I don't know about you, but I want to read a story for more than just entertainment. I enjoy stories that make me think, inspire me, give me hope and encouragement. Give me a story with broken, relatable characters, deep emotions, and an intriguing setting and plot, and I'm sold.
Azriel had all of these.
I was so privileged to be able to read an advanced ereader's copy of Azriel to review. It was a pleasure to be one of the first readers and then be able to share my thoughts on the book on the Azriel release blog tour.
The back cover blurb:
Bree Faro learns early in life that she can only depend on herself. Due to her feisty nature and unusual ability with a sword, she is educated in every fighting style imaginable and excels at them all. When she’s sent to infiltrate the city of Azriel, Bree does not expect to find her place among the Watchmen of the Keep, but they welcome her as one of their own.
Little does Bree know that her new companions are in danger.
An immortal creature lies in wait for any Keeper of the Flame, the city’s water source has dried up, and they are under constant attack from the Yirtzi—former Watchmen reduced to vengeful spirits, who sold their souls for power only to realize the enemy of Yahweh does not translate to the friend of mankind. Not only that, but the Watchmen are fraying. Hostilities come to a head when a Watchman is murdered.
Only a Watchman can kill another Watchman, and all eyes shift to Bree.
Bree finds herself faced with a choice. Does she engineer the betrayal of the powerful city, or does she embrace her destiny as a true Watchman of Yahweh and find the killer before it’s too late?
I truly enjoyed this book. Knights with flaming swords. Epic battles against evil. All the fantasy vibes my geek self can get her hands on!
But this story was more than just a great fantasy. There was a lot of heart and hope within the pages. I enjoyed the beautiful Christian symbolism Lee intertwined in the story. And I found the characters to be interesting and sympathetic.
Bree was tough and feisty, and boy could she swing a sword! But she was also vulnerable, and I loved that side of her. She was hardened by life, but not obnoxious in attitude. She had trouble believing she could find a home among the Watchmen, and her heart was torn between her longing for a home she had never known and the belief that she could never belong. The loyalty among the brothers and sisters of the Watchmen--even for newcomer Bree--was refreshing and uplifting.
The were some really great fight scenes in this book. And I was a bit surprised at the direction the climax took. But, you'll have to read that for yourself. ;)
If you like clean stories of found family, suspenseful action scenes, and renewed faith, then Azriel is a must-read! I can't wait to get my physical copy in my hands! (And did I mention how breath-taking that cover is?? I mean, look at it!)
Azriel released on June 15th and is now available to order through Amazon and the L2L2 website:
Blog Tour Schedule
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Azriel Blog Tour!
Monday, June 14th, “Azriel: The Watchmen Saga Begins,” Laurin Boyle, www.laurinboyle.wordpress.com
Monday, June 14th, “Interview with Lee James, Author of Azriel,” Mary Schlegel, www.maryschlegelauthor.com
Tuesday, June 15th, “Review of Azriel by Lee James,” Pam Halter, www.pamhalter.com/fairiesfantasyfaith
Tuesday, June 15th, “Azriel Release Day: A Most Sacred Secret,” Lee James, www.leejameswrites.com
Wednesday, June 16th, “Azriel Blog Tour: A Writer Writes,” Laura A. Grace, www.lauraagrace.com
Thursday, June 17th, “Review of Azriel by Lee James,” Crystal Grant, www.crystalgrantfaithandfiction.com
Thursday, June 17th, “Azriel Release Party Tonight,” Michele Israel Harper, www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com
Friday, June 18th, “Weekend Reads: Review of Azriel by Lee James,” Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com
Friday, June 18th, “Azriel Blog Tour: Swords and Magic and Intrigue, Oh My,” K.A. Cummins, www.authorkacummins.com
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