Perilous Prophecy by Leanna Renee Hieber

Strangely Beautiful, Book 3

Synopsis: The Goddess:
In the beginning, there were lovers: a winged deity of power and light, and a queen of grace and beauty. Phoenix was murdered, his beloved stolen away to the Whisper-world. But their passion inspired the Muses. Through great sacrifice, it could live again.

The Guard:
There are always six, mortal hosts for the divine. Battling spirits through the ages, they defy Darkness, Lord of the Dead. In 1867, a shadow rises. The tide turns against them, and all hope falls on a child of prophecy, an eerie, snow-white girl yet to be born. But her path must be cleared. A Great War is coming, and song, wind and stars whisper that the eighteen-year-old Beatrice Smith must give everything to prepare.

Review: I admit that this novel seemed very intriguing but as I had not read the previous volumes, I did wonder if this would pose any problems. Not necessarily knowing what we follow at the start, it is difficult to say … Yet it is true that I had the impression that I was missing something so I advise you to start with the first volume in order to understand a little more the universe.

The story is divided into two big parts. We first follow Persephone to the underworld. She tries so much to survive but it is complicated, especially when we know that she is constantly monitored. I think this is the part that I really preferred! Persephone is a very interesting character and full of complexity. We realize that all that she must have underwent for hundreds of years and yet she keeps hope that things will change. We also follow the guards, those people who are there to help humanity. It was also interesting to learn to know them all, especially since they are all different but I had a little trouble hanging on to their problems and their quest …

It was an original and intriguing story but I think something was missing. Perhaps the background of the first two volumes …

3 

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Perilous Prophecy de Leanna Renee Hieber (VO)

Strangely Beautiful, Tome 3

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : La déesse:

Au début, ils étaient amants: une divinité ailée de pouvoir et de lumière, et une reine de grâce et de beauté. Phoenix a été assassiné, son bien-aimé volé au monde de Whisper. Mais leur passion a inspiré les Muses. Par de grands sacrifices, il pourrait vivre à nouveau.

Le gardien:

Il y a toujours six hôtes mortels pour le divin. Battant les esprits à travers les âges, ils défient les Ténèbres, Seigneur des morts. En 1867, une ombre monte. La marée se retourne contre eux, et tout l’espoir retombe sur l’enfant d’une prophétie, une fille étrange et blanche qui n’est pas née. Mais son chemin doit être dégagé. Une grande guerre arrive, et la chanson, le vent et les étoiles murmurent que Beatrice Smith, dix-huit ans, doit tout préparer.

Avis : J’avoue que ce roman semblait très intrigant mais n’ayant pas lu les tomes précédents, je ne me demandais si cela ne poserait pas quelques problèmes. Ne sachant pas forcément ce que l’on suit au départ, c’est difficile à dire… Pourtant c’est vrai que j’ai eu l’impression que quelque chose me manquait donc je vous conseille peut-être de commencer par le premier tome afin de comprendre un peu plus l’univers.

L’histoire est divisée en entre deux grosses parties. Nous suivons tout d’abord Perséphone aux enfers et qui essaie tant et si bien de survivre mais c’est chose compliquée, notamment quand on sait qu’elle est constamment surveillée. Je pense que c’est la partie que j’ai vraiment préférée ! Perséphone est un personnage très intéressant et plein de complexité. On se rend compte de tout ce qu’elle doit subir depuis des centaines d’années et pourtant elle garde espoir que les choses changent. Nous suivons aussi les gardiens, ces personnes qui sont là pour aider l’humanité. C’était intéressant aussi d’apprendre à les connaitre tous, notamment étant donné qu’ils sont tous différents mais j’ai eu un peu de mal à accrocher à leurs problèmes et leur quête…

C’était une histoire originale et intrigante mais je pense qu’il me manquait quelque chose. Peut-être le background des deux premiers tomes…

3 

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The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling, Book 1

Synopsis: An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as « the Fetch. »

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

Review: I have always heard great things from this series, first of all when it was released in English and even more when it was released in French. I was really curious to be able to immerse myself in the story and the release in paperback format gave me the opportunity to discover this new universe.

Kelsea always knew she had to become queen. Given up as a baby, and growing up on the margins of society she knows that when she turns 19 that it will be the day she is supposed to take the throne, but she did not expect it to be so difficult. Her uncle, the regent, is determined to prevent her from taking his place, but he is not the only one! But now, this new situation will change her, force her to make choices, to choose the people to whom she can trust and especially to face the consequences of her actions.

I will not say more about the story because you really need to discover it. It is very easy to connect to Kelsea. She is young, fresh and full of idealism even if none of this is easy when you become queen. I have supported her in all circumstances in her decisions while asking myself what would be the consequences. I was also easily attached to the people around her, without suspecting that some could change sides. Kelsea will have to evolve in a world full of plots while trying to get things done.

The author has managed to create a fascinating and complex world and it is true that I am curious to read more! I must say that I really had a great time with this first book that I read in one go and I’m impatient to get into the second volume!

 

 

Reine de Cendres d’Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling, Tome 1

Résumé : Après la mort de sa mère la Reine Elyssa, Kelsea Raleigh a grandi en exil, loin des intrigues du Donjon royal où son oncle diabolique a pris le pouvoir. Le jour de ses dix-neuf ans, une garde dévouée l’escorte de son repaire à la capitale, où elle devra reconquérir la place qui lui revient de droit et devenir Reine du Tearling.

Kelsea ne s’est jamais sentie aussi peu capable de gouverner. Pourtant, les atrocités qu’elle découvre vont la pousser à commettre un acte d’une incroyable audace, qui jette tout le pays dans la tourmente et déchaîne la vengeance de la Reine rouge.

La quête de Kelsea pour sauver son royaume et aller vers son destin ne fait que commencer. Long périple semé d’embûches, empli de bruit et de fureur, de trahisons et de combats farouches. Une épreuve du feu, qui forgera sa légende… ou la détruira.

Avis : J’ai toujours entendu de jolies choses de cette série, tout d’abord quand elle est sortie en anglais plus quand elle est sortie en français. J’étais vraiment curieuse de pouvoir me plonger dans l’histoire et la sortie en poche m’a donné l’opportunité de découvrir ce nouvel univers.

Kelsea a toujours su qu’elle devait devenir reine. Abandonnée toute petite et élevée en marge de la société pour qu’elle puisse atteindre ses 19 ans, le jour où elle est supposée prendre le trône, elle ne s’attendait pas à ce que tout cela soit si difficile. Son oncle, le régent, est bien déterminé à l’empêcher de prendre sa place, mais il n’est pas le seul ! Mais voilà, cette place va la changer, l’obliger à faire des choix, à choisir les personnes à qui elle peut faire confiance et surtout à faire face aux conséquences de ses actions.

Je ne vais pas en dire plus sur l’histoire parce qu’elle mérite vraiment à ce que vous la découvriez. Il est très facile de s’attacher à Kelsea. Elle est jeune, fraiche et plein d’idéalisme même si rien de tout cela n’est simple quand on devient reine. Je l’ai supportée en toutes circonstances dans ses décisions tout en me demandant quel en sera le revers. Je me suis aussi facilement attachée aux gens qui évoluent autour d’elle, sans qu’elle se doute parfois que certains pouvaient changer de camp. Kelsea va devoir évoluer dans un monde rempli de complots, tout en essayant de faire avancer les choses.

L’auteure a réussi à créer un monde fascinant et complexe et c’est vrai que je suis curieuse d’en lire plus ! Je dois dire que j’ai vraiment passé un très bon moment avec ce premier tome que j’ai lu d’une traite et je suis plus qu’impatiente de me lancer dans le second volume !

 

Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles by Kim Newman

Synopsis: Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Prof. James Moriarty – wily, snake- like, fiercely intelligent, unpredictable – and Colonel Sebastian ‘Basher’ Moran – violent,politically incorrect, debauched. Together they run London crime, owning police and criminals alike. Unravelling mysteries — all for their own gain.

A spin-off from Titan’s highly successful Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, The Hound of the D’Urbervilles sees acclaimed novelist Kim Newman (Anno Dracula) take on the fiendish Professor Moriarty.

Review: Retellings and innovations on the stories described by Conan Doyle immediately attracted me.

Kim Newman’s book is pretty good. In this novel, we follow the evil duo Moriarty-Moran who is the exact opposite of the Sherlock Holmes-James Watson duo. The characters are perfect and well described: between Moriarty, the brain of the organization developing grandiose and disguised Machiavellian plans in which Moran, hunter of ferocious beasts and amateur of women, describes the adventures of the duo always trying to put himself in value. Moriarty, described by Moran, is manipulator, calculator, sure of him but he also presents manias that make him weird: Moriarty has a toc and does not stop nodding when he thinks.

Unlike the original heroes, the duo works here to do evil and for their benefit. It may be noted that the opposition even places the strategic center of Moriarty in a brothel while Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick received his customers at home. There are 7 stories in which Moriarty and his organization act for the clients who hired them. Thus we also find emblematic characters of the original adventures: Irène Adler, the dog of Urbervilles (reference to the dog Baskervilles), … However, as said above, Moriarty and Moran realize contracts for their profits, sometimes at the expense of their customers.

In the end, it is a very nice book to read, containing different stories inspired by those of Sherlock Holmes. Short but effective stories to describe Moriarty’s mode and make the reader immerse in it.

Balthier

 

Moriarty: Le Chien des D’Urberville de Kim Newman

Résumé : Imaginez les jumeaux maléfiques de Sherlock Holmes et du docteur Watson… Vous obtenez le redoutable duo formé par le professeur James Moriarty – serpent d’une intelligence remarquable, aussi cruel qu’imprévisible – et le colonel Sebastian Moran – violent, libertin et politiquement incorrect. Ensemble, ils règnent sur Londres en maîtres du crime, tenant dans leur poing police et hors-la-loi. Quelle que soit leur mission, du meurtre au cambriolage de haut vol, Moriarty et Moran accueillent un flot de visiteurs malfaisants : membres du Si-Fan assoiffés de sang, Vampires de Paris, et même une certaine Irène Adler…

Avis : Reprendre et innover les histoires décrites par Conan Doyle m’a tout de suite attiré.

Le livre de Kim Newman est plutôt bien trouvé. Dans ce roman, on suit le duo maléfique Moriarty-Moran qui est l’exact opposé du duo Sherlock Holmes-James Watson. Les personnages sont parfaits et bien décrits : entre Moriarty, le cerveau de l’organisation développant des plans machiavéliques grandioses et remplis de déguisement  dans lesquels Moran, chasseur de bêtes féroces et amateur de femmes décrit les aventures du duo en essayant toujours de se mettre en valeur. Moriarty, décrit par Moran, est manipulateur, calculateur, sûr de lui mais il présente aussi des manies qui le rendent bizarre : Moriarty possède un toc et ne cesse de dodeliner de la tête quand il réfléchit.

Contrairement aux héros originaux, le duo œuvre ici pour faire le mal et pour leur profit. On peut noter que l’opposition va même jusqu’à placer le centre stratégique de Moriarty dans un bordel alors que Sherlock Holmes et son acolyte recevaient ses clients chez lui. On retrouve ainsi 7 histoires dans lesquelles Moriarty et son organisation agissent pour les clients qui les ont engagés. C’est ainsi que l’on retrouve aussi des personnages emblématiques des aventures originales: Irène Adler, le chien des d’Urbervilles (référence au chien des Baskervilles),… Toutefois, comme cela a été dit plus haut, Moriarty et Moran réalisent des contrats pour leurs profits, parfois aux dépens de leurs clients.

Au final, un livre très sympa à lire, contenant différentes histoires inspirées de celles de Sherlock Holmes. Des histoires assez courtes mais efficaces pour décrire le mode de Moriarty et faire que le lecteur s’y immerge.

Balthier

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Synopsis: In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valérie Beaulieu, she hopes to find a suitable husband. However, the haphazard manifestations of Nina’s telekinetic powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

Yet dazzling telekinetic performer and outsider Hector Auvray sees Nina’s powers as a gift, and he teaches her how to hone and control them. As they spend more and more time together, Nina falls in love and believes she’s found the great romance that she’s always dreamed of, but Hector’s courtship of Nina is deceptive.

The Beautiful Ones is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the Belle Époque.

Review: I was very curious to discover this novel when I heard about it but in the first reviews, several said that the story was not what they expected. It is true that if one expects a fantasy story, this is not the case here. I’d rather say it’s a historical romance with some distant paranormal elements and I really loved it!

We discover Nina, a young country girl who returns to town to make her first season in society. Nina is not a girl like the others and she even possesses some small powers of telekinesis that she does not necessarily control. But when she meets with Hector Auvray, a famous man in this field, she knows that she must get to know him. While she falls under his spell, she does not expect this man to have a hidden plan. Nina is chaperoned by Valerie, the wife of her cousin. And Hector and Valerie have a story together … Younger, they were supposed to get married and even though Hector knows that nothing is possible between them, he can not help but to court Nina to see her former dear and tender fiancé.

I really enjoyed this story full of ideas. Nina is really very touching with her innocence and freshness. She is far from the model of a young woman that the society of the time produced and she does not care about that. She does not want to be someone other than the person she is already and Hector seems the perfect man for her. I was quite sad for her … She does everything to please Auvray without realizing that despite his attention, he always seeks Valerie. I sometimes wanted to slap Hector so he could realize his actions but nevertheless he will evolve little by little, realizing all that.

It was a pretty lively romance that carried me through the whole story. Between Valerie and her plots, Nina and her kindness and Hector, this man lost in his past, I was caught up by the story, waiting impatiently for the end to know how everything would end.

4-5

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