Monday, March 12, 2012

THE LORD OF ILLUSION is reviewed by Deb's Book Bag and The Good, The Bad & The Unread

Sincere thanks to Deb & Sandy for the lovely reviews!

The final book in the Elven Lord's series, The Lord of Illusion is everything readers want in the conclusion of a series. Kathryne Kennedy ties up all the loose ends and brings every story thread together for a climatic battle that will free England form the tyranny of the Elven Lords. Kennedy's world-building is unparalleled in the fantasy genre and her plotting is amazing. This is a book any romantic fantasy fan would be thrilled to read. Don't miss it!

I have loved this series from the beginning. Kathryne Kennedy has taken England as we know it and turned it on it's ear. It's a world under the control of some very maniacal and somewhat terrifying Fey. I loved the fact that Kennedy plays on the legends of the Sidhe, but also puts her own spin on it to give readers a very unique and interesting world. The seven realms were the stuff of legends themselves. It takes a keen intellect and a unfettered imagination to come up with something like that and Kennedy proves she has both.

The last book in the series, The Lord of Illusion is the culmination of everything the Rebellion has worked for. The overall story arc throughout the series has been the freedom of England from the Elven Lord's and Kennedy certainly doesn't disappoint. The action in this book alone is enough to make it worth the read, but the author adds so much more than just a final battle between good and evil. Though that is a great premise, the relationship between hero and heroine in The Lord of Illusion is just as powerful as the battles that take place.

Drystan Hawkes is a very unexpected hero. He is bookish, an academic and tends to be the odd man out when it comes to friends and acquaintances. He just doesn't fit in. He gives off a quiet confidence, but he certainly isn't one most people would consider a hero. That's what makes Kennedy writing about him so amazing. She can turn even the most ordinary of people into something more and she does that masterfully in this book with both Drystan and Camille.

Camille is every bit the tortured heroine. She is wise beyond her years and shows a strength that is profound. She has had a life riddled with abuse in just about every form imaginable. She has learned that she can't trust anyone and she only has herself to rely on, but she survives and she continues to press on. Her resilience was amazing and I loved seeing her character develop. She is almost like a flower that slowly begins to bloom. Tentative and scared almost, but still willing to risk. Not only is she seeking freedom for herself, but she may well be the key to the freedom of England itself.

This was such an amazing book. I admit that the Fire Lord's Lover is still my favorite, but I think that's because it introduced me to this magical world. But The Lord of Illusion is absolutely amazing. It wraps up the series in a good fashion. It leaves readers on a hopeful note and proves that good can outwit and win against evil. In a word is was superb and if you love romantic fantasy, you can't afford to miss this book or this series!

The Lord of Illusion is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Sandy M’s review of Lord of Illusion (Elven Lords, Book 3) by Kathryne Kennedy
Paranormal Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 7 Feb 12

Do you have those authors you love who sweep you into time to the Scottish Highlands or keep you biting your fingernails well into the night after pages of gripping suspense or make you wish you’d been born in London during the Regency era to attend glittering balls or any other number of romance scenarios when you read? I know you do. I hope you’ll add Kathryne Kennedy to that list, because she’s one of the best when it comes to magical paranormal romance. Glamor and glitter have nothing on this author’s imagination.

Her Georgian historical romances have given England a whole new look with evil Elven Lords who escaped from Elfhame to find entertainment from and power over the English people. The seven sovereignties of these lords include Dewhame, Firehame, Dreamhame, Terrahame, Verdanthame, Stonehame, and Bladehame – all boasting powers with the elements from each sovereignty. In this latest book we get a look at the wonders – and evils – of Dreamhame – illusions as real as can be dance around, become menacing, and can even kill. The Rebellion to send these lords back to Elfhame is closer to its goal, and now their success rests with Lord Drystan Hawkes, one of a number of half-breeds who pull together to triumph over magic to finally lead normal lives.

Drystan is a bookish young man, pouring over old records and texts to find the key to unlock the door to Elfhame to banish the lords. The few scepters the Rebellion has been able to steal from their respective sovereignties now talk to him on a regular basis, but at least now he knows he’s not possessed by the devil as other youngsters believed when Drystan would be overcome by the voices. He’s finally found the woman who bears the mark of the white witch who actually witnessed the lords’ arrival in England. Dreaming of her has only made him want her more, to save her, and to love her if she’ll allow. On the journey to Dreamhame, Drystan tries to harness his magic to aid in his upcoming fight, but at best he can conjure the most basic of illusions.

Having been a slave nearly her entire life, Camille Ashton has managed to rise above her station twice, to enjoy the accoutrements she’d never know otherwise, only to be slung back into the hell of whippings and rape along with forced service to those of the court. She now plans to make her escape, no matter how slim the chances of her making it. Her life is about to change in a big way, but she has no idea it’s headed in a direction that will save lives. It takes Lord Hawkes rescuing her from soldiers and his subsequent secrets to make her believe those changes will be for the better.

The romance between Drystan and Camille is absolutely beautiful. He’s known for so long she’s the woman for him and he vows to earn her love and her trust. But trust is something so very difficult for Camille to give. As she gets to know Drystan better, though, she realizes there will never be another man who she can trust more. Their love blossoms in an Elven garden alive with beauty, music, and danger and Drystan’s illusions that surround them in worlds all their own, but then they must face storms that will whirl them into crisis after crisis in their efforts to save England.

The scenes in the second half of this book when the Rebellion face the Elven Lords over the unlocking of the door to Elfhame are some of the best in the book. They’re action packed with dragons and the magic from each sovereignty being given center stage as the battle rages. Both Drystan and Camille have come into their own, finding out what they’re made of and how they fit into this desperate fight for freedom. We also get to catch up with previous characters, and my favorite, the Fire Lord, has had a rough time of it, and things only get worse before they get better. It’s nice to see him smile, though.

As usual, Ms. Kennedy delivers in a huge way with her magical world of this series. Her characters are strong but vulnerable, and watching them grow, even when they don’t seemingly need to, is a buildup that culminates in characters never imagined. No matter what this authors does in the future, I will be in line for every book I can get my hands on. I won’t miss any of Ms. Kennedy’s magic.

SandyMGrade: A


He’ll do anything to save her…

Rebel Lord Drystan Hawkes dreams of fighting for England’s freedom. He gets his chance when he finds a clue to opening the magic portal to Elfhame, and he must race to find the slave girl who holds the key to the mystery. But even as Drystan rescues Camille Ashton from Dreamhame Palace, it becomes unclear exactly who is saving whom.

For the fate of humankind lies with Camille…

Enslaved for years in a realm where illusion and glamour reign, Camille has learned to trust nothing and no one. But she’s truly spellbound when she meets Drystan–a man different from any she’s ever known, and the force of their passion may yet be strong enough to banish the Elven Lords from this world forever.

Read an excerpt. (click Excerpt tab)

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