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Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy

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**USA Today Bestseller** Only available through April 2015! Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime! Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order. Jou **USA Today Bestseller** Only available through April 2015! Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime! Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order. Journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.


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**USA Today Bestseller** Only available through April 2015! Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime! Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order. Jou **USA Today Bestseller** Only available through April 2015! Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime! Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order. Journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

30 review for Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacinta - Aussie Book Nook

    Blacksmiths son. Michael G. Manning ( 5 stars out of 5 ) This book hooked me in from the first page, It was interesting and well written I really really enjoyed it and will be reading the rest of the books in the series. I highly recommend this, it is a great book and will be good as a introduction into fantasy or for a seasoned fantasy lover. The characters where relatable and likable. The language wasn't hard to follow. Loved it! Chosen k.f breene ( 4 stars out of 5) Such an interesting book, I l Blacksmiths son. Michael G. Manning ( 5 stars out of 5 ) This book hooked me in from the first page, It was interesting and well written I really really enjoyed it and will be reading the rest of the books in the series. I highly recommend this, it is a great book and will be good as a introduction into fantasy or for a seasoned fantasy lover. The characters where relatable and likable. The language wasn't hard to follow. Loved it! Chosen k.f breene ( 4 stars out of 5) Such an interesting book, I loved how it's not your typical fantasy. Was a little hard for me to follow in some places but overall I really enjoyed it. I really want to know what happens next. A quest of heroes Morgan rice. ( 4 stars out of 5) I really enjoyed it the characters were interesting and the story really pulled me in from the first page. I would recommend this book. Requeims song Daniel Anderson ( 4 stars out of 5 ) I enjoyed this story its was well written and interesting. I found in some place it was a bit dull and went on a bit. But overall it was different and dark some parts made me cringe at what was happening to the characters. Bound Kate Sparkes ( 5 stars out of 5 ) Loved this book. It was so interesting and well written. I couldn't put it down and just kept wanting to read to see what happen next. The characters were relatable. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the books. The Fire Seer, Amy Raby ( 4 stars out of 5) This story was easy to follow and I loved the main characters especially Taya, she was strong but not overly so that it wasn't believable. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books. Bear heart KJ Colt ( 4 stars out of 5 ) I have read the healer series before I read this so I kind of knew the story of Klawdia. This is the first book and tells you the beginning of Klawdias story I found it interesting but a bit short and not very detailed I felt that bits were missing in the story. I did enjoy it emensily and will  definitely be reading the rest. I love Klawdia and want to know more of her story. Poison Shae Ford ( 3 stars out of 5 ) This story was very strange, enjoyable but strange. Maybe because it is a prequel I feel like I am missing some of the story, I'm not sure if I had read the other books first would it have made a difference. Olivia was a bit scary and sadistic, Garron was just weird he seemed not right in the head. I'm not sure I will read the rest of the books.  Blades of magic Terah Edun ( 5 stars out of 5 ) I enjoy anything Terah writes, I love how the women in her stories are strong and independent. Blades of Magic was no different Sara is so fierce she is awesome I would want to be friends with her :-) this story hooked me in from the get go. I can't wait to see what happens.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Moving Targets by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon – 3 ½ of 5 stars Moving Targets is a good, solid short story. Due to the short length, there wasn’t an abundance of details. I would have enjoyed a little more background information for those new to the world/characters. With a quick turnaround, the mystery was solved with the simplest explanation. This reminded me of an episode of Scooby Doo… The Pariahs by David Adams – 3 of 5 stars The Pariahs started out good. There was entertaining banter betw Moving Targets by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon – 3 ½ of 5 stars Moving Targets is a good, solid short story. Due to the short length, there wasn’t an abundance of details. I would have enjoyed a little more background information for those new to the world/characters. With a quick turnaround, the mystery was solved with the simplest explanation. This reminded me of an episode of Scooby Doo… The Pariahs by David Adams – 3 of 5 stars The Pariahs started out good. There was entertaining banter between the two main characters and quick moving action. Unfortunately, the end got lumped together, causing confusion and a feeling of wanting. The story was never fully resolved to my expectations. Bear Heart by K.J. Colt – 4 ½ of 5 stars Having already read the Healers of Meligna Books by K.J. Colt, I was excited to read Bear Heart. Bear Heart chronicles the earlier years of Klawdia, the Ruxdorian outcast, filling in the story line I already knew. Klawdia is a strong main character, and her story stands on its own merits. I can’t wait to continue this series… it pulls you in and keeps the pages turning. Poison by Shae Ford – 4 of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was well-written and the characters were engaging. I loved how the darker sides of the characters were revealed. As this was a prequel, I hope the characters show up down the road in the main books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Berta Kleiner

    This bundle was very cheap and, well, you get what you pay for. If you wish to know how far down it goes, this is a collection to turn to - predictable story lines, uninteresting characters, unabashed hypocrisy concerning sex (a lot of the stories are about not having sex), and huge chunks of sheer unrelieved boredom. And dwarves. And, of course, elves. It’s all there. I rate this -2 stars overall.

  4. 5 out of 5

    christy baldwin

    Chosen By K.F. Breene It was a little different than her other books but I was quickly caught up in the story. Our Chosen had a quick wit and mouth to match. It a world surrounded by men, she steps in and shows them why she is "Chosen" Loved it! Chosen By K.F. Breene It was a little different than her other books but I was quickly caught up in the story. Our Chosen had a quick wit and mouth to match. It a world surrounded by men, she steps in and shows them why she is "Chosen" Loved it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Can't really give this a star rating, since there were a lot of novels included ranging from pretty awful to reasonably diverting to very promising. Can't really give this a star rating, since there were a lot of novels included ranging from pretty awful to reasonably diverting to very promising.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steven Erickson

    Buy this collection. At $.99 it is a steal and contains some excellent ‘firsts’ of several wonderful series. At $.99 you are saving more than $20.00 just to buy these e-books. GET THIS COLLECTION. Below are some short reviews of the individual stories and pieces: Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets 4.5/5 stars. The book possesses typical Mercedes Lackey voice – fun characters in an interesting setting. At least, I think it does -it has been a long time since I have read any of Lackey’s work, so I don’ Buy this collection. At $.99 it is a steal and contains some excellent ‘firsts’ of several wonderful series. At $.99 you are saving more than $20.00 just to buy these e-books. GET THIS COLLECTION. Below are some short reviews of the individual stories and pieces: Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets 4.5/5 stars. The book possesses typical Mercedes Lackey voice – fun characters in an interesting setting. At least, I think it does -it has been a long time since I have read any of Lackey’s work, so I don’t know if there is a larger continuum that the story fits in to, but it stands just fine on its own if it does. Essentially, this is a short mystery that, very quickly, evolves in to a classic ‘Scooby-Doo’ style hunt – right down to the talking pet and ridiculous conclusions. It is a lot of fun and makes an excellent opening for the collection. There are a couple of confusing notes, but for the most part this is a fun and simple story. Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son – 3.5/5 stars The book starts out slow, but picks up pace after 75-100 pages. The descriptions and characters are enough to keep someone reading, but if they aren’t given a chance the book may come off as somewhat lackluster. Fortunately I found the descriptions of the conflict and Mordecai’s motivations to be a lot of fun and well worth the wait. I especially liked when he finally gets to working against the antagonist (who’s a tad two dimensional) and how he tries to play off of the others idiocy. On the whole, a solid first effort. K.F. Breene – Chosen 4.5/5 stars I haven’t read any of Breene’s work prior, but a quick amazon search reveals she has a lot of work out there. That library of work shows in the writing of Chosen. The hook is a typical one for the fantasy genre (it’s almost a trope!) but Breene plays it quite well. There’s a prophecy that says that a warrior will rise to free the Shadow Warriors to freedom. Typical fantasy, right? Breene plays with the trope quite well and shows that it doesn’t have to be boring to follow through on such a hook. Her characters are very three-dimensional. Shanti, despite being a bit of a prodigy, comes off as very human. Her concerns are real and her history/backstory actually does come in to play in a reasonable way. The conflicts are not forced for her and they play off as very real as Shanti learns what her role in the future of her people is to be. Or at least is offered some good examples and reasons to consider how she is going to use her skills. There are some hints of the authors other line of work with romance novels leaking in as well. These characters get naked an awful lot. It’s not a bad thing, but it does seem a little…weird given the conflict that Shanti is supposedly on the run from. There are a couple of odd moments and some weird language that breaks the immersion of the story – phrases that just feel out of place. On the whole though, this is a fun read and one you should check out. Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes – 2.5/5 stars This is one of the few let downs, I felt, in this collection. Compared to other works in this collection, it’s just not up to standard. We have a boy who wants to serve the king in the way that the rest of his family (all brothers) do – guarding and protecting a powerful artifact (the series’ Sorcerer’s Ring) in the service of the King. Thorgrin is, of course, the youngest son and feels he has a lot to prove to his father and his mother, who largely don’t want him to serve anyhow. This of course leads to his rebellion and leaving. It all feels very typical and, while there is some world building and characterization, it never really stands out or makes a major impression. Maybe it is the' lack of significant development on the characters. They all feel very two dimensional and fairly straight forward. The other problem is that the book is short. You reach the end and go …wait? What? What happened? It leaves a dissatisfied feeling. I know there are more in the series – it consistently appears in my ‘More from Kindle’ feed of recommended reading, so it’s probably a set up for more books, but I can’t help but feel it was a bit of a let down. Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora 4.5 / 5 stars. So, we have the titacular Whill and his party of companions – a dwarf, an elf, and a justifier. No, seriously, it’s a fun party with a lot of dynamics to it. In all reality, this book feels like the beginning of an ‘epic’ series – there is a lot of world building. We have remenants from an old war -5000 years ago – and a country long at peace since then. Similarly, we have a king who wants to change that by invading another continent. At the same time we have a dark elf with some half-dragon hybrids who also want to cause trouble. Will and Company have to stop it. There is a lot of world building in this novel which makes it a LOT of fun. I enjoyed reading and the one trouble I had with the novel came in the characters. While the world takes a lot of detail and complexity, the characters were very easy reads. Someone is either GOOD or EVIL. There is no in between and there is very little examination of the morals of their decisions or character. Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song 4/5 Had a chance to read this one while on a trip in the car. Glad I had my tablet. Requiem’s song is an excellent mix of detail and character. Here we have a world where we have a group who can transform in to dragons that are in hiding. We get through a lot of gory detail and precise description of the oppression the dragons have experienced. In very specific detail. But, the world is compelling and the characters complex. I had a lot of fun reading this and enjoyed having a lot to mull over as I read. It helps that the story is interesting – I like their rise up and the ‘rebels’ recognizing that their actions will have actual consequences. My only qualm with the story is that I sometimes lost track of who was who and the person I was supposed to be excited for in the shifting mass of characters that were thrown at me. Kate Sparkes – Bound 4/5 An interesting, if used premise with some well done characters. In this world magic is banned and hunted down. One of our main characters hunts magic users, the other is a young lady who has always had a fascination for magic but knows better than to trust it. When she manages to save a sorcerers life things get complicated. The fun part of this story comes in the characters. You’re going to get images of the tragic parts of Romeo and Juliet when you get to know Rowan and her betrothed – and not in a good way. It becomes clear that this is a central plot element and you get to ride out the shifting pulses of Rowan’s feelings as she tries to make both her new perspective and her old fit in to one unified vision. It’s a fun romp, if a bit predictable. I wish there had been more world building, but the author was focusing more on relationships and character than on the environment in my opinion. David Adams – The Pariahs This is still on my to read list, but if it is anything like Adams’ other works, I am certain it will be excellent. Amy Raby – The Fire Seer 4/5 I read this and had flashback to NCIS. It was GIBBS. If Gibbs had magic. That’s a good thing. We have our main character, Taya , who is sent to investigate a series of murders. The trick? Her old nemesis, Mandir, is her bodyguard. To her it feels rather like a setup. Despite this, she launches her investigation and starts to discover things about her companions, and her world, that she just wasn’t prepared for. The Fire Seer is a lot of fun and it’s the characters that really sell it. I love a good mystery and this story has all of the elements – suspense, curiosity, a believable ‘bread crumb’ train. But most of all we have a charming and charismatic narrator who sells us on the story. Taya is a lot of fun to read and to follow and she is what makes the Fire Seer a joy to read. C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves3.5/5 This one shows up in my ‘You might also like’ feed a lot as well. I love the cover. Anyhow, we have a decent opening – magic has been banned and Ilan has been born with the gift. To keep from being prosecuted and killed, she hides with a group of thieves lead by the brigand Rideon. There is a lot of potential in the story. It opens up fabulously with a lot of excitement and interesting detail. Then it just…kind…of…peters off. It’s not that it is a bad story. There just isn’t a lot to keep you reading and certainly not enough to make me want to go back to the story and re-examine it. I like Ilan OK, and the plot is similar. It’s worth a read, but I don’t know that it’s one that I would go back to on a rainy day when the kid is asleep. There is a lot of potential and I know there are some sequels out there. Grab this one and treat it as an introduction. If this is the first part of a greater world, then that world definitely deserves a chance. David Dalglish – The Weight of Blood 3.5 / 5 There is a lot here that could have been great, but the devotion to violence and gore sort of lost me. I love the concept of the story – a pair of half-orc brothers want to escape poverty so they join up with a powerful mage who makes him commander of his undead legion. They get their wish – but with a twist! It could make for a lot of fun given that the protagonists Harruq and Qurrah are half-orcs – a traditionally evil race in most fantasy fiction. Which proves to be its downfall. Harruq and Qurrah are definitely protagonists, but they certainly don’t feel heroic. And their motivations and thoughts don’t really pull them in to anti-hero either. No matter how I looked at them as I read, I never really felt connected to them (Heroic) or understood their plight and sympathized (anti-hero). Maybe it was because I was busy counting femurs and gallons of blood – I’m not sure. I do like that there is a conflict set up and that the brothers, ultimately, are faced with coming in to conflict with each other. It would have been nice if there was some more development there but it felt kind of rushed and a little bit too ‘simple’ initially. This is clearly set up for a series, so I see why it is ‘simple’ initially – I am sure there are more layers for later, but there should have been some more focus here in novel one to keep a reader interested. The concept has a lot of possibility in it – there’s no reason to hurry through and ignore the potential. K.J. Colt – Bear Heart 5/5 stars OK…it’s Klawdia! One of my favorites from Concealed Power and the Meligna series. Once I realized that, I was super excited. I won’t say this is an unbiased review because Klawdia is a fun character that I enjoy in Meligna. That we have a story explaining her origin and some fun details of Meligna was enough for me. Even without that though, we have a fun story with some interesting details about a complex character. Again, I can’t be sure how much of this comes from Meligna and how much of it is straight from Bear Heart, but Klawdia as the protagonist sells us on this tribal world. That she is forced in to a conflict that relates to her personal honor and passage is fitting and her feelings regarding the help, and cheating, she is offered are complex but understandable. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and strongly recommend it. Shae Ford – Poison 4/5 An interesting concept – I like how the title sort of wraps everything together. This is a prequel to a larger world that I have not heard of, so I apologize if I miss some of the details. Our protagonist is Olivia who doesn't quite work with the rest of her people. She is separated by her powers as well as her personality – as I read her I kept having flashbacks to Hotaru Tomoe from the Sailor Moon franchise – which doesn't help matters as the situation within the kingdoms devolves. I find her inner conflict to be the central ‘villain’ of the story and Ford, through Olivia, makes a good battle of it. There are several forces on the outside as well, but they don’t play up as much as the Olivia vs Herself conflict does – and it is a fight she is slowly losing. Which, while it is the central conflict of the story, feels a bit predictable. I never got the sensation that Olivia would ever be able to win the fight against ‘the Poison.’ Usually in a story like this we are given some inkling of hope – and indeed Ford does place a few inklings like this – but none of the proposed solutions ever comes off as possible or even truly considered as options through Olivia. Having a protagonist lose is fine – it can make for a fun and interesting conflict, but the conflict felt so pre-destined that I didn’t really believe any of Olivia’s attempts or other items. Which is a shame, because Ford clearly likes his character and was having a fun time trying to create an interesting protagonist. It just doesn't come off as something that ultimately was going to work out. Endi Webb – The Maskmaker’s Apprentice 3.75/5 We have a rebel, Elu, who pushes against his role in his community and ultimately plunges the world in to danger. Majora’s mask style. And really, I could have swapped Elu in with Link and his companion Thora in for Skull Kid and we’d have the basics of the plot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and the added elements to it certainly make this a better story than Majora’s Mask (please note – I am not someone who enjoyed Majora’s Mask. I was a Skyward Sword fan – yup I’m *that* Zelda guy) was. That I am comparing this to a Zelda game is a compliment in and of itself – there is no franchise in gaming I enjoy more than the Legend of Zelda. The trick here is that there wasn't enough development to the world to make me care that Thora was going around destroying things and unleashing evil. I wasn't attached to the setting or the characters and that made it a less interesting book. One big saving grace is Elu and Thora though – they are interesting and Elu’s personal considerations and conflicts are a high point of the storytelling here. They make the story interesting and sell it even with its weaker world development and lack of sympathetic population. Michael Wallace – The Dark Citadel 3.75/5 There are wizards, griffins, and bad guys OH MY! No, seriously. That should sell you on the story right there. The Dark Citadel is a grisly fantasy with a huge cast of characters. Which is probably its greatest strength and its biggest failure. There are a number of protagonists and the antagonists they deal with only make it harder to track everyone. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones, only not as compelling. The violence combined with the sex and grisly scenes just are not my cup of tea. This book was not designed for me as a reader. It’s not something I would grab off of the shelf, but it is well constructed and there is a lot of good character development if I could just keep the characters straight and the violence down. While I did not enjoy it immensely, this is a big genre at the moment and something there are probably a lot of readers out there for. Terah Edun – Blades of Magic 4.5/5 The story is fairly simple – we have Sara, the daughter of a disgraced imperial commander. Her father was killed for deserting and, given what she knows of her father, this has always bothered her. This leads her to develop her sword skills and make some living wages to support herself and her mother for much of her early life. When she comes of age, and a few tragedies, she finds herself working with the Mercenary Guild and beginning to unravel what really happened with her father and the Emperor. There are a number of sub plots and loose threads introduced and expanded on and it’s well balanced between resolution and mini-mystery. I’ve always enjoyed Edun’s work and this is no exception. Sara is a fine main character and fun to follow along with. I also enjoyed Ezekiel as a bit of a challenge to Sara and her developing skills. That a `Battle Mage’ can transform in to a Berserker – like a classic Berserker – is also interesting and makes her accessing her abilities feel like there is some actual consequence to her magic use. The other secondary characters felt a bit more static than I generally enjoy, but it comes off to me more as her getting things established than any kind of laziness on her part. To put it simply, this is a new aspect to her world and she is getting it prepared for the future. That static-ness makes it so that she can focus on Ezekiel and Sara and the mystery of Sara’s father while introducing elements that can grow in the future. Sara and Ezekiel are charming enough that I’m willing to be patient with those characters and I look forward to grabbing the sequel when I have a chance. The world and society that Edun has built is interesting. It appears to be linked to her Courtlight series (which I am a huge fan of (I still need to finish the last book)), but this area and part of the world feels unique and distinct in comparison to what we read in the other series. It’s much more Roman/Greek-ish (for lack of a better phrase) over in these cities and for Sara. I also like the Mercenaries and their role and reaction to Sara. I don’t want to spoil it, but it makes significant sense given the world and the way Edun has established their purpose. On the whole, this is an excellent new world from a great author. I encourage everyone to give it a shot when they have a chance.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kirstin

    I can’t imagine another opportunity you will have to buy sixteen books for $0.99. It is definitely worth the money! I have enjoyed all of the books so far and look forward to reading the rest! My favorite part of this giant bundle was reading all of these books without looking into them first. It was super exciting to just start a new book without any idea whatsoever of what to expect. I’ve only previously read books by one of the authors in the bundle, so it was fun to be introduced to so many I can’t imagine another opportunity you will have to buy sixteen books for $0.99. It is definitely worth the money! I have enjoyed all of the books so far and look forward to reading the rest! My favorite part of this giant bundle was reading all of these books without looking into them first. It was super exciting to just start a new book without any idea whatsoever of what to expect. I’ve only previously read books by one of the authors in the bundle, so it was fun to be introduced to so many new authors in one go. I ended up reading books that I would not have picked out on my own, which I think made the bundle a success in my mind. “Moving Targets” by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, 3.5/5 Stars It was all a bit confusing. I enjoyed the set-up of the story, but wish there had been a little more explanation about the world. The idea of these “Heralds” who apparently act as what seems to be a mix between travelling guards/judges/kingdom tradesmen seems pretty interesting. However, I never quite understood what the “Chosen” were or how they correlated to the mismatched lot of characters. I think a full book about this world could be pretty interesting though! The story definitely ended with a different feel than how it began. Without giving it away, I was caught off guard by the pop culture reference at the end, even though in my head I jokingly thought about its possibility earlier on. It was definitely a fun way to kick off this bundle! “Mageborn: The Blacksmith’s Son” by Michael G. Manning, 4.5/5 Stars This book went from zero to murder pretty fast. At first I was worried the author had set up for a difficult read by starting with such an exciting scene and then following with what could only be boring with the life of a blacksmith, but I was wrong. The author managed to introduce all of the important characters while allowing the story to flow seamlessly. My only complaint is that there was almost too much plot in the amount of pages provided. I think if the author had expanded the book by a few chapters, the relationship between characters could have been developed a little less hurriedly. However, the world Manning created was interesting and he provided enough detail to follow along with what was going on without giving everything away. He introduced each chapter with a blurb from an educational book written in the world which served as a great way to provide general background without forcing it into the scenes with the main character. Overall, I thought this book was great and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series! “Chosen” by K.F. Breene, 4/5 I did not enjoy this book until around Chapter 32. The characters were all interesting and decently developed, but I had an issue with the way the society was portrayed. I completely understand the importance of placing a warrior woman into a society that looks down on women, but I could not understand why, after showing her worth on the field multiple times, Shanti still had so many problems with the men taking her seriously. And again, I totally understand how women can be looked down on even after showing their worth, in our society. BUT, after a woman stands alone and cuts down hundreds of foes in front of the men of the society, don’t you think they’d put a little more thought into accepting her? I feel like later in the book this issue was pushed into just a few minor characters who were introduced late in the book, so it became much more believable. Once the men started seeing Shanti’s abilities as useful, I think the book really picked up. By the end of the last chapter I was definitely drawn into the world and do plan on reading more into the series. "A Quest of Heroes" by Morgan Rice, 4/5 Stars The idea of an isolated kingdom protected by a mile-wide “ring” or canyon around it is pretty cool! At the beginning of the book, you definitely feel for the main character, Thor. He has an abusive family who doesn’t love him and lives a common life that doesn’t stand up to his dreams. Thor gets slapped down a few times before the story truly starts moving along. However, once he “realizes his destiny”, Thor’s life drastically changes. While this is a pretty common plot, the author does put her own twist on things. My biggest issue with the book is that it feels as if the author created a little boy’s dream and gave everything to Thor. Sure there are bad things that happen to drive the plot, but they are always canceled out by something grand happening to Thor. From his best friend to his love life to gifts and respect given throughout the story, it seems Thor’s life really isn’t that bad. I’m not sure if the author wanted to create this great situation for Thor only to pull him down later or what. There are 17 books in the series, so perhaps this book was truly just a prequel chapter to the longer plotline? Other than that issue, the author provides a nice array of characters with friends, love interests and obvious villains. I may not call it the greatest book of its time, but I definitely think it’s a good read, especially if you grew up wanting to be a knight with fame and glory! "Whill of Agora" by Michael James Ploof, 4/5 Stars This felt like a very generic epic fantasy story. There were humans, elves and dwarves all fighting the some great evil in the land, in this case the dark elves and their creations. There were even dragons! I’m not saying being generic was a bad thing, I just think it’s an apt description of what you should expect going into this story. The main character, Whill, is pretty lovable, though I often forgot that he was 19 and not in his late 20s just due to his actions and how he responded to different scenarios. I really enjoyed all of the characters and how they interacted with each other. As epic fantasies go, this one started a little slow, but once it sped up, it was so much fun to read. It feels like the author is going to end everything in the one book until just before the end and you realize there is so much more to the story. "Requiem’s Song" by Daniel Arenson, 4.5/5.0 stars I have read a ton of fantasy stories in all sorts of worlds, but I have never read one about humans who can change into dragons. This is such an awesome concept! I loved it immediately. I will warn you, this book is very dark. The first sentence is a pretty good summary of the types of situations you will read about in this book. Everytime something good happens, something equally horrifying happens next. But I think that allows the reader to really understand what the situation in this world is like. It’s basically a story about the hatred of an entire race just because they are not understood. I always dread reading books where each chapter is a different character because there is always that one character that you can’t stand, but the author does a really great job making each character’s story interesting, even if you hate their actions. I will definitely read more into this world, mainly because of the awesome concept of dragon/human hybrids. "Blades of Magic" by Terah Edun, 4.5/5.0 stars If you have read the Courtlight series by Terah Edun, then you will enjoy this book. It is set in the same world, though I’m not sure of the time relationship. I always love an awesome female main character and this one does not fall short. She is one of the best fighters in the city and works to uncover the wrongs that have made her family suffer. The plotline felt a little fragile at first, just because of the limited inclusion of outside characters, but it quickly sped up and weaved an intricate web. Though some of the characters were a little confusing to me, they begin to make more sense as you go through the story. I am excited to read more into Sara Fairchild’s life! I'm still reading, but so far they're all awesome!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Simmons

    Amazing collection of fantasy and a great introduction to new authors. Ten of the sixteen books included are reviewed below. Moving Targets by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon 5 stars The collection begins with a short story about young heralds who are traveling with an experienced herald around the country to solve a “supernatural” mystery. The characters and world were well drawn. Between the characters’ youthful antics and herald Elyn’s wry wit, the story was very enjoyable. Mageborn :The Blacksm Amazing collection of fantasy and a great introduction to new authors. Ten of the sixteen books included are reviewed below. Moving Targets by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon 5 stars The collection begins with a short story about young heralds who are traveling with an experienced herald around the country to solve a “supernatural” mystery. The characters and world were well drawn. Between the characters’ youthful antics and herald Elyn’s wry wit, the story was very enjoyable. Mageborn :The Blacksmith’s Son by Michael G. Manning 5 stars This fairly traditional tale tells about Mort, the blacksmith's adopted son. Mort finds that he has mysterious, magical powers while saving his noble best friend's horse. He finds himself involved with politics while visiting for a party and searching for more information in the Duke Lancaster's library. He finds himself in both magical and political trouble very quickly. Eventually, he learns of his own parents and the evil stalking his family. Funny antics and romantic interests lighten his struggles to learn his magic and protect his friends. Overall, it is a very entertaining enjoyable read with a full story arc. I am eager to read more of the series. Chosen by K. F. Breene 5 stars Shanti, a strong warrior woman leads this entertaining, original story. She is alone, starving, and on a mission to save her people. All of the characters from Shanti and the captain, down to the minor characters are well crafted, multifaceted and real. The characters will make you cry over their hard choices and laugh with their jokes. One of my favorites in the whole collection. A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice 4 stars Thor, a 4th son, is dying to join the King's army. When the Army takes his brothers and rejects him, Thor is still determined. After some encouragement from strange visit from the King's Druid, he runs off to join anyways. With great daring and surprising skill, he manages enter the army anyway. His deeds catch royal attention. The princess and new heir to the throne begin a secret relationship. His meteoric rise proceeds his fall. It ends with a cliff hanger and unanswered questions, but there are many sequels. The characters are interesting and the overall story is fast paced. Whill of Agora by Michael James Ploof 4 stars This is a traditional fantasy tale with extremely talented orphan who finds out he is the rightful king who must battle the evil forces that stole the throne. It includes humans, elves, dwarves, dragons, dark elves, and evil creatures. Whill, though human, has some magical abilities from his heritage which he still has to learn. Near the end some battles are won, but Whill ends up captured. The story is continued in three more books. If you love traditional, epic fantasy, this will be perfect. Requiem’s Song by Daniel Arenson 3 stars This book begins of the Dawn of Dragons Trilogy. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, which works well with the large number of characters. Most of the characters start in difficult, dark situations which get much worse, before finding a glimmer of hope at the end. In this world humans with the ability to change into dragons are persecuted and killed. Prince Ream has banished his wife and young daughter calling them cursed by this ability, and has called demons in to this world. The blacksmith, Jeid, is trying to develop a sanctuary for them, called Requiem, after his deceased daughter. Overall, a good story with clearly defined characters, but it was a little dark and gruesome for me. Bound by Kate Sparkes 4 stars Bound begins a romantic trilogy. Rowan is a kind girl, plagued by headaches and an underwhelming marriage proposal in a kingdom where people with magic are hunted and killed. She helps heal a wounded eagle who was really Aren, a shape-changed brother of the neighboring kingdom’s leader. In her healing, Aren realizes that Rowan has magic and which has been bound. Aren’s brother wants Rowen kidnapped and tortured to find out more about her magic. Aren rescues Rowen and from then on they are on the run from his brother’s forces. The beginning of the book was wonderful, but Aren’s transformation from evil to romantic lead happens a little too fast to be believed. Rowen becomes weaker during the middle of the story. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and would like to read the rest of the series. The Pariahs by David Adams 4 stars The short story opens with comrades Kozog, a half-orc, and Brea, a half elf in the mercenary Army of the Open Fist fighting demons. They win this first skirmish, but the major battle is lost almost before it starts. They leave the army and travel together to visit Kozog’s family. Kozog is very straight laced and does not realize Brea’s romantic interest in him. Since this is a small part of a larger world and story, there are questions left unresolved at the end. Overall, it is an interesting glimpse in this original world with entertaining characters. The Fire Seer by Amy Raby 5 stars Taya has to solve a magical murder mystery while working with her old enemy from the school. The world they live in is fascinating. Chapters about Taya’s past are mixed in with the present, which becomes an effective way to learn about both the current murder mystery and Taya’s murky past. The book is an unique and enjoyable addition to the collection. Blades of Illusion by Terah Edun 3 stars Sara is a fighter gifted with battle magic. Her father was a famous commander who was killed for deserting with no explanation. She becomes a mercenary, but her real goal is to solve the mystery of her father. The action is good and the story fast, but sometimes I wished I knew or understood more about the characters. Overall, the story has a lot of potential, but there wasn’t quite enough material there for me to see where it is going. There was just enough there for me to want to read the next book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barb Valentine

    Some of the best authors and stories I continued several of these authors stories. Well worth finding authors that make characters come alive. The stories don't leave you in cliffhangers but make you want to find out what's next. Some of the best authors and stories I continued several of these authors stories. Well worth finding authors that make characters come alive. The stories don't leave you in cliffhangers but make you want to find out what's next.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    I felt like more of the books in this anthology were a waste of space than were a good read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    Blown away by this award winning series starter! This review is for THE FIRE SEER by Amy Raby, book 9 in FIERCE. Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in 2012, The Fire Seer kicks off a new fantasy series by Amy Raby. Like in Raby's Hearts and Thrones series, she does an amazing job of world-building and balancing character and plot in a way that keeps me flying through the pages. This series starter has me slavering for more! The Fire Seer is about Taya, a girl w Blown away by this award winning series starter! This review is for THE FIRE SEER by Amy Raby, book 9 in FIERCE. Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in 2012, The Fire Seer kicks off a new fantasy series by Amy Raby. Like in Raby's Hearts and Thrones series, she does an amazing job of world-building and balancing character and plot in a way that keeps me flying through the pages. This series starter has me slavering for more! The Fire Seer is about Taya, a girl who grew up poor in a farmer caste. But she was singled out by a fire goddess and blessed with magical ability. Through several vignettes, Raby shows Taya's introduction to the Coalition of Mages, which is the organization with a monopoly on magic. Anyone practicing magic outside Coalition oversight is considered a jackal and is hunted down and put to death. It sounds creepy, right? But growing up in this world, Taya has great respect for the Coalition. She considers is a great honor to be taught by them and, eventually, to work for them. The Fire Seer opens with Taya arriving at the location of a recent murder by a suspected jackal. It is her first assignment as a mage for the Coalition. She must discover the jackal and bring him or her to justice. She is not alone in this task. She has a quadrum, a body guard and co-investigator to help her. Enter Mandir. Mandir and Taya have a fiery history. As students together at the Coalition's school, they interacted quite a bit...not in a good way. Mandir bullied Taya quite severely. Yeah. He's not your typical hero. But then, Raby's new series isn't fantasy romance, like her Hearts and Thrones series. Taya and Mandir have a romance, to be sure, but the series will follow them as a couple and focus on their solving of mysteries as Coalition Mages rather than feature a new couple in every book. Though The Fire Seer isn't strictly romance, there was plenty of romantic tension and content to please this romance reader. I admit it. I need a heavy dose of romance to get really into a story. The Fire Seer delivers. Mandir gets his say in certain scenes, and the reader gets a glimpse into his head. An adult now, he is not the same boy Taya knew from school. He doesn't exactly have good reasons for his former treatment of her, but having come from a troubled home, his behavior is at least understandable. In the years they were apart, Mandir faces consequences of his behavior. He experienced a transformation. But when they meet again, Taya only remembers his misdeeds. She pretty much hates him and wishes her quadrum was anyone but Mandir. The tension between these two is extremely well done and kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed! I give The Fire Seer my highest ranking: You Gotta Read. I'm excited to see what Raby has in store as this series progresses! (This review appears on You Gotta Read Reviews)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy Fasick

    ** Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets I was highly disappointed with this book. I have come to love and crave books by Mercedes Lackey, especially those involving Valdamar. However this one was dry and hard to read. It did not include the depth of characters and plot that I have come to expect from Mercedes Lackey. SPOILER ALERT The ending left me literally thinking I had just read a Scooby Doo story and even contained the line “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you med ** Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets I was highly disappointed with this book. I have come to love and crave books by Mercedes Lackey, especially those involving Valdamar. However this one was dry and hard to read. It did not include the depth of characters and plot that I have come to expect from Mercedes Lackey. SPOILER ALERT The ending left me literally thinking I had just read a Scooby Doo story and even contained the line “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling Heralds!” the old man spat. The only difference is the word Herald instead of kids. I really hope that this is not a precursor for her future books. ***** Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son This was the first book that I have read by Michael Manning, but it was not the last. This book was wonderfully written and really drew you in. The characters we very well described and you felt like you were standing next to them. The plot of the story was strong and really made you want to read the book in a single sitting. This book fully deserves the five stars I have awarded it. **** K.F. Breene – Chosen This book started off very slow. The beginning was dry and hard to push through. There seemed to be a lack of attention grabbing and plot building. However about halfway through things started getting better. The second half of the book had a lot stronger plot line and the characters started to draw you in. This book could have easily been five stars if the beginning had been as strong as the ending. Overall I like the story idea and will continue to read the series in hope that it stays as interesting as the end of this book. *** Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes This book had all the makings of a great book however it was slow going. The pace of the plot was lacking and it made it hard to keep reading. The storyline is there and shows great potential. I am also disappointed with the ending. Some books end on a cliff hanger to keep the reader wanting more however this book seemed to just end in the middle of a scene. I really hope that the next book in the series is able to capture the reader’s attention and provide a fulfilling growth of both the plot and the characters. ***** Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora This book brings all of our fantasy creatures together and introduces new ones to the mix. It is a wonderful combination of good vs evil with a very refreshing plot. Many books today follow a very similar plot. However this plot kept you entertained and guessing. Be prepared it is a hard book to put down once you start it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Creekmore

    I will start first by saying that this collection is a steal. You simply cannot get so many books for so little generally. If only for the first three or four offerings, it is well worth it. Having said that, after those first three or four, I'm having trouble continuing. The books are anywhere from poorly written to just plain awful. I now have a growing list of people who I can avoid, and that's not really what I was hoping for. I also have a couple of new series to start and enjoy, so it's not I will start first by saying that this collection is a steal. You simply cannot get so many books for so little generally. If only for the first three or four offerings, it is well worth it. Having said that, after those first three or four, I'm having trouble continuing. The books are anywhere from poorly written to just plain awful. I now have a growing list of people who I can avoid, and that's not really what I was hoping for. I also have a couple of new series to start and enjoy, so it's not all a downer. I'm simply tired of seeing so many thing parading as new fantasy novels that are derivative, seem to have no interest in good dialogue or are written like a bad Greek tragedy. How many times can we have more fated lovers for the guy who was so confused about his parentage but yet makes no wrong moves? (rolls eyes) As another writer said, it's a death worse than Fate! Btw, Mercedes Lackey, the Scooby-Doo was spot on. So spot on, that I was mad at myself that I didn't catch it until the end. Way to borrow, lady.

  14. 5 out of 5

    MEG Munro

    SUPERIOR!!!!!!!! I had to get my review out quickly because this bundle not only included many of the authors that I had already read but more wonderful creations by some authors new to me. I am actually reading many of these books over and I don't mind one bit because they were all great the first time through. I have read so many of the fantasy books that going back to reread is always fun. Like I've said, they were great reading the first time. RUN don't walk to you favorite bookstore or just SUPERIOR!!!!!!!! I had to get my review out quickly because this bundle not only included many of the authors that I had already read but more wonderful creations by some authors new to me. I am actually reading many of these books over and I don't mind one bit because they were all great the first time through. I have read so many of the fantasy books that going back to reread is always fun. Like I've said, they were great reading the first time. RUN don't walk to you favorite bookstore or just load this bundle into whatever device you use. And........thank you, Michael, most of all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Definitely worth reading. Unfortunately, The only story I really didn't care for was the very first one. I'm glad I kept going after that. That being said, this collection took a long time to get through. Every time I finished one of the books, I would get purchase the next book in the series off Amazon (related to the story I had just read in this collection), because I was so interested in seeing what happened next. Then I would come back to this collection and read the next story only to do th Definitely worth reading. Unfortunately, The only story I really didn't care for was the very first one. I'm glad I kept going after that. That being said, this collection took a long time to get through. Every time I finished one of the books, I would get purchase the next book in the series off Amazon (related to the story I had just read in this collection), because I was so interested in seeing what happened next. Then I would come back to this collection and read the next story only to do the same thing all over again. I've discovered a LOT of good stories and authors from the books in this collection. Total worth the price.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joe Slavinsky

    I bought this book, as a bundle, for my Nook. Since it contained 16 different books, I figured it would take a while to finish, since I only read the Nook while commuting on the train, and I only have a part-time job. At any rate, it was mostly okay. A few of the books were very good, and I will look into reading more of their work. Others were just so-so. Except for a couple of novellas, most were the first volume of a series, and I assume the concept(of the bundle) was to entice you into buyin I bought this book, as a bundle, for my Nook. Since it contained 16 different books, I figured it would take a while to finish, since I only read the Nook while commuting on the train, and I only have a part-time job. At any rate, it was mostly okay. A few of the books were very good, and I will look into reading more of their work. Others were just so-so. Except for a couple of novellas, most were the first volume of a series, and I assume the concept(of the bundle) was to entice you into buying more of each author's work. It was definitely worth the price I paid, and I will look into more, of a couple of the authors, so I guess the concept worked.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Day

    Great overall collection! In my opinion, skip the first book and read the rest. There were only one or two books that I did not enjoy! Out of 16 books, that's pretty good odds! There were even a few 5 star books in this collection. I now have reading material to last me a while! (Because now I need to get the rest of the books in the series to most of these books!) I have broken down each book in another review and given them a star rating. I also have a review listed on Amazon. Do not hesitate Great overall collection! In my opinion, skip the first book and read the rest. There were only one or two books that I did not enjoy! Out of 16 books, that's pretty good odds! There were even a few 5 star books in this collection. I now have reading material to last me a while! (Because now I need to get the rest of the books in the series to most of these books!) I have broken down each book in another review and given them a star rating. I also have a review listed on Amazon. Do not hesitate buying this collection, it's well worth it!

  18. 4 out of 5

    ms bookjunkie

    1% Moving Targets by Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon Nice. Cute. Nifty. This is my second read of it and though it didn't knock my socks off, it did open my mind to the Valdemar books—which did knock my socks off! :) 2.5 stars 2% Mageborn: The Blacksmith's Son by Michael G. Manning Irritated by shallow worldbuiling. Ambiance too contemporary American, too egalitarian. DNF 8% Chosen by K.F. Breene Intense. Compelling. Fascinating. 4 stars 18% A Quest of Heroes—Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring by Morgan Ric 1% Moving Targets by Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon Nice. Cute. Nifty. This is my second read of it and though it didn't knock my socks off, it did open my mind to the Valdemar books—which did knock my socks off! :) 2.5 stars 2% Mageborn: The Blacksmith's Son by Michael G. Manning Irritated by shallow worldbuiling. Ambiance too contemporary American, too egalitarian. DNF 8% Chosen by K.F. Breene Intense. Compelling. Fascinating. 4 stars 18% A Quest of Heroes—Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring by Morgan Rice

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Steptoe

    I really wanted to give this book a higher rating than a three, but it just isn't quite a four. As it is an anthology, it is much harder to rate. I found many of the stories really good and worth getting the follow up books that completed various series. However, others I couldn't be bothered about, especially when I found out they were 6-7 part series. I am glad I got the book as I discovered some good authors, and I totally believe it was worth the purchase. Just don't expect they same quality i I really wanted to give this book a higher rating than a three, but it just isn't quite a four. As it is an anthology, it is much harder to rate. I found many of the stories really good and worth getting the follow up books that completed various series. However, others I couldn't be bothered about, especially when I found out they were 6-7 part series. I am glad I got the book as I discovered some good authors, and I totally believe it was worth the purchase. Just don't expect they same quality in all the stories as it really varies.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim Power

    Overall three stars I got this bundle very cheaply, so I want perturbed that it was a mixed bag. Some of the stories were superb, some I didn't finish. I discovered a couple of new authors, so I'm happy with my.99 expenditure. Different people have different preferences so I didn't expect to enjoy everyone, though I live in hope. But a couple were poorly written with egregious errors in the use of language. Overall three stars I got this bundle very cheaply, so I want perturbed that it was a mixed bag. Some of the stories were superb, some I didn't finish. I discovered a couple of new authors, so I'm happy with my.99 expenditure. Different people have different preferences so I didn't expect to enjoy everyone, though I live in hope. But a couple were poorly written with egregious errors in the use of language.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    There 16 different stories in this book and all are full lengths books in their own right. Some of the stories interested me enough that I have read all the books in the author's series. There are 4 books which did not capture my interest . I tried to read them more than once but for me if the story doesn't capture my interest within the first five pages or so it doesn't get read. One of the stories I hated after reading further in because it was yucky( evil and then some)! There 16 different stories in this book and all are full lengths books in their own right. Some of the stories interested me enough that I have read all the books in the author's series. There are 4 books which did not capture my interest . I tried to read them more than once but for me if the story doesn't capture my interest within the first five pages or so it doesn't get read. One of the stories I hated after reading further in because it was yucky( evil and then some)!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ricky Kimsey

    Misty Sent Me I purchased this bundle of books because of author Mercedes Lackey. Been a big fan since the mid 80s and including one of her Valdemar stories was to me an endorsement of the remaining books. They all have the same wit and sense of adventure in her novels.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Phyllis

    Great accumulation of stories Enjoyed the set of stories very much. Swords and magic always make for good reading. If a griffin and a dragon or two make it into the tale, it is even better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Arun Andhavarapu

    A handful of new authors worth reading Loved several stories, discovered new authors. Authors, whose works I look forward to reading again. A brave new world, enough at least to fill the next few months

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    wow 16 books in one. Some were very good, a few weren't. wow 16 books in one. Some were very good, a few weren't.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Gromowski

    Could not make it past the fourth or fifth story. Some were simple but cute but at least two were maddeningly cliché or formulaic. Not for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniel W Gard

    Interesting stories. Some grabbed me some not. I will read the other books as they either come out or I buy them .

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Good collection I enjoyed all the book some more then others of course but no duds in this batch. I should have been better prepared for this review though.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marva

    So many stories, I read them now and again between other books. Feel guilty for not reviewing since I am enjoying just about all of them.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mila Palukova

    A very good set of first books -i read them most of the series!

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