Wolf’s-own: Weregild by Carole Cummings

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Title: Wolf’s-own Book Two: Weregild
Author: Carole Cummings
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 350
Characters: Fen Jacin-Rei, Kamen Malick
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Alt U/Fantasy
Kisses: 5






Blurb:

The amorality of gods makes it hard to tell ‘bad’ from ‘good’ and ‘right’ from ‘wrong’. Fen doesn’t care. All Fen cares about is saving his family, and he’ll risk anything and anyone that gets in his way. Including his own soul.

No longer willing to wait for the machinations of the gods’ minions, Fen accepts the trade Malick has offered and together they set out to rescue Fen’s family and kill the man Fen has loved for years. With the Ancestors still screaming in his head, and with the duplicity and manipulations whirling around him, Fen finds it harder and harder to do without the silence Malick can offer him.

Malick has his own reasons to hand over everything Fen wants, and equally compelling reasons to withhold everything Fen needs. Over his head, and timing as bad as ever, Malick must devise a way to do his god’s bidding without breaking his god’s laws—and keep Fen sane and on Malick’s side in the bargain.

Review:

Forfeit. Collateral Damage.

In a megalomaniac’s bid for supremacy, it was inevitable. It seems there’s a price to pay for everything in this world, and the currency is nothing less than a man’s very soul.

Fen Jacin-rei is the pawn through which other players wish to manipulate this game. He is the tool, the sacrifice player that will be used in a bid for ultimate power, used in an effort to find redemption, to destroy evil, to communicate with the past, to keep him tethered to the present, to prove to himself that he is worthy of being loved, to show him that he is neither perfect nor a failure, certainly not a perfect failure, but that he is simply human. That he is real.

Sometimes manipulating the game itself is the only way to sway the players, but the problem with continuing to change the rules and attempting to outmaneuver the man who often tries to be someone else, as well as the man who tries to be everything he was taught to be, for bad or for worse, is that one could never possibly anticipate and correct for all the variables of the game. And sometimes the price for that failure is your life.

The problem with persistent calculating is that there is then always room for miscalculation, and underestimating the enemy is ever a danger. Where there is coolly calculated evil, there should be the right and the fair and the just to balance the scales. Evil always seems to underestimate the power behind the need for justice, but how can there be Balance without it? And the greatest miscalculation in this sinister game may be to assume who is Jacin-rei’s heart. It is a supremely perilous risk to take, thinking you have all the answers, because even Jacin-rei doesn’t hold the piece that fits into that puzzle yet. But he is close. So close.

Fen Jacin-rei is the moth that will choose to fly away from the flame because his sacrifice, his forfeit, is to live. What happens when the moth changes course, quits flying toward the flame that portends its certain death and begins to redirect his own fate? When he believes in the nothing he’s been taught he is, he returns to Zero.

“Unraveling. Shattering. Undone. Unmade.” The problem with Zero, however, is that as soon as it encounters even a small fraction of something, it can no longer be nothing. It immediately becomes more and is transformed into something new, even if he believes that that something is little more than a pretty lie. The Untouchable wants nothing more than to be touched in spite of how much he loathes himself for that need. Seems the unlovable also wants nothing more than to be loved in spite of how much he resents those who inspire that need in him.

But Fen is the conduit and it is through him that so much is possible and reality is precarious and it is a danger to attempt to predict the unpredictable. He must depend upon borrowed sanity because he has been burdened with a madness that is not his own; he needs the quiet that can be borrowed from the Null. For everything there must be balance and for everything there is a price, even if that price is your Self, paid in the form of submitting to the needs you hate and the relief that comes from the man you can’t trust.

The pain of grief overwhelms the ability to feel the pain of punishment and proves there is a difference between living and merely existing. Existence is the breeze, but living is the hurricane wind that sweeps you along in its wake and proves that you’ve experienced something that will continue to alter and influence you for all Time. It is up to Fen to decide how to escape the noose of his former reality and use it to capture some semblance of a life. He will live as a form of revenge against the betrayal that has dogged his steps. He will live for those he’s lost and for those who remain, until he learns how to live for himself.

Through the sandpaper eyelids that come from staying up into the wee hours, reading; through the irregular heartbeats, the increased blood pressure, the anxiety, the heartbreak and hope for what is yet to come, I flew and I fell and I joyfully survived this journey.

And now I wait to see what will become of them: Malick and Jacin, Joori, Morin, Samin and Shig. I will mourn their losses and cheer their successes until next time. I hope I’ll have recovered by then.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Wolf’s Own Ghost by Carole Cummings

Title: Wolf’s-own: Ghost
Author: Carole Cummings
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 350
Characters: Mallick, Fen
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 5






Blurb:

Dwelling in the land of Ada and defending magic users called the Jin, Fen Jacin-rei is a trained assassin and an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the Voices of the Ancestors, spirits of long-dead magicians. His fate should be one of madness and solitude, yet Fen Jacin-rei desperately clings to his sanity and ferociously protects the family he loves. But how does Fen do it? Kamen Malick has every intention of finding out.

When Malick and his own small band of assassins ambush Fen in an alley, Malick offers Fen one choice: join us or die. Determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds Fen—and to have the Untouchable for himself—Malick sets to unraveling Fen’s past while Fen delves into the mysteries surrounding Malick.

As Fen’s secrets slowly unfold, Malick is drawn into a crusade that isn’t his, one surprisingly similar to his own quest for vengeance. Yet irony is a bitter reward when Malick discovers the one he wants is already hopelessly entangled with the one he hunts.

Review:

Oh, the Booyah! that is this book. Eden Winters, you know me so well.

How irresistible is the number one? As in Chapter One, Book One, the beginning, the nervous anticipation and sometimes trepidation I feel when I start a new book and series from an author I’ve never read before. There are so many variables, so many unknowns—will I love it, like it, feel entirely ambivalent toward it, or will I outright hate it? It’s like starting out on a blind journey down a dark and unfamiliar path, with no system in place to navigate the possible pitfalls and inclines I’ll surely face with each new chapter, nothing other than my own wits and hope that when I finish, that path isn’t littered with too many squandered opportunities or too much misspent time.

Mostly I get lucky. Sometimes I don’t.

Right now, I’m feeling like I hit the literary lotto.

Carole Cummings has just joined a short list of authors who, when I read their work for the first time, I knew I was onto something kind of special, authors who put their personal stamps of ownership upon the sub-genres in which they write, as I was left in jaw dropping wonder at the skill and finesse with which she wielded her words, threading the loom, each chapter a slow and enticing revelation, until finally the entire picture could be seen, and it was stunning.
Wolf’s-Own: Ghost is just the beginning of what promises to be an epic adventure of danger and betrayal, of mistrust and abuse of trust. This is the story of men and women who play their parts in the manipulations and machinations between the gods and their children, the Ancestors and the Untouchable, and the Blood magic they use to control and to sacrifice, for sinister and secretive purposes.

There are definitive sides and there are neutral zones in this eloquently fascinating world, places in which one can linger only long enough to decide on which side of the line he will fall. The time is coming (March 26th, to be exact) to discover who will dominate and who will defeat, who will survive and who will perish in this game where choosing sides may be entirely detrimental to one’s health.

Family will be the key in so much of what is yet to come—a family by birth and a family that could be chosen, if only there were room to trust in the feelings that are drowned by the voices of the spirits and the abuse of authority and the warping and twisting of a boy’s own needs and wants against him, until he is little more than a shell, a weapon devoid of self, bereft of a connection to his own sense of worth. He is the Ghost, the visible wraith who slips into and out of shadows. He is the Untouchable who wants nothing more than to be touched in spite of how much he loathes himself for that need.

There is one who wishes to touch him, who wants to touch his heart and awaken the feelings that died long ago. That is, if that man does not become the Ghost’s executioner.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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