Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Review Club: Duality by Renee Wildes

By Renee Wildes
Guardians of the Light, Book 1
Published by: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Dara Khan Androcles is a human healer, or so she thinks, until a demon invades her world and her foster father is killed in battle. The last thing he asks her to do is to save a wounded warrior who came to his aid. Dara doesn't realize that her abilities come from her natural mother's dragon heritage.

Disguised as a human, Loren ta Cedric, Elven prince and Lady's Champion, fought against the army of the demon-possessed conqueror Jalad. After being wounded, Loren can no longer keep up the illusion, esp. when he is able to heal himself in minutes. It's even more difficult when Hani-ena, his Elven war-mare, shows up in a very bad temper after he left her behind.

Loren recognizes Dara as his life-mate, but duty must come first and they part. But when she is imprisoned by Jalad, Loren finds a way to come to her aid. Working together, they plan to defeat the demon.

I discovered this book when it became a finalist in EPIC's annual e-book contest, and I really enjoyed it. It's a combination of fantasy and romance. I would say more fantasy than romance, but a fantasy fan might disagree. Dara is a fiery heroine, and I enjoyed watching her transition from feisty, almost-ordinary human to fire-wielding dragon queen. Loren is a noble but conflicted hero. The secondary characters add a lot, esp. Loren's tart-tongued but loyal war mare, Hani-ena. (They communicate telepathically and she offers a fair bit of comic relief.)

I love Samhain's product warnings:
Warning: Contains patricide; noble self-sacrifice; one bad-ass, demon-possessed despot; a bad-tempered dragon; and a water mage who likes to “rain” on her husband’s parade—literally. Downside: A quest for a magic book (written in blood) that nobody wants, and a talking war mare with the warm, fuzzy voice of Judy Densch. [sic] Upside: Serious ass-kicking. Be prepared to learn to curse, cry and laugh—in Elvish.

You gotta love a publishing house with a sense of humor.

I liked Duality enough to read Hedda's Sword, Book 2 in the series, immediately afterward. It was good, too, but I liked Duality better.

Both books are available as e-books and in print as trade size paperbacks. I bought and read the Kindle versions. Wildes books are also available at and

Recommended for fans of fantasy romance.


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pattinase (abbott) said...

Now this is something I don't usually read--either romance or fantasy--but you made it sound intriguing.

Teresa said...

Sounds like a great book, Linda. Maybe over summer break...

Linda McLaughlin said...

Patti, I don't know if you'd like it or not, but it's a fun read.

Teresa, I think you'd enjoy the book when you have more time to read.

Beth Yarnall said...

Oh my gosh I love the disclaimer! Thanks for a great review Linda.

Sarah Laurence said...

That warning is funny! This isn't my type of book but I enjoyed hearing about it.

Stacy said...

I always like a book with serious ass-kicking. Unless the ass being kicked is my own, which happened a few times in grad school sadly enough.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. And what a great idea to review an e-Book! I love the variety out there!

Lyndi Lamont said...

Sarah, all of Samhain's books carry some kind of humorous "disclosure". I love just reading the warnings. ;)

Stacy, there are definitely some good ass-kicking scenes here. I love a strong, smart heroine.

Kathy, I've been reading e-books for about 10 years now, starting on my PC and now on my Kindle and iPod Touch as well as several other devices along the way. I love being able to store them on my laptop instead of my crowded bookshelves!

Ellen Booraem said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! And the publisher's copy definitely sells does your review. Thanks for it!

David Cranmer said...

A very intriguing sounding read.

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