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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Blog Tour - Karolina Dalca: Dark Eyes by M.R. Noble

Blog Tour - Karolina Dalca: Dark Eyes by M.R. Noble

Hi there! Today I've got a blog tour review for The Write Reads. This is the first of two reviews I'm doing for this particular tour, as I'm reviewing book one in the Dark Eyes series by M.R. Noble today, and book two in the series, Dark Eyes, White Lies next week! So come back for that, and don't forget to check out the rest of the tour.

Blindsided by an attack that destroys her home and blamed for murder, Karolina Dalca, a half-vampire, escapes, only to plunge into the magical societies from which she was sheltered.

Betrayed by those around her, she abandons her dreams of becoming an investigator and flees, trusting only herself. Her police internship would never prove more useful. Hoofing it through the wilderness, she makes it to her university dorm, disheveled but delightfully deflowered.

Enter a full vampire: one wielding dark magic and a ride out of Canada. A fugitive from the law, Karo complies with his demands to escape, unsure whether his requests are bewitched. She vows to clear her name and avenge her mother's death, but Karo's family secrets aren't so easily left behind.

Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes is a really fun, exciting adventure of a story. There are a lot of familiar elements here. The teenage heroine is still learning the extents of her powers. Her mother has kept a lot of family secrets from her, and she's looking for answers. Not only is there a love triangle, but it has a werewolf at one point, and a vampire at another point. But somehow it all still feels fresh and quite captivating.

Karolina is an excellent lead character. There's a lot going on with her, and it's fascinating watching it playing out. She knows some of her powers and some of her heritage, but there's still so much for her to uncover. She's at once trusting and cautious, powerful but vulnerable, and open to love while keeping her guard up. These conflicts drive her and most of the plot too. Her two romantic possibilities, Roman and Andre, are delightful sparring opponents, both looking out for Karo in different ways, both with their own agendas and the hostility between them, while being forced into cooperation, is really a lot of fun. 

I loved the international mystery and jet setting adventure, mixed with the supernatural elements. Going from Canada to Russia reveals a lot of the world building that's been done, and it feels like it's a very well built world. The idea of white magic safehouses, and family conflicts over different states, it's all very enticing, and there are hints and suggestions about a lot more going on behind, that I'm hoping we'll see explored more in further books in the series. 

The action scenes are well written, exciting and dynamic. Without bogging us down in detailed descriptions of how powers work, we get to see them unleashed on the page, as magical fights seem lethal and wild. There's a good emphasis on different elements and how they're perceived in the supernatural world, and the contrast between light and dark forces, and I loved how these were separated into different levels or types of powers. There's a great deal of depth to this system, and the way we're shown it is thrilling and visceral. 

There are also some really cool moral dilemmas, including one that sets up the next book in the series. Not everything can be solved by fighting, not every battle can be won, or even fought. It all leaves it on a knife's edge of anticipation, and I'm very pleased I have book two to go and read next!

Karolina Dalca: Dark Eyes is a strong introduction to what promises to be a fun and exciting series of supernatural adventure stories.


Karolina Dalca: Dark Eyes is out now, published by The Wild Rose Press.

I was given a review copy by The Write Reads in return for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.


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