★ ★ ★ ★ Loved it!
Secrets Dead and Burned, by Leigh Andrews
This is my first self-published read of March, which will be dedicated to supporting, reviewing and sharing, indie and self-published authors!
I really enjoyed this stand alone fantasy with its medieval vibes, romance, and a few unexpected twists. Although I think this novel could easily work as a series, it’s a fun, quick read if you’re not ready to commit to a long series or a 700-page novel, but enjoy some light fantasy, magic, and romance.
The action starts a year after Anyk Tenebroso became the hero, when he defeated the mysterious Cion who was terrorizing the town that Anyk loves. With his past experience, Anyk is offered a position to train the royal guard and prepare for yet another threat to his town and people. One responsibility that comes with his new position is protecting the Princess who is battling with her own weighty responsibilities. The two are determined to protect their people and each other along the way.
What really stood out to me in this novel was the way the reader was carefully placed right in the center of the story from page one. Starting in the middle of the story, a year after the initial action is an interesting way to create a sense of urgency and a strong connection between the reader and the main character. There’s definitely history there that you immediately want to know more about. I felt invested right from the start.
I also really enjoyed slowly getting to know the main character and his past. I always enjoy when an author strategically integrates details about a character without laying everything out in the open right away. It forms a stronger connection.
Favorite quote: “Weak men claim power and abuse it. Strong men may claim power and wield it wisely. Power isn’t the issue; men are.”
Since I am focusing on self-publishing I want to comment on a few things that traditionally published authors don’t always have to worry about. First formatting, this book is very professionally laid out and also well edited. The cover design is intriguing and brings a magical element of the book to life.
Click the link to purchase Secrets Dead and Burned, by Leigh Andrews.
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'I wondered if I’d find the place where I belonged and would finally feel. . . complete. All I’d have to do was mount my horse and leave—throw my hands wide and fly away on the wind toward the stars that beckoned me to find them. But my responsibilities made me ignore their pull. So here I stayed. Away from wherever it was my soul longed to be.'