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Delicate by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gosh! What a beautiful romance! Sports romance with the most gorgeous MCs. Valentina González was a promising tennis playe...

Soldier of Dorsa (The Chronicles of Dorsa #2) by Eliza Andrews

⭐⭐⭐☆

We are entirely crazy about Princess of Dorsa and the eponymous Princess of the series, Nastasia (Tasia). We loved Tasia’s character arc in the first book and we waiting to see her develop further and come into her own as a leader and an Empress. On that front, this book doesn’t disappoint.

At the end of the first book, Tasia and her love, Josclyn have been rent apart. Tasia is accused of patricide and regicide and found guilty. She escapes with the help of Wise Man Evrart, who is also of the Brotherhood of Culo. Joscyln makes a deal with the devil to return to the present for one year so that she can keep the beleaguered Tasia safe and hopefully, ensure Tasia’s future safety.

Book 2 takes off with this context.

Josclyn returns from Shadowlands after her deal with the Prince of Shadows. Unbeknownst to her, her deal makes her something of a quasi-shadow herself which means that shadows will always seek her and find her. That makes her an unsafe presence. Tasia has been given refuge by M’Tongliss of Terinto. The usurper Regent is willing to cede one-third of the Eastern lands to end the war in the East. This move is however motivated by short-sighted avarice of an ambitious Lord who also happens to be Tasia’s grandfather and one of the main conspirators in killing the Emperor and framing Tasia. Though she’s supposed to be a traitor, Tasia feels strongly about the Empire and about the safety and prosperity of her people. She plans to disrupt the delegation to the East and takes action for it. Josclyn continues looking for Tasia and realises that the threat to the Empire is far greater than imagined and the true threat comes from Shadowlands. To make the Empire and the Princess safe, she needs to eliminate or at least contain the Shadow threat.

This book has two distinct storylines: Tasia’s and Josclyn’s. In addition to two storylines, the narrative slides between past and present. It is also more fantasy-heavy than the previous outing. We loved Tasia still. Something about her is heroic, vulnerable, struggling but strong and entirely appealing. There are few characters we’ve rooted for more strongly.

Frankly, we skipped a lot of Josclyn parts, especially a lot of unnecessary (for us – but maybe necessary for building atmosphere) detailing, descriptions and blow-by-blow of fights. Not that we don’t like her, but Tasia is way more charismatic.

The longing for each other is constant, so the romance is alive all through the book though they don’t meet till almost the end. While we liked this book, we could’ve done with Tasia getting more success with her plans and her willingness to take risks. We feel quite let down that Tasia’s bravery is almost entirely unrewarded.

The book borrows from a number of other works including Melissa Good’s Xena fanfic (unfurling of senses), Twilight (bubble and then armour of protective energy), zombie tales (Shadows infecting people and creating unfeeling zombie-like creatures) amongst others.

Still, this is a good read with a fantastic MC in Tasia. 

⭐⭐⭐☆

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