June 20, 2023 04:44 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During the month of May, I read three full-length novels, a novella, two short stories, and a children’s middle-grade novel. All but one of the short stories were good reads, but there was only one full-length novel that received five stars from me. It’s the second in an epic fantasy romance series that thus far has been incredibly impressive. For simple woodcarver’s daughter Ellysetta Baristani, it was like something out of a fairy tale when Rainier vel'En Daris, the Feyreisen, King of the Fading Lands, and the one and only Tairen Soul swooped down from the skies and claimed her as his truemate. Their courtship has been a whirlwind of activities as they prepare for their upcoming wedding, and during this time, Ellie has also been coming into a greater knowledge of her magical powers. Up until now, they’ve been something she’s feared because of her mother’s belief that all magic is evil, but Rain has been encouraging her to embrace them as a part of herself. Unfortunately she has little control over them, and at a royal banquet, she unintentionally sent everyone into paroxysms of lusty desire. While some attendees were merely amused, others were embarrassed, and still others are now using it as a pretext for no longer trusting the Fey. This presents a problem for Rain who is trying to court the votes of the Celierian nobles who will decide whether the borders will be opened between Celieria and Eld. Knowing that the Elden Mages have once again arisen and present a very real danger to them all, this is something that Rain cannot allow to happen. As Rain and Ellie continue their courtship and a political battle of wills plays out in the halls of Celieria’s government, the High Mage of Eld has been channeling his apprentice who has mage-marked several Celierians to use for his nefarious purposes. Meanwhile as Ellie’s magical powers seem to grow, there are those who begin to question the source of those powers, and when her origins are finally revealed it may drive a wedge between her and Rain just as an Elden plot to abduct Ellie on her wedding day begins to unfold.
I’ve loved Ellie from the beginning, but the amount of growth she goes through in this book is amazing and made me love her even more. I can’t wait to see what other things she’ll accomplish as the story continues. I’m still enamored of Rain in much the same way I think Ellie is. He’s definitely not perfect, but he knows his faults and owns them. He can be sweet and romantic, but at the same time, he’s an incredibly powerful being. A fey who can shapeshift into the Tairen Soul, a giant cat dragon? Yaaassss! So creative and unique! So I still adore Rain in every way. I was utterly crazy about the first book of the series, but sometimes a follow-up book fails to live up to that promise. When I started this book, I wasn’t entirely sure, because it is admittedly a little slow in the beginning, mostly covering Rain and Ellie’s continuing courtship and Rain’s efforts to smooth things over with the Celierians after Ellie’s little magical mishap. However, about a third of the way in, it hit it’s stride and didn’t let go of my attention until I turned the final page. There was so much that happened in this book with most of the plot points that had been left hanging at the end of the first one being resolved in one way or another. The story also went in directions I never could have predicted, leaving me stunned a number of times and thinking, “OMG, did that really happen? Yes, that happened!” By the time I got to the end, my reaction was “Dayum, that was a hella good story!” It more than delivered on the promise of the first volume, while still leaving a few things yet to be explored in future books. Also, the author’s writing skills are stellar and her plotting and world-building are phenomenal. It’s been a while since a book series has gotten me this excited. That’s why I’m naming C. L. Wilson’s Lady of Light and Shadows as my May Book of the Month. If you enjoy a powerful, alpha hero paired with a sweet heroine coming into her own, in an emotional, suspenseful, fairy tale story set in an intricately created fantasy realm, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
She feared the dark visions and the magic within her. And she dreamed of the miraculous love that could save her.
Read my complete review of Lady of Light and Shadows.
Since the book is part of a serialized series that really needs to be read from the beginning, I’m willing to substitute the first book, which is equally as good, if the winner would prefer.
If you would like to win a copy of Lady of Light and Shadows to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon offers an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will try to have it shipped to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping. However, I recently discovered that not all print books are available to be shipped to all overseas addresses. I will make every effort to send you the book, but if I cannot, due to circumstances outside my control, I will let you know and give you the choice to opt for the ebook (if available) or receive gift card compensation.
Tags: C. L. Wilson