This review is from: September 9, 2019 By Kay Daniels
The bestselling author and master at her craft of writing epic fantasy romance novels, Gena Showalter, returns with the second book in the Gods of War series. I have been waiting for this book for almost a year and Gena did not disappoint.
We are brought back to the beginning of the All War on Earth, back to before it even begins and this time we will see the war through Bane of Adwaeweth’s eyes. We meet him briefly last time and know that he is a feared warrior like the others, but also he is one not to mess with. He doesn’t fight with weapons like the others, we discover why that is in this book. The only thing he has in possession that someone may want, if they were to actually kill him, are goggles that allow him to see the tricks or illusions that the other combatants may play to their advantage, but for Bane, who is sensitive to the light, they allow him to actually not be blinded by the harsh earth sunlight. We learn that his race is sensitive to light, but not much else, for Bane is a dragon shifter. No wonder he doesn’t need weapons.
You see, when the combatants fight, they fight to the death and when they make a kill they are allowed at that moment to take the others special weapon of choice. Each combatant arrived to the All War with a unique weapon, some are sought out specially because of this, others are sought out because they are an easy kill, each combatant has their own reason for what they do. We also learn that Bane is there purely for revenge.
Many combatants are there as a place of honor for their home and to win another realm for their kingdom, Bane has been sent by his queen commanding it. A queen he cannot disobey under the spell she wields that rules his people and even when he still would have rather suffered death than come to another war under her command, she killed his wife right before him to make sure he won so he could seek vengeance. Yes, everyone is there to win, but Bane can taste that vengeance everyday and with every kill.
During his time on earth, Bane is also tasked with seeking out any Adwaewethian heirs and killing them. His queen does not want to be challenged for the throne. Bane sees this as his one chance to find that heir and actually have get his revenge on the person who killed his wife. If a new queen could take the throne than his people would be free of this evil queen. His quest brings him to Nola Lee.
Nola Lee has been sick for as long as she can remember. The only relief she finds are in the pills the doctors prescribe, but the side effects come with a huge side of suck. Getting a break from being the sick sister, she and her sister, Vale (from book 1), plan a trip of a lifetime and prepare for almost everything. But when things go sideways and they both end up kidnapped by immortal beings, that isn’t something Nola ever planned for especially when she gets separated from her medication and the withdrawal symptoms begin to set in.
Whoever thinks to plan for that? Nola should have, if she was honest.
She has been having dreams of a golden god for years. A man who refers to her as his princess. Now that’s a wonderful dream, especially with the things he likes to do to her. Never once did Nola ever believe that this dream god would become a reality, but she was poorly mistaken. She also finds that her god has a jealous streak a mile wide and her withdrawal symptoms seem to get better when he’s near her. There is a whole host of weird things that Bane has to answer for, but he’s not exactly the talkative type. She has a lot of unanswered questions for her mysterious man and things only seem to get weirder the more time they spend together, not that she’s complaining. Keep him close, she feels better, but life doesn’t always work in her best interest.
Bane and Nola each try to fight the irresistible attraction they have towards one another. It’s one that seems to pull them together like magnets whenever they are in close proximity. As Nola discovers more secrets to her ancestry she wants to help Bane, but he has to trust her not to turn on him. Bane isn’t the easiest man to open up and let people in, he hasn’t exactly had the best history with that, but getting closer to Nola is allowing the man, and beast inside him, a chance to see that things don’t always appear as they seem. If they do work together they will have a better chance of achieving their goal and getting what they both desire then if they work separately which could ultimately lead to their death.
I think what I like about Frost and Flame, is that it can be read as a complete standalone if you haven’t read Shadow and Ice. Gena wrote it where you can pick it up and still understand the history of the All Wars, along with a little background of what happened before without giving too much away. The timelines of both books are exactly the same, but (and this is a huge but) the first book I feel was a bigger-broader look at the war and getting to know the overall characters, but it had to be for that storyline. Frost and Flame is a more intimate look at how the war affects a home, a kingdom, their people, and that was important for this overall storyline. So while both stories have points of intersection, they are not alike.
Okay, I know this has been a long review, but…I don’t get to review big, epic books like this very often and I really do love reading them!!
Bane is a character to fall for right out of the gates. The typical big and burly warrior type, yes, but from the very first chapter you meet a very different guy than if you read book one or will meet for most of this book until he really lets his guard down. Bane is a husband and someone with feelings which we don’t see because he has to bury those emotions deep. I really felt for Bane right from the very beginning and even though he’s always made out to be this huge, larger than life character, he seems very fragile through Nola’s eyes. I love that about this book. The two of them even each other out perfectly.
So, if you love reading other-worldly, battle-warrior, fantasy/paranormal bada** male and female characters, pheromones through the roof, not the mention epic fight scenes then this book is for you!
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