The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

The Goblin Emperor, Book 2

Synopsis: Katherine Addison returns to the glittering world she created for her beloved novel, The Goblin Emperor, in this stand-alone sequel.

When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had set the bombs that killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his father’s Court, a Prelate of Ulis and a Witness for the Dead. Thara Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it. He lost his place as a retainer of his cousin the former Empress, and made far too many enemies among the many factions vying for power in the new Court. The favor of the Emperor is a dangerous coin.

Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. He has not escaped from politics, but his position gives him the ability to serve the common people of the city, which is his preference. He lives modestly, but his decency and fundamental honestly will not permit him to live quietly. As a Witness for the Dead, he can, sometimes, speak to the recently dead: see the last thing they saw, know the last thought they had, experience the last thing they felt. It is his duty use that ability to resolve disputes, to ascertain the intent of the dead, to find the killers of the murdered.

Now Celehar’s skills lead him out of the quiet and into a morass of treachery, murder, and injustice. No matter his own background with the imperial house, Celehar will stand with the commoners, and possibly find a light in the darkness.

Katherine Addison has created a fantastic world for these books – wide and deep and true.

Review: I thought I had read the first volume, but I quickly realized that I had not. I hesitated before jumping into the story because I was afraid of being lost, especially in a fantasy world, but since the author specifies that it’s a standalone, I thought it was worth a try. Finally, if I think it can be interesting to read the first volume to have the basics of the universe and the characters, I had a good time.

We discover Thara Celehar, a witness of the dead, who has the gift of being able to see the last moments of a person’s life. This is how he witnesses the murder of a young woman, one that everyone thought had drowned. Determined to discover the truth, he tries to understand what happened and follows the path of the young woman. This is how he will learn that the young woman was hiding many secrets.

This was a pretty cool novel with the same thread as a suspense novel and I enjoyed following the main character’s investigation. I need to discover the first volume to see what I missed.

The Witness for the Dead de Katherine Addison (VO)

The Goblin Emperor, Tome  2

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Lorsque le jeune empereur demi-gobelin Maia a cherché à savoir qui avait posé les bombes qui ont tué son père et ses demi-frères, il s’est tourné vers un obscur résident de la cour de son père, un prélat d’Ulis et un témoin des morts. Thara Celehar a pu découvrir la vérité, mais en vain. Il a perdu sa place en tant que serviteur de sa cousine, l’ancienne impératrice, et s’est fait beaucoup trop d’ennemis parmi les nombreuses factions qui se disputent le pouvoir dans la nouvelle Cour. La faveur de l’Empereur est une monnaie dangereuse.

Aujourd’hui, Celehar vit dans la ville d’Amalo, loin de la Cour, mais pas vraiment en exil. Il n’a pas échappé à la politique, mais sa position lui permet de servir le peuple de la ville, ce qu’il préfère. Il vit modestement, mais sa droiture et son honnêteté fondamentale ne lui permettent pas de vivre tranquillement. En tant que témoin des morts, il peut parfois parler aux morts : voir la dernière chose qu’ils ont vue, connaître la dernière pensée qu’ils ont eue, ressentir la dernière émotion qu’ils ont ressentie. Il est de son devoir d’utiliser cette capacité pour résoudre des conflits, pour déterminer les intentions des morts, pour trouver les meurtriers de ceux qui ont été assassinés.

Aujourd’hui, les compétences de Celehar le conduisent dans un marécage de trahisons, de meurtre et d’injustice. Quel que soit son passé au sein de la maison impériale, Celehar se tiendra aux côtés des roturiers et trouvera peut-être une lumière dans les ténèbres.

Avis : Je pensais avoir lu le premier tome, mais je me suis vite rendu compte que ce n’était pas le cas. J’ai hésité avant de me lancer dans l’histoire parce que j’ai eu peur d’être perdue, surtout dans un monde de fantasy mais comme l’auteure spécifie que c’est un standalone, je me suis dit que c’était à tenter. Finalement, si je pense qu’il peut être intéressant de lire le premier tome pour avoir les bases de l’univers et des personnages, j’ai passé un bon moment.

Nous découvrons Thara Celehar, un témoin de morts, qui a le don de pouvoir voir les derniers moments de vie d’une personne. C’est ainsi qu’il assiste au meurtre d’une jeune femme, une que tout le monde pensait s’être noyée. Déterminé à découvrir la vérité, il va chercher à comprendre ce qui s’est passé et va suivre le parcours de la jeune femme. C’est ainsi qu’il va apprendre que la jeune femme cachait de nombreux secrets.

C’était un roman assez sympa sur le même fil conducteur qu’un roman de suspense et j’ai pris plaisir à suivre l’enquête du personnage principal. Il me faudrait, je pense, découvrir le premier tome pour voir ce qui m’a manquée.

 

The Promised Queen by Jeffe Kennedy

Forgotten Empires, Book 3

Synopsis: In The Promised Queen, the thrilling finale to Jeffe Kennedy’s Forgotten Empires trilogy, the fate of the world hangs in the balance as Con, Lia, and their allies sacrifice everything in a final bid to destroy the corrupt empire.

Claim the hand that wears the ring, and the empire falls.

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, claimed the hand that wears the Abiding Ring, but the prophecy remains unfulfilled. Queen Euthalia of Calanthe returned to her island kingdom, but broken in mind and body. With the blood of war unleashing ancient terrors, Calanthe isn’t the haven it once was.

Lia must use her magical bond with Calanthe to save their people while Con fights to hold off the vengeful Emperor Anure and his wizards. Con and Lia will have to trust in each other—and in love—to fend off ultimate disaster.

Review: I had a great time with the first two novels and was curious to see the conclusion of the story between Con and Lia. They’ve both been through a lot and I was wondering how they were going to get through the last events.

Lia has beaten death, but that doesn’t mean she’s okay. She’s having a hard time getting back to who she was, who everyone expects her to be. But Calanthe is on the brink and she has no choice: she must act or she will lose everything! As for Con, he is still driven by his desire for revenge, but he will have to decide if it is more important than anything else.

This is the final confrontation, the conclusion of a saga that I enjoyed discovering. I loved following Lia and Con. They will do everything to move forward and achieve their goals, something that will be far from easy. It was a very good trilogy!

 

The Promised Queen de Jeffe Kennedy (VO)

Forgotten Empires, Tome 3

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Dans The Promised Queen, le final palpitant de la trilogie Forgotten Empires de Jeffe Kennedy, le destin du monde est en jeu alors que Con, Lia et leurs alliés sacrifient tout dans une ultime tentative pour détruire l’empire corrompu.

Réclame la main qui porte l’anneau, et l’empire tombera.

Conrí, ancien prince héritier d’Oriel, a revendiqué la main qui porte l’Anneau immuable, mais la prophétie ne s’est pas réalisée. La reine Euthalia de Calanthe est revenue dans son royaume insulaire, mais son esprit et son corps sont brisés. Le sang de la guerre libère d’anciennes terreurs, et Calanthe n’est plus le havre de paix qu’elle était autrefois.

Lia doit utiliser son lien magique avec Calanthe pour sauver son peuple tandis que Con se bat pour repousser l’empereur Anure et ses sorciers. Con et Lia devront se faire confiance – et faire confiance à leur amour – pour éviter le désastre ultime.

Avis : J’avais passé un très bon moment avec les deux premiers romans et j’étais curieuse de voir la conclusion de l’histoire entre Con et Lia. Ils ont tous les deux traversé énormément de choses et je me demandais comment ils allaient s’en sortir.

Lia a contré la mort, mais ça ne veut pas dire qu’elle va bien. Elle a du mal à redevenir celle qu’elle était, celle que tout le monde attend qu’elle soit. Mais Calanthe est au bord du gouffre et elle n’a plus le choix : elle doit agir ou elle perdra tout ! Con, quant à lui, est toujours mu par son désir de vengeance, mais il devra décider si c’est plus important que tout le reste.

C’est l’affrontement final, la conclusion d’une saga que j’ai apprécié de découvrir. J’ai adoré suivre Lia et Con. Ils vont tout faire pour avancer et atteindre leur objectifs, chose qui sera loin d’être simple. C’était une très bonne trilogie !

DNF: Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Synopsis: A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.

Review: I was really intrigued by this novel when I heard about it. How can I resist ghosts, Malaysia and the mention of Gods? I must say I was really curious to discover the author’s universe.

Jessamyn Teoh comes back to Malaysia that she discovers. Her life is disrupted, and on top of that, she hears voices in her head claiming to be her grandmother. But can she really believe it?

I thought it was a nice idea, but I don’t know why, I didn’t manage to hang on the story. I’m sure the novel will appeal to many readers, but unfortunately it was not for me.

DNF: Black Water Sister de Zen Cho (VO)

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Une médium réticente découvre que les liens peuvent libérer un pouvoir dangereux dans ce fascinant roman fantasy qui se déroule en Malaisie.

Jessamyn Teoh est homosexuelle, fauchée et retourne vivre en Malaisie, pays qu’elle a quitté lorsqu’elle était enfant. Aussi, lorsque Jess commence à entendre des voix, elle met ça sur le compte du stress. Mais il n’y a qu’une seule voix dans sa tête, et elle prétend être le fantôme de sa grand-mère, Ah Ma, qui est morte. Ah Ma était un médium spirituel, l’avatar d’une divinité mystérieuse appelée la Sœur de l’Eau Noire. Aujourd’hui, elle est déterminée à régler ses comptes avec un chef de gang qui a offensé le dieu, et elle a décidé que Jess allait l’aider.

Entraînée dans un monde de dieux, de fantômes et de secrets de famille, Jess découvre que faire des affaires avec des esprits capricieux est une affaire dangereuse. Alors que Jess se bat pour venger Ah Ma, elle devra également reprendre le contrôle de son corps et de son destin. Si elle échoue, la Soeur de l’Eau Noire pourrait l’achever pour de bon.

Avis : J’étais vraiment très intriguée par ce roman quand j’en ai entendu parler. Comment résister à des fantômes, la Malaisie et la mention de Dieux ? Je dois dire que j’étais vraiment curieuse de découvrir l’univers de l’auteure.

Jessamyn Teoh revient en Malaisie qu’elle ne connait pas. Sa vie en est perturbée, et en plus, elle entend des voix dans sa tête qui prétendent être sa grand-mère. Mais peut-elle vraiment y croire ?

J’ai trouvé l’idée sympa, mais je ne sais pas pourquoi, je n’ai pas réussi à accrocher à l’histoire. Je suis sûre que le roman plaira à de nombreux lecteurs, mais il n’est malheureusement pas pour moi.

Dark Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy

Bonds of Magic, Book 1

Synopsis: Lord Gabriel Phel wants one thing: to restore his shattered House to its former station in the Convocation’s complex and arcane society. Fortunately, through a wild chance of birth, he was born with the magic of a powerful wizard, the first in his family in generations. If he can obtain a familiar to supplement his skills, ideally one who is a highborn daughter who can also be his lady wife, then he’ll be that much closer to restoring House Phel. And to exacting his ultimate revenge on the Convocation that destroyed his family.

Lady Veronica Elal doesn’t have many choices. To her bitter disappointment, she will never be the powerful wizard she and her father hoped she’d be. Instead Nic is doomed to be a familiar like her mother, a second-class citizen in the Convocation, and one destined to be bonded to a wizard, serving his purposes for the rest of her life. Her one hope lies in entering the Betrothal Trials—and choosing a wizard from the Convocation candidates that she can manipulate. Whichever one of her suitors impregnates her will claim her as familiar and wife, and she can use her wiles to rule her wizard master, and the House she marries into.

But Gabriel throws a wrench into Nic’s careful scheming, by seducing and fascinating her. When she finds she’s pregnant by the rogue wizard she can never hope to control, Nic does the unthinkable: she runs.

Review: This is a new series by Jeffe Kennedy and I was curious to get into this first volume. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had a great time with this novel and can’t wait to read the sequel!

Nic doesn’t have an easy life. While she was hoping to become a wizard, she has become a familiar: a person who must ally with a wizard who will use her as a source of power. In every family, familiars are considered inferior beings, and are only there at the will of the wizard. Nic would like to escape this life or find a wizard she can manipulate, but it all backfires.

Gabriel is a man I loved getting to know. He is sweet and endearing, but he is also determined and stubborn. He wants to rebuild his House and Nic is the only way to do it. Yet he wants her to choose him and will do anything to help her and understand.

I was drawn into the story and was curious to see how our heroes would fare. And now that I’ve finished the novel, I can’t wait to read the sequel, because I’m sure it will be full of twists and turns.