5 out of 5 stars - 6th book needs a 6th star November 10, 2014 - Posted on Amazon.com
By The Gnome
The world of Erdhe continues to enchant. The Gnome has traveled into many realms but Erdhe has its own amazing feel. The darkness ENVELOPES me as I read... surprisingly the despair in this book is woven in a different tapastry... the focus being on Liandra this plot is woven with silk... not the steel of the previous books... My one occassional problem in book 1 to 5 was the heavy handed way our Author lathed on the EVIL... this book wove the evil with subtle majesty as befitted the focus of Spider Queen vs Mordant... The trouble in the North for those who wear purple is covered well too... a few more new twists are added and the desire for news of Kath only heightens the tension... if you have been reading this series this one will move you alot... if not then GO NOW and get the first so you too can enter the world of Erdhe.
5 out of 5 stars - and it is great. Finished it in less than one day because ... October 11, 2014
Posted on Amazon.com
I just finished reading this latest book in the series, and it is great. Finished it in less than one day because the plot kept pulling on to every next chapter. The Mordant is the main character; putting his plans into action, and he appears to be invincible.
In an unexpected twist, it seemed the dark lord also emerges as a character, but one without a single point of view chapter. Hatred, misogyny, greed, lust, and love are all woven together. Without giving too much away; the mage stone mystery is gripping, the monks continue to emerge as so powerful and yet so unsure of what to do, and the ominous love story between the dark priestess and a man who will risk his life for her is tragic. The writing is very fast paced and the characters have no time to even understand what they are up against before having to act to save themselves. Another really wonderful book from this author.
5 out of 5 stars - Epic fantasy at it's finest. November 10, 2014 - Posted on Amazon.com
By Gregory propernick
For years I have been telling myself that I would read Karen's books, as I had heard so much about them. Being a fan of High Fantasy and epic sagas, I was tentative at first. The entire series has me riveted, the development of the characters and her attention to the details had me hooked from book 1. Now here we sit at book 6 and I finished it in 2 days, gripping and fast paced the story draws you in. Detail is given on each character as you progress, each chapter focusing on the perspective of 1 individual, painting a broad spectrum, and weaving together in one massive mosaic. An epic story to be sure, and one of my must have for my paperback collection along with Jordan, Hayden and Goodkind. Most assuredly worth the read, and I can't wait until "The Battle Immortal".
5 out of 5 stars - Great story gets even better! - November 7, 2014 - Posted on barnesandnoble.com
I love this entire series, but this book, The Prince Deceiver, is my favorite so far. The battle of wits has one surprising twist after another as clever ploys get out-maneuvered. It is so refreshing to read such an intelligently written fantasy story in which there is development of evil as well as good characters, no one does anything stupid, and the magic is plausible, effectively used, and not overwhelming. The world is rich and imaginative. This is simply the best new fantasy I have read and I can't wait for the final book of the series.
5 out of 5 stars - Excellent fantasy entertainment! October 22, 2014 - Posted on Amazon.com
By "Seregil of Rhiminee"
The Prince Deceiver is the sixth book of The Silk & Steel Saga. It gloriously continues the captivating story that started in The Steel Queen and then continued in The Flame Priest, The Skeleton King, The Poison Priestess and The Knight Marshal. The Prince Deceiver is a wonderful addition to The Silk & Steel Saga, because it powerfully moves the story towards the final battle between the forces of good and evil.
The Silk & Steel Saga was originally supposed to have ended with the fifth book, but the author decided to make sure that her readers get to read the whole story, so she decided to write seven books. In my opinion this is an excellent decision, because now the readers and fans of this series have a chance to read what happens to all of the characters without leaving anything important out of the story.
I enjoyed reading The Prince Deceiver very much, because it's the best book so far in this wonderful fantasy series. It doesn't disappoint fans of the series, because it's perfect and extremely addictive fantasy entertainment from start to finish. Once you begin to read this book you won't be able to stop reading it until you've finished reading the last page.
Before I write more about this book, here's a short recap of what happened in the previous book:
The Mordant created horrifying abominations with his dark magic. Kath was trapped in the Citadel, because winter had arrived to north. She missed her loved one, and she wondered if she'd able to travel south. Zith began to explore the Mordan't treasure, because he intended to find magical items. The knight marshal led kingless men and decided not to let the Octagon fail. The knight marshal and his men faced problems and the knight marshal made a difficult decision. Juliana headed north towards the Citadel. The Priestess delighted herself with the knowledge that she had left death in her wake, and she had new plans. Megan, Queen of Navarre, suffered from bad and horrifying nightmares caused by the poisoned feast and her wicked relative. Liandra was shocked by her son's secret, and she wanted to find the murderer of her baby. Jordan witnessed the shocking death of one of her relatives. Steffan met the Priestess. Quintus noticed something alarming at the end of the book...
Here's information about the story in this book:
Quintus shares his worrisome secret with another person and asks for advice. The Mordant travels to Pellanor and intends to conquer the city and corrupt Queen Liandra. The Mordant meets Liandra and matches wits and powers with her. Jemma has become Liandra's friend, ally and protégé, and they meet each other often. Liandra wonders about many things and wants to find answers to them. She is concerned about the Prince of Ur who has come to town, because she thinks that there's something odd and unsettling about him. She asks Jemma to share an important secret with her. The Priestess and Steffan travel to Pellanor. Soon after arriving in Pellanor the Priestess finds herself in trouble. Bryce is still imprisoned within the Mordant and tries to find a way to fight against him. The knight marshal has fallen under the influence of the sword that has been corrupted by darkness. Nimeria is an illuminator who summons something powerful. Master Rizel asks advice from the dead...
This is all I'll write about the story, because it would be almost criminal to reveal more information about it. The story is so full of happenings, surprises and stylistic scenes that I don't want to spoil anybody's reading pleasure by too many revelations.
The characters in this book are fascinating and the characterization works well, because the characters are wonderfully humane. They have feelings and duties of their own that affect their lives in many ways.
I have to mention that I love the realistic female characters in this book. The author has created strong female characters that have their own feelings, ambitions, needs and desires. Although the female characters are strong, they're also vulnerable and can be afraid of things.
Queen Liandra is a formidable, strong and intelligent ruler who isn't afraid of fighting against evil, but she's also a woman who has to keep up an image of a powerful ruler. She's one of the most complex and fascinating female characters in modern fantasy series, because she struggles with her own emotions while she rules the city. In this book she faces severe threats that threaten her rule of the city.
The Priestess is one of my favourite characters in this fantasy series, because she's a beautiful, intelligent and evil woman who uses her wits and powers in a seductive way and manipulates men in a shameless way. It was intriguing to read more about her actions in this book. I can mention that the meetings between the Priestess and the Mordant are excellent and will please fans of the previous books, because the Priestess tries to use her powers against the Mordant.
I also enjoeyd reading about the male characters, because their actions are motivated by duty, honour and feelings. Duty and honour mean a lot to many of the characters and they have to be able to do the right thing or suffer the consequences. For example, Master Rizel has to decide what to do in order to find out what's happening to the mage-stone and how its erosion can be stopped.
General Haith is an especially interesting evil character, because he's part of the Mordant's army. I enjoyed reading about his actions and how he rode south and didn't let anything stop him.
The chapters concerning Quintus are well written, because in these chapters the readers have a chance to see what kind of a price the soldiers pay for fighting. Because Quintus is a healer, he tends to the wounded and tries to save them. He also tries to find out how to stop the mage-stone from eroding.
One of the best things about this book is that the Mordant is described as a malicious and intelligent evil character who has his own ambitions and goals that he intends to achieve. It's great that the author has created an intelligent evil character, because it has often bothered me that in many fantasy books the evil characters are anything but intelligent. The Mordant is a totally different kind of an evil character, because he clearly is intelligent and knows what he wants and is aware of what he needs to do in order to please the Dark Lord.
The Mordant grows as a character in this book, which is great. He gets more room and his character is being handled in a deeper way than before. This is good, because readers get to see how he manipulates and deceives people in many ways. He uses many things against people and plays with their fears and hopes to advance his own goals.
The nature and mechanics of evil are handled in an admirable and intriguing way in this book. Evil has many tools and the author shows how evil characters use them to their advantage (even ordinary things can become ruthless weapons in the hands of an evil character). The enchanted objects may lure people to do evil things, lies can become truths when people want to believe in something and good people are capable of becoming evil when something corrupts them. In my opinion the author writes about the allure and power of evil in a realistic and believable way.
In this book the author shows how well evil characters can deceive people, because Queen Liandra has no idea who she's dealing with when she welcomes a visitor to her court. She's intrigued and alarmed about the visitor, because the visitor seems to defy her and acts in a strange way, but she isn't sure who he is and what he intends to do in the city. Soon she finds out that things are more threatening than she thought and finds herself in trouble.
The meetings between the Mordant and Queen Liandra have been written perfectly. The author writes about the happenings from both sides and shows how the opponents feel about each other and how they react to different things. Reading about the happenings from both perspectives gives the reader a chance to see how the forces of good and evil work, because the Mordant represents the ultimate evil and Liandra represents the Light.
I admire the author for her willingness to write about how good characters can become corrupted by darkness and may fall under the influence of evil. This adds realism to the storyline and makes the story addictive and powerful. In my opinion there are too many authors who never let anything bad happen to their characters, because they fear that they'll alienate readers by writing about bad happenings. That's why authors like Karen Azinger, who have courage to write about difficult themes and are willing to explore them, are highly appreciated.
Reading about what happened to the once honourable knight marshal was simply fantastic. I enjoyed reading about how he became corrupted and enchanted by the Dark Sword and how he enjoyed killing enemies. His descent into a magic-induced killing machine was described in a brilliant way, because the Dark Sword consumed him and demanded more and more souls.
I like the way the author writes about magic. Magic plays an important part in this series and in this book the readers find out more things about certain things related to magic. I think it's good to mention that the scenes involving mage-stone and its erosion are fascinating, because if mage-stone erodes the consequences are devastating.
The sex scenes are as excellent, erotic and seducing as in the previous books. In my opinion Karen Azinger writes boldly and fluently about sex and sexual situations. She especially uses the Priestess to explore sensuality and sexuality, because the Priestess uses sex to her advantage.
It's nice that the author shows how the characters feel about each other. For example, the relationship between Jordan and Stewart is handled in a perfect way, because they both have their own duties, but they love each other and want to spend time together. I can also mention that the relationship between the Priestess and Steffan is delightfully unconventional, because the Priestess casts her allure on different men and Steffan is her paramour.
There are so many excellent scenes in this book that it's almost impossible for me to pick the best scenes, so I won't even try to do it. I'll only mention a couple of scenes as examples of what the author has in store for her readers. One of the most interesting scenes in this book is the scene in which Nimeria summons a powerful item with magic, because it surprises the reader. What she has summoned causes debate among the monks, because they have different opinions about how to use the artifact. In another memorable scene the Priestess tries to seduce the Mordant. I won't reveal what happens in this scene, but the readers get to see how the Priestess uses her dark powers, sensuality and sex in full force to achieve her goals.
The battle scenes are gritty and realistic. It's easy to imagine how the battle and the deaths of the fellow men affect the soldiers, because the author writes unflinchingly about the desperate fight against the Mordant's soldiers.
The worldbuilding in this fantasy series is truly epic, because the happenings take place in different parts of Erdhe. The author brings each place to life with her vivid descriptions of the surroundings - the forests, the mountains and the cities all feel realistic. It's been a pleasure to follow how the author has gradually revealed more information about her rich fantasy world (with each new book she has led her readers deeper into the world of Erdhe).
One of the most important things why I love this book and the whole series so much is that Karen Azinger avoids using the most typical clichés that are often associated with entertaining epic fantasy. There are many well-known fantasy elements in this book, but the author uses them in a highly entertaining way and never lets the story become clichéd or boring. This - in my opinion - is quite an achievement.
I'm honestly amazed by the complexity and vastness of this epic fantasy series. I've read several entertaining fantasy series, but only a few of them have been able to get to this level of vastness. In this book the story becomes even more complex than before, because the final battle approaches and many things happen. The characters move to their positions like pieces on a chess board and prepare themselves for the final confrontation that will decide the fate of Erdhe.
I'm impressed by how skillfully Karen Azinger moves the story forward. It's amazing that there are no unnecessary chapters or scenes in this book - all the chapters and scenes have a meaning in the long run. The story moves fast forward and there aren't any dull moments in the storyline. Normally authors who write fast-paced stories tend to have at least a few flaws in their books, but there are no flaws in this book. I knew what to expect from this book when I began to read it, because I've enjoyed reading the previous books in this fantasy series, but this time the story was so good and fast-paced that the author managed to surprise me with her ability to write fast-paced adult fantasy that goes full speed ahead and contains interesting surprises. I can honestly say is that it's been a long time since I've read anything this good when it comes to fast-paced epic fantasy.
I think it's good to mention that Karen Azinger has her own unique writing style. I think it's great that she writes her own kind of fantasy and stays true to her own vision, because it separates her from other authors. She has her own voice and she uses it well.
I'm aware that there are readers out there who have negatives thoughts about traditional epic fantasy series. I understand why certain readers may have reservations when it comes to reading traditional fantasy books, because there are bad books out there on the market (most of these bad books tend to recycle clichés and they lack originality). Fortunately The Prince Deceiver and its predecessors represent quality books, because they're good traditional fantasy books that have both style and originality in them. To be honest, The Silk & Steel Saga has restored my faith in traditional fantasy and its entertainment values, because you can't help but love this fantasy series.
The Silk & Steel Saga is one of the most enjoyable epic fantasy series I've ever read, because Karen Azinger clearly seems to love storytelling and wants to offer her readers only the best. She has more ambition than other authors, because she has created a complex story arc that surpasses many other epic fantasy story arcs in terms of depth, vastness, characterization and style. She has created her own kind of an epic vision of a battle between good and evil and what a vision it is! Her vision of it is something to behold, because the story works well and everything has been planned perfectly from the beginning (as the events begin to unfold, more and more things are revealed about the world and the characters).
I eagerly look forward to reading the final book (The Battle Immortal), because the story has advanced to such a level of depth and style that it's almost impossible to wait for what's going to happen in the final book. I'm confident that other readers will also feel the same way after reading this book, because this book is an excellent fantasy book from a talented author whose books deserve to be read and cherished by fantasy readers. I'm sure that the final confrontation will be worth waiting for, because the author has done her best to create a memorable story that simultaneously entertains, intrigues, shocks and hooks the readers.
It's possible that there are readers out there who have never heard of Karen Azinger before. I can say to these readers that you should read Karen Azinger's books as soon as possible, because they're among the best entertaining epic fantasy books ever written. The story flows effortlessly in these books and the large cast of characters will keep readers entertained for a long time. If you call yourself a fan of entertaining epic fantasy books you should read this book (and the previous books) as soon as possible.
If you're looking for a thrilling and compelling epic fantasy book to read, you can't go wrong by choosing this book. It has everything you could ask for in an entertaining epic fantasy book: love, death, beauty, grittiness, darkness, suffering, sex, action, violence, magic, plenty of surprises, a large cast of characters, epic story arc etc... I can highly recommend this book to all who enjoy reading fantasy books, because it's excellent escapism and offers plenty of enjoyable and exciting moments to the readers. This book is entertaining epic fantasy at its best and most exciting.
Excellent fantasy entertainment!