Book Review: Marilia, the Warlord (Chrysathamere Trilogy #1) by Morgan Cole

Author: Morgan Cole 
Release Date: March 2020
Genre: YA Fantays, Coming Of Age
Series: The Chrysthamere Trilogy: Book #1
Format: E-book 
Pages: 482 pages
Publisher: 
Blurb:

Formerly published under the title “Marilia, the Bastard.”
Born the bastard daughter of a painted lady, Marilia was told she would live out her days within the walls of her mother’s brothel, a companion for the rich men of Tyrace. But after a terrible betrayal, Marilia’s world turns upside down. With the help of her twin brother, Annuweth, she flees the only home she’s ever known in search of the one man who can offer her a chance at a better life–the Emperor of Navessea’s greatest general, a friend of her deceased father.

What follows is a journey spanning years, from the streets of the desert city of Tyracium to the splendor of the emperor’s keep and the wind-swept, wild island of Svartennos. Along the way, Marilia discovers, for the first time, the gift she has for strategy and warfare—a world that is forbidden to girls like her

When the empire is threatened by a foreign invasion, the defense of Navessea is left in the hands of a cruel and arrogant general no match for the empire’s enemy. With the fate of her new home and her family hanging in the balance, Marilia swears to use all her courage and cunning to do whatever she can to help repel the invasion—if she can convince anyone to follow her.

The struggle that follows will test her to her core and lead her back to the past she thought she had escaped. Facing treachery within her own ranks as well as a devious enemy commander, Marilia will need all the help she can get, even if it means doing something her brother may never forgive—making a deal with the man who murdered her father.

Inspired by The Song of Achilles and Ender’s Game, Marilia, the Warlord is a blend of the epic and the personal, a story of romance, envy, the rivalry between brother and sister, and one woman’s painful discovery that her childhood dreams weren’t quite what she imagined.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Marilia: The Warlord by Morgan Cole is the 1st book in the series The Chrysthamere Trilogy and also my first book by author Morgan Cole (pen name.)

The first thing I’d like to mention about this amazing book is that it is full of life, willpower and strength! This book really got me out of my self-pitying reverie (related to some medical issues) and made me feel like myself again. And I am sure it was all possible only because of the main character, Marilia. She is just so full of life, courageous and willing to do anything in order to achieve her goals. Her relationship with her twin brother was not only portrayed well but felt very realistic as the author showed not only the good but also the bad that is an inevitable part of every relationship.

The secondary characters were all good too. But what I liked most after the characterisation was the world-building – it was brilliant! The writing is really good and presents the plot in a really good way, having a great flow to it which made this book an easy read.

If you are a fantasy lover than you must read this book! I highly recommend it to all YA and fantasy lovers.

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Book Review: The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky #3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: 9th September 2020
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, LGBTQ
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #3)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 400 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb:
As the epic trilogy hurtles toward its conclusion, the fight for the future isn’t over yet. It could lead to a new beginning, or it might spell the end for the last vestiges of humankind. The generation ship Forever has left earth behind, but a piece of the old civilization lives on in the Inthworld—a virtual realm that retains memories of earth’s technological wonders and vices. A being named Lilith leads the uprising, and if she succeeds in setting its inhabitants free, they could destroy Forever.

But during the generation ship’s decades-long voyage, humanity has evolved. Liminals with the ability to connect with the world mind and the Inthworld provide a glimmer of hope. They’ll have to face not only Lilith’s minions, but also the mistrust of their own kind and persecution from a new government as homotypicals continue to fear what they can’t understand. The invasion must be stopped, the Inthworld must be healed, and the people of Forever must let go of their past and embrace what they’re meant to become.

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Shoreless Sea by J. Scott Coatsworth is the 3rd book in the series Liminal Sky and my third book by author J. Scott Coatsworth.

Wow! What a smashing ending to a brilliant series! If I have to sum up this series in a single sentence, I would say that all the time I put into reading this series was well worth it and I am really happy that I read it. For some reason (and a valid one too) I am a little sceptical when I am offered a series to review because more often than not, authors tend to either completely blow it, or fail to keep up with the one best book in the series. Both of which are pretty irritating and sad, to be honest. But I am so, so happy that this series did not turn out to be one of those: the story grew steadily, and the characterisation along with it, as the series progressed further with each book ending in a way that made perfect sense.

I loved this book because it answered all the questions and tied pretty much all loose ends making it a perfect end to such an epic journey. And thankfully, it lived up to my expectations from it based on its prequels as a reader, so I was left very satisfied. The most amazing part is, I could see the improvement and growth, which is only natural, in the entire series, and this book turned out to be the best one. I loved the plot, the action and the politics involved were well structured and executed.

I loved how the author made use of subtle and well-placed indirect metaphors and juxtaposition to get the bigger point across; we, humans, are indeed scared of things and concepts we do not understand or fail to understand for some reason and therefore are very quick to form an opinion against that concept or thing forgetting, very conveniently, that we are, in the end, beings of evolution and thus will have to accept the changes that we as a species and the overall nature has to undergo or experience.

I’d definitely recommend not only this book but the entire series to all sci-fi and fantasy lovers. And if you’re looking for a new series to explore, I highly recommend Liminal Sky series as this series begins on a great note and ends at an even better note. Go for it, it is well worth the time and money!

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: The Rising Tide (Liminal Sky #2) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Release Date: 16th October 2018
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, LGBTQ
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #2)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 388 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb:
Earth is dead. Five years later, the remnants of humanity travel through the stars inside Forever: a living, ever-evolving, self-contained generation ship. When Eddy Tremaine and Andy Hammond find a hidden world-within-a-world under the mountains, the discovery triggers a chain of events that could fundamentally alter or extinguish life as they know it, culminate in the takeover of the world mind, and end free will for humankind.

Eddy, Andy, and a handful of other unlikely heroes—people of every race and identity, and some who aren’t even human—must find the courage and ingenuity to stand against the rising tide. Otherwise they might be living through the end days of human history.

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Rising Tide by J. Scott Coatsworth is the 2nd book in the series Liminal Sky and my second book by the author. In one sentence, I loved it!

This book picks up 5 years after where the first book ended and carries on from there. There is no Earth now and so this book is set in a humungous space-ship which sustains life. I loved the new settings. The world-building was impressive and I enjoyed imagining the life in this one-of-a-kind world throughout the book. Though the best thing about the book is the utopian dream that the villain nurtures. I loved it because whenever in a book, especially in sci-fi-fantasy books, the concept of a seemingly utopian dream is introduced, it invariably leads to the exploration of a lot of interesting as well as important themes. And that is exactly what happened in this book. Therefore, it won’t be wrong if I’d say that I actually liked this one better than the first book!

Even though this book is a part of a series, you can read it as a stand-alone novel (at least, in my opinion,) because even though the events are carried forward, most of the book is based in a new world than the last one and except for a couple of main characters, the rest of the characters are mostly new – and that is kind of the whole point of this story, so you can definitely read it as a stand-alone. Anyway, reading the entire series is definitely recommended.

You can also read this review on 

Book Review: The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth 
Release Date: 10th October 2017
Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy, LGBTQ
Series: Liminal Sky (Book #1)
Format: E-book 
Pages: 284 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
Blurb:
Some stories are epic.
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.

Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth is a dynamic beginning to a new sci-fi fantasy series Liminal Sky that turned out to be equal parts entertaining and equal parts adventure. I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and was blown away by the fantastic world the author has created. This proved to be an unputdownable book with great pacing and tension. I am really looking forward to reading the next part of this amazing series.

Along with the main story, I also enjoyed the side plots just as much. The characters were really likeable, the story was good, the narration felt good and made the book a fast read and the flow of the story was amazing! I’d recommend this book to all sci-fi lovers, especially to those who like reading about LGBTQ side-themes.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: A Recipe For Love by Lucy Madison

Author: Lucy Madison
Release Date: 5th October 2018
Genre: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary
Series:
Edition: e-book
Pages: 181
Publisher: Labrador Publishing, LLC
Blurb:
Piermont, New York. Danika Russo is 55, newly retired from a 30-year career as a mail carrier, and stuck in a rut. After putting her own needs on hold to care for her terminally ill partner and her unloving father, Danika is holed up the childhood home she inherited, a claustrophobic time warp from the 1970s complete with brown Formica and linoleum, and not sure what to do next.
Her best friend Natalie suggests making a list of things she has always wanted to do. Stepping outside her comfort zone, self-deprecating Danika opts for taking an Italian cooking class, not knowing that she will both impress the appreciative chef with her tasting skills and meet a mysterious younger woman there, Finn Gerard, who will capture her heart and teach her the recipe for love. But Finn is withholding a grim secret and, despite her initial passion, appears unable to commit to Danika fully. Will Danika allow herself to let go and fall in love for the first time in her life, even if there are no guarantees? Even if she must learn to let go?
This complex lesbian romance touches on themes of rediscovery and transformation, showing that while love can be the answer, real healing always starts from within.
Lucy Madison’s latest will appeal to fans of fine, well-crafted lesbian fiction and authors like Caren Werlinger. Readers will enjoy a bonus cookbook section at the back, featuring all the recipes mentioned in the book!

Review

★★★★

A Recipe For Love by Lucy Madison is a heart-warming and, in a non-traditionally way, an uplifting romance novel with well-developed characterization and a storyline to compliment it. I’m not a huge fan of LGBT fiction, mostly because it mainly focuses on the sexuality of people rather than the story or other conflicts in characters, but thankfully, this book was so much more than your regular lesbian fiction as it concentrated on the story and the character more than the label itself. And that was what I really liked about this book.

I enjoyed reading it and, for me, the best part was the beautiful growth of character of the protagonist, Danika. I feel that her conflicts, both inner and the main story conflict, were explored nicely and as a result, I had a great time reading the story. The writing was well and complimented the story well making this book a light, fun yet a memorable read.

I’d recommend it to all romance lovers. Though people who are not comfortable with lesbian relationships might not like it.

this review is also posted on Amazon