|Hi All! I’m very excited to welcome fantasy author JJ Sherwood, whom I’m featuring here today. JJ has recently released the second book in her “Steps of Power” series, an epic fantasy series chockablock full of intrigue, adventure, and action. If there’s nothing you like better than Elven intrigue and handsome Elven warriors, you need to check these books out! And conveniently, you can enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to get signed hardcovers of the books here. If you want to find out more about the books, my reviews are below.
Book 1: “Kings or Pawns”
“Kings or Pawns” is the first installment of a series that seems to be deliberately going for a grittier version of Tolkien, and for the most part, it works. Set in a world with elves, dwarves, humans, orcs (whom we don’t see), and various other creatures, it follows the political intrigue surrounding a new king’s attempts to reform his council and battle a rebel general. If this sounds dry, it’s not: along with the intrigue, there’s romance, swordfights, daring rescues, and a MAJOR plot twist at the end that I can’t say anything more about for fear of spoilers, but that had me right on the edge of my seat for the last few chapters.
The worldbuilding is impressively detailed if, as I mentioned above, very Tolkienesque, which is fun but occasionally derivative. The bad council members were almost cartoonishly villainous, and I did have to wonder about the supposedly positive characters who used the services of prostitutes despite the risk of execution for said prostitutes: risking your own life is one thing, but putting someone else in danger of execution is something else entirely. However, these are minor quibbles, and overall the book is an exciting read that should appeal to lots of fans of high fantasy, with the promise of lots more intrigue and adventures to come.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book 2: “Heroes or Thieves”
WARNING! SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK 1 YET!!
“Heroes or Thieves” is the second book in the “Steps of Power” series, and it starts off from the CRAZY cliffhanger that book 1 ended with. King Hairem has been murdered and those who know about it are on the run, only not very successfully. Will they succeed in overthrowing the scheming Ilsevel, or are they doomed to fall to her wiles?
Although there is a lot of intrigue and there is a fair amount of world-building, the action moves swiftly; this is definitely a high-action book. We also have the introduction of Jerah, a new character who quickly became my favorite. I won’t say anything more about him in order to avoid spoilers, but suffice to say that he provides some interesting depth and complexity (always welcome) to the story. We also spend more time with the mute serving girl Alvena, my favorite character from the first book. In fact, I rather wished we had spent more time with Alvena, and that there had been more female characters in general. However, anyone looking for some action-packed epic fantasy will find a lot to enjoy here.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.