On this tour stop, we’re checking out the latest book by indie author Megg Johnson. The Sundering is the final book in The Swarm Trilogy, which is available for purchase as of September 2nd, 2012. Please check out my mini-reviews of each book in the trilogy to find out why it is definitely worth checking out. A sample from the book is also included. Still not convinced? There’s more reviews, guest posts, and interviews. Check out the full tour list at the bottom of this post!
The Sundering (The Swarm Trilogy #3) by Megg Jenson
Genre: YA Fantasy
- A hand-stitched pillow made from a tapestry fragment. I actually watched the owner of RavenStone Castle put it together!
- A handmade pouch from Idiorhythmic Designs. The owner, Raechel, lives in my town so I was able to select the perfect bag (and if you read The Sundering, you know why this bag is important).
- A set of postcards and a bookmark from Mystic Moon Media.
- A copy of the entire Song of Eloh Saga in your choice of ebook format (contains: The Initiate, Anathema, Oubliette, Severed, Sleepers, Afterlife, The Sundering)
- A $25 gift card to Amazon
Yes, this trilogy starts at book 5. The previous 4 books in The Song of Eloh Saga don’t need to be read to understand this world, but there are references from the previous books in these, particularly in The Sundering. If you’ve read the first four books, you’ll better understand the religion of the Goddess Eloh. If you haven’t, it won’t harbor your understanding on what goes on in The Swarm Trilogy.
Reviews are written as spoiler-free as possible. This trilogy was too sweet and innocent at the beginning for my liking. The ending, however, was action packed and DARK. I love dark. If you like sweet, then be prepared for some tears when you read this. If you like dark, be prepared for the good, the gray, and the bad people all making some crazy and difficult decisions. Overall – 3 1/2 Stars, B- rating.
Blurb: An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she’s filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.
Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?
Mini-review: Sleepers begins slow and there’s quite a bit of internal monologue filling the pages. Lianne is a sweet girl living in ignorant bliss until her sixteenth birthday. And then she becomes angry and a bit of a player. She goes back and forth between the other two adoptees, not only not sure which one she likes, but unsure which one is telling her the truth. The actual truth won’t be revealed until the very last pages. Lianne is cocky and unlikable at times, but her situation is as compelling to watch as Snooki’s on the Jersey Shore. I thought that this book was contradicting in how innocent the language and how dark the subject matter. It feels like it is written for the lower end of the YA in that there is no gore, sex, and only one use of foul language. I would have liked it better if it was rougher and there was more action and less thinking. Speaking of rough, Lianne is fairly abusive towards the men of her life. She likes to spontaneously hit them (hard!) when she gets mad. I wouldn’t recommend her as role model of the year. (2 stars)
Blurb: The fire inside Lianne threatened to consume her, but she fought back and won. Unfortunately the collateral damage of her decisions won’t stop haunting her. She embarks on a secret trip to find Mags and return her son, but her search leads her into another nest of lies.
Everyone’s safety is in Lianne’s hands as the Malborn, an enemy more fearsome than her own people, looms over them. Will Lianne be able to unravel the secrets in time to save the ones she loves the most? Or will her lack of faith in her own decisions lead to disaster?
Mini-review: Things didn’t turn out as Lianne expected and her life is headed into further turmoil in this book. She’s regarded as a hero for her antics in the first book, but she doesn’t feel like one. She sets out to find her friend, Mags, and ease her conscious. Along for the ride is one of the man-toys from the first book, who thinks that he had won Lianne’s love for all eternity. Maybe he has, but things sure do get confusing when Chase (who is much sexier and sweeter) shows up. Chase apparently has hundreds of drawings of Lianne, as he’s been having visions of her since he was a child. Creepy but I still like Chase. And Lianne thought it was creepy too.
The pacing was much better in this second book and I read it in a single read through. Lianne is kept in the dark for much of the novel, which is frustrating to the reader, but the reasoning makes sense by the end. The character Johna is an old woman/mentor/potion maker who has a dirty mind and a refreshing sense of humor. She definitely brings a much needed sense of comic relief at a very dark time. This book is similar to the first in that Lianne still doesn’t know who to trust and the author ventures on a very dark path at the end of the book. Kudos to her for making the danger painfully real to both the reader and Lianne. (4 stars)
Blurb: After defeating the Malborn and losing the person she loved most, Lianne escapes to Chase’s homeland. With her appearance forever marked by death, Lianne feels like a monster both on the outside and the inside. She retreats into herself, fearful of what she’s become.
But she can’t hide forever.
The Malborn, damaged but not broken, send a deadly message to Lianne. They are coming for her and now she’s brought danger to a peaceful land that believed they’d driven the Malborn from their shores forever. Lianne must force herself to trust again and make the ultimate sacrifice to save everyone she loves. In a world ruled by whoever harnesses the most powerful magic, no one can be trusted – no one is safe.
Mini-review: Lianne begins this novel as horribly depressed in such a way that is eerily similar to Bella in Twilight – only Lianne has a damn good reason for her depression. Lianne learns that even if she can’t be with her true love, her life isn’t over. She’s been told of a disturbing prophecy where she sacrifices 10 girls. And at the same time, two women from her past return to her life – and she’s desperate not to lose them either. The bad guys are predictable in this book, but the ending has a decent twist.
As the trilogy drew to a close, there were a few minor things that I wish were elaborated a bit more. I didn’t quite feel that Mags as a character or her actions were entirely plausible. I wish that her part in the plot wasn’t as rushed. It is important to know that the Lianne at the start of this trilogy is a much different woman than at the end. She is less cocky, more powerful, and a much more likeable heroine. She makes some pretty dumb choices at times and you almost wish to schedule her on Intervention for having her heart devoted to all the wrong people, but she feels real with her mistakes. I’m sad to see her journey at an end. (4 stars)
About the Author:
I’ve been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. I co-run DarkSide Publishing, am a member of SCBWI, and I blog about writing while juggling freelancing, volunteering, and family life. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, two kids, and our miniature schnauzer, Ace.
Anathema is available on Amazon for Kindle and at Barnes & Noble for Nook.
Check out the other tour stops:
- 9/24 - A Soul Unsung
- 9/25 - Confessions from Romaholics
- 9/27 - Leeanna.Me
- 9/29 - The Busy Bibliophile
- 9/30 - Lose Time Reading
- 10/1 - A Book and a Latte
- 10/2 - Books for YA
- 10/3 - Lizzy’s Dark Fiction
- 10/4 - Librarian Mouse
- 10/5 - Compelled by Words
- 10/6 - Once Upon a Time
- 10/8 - Obsession with Books
- 10/9 - Imaginary Reads
- 10/10 - Contagious Reads
- 10/11 - I’m a Book Shark
- 10/12 - Mama Knows Best
- 10/13 - Nette’s Bookshelf Reviews
- 10/14 - Reader Girls
- 10/15 - Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
- 10/16 - Breathe in Books
- 10/17 - Fade into Fantasy