Second Skin – Blog Tour

Second Skin Cover .jpg

ratingiconratingiconratingicon

Blurb:
The moon was being devoured.

Estranged from birth and raised on tales of the great mountain castle of Idrith-Core, where her distant father serves as Lord Commander and confidante of the King, Aledra Jewel-Wing was now going there to court.

As one of the Drakkoni, a race of powerful shape-shifters and conquerors of a wild land, she joins her stepmother at the festival for all peoples. But when in attempting to save a life, Aledra shifts into her Drakkoni Secondskin – her beautiful second soul: a giant flighted lizard with flaming breath – she breaks an ancient oath, and the tremulous peace between the Drakkoni and Esrans is shattered.

Branded a fugitive, hunted by her father, and aided in escape by the master-mancer who raised her, Aledra begins a journey for survival across a war-torn continent.

Book Information:
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Endeavour Venture (18 July 2019)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English
ASIN: B07SLLJMW4

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

I was really excited to read this. I mean, come on, dragons. Who doesn’t love dragons/fire breathing lizards/fire breathing anything [let’s be real]?

This is also the start of the Bridge of Fire books, so it’s great when you get to start off with a new series.

In this book, Bentley gives us a pretty awesome take on dragons. They’re shapeshifters, their flying fiery forms are called their ‘second skins’ and they have two hearts, essentially they are two souls, their two-legged human-looking forms and their dragon forms. These shapeshifters had to leave their homeland and make a new land home, crossing a land bridge that is now gone, they made it to the lands where human tribes have ruled. These tribes all have their own cultures and leaders and ways of life, but they’re quickly conquered with a peace treaty put in place.

No second-skins will be used not even in a ‘peaceful’ manner in this new land.

This all recalls the invasion of the Americas to me and I loved that she took something like that and gave it a huge fantasy spin, a new land, new world, new people, and all of it steeped in heavy world building.

You all know me, I love world building, this did cause the pacing for Aledra and her story to slump a bit in the middle but I would say that the ending more than made up for it.

That’s another thing, it took me a while to appreciate Aledra after sh leaves the comforts of her people, but, I really enjoyed her as she developed, especially in the last four chapters. I love the choices she makes and how Bentley steers her toward something that allows her room to grow.

Penda was absolutely one of my favorite characters and I can only hope that there’s more of her to come. I mean, I fangirl her, she’s amazing.

Aledra’s father is complex and so layered that it made me happy to get to the parts with him. I really think there’s so much more to him than Aledra sees and I love the complexity of their relationship.

There is love, there is war, there are dragons and tribes, and a girl who wants nothing more than to have the freedom to choose. So pretty much a guaranteed like in my books when I read it.

Jubal is Aledra’s companion during a good chunk of the novel and he was an interesting character but I would say he paled in comparison to Aledra, her Father, and Penda.

Overall a great solid start to an intriguing fantasy series, and you can bet I will be happy to read book two and see where Aledra goes next.

Three cups of coffee!!

Thanks to Anne Cater, Sue Bently, and Endeavour Venture for a chance to read and honestly review this as part of the Random Things Blog Tour!

 

About the Author

Sue Bentley Author Pic

Sue lives in a house surrounded by a wildlife hedge so she can pretend she lives in the countryside. She enjoys reading, walking, cinema, researching her books, and painting and printmaking, when she’s not writing – which isn’t very often!

Author Links

Website Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour!

Second Skin Blog Tour Poster .jpg

The Heart of Stone [Ben Galley Ultimate Blog Tour!]

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.

Where to Buy

 

Amazon

 

My Review

When asked to join this tour I was perusing all the books, they all sounded good but for those of you who have been keeping an eye on my blog a little, well, I’ve done 10 tours so far this month with two more to go. So. even though I wanted to read all of them, I had to limit myself and pick one and just read samples off Amazon of the others to satisfy my curiosity. In the end I went with ‘The Heart of Stone’ and I have not one regret in having picked this book. It floored me, I figured I was going to like it [I mean, hello, that’s why I chose it] but I didn’t think I was going to absolutely love it.

Golems are scarce now, and that’s being optimistic. The tools have war have been widely down to a rare few, and Task is rare than most. He is a golem who upon his ‘birth’ dared to ask ‘Why?’ It was in that first part of the prologue alone that I was hooked. I knew Task would be the sort of character I would love.

Ben Galley gives us some really diverse character personalities; Task the golem who defies his creator long after his death by having emotions, Lesky the girl who seems to be more than just a ‘slip of a girl’ and not just in her inner strength but down to her very roots -and one that shows compassion-, and Alabast. Alabaster is the knight who has been, he slew a dragon, made a name for himself, and then coasted on that name and reputation until there was nothing but fumes to coast on and now he’s forced into a role or face the consequences of over borrowing.

Alabast certainly had the most character development out of all of them and Lesky the most actual growth in terms of what she thinks she’s capable of and what she is, while Task proved that his emotions and being can be used more than just as tools by a Master. He is his own and he can decide his fate. The journeys they all went on were so personal and deep and you felt as if you were there along side them, but even the side characters were fleshed out so well that I was left beyond impressed. Galley has used his style in all the best ways, highlighting his strengths by writing a deep immersive fantasy. His world building is incredible and I only wish I could have gotten to know more, to have more of a backstory to what was going on, but I still gave it five cups of coffee so obviously this fact is just me being greedy rather than being an issue.

By the end of this book I couldn’t help but pause and reflect on everything that occurred within its pages and I realized before I hit the halfway mark this might be a new favorite, and well, my intuition was correct. This book will forever hold a place on my favorite fantasies lists and Task will remain one of my favorite protagonists of 2019. If you’re wanting a bit of a slow building fantasy with deep storylines and fluid writing, I suggest Task and his crew to you all. If you have a chance, go read The Heart of Stone.

 

About the Author

4522335

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

Twitter Facebook Website

 

The Tour

Heart of Stone Banner 2Azqrwrcq.jpg-small

I want to thank @WriteReadsTours for inviting me to be part of this tour. This was such a fun thing to be a part of and I have to say, in my opinion, Ben Galley deserves this massive tour. His writing is great and his style and stories have really impressed me. I’ve already ordered the short story Shards, mostly because I need more amazing Task in my life! To see who else is on the tour for the other books, go ahead and click on the link for WriteReadsTours and check out the other books/bloggers!