Heart of HytheaHeart of Hythea:

Suzanne Francis is a captivating author.  Her writing pulls you from the realm of reality and places you into the world of imagination so smoothly that you may not know you have arrived there.  She uses colorful and graphic wording that is not overly done and yet manages to paint the story for you as an artist might paint on an easel.  The romance is not full of hot and steamy details but you feel the emotion between the lovers, even if it is not a pleasant encounter.  She manages to keep things mysterious and sensual while leaving any vulgarity out of the text.  Suzanne has written a story that could only be done by a true romantic and a true lady.

I give this book 8 campfires

Dianna Doles Petry

Sage Fire Reviews

* * * *

This is a sweeping novel which takes readers on a roller coaster of emotions, from steadfast love to jealous betrayal in an expansive tale of great love versus a greater social calling. Privileged Katrione du Chesne and poor blacksmith Jacq Benet meet as children, and though they are from different worlds (in more than one way), they fall deeply in love. This love carries them through heartache, physical torment, war, secrets, and finally, the ultimate battle for the city of St.Valery. Ultimately, Katrione must choose between her calling to be the true healer that can stop the wars, and her love for Jacq, a great soldier who fights in them.

I really enjoyed this story and felt fully engaged in the characters’ struggles. However, I would recommend reading the appendices and glossaries that appear at the end of the story before beginning the book. They contain a good deal of information that will make this fantasy world a little clearer.

My only reservation is, despite the benefit of the appendices and glossaries, the world building is vague at times — especially in the cryptic few lines spoken by otherworldly beings at the beginning of each chapter. Other than this drawback, the story is strong and appealing.

Ms. Francis paints her setting with specific, colorful details that completely drew me into the land of Yrth and its ongoing civil war. Around every corner waits danger, either in human or otherworldly form, and the author balances all of these dangers quite well. The relationship between Jacq and Katrione is both believable and complex, and threatened again and again, so that you’ll be flipping the pages to see what happens next.

I recommend it highly.


Long and Short Romance Reviews

Ketha's DaughterKetha’s Daughter:

I enjoyed the main story of this book, although I find it very difficult to describe. There is so much going on that several plots and sub-plots of various characters blend together to make an extremely intriguing and gripping story. The heroine is a vibrant young woman, fully capable of taking care of herself in any situation. At first it seemed she had no softer side, but it soon became obvious the hardness came mainly from the goddess inside her.

This book is second in a series and does not stand alone easily. Because I hadn’t read the first, I felt I lacked enough information to understand the background of the story. The snippets of information in the prologue and at the beginning of each chapter were a total mystery to me until I got about half way through the book. This unfortunately interrupted the flow of my reading and I did wonder whether the snippets would have been better joined together as larger interludes throughout the book.

Ketha’s Daughter is an intriguing book, the main part is well written and grips the reader, making them want to read on, but I would recommend reading the first book in the series to avoid any confusion. If you enjoy warrior princess type stories mixed with the mystique of the gods, then this is a book you should read.


Long and Short Reviews

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