A Must Read Trilogy

So, I saw a book and the description looked more interesting than anything I’ve seen in a long time in the world of paranormal romance, and coming from a new-to-me author. I’ve been more inclined to reread old favorites in my favorite genre than I have been to seek out new stories. I’m just as weary of trying to read stories I don’t like as every other reader out there…

But I saw this one and I decided to sign up for a review copy. I guess I’m a sadist in a way, and once I did sign up there was no going back. Then I realized it was a trilogy, and I’d just signed up for the third.

Praying hard, I found the first two books. Their descriptions looked interesting, too.  Then I saw the author was from Baltimore, Maryland, my hometown. Gotta support my fellow Maryland writers, especially when they’re writing my favorite genre, the genre I write.

N.D. Jones must be my storytelling soul mate. What I love, she wrote about. Concepts I use, she used too. And, praise all that’s holy, her books were amazing. I loved them all and once I started reading, I didn’t stop until they were finished. The Death and Destiny Trilogy is a must read for anyone who loves paranormal romance.

Of Fear and Faith

It’s been a while since I read a paranormal romance by a new-to-me author that I enjoyed this much. N.D. Jones wrote a fantastic story that sweeps you up and bowls you along. Her characters have depth, they’re relatable. You root for them, cheer their triumphs and wince when they show you just how ‘human’ they can be. She also shows you just how enduring and entertaining classic concepts can be in the right hands.

My only ‘criticism’ of this story was that she’d written a clear resolution, the conflict had been resolved…but the story kept going on, down a different path that later proves valuable to the series, but not that particular book. It felt unconnected from what had come before. I wondered if it had been meant to be a short story between Book 1 and Book 2, and so that’s how I viewed it. Bonus story! So, not really a criticism at all, in that light.

I sat down to read this entire series because, for the first time in a while, my interest was caught by a paranormal romance’s book description. I’m so glad I did. I devoured this series, barely coming up for air, doing little else until I’d read them all. This trilogy is going on my To-Be-Read-Again pile, and I’ll be watching for other books by N.D. Jones.

Of Beasts and Bonds

The whole story is well done—the whole trilogy for that matter. I love that the two main characters are revealing themselves to each other bit by bit, and that both their magic are developing in tandem. I love the intricate and rich relationships both main characters enjoy, giving a sense of the deep roots they have and what they have to lose. Technically, when the time comes, they will fight for the world, for a goddess, but you know they’re really fighting for their circle of friends and family and I think it’s fantastic that the extended characters are also developed enough to make us feel their connections.

I was fully immersed in the world of witches and were-cats when I began this story. N.D. Jones has crafted a trilogy that swept me up and carried me on. I went from finishing Book 1 to beginning Book 2 in the space of minutes, so I will say that the devil’s in the details, and there are many details in the second book, not all of them necessary and not all of them felt consistent. Nothing major, however, and it was easy to lose myself in the pages.

I am so glad I found this trilogy. It’s been too long since I enjoyed a paranormal romance from a new-to-me author, and I’d forgotten how exciting it is to find a gifted storyteller who writes stories you want to read again and again.

 Of Deception and Divinity

This book is nearly non-stop action. From paranormal battles to emotional upheavals, I couldn’t put this one down until I was finished—and that’s saying something considering how avidly I devoured the previous two books in the trilogy.

As the title implies, this book is the one where lies are revealed. N.D. Jones does a fantastic job of balancing the past influences on our main characters with their present day fears, failures, achievements and love. In fact, she makes the reader feel the love between Assefa and Sanura in a way that’s real, lasting…and threatened, so that you end up holding your breath in the hopes that they will find victory, which isn’t guaranteed.

All bonds are tested—friends, families, mates and familiars. Sanura’s character is a better woman than I am, because she proves herself much more forgiving than me, and more quickly forgiving at that. Assefa’s personal demons must be faced, and while I think the premise for his long absence from his witch a bit thin, it still holds merit considering his character’s fears, and I appreciate that he was the one that set about his own healing once he realized what he had to lose. Oddly enough I’m much more forgiving of the water witch of legend than the cat of legend, primarily because her inner conflict is completely understandable to me, but my disappointment in the one only emphasizes how ‘real’ these characters have been crafted to be.

One extremely minor ‘criticism’ for the formatting of this story. Near the end, the author inserts images in order to illustrate her vision. I’d have preferred the images to be in an appendix of some sort, and for her to have trusted her readers to create their own image, and to trust her own words, which were fluid and descriptive and more than good enough to convey the vision she wanted.

Romances have a happy ending. I wasn’t certain if this one would—there were several ways this story could have ended, including the continuation of the series into ‘the next generation’. It’s a testament to Ms. Jones’ skill that I was so worried for the outcome of her characters and, until it happened, I couldn’t be sure just what would happen.

Ms. Jones is taking the secondary characters of this book and creating stories for them, too. I will be the first in line to buy those books. If you enjoy paranormal romance as much as I do, you will not want to miss the Death and Destiny trilogy.

You can find the promotional post for N.D. Jones here.

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