Monlatable Book Reviews features an eclectic mix of fiction. From African American fiction and romance, interracial, Science Fiction/Fantasy to bikers, even a bit of erotic romance, there is room for everything. I enjoy it all. I'm an unashamed and dedicated book hoarder. This blog is a place for me to spread the book goodness and all that is exciting in my book world.
Friday, June 5, 2015
The Darkling Chronicles by Tricia Zoeller
Darkling Chronicles #1
the age of four, Patrick Benjamin Solomon becomes Anka Rehmling’s human charge.
By eight, he can SEE her. At thirteen, he breaks her heart, and by eighteen,
she finds herself fighting for his life.
a darkling shadowcaster, Anka casts shadows in the human world, harnessing some
of the earth’s UV light to bring back to Montenai—a world full of darklings,
nymphs, satyrs, phantoms, and dragon lords. Her job is crucial to preserving
the vitality and balance in her town of Shadowland. However, Anka has trouble
following the strict rules set by the Shadowland Council, a ruling body
comprised of three dragon lords.
lords’ decree states all shadowcasters will abide by the rules or face the
penalty of harsh punishment, banishment, or death. Torn between her world and
Ben's, Anka must choose to defy the Council or turn her back on love.
Shadow Blues The Darkling Chronicles
My hand shook as I reached out and pushed the hair off Ben’s
sweaty forehead. When he sat up suddenly, I took a step back. Could he see me?
He looked around the room with cloudy eyes that passed right over me.
When he turned on the lamp, I flicked my fingers, casting a shadow
on the wall of a bird flying. He gasped before looking around once more. Now,
he knew something was here.
After peeking in the corner, the closet, and under
the armchair for where the shapes came from, he shrugged his shoulders. He used
his hands to create a barking dog. I used my magic to create a meowing and
hissing cat with fur standing on end. I barely stopped myself from snorting out
loud from his goofy face as he scanned the room. He looked scared but excited.
Anka Rehmling, you are in big trouble.I’d just broken three shadowcaster rules. I tried not to think
about it. Instead, I focused on my superhero, ninja, and dinosaur forms,
complete with sound effects. Ben looked so happy, I told myself it would be
okay just this once. He had been sick all day.
Each pull of my magic started in the pit of my stomach. The energy
swirled out to my arms before releasing from my fingertips like thread. That’s
how Dad explained it. Then, it snapped as it broke free and became the shadow
on the wall or floor. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but felt normal, right.
When Ben grew tired, I watched him lie back in bed and drift off
to sleep, a smile on his face. He had light hair with white skin that burned
and freckled in the sun. My skin and hair were darker, like the shadows I cast.
In human years, we were both eight. However, shadowcasters, by
nature, acted more mature than humans. Our world expected us to be responsible
from a young age. The Shadowland Council had assigned Patrick Benjamin Solomon
under my charge at the age of four. I cast shadows in his world and would for
my lifetime, as long as my strength held. “That’s a lot of responsibility
riding on your shoulders”—direct quote from Dad. I removed my hand from
Ben’s arm as I thought about what I’d done.
Shadowcaster rules flooded my head.
Cast true to form. Don’t talk. Don’t touch the human.
My heart pounded in my ears. I hadn’t cast true. My palms grew
sticky. I’d created my own make-believe shadows. Technically, I hadn’t talked,
just made sound effects. However, I’d touched him. This realization caused fear
to spark in me like fire; then it burned out, and I was so tired. I couldn’t
wait to go home.
My family shadowcasted for the Solomons. The Council assigned my
dad to shadow Ben’s dad. My mom followed his mom. Bianca and I took shifts with
Ben. I covered him by day; she watched him at night. Other shadowcasters
rotated in if we needed a break.
As a shadowcaster, I didn’t go to school but trained with my dad.
My grandparents, Nana and Pops, ran the household since Mom and Dad worked so
Ben’s sigh brought my attention back to him. He looked peaceful.
Maybe his fever had broken. When Mrs. Solomon slipped into the room to check on
him, my mother followed, casting her shadows. My mother was really tall—five-foot-ten.
She wore a flowing dress of purple, the family color. Jeweled combs sparkled in
a ring on her head, which was the darkling custom.
As I watched Mrs. Solomon worrying over Ben, I felt jealous. He
had a normal life. Not every darkling had the ability to cast shadows, and so
it was a privilege and honor to serve the Council. However, the other young
darklings went to school and played during the day. Most of them would never
journey to the human world, but they benefited from the power shadowcasters
brought back to Shadowland.
My mother’s brown eyes found mine. I met them briefly before
looking away. Had she heard my sound effects?
Darkling Chronicles #2
As a darkling shadowcaster, Bianca Rehmling works
under the three dragon lords of the Shadowland Council, casting shadows for her
human charge on the earth’s plane and harnessing energy to bring back for the
balance and wellbeing of her kind. She’s always been a law-abiding darkling, as
opposed to her younger sister, Anka. When Anka broke shadowcasting rules over
the summer, she suffered the wrath of the council, something Bianca never wants
to witness again.
To protect her sister, Bianca harbors some dark
secrets, ones that could cause the decline of Shadowland. When a deadly illness
called Shadow Fever strikes the village, Bianca fears her own rule-breaking has
caused a fatal imbalance in the world of Montenai. She hasn’t been doing her
job, her duty, and the dragon lords suspect.
Family or duty? With loved ones suffering, and
the dragon lords breathing down her neck, Bianca keeps her nymph friends close
and her enemies…closer. When an unlikely ally offers to help, Bianca must
decide whether to trust him or brave the heat alone.
The Darkling Chronicles
Pops wore an orange shirt with white musical notes on it, which
caused me to smile. I sat on a tall stool at the coffee bar and ordered a tea,
while my short legs dangled in the air.
He gave me a puzzled look as he placed orange blossom tea in front
“Just need something a bit lighter today,” I said. Darklings
rarely drank tea unless they required some energy from the herbs.
Pops began to buff the nymph glass counter in the same spot. A
muscle twitched in his cheek. We were all under some major strain.
“I’m reporting to the temp pool today.”
He stopped his work. “Are you sure you’re ready for that?” Bushy
eyebrows raised, he didn’t blink.
“You know I should have reporteddaysago.”
“I don’t want you going anywhere near that Wishing Tree.” Pops
leaned in and whispered, “Do you understand?”
“If I don’t report, Lord Akton will hang me from the ceiling.”
Pops flinched like I had hit him. His face blanched from a light
brown to yellow.
“See? No choice.”
His lower jaw jutted forward, and I thought he might explode. He
placed the rag down on the bar top and leaned on the glass, undoing the results
of his previous hard work. After a long breath, his expression shifted to one
less murderous. “Make sure to call first and set up an appointment with Lord
Bulosk. He seems the sanest of the lot, which isn’t saying much.”
I nodded and covered his hand, hoping to be reassuring. I don’t
think my hand shook, but my insides quivered like human Jell-O. I never
understood the allure of that food.
The Darkling Chronicles #3
is a creature of fire, drawing in shadow to cloak herself from the dangers of
the world. She has never known what she is or where she came from, but she
knows her wings and claws make her different. The sea cliffs of Montenai are
her home, the Aglatian Sea her playground, and the phantoms her family.
her life, she has hidden in the Faunlier Mountains with her sister Nalene. Only
the oath she swore as a child to a darkling father to watch over his son draws
her toward the turmoil in Shadowland.
unrest among the darklings, satyrs, nymphs, and dragon lords begins to bleed
into her own life, Natcha wagers the welfare of one against the welfare of
many. To protect all she holds dear, she must incur the wrath of Shadowland’s
leaders and become… the Thief.
My breath caught when we reached the river. Alexander Salva was
not where I’d left him.
The frogs croaked so loudly, I couldn’t hear myself
think.Where did he go?His satchel lay crumpled on the bank.
Panic twisted the features of Zack’s face as he scanned the water.
“Dad?” He paced the small opening between the trees. “Dad!” His voice cracked,
and tears streamed down his cheeks. “What have you done?” he asked the river.
My vision is better than my hearing. I spotted movement twenty
yards out and spread my wings. Mr. Salva’s eyes widened at my approach, the
whites showing under the starlight. He couldseeme. Soaking wet, he trembled on a wide
boulder. Sand and grit clung to his black beard.
“Demon,” he hissed.
"You look like a fledgling. I guess that’s the sick way of thedark. It tries to confuse me
with a young face.” He had been holding something down at his side but drew the
object up in front of him. The heavy, steel longsword shook in Mr. Salva’s hand.
My cloaking was still on. I knew by the soft whisper it made in my
ears. Why could Mr. Salva suddenlyseeme? I stood still. Nalene had told
me my shimmering wings were pretty, not symbols of evil. Why did he think I was
a demon? My heart raced in my chest. I didn’t know what to do with anarmed, drunk darkling who was
apparently scared of me.
“I’m just a hatchling. You look like you need help.” My eyes
darted back and forth from him to the immense sword with beautiful etchings of
stars running up and down its blade. Where did he get it? I didn’t remember him
carrying anything when he spoke to Lord Akton.He had the satchel when he left the
“I don’t need your kind of help! The tree told me what I needed to
do. I’ve lost everything because of this sword, and I will not let you or the
demons within this vessel destroy my family or Shadowland.”
The Wishing Tree talked to him? Why hadn’t he confided in the
lords? “What did the tree say?” My voice trembled.
Maneuvering the sword’s tip much closer to my face, he tilted his
I put my hands up. “Mr. Salva, could you please lower that away
from me. I like my face the way it is.”
His jaw dropped. “A demon who knows my name? I’m more cursed than
I ever imagined.”
Paperback collection: The Darkling Chronicles, Shadows 2
The Darkling Chronicles #4
So much pain to bear for something new to come.
Despite a rocky start in
life, Nalene has survived twenty years in the sea cliffs of the Aglatian Sea.
She struggles daily to master her water energy rather than succumb to it. An
icy constitution has forced her to rely on her sister for care, protection, and
But the tides are turning
and powers shifting in Montenai. Once a sickly creature with no purpose, Nalene
emerges a strong, willful guardian. This reclusive orphan has everyone’s
attention, including a new seer who predicts “only one can survive” the battle
Challenged by dragon lords,
championed by outcasts, Nalene meets strife at every turn. As a crisis of faith
wages within her, she forges ahead because she won’t give up on hope. What is
she willing to sacrifice to fulfill her destiny?
The Darkling Chronicles #5
tragedy at the age of twelve thrusts Serena into the world of shadowcasting.
She relishes the dragon lords’ protection and training but loves her new job
and human charge even more.
Because of her
great-great-grandfather’s alliance with a vicious nymph queen, Serena finds
other Montenaians refuse to trust or accept her. It doesn’t help that she has the same birthmark and
orange spark in her eyes as the relative who brought shame to the Brisson name.
through the portal to Paris allows Serena to escape her family’s reputation as
well as her mother’s harsh traditions. Every day Serena pushes to be “worthy of
the dragon,” regardless of her brother warning her the path leads to horrible
the lore of dragon and astrei has molded the practices and beliefs of
Montenaians. No one has felt this more than the phantom, Serena. This Drifter’s
history is the key to Shadowland’s fate. Can she protect them from a dangerous
future and still find her way home?
Zoeller writes fantasy stories filled with mystery, magic, and mayhem. After a
decade of working as a speech-language pathologist, she succumbed to the voices
in her head and wrote her first book, urban fantasy FIRST BORN, published in
May 2013. FIRST BORN is a paranormal mystery about a shapeshifter in Atlanta.
It is the first book in the Lily Moore Series.
DARKLING CHRONICLES is her young adult series that delves into alternate
planes, portals, and mystical creatures.
lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Lou, her little yappy dog, Lola
Belle, and her big orange mutant cat, George. Her two stepsons, Joseph and
Robert, make stopovers as well, making sure to keep life an adventure.
has always been a part of her life—like breathing and chocolate. For more
information about Tricia and her books, visit: