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29 August 2012

The Traitor Queen (Traitor Spy Trilogy #3)

The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan is the third book in her Traitor Spy Trilogy.

Relations between the neighboring nations of Kyralia and Sachaka have become strained since the ambassador's assistant from Kyralia to Sachaka was taken in by the Traitors - those who have left Sachakan society due to the rigid class and gender rules. When the assistant, Magician Lorkin, returns to the capital city of Sachaka, the king wants to question him. When he refuses, Lorkin is imprisoned - an act that strains diplomatic relationships.Black Magician Sonea is going to be sent to Sachaka to negotiate Lorkins release - and as his mother she would not feel comfortable leaving the task to someone else.

In the city of Imardin, Thief Cery is in hiding with his bodyguard Gol and his daughter Anyi. When they run out of places to hide from the Rogue who is trying to kill them, they go to a magician's novice for help - Anyi's girlfriend Lilia. She will help hide them while the search for the Rogue continues.

Canavan's exciting conclusion to this series is a great read. I recommend all of her Kyralia books - they are really good. Fans will be waiting impatiently for the next story - and keep fingers crossed that it continues the stories of our favorite characters.

Canavan, Trudi. (2012). The Traitor Queen. New York: Orbit Books.

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23 August 2012

The Far West (Frontier Magic #3)

The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede is the third book in her Frontier Magic series - an alternative history of the United States where westward expansion was slowed down by the magical creatures already living there.

Mill City is the farthest West city, located on the banks of the Mammoth River. Eighty years ago a group of magicians created the Great Barrier Spell to keep the magic beasts from crossing to the East side of the river from the Great Plains. Though there are now a few settlements past the river, most people would never dream of going beyond the barrier that protects the United States of Columbia.

Eff lives in Mill City with her family. She works for the magic college, mostly with the animals. She has been past the Barrier twice - and due to the discovery of a new type of magical creature on her last trip, the government is going to organize an expedition to map all the way to the Rocky Mountains.The journey will give Eff the chance to continue to use the different types of magic she has learned - possibly in a whole new way.

Wrede has written a series that combines fantasy and magic within the genre of a western. The characters are great, the world is totally believable, and readers will relish finding new creatures with the expedition. This is a unique and enjoyable series that I highly recommend.

Wrede, Patricia C. (2012). The Far West. New York: Scholastic Press.

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17 August 2012

The Risk Agent (Rutherford Risk #1)

The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson is the first book in an exciting new series.

Lu Hao has disappeared  -  along with his records of the incentives he has been paying to officials to get a building in Shanghai build by the American company for which he works. Along with him, an American who was following him was taken. Now Rutherford Risk - a company that deals with kidnappings all over the world - has been called. However, private investigation is illegal in China. Even the US Consulate is forbidden from asking questions.

In order to conduct a secret investigation, Rutherford Risk must use people who are not associated with the company. They hire Grace Chu, a forensic accountant and Chinese citizen to look over the books of the construction company to see if any of the people receiving the incentives may have been involved. And John Knox - a importer/exporter who travels to Shanghai often enough as to not raise suspicions - and has special training that will come in handy.

Together Grace and John will have their work cut out for them as they race to find the kidnap victims before they can be disposed of - a risk that became much more likely once the kidnappers took an American. Ridley Pearson's writing and storytelling will keep readers on their toes as he leads them through a high adrenaline race through China - while also showing a glimpse of Chinese culture. Pearson is one of the best writers in the mystery/suspense genre today and fans will love this beginning to a new series.

Pearson, Ridley. (2012). The Risk Agent. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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14 August 2012

Against the Sun (Raines of Wind Canyon #6)

Against the Sun by Kat Martin is the sixth book in her Raines of Wind Canyon series which started out about brothers who grew up on a ranch in Wind Canyon, Wyoming but has spread to friends of the brothers as the popularity of the series has begged more stories.

Jake Cantrell is ex-special forces now working in personal security. His latest assignment is at Marine Drilling International - an oil company - where he is to meet with a S.E. Dumont about being a body guard while the company negotiates with a Saudi family to make a deal on some drilling equipment.

Sage Dumont is Vice President of Acquisitions and could be promoted if she can secure a deal with the Saudis for a used drilling platform and save the company millions of dollars. Though her grandfather owns the company she has worked her way up from an entry-level position and is not guaranteed the promotion even with the deal.

If Jake had known S.E. was a woman he may have turned down the job. Now he is in charge of security for a woman who is not used to following orders and who does not believe she even needs a bodyguard. While Jake is a professional and will do anything in his power to protect his client this will be the most difficult job he has ever had - protecting Sage, being around her 24 hours a day and keeping his hands to himself.

Martin is a romance writer who creates compelling stories around great characters. If she listens to fans - she will keep turning out book in this series until everyone the Raines brothers ever met has their own book.

Martin, Kat. (2012). Against the Sun. New York: Mira.

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09 August 2012

The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon #12)

The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva is book twelve in the Gabriel Allon series. Gabriel is an artist whose career was interrupted when his country needed him, and he spent most of his life in the service of Israel's Mossad. Now he is retired and just wants to restore paintings.

He is currently working on a Caravaggio for the Vatican. But when a woman is found dead in St. Peter's Basilica, Monsignor Luigi Donati asks Gabriel to investigate. Donati had asked the woman to catalog the art and artifacts in the Vatican in order to make sure they each had a provenance and there would be no surprises. Just after she called to tell him she found something, she ended up dead.Now Gabriel is pulled back from his retirement and into the center of an international ring of looted antiquities, murder, and terrorism that spans the globe.

Daniel Silva writes espionage thrillers better than anyone else. He is a master of sucking in readers before the first paragraph has been completed. Gabriel Allon is an amazing character that readers would follow anywhere.

Silva, Daniel. (2012). The Fallen Angel. New York: Harper.

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06 August 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards #1)

The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first book in the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch.

Locke Lamora became an orphan at the age of eight when his parents were victim to a plague that killed all of the adults in their district. When the plague came the city of Camorr imposed a quarantine around the neighborhood - blocking all of the surrounding canals to prevent any escape.

When the quarantine lifted, the Thief Maker went in and rounded up the orphans. His role in the city is to train young orphans in the art of thievery and then sell them to the gangs when they are ready. Soon, due to his plotting nature, Locke is sold to the Gentlemen Bastards.

What follows is a great education not only in how to steal, but how to become other people and fit into any situation. Locke and his friends will be trained to target the upper classes of Camorr - in spite of the Secret Peace that prevents that exact thing.

Lynch has created a dynamic fantasy world filled with rich characters. The Lies of Locke Lamora is like a great heist novel within a great fantasy novel.  

Lynch, Scott. (2006). The Lies of Locke Lamora. New York: Bantam Spectra.

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04 August 2012

Against the Night (Raines of Wind Canyon #5)

Against the Night by Kat Martin is the fifth book in her Raines of Wind Canyon series.

Amy is looking for her sister who has been missing for a while. She moved from the midWest to California and got a job at the place her sister worked to start searching for her. She now goes by Angel and is an exotic dancer - a far cry from her regular job as a kindergarten teacher.

Johnnie Riggs is an ex-Army Ranger who is looking for a drug dealer. He is at the club looking for the scumbag's girlfriend. But his eyes keep drifting to Angel. Then he finds out the girlfriend is her sister and that she is missing.

Amy and Johnnie will have to work together to solve the disappearance of Amy's sister and capture the guy who may be responsible - while fighting an attraction between them.

Martin, Kat. (2012). Against the Night. New York: Mira.

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Vortex (Cutter Cay #3)

Vortex by Cherry Adair is the third book in her Cutter Cay series about three brothers who search for sunken ships and their treasures.

Logan Cutter is on the trail of a ship that was carrying millions of dollars' worth of emeralds. He has done his research and is sure he is close to finding it off of the coast of Peru. If he is successful, it will be the largest prize any of the brothers have found.

But what Logan pulls out of the water is a woman. Not a mermaid, but a woman who was thrown overboard by pirates - who happen to be her cousins. Dani Rosado's family has known about the ship since it sunk. Their great, great, great ancestor created a map of where the treasure wrecked - carved out of an emerald bowl. But Cutter is going after the wrong ship - the main ship was a decoy and the treasure was on the smaller ship, the Daniela.

Now Dani must get Logan to move 500 miles to the South of where he is searching, keep her cousins from stealing the treasure from him when he finds it, and keep herself from falling for him.

Adair's Cutter Cay series is a must read for fans of romantic suspense, or fans of sea stories. Romance or no, I totally want to live on a boat where I can just swim around all day and have a chef prepare my meals!

Adair, Cherry. (2012). Vortex. New York: St. Martin's Paperbacks.

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02 August 2012

Wild

Wild by Cheryl Strayed is the story on one woman's trek up the Pacific Crest Trail from Mohave, California to just outside of Portland, Oregon.

Strayed tells her story of a life that has fallen apart due to her mother's death and then spiraled out of control until she had to do something to change it. That something came from a book she saw while in line at an outdoor store - a book on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, part 1: California.

Though Strayed had never been backpacking, the idea slowly grew in her head. And four years after her mother's death, she flew to Mohave, California with a giant backpack she named Monster, two bags of gear she somehow needed to fit inside Monster, and the book that had set her on this path.

What follows is a touching, raw, and sometimes laugh-out-loud journey of learning to walk in the woods while being striped down to the essence of her self and becoming the person she is today.

While the book is full of pain - from too small boots that steal toenails, to recovering from a devastating loss - reader's will consider a backpacking trip of their own before completing the book - I am thinking the 10-day hike across Ireland (from Dublin to Dingle) for myself.

Strayed, Cheryl. (2012). Wild. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

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