Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recent Reads

I read The Cat and The Storm back to back and thought I would review them together since the author has done something unusual and told the same story from two different angles.

The Cat by Jean Johnson
Book 5 in the Sons of Destiny series

Why this one: I've been reading and enjoying this series so it was a given.
After being slightly disappointed in The Song; there was nothing wrong with it, just the two main characters were both kind of mellow and had already met and were attracted in the previous book, so there wasn't much conflict between them, I wasn't quite as sure what I would feel about The Cat

Steam Level: Though the love scenes come late in the book, it's worth the wait and there is lots of tension building to it

Amazon Blurb:
Amara is wary of mages––they chased her out of her homeland. Yet there is something about the mage Trevan of Nightfall that Amara can’t resist. But can he be trusted with her most fiercely guarded secret? Courting such a pretty yet prickly outlander won’t be easy, but Trevan is determined to try. She may be fierce, proud, and from a different culture, but after all, he is the Cat, and none but the most fascinating and challenging of women could satisfy him…

My Thoughts: I liked this one much better than The Song. Amara is a prickly kind of heroine, almost difficult to like earlier in the book. But when you consider what she gave up to protect her sister, I made allowances. And as prickly as she was, she was also quick to make amends so I think she was redeemed enough for me. I was kind of surprised by how much I liked Trevan. He hadn't really been much of a prominent brother in the previous books, so it was only in this one where we really got to know him and he's quite the charmer. He was the 'lover' of the brothers before they were exiled to the island and he's having quite the 'frustrating' time of it, especially when his older brothers start finding their mates. So he is delighted when he meets Amara, a queen-in-waiting who escapes along with her twin sister to their kingdom. Amara and Arora are being hunted by mages for Arora's strange powers. Amara, her protector is horrified when she realizes she's landed on an island full of mages. In addition, she clashes with Kelly, the self-proclaimed Queen and is resentful that she had to give up her dreams of becoming Queen of her land to save her sister. She's most reluctant to fall for the charmer that is Trevan, but he perseveres and finally wins her love.
What knocks this book down in for me though was the detail the author took in the group planning of house building and city planning. My eyes kind of crossed during this part of the book and I mostly skimmed it. But overall, this was a nice edition to this series and I quite enjoyed it.

Which leads me to......

The Storm Book Six in the Sons of Destiny series.

Why this one: I'm enjoying this series and it's next on the list

Level of Steam: Hotter than The Cat!!

Amazon Blurb:
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day—they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. Though no longer trapped in exile, their growing family faces new problems. Now Rydan, the tormented sixth-born son, must find a way to trust his Destined bride, Rora, a woman who possesses her own secret power—one that could bring them together or annihilate their world forever.
My Thoughts: I've been anticipating this book from the very first book. Rydan was the mysterious anti-social brother. And there was something about him that made me just want to read more. The rest of his brothers and their mates are all pretty open, but Rydan shunned their presence and when he did reluctantly show himself, he was all growly and rude. So of course that makes the reader curious about him. And for nintey percent of the book he didn't disappoint. He first meets 'his mate', Rora, when she sneaks into his lair. He's under some potion his trouble making younger brother, who's story will be the last one, drugged his drink. He's dreaming of a woman and when Rora turns up in his room, Rydan makes his move. He is horrified when he realizes what he's done, but Rora is intrigued. She has a superpower of her own and she alone realizes what makes Rydan so anti-social. She works on helping him overcome his problem.
Rora is the opposite of her prickly twin sister. She realizes that this island of mages is the perfect place for her to be and they can protect her from all those seeking her power.
In the meantime, Rydan is the Guardian of his own source of power - the Fountain, one of a group of fountains located throughout this world.
I loved both Rydan and Rora. Rydan is the reluctant suitor - he realizes that Rora is his intended mate and Rora is the eager young miss who falls in love with this troubled mage.
But I'm not sure what happened towards the end of the book. It somehow seemed to come derailed with Rydan giving up his Guardianship to save Rora from the evil doers who want her power. The explanations were hard to understand and I found myself confused as to what was going on. It just seemed that Rydan's change of heart happened way to fast.
One thing I did like about both The Cat and The Storm is they happened simultaneously - from two different viewpoints. One book filled in the missing pieces of the other and I thought it an interesting thing for the author to do.

Grade: Both these get a 4 out of 5. The grade would have been higher but for the quibbles I had with each one.

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