doesn’t know is that he is a reincarnation of Aidan the Fierce. He has always been stronger and faster than a mere mortal and started using heroin to calm himself when he was about 14 years old. He still has the doctor at the facility make up a blend with an opiate to control his symptoms. The medicine keeps him numb and emotionless.

But when he captures Regin, he starts to feel something for her and he hates it. He doubles up on his meds and starts running twice as far on the island but nothing stops him from thinking about her. He even tortures her with an IV full of poisonous liquid but feels sick as he is doing it. He has never felt anything for an immortal before.

Regin, of course, knows he is Aidan and tries to convince him of this but he thinks she is just messing with him. Regin knows that if she kisses him, he will remember his past lives and then he will die shortly afterwards but can she do it? He did torture her after all.

The tension between these two was palpable. Kresley Cole writes the story so well that I felt it while I was reading and my emotions ran from hating Declan to feeling sorry for him to cheering him on and hoping he could change and maybe get the girl…if he lived.

There was a lot more happening in this book than the romance/hatefest going on between Regin and Declan. There were other prisoners, some who we have met before in previous books like Carrow and Malkum Slaine who were the stars of the last book and some who were just being introduced in this book like Regin’s cellmates, Natalya the dark fey and Thad, a 17-year-old who-knows-what who just looked like a normal kid. Then there is Brandr, a Beserker who earned Ohalla because he promised Aidan while he was dying that he would always watch over Regin. Lothaire, The Enemy of Old and a powerful vampire, is also a prisoner in the facility. We get to know a lot more about him who I am loving more and more even though he is evil.

Speaking of Lothaire, that is the title of the next book so gotta go read. Bye!