Tarnished Choices Book One


I like the historic locale. The books should be read in order to derive maximum enjoyment. No cliffhanger, but the story will continue. I look forward to the next book. One person found this helpful. I enjoyed reading this. Thankfully no cliffhanger ending here, though there are plenty of things that remain unresolved that could be potential factors later in the series. There were some parts of the story that were difficult to believe, but I mostly remained immersed in the story. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. She has written another interesting, entertaining book. It mixes magic, shifters and history, three of my favorite genres.

I admit some of the scenes were a little hard to read, given the time period. Well written about the immediately pre-war WWII Germany, this paranormal tale feels completely present and challenges the reader with fascinating characters and intriguing tidbits of history mixed into the plot. You cannot resist "just one more page," as you push deeper into the story.

This book will lead you on a path of discovery about Romoni and Shifter traditions, fables, and fantasy. It kept me spellbound as the world of magic, both Romoni and Shifter, slowly unraveled in a tale of love, adventure and forgiveness. You never know what direction it will turn next. This book is a must read. You will not want to put it down! I couldn't stop reading, not even to eat. I cannot wait to read the rest of this story. I loved Tairin's and Elliott's story. I loved the twist of the shifter and gypsy.

Tairin is the shifter. Elliott is the gypsy. Sue H Top Contributor: Tarnished Legacy is the second book in the Soul Dancer series. The book can be read as a standalone. But as Tarin's story began in Tarnished Beginnings and continues in the next book, I would encourage you to read the prequel first. The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat that info here.

The author did a great job summarizing the previous book. As well as explaining Romani and shifter culture and howTarin and Elliott got together. The storyline will keep you guessing what twists and turns will be revealed next. It definitely kept me riveted. I look forward to reading the rest of this series!

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View all 6 comments. Aug 13, Emma rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was surprising! It's a darker and grittier read than its predecessor. Just as in Gilded Cage, the story is still 'a bit different' in ways that keep you reading. This is not a stand- alone and you need to read Gilded Cage first.

Events pick up right where the first book left off. We see less of Luke and more of Abi. Several unexpected events happened in this book, which left me admiring the author for her bold choices, while in many ways the plot progression was pre 3. Several unexpected events happened in this book, which left me admiring the author for her bold choices, while in many ways the plot progression was predictable.

This is definitely a middle book which leaves intriguing questions about where the story will go. New alliances formed in this will change the game in the next book. The most interesting characters in this are definitely Silyen and Corvan and the plot development around them, but we also see a lot of character development from some other key characters.

The book finishes on a cliffhanger again and I will be one of the first in line for the next in series. Many thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. Feb 13, Char rated it it was amazing Shelves: In fact, I think I liked this one just a little bit more! Even though I see this listed and shelved as YA, it's much darker than most YA I've tried, which admittedly is not a lot because it's usually too angst-y for me. In this case however, the author nixes a lot of the extraneous stuff and focuses on the characters and the intricately plotted story.

It took me a little while to get back into the flow, it's been just ov 4. It took me a little while to get back into the flow, it's been just over a year since I've visited this world , but once I did, I was so happy to be there! There's no real re-cap, which I appreciated. I feel that if an author's characters are strong enough, they should come back without my having to be reminded and these certainly did.

There's a big cast here and the characters refer to other characters using the names by which they know them-sometimes resulting in 2 or 3 different names for a person, depending upon the point of view at the time. I noted that a lot of what is going on in this book is going on in the real world right now. Perhaps not slavery exactly, those with no Skill must serve 10 years as a slave , but classism, against those born with no Skill , and the increasingly outspoken attitudes and acceptance of those with racist views. It comes all the way up to the sanction of violence against those who disagree or who dare to stand up against those in power.

I guess I'm trying to say that it's obvious to me that the author knows what she's talking about as far as how the story relates to the world today, and it's downright scary. I feel like I needed to make these points, but now that I have, I want to say how much I loved this tale! I loved the characters, they're well drawn and oh, so human.

They aren't perfect, in fact, many of them are downright horrible people, but they're fun to read about. You've created a compelling, fun and interesting world, populated with deep, complicated characters and I can't wait to come back to it once again. View all 3 comments. Feb 13, Laura rated it it was ok Shelves: Second books in a trilogy are always tough to review. This one in particular really has me staring at my computer screen with no idea what to type. It doesn't make things easier that I liked it, but also didn't at the same time.

The concept set up in the first book is intriguing as it blends fantasy and dystopian fiction. Set in modern-day Britain, magic rules everything. A very small percent of people are Equals who wield magic, while the rest of people are commoners. All commoners are required Second books in a trilogy are always tough to review. All commoners are required to give up 10 years of enforced slavelife and serve Equals. This work can be anything from serving in the home of an Equal which is considered lucky to working in one of the slavetowns where conditions are worse and you could be in the factories.

Regardless, you give up all basic human rights while serving. Through multiple perspectives, you get a clear view of this world from all angles. In the sequel, things pick up just after the events in Gilded Cage. It did take me a few chapters to truly remember all the details of that ending, so it was a bit confusing at first.

The problem with this sequel is more that the story drags here.

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There are parts that I found exciting. Besides that, the political aspects slowed down here. There wasn't as much action or revelations. It didn't feel like the world was expanded on at all. I'll still be reading the third book to get the conclusion of the series, but this one definitely suffered from second book syndrome. The good they could do with it, and the evil they chose instead. This book is dark. Not simply beautifully, poetically dark, no, it is the sort of unpleasant darkness people want to turn away from.

This book shines a light on some of the worst aspects of human nature. The things we all know exists, but so many people refuse to see. And for that, it is amazing. When it comes to YA fiction, people seem to throw around the word dark whenever there is death or betrayal i These people. When it comes to YA fiction, people seem to throw around the word dark whenever there is death or betrayal involved.

Well, I will say to those people this book takes it to another level. Be warned this is not your typical YA Fantasy. Abi has always tried to do what right, but also what was expected of her. Previously, she never thought to challenge the status quo. But with her brother condemned for a crime he did not commit, her parents shipped off to Millmoor and her little sister beyond her reach at Kyneston, Abi steps up to the plate to right the wrongs the Equals have inflicted on her family and so many others.

Luke goes from an uncover rebel to a condemned criminal. But no matter what horrors he is forced to face, Luke refuses to let it break him. He fights as hard as he can to ensure he never gives into the basest aspects of human nature, to make sure he never become the monster Crovan, his torturer, says he will ultimately become. Silyen continues to be the mysterious, ambitious, powerful young man whose actions constantly have to you questioning where his loyalties lie - if he has any at all.

Gavar goes from the spoiled heir, complicit in his families actions, to a young man who starts to question the very society to which he belongs. He starts to think of how things could be better, for his daughter, for everyone, if only Equals were willing to change. Bouda is a girl who continues to do whatever, and whoever, it takes to claw her way to top. She is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the Equals society. That shit got thrown out the window and I will not miss it. I was indifferent to them in book one, but I could tell pretty early in book Jenner was too weak a character to be able to resist the shine of power.

He was not better than his family because he was a better person. He was a previously a better person because he was not yet embraced by his family. Jenner is the sort of person who wants people to like him. Now that his family has seemed to accept him he thinks he is on top of the world. But fear not with each of them now with a Jardine it's only a matter of time before they reunite. I still think it is going to happen, but now that's Luke escaped and Coira stayed behind to the others, it is going to be a long road back for them.

Like seriously, what is the weird bond they have going on? How are they linked? What is the weird King nonsense? I do not understand! I like a girl with ambition, but she the way she treats people, commons, is ghastly and I hope she gets what is coming to her. I do not trust this man at all.

He seems so shady. They only thing they have going for them is that they're kind of hot together. So maybe we can enjoy a little of that before they get their heads chopped off. And for a young child, she is incredibly perceptive. She understands what he is thinking without him having to say. Little Daisy sees the good in him before anyone else does. If it weren't for the fact that she is 10 and he is 25 I would think that meant something romantic, but given the age gap let's hope this is not the case. I am interested to see where this unlikely relationship is going to go.

If you had asked me my rankings at the very start of the book I do believe my answer would be different. But with Gavar finally showing some humanity and backbone, and Silyen still being confusing as heck, I think Gavar wins by a narrow margin. One thing I think that set this book apart from others is that we get the PoV of not only our protagonists but also our antagonists. So not only do we get to see the struggles our heroes go through, we also get to see how life is on the other side. Which I personally enjoyed, since it helped flesh out the characters a bit, but I can understand how so many PoV may overwhelm some people.

This is a story rooted in politics. With some individuals and families striving for power and glory, others fighting for justice, for freedom, for change, and then there are those simply looking for answers. With so many deaths, twist and turns, betrayals and questionable motives this book keeps you guessing and questioning everything up to the very last page.

This book is a breath of fresh air in the realm YA fantasy where the usual formulas and tropes are used on repeat. And I would definitely recommend it for fans of darker YA Fantasy. But as I said before, be warned, when I say it is dark I mean it. I received a free copy of this book via Goodreads First to Reads in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you Del Rey Books for this opportunity, and to the author, Vic James, for this stunning book.

I want soooo bad. In fact, it begins at the very end of the last book, with Abi Hadley, and her family, sent to the slave town of Millmoor, after being banished from the Jardine estate. Of course, her brother Luke, had previously left Millmoor — but he is not going to join the rest of his family.

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This is a dark and exciting read. On the way to Millmoor, Abi manages to escape and joins up with the revolutionaries that Luke had previously worked with in the previous book. She hopes to rescue Luke and, in fact, this novel revolves more around Abi than Luke. For, in this alternate Britain, the Equals rule through Skill, a kind of powerful magic. The rest of the population live under their thumb; condemned to slavery for ten years of their lives.

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Of course, this plan goes horribly wrong and leaves the family separated and scarred. In this novel, it is Luke who finds himself in opulent surroundings, while there is an undercurrent of violence and sadism. Meanwhile, while the protests that Luke had previously taken part in had been peaceful, those involved consider more violent methods of showing their anger.

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At heart, this is a novel about punishment and politics, with many of the characters from the last novel appearing in this story too. However, I will certainly read on and hope to discover what finally happens in the final instalment of the trilogy. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

Tarnished City

Feb 06, Morgannah Mayfair rated it it was amazing. James has conjured a dystopian world where the top 1 percent of a futuristic British society is not only wealthy and holds all the political power but they are also magical, or "skilled". Upon reading the synopsis and other reviews you might think that the plot and themes sound like the same ole "Oh! Upon reading the synopsis and other reviews you might think that the plot and themes sound like the same ole same ole.

In all honesty the themes do fit into an almost cookie cutter layout of a YA dystopian novel. Tarnished City's fully realized fantasy world is a world where propaganda is used to control the citizens of society and information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted. We also see that the "skilled" aristocracy is strife with figureheads who are worshipped by the citizens of the society. Of course all common citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.

These common citizens also live in a dehumanized state. In this world individuality and dissent are horrible things and the oppressed society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world. But there is so much here that sets this book apart from all the others. There are so many players here, some main players and some sideline players that keep the plot going at a break neck speed. Just when I thought I knew who was deceiving who I was proved wrong time and time again. Just when I thought I knew who was on what side I was proved wrong time and time again. There is no spoon feeding the reader here, you better be on your toes and you better be awake or you will miss intricate parts of schemes and events.

Now on to the fun stuff. Besides all the heavy themes there are plenty of wonderful aspects that make this world really stand out. There are invisible castles, mysterious books, unknown magical powers and deep dark family secrets. Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy. Luke is locked up for something he didn't do. Abi is on the run trying to find a way to get her brother back. And the Jardines are more powerful than ever.

Tarnished City is darker than book 1, and it reveals how cruel society can be. It's a complicated mess, and I can't wait for the next book to find out how everything ends. London's burning, she thought. Burning with the Skill of the Equals. Such a gorgeous sequel! This was certainly one of those books that just became better and better the more you read, with more and more pieces added to the puzzle.

And the complete picture is turning out much darker than you first believed it would. As Luke is taken north to Lord Crovan's estate, Abi has escaped the carriage taking her and her parents to Millmoor, intent on finding a way to rescue her brother. She seeks out the London's burning, she thought. She seeks out the Skill-deprived Heir Meilyr, who also hosts the remainder of the Millmoor rebels, and together they start to put together a plan to get Luke out.

At the same time, Silyen manouvers himself into a position of power in the House of Light - and with Lord Jardin becoming a temporary chancellor, Gavar begins to worry that his father will push new, harsh rules onto the common folk, and people like his daughter. Tarnished City is much darker, grittier and more politically inclined than Gilded Cage was.

We lose several important characters, but find just as many new and intriguing ones.

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A mysterious figure himself , Lord Compton finds Cherry different from the odd assortment of women in the society. The exposure of her emotions gave the perfect channel for many readers to relate to her. View all 9 comments. Obviously this provides a new light into the life of Anne Boleyn which delivers a story that will ignite intrigue and interest. I simply could not put them down. That's useful to get her to the top of a building, but that only shows up as useful twice in the whole book. Plenty of intriguing unanswered questions and a strong protagonist have hooked me enough to read the next book in The St.

This, however, makes things a bit complicated as the book has so, so many POVs. Yes, they intertwine with one another, but they also disrupt the flow of the story a bit. I can see the need for them, though, as each POV brings a new perspective on the situation to us readers - but sometimes it takes far too long to get back to certain characters. Either way, I'm already excited for Bright Ruin! This is one of my favourite YA trilogies.

I met the author at MCM in London, and she kindly signed my paperback copy, and took a few minutes to talk to us. A wonderful and kind lady. I'm not going to say too much about the plot, this being a sequel and everything, but let me explain what exactly I love about these books: See, in this world, a sort of modern-day Britain, magic users control everything. If you're not one of them, you 4. If you're not one of them, you owe them ten years of service. Of course, part of this is a bit on the nose, I agree, but Vic James does a great job at presenting both sides of the story.

We get to see the struggle among the aristocrats, those opposed to the ten years of service, those trying to abolish them, and those in favour. We don't just get to follow the struggles against the regime, we get to see those in the middle of it, some of them in favour, some of them not entirely happy with everything that's going on.

And, of course, fascism is on the rise. Tarnished City took a few turns I didn't expect, and I enjoyed reading about all of these characters that have become dear to me. In fact, when I met Vic James, she asked who my favourite character is, and I did not know what to answer. Hours later, I realised, I should have said: Because the politics is what I enjoy most about these books. Tarnished City is darker, ends with a cliffhanger and sets the stage for the last book: Recommended to all YA fantasy fans.

Feb 26, Mel Epic Reading rated it liked it Shelves: I was really hoping for an improvement over Book 1 Gilded Cage. Unfortunately I think I got the exact same book in terms of pacing, boring political parts, intense action at the end, and only liking a few characters. I could probably lift my Gilded Cage review and put it in here with few edits. It's really unfortunate because I really think Vic James has created a great world. But she has made the exact same mistakes in this second book that she did in the first.

Now I realize it was possibly already written and whatnot before book 1 was released but given the timing between the books there would have been time to revisit it to make some improvements. Second Book Syndrome Any long time series reader knows what I mean. A trilogy usually has a middle book that is weaker than the rest.

There is a little bit of that in Tarnished City. Certainly an inability to move the plot forward until the very end of the book is telling that it's all just a set-up for book 3. I also think some second book syndrome set in here when it came to characters we heard from each chapter is from one character Point of View. It's the same mistake George R. Martin makes in his later Song of Fire and Ice books; which is to drop certain character POVs who are not dead from the narrative.

The problem with this is that if they are your beloved characters then it is harder to keep people's attention. I would have loved to see at least one or two chapters from Daisy who has a unique view on everything now and from the parents of our lead teens who are also now in a different location. Instead we get to hear from Garvan, Bouda, and others that I just don't care about that much. Yes they are important, but I'd honestly rather read about them and the politics from the viewpoints of more interesting people. And don't even start me on the lack of Jenner point of views Overview I'll definitely read book 3 as I'm interested in where this goes.

What I'm really hoping for is that after this series James can come out with something totally new in the YA fantasy genre and blow us away with everything she learned from writing her first trilogy. Because I really do believe there is potential here she is amazing at writing cliffhanger endings and action sequences it's just been diluted with poor choices and boring narrative in places. My fan girl self, for those familiar with the series, is very, very disappointed in the serious lack of Jenner in this novel. The last half he might as well nearly not exist until the very end.

This was really hard for me to be okay with. I know James is holding back with him so that a mystery isn't revealed but I just missed him a lot. Not even because I'm a fan girl for him necessarily but because he has THE most unique situation of all and isn't a child. Aug 13, Atlas rated it really liked it Shelves: It's more critical of power and slavery, more developed in it's exploration of morally dubious characters like Gavar and Silyen, and far more emotionally impactful. At one point I almost cried. Best of all, the "romance" between Jenner and Abi is mostly thrown out the window.

This book is a wild, compl These people. This book is a wild, complicated, messy, gloriously convoluted ride and I loved it. Having read Gilded Cage a little while ago, it did take me time to remember what had happened I couldn't find a recap online and James doesn't go into all the details at the start of Tarnished City. We left Luke Hadley Condemned for the murder of Chancellor Zelston, smoking gun in hand and no memory of the act, on his way to the home of supreme torturer Lord Crovan.

Abi has leapt from the moving vehicle that was taking her and her parents to Millmoor, now on the run and looking for a way to rescue her brother. Heir Meilyr, stripped of his Skill and physically damaged, has fled with his fiance Bodina Matravers to Castle Highwithel, whilst her sister, Bouda, attempts to hasten her wedding to Gavar Jardine to cement her political power.

Silyen is manoeuvring himself like a slippery serpent whilst working with his Aunt Euterpia "Terpy" on Skill use. Silyen thought about it. It's got families striving for power, for justice, for freedom, for family itself in an interesting development of Gavar Jardine , and, in the case of Silyen, for mayhem for mayhem's sake.

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We've got Bouda trying to lever herself into power, realising that despite everything including a really horrible scene , there's not much she can do in the face of misogyny. There's shifting allegiances and surprise twists which managed to captivate me despite them involving only minor characters like Lord Rix. Thrown into this mess is a handful of new characters including a character who I hope will feature prominently in the next book: Midsummer Zelston, a young, gay, black woman steals the thunder at the end.