{Excerpt/Giveaway/Full Review} ASTARTE'S WRATH by Trisha Wolfe

Keep reading after the review for 
a tour-exclusive excerpt from Xarion's POV 
and a special giveaway!

ASTARTE'S WRATH is on sale as an e-book for 99¢ 
on nook, Kindle, Kobo, etc. during the blog tour!
Snag it now, because it goes up in price this weekend!

Stop back May 7th for another blog tour stop with Trisha Wolfe, 
this time for the upcoming release OF SILVER AND BEASTS!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
WHENEVER THE SKY BLEEDS, covering the once-blue pallet with crimson, I know the Narcolym Guardians are waging a battle. 
(pg. 6, US e-book edition)

Mythology has always been one of my greatest loves, and the way Trisha Wolfe wove Egyptian beliefs into an historical fantasy novel when creating ASTARTE'S WRATH immediately intrigued me.  Cleopatra and her son Caesarion are brought to life in the tumultuous period before they are conquered by Octavian.  If you know your history, you'll know that it's impossible for this book to have a complete happy ending, however, Wolfe manages to strike an intriguing balance.  ASTARTE'S WRATH is a companion novel to DESTINY'S FIRE, a book that takes place centuries after its predecessor.  I'm eager to read this companion novel and see the way Wolfe bridges two worlds.

In ASTARTE'S WRATH, the Kythan Guardians are sworn to protector the human pharaohs.  There are two types of Kythan, the Shythe and the Narcolym:

"The Shythe Kythan wields Charge, like bolts of lightning from the heavens.  And the Narcolym Kythan summons flame, the fire of the earth. Together we are Kythan Guardians, keepers of the pharaohs.  And the swirled ink along our necks, our power source, marks us as their protectors...and their slaves." 
(pg. 7, US e-book edition).

Upon entering battle in Actium, Astarte (Star, for short), discovers that there is a third breed of Kythan, the Leymak.  Somehow, Octavian of Rome, Caesar's adopted son, who wants control of Rome.  He is determined to kill Caesarion, the son of Caesar and Cleopatra, who threatens his rule, and is willing to stamp out Egypt to secure his throne.  Star immediately brings this revelation to Caesarion (who goes by the name of Xarion in private).  The Leymak are able to control aether, and if words gets out to the Shythe and Narcolym Guardians that a third, free breed of Kythan exists unencumbered to the pharaoh's whims, revolution may ensue.  Xarion and Star have been friends since childhood, and Star's mother was close to Cleopatra.  Over the years, their feelings for one another have evolved, but it's forbidden for Kythan and humans to be together.  If they were to be together, it would demean Xarion's rule as Pharaoh, and Star would be executed.  Yet if they run away from these rules to an unknown land, Egypt will be lost to Octavian.  On top of all that, how can Star be a good Guardian to her pharaoh if she allows a relationship with him to distract her from her responsibility of protecting him?  The fact that the Leymak are free introduces a way for Xarion and Star to be together with no repercussions  but Star would lose her abilities to protect, and she's not sure it's worth the risk, especially if Egypt is the cost...

ASTARTE'S WRATH starts off slow as the world is described and shaped for readers.  It took me a while to get into, but once I did, I was intrigued by the characters and fascinated with the way history blended so seamlessly into fantasy.  I wanted to research what was truth and what was fiction, but didn't want to take the time to put the book down in order to do so.  The book conveys star-crossed romance, bitter betrayal, unique magic, intense action...elements for every type of reader.  The elements of battle witnessed by readers are tragic, and it's hard to witness the fall of an empire.  The motivations behind everyone's actions have merit, creating sympathy for "villains," which is something I always enjoy in a distorted way.  I like seeing what makes people tick, of showing not just shades of black and white, but gray matter as well.  The emotional connection between Star and Xarion is deep and lasting, though not one for younger readers.  They are both willing to give up so much for one another, yet at their core, they still love Egypt so intensely.

As I reached the finale and realized that everything being fought for in ASTARTE'S WRATH would continue in a future book, I became excited--especially when I realized that the book, DESTINY'S FIRE, was already out and I could read it immediately.  I'm especially intrigued by the fact that ASTARTE'S WRATH is rooted in Egyptian history and lore, while DESTINY'S FIRE will be a steampunk fantasy taking place in the year 2040.  These two genres of fantasy are so far apart, and I'm really intrigued to see how Wolfe will merge them together!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This absolutely looks Egyptian, and I would immediately want to know more looking at the cover alone.  

That gorgeous necklace looks almost alive, too, doesn't it, like a snake wrapped around her neck or something.  

I like the way hieroglyphics make up the texture of the background, and the way everything is gold and bronze.  

This feels very Egyptian to me! 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: Out March 02, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Received: For Review

A tragic love story. 

Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Guardian Astarte was vowed to protect by the binds enslaving her to the Egyptian pharaohs. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls. 

This is the beginning. 

Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria, Star struggles with her guardian duties as her feelings for the newly named pharaoh of Egypt grow deeper. Not only is Caesarion her duty, he’s the son of Cleopatra, and he’s human. All of which makes their love forbidden. 

But when a conspiracy linked to Caesar creeps into Alexandria, Star must choose between helping her fellow Kythan free themselves of their servitude, and protecting her charge—the last pharaoh—while Egypt burns around her. 

New Adult/Mature YA: sexual content, drinking, drugs, violence, language, death, and other mature content intended for readers 17 and older. ASTARTE'S WRATH is a companion novel to DESTINY'S FIRE, but can be read as a standalone novel.

Help Trisha and the Tuff Girl Legion get to 50 reviews on Amazon for the full scene release of the “Bath Scene” on Trisha’s blog! You can bookmark the bonus material here!

Tuff Girl Legion Presents ASTARTE'S WRATH

Sneak Peek: Bath Scene from Xarion’s POV

Star narrows her eyes at me, her full, bottom lip puckering out the way it does when she’s in serious thought—and though I’m listening to her words, all I want to do is trap that bottom lip between my teeth. Nip it and caress it with my tongue.
            “I knew you’d say that,” she says. “And that is precisely why I didn’t want you to know.” She raises her hand from my chest and swipes the wet hair from my forehead. Her body subtly moves against me with this action, and it drives me wild. “A possible retaliation by the guardians is just one more weighted burden on top of the many you already carry. You don’t need the added strain. Let me deal with Candra and the Kythan. They’re my kindred. As long as I’m their equal—in both power and status—I can protect you.”
            This woman—the woman I’ve loved my entire life—is my protector. She not only guards against physical threats, but watches over my mental wellbeing. But I cannot allow her to carry all my problems alone anymore. I want to be her guardian, to be the one to comfort her when she’s fearful, and protect her against this world.
            I tilt my head and suck in a deep breath. “This is why you won’t be with me.” I want her to admit it. If she finally confesses that our titles and her battle with the right course of action have been the only reasons for her kept affections, then by Gods…help me from laying her out on this tile and taking her—making her mine. I won’t stop.
            She nods.
“This is the only reason.” She nods again, and that is all the conformation I need. “Then I refuse to let them keep us apart for one more moment.” I grasp her face between my hands and claim her lips with mine.
            Her lips are soft and warm as I achingly coax them into a fevered kiss, unable to hold back my desire for her. I had planned for our first kiss many times, imagined it over and over. The way I would caress her lips slowly and lovingly, conveying my affections. But every emotion I have ever felt for Star rushes to the surface all at once, and I can’t slow. I won’t. I won’t allow her a moment to question our actions, to reconsider us. I’m going to kiss her senseless—kiss the reason right out of her infuriatingly rational head.
Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE'S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS will be available May 2013. 

She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.com for more on her books and bonus material. 

Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like her Facebook page for updates.

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