Blog Tour: Nocturne by Kat Ross

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

35836852Nocturne by Kat Ross

Release date: October 15th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.

Solis, a wasteland of endless day.

Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.

But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.

As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?

It’s no secret that last year Kat Ross became one of my favourite authors. I devoured all of her books and just couldn’t get enough. Her Fourth Element series is my personal favourite. Its a blend of Greek and Middle Eastern history, religion, mythology and magic. Besides being completely unlike anything that I’ve read before, its true strength was its characters. I couldn’t get enough of Nazafareen and Darius and was was heartbroken when the series ended. However, Ross has picked up their story again in Nocturne, which takes place not long after Queen of Chaos (the final book in Fourth Element series) ended. So, while technically you can read this book without having read the previous series, I do highly recommend checking it out. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Now, it’s sometimes hard to keep things rolling when continuing a story, but this book was absolutely fantastic! From page one it just hit the ground running and I love books that do that. No slow buildup, waiting for the story to start. Its fast paced and full of twists and turns. I enjoyed the blend of old and new characters. Nazafareen and Darius are now hiding in his ancestral home, but things aren’t so good between them. Nazafareen has lost all of her memories and is struggling to piece together who she was and Darius (bless him) believes that it’s best to only tell her half-truths in order to protect her. He means well but Nazafareen needs to know more. So, well my two favourites spend most of the book apart, the new additions more than make up for it. Javid was so much fun to read about and Culach….I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I adored the chapters written from his POV. Wow!

I want to write and say more but I’ll seriously give away too much about the story and spoil parts of the Fourth Element series. This is so difficult! Anyway, it’s key to keep in mind that Nocturne acts as a setup for the rest of the series. A lot of different storylines are put into motion and more questions are asked than answered. If anything, it just makes me want to read the sequel, Solis, right away! (I’ve pushed aside all of my other books and moved it to the top of my TBR pile.)

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, its world and characters. Ross has managed to create something truly magical, beautiful and complex. What else can I say but JUST READ IT! I promise you that you won’t regret it. ❤


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Click to enter an international Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win an eBook boxed set of the Fourth Element trilogy. Good luck!

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Blitz: The Fourth Element Trilogy!

The Fourth Element Trilogy: Boxed Set by Kat Ross
Release date: September 22nd, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
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Gladiator meets Romeo and Juliet in this “spellbinding fantasy” trilogy (Kirkus Reviews) set in ancient Persia!

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

So begins an epic story of adventure, romance and betrayal that leads to undiscovered magical realms and a final confrontation with a demon queen bent on destroying them all.


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About the Author:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. For more information about Kat’s books, come visit her at katrossbooks.com.

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Blog Tour: The Thirteenth Gate by Kat Ross (Review)

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Blog Tours n exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34700323The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries #2) by Kat Ross
Release date: June 26th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn
Genre: Fantasy, mystery, young adult
Format: eBook

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Winter 1888. At a private asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered.

As Jack rampages through London, this time targeting rare book collectors, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s looking for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Julius Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?

As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?

This book was everything I’ve ever wanted and more! Over the past year I’ve become a huge fan of Kat Ross’ books. They are so underrated and I really wish more people knew about them. Her first trilogy, The Fourth Element, stood out due to its unique story, setting and wonderful characters. I was so upset when it ended because I really enjoy the way the Ms Ross writes. I have such a difficult time putting her books down that I often find myself reading through the entire night (even though I have work the next day).

A few weeks ago I read The Daemoniac, the first book in the Dominion Mysteries series, and absolutely fell in love with it! The book is set in 1880s New York City and can best be described as a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story was a perfect blend of mystery, horror and action! It featured wonderfully loveable characters, witchcraft, murder and creepy séances. And the suspense! I just never knew where the plot was going to go. Once I finished a chapter I had to move onto the next one because I needed to know what would happen next. Since, I obviously adored The Daemoniac, I was very excited to start the sequel.

The Thirteenth Gate wastes no time and picks up where its predecessor leaves off. However, Ms Ross throws in a twist and introduces a group of new characters that takes the series in a new and even more exciting direction. I don’t want to give much away but I squealed when I realized who the new characters were. She has done a fantastic job weaving together what would seem like two separate worlds or ideas. If you have read The Fourth Element trilogy then you are definitely in for a surprise! If not, don’t worry as it’s not necessary to have read the trilogy before reading The Thirteenth Gate. 

It’s so difficult to write reviews for sequels and mysteries. I just don’t want to give anything away! But what I loved about this book was its atmosphere. I seriously can’t get enough of the time period. Ms Ross has constructed a moody and dark setting that matches the story perfectly. The characters were again a highlight for me. There are two wonderful female leads. They are complete opposites but compliment each other and combine their strengths to solve the book’s mystery. The only thing I wish there would have been more of is romance. There were hints scattered all over the first book and this one but nothing has really come of it. Just when I think something might happen it’s interrupted. So, please, please, please…a little romance in the next book! These characters have been through so much and deserve a little love.

You really need to pick of this series! It’s beyond amazing and I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know. As soon as I received my copy I put aside everything else and absolutely devoured it. I can’t wait for the next instalment because Ms Ross’ books just keep on getting better and better! So, go out and get The Thirteenth Gate. And while your at it pick up her other books because trust me, you’ll want more and more!


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Click to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a signed paperback copy of the first book in the series, The Daemoniac! Good luck!

Mini Reviews: The Daemoniac & The Haunted House Project

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

31031301The Daemoniac by Kat Ross
Release date: October 12th, 2016
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Mystery, historical fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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It’s August of 1888, just three weeks before Jack the Ripper will begin his grisly spree in the London slum of Whitechapel, and another serial murderer is stalking the gas-lit streets of New York. With taunting messages in backwards Latin left at the crime scenes and even more inexplicable clues like the fingerprints that appear to have been burned into one victim’s throat, his handiwork bears all the hallmarks of a demonic possession.

But consulting detective Harrison Fearing Pell is convinced her quarry is a man of flesh and blood. Encouraged by her uncle, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry hopes to make her reputation by solving the bizarre case before the man the press has dubbed Mr. Hyde strikes again.

From the squalor of the Five Points to the high-class gambling dens of the Tenderloin and the glittering mansions of Fifth Avenue, Harry and her best friend, John Weston, follow the trail of a remorseless killer, uncovering a few embarrassing secrets of New York’s richest High Society families along the way. Are the murders a case of black magic—or simple blackmail? And will the trail lead them closer to home than they ever imagined?

Over the past year, Kat Ross has quickly become one of my favourite authors. I couldn’t get enough of her Fourth Element trilogy (a must read fantasy series based on mythology and history) and was ridiculously excited to start this book. Let me say that it did not disappoint. I loved, loved, loved it!!!! The Daemoniac is a perfect blend of horror, mystery and historical fiction. It had me on the edge of my seat from the start and continuously kept me guessing. I can best describe it as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s dark, moody and a tiny bit creepy — basically everything I adore all rolled into one!

The Daemoniac opens with Harry Fearing Pell taking on her first case as a private investigator. A couple have asked her to find their missing friend, however, Harry is not who they think she is. The couple believe that she is her sister, Myrtle Fearing Pell, a detective known for solving the most difficult of cases. Harry sees this as her chance to step out of her sister’s shadow and takes on the case. However, what initially seemed simple quickly becomes dark and complicated when it’s discovered that the subject of their investigation was involved in witchcraft and murder.

What made this book standout was its characters. Yes, the story was fantastic but it wouldn’t have been so engaging without interesting characters that I truly cared about. The story’s main character, Harry, was totally badass. She flaunted society’s expectations that of what a woman should be. Harry wasn’t necessarily running around throwing punches, but she was incredibly smart and used that to her advantage. The Daemoniac is also Harry’s coming-of-age story. It’s an examination of how sometimes we need to fight for what we believe in and how even though sometimes others don’t believe in us, we are capable and worthy. We all just need to believe in ourselves. It’s all about female empowerment!

I also loved the feel and atmosphere of this novel. It’s set in 1880s New York, a time period known as the Gilded Age, but actually takes places mostly in the seedy areas of the city. It’s really rough and tumble with street gangs, underground clubs and creepy séances. The descriptions really set the mood for the book and enabled me to imagine every setting with incredible detail. It also established this tension that kept me turning the page. What would happen next? Was what happened real? I had so many questions throughout and once I thought something was about to happen, the story took a turn elsewhere. I love these types of books. It was such an adventure and one that didn’t want to end. Thank goodness there’s a sequel because I’m most definitely not done with these characters yet!


I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

26053362The Haunted House Project by Tricia Clasen
Release date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Fiction, middle grade
Format: Hardcover

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Since her mom died, Andie’s family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie’s afraid of what will happen if people find out just how bad things are. She’s not sure how long she can hide the fact that there’s no food or money in the house…or adults, for that matter.

When her science partner suggests they study paranormal activity, Andie gets an idea. She wants a sign from her mom—anything to tell her it’s going to be okay. Maybe the rest of her family does too. So she starts a project of her own. Pretending to be her mother’s ghost, Andie sprays perfume, changes TV channels, and moves pictures. Haunting her house is Andie’s last hope to bring her family back into the land of the living.

For anyone who loved Counting by 7s, The Haunted House Project is a journey through loss and grief, but ultimately a story of hope and self-reliance. As much as Andie has been changed by her mother’s death, the changes she makes herself are the ones that are most important.

I received this book randomly from Sky Pony Press and didn’t really think much of it. I hadn’t requested it and its target audience was middle grade. I also thought it was about a “haunted house,” so definitely not my “thing” (I really should have read the synopsis). This poor book languished on my shelf for months until I finally decided to pick it up. I needed something to read before my trip that would quick and easy to get through. Well, everything I thought that this book would be, simple, childish, silly, was completely wrong! The Haunted House Project was heartbreaking and oh so beautiful. I really enjoyed it!

The story is about Andie, a middle grader who had recently lost her mother in a car accident. All Andie wants is for things to be as they were before her life was forever changed. Her sister works long hours at a diner and has become withdrawn, quitting the sports that had once made her happy. Andie’s dad is always absent, gambling away their money and drinking heavily. So, in order to bring her family together and remind them about what her mother would have wanted, Andie decides to pretend that her mother is haunting the family.

Besides all of the family drama that Andie has to deal with, the book also discusses friend dynamics. I remember how painful it was to learn that sometimes the people you thought would always be your friend aren’t anymore. The author did such a good job navigating the complexities of friendships and how children react to things when they fall apart or don’t go their way.

This book is really a must read! My heart ached for Andie, she went through so much and her development was really remarkable. I usually don’t read middle grade books but this one taught me that I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or title. Sometimes you just never know what you’ll find if you give it a chance!

Blog Tour | Queen of Chaos by Kat Ross

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

queen-of-chaos-ebook-smallQueen of Chaos by Kat Ross
Release date: January 18th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, young adult
Format: eBook
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

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Persepolae has fallen.

Karnopolis has burned.

As the dark forces of the Undead sweep across what remains of the empire, Nazafareen must obey the summons of a demon queen to save Darius’s father, Victor. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand and can barely control, Nazafareen embarks on a perilous journey through the shadowlands to the House-Behind-the-Veil. But what awaits her there is worse than she ever imagined…

A thousand leagues away, Tijah leads a group of children on a desperate mission to rescue the prisoners at Gorgon-e Gaz, the stronghold where the oldest daēvas are kept. To get there, they must cross the Great Salt Plain, a parched ruin occupied by the armies of the night. A chance encounter adds a ghost from the past to their number. But will they arrive in time to avert a massacre?

And in the House-Behind-the-Veil, Balthazar and the Prophet Zarathustra discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. But is it enough to redeem the necromancer’s bloodstained soul and thwart his mistress’s plans?

As a final showdown looms with Queen Neblis, the truth of the daēvas’ origins is revealed and three worlds collide in this thrilling conclusion to the Fourth Element series.

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* Read my reviews of the other books in the series, The Midnight Sea and Blood of the Prophet.

This has quickly become one of my favourite book series of all time! With each new release it just got better and better. I cannot and will not stop gushing about how amazing it is. I’m never a read-a-book-in-one-sitting kind of person, but I totally did it with Queen of Chaos. Then I hugged my Kindle and wanted to start the series all over again. Simply said, I LOVED IT!

Like its predecessors, Queen of Chaos was fast paced and totally engrossing. There were so many twists and turns and shocking moments. I was constantly mumbling “what” in complete shock. The story also wraps up major plot lines and answered all of the questions I had about the daēvas. It was truly a satisfying way to the end series!

Unlike in the past two books, Nazafareen doesn’t really take centre stage. While she’s obviously key to the story and overall plot, Kat Ross also takes the time to explore the lives of the other characters such as Tijah, Balthazar and Lysandros through chapters with alternating points of view. I really liked seeing their take on things, especially Balthazar, who occupies a grey area between good and evil. His development over the three books is truly stunning. I couldn’t help but love him!

Nazafareen’s character continued to develop. It’s amazing how much she had grown throughout the series. She had suffered so much – losing her friends and family, the betrayal of friend, torture – and yet she was still willing to give up her life to prevent evil from taking over the land of the living. And the romance between her and Darius…my poor little heart! I JUST ADORE THESE TWO! I was rooting for them since the first book and I’m so happy with the way their story ended. Again, no spoilers, but I had a HUGE smile on my face.

Talking about fantastic characters, Tijah really shone in this book. And it’s about time! She  was fierce and a complete sword wielding, monster killing badass. A loved reading chapters from her point of view. She was so brutally honest and the struggle she went through after losing her closest friend was both heartbreaking and inspiring. While I loved this character, I did take issue with how her homeland of Al Miraji was portrayed. Al Miraji was heavily inspired by the Middle East and fed into the stereotypes of how men in the region treat women. It painted the Al Miraji (Middle East) as evil and backwards because women were not educated, forced into unwanted marriages and expected to be hidden away and silent.

While reading I kept on thinking that some of these characters needed their own story, full-length or novella, I didn’t want this story to end. Three books just wasn’t enough! Luckily for me, Kat Ross has said that she isn’t done with this world or its characters. So…that means there are more adventures to come! I honestly can’t wait!!!


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Click the link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway. Win 1 of 10 eBook copies of The Daemoniac by Kat Ross. Good luck!

Cover Reveal: Queen of Chaos by Kat Ross!

Queen of Chaos (The Fourth Element #3) by Kat Ross
Release date: January 18th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, young adult

Persepolae has fallen.

Karnopolis has burned.

As the dark forces of the Undead sweep across what remains of the empire, Nazafareen must obey the summons of a demon queen to save Darius’s father, Victor. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand and can barely control, Nazafareen embarks on a perilous journey through the shadowlands to the House-Behind-the-Veil. But what awaits her there is worse than she ever imagined…

A thousand leagues away, Tijah leads a group of children on a desperate mission to rescue the prisoners at Gorgon-e Gaz, the stronghold where the oldest daēvas are kept. To get there, they must cross the Great Salt Plain, a parched ruin occupied by the armies of the night. A chance encounter adds a ghost from the past to their number. But will they arrive in time to avert a massacre?

And in the House-Behind-the-Veil, Balthazar and the Prophet Zarathustra discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. But is it enough to redeem the necromancer’s bloodstained soul and thwart his mistress’s plans?

As a final showdown looms with Queen Neblis, the truth of the daēvas’ origins is revealed and three worlds collide in this thrilling conclusion to the Fourth Element series.

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Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

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ARC Review + Giveaway | Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

30228183Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross
Release date: September 12th, 2016
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, young adult
Format: eBook
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

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Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

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* My review of the first book, The Midnight Sea, can be found here.

Since reading The Midnight Sea last month, I just haven’t been able to stop gushing about how much I loved it – the characters, the world and the magic. It was EVERYTHING I look for in a fantasy book. So, you can just imagine how excited I was to receive an early copy of Blood of the Prophet to review. I had such high expectations and the book did not disappoint! If anything, it was even better than the first one and that’s saying something!

Blood of the Prophet picks up right where the first book left off. Nazafareen and her daēva Darius have embarked on a dangerous journey to find the Prophet Zarathustra. They, like the reader, have so many questions that need to be answered. Of course, their journey isn’t easy. They must face necromancers, spies and a race against time to save the city of Persepolae.

What I really enjoy about this series is how engrossing it is. It’s written at a fast pace and the action is non-stop. I literally sat down to read a few chapters and then found myself about half-way through. It is so hard to put down and you just can’t stop yourself from wanting to read just a few more pages. If I didn’t have to wake up at 5am to go to work I totally would have finished it in one night.

Sometimes with sequels the author wants to review or go over the main points from the first book. With fantasy, this could be re-explaining the magic system, mythical beings, etc. And honestly, it’s exhausting! Thankfully, Kat Ross is able to do this without bogging down the pace of the book or taking away from the story. It’s seamlessly done and most of the time I didn’t even notice it was happening.

In my last review I talked about how much I loved Nazafareen and believe it or not, I LOVE HER EVEN MORE! She went through so much in the previous book and now has to deal with the fallout. Lots of what she goes through is linked to major plot points in The Midnight Sea, so I won’t go into any detail here. I just don’t want to spoil the first novel for those who haven’t read it yet. Basically, what we have here is a more mature and world weary Nazafareen. The character development is phenomenal and most importantly totally believable.

I cannot recommend this series enough! It really has it all: action, magic, mythology, romance, friendship….JUST READ IT! I promise you that you won’t regret it. ❤

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