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Seekers: The Winds of Change by Troy Knowlton (Book Review)

After an assassination attempt that could lead to an all-out war, Tyras and Oren, two young Seekers of the Argan Empire, are each given secret missions in an attempt to thwart the coming chaos. Both tasks require the Seekers to venture through the war-torn continent of Tiarna where the young men face mortal danger, horrible monsters, and hostile groups – all challenges Seekers are trained to combat. Luckily, the two Seekers also find guidance, friendship, and romance along the way. However, powerful and mysterious forces are conspiring behind the scenes and both Tyras and Oren will have to overcome a host of obstacles, including their own inner demons, in order to maintain a glimmer of hope for success. With war imminent and the unknown ahead, will the Seekers triumph, or will they be swallowed by the turbulent, relentless Winds of Change?

Set in a new, masterfully created high fantasy world, Seekers: The Winds of Change is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faisal.

 

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The Winds of Change by Troy Knowlton is advertised as a teen and YA fantasy book, but I think many adults will find this an exhilarating read. It did not lack action sequences. Various weaponry was used in battle: swords, arrows, cannons, bombs, and spears. Tyras and his fellow travelers faced dangers from humans, but they also had to face off against creatures. While the giant lizard (Widower) and scorpions (Barbarians’ mode of transportation in battle) would be frightening to encounter, I found the guglanni terrified me the most. They can eat through metal cages. Imagine what these oversized worms could do to a human bone. They are the stuff of nightmares! Plus, worms are just gross. 

This story did have life-and-death situations and multiple losses, but it also has romance. The scenes are not graphic, but I would suggest a parent read this book first to ensure their child won’t have an issue with the more intimate settings. As I stated in my opening sentence, this book is written with YA and teens in mind, but every child’s comfort zone is different. 

I know this book is a fantasy book, but I did have an issue with how the aftereffects of altercations were handled. For the most part, people got over severe injuries rather swiftly. I wouldn’t like to see the injuries restrict their ability to perform at their peak in the next battle. The pace of the book also seemed to have one speed. It was one life-and-death encounter after another, which is fine if that’s what you like. 

If you like fantasy books with a hint of romance, action, strong female characters, and quick-paced with surprising plot twists, please consider picking up The Winds of Change by Troy Knowlton! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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About the Author

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Troy Knowlton always had a burning desire to tell stories. He started at a young age by drawing maps of made-up continents and fantasy kingdoms. The empty kingdoms beckoned to be given life, and his work eventually blossomed, leading him to create full narratives and characters for his worlds. He currently lives in California where he works as an X-Ray technologist and teacher when he isn’t writing. He’s also a great lover of history, currently working to earn his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science.

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Court of Snakes: This Desert Cage by Tycho Dwelis (Book Review)

Content Rating:  PG + M: Some allusion to domestic abuse, fantasy violence, adults drinking alcohol
 
 
In the city of Segeno, it’s eat or be eaten. Someone has to rule the masses. A boy has lost his birthright. His parents killed. Dead and gone. A girl has lost her father. She means nothing to him now.

The city of Segeno stands tall after a great war, the only city left of its kind. Terran has lost both of his parents and is now on the run from a tyrant eager to kill him and cut off the royal bloodline. Parisa struggles with her own identity as even her father rejects her for the color of her skin as he claws for the throne. Along their journeys, they meet unexpected allies and encounter unprecedented magick, but, most importantly, they learn what it is to stand up for themselves and take back their city from corruption.

 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Court of Snakes: This Desert Cage by Tycho Dwelis began with a mammoth squashing a pickpocketer and The King batting more than one guard. I knew from the start that this book would be excellent, and as I finished the last line, I was correct. 


Teens and young adults will love how swiftly Terran, The King, and other characters navigated the districts. The movements reminded me of parkour. 


The King also taught Terran the real power of tarot cards. They don’t just see a person’s future; they allow chosen ones to harness the deck’s power. You don’t choose which card works in a particular situation. Instead, the cards seem to know what the bearer needs. The cards are judge, jury, and (at times) executioner. 


Many powers were displayed, but I liked when The King’s six swords came out. The written battle scenes were amazing, and I can only imagine how epic they would be if the movie industry could bring them to life. I would watch that movie in a heartbeat! 


With the build-up to the show-down, I expected it to be grander – longer. It was over too soon. That said, many unexpected moments happened when the war began- some shocking and rather sad. 


This story did conclude on a happy note, which is always lovely. 


While the cover is nice, I don’t think it lives up to the story’s contents. I think the colorful promo banner (shared on my site, Amazon, and Ireads Book Tour) would’ve been a better fit. It’s vibrant, eye-catching, and draws the eye. Well done to whoever created it. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Tycho Dwelis

I’m Tycho (I also use the pen name Cassidy), and I love storytelling! I’m incredibly passionate about writing, art, and anything that allows me to create my own worlds. My goal is to write dreamy fiction for all ages that is unique, inspiring, and imaginative. I like to write about themes that include coming of age, magic realism, identity, relationships, and bullying. My books are intended for readers ages eight to twenty-five, and are meant to connect the world of the fantastical to everyday life.

I currently live in Colorado and have an MA in Publishing.

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The Clinch by Nicole Disney (Book Review)

TWO WOMEN COMPETE IN A MEN’S WORLD FOR RECOGNITION & LOVE

Eden Bauer grew up in a rough part of New York with an unsafe home life and took refuge in the neighborhood Taekwondo dojang. When the master of the dojang offered to train Eden as a live-in student, he started her on a journey that would eventually lead her to become the UFC featherweight champion of the world.

Eden loves competing and coaching the underprivileged kids of her community, but just as she’s getting comfortable with her champion title, a new martial artist from a legendary family comes roaring onto the scene with a dynasty on her shoulders. Brooklyn Shaw is a loud, cocky, aggressive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu genius who’s also unfortunately pretty dreamy.

Brooklyn and Eden’s rivalry attracts worldwide attention, but as they spend time together, Eden sees past Brooklyn’s showmanship to who she really is. They ought to be perfect for one another, but can either really fall in love with the person standing in the way of her dreams?

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Acceptance is not (always) easily given or received in the LGBTQ+ community. Many individuals are currently hiding their sexuality from family and friends because they fear their loved one’s reactions—the public’s reaction in certain scenarios. 

Papa Shaw is one of those men who has preconceived notions that women should be with men only and vice versa. The world is not so cut and dry. 

Every day, people are embracing their true selves. Brooklyn is one such person. 

The Clinch is about two women fighters going from opponents to forever partners. It’s about family and all the drama that surrounds it. It’s about helping others in need. It’s about EPIC fight scenes. It’s also about showing respect to the craft, sportsmanship, or (in this case) sportswomanship. 🙂

While the fight scenes were outstanding, the sex scenes scorching hot, I’m glad Nicole Disney (the author) gave depth to her characters. They weren’t just out there throwing punches and kicks or tearing up the sheets. Eden, Brooklyn, Jin, and Laila gave back to the community – to the kids trying to survive in it.  

#PayItForward #StrongerTogether #SupportYourCommunity

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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About the Author:

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THE CLINCH brings together Nicole’s two lifelong passions: writing and martial arts. She has been a student and teacher of martial arts most of her life. She won the 18th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition for Beneath the Cracks. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

 

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By a Thread: Trueborn Heirs Series, Book 1 by Nyna Queen (Book Review)

“I’m a spider, sugar. My shaper kind doesn’t bear that name for nothing.”

 

That’s not something Alexis Harper dares to say very often. If she did, it might just get her killed. Not that she is an easy mark, but even fools get lucky once in a while.

In a world where the magically gifted trueborn rule and the magicless halfborn slog away in the slums, half-blood mongrels like Alex are outcasts—feared and shunned. For most of her life, she has lurked in the shadows, trying to keep her true nature a secret. But the secrecy ends abruptly when she saves two trueborn aristo children from a group of hired killers.

Accused of a crime she didn’t commit, Alex suddenly finds herself running from powerful enemies, with no one around to trust. Or what about the mysterious stranger who has been following her? He is one of Death’s Servants, born and bred to kill at the country’s command. Not the most preferable ally, but then, her choices are limited. Soon she has to decide whether she can trust him or not—it’s a gamble she might not survive either way. And before Alex knows what is happening, her life is hanging by a silken thread…

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

By a Thread is a well-developed story with unique characters and detail-driven battle scenes. Alex’s true self is a spider, but she isn’t like anything you’d see in a Marvel comic. She’ll make you scream, bleed, and beg for mercy. She has a tender side as well. She’s a protector. As you read By a Thread, you’ll discover she’ll go to extremes to help those she cares about. 

There were many other characters in this magical read. Each person had their own particular abilities. Darken intrigued me. He appeared to be a perfect match for Alex. They both have troubling pasts that shaped them into who they are today. Plus, they would give their lives for Max and Josy —  two kids on the run for their lives. 

If I had to give out an award for Best Supporting Character, it would go out to Blayde. Mysterious, powerful, funny, charming… oh yeah, I need me some more of him. 🙂 We only got a glimpse of his power, and it was mesmerizing. 

Special note: By a Thread ends with a cliffhanger. Story continues in book 2, Web of Lies. 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤ 

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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

 

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