Review for Iron Bonds by Billy Wong

iron bonds

My Rating:  3/5

Author:  Billy Wong
Title: Iron Bonds

Genre:  Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:
Action-packed fantasy adventure with a powerhouse female epic warrior in the spirit of Achilles or Beowulf.

The continuing saga of a young warrior whose army-slaying sword belies her kind heart.
Nearly indestructible warrior Rose has brought the use of magic back to her world with the help of her love Finn and scholar friend Derrick. Yet there is no time for weary heroes to rest as Death General Joghra, military leader of the most advanced nation in the world, and vengeful giantess Fiona come with a vast army to conquer their homeland. But as Rose and Finn clash with these titans with their underhanded tricks and endless horde, will it be the magic she has always feared that ends up costing Rose her love?

A full length novel. Third in the Iron Flower series.

Opinions:

My Short Summary:
This is the third book in the Legend of the Iron Flower series. If you haven’t read the other two, you may be in for some spoilers. (I will try to keep things a little vague for those who have not read the other books.) Although there is recap in this book, it’s probably a good idea to read this book after the other two.

Rose, Finn, and Derrick are in the middle of starting a magic center. Finn is still studying magic from the last book with the help of Derrick, and Rose is still off looking for adventures. She helps out in fierce battles against Death General Joghra. As always, she is up against some strong competition and a few surprises – poison, an old unexpected foe, babies, monsters, and another dragon – for this book.

Narration: Third person – mainly through Rose’s perspective

Character Development: A new component is added in this book to offset the heroine, Rose. The new component is children. Yep, you read right. Rose might be strong on the battlefield and confident with a sword, but not with babies. Also, there is something unusual that happens to Finn. (I will leave it at that.) As I stated from my last review (for book 2), I would have liked to have read about some explanation as to why Rose cannot die. Being a “freak” doesn’t really cut it for me. Also, Justin and Howard changed personalities in a very short time span. At first, I thought I mixed up the names when I was reading it, but I didn’t.

Plot Development/Flow: The book is like the other two with lots of action and fighting. There are some new rivals as well as old ones that pop up in this story. The plot moves fast and is similar to the other two books. The end leaves an opening for the next book; there is an unresolved issue to address.

Standalone or Part of a Series: Third book in a series

 

Review for Iron Flower by Billy Wong

iron flower

My Rating: 3.5/5

Author: Billy Wong
Title: Iron Flower (Legend of the Iron Flower)

Genre: Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:
“Years are only one way to age in this tale of a young warrior whose army-slaying sword belies her kind heart.

One of the greatest fighters in the world, nearly indestructible Rose lets few things strike fear into her—but magic is one of them. Nonetheless, she seeks out the magical dangers left by the ancients alongside warrior partner Finn and curious scholar Derrick in order to protect others from them. Their mission is complicated by Rose and Finn’s budding romance, as her choice of lifestyle conflicts with his expectations for the woman he loves. But after their quest pits against such titanic foes as a prince able to slay a thousand men in a day and a draconic archmage, will Rose be forced to embrace the very magic she fears?”

Opinions:

3.5/5 stars

Iron Flower is the second book that follows Rose Agen in her battles and adventures. This time she works together with Finn and Derrick to collect and stop cursed artifacts and evil magic, while facing battles of invading forces. I’ve read the first book Iron Bloom, but I think a person could jump right into this one without much trouble—although if you are thinking about reading both stories, you should obviously read the first one first. This story picks up about 2 years after the last, with a flashback to a scene in the first book during the prologue.

Characters:
The story is written in third person mostly following Rose, Derrick, and Finn. Rose is still the warrior and joins up with Finn and scholar, Derrick, to rid artifacts that may be cursed to avoid any inhuman possession like Rose has met with prior. Rose is still the strong woman she was in the first book and also still concerned about the welfare of the people and those she loves. As the story of Rose progresses from the first book to the end of this book, it’s hard to imagine Rose ever dying. The battles that are fought in this book are still perilous towards Rose and her friends, but the reader is kind of used to her not dying from “mortal wounds.”

Plot:
The plot moved along well. There is action and adventure similar to the first. This time there is more magic and dangers involved. Should old magic be brought back into the world? How do they stop the evil possessions/creatures that are a result of the magic? What are the invading forces looking for-magic? The book obviously leaves room for another installment. I wonder how there will be a new element to the story. I feel that to make the story develop there needs to be something that Rose must face that she can’t use her physical strength and weird healing assets on. The battling outcomes are more predictable – even the ending battle was not described. Hence, something new will need to be added to keep the story going, in my opinion.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, it was a nice quick read. If you like strong female characters and fantasy/adventure, you should try this book.

 

Review for Iron Bloom by Billy Wong

iron bloom

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Billy Wong
Title: Iron bloom

Genre:  Fantasy

Background: “The tale of an epic warrior torn between the power of the sword and her longing for a peaceful life.
A young woman with a kind heart and extraordinary constitution, Rose becomes a warrior to better the world. Despite the wealth and fame she wins as one of the greatest champions of her time, the bloody reality of her new life is nothing like her ideal dream. She yearns for a chance to escape the violence.
She finds that chance in Ethan, the leader of an altruistic pacifist group. But when a barbarian horde invades their kingdom, Rose knows that she can make a difference by taking up her sword again. Will her need to protect her homeland cost her the man she loves?
A full length novel intended for both adults and older teens. First in the Iron Flower series”

Opinions:

Iron Bloom is a fantasy novel with lots of fighting and adventure.  It is a novel of a strong female warrior and her struggles with her innate abilities to fight. This book leaves off for a sequel to follow.

Characters:
The book is written in third person narrative following Rose (a fifteen/sixteen year old) off in search of adventure. She is “freakishly” tall and strong, and for some reason can survive fatal wounds (as the reader discovers in the opening scene.) She feels obliged to help those who are in trouble – by fighting, which is her strongest ability. However, the killing and violence takes a toll on her and she tries to stop all together when she meets Ethan. Ethan is a pacifist who is opposed to all violence. However, will he change his mind after meeting Rose?

Plot:
The plot is fast-paced with a lot of action and fighting scenes. For those who are not particularly interested in the bloody parts of battle, they might want to skip over this novel. However, I have read gorier novels and the fight scenes did not bother me. The story follows Rose as she tries to find her place in the world. The ending was slightly abrupt (which will lead to the next book of the series)… *NEXT TWO SENTENCES IS A SPOILER ALERT* I think it should have ended when Rose went off as a bodyguard with the young merchant, not at the party.  Also, I think there should have been a little more built up to the love affair between Rose and Ethan. *END OF SPOILER*

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book and read it within a few days. The plot moved swiftly and there was lots of action to read about. I really like strong female roles and Rose was one of them. She wasn’t unnaturally strong (except for the unexplained fact of how she could survive some of the things she did), but showed her weaknesses through her guilt of killing other fighters – even if it was for a good cause. I’m not sure if a fifteen/sixteen year old would be as mature as her; but there are exceptions and she’s not average.

If you like fantasy adventure with a strong female lead, you might enjoy this book.

 

Review for Saving Fate by Billy Wong

saving fate.

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Billy Wong
Title: Saving Fate

Genre:  Fantasy

Background: “The heroic fantasy saga of a boy searching for his mom.
The adopted son of an earl, Mark fears he will never live up to his father’s expectations. But when he learns his mother is a famous warrior who once saved their country from barbarian invasion, he sets out to meet her and become more than the underachiever he no longer wants to be.
Joined by wild and brazen warrior princess Ann, Mark travels through barbarian lands and cursed wastes while ever hounded by the minions of an evil duke who plans to kidnap him to control his father. Will timid Mark find the strength to survive endless mercenaries, demonic shrubs, an awkward romance with the more experienced Ann, and the duke’s conniving son who just happens to be named Marcus?”

Opinions:

Saving Fate is a fantasy adventure novel with lots of action and a few surprises. There should be at least another book to pick up where this one left off. If you are looking for a DID (damsel in distress) novel, this is not the book for you. It is more like “dude” in distress instead.

Character:
The book is written in third person narrative mainly following Mark. His mother Brianna is followed at the beginning while Mark was an infant. Brianna is a very strong person (mentally and physically – though she might not admit that.) She has a mother instinct and a driving force that pushes her to do incredible things. The story, however, involves around Mark, her son who she had to give up, and his quest to find Brianna. Mark is not your typical hero. He is not strong and bold. (He even ran from his first real fight.) He does learn a lesson in friendship and courage. As the book progresses so does his strength and gumption. The women in this novel are warrior-like—they stand and fight. I’m all for strong women roles in books and was glad to see it here. At different points in the book, I would have liked to see Mark be a little more…well, bold.

Plot:
The plot is fast-paced with much action and fighting scenes. From Brianna’s battles to Mark’s, the story takes the reader on an adventure that doesn’t stop. The ending does not cover up every loose end in the books itself. The reader will have some more questions about certain characters and exact happenings. The book does contain violence (bloodshed and whatnot.) It’s not descriptively gory, but just a heads up for anyone who doesn’t like that kind of thing.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It kept my interest to the very end, and I was able to read it within two days. One of the things that I did not like about the book was the regard to sex. (There was no sex described in the book, but it is mentioned.) It was a little too flamboyant for my taste. However, this did not deter me from reading the book in those few sparse scenes.

If you like fantasy adventure stories with strong female roles, then you might like this book.