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Friday, March 24, 2017

"Daughter of the Pirate King: Daughter of the Pirate King Book 1" by Tricia Levenseller (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)





 Visit Tricia Levenseller's Website Here

OVERVIEW: There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

FORMAT: Daughter of the Pirate King is the first novel in a proposed duology. It is a YA adventure novel involving pirates with a heavy dose on the romance. The novel is told purely in the first person from Alosa's POV.

Daughter of the Pirate King stands at 320 pages. It was published February 28, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends.

ANALYSIS: Daughter of the Pirate King promises to bring readers a tough, female pirate captain who has just a dash of Jack Sparrow mixed in. Considering that pirates – and female ones at that – are rarely found in YA fantasy, I thought I'd give this novel a shot. I mean action, adventure, and a female pirate captain? What more could you ask for?

In many ways, Daughter of the Pirate King is very much a debut novel. I wouldn't say the writing is juvenile, but it reads like it was a first novel and has many problems I've encountered with a first debut novel from an author. Problems such as repetitiveness, inconsistent writing style, a heavy focus on romance when other elements should have been highlighted, telling readers and not showing them things, and a case of trying just a bit too hard to make the main character funny and likeable were some of the things I encountered.

Repetitiveness was a huge issue in this book. Alosa is, as the title suggests, the daughter of the pirate king. While this is a huge part of the story, it is mentioned ad nauseam. I am really not sure we went more than two or three pages without having someone – Alosa or the pirates that 'kidnapped' her – mentioning that Alosa was the daughter of the pirate king. If the pirates weren't saying "We are looking at the daughter of the pirate king", then Alosa was telling people and saying things like, "I am daughter of the pirate king. Do these people know who I am?".

When someone wasn't saying it out loud or Alosa was thinking it, she was reflecting on what being the daughter of the pirate. Her internal dialogue would include memories of being the daughter of the pirate king or thinking to herself that she was daughter of the pirate king. It was just a little bit too much.

The inconsistent writing style wasn't a huge issue, but it was noticeable at times. Most of the book both the narrated sections and the dialogue were written in modern English. Every so often there would be a random old time word thrown in. Something like 'Tis' or 'ye'. It wouldn't have been bad if it was during a conversation, but it was usually done in Alosa's internal thoughts. It was hard to understand why 99% of the time she'd talk normally then have a random old time word thrown in.

The romance issue was extremely noticeable. The novel revolves around Alosa trying to find a map on a pirate ship. To find the map, she gets herself kidnapped. This is what should have been the main focus of the novel, but instead this romance instantly becomes front and center to the novel. The minute the love interest is introduced, our "strong" main character immediately turns to mush. While she is fighting she thinks things like 'wow... why does he smell so good' or when being intensely questioned she thinks 'Oh you are so handsome. I wonder what you are like to kiss'.

Don't get me wrong, romance can be good for a novel and in some points necessary. It just seemed to push everything aside and made what should have been the main plot seem secondary. It is also extremely frustrating when a female character is supposed to be super strong and tough, and then the minute a good looking guy walks in her brain turns to mush and her thoughts center on his smell, hair, body, voice, etc.

Telling and not showing was another huge issue in Daughter of the Pirate King. Almost everything that happened, all the information and world building was told to the readers. This was usually done through very long, lengthy monologues given by the characters.

Some examples of telling instead of showing include the following situations. Alosa is supposed to be this tough, no nonsense pirate captain. How do we know this? Because she tells us that she could beat people up, she could kill, that she is tough. Time and time and time again she tells us this, but she doesn't ever really show it to us. There is a brief fight scene here and there, and she even kills someone, but for the most part her tough persona is developed because she tells us she is tough.

Another example is her training and upbringing with the pirate king. The pirate king was apparently mean, cruel and really hard on Alosa. Readers are never really shown how this happens through memories or anything. Alosa just told us it was rough and hard growing up with him. It would have been nice to see some of the stuff instead of being told everything after the fact.

The last issue was – and this is just a personal opinion – I felt the main character Alosa tried too hard to be a female Jack Sparrow. The stuff she did just came across as immature instead of funny. For example, she is locked up in a cabin. She doesn't want to be locked in the cabin and she is upset. So she throws things on the floor, messes up the maps, jumps on the guy's clothing. When that doesn't work, she then hums loudly while he tries to sleep or makes noises so he can't sleep. Remember – Alosa is the toughest pirate captain, so you would think that her approach to things would be rougher.

In addition to the immature antics, Alosa has a habit of trying to have this witty banter with comebacks to everyone. Most of the time it just seemed like she was trying too hard, but sometimes – rarely – the conversations came across as funny and witty. It almost came across as a parody of Jack Sparrow, but I don't think that was the intent of it.

Even with all these problems, it would seem like I didn't enjoy the book. I wouldn't say that was the case. It was an average read. There wasn't anything that made it stand out and it was a fast paced novel. There were a few twists and turns thrown into the novel, but most of them were easily predictable which sort of ruined the 'surprise' element of them. It is also a debut novel so some of these issues may go away in the future. I believe if the book had been portrayed as more of a romance novel or had things been a bit more polished, it could have taken this novel up a notch and made it stand out.

I do think that there might be an audience for this book, especially if you go in knowing this is going to be a light-hearted, sometimes silly novel with a lot – and I mean a lot – of focus on the romance. However, if you are looking for rip-roaring, action and adventure with rough and tumble pirates, you will probably be fairly disappointed.

The question I am left with is – would I continue with the series? I would definitely give the second novel a chance. I understand debut authors have some kinks to work out and I see potential. I would say to weigh what I said and if you still find it interesting to give it a shot. It might surprise you and be a novel that you enjoy.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"The Valiant: The Valiant Book 1" by Lesley Livingston (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)





OVERVIEW: Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

FORMAT: The Valiant is a YA fantasy/historical novel. It is listed as fantasy because of its alternative version of history and doesn't contain any real magic or other typical fantasy elements. The Valiant stands at 372 pages and was published February 14, 2017 by Razorbill.

ANALYSIS: The YA genre has a habit of creating unique, likeable characters, but many books tend to 'fall in line' and follow a bit of a template format. That isn't to say they are bad, just they tend to all play out in a very similar fashion. The Valiant is one of those rare YA novels that starts out with a setup that makes you think you know what is going to happen and how things are going to play out, and before you know it nothing – and I mean nothing – happens the way you expect it to happen.

The Valiant starts off with Fallon training with her secret boyfriend. Fallon is trying a very daring and difficult fighting technique that very few have every accomplished. Learning this technique, and fighting, allows her to follow in the footsteps of her older sister – Sorcha – and become a part of her father's fighting team. Sorcha was killed several years ago in battle and there is a prophecy of sorts that says the same thing will happen to Fallon. Even with this prophecy in place, Fallon still wants to become one of the greatest warriors of all times.

The big day finally arrives and Fallon is set about to formally accept the invitation to join her father's troop of warriors, but things don't play out the way she thinks it will. Her father, instead of asking her to join as a warrior, announces that he has promised her hand in marriage. And who is she promised to? The brother of her secret boyfriend. Fallon is furious and storms out in a fit of rage.

This may sound familiar. A girl in love with a secret boyfriend, promised to the boyfriend's brother, and meanwhile she has her heart set on becoming a fierce warrior and living up to her older sister's huge reputation. It certainly sounds like the same old, same old, but sometimes books have a way of surprising you.

Literally, within the first few chapters, things took an unexpected turn and from there just kept getting better and better. Of course, there were a few things that were predictable or easily guessed at, but for the most part this book had a lot of unexpected twists and turns that made for an amazing story. I don't want to say too many of them because I think the 'unknown' is what made them so great, but things really aren't what they seem.

I will say that if anyone had asked me to describe this book early on, I would have said that it was one of those romance novels that are marketed as alternative historical fiction but are really just about love, romance, and love triangles. The beginning of the book certainly feels like that would be the case, but it turns out differently.

If you are planning on reading The Valiant and aren't a fan of romance, I give you this piece of advice – don't give up. I think, if anything, that is the biggest weakness of the novel, is that it starts off with a major romance almost shoved at the reader, and it isn't really indicative of how the tone of the rest of the novel. I feel people who might have enjoyed the novel could have set it aside because of its almost romance/love triangle beginning.

There are other aspects, besides the unexpected twists and turns, of The Valiant that make it outstanding. Livingston does an amazing job of detailing an Ancient Roman society. Readers aren't bogged down with huge paragraphs of historical context or descriptions, but everything from the culture to the political structure is laid out in a way that is easily understandable. I am by no means an expert on Ancient Rome, but I certainly felt as if I was right there

Another amazing aspect of The Valiant was the actual follow through of creating a kickass female character. Some novels promise that they have this amazing kickass, tough female and by the end of the book I think "I could take her". The follow through just wasn't there. Not with Fallon and even her supporting cast of characters.

Fallon was tough. The world she grew up in and found herself in was tough. She had to do a lot to survive that she never expected she would have to do. The other girls in the sisterhood of warriors were just as tough, just as brutal, and it really helped make this novel what it is.

The absolute last thing that has to be mentioned is the fight scenes that take place in the arena. I am a reader who prefers character development over action/fights, but this book really had me yearning to read more about what happened inside the arena. The action scenes were detailed, but not overly graphic and they were super suspenseful. I honestly felt like I was in the arena watching the women fight it out.

The Valiant is just the first book of a series, but I have to say the way it ends, it could very well be a standalone. There are plenty of adventures readers can be taken on it the future and I will gladly follow along, but it is a complete solid single novel.

The Valiant was a surprising read for me. I wasn't 100% sure what to expect or even if I would like it at all. What I ended up with was an amazing novel that really took me for an adventure and back in time. I can't wait to read the sequel. Give this novel a shot if you are a fan of Ancient Rome, kickass female leads, and action/fight scenes that are realistic.
Friday, March 17, 2017

"The Wish Granter: Book Two of the Ravenspire Novel Series" by C.J. Redwine (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)





Read FBC's Review of The Shadow Queen Here 
Visit C.J. Redwine's Website Here 

OVERVIEW: The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague, who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

FORMAT: The Wish Granter is the second novel in the Ravenspire series. The Ravenspire series is made up of standalone novels that are all fairytale retellings. It is not necessary to have read the previous book.

The Wish Granter is told in third person POV. Most of the story is told from Ari and Sebastian's POVs, but there are occasional chapters that are told from The Wish Granter's POV. The Wish Granter stands at 423 pages and was published February 14, 2017 by Balzer + Bray.

ANLYSIS: The Wish Granter comes hot off the heels of C.J. Redwine's first Ravenspire novel, The Shadow Queen. This time instead of retelling a fairytale that is super familiar to everyone, Redwine takes on the challenge of giving a lesser-known fairytale a new twist – Rumpelstiltskin. Of course, Rumpelstiltskin isn't unknown, but it isn't as commonly told in fairytale retellings as Snow White, Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast.

Looking back on The Shadow Queen, one of my biggest issues was the simple fact that while it had some plot twists, it just didn't feel like it had that 'it' factor to make it stand out from the other Snow White fairytale retelling. The Shadow Queen wasn't bad enough to make me stop reading the Ravenspire series, but it definitely lowered my expectations for future books which is why I was so surprised at The Wish Granter. It was a lot better than I expected.

It should be noted that while all the books in the Ravenspire series take part in the same world, they are standalone novels. It isn't necessary to read them all and you don't have to read them in order. There was a brief mention in The Wish Granter of the main character from The Shadow Queen, but it wasn't enough that it ruined anything or even confused the reader. I think the standalone factor really helped as it made it easier to judge each book individually.

The Wish Granter follows the story of Ari, who is a newly crowned princess. Her twin brother was just named king even though he wasn't the next in line to the throne, but he didn't get the title in the traditional way. He did so by making a deal with The Wish Granter, an old fae who holds the ability to help give people their hearts desire but at a huge cost. Ari sets out to find a way to break the deal between her brother and The Wish Granter. With the help of a very broken young weapons master named Sebastian, Ari will stop at nothing to discover The Wish Granter's secrets and find a way to beat him at his own game before he destroys the whole kingdom.

What really stands out in The Wish Granter is the character development. Ari, Sebastian, and even Alistair Teague (The Wish Granter) were all extremely detailed. Ari was a head-strong character. She was confident, knew where she stood in life, and when she made her mind up on something there was no stopping her. She wasn't your average tiny little princess. She loved to eat (sometimes a little too much) and she spent most of her time in the kitchen with the servants she grew up with as opposed to the royal elite.

Sebastian was a broken individual who came from a very dark background filled with neglect, abuse, and poverty. He wasn't handed anything in life and he worked his hardest to remain under the radar of Alistair Teague. His abusive background has made him stone-cold to emotion and reluctant to trust anyone. He doesn't want friends, he just wants to work and earn enough money to eventually gain his freedom. That is until he meets Ari who doesn't take no for an answer and wants to build a friendship.

Alistair Teague is an old fae who is manipulative, evil and just horrible. He preys on the weak and uses their desperation to his advantage. He is a bit of a fantasy drug lord. He manufacturers and distributes a heavy drug that many of the poorer people in the village have become addicted to.

While reading the story, you definitely grew to like Ari and Sebastian. You felt their emotions, their trials and tribulations, and really went on the journey with them. Alistair Teague, on the other hand, you learned to despise because he was evil, manipulative, and just out for only himself. Pretty much everything you come to expect in a villain.

I spend a lot of time talking about the characters in the story because The Wish Granter is very character center. The plot, action, and everything centers around the characters building relationships, changing, and fighting for the good of the kingdom. If the characters hadn't been as detailed or as captivating, I don't think the story would have been as good as it turned out to be.

There is some romance in this novel, but it develops in a way that is realistic. It also isn't 'forever and ever' love and more of what I would call a puppy love romance. Given the age of the characters, I think it is believable and helps add some depth to the novel.

C.J. Redwine does a really good job of taking the story of Rumpelstiltskin and giving it a new take. There were familiar elements, but for the most part this is an original retelling. I would definitely tell people who like fairytale retellings but didn't like The Shadow Queen to give The Wish Granter a try.

Overall, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Wish Granter. I really liked the characters and was immediately captivated by the story.  
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

GUEST POST: "Sequels - Bigger, Longer, and Uncut" by C.T. Phipps


A lot of authors have the ambition of being the next Jim Butcher or Don Pendleton and writing as many books about their characters as humanly possible. Certainly, quite a few of us start with the idea they're going to write an 'ongoing' series only to find out that turns out to be a lot harder than it appears. In my case, I have two on-going series planned in my Supervillainy Saga books as well as my upcoming Agent G series. But for the purposes of this article, I'd like to share the difficulties and rewards of writing the sequel to my Cthulhu Armageddon book: The Tower of Zhaal.

For those unfamiliar with it, Cthulhu Armageddon was my attempt to combine Mad Max with H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham Cycle. It was a dark and action-filled story about a man travelling across the Wasteland to get revenge on the wizard who killed his squadron. It was received very well and got a lot of excellent reviews from both Lovecraft fans as well as newcomers to the genre. However, when I finished the story, something bugged at me. I wasn't done with the characters.

Despite having originally intended the story to just be one shot, I couldn't help but think there was another story or even multiple stories to tell. The problem was I needed to be able to make a follow-up which not only would remain true to the surviving characters but also tell a story which would not only be as good as the original but also exceed it. In short, I was stuck with the classic problem of making a sequel.

For me, handling the characters proved to the easiest part. I just needed to sit down and think about how the events of the first book would affect them and what plots I wanted to pick up on. Much like Mad Max transitions from being a vengeful cop to a near-feral outlaw between Max Rockatansky and The Road Warrior, my main character John had gone from being a dedicated family man to someone devastated by revenge's cost.


John's story also had the benefit of being cursed by Nyarlathotep with a time limit to how long he'll remain a human being. Those were interesting stories to follow up on but I needed to examine where everyone was going to go and make sure it was all interesting. For some characters, that led in odd directions and helped me develop the plot further. A time skip of a year allowed me to place the characters all in new positions and allowed me to re-introduce them to the readers.

H.P. Lovecraft helped as well since the obvious place to take my story was to explore the areas of his universe which I hadn't touched upon in the first book. I had deliberately avoided using the classic setting of Miskatonic University in the first book as so many other pastiches set in the world use it. Instead, I got a chance to see what the descendants of that spooky faculty were up to a century later as well as how they would react to a human becoming a monster like John. I also got to explore the Great Race of Yith, the culture of ghouls, and what shoggoths think of their enslavement by wizards. I also got to use Cthulhu itself.

One worry I had was trying to raise the stakes in a post-apocalypse story was an exercise in futility but I just couldn't resist involving Howard Phillip's greatest creation. There's a danger with going too big as you can potentially leave nowhere to go from there but it felt right in my story. After all, what is the best question you can ask in a meaningless Lovecraftian world than whether the world is worth saving? Assuming you even could.

So far, the response to The Tower of Zhaal has been great. Now I just must ask myself if I have a third volume in me.

*---------------*---------------*---------------*


Official Author Website
Order The Tower Of Zhaal HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Esoterrorism
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Cthulhu Armageddon
Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with C. T. Phipps
Read "Giving Back Vampires Their Bite" by C. T. Phipps (guest post)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: C.T. Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger, reviewer for The Bookie Monster, and signed a deal with Ragnarok Publications to produce the urban fantasy series, The Red Room. C.T. Phipps is also the author of The Supervillainy Saga, the first book of which, The Rules of Supervillainy, was released in 2015.
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Red Knight Falling by Craig Schaefer (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website 
Order Red Knight Falling HERE 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Long Way Down 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The White Gold Score 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Redemption Song 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Living End 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of A Plain-Dealing Villain
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Killing Floor Blues
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Winter's Reach 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Instruments Of Control 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Harmony Black
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Craig Schaefer

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Craig Schaefer was born in Chicago and wanted to be a writer since a very young age. His writing was inspired by Elmore Leonard, Richard Stark, Clive Barker & H. P. Lovecraft. After reaching his 40th birthday he decided to give in to his passion and since then has released twelve novels in the last three years. He currently lives in Joliet, Illinois and loves visiting museums and libraries for inspiration.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB:  FBI agent Harmony Black and her team, Vigilant Lock, face a new type of threat: one from beyond the stars. They’d always heard the Red Knight was an urban legend: in 1954, three years before Sputnik launched, a mysterious satellite was sighted circling Earth, though no power on the planet had such technology.

But the Red Knight is real, and what’s more, it’s inextricably linked to a supernatural force no one yet understands. Like a moth to a flame, this dark presence collides annually with the airborne satellite. Except this year the Red Knight is on course to crash-land…in Oregon.

Vigilant Lock sets out to find the crash site and secure the remnants before the mysterious power is drawn to Earth. But they soon discover the mission is far from straightforward—and they aren’t the only ones tracking the Red Knight. To stop a deadly occult threat, Harmony and her team must use all their resources: technology and sorcery, science and magic. Fortunately, Harmony has only begun to discover her growing power.

FORMAT/INFO: Red Knight Falling is 338 pages long divided over forty-seven chapters with a prologue, an epilogue and an afterword. Narration is in the first-person, via Harmony Black solely for the chapters and via third person for the prologue and epilogue. This is the second volume of the Harmony Black series which is a spin-off to the Daniel Faust series.

April 26, 2016 marked the North American paperback and e-book publication of Harmony Black and it was published by 47 North (Amazon Publishing). Cover design is by David Drummond.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Red Knight Falling is the second volume in the Harmony Black series and chronologically takes place after the events of book 1 (Harmony Black) and The Killing Floor Blues. The previous book focused on Harmony and at the same time did an admirable job of setting up the series while also giving us a detailed look into Harmony's past. This book the author decides to switch it up and gives us a look into another character's past. Who it is, I'll leave for the readers to read and find out.

The story begins with an urban legend about a satellite titled Red Knight which was seen in Earth's orbit in 1954. Three years before the first official satellite  "Sputnik" was even launched. The urban legend is real as our "circus team" finds out to their dismay and it's crashing somewhere in Oregon. The team is forced to scramble and try to find out who or what is causing its eventual crash. They also discover that there's something out there in space that is drawn to the Red Knight and they will have to see who or what that thing is and what is its connection to the Red Knight. Thus begins the second volume of the Harmony Black series and it is as much action-packed as its predecessor if not more. There are betrayals, double-agents and some big plot twists for the overall series. Infact one prominent big plot point is tied to something that was mentioned very minutely in the first Harmony Black volume. I enjoyed how the author made this book much different than the previous one and yet provided us with so much more.

Red Knight Falling has a very adventure-thriller feel to it and this was starkly different from the horror-thriller feel of its predecessor. The plot very much feels like a James Rollins adventure thriller and Craig Schaefer makes sure that his signature touches  such as multiple plot twists, a multivariate character cast and a storyline that will confound, are all present. This book also ties in nicely with a previous Daniel Faust book and it was very, very intriguing to visit those characters and locations but from Harmony's perspective. This check-in will be very much appreciated by readers of the Daniel Faust series as they get to see those characters and locations after the events of that book and will gain a deeper insight about them.

This book also features Cody's return however he as a character didn't quite strike my fancy. His role though is important to the events of this book and for Harmony as well. The biggest positive about this book was all the secrets it reveals as well all showcasing how this series ties into the Daniel Faust series as well as the author's political fantasy series (The Revanche Cycle). This is the first book to make this connection such a blatantly open one. For readers who haven't read the other books/series, not to worry, it will be still be intriguing to read about.  However they won't be able to make certain connections/insight that the readers of the other books will make so effortlessly. There's also the background revelations about one of the Circus team members after Harmony's turn in the first book, however their backstory doesn't quite seem as interesting.

Lastly the book ends on a big, big note and I can't stress enough how much that will make you want to read the next book. The downsides though are that while this book has all the aforementioned positives but the main character on whom the spotlight is turned upon, is not as enticing as Harmony. The only other downside I could think is of is that the book kind of takes on a romantic sub-plot for one of its protagonists. This sub-plot however doesn't feel organic and seems to be attached for a specific purpose. I hope the author clarifies this situation in the third book.

CONCLUSION: Red Knight Falling is a cracker of a  sequel that takes on the positives of its predecessor and builds up on it to provide a bigger, and better read. While there are a couple downsides, they don't really detract much from the overall enjoyment. It's still a fun read that has me very, very excited for the future volumes of this series.

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