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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Scorpions Strike by C. L. Talmadge

The Scorpions Strike: Green Stone of Healing Book Three by C. L. Talmadge
Publisher: Healing Stone Books
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full (313 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Helen Andros and her newly reconciled father endure proscription and savage punishment by the Temple of Kronos. Helen learns basic energy manipulation from the Mist-Weaver and first uses her green stone for healing. A treacherous ally plots her father's assassination.

Conflicts escalate in Azgard. Helen Andos is a like a lightning rod that attracts the wrath of her father’s enemies. Both Helen and her father, Lord James, Lord Protector of the Realm suffer horrific punishment that is ordered by Malachi in the name of religion. Helen feels responsible for her father’s suffering and sink in the depths of despair.

Enemy clans outside of Azgard take advantage of the civil strife. They burn a city inside the borders of Azgard and kill or enslave the people.

The treasonous plot against the king that Lord James is sworn to protect creates numerous sub plots that influence political, social, and personal happens. The indecisive king does force the issue so Lord James and Lady Samantha are wed. Helen is betrothed to Lord Justin while two of her dearest friends secretly connive to find a way to be together.

Maguari the Mist-Weaver visits Helen more often in this book. He helps her learn how to manipulate energy as he did to heal her physically and bring a feeling of being loved and accepted to her. He also teaches her how to be alert to others close by that would do her harm. He reveals some astonishing information about Helen’s past that puts the reader on alert for something remarkable yet to come in her life.

C. L. Talmadge once again delivers “in spades”. The intricate plots and sub plots, the diversity of characters, the incredibly cruel actions along with political and personal intrigues keep the reader on pins and needles.

As the characters in power show weakness, their enemies move in for the kill. Weakness has no place in the Azgard society. Helen is weak politically but she is strong in spirit and does what she knows must be done to save the people that are near and dear to her.

This fantasy series is remarkably well written. It is like a fine tapestry with subtle details that blend together to make a design that encompasses all the “Deadly Sins” plus love, honor, integrity, loyalty, despair, self-sacrifice, and so much more.

Of course, reading THE VISION and FALLOUT, the first and second books of the series, enhances the reader’s understanding of all the undercurrents in THE SCORPIONS STRIKE that keep so many sub plots moving along with the main plot. EXCELLENT FANTASY!