Dragonspire Book Corner: Untethered, The Inn, and The Fractured Empire #BookReviews

Welcome to the first book corner of 2020!

Dragonspire Jan book corner 2020

Disclaimer: These books are review copies from Hidden Gems or the author.

My new kindle makes reading much easier, and I’m on target to smash my Goodreads goal of 20 books in 2020! In this post we’ll travel through steampunk fantasy kingdoms, visit the world of faerie, and enjoy a fast paced trip through an urban fantastical New York πŸ™‚

Untethered, by Michael Alwill:

Untethered Michael Alwill

An enjoyable, fast paced, Urban Fantasy!

Content warning: Mature, but not explicit, sex scene.

The main character, Nick, was likeable, and Kat, the other main character, was awesome: Untethered’s version of a mage. The supporting characters were well developed and I liked the villains, especially Needle. No one was truly evil: Every character had reasons for their actions.

The magic system was intriguing, and the writing well paced. It was hard to put the book down as I wanted to know what happened next. The world building was realistic, a future version of New York, and I’m intrigued to read more of the series.

The only thing that was a little disappointing was the resolution: The last two chapters, for me, didn’t satisfactorily tie up enough loose ends and I didn’t really understand what the characters were doing next. I still liked it a lot though πŸ™‚

4 stars

The Inn, by Ronel Janse van Vuuren:

The Inn Ronel Janse Van Vuuren

A mystical, chilling, journey into the world of faerie.

Second in The Dark Court Sisters series, (Book 1 is Dark Desires), The Inn follows Kelly as she investigates disappearances in the town of Bremen. Her quest leads her to a chilling inn full of dark fae and creatures of the night, where she confronts her past and her heritage.

Kelly is a sassy heroine with powerful magic, which she draws on to solve the problems she faces. She’s not easily scared and quick to think on her feet, even when faced with the horrors of the basement and the mysterious Wild Hunt!

The world building is beautiful, with little details, like the flickering wings of the hidden fae, woven into the story. The story itself is chilling, and the magic the fae use to conceal themselves within the human world is mystical. An enjoyable short story πŸ™‚

4 stars

The Fractured Empire by Robin D. Mahle:Β 

The Fractured Empire Robin D Mahle

Slow burn enemies to lovers, with fantasy steampunk elements and awesome characters!

I nearly didn’t sign up for a review copy of The Fractured Empire because I’m pretty picky when it comes to romance, but when I saw the author had used a quote from Doctor Who before the first chapter, I knew I was in safe hands.

Addie is the daughter of a wealthy man with a powerful company. Her mother and sister were killed in an explosion that Clark’s adopted dad took the blame for. Clark works for a secret organisation. When his mission causes his world to collide with Addie’s, they’re thrown together in a whirlwind adventure, but their growing feelings are overshadowed by their pasts.

The romance feels slow burn, which is perfect as I’m not a fan of insta-love. (Plus it features the bed-sharing trope, which is always a winner :D). Clark is skilled and adorable, and Addie is strong willed and clever. I adored their alternating POV chapters.

I also loved the prequel chapters before each present day chapter, the world-building, and the characters, especially Locke, Perry, and Gunther. The bond between Clark and his two adoptive brothers was probably my favourite part of the entire book.

So why 4 stars? The book ended on a cliffhanger and there were too many loose ends. I want books, even when part of a series, to tie off the main plot nicely. I like the characters and want to read more though, when I stop feeling so irritated by the ending of book 1!

4 stars

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

Have you read any of the above books? Read anything similar, and equally awesome, recently? Do cliffhanger endings in series irritate you too? Let me know in the comments!

Next week? My January updates, in which Merlin will feature heavily!


  1. 20 books is a cool goal! I’m generally not a big fan of Kindle, but I’m glad it’s working out great for you! πŸ™‚

    Untethered: Glad the mature scene is not explicit. I’m not a fan of reading such scenes, so I’m glad it’s not explicit. That story sounds cool! I’m hit and miss with magic in stories, but that story sounds rad! I think it’s cool that each character had reasons. Black and white characters are hit and miss so I’m glad that everyone, including the villain, is nuanced. Yeah I’m not a fan of endings that don’t tie stuff up neatly either.

    The Inn: Haha awesome! Sassy characters rock. Is she pretty calm too? Sounds like an amazing story. I might like this one πŸ™‚
    Does one need to read the first book to understand this second one?

    The Fractured: Bed-sharing trope? And the characters sound cool. Awesome how the POV switches in each chapter. I have a friend who wrote a book like that – the POVs alternate in each chapter. It is cool. πŸ™‚ (But only alternate b/w two or three characters) πŸ™‚ Ahhhh I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings either! lol.

    Cool! Hope Merlin is doing well. πŸ™‚ Louise and Merlin rock! :D. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought I’d hate Kindle, but it’s easier on my eyes than the app on my phone and also I don’t have to make space for tons of paperbacks πŸ™‚

      I really liked Untethered but if I’m honest the mature scene seemed a bit out of place. Probably just me, and I enjoyed the rest of the story!

      Yeah Kelly is calm in The Inn, and badass too. You don’t need to read the first book, both are short stories, but I enjoyed that one too πŸ™‚

      Bed-sharing trope is where two characters who aren’t together share a bed because there’s no alternative. One of my favourite romance tropes because it’s awkward and fun πŸ˜€ It was a real shame about the cliffhanger ending as it kinda put me off reading the rest of the series 😦

      Merlin’s a naughty boy, sweet and fluffy, but so naughty!


      • πŸ™‚ Yeah I’m running out of space too lol. It’s hard. Do you have a long TBR list too? How do you usually squeeze in time for reading with the busyness of school and writing?

        I’m sure I’d feel the same way about that Untethered scene. I’m not a fan of such scenes in general. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

        Cool!! I bought “The Inn”. It should be on my PC Kindle list now.

        Ah, that does sound fun :). Yeah I’d probably be put off too from the cliffhanger ending.

        Lol aww well hopefully Merlin will be less naughty as he grows up.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My TBR list is far too long, but I don’t try to squeeze reading in: If I’m too busy with university or writing I read far less, like I will this month as my assignment is due soon. I feel like if I force myself to read when I’m busy I’m not giving the stories the attention they deserve πŸ™‚

          I’m fine with mature scenes so long as I like the romantic pairing, but that doesn’t happen often (hence my love of fanfic xD)

          Awesome πŸ˜€ Hope you enjoy The Inn. If you like it, I recommend Magic at Midnight by the same author, it was great πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

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