Review of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I must start by saying it has been a very long time since I read an epic fantasy book that grabbed my attention and held it like The Cruel Prince by Holly Black!

As an author of epic fantasy myself, I tend to over analyze and over think the plot of a book I’m reading, so much so that I can’t just enjoy the read. Well, I didn’t have that problem at all as I read The Cruel Prince. Black sets us up from the get go, showing us Jude, our main protagonist’s world, in which her parents have been killed by her mother’s Ex, when she was seven, and she and her twin sister have been taken from Earth to Fairie so the Ex can be the chivalrous guardian of she and her sister who he just made orphans. Now if that isn’t a warped start to a brilliant fantasy, I don’t know what is. LOL!

But things just get “better” from there. Black addresses the issue of bullying. In this case, fairies consider humans not just beneath them, but scum to be trodden upon. She gives the reader insight into the world of those who are bullied right along with that of those who bully. In this case, she allows us a front row view into the life of the bully as played principally by the crown prince, Cardan—handsome despite his cruelty.

Black is a master Tease, a quality I thoroughly enjoy in all authors *clears throat* (What? Who me?). Her depiction of Jude and Cardan’s interactions definitely left me sensing their relationship, while quasi adversarial at the moment, just might blossom into something more. Granted there will be a long road to have these two characters grow and develop, but based upon how the book ended, I do believe we are in process. *rubs hands* LOL!

So, all of this before I even touch on what I most loved about this book… fairie politics! Be still my heart, the number of plots and subplots and sub sub plots all going on simultaneously is seriously brilliant. Black leads us down one path and gives we mere mortal readers the opportunity to piece the mystery together before revealing enough to have us gasp at the revelation. Over and over again she does this. And not to spoil anything, but the reveal with her half brother was awesome. The pieces all came together, but you didn’t see it until that point.

As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and give it 5-stars. If you’re looking for a great epic fantasy, along with mine of course (Lullaby. LOL!), I highly recommend The Cruel Prince. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!!!

Get The Cruel Prince on Amazon.

It’s Here! Lullaby Has Launched!

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Apple
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If you prefer a paperback:
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Or, get an autographed copy directly from me on this website.

Synopsis:

You’ve heard of the Sand Man. Meet his counterpart, the Sand Maiden.

Alissandra thrills to help her human charges make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said, as she weaves their dreams. She’s been doing it her entire immortal existence. But when the most powerful king in Dream realm sets his sights on her current charge, Prince Kovis Altairn, to exploit him in his quest to conquer Wake realm, Ali has no choice but to flee and pray the sovereign doesn’t hunt her down.

Prince Kovis Altairn, crown prince and the most powerful sorcerer in the Altairn Empire, knows nothing about Dream realm, let alone his sand maiden. So when Ali is discovered naked in his bedroom, how will she convince him of her intentions, as well as the danger?

“L.R.W. Lee brings an amazing new realm (literally!) to new adult fantasy. It’s sure to please fans of sorcerers, princes, kickass fight scenes, epic magic, and dazzling romance. Did I mention this is all in one book?” – Rachel E. Carter, USA Today bestselling author

“I’m enthralled. The book has held me captive since I received it…You have me in the spot I love/hate. It’s so good, and I want the next right now. I thoroughly enjoyed the humor woven in this story. A lovely conclusion to this–a nice tease. I want more!!!” – Peggy Frese, Senior Editor

The Sand Maiden is a NA Epic Fantasy Romance with YA appeal. If you loved Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses, Elise Kova’s Air Awakens, and/or Rachel E. Carter’s The Black Mage you’ll definitely love this.

WARNING: Mature content including sexual abuse. Recommended for 18+.

Buy eBook on:
Amazon
Google Play
Apple
Barnes & Noble

If you prefer a paperback:
Amazon
Or, get an autographed copy directly from me at my website.

Lullaby Coming January 15th!

You’ve heard of the Sand Man. Meet his counterpart, the Sand Maiden.

Alissandra thrills to help her human charges make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said, as she weaves their dreams. She’s been doing it her entire immortal existence. But when the most powerful king in Dream realm sets his sights on her current charge, Prince Kovis Altairn, to exploit him in his quest to conquer Wake realm, Ali has no choice but to flee and pray the sovereign doesn’t hunt her down.

Prince Kovis Altairn, crown prince and the most powerful sorcerer in the Altairn Empire, knows nothing about Dream realm, let alone his sand maiden. So when Ali is discovered naked in his bedroom, how will she convince him of her intentions, as well as the danger?

“L.R.W. Lee brings an amazing new realm (literally!) to new adult fantasy. It’s sure to please fans of sorcerers, princes, kickass fight scenes, epic magic, and dazzling romance. Did I mention this is all in one book?” – Rachel E. Carter, USA Today bestselling author

“I’m enthralled. The book has held me captive since I received it…You have me in the spot I love/hate. It’s so good, and I want the next right now. I thoroughly enjoyed the humor woven in this story. A lovely conclusion to this–a nice tease. I want more!!!” – Peggy Frese, Senior Editor

The Sand Maiden is a NA Epic Fantasy Romance with YA appeal. If you loved Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses, Elise Kova’s Air Awakens, and/or Rachel E. Carter’s The Black Mage you’ll definitely love this.

WARNING: Mature content including sexual abuse. Recommended for 18+.

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Buy at:
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To whet your appetite, please enjoy a short passage from this book:

     I heard him before I saw him, his power rippled about the room. And with two more steps, the most beautiful man I’d ever seen, my Dreambeam, stood before me.

     He stiffened.

     My breath caught.

     Everything about him radiated power, refinement, and ease. His tattoo, beige at the moment, stood in contrast against his sun-bronzed skin and peaked out from where the two top buttons of his fine, white shirt hung open. Uncharacteristically, a lock of his close-cut dark-brown hair flopped on his forehead. A shadow, a sun’s worth of growth, accented his chiseled jaw. His eyes. I’d lose myself in those pools one of these suns. Dark circles marred their beauty, forming bags beneath. My fault.

     With a hand to my back, Allard compelled me to bow.

     “Rise. Please.” Kovis relaxed once more. His eyes started dancing as he took in my borrowed dress, golden locks, and clasp hands—a death grip seemed the only way I could control these damn appendages.

     I shifted as he took a slow step toward me.

     Don’t bite your lip! I reprimanded myself.

     Then another.

     Stand still!

     Kovis opened his mouth as if to say something, then stopped. “Allard, I’ll be dining here, tonight.” He flicked his brows at me. “With a guest.” I inhaled sharply.

     “Yes, my prince,” Allard replied. Another guard replaced him as he left.

     Kovis continued looking me up and down, not saying a word. So different from those guards, his study sent excitement rather than revulsion through me. I felt like a fly in a spider’s web, and I couldn’t stop myself from fidgeting. Was he trying to intimidate me? He did a good job. But I couldn’t allow him to. I pulled my chin up. But his eyes, so much more beautiful in person. And their hazel centers. I tried, but failed to calm my breathing.

     I stayed rooted to my spot as he took another step toward me. “You clean up well. You’re very beautiful.” His voice, a purr.

     “Thank you.” I felt my cheeks warm, bringing a smile to Kovis’s lips.

     “You didn’t address me when you bowed just now.”

     The cut of his clothes showed off how impressive he was, and tingling erupted in my stomach.

     “I’m sorry.”

     He took another step toward me, and I wondered if he could hear my heart race.

     “You called me by my first name. That night,” he said.

     I averted my gaze to the floor. “I’m sorry. It was inappropriate of me.”

     Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kovis tilt his head. He took another slow step forward. “No one other than my family has ever done that.”

     “I’m sorry.” I wrung my hands.

     Another step. I felt like prey, frozen, unable to help myself even if I tried. Which I didn’t. I’d wanted to drink in his presence since before I could remember. But utter terror gripped me. Finally. To be this close to him. In the flesh.

     My stomach’s tingling increased.

     “My name rolled right off your tongue, as if familiar.”

     Kovis stood before me, one hand behind his back. He placed a finger under my chin and lifted my face up until our eyes met.

     “And you called me your ‘Dreambeam’?”

     My face burned. I wanted to stare a hole in the floor, but Kovis’s hand made that impossible. “It’s a term of endearment,” I squeaked, looking anywhere but at him.

     Kovis smiled. “Yes, I’m familiar with the nature of the term. But why?”

     I thought I’d burn up on the spot.

     A knock at the door proved my savior. The gods still cared about me!

     Kovis didn’t move but I distinctly heard him chuckle—through whatever joined us. I gasped and drew a hand over my gaping mouth.

     He winked at me, then commanded, “Come in!”

Mark book as “to read” on Goodreads
Sign up to be notified of events surrounding The Sand Maiden

Buy at:
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Apple
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May I Present…The Cover!

Charlie Bowater did it again with this original artwork and I am thrilled!

Synopsis:

You’ve heard of the Sand Man. Meet his counterpart, the Sand Maiden.

When a king of Dream Realm sets his sights on conquering Wake Realm, Prince Kovis and Ali must team up to battle forces beyond anything either could have imagined. But Kovis knows nothing about Dream Realm, let alone his Sand Maiden. When Ali is discovered naked in the prince’s bedroom, how will she convince him of her intentions, let alone the danger? Oh, and by the way, Ali has had a crush on the powerful sorcerer since his powers manifested. What could possibly go wrong? Their story will do anything but put you to sleep.

“I’m enthralled. The book has held me captive since I received it…You have me in the spot I love/hate. It’s so good, and I want the next right now. I thoroughly enjoyed the humor woven in this story. A lovely conclusion to this–a nice cliffhanger. I want more!!!” – Peggy Frese, Senior Editor

The Sand Maiden is a NA Epic Fantasy Romance with YA appeal. If you loved Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses, Elise Kova’s Air Awakens, and/or Rachel E. Carter’s The Black Mage you’ll definitely love this.

WARNING: Mature content. Recommended for 18+.

The book is available for pre-order:
Amazon
Google Play

 

Enter to Win A Paperback of Lullaby by Following Me on BookBub!!

Are you a fan of BookBub, the service that notifies you when books go on sale?

I have an author page there and getting more BookBub followers can help widen my reach and ultimately increase book sales. The more followers an author has, the more people who will receive dedicated emails from BookBub notifying them about my new releases and price promotions. Plus, getting 1K followers unlocks the ability to send BookBub Preorder Alerts!

I currently have 424 followers and I would like to hit the 1,000 mark in preparation for the launch of Lullaby. Will you help?

If you’re willing to follow me on BookBub, click here (link goes to my website) and I’ll show you how to Follow Me (only one step). Then you can enter to win the Rafflecopter for a paperback of Lullaby!

Thank you in advance, and good luck!

 

The Sand Maiden Facebook Fan Group

Did you catch what my editor thought of Lullaby after reading through it the first time?

“I’m enthralled. The book has held me captive since I received it…You have me in the spot I love/hate. It’s so good, and I want the next right now. I thoroughly enjoyed the humor woven in this story. A lovely conclusion to this–a nice cliffhanger. I want more!!!” – Peggy Frese, Senior Editor

guarantee you’ll experience the same roller coaster ride of emotions. And what’s the worst thing when that happens? You have NO ONE to talk to who understands your excitement or angst! Trust me, I’ve been there!

Well, I wouldn’t do that to you. Fan with other readers when you’re done with the book, in the new Sand Maiden Facebook fan group. After one week, nearly one hundred people have already joined! Avoid the personal drama and join the fun here. LOL!

 

The Cover’s Getting There!

Is this beautiful or what? It’s a portion of Charlie Bowater’s latest update of my cover for Lullaby, The Sand Maiden, Book One.

Until this version, I’d seen only black and white sketches, but Charlie has added some color with this one and…oh, be still my heart… And just wait until you see the whole thing. The background… This cover’s going to be epic!!

Also, yesterday, I handed off the finished manuscript to my editor after doing four rounds of self edits. I feel like it’s the best work I’ve ever done. It’s certainly the longest at 421 pages (114,173 words, but whose counting. LOL!). Now we’ll see if my editor agrees *bites nails*

One way or another, book one is done…

The book is now also available for pre-order:
Amazon
Google Play

It is on schedule to release January 15, 2018!!