Philomel, Jan 3 2012, $18.99
Bellicose Calla knows if she is to be the Alpha of her pack, she must prove her leadership skills in combat and choose a mate. Ren and Shay vie to be that male. However, Calla makes it clear to both competitors and her pack she will not select anyone until the Keepers and their magic are defeated.
Calla also shows her loyalty when she protects her brother Ansrel, stripped of his essence, from those who want to kill him for being a traitor. However, it is what she prays is the final battle that she focuses on; a war Calla does not expect to survive and if she does she knows she will live with regret of having led brave warriors to their deaths; though she feels she had no choice.
The final Nightshade fantasy (see Nightshade and Wolfsbane) is an exciting thriller starring a heroine who was forced to detach her feelings for others in order to lead her side in war as she knows she will leave brothers and sisters in arms dead and maimed. A stunning twist adds to the realism that people die in war. Andrea Cremer provides a shocking but strong finish to an intriguing trilogy. Harriet Klausner
Kensington Brava, Mar 1 2012, $14.00
On Jasper Mills, veterinarian Hannah MacPherson grieves the death of her husband though he died in Iraq four years ago. Frustrated by her lack of response to the missives he sent to the stubborn Hannah that she inherited a Scottish castle, dragon-human Taggart de Gaelson arrives in Jasper Mills to bring her to Taroc Na Mor. Though wary, she goes to Scotland with Taggart.
He and his race need her to save his breed as she is the last sacred guardian of the Draecna magical dragons who guard the portal between worlds. Hannah is a whisperer who talks with animals. Taggart believes her uncanny skill will bring out the hatchlings from their eggs. However, she soon finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the bitter war between brothers.
This is an award winning entertaining romantic urban fantasy starring a stubborn American and a desperate hybrid. The romance seems too stereotypical as a woman in mourning for several years attracted to an outsider wanting to disrupt her life is a sub-genre staple. However, the dragons waging an inbreeding dark good and evil civil war with the Yank tilting the edge to one side makes for an exciting thriller. Harriet Klausner
Signet, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
The High Lord of the Immortal Darkyn wants the alleged scrolls that contain the secrets to immortal life and the maps that lead to Templar treasure buried in the early fourteenth century. He sends his best warrior Korvel to France to obtain the scrolls.
As he drives the worst road in France, Korvel is warned others are making an attempt too. Soon he is attacked and hurt, but defeats his enemy, but is aware more await him. His quest leads Korvel to Simone, the daughter of the scroll’s guardian. She seeks them too in order to return them to safety. As they team up with killers pursuing them, they begin to fall in love, but Simone fails to inform her new partner that once she obtains the scrolls, she is to kill Korvel.
The first Lords of the Darkyn romantic urban fantasy is a great entry inside the magnificent mythological world of Lynn Viehl. The storyline is fast-paced from the first assassination attempt until the final confrontation as readers will wonder whether Simone will complete the mission as ordered. Fast-paced, fans will appreciate the opening act in the new trilogy due to the strong protagonists who make the Viehl realm exciting to visit. Harriet Klausner
Eye of the Sword
WaterBrook, Mar 13 2012, $9.99
In Camrithia, King Laetham completes the ceremony that makes Trevin a comain military leader. At the same time, Dregmoorian Prince Varic arrives at the castle with a peace proposal that Laetham considers as a means to end the raids from his neighbor to the east. Varic offers to marry Princess Melaia, who Trevin loves. Daughter of a late angel, Melaia tells her father that she will wed Trevin only, but after she obtains the three missing harps that will restore The Wisdom Tree.
Laetham sends Trevin on a mission to find the missing comain; while Melaia asks him to bring back the harps; one of which is possessed by the Dregmoorian Secondborn Benasin. Trevin loathes leaving her with Varic, the sly treacherous heir to the Dregmoorian throne. Still he leaves on his missions to prove his worthiness to his beloved Princess and himself. On his horse Alamarin who once had wings, Trevin’s journey begins when his steed leads him to Eldarra Prince Resarian and the Golden. As Varic tries to kill him, Trevin’s horrible deeds while working for the Dregmoorian FirstBorn Lord Rejius, haunts him.
The second Angelaeon Circle thriller (see Breath of Angel) is an exhilarating quest fantasy starring an honorable champion who’s driven by his love for the princess and his obsession to for redemption. The storyline is action-packed from the moment the vile Varic and the tense Trevin meet and never slows down until the readers learn why the Dregmoorian heir wants the newest Camrithia comain dead. Though it behooves the audience to read the first tale to better understand the complex Henley mythos, fans will enjoy walking and riding in a realm where the Angelaeon interact with people and often rule. Harriet Klausner