291678So this one is a bit interesting.  Shadowmage is essentially a sequel to Shadowking, something I haven’t really seen done before in the Harper stand alones, aside from those books that are also considered the Song and Swords Quartet. Technically speaking though I don’t think those count as part of the Harpers as they’re considered they’re own unique series.

Anyways.  Shadowmage takes place about two years after Shadowking.  Caledon Caldorian is living relatively peacefully at the Inn of the Dreaming Dragon with his partner Mari and son Kellen.

But something is very wrong in Irabor, the City of Spires.  Murders most gruesome in the bak alleys and dark corners of the city. Murders that Mari learns too late are caused by shadows controlled by Caledon.

Or something that LOOKS like Caledon…

Turns out Caledon is heir to the Shadowking of the previous book, and because of that fact he is slowly being pulled along in his ancestors footprints to become the next Shadowking and free the monumentally ancient and evil creatures called the Shadevar from their prison.  Weather he likes it or not.

Mari, others from Caledon’s old adventuring group the Company of the Dreaming Dragon, and some new friends embark on a quest to save Caledon from himself, despite him being condemned by the Harpers he served for so long and being tracked by one of their best Hunters.  Hunter, aka assassin.

All’s well that ends well for the most part.  Some partnerships end, others begin, a old friend is lost and found, and two curses are broken.  Hopefully forever.  But there is one still living with the shadow blood in his veins, and only time will tell what becomes of him…

All in all a good addition to the Harper series, especially now that we’re drawing to a close on it. (Finally!)

But until that time, we continue on with the third book of Ja No Read Mo, Lady of the Eternal City fourth in the Empress of Rome series by Kate Quinn.

20486495Elegant, secretive Sabina may be Empress of Rome, but she still stands poised on a knife’s edge. She must keep the peace between two deadly enemies: her husband Hadrian, Rome’s brilliant and sinister Emperor; and battered warrior Vix, who is her first love. But Sabina is guardian of a deadly secret: Vix’s beautiful son Antinous has become the Emperor’s latest obsession.

Empress and Emperor, father and son will spin in a deadly dance of passion, betrayal, conspiracy, and war. As tragedy sends Hadrian spiraling into madness, Vix and Sabina form a last desperate pact to save the Empire. But ultimately, the fate of Rome lies with an untried girl, a spirited redhead who may just be the next Lady of the Eternal City . . .