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  • another amazing read by Grace Draven

    Grace Draven is one of my favorite fantasy authors and she hits this one out of the park! Gilene is a fire witch who also has the ability to form illusions. Every year, women are led to the Krael's capital as sacrifices to be burnt at the stake after serving a night as a prostitute. Because Gilene can put an illusion over herself, she selflessly goes every year to the capital so as that a innocent woman from her town doesn’t have to be sacrificed. The men, are gladiators that fight to the death. Azarion is a gladiator that has been serving the empress for 10 years now. He sees through Gilene’s illusion and see her as a means to escape and as a means to reclaim his birthright. I love how selfless Gilene is, but also how much she fights to survive. I love Azarion. He is also strong and resourceful. While he originally plans to use Gilene because she is a fire witch, he does what he can to protect her and promises to get her back home once he accomplishes his goals. While the two start off not exactly liking each other, I enjoyed watching their relationship evolve into something more. I am always a sucker for those enemies- to- lovers stories and the author does a great job with the slow burn romance. The hero and heroine in Phoenix Unbound are very strong, likable, and well developed. The book is told from a dual POV which is something that I always prefer because I like to know the thoughts and feeling from each of the main characters. There is a lot of action and of course romance, thus keeping the book moving at a good pace. It is amazing how the author is able to develop a world in such detail that you feel like you are actually there. It is obvious that while she builds a fantasy world, she clearly researches historical elements to add to her story. Phoenix Unbound is perhaps one of my favorite of Grace Draven's (although I say that about almost all of her books). It is one of the rare books that I will re-read because its as that enjoyable. I received this book as an ARC through Netgalley and I voluntarily leave this review.

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • You will not want to put this book down!

    I thought that this book was excellent. I had not read any of Grace Draven's work before picking this book up but I had heard a lot of really good things. Since the premise of this book appealed to me, I decided to give it a try which ended up being a very good decision. I made the mistake of starting this book just before I planned to go to sleep. I had planned to read just one chapter but the first chapter of this book blew me away and I didn't want to stop after just one chapter. It has been a long time since I picked up a book with such a strong opening. I had a great time reading this amazing story. Gilene and Azarion have both been through a lot. Gilene has been sent by her village to the capital as a sacrifice to be burned alive. She has a few special powers and has survived this event for the past five years but not without a terrible cost. Azarion is the best gladiator in the capital. He was sold into slavery ten years prior and it is really a miracle that he has been able to survive not only the fighting but the empress's whims. I liked both of these characters. Gilene accepted her role and did her best to continue to protect her village. Azarion has not given up hope of returning to his homeland and he sees that Gilene may be the key to making it happen. I completely understood his desperation and his willingness to force Gilene to aide him with his plan. This was a really exciting story that explored several unique and interesting settings. The horror of the Empire was incredibly vivid and emotional. It pained me to think of the needless sacrifice so many women were forced to make for the amusement of others. The book takes the reader on a journey of the lands surrounding the capital where each was a little different but still touched by the empire's power. Azarion's homeland was such a nice contrast to the capital and I really enjoyed learning about his village. There were plenty of action scenes to keep the pages turning. Azarion and Gilene find themselves in trouble at various points of the story and there were times that I found myself holding my breath because I was worried about how things would turn out. It was fun to watch them learn to start trusting and counting on each other. I thought that the romance that built between them felt very authentic. I really enjoyed the extra abilities of both Azarion and Gilene and thought it added an interesting element to the story. I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this book blended fantasy and romance in a spectacular manner that had me wanting things to work out for the characters more than anything. I can't wait to read more books in this series! I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group - Ace via Net Galley and First to Read.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Phoenix Rising

    What a awesome book. I would give it 10 stars if I could. Ms Draven's books are timeless. No intsta love, no pop culture slang. She has the ability to bring the reader into the story and the words flow artfully her writing style reminds me of Stephen King - dosen't speak down to the reader or above the reader. One of her best!!

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Must read

    Excellent start to finish could not put the book down

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • Loved it!

    I love Grace Draven! Everything she writes is magic. Can't wait for the next book.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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