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Escaping into My Books

I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)

Currently reading

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Mackenzi Lee, Christian Coulson

I really like this series!

This Shattered World - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

Mini Review:

 

This is the second book in the Starbound Series, the first which I read many years ago. It is linked to the first book in that it basically continues the story line of the mysterious Whispers and Leroux industries shady dealings with them. Lilac and Tarver from the first book also make and appearance and play a big role in the action. By the end of this book, more and more people in the galaxy are becoming aware of Lilac's father and the true nature of his organization and his ambitions, and the stakes with the Whispers are becoming higher. 

 

I don't want to give away spoilers....so I'll leave it at that, but both books follow a similar theme. They both have a Romeo and Juliet type romance. Two people from different walks of life, that are opposed to each other in some way...being forced together and having to work together despite all odds. This second book fits this theme, more than the first. Flynn and Jubilee are as opposite as they can be. Flynn the leader of a rebel group on the planet Avon, and Jubilee a soldier of the occupying force sent to the planet to keep the locals calm and fight the rebels. They hate each other just on principle. The night they meet Flynn goes to a local bar on the Base in order to find information on a mysterious complex he came across on the planet. One his people know nothing about, and he suspect the army might. He suspects it has something to do with the climate instability and other issues his planet has faced over the years that is preventing them from being added to the galactic counsel and into the developed world. That final step finally allowing his plant to get all the resources and support they need to survive. He happens upon Jubilee, an infamous Captain known and feared by all Rebels, and ends up kidnapping her for information....and it all goes downhill for the both of them from there.

 

But this was a good look at how conflict and war continues. Two groups get entrenched in fighting each other, and so set in their view of each other, that anyone who is up to no good...could use their hatred and distrust for each other to manipulate them however they want. Divide and conquer. Let the people spend all their time fighting each other, that they don’t see the real enemy. The mutual enemy. Flynn and Jubilee see who the enemy is, and they spend the rest of the book trying to convince everyone else to lay down their weapons and see it too.

 

This is a great SciFi series. Not heavy sci fi light enough for anyone to read, but still full of actions and tension...and of course and nice love story in the middle.

Not a good month to read this book

The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

 

Mini-Review :

 

I think lately dystopian novels about tyrannical and crazy governments targeting a group of its citizens for being different and a "threat"....is just a bit too real for me. I finished this book and I was depressed....impressed with the story and the characters and how it all came together, but still depressed by the realness. When faced with tragedy and fear...many people don't live up to their better natures. When we need them to the most. And that ends up being a disaster for everyone.

 

The basic story of this book: a mysterious disease hits the world and targets only children under 18. Most die, but the ones that survive obtain abilities. Some which are VERY scary. So of course in order to "protect" and public and "find a cure" for this affliction the US government, led by a questionable President, decides to remove these children from their homes and put them in "facilities" that will protect the public from them and of course...protect them as well. Cause they care for these poor children and are trying to "fix them" Huh huh. Needless to say...putting young kids, in basically concentration camps surrounded by guards who fear them, goes about as well as one would expect. Our heroine is one of these kids locked away...who has been hiding her real ability for years, because it is the most dangerous one of all, and she knows she would be "disappeared" if anyone found out. When we meet her, she is about to be found out....

 

Despite being depressed at the end...I did enjoy the book a lot. The characters and relationships were believable, and you rooted for them from start to finish. You feel their disappear and hopelessness and you hope they can dig out some happiness in the hellscape that is their reality. I look forward to reading more...but maybe when I’m in a better mood. I'll give it 4 years. lol

 

So charming!

Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen Cho

This book was not at all what I expected...but I enjoyed it a lot. I don't think the cover or blurbs actually capture this book very well. And I don't think my description would either. I put my thoughts earlier on some of what struck me and I enjoyed, and it's too much to put down all here..

 

So let me  provide a brief list the things I enjoyed:

 

1. The Alternate-history setting....with magic!

 

2. The two main characters were both POC. One an ex-slave/"negro" and the other half Indian. And all the baggage that comes with that in the alternate Britain they live is explored.

 

3. The writing style and language used by the characters gave it a "old classic" feel, and instead of throwing me off...it gave it a certain charm. Like reading an old 18th century novel.

 

4. The humor. Dry and sarcastic and silly. This book doesn't take itself very seriously. There were may moments where I stopped to giggle along with the characters, and shake my head and how silly and ridiculous certain parts were...but I still enjoyed it. The author had fun writing this...you can tell.

 

5. The romance. It fit so perfectly with the personalities of the two characters. So amusing, so dry...but you root for them.

 

All in all....this was fun. More books should just be fun....stop taking yourself so seriously and give us some magic and adventure where all the characters are not miserable, dead or dying. From what I gather, there will be more books coming in this world, and I look forward to it. There are still plenty of mysteries and stories to tell.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 207 out of 384 pages.

Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen Cho

I have never related to a character more.

 

Because of his race, he has to work extra hard just to make people think him worthy of the position he has, and even then, some still will dismiss him and try to take it from him. And he can't even show he is bothered or angry or upset...because they use that against him too.

 

And people put all these negative traits on him....that are the total opposite of what he is....because they assume everyone of his race is like that. They are all murderers and thieves, so of course he can't be worthy of anything he has and took it by underhanded means.  It's so frustrating!

 

But being African American....that's pretty much my life and the life of most minorities. In many cases...there is nothing you can do if someone has decided that just based on your appearance/race....that you are not worthy of their concern or to be given any benefit of the doubt. Or even to be treated like a human being with feelings. And when things go wrong...you are always the easy scapegoat.

Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 384 pages.

Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen Cho

How charming! That is the only way I can describe this book so far. Such a different feel compared to other fantasy books...like reading an 19th century novel...

 

And a fantasy book where the main character is a male POC!? I'm sold already.

I don't know...

A Promise of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

I finished this yesterday, and after thinking about it all day...I am still not sure whether I like this book or not. I'm confused.

 

Even while reading the book...I was not sure either. I would have spurts of enjoyment. Some parts of it clicked....some didn't...but they never clicked at the right moments or for long...because I just did not get into the groove of this book.

 

The only way I can describe it...is that the book was too...busy. Like the writer decided to throw everything they could think of into one book. When I thought the plot was going one way...all of a sudden it went another way, then did a circle and came back again. The main heroine has a lot of secrets, a bit too much secrets. One secret seems obvious and when it seems to be coming to a close...and then another one pops up. She is a secret princess AND she is the chosen one AND the Oracle predicated she would destroy the world AND her magic is super special and unique. And I'm just like..okay wait...slow down...lets pick one and expand on that.

 

The romantic plot I liked and had some great build up. That was when I liked the two main characters the most. They were witty and fun and pretty hot. To me that should have been a main driving point, all the other plot points just confused things. And the ending..of course it's a cliff hanger and one that ends the story kinda abruptly, so you are left feeling like you read a whole book and nothing was moved forward or really happened ...except the romance. Again, that was the best part. You have no real answers.

 

To me, as this looks like it will be a series...you got to give some answers each book. Move some of the story along..or you feel like you reading filler for 3 books. And that's what some of the scenes felt like...they did not really drive the story forward...they were just filler. Like..hmm..lets throw in a big fight scene here...yeah...that will be cool. Omg..let's have a jealous ex stab her! Genius. And I'm just like..huh? What does this have to do with the main plot?

 

Anyway...yeah...I didn't hate it. But didn't love it. I'm just kinds confused. Of course I know many folks who loved it...so once again to each their own.

 

Reading Spree.. The Seven Realms Series

The Crimson Crown - Cinda Williams Chima The Demon King - Cinda Williams Chima The Exiled Queen - Cinda Williams Chima The Gray Wolf Throne - Cinda Williams Chima

I finally decided to pick up The Demon King and read, as it's been on my to read list for a while now, and maybe the mood was right,  but I really, really enjoyed it. And when I finished it, in like 6 hours, I decided to read the rest of the series. So I finished all of them this week. I have not had a good reading spree in a while....it was fun, and really got my reading groove back. I'm back on track for my reading goal this year.

 

This  series has really two main characters. Han and Raisa. Han is an ex street lord from the slums trying to go straight, and Raisa is the heir to the Gray Wolf Throne and next Queen of The Fells. And fate sets of a chain of events that makes sure they cross paths. Han finds out he is way more than a street kid from Ragmarket  (of course)and Raisa learns what she is made off. You basically follow the coming of age journey of these two characters. They go from kids to adults through all four books.

 

What I liked: The characters. The characters. The characters. I would say they held everything together. If I did not like Han or Raisa or all the secondary characters that pepper these books, then it would not have worked all. You get pulled in by the characters right away, and you care what happen to them and want them to succeed.  And that is what keeps you reading each book. It's what kept me jumping from book to book. You're invested, so the issues with the story kinda of become secondary because you want Han to succeed and to finally get justice. You want Raisa to win and defeat her enemies. Han and his group of friends are surrounded by all kinds of peril and drama and intrigue. They spend a lot of time traveling all over the land being chased, kidnapped, beaten, plotted against and kissed by various love interests.  I liked that the characters were not all Goody-goody and pure, no character is all good, or all bad, well except maybe one. But good guys do bad things, and sometimes the bad guys surprise you with some good. That is very realistic. Everyone has a reason for what they do, even if you don't agree with their methods. 

 

I loved the diversity. One of the large players in this book are the Clan, which seem to be modeled on Native Americans. And Raisa is a half-blood,with her father and grandmother being Clan. Half the characters are POC in some way or other, and that is always refreshing. Fantasy still seems to be stuck in a medieval European box a lot of the time and I enjoy every time I get a break from that. More!

 

The bad: Here is what I didn't like...but the rest of it kept me there. Han could sometimes be a bit of a "Mary Sue" (most main characters are to some extent). But especially in the first two books. He is always one step of everyone, and always comes out on top and wins no matter how crazy the odds.That can be a bit boring after a while. Sometimes you need to raise the stakes and put your character in a position where all seems hopeless and make them really work for it or maybe they need saving for one (you can also go a bit too much the other end. A good balance is needed). Sometimes things were just to easy for Han. 

 

Also, I feel like towards the end some of the plot points fell to the wayside. Like it was built up or hinted at, but nothing came of it. Like, the writer was going to go one way, but changed last minute. Also some of the ending results of the stories were "too easy" like....if one character spends all 4 book saying one thing, one conversation in the last chapter of the last book is not going to change them that fast. I want to believe it. Show me the journey. So some of the ends were just too pat.

 

But over all I loved this series, and did not feel like it was a week wasted. I might even pick up the next series set in the world...but generations later.  I am interested to learn how things changed or stayed the same. As they Crow says in the books...the Winners write history.

 

Hmm....well....I guess...

Curio - Evangeline Denmark The Falconer - Elizabeth May

That's kind of how I feel about these 2 books. Like both had elements I loved enough that they avoid 2 stars, but they also had some other issues that prevented me from LOVING the.

 

The Falconer, had a nice premise. I liked the world building. The different type of fairies and how they function within the world our heroine lives. I liked her relationships with the different characters. All of them felt real and believable. So it helped move the story along and pull you in. But the main conflict/story was where the issue was with me. I felt like a lot of time was spent on building the world and backdrop of the story...but not as much time and thought went into the story. It felt almost like the main story was just kind thrown in there last minute and kind of like a second thought, which would have been okay...if it was also built up in a compelling way. You can get across in a couple pages how dire a situation is and what a particular task means in the overall scheme of things, build up the tension to that moment, but I felt like this wasn't accomplished here. So when the big ending scenes happened...I kind of was left feeling like...that's it? Seemed kind of rushed. But I liked the main character... I felt the little romance teased was nicely built up...it was the story itself that had issues.

 

Curio...it was the same thing. The world building was VERY interesting. Both in the heroine's world and the world of the Curio. It was really such an interesting concept and world. And the individual characters were all very compelling on their own. But, but...the felt like the 3 character threads never really melded. It's like I was reading 3 separate stories, because I don't think the writer did a good enough job linking them or showing how they were linked. Also, at the end of the book, there is still not a good enough explanation I think of the Curio world and why it was created and why The Mad Tock had to be imprisoned there. The explanation was kind of...slap-dash. Kind of leaving me like feeling like...Umm...yeah...I guess. And like I felt like some of the characters motivation were not really explained too well. I was confused a lot by Whit and what he was going on about. The romantic relationships, I felt were too tacked on and it was not really explored too well.  It’s one thing to tell me these two people are drawn to each other...but I'd like to understand why at least? And just because..,magic! Doesn’t really cut it.  But really the only thing keeping this from 2 1/2 stars was the fact the magic and world building was so interesting and out of the box. I really liked that aspect.

This series really grabbed you and wouldn't let go

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy) - Marie Rutkoski

I had a few issues with this final installment of this series, mainly that for the majority of the book it is centered around battles and military strategy, and plotting...and that could sometimes drag a bit. So my mind wandered on occasion.  But one thing that didn't change from the first book to this third, is that the author made you care so much about these characters.

 

The first hundred or so pages, when things were so perilous and dark for both Kestrel and Arin...I felt sick to my gut. Like, my chest was tight with worry and stress, and just hoping that they made it through and found each other again. I cared so much. There was like a stone in my chest....and that is how it has been for all 3 books. They make you care about these characters like you are right there in the thick of it with them. When they are depressed, you are depressed. When they are frustrated, you too want to bang your head in frustration. And, when you write a book, I would think that is what you want from you readers. So this series is very successful. 

 

It took a regular Romeo and Juliet/star-crossed lovers tale, and all the soap opera like drama, and it did not make you want to roll your eyes at the endless misunderstandings and drama keeping them apart....because those dramas made sense based on their situation. Those misunderstandings were understandable based on who these two people were and their position in their world. So everything worked very well,and even when the characters messed up....it was easy to forgive. And the fact that it still did not end all in a pretty bow with everyone magically healed...also made sense.

 

Overall I REALLY enjoyed this trilogy. It pulls you right into this world and these characters and doesn't let go easily.

An Out of the Box Heroine

Never Seduce a Scot - Maya Banks

This is a tale about two warring families who are threatening the peace of the land with their thirst for murdering each other. In order to nip this in the bud once and for all, the King of the land decides to force a marriage between the two families. Neither are impressed. Graeme Montgomery especially, since everyone knows that Eveline Armstrong is "touched" She hasn't spoken for years, and all signs point to her not being all their intellectually. This is all due to and accident many years before. And he is upset that he would lose the chance to have a proper marriage and wife and produce heirs (at least he had morals about forcing himself on a woman who may not even be aware of the world around her. Points to him.). Not to mention Eveline's family is horrified that their daughter, who the have protected and coddled for years and who is disabled, is being delivered to their enemy like a lamb to the slaughter. A usual Romeo and Juliet tale. Enemies become lovers...but..the twist..

 

Our heroine Eveline is not "touched," she is deaf. And she is navigating a world that doesn't have the sophistication yet as far as dealing with people with disabilities, such as thinking they are cursed or of the devil, and go about warding themselves from their evil eye. I Thought this heroine brought a fresh take to a typical romance. Everything you expect in a romance is present, but the reader gets to experience this familiar story and the world through the eyes of someone they don't normally get many chances to relate, and that made the entire book for me.

Pretty standard Fantasy...but with a bit more

The Black Prism - Brent Weeks

 

This book has a pretty standard fantasy story line: Young boy, who thinks he is nobody and treated as such by everyone he knows, finds out he is special due to his birth or has powerful magical abilities and is thrown into the danger and politics of the elite in his world.

 

So we are all familiar with this tale. I mean...isn't this also the plot of Harry Potter? So Kip is introduced to us in the middle of his town being razed for defying a local King looking to gain power and land. Kip is ordinary and not so special, except in the fact that he is fat and dumb, and not worth much of anyone’s attention, according to him. He is a bastard, raised by a drunkard mom, and has no idea about the identity of his father. He then finds out he is the son of the most powerful drafter in the world and that he too can draft, and he is pretty strong. We also meet the Prism, who has a HUGE secret and a secret mission that drives him and all of his actions through the book. He is pulling the biggest con in existence, and you can’t help but admire and root for him. .so there are several threads of secrets and lies and action going on. I liked the two main characters. Kip was very relatable. And the secondary characters were all interesting....so even if things became a bit predictable...you did not mind so much because the characters made it enjoyable. In the end…the book is about relationships, and how secrets and lies can lead to mistrust and misunderstanding. And those lead to disaster.

 

To me what made this stands out a bit more than anything is the unique type of magic that was introduced. I am always happy when writers think out of the box with sources of magic, like Brandon Sanderson with his metal magic in the Mistborn books. This series uses color magic. Some people in this world are born with the ability to draft. And they can either draft one color, two or more, or in a very unique case, draft all the colors and that person is designated "The Prism" because of course that makes them very powerful. So he is the defacto leader/emperor of the land. With limits of course. This kind of leader will need checks and balances.

 

What colors you can draft and how many, also determines your social class within the magical society. Monochromes are less than Bichromes who are less than Polychromes, etc. So everyone has a place, and everyone in their place, which is one of the major conflicts explored in the book. The magic is also tied into a God, who is thought to have gifted people with these abilities. So there is religion and religious zealotry involved as well.

 

What I also liked is that this magic has a huge price. Drafters don't live long. Drafting slowly kills them, and at some point they burn out and they either die by their own choice to prevent going mad, or go mad and end up overdoing it, and turn into a colorwight: an unbalanced, deformed monster. Magic is not some never ending resources that solves everything...it has a heavy price.  I kind of prefer book with this idea, because if magic is this unstoppable force...a story can becomes boring and even more predictable.

 

But overall...I enjoyed this book a lot. It was pretty solid, and I liked everyone enough to continue the series.

 

The male love interest was a manipulative douche.....

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy - Julia Quinn

That's pretty much what it comes down to really.

 

I really liked the book up to the point where we found out his secret. It was full of all the things I like..witty banter, great female lead that I could relate to, and lots of humor.

 

In fact there was one scene where Iris's family put on the play, that as so funny that I laughed till I cried. Literally. Tears were running down my face. It was so great. The build up to the romance was good, I bought how these two people fell for each other. Why they were drawn to each other that was all believable and written so well.

 

BUT...BIG BUT...

 

From the start the reader knew that Richard had secret motives for why he needed to find a wife, and why he had to get married so quickly. So when he manipulated Iris into marrying him...really he played that whole situation well...I held on to the hope that once we find out why he had to do this...that it would excuse his terrible manipulation. And the love they fell into would make it all better. But...man...nah. I don't know....

 

Richard's secret was pretty big, but I don't think I would EVER forgive him. Not only did he manipulate Iris into marrying him, but once she was married and basically trapped/stuck with him, he sprung this bullshit on her. This is not some little favor he asked her. This was going to affect her life and those of his family, like forever! Iris had every right to feel used, and abused and lied to...and to pack her things and go. Because that he was capable of doing something like that, said a lot about his character. But of course she couldn't leave. Not in those times, she was stuck in that marriage unless she wanted to be ruined, and Richard knew it. She was basically had no choice but to do as he asked. And he excused it as looking out for his family and trying to protect them...but what about Iris? Was her life, feelings and freedom not worth his concern?

 

So now...can't get over it. All the good of the book, and his begging and pleading, to me can't make up for his abusive, and make no mistake it was abusive, behavior. NO.

 

Here is the secret:

His sister was used and discarded by some bastard and left pregnant. So to save his sister, and really his family's reputation, he decided he would get married and have his wife raise the child as her own. They would say the child was theirs.  Of course this meant he had to find someone and marry them quickly, so it would look believable that the child was theirs. And of course...he couldn't actually consummate his own marriage during this time. So he married Iris, with her totally in the dark about this...then after they are married and fully installed at his home...he springs this on her. A mess.

(show spoiler)

I'm not okay...

A Gathering of Shadows - Victoria Schwab

This Kingdom doesn't deserves Kell! None of them do, okay maybe Rhys, he has some loyalty. But that's it. The rest of them can jump of a cliff.  This is all I have to say. Once he gets out of this mess that Holland once again started...he should leave and see the world and never look back. Take Rhys and go live in the wilderness. I'm so upset on his behalf. 

 

He is basically a prisoner in his own home. His "family" basically treats him like a pawn or weapon...his entire life is about other people and not about him at all. Ever. And if he makes a minor mistake people treat him like he is some monster.  He sacrifices himself for his brother...brings him back to life,after that fool messes up, and is paid back with scorn and jail!?  I'm gonna fight all of them myself. 

 

Now because of their nonsense Kell is now kidnapped and a new evil unleashed on the word. Good Job idiots. 

 

This is not even a review...it's me venting. I got caught up in this book and characters and now I'm impatient to get the next book...I guess that's all the reviews people need. I care about the characters and want to fight them over their stupidity. What more can I ask for?

 

Anyway...read this series. It's damn good.

 

I was just kinda meh...

Serpentine - Cindy Pon

I got through about 67% of this book and just kinda of lost interest. After dragging my feet finishing it, I decided to DNF. I loved the world created and it had a lot of potential, but I felt like it was not fully realized and that at points, things were just being thrown at us...demons, ghosts, zombies....whatever else could be thrown in. I also like the characters..in concept...but I felt like while I am told about them and they are explained to me...I did not really FEEL them. Like I just felt a bit disconnected from the characters. It started of fine...but as it slowly went along....it just felt like I was apart from them. And with stories, you want to feel like you are there with that character. You want to feel something...whether it is love, hate, anger, annoyance at them...you want to feel it. I did not. At least not how I normally do. The writing of each character had a type of "sameness" They were spots of brightness and individuality, but not enough to make me feel kinda meh about all of the action. Don't know if I make sense...but bottom line...the story and characters did not pull me in enough for me to care one way or the other. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. It was ok. Nothing really stood out to me. So it lead to a blah reading experience for me. I know plenty of people who loved this book, and highly rec it..so it might be just me. Bad timing. Wrong time to read it. Who knows. Just didn't work for me. But if someone wants more strong female characters, LGBTQ stories, and stories about POC set in someplace other than some European backdrop, then this might be for them.

Nice reading break...

Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I picked this book up as an in between. To break my reading blues. The description kind of drew me in, and the current book I was  reading was falling a bit flat. So I figured it would be a fun break to break me out of my reading humdrums. And it did work. This was an easy and fun read. Felt like a paranormal romance novel...but not quite.

 

I loved the world created in this book, and if i  look at it objectively...this first book in what appears to be a long series, was basically setup of the world and characters. The majority of the book was introducing the characters, their history and motivations, and the makeup of their world: Political,social, etc. Most of the big action did not take place till towards the end. So I could say it is a good sign if 300 pages of buildup didn't bother me. Basically this is about human and Others, even if it only in a small section of the world, learning to understand each other and live together. The Other's having to see Humans as more than meat, and Human seeing the Others and more than monsters. And Meg, by fate, finds herself living with the Others caring for them and slowly being cared for by them....and through her...this understanding slowly comes. There is a hint of romance....but nothing really in this book. It looks like it will be a slow burn through the next book, and that makes sense based on the world the reader is introduced. Trust has to be built first, before love can come. I look forward to it.

 

My very non-spoiler laden review.  

On a Plane for 10+ Hours Reading

Angelfall: 1 (Penryn and the End of Days) by Ee, Susan (2013) Paperback - Susan Mallery The Orphan Queen - Jodi Meadows

I just recently came back from a trip to Italy, where I was for 2 weeks on vacation.

 

Words won't do my trip justice, but words can describe the horror of the 3+ Hour first leg of the flight and the 10+ hour second leg! Where my TV refused to work...and I could not sleep.

 

So what to do? Read of course.

 

I finished one book and read half the the other one going. On my way back, the finished the second book.

 

I am still struggling to stay awake as I type ..so no big review is coming. But...

 

Angelfall: GREAT. I loved that it was so dark and kinda bleak. If anyone read the Bible in any detail they would have known that a bunch of Angels showing up to your world...was bad news. And this was no different. Angels come to Earth..proceed to destroy it, and the people left are struggling to survive and their new reality. Our heroine comes across an injured Angel...and after her sister is taken by some, basically takes him and his chopped off wings prisoner until he can take her to her sister to rescue her. It doesn't end well for them. And after I finished I was more than ready for books 2 and 3. Slow build romance and lots of action.

 

Orphan Queen: Magic is banned in this Kingdom because it is thought to bring about the Wraith an evil mist like creature that is slowly taking over the land. Our heroine is a Princess of one of these lands, whose parents are not convinced magic is the problem and refuse to sign a treaty banning it....and are subsequently killed and their kingdom taken over. Our heroine is now part of a band of refugees from that Kingdom whose goal it is to take back what they lost and get revenge. A lot more going on...revenge...suspense...adventure...secret identities....some well paced romance....all done very well.  Also a book 2 came out  recently and I enjoyed installment enough to continue the series.

 

So yeah...these book were my saviors on the plane. Once I was off the plane and in Italy though....no reading was done. LOL