29.11.17

#Review: GOLDEN GUARD TRILOGY by Elise Kova

Today I am doing a series review of the 

GOLDEN GUARD TRILOGY by Elise Kova!

I beta read the first two books, but wanted to reread once they were done so I could give you thoughts on the finished copies of THE CROWN'S DOG and THE PRINCE'S ROGUE. However, I was busy with school and did not beta read THE FARMER'S WAR so you can read my thoughts on just the finished copy of that one! 

Also, you can read the entire trilogy for free with Kindle Unlimited, so you should get on that. Additionally each of these can be read as a standalone, so if you want to read about some Golden Guard members over others, feel free to do so! THE CROWN'S DOG focuses on Jax and Erion, THE PRINCE'S ROGUE focuses on Baldair and Raylynn, and THE FARMER'S WAR focuses on Craig and Daniel!

So let's get to it!


THE CROWN'S DOG

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Golden Guard Trilogy #1
Source: beta read for the Author/Purchased from TBD
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
A coastal summer is turned upside down by a violent murder, and a quest for lost pirate treasure turns into a hunt for the killer.

Jax Wendyll is the crown’s dog. As punishment for the unspeakable crimes that tourment him to this day, his life has been conscripted to the Empire Solaris. However, in an Empire afflicted by peace, his duties are relegated to unquestioningly aiding the antics of the youngest prince, Baldair.

Erion Le’Dan, a nobleman’s son, expects a quiet summer visit to the Imperial Palace, his only agenda to visit with his unlikely friends. But Jax’s discovery the legendary pirate Adela Lagmir’s old workroom inspires a hunt for her long lost treasure.

The pursuit of Adela’s truth takes the three men to the Imperial summer manor, built along the old pirate mainstays. When Adela’s trident is branded into a murdered servant, Prince Baldair’s summer amusement of treasure-hunting becomes a hunt to find the killer. But, as mysteries compound, the ghosts of Jax’s past may not be the only things haunting them.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I beta read the manuscript; however, I reread the finished copy of the book to give an opinion based on the finalized version.

Hello and welcome to Jamie Fangirls Session #1. I absolutely LOVED this book and being back in the Air Awakens world. I think what was best about it is that we saw aspects of the world from Air Awakens that we didn't see in the original series, so it felt like its own world while still fitting in to the overarching world and canon. I loved learning more about Jax and Erion and thought they had a really strong character arc in here that ties in nicely to what we see in Air Awakens.

Jax was probably the strongest character in this one. I liked seeing how he took his internal struggles and made them his own. I thought it was such a good look at how to be respectful to someone who saved your life while also trying to forge your own path in the world as well.

At times, I was frustrated with Erion, but I think that speaks more to Kova's writing of a complex character than to anything else. Erion is struggling between being a good son and friend but every time he internally justifies his actions based on familial needs, it makes me want to scream because he is such a good person and deserves a better family. 

I thought the plot was well executed (and I mean, I should since I helped tighten it up) and that it was a nice deviation from the typical fantasy story to have a bit of a murder mystery involved in it. I liked seeing the characters have to interact with elements from other genres of stories that you wouldn't necessarily believe fantasy characters to deal with. I think Kova did a fantastic job bringing in elements of a mystery and fantasy novel to wind them together to be an absolutely riveting story.

I absolutely adored THE CROWN'S DOG and loved stepping back into the world of Air Awakens. We meet all these characters in the original series, but this expose of them prior to the war that drove Vhalla to the front lines was a nice change. I also liked the cross-genre aspects to this one with the "murder mystery" aspect. There were enough lines through this one to connect it to the original series (and to a future series, if Kova chooses to write it) that made me feel as though I was at home yet still exploring something new. If you are looking for some intrigue, magic, and characters that you hate to love and love to hate, this is the book for you.

THE PRINCE'S ROGUE

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Golden Guard Trilogy #2
Source: beta read for the Author/Purchased from TBD
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
The Empire has declared war against its neighbor to the north, the country of Shaldan. Prince Baldair is summoned to lead, but the untested royal harbors secret reservations about his ability to inspire confidence in troops his senior in both age and experience. The memory of his first kills the summer prior still weigh heavy on his shoulders, and he flees to his friend Erion’s home near the Crossroads to wait for the army before marching north.

Raylynn Westind had never held a responsibility in her life. After losing her mother years ago, she wanders from town to town in search of a challenge, honoring the sacred song of the sword her mother taught her. She never backs down from a fight, not when her opponents are the deadly Knights of Jadar, mysteriously insistent upon her death. And certainly not when the opponent is the Empire’s young playboy prince.

Baldair has never met another person as gifted with the sword as he, and is insistent on seeing a golden bracer grace Raylynn’s forearm. But the woman lives a mercenary’s life, and Baldair quickly learns that her loyalty comes at a high price. When he discovers the bounty on her head, the prince must choose between his responsibilities to his father’s Empire, and the woman who has captured his heart as a soldier, and as a man.
Purchase:
Disclaimer: I beta read the manuscript; however, I reread the finished copy of the book to give an opinion based on the finalized version. Also, this book is dedicated to me, so if you are going to buy one of the books, this should be the one.

Hello and welcome to Jamie Fangirls Session #2. As much as I loved THE CROWN'S DOG (see: above), I enjoyed THE PRINCE'S ROGUE that much more. With The Crown's Dog, we are limited in what we learn about Baldair through the eyes and actions of Jax and Erion. But in The Prince's Rogue, we get Baldair's perspective as well as Raylynn's. And you know how much I love Baldair (when the THING happens in Book 4 of the Air Awakens series, I was like "yes this has to happen but also please don't let it happen"). I really enjoyed being able to learn more about Baldair's inner thoughts and we were truly introduced to Raylynn as a character.

I thought Raylynn was such a strong character! I think what I disliked about The Prince's Rogue is that we didn't get to see more of Raylynn in the Air Awakens series, which I know makes no sense. But she is a BAMF like no other BAMF you have ever met and it upsets me that she is given limited screen time in the original canon. Because then we see her in here and she is sword wielding, heartbreaking, BADASS, and vulnerable and ???? Why didn't we get more of this in the original series????

Clearly Baldair was perfect so like no more comments necessary beyond that. Okay wait I lied: Although we didn't get a chapter from his perspective in The Crown's Dog, we still did see some traumatic things happen to him so it was nice to see how he was internally dealing with that. I liked that he was essentially running away from his responsibilities and realized because of Raylynn that he was allowed to be upset but that didn't mean he could continue to run forever. GOSH THEY ARE SO PERFECT. Their relationship is the one we deserved all along. Vhaldrik WHO??

I thought at some points this dragged a little bit, but overall I was super intrigued with the plot and story line as well as the characters so it probably didn't bother me as much as it will others. I liked the way it all played out in the end, answering some questions, but leaving that many more open for future instalments (and the original canon to answer some of them). This book also had little threads that pulled it together to the first in the series and the rest of the Air Awakens world if you know to look for them. I definitely recommend this one to everyone!

I will say that as much as you can read these as standalones, which is really nice, they do make more sense if you've read them in sequential order. However, you definitely don't need to have read the Air Awakens series to pick these up and enjoy them. Although I would recommend reading that series as well! 

THE FARMER'S WAR

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Golden Guard Trilogy #3
Source: Purchased from TBD
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Lieutenant Craig Youngly has only ever wanted one thing in his life -- to join the illustrious Golden Guard. In pursuit of his goals, he has found himself protege to Raylynn Westwind, notable Guard member and favorite of Prince Baldair. He has fought for two years in the sweltering North and now prepares to embark on a mission on behalf of the Guard that could secure his long-sought membership. It's the opportunity Craig has been waiting for, until Raylynn's attention turns toward another swordsman, Daniel Taffl.

Daniel has always been a man of modest aspirations. As a farmer's son from the East, he seeks a soldier's wage to support a future for the woman of his dreams when he returns from the front lines. It isn't until he's conscripted into Craig's mission that he learns his sword-craft has caught the eyes of the powers above him.

Craig sees his mission as an opportunity to impress the guard and exert his authority over Daniel. Daniel sees it merely as the chance to secure a more financially stable future. Their goals seem too simple to go awry. But, in the perilous jungles of the North, luck is something both men find to be in short supply.
Purchase:
Hello and welcome to Jamie Fangirls Session #3. As much as Baldair is my one true love, I had a soft spot for Daniel when reading Air Awakens, so I was really excited for this book specifically in this series. 

I thought the way Daniel and Craig became friends was natural and fitting for them. We see them together for the first time in Air Awakens and they intrigued me from there. I am glad Daniel got more of a starring role, but Craig's character is a really strong one that I am glad got the recognition he deserved.

I think what I liked about this one so much is that in the Air Awakens series we lose track of Craig and focus mainly on Daniel, so I enjoyed getting to see more of Craig and how he and Daniel became good friends in this one. I liked seeing the front of war that we don't necessarily get, even in the Air Awakens series, until much later. I think this is probably the closest to a typical fantasy novel even though neither of the main characters use magic. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this and thought it was a brilliant way to end the Golden Guard trilogy and set up the Air Awakens series.

1 comment:

  1. I only read the first one but definitely aiming to get the to the second and third novellas asap :)

    ReplyDelete

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