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The Rose of Shanhasson – A Review

April 27, 2008

Three days.

It took me three days to finish reading this book, and I have no doubt the characters and their world will haunt me for the rest of my life.

My hands are still shaking.

THIS was great storytelling, fabulous world building and characters who take your breath away all in one! This was the sort of story I’ve been waiting to read. It had heart, soul, and just about every possible emotion you could describe. Even those ones you might not be so comfortable with or find Taboo.

Best of all? It worked!

Joely Sue Burkhart for the win!

Review below:

“Love; the greatest Gift of all and the greatest Sacrifice.”

If you haven’t heard that before, you’ve obviously never read The Rose of Shanhasson”, the first book of Bloods and Shadows, by Joely Sue Burkhart.

In which case? You’re missing out and I’ll tell you why.

Joely Sue Burkhart weaves a perfect blend of romance and fantasy. Her poetic prose sucks you in and refuses to let you go as we learn all about this delightfully heart wrenching love story about Bonds, Honor, Duty and above all else, Love and Sacrifice.

Shannari is destined to rule as High Queen of the Green Lands lest they fall into darkness, despair, and decay. As the Blessed Lady’s Last Daughter, only she can wear the Rose Crown and live. Prophecy says she’ll acquire magic through love and that Blood is the key, but Shannari lost faith in such things a long time ago.
Resigned to her fate, Shannari sets plans in motion that will allow her to do just that, while hopefully burning some less desirable bridges along the way, but not without the cost of gaining others. Her heart’s already scarred, broken. Hell, she doesn’t even think she was one left.

So why not?

It’s not as if she has anything to lose.

All that goes to the Three Hells when the Barbarian Warlord and his Nine Blood conquers her army though. With very minimal effort, I might add. A man of honor, the mighty Khul asks only one thing for his victory; Shannari, his beloved. He’s convinced she’s a gift from Vulkar himself and professes to her a love like no other.
Shannari’s first inclination is to bolt, but she never runs from anything and she certainly doesn’t intend to start now.

So killing the arrogant warrior will have to do.

But she’d surrendered and her honor dictates she go with him to the Plains where the Nine Camps of the Sha’Kae al’Dan reside. Not to mention one of the Khuls’ warriors, one of the nine Bloods, was once an assassin, and their shadows call to one another.

Now not only must she choose between love and duty, but where that love resides. And if that will even matter when darkness calls…

I knew Shannari would be the type of character I could easily identify with. That alone would have been enough to make me want to finnish the story. It would have been enough for me to find it enjoyable.

But-oh man!

I fell in love with this story on page 17, with the introduction to Rhaekhar and his Nine Blood.

Gregar, oh Gregar! He was so deliciously wicked and dark that I knew he would end up being my favorite. Which is not, of course, to say that I didn’t love Rhaekhar as well, but *le sigh* I will always, always, always prefer the dark tortured soul. That’s just me. Hell, I even liked Varne!

But then, Joely makes it exceptionally hard to dislike her characters.

Except, you know, the REALLY evil ones. 😎

The Sha’Kae al’Dan? A fascinating culture. The parallels? Superb!

The Love scenes? Passionate, scorching and surprisingly believable given some of the circumstances.

(I’ve been told I’m both sick minded and a prude. The former is no doubt my Scorpio influences kicking in. The latter? Well, lets just chalk that up to inexperience, shall we? :blush: )

I highly recommend “The Rose of Shanhasson” to any lover of romance, fantasy, or even better, both.

Joely, you tore my heart out with this story and made me loved it! My heart’s still racing and my eyes are still a little moist, I need to go grab some Klennex.Thank you so much for this opportunity. It was, as Gregar would say, an honor to serve. *g*

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Blackfire permalink
    April 27, 2008 4:19 am

    Wow, this sounds wonderful! ::adds to TBR::

    If you like that, you might like the chronicles of the Cheysuli by Jennifer Robberson. I started reading them last week, and they are brilliant, she is seriously an amazing writer. You can get them in the volume addition which has two books in one, or you can get all eight of them separately.

  2. April 27, 2008 8:00 am

    What a terrific review!! Now my hands are shaking. Thank you so much–I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. Gregar is to die for (literally), isn’t he?

  3. Soleil Noir permalink*
    April 27, 2008 10:47 pm

    Blackfire- I will definately have to check that out, eight novels? Sweeeeet.

    Joely- He most certianly is. *grin* I can’t wait for the second book, and more Gregar!

  4. April 28, 2008 12:13 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read this book badly for a while now. And you make me want to pick it up even more!

    Great new design, btw. Loves it.

  5. Soleil Noir permalink*
    April 28, 2008 6:55 pm

    Jana- Seriously, get it. It’s awesome! 😀 and thank you.

  6. Raye permalink
    May 2, 2008 11:01 pm

    wow. Now I want to read it.
    Damn hun, I have to finish my other one first…naahhh lol


  1. Joely Sue Burkhart » Blog Archive » The Rose of Shanhasson - Review
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