My Book Recommendations

Shifter Kings by Lisa Blackwood

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This is a compilation of four different novels:

First Queen of the Gryphons
Ishtar’s Blade
Maiden’s Wolf
Dawn of the Sorceress

Heroes still learning to be human…

First Queen of the Gryphons (Ishtar’s Legacy Book 5)

When the Goddess Ishtar orders King Hillalum of the Gryphons to watch over a human shepherdess, he thinks he’ll find the sheep more interesting than the woman, but once he meets Amata, he soon realizes she’s his perfect match.

Blade (Ishtar’s Legacy Book 1)

A noble king. A fierce sword-maiden. An impossible love.

Maiden’s Wolf (In Deception’s Shadow Book 3)

She’s a healer with reason to fear magic. He’s a wolf shifter on a mission to stop of war.

Dawn of the Sorceress (A Gargoyle and Sorceress Tale Prequel)

A powerful sorceress. An ancient gargoyle. And one evil demigoddess. The journey begins now.

The first two books are from Ishtar’s Legacy. If you scroll down this page a few books, you’ll see my recommendation for Ishtar’s Blade from a while back. Maiden’s Wolf is from In Deception’s Shadow, and the last is a prequel from A Gargoyle and Sorceress Tale. Don’t worry, all of these can be read as standalones and they provide a nice glimpse into three different series.

I always enjoy Lisa Blackwood’s stories because they combine great description, interesting fantasy, strong women leads, and romance that will leave you with that good feeling at the end. This compilation is offered at a nice discount compared to buying each book separately, so I definitely recommend getting it.

A Thief & a Gentlewoman

In the palace, enemies hide around every corner. And some are done waiting.

Posing as an aristocrat, Quin lives by three rules: rob from the rich, give to the poor and never get caught. Because for her crimes, the penalty is death.

Royal, charming, and handsome, Atesh is her latest mark, but he’s no fool. When he starts seeing through her disguise, Quin’s forced to balance lie upon truth, teetering dangerously close to spilling her secrets.

After a shocking murder strikes at the heart of the palace, Atesh is wrongly arrested. Quin must choose between saving an innocent man from the gallows and keeping the noose from her own neck.

This gripping fantasy adventure with action, intrigue, and a dash of romance, is perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.

This book opens with a modified Jane Austen quote, which if you are a fan of P&P, you’ll get a kick out of the change. I was immediately attracted to this book by the summary, and one glance inside hooked me. I really like how the opening scene paints a great picture of the world and the main character. It definitely grabbed my hand and made me hit the buy button.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I was super excited when I saw the HBO teaser, because I really enjoyed reading this series. And while I liked The Golden Compass, it didn’t do well as a movie so we never got parts 2 or 3.

Here’s the book’s description:

These thrilling adventures tell the story of Lyra and Will—two ordinary children on a perilous journey through shimmering haunted otherworlds. They will meet witches and armored bears, fallen angels and soul-eating specters. And in the end, the fate of both the living—and the dead—will rely on them.

I know I have the paperbacks somewhere in my collection, but this three book compilation is very tempting to buy. The world is very vibrant and starts out in a gritty alternate reality Victorian England and crosses into numerous worlds with sometimes fantastical creatures. It will definitely be a challenge to show on the screen.

While I’m hopeful the HBO series does the books justice, I definitely recommend reading the books anyway.

Sorceress Awakening by Lisa Blackwood

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A sorceress and her gargoyle protector battle evil and their own forbidden love in this action-packed fantasy series.

The Gargoyle:
An avatar to the gods wakes to a new life and finds the female half of his soul is missing. He soon learns she has been captured by their oldest enemy—the Lady of Battles. To save his soulmate, he will risk everything even if he must pay the ultimate price for his loyalty.

The Sorceress:
When Lillian finds herself facing off against demons out of mythology, help comes from an unlikely source—the stone gargoyle who has been sleeping in her garden for the last twelve years.

Ah, forbidden love entangled in a strong fantasy story of good vs evil. This series is up to 7 books now. Four deal with Lillian and Gregory from the first book. The next two introduce another pair and it looks like book 7, which I haven’t read yet, is about yet a new pair. I can’t wait! 🙂

Ishtar’s Blade by Lisa Blackwood

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It takes a queen to defeat a queen.

The court of the gryphon king has ever been a dangerous and seductive place where Ishtar’s blessing is both the hot breath of passion and the cold kiss of steel.

Yet as the childhood companion of King Ditanu, Iltani never doubted her place in either his kingdom or his heart.

Then duty called her away to complete her training.

Now, a woman grown and a sword-maiden to the goddess Ishtar, Iltani returns and takes up her sacred destiny to protect the royal line.

I purchased pretty much everything Lisa Blackwood wrote. Her stories are engaging, funny in places, and usually have a touch of romance. I love her strong heroines and detailed world building. I couldn’t resist buying Ishtar’s Blade because I love women warriors and the impossible men they have to handle. 🙂

A Threat of Shadows by J A Andrews

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Alaric betrayed everything he believed to save Evangeline — and failed.

His last chance to save the woman he loves lies in an ancient Wellstone, a repository of power, buried and lost long ago. Luck—or something more troubling—leads him to a small group searching for the same stone.

A disgruntled dwarf, a bumbling wizard, and an elf with an unsettling amount of power. If he can gain their trust, they might help him find the cure. But the Wellstone holds more than he knows, and a terrible evil he’d thought defeated is stirring again, searching for the stone.

Can the companions survive a traitor, a dragon, and their own pasts to reach the stone before time runs out?

This is my type of fantasy, just read the preview to see what I mean. At the price and with that slick cover, my finger had no choice but to click buy! 🙂

Older Recommendations

Born with a secret power he must hide…

Telryn “Trip” Yert has always been a little odd, with hunches that are too accurate to explain. Magic is feared and forbidden in Iskandia, so he’s struggled his whole life to hide his eccentricities. As a boy, he was forced to watch his mother’s execution.
Her crime? Witchcraft.

I fell in love with Lindsay Buroker when I read her The Emperor’s Edge series.  So when she released a new fantasy book, I purchased it sight unseen – that’s how much I enjoy her writing.

Few things I knew.
I knew the sound of my mother’s voice when I woke.
I knew the painful look in her eyes that meant something terrible must have happened to me.
And eventually, I knew where I was.
But I never knew the identity of the strange, handsome boy who sat at my bedside when he thought no one was watching.

I don’t always read fantasy. I discovered this book in an author forum when discussing genre. While it’s listed as romance, I’d call it a cross between literary fiction and romance. The entire first part of the book is devoted to the heroine dealing with the severe attack she survived, her loss of mobility, and the loss of her carefree existence. She also struggles with why this happened to her and the ways she could have avoided it. It’s a very real-feeling piece of writing that goes deeper than normal teen romance. The hero has his own loss and sense of guilt to deal with as well. Eventually, in part 2, they meet, when she goes back to school and he switches schools to avoid the people who know what his father did.

There’s bullying, confusion of the heart vs the mind, and general teen awkwardness with the whole romance thing. But because both protagonists have gone through bad stuff, they are more mature than your average teen and this tends to read more like adult fiction than YA. I enjoyed it and found this story to be a refreshing change from the more fluffy romances, while still having a happy ending unlike a lot of literary fiction which seems to ‘require’ heartbreak at the end.