In the Arcera Trilogy, Sylvia Thorne discovers just what happens when the first war in a thousand years breaks out. But before that, she was just a Rider, spending her days traveling through the wilds between the Four Cities.
Right before the first book Meadowcity, she gets stuck in Lightcity, waiting for a package to deliver. She isn’t stuck for long though, when a young girl decides to go on a haphazard mission into the wilds–and Sylvia feels compelled to follow.
Which brings us to Sylvia In The Wilds–the short story prequel, which will be available as a free ebook in April 2017!
The story is currently with my beta readers, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
This book is fresh off the presses, and you won’t be disappointed with A.J. Flowers‘ first book in the Celestial Downfall series. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. I must say, I am looking forward to the rest of the series and finding out what becomes of Azrael! And until 12/18/16 you can enter to win your own free copy on Goodreads!
Azrael is Windborn, and a hybrid, setting herself apart from all the other Windborn at Manor Saffron, where the not-quite-angels train for a life in the real world. Her hybrid status makes her able to see not only light (like all other Windborn), but dark. The unjust death of another hybrid in the Manor sparks Azrael into action–into making a deal with a demon. Smartly, she only asks it to change her fate–anything more specific and she’d be dancing too near the possibility of the demon overtaking the deal.
Her fate changes immediately. The Manor is in need of a new Queen, and Azrael has been chosen by divine power. But Azrael quickly learns that being Queen is a life full of new secrets, new friends (real angels with agendas of their own) and new powers. Flowers paints a realistic picture of a world where angels remain an open secret (special chairs for wings, anyone?), and I was impressed with the imaginative version of light and dark magic.
The juxtaposition of angels with normal flaws just makes sense, too. Angels are always depicted as perfect beings, and as a human reader myself, the angel characters clicked perfectly. Not to mention the swoon-worthy descriptions of wings and other celestial details. I’m a sucker for description.
I did find myself craving an ordinary day in the life in the Manor, though–but Azrael has no trouble keeping up with one turn after another. We end the book with a seriously motivated Azrael, and plenty of intrigue to have you looking for the release date of the next book.
Over the past few days I have had the pleasure of listening to H.L. Burke’s Beggar Magic through Audible. I’ve listened to lots of audiobooks over the past few months (Lord of the Rings, Outlander, Dune, The Martian…) and this one didn’t disappoint.
Burke’s imaginative world of Gelia City is a city of magic–a magic that resides in the very air and fills the city with its ever-changing sounds: the Strains. But not everyone is fortunate to hear the Strains and use their magic as well as others. The Highmost are born with seemingly unlimited control over the Strains, but the Common are only able to weakly wield them, with beggar magic.
Leilani, a Common, no-nonsense girl, crosses paths with a high-strung Highmost called Zebedy, and her world takes an unusual turn as she is swept into the manic life of the Highmost. One of the things I admired about Leilani’s character is that she never settled for anything she didn’t want, and never let anyone walk over her. Gotta love a strong female lead! The two friends are drawn into a serious mystery concerning the Strains, leading them through Highmost intrigue, breaking class barriers, and there’s even a bit of romance.
The writing (and narration) flow quite naturally, and I loved all of the tiny details placed throughout the book by Burke. Even before the main conflict was presented, I was drawn in to the unique setting and the two girls’ strong characters. Seriously, the Strains were a whole new type of magic, the idea of which kept me thinking about this book even when I wasn’t reading it.
This is an audiobook that you can gobble up really easily. I would definitely recommend it for fantasy lovers of any age.
I received a complementary copy of the audiobook in exchange for this honest review.