Genre & Publication Date: Fantasy Romance, Lonen’s War – July 16, 2016, Oria’s Gambit – August 18, 2016, The Tides of Bára – October 29, 2016
Book Description: (I’m including Book One: Lonen’s War only to avoid spoilers)
“Book One in the adult fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons. The novel, Lonen’s War, is a paranormal kindle book of magic and sorcery – and a war culminating in a marriage of convenience between enemy kingdoms.
An Unquiet Heart
Alone in her tower, Princess Oria has spent too long studying her people’s barbarian enemies, the Destrye—and neglected the search for calm that will control her magic and release her to society. Her restlessness makes meditation hopeless and her fragility renders human companionship unbearable. Oria is near giving up. Then the Destrye attack, and her people’s lives depend on her handling of their prince…
A Fight Without Hope
When the cornered Destrye decided to strike back, Lonen never thought he’d live through the battle, let alone demand justice as a conqueror. And yet he must keep up his guard against the sorceress who speaks for the city. Oria’s people are devious, her claims of ignorance absurd. The frank honesty her eyes promise could be just one more layer of deception.
A Savage Bargain
Fighting for time and trust, Oria and Lonen have one final sacrifice to choose… before an even greater threat consumes them all.”
First Line: (from Book One: Lonen’s War) Oria squinted from the heat shimmer rising in the distance beyond the high walls of the city.
My Take: Books were provided to me from the author for review.
I’m a big fan of Jeffe Kennedy’s work, particularly her Twelve Kingdoms books (trad published) so I was super excited to see new books under her self-publishing imprint, Brightlynx Publishing. This series is as spectacular as the others and my fangirl adoration continues to grow in leaps and bounds.
Something that is very difficult to execute well when it comes to romance, in my reader opinion, is the chemistry between the central protagonists. We’ve all seen bad romance movies, right? You know, where you think, “Jeez, these two make a terrible match on screen. They don’t compliment each other at all.” (Read: The Avengers’ Black Widow and the Hulk…What the what happened there??) Well, it’s the same struggle on the page, and this author has spectacular talent at making two seemingly incompatible people come together in a way that leaves all doubt behind.
But this is a fantasy novel too, so let me expound on this unique world of magic, war, and intrigue. The conflict between the two peoples is as complex as it can get, and both sides are guilty of some truly ugly acts (though I’ll admit to my own bias towards the Destrye’s plight). Drought is at the core of it all–and isn’t that easy to believe in a very non-fictional sense. From a story standpoint, all this delicious turmoil makes for a really interesting setting, particularly when the book begins with a huge, bloody battle…Yes, I realize it’s a tad ghoulish to delight quite so much in that, but such is the zest that is me.
The magic system is quite something as well. Oria’s people are the sorcerers, whereas Lonen’s people are not magical at all (hence the view of them as mind-dead barbarians). Interestingly, there’s a gender divide as far as how magic is performed. The women absorb magic, as a river does the rainwater, whereas the men wield it, drawing their power from the women like a well. It’s a sort of balance between the two. Naturally, I found myself wondering why women couldn’t wield magic. Why were they just the tool and never the smith? Ah, but there’s a central question to this series. I don’t want to give anything away, but that topic leads in fascinating directions.
Now the romance, I love it! At turns a friendship, at turns a rivalry, both tender and difficult, it unfolds beautifully in the books. Lonen doesn’t understand magic, how it works, or the systems in place around it but he can translate concepts beyond his ability into a more earthly logic so he can help and understand Oria better. His tenacious efforts/struggles/frustrations with magic he knows nothing about are in their own way some of the sweetest displays of affection I’ve seen in a romance. Gents, forget flowers and chocolate. Making the honest attempt to understand what a woman is facing is the surest way to her heart. And okay, we’ll take the flowers and chocolate too.
The Magical: The ribbon and scarf scene in Oria’s Gambit (Book 2), holy hell that was sensational! No, I’m not going to elaborate. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. Trust me, it’s worth it…Um, just don’t read it while on lunch at work. I came back to my desk with flaming cheeks and people assumed I was getting sick. I did not correct them.
The Mundane: As with any romance that is a slow burn, my NEED for them to get together begins to drive me a tad crazy. I have this under the ‘mundane’ but at the same time I embrace the pain of waiting.
Summary of Thoughts: The first two novels are $2.99 on Amazon with the third coming out on October 29th. The series is going beyond three books and I’m enthusiastically looking forward to the next installments. Seriously, if you enjoy a good romance set in a fantasy world, if you have been searching for a story so good you’ll end up with a book hangover, get started on this series ASAP!
Many thanks to author Jeffe Kennedy for providing copies of the books for review!
Curious what others thought? Check out Amazon’s reviews of Lonen’s War (Book One) here
Want to know more about the author and her work? Explore her website here