Jeanne Tomlin and Clem Daems her co-author have a long history of writing fantasy novels. They co-authored three novels and have authored several novels and short stories independently in a wide variety of fantasy categories: Epic, Urban, and Historical. The interesting part is that they live a thousand miles apart and have never met.
By J. R. Tomlin
Published: August 5, 2011.
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Jessup is a scout for the Ilkasar Empire, even though it conquered his own people. His affair with Tamra of Wayfare Keep is the one thing connecting him to the Empire he hates. But Tamra's loyalty is to her oaths as a protector of the Empire.
While scouting, Jessup discovers the tables are about to be turned on Ilkasar: enemies are using a blood ritual to summon invincible demons, and now they're
Good lesbian stories are few and far between, but this one makes the grade. While I must admit I didn't find the fantastic creatures or the solution to them more than passable, the excellent characters made up for any weakness there. I give it 5 stars just for excellent dialogue and characters who really convinced me.
I agree with Ann Somerville that this was an enjoyable little romance. There were a couple of things that bothered me and I'll mention them to hopefully help the author. Yes, lose the "smaller man" thing. There is nothing wrong with calling a character by name. Try to depend less on coincidence or at least make the coincidence a bit less of a stretch. That they ended up on the same plane was a not so terrible, but next to each other just put it too far into the deus ex machina territory for me. EVERY single piece of dialogue doesn't need a dialogue tag and doing that gets old. Only use a tag if it is needed for the reader to tell who is speaking, which isn't that often if there are only two people in the conversation. And I needed a better reason for the character to be that good at combat than learning (from a frankly abusive father--this part needed some re-thinking) as a kid.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story and the storytelling. It was a very good first effort and I would pay for a the next one. The author has talent and just needs to learn some of the 'tricks' of the craft.
One of Snyder's better novels in my opinion. It has a good plot and well-developed characters. You spend the novel really hoping for Stacy to work his way through his emotional problems and the trap he has fallen into. I would have liked to know just a bit more about what Darian was feeling through all this, but that is really my only complaint about the novel.
"My name is Sumto, and I am a gambling, lazy, good-for-nothing drunk who has to join the army and fight in a war I am frankly too corpulent to cope with. Still, that's got to be as bad as things get, Am I right?"
This does not appear to be the beginning of an appealing book, and initially the wastrel of a protagonist, Sumto Cerulilan, rather put me off. He is mostly interested in food, drink and women and doesn't hesitate to sell off or live off his slaves to maintain his "lifestyle". However, his engaging self-humor overcame my initial distaste.
He is a member of a society that seems to be closely modeled on ancient Rome with magic added, a change of pace in a fantasy which also has some appeal. As an heir of a "Patron" of the city of Luria, he is supposed to build a client base and take part in the martial and political society he was born into. His refusal and complete disinterest has his father about to disinherit him and his creditors honing in for what little he has.
However, what turns things around is when he discovers his sister is betrothed to a powerful man who informs Sumto he has no intention of being part of a family that has a wastrel in it. So Sumto will reform or will no longer be around to bother with. In this society, Sumto has good reason to take the threat seriously.
Given the choice between death and the military, Sumto joins a military expedition to punish the rebellious northern tribes, and thus begins Sumto's growth. The changes in Sumto's character as he faces battle and adversity is very well done. He does occasionally lose, but he never gives up, and this reader grew to sincerely cheer for him. It isn't an easy transition from rogue to responsibility. The secondary characters, particularlly Meran and Jocasta, are well-realized and not merely cardboard cutouts, which adds to the novel's depth.
I thought some of the philosophical discussion on government, servitude, and society slowed the pace down a bit at times, but it was all applicable both to the society in the book and to ours. The magic is well-integrated and also serves as an interesting parallel on how a society might try to keep power to itself. The prose itself was solid but not extraordinary.
All in all, in spite of a few slow patches, it's a fun read and I recommend it. I give it a four star rating.
I liked this novel. The two MCs are believable and likable, even Ryan who is pretty angry, but very understandably. The romance is sweet but the problems keep it from being too sweet. I enjoyed it right up to the point when the author had the two protagonists have unsafe, unprotected sex.
HIV infection has increased, especially among the young because of this attitude. Normally, I don't tell authors to vary their plot because of "social responsibility" but this wasn't even a necessary part of the plot. Apparently the author thought it was cute and romantic. It isn't.
Beyond that, although this is a good and believable story about young men who have some serious problems and are struggling to reach beyond them, there really isn't a feeling of closure. Most of their problems still aren't solved at the end of the story and there are simply too many loose ends to make a satisfactory ending.
At the least, a sequel is needed (and I hope they don't have AIDS). It's good enough that I still give it four stars in spite of what I consider some problems.