The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon
August 20, 2019 by 47North
This was a very different book than the previous fantasy releases I’ve read by this author. I would say that I was expecting more of a romance based fantasy and what I got was more of an epic fantasy with romance woven in. Still overwhelmingly lovely and beautifully written, just not exactly what I was expecting.
The First Girl Child is a story of love, power, greed, selflessness, and honor. When a young battle maiden is wronged, she brings a son into the world and then places a curse on the land that no daughters will be born from that day forward and that her son will be the only one who is able to break the curse and save them all.. Thus begins the tale of Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful chieftain who becomes king with a lie and Alba, a young girl child, taken from her mother and used for political gain.
Bayr is raised by his uncle at Temple Hill, among the Keepers, and is strong of body and heart, but has a stutter that keeps him from talking. He is naturally protective and as soon as Alba is brought forward as the first girl child to be born in a decade, Bayr is tasked with her protection. The two grow inseparable, but will soon have to navigate a land filled with political intrigue and men who lust for power.
Amy Harmon has created a mythical world based in Norse mythology and laced with touches of Viking folklore and Christianity. This is very much a story about the dangers of misogyny and sexism and how it adversely affects society. It was at times a slow read, but Ms. Harmon writes in such a soulful, beautiful way that you can’t help but keep turning pages. I was quite taken with the characters, and the setting, and the deep themes. There is a love story, two in fact, but strap in and hold your horses, because this author builds those relationships at a slow, steady pace and it takes a while to get there. But, it is so worth it when you finally do.
I very much enjoyed The First Girl Child and would heartily recommend it to fans of the genre. If you haven’t read this author before and would like some suggestions on her backlist, after you dive into The First Girl Child, I would like to recommend The Bird and the Sword and The Queen and the Cure. Two of my favorites.
Final Grade- B+
Rise Against by Hailey Edwards
August 22, 2019 by Piatkus
The fourth book in the Foundling series picks up immediately where the third book leaves off, with Luce and her coterie searching out supporters of Conquest and bringing them to their cause. If you haven’t read the previous three books in the series, don’t start here. There is an ongoing, rather intricate, ongoing series arc that will leave you confused if you don’t know the background.
This was the best of the series so far for me. Luce and Cole finally get their alone, sexy, couple time, we get answers about those mysterious phone calls Luce used to receive once a year, she also discovers how she came to be naked and with no memory in a swamp on her discovery day and let’s just say Adam isn’t quite so mysterious anymore. There are also betrayals, twists and turns, and some pretty big movement as far as character development. Also, Rixton is back and partnering up with the coterie and I am so very glad.
I believe the next book will be the finale of the series and I am more than ready for Luce and Ezra to meet face to face and battle it out. Bring it on.
Final Grade- B
The Duchess in His Bed by Lorraine Heath
Sins for All Seasons #4
August 20, 2019 by Avon
Finally! I’ve been waiting for Aiden to find a woman who captures his attention and lays claim to his heart.
Aiden Trewlove has watched his brothers and sisters fall in love and marry well above their station, but he has no intention of ever settling down with one woman. That is until Selena Sheffield, Duchess of Lushing walks into his club and askes to be bedded.
Selena Sheffield is in need of a lover. And quickly. She must get pregnant as soon as possible in order to be able to pass the child off as her recently deceased husband’s, or the entire estate will be turned over to the crown and her family will be left scraping by. She has her sights set on one man, she just has to work up the courage to ask for what she wants.
Honestly, I had no small amount of trepidation at the beginning when I found out exactly what Selena had planned for Aiden and how I thought she was going to go about getting herself with child. I was fully prepared to put this book down and stop reading immediately, because I just couldn’t believe a love story that started out so dishonestly, but then… let’s just say I should have had trust in Lorraine Heath. She never lets me down.
There is a lot of getting to know you between this couple and I appreciated the slow build to love and trust. I loved the honesty between them and how that grew into a strong foundation for their relationship. Aiden and Selena were such a wonderful couple and I truly enjoyed their love story and HEA.
The final two books in the series, featuring Fancy and Beast, will be out next year and I can’t wait.
Final Grade- B-
What I’m reading this week: