Review: To Betray My King by Kayla Lavan

34109142To Betray My King by Kayla Lavan

Genre: YA Romance/Fantasy

Release Date: May 1st 2017

Summary:

Would you choose to save your kingdom or follow your heart?

Brave and kindhearted, Arianna is a princess of a kingdom that nobody wants. The magicless. Marrying the charming, flirtatious, and egotistical Prince Roland was the last thing either of them wanted, but for the sake of their people they agreed. War breaks out with the neighboring kingdom, forcing the prince’s hand to join in the fight. He leaves his new wife with the only man he trusts, his childhood friend, a dutiful, strong, and handsome knight.

A sweet romantic tale of forbidden love in a dark fanatical world.

I enjoyed stepping into Ms Lavan’s medieval world of Sol and meeting the magic weavers she has filled it with. I struggled a little with the male leads at first. While I really enjoyed the playful banter and friendship between Prince Roland and his bodyguard/best friend, Conrad, it took me a while to warm up to either of them as love interests for Princess Arianna. Princess Arianna was easily likeable. She was kind hearted and always looking to improve herself, be it mentally or physically (e.g. learning to sword fight).

The story starts off following Roland, Conrad and Arianna. Their day to day lives, before, during and after the arranged royal marriage. But when Roland goes off to war we are left behind with Conrad and Arianna. I wish we could have followed Roland into War!!!

The whole time I was reading it felt as if Ms Lavan was preparing Arianna for something big. We kept being given tastes of Arianna’s archery skills and magical status/abilities and it felt like this was building to something bigger. Well, she did get to kick some butt in the end.

This felt like the first in a series, if that makes sense. A lot of set up with a dramatic actioned packed ending propelling you on to read the next book. There even is a Twist at the end that I didn’t see coming and the ‘betrayal’ goes down not as you expect.

Even with his man-whore start to the story, Prince Roland ended up being my favourite character and I am looking forward to reading more from Ms Lavan and finding out how he handled becoming King.


About the Author

I’ve been writing half of my life, starting at the ripe old age of 13. Back then my favorite pass time was doodling in class, sleeping in class, and studying tests or homework that was due the next class period. But by night I lead a secret life. I would go home, turn on my computer, and get on my dialup Internet (which makes me sound really old) and I would write. At first it was for fun. I was brave back then and posted everything online. In the 14 years I have been writing, I have posted over 1.5 million words, all of which is still available to read for free. My most well known story being “Fun ‘N’ Games at Ouran”. A year or so ago I posted a one-shot that was 50k-60k in words. Afterwards, I looked at it laughing, and said to myself “I think I would like to get paid for this now” and then ‘To Betray My King’ was born. It seems so simple as I’m sitting here, typing this foryou to read, but it’s the truth. ‘Betray’ is my first book, but it won’t be my last. I love writing. I would never give it up for anything in the world.

The Betrayal Legacy

#1 To Betray My King (Available Now)

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#2 To Betray My Kingdom (Coming Soon)

#3 To Betray Myself (Coming Soon)

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Review: Fallen & Story Shorts by Lauren Kate

6487308What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . .

My Thoughts: Fallen Angels masquerading as teenagers oh my. 

Reading from Luce’s POV I struggled to connect with any of the characters or buy into her and Daniel’s love connection.

While I quite enjoyed that last few chapters, which were more action packed, I nearly gave up at the half way mark of this book. I read the story shorts at that point and it gave me an inside into Daniel’s side of the story, which led me to bother to read the rest of the book. Nothing really happens until later in the book when Luce, with the help of her new friend Penn, start to piece together who/what Daniel really is. Seriously so much nothing. The synopsis pretty much tells you everything that is going to happen in this book, other than an age old good Vs evil war flaring up again at the end.

Daniel’s First Sighting (Fallen Shorts 0.1) by Lauren Kate Four ‘I really liked it Stars (GOODREADS). In this short we get to see Daniel and Luce’s meeting for the first time (in Luce’s current life time) through Daniel’s eyes. It was actually quite amusing and It made me warm to Daniel.

Daniel in L.A. (Fallen Shorts 0.4) by Lauren Kate Three ‘I liked it’ Stars (GOODREADS). In this short we get to see what Daniel was doing with himself before he ended up at Sword & Cross.

Daniel and Gabbe’s Fight (Fallen Shorts 0.6) by Lauren Kate Three ‘I liked it’ Stars (GOODREADS). In this short we get to find out what was really being said in the conversation between Gabbe and Daniel that Luce partly over heard in the dorm room hallway.

Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate Two ‘It was okay’ Stars (GOODREADS). I just didn’t connect with this story and that saddens me ’cause forbidden love is my thang’.

I enjoyed the shorts more then the actual Fallen novel. I think that maybe if Fallen had been told in duel POV with Daniel or maybe if it had just been Daniel telling it, it could have been a real winner for me. I went hunting for spoilers and read a bunch of reviews on the other books to find out how the rest of the series plays out and i’m satisfied with that. I’m not sorry I read Fallen, but I do not intend to read the rest of the series.

The Griever’s Mark by Katherine Hurley

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Synopsis

Astarti would bet her life on one thing: she will never escape her master Belos.

After Belos found her as an abandoned infant, he planted within her a Leash, which he uses to control her power. Astarti is a Drifter, able to manipulate the energy world of the Drift–to shape weapons, to bind others, to travel great distances in mere seconds. Astarti’s job is to strike deals with desperate souls who would Leash themselves to Belos for political or personal gain. Her other objective is to kill any Earthmaker–those who wield the power of the elements–whenever possible.

But when Astarti lets one handsome Earthmaker escape, she sets into motion a chain of events that will lead her to question everything she knows about herself and her power. Even her Griever’s Mark tattoo, the symbol of her mother’s abandonment, may not mean what Astarti has always been told.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the author, through the Goodreads Group “YA Lovers” in exchange for and honest review. So first up I’m going to say Thank you!

The more I like a book a book the harder I find it to say anything about it without gushing like a school girl high on sugar holding hands with her crush for the first time. So I will try to contain myself.

I dived into the world that Ms Hurley created and was in love. She gives as an immensely rich world with forbidden love (My favourite kind of love) earth magic (my favourite kind of magic) evil twisted bad guys, treason, turf wars and a heroine with a dark and mysterious past. Yes please, give me more! I can’t say too much about Astarti, her mother, The Drift, Logan or Earth Magic without giving away the big plot points of the story.

As this is the first book in a series there is a lot of world building and background information given to us, but Ms Hurley makes it all flow beautiful into a enthralling story. In this book we met Astarti and through her adventures we learn all about her life and discover her secret family history with her. We also get to meet Logan the delicious earth maker as she does. We learn a little about Logan and his world in this book, but at the end of the book we are left with questions of his heritage and what his fate will be. So yes we are left with a cliff hanger; the ending brings a whole load more to be answered in the next book and plenty more adventures for Astarti to tackle.

I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.  Five Stars.

Goodreads authors website

The Unseen

The Unseen by Katherine Webb

A vicar with a passion for nature, the Reverend Albert Canning leads a happy existence with his naive wife, Hester, in their sleepy Berkshire village in the year 1911. But as the English summer dawns, the Cannings’ lives are forever changed by two new arrivals: Cat, their new maid, a disaffected, free-spirited young woman sent down from London after entanglements with the law; and Robin Durrant, a leading expert in the occult, enticed by tales of elemental beings in the water meadows nearby.

Quickly finding a place for herself in the underbelly of local society, Cat secretly plots her escape. Meanwhile, Robin, a young man of considerable magnetic charm and beauty, soon becomes an object of fascination and desire. Sweltering in the oppressive summer heat, the peaceful rectory turns into a hotbed of dangerous ambition, forbidden love, and jealousy—a potent mixture of emotions that ultimately leads to murder 

*** The synopsis does not mention any of the 2011 characters; it only refers to the historical 1911 ones, Cat, Hetty, Robin & Albert. The synopsis gives a hint at the things that Leah (2011 character) uncovers.***

The Book starts of in 2011 when the body of a WWI soldier is found near Ypres, in Belgium. Leah is a freelance writer and her ex Ryan works for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, he contacts Leah thinking she might be interested in the no named soldier for a story.

With the dead soldier, there are two extremely well preserved letters. Leah is intrigued immediately. After reading, the letters she wants learn as much as possible about the dead soldier and get as far away from Ryan as possible. This sets her off researching the Canning’s of Cold Ash Holt, where the letters were sent from and starting the whole story in motion.

It took me a bit to settle into the 1911 to 2011 jump the story kept doing, but enviably I was drawn in and it turned out to be a real page turner. I was rather angry at the book when my favourite character was murdered, I knew it was going to happen, I pleaded with the book that it would not, then was shocked by how it was done. I loved the 1911 world, and at first thought, I would have been happier to be reading the whole novel in that time. In the end I ended up growing to really like Leah.

So my fave 1911 character is killed off (and I am still giving the book 5 stars), at least my fave 2011 character gets a happy ending.