Tag Archives: mythical creatures

‘Henrietta The Dragon Slayer’ Series by Beth Barany (Multi-Book Showcase)

Henrietta YA Fantasy Box Set: Books 1-3

Recommended Age: 12+
Genres/Themes: YA, adventure, fantasy

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You can also purchase each book individually.
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 ~ ~ Book 1 ~~ 

She’s a legend at 17, but only Henrietta knows the price she paid for her fame … and it was much too high.

From the Winner of the California Fiction Writer’s Book Contest comes this thrilling adventure of a young warrior on one final quest … against an opponent she swore never to face again.

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve, can’t face the thought of another kill.

She’s lost family, friends and home on her rocky road to fame.

But when the young warrior is summoned by a King to retrieve the Dragon Stone from the last dragon in existence, she can’t refuse–her mentor lies dying, and the healing stone is all that can save him.

This quest will be her most harrowing of all, for it means facing mysterious assassins, the dreaded choppy sea, and all with a misfit band — a young witch, a jester and a surly knight. And at journey’s end, someone must die … the dragon, or Henrietta.

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EXCERPT

Henrietta strode away from the tavern, fists clenched so hard they hurt. At two paces from the forest edge, the ground crunched in the black night behind her. Even with her ale-fogged brain, she sensed the presence of a man, smelled on him soot, leather and metal, and knew he was armed, but wore no armor.

She didn’t have time for this.

“What do you want?” Henrietta whirled to face the thrill seeker, her long sword drawn, her red hair whipping across her chilled cheeks. Above her head, the bitter wind keened through the forest trees.

The man hovered five feet-lengths away from her, out of sword reach, his face shadowed by the light of the tavern behind him. “I heard your story back there.” His voice, thick with a foreign accent she couldn’t place, held no compliment. “I hear you’re looking for a new quest.”

“Who gave you that idea?”

“The Song of the Dragon Slayer.” The man’s tone was flat.

So he wasn’t a fan. She didn’t care. She cared that he didn’t move any closer. Empty hands at his sides, a sheathed long sword at his belt, he was broad shouldered and taller than her by half a head.

She re-sheathed her sword reluctantly. “So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s only a song.”

“A song about you. That is why you must come with me now.” He stepped toward her, his face still hidden by darkness.

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~ ~ Book 2 ~~ 

What if all those you loved were threatened by a force you couldn’t see or fight?

Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village for a heroes’ welcome. But an unknown sorcerer rides after her and her Dragon Stone, and aims to destroy everyone she cares about.

Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend, and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?

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The early morning dawn hovered as fog wrapped around the ancient castle. Henrietta hoofed it up a staircase to meet with the new king. She was impatient to set sail on the mid-morning tide.

Henrietta knocked and slipped into the room on the command to enter. She greeted Jaxter with a firm quick hug, then stepped back, waiting for him to speak. In the castle turret room, her good friend, Jaxter, now the new King Renaldo of the Oro Islands, sat in his raised chair, regarding her with a straight face.

She wanted to shift from foot to foot, but schooled her nervous energy. That wouldn’t do for her new role as Ambassador for King Renaldo’s kingdom. Even if, she guessed, it was only an honorary title to thank her for all she’d done.

A merchant class junk would sail in a few hours, and she’d be on it, heading home to the Kingdom of Bleuve—her home. The gyrating tide in Plumaria’s large harbor beckoned her. Plumaria was the colorful, bustling capital and only large city on the main island of this nation of one hundred-plus islands. She’d miss the place. Another time she’d have to come back to explore the islands, now that she wasn’t afraid anymore of water or boats.

Jaxter smiled, his expression tinged at the edges with sadness. He was hiding something from her.

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 ~ ~ Book 3 ~~ 

Finally, the sweeping conclusion to the Henrietta The Dragon Slayer trilogy! 

Parted by destiny, the four friends struggle to rejoin forces and face for a final time, the ruthless sorcerer intent on destroying them all.

In the biggest challenge of her life, Henrietta the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve must lead her people into a battle that may end life as they know it. For they face no ordinary army, but the dark forces of a powerful sorcerer bent on overtaking all five kingdoms. And unless she can rescue her dauntless knight Franc, she must do it without his support.

Franc will follow Henrietta anywhere. But on a mission to find allies among the Horse People, he is kidnapped and taken by minions of the evil sorcerer Eyvindir. Will he find the strength and courage to survive, and fight again at Henrietta’s side?

Paulette, the young fire witch, must stand trial for a murder committed out of desperation. In despair at her imprisonment by forces acting against her dearest friend, Jaxter, she escapes and flees to the frigid, forbidden land of Varangia to find a witch powerful enough to help her finally master fire. But what must she give up to gain the power to aid her friends?

Jaxter, now a king, must come to terms with the heavy responsibilities of ruling the Oro Islands, newly emerged from over 75 years of evil rule. This means doing right, even when it means going against ancient customs and protocols. Worse, the marauding Varangians press at his borders. He must find a way to defend his home, or none of them will survive.

Will Henrietta and her friends be able to stop the ruthless sorcerer from obliterating her, claiming the Dragon Stone, and ruling over the Five Kingdoms?

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EXCERPT

Henrietta leaned over the bowsprit and peered into the black churning sea that hissed and slapped the wooden sides of the junk. But they weren’t home yet, so she would make the best of her time during the voyage.

“Ready?” Franc said behind her.

She spun, her sword poised. “You’re late.”

He crouched. “You’re in high spirits.” He stepped into her, testing.

She danced to one side. “Leoni finally let me out of training. Those robes.” She shook her head.

“I think you look—”

She silenced him with a glare and stepped-feinted with her left foot and swung her sword from the right.

He caught it in time and countered easily with a quick spin to the left and a slice toward her middle.

She blocked him. “I look what?”

“If I tell you, will you knock me flat?”

“Maybe.” Henrietta grinned. She was free of the restrictive Oro diplomat robes and her limbs were loose and giddy. She had the rest of the afternoon to practice with Franc.

Franc shrugged, a half grin on his face, so uncharacteristic of him. She froze at his expression. Then jumped into action, somersaulting over some tightly coiled ropes on the deck, just as the junk lifted over a wave. She laughed and landed on her feet in a crouch. Nimbler than he looked, Franc swiped for her feet. She leapt.

“Well?” she said.

“Well what?” He squinted at her. The afternoon sun was in his eyes.

 

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Fun Facts about Beth:

* She speaks fluent French and has lived in Paris, France twice, and in Quebec, Canada, once. She also can say Thank you in over 15 languages. Merci!

* She’s run 4 sprint triathlons (swim, bike, run) and finished each one.

* She has earned 2 belts, so far, in capoeira.

To learn more about Beth, visit her website.

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The Soulweb by Steven M Nedeau (Book Review)

Centuries ago, King Mavius’s spell caused destruction beyond reasoning, weaving a web around and through the souls of his knights. Even now the spell of that long dead king pulls at his descendants and Jaron must trade his books for blades when Mavius, with his knights behind him, returns from beyond the grave to reclaim his throne.

Pushing heavy tomes onto marble shelves and translating archaic text until the wee hours of the night could not prepare Jaron for the trials in store for him. After years of teaching history, he will learn that books do not always tell the truth as he becomes a pawn in a war between kings.

 

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

 

If you even remotely like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy a wee bit, then you’ll love The Soulweb. It possessed some of the same qualities as J. R. R. Tolkien’s works of art. 

  • important mission
  • dwarves
  • elves
  • creatures
  • epic battle scenes
  • magic
  • unique alliances
  • dragons
  • dead people
  • a ring: The Soulweb’s ring wasn’t precious, though. 😀

 

The Soulweb had its unique properties, which kept me engrossed in the storyline. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll attempt to keep things vague to peak your interest: Keepers of the Royal Secret, stone mage, shades, talking lion, secret passages, and lizard riders. 

With everything mentioned above, how could I not be highly entertained?! How could anyone walk away from this book feeling disappointed?! I don’t think it’s possible. 

Do I recommend The Soulweb to others?

OH YEAH! Most definitely!!! 

 

 

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

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My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

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Molten Dusk: The Norse Chronicles Book 3 by Karissa Laurel (Book Review)

While recovering from a devastating betrayal, Solina becomes increasingly drawn to Thorin as he helps her hunt down Skoll, the mythical wolf who vowed to kill her. If she can find and destroy the beast, she’ll bring a swift and brutal end to her enemies’ schemes. But nothing ever goes as planned in Solina’s strange new world.

During her search for Skoll, Solina uncovers a plot to unleash a battalion of legendary soldiers and launch an apocalyptic war. Before she and her allies can locate the fabled army, several ghosts from her past return to haunt her. Solina must fight for life and the fate of the world, or her hopes for love and a peaceful future will go up in flames.

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

 

I decided to write an acrostic poem summing up Molten Dusk. Enjoy!

 

Mystery and deception go hand in hand in the battle for ultimate power.
Odin and Thor’s descendants call forth their allies; no one plans to cower.
Lord of the Rain Dance shall stand by his Sun.
The Valkyries will fight to protect the chosen one.
Every move they make is being watched.
No room for error; their plan must not be botched.

  

Do not let your guard down when you see a wolf or a raven.
Unite and fight or retreat to a safe haven.
Solina must survive; she shall not perish.
Keep her safe Thorin for she’s the one you truly cherish.

 

Okay, I don’t know if that poem is cheesy or not but I love it. Guess what else I love? If you said Molten Dusk then you’d be correct. 

Like the other stories in the series, Karissa gave us more than one suspenseful – lives on the line – battle scenes. We also finally got what we were all waiting for….. Solina and Thorin give in to their feelings for one another. Like Baldur said, “It’s about time.”

Similar to Midnight Burning and Arctic Dawn, Molten Dusk has deception, blood, surprise twists, tears, and love. It was a great book and I highly recommend others buy it today.

 
Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 

 

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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Arctic Dawn: The Norse Chronicles Book 2 by Karissa Laurel (Book Review)

Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks.

The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction force Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.

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Image of a golem

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

 

Ok, I thought Midnight Burning (book 1 in The Norse Chronicles) was good. But, Karissa really stepped up her game in Arctic Dawn (book two). She had MORE battles, MORE suspense, and MORE shocking revelations. She also introduced golems to us. They are men formed entirely out of stone, clay, and rock. They were hard to defeat which made for fantastic fight scenes! 

Throughout Arctic Dawn, Karissa made me doubt everyone who’s aligned with Solina. Every word, every action was examined under my mental microscope and I loved every moment of deciphering who was friend and who was foe.

If you liked Midnight Burning, trust me, you’re going to LOVE Arctic Dawn! And I bet after you read Arctic Dawn you’ll be eager to read Molten Dusk (book three) because, like me, you just have to know what happens next. 

Oh and Karissa, I loved the flaming sword! Wicked cool weapon! 

 

Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 

 

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Book 1-3
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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Midnight Burning: The Norse Chronicles, Book 1 by Karissa Laurel (Book Review)

When the police notify Solina Mundy that her twin brother, Mani, is dead, she heads for Alaska. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

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

 

Karissa’s modern-day take on the Norse gods and goddesses was quite fascinating. In Midnight Burning, mortals no longer believed in gods and goddesses but they haven’t vanished. In actuality,  they live among us in plain sight. This twist reminded me a bit of a television show, American Gods. In that show, gods and goddesses walked among us, battled each other, but that’s really where the similarities ended.

In Midnight Burning, Karissa wrote about a woman, Solina, who didn’t know how special she really was or extent of the power that lies within her. She was the sun. She was able to exude light from her pores and burn things to ash. She was fearless. She was ready to take on everyone and everything that stepped in her way. She was pretty badass when she wanted to be.

Admittedly, there were parts of the story that seemed to drag but when Karissa allowed Solina to shine the pages seemed to fly by.

As I read the final page, I immediately wanted to start book two, Arctic Dawn. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this book but I knew I had to remedy this quickly. Karissa left me intrigued, dying to know where Solina’s journey took her next. I had to know what became of certain characters and if Solina would allow Thorin to capture her heart.

When you read a book in a series and instantly want more, then that’s the sign of a good storyteller… a good book.

Karissa Laurel is such an author and Midnight Burning was that book.

I encourage fans of mythology to purchase this book and the rest of the series. I have a feeling the rest will be just as entertaining as this one.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Check out these books in the series! 


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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

Twitter Link  / Website Link

Pinterest Link / Facebook Link / Instagram Link

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