Gate to Kandrith Kandrith #1 eBook ¼ to Kandrith

Gate to Kandrith Kandrith #1 This is an interesting fantasy novel I liked some elements the author used but overall it wasn't as well structured as I imagined The interesting elements felt an add on and not the key points which I think would have suited the book In my opinion the focus wasn't on the best features to make this a richer and romantic story First of all I really loved this book The world building was amazing I love how Nicole Luiken was able to introduce the reader to her magical world and make them fall in love with it I appreciated having some background on the mechanics of magic in Kandrith but I really like that the background wasn't delivered in a heavy handed way We learn the secrets of Slave Magic step by step along with SaraA large portion of this book is what I like to call a road fantasy where the characters are traveling from one location to another having various adventures along the way Road fantasies can be awesome or they can drag on and be boring Gate to Kandrith was definitely the former with enough action and tension sexual and otherwise to hold the reader's interestOn that note please let me warn you that Gate to Kandrith is definitely not for young readers There are some adult situations with varying degrees of graphic imagery I feel that because I read and review YA books as well as adult this warning is importantI enjoyed Gate to Kandrith's examination of issues including corruption racism and slavery For example can a person be morally good and still own slaves or is it mutually exclusive? At what point do you give up on someone you loved? Do you ever? I guess that last uestion will have to wait until the next book is releasedI was also really pleased with the ending of this book Whenever I'm reading a book and really enjoying it I start dreading the ending I've been burned too many times by books that start off amazing and have a really terrible ending But Gate to Kandrith was excellent a fast paced extremely exciting ending with a bit of a cliff hanger that makes me super eager for the next installment Nicole assured me she is working on it I thought this novel was greatIt starts with a bang as Sara is prepared to assassinate the priest of the God of War if he –as she expects–withholds the blessing that her father needs as the new Primus of the Republic of Temboria Withholding his blessing would be a death sentence and Sara would do anything to protect her small familyDuring a narrow escape from a undesirable suitor who drugged her with an aphrodisiac Sara meets Lance who she at first mistakes for a slave She could not have been wrong Since she is under the effect of the aphrodisiac she behaves somewhat cough inappropriately but Lance is the gentleman and he saves the day and disappearsHow can she help falling in love with him?Turns out he’s a Child of Peace And the next day her father asks her to become a Child of Peace herself as the Ambassador to Slaveland aka Kandrith She also has a secret mission–to learn the secret of Slave Magic which her father is very afraid of What follows is an adventurous journey with Lance at the end of which she learns just what it means to be a Child of Peace at which time she has to grow up in a hurryNothing goes as you would expect People you think are loyal turn out to not be so and people you expect to betray Sara turn out to be steadfast People you think are pitiless monsters turn out to be good guys and good guys turn out to be pitiless monstersI was worried by the early aphrodisiac scene that this novel would be way erotic than I expected or desired but it surprised me There are sex several scenes but only after a very long romance building and they certainly were not excessive I will call out one rather crude groping; you are warnedThe amazing thing about this book is it is 134000 words and yet I read it in just a few days The character development is amazing and even a secondary character gets to have a major turnaround There are surprises in this novel that will keep you guessing until the very last scenesAnd dang–I have not even said anything about the magic system Suffice it to say that you have never seen anything like this before It is the most poignant magic system I have ever read And what about that fabulous escape It was the best one I’ve read in a great whileIf you like epic fantasy you will probably like this novel despite the naughty scenes They are brief If you like fantasy romance this is something you will like I highly recommend it Five stars I found most elements of this story really engaging and unusual And unusual is something I generally appreciate I like being surprised and shown stuff I haven't seen a dozen times before in fantasy novels But then on the other hand some of the events in the plot made even me raise incredulous eyebrows There were a couple of instances where I wished the author had taken a different route and not gone to some of the places she did And this lowered my rating down to 3 stars from the 4 I thought I was going to give it most of the way through the bookI loved the concept of the way magic works in Luiken's world It's uite a big part of the plot that one of our main characters has to uncover for herself so I'm not going to give you any details but it was a very interesting take on magic and who can access itI was slightly surprised at how prevalent the romance angle was in this book At times I almost felt like I was reading a historical romance The highly prejudiced class system that is in place made me feel it too The term nobles or of noble birth often being applied in such novels However what they don't have at the other end of the scale that this world does have is slaves I thought this was handled relatively well and Luiken showed the different ways people can look at the same issue Even within the nobles themselves Our main character Sara for example as a noble born has almost convinced herself that they are merely maids or servants I'm sure this is partly down to seeing only what you want to see and partly because she does treat hers with the respect a valued member of staff would receive But it uickly becomes evident she is in the minority in her way of thinkingLance the other lead character and a former slave naturally has a very different take on the issue and has seen first hand what other slave masters are like He has prejudices of his own to overcome however It's a journey for both of them in ways that oneEven with the strong and often touching love story that was threaded through this book I would not call it a romance book Don't expect to find any riding off into the sunset happy endings in this instalment This is part one of a duology so the story here finishes only half toldA solid 3 Stars ★★★Review Copy Received from the publisher for an honest review Gate to Kandrith is a good read The world is uniue the cultures religions are intriguing This is a fresh voice in FantasyRomance cross genre Stay with it it's not that the beginning drags; it doesn't but so much happens so many characters are introduced and there is a lot to absorb about the groupsculturestribespolitics that it takes time to get into the rhythm of the storyYour patience will be rewarded Lance and Sara she from privilege; he from slavery It's an age old scenario that could have easily become trite and cliched but it doesn't Lance's 'magic' comes at a high price Sara's value to her own people is suspect Pets are not always simply pets Who is the bad guy? That's not immediately evident which adds to the intrigue Traditional fantasy readers may not embrace the raunchy sex scenes but they are not gratitudinous and don't over power the story The romance that develops is sweet and touching but IT isn't the story so I don't think this book will be shelved in Romance but it may bring romance readers to the Fantasy genre where the romantic touch is most often light to non existentI will definitely read the next book in this series WowSarathena has been raised with money power owning slaves Left to her own devices she runs wild When she is 16 her family loses all their money and her father uses her for her beauty to gain a powerful standing in the Republic Sara is sent off to Slaveland aka Kandrith as a child of peace Each land sending their own child as an ambassador to the other country to maintain a peaceful pact Her father also gives her the important job of finding out about the magic of Slaveland She travels with a man from Kandrith also Lance who is a healer All is not as it seems Sara finds out She considers her slave her friend finds out that being nice to your slaves does not make it right to own them She learns the true meaning of friendship true love genuine sacrafice This is a journey book Both Lance and Sara are constantly moving There is a war devils gods and godesses that need to be pleased Lance Sara fall in love going against eachothers countries There is so much to this book but major things happen that are meant to be surprises Some are some you can see coming It is full of the kind of action that never stops making it impossible to find a good place to set it down At first by the synopsis I expected a cheesy romance but this was much deeper than the cover synopsis describe This book read to me like it was set in the roman times but some things placed it later The only reasons I gave it a 4 and not a 5 star rating was because there was no real description of the characters I had to make them up totally in my head the world building made up words were confusing in the beginning having so many it was a little slow for me to figure out remember who was who I should start by saying I've never read a book by Nicole Luiken before but I hope this won't be my last as in I really hope there's a seuel to this book and soonSara the heroine is a pampered rich girl sent on a political mission for her father and people along with the story's hero Lance who dislikes Sara's culture Their individual growth throughout the story is matched only by their growth as a couple and they truly seem to belong together by the end despite their differences What makes this book really great is its world building I suspect the author drew from history perhaps Roman times but she gave it a uniue spin and created her own world that totally drew me into the story What makes this book excellent are the twists and surprises within the story along the way I'm still surprised by some things and was left wanting because the story was so compelling Looking forward to the seuel because I will be crushed if there isn't one Sarathena Remillus daughter of the newly elected Primus of the Republic of Temboria has been given a mission discover the secret of slave magic Anxious to escape the corruption and treachery of the capital Sara welcomes the chance to finally prove herself far away in Kandrith the tiny nation of former slavesAccompanying her on the journey is Lance a Kandrithan to whom Sara owes her life Lance despises the nobility and is determined to resist his desire for Sara despite her attempts to entice him into divulging the secret of his magicSoon their travels become fraught with peril and Sara discovers she's fallen victim to the ultimate betrayal To end a war between two nations she will have to make the ultimate sacrifice134000 words DNF 70% I've never been so disappointed ever since I've read Cybele's Secret First half was great the world building was awesome and the characters were growing on me they were also believable Second half not so much It felt like the latest seasons of True blood It deviated too much from the main story and all the things that were going on were way to SF to be believable First half felt like Graceling second half felt like WTF am I reading This could have been such a nice read if the author didn't feel the need to insert too much unnecessary drama towards the end I still can’t believe the herodid what he did on pg 255 I kept thinking “He’s bluffing There’s no way” And then yep he sure went ahead and did it It surprised the heck out of me and I loved that Really I would give the book five stars for that scene alone But also the world is detailed and uniue The plot twists are unpredictable and the mc’s are engaging with very real obstacles keeping them apart Looking forward to the next book in this series

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