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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: (email@example.com)
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Top customer reviews
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While the story takes place in only two places, I did feel a sense of world building. There was perhaps a bit too much name dropping without a map to consult but it did give the sense of a larger world out there with several nations for future stories to consider. I really enjoyed the brief desert visit. I also think the story stands out from the crowd. (And I'm a sucker for bad boy wizards!)
Things were a bit too called out - like ooo here's mentioning this thing a few times so you get the idea that it is a Bad Thing. It made what happened too predictable whereas if it was more subtly brought up the impact would have been a good gotchya. There are at least two incidences of this where I eye rolled and went jeeze, how can the main characters NOT see this since it's so in your face.
Also I question the antagonist's range of power - she seemed too strong or not strong enough depending on what the plot required. Because of this, the final battle with the ultimate evil was simply ok. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't feel good awesome for me. I think this is a result of him getting instantly good and the enemy just hanging in there that made it lack tension.
I think the time spent 'learning' his sun powers was cut way too short. I feel that the shadow mage aspect was much more interesting because of his losing his powers and his refusal to use it to kill and we got to see how he used it both in absorbing spirit energy, dealing with the Void, and making potions. His sun magic was pretty glossed over and he just started using it at need with no fumbling and I'm not sure what he was using on his potions after that. While there was mention of him keeping his shadow knowledge, there was no evidence of him struggling to adjust once he just flipped the switch to full sun mage. I was expecting a bit of mishmash and didn't get it.
Also, the entire ending of the book seemed to trail off as if the author was so excited to wrap it up that things got glossed over. When suddenly you have people in the tower again and no idea how they got there or what happened it's a bit jarring. It is a HEA and no cliffhanger so no worries there, I just would have liked a bit more flesh to go with that post battle ending. The brother and ex lover and both kings were all marginalized at the end as well as the war that was brewing but maybe not anymore but I dunno because we weren't really told how that was resolved.
In summary, this is a really good unique story with just a few nits. I'd definitely recommend it.
The storyline is compelling, fast-moving, action-packed, and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering just what will happen next.
Ms. Pierce's world-building is superb, detailed enough to become immersed but without becoming onerous or mucking the story down with info dumps about magic systems or politics or a page-long description of a sunset. Or a flower. Or someone's creamy thighs.
Loved the way the relationship between the militess and mage unfolded, and if you're looking for a strong, capable, unabashedly tough and sexually liberated female lead...this is your book.
Will be reading more from this author!
I won't get in to a detailed review- as those before mine do the writer much better justice then I ever could- but just know that if you love adventure, fantasy, romance/erotica, solid characters within a well-done plot-line, and all pulled all-together with exceptional writing skills then this writer/book is for you. This book, like her previous ones, is a shining example of what true Indie writing should be. M.E.P's books are always an automatic buy for me.
The protagonist, Halina, is a strong heroine, fearless and confident. While she has her vulnerabilities, she is a strong and fierce warrior, noble and loyal. The hero, Gethen, is vulnerable at the start of the story and needs Halina to protect him while his powers wane, and he transitions from a shadow mage to a sun mage. He is a complex character with strengths and weakness. I liked the role reversal where he is in need of protection from Halina.
Pierce's prose is cleanly executed, easy to read, and virtually typo free. Her descriptions are vivid and evocative, bring the characters and world to life. I would highly recommend The Shadow & The Sun!