The Ippos King by Grace Draven
Wraith Kings #3
October 6, 2020, Self-Published
“We live for those we love,” she told him in bast-Kai. “We die for those we love. This is a privilege, Serovek, not a sacrifice.”
I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I am a Grace Draven fangirl and she continues to wow me with each new release. The Ippos King was originally serialized on her website, and then edited and released in ebook form in its entirety. I decided to forgo reading the bits and pieces as they were first offered up, and instead decided to wait to read it all at once. I’m patting myself on the back for this wonderful decision.
If you’ve been following The Wraith Kings series then you know that this is Serovek and sha-Anhuset’s story. I have long awaited their romance and was thrilled to hear readers wouldn’t have to pine for it any longer.
This book is at its essence a friends-to-lovers, road trip story set in a rich, detailed fantasy world. Over the last two books, Serovek and Anhuset have gradually formed a friendship of sorts. They are first introduced as a Kai warrior woman and the human Margrave who were allies and yet so very different, kind of wary of each other. Then later on their relationship grows through fighting together and depending on one another in dire circumstances. And now they are two friends, who greatly respect and admire each other, taking a trip to see to duty for a lost friend.
Anhuset is a kick-ass, physically, and mentally strong woman who is a problem solver and loyal to her very bones. Serovek has a lighter, more teasing demeanor, yet he is also a fighter and serves as Margrave (think governor) to his lands. He is also a loyal friend to Brishen and is fascinated by Anhuset. I’m not exactly sure how I was expecting their romance to unfold, but I guess I should have suspected ‘falls in love while fighting by each other’s side and willing to die for each other by the end’ to be it. And it ended up being super romantic.
I’m intrigued by where this author seems to be taking the overall series plot arc. It’s obvious that there is something going on with the body of Megiddo and the city of Haradis. There is also still a connection between the Wraith Kings and the dead monk, and I can’t wait to find out how it all plays out.
I really enjoyed this third installment to the Wraith Kings series and look forward to whatever comes next.
Final grade- B
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker
The Up and Under #1
October 6, 2020, by Tordotcom
Adventures do not come along every day, or every week, or even every year. Adventures are shy, unpredictable things, and they swoop in when least expected, carrying their victims away from their average, everyday worlds and into something marvelous.
Y’all, A Deborah Baker is yet another pen name for Seanan McGuire and I will literally read anything this author writes… so here I am reading young adult fantasy and loving it.
This is very much an Alice and Wonderland type story featuring two wonderfully bright and perfectly flawed children thrown into a new world together by accident. Avery and Zib couldn’t be more different if they tried, but it will take all of those differences to make it out of the Up and Under alive and well and most importantly, together.
As with any Seanan McGuire adventure, there is a fantastical world filled with extraordinary characters doing curious, whimsical things. The best sort of adventure really. This is very age-appropriate for middle school children, but can also be enjoyed by older readers as well. If you love this author’s Wayward Children novels, then this is right up your alley. The ending gives me hope that there will be more stories in this world.
Final grade- B+