A Blackbird in Silver by Freda Warrington (Blackbird #1)

A Blackbird in Silver Cover

Blackbird in Silver Blurb

From Forluin, green, half-fabled land of beauty and peace, has journeyed the gentle Estarinel, bearing tragic news.

From the terrible Empire of Gorethria rides Ashurek; a lean and deadly warrior, once High Commander of its Armies, scourge of the Earth, hated and feared across continents.

The third is known only as Medrian. Coldly wrapped in her cloak of sorrow, her eyes deep-shadowed with suffering long-endured, she will explain nothing of her reasons.

Theirs is the Quest. They must slay the great Serpent before it lays waste and utterly destroys the Earth. Together they must seek its lair in
the far frozen north, battling peril and nightmare until they face the ultimate, indestructible foe.

Three warriors. An epic Quest. They are the world’s last hope.

My Reviews of other Books in the Series

A Blackbird in Darkness (Blackbird #2)
A Blackbird in Amber (Blackbird #3)

My Review of A Blackbird in Silver

A Blackbird in Silver (Blackbird, #1)A Blackbird in Silver by Freda Warrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three mismatched companions start out on a quest to find a way to kill the great serpent M’gulfn that is trying to destroy the Earth. The serpent is slowly spreading despair and anguish, causing wars and laying countries to waste so nothing can grow or survive there.

I first read this book about 20 years ago, and it’s survived 4 house moves, my years and university and many, many book clear outs.

It’s rare that I remember much that happens in books I’ve read before, and I don’t remember how it ends or how it started, but what I do remember is the feeling I got reading this series.

That’s stopped me getting rid of the books many times over the years. I always meant to re-read it, but in a few months I’m going to a convention where Freda Warrington will be appearing so I thought I should read it again before I take it to get it signed.

The way it’s written reminds me of how Ursula Le Guin or Tanith Lee writes. It’s quite simplistic in style, almost in the way a children’s book would be, though the content is very adult and the characters find themselves in some dark situations.

The three companions that set out on the quest have rich and detailed backstories and don’t instantly bond.

Ashurek’s story is very detailed and he is a very complex character. he’s been through a lot and done some very bad things but even though he realises this, he also knows it’s M’gulfn’s influence that sent him on this path. He wants to make amends but he’s not consumed by guilt.

Medrian I remembered from the first time I read the book, the cold, pale, dark haired woman that won’t explain her reason for joining the quest, I also remembered what her secret is. That’s probably affected my re-read, I’m not getting the sense of mystery or confusion over her behaviour that I probably should be. But she is still my favourite character in the story, quiet and withdrawn and acts almost like she is in constant pain, but she still comes alive when in danger or in a fight. We see rare smiles, glimpses of what she would be like if she weren’t carrying these dark secrets.

Though the basic story elements are standard fantasy fare it’s taken in a different direction. It has strong, unique characters that carry the story and I found myself engrossed in their stories.

Things get very dark, with some almost horror elements finding their way in, demons, torture and dead soldiers raised to fight for the enemy. There’s a hopeless, desperate feel that permeates the book.

There’s also a bit of sci-fi mixed in, but I won’t go into that because I don’t want to spoil the plot!

These things make it stand out from the norm, it’s something a bit different if you read a lot of fantasy books.

It’s a hard one for me to rate, I would normally say 3 stars, but I still think about this book 20 years after reading it and that has to lift it to a 4.

A Blackbird in Silver
Blackbird
Freda Warrington
Fantasy
March 5th 1992
304

Minion (Vampire Huntress #1) by L.A. Banks

minion

Minion Blurb

All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a spoken word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records. But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons—predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy.

When strange attacks erupt within the club drug-trafficking network and draw the attention of the police, Damali realizes these killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. Soon she discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire Damali has ever met—a seductive beast who is coming for her next…

My Review of Minion

Minion (Vampire Huntress, #1)Minion by L.A. Banks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

dnf at page 148.

I had high hopes for Minion, I really wanted to like it. But the story ripped straight from Buffy, the confusing writing, too many viewpoints, and a cast of bland characters meant I got bored and gave up halfway through.

Nothing about the world or the background of the characters was explained, we are dropped straight into the middle of the action with no reference points or understanding of what’s going on.

Halfway through the book and there was still have explanation of what they’re fighting or why they’re doing.

The confusing writing doesn’t help, some sentences just didn’t make sense no matter how many times I read them.

Maybe it gets better later on, or in the next book, because this is a popular series. But for me it’s not worth the effort to even finish this one.

Minion
L.A. Banks
Urban Fantasy

Street Magic (Black London #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

Street Magic black London #1 review

Street Magic Description

Pete Caldecott was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life  mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes.

Now a detective , Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tip has led police directly to the child but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack.

Strung out on heroin, Jack is a shadow of his former self.  But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.

Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago.

My Review of Street Magic

Street Magic (Black London, #1)Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The writing was a bit clunky and awkward. I found it was often difficult to follow what was going on, and why they are doing things.

There wasn’t much of an atmosphere to it, I didn’t get a feel for London itself, and Black London was brushed over. Pete and Jack dipped in and out of it but what it is and what it’s like wasn’t explained so it never came to life for me, I couldn’t picture it

The magic was hard to understand too, but it is a series so maybe it’s explained more in later books.

Main character Peter grated on me. I’m not convinced she is really an Inspector because she acts more like an impulsive child, shouting and whining and making daft threats to criminals. She never did any actual police work so it was hard to understand the professional side of her.

And some of the things she did were odd, like why didn’t she report the first tip off from Jack? Why keep it a secret?

I can’t remember that she what she looks like was described either. She was just a bit bland. Towards the end of the book she was getting a bit more badass, so again maybe she gets better later in the series!

I did like Jack, but I don’t understand why he holds such a grudge against Pete? He dragged her into something she didn’t understand then got upset when she ran scared. And he’d held on to it for 12 years then suddenly changed his mind?

I also liked attraction between Pete and Jack. It was building up towards the end of the book with some moments between them that sparked. I think it holds potential for future books.

Overall there just wasn’t enough magic and not enough of the police work I’d been hoping for. It didn’t hold my interest and I ended up speed reading the last third.

View all my reviews on GoodReads

Street Magic
Black London
Caitlin Kittredge
Urban Fantasy

Made For Sin by Stacia Kane

made for sin book review

Description

A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.

But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.

Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.

The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

My Review of Made for Sin

Well I really enjoyed reading this one, it was one of those books where I could happily have turned the world off and stayed at home curled up on the sofa until I’d finished it.

I liked Speare and Ardeth, they were both interesting and the attraction between them sizzled nicely. I want more of them, it can’t end the way it did! And I want to see Ardeth again, using her thieving skills more, and generally being clever and winding Speare up.

The only thing that felt a bit off for me was that I couldn’t picture Speare very well. Near the end of the book it says that he’s tall but other than that I didn’t get a good mental picture of what he looked like.

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Made for Sin
Stacia Kane
Urban Fantasy
August 30th 2016
266