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Amber Argyle is the international, bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and the Fairy Queen Series. Her books have been nominated for and won awards in addition to being translated into French and Indonesian.
Amber graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less crazy larger people.
To receive her starter library for free, simply tell her where to send it: eepurl.com/l8fl1
on Sep. 15, 2012 :
Wow. If Witch Song was amazing, Witch Born was downright mind-blowing! Usually, I'm not one to dwell on the ending of a series; if the characters get their closure and/or their HEA, I'm OK with it and I move on; this time though, I really, really feel like stalking Amber Argyle and begging her to write more books in this world. I didn't want the story to end!!!
If you loved Witch Song, but you're worried that Witch Born might have some second-book-in-a-series-syndrome symptoms... Do. Not. Worry. In fact, read it as soon as possible, because Witch Born is so much MORE! (After reading the first book, I didn't think the second one could get better, but I was wrong). More tension, suspense, intrigue, mystery, action, adventures, drama, heartbreak, but more power, magic, wonderment, beauty, love and hope as well. The plot thickens, the stakes are higher and everything changes: the characters, the world around them, the power of the elements, and nothing and no one is what they seem anymore. You never know what to expect, if you can trust or believe anyone. There are twists, turns and dangerous, scary, unpredictable situations all throughout the book. Phew, what a ride!
Senna thought that once she saved Haven and the Witches, all was going to be well. But she was wrong. There's no peace and happily ever after at Haven. Actually, living there is not easy at all: there's tension everywhere: the Witches don't trust her, some of them fear her and she still has a lot to learn. But she does her best to adjust and to recover after the events from the previous book. Not an easy thing to do, when her life is in danger (again!): there seems to be a new, bigger threat on the horizon, there might even be a traitor in their midst and everyone keeps secrets from her, even the people closest to her. Some new powers and old legends surface and no one is safe anymore. She knows something huge, dangerous and life changing is going to happen, but she doesn't know what. Yet. Her powers are changing as well, but, unfortunately, "her power came with a price—a burden every Witch born bore, especially one as strong as her." She feels helpless, overwhelmed and out of control, but, as always, she's fierce and determined and she's set to do anything to figure it out and to put an end to all the chaos around her: “I refuse to live in ignorance and helplessness."
But when she digs deeper, she finds out scary things that should have never been uncovered. Things that could change everything. Things that could be the answer to all the weirdness that's been happening lately. Things that could threaten the balance of the entire world - and once again, she's caught in the middle and she seems to held the final answer.
And like that wasn't bad enough, things with Joshen are not going well either: he loves her, he wants to protect her and he would do anything to keep her safe, even if that means to stay in her way and to try to stop her from getting involved in anything that could threaten her life.
“So I’m just supposed to accept that I might lose you?” His voice was thick with anger.
She rubbed her face. “I am Witch born. It’s what I am.”
He took a step towards her. “What you are is my love. ”
But all she wants is to keep fighting and trying to make things right in the world again.
“I spent too much time on Haven doing the smart thing,” she replied. “Now I’m going to do the right thing.”
Like I said, in Witch Born the stakes are even higher. Senna's powers grow and grow every day, no one trusts her and she can't trust anyone either - there's danger, secrets and conspiracies everywhere around her and there's something more powerful and dangerous than anyone ever imaged even existed coming from some higher forces. Obviously, she has to act. Fast. But at least this time around, she's not alone when she sets out on her journey to save the world. That doesn't mean she's safe though; she makes new allies, as well as new enemies, and when the situation gets seriously dire, she has to turn to unbelievable sources for help.
There were so many twists, surprises and "OMG I would have never seen that one coming!" moments in the second part of the book, they made my head spin. While reading the last chapters of the story, my stomach was twisted into knots, my mind was reeling, my emotions were all over the place, I was gripping the edges of my seat and I even got teary-eyed at some point. When something totally unpredictable and heartbreaking happened, I literally wanted to scream "WHY??? HOW COULD YOU DO THAT???", but I kept reading, my heart in my throat, my fingers crossed, hoping for the best. And of course, I loved every second of it. :D
The ending was bittersweet: full of action, tension and impossible situations, yet emotional, sweet, and heart-melting; it brought the hope and closure the characters and their story needed. It was perfect.
I really liked how the characters and their relationships developed. They went through a lot, changed and learned a lot about the world and about themselves. With every new challenge, Senna grew and learned to believe in herself, in love, in a better future.
Just like in Witch Song, in Witch Born the nature, the magic and the elements are as much characters of the story as the Witches and everyone else:
"Wind was like a half-wild colt—full of wild energy. Earth reminded her of an old man with arthritic bones—slow and sleepy. Water was like a temperamental woman—full of secret moods and hidden places. Sunlight was a playful child—subject to sulks and fits of laughter. And plants…"
Add to all that the beautiful, lyrical writing, the stunning world building, the fast-paced plot, the strong characters, and you get a magnificent (and no, I don't think I'm exaggerating at all saying that) story that will stay with you for days!
I feel like my review doesn't make the book any justice, but I highly recommend it! Also, if you like books like The Iron Fey series, Born Wicked or The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.
Oh, and I need to mention the scene from the cover. It was so beautiful, so magical, yet so vivid and realistic, I could only stare in awe at my screen:
A soft touch startled her. She looked down to see a moth skimming along her palm. Another landed on her wrist. She brought the insect close, studying the intricate patterns on its wings. A third moth clung to Senna’s smallest finger, its tiny legs tickling so she had to fight to keep from wiggling and scaring the moths away.
The rest of the scene is kind of spoiler-y, but it was all amazing and played an important role in the story.
Review copy provided to me by the author. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on Sep. 06, 2012 :
I have to say first that I love this cover! It's also perfect for this second and final book in Brusenna's adventure, the first book being Witch Song. I enjoyed both stories.
In this story Senna is maturing and asking questions the others will not answer. Senna is done with being an outcast, scared and not understanding her true nature. She's changing since we last left her and some of the head witches know some of the answers to a few of her questions. She finds unlikely allies and lots of betrayal to those close to her and even those that are expected. Senna knows she must do something and the others are reluctant to take the hard road, make the hard choice. So she does but finds more unlikely allies and betrayal in her midst.
I enjoyed Senna's journey, but I have to say that at times her questioning herself was just a bit too much. Not enough to spoil my enjoyment, but enough to take me out of the story from time to time. It's good to question and she is young, but she just needed confidence that I would have thought she would have found by fighting so hard in the first book. It's there, it just comes at a slower pace than what I would have personally liked. I also had a hard time with Joshen, her betrothed, in this book and when he finally stops being so selfish it's nice to hear, but it just came suddenly with no epiphany. I would have liked to have seen what caused him to change his mind so abruptly.
I give this book 4 stars. In all I really enjoyed my time with the witches and Brusenna's hard choices. I'm sad to see this end, but 2 books make Senna's story fulfilling. I recommend it to those that love YA, adventure and fantasy.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Sep. 06, 2012 :
Eep!!! I was given the eARC by the author herself... And was asked to post a review by September 5. And well, I just finished it today. Cause I said to myself that I still have time. Apparently, not true. For starters, I fell in love with the cover. It's so pretty!!!
In all honesty, when I started reading this second AND last book of this series, I can't even remember what happened in first book. Please don't kill me. I read it a long time ago, like last year. So you can't really blame me if my memory is foggy. But still, somehow, the lost memory came back piece by piece as I continue to read Witch Born.
In the first book, the Witches have destroyed Tarten, cursed the land even, then Senna was taken by Haven as an Apprentice. In the first pages of Witch Born, Brusenna was trying to lift the curse from Tarten. The story revolves around that, well almost. Plus a new revelation to what really happened with the First Witch War. Senna grew stronger day after day, and she wished to free Tarten so much, she'll do everything for it.
Joshen and Reben were still there as Brusenna's Guardians. Joshen was against Brusenna's plans. I understand his point, but he just became too whiny for my taste. And... and... there's this new character named Cord and I just knew he'll be attracted to Senna. >:( After reading like 60% of it, Cord just came out from nowhere (well, actually he appeared... uh, not spoiling it...) and I feel that it'll start a love triangle! And well, I'm partly right but... you have to read the book. LOL. When I read that, I want to throw my phone and I was so frustrated I got teary eyed. I was also so mad with that Composer. >:(
I guess, that just show how good Argyle is in writing this story. How she twisted it in that 70% until the end. But I know that something is wrong with that one character and I suspected she is the spy. I'm giving it a 3.5 stars but I rounded it up to 4-star. I really liked it although there's a time I want to beat some sense into some of the characters.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
The Reading Geek
on Sep. 05, 2012 :
Witch Born is an excellent sequel to Witch Song. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book because I really liked the way that Witch Song ended but I really enjoyed this sequel.
Brusenna thinks that she is safe now after everything that happened with the Dark Witch but she isn't as safe as she believes. Brusenna has come a long way since the beginning of Witch Song. She has become a much stronger person as well as a much stronger witch. I like that she isn't perfect though but she always tries to do what is right for the other people around her. Some of the choices she does make in this story were frustrating for me but I did understand where she was coming from.
I was excited to see the return of some familiar characters, especially Joshen. I even wished he was in this book a bit more. I love how the relationship between Joshen and Brusenna continues to develop because it isn't perfect and that just makes it feel realistic. I also enjoyed meeting some new characters as well in this book.
The plot was exciting and jumped right into the story within the first few pages. There were even quite a few unexpected twists that I didn't see coming. Some parts did slow down at times for me but then it would pick back up again. Also there were some moments of this book that gave me a bit of anxiety but in a good way because I care so much about the characters.
I really loved going on another adventure with Brusenna though because once again I found myself completely lost in the world Argyle creates. The setting is so interesting and I love the details because it is easy for me to visualize while I'm reading. Overall I really enjoyed Witch Born and strongly recommend this series. It's an exciting fantasy adventure.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Aug. 27, 2012 :
Amber Argyle’s WITCH BORN brightens the fantasy scene with fresh characters in a rich world.
Brusenna is changing since she defeated the Dark Witch and became Creator-touched. The witches either fear her or don’t understand her. Her Guardian and love will do anything to protect her, even go against her wishes. She needs Haven to be her safety, but it is anything but. Then, Brusenna learns there are more witches out there, and she’s the only one who can stop them from destroying everything she’s trying to save.
WITCH BORN hooked me within ten percent of the novel and hasn’t really let me go since I finished reading it. Argyle took her world from WITCH SONG and expanded upon it tenfold. The details and writing are lush and beautiful. The plot is fast-paced, and the characters are well-developed. Brusenna, the main character, comes to life with her choices. This novel excels at being realistic in emotions and actions amongst a fantasy landscape with magic. I believed every word.
I didn’t want to leave the world from WITCH BORN by Amber Argyle. If I still role-played, I’d be all over creating one from WITCH BORN or writing fan fiction based in Argyle’s world.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)