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AshMil's Bookshelf

Welcome to My Bookshelf!

This is my blog where I post about my favorite books. Currently, I'm reading Ink by Amanda Sun.

Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

Publisher: DAW Books
Publish Date: March 1987
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Blurb: A kingdom imperiled! Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a run-away, has now become one of the Queen's own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense.

But as Talia struggles to master her unique abilities, time is running out. For conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar, a deadly treason which could destroy Queen and kingdom. Opposed by unknown enemies capable of both diabolical magic and treacherous assassination, the Queen must turn to Talia and the Heralds for aid in protecting the realm and insuring the future of the Queen's heir, a child already in danger of becoming bespelled by the Queen's own foes!

My Thoughts

I love fantasy books, and I love horses, so the cover of Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey intriqued me right away. The main characters are a trainee herald named Talia and her Companion named Rolan. Companions are fantastical horses that choose an individual to become a herald. It takes a strong individual to become one, as Talia finds out.

I loved this book. I loved the characters, especially Talia, who I could relate to, and Rolan! Who wouldn't want a horse to be their best friend?! I loved the setting, and I loved the story. Rolan chose Talia to be a herald aka an arrow of the queen, and not just any arrow of the queen, but the queen's own. Talia came from a place where heralds were frowned upon, and she was expected to marry and bear children. In the beginning, she faced self-doubt and bullying. I couldn't put the book down, because I wanted Talia to grow as a character and see herself as Rolan and the other trainee heralds saw her.

My Rating: 5/5

Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey

Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey

Publisher: DAW Books
Publish Date: September 1987
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 318
Blurb: Herald's Challenge! Talia could scarely believe that she had finally earned the rank of full Herald. Yet though this seemed like the fulfillment of all her dreams, it also meant she would face trials far greater than those she had previously survived. For now Talia must ride forth to patrol the kingdom of Valdemar, dispensing Herald's justice throughout the land.

But in this realm beset by dangerous unrest, enforcing her rulings would require all the courage and skill Talia could command - for if she misused her own special powers, both she and Valdemar would pay the price!

My Thoughts

I loved Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey, so I wanted to read the second book in the trilogy. The main characters are Talia and Rolan again, but in this book, Talia is an intern herald.

I loved this book. I questioned whether Talia was good or bad. It was interesting to imagine her as bad. I disliked Herald Kris, the herald Talia interns with, in the beginning, but I loved him in the end. He proved to be a good friend to Talia, and he helped her learn to use her gift of Empathy, which she learned she had at the end of Arrows of the Queen. This book left me anxious to read the third book in the trilogy, because I wanted to see Talia become a Herald, and I wanted to see her fall in love.

My Rating: 5/5

Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey

Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey

Publisher: DAW Books
Publish Date: January 1988
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 293
Blurb: Valdemar's Peril! With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrique as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.

But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intriques, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queen to investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar. And, to her horror, Talia soon discovers there is far more going on at Prince Ancar's court than just preparation for a hoped-for royal wedding. For a different magic than that of the Heralds is loose in Ancar's realm - an evil and ancient sorcery that may destroy all of Valdemar unless Talia can send warning to her Queen in time!

My Thoughts

Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey left me anxious to read the third book in the trilogy, because I wanted to see Talia become a Herald, and I wanted to see Talia fall in love.

This book was the darkest of the three books. Talia faces an evil villain and a traitor. I knew who the traitor was all along! A lot of dark things happen in this book. I was terribly sad when a character that I loved died! I wanted to jump into the book and save them! Other than that, I was happy with the way the trilogy ended. Happy, but sad, because I had fallen in love with the characters and the setting, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Luckily, Mercedes Lackey has written more books that have some of the same characters and that take place in the same setting. I'm now anxious to read all of them!

My Rating: 5/5

A Conspiracy of Alchemists

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

Publisher: Del Rey Books
Publish Date: August 2013
Genre: Steampunk
Pages: 400
Blurb: In a Golden Age in which spark reactors power the airways and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.

When an unusual cargo drags airship pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.

My Thoughts

I wanted to read a Steampunk book, and I've always wanted to go to Paris, France, so I thought this book would be perfect for my first Steampunk book. The main character is a girl named Elle.

I loved the characters. I loved Elle. She was my kind of girl - a girl who isn't afraid to be herself. In a world where girls were supposed to marry and bear children, Elle was chasing her dreams in the sky as a pilot. I loved Marsh, even though he was a jerk in the beginning. He was fan girl worthy. That top hat though. ^.~ I loved the setting. Victorian-era France sounded lovely. I loved the story. The Steampunk vocabulary was new to me, but I learned it, and like many Steampunk fans, I found it interesting. I loved going on an adventure with Elle in her plane, lovingly named The Water Lily, and I'm anxious to go on another adventure in the second book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow.

My Rating: 4/5

A Clockwork Heart

A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz

Publisher: Del Rey Books
Publish Date: March 2014
Genre: Steampunk
Pages: 337
Blurb: As Elle devotes herself to her duties as Oracle - who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay - Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart...literally.

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device - a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plaque of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband's old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Belododia, to track down Marsh's heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.

My Thoughts

I loved going on an adventure with Elle in A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz, and I was anxious to go on another adventure in the second book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow. The main character is a girl named Elle and her husband, Marsh.

I didn't love Elle in this book as much as I did in the first book. I felt like she was selfish in her marriage to Marsh. Marsh sacrificed everything to be her husband, and she sacrificed nothing to be his wife, yet she had the audacity to complain. I loved Loisa Belododia even more in this book. I wish Liesel Schwarz would write a series about her. I loved the setting again. This time it was Victorian-era London. I loved the story, although the ending left me sad and hoping the the third book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow would make me feel better.

My Rating: 4/5

Sky Pirates

Sky Pirates by Liesel Schwarz

Publisher: Del Rey Books
Publish Date: July 2014
Genre: Steampunk
Pages: 350
Blurb: With her husband, Hugh Marsh, missing in the netherworld and presumed dead, Elle Chance loses herself in the task at hand: piloting the airship Water Lily on commissions across the globe. But as it turns out, her beloved is very much alive - the once-powerful warlock reduced to a wraith. When Water Lily is threatened by pirates, Elle will have to channel all her power as the Oracle - the keeper of the barrier between the two Realms - to try to save what she loves most. As the dark forces of Shadow converge around her, Elle must find a way to breach the curse that binds Marsh. But once released, will Marsh return to her - or is their love destined to die so that he can live?

My Thoughts

The ending of A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz left me sad and hoping the third book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow would make me feel better. It didn't.

I didn't love Elle at all in this book. I loved her character in the first book, but now I think she is selfish. She knows that Marsh can't touch her as a wraith, because she would die, but she acts like he doesn't love her anymore. What made me dislike her even more was when she began to develop feelings for Dashwood, the pirate who took her beloved Water Lily. She's trying to save her husband, Marsh, who she claims to love, and she develops feelings for this jerk? I was disappointed in this book, and if the fourth book in the Chronicles of Light and Shadow ever comes out (it's been more than a year), I don't know if I'll want to read it.

My Rating: 3/5

By The Sword

By The Sword by Mercedes Lackey

Publisher: DAW Books
Publish Date: February 1991
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 492
Blurb: Granddaughter of the sorceress Kethry, daughter of a noble house, Kerowyn had been forced to run the family keep since her mother's untimely death. Yet now at last her brother was preparing to wed, and when his bride became the lady of the keep, Kerowyn could return to her true enjoyments - training horses and hunting.

But all Kerowyn's hopes and plans were shattered when her ancestral home was attacked, her father slain, her brother wounded, and his fiancee kidnapped. Driven by desperation and the knowledge that a sorcerer had led the attack, Kerowyn sought her grandmother Kethry's aid, a journey which would prove but the first step on the road to the fulfillment of her destiny. For facing her family's foes would transform Kerowyn into an outsider in her own land, a warrior bound to the spell blade Need, and mercenary forced to choose between loyalty to her comrades in arms and the Herald of Valdemar, whom she had rescued and who in his turn had helped to awaken her to the true meaning of love and to her own unique powers of magic.

My Thoughts

The Arrows of the Queen series by Mercedes Lackey are my favorite books. By The Sword takes place after the events of that series and features cameos by two of my favorite characters from that series, Talia and Dirk.

Talia is still my favorite character, but Kero is a close second. She is the epitome of girl power. When her sister-in-law gets abducted, she goes out to rescue her with a spell sword bestowed upon her by her sorceress grandmother, Kethry, even though it is frowned upon for a girl to be anything other than a noble woman. She becomes a hero. That's just the beginning.

The setting, like all of Mercedes Lackey's books - at least the ones I've read - is so well described, it's like I am there. I would love to live in Kethry's hidden castle in the mountain! It inspired me to make one in Minecraft!

The story kept me reading until I literally couldn't keep my eyes open anymore or I finished. I loved this book.

My Rating: 5/5

Ink

Ink by Amanda Sun

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: 2013
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 369
Blurb: Ink is in their blood.

On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn't know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks and she can't seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school's kendo team, she is intriqued by him... and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they're near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life.

Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan - and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

About AshMil

AshMil

Hello. My name is Ashley Miller. I'm an aspiring Web Designer/Developer, blogger, and reader. You can visit my online portfolio at AshMilDevigner.com.

About The Blog

AshMil's Bookshelf is my blog where I post about my favorite books. Currently, I'm reading Ink by Amanda Sun.