September 20, 2010

Review: The Road to Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart

The long awaited sequel to Joely Sue Burkhart's first Shanhasson novel, The Rose of Shanhasson, is finally here. The Road to Shanhasson is the second in the "Blood and Shadows" series, and continues the breathtaking story of Shannari, rightful queen of the Green Lands.

Shannari is about to be made the Khul’lanna of the Plains, wife to the Khul, leader of the 9 camps of the Sha’Kae al’Dan people. Unusual in the land of her birth for her skills as a warrior and prized as the rightful ruler of the Green Lands before being stolen away by Rhaekar, the Khul of the Sha'Kae al'Dan, Shannari is as foreign to these people as they are to her.

Shannari has admitted her love for Rhaekar, and, reluctantly, that she also loves Gregar, the Shadowed man who, along with the other eight Blood guards, protects Rhaekar from danger. Rhaekar, far from being angered by her love for another man, is man enough to give her what she wants, and determines that Gregar shall be her co-mate.

Some of her new people welcome Shannari, but others are angry that a hated Outlander is to become their new queen. Controversy and danger swirls around Shannari and the men she loves, threatening to tear apart the camps. Shannari works with Rhaekar, Gregar, and some new allies to bring peace to the camps, but she forgets that Theo, the current ruler of the Green Lands, will stop at nothing to debase and destroy her, and his bloody pact with Lygon, the god of Shadow, will bring Shannari to her knees.

I already read this book twice and it really deserves a full length review. I don't know why but it seems I can't bring my thoughts onto the screen after the first read of Joely's books or perhaps it's just an excuse to read them again. I won't tell. The first thing I have to say is that I completely adore this cover. It's gorgeous and it really reflects the book. It always distracts me and I can't wait to get a print copy in my hand. Joely already knows that because I'm stalking her with my inquiries about the print release.

The Road to Shanhasson is book 2 In the Blood and Shadows trilogy and it brings us back to the world of the Sha’Kae al’Dan. I still love this world Shannari, Rhaekar and Gregar live in. I'm still in awe how different it is and I sometimes catch myself thinking of someone as my na'lanna. Joely put so much love in creating this world, you can feel it with every chapter you read. This world just grabbed my heart and I can't seem to let it go. Yes this world is brutal and full of violence but you also find total love and utter adoration and trust in it. It's balanced and it never makes you feel overwhelmed with one or the other.

Shannari is getting stronger in this book. She still is not 100 percent sure she fits into the lifestyle of the Sha’Kae al’Dan but she starts to feel more at home. I loved to see her still blush when someone made a naughty comment but she learns fast and we now finally see her teasing back. Rhaekar is still the mighty warrior and powerful Khul of the Nine Camps. He's strong, stubborn but also totally smitten. He just can't deny Shannari anything not even the things she herself can't admit to want. He still pushes her and tramples one of her boundaries after the next. He wants her to accept what she is and that it's not wrong to love and to enjoy life.

And then we have Gregar. *insert dreamy sigh* I still adore him. I would have never thought that such a wicked character could conquer my heart but he did from the start. In The Road to Shanhasson we learn more about him and his thoughts. I loved to see him worry and even more to see his adoration for Shannari. He really treats her like the most precious egg in the world (outside of the blankets *wink*). I think his appeal is a combination of both- to see his softer and his wicked side.

Many things happen in this novel and I'm not at all happy about all of them. *pouts* I can't tell you why but this book made me cry. I know it was bound to happen but still it broke my heart. We live through many ups and downs with Shannari and meet some interesting new characters who make room for many naughty possibilities. The plot is engaging from the start, never let me release my breath and left me wanting more at the end. Joely has a talent for making the story flow just exactly right. It's hard to explain but everything just fits together and makes this book a round thing.

The Road to Shanhasson is a wonderful Fantasy Romance which does everything right. I loved the story, the characters and the wonderful narration. This book broke my heart and put the pieces back together and left me with a warm feeling deep inside. I can't say often enough how wonderful Joely's books are and again I'm sitting here craving more. Highly recommended to all romance readers.

The Road to Shanhasson is a wonderful and unique Fantasy Romance with wicked warriors, a heartbreaking lovestory and an engaging plot.
To learn more about Joely and her books please visit her website here. You can also find a free prequel about Gregar here(The Shadowed Blood) and another one called The Horsemaster plays in that world too.

The Shanhasson Trilogy:

1. The Rose of Shanhasson: my review, reviews @goodreads, buy print copy @amazon, buy ebook @Drollerie Press 
2. The Road to Shanhasson: reviews @goodreads, buy @Drollerie Press

3. Return to Shanhasson (October 2010)


Leontine September 20, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

If there is one fantasy romance I really want to read then it's this one by Joely Sue Burkhart and I've got book one on my e-reader!!

I love the emotional reactions it draws from you and it piques my curiosity and need to be swept away again by a fantastic RF novel :)

SusiSunshine September 20, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

@Leontine I hope you will love it as much as I do. It is very emotional, both books are. And yes I agree, there should be more great RF novels.

Joely Sue Burkhart September 20, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

Susi, you brought tears to my eyes with your wonderful review! Hugs and thank you so much. Gregar is unbearably smug now. We're working on timing for the print release of Road, and the final book in the trilogy should be out in electronic format later this fall!

Marissa September 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

I am still in love with Gregar, you are so right with this review Susi! Still need to write my review, but how to do it justice... Can't wait for part 3!

SusiSunshine September 20, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

@Joely ((hugs)) See that was payback. LOL You made me cry too. LOL Can't wait for the next book!

@Marissa Me too! He is made of awesome. And I so know what you mean. I think I drove pattepoilue crazy yesterday with asking: "Perhaps I should change this sentence like that? What do you like more?" every now and again. *g*

Blodeuedd September 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM  

I sure remember you writing something on twitter how much you loved this one :D

And you read it twice, wow, you loved it

SusiSunshine September 20, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

@Blodeuedd Yeah I was a bit spamming twitter with this one. LOL But it's just awesome and deserves it. LOL

MrsMixx September 20, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

Oh hon...I crave this book now. Again. lol I just need to find the time...AGAIN. lol Wonderful review. I know how you loved it and it's hard to review book you loved. =)

SusiSunshine September 20, 2010 at 11:30 PM  

@pattepoilue But this is another one you aren't allowed any peeking. *shakes finger* But you will love Gregar!

MrsMixx September 21, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

@Susi Heh As if I ever peeked! LOL ;)

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