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The Shadow & The Sun (Militess & Mage) Paperback – June 20, 2016
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About the Author
Monica Enderle Pierce and her characters have been kicking the crap out of evil since 2012. Her first novel, Girl Under Glass, was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist and a multi-category sci-fi bestseller. Of her historical, dark fantasy novel, Famine, reviewers have said, “Jeez. Effing heck. I need more now!” and “Just fantastic... Such a great read!” And Monica’s short stories have been featured in the best-selling Future Chronicles anthologies: The Dragon Chronicles and The Doomsday Chronicles. Her stories are immersive, detailed, and character-driven, full of love, tension, and bad guys getting their just deserts. Monica has an English literature degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and she lives in Seattle, WA, USA with her husband, their daughter, a neurotic dog, two crazy tomcats, and a fish. You can find Monica and her books via the following links: Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/MonicaEnderlePierce/) Twitter: (https://twitter.com/MonicaEPierce) Website: (http://stalkingfiction.com) Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Top Customer Reviews
I requested this book on NetGalley for a couple reasons. While I was browsing titles, the cover of this really caught my attention, when I read the summary I was intrigued (necromancers, who DOESN’T want to read about that?), and the genre was fantasy. It pretty much tickled all my favorites when reading a book.
In terms of characters I really enjoyed both our protagonists, Halina and Gethen. Halina is a strong female lead who knows what techniques to use for different battles, she’s intelligent, fierce, respected, and even with all her imperfections, knows she’s desirable. Gethen is also a very strong male lead who is strong physically and magically, but also has a great personality. He doesn’t shun the help of others (like a ‘manly man’ would) and he cares for the world he lives in. Now, even though I really liked the characters, there was something that made it hard to connect with them, especially at the beginning. Part of me wonders if it’s because they’re older.
The pacing was also very slow and if I hadn’t been given this copy I might have dropped it early on. It did pick up near the 3/4 mark, which I was glad for because every time I checked my progress nothing great happened, I was concerned. Would everything be rushed at the end?
Other problems I had were that the names were too similar so they were hard to memorize, there were a few grammatical errors, too many descriptions and not enough happening (considering this book is only 264 pages), and there were no page numbers. I also wish there’d been a map for all the places that were talked about. I know there were 4 kingdoms and that Besera and Ursinum shared a border. I also know that Ranith fell under Halina’s domain, but I just couldn’t picture the world.
Our antagonist was interesting but not amazing. At moments I found myself thinking, you’re still hung up over this? You do realize these people are dead now… The Witch just felt too petty but I did think her powers were REALLY cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want the power to freeze the world? She also really made our protagonists work for their goal of saving Quoregna (the name of this world), what with her sneaking around and death marks.
Even though I had all of these issues with the book, I did enjoy the story and that made me up the score quite a bit. Still, it’s not set in stone and my overall like/dislike of this book will depend on the series as a whole. This book felt like an introduction to something big and it makes me wonder what the next book could be about. Will there be another foe like the Rime Witch? Will it center around the apparent to-be war between Besera and Ursinum? Will we get to see Gethen use his powers like a badass (this book didn’t do a good job at showing the ‘fearful and all powerful mage’)?
I haven't read anything else by Monica Enderle Pierce yet, but I certainly will. This is a solid book. Good world-building, interesting characters, and it just ended when the plot found its footing which is why I gave it a lower rating than expected. It just needed a bit more pizzazz. *grins*
Gethen and Halina are strong characters on their own. He is a shadow mage who refused the path forced onto him by his predecessor. He doesn't kill to infuse his magic, instead he borrows energy. Which is why he is in the middle of transition from a shadow mage to a sun mage, when the dark force rises.
Halina is a formidable warrior with an older brother who is embarrassed of her behavior but still loves her, and an unfeeling father who just dreams to marry her off with the utmost profit, so no matter what she does, she is expendable. An outcast.
When these two are thrown together, there is a lot of mistrust. Gethen can't make her understand why he won't help her father fight against his own brother, and Halina doesn't believe in his story about his powers failing him. I also had a minor gripe about Halina "using her body" to get what she wants. She might think she does, but she doesn't act they way she describes herself. She takes men to bed, but it's no different from men in her army taking women to bed - for companionship, for stress relief, for fun. She doesn't behave like a cold, manipulative woman. This is more of usual male/societal bullsh*t with women shaming leaking through heroine's perception of herself. You are a bad*ss warrior, girl! Own it!
Despite liking Gethen and Halina, I felt like they needed more spark between them, more brightness. While you feel the underlying potential, this is a tentative novel. I am hoping for more oomph in the next installment. Recommended for the fans of Grace Draven, Jeffe Kennedy and Amy Raby, a nice read with a lovely cover.
Gethen is a super interesting character, a shadow mage/necromancer who refused to take any life to do his craft. Halina is a sharp tongued warrior princess who was sent by the King to acquire his fealty. But oh there's so much more going on... Monica handles the story building well with a smart storyline and witty characters.
So grab the book and a cup of tea and sit back for your next enjoyable read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
+ Militess Halina is a great character. As a lady warrior, she's more warrior than lady, and convincingly so.Read more