Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

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#1.) Red Rising ★★★
#2.) Golden Son ★★★★

“The Reaper has come. And he’s brought hell with him.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Red Rising, even though I might be the only one left at this point, in this world that takes place in our universe, starring a young man from Mars, everyone is subdivided into color categories based on their skill sets, income, hair color, and what last name they possess (information provided by the Red Rising Wiki page):

Golds – Rulers of society
Silvers – Financiers and businessmen
Whites – The clergy
Coppers – Administrators, lawyers and bureaucrats
Blues – Astronavigators of ships
Yellows – Doctors and scientists
Greens – Programmers and developers
Violets – The creative class such as artists
Oranges – Mechanics
Grays – Law-enforcement, security, military and other armed personnel
Browns – Servants
Obsidians – “Monstrous race only bred for war”
Pinks – Pleasure slaves
Reds – The unskilled and menial laborers

Darrow, that young man that was born and raised in the mines of Mars as a Red, has some pretty traumatic things happen to him in Red Rising that has lead to him being the main tool in a rebellion for equality among the colors.

“Justice isn’t about fixing the past, it’s about fixing the future. We’re not fighting for the dead. We’re fighting for the living. And for those who aren’t yet born.”

I enjoyed this and Golden Son more than Red Rising, and with the heartbreaking cliffhanger at the end of Golden Son I couldn’t resist immediately picking up this conclusion novel. And I’m so very thankful I did, because this book was such an immersive and addicting read.

This being the final novel in this series, the rest of this review is going to contain SPOILERS. I’m not going to say exactly what happened, but you will obviously know who has lived and who has died, and you’ll also have a pretty good idea about who was fighting for what side. Please do not continue on if you haven’t read this series, or if you do not wish to be mildly spoiled.

“This is always how the story would end. Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”

That ending. That freakin’ ending. That ending was everything. Like, my crops are watered, my family is fed, and my skin is clear perfection. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this ending.

Okay, so the middle of this book was very slow for me. Not that I don’t love and have a soft spot for the Obsidians, and I know that story line was important to the end, but I was forcing myself to keep reading. I was pretty convinced I was going to give this a not so great rating, but that ending happened, that ending was everything.

I was crying over Cassius, because he is my favorite character, and absolutely hating Sevro. Then I was crying over what a perfect little cinnamon roll Sevro is. Then I was crying over Sevro, and hating Cassius with everything that I am. Then I was crying over Cassius, and crying over Sevro, and just crying in general, because I was such an emotional mess. Like, my body and emotions couldn’t handle the ending of this book. Then Mustang went and just flat out killed me.

The ending of this book is honestly up there with The Hero of Ages for me. This conclusion was a perfect way to end this trilogy, and I feel almost at a loss for words, because I honestly believe Pierce Brown wrapped this series up perfectly.

Even though the ending was perfect, and I loved the beginning where we get to see the consequences of Golden Son’s cliffhanger, like I said above, I was extremely bored during the middle of this book. And even though I recognize the importance of that middle section, I still can’t bring myself to give this five stars, even though that ending was everything I could ever wish for in a book and I simply cannot stop gushing or thinking about it.

I also want to mention that I still hate Roque and I absolutely hated the way Darrow was impacted by his death. Like, gross. Please stop.

I was also pretty upset with Ragnar’s death. I gushed about him pretty hard in my Golden Son review, and I just think his character deserved better. I know that this story is essentially about an intergalactic war that is ever approaching, and that it is unrealistic that everyone makes it out alive, but I just wish it wouldn’t have been him.

“Our lives mean so much more than the frail bodies that carry them.”

But besides the ending, I did love many other things about this book and series:
➽ I loved the obvious social issues this book touches upon that mirrors our society that the people we place in power today. Obviously it’s not as drastic as the difference between Reds and Golds, but maybe one day it will be. Hell, 2017 has been pretty depressing so far.

➽I loved the constant reminder of how important friendships are. I also loved how this book actually portrays friendship, and how you will fight with your friends when you believe they are doing something that is wrong. That’s real and good friendship; wanting that person to be the best that they can be and that sometimes means calling your friends out on things. Sevro and Darrow are friendship goals.

➽I loved the importance of Darrow constantly building his social network. The whole spectrum of colors won this war, not just Reds and Golds. It was so believable the way Darrow made more and more connections and more and more important people and leaders believed in him and his cause. It wasn’t just a forced happy ending where everything works out (I’m looking at you ACOWAR), but it was a constant struggle and battle, which Darrow worked very hard to achieve.

➽I loved Cassius and Darrow’s whiskey conversation. It honestly gave me life.

➽I loved Quicksilver. Like, everything about him. Everything.

➽I loved the cannibals from the ship crash. It was so scary and atmospheric; I was on the edge of my seat constantly. Which probably also helped to make the part right after the cannibals boring.

➽I loved the realistic villains in this story, and even though they were horrible people, they were amazingly written characters who were all very believable reasoning for their actions. Also, the Jackal wearing that rib-cage broke me. Such a convincing and utterly downright scary villain.

➽I loved Mustang/Virginia and her character growth since Red Rising. I know a lot of people have problems with her manipulating Cassius and keeping a big secret from Darrow, but this is a time of war and she has had to watch every man she has ever loved be evil. I totally get her not trusting anyone and doing some shady things to win a war. I’m not saying it is right or ethical, but it is believable. My heart bleeds for her character and what she had to watch her family become. I weep for everything she has given up in the face of justice, equality, and love. I feel like Pierce Brown wrote such a spectacular female character that is strong yet compassionate, beautiful yet brutal, merciful yet proactive, and so very real. She is one of my favorite characters of all time.

(Breathtaking art by: Grace Zhu)

“Life’s not just a matter of breathing, it’s a matter of being.”

I would completely recommend this series to anyone who has a love for SFF. I also have nothing but high hopes for the rest of Pierce Brown’s career, and I cannot wait to read Sons of Ares this month and Iron Gold upon release next January.

And I want to give a huge thank you for all my friends that encouraged me to continue on with this series, when I was being very apprehensive over Red Rising. And I want to give an extra special shout out to Gelisvb for letting me bounce all my feelings off of her, and for letting me gush and cry and rant nonstop to her. Seriously, she’s amazing, please go friend request and/or follow her! 💖

“They call me the Morning Star. That star by which griffin-riders and travelers navigate the wastes in the dark months of winter. The last star that disappears when daylight returns in the spring.”

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

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1.) A Court of Thorns and Roses ★★★★
2.) A Court of Mist and Fury ★★★★★

“A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.”

I had really high hopes for this, like really high, and I did enjoy it, but I can’t help being reminded that this was nothing close to the perfection that ACOMAF was. My reading experience was honestly reminiscent to Harry Potter, because I was fangirling every other page, while squealing and giggling and rolling around on my bed like I was twelve again! And when I saw that the prologue was in Rhysand’s point of view, I did the longest yeah boy ever. Big shout out to Paloma for putting up with my thirsty self, because she’s the best and her Snapchats gave me life throughout our read through! ❤

Yet, when I turned that last page a wave of disappointment and apprehension hit me, and it hit me hard. There was some really bad feeling plot fixes that were really forced, unbelievable, and convenient. Then, which I will never fault an author for trying to put diversity and representation in her cast, but Sarah J. Maas made it feel really inauthentic and exploitative, I’m not going to lie. I also feel like she added so many side characters and side plots to further advance the spin-offs that are going to start coming in 2018. Also, anyone else feeling some Swan Lake retelling vibes?

The one thing that I didn’t enjoy, but I’m sure many of my friends and followers will enjoy, is that there was a lot less sex in this book. Like, that first sex scene hit, and I was like “okay” and that was really the only major sex scene throughout this 700 page book. Like, they spoke about sex, and gave little tidbits of small sex scenes here and there, and for sure alluded to having sex a lot, but it was nothing close to the erotic things that ACOMAF and EoS had inside them. Nowhere freakin’ close.

This is the first conclusion we’ve ever had from Sarah J. Maas and I am overall very happy with this very loose retelling of Snow White. I don’t want you guys to think I hated this or anything, because I obviously didn’t and a three star rating is still good! I just expected this to end up on my “best books of 2017” list, like both ACOTAR (2015) and ACOMAF (2016) did, and I’m not so sure that it will.

Also, a lot of people were hurt and offended by some acephobia in the ACOWAR preview chapters, surrounding Hybern’s niece and nephew that were very much involved with each other (yeah, think Jamie and Cersei). I completely see both sides of this argument and, again, your opinions and feelings are completely valid, but I feel like it’s very important to note that there is a discussion going on around this, especially to all my ace friends and followers, because I never want to see any of you harmed or hurt, especially not by problematic material in books.

The rest of my review is going to contain MAJOR SPOILERS for both ACOTAR, ACOMAF, and this book, ACOWAR! Please, do not proceed to read any further unless you have read this book and its predecessors or you wish to be spoiled!

“I repeated their names silently, over and over into the darkness. Rhysand. Mor. Cassian. Amren. Azriel. Elain. Nesta.”

Okay, let’s just talk about the characters and how they made me feel for a minute:

Feyre (The Night Court) – Feyre is such a well developed character. Seeing everything she’s gone through, and how much she’s grown, it is just incredible. I loved how she dismantled the Spring Court. I loved when she fell to her knees when she saw Rhysand. I loved how she picked her sisters over everything. I loved Feyre in this, and I most loved that by the end of this trilogy she loved herself.

Rhysand (The Night Court) -My heart, my soul, my body, my everything. If I could have one book boyfriend, I would pick Rhysand every fucking time. No contest, no questioning, nothing, I’d pick Rhysand instantly. Boys, read this book and study this man! I think most girls can agree he is the closest thing to perfection in this world. His banter, his sense of humor, his selflessness, his devotion, his unconditional love, his patience, his determination, everything. When we would be reminded how he taught Feyre to read, I can’t even describe that feeling. Sarah J. Maas was so smart to write that, because all of us as book and reading lovers can relate to how empty a world would feel without reading, and Rhysand gave that to her! Ah, I can’t. I have no words, other than Rhysand is perfection.

Cassian (The Night Court) – The light of my life and everything that is good in this world. Cassian made this book so enjoyable for me. He had so many good quotes, too! I couldn’t believe how hard he won me over, but I was swooning for him throughout this entire book!

Azriel (The Night Court) – Azriel, as much as I do like him, is going to cause Lucien so much pain and suffering. I mean, I feel really bad for him because of Mor, and I desperately want him to find someone, but the future is looking pretty bleak for him, I’m not going to lie. Maybe the girl that he and Feyre saved will end up being his mate. I mean, that would seem random for Sarah J. Maas if she didn’t end up playing a bigger role, and we know how much she likes pairing people off.

Morrigan/Mor (The Night Court) – Or maybe that girl will end up with Mor! You know that exploitative feeling I was talking about at the start of my review? Yeah, it’s right here. Mor is now a lesbian, which would have made such a powerful impact on me if it didn’t feel fake and forced. Again, I’m not going to fault anyone for trying to have more representation in their books, especially not someone like Sarah J. Maas who needs more representation in their books, but this didn’t feel authentic to me whatsoever. Also, there was that scene where everyone was pretty much like “Yeah! I’m bisexual, too!” and that felt really condescending and borderline offensive to me. I’m very curious to see what everyone else thinks about Mor’s development. Also, Rhys’ interactions with Mor in this book were not okay. He treated Mor badly in this book. Not only did he end up making her feel unsafe at the meeting with her father, ultimately making her feel unsafe in her own home, but he also made her sit through all that abuse when the High Lords met up. Both scenes were honestly hard to stomach, and completely abusive and not okay.

Amren (The Night Court) – I felt a little baited by Amren at the end. Not the question if she was bad or not, I never really thought that, but when she came out of the cauldron with Rhys, I thought she was a human! So I was like “oh my gosh, how is this going to work now that she’s weaker than she was, and she’s going to age and everything?” And then Rhys is like “Well, she’s still a high fae and I’m sure she will develop a new power!” And I’m like…. Okay, I was dumb.

Varian (The Summer Court) – Varian and Amren’s romance was everything! When she came out of the tent wearing his shirt, I lost it. I loved that they found happiness with each other, and I love than Varian begged her but ultimately supported her decision to save everyone. Relationship goals, you all.

Nesta – I love when an author makes me feel very vast and different things for a character, and I will give Sarah J. Maas all the props in the world for Nesta. I really thought she was being so unfair and hard towards Feyre, especially after everything Feyre has done for her family, but it ended up working out for me. I loved that Nesta was connected to the cauldron, because she refused to not take something from it. I loved how she didn’t just swoon and fall all over hot ass Cassian instantly, because I’m not sure I would have that same strength. I loved how she forgave and accepted the love her sister wanted to give her all along. I loved the scene with her, Feyre, and Elain all curled up together, because I love books about siblings being close and having that unconditional love with each other. I’m so happy they found it, and I can’t wait to read more about it in future spin-offs. When Nesta laid down on top of Cassian, I had to put my book down and walk around my house for like fifteen minutes, because I couldn’t deal. It was perfect and if I could have any spin-off I would pick Cassian and Nesta.

Elain – Like, when that human boy told her he’d never love her, just because she’s fae now, my heart broke. I don’t know why that felt so real to me, but that hit me way harder than it should have. I guess it is just the young girl in me, remembering how you think your first love will be your only love, and then getting slapped with the realization that that isn’t ever close to being true, but yeah, I felt that scene. I loved that Elain is a seer, and I can’t wait to see how that develops further with the spin-offs. Also, give me that good Lucien angst, please.

Lucien – First and foremost, I loved who really was Lucien’s dad. Like, that was a plot twist that I loved and wasn’t expecting at all! Now, more Dawn Court please! It also gives me all the hope in the world that Lucien will get a spin-off. Also, I’m really curious to learn more about Lucien’s past and about Jesminda.

Tamlin (The Spring Court) – I am not excusing his or anyone else’s abuse, ever, but my favorite part of this book was when Tamlin told Feyre to be happy. Take that information and do what you wish with it, but I wouldn’t hate a Tamlin spin-off where he learns how to control the anger and rage inside of him. I never truly ever hated Tamlin, I just fell in love with Rhys the first moment he appeared in ACOTAR.

Alis (The Spring Court) – Beautiful little cinnamon roll! I was so happy that her and those two little boys were in this final installment! I loved her perception, her input, and her constant encouragement. I hope this isn’t the last time we see Alis.

Ianthe (The Spring Court) – Evil bitch from Hell, legitimately the devil incarnate. I loved her death, like, fucking loved it! And I loved the greater discussion on how women can rape and sexually assault men, too. When someone doesn’t want you to touch them, don’t touch them. It’s not a hard concept, and it is something that not just men are guilty of, and I really liked the showcasing of that.

Tarquin (The Summer Court) – I like Tarquin a lot, and I think Sarah J. Maas will further progress his character as the spin-off stories go on. Also, I loved how he mass killed Hybern’s army by drowning them on land.

King of Hybern – He was super rapey in this book. Like, he kept threatening rape constantly and I’m like, “where did this come from?” Also, for being such a powerful and smart leader who has been waiting for his vengeance all these years, he was pretty dumb. Like, he just let a girl walk up and stab him in the back of the neck. Really? Super anticlimactic and chaotic evil villain.

Jurian – I loved his plot-twist and how he was playing secret agent with Hybern. Jurian was, for me, an all around good character, and super enjoyable to read about. And, holy moly, does he have some background stories to tell. I have a strong feeling he and Queen Vassa are going to receive the spin-off, and even though it isn’t my personal first choice, I will totally still read it.

Miryam – Miryam was Jurian’s half-fae ex lover who is talked about pretty frequently in this series. Everyone presumed her dead, but it is revealed that she faked her death so she could live peacefully with Drakon on a hidden island very similar to Velaris! She’s also going to take the cauldron back to hide it with her and Drakon’s people.

Drakon – I love Drakon’s back story on how he was given Miryam as a slave for an arranged marriage gift, and how he let her go to just ultimately fall in love and give up everything for her. Yeah, big fan. Also, him and Miryam totally came and helped save the day in the end, so kudos to both of them.

The Bone Carver – The Bone Carver ended up being one of my favorites from this story. He also opened the door for old gods in this story, and I can’t wait to see how that develops! His death hit me pretty hard, just because I believe he was fully aware of what would happen, yet he sacrificed his life anyway because Feyre was worthy. Please, these tears.

The Weaver – In ACOMAF, I loved the story arc with the Weaver and her house, so I was really excited when it became apparent that she was going to be in this story, too! I cannot believe she is the sister of the Bone Carver, and her actions and emotions during the final battle hit me pretty hard. Again, such a wonderful character that was an absolute treat to read about, especially with Ianthe’s ending.

Bryaxis – Um, I need Bryaxis, Feyre, Nesta, and Elain tea parties right now! I know so little about this mysterious creature, but my heart wept for its seclusion under the library for all those years. I can’t wait to see interactions with Bryaxis and the others!

The Suriel – LITTLE ANGEL THAT WAS TOO GOOD AND PURE FOR THIS WORLD. I thought we would see the Suriel in this final installment, but his death hit me like Dobby from Harry Potter. I was not prepared and neither were my never ending tears. Seriously, the Suriel was the star of this book.

“I understood why the Suriel had come to help me, again and again. Not just for kindness … but because it was a dreamer. And it was the heart of a dreamer that had ceased beating inside that monstrous chest.”

I guess I’ll move on to some of the plot developments that bothered me. Like, I loved when Lucien went off to on his side quest to find the lost queen and her court, but then Feyre’s dad came and saved the day in the end, with an entire army at his disposal. Like, that felt bad. Didn’t this dude leave his daughters poor and starving? All because he knew a fae war was coming? I don’t buy or believe that what so ever and I completely think Sarah J. Maas killed him off because that would have been such a weird and awkward reunion! I honestly hated that the dad showed up. Hated it. I wish Lucien would have gotten all the glory. Like, it’s cool he brought an army and named his ships after them, but, dude, you weren’t there when your three daughters truly needed you.

Okay, let’s talk about the sexual representation that I started to discuss in Mor’s character break down above. Let me say this extra loud for people in the back: Just because you have or want to have a threesome with someone of the same sex, even though you are only planning to have sex with the opposite sex, it does not make you bisexual. Okay? Okay. That’s such a gross stereotype for bisexuals, regardless. And that scene at the High Lord’s conference/meeting made me cringe so freaking hard, it was actually unreal. Also, I’m not telling anyone how to be a bisexual or a lesbian, but my personal opinion is that Mor is more bi. Like, again, I don’t want to tell people how to feel about their own sexuality – whatever you feel is completely valid – but she has enjoyed sleeping with men for all these years. Also, her telling Feyre she was a lesbian came straight out of left field. Again, it just felt so forced and so condescending to me. I applaud Sarah J. Maas for trying, I really do, but this representation wasn’t well done. Hopefully, in future books, Mor’s sexuality is done better and feels more authentic.

Moving on, how did we not get confirmation that Feyre was pregnant? Like, you all were seeing those constant hints too, right? I would have bet everything I owned that that was how this book was going to end, with her telling Rhys, but it never came and I was so shocked!

Also, when Chapter 76 ended with the line “Rhys was dead” I thought it was real and that’s how this book was going to end, with him sacrificing himself for his people. I was ready to throw my book across the room. I thought he was going to die, and that Feyre was going to be pregnant with his baby and that was going to be his legacy. I am so happy it didn’t happen like that, but I was crying so hard through Chapter 77 that I could barely see. I’m seriously too damn emotionally invested in the fictional character that is Rhysand.

“Every piece of my still-healing heart belonged to him.”

Despite all of the things that bothered me, Sarah J. Maas writes romance really well, like really well. All the people that hate on her can say what they want, but she knows how to write that good angst that makes you completely enthralled and addicted, where you can’t pull away from her stories. I’m not even close to a Sarah J. Maas fangirl, but I’m speaking the truth; she knows how to write romance, and I think that’s why I was disappointed with this book, after being so in love and obsessed with ACOMAF last year. Feyre and Rhys had their romantic build up in ACOMAF, so we didn’t get any of that in ACOWAR! This book was the conclusion, which dealt with war, suffering, repercussion of certain actions, and sacrifices. It didn’t feel as good as seeing a budding, angst-filled, romance developing between Feyre and the most perfect man ever written, Rhysand.

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have … The wait was worth it.”

It also explains why I was so hyped for every scene with Cassian and Nesta, and Lucien and Elain, because those are budding romances that are just starting! And I think me being able to see and understand that helps me a lot with realizing that I did enjoy this book, it just wasn’t everything that I, personally, wanted. It was still a good conclusion, and I’m so thankful and happy that I was able to read it! Again, a three star rating is good, even though I was expecting this to be a five star rating.

I really enjoyed this, and I completely love this trilogy as a whole! I cannot wait to see what else Sarah J. Maas has in store for Pyrithion and beyond! What did you guys think? Do you think it lived up to ACOMAF? Who do you think the first spin-off will be about? My guess is Jurian and Queen Vassa, but I’m praying for Cassian and Nesta. There are truly so many questions and so many discussions to be had! I can’t wait!

I also loved how ACOWAR really brought many book, blogging, and Goodreads communities together, just because of everyone’s love and excitement for this series and for reading in general. That is something pure and special, and something that hasn’t came around for me since Harry Potter. For that, I will always cherish this series and look forward to more being released in this world.

“A gift. All of it.”

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May 2017 TBR

Even though I read fifteen things in April, I am really apprehensive about my reading in May! Many amazing books are being released in May, but I am going to be in California for a week, and I’m not sure how much reading I’m going to be able to get done. I am going to try my hardest, and these are the six books I am most looking forward to reading in May!

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas: Okay, do I really need to talk about this? Everyone knows the glory that is ACOTAR, and I hope this conclusion is nothing short of amazing! Also, I need steamy Rhysand scenes in my life, like, yesterday.

Spellslinger (Spellslinger #1) by Sebastien de Castell: As many of you know, I am obsessed with Sebastien de Castell’s Greatcoats series and I was so freakin’ excited to see that he is starting a YA series set in the same world as The Greatcoats!

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley: I am not going to lie, I don’t think this ARC is coming in the mail, and it breaks my heart that I didn’t receive it, because I completely fell in love with the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne earlier this year! This standalone stars a side character from that series, Pyrre Lakatur, and she was one of my favorites! I’m going to give this a couple more days to arrive in the mail, in case the publishers were slow, but if not, I’m just going to dive in after ACOWAR, because I can no longer wait!

Sons of Ares (Sons of Ares, #1) by Pierce Brown: In April, I read so much of the Red Rising series, and I have really enjoyed it for the most part. I was super excited to see that something new was coming out in this world in May, and even though it is just a novella, I can’t wait to read it! Especially since I’m going to have to wait until January of 2018 for Iron Gold!

Secret History (Mistborn, #3.5) by Brandon Sanderson: This is the last book of the BooktubeSFF Awards that I have to read! I have really enjoyed everything that I’ve read of Brandon Sanderson, so I have no doubts that this short story will be a wonderful read, too!

Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien de Castell: I know this was already released in EU, and it breaks my heart that I don’t have my hands on it yet, but I’m hoping this ARC comes before I leave for California, because this is my most highly anticipated book of 2017! I cannot wait to see how The Greatcoats wraps up; I just hope my heart is ready.

I hope all my friends and followers had an amazing reading month in April, and continue to do so into May! I hope I get to all six of these books, because I honestly expect most of them to be nothing short of fantastic! Also, I know I’m totally going to jinx this by saying this, but I even have high hopes that three of these will make it on my “Best Books Published in 2017” list! We shall see! ❤

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The Reborn King (The Dragon’s Blade, #1) by Michael R. Miller

ARC provided to me by author Michael R. Miller in exchange for an honest review.

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“Darnuir, memory is the heaviest of all things”

This story surrounds Darnuir, who we first meet as an arrogant Dragon Prince, who does not want to evacuate his homeland. In this world, demons are being summoned constantly by a very evil and ancient power who has bestowed some of his power onto others, who are also helping him summon demons in hopes to completely take over this world.

The demonic forces swarm Darnuir’s city sooner than expected, and he is mortally wounded from a task that he wasn’t even supposed to be in charge of. He may very well be the last of his bloodline, because of the demonic ambush, so a wizard teleports them away so that he can be reborn into a new dragon, where he will lose all of his memories, yet keep his same and very important bloodline running through his veins.

Not only is the cover of this book gorgeous, but the story is so very beautiful as well! And don’t get me wrong, I’ve read my fair share of resurrection novels, but I’m hard pressed to think of a book I’ve read about rebirthing someone. This story is captivating, the world is so unique, the writing is addicting, and the characters are so very unforgettable.

Three Races:
Dragons – Homeland = Aurisha: The dragons of this age, have morphed themselves to look like humans, and only the strongest can morph back to their original forms, but we do not get to see that in this book at all. Dragons are much stronger, faster, and overall just perform much better than humans.
Fairies – Homeland = Val’Tarra: Be still, my heart. Fairies love the trees and think of them as their children. In this book, they are blued skinned, with wings, and are naturally very magical. Reading the parts of this book that took place in their homeland were my absolute favorites chapters.
Humans – Homeland = Brevia: The humans are legitimately just like us. They do have a many groups of people scattered amongst this world that call themselves Hunters. Hunters are trained to fight for most of their lives; whether it is wild game to feed their families or demons to save their cities.

These three races are forced to band together to try to eliminate the demons and the people spawning them, and to also try and save their world.

There is a lot of important discussion about race and prejudices in this book. There is a lot of animosity between the humans and the dragons in this book, and later the fairies and another race. It is done well, and the resolution and forgiveness became such an important part of this story. I also loved how this book showcased how it can feel to be on both opposing sides.

“Love is made up of many pieces.”

Three Race Leaders:
Draconess – The Dragon King and Darnuir’s father.
Kasselle -Queen of the Fairies and my absolute favorite.
Arkus – The Human King, who has a missing son and is now overprotective of his infant daughter.

These leaders are important, but the rest of the characters in this book are so amazing, too:
Darnuir – The Dragon Prince, and our main protagonist that I talked about above!
Cosmo – A hunter that wants to just live a happy life, but ends up being forced to take on important responsibility after important responsibility.
Cassandra – A human girl who has been in captivity all her life, until she is finally able to escape to give warning for the upcoming and terrible events that are about to happen.
Balack – Darnuir’s best friend, who he has grown up with and now has a lot of unsettled tension with.
Blaine – Wielder of a powerful blade, who teaches Darnuir a lot about who he really was and who he needs to become.
Ochnic – Frost Troll who is basically a little cinnamon roll angel.

Magic users in this world have to tap into their magic using cascade energy, which is very easy to become addicted to. If you use too much, you can go insane, therefore wizards are very few in this world, because most have gone mad.

Wizards also have staffs, which doesn’t seem too uncommon for a fantasy book, but Michael R. Miller did something super unique and pretty cool. The wizards in this world are all gifted staffs that come from a tree. Those trees are constantly linked to their staffs, and the wizard can teleport to that tree at any given time. On the negative side though, if something happens to the tree that the staff was made from, the staff also suffers the same fate.

And what would a book be without…
Some Villains:
Rectar – The big bad of this story! Honestly, he’s still pretty much an enigma.
Castallan – The other wizard, and also a turn-cloak traitor who is obsessed with cascade energy.
Zarl – General of the demons, who also wears a pretty awesome set of blood armor.
Dukoona – Lord of the Spectres. He was taught by Rectar how to command demons, and for sure feels like his second in command, but he totally has his own thoughts and feelings. Okay, hear me out, but Dukoona is right up there with my favorite characters from this book, and I have so much hope for a redemption story for him.

This whole series is surrounding these three magical, powerful, and mysterious blades that are needed to win this war against the demons. Again, such a unique concept for a story, and I was completely enthralled and yearned to learn more about the history of each of these weapons.

Three Blades:
The Dragon’s Blade – The embodiment of a dragon: fire, flying, and super powerful strength. The wielder must be from the original bloodline, which also makes the leader the king of dragons.
The Guardian’s Blade – Stores very important memories and has a very magical light. The wielder will not every grow ill, and will not ever age. The blade must be passed down from the owner.
The Champion’s Blade – Mysterious and missing sword that can help them win the war against demons. The sword will find only a wielder that is worthy of it and its power. AKA: The Sword of Gryffindor.

In this book, we get to see Darnuir struggling with learning how to use the Dragon’s Blade, and we get to see glimpses of and into the Guardian’s Blade, but I cannot wait to find out any and everything about the Champion’s Blade.

I know I listed a lot of information, while also being very vague, but I feel like this story is honestly best to go into pretty blind. It is also rather difficult to talk about Darnuir’s life pre-rebirth and post-rebirth, just because I could accidentally say so many spoilers! But what I will say is that this was an amazing and almost perfect read that I would completely recommend to any fantasy lover.

This was such an addicting and fast read that I never wanted to put down. I still am absolutely blown away by this debut author’s book! It also may be, to date, the best independently published book I’ve ever read. I cannot wait to continue on with Veiled Intentions very soon, and I have tremendously high hopes for this series and for Michael R. Miller’s future!

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