At Any Cost (A Bound Trilogy prequel novella) by Kate Sparkes @kate_sparkes #bookreviews

A legendary Sorcerer’s ordinary daughter. 28526953

A powerful king with everything to lose.

An ill-fated love that would change their worlds forever.

**For details on reading order or to sign up for the author’s newsletter to receive this title free, visit www.katesparkes.com**

If you’re familiar with this series, you’ll be surprised to learn that Ulric has a softer, squishier side to him – almost a marshmallow of a guy – almost.  I’m not a fan of Ulric, but reading this allowed me to see a different side of him and understand some of his reasoning.  Knowing what happens beyond the scope of this novella makes it somewhat bittersweet, but if you’re a regular of this series, don’t miss this one.

Sworn (Bound Trilogy #3) by Kate Sparkes #bookreviews @kate_sparkes

Not every fairy tale ends with “happily ever after.”Featured Image -- 3055

The plan was simple: Find Ulric, the lost king of Tyrea, then return him to Luid to reclaim his throne from the tyrant who stole it. But though Aren, Rowan, and Nox accomplished the first part of their task, the rest is proving to be more complicated than any of them imagined.

Severn won’t give up his throne without a fight. Worse, it seems Ulric did not fare as well during his years in captivity as he’s led everyone to believe—and Rowan may not have escaped unscathed, either.

If Nox doesn’t find a cure for the king’s mysterious ailment, Aren will be forced to challenge Severn for the crown. It’s a battle Aren has little hope of winning. And if he does, it will cost him the love and the freedom he’s fought so hard to gain. – Goodreads.com

Although I’m feeling a little melancholy about this series coming to an end, I’m also thinking Sworn is a satisfying ending to an enchanting, thrilling journey and I’m hoping the author returns to this world for future projects.

One of my favorite aspects of this trilogy is the character development, with each character a separate individual having their own backstories, personalities, mannerisms, and goals.  It’s always a pleasure to read a book in which the author has created three-dimensional characters that seem to take on a life of their own.

I know some readers don’t enjoy rotating POVs, in this case, Rowan, Aren, and Nox, but I’m usually a fan because of the broader scope it gives a story.  One of my favorite characters, Florizel, had some exciting moments and I was surprised to see a softer, gentler side to Ruby – you can never tell with dragons.

This book was full of adventure, magic (literally), and suspense with both heart-wrenching and heroic moments and I’d recommend this series to fantasy fans and readers who like to immerse themselves in a book that transports them to another world.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Today is release day for Sworn!  

Buy links:

Amazon
Kobo
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
iBooks

Sworn will also be available through Barnes and Noble, but the link isn’t up yet.

And The Winner Is……

The winner of the signed PB copy of Bound by Kate Sparkes is Desiree Cox!  I’ve sent you an email, so please get back to me with your address.

Thanks to everyone who entered, reblogged, and retweeted my giveaway and especially, thanks to Kate Sparkes!

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Giveaway – Signed Copy of Bound by Kate Sparkes! @kate_sparkes #giveaway

 

 

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This giveaway is now closed.

My first giveaway and what a way to start – a signed paperback copy of Bound, the first book in the Bound trilogy, by Kate Sparkes!  A few weeks back, I entered her One Year Celebration Giveaway, knowing it was outside the realm of possibility that I’d win, because, well – I’ve never won anything.  Apparently, the stars aligned, the cows came home, hell froze over, and pigs flew, because I won this signed paperback copy of Bound with some extra goodies thrown in.

Since I’m already well aware of the awesomeness of Kate’s books, I thought I’d pay it forward and give someone else the opportunity to become acquainted with this utterly captivating series.  It has something for everyone – fantasy, magic, a strong female protagonist, dragons, mermaids, adventure, humor and romance.

Synopsis:  Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a sin, fairy tales are contraband, and the people live in fear of the Sorcerers on the other side of the mountains.

Rowan Greenwood has everything she’s supposed to want from life—a good family, a bright future, and a proposal from a handsome and wealthy magic hunter. She knows she should be content with what she has. If only she could banish the idea that there’s more to life than marriage and children, or let go of the fascination with magic she’s been forced to suppress since childhood.

When Rowan unknowingly saves the life of one of her people’s most feared enemies, that simple act of compassion rips her from her sheltered life and throws her into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

Rowan might get everything she ever dreamed of—that is, if the one thing she’s always wanted doesn’t kill her first.

To Enter:  All you need to do is leave a comment below (US and Canada only and please make sure your email address is in your profile) and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, July 31st.

Make sure to visit Kate’s blog to sign up for her newsletter and to read more about her Bound trilogy!

Torn (Bound Trilogy #2) by Kate Sparkes

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will torn_fullnever forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both. – Goodreads.com

After devouring Bound, the first book in this trilogy, last summer, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Torn.  This was definitely a worthy followup – no sophomore slump here, folks.

Although some readers may disagree with me, I was happy to see Rowan and Aren spend some time apart in this book.  Both had some things to figure out and work through and became stronger in the end.  It was nice to see Rowan mature and develop and come into her own.  Aren struggled with the decision of which path to choose in his life and learned some unexpected news that may change his course entirely.

Some new characters were introduced in this second book and I have to admit I had conflicting feelings regarding Nox.  One moment she was behaving like a spoiled brat, then others, she was a nurturing, caring person.  Florizel was a delight – how can you not like a flying horse?  He’s not a new, but Kel was definitely a welcome returning character – such a great sense of humor and loyal friend.

I liked the way magic was portrayed as it related to sorcerers and sorceresses.  They didn’t have an infinite quantity of magic, making them vulnerable at times, and were gifted in certain areas more than others, giving the plot more complexity and depth.

The final book in this trilogy will determine the outcome of the power struggle, where some characters’ loyalties lie, and the repercussions of paths chosen by some characters and the decisions they made in this book.  I can’t wait.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.