The Golden Boys: A Review of The Crown’s Dog by Elise Kova

Title: The Crown’s Dog (Golden Guard #1)
Author: Elise Kova
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: November 22nd, 2016
Kindle: 292 Pages
Source: Personal Purchase

A coastal summer is turned upside down by a violent murder, and a quest for lost pirate treasure turns into a hunt for the killer.

Jax Wendyll is the crown’s dog. As punishment for the unspeakable crimes that tourment him to this day, his life has been conscripted to the Empire Solaris. However, in an Empire afflicted by peace, his duties are relegated to unquestioningly aiding the antics of the youngest prince, Baldair.

Erion Le’Dan, a nobleman’s son, expects a quiet summer visit to the Imperial Palace, his only agenda to visit with his unlikely friends. But Jax’s discovery the legendary pirate Adela Lagmir’s old workroom inspires a hunt for her long lost treasure.

The pursuit of Adela’s truth takes the three men to the Imperial summer manor, built along the old pirate mainstays. When Adela’s trident is branded into a murdered servant, Prince Baldair’s summer amusement of treasure-hunting becomes a hunt to find the killer. But, as mysteries compound, the ghosts of Jax’s past may not be the only things haunting them.

“Next you’re going to tell me that you want to go find this long lost treasure.”

Baldair grinned like a fool.

I am late to the party with The Crown’s Dog. In fact, I didn’t even know it had been released until after I ordered my copy of Alchemists of Loom last month and Amazon suggested I also purchase The Crown’s Dog. So, of course, I did just that. How could I turn down an opportunity to return to the world of Air Awakens with Baldair at my side? My biggest complaint about Crystal Crowned was the distinct lack of the Heartbreaker Prince.

If you are unfamiliar with Air Awakens, it is a fast-paced fantasy series set in a world similar to that of Avatar the Last Airbender. Kova makes sure that each book is packed full of action, romance, and suspense. But as this review is not about that series, I will refrain from discussing it in too much detail. That said, throughout the series you meet Prince Baldair Solaris, the spare heir, and his personal retinue, known as The Golden Guard. The Crown’s Dog is the first in a prequel series that tells the story of how The Guard was formed.

With a title like The Crown’s Dog, I was assuming the book would tell Jax Wendyll’s origin story. That story would have interested me a great deal. However, that was not the story Kova told. Instead we got a tale of pirate’s curses, murder, and deception. It was not at all what I had planned for, but it was exactly what I wanted.

The story is told from two perspectives, that of Jax Wendyll, a fallen Lord of the West who has been conscripted into service of the crown, and Erion Le’Dan, the nobelman’s son who saved his life. Both men serve Prince Baldair Solaris as personal guards and companions. The swap in perspective is, as always, extremely well done and while Baldair does not have PoV chapters, his character development does not fall behind his partners in crime. In fact, watching the group develop together is one of the delights of this novel. This is bromance at its finest.

I was also quite surprised at the amount of world building in this novel. I assumed that since it took place in the same world as Air Awakens that we would be left with the information that we had previously gathered. Thankfully, Kova took this as an opportunity to show us corners of her world that we had yet to visit and even gifted us with lovely maps in the front of the novel. Believe me when I say that you will love Oparium just as much if not more than Solarin.

Reading The Crown’s Dog was like reuniting with an old friend. It took me back to a world I love and made me fall in love with some of my favorite characters all over again. My only complaint is that I was expecting the book to be a bit more Jax-centric than it was. That said, He still got some marvelous development alongside his golden compatriots. Now, if Elise Kova were to decide to write his origin story after all, well… I would certainly read that too.

While this is the beginning of a prequel series and the events of this novel take place before the events of Air Awakens, I would recommend reading this after the original series. There are no spoilers and you can certainly read this series first, but I feel like you will have a better grasp of the world and how the characters relate to it and each other if you read them in order of publication.

I highly recommend this book for fans of the Air Awakens series, as well as to readers who enjoy fast paced romance-light fantasy with an emphasis on friendship. Also, if you love pirates, I suggest giving this one a go.

- The Butcher (1)

Mana-Punk Masterpiece: A Discussion of The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

 

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Join us for as we discuss recent book news, Shelfie developments, and Elise Kova’s newest release, The Alchemists of Loom!

WARNING: This is not a spoiler free review. If you haven’t read the book or hate spoilers you should check back with us once you have read The Alchemists of Loom.

Thank you so much for tuning in! We really hope that you enjoyed our most recent episode! We also hope you enjoyed The Alchemists of Loom as much as we did! If not, that’s ok too. We’d love to hear what you thought. Please share your opinions in the comments below!

Oh, and if you are curious and want to find out what guild you are in, you should take this quiz. Then tell us what guild you belong to. Are you making Chimera with the Alchemists or enjoying big booms with the Revolvers? All are welcome here!

If you are interested in voting on our March book please check out the book club or The Shelfie Showdown!

Tune in next time to hear what we thought of Caraval by Stephanie Garber!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the books mentioned in this episode!

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February TBR + Book News!

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So, before I get into my TBR, which I usually don’t plan. Let’s talk about the exciting (and not so exciting) news from the past few days in the world of books. Or at least what is going on in the world of Sarah J Maas. That’s the entire world of books right?

Hold on to your hat’s guys. This one is a doozy.

We will start with the good news. You guys remember that unnamed Chaol Westfall Novella that is being published this year? It has apparently turned into a full length novel. That’s the fabulous part. The bad part is it’s new publication date, which is September 5th. Which was the publication date for the final Throne of Glass novel. Unfortunately, Sarah has been suffering from some health issues and the Throne of Glass finale will be delayed until May of 2018. Now, my first response was to scream in despair because I just can’t imagine waiting any longer for that release. But, Sarah has brought so much joy to all of our lives through her books that I can’t do anything but with her the best. I may really want that final installment, but I can wait if it means she will get the time she needs for her health. We here at Shelfie certainly wish her the best and are absolutely looking forward to the Chaol Westfall novel, even if it come in September!

Now for the full TBR! You should know before I get into this that I have never laid out a TBR for myself before. I typically just read what I am in the mood for. That has worked well in that past, but I currently have 6 ARCs that need to be read, 4 of which release this month. I think it is time to try and plan my time just a little bit better. Here we go:

That is 9 books. I only read 7 in January, but I am pretty positive that I can pull off 9. Especially since I am almost finished with Traveler already. So, it’s really just 8. I can swing it.

Also, check out that glorious cover for The Prince’s Rogue by Elise Kova! The revealed it today! Stunning. I may think that because it features me favorite character, Baldair, but it may just be because it is glorious! I haven’t picked up the prequel series to Air Awakens yet, but as you can see I plan to remedy that this month.

That concludes my awesome book news and TBR. Are you planning to read anything on my list? Have you read them already? Are you crying about the ToG delay? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

- The Butcher (1)

Defeating the Drought: A Review of Air Awakens by Elise Kova

reviairTitle: Air Awakens (Air Awakens #1)
Author: Elise Kova
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: August 27th, 2015
Kindle Edition: 377 Pages
Source: Author

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

“I want a place you hardly dare to even whisper. I want the bravery to not only read, but to do. I want a man, not a library boy. A man who is tall and witty and knows more about the world than you would ever dare dream.”

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

I was in a huge reading slump when I picked up Air Awakens. I expected that I would get about five chapters into it and lose interest. After all, that is exactly what happened with the five books I picked up before it. I tried everything from Alternate History to Paranormal. Nothing stuck. It’s not that the books were bad. I just couldn’t get into them. I was absolutely sure that Air Awakens was going to be the next book on my ever growing DNF list.

Continue reading “Defeating the Drought: A Review of Air Awakens by Elise Kova”