Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ARC Review: Lonen's War by Jeffe Kennedy

Series:     Sorcerous Moons #1
Pub. Date:July 19, 2016
Length:233 pages

I am stoked for a new fantasy romance series from the ever-creative Jeffe Kennedy! With this first installment of the Sorcerous Moons series, Jeffe has given me another hero with which I can ply my Jason Momoa fantasies. And that is always a good thing. I am finding that I like the fantastical tales that feature at least one barbarian race. This particular barbarian race, the Destrye, is reminiscent of the Korwahk in Kristen Ashley's The Golden Dynasty or the Dothraki in Game of Thrones

The Bara are a magical people living in a desert-like environment in this fantastical land. The male and female population have a symbiotic relationship in that the female sorceresses can feed the male sorcerers magic.  However before you can become a sorcerer(ess), you must first learn perfect hwil. Our heroine, Princess Oria, has not managed hwil and thus has been somewhat isolated in a tower for her protection. When war breaks out at the Bara's gates with the Destrye, Oria must learn to cope with overwhelming emotions to help her people. Oria was a great heroine - both intelligent and level-headed. Despite being sheltered in her tower, she demonstrated much better judgment, compassion and bravery than her royal family and council of advisers. 

As stated above, the Destrye are a somewhat barbarian race. They are non-magical and the masked Bara sorcerers creep them out. The Bara sorcerers have been sending golems to steal Destrye water and the creatures kill any woman, child or livestock that stands in the way of its task. In effort to save their land, women and children, the Destrye have attacked the Bara hoping to stop the golem attacks. The king and his four sons are all fighting in the war, and Prince Lonen becomes our hero. While Lonen is forced to commit horrid acts to win the war, he really is an honorable man. The situation has become "us or them" because the Bara showed no mercy when it came to their golem attacks. Lonen sincerely cared about his people... but the Destrye as a whole seemed much more reasonable than the Bara, who bypassed necessity and are operating on greed at the time of the war.

So there really is not any romance in this first installment.  This book focuses more on world building and gives us the foundation for a future romance between Oria and Lonen. As always, Jeffe is a fabulous world builder. I admire her imagination, which was really put to work here creating these diverse races of people, landscapes and magical creatures. One of my favorite aspects of the story was Princess Oria's familiar, Chuffta, an ivory-scaled winged lizard reminiscent of the baby dragons in GoT. There are also actual dragons in the story, steeds for a powerful (and creepy) race of beings known as the Trom. I am sure we will be seeing lots of more of the Trom in future books of the series. There is also a good amount of political intrigue and in-fighting that you expect in most royal families and their council of advisers. 

I recommend this book to anyone who likes high fantasy or fantasy romance. Romance fans keep in mind that this is just the beginning of the story so you only see the potential for the relationship in this first book. I can say there is good chemistry between our hero and heroine and, knowing Jeffe, we are sure to get a steamy relationship in the future.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.