Review: The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso
4.5 Stars , Reviews / April 22, 2019

It’s always bittersweet when a series you enjoy comes to end. The Unbound Empire was no exception for me. The book was full of action, drama, dire threats against the empire, and balanced with great friendships (and yes, romances) that all left me a happy reader. I enjoy Caruso’s books because for me they strike a great balance of being very easy to read and interesting plot. Sometimes as books get more complex, they get longer and sometimes slower to read because there is more to take in. And sometimes when books are “easy” to read, it can feel like there’s not much there, you just enjoy the ride as it happens. I feel like Caruso is in between. It’s not overly complex. The bad guys are bad guys (well, except Witch Lords who are originally seen as “bad” are given a different light with Kathe), but the antagonist, Lord Ruven, is definitely just a “bad guy”. There’s not really any shades of grey with him, but there doesn’t need to be. The other characters in the book have enough complexity in them to feel like they are more than just caricatures (which is something I often notice in books…

Top Ten Tuesday – 12 Books More People Need to Read
Top Ten Tuesday / April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by That Artsy Reader Girl.This feature gives a weekly Top Ten list. We all love lists, right? This week’s theme is FREEBIE – So, I’ll pick TOP 12 Books More People Need to Read (because picking just 10 was too hard) The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark (review is coming very soon) – Great start to a new, grim, epic fantasy Soul of the World by David Mealing Black Wolves by Kate Elliot Borderline by Mishell Baker The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston The Holver Alley Crew (or The Thorn of Dentonhill) by Marshall Ryan Maresca The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler Birch The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman Bite by K. S. Merbeth The White Road by Sarah Lotz

Review: The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
4.5 Stars , Reviews / April 16, 2018

I need to just start out with stating how much I love this book and series. It is a refreshing and lively fantasy that has characters that I just can’t get enough of. The entire concept of a non-magic user being tethered to someone with magic, with the ability to essentially turn their abilities on and off, and tying their lives to one another creates very interesting dynamics. Having Amalia, the heir to the Empire, also be a Falconer puts her in a really unique position. The throw in that Zaira, her falcon, is a fire mage, and things get really interesting. In the last book, we saw Amalia’s relationship with Marcello both start to bloom, but also become stifled as the reality of her duty as heir made it apparent she had to remain open to suitors that could gain the Serene Empire a political advantage. In the Defiant Heir, her relationship with Marcello is further tested and strained as an opportune suitor presents her with enormous possibility politically. It is something she can’t just dismiss. The problem? This suitor is not a normal noble, but a Witch Lord from Vaskandar. Witch Lords are the things of scary childhood…

Review: The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
4.5 Stars , Reviews / October 19, 2017

The Tethered Mage was a very enjoyable read with an interesting magic system. Individuals in this world develop a tell tale mage-mark (a ring on their iris) as they develop their magical ability. There are different types of abilities that may manifest and some display at a younger age than others. But regardless of ability, if a child displays the mage-mark, they must be enlisted as a Falcon. A “jess” is put on their arm to control their magic. The person who places the jess on the Falcon becomes their Falconer with the ability to turn on or suppress their magical abilities with a word. While the intent is to help the Falcons maintain control (because once they lose control, there is no turning back, they become consumed in their magic), it can also be seen as a way to control those with magical abilities and use them for the empire’s purposes. They become tools for the military. Naturally, this will create some dissent. The story focuses on a pair of women joined together in an unlikely Falconer/Falcon relationship, something neither of them wanted or expected in their life. Zaira is a fire warlock, one of the most dangerous and…