The Movement of Crowns by Nadine C. Keels

The Movement of Crowns
A Novella
First in the Movement of Crowns series
(Historical Fantasy, Love Story)
Five Gold Stars
“The author has done an excellent job by blending a love angle with…war and power. The themes just flow into each other…” ~Readers’ Favorite
“Great characters, stunning plot, and a thought-provoking message make this a story worth reading. 5/5–great!” ~Kelly Smith Reviews

Is it the perfect or the worst time for the kingdom to…change?

The nation of Diachona rejoices as the king’s daughter and heir, Constance, turns twenty. Yet, not everyone approves of Constance’s desire to sit on the National Council: a Council run solely by men.

What’s more, oppressive threats from a neighboring, powerful empire are rousing the people’s fears. Amid rumors of war and personal doubts about her future, Constance suspects that her growing love for one Commander Alexander may be ill-timed. Especially if this is the end of the kingdom as they know it…

The Movement of Crowns is available at Amazon (in paperback and FREE for Kindle), and as a FREE ebook at Barnes & NobleAppleKobo, and Smashwords.

Read the rest of the series! The Movement of Rings and The Movement of Kings, or get the entire series in one volume.

And don’t miss the spin-offs from this series!

Reviving the Commander picks up about a year after the Movement of Crowns series.
Eubeltic Descent picks up more than a century after the Movement of Crowns series.

There are a few ways you can stay updated on Nadine’s books. Find them here!

 

Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, for which I’ve given an honest review.

Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Exiled from her former home, where she held the position of heir to House Ravenwood, Lady Selene Ravenwood hopes to find the real reason for her powerful gift of dreamwalking. But she’s now bound in a marriage of convenience with one Grand Lord Damien who isn’t sure about his new wife’s gift, war is on the horizon, and the Dark Lady is out to take advantage of Selene’s increasing power in Flight of the Raven by author Morgan L. Busse.

After reading Book One in the Ravenwood Saga, Mark of the Raven, I anticipated this sequel more than I’ve anticipated any sequel in quite a while. The themes of power and purpose, and the purpose of one’s power, have intrigued me throughout this series so far.

Admittedly, already being familiar with this world, Book Two wasn’t as gripping for me. I found several of the scenes to be pretty slow and redundant, including where the main characters’ inner questions are concerned. It seems they go around some of the same contemplative and emotional circles a number of times, and the many strings of questions are excessive, with the characters constantly asking themselves around two to six questions in a row.

Aspects of the romance also became redundant and a little too predictable to me, and the romance didn’t fully click for me overall. It may be partly because I didn’t fully click with Selene here, and although her feeling lost is a vital part of the plot, it’s hard for me to find so lost, downhearted, and retiring a heroine to be a compelling romantic one.

Still, when Selene comes alive in physical combat, she’s incredible, and her dreamwalking is truly something else. The batch of chapters in this novel’s home stretch took me from amazement to rather intense heartbreak to amazement again—a great setup for the next book in the series.

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Here’s my review of Book One in the Ravenwood Saga, Mark of the Raven.

 

On the Other Side by Jessica Marie Holt

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

On The Other Side by Jessica Marie Holt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Kevin’s elderly neighbor, Mr. Jones, always has trouble getting into his apartment. So Kevin helps Mr. Jones open his front door in On the Other Side by author Jessica Marie Holt.

A short story. A few pages. About ten minutes of reading time.

Not that I want to preach a sermon on various story forms, here. But this ten-minute tale is a prime example of how a story’s significance is absolutely not a direct equivalent of the story’s length. Short form fiction writing is an art, and while not every author has a knack for getting a complete and compelling message across in just a few well-chosen words, this author does.

What this account about Kevin and Mr. Jones doesn’t say is as important as what it says. Choice tidbits about these two men’s lives and the simple but indicative nature of their brief exchanges tell us enough without expounding on or spelling out every detail for us.

I would that more writers understood the value of trusting a reader’s intelligence and imagination. The power of what’s left unsaid.

Having read this author before, I should’ve known to be prepared with Kleenex. All the little parts that pierced me led to tears running down my face as I finished this poignant and inspiring read.

 

The String by Caleb Breakey

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The String by Caleb Breakey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A sociopath who calls himself The Conductor is running a deadly “string” of a social experiment on a university campus. A university cop, Markus Haas, has to decide whether to play along to protect his loved ones or to go after The Conductor and risk more lives being lost in The String by author Caleb Breakey.

Okay. Maybe I read too much and have seen too many ruthless villains to have enough patience when it seems like characters spend a bit too much time in disbelief over an evil person, asking the disguised evil person questions he’s obviously not going to answer (“Who are you?”) or pleading with the evil person or making demands of him (“Stop it!”) as if he’s going to listen. I suppose it’s just human nature, but a little of that in this book, along with my wondering if The Conductor would basically be a knock-off of the Joker, gave me some reservations.

Nevertheless, the more I got invested in the characters, the more my reservations didn’t matter.

What I like most about a core group of characters trapped in the string is that they don’t spend all or most of the time panicking and then just stumbling into solutions. They’re thinking people who choose to be proactive, and it’s not because they’ve all had law enforcement or combat training. Even a few of the key female characters who could’ve easily been the helpless or hysterical damsels in distress throughout a hero’s tale are instead rational women who’ve got grit.

While, yes, this novel is rather gruesome, it’s not a basic “shoot ’em up and catch the bad guy” story with a neat and tidy ending. It’s psychological warfare with spiritual impact. And if you let the central message really hit you (as it hit me), then you’ll likely begin to anticipate the next book in the Deadly Games series.

 

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Margot De Wilde is in her element as a codebreaker during the Great War, deciphering intercepted German telegrams to spread their secrets through England’s intelligence network. Drake Elton is on a secret mission of his own in Spain, a neutral country that may be involved in the non-neutral selling of metal to Germany. But a German spy eventually poses a serious threat to Drake and Margot in The Number of Love by author Roseanna M. White.

I have quite a fondness for war-related historical fiction, and a heroine who’s a genius with numbers was another big draw for me. The story includes a theme that I always find interesting: the predicament of women who thrive in a vocational niche during war but who don’t know what they’ll do with themselves once their wartime services are no longer needed.

Unfortunately, through about a third of the novel, I had trouble staying interested, as the story seems to gradually move along at intervals but then idles in place. Also, though it’s a historical romance (in the sense of a romantic relationship), around a hundred pages go by where the apparent couple still has yet to have any interaction beyond their first brief exchange. Moreover, because a writer can trust a reader to discern emphasis the vast majority of the time without the need to visually force it, I’ll admit the overuse of italics wore on me, like the following from just one page:

…assuming this was about her.
“They most certainly are not.”
“…in a way that will injure her.”
“…I’m not saying to treat her with less care…”
Had in fact been sure he wasn’t.

I decided not to continue this novel, but I’d be remiss not to mention how simple yet brilliant the book cover is. The heroine’s wary look and her reflection in the glass as she fingers the number “18” on the windowpane dotted with raindrops is so on point for the story.

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The Codebreakers Series