A Bond of Venom and Magic
by Karen Tomlinson
The Wraith Lord is hunting; his prize, the key to unleashing darkness and Chaos upon the eight Kingdoms.
For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the south seems a remote danger until her home is brutally attacked. Having lost everything she holds dear, Diamond is catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half blood fae, like her, have no rights. Despite her growing feelings for her saviour, Commander Hugo Casimir, he remains a paradox – not only is he a heartless killer, he is owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic.
As Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous she is drawn deeper into Hugo’s world and discovers the lengths to which he will go to save what he holds dear. Will Hugo become her friend, her protector, or – an enemy not worthy of her trust?
A Bond of Venom and Magic is a tale of two people bound by magic and secrets, but trapped in the complexities of love and betrayal. It is the beginning of an epic journey, one that will test Diamond’s resolve and determination to battle an evil that threatens not only her world but that of Eternity, the land of The Guardians and The Goddess.
Book 1 of The Goddess and the Guardians series
Publication: October 14, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.
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A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson
Full of action and romance, A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson is fast paced and exciting. Characters are great and so is the story and lore. I absolutely loved this book and devoured it quickly because I needed to know what would happen next. I mean, heck, I even went and tweeted author Tomlinson because of what was going on in the story.
Protagonist Diamond will not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’ll start off by saying that. She isn’t reminiscent of other recent female YA fantasy protagonists who fight, sneak, or play games. Diamond, instead, is innocent and guileless. Overprotected by her father, living in a small town, she never learned how to fight or fend for herself. So, when she’s forced to fight, she can’t. It’s aggravating but also humanizing. I loved that she had anxiety and panic attacks, simply because it made her relatable as someone who also experiences anxiety and has had panic attacks. I mean, if you’re suddenly forced into battle after being coddled your entire life, panic attacks make sense!
Opposite Diamond is Hugo. Now, Hugo, Hugo, Hugo. I don’t know what to make of him. Part of me loves him. Part of me doesn’t. Most of me is reminded of Edward Cullen. He’s broody, overprotective, aggressive, possessive, etc. It makes sense in the context of the story, but still, it’s written so over-the-top that I was left wondering how anyone could ignore his feelings or be oblivious to them. It does get resolved towards the end, but it was still distracting.
So, you might be thinking, given the problems with Diamond and Hugo, how is this a four star book? Easy. It works. Diamond needs protecting and Hugo is over-protective. It just clicks and makes your heart flutter, which is surprising for me to say since I actually want to pair Diamond with human Prince Jack, who, given his limited page time, has me completely smitten. He’s the best and I love him and want to see more of him. I know end game will be Diamond/Hugo, but it doesn’t detract me from wishing for Diamond/Jack.
There is something that happens in the ending that did leave me disappointing. A character takes a turn, and it doesn’t really gel with everything that has happened up until that point. Usually, an author would leave tiny hints that could click into place when the turn happens, but I didn’t feel it with this book. It felt completely undeserved and really knocked a star off the rating.
A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson has solid characters, but tentative lore. It feels like Tomlinson does know what she’s writing about, but hasn’t wanted to put anything in stone yet. That said, this was a fun read that I would recommend to fans of the Twilight series or the Sookie Stackhouse series, but looking for abstinent YA.
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About the Author
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Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Goddess and the Guardians series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book one A Bond of Venom and Magic will be released October 14th 2016.
Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy, set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in The Goddess and the Guardians series.
As soon as I could read I spent hours getting lost in the new worlds books could give me. Spending my pocket money had to be done (obviously) but not on sweets, well, not many…I spent my money on books. Back then it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five which sparked my young mind. I didn’t rest until I had the whole set, then I migrated to the secret seven…(there was no Harry Potter then) As a teenager I would trawl through all my mum and dad’s discarded books. It was probably highly inappropriate for a thirteen year old to be reading swoony Mills and Boon romances followed by Ian Flemming, Alistair Maclean and Wilbur Smith!
Because I read anything and everything I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books. I will read anything that catches my eye and absolutely love illustrated book covers! In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that genre has stayed my firm favourite. I am and will always remain a complete sucker for a fantasy with kick ass characters and worlds steeped in magic and romance!