Sunday, August 18, 2013
Druids, Fantasy and The End of the World
St. Martin's, $7.99
Three years ago, the evil Druid Declan Wallace captured the Druid-seer Saffron Fletcher. He tortured and blinded her as he did what he wanted to her to break her spirit as Declan planned to exploit her rare seer skill.
Three years after her captivity her friend Danielle Buchanan the Druid helps Saffron regain her sight as Declan’s dark spell is broken. At MacLeod Castle, Saffron struggles with her sight and her freedom. She also obsesses over revenging her trauma by destroying Declan and his evil ally Deidre the Drough Druid. Finally there is her unwanted desire for Camdyn MacKenna. He offers to help her as he too seeks to avenge what Declan did to him. Additionally both struggle to ignore their attraction for one another as vengeance may be served cold but each believes that comes before the warmth of love.
The latest Dark Warriors (see Midnight’s Lover and Midnight Masters) continues the Dark Sword spin off series with an awesome entry starring two individuals who fear love weakens their chance for avenging affronts committed by the devilish Ds. Midnight Seduction is another winner. Harriet Klausner
Sword of Queens
Joan Marie Verba
FTL Publications, $15.95
For over five centuries, Tashtalon the overlord has ruled the patriarchal kingdom of Somerlie with an evil iron fist. No one has ever seen Tashtalon but everyone knows of his presence especially at night when sleeping is dangerous. Each evening, Tashtalon puts his subjects to sleep two hours after sunset; and awakens them each morning two after sunrise with some vanishing overnight. No one has any hope of overthrowing this invincible malevolent God.
Twentyish Gill is like everyone else living in fear of the evil ruler; wondering if she will disappear next and knowing how helpless it is as nothing can defeat Tashtalon. Gill wonders why the overlord’s most enforced law is that no woman will yield a sword with the penalty of breaking his code instant death though she assumes it has to do with females being subservient to males. As she begins her required quest year “To Find Herself”, Gill thinks of her elderly grandma’s tales of life before Tashtalon. On her journey Gill learns that the magical Sword of Queens can destroy Tashtalon.
Sword of Queens is an excellent coming of age quest fantasy starring a likable heroine. The vibrant Verba world of magic seems real while the vile villain is made even stronger and eviler by the fearful whispers of his subjects. Sub-genre readers will enjoy Gill’s adventures in an engaging good and evil thriller. Harriet Klausner
Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
Manel Loureiro and Pamela Carmell (translator)
From Galicia, Spain he began the blog because his psychiatrist suggested he do so. His first entry on December 30 dealt with Spain broke or not broke, stockholder clients making money or not making money and an incident in one of the former Soviet “Stan” republics in the Caucasus Mountains. His next entry focuses on that explosion in Dagestan apparently caused by Islamic guerillas seeking nuclear material. He later writes Russia closed its border.
He continues his blog as he speculates why no news from ground zero in Dagestan has surfaced as if all are dead inside the nation; the silence also engulfed its neighbors like Georgia and now American troops patrol Fifth Avenue. He soon learns the consequence of the event in Dagestan as humans turn into monsters attacking the normals. Governments try to keep order, but fail as the disease turns pandemic. Many of the remaining humans struggle to survive the onslaught creating not so “Safe Havens” that are more prisons than enclaves. The blogger begins an odyssey of survival for him and his cat Lucullus while keeping his blog current with what his happening in his life.
The beginning Apocalypse Z horror tale is an exciting end of the world thriller. Even with much of the novel using the blog and a journal to tell “The Beginning of the End”, the storyline is fast-paced. Readers will admire the blogger though doubt a lawyer could adapt as easily as he does (unless he was an extreme survivalist) to the chaos and constant peril with everything including electricity failing. Still Manel Loureiro provides an engaging zombie thriller starring an admirable hero telling his tale. Harriet Klausner