Review: The Ballad of Aramei by J.A. Redmerski

Posted 6 February, 2014 by Gabbie in Review / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Ballad of Aramei by J.A. RedmerskiThe Ballad of Aramei by J.A. Redmerski
Series: The Darkwoods Trilogy #3
Publisher: Self Published on November 18, 2012
Source: Author
Pages: 453
Reading Challenges: 2014 Fur and Fangs Challenge, 2014 Prequel and Sequel Challenge, 2014 Rewind Challenge
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Everything about Adria Dawson’s life has changed in unimaginable ways: the shattering betrayal of her mother, the fight for her life and sanity…the loss of her humanity. But now Adria must face the ultimate challenge and risk not only her life, but the lives of everyone she loves at the wrathful hands of Isaac Mayfair’s father.

Determined to help unravel a mysterious message deeply rooted in an unhinged mind, Adria becomes obsessed with traveling into Aramei’s turbulent past to see the truth of how the relationships and betrayals between the Mayfair and Vargas bloodlines were formed.

Meanwhile, Adria and the Mayfairs are doing everything they can to smoke out and trap the Praverian traitor. A trip to Providence uncovers not only an old family line who are enemies of the Praverians, but also raises questions about the Praverian’s true agenda.

But the traitor will be caught. People will die. And Adria’s destiny to be the cause of a war will come to pass. But what could a kind and simple girl like Adria Dawson ever do that could be considered an act of war? The landscape of the werewolf world will be forever changed in the climactic conclusion to The Darkwoods Trilogy.

Here Are My Thoughts
Check out my review of
The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy #1)
Check out my review of Kindred (The Darkwoods Trilogy #2)

favorite quotes

“Of course, I have not at all forgotten the fact that he is standing here talking to me butt naked. It doesn’t matter one bit that we’ve already seen each other in our birthday suits and that we’ve consummated our relationship; there’s just something uncomfortable about talking to anyone while completely nude. It’s not natural…well, I guess in a sense it sort of is, but I easily keep my eyes looking at everything above his waist.”

“No father. No mother. But I don’t need them because I have a real family now and they fill every part of me that ever wanted to feel human love and experience human life. Adria completes me. We complete each other. It was fate that we met, both parentless and broken and confused. We both lived very different, yet very similar lives and we fell in love fast because we were meant to be together, because destiny pulled our lives every which way to make sure that our paths crossed. And when they did, the rest just fell into place.”

why I picked it upI have loved the two previous novels in this series, so I had to see how it ended!

plotWow…this book is so jammed packed with action that I am in a state of shock after finishing it. Literally, every page had my heart pounding. There was never, ever a dull moment, and there were so many twists and turns and surprises that…gah! There’s betrayal and traitors that you would never expect, unexpected friendships, the return of some characters, and an ending battle of epic proportions. Everything comes to a head and end in this novel and wow, it was explosive.

Leading lady

“It never ceases to amaze me the amount of strength in my girl. She’s been through so much and is going through so much more that sometimes I can’t comprehend her strength, like it’s something entirely foreign to me.”

Adria, of course, was the leading lady in this novel, as she was in the previous two. She really came into her own as Alpha female in this novel. She was compassionate in her caring for Aramei, and her love and caring made her a much deeper character than she was before. In addition to that, she wasn’t afraid to fight for what she believed in, even if she was putting her very life at risk. She is truly one of the strongest female characters that I’ve read, right up there with Clary Fray.

leading male

“‘Baby, everything I own belongs to you.’ He kisses me hard, lifting me from the floor with his arms tightly around my back. ‘And that reminds me,’ he says as I slide back down the front of his body and my feet touch the floor again, ‘you should stop saying ‘Isaac’s bed’ and ‘Isaac’s room’ and ‘Isaac’s house’. It bugs me.'”

Isaac is still our resident Alpha, and he had to do some pretty tough things in this novel. Like Adria, Isaac really grew into his role as Alpha in this novel. His leadership became more prevalent, especially about midway through the novel when the bad stuff started happening. But her was a great leader–compassionate, kind, yet stern. He was just what they all needed. And yet, he was still able to keep his love for Adria above all.

other characters

“‘I’m sooory!’ Zia screeches, her eyes shooting tears from laughing so hard. ‘I swear I didn’t mean it!’ Sebastian rolls her over and sits on top of her, straddling her waist, both of his hands pinning her to the floor by her wrists. ‘So, it was an accident that you shaved my head while I was asleep?’ Sebastian roars down at her. The rumble in his voice shakes me a little.”

This novel was made of the secondary characters:

Alex: We see Alex return and things are not what they seem. But it was nice to see her back with her sister, even though she was different. But I won’t say anymore about her.

Harry: Harry was as awesome as always, even though we got more insight (a chapter or two from his point of view) into how it is to be what he was. We get to see that it wasn’t all fun and games as we though.

Aramei: As the title of this installment hints, we finally get Aramei’s story. Adria has a bond with her to where she can see her past, and finally, for the reader, the holes start being filled. We learn of the things that Aramei experienced from when she first met Viktor and Trajan, and let me tell you, it’s beautiful and heartbreaking.

Rachel: Finally someone breaks her icy-queen exterior!

romance

“‘Actually there is,’ he says having fished around inside my head, still grinning the grin of the Devil. I love that grin. It usually means he’s up to no good, and Isaac being up to no good usually means I’m going to like it.

Although the romance wasn’t as prominent on the romancy side, it was the driver of this novel: both the romance between Isaac and Adria and Trajan and Aramei. Like I said, there isn’t as much swoony-kissy type scenes, as we’ve see in the previous two novels. There was too much going on for that, and that fact made it realistic. There were more important things going on in this novel that that, and the characters realized it. Sure, there were a few sweet moments, of course! But not overbearing in the face of all the drama that they were facing.

world buildlingAfter getting through three novels set in this world that Redmerski created, I can honestly say that I’ve read nothing quite like this. Redmerski mixed just the right amount of unique werewolf lore with Praverian magic and just a whole bunch of stuff, that I am just amazed at the creativity it must have taken. The world she created was intricate and awe-inspiring, and it trapped me in from the very first novel. I applaud J.A. Redmerski for this beautiful creation.

otherWhat I really enjoyed about this novel was the conclusions. Redmerski had a chapter for each of the main characters from their points of view, bringing a lot of things full circle and effectively closing any loose ends. We had chapters from Isaac, Alex, Harry, Nathan, and of course, Adria. And let me tell you, some of them were not what I was expecting, but I enjoyed them immensely. And they were signed with their “signatures”! How cool is that?

conclusionThe Ballad of Aramei was the best of the trilogy–full to the brim of action, battles, betrayals, and everything in between, it was a thousand times better than I was expecting.

5 Stars
Gabbie Signature

 

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