“You cannot have light without darkness, any more than day without night” // Review of “Edge of Darkness” by K. L. Schwengel

Title: Edge of Darkness (Darkness and Light #3)
Author: K. L. Schwengel
Genre: Fantasy
Date Read: 06/06/2016 – 11/06/2016
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

edgeofdarkcoverWhile I didn’t find this book to be quite as epic as the first two in the series, I thought this was a very satisfying conclusion to the Darkness and Light series, which I had been following for a few years now.

Ciara, Bolin, Berk and the other characters are still dealing with the huge aftermath of the battle at the end of the previous book. Bolin in particular, is trying to mask the immense grief he feels over Nialyne’s death, and Berk is still plagued by nightmares over his actions, even if he wasn’t in control. And all the while, it seems an even bigger threat is looming…

The thing I liked most about this book is that we got to see some sworn enemies working together, not strictly for the greater good, but it worked in both their interests to form a bit of an alliance. We also got introduced to some new characters who were just as interesting as the ones we’ve been spending time with. I really liked Ferris in particular, mostly because he brought all of the snark with him, but also because we gradually learned things about him that made him even more interesting.

I did feel the story lagged a little bit because the characters did quite a lot of travelling. However, this was offset with enough action on the road to keep me reading. The story concludes with an exciting climax that doesn’t quite go the way you (or some of the characters) expect. And I really liked the conclusion to Bolin and Ciara’s personal story. It made me smiley.

I’ve said it before, and I say it again, if you’re a fantasy fan, then the Darkness and Light series is definitely worth checking out. K. L. Schwengel is definitely a writer to keep on your radar (and I’m not just saying that because she’s a blogging friend/colleague 😛 ).


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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 15 June, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

  • What are you currently reading?

wwwwednesday.Nothing, actually, as I finished two books today and I am yet to start a new one.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel on a bus on Friday. It was a good conclusion to the series!

I followed this up with Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine. I’m glad that it’s only a few weeks until the sequel comes out! I want to spend more time in this world. I also want a book about Scholar Wolfe and Commander Santi as young men, but I don’t think that is likely, and that is a shame.

I also finished the audio of The Lost Life by Steven Carroll and good lord, I’m glad it was short. It had some pretty language and the story could have been really interesting, but it didn’t really go anywhere and it got quite repetitious at times. It’s kind of awkward reading a love scene where the two characters are described as having their mouths “glued together” multiple times in a few minutes.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Sadly, I have not been able to read a book a day on my week off like I had intended, but that is because I have been preoccupied with other things I wanted to do, so there’s that. My next read will probably be I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga to see what all the fuss is about. 😛 Then I’ll probably read Nightshade by Maryrose Wood.

Borrow Box tells me that the audio of The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer will be available for me tomorrow, so I’ll make a start on that, too. Hope the audio is good!

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. This week, we’re back with Eli, who is getting some bad news that could land him in a lot of trouble.

“What is it?” Eli asked.

Maisie caught her breath and then said, “It’s the Princess, sir. She’s… she’s gone, sir.”

“What do you mean, gone?”

“She wasn’t in her bed, sir. I looked in some usual places, the library, and her parlour, but I couldn’t find her anywhere.”

“Is there anything else to suggest she’s disappeared? Maybe you’re just not looking hard enough.”

Maisie nodded her head, as if agreeing with his assessment, but then she added, “She’s taken clothes with her sir. And the secret door at the end of the passage, the one behind the tapestries? The one you never let her remember? It was open.”

Sometimes, Eli thinks this Princess might be more trouble than she’s worth. 😛

That’s it from me, see you on your blogs!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 08 June, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

  • What are you currently reading?

wwwwednesdayI’m actually properly reading Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel now! I think I’m nearly at 60% at time of writing.

And I’m technically listening to the audio of ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor, but I’m going a bit slowly with it. I think I’m just not as interested in Princess Alyss and co. after listening to the first two books in quick succession.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

I finally finished A Gathering of Shadows, and while I feel it was a bit Middle Book Syndrome-y, I feel like the next book will be epic! (When it comes next February). My review goes up on Friday.

I also read Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, which was silly, but I do love the idea of alcohol-induced superpowers/magic. I posted my review on Monday and the book is now available for sale.

My review of Viral by Helen Fitzgerald also went up on Friday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I figured I’d just post the photo I posted on Instagram after a visit to the library to collect six holds last night. Good thing I have a weekend trip away and also the whole of next week off, eh? Also, add Anne of Green Gables to this list, though I’ll be reading it electronically.

toreadthisweekjune8

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. Today is 8/6/16, and I have eight paragraphs for you. Carrie and Jasper are discussing how best to help the memory-less Princess who is currently in the next room.

“You need to go with her,” he said. “She has no hope of getting there on her own. She’s lost everything we taught her; she wouldn’t know how to light a fire or how to barter. She’d just hand over that gold if it was asked for.”  

“Are you sending her to Milton Nethercote?”  

“Yes. I think we can safely assume that her memories are being tampered with. I wasn’t being dishonest when I said he was one of the few that could help her.”

“But what if this is some kind of trap? Is it wise to send the Princess to the leader of the resistance when she’s still so loyal to the King?”  

“If he can help her, and I believe that he can, isn’t he the perfect person for her to be with when she realises how much her own father has lied to her?”  

“That’s true.”  

“If you don’t want to go, we can find someone else. But we shouldn’t shelter her here for very long. Ideally, you should leave again tonight.”  

“But she’ll be exhausted. And I will need to prepare.”

That’s it from me, see you on your blogs!

~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – April 27, 2016

It is Wednesday, and that means WWW Wednesday! Yaaaay! WWW Wednesday is a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

I purchased The Raven King, the 4th book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, when it was released yesterday. At time of writing this post, I’m about 25% into it and… well, I was hoping the final book in the series would be a bit more exciting? Cabeswater is being a bit weird, and there have been a couple of important conversations, but mostly it’s just sort of ambling on…

edgeofdarkcoverI also read about 30% of The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel during train journeys on the weekend. I would have read a lot more except I spent a lot of the travel time sleeping. I plan to get back to this as soon as I’m done with the Raven King. I honestly don’t read a lot of high fantasy, but I do recommend this series.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

bluelilycoverI finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, the third in the Raven Cycle. I was actually a bit disappointed in that one. I felt the story was really starting to drag, and I think that’s why I’m feeling especially disappointed that the new book doesn’t really seem to be picking up the pace. Review goes up on Friday. Speaking of reviews, mine for The Dream Thieves (Book 2) went up on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I gave up waiting for my library’s on order of A Gathering of Shadows, the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, to come in, and bought the ebook. I imagine that will be next, before all the hype wears down (I know, that’s not something people say all that often, but this is one where I want to share in the excitement!).

Two of my holds came in at the library this week, and I also just randomly picked up two more library books as well. They are, in no particular order:riversoflondoncover

So that’s my next few weeks’ reading cut out for me, I think!

What have you been reading this week? Any recommendations?

~ Emily

WWW Wednesday – 13/04/16

This will be a fairly quick post today, as I have to spend most of my evening on uni work. I realised there are only three weekends between now and when my next assignment (a 3000 report worth 40% of my grade) is due, and I’m out of town for one of those, so my weeknights need to be used a bit. Tuesdays and Thursdays are out, and of the remaining ones, Wednesday is really the most ideal.

wwwwednesday

WWW Wednesday is a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • What are you currently reading?

A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating. It’s really cute, if a bit long. I needed something light and easily digestible, and this fits the bill. I can’t remember whose WWW I saw this on a few weeks ago, but thank you for bringing it to my attention, whoever you are!

I haven’t officially DNFed Air Awakens by Elise Kova yet, but it took me a week to read 30% of it (and it’s a 300-page YA, so that’s pretty embarrassing!) and I was sadly pretty bored throughout most of that. I am also bothered by the fact that one of the guys who I know is going to be a love interest is generally an awful human being.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

Nothing this week, unfortunately. As I said, it took me a week to get through 30% of Air Awakens.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Edge of Darkness, the third book in K. L. Schwengel’s Darkness & Light trilogy came out today, so I expect I’ll try to read that next.

That’s it from me, folks, I’ll see you all later.

~ Emily

Book Review: Emergence by K. L. Schwengel

Title: Emergence
Author: K. L. Schwengel
Genre: Fantasy
Format: E-book, also available as paperback (Amazon)
Date Read: 18/03/2014 – 28/03/2014
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

coverrevealEmergence is the second installment in the Darkness and Light series by K. L. Schwengel, who is also known in these parts as the fearless leader of the Wippeteers and wrangler of the flying monkeys. I read First of Her Kind, the first in the series, back last May, so I was a bit worried about how much I’d remember. My concern was unwarranted, however, as I very quickly found myself settling back into the world of Ciara and Bolin and their adventures and struggles.

This novel is a bit road-trippy; Bolin is ordered fairly early on to take Ciara to the Emperor in the city of Nisair and I would estimate the middle 40% or so of the novel is them getting there. This does run the risk of letting the plot drag, but while there were a couple of points where it did seem to slow down a bit, for the most part there was plenty of action to keep the plot moving in spite of this.

We have a host of new characters in the form of the escort sent to make sure Bolin and Ciara arrive in Nisair. Most notable of these is Berk, who not only gets some awesome action scenes, but also acts as a second love interest to Ciara and makes Bolin grumble. Also, he’s super-adorable, and I never add “super” to things to make them sound even better, so that says a lot.

In First of her Kind, the big bad was Donovan, Ciara’s father from whom she inherited Andrakaos, one of her two forms of magic. Donovan is still around, but he is no longer the only adversary our heroes have to face. Donovan has teamed up with Teeva, a Dominion priestess in possession of some of the darkest magic there is. There are also Marauders to contend with, and they get nasty (actually there are some pretty dark things going on in the marauder camp, so if that’s not your thing, maybe give this one a miss). Oh, and let’s not forget that some of the Imperial Mages aren’t exactly acting under the direction of the Emperor anymore.

The multiple magic systems that K. L. Schwengel has created weave around each other seamlessly, and one of my favourite parts of the novel was the development of Ciara’s control over Andrakaos, which culminated in a very dramatic scene during the novel’s climax (vagueness deliberate). Bolin is also dealing with the effects of Teeva’s magic, and by the end of novel, there is something else looking on the horizon: the Darkness. The action scenes are also very vivid. I can see everything play out in my mind’s eye exactly as described.

My only real criticism of Emergence is that I thought we could have seen a bit more of Ciara. There was definitely some important stuff going on that we got to witness from her point of view, but I felt this was more Bolin’s story overall. Not necessarily a bad thing, he is a main character after all, but personally I would have liked a bit more of our heroine.

The ending has left us set up for an exciting and intense final installment in which many opposing powers are going to clash (there was also a Ciara/Bolin scene that left me with a huge, stupid grin on my face). I know I’ll be first in line on the day it goes on sale! 😀

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#WIPpet Wednesday – Lost (also Facebook and Cover fun times)

So I went ahead and made myself a Facebook page, which you are free to like or not like as it pleases you. It remains to be seen how much I actually use it, but we were talking about social media and things at writing group on Monday and Sam had made one, both for himself and his (quite popular) YA online serial Darkness Girl. This blog used to link with my personal Facebook page, which is so locked down that if you were to type in the URL without being my friend, it tells you that you have no permission to view it. I don’t think it’ll increase traffic or anything, but I will prefer having it link to a public page.

I’ve also actually finally started putting some serious thoughts about a cover for A More Complicated Fairytale, which is quite exciting. Kathi Schwengel is helping me out with that and has given me some great tips on how to make a start, so I’m working on that (thank you, Kathi!). Also, speaking of Kathi and covers, check out the cover reveal for Emergence, the second in the Darkness & Light series. All being well, the book will be out on Monday, March 17. If you haven’t read the first book, First of Her Kind, now would be a good time to make a start on that. 😉

I am beginning this post on Tuesday night while I take a break from wrestling with what should have been a very simple scene from AMCF but has proved difficult. As I’ve said before, I don’t want Felipe to appear to sympathetic right off the bat, because I want the reader to discover that at the same time as Cait. But I was going to include that scene I wrote while I was in Paris where he learns that his brother has been killed… except that would have to go right at the beginning and he’s all emotional and vulnerable at that point, so it’s fairly obvious that he’s not a complete jerkwad… so I’ve been fiddling with that but at the moment it’s not really working for me. Possibly moving it forward to Sebastian’s funeral, where he’s a bit more stoic, rather than that first moment might be a thing… Or maybe I’ll just scrap the whole idea…

Either way, for WIPpet Wednesday, here are six lines from that scene (1 + 2 + 3 [day plus month] = 6). They take place not long after the bit I posted while I was in the laundromat in Paris being a really exciting traveler. Carmen is keeping Felipe company, but not pushing him to deal with the anything immediately.

“I don’t think I’ve never seen you look so lost.”

Lost. Yes, that was the word. If Sebastian was gone, then Felipe no longer knew where he fitted in. He’d always looked up to his brother, gone to him for advice or guidance. Felipe may have had the reputation as a ladies’ man, but it had been Sebastian who gave him the push in the right direction the first time he’d seen a girl he liked the look of. Sebastian always knew exactly what to say, how to handle a situation. Felipe may have been able to give this impression, but it wasn’t always the case.

When this book is published I will probably write my own fanfiction about five-year-old Felipe and six-year-old Sebastian getting up to all kinds of princely mischief. They’re an awesome little duo, believe me! 🙂

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date. Then link up with us here and check out what others have on offer. It’s that easy! 😀 I’m going to head off now because I slept badly last night and really need an early night tonight, I’ll catch up with you guys soon enough!wordpresssig2