A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson | Review + Giveaway

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A Bond of Venom and Magic
The Goddess and the Guardians #1
Karen Tomlinson
Publication Date: October 14, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
The Wraith Lord is hunting; his prize, the key to unleashing darkness and Chaos upon the eight Kingdoms.

For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the south seems a remote danger until her home is brutally attacked. Having lost everything she holds dear, Diamond is catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half blood fae, like her, have no rights.

Despite her growing feelings for her saviour, Commander Hugo Casimir, he remains a paradox – not only is he a heartless killer, he is owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic.

As Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous she is drawn deeper into Hugo’s world and discovers the lengths to which he will go to save what he holds dear. Will Hugo become her friend, her protector, or – an enemy not worthy of her trust?

A Bond of Venom and Magic is a tale of two people bound by magic and secrets, but trapped in the complexities of love and betrayal. It is the beginning of an epic journey, one that will test Diamond’s resolve and determination to battle an evil that threatens not only her world but that of Eternity, the land of The Goddess and The Guardians.

You don't know how much my heart has been hurting when I finished reading A Bond of Venom and Magic. Straight to the kokoro, my dears, it's giving me a headache!

Nothing but only chocolate could cure... and a whole lot of cuddles.

The World

It's a land of chaos and magic, of war and fantasy. 

The humans may flourish and weave prosperous lives but the fae sits atop the world; while half-bloods are feared, shunned and mistreated. But when you are born with magic, do not even pray to the goddess, you will be killed with the possibility that it would be your own parents who would betray you.

The land of Avalonia has been at war with the forces of Ragor. The cruel, immortal queen rules with a beautiful mask and an iron hand wrought with thorns. She is queen and she can do anything she wants.

Be ready to lie. Be ready to fight. Be ready to survive.

The Heroine

In an ideal world, Diamond would have continued living peacefully with her father in their little village. She would continue with her work, marry her best friend (since he's the only one who would because of her blood), have children and die of old age.

But a subsequent attack and the death of her father put a halt to that.

When it comes to our heroines, we want them to be intelligent, smart, deadly, stubborn, strong but also kind and compassionate.

Diamond faced a lot in her journey - from starvation, injuries, snarling creatures, near death and a power she couldn't seem to control. There were times when she was absolutely hopeless and defeated by elements out of her control that she became weak, naive and vulnerable (especially when it comes to a certain broody fae); but she put her brave face and soldiered on. 

I was frustrated at times with her and kept murmuring Fight! Fight! And after that final confrontation I could see that she finally will harden her spine... and use her brain.

Dear Diamond,

If you don't at least let him (no matter his reasons) grovel before you, I will leap into the book and thrash the both of you myself.

Let this be a lesson to you: trust your heart but don't let it rule you.
The Hero

We all know that hero we apparently couldn't resist. That tall, dark, handsome, broody hunk who could defend and save you again and again. He may come across as this forbidding figure but when it comes to Diamond? He melts. He has found his Nexus. Hugo Casimir couldn't, for the life of him, know what he would do when it Diamond became involved in the grand saga of this world's fate. 

He is by no means perfect. He has flaws. When he asked himself why he hadn't deserted ages ago, well, I also asked him that. He has a past, he has secrets, and he has issues to wade through and resolve. Your treatment of Diamond, and yourself, was giving me a whiplash.

I will roll a thick wad of newspaper and whack your head with it.

The Book

I have to tell you that I had to stop midway. My fragile heart couldn't take the emotions pouring between the two main characters. Not even the giddy-sigh-inducing moments could protect my kokoro. Their relationship is just... grrr...

Don't be fooled by my feelings with the main characters. If they could elicit this kind of frustration, then they did their job in engaging me as a reader.
Karen Tomlinson delivered a story that didn't hold back in portraying a fantastical, dangerous world and high-stakes maneuvering. She created and developed mythos that is rich and a solid foundation that could carry the series. 
Did I mention that there are also dragons?

Now, where's my chocolate?
About the Author

Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Guardians and The Goddess series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book one A Bond of Venom and Magic will be released October 14th 2016. 

Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in the Guardians of The Goddess series. 

About me! 

As soon as I could read I spent hours getting lost in the new worlds books could give me. Spending my pocket money had to be done (obviously) but not on sweets, well, not many…I spent my money on books. Back then it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five which sparked my young mind. I didn’t rest until I had the whole set, then I migrated to the secret seven… ( ther was no Harry Potter around then) As a teenager I would trawl through all my mum and dad’s discarded books. It was probably highly inappropriate for a thirteen year old to be reading swoony Mills and Boon romances followed by Ian Flemming, Alistair Maclean and Wilbur Smith! 

Because I read whatever I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books and will read anything that catches my eye. I absolutely love illustrated book covers! 

In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that has stayed my firm favourite. I am and will always remain a complete sucker for a fantasy with kick ass characters, and worlds steeped in magic and romance! 

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