Book Review – Kings or Pawns

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Kings or PawnsKings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood

The elven city of Elvorium is rife with corruption. The young prince Hairem ascends to the throne and refuses to allow the political machinations of his council deter him from undoing their corrupt power. But Hairem’s task is difficult with an assassin loose inside the city and the traitorous warlord Saebellus threatening to overcome the elven world’s army. Kings or Pawns is a high fantasy political thriller with the essence of A Game of Thrones. While well-written, I feel that the plot of Kings or Pawns sags under the weight of unnecessarily wordy descriptions. Also, I’m very much in favor of good world-building, but the world of Sevrigel still feels slightly too foreign to be relatable. I could not find much empathy in the world nor most of the characters. This series will certainly find its place amongst the trend of stories about anti-heroes and political intrigue novels in the vein of A Game of Thrones, but it’s not my favorite genre.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*

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Book Review – Black Box

Black Box book coverBlack Box by Cassia Leo

Do you believe in fate? For Mikki and Crush, fate keeps intervening and intertwining their lives. Even before they meet in person, their paths cross twice and each time both Mikki and Crush are altered people. Cassia Leo’s story blends darkness, raw emotion and heart-breaking tragedy with the bright light of hope and love. The plot, told in both the present and flashbacks, was slightly implausible but instead of bothering me, it gave the whole story an ethereal quality. A trigger warning: this book deals with some heavy subjects like mental illness, suicide, and sexual assault.