Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Enjoy the Author's Books
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Synopsis: "LONG LIVE THE QUEEN
Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side.
The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . . ."
My Review: I have really enjoyed Aiken's (Laurenston's) books in the past, and really loved the dragon series. If you follow her books at all you know to expect somewhat brutal worlds, a lot of banter and snark and a lot of steam, all of which make highly entertaining reads. I was excited to see a new series from her last year but struggled a bit with the first book but enjoyed it enough to want to continue. It took me a while to settle back into this world, I remember the main players and events but not all the details. This book focused on Gemma and she is a tough character to like, especially after the first book, but the constant banter kept the story moving along. It felt like there was a lot more action in this book than in the previous book. We get to see a bit more of the world and meet a lot of new characters, so there wasn't as much focus on the romance (I did miss that a bit). I did like the way she connected this book with others, and that is all I can say about that without getting into spoilers.
My Rating: I struggled to stay focused on this one, even more than the first. I don't know if I would continue with the rest of the series except for the little bit that happens in the Epilogue that is drawing me back in. For now I give this one a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest review and opinion.