I'll save all the raving about how awesome First of Her Kind was for the review, and instead I will ooh and aah over how beautiful the cover of the sequel is. Emergence is book two in K.L. Schwengel's Darkness & Light series, and I am betting that it is even better than the first, which is pretty hard to top. The cover looks absolutely amazing, and I love that it features Bolin as well. Not that I am biased or anything...I'll let you see for yourselves and then I will tell you why I love First of Her Kind so much.
Emergence ~ Book Two of the Darkness & Light Series
The battle for Ciara's power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won't be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin's skin.
For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair--something that grows more unlikely by the day--there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin's uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.
Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.
K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.
Kathi's work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.
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First of Her Kind ~ A Darkness & Light Novel by K.L. Schwengel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First word that comes to mind when reading the last page?
No. Because there is no way that can be the last page. It's not a cliffhanger, but there is just so much more waiting to be told. Which is what sequels are for, and I am now impatiently awaiting book two of the Darkness & Light series.
K.L. Schwengel knows how to weave a solid story around engaging and flawed characters, and she knows how to tell it beautifully as well. Ciara and Bolin suffer from an inability to really speak to one another and just be honest, and it gets them into heaps of trouble. Trouble would have found them eventually, but they certainly help things along by being incredibly stubborn. The chemistry these two characters have together is palpable on the page and just really starting to be explored as the story continues. Their connection is one they don't seem to fully understand, but by the end I think they are starting to see how much they mean to one another and how they are both puzzle pieces that fit together. They still need some shaping to smooth out their rough edges, but their bond is unquestionable.
This is not a light and fluffy fantasy novel by any stretch of the imagination. There are dark sides to this world, and K.L. Schwengel isn't afraid to explore those parts, which only adds to the complexity and intrigue of this story and these characters. Seeing everything Bolin and Ciara are put through, all the pain they feel, helps to connect with them even more. And I have to say that K.L. Schwengel really knows how to balance the violence as well. It never feels over the top or showy, but always gritty and rough.
The author's use of language is enough to make me want to put my metaphoric pen down. The prose has a poetic nature to it, a cadence, without seeming pretentious at all. The voice is clear and the descriptions are not only solid, but vivid and detailed without weighing down the story.
Summary: The author's use of language and imagery mixed with the engaging characters, enticing plots, believable villains and heroes alike, and tension throughout is the perfect recipe for an amazing book.
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