on Feb 26, 2018
Janir Caersynn Argetallam is the girl who destroyed armies in an instant, but winning the war was half the battle. Returning to a homeland she can't remember, Janir is the most despised hero the country has ever known. Even after saving Brevia, hatred and fear of her magic-stealing powers condemns her to isolation. 

When a noblewoman's kidnapping sends Janir on a rescue mission into the heart of the distant Tathansain forests, it becomes clear a trap has been set not only for Janir, but for the man who raised her. Love and loyalty are tested. Oaths are broken and dark secrets revealed. And to save the people she loves, Janir may be forced to betray them all. 

Young Adult Fantasy

4 out of 5 Stars


Today we are heading back into a favorite series of mine, The Argetallam Saga, with book #4 - The Temple of Tarkoth by Elisabeth Wheatley. 

After the intense events of book #3, I was insanely curious about what would be next for Janir and her companions. And if you've read book #3 you know what I'm talking about. Since book #3 found Janir at odds with her true friends for some time I was quite eager for the gang to get back together.  While I definitely enjoyed this book, there were a few hiccups that didn't quite work. 

Unlike all the previous books in the series, The Temple of Tarkoth doesn't have a prologue. Something that I believe is a bit of a hindrance. After I finished book #3 I dove into this book but I found the beginning to be very confusing. I didn't understand where we were at first or how long it had been since the events of Chalice of Malvron. Also for some reason I assumed Janir would get her memory back once she returned to her family, but that isn't the case. I was once again confused by what she could and couldn't remember, it was a little disorienting. At times she seemed uninformed about events in book #3 but from what I can remember she knew what she was doing and what was going on. Maybe I missed something. *befuddled face* Unlike the previous books this one seemed a little stilted.

Janir has grown immensely and she is certainly more mature in this book. She is much more active and progressively becomes more self assured. I was surprised that she didn't remember Armandius, as their relationship is one of the things I love most about this series. On a similar vein, I'm a strong shipper of Janir and Saoven so I was disappointed by how little time they spend together in this book, but I know I like more romance than most readers so I'm sure no one else will be concerned with this.   

I really loved the chase sequence in the temple, it had a very Indiana Jones feel to it and I enjoyed reading it. Very adventurous, thrilling and well written. I also like the insight we get into Lucan's personal life. I was delightfully surprised by his relationship with Genvissa and the depths of his feelings. I hope we get to see more of Genvissa in future books. Spoiler* Genvissa isn't in this book but the way in which she's mentioned is a big deal*Spoiler end 

I'm still a big fan of this series and a few growing pains don't detract from the overall appeal of this book. I love this series and I'm looking forward to future books! 

See you all next month! 
Happy reading! 

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About the Reviewer:
Mallory Farnham has been reviewing books at The Runaway Pen since she was sixteen years old. She is an introverted Slytherin bookworm, and has read over 800 books. Mal is currently working on her first novel. You can follow her adventures by clicking on the links below :)
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on Feb 19, 2018
She's been chosen to fight the elusive enemy among us...

Phoenix Germaine has been trying to earn back her mother's trust after going into rehab and kicking Onadyn—the drug of choice for New Chicago teens. But when a party in the woods turns into an all-out battle with the most ferocious aliens Phoenix has never seen, she's brought home in what appears to be an Onadyn-induced state. Hello, reform school.

Except, what her mother doesn't know is that Phoenix has just been recruited to join the elite Alien Investigation and Removal agency, where she'll to fight dirty, track hard, and destroy the enemy. Her professional training will be rigorous and dangerous, and the fact that one of her instructors is Ryan Stone—the drop-dead gorgeous, nineteen-year-old agent she met in the woods that night—doesn't make things any easier. Especially when dating him is totally against the rules...

5 out of 5 Stars


We're doing a little throwback-Monday here on the Runaway Pen today. This is a book I loved as a teen and it's one of only a handful of YA books that I can honestly say I love just as much now as I did then. :)

Once upon a time I was a huge fan of Gena Showalter adult books, her collection of short stories, Into the Dark was fourteen-year-old mes first introduction to romance novels and I subsequently devoured all of her writing. While I'm not as die-hard as I once was I still enjoy her writing and have several favorites, Red Handed being one of them. 

I like this book as an introduction to the Alien Huntress books, while there are two teen books, Showalter wrote an adult romance series set in the same Alien Huntress world. Phoenix is a good main character and I like that she is very level headed and wants to get her life back from drug addiction. Personally I wouldn't focus too much on the addiction since this is just fiction. Never the less i think it puts Phoenix in the perfect spot for A.I.R.

My favorite thing about this book is the romance, even though it's not heavy. Ryan is dreamy. 

I highly recommend this book and the sequel Blacklisted!
on Feb 12, 2018
In the snow-covered mountains, Odin's spear lies within a forgotten, slumbering city...

Maeja and her crew must find the relics of the gods before the Empire does, but acquiring Odin's spear will be no simple task. First they must escape from the Empire's capital city, then gain entrance into the long forgotten palace of Ostegrad deep in the icy mountains. There, Odin's spear remains securely hidden in a dangerous, trap-filled labyrinth beneath the fabled Shrine of Ages. Before the city will wake and yield its gates, Maeja must first prove her worth as a Valkyrie. Only then will she be able to lay her hands upon the spear.

With an army of walking corpses ravaging parts of the Midlands and the great serpent, Jormungand tormenting the seas, Maeja and crew are running out of time...

5 out of 5 Stars


I am incredibly excited to bring you my long awaited review of Opening of Lost Doors by Melissa Sasina! This is one of my all time favorite fantasy series and I loved this book so much!

Our story picks where Melody of the Dark left off. Maeja and Ril have escpaed Azrith and found their way to Ashylia, the capital city of the Empire. Their search for Odin's spear takes them to Ostengard, a fascinating city that has a lot of character. I really enjoyed seeing how this slumbering city comes back to life. All these different people coming together to stand against evil.

I love that this story is so extensive, and that we are able to watch it unfold from many different points of view. While we have our main group Maeja and friends, the story also follows Boss and several members of his Adventurer's Guild, as well as familiar faces from all over Midgard. Whenever an exciting event happens we are able to witness it through the eyes of someone close to the action. We even have a bit of the story from Severus' point of view. Severus is now the new emperor after the death of his father, as well as our main villain. It could just be my memory but it seems that we get a more in depth look into his mind and plans and I really enjoyed how surprisingly complex he is. We also get to see the inner workings of Azrith and several of Rils sisters make appearances throughout the story. They are always very interesting to read.

I think Maeja is a great main character, she has the quiet strength about her that I really like. While I  enjoy all the characters, it's no secret that my favorite character is Ril, the alluring and charismatic pirate. I love his sass. I was pleasantly surprised by the ample amount of time we spend with Ril in this novel, including learning much about his past. I like him even more now that I understand his history better. Also Maeja and Ril: I will ship it forever. <3 ;)

Norse Gods, speakstones, and exciting adventures can be found within! Highly recommend this series to fans of Game of Thrones and Forgotten Realms!

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on Feb 5, 2018
Janir Caersynn Argetallam wakes in Adasha with little memory and no certainty of what is real. The Argetallams around her claim to be family, yet feel like strangers. But with war approaching, she fears questioning her loyalties. 

When the Argetallams bring an arcane artifact into the war against the Brevains, Janir stands with them despite her reservations. Only when she meets Saoven and Karile, two spies for the Brevians, does it become clear her past holds secrets far more dangerous than she imagined. 

With invasion imminent and mere days to choose, the time comes to take a side. Faced with two versions of the truth, she must either betray the family she has come to love or a homeland she can't remember. 

Young Adult Fantasy

5 out of 5 Stars


We're staying in the Argetallam Saga a bit longer with todays review...I hope that's okay with you all.^_^  In the future I'll try to avoid doing the same author two weeks in a row, so that way we have something for everyone. I've just been loving this series so much that I had to jump right into the next book. ;)

This third installment of the series brings a whole new layer to the world and characters that we've come to know and love. With Janir now in Argetallam territory with no memory of her Brevian adopted father, or her friends, the Lord Argetallam attempts to assimilate Janir back into the royal family.

This novel was actually a little hard to read at times. Not because it wasn't good, it was. It was just hard to read about Janirs struggles.  It made me so sad when Janir was lied to and manipulated by the people pretending to care about her. The same people that hunted and tortured Janir are now sitting at a table eating dinner with her. It was creepy to say the least. Also the moment when a certain elf shows up and Janir doesn't remember him. Can you hear that sound? It's my heart breaking. *sobbing*

Janir is one strong girl. Like for real. Honestly I don't think any of the previous books compare to how high the stakes were in this installment. Janir is fighting to remember, she can sense that something isn't quite right. I did feel a little bit like I was watching a horror movie at times, I wanted to yell out: stop talking to Kenistrith, she's a bat crap crazy loon!

My favorite part of the book was when Saoven shows up. His appearance makes the conflict within Janir even stronger, in a good way. He sparks something and I love that they have such a profound connection. I want to say more but I also don't want to give away any spoilers. Lets just say their scenes together hit me right in the feels.

While it's clear that some Argetallams are kind of pure evil *cough* Kenistrith *cough*, not all Argetallams are inherently evil. Janir is living proof of that. I love the amount of time that Wheatley spends humanizing all her characters. There is no simple evil. Everybody has the capacity for great evil or great good. In particular I enjoyed the character of Cyrulius, much like Lucan, we can see Cyrulius develop some doubts about the Argetallam agenda. And in quite moments he can be quite compassionate, and in others not so much. Never the less I hope to see more of him as the story progresses.

The story actually opens with a prologue from Lucans point-of-view. The person who at one point hated Janir more than anyone. This provides him with a unique perspective and he, like other Wheatley characters, have a complexity and depth that go beyond their first appearance.

I think it's pretty safe to say I'm hooked in this series. While I try to decide which book to read next I would love it if you would leave a comment and let me know what you think of this review. I hope you enjoyed it! Happy reading!

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Read my review of book #4 (coming soon!)