Review: Witch Born

Book Reviews, Misc.
*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. ***

 

“Fordham was all ash and smoke. It had started raining an hour ago, but the remains of the bonfire still smoldered…” – Nicholas Bowling, Witchborn

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Witch Born Review

By: Rae

 

Let me introduce the beautiful oddity that is Witch Born

 

*** Note: May contain spoilers! ***

 

Meet Alyce, a young teen who has escaped the clutches of the witchhunters. Her mother is dead burned at the stake, leaving the instructions of “Make for Bankside. Find the hangman John Dee. Give him this letter.” Half dead from exposure on her way to London Alyce ends up in a Bedlam asylum after being discovered by one of the governors of the hospital. Weeks have passed and Alyce is desperate to escape and find the hangman. Haunted by the burning and memories of her home, as well as the deed she had done to manage her escape from the witchhunters, Alyce’s opportunity to run comes and she seizes it. Enter Solomon, Mrs. Thompson, a bedraggled Raven, two warring queens, and other odd creatures as Alyce’s story unfolds. Will Alyce find the hangman John Dee? What is this growing power Alyce has? Did witches really in the 16th century exist?

My general consensus upon finishing Witch Born was the overall oddity of the tale. I was mystified by a warring London setting in the 16th century where religion, magic, and creatures ran amuck underneath the ruralness of a city that was falling apart at the seams. Every character had an individual identity that somehow connected not only to the story, but a bit of history too. Could Queen Elizabeth and Bloody Mary Queen of the Scots had been witches? Could John Dee really have performed magic for his experiments. The lines are drawn, no one can fully be trusted, the secrets are many, and… I adored it! Bowling did a wonderful job with the prose of the story and writing descriptions that put me in this past world. I felt the heaviness of the air, the cold, the hunger, and the emotions of the story as I traveled back in time. While it wasn’t ‘spooky’ the darker themes of the supernatural pulled at a play on the mind at points and suggested at heavier issues of humanity and history to deal with.

Rich with setting and characters I am keeping my review of Witch Born shorter to not reveal further key plot moves – *cough* Alyce’s hair color *cough*

 

My Rating: 4/5

 

Check this story out for yourself and enjoy the oddity of 16th century London – who knows what you’ll find!

 

Witch Born is out tomorrow! *cheers*

 

My rating: 4/5

Reign of the Fallen Review

Book Reviews

*** Disclaimer: Super rusty at this. It has been forever since I wrote a review. I won an ARC of Reign of the Fallen at my local B-fest and all opinions are my own.

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Reign of the Fallen Review
By: Yours truly – Rae

“The giant Shade was baiting us. Hunting us, when we thought we were hunting it.” – Sarah Glenn Marsh, Reign of the Fallen

So… the Dead are still among the living and are essentially glorified zombies, you get paid handsomely to raise said Dead and are respected for it, and change is non-existent because it is bad… hello Reign of the Fallen. Let’s get started shall we?

Right away I connected with the lead character nicknamed Sparrow. I hated her, loved her, was jealous of her, and annoyed with her frequently depending on her mood and mine throughout Marsh’s story. Of course, Sparrow goes through a ton – raising the dead that could turn into a Shade “aka something you never want to meet in a dark alley unless you don’t want your soul anymore” and handling a new job as a Master Necromancer, with favor among the elite, isn’t exactly easy. Throw in missing Dead, a tearful (still not recovered plot twist), a brewing unrest, and giant-sized shades and you about sum up Reign of the Fallen. I can’t give away too much, I feel like there is a mine field of spoilers to navigate but I’ll continue trying.
Moving away from Sparrow, just for a moment, I have to fangirl appropriately over my man Jax. I love this character so much. He was a little weird with his love of meat on the raw side, the need to wear a formal old-fashioned cloak to parties, and his not so nice (blunt – oh he was so blunt) when speaking… that who wouldn’t love this guy? I need more from him and cannot wait to see how he develops along with the other ragtag group of characters. Evander was a sweetheart. I totally felt for him and his desire to explore and see the world. Simeon and Danial yes please – so adorable together and indivdually! Princess Valoria you can totally save the world girl, don’t stop dreaming. Kasmira… how can I not love weather controlling powers? Meredy… you do you because being a beast master is kickbutt.

What I’m really getting at here is that each character was unique from Simeon’s need to crack a joke to ease the tension to Jax and his anger at the uncontrollable situations he is in. I didn’t feel like they followed the familiar stereotypes of this is how they should or shouldn’t act. They have nasty habits, but they grow and they deserve it. I feel like Reign of the Fallen was really about the characters and change because change was everything in this book.
Which means I should touch on Sparrow again because she really goes through the ringer *insert plot twist I am not over and then multiple other twists I saw coming but hated anyway.* She is actually in a dark place the majority of Marsh’s story. Most of the time it isn’t pretty. She is drunk, drugged, and borderline suicidal. She also is selfish and guilted ridden. I know I don’t make it sound like she is a winning character but I connected with her because of her dark moments and faults. She has a lot of growing left to do.
Should I mention the bad guys… no wait spoilers. Bad guys are bad but with a purpose and not just thrown in to be bad
Onto plot, scenery, and themes. I’ll keep this short and sweet. I wanted more scenery details of the time, even though the Deadlands “aka the place souls go after they die” was very cool.
I think I’ve rambled on enough. If you couldn’t tell I really did enjoy Reign of the Fallen and in truth, read it in a day much to the annoyance of my Shepherd pup.
Want to know more about the lovely Sarah Glenn Marsh? Visit her website here.
Want to preorder your own copy of Reign of the Fallen *wink/nudge* because you know you do. I’ll just leave this preorder information here.

If you have read Reign of the Fallen and want to fangirl over it – just shoot me an email and be prepared for paragraphs of feels in response. I also have bookstagram picture today featuring the beautiful character cards I received – check that out here.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Happy reading!

Eyes of the Seer Release Blitz

Blog Blitz
NEW BOOK RELEASE
from award winning author Ashley York
Eyes of the Seer Tour Graphic
EYES OF THE SEER
Ashley York
Series: The Derbfine Series Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: July 31, 2017
Eyes of the Seer
In ancient Éire, men and women take to the legends for answers. Different-colored eyes are the mark of a Seer, it is said, and those who can see the future are in league with the devil. They cannot be suffered to live.
He wishes to prove himself…
Marcán of Clonascara bears the bloodline of Brian Boru, the legendary high king, and his prowess as a warrior has earned him great respect. But he was born with different-colored eyes, and there are some who would have him suffer a Seer’s fate. His fiercest adversary is Beibhinn, mother to Diarmuid, his close friend and king, and Astrid, the woman who holds his heart. If Astrid ever showed him any interest, he would fight Beibhinn and any army to wed her.
She is desperate to escape…
Astrid is sick of her mother’s belittling, but her brother is in no hurry to see her married, so she decides to see to her own match-making. The man she approaches quickly reveals his lack of honor, but her overbearing mother pushes her to wed him anyway. When Astrid discovers Marcán’s love for her, she realizes that what she wants has been in front of her all along. True happiness awaits them, but only if they can put a stop to her mother’s plans.
Ms. York carried this book forward with lots of suspense and no shortage of her depraved antagonists looking to fulfill their own agendas. Eyes of the Seer is storytelling at its best presenting a top-notch read!
– Jennifer, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now for $3.99 only. Grab your copy today.

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Eyes of the Seer. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
“Astrid?” Marcán kept his tone low and controlled. “What d’ye here?”
The men stood, appearing surprised, ripped out of their lustful thoughts. That confusion swiftly changed to discomfort when they caught sight of Marcán’s expression. They moved away from her, opening the circle and allowing him a direct view of her, still seated beside Pádraig.
Her hair was tousled and her eyes were widely innocent. She dipped her head, eyeing the men from beneath her lashes.
“Nothing.” Her voice held a husky tone. “We are… talking.”
The men turned back to him and waited. Could they actually have any expectation of his consent? Mayhap in the Meic Murchadha clan. Marcán slowly gazed at each man in turn, looking him right in the eye, before finally settling his gaze again on Astrid.
“Do they all know ye are Diarmuid’s little sister?”
Each man took a step back. All but Pádraig, whose face maintained a look of superiority, his hand still on her shoulder like he owned her.
Marcán moved closer to Astrid, and the other men continued to yield, stepping even farther away. “Pádraig.”
“I thought ye were telling yer stories, Marcán,” Pádraig said.
Marcán looked at his hand on Astrid’s shoulder. And waited. Time slipped by. One of the other men coughed, and Pádraig finally removed his hand. Heaving a deep sigh, he moved to stand with the others. Marcán refused to acknowledge Astrid’s crestfallen expression when he extended his hand to her.
“And I thought ye would keep to yer own women rather than taking advantage of an innocent lass.” Marcán handed the man his fur.
“This lovely lass asked me to show her the hot springs.”
When Marcán looked again at Astrid, he had hoped for some show of guilt. Instead, he was met with a defiant glare.
“Oh did she?” Marcán asked as he shifted his gaze to the other men. “Were ye afraid ye’d lose yer way on yer own?”
Pádraig offered a small smile. “If the lass wishes for the men to join us, they are more than willing, and I do not object.”
The man was speaking of accepting the offer he’d believed she was making. Marcán tasted blood where he’d bitten his cheek to hold back his angry words. Rather than speak to Pádraig, whom he was tempted to strike, he turned to Astrid. “Did ye wish for more from these men than seeing the hot springs?”
Her eyes were angry, and her shoulders had rounded to their natural bend. Relieved to see her drop the flirtatious facade, he smiled. Just in time, he noticed the flash of anger and realized his smile had been misinterpreted. She thought he was laughing at her. He caught her hand just before it made contact with his cheek.
“How dare ye!” Astrid said, letting loose her tirade.
Though striking another was a punishable offense, Marcán was more than willing to stand there and let her have at him. She did not care for him, but her behavior—willfulness… stubbornness… whatever Diarmuid wanted to label her rants—was merely an indication of the great depth of her passion. Marcán recognized it because he was the same way. Mayhap that was what drew him to her. That he would not be the one to guide her to that knowledge was like a knife to his gut.
His tone hardened. “I dare because I am here to protect ye.”
She ripped her hand out of his grasp and stopped just short of stomping her injured foot. Her voice shrill, she said, “I do not want ye to protect me! I want nothing of ye!”
Eyes of the Seer by Ashley York is yet another mesmerizing hit by this author. EYES OF THE SEER will have you turning pages.
– April, Goodreads Reviewer

Other Books by Ashley York

Don’t miss Book One in the The Derbfine Series series:
Curse of the Healer
CURSE OF THE HEALER
Series: The Derbfine Series Book 1
Fated to be a healer…
Destined to be his…
To steal the power of the great healer, a warrior need only possess her. Diarmuid will protect Aednat with his life, but who will protect his heart?
If you love historical romance, you have to pick up this book. You’ll be swept away by the landscape, the history and the romance. A must read!
– N.N. Light, Goodreads reviewer

Giveaway

WIN ONE OF TWO
$10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Eyes of the Seer Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from September 4 – 10, 2017.

About Ashley York

Ashley York

Award-winning author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed.
Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Éire, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they all evoke strong emotional responses.
Passionate about history and research, York may tweak some historical facts (like the location of the Baron’s Rebellion), but the flavor of the time is undeniable. With heroes and heroines you’ll want to read about again and again, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.
Connect with Ashley York on social media: Facebook | Twitter

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