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And can you see?

Seer Book Cover Seer
Titanomachy #1
S E Welsh
Fantasy, Mythology
Luminosity Publishing LLP
May 22, 2020
252

A Seer has surfaced-but she's blind! Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. She's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. The victim of an attempted murder that left her blind, horribly disfigured, and stuck with powers everyone thought eradicated, it's safe to say she's at a low point in her life. But then she's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Including her Warrior Soulmate. Phobos has a millennia of blood on his hands. As the son of Ares, he's done horrific things in the name of keeping the continued existence of immortals a secret. Only all of that changes when he meets his Soulmate. Allegiances shift, trust is thin and Chloe has to decide if she should risk everything to make the world a better place. Even if that means sacrificing her own chance at happiness. READER ADVISORY: This Paranormal Romance contains a strong-willed goddess and her protective Warrior Soulmate who don't appreciate the term 'vanilla' when it comes to the bedroom.

Nice to know that the Greek Gods/Goddesses, their forebears, their children and great grandchildren (how many greats here?) are still alive, well mostly, still fighting amongst themselves, and generally being the nuisance they always were.

As for the book, I thought it started well but the impetus slowed down about half-way through and the battle description was muddy and confusing.

I thought there was some nice exploration of Greek mythology but also thought that some readers may not be familiar with all the niceties of who married who, how some came to be born,  and so on , and thus why they were arguing with each other. Some of it got explained, but not enough maybe?

So here is some information that I wrote up a while back for another book about the Greek myths as I was confused and needed to get my head straight. Not sure that all this helped. But here goes….

A very short blog… All about the Greeks and the gods they invented.

Once upon the time there was only Darkness (Erebus) who married Light (Aether) and then things got confused…. This is the Creation Myth according to the Theogony by the Greek poet Hesiod.

Sothen there was Chaos whois the parent of Nix. Chaos also gave birth to Erebus, Gaia, Tartarus and Eros. Gaia being created as the home of the Gods. But also known as Earth.

The Greek myths are far from clear and straightforward as there was a great deal of marrying of siblings and parents so trying to work out familial hierarchies gets very confused. And also, books and researchers will interpret the original Greek myths differently. However, the best available set of family hierarchies can be found at the site www.theoi.com which also has a breakdown of most of the creatures from the myths into different categories.

Nix was the goddess of the Night and was born near the beginning of creation and was the mother of Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). She is found in the shadows and one can only catch glimpses of her. Her consort is Erebus (the primeval darkness). Note that there was a lot of marrying of siblings and even parents to children (and then they wondered why some of the children were a bit peculiar…)

Gaia was the mother of Uranus (Heaven) and Okeanos (Ocean). Now Uranus married Gaia – yes, his mother… and had children with her, but Uranus asked Tartarus to take the 12 Giants (his children with Gaia and also called the Titans) as he didn’t like them.

Tartarus was the Underworld but also a God.

Gaia was very unhappy about this and thus asked the Titans to kill Uranus. Cronus (one of the Titans) agreed. Cronus then castrated Uranus and threw his penis into the sea. Uranus’ blood created more Giants on the earth but in the sea his penis (as it was cut off his sperm were expelled) created Aphrodite the first deity within the 12 Olympians.

Cronus he then sent all his siblings into Tartarus except Rhea who he married. And they ruled the world and all creation together.

The children of Cronus and Rhea are: Hades; Poseidon; Hestia; Demeter; Hera; and Zeus

Cronus was told of a prophecy that one of his sons would overpower him and rule in his place, so he then ate all his children except Zeus as, when he was born, Rhea substituted a rock for him. Cronus swallowed the rock instead without noticing.

Zeus was smuggled away by Gaia and grew up safely and was raised on the Greek island of Crete. Then Gaia gave Zeus a potion that, with the help of Metis (another Titan), would make Cronus expel all his swallowed siblings, who would now be fully grown.

Having been expelled from Cronus’ stomach, the 5 children fled to Mount Olympus and Aphrodite. Zeus also released everyone from Tartarus.

Led by Zeus, the six brothers and sisters (Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Poseidon) rebelled against their father against whom they were victorious, throwing Cronus into Tartarus (the dark world under Earth).

After that, the rebel gods of ancient Greece divided the universe between them. Zeus was the supreme god, ruling over all others, and all of them lived on the peak of Mount Olympus in Greece.

But…

Cronus and his sibling Titans then went to war with the gods on Mt Olympus. Zeus et al won and imprisoned Cronus in Tartarus again. The other Titans were put to work. Eg Atlas to hold the skies, and Prometheus was chained to a rock . Zeus was now ruling on Mt Olympus with Poseidon, Artemis, Apollo, Hades and Perseus.

And then there were more….

Mnemosyne is the Titan goddess of memory and remembrance, inventiveness of languages and words. She is the daughter of Ouranos (Heaven) and thus also a goddess of Time. She represented rote memorisation which was required of course before the invention of writing. She was the mother of the Muses who were the patron goddesses of poets and the oral tradition. She presided over the underground oracle of Trophonios.

Hades is the god of the Underworld, the Dead and Riches. He is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon and fought the Titans with them. His hildren are MacariaMelinoe and ZagreusThere were  several sections to the Underworld, including Elysium (Islands of the Blessed), the Asphodel Meadows (for the ‘shades’ of heroes) and Tartarus where the gods kept imprisoning people they didn’t like.

The dead entered the world through the river Acheron, being ferried by Charon who charged the one coin that you placed in the mouth of the newly dead.

There were five rivers in the Underworld: Acheron (sorrow or woe); Cocytus (lamentation); Phlegethon (fire); Styx (hate) and  Lethe  (oblivion) although some traditions also call Lethe the sea of tears

Before the palace of Hades sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos ,Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There souls are judged, returned to Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium with the “blameless” heroes.

Some more marriages and births:

Zeus M Hera (women and marriage) = Ares; Hephaestus (Blacksmiths)

Poseidon M Amphitrite (sea goddess)

Zeus M Demeter = Persephone

Persephone: well we all know the story of her and Hades – She is also called Kore. Kore meaning the ‘maiden’.

That said, tradition also has her having relations with her father Zeus and this being the mother of Dionysius. This tradition predates that of the Olympians.

Demeter M Poseidon

Zeus M Leto  (daughter of Titans) = Apollo, Artemis

Zeus M Maia (daughter of Atlas) = Hermes

Prometheus then created the first men out of clay and taught them a civilised life style. Zeus refused to give them fire, but Prometheus gave it to them anyway. Zeus created the first woman in retribution!!!! ie Pandora. Epimetheseus persuaded Pandora to open her jar. Out flew a collection of ailments that Zeus had sent to torment mankind. These included: old age, jealousy, anger, laziness, fear of death, uncontrolled passion, the dangers of childbirth etc. So this is an explanation of how all these bad things came to be.

There are a number of places you can read about these myths eg Ovid’s, The Metamorphosis. This is one of the most substantial of the early works of scholarship, which went about codifying the extant myths, the ones which had existed in the forms of the poems and stories which floated about the Mediterranean basin for a thousand years or more before he wrote them down.

The second is Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. As it was written in the English language you don’t have to rely on someone’s translation.

The third is a modern work Roberto Calasso’s, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.

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Holiday Romances?

My Greek Island Summer Book Cover My Greek Island Summer
Mandy Baggot
Fiction, Love, Sex Marriage, humour
Head of Zeus Ltd
April 2, 2020
528

Two weeks. One unforgettable trip to Corfu. A chance to change her life. Becky Rose has just landed her dream job house-sitting at a top-end villa on the island of Corfu. What could be better than two weeks laying by an infinity pool overlooking the gorgeous Ionian waters while mending her broken heart. Elias Mardas is travelling back to Corfu on business whilst dealing with his own personal demons. Late arriving in Athens, Becky and Elias have to spend a night in the Greek capital. When they have to emergency land in Kefalonia, Becky's got to decide whether to suck up the adventure and this gorgeous companion she seems to have been thrown together with or panic about when she's going to arrive at Corfu... Finally reaching the beautiful island, Becky is happy to put Elias behind her and get on with her adventure. Until he turns up at the villa...

At first, for me, this story seemed too slight and too much in line with the trope, but as I read further I came to feel for the characters and realised that there was more hidden in their depths that was slowly being drawn out by later chapters.

I did appreciate the taste and how dishes can be improved by something that is not the norm expected. Although I had to say the sandwiches did seem unappealing to me and I would try them. But I do experiment with my own cooking and yesterday I added a surprise ingredient to my pasta and crème fraiche plus dish. I make this a lot with different proteins, but often fish based and last night I combined smoked trout with salmon pate and then added the surprise – a dessert pear. Fried in butter and olive oil, first it added a lovely crunch and flavour, plus some paprika, crème fraiche and mascarpone with fresh pasta. The day before I made a chilli with sausages and ham hock and sweetcorn soup for the sauce, and beef stock. I confess, I make up dishes on the sly according to what I have in the kitchen and fridge.

I guess the story ending was expected and in line with a holiday romance that isn’t. It was the emotions and characterisation of the sisters that I most enjoyed.

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A World of slavery and …

House of Earth and Fire Book Cover House of Earth and Fire
Crescent City
Sarah J. Maas
fantasy, romance. sci-fi
Bloomsbury Publishing (3 Mar. 2020)
Pub Date 3 Mar 2020

Perfect for fans of Jessica Jones and True Blood, this is a blockbuster modern fantasy set in a divided world where one woman must uncover the truth to seek her revenge.

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion - also known as Crescent City - has to offer. But then a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, and brings Bryce's world crashing down.
Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city's most notorious nightclubs - but seeking only oblivion now. Then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she can't forget any longer.
As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery, and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir ...
With unforgettable characters and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom - and the power of love.

 

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.
I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine. After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.
I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.
And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves. Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.
For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Mass carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.
I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually
bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.

I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture
into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have
read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this
one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine.
After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.

I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.

And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves.
Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.

For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Maas carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.

I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find
out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in
the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

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and the dragon plays.. rock

Kaps Book Cover Kaps
(Angelbound Offspring #5)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
MonsterHouseBooks
Publication date: June 30th 2020

Meet Kaps: renegade, dragon shifter, and general pain in her parent’s backsides. Although born a royal, Kaps loves hunting down dragon artifacts. Too bad L’Griffe, the shifter mafia, wants the same stuff. Kaps gets in their way and ends up with a price on her head. A bounty hunter named Mack comes to collect. Although he’s human, Mack knows all about shifter ways. And what he lacks in shifting power, Mack more than makes up for with a lethal combination of looks, strength, and smarts. After luring the princess away with an epic kiss, Mack slaps some supernatural handcuffs on Kaps, tosses her in a van, and heads off to L’Griffe headquarters with his quarry. The fact that Kaps is really dragon royalty doesn’t bother Mack in the slightest. That kiss might be a problem, though…

Or she hunts down antiquities – and steals them! Which is her prime reason for the tour places I wonder?

We know something about Kaps from her sister’s book – see the list below of the books in order. She has a rock band – and seems not to turn up when expected to sing . But it seems – from this story – that she has something else going on too – something she has been doing since she was really young – treasure hunting. And being a dragon she hoards! All the old and magic and apparently lost items she finds, she hides away in a room only she knows the location of. And always has.

There’s just one small problem – the items she wants, she has to steal, and other people want to stop that from happening.

So this book concentrates on her stealing for her horde and the rock band gets little mention – which I did think was a shame, as her story was so bound up with it. But the rock band it seems is just a cover for her other activities.

Her sister Huntress, is really concerned for her though, as she is getting into deep water, with her parents who want to lock her up so she is protected and safe, and with the people she is stealing from. We learn more about huntress – the last Glass dragon, in the next book in the series.

I would have liked a longer story line and a little more complexity but then I am not really the main audience for this series – for its intended audience I think it works.

Angelbound Offspring
1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia
4. Rhodes
5. Kaps
6. Huntress

About the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer
https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/

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A spinster and a spitfire

A Duke Will Never Do by Darcy Burke Darcy Burke Publishing Romance Pub Date 19 May 2020 Book Cover A Duke Will Never Do by Darcy Burke Darcy Burke Publishing Romance Pub Date 19 May 2020

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Untouchables series comes your next Regency obsession: The Spitfire Society... Meet the smart, independent women who’ve decided they don’t need Society’s rules, their families’ expectations, or, most importantly, a husband. But just because they don’t need a man doesn’t mean they might not want one.

After failing on the Marriage Mart, Jane Pemberton has two choices: submit to her parents’ edict to marry their boring neighbor or become a self-declared spinster and take up residence in the official headquarters of the Spitfire Society. It’s really no choice at all, and Jane is eager to embrace her newfound independence. She soon finds an unconscious viscount on her doorstep and nurses him back to health. When he offers to compensate her, she requests payment in the form of private instruction of a scandalous and intimate kind.

Having spiraled into a self-destructive abyss following the murder of his parents, Anthony, Viscount Colton, physically recovers under the care of an alluring spitfire. But it is her charm and flirtatiousness that soothes his soul and arouses his desire—until an extortion scheme forces him to face the sins of his past. Now, to save the woman who’s given him everything he lost and more, he’ll have to pay the ultimate price: his heart.

So once upon a Regency period, when a young girl fails to attract a suitor in the marriage mart before she become an old maid – usually around 21 years of age – she has to become an unpaid servant somewhere. To her family – her elderly parents, an ancient aunt as a companion, an extra nanny to her siblings’ children or similar.

And if you had the money yourself, which was very unusual, you could set up home with a companion yourself.

But young girls of 21 or even older women, seldom had their own money and so were dependant on others. So if you hadn’t got a husband and didn’t want to become an unpaid servant, what were you to do?

Luckily, for our young heroine, she knew someone who not only had money but also a spare house she could lend her to live in, and enough to spare her some money to maintain it and buy the necessaries and some fripperies.

So Jane refuses to marry the ‘last resort’ husband of her parents’ choice and sets up home as a spinster in the HQ of what was now he Spitfires Society. A society for women who wanted more than what was customary for themselves.

Hey wanted independence of thought and action and not necessarily an husband.

Jane is a nice young lady, nicer than her reputation appears – a scandal had been attached to her about which she had no inkling. And she takes pity on a rake because of her niceness and starts his reformation – very rockily.  A nice story but not with quite the oomph that I expect of Darcy, and little that’s new in discussion of society and customs that

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