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The Red Scrolls of Magic Book Review

Officer Gabriella Maria Flores desperately needs a big win to save her career. A case that proves that she has her act together, something non-controversial to make people forget the recent scandal she's been involved in. Instead, the murder she catches couldn't be more high-profile, the number one suspect her boss's brother. Means, motive, opportunity--check. And open-and-shut case, if she's ever seen one. But then, instead of arresting the suspect, why is she falling in love with him?

Amazon US. Amazon UK. Broslin Creek Boxed Set Books Great deal! Deathwatch, Deathscape, Deathtrap. Other Independent Titles:. A commando unit on the trail of a rogue soldier. A determined young woman who will sacrifice anything to save her brother. Recognizing one of the hunters as her teenage crush is definitely a shock to her system. Can she convince him that her brother was framed? Can she stop from falling in love with him all over again? An undercover U. A troublesome beauty surrounded by danger in a war-torn country. They couldn't be more different, but soon they must rely on each other to stay alive, uncovering a diabolical plot that could claim both of their lives.

An undercover agent who has been tirelessly working for months to bring down a corrupt congressman. Anonymous March 20, at AM. Anonymous March 20, at PM.

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Pat Whitesell March 20, at PM. Bert Shellenbarger March 21, at AM. Berniece Coe March 21, at PM. I didn't really know what to expect, but what I got wasn't I guess this is kind of a romance more than anything else. Well, there was a big prophecy plot too involving duh, a scroll, but it was very, very drawn out and pretty boring to me. The writing wasn't bad, but it wasn't to my tastes. And um, yeah, the author uses the word "manparts" Sorry, but you lost me at manparts.

And um, yeah, the author uses the word "manparts" several times. As in, he moved "his manparts towards her secret cave. Sorry, just not for me. View all 24 comments. Feb 23, Wyrdness rated it it was ok Shelves: fantasy. I give this book an averaged 2. Up to chapter 14 I thought it was a 3 star read but after that it quickly dropped to a 2 star "meh, why am I still reading this? It's going to put off a lot of possible fantasy readers who generally tend to be drawn to stories involving epic sword battle I give this book an averaged 2. It's going to put off a lot of possible fantasy readers who generally tend to be drawn to stories involving epic sword battles, magic, mythical beings, and fiendish plots to take over the world, because it gives the impression the story is going to be about some woman wearing a veil and hanging out in a harem not doing much.

On the flip side I think it's going to disappoint a lot of romance readers when they discover the novel is, for the most part, not as heavy on the smexy times as the title implies and instead focuses more on the fantasy elements of a girl with magical powers battling evil forces. There are moments of both in the book, but the title and cover do not reflect that at all. Now, moving on to the actual review There was a subtle, persistent, shallowness to the world-building in this story that I didn't at first notice.

Some of it was quite interesting, yet eventually I started to realise that the separate little "factoids" I was being handed all existed in their own isolated bubbles and didn't interact with each other in the way a living, breathing world should do. This last one is particularly significant to the story because Dahru is the last island to come under attack, but early on in the story we're told that the entire island group is surrounded by a perpetually stormy ocean that can not be sailed across and Dahru, supposedly, has the only way in or out via magical gateway.

For me these inconsistencies and lack of real information led to everything feeling like a very mixed bag. Some things were really interesting or important in setting the atmosphere, yet other stuff felt completely superfluous and unimportant to anything else going on and only served to break the flow of events view spoiler [such as the cannibalistic village that shows up late in to the novel when Tera and Leena are already busy trying to get to and rescue Batuman from his own stupidity the enemy forces. That should have been exciting and tension building enough on its own merits, so the fact that the author felt a need to throw something else in on top should have raised some serious red flags for her hide spoiler ] The plot was also very bitty.

This is because the author couldn't seem to stick to the initial core idea and kept giving in to "just one more thing" creep.

First she develops her long wanted healing powers, but immediately afterwards the author seems to panic and believe that giving her character what she wanted so early on will negate her ambition and drive. Once that's added though it's decided that Tera is too underpowered and ordinary to be an ordained saviour as she is, so she's forced in to becoming a magical Mary Sue who everyone suddenly loves and respects and can spontaneously generate a crap ton of spiritual energy from nowhere, link up a handful of other healers in to a healer-mind-gestalt, then proceeds to instantaneously heal all lethal wounds inflicted on a friendly army for half a day with no real side effects.

I truly believe there is a lot of good, workable material in this story, but I think the author needed a different editor to help polish it up and make it shine. I get the impression the one she worked with may deal primarily with category romance and she would have been better served with one that was comfortable navigating the twists and turns of the fantasy genre instead. Moving on to my thoughts of the characters and I really need to say that up until chapter 14 I generally liked both Tera and Batuman, but after that point my interest and sympathy in them quickly took a nosedive when they transitioned in to to the typical sort of Mary Sue or Alpha-hole Jerk almost without warning.

Up until that turning point she'd been almost completely focused on following in her mothers footsteps and becoming a great Healer. We're told that before her mother died she warned Tera that she must remain chaste until she received the "spirits" blessing and, unlike other girls who develop their power with the onset of their menses, Tera is left impatiently waiting for hers. I really wish the author had decided to stick with this part for far longer than she did and perhaps had shown Tera coming to realise and accept that she didn't need those gifts to be a great healer before she was given what she truly desired.

Instead what we got was Tera's powers spontaneously and anti-climatically unlocking for absolutely no reason given that she'd had no real change in personality, outlook, or circumstances to act as a trigger. That sits completely unnoticed on top of a cliff overlooking a more modern city. At this point in the story my Mary Sue and TSTL alarms started blaring away at me, and it only got worse when these Guardians immediately set about filling Tera's head with the notion that she had a grand and terrible "destiny" to face.

Of course on hearing this she totally abandons her long held plans for trying to escape back to her homeland, because In my mind the justification she gives for this about face in attitude boils down to her being a gullible, naive idiot with an easily manipulated guilt complex. That and the fact it was pretty obvious that the author had decreed that this was the point in the story that Tera must start giving in to her Stockholm Syndrome "love" for the High Lord.

Which reminds me, what ever happened to that sweet young childhood friend she'd all but been promised in marriage to and who had been patiently and respectfully waiting for the manifestation of her powers? Once she's taken by the slavers she never once gives him another thought, not even to contrast his behaviour to all the horrible near rapists she meets along the way. High Lord Batuman wasn't any better for me though.

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Up until chapter 14 I actually liked him and was pleasantly surprised that he was being a strong "macho" guy that didn't feel a need to descend to Alpha-hole tendencies to get what he wanted. Sadly immediately after that thought he Hulked Out and threw all his toys out of the pram because Tera refused to tell him where she'd been. This was in spite of him previously claiming she wasn't a slave, so really it shouldn't have been any of his business.

I guess he meant that other kind of "not a slave". You know the ones, those that have no freedom to do what they want, go where they want, or even dress in what they want amongst other things. So, anyway, because of her "defiance" he goes in to a jealous rage, tears off her dress , accuses her of being a sorcerous whore, muses out loud about how maybe he should have killed her like his obviously evil Soothsayer recommended he do just after her arrival at the fortress, and generally scares her out of her wits so much that she feels forced in to finally finally!

So he sends out a load of armed soldiers to hunt her down whilst he sits around in his fortress twiddling his thumbs. Upon her inevitable return, instead of apologising for his shocking behaviour, one of the first things he does is drag her by the arm to a private room to berate her. Quite aside from his awful "but I love you really" behaviour towards Tera, I have trouble picturing him as a truly effective warlord. Sure he apparently looks big and appropriately muscle bound, but when Tera tries to offer alternatives to going to war against a vastly overwhelming force his first words were basically that he'd rather senselessly order his troops to die than attempt to seek a peace treaty.

After that he then flings himself heedlessly in to danger for the sake of "honour", even though it was highly probable it would lead to him being captured and killed and the Karla people left needing to select a new High Lord mere days before defending against a massive invasion attempt. What kind of a leader thinks and acts that way? A really crappy leader, that's who.

Like I have previously mentioned the actual romance in this was slight. For the most part there's less of that and an awful lot more implied, threatened or attempted rape going on. Not just towards Tera, but for any female character unlucky enough to come in to contact with, or the attention of, any warrior groups throughout the entire book.

It smacks of yet another romance author either mistaking or deliberately construing a case of Stockholm Syndrome equals love and how worrying is it that I can say another in this context. Tera gradually comes to believe that even though she is deeply unhappy with being sold in to slavery and then forced to become a concubine as part of a foreign cultural practice she finds abhorrent, just because Batuman doesn't actively slap her around or mistreat her for the most part , that he must actually be being kind, caring and protective of her.


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She seems to wilfully forget within days the entire dress rending and fleeing for her safety thing, or at least convinces herself that it wasn't such a big deal after all. When she meekly returns at the mild half-arsed urging of the three Guardians, Batuman still acts like an Alpha-hole towards her and treats her like a poor, weak woman who has to be coddled and protected "for her own good" no matter what she thinks. At the same time he tries to urge her towards a "destiny" she doesn't want that would require her to go against her training, beliefs, and her very nature, to twist her life giving powers to the purposes of destruction and war.

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When that fails he tries to forbid her from outright using her powers, supposedly because he loves her so much he doesn't want to lose her, but it kind of reads as if he doesn't like that she can do something he can't control. At what point is any of that loving, understanding or supportive?


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  • If those aren't the three core tenets of what is considered "romance" then what are? When the two of them started having sex it just completely skeeved me out because being almost twice as old as she is he has far more experience in such matters and knows how to easily manipulate her as he wants. Plus he is literally her master and so no relationship they could have would ever be truly equal just because he says she's not a slave doesn't actually make it true.

    I'm not sure if it counts as a consensual act either. Even though Tera seems willing at the time, if at any point she said no he could just choose to force her in to it with the full backing of his nation's customs and traditions and no-one would bat an eyelid.

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    So, yeah In theory there are quite a number of interesting ideas here, but in practice it's sort of boring and messy and I wasn't really in to it after the half way point. I don't think I would really recommend this to others because it was so over the place and by the end I wasn't really sure what the focus was any more. Was it Tera's powers and part in the prophecy? Was it on the coming war?