Blog Tour: Shadow-Stained by Rachel Hobbs

Hello, reader!

Welcome to another blog tour posted hosted by the ever fabulous The Write Reads! My tour stop today features a book that is perfect for this time of year. It features demons, an ancient artifact, and perhaps a touch of the end of the world as we know it. It’s a dark fantasy novel that doesn’t hold back on the gore… or the sexual tension: Shadow-Stained by Rachel Hobbs!

Now, before I jump into my stop and my review, I want to say thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for participation with this tour. It is, as always, much appreciated. All views written here are definitely my own!

Now, let’s get to the post.


Book Details


  • Title: Shadow-Stained
  • Author: Rachel Hobbs
  • Publication date: April 14th, 2020
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: For a list of potential content and trigger warnings, check out this book’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

Synopsis


“For her, it’s her late grandma’s legacy. For him, the mother of all black arts spoils, granting one demon the power of a God. Immortality.

When occult-magnet Ruby falls victim to Demon Lord Drayvex’s viperous allure, she loses a sentient dark relic to his light fingers and appetite for power. Like calls to like. But when Drayvex himself loses the relic to a traitor to the throne, Ruby coerces him – the tyrant king with a soft spot for humanity – into helping her save her pokey old world village from becoming a ground zero of mass demonic carnage.

Both invested in reclaiming the relic, the one thing Ruby and Drayvex agree on is that it’s in the wrong hands. Co-existing in a precarious arrangement between predator and prey, to save the planet they both love for different reasons, they must become a formidable double-team in the face of an apocalyptic takeover. Now, the fate of both human and demon alike rests with a killer that walks between worlds, and a woman with a curse in her bloodline.”

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Blog Tour: Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee

Hello, reader!

I feel like it’s been a minute since I’ve done a blog tour post. After having multiple tours every month since the beginning of 2021, it’s weird to have a month where I only have one, lol. My one tour for the month of July is being hosted by the ever wonderful The Write Reads and I’m happy to report that it turned out to be a great time, too! Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee is a dark fantasy novel that features magic, action, and, as promised in the title, daemons.

Before I get into the post and my review, though, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for my participation with this tour. As always, it is very much appreciated!

That being said, let’s get to it!


Synopsis


If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale. Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.”

Book Details


  • Title: Kings and Daemons
  • Series: The Gifted and the Cursed #1
  • Author: Marcus Lee
  • Publication date: May 25th, 2020
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: For a full list of potential content and trigger warnings, check out this book’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Book Links

Amazon::Goodreads

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First Lines Friday #15

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

It’s time once again for another First Lines Friday! But this Friday is a little different as I’m also participating in Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week. The idea for this came from an incredible blogger, Jodie @ Witty and Sarcastic Book Club and it’s been a blast seeing all the posts celebrating authors who sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve. In the spirit of the week, I’ve decided to feature a self-published author this First Lines Friday. This is a book that is part of a blog tour I’ll be participating in, as well, so keep an eye out for that post later on this month!

But for now, let’s check out the first few lines!


The Line(s):

“The moon shone fiercely, brushing aside any attempt by the clouds to diminish its radiance. Usually, the glow would have brought comfort, a respite from the night’s black embrace, but not this night.
Instead, it brought everything into stark contrast, creating shadows in which evil spirits might lurk waiting to snatch the unwary who were foolish enough to walk the streets at this hour.
Except, there was nobody left to walk these particular streets.”


The Hints:

This is the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy.

It features a huntress who could change the fate of the world.

There’s magic and daemons, so you know I’m sold!


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.
Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.
Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.”


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Blog Tour: Oathbreaker by A.J. Rettger

Hello, reader!

It’s my stop on another Storytellers On Tour blog tour today. I’m excited to talk to you about a fantasy novel that captured my attention called Oathbreaker by A.J. Rettger! This book features knights, elves, and a heaping helping of intrigue.

Before I continue, I want to thank the wonderful folks at Storytellers On Tour and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for my participation with this tour! I always appreciate being able to help promote books and that’s especially true for indie authors. Also, if you’d like to visit any of the other stops on this fabulous tour, click the banner below to go to the tour schedule:

Now, let’s get to the post! Oh, and keep reading til the end for a surprise!


Synopsis


“For thousands of years, elves and non-humans alike had lived freely until humans colonized their land and forced them into hiding and subjugation. After years of living as slaves or second-class citizens, the elves rebelled, but their uprising failed, and humans remained victorious.

Mario Deschamps, a new graduate of the Knight’s College, sets off to complete his first deed, an accomplishment that will grant him knighthood and into the ordo equestris. But he has huge boots to fill. His late father, a famous knight and considered the Scourge of Bandits, single-handedly ended the Elven Uprising. Mario’s youthful confidence, vanity, and naivety don’t get him far in the real world, and he quickly finds himself trapped in a political climate where tensions are on the rise and war is inevitable.

In a world filled with monsters, outlaws, bounty hunters, demons, and murderous bandits, Mario is forced to make tough moral decisions. In a world fuelled by violence, hate, and bigotry, things are not as clear cut as he once thought. Lines have been drawn, but to complete his task, he must cross them all. With every choice, the consequences weigh greatly on him, leaving him full of guilt and doubting his path . . . and all the while, in the darkness, someone-or something-is waiting for him to break . . ..

A.J. Rettger weaves an epic tale of politics and prejudice, war and depravity, and legacy and destiny in his action-packed debut fantasy Oathbreaker….”

Book Details


  • Author: A.J. Rettger
  • Publisher: Friesen Press
  • Publication date: November 7th, 2020
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy
  • Age group: Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, gore, sexual assault, rape, coarse language, torture

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Friesen::Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski

Hello, reader!

Today, I am one of the stops on a blog tour for Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski! The tour is being put on by Storytellers on Tour, which is a blog and bookstagram tour company that focuses on indie published fantasy and sci-fi. Which I think is pretty awesome! To see all the other amazing blogs on this tour, check out the schedule here. It was a privilege to be able to participate in this tour! Thank you to Storytellers on Tour and the publisher for letting me come along for the ride.

But enough rambling about the tour… let’s talk about this book!

Synopsis

“A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.

Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.”

Book Details

  • Author: Brianna Sugalski
  • Publisher: The Parliament House
  • Series: Disenchanted #1
  • Publication date: March 10, 2020
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy/Historical Fantasy
  • Age group: Young adult/New adult
  • Content Warnings: Violence, attempted rape

Book Links

Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

About the Author

With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curious andbewitching—Brianna Sugalski is an author and blogger. Previously, she was a staff contributor forLifestyle & Fashion online magazine, Sarah Scoop, and also served as Copy Editor and Editor-In-Chief at her school publications.Brianna was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but now travels the country every fewyears with her husband and children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing upreading period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives thatreaders will hopefully enjoy.Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives and to helpthem discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.

Author Links

Website::Twitter::Facebook::Instagram::Goodreads

My Review

“My point is, if you cannot live with the shard of darkness that rests within you, then tell me, princess… How will you live with all of mine?”

I have to be honest. Even after reading the synopsis for this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I love a dark fantasy, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a dark YA fantasy. It sounded intriguing, though, so I decided to give it a go.

Disenchanted is definitely not lacking in action! This was a fast-paced read, with the action starting from chapter one and keeping you in it’s grip until the very end. There was no point in this story that I felt like it was lagging or getting dull. I do enjoy a fantasy that can keep me interested throughout the entire story. This was expertly paced, which made it a very quick read.

I also enjoyed the development of both our main characters, Lilac and Garin. It was interesting to follow a heroine who wasn’t immediately a badass. Lilac is definitely fierce and bold when she is cornered, but you can tell she’s spent most of her life locked away in a castle. She makes some… dubious choices, but, you know what? It’s a little refreshing reading about a heroine that isn’t instantly perfect. Lilac is messy and has flaws and it makes her a nuanced character. I felt like I would have like to see her grow a little more throughout the book, but this is the first book of a series, so it kinda makes sense. Her arc is yet to be completed!

As for Garin, he was an interesting protagonist. Again, like Lilac, he has his issues and flaws that made him come alive on the page. He is kind of your typical, tortured bad boy, but there are little traits sprinkled into him that make him just that much more intriguing. I honestly wish we could have had more of his prospective in the story! Either way, I liked watching his development as I read this book.

The one thing I would say felt a little rushed to me was the romance. This is probably because I went into this expecting more fantasy than romance. The fantasy elements were fantastic, but the romance very quickly took over. It felt a little insta-lovey, which is not my favorite thing. Still, even with the insta-love, I thought the author did a beautiful job of twisting the heartstrings as we watched these two spiral towards one another.

I think my favorite thing about this book was the world-building. I loved all the myths and supernatural creatures that were woven throughout this book! And the creepy, atmospheric descriptions of the forest Brocèliande were just… *chef’s kiss* The author has a way with beautifully wrought descriptions. It was so easy to picture the forest in my mind’s eye. I felt the closeness of the witch’s hut. Strong descriptions are something I always appreciate in my fantasy reads! It makes it so easy to get lost in the story.

Final thoughts: This was a dark, atmospheric fantasy book that will have you captivated from page one. The characters are interesting to follow and I really enjoyed watching their development. I was a little thrown off with how much romance was in this book, but I still enjoyed my reading experience.

Star rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Click the banner to go to the tour page