Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Really Short Reviews: The Entwined Realms Series by Danielle Monsch

I read the first book in this series last year as part of an anthology. A few weeks ago, Rose Red started reading it and made some of the same observations I had. So when book two showed up on Netgalley right after that, I decided it was time we talked about this series here on the blog. 

Has anyone else read it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Stone Guardian
(Entwined Realms #1)
Danielle Monsch
Release: July 3, 2013
Goodreads Amazon
Gryphons flying past skyscrapers? Wizards battling it out in coffeehouses? Women riding motorcycles with large swords strapped to their backs? All normal sights since the Great Collision happened twenty-six years ago.

Well, not normal for everyone. Larissa Miller may have been born after the Great Collision, but as a history teacher who lives in the human-only city, she has never come into contact with any other race or species, nor has she wanted to. Her life is as ordinary as it gets - that is, until one day she walks out of her apartment and is attacked by a mob of Zombies, only to be saved by a Gargoyle.

Gargoyles trust no one outside their Clan, but due to a cryptic prophecy, Terak, Leader of the Gargoyles, has been watching over the human woman for months. While he can find no reason why the woman has been singled out, something about her stirs every protective instinct within him. When the attack confirms that the threats against her exist and are real, he convinces Larissa that though their races have never been allies, the best chance of discovering why she has been brought into his world is by working together.

In the course of their investigation Terak becomes entranced by his little human. But when he discovers why Necromancers want her and the great reward that awaits him if he betrays her, he must choose between the welfare of his Clan and not only Larissa’s life, but the fate of this New Realm as well.
I grew up watching Gargoyles. Does anybody remember that Disney cartoon? I loved it as a kid! *Looks at the the Season 1 and 2 DVDs on the shelf* Okay. I still love that cartoon! This book is the first time that I’ve read a book where a gargoyle is a main character. Do you think Goliath was the inspiration for Terak? I could totally see it.

Overall, I enjoyed Stone Guardian. It was a fun read! The premise is an interesting one where two realms collide with each other to create this new world. The world felt kind of like the one in the Kate Daniels series, but it does have its own twists and quirks.

What I love most is that there is a whole cast of different magical creatures and beings in this book. The hero is the leader of the gargoyles and the heroine is a rather sheltered human. The romance is kind of charming and builds slowly. I enjoyed their love story but it wasn’t my favorite part of the book.

My favorite part was the cast of secondary characters who I hope get their own books at some point. I would have liked to see a little more depth to the supporting characters. The heroine’s brothers and father, the enigmatic gargoyles, a possibly evil vamp, the crazy mage, the kick-ass female swordsman, a hot werewolf, and the awesome elf girl… We don't really get to know any of them very well but they do play a part in the story line.

It’s a solid introduction to a new PNR series. There are a few sections where the writing shined, but overall it was a little rough. The world and the characters were interesting enough to make up for it and I definitely will be continuing the series. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a fun and quick read.

 3.5 / 5 Stars!

The Dream Crafter
(Entwined Realms #2)
Danielle Monsch
Release: October 12, 2015
A Legendary Spellbook. Everyone desires it, but he controls it.

The most feared mercenary in the New Realms, Merc takes what he thinks is a routine job – guarding a magic spellbook until a secret auction takes place, one where only the most powerful and influential will have the opportunity to bid. But one moment of carelessness makes this job the most personal he has ever had, and if that wasn’t enough, his dreams are being invaded by a woman who his every instinct warns is trouble, but he can’t stop wanting.

A Legendary Power. Everyone covets it, but can she master it?

One moment of terror took away Amana’s security and her brother’s freedom. Now her life is doing whatever she must to survive, all the while trying to find the way to release her brother from prison. Her answer comes in an offer from the Guild, but the cost is high – using a power she has kept locked away on a man who terrifies her even as he fascinates her.

As the auction draws ever closer, Merc and Amana are drawn into a game of cat-and-mouse, captor and captive as they battle for control, even as they work together to thwart the various factions who are willing to do anything to collect the spellbook for themselves. While grudging respect and mutual desire begin to shape their relationship, in the end, only one can prevail. What will be the ultimate decision, when the price of victory means the end to the other’s dearest dream?
I think I liked Stone Guardian a little bit more than this second book in the series, though they have some of the same strengths. For me Fallon, the Dragon Slayer, a.k.a. the badass woman with the sword, is still the most compelling character. She plays a much larger role in this book than she did in the first one. I also thought Merc was an interesting, if enigmatic, character when he was introduced in the first book and I liked learning more about him. His magic tattoos were an original and unexpected touch.

The heroine, Amana, is similar to Larissa from the first book in some ways. She's not as ignorant of the magical world, but she is still untrained and vulnerable. She turns out to have powerful magic but she hasn't learned to use it properly. I wish that the characters who did know what she was capable of as a Dream Crafter would have explained it a little earlier on. The way her magic is portrayed as a sort of alternate personality was interesting, but I also thought it was a bit confusing.

About halfway through The Dream Crafter, I realized that there are no villains in the story, although no one likes the necromancers. Merc and Fallon are on opposing teams, both pursuing the spellbook, and sometimes Amana. But both are working for someone else and both are sympathetic characters. It's kind of like The Amazing Race with magic. I think that's why I found the story less compelling.

I'm still quite drawn to all of the characters in this world, Fallon and the rest of the Guild in particular. I'm looking forward to the next book which features a werewolf on a Guild mission with a woman called the Master of Monsters.
Recommended for fans of: Kate Daniels, high fantasy elements in a modern setting
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

3 stars


  1. Stone Guardian had its ups and downs for me. I feel like there is a lot left there for the author to build a good series out of.

    1. I think we were both excited about the possibilities as well. There are some great supporting characters.


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