Sara’s Review of the Sanctify series by Katee Robert + Giveaway
I’m very honored to have been asked to participate in this tour event! I’d like to thank Jaime Arnold for setting up the tour and Katee Robert for writing an amazing series. Purrs and tail waves to you both. Murr! For a full list of all the blogs participating, please visit HERE! Also please note that each blog will be hosting a giveaway for an e-book copy of Queen of Swords. I’ll give more details about this at the end of my reviews. Enjoy everyone!
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: March 17th 2012
Marianna Zain is in trouble. The handsome stranger she just kissed? He’s a member of the most terrifying hate-group in the universe. Even after he takes her captive, Marianna can’t shake her initial instincts that he’s a man of worth…and her only chance at escaping death.
One of Sanctify’s most decorated lieutenants, Gerard Leoni thought he had everything figured out. But then he crosses paths with a Diviner, the most despised of the alien races, and is honor-bound to bring her in. One night with Marianna makes him question everything he knows.
As the day of her scheduled execution draws near, Marianna forms a plan. She’s going to seduce Gerard—a task that would be simpler if she weren’t being seduced as well. But Sanctify doesn’t take kindly to their people cavorting with aliens, and instead of finding a savior, Marianna may be dragging Gerald to his death alongside her…
For a novella, I found the characters and plot very compelling. This is a fast paced read and the perfect place to start for anyone who hasn’t read Robert’s books, murr!
Marianna is a fun character. She’s strong, quick to question/argue, and never gives up without a fight. I also love the fact that she is a Diviner and reader of what is basically Tarot cards. Gerard is an interesting blend of protector, religious zealot, and fighter. When I first was introduced to him, I had doubts as to whether I would like him, but as the story progressed I couldn’t help but be drawn to him the way Marianna is drawn. The man is definitely hot, there’s no question there.
As far as plot goes, I enjoyed it. Sanctify reminds me of the Ori from Stargate SG-1, especially since they travel from planet to planet spreading their beliefs to one and all and killing those who choose not to follow. Likewise I found the use of Tarot cards as Marianna’s tool and her connection to the Lady to be fascinating. I wanted to learn more about her people’s history and their belief in the Lady. Unfortunately, given that this was a novella, there’s only so much Robert could share.
Which is the only complaint that I had towards the story. I wanted more! Robert does this fantastic job creating what is essentially a prequel to her book Queen of Swords, but leaves so much left unsaid that the events in the story feel rushed. I think that this deserves to be its own complete novel rather than a novella. There’s so much more that needs to be said regarding Marianna and Gerard! This brief glimpse into their lives/history just isn’t enough.
And with that having been said, let’s look at Robert’s first full novel in the Sanctify series, Queen of Swords.
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: June 12th 2012
When the cards tell Ophelia Leoni she’s supposed to marry the Prince of Hansarda, the gunrunner grits her teeth and boards the starship that comes for her. It doesn’t matter if the ship’s commander is the gorgeous stranger whose bed she just spent a wild, drunken night in. As a Diviner, she’s painfully aware the cards don’t lie. Ever.
Boone O’Keirna knows Ophelia is trouble the second he sees the way she moves. Not about to let the deadly little hellcat marry his sadistic half-brother, Boone pretends to be the Prince’s emissary and kidnaps Ophelia. Too bad they can’t be in the same room without him wanting to throw her out an airlock–or into bed.
Even as they fight each other–and their explosive attraction–Ophelia and Boone sense something is wrong. Too much is going their way. Soon, they realize while the cards may never lie, the truth is sometimes hidden between them…and the future king of Hansarda is not one to take defeat lying down.
I loved this book, though I will admit to being a bit disappointed that it didn’t focus on Marianna and Gerard (whose name is Gerald in this for some odd reason). Instead the main character is their daughter, Ophelia. Regardless of who the focus is on, Robert has done an amazing job taking all of the elements from her novella and expanding on them with this book! From the moment I picked it up, I found I couldn’t put it down, murr! All of Robert’s characters are enjoyable, even the bad guys. She’s got an amazing talent for creating believable characters that readers can connect with. And she can also write one hell of a Science Fiction Romance.
Ophelia is definitely her mother’s daughter. She’s feisty, troublesome, quick to fight back, etc. But what made me love her even more was her struggle to come to terms who she is. I got the sense that Ophelia isn’t entirely happy with being a Diviner and it’s this unhappiness, her not wanting to be ruled by the cards and the Lady, that made her real for me.
Boone initially got on my nerves. Not because of anything he did really, but because I knew from the start that there was something not being said about him. The way he reacts towards Ophelia as a Diviner made my fur twitch. It isn’t until further on in the story that you find out what this “something” is. I actually enjoyed the fact that there was a side to Boone that was mysterious, but I still found it annoying because I couldn’t figure out why he was getting on my nerves. Despite this though, I loved him. Robert really knows how to write intriguing male characters.
Now I will admit to not being the world’s biggest fan of Science Fiction. I love Sci Fi TV show, but when it comes to books, I struggle with them. Most of that is because I have problems visualizing the ships, aliens, etc. while reading. But I found with this book that wasn’t a problem. The descriptions were detailed enough that I could easily picture the scenes as I was reading them. As a result, I’ll admit that it would be fun to see this turned into a TV series. =^.^=
And for those who are asking, allow me to say that the romance between Ophelia and Boone is sizzling. The tension between the two is very palpable. Several times I wanted to take both of them by their shoulders and give them a good shaking while yelling at them to stop torturing themselves. When you know two characters are supposed to be together, it can be rather aggravating to watch them suffer due to their own stupidity. Sigh
This is a must read for anyone who loves Science Fiction or for those just looking for a great adventure. It will be interesting see what happens in the next three books. You can guarantee that I will be following this series closely. Murr!
Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.
Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.
Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?
She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…The Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive an e-book copy of Queen of Swords in the format of their choice. Simply fill out the form below to be entered. Event runs June 10 – 20, 2012 (ends at 11:59 Pacific Time). Winner will be announced June 20, 2012 using Random.com. Good luck everyone!
And the Winner is…Starbrst!!
Congrats to our winner! I shall be forwarding your email address along with your preferred format to the author and you should be hearing from her before the month is out. Enjoy reading and thank you to all who entered!