REVIEW: The Leopard Stratagem by T.A. Uner

The Leopard Stratagem (Leopard King Saga, #2)

The Leopard Stratagem
(Leopard King Saga #2)
Author: T.A. Uner
Publisher: Createspace Indpendent Publishing Platform
Published: September 23, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
My Rating:

fourstars

Camus Scorpio, the vicious criminal overlord, who for years tormented the good merchants of Rome, is dead. His ruthless army of thugs and bloodthirsty killers wiped out by the avenging force of Tullus the Leopard King, the Leopardess Celestra, and their Troupe.

But the victory is a costly one. Anna, Tullus’ lover, is dead, and her departure serves as an open wound to all her friends in the Troupe. Needing time to collect himself and continue developing his magical abilities, Tullus decides to seek out the wisdom of a reclusive wizard named Hradack, also known as the Leopard Master and a product of the Age of Paladins.

In Rome Eliana becomes involved in political intrigue and finds herself caught up in a conspiracy involving a persecuted race called the Dryads.

Decimus, now a prominent Centurion in the Praetorian Guard, is assigned to a new Roman Legion in Switzerland, where he faces the biggest challenge of his military career.

As Tullus’ power in Elemence grows, he foresees a hideous plot by an unknown enemy called Serpentus, who has kidnapped his Troupe friends and is holding them hostage on the island of Capri.

Unbeknownst to Tullus, Serpentus seeks revenge against the Leopard King and Celestra, and has armed himself with arcane powers. Under the tutelage of a fanatical cleric, Serpentus harbors plans of destroying the Leopard King and Celestra before embarking on a destructive path of conquest.

MY THOUGHTS…

“Life isn’t always about answers. Sometimes the questions themselves can Enlighten  us.”

I was given an Advance Reading Copy of this book free from the author, T.A. Uner in exchange for an honest review.

This sequel is another masterpiece from the talented author T.A. Uner. I truly found myself compelled and drawn with this book– The Leopard Stratagem, the second installment of the Leopard King Saga. What happened during the first book (The Leopard Vanguard) was intense but I found out that this book is way better when it comes to the plotline and action scenes.

In this book, Tullus’ character improves a lot. He becomes stronger and much more determined to learn about the many things he can possibly do with his magic. Through the guidance of Hradack, the master of the Elemence, he was able to make himself better along with Celestra.

This book is hands down cleverly thought-out. I love the pacing and the originality the author crafted. However, I had a single issue. Most of the male characters seem to lack  a bit of consistency and uniqueness. I think their personalities also weren’t clearly defined. Added the fact that majority of their names ended up with letter us and ius so yeah, sometimes my mind was messed with the names, too.

But overall, this book is amazing and it kept me interested the whole time. And ugh, the cliffhanger ending, man! But it’s okay. I’m used to that kind of ending. Lol. 😀

My Rating for this Book: 4 Stars

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REVIEW: The Leopard Vanguard by T.A. Uner

The Leopard Vanguard (Leopard King Saga, #1)

The Leopard Vanguard
(Leopard King Saga #1)
Author: T.A. Uner
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: August 27, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
My Rating:

fourstars

Set during the early years of the reign of the Mad Emperor Caligula,this first installment of the Leopard King Saga introduces us to Tullus, a gifted Roman Centurion who resigns his elite position in the Praetorian Guard to join a troupe of circus performers and learn more about his hidden magical talents. Along with his new partner, a magical Leopardess named Celestra, he re-invents himself as The Leopard King, the most famous entertainer in all the Roman Empire. But when Tullus’ friend and Circus Ringmaster, Paullus Gabinius, is killed, Tullus and Celestra find themselves immersed in political intrigue and up against Paullus’ killers. Their struggle to avenge Paullus will also cause them to cross paths with corrupt Roman politicians, who know Paullus’ deadly secret-which has the power to destroy the Roman Empire.

MY THOUGHTS…

I was given a digital copy of this book free from the author, T.A. Uner in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you, author!) 🙂

I didn’t know what to expect from this book the moment I first had a glimpse on it. But instantly I was captivated by its cover. It looks nice and mysterious.

This book talks about the main character Tullus Acilius Ulixes, a Praetorian guard that lives during the ancient Roman years who happened to defy the insatiable politics around him by leaving his work and leaving Rome at the same time. While he journeyed outside Rome, he discovered something more interesting than life in Rome — magic and power. Together with Celestra, he experienced adventure which later on made him become stronger.

This book is historically-driven and with a blend of fantasy and well, romance. At first, I was a bit puzzled because of its numerous characters, but in the end I did have a good time reading it. I enjoyed Tullus’ exciting journey towards finding out his hidden skill in the world of magic. Of course, it became even more interesting because of his companion Celestra, who by the way, surprised me from the start.

By the time I finally got the real scope of this book, I found out that the author’s creativity with the plot and the world building itself is outstanding. T.A. Uner has an impeccable and unpredictable pacing which basically left me guessing what would happen next.

The ending is also fantastic and satisfying, yet I end up wondering what would happen in the next book, The Leopard Strategem.

As a whole, the entire book is fantastic. It is simply original, spot on, and it evokes thrill and action-packed adventures. It very well deserves an applause. For those readers who appreciate books that are themed with history, action, and fantasy, The Leopard Vanguard is truly a must-read! 🙂

My Rating for this Book: 4 Stars

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REVIEW: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday

fourstars

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

MY THOUGHTS…

I received an ARC of this book free from the author and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First, I was really smitten by the book’s cover. Isn’t it so stunning?

I was even surprised to find out that the book does not only tell a typical, plain story but it outlines the life of the Russian leader Catherine the Great. Honestly my knowledge about history is so poor so I paused reading it for a while and review the background of Catherine the Great so as to have a better idea about the main character. Then I returned to reading and found it even more interesting.

I have to admit that the book is utterly brilliant. Ms. Sherry D. Ficklin has the wit to write down solid descriptions of the characters and put extra charm to them.

I love Sophia (Catherine the Great). This woman is true to her name. She’s great in every sense of a word. I admire her courage and intelligence. She’s a headstrong character who makes striking and great decisions and she has the inner power that will make women really proud. I also love her selflessness and the way she prioritizes her family rather than her own happiness. I just felt awed by the fact that she craves the feeling of being loved.

“Is it so wrong to dream of romance and tenderness? Of love?”

I also admire Alexander. I am so thankful for his existence in this book. He’s the character that’s too perfect to describe.

“There are many beautiful and wonderful things to see at court.”

“Like what?” I ask playfully.

He looks right into my eye and smiles. “Well, there’s you for one.”

“Are you flirting with me?”

Sergei. I can’t decide if he’s better than Alexander or the other way around. All I know is, he’s equally admirable.

“Be careful Princess. When waging a war of the heart, you must only fight if you are absolutely sure you can win.”

The plot is also impressive. I was honestly taken aback especially in the last remaining chapters. Goodness, that was such a twist!

As a whole, I didn’t regret reading this book. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about history, too so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. The greatest thing I also liked about this book is the profound messages of the story beyond what are written. It teaches you something about life and it simply gives you the encouragement to live and accept life’s challenges with bravery. One thing I also learned after reading it is to never trust anyone so easily.

And yes, the essence of love above all things. This book very well accentuates the true meaning of love.

No matter how many romantic poems you recite, no matter how many glorious tales of love you read, how can you really understand the condition if you’ve never found yourself in it?

My Rating for the Book: 4 Stars (For those who love historical fiction with a touch of drama, romance, and intrigue, this story will not disappoint you.) 🙂

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