Thursday 12 December 2013

Candra's Freedom (The Golden Key Chronicles, Book 2) by AJ Nuest - Book Review (New Release)

From the Blurb:

The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

Lost in a world she doesn't recognize, Rowena struggles to find her place.

Yet her abilities with a blade and the loyalty of a fierce falcon don't discourage the heated advances of the handsome Prince Caedmon, and the connection between them seems much deeper than her troubled heart can recall.

The Review:

Rowena traveled through the mirror to be with her Prince in a fairy tale land, but she’s yet to find her fairy tale ending. Two years ago she lost her memory and her prince was captured, since then she has despised her life as the revered, yet mocked, sorceress. She is a captive in the castle, without freedom or safety. Rowena has a plan to escape, but then her prince returns…

Candra's Freedom is the second novella in the Golden Key Chronicles, you can find my review of the first, Rowena's Key, here. There is a much darker tone to the second installment of the Golden Key Chronicles than the last. Rowena is no longer the relatively carefree antiquarian of the first book, but has experienced significant trauma during her captivity. While I was surprised by the increased melancholy of this novella, I was impressed by the deeper level it added to the fairy tale. There is also less explicit romance in this title than the last. Though romance is still the point of the story, Candra’s Freedom takes the series in an increasingly adventure-romance direction.

Despite her traumatic experiences, Rowena is no victim, and the adventure aspect to this romance is not one of a simpering princess waiting to be rescued. Instead, Rowena takes her fate into her own hands and becomes a warrior in her own right. As Rowena fights (quite literally) to break free of her bonds, it is Caedmon who takes the lead in the romance of this tale. He is desperate to win back Rowena’s affections since her memory loss, and I found his tale of longing no less heart breaking than Rowena’s.

Fans of Rowena’s Key might be surprised by the new darkness of Candra’s Freedom, which contrasts quite a bit to the more humorous elements of the previous novella, but they won’t be disappointed. It is clear that, far from being your simple fairy tale, the Golden Key Chronicles are as much of an emotional roller-coaster as a tale of enthralling enchantment.

AJ Nuest’s stories have the ability to sweep readers into a magical kingdom, even without the aid of an enchanted mirror. Thank goodness it won't be long until Book 3 is released!

Candra's Freedom by AJ Nuest was published by Harper Impulse on December 12, 2013, and is available from Amazon.

This book was given to Love Reading Romance in exchange for an honest review.