A Touch of Stone and Snow (A Gathering of Dragons, #2)
Milla Vane returns to a world of kings, magic, and passion in her exhilarating A Gathering of Dragons series, as a great alliance forms to stand against an evil warlord intent on their destruction. Danger lurks in the western realms. The Destroyer’s imminent return has sent the realms into turmoil as desperate citizens seek refuge—but there’s no safety to be found when demons and wraiths crawl out from the shadows. Even Koth, a northern island kingdom left untouched by the Destroyer a generation past, is besieged by terrors spawned from corrupt magics. When Lizzan leads the Kothan army against these terrors, only to see her soldiers massacred and to emerge as the only survivor, she is called a coward and a deserter. Shunned from her home, Lizzan now wanders in solitude as a mercenary for hire, until she encounters a group of warriors seeking new alliances with the northern kingdoms—a group that includes Aerax, the bastard prince of Koth, and the man who sent her into exile. Though they were childhood friends, Aerax cannot allow himself to be close to the only woman who might thwart his treacherous plan to save their island realm. But when a goddess's demand binds them together, Lizzan and Aerax must find a way to overcome their painful pasts. Or there will be no future for the western realms...

A Touch of Stone and Snow (A Gathering of Dragons, #2) Details

TitleA Touch of Stone and Snow (A Gathering of Dragons, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherBerkley
Rating
GenreRomance, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance

A Touch of Stone and Snow (A Gathering of Dragons, #2) Review

  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    2020 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: ‪Villain’s Love Story A review: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r...***First impressions:Extremely annoyed right now because I neither have the time nor energy to glom Meljean Brook’s backlist (Brook is a PNR pseudonym for Vane). Woe is me. FYI, this works as a stand-alone if you haven’t read book 1 (I have not read book 1).Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 2020 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: ‪Villain’s Love Story A review: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r...***First impressions:Extremely annoyed right now because I neither have the time nor energy to glom Meljean Brook’s backlist (Brook is a PNR pseudonym for Vane). Woe is me. FYI, this works as a stand-alone if you haven’t read book 1 (I have not read book 1).Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    First things first... the hero of this book has a pet snow cat, aka A SABER TOOTH TIGER. Do I really need to say more? Okay, okay, I will. I feel like with this book, this series is really hitting its stride. The political intrigue is intriguing! The magical and mythical elements are interesting! The romances are targeted right at your feels! It's just a super solid fantasy romance series, though I will say, I tend to enjoy the fantasy elements of this a little more than the romance elements. Pe First things first... the hero of this book has a pet snow cat, aka A SABER TOOTH TIGER. Do I really need to say more? Okay, okay, I will. I feel like with this book, this series is really hitting its stride. The political intrigue is intriguing! The magical and mythical elements are interesting! The romances are targeted right at your feels! It's just a super solid fantasy romance series, though I will say, I tend to enjoy the fantasy elements of this a little more than the romance elements. Personally, I tend to like slightly less angst for my romances, and this series seems to be on the angstier end of things than the Iron Seas series was. That said-- this was a second chance romance that worked a lot better for me than that trope usually does because it was so clear from the hero's POV that he was utterly gone on the heroine... so I knew the reasoning behind the Big Misunderstanding was going to be good. It was, and I found the resolution of that part of the story very satisfying.All in all- can't wait for the next one! Things are really heating up and the Destroyer is still coming!
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  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    JULY!? WE ONLY HAVE TO WAIT 5 MONTHS FOR THIS SEQUEL!? BLESS!
  • Geri Reads
    January 1, 1970
    What can I say? I will pledge my sword to Milla Vane forever!This book has everything I could ever hope for. aHoBaA was hard to top but A Touch of Stone and Snow managed it quite easily. This series has truly been a revelation. Excellent world building with vividly drawn characters and a romance that broke my heart in its beauty. This will be hard to top but I have a feeling Milla Vane will be able to do it in the next book. Again. ARC provided by Berkley for an honest review
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  • Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
    January 1, 1970
    “Our path leads to the crystal palace. So on we go, to glorious battle, where my name will become legend.” And where he would never, ever let her go.“If I have to become a monster to save you, that is what I will do.”A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane is the second book in A Gathering of Dragons, one of the best fantasy series we’ve read in a long time. Every single book is EPIC and so intricately woven into a mammoth story. It’s not often it takes us a week to read just one book, however, “Our path leads to the crystal palace. So on we go, to glorious battle, where my name will become legend.” And where he would never, ever let her go.“If I have to become a monster to save you, that is what I will do.”A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane is the second book in A Gathering of Dragons, one of the best fantasy series we’ve read in a long time. Every single book is EPIC and so intricately woven into a mammoth story. It’s not often it takes us a week to read just one book, however, Milla Vane is literally the queen of fleshing out her storyline and her characters. Because of the continuing quest to defeat a common mythical enemy, we HIGHLY recommend reading in order, especially if you love barbaric and erotic fantasy romance as much as we do. This series speaks straight to our fantasy book-loving hearts. Intense, mysterious, harrowing, dramatic, action-filled and super passionate. This series is everything and the way in which it is written, SUPERB! We cannot even begin to adequately pay homage to this incredible series and Author. “I must sacrifice myself while performing a feat so incredible that my name will reach their ears, and no longer will my family bear my shame.”“If you leave me I will come for you. Wherever you go, I will find you, and we will be together again.” We first heard of The Destroyer in A Heart of Blood and Ashes, which was Ran Maddek and Queen Yvenne story, and his impending arrival to slay and defeat the realms is causing terror. Factions of warrior men and women not fleeing but rather instigating an uprising, whilst the rest seek refuge and protection from the mythical Gods. The world-building in this series by Milla Vane continues to astound us, this Author is outstanding! Honestly, if we could give her a standing ovation in person we would. It’s mesmerizing, addictive, flawless and compelling, the scenery easily conjured up in our minds from the vivid and eerily evocative writing. “Always you would stop and listen to those who were alone, for you knew that is what they often needed the most – for someone to see them, to listen to them. And I have always loved that about you.”“It matters not how quick or slow the days are. No matter what happens in the battle ahead, and even if every day afterward is spent with you, never will there be enough of them.” Lizzan, currently in exile, is on a personal quest to battle and clear her family’s name from the shame she has brought upon them. She’s a fighter with a heart that’s bigger than can be comprehended. We knew there was something incredibly special about her from the start, and we championed her till the end despite our worry over her wanting to die a hero. Whilst on her path she’s also running from the man she loves, Aerax, the troubled bastard prince of Koth, she grew to love with all her heart. The warrior monster of a man who owns her heart and now owns ours. Not only is this series a treat fantasy-wise, which would be amazing as a Netflix series, in A Touch of Stone and Snow the second chance romance is compelling, beautiful and incredibly passionate. The tension and the chemistry was scorching. The battle, the twists and the mythical aspect, enticing. This series is a masterpiece of epic proportions! “You ease the pain in my heart, Aerax.”“Given a choice no other purpose would I have.” Available to purchase belowAmazon USAmazon UKCome and say hi, at:✲ TotallyBookedBlog✲ TBB on Facebook✲ TBB on Instagram✲ TBB on Twitter✲ TBB on Pinterest
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  • Betül
    January 1, 1970
    **ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book ever since I finished A Heart of Blood and Ashes. I am a huge fan of Fantasy Romance novels, but strangely enough I don't read them as much as I would like to. So whenever I do pick up a book in this genre, I really take the time to fully immerse myself into the world the author has built. Before I go into my thoughts on this particular book, I want to say that I am amazed by the creativity **ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book ever since I finished A Heart of Blood and Ashes. I am a huge fan of Fantasy Romance novels, but strangely enough I don't read them as much as I would like to. So whenever I do pick up a book in this genre, I really take the time to fully immerse myself into the world the author has built. Before I go into my thoughts on this particular book, I want to say that I am amazed by the creativity of fantasy authors. It isn't easy to create a completely new world with and being able to keep track of everything. It really took me a long time to tell who was who, and what part of the world they were from. So I was happy that the book was long. Honestly, I like my fantasy novels to be huge, because it isn't easy to tell a full story in a normal sized novel.”Never have you been restrained in the pleasure you give to me, and never have you held back your heart. So always I end here in this way, so utterly satisfied and fully loved, the most blessed of all women.”Alright lets get into the story itself. I absolutely loved the main characters Lizzan and Aerax, they were separated but it was obvious the amount of love they had for each other. The women in this world are so strong and independent, and I loved that they weren't some damsel in distress. Lizzan took care of herself, and she also would definitely defend the lives of the people she loved. Lizzan felt betrayed by Aerax when he didn't leave with her when she was shunned by her people, because he was the one who always wanted to leave and start a life with her somewhere were they would be equal. These two are childhood friends turned lovers and true soulmates. This book was action-packed and super hot as well. The author Milla Vane found a great balance and satisfied me with the amount of action and romance she delivered in this story. There are multiple villains, and the gods and myths that were revealed were very intriguing. I honestly couldn't get enough of the story and the characters. Everything together made such an enjoyable fantasy romance novel. In this book you also meet the main characters of the next book, and I am already looking forward to their story.
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  • Emmalita
    January 1, 1970
    I dove into A Touch of Stone and Snow as soon as I finished A Heart of Blood and Ashes. Lizzan and Aerax grew up together on Koth and were sweathearts until Lizzan was exiled in shame for telling the truth about how the soldiers she led were killed. They meet up again years later. The goddess Vela tasks Lizzan with protecting Aerax and promises to reward her with a glorious death in battle. Lizzan does not tell Aerax the truth about her quest or her reward. Aerax hasn’t told her the truth about I dove into A Touch of Stone and Snow as soon as I finished A Heart of Blood and Ashes. Lizzan and Aerax grew up together on Koth and were sweathearts until Lizzan was exiled in shame for telling the truth about how the soldiers she led were killed. They meet up again years later. The goddess Vela tasks Lizzan with protecting Aerax and promises to reward her with a glorious death in battle. Lizzan does not tell Aerax the truth about her quest or her reward. Aerax hasn’t told her the truth about why he didn’t leave with her.Vane builds on the first book in so many interesting ways. One of the many things I didn’t talk about in my review was importance the Parsatheans put on speaking truth. I didn’t pay that much attention to it even though it was an important issue between Maddak and Yvenne. Maddak doesn’t fully become the man she deserves and the king his people deserve until he accepts Yvenne has not lied to him. Though Lizzan and Aerax are not Parsathean, they have to confront that the lies they’ve told each other and others in the past have harmed them and everyone around them. There is an even bigger lie that they have to confront about Koth.Truth telling plays out in some of the side threads as well and those truths are likely to be resolved in the next book (or later books? Can this be an 8 book series?) One thread is carried from the first book: how will the truthful words spoken by the goddess Vela to various characters play out, because her truth is abstract. The other builds on the series arc of recovering from and preparing for the return of the Destroyer: an older woman Lizzan comes across is waiting for her son, who was taken by the Destroyer at age 4. She travelled the world trying to find him and now she waits for him to find her, even though she is certain he will hate her for failing to protect him.I had a little bit of a rougher start with Lizzan and Aerax than I did with Maddak and Yvenne, but once I understood their conflict I fell in love with them. Lizzan might be rough for some readers at the start. She drinks too much and she is in the process of a long, slow implosion that will definitely end with her death. She is near the end of her rope emotionally, and that’s a hard place for me to connect with a character. Lizzan is a mirror of Yvenne in that she is a warrior and has the physical strength for which Yvenne longed. What she lacks is Yvenne’s knowledge of the world and understanding of all the ways people can be horrible. She lacks Yvenne’s fortitude.It was interesting thinking about the big lie at the center of A Touch of Stone and Snow in this moment. White Americans, like the citizens of Koth, have been raised on a steady diet of comforting lies. To maintain itself, Koth must banish, shame and kill anyone who might reveal the truth. As a child Aerax and his mother almost die because they don’t fit comfortably into Kothan society. In the United States, the truth of our nation is right in front of us and some people are so hostile to seeing it that they will become monsters in order to be comfortable in the lies. Lizzan feels like she must be a monster to have been shunned and exiled. Aerax feels like he must become a monster to save the people of Koth. Neither of them are monsters, they operating in a monstrous system. That should be a familiar feeling to us all.Vane really goes for the jugular in this book. She takes Lizzan and Aerax from the extremes of isolation and hopelessness, to deeply and happily in love, to all is lost before they get their happy ending.“Never have you been restrained in the pleasure you give to me, and never have you held back your heart. So always I end here in this way, so utterly satisfied and fully loved, the most blessed of all women.”She murdered me with beauty and emotion, and I liked it. If this moment had happened between two characters in A Game of Thrones, you could pretty much guarantee that one of them is about to die and the other will suffer horribly. Listening to an author panel recently one of them said that as a culture we assign greater value to misery than joy. I think there are lessons to be taken from the way we find joy. When Lizzan is suffering, the only redemption she can see is death in battle. When she chooses joy and community, her choices aren’t necessarily different, but the way she acts on those choices is directed towards a better world instead of self-absorbed misery. In this series of romances, the lovers aren’t just making choices for their own happiness or for their own family, but also for the world in which they live. They are choosing to move beyond their own myopic view and value people for who they are and not for how they fit preconceptions. They are choosing truth over comfort. Personally, I would like to live in a wold where lives were valued for themselves.The worst thing about having read this now is that I have to wait a year before the next book.I received this as an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s out July 7th, so if you haven’t read A Heart of Blood and Ashes, you have time. There is also a novella, “The Beast of Blackmore” which is referenced in the book, but I haven’t read it yet. I will though. Soon.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't think it was possible to love the heroine more than I liked Yvenne from the first book. Apparently I was wrong. This book gave me Lizzan. Another unconventional the heroine that I absolutely fell in love with. A down and out drunkard former soldier, shamed, shunned and exiled by her people but still cannot resist to help anyone in trouble, even if they are after her own life. So my rating for this book is not necessarily about the book itself, even though it is a bloody good read. All t I didn't think it was possible to love the heroine more than I liked Yvenne from the first book. Apparently I was wrong. This book gave me Lizzan. Another unconventional the heroine that I absolutely fell in love with. A down and out drunkard former soldier, shamed, shunned and exiled by her people but still cannot resist to help anyone in trouble, even if they are after her own life. So my rating for this book is not necessarily about the book itself, even though it is a bloody good read. All the stars are for Lizzan and her journey to redemption, even though she didn't need it. Most of the time I felt bad for how shitty the world was treating her and how she refused to be bitter because of it. I wanted her to be mad as hell, which she sometimes was, but I thought it wasn’t enough. I guess that’s why I loved her as a heroine. The path is never easy for her, and it took out of her more than it was fair but she still hung in there, trying to make it better. It pissed me off when she couldn't drink her troubles away like she would normally do because I felt she deserved a drink or two. This girl had the weight of the world on her shoulders and throughout the book she keeps on piling more until she had to learn to ask for help and rely on others.The fact that I did not mention the H, Aerax, does not mean he was a shitty hero. He was pretty awesome and I loved their relationship. And the supporting characters were not bad. I also like Tyzen and Seri, totally rooting for them. I wouldn't mind reading their story, if ever there will be one. I am really loving the intricate world that the author is building. I can't wait for the next book.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    A Touch of Stone and Snow is a fantastic addition to this series, one that ups the ante. Milla Vane shows us more of the world, brings in awesome new characters and creatures, and even more magic and danger. A Gathering of Dragons series is a must read! This is fantasy romance at its best. It brings love, light, overcoming (intense) adversity, and conquering evil in a time when I desperately need to see it. If I could, I’d beg Vela for a quest to gain the reward of more. Luckily, the third book, A Touch of Stone and Snow is a fantastic addition to this series, one that ups the ante. Milla Vane shows us more of the world, brings in awesome new characters and creatures, and even more magic and danger. A Gathering of Dragons series is a must read! This is fantasy romance at its best. It brings love, light, overcoming (intense) adversity, and conquering evil in a time when I desperately need to see it. If I could, I’d beg Vela for a quest to gain the reward of more. Luckily, the third book, A Dance of Smoke and Steel, comes out early next year - until then I’m going to be reading and re-reading.Entire review at The Alliterates
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  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    I am LOVING this series. I gave the first book 4.5 stars, so I was nervous coming into book 2. But Milla Vane manages to weave magic again in the sequel. The world-building is astounding, the characters literally leap off the pages with life, and the main couple in A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW are so lovely and lovING. Truly, one of the best second-chance romances I've read of late. I purposely held off reading this book after finals and DEVOURED it in almost one sitting. Very proud of my self-retr I am LOVING this series. I gave the first book 4.5 stars, so I was nervous coming into book 2. But Milla Vane manages to weave magic again in the sequel. The world-building is astounding, the characters literally leap off the pages with life, and the main couple in A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW are so lovely and lovING. Truly, one of the best second-chance romances I've read of late. I purposely held off reading this book after finals and DEVOURED it in almost one sitting. Very proud of my self-retraint.If you like fantasy + romance, I highly recommend this series. Like hands down, Vane brings out the best of both genres into her books.I'd also add to be careful though, as there are a lot of violent scenes that come up (and the author has a list of trigger warnings on her website over here which include heavy violence, abuse, and torture). The action is brutal, the romance is off-the-charts sexy, and the characters are flawed and heroic. Vane's characterizations are so WELL-DONE, and this book was no different. Goals are questioned, perspectives are challenged, and lessons are learned. I never got bored with the character introspection (which usually happens in stories) and empathized with both protagonists. It was just. So good. And we're so blessed as readers to be getting this whole thicc trilogy in one year. Review to come!!Thank you so much Berkley & Netgalley for the review copy!
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  • Gitte TotallyBookedBlog
    January 1, 1970
    “Our path leads to the crystal palace. So on we go, to glorious battle, where my name will become legend.” And where he would never, ever let her go.“If I have to become a monster to save you, that is what I will do.”A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane is the second book in A Gathering of Dragons, one of the best fantasy series we’ve read in a long time. Every single book is EPIC and so intricately woven into a mammoth story. It’s not often it takes us a week to read just one book, however, “Our path leads to the crystal palace. So on we go, to glorious battle, where my name will become legend.” And where he would never, ever let her go.“If I have to become a monster to save you, that is what I will do.”A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane is the second book in A Gathering of Dragons, one of the best fantasy series we’ve read in a long time. Every single book is EPIC and so intricately woven into a mammoth story. It’s not often it takes us a week to read just one book, however, Milla Vane is literally the queen of fleshing out her storyline and her characters. Because of the continuing quest to defeat a common mythical enemy, we HIGHLY recommend reading in order, especially if you love barbaric and erotic fantasy romance as much as we do. This series speaks straight to our fantasy book-loving hearts. Intense, mysterious, harrowing, dramatic, action-filled and super passionate. This series is everything and the way in which it is written, SUPERB! We cannot even begin to adequately pay homage to this incredible series and Author. “I must sacrifice myself while performing a feat so incredible that my name will reach their ears, and no longer will my family bear my shame.”“If you leave me I will come for you. Wherever you go, I will find you, and we will be together again.” We first heard of The Destroyer in A Heart of Blood and Ashes, which was Ran Maddek and Queen Yvenne story, and his impending arrival to slay and defeat the realms is causing terror. Factions of warrior men and women not fleeing but rather instigating an uprising, whilst the rest seek refuge and protection from the mythical Gods. The world-building in this series by Milla Vane continues to astound us, this Author is outstanding! Honestly, if we could give her a standing ovation in person we would. It’s mesmerizing, addictive, flawless and compelling, the scenery easily conjured up in our minds from the vivid and eerily evocative writing. “Always you would stop and listen to those who were alone, for you knew that is what they often needed the most – for someone to see them, to listen to them. And I have always loved that about you.”“It matters not how quick or slow the days are. No matter what happens in the battle ahead, and even if every day afterward is spent with you, never will there be enough of them.” Lizzan, currently in exile, is on a personal quest to battle and clear her family’s name from the shame she has brought upon them. She’s a fighter with a heart that’s bigger than can be comprehended. We knew there was something incredibly special about her from the start, and we championed her till the end despite our worry over her wanting to die a hero. Whilst on her path she’s also running from the man she loves, Aerax, the troubled bastard prince of Koth, she grew to love with all her heart. The warrior monster of a man who owns her heart and now owns ours. Not only is this series a treat fantasy-wise, which would be amazing as a Netflix series, in A Touch of Stone and Snow the second chance romance is compelling, beautiful and incredibly passionate. The tension and the chemistry was scorching. The battle, the twists and the mythical aspect, enticing. This series is a masterpiece of epic proportions! “You ease the pain in my heart, Aerax.”“Given a choice no other purpose would I have.” Available to purchase belowAmazon USAmazon UKCome and say hi, at:✲ TotallyBookedBlog✲ TBB on Facebook✲ TBB on Instagram✲ TBB on Twitter✲ TBB on Pinterest
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  • Brie
    January 1, 1970
    Truly one of the most wonderful books I've read, certainly a highlight of the year (a much needed one!) and probably my favorite Milla Vane/Meljean Brook book, which is saying a lot, because she's one of my most beloved authors. I guess we could say this book is basically about two very good, very honorable people who love each other very much. I mean, they really, really love each other. The love story in this book is so intense, so deep, and so earned, that sometimes I felt like I, the reader, Truly one of the most wonderful books I've read, certainly a highlight of the year (a much needed one!) and probably my favorite Milla Vane/Meljean Brook book, which is saying a lot, because she's one of my most beloved authors. I guess we could say this book is basically about two very good, very honorable people who love each other very much. I mean, they really, really love each other. The love story in this book is so intense, so deep, and so earned, that sometimes I felt like I, the reader, was intruding. It’s technically friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers, except that they’re never enemies, just forced into an impossible position that looks like a big misunderstanding but isn’t. And once they reconcile, we get an absolute parade of swoon. Even the dirty talk is ridiculous romantic. I don’t know what else to say. This book is nothing like the first book and yet they are truly of a piece. This one is still set in a violent, intense world, and there’s plenty of violence and gore (including sexual violence) but the dynamic between the main characters is so different. The thing they have in common, which is consistent throughout Vane’s work, is that the women have power and agency, even when it doesn’t look like they do, and when they don’t, they fight for it. I think this one will work much better for those who found the first one off-putting, but do check the content warnings. Anyway, read it for the swoons, read it for the magical giant cat/tiger, read it for the quiet hero who is desperately in love, read it for the heroine who crawls her way back from a very dark place, read it for the horny monk, read it for the parents who love their daughters, read it for the fun gods, read it for the hot horse that steals all the lady horses (Sundown is shook!).CW: violence, gore, mutilation, descriptions of child sexual abuse, descriptions and allusions of rape and sexual violence, torture, alcoholism.
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  • 1-Click Addict Support Group
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing read…The Destroyer was threatening the world (still) and this was the next chapter in the series arc. If you haven’t read the first instalment, you will want to do that so you don’t miss a cracking love story but also the foundation of what Aerax and Lizzan’s story built on. And what a story it was…Aerax and Lizzan. Sigh… I’ve just finished and I’m still taking in all that happened. Set in a mythical world of realms and magic, of dragons and beasts, the romance, surprisingly, could not h Amazing read…The Destroyer was threatening the world (still) and this was the next chapter in the series arc. If you haven’t read the first instalment, you will want to do that so you don’t miss a cracking love story but also the foundation of what Aerax and Lizzan’s story built on. And what a story it was…Aerax and Lizzan. Sigh… I’ve just finished and I’m still taking in all that happened. Set in a mythical world of realms and magic, of dragons and beasts, the romance, surprisingly, could not have been more real and tangible. Friends when they should never have been, they grew up together. Supporting each other, protective. When family was complicated, they always had each other. She seeing him when she shouldn’t. He seeing her when he shouldn’t. Romantic? Oh, how I cried at more than one scene where their love for each other, when things looked direst, touched my heart so deeply… Theirs was a love that shouldn’t have been yet would not only save themselves, but all they held dear.If you are hesitant by the fantasy aspects, let me reassure you. This is a LOVE story of Rhett and Scarlett heights… ~Diane, 5 stars
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  • Jenn (The Book Refuge)
    January 1, 1970
    **Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Romance for providing me with an eARC of this title. All opinions are my own.**Wow! This was just bananas good.After devouring the first novel in this series, I was so excited to have been approved for the sequel on NetGalley. Because things just really escalated here. The magic, the creatures, the curses, the fights, everything is just ratcheted up.In this novel we move away from Ran Maddek and Queen Yvenne to meet some new characters.Lizzan is a shunned warrio **Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Romance for providing me with an eARC of this title. All opinions are my own.**Wow! This was just bananas good.After devouring the first novel in this series, I was so excited to have been approved for the sequel on NetGalley. Because things just really escalated here. The magic, the creatures, the curses, the fights, everything is just ratcheted up.In this novel we move away from Ran Maddek and Queen Yvenne to meet some new characters.Lizzan is a shunned warrior who is now a hired protector for merchants and travelers. After being cast out by her country and separated from the man she thought loved her best in the world, she became a woman with no name and a drunkard barely stumbling through her days.When she can't bear in any longer, she reaches out to the goddess Vela for a quest to regain her reputation and die a hero. When Vela reluctantly gives her the task to protect the next person she lays eyes on, she is shocked and horrified that it is the bastard Prince she once loved with all her heart. The same bastard that broke her heart and refused to flee Koth with her when she was exiled.But Aerax has been searching for her. He has a horrible task to complete and he wants Lizzan by his side no matter what it takes. He only made her leave for her own protection and he is sure she will see him as a villian when he finds out why.This is set 2 years after the ending events of A Heart of Blood and Ashes. There are some familiar faces including some members of Maddek's Dragon Guard and Yvenne's youngest brother.There is a SABER-TOOTHED CAT companion named Caeb, and I am LIVING for him. There is something about him though... and I want to know more.The love story in this one is so touching. These two people who have such a deep love and layers of weight and duty upon them that have forced them apart... This was a second chance romance wrapped up in a fantasy. While Maddek and Yvenne may have burned bright and fierce. Lizzan and Aerax smolder low and deep. I adored the angst hiding true devotion. (And it doesn't hurt to have a cat the size of a horse who wants you to get back together.)My one and only gripe has to do with logistics. This book is shelved in the Romance section, and it should be, but man, this book needs the Fantasy Novel treatment. I need a damn MAP, and a list of characters, as well as who all the gods and goddesses are. That is my only real gripe. It gets really confusing, and normally I would flip back and forth between a map and other ID pages.Triggers: Brutality. Gore. Mentions of rape and torture.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    Review will be available on *Milky Way of Books* at 4/8/2020. If you want to read it now click below!(view spoiler)[The amazing world Milla Vane has created becomes even more wide in this next installment of her Gathering of Dragons series. This time we move to the Western Realms where a new set of characters who I hope will meet the first ones from the first book, have to face their own struggles, fears and danger as the Destroyer draws closer and closer.Frankly, I dread to see who this Destroy Review will be available on *Milky Way of Books* at 4/8/2020. If you want to read it now click below!(view spoiler)[The amazing world Milla Vane has created becomes even more wide in this next installment of her Gathering of Dragons series. This time we move to the Western Realms where a new set of characters who I hope will meet the first ones from the first book, have to face their own struggles, fears and danger as the Destroyer draws closer and closer.Frankly, I dread to see who this Destroyer is. From the stories told from the first book and to the ones from this one, he must be someone very terrifying to behold. Only just the mention of the destruction of a whole city, the killing, and the raping of the women send shivers of fear.So in this book, we have an amazing warrior Lizzan who is exiled from her realm of Koth for being a coward. Having PTSD after what she experienced in that battle and growing her sorrow...well in drinking, she will face her past in the presence of Aerax, the bastard Prince of Koth who must gather allies as the Destroyer draws near.Together they will travel the western Realms facing new and old dangers together and also a quest from Vella, the goddess, will bring them together. I loved Aerax. He was a man who loved Lizzan desperately despite everything that had happened between them and he deserves a hug. Lizzan on the other hand I admired her strength and determination as also how she struggled with the betrayals of her country. But Aerax always believed her and he was steady in his love for her.The fighting scenes were Netflix/HBO worthy. If this series doesn't become a tv series, then what are they doing?! The mythology is amazing, the worldbuilding stunning and the maps that Milla Vane has on her website have helped me understand their journeys. Though I would prefer to see them in the books, I hope this will happen in the future.Absolutely amazing! And totally recommended! (hide spoiler)]
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  • Izzie d
    January 1, 1970
    This just wasn't for me.I was bored....I think I wasn't invested enough to hear about all the history and wait for the revealing of their secrets.I gave it three stars as I felt it was well written.Lots of world and history to their race.I was a bit confused who was speaking at times.During separation there are no others.Despite heroine's impression she gives the reader the Hero is besotted with her and sent her away to protect her.No intimate scenes other than the Hero and heroine.HEA but their This just wasn't for me.I was bored....I think I wasn't invested enough to hear about all the history and wait for the revealing of their secrets.I gave it three stars as I felt it was well written.Lots of world and history to their race.I was a bit confused who was speaking at times.During separation there are no others.Despite heroine's impression she gives the reader the Hero is besotted with her and sent her away to protect her.No intimate scenes other than the Hero and heroine.HEA but their story will continue in the series I think as they are facing a great enemy.
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  • Jen Davis
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.*ARC provided by publisher
  • Lubnaa (Romance Library)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.A Touch of Stone and Snow is the second book in the Gathering of Dragons series. It can be read as a standalone, but I think readers would benefit from reading in order because the Destroyer arc starts in the first book and continues in this book. And it looks like the Destroyer arc will end in the next book, which I am SO EXCITED for!!A Touch of Stone and Snow is a second chance romance between two childhood sweethearts who have I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.A Touch of Stone and Snow is the second book in the Gathering of Dragons series. It can be read as a standalone, but I think readers would benefit from reading in order because the Destroyer arc starts in the first book and continues in this book. And it looks like the Destroyer arc will end in the next book, which I am SO EXCITED for!!A Touch of Stone and Snow is a second chance romance between two childhood sweethearts who have been separated for 10 years. Aerax is the illegitimate son of the King of Koth and the people of Koth have continuously shunned Aerax and his mother because of that. The only person who had befriended him was softhearted Lizzan, who at the time aspired to be a soldier. They grew up together and fell in love in the process. Lizzan eventually becomes a soldier and after a fever kills most of the royal family, Aerax becomes one of the few remaining heirs. When Lizzan and her fellow soliders get attacked, Lizzan ends up being the only survivor. But when she returns to Koth, she gets accused of being a coward. She gets exiled from Koth and instead of coming to her defense, Aerax allows her to be exiled...for reasons of his own. 10 years after her exile, Lizzan meets Aerax again. The plot moves slowly and it takes about 20% for these two to finally meet again, but it works really well because the author takes her time to set up the background story. Eventually we find out just how these new characters fit in with the characters from book 1 and how they will contribute to the war against the Destroyer. Obviously, there is a lot more to her exile that Lizzan doesn't know about and at first, she feels rightly betrayed by Aerax. But when they meet again, the years they spent apart actually strengthened their love for each other. I really liked Lizzan and Aerax, and especially, Caeb, Aerax's giant saber-toothed cat. I love the dynamic between this trio and I love how Aerax and Lizzan support each other. Aerax is one of those heroes who speaks bluntly and without finesse, but when it comes to Lizzan, he masters the dirty talk and the romantic speeches equally. I highlighted a few of his speeches and I wish I could share them all with you. I really felt the romance in this book. Even though Lizzan doesn't know the entire truth about her exile, she still trusts Aerax because she knows that he would never intentionally hurt her. I just love their relationship because it's not only based on lust, it's also based on mutual trust and love. That's exactly what was missing in the first book for me and I'm glad I got it with Lizzan and Aerax.The author also does a great job setting up the storyline for the next book — Saxen and Laina!!! I am so excited for their story!!!!!!
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  • Readaholic
    January 1, 1970
    Lizzan, a mercenary for hire wanders the road in solitude. She prefers her drink strong and a place to sleep, but is willing to help those in need. The place she called home and her once lover have shunned her. She is an outcast and is determined to stay far away from Koth. Aerax - also known as the feral prince of Koth - is seeking new alliances to help fight the destroyer. Lizzan and Aerax eventually meet on this road and there are so many unsaid words spoken between them. Lizzan believes that Lizzan, a mercenary for hire wanders the road in solitude. She prefers her drink strong and a place to sleep, but is willing to help those in need. The place she called home and her once lover have shunned her. She is an outcast and is determined to stay far away from Koth. Aerax - also known as the feral prince of Koth - is seeking new alliances to help fight the destroyer. Lizzan and Aerax eventually meet on this road and there are so many unsaid words spoken between them. Lizzan believes that it was Aerax who exiled Lizzan from Koth, but how could it be when Aerax has never stopped loving her? I absolutely love a second chance romance and I loved loved the first meeting between Lizzan and Aerax . I felt the love and longing between these two as much as the hurt. Milla Vane knows how to write such great dialogue and I was constantly looking forward to the banter between Lizzan and Aerax. Beyond the love story between Lizzan and Aerax I loved the adventure that this book took me on. I have always loved mythology and learning about the legends of the various Gods that the people in this realm believe in was fascinating. I have so many parts highlighted because the storytelling was spectacular. But what is truth and what is the lie? Will people believe in something that is completely false because it was told to them in this manner for generations? And how will these lies and truths set the people of Koth and other realms free. A Touch of Stone and Snow was a wonderful follow up to A Heart of Blood and Ashes. I loved being immersed in this world and absolutely cannot wait until the next book in the series is released!I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Koth, a northern island kingdom left untouched by the Destroyer a generation past, is confident that it was it's virtue and skill that saved it last time... and that it will be enough this time too. Lizzan, lead the Kothan army out against some marauders only to meet terrors, monsters that massacred all her soldiers and then disappeared. When she returns, she is called a coward and exiled. She has worked in the southern counties as a mercenary when she wasn't drinking to forget. On the road she Koth, a northern island kingdom left untouched by the Destroyer a generation past, is confident that it was it's virtue and skill that saved it last time... and that it will be enough this time too. Lizzan, lead the Kothan army out against some marauders only to meet terrors, monsters that massacred all her soldiers and then disappeared. When she returns, she is called a coward and exiled. She has worked in the southern counties as a mercenary when she wasn't drinking to forget. On the road she encounters, one of the reasons she is drinking to forget and duty compels her to return home.Why I started this book: Loved the first book, A Heart of Blood and Ashes and so I jumped at the chance of reading this ARC.Why I finished it: Same series, completely new characters and focus... in a world where a magical Destroyer is returning, each country must face it's past and work towards an alliance. Vane focuses on perception vs. reality, public vs. private morality and what a true hero is and does. Plus tons of adventure, fighting, and monsters. I can't wait for the next book!
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  • Sissy's Romance Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW by Milla Vane is book Two in A Gathering of Dragons Series. This is the story of Aerax and Lizzan. When Aerax and Lizzan where young they were friends who are now enemies but find that they are being brought back together in this mystical story. Lizzan was left shunned after a battle so now she is left to wonder around being a hired mercenary. But then she comes upon Aerax again who at one time she loved and they bother where there for each other but he is the man that A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW by Milla Vane is book Two in A Gathering of Dragons Series. This is the story of Aerax and Lizzan. When Aerax and Lizzan where young they were friends who are now enemies but find that they are being brought back together in this mystical story. Lizzan was left shunned after a battle so now she is left to wonder around being a hired mercenary. But then she comes upon Aerax again who at one time she loved and they bother where there for each other but he is the man that sent her into exile. But they find that they both need each other which begins the healing back to what they had and more. I enjoyed their story. I would recommend this book and this author's writing.
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  • Tabs
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book. It made me laugh and it made me cry and I didn’t want it to end. With more than 100 romances under my belt so far, it might be the most romantic book that I’ve read all year. Even when they’re apart and hurting, they’re so damn in love with each other that it’s palpable.CWs: Addiction (alcoholism), attempted suicide/suicidal ideation, shunning, child sexual abuse
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  • Maria Rose
    January 1, 1970
    A barbarian world of magic and violence is the backdrop of this gritty and completely absorbing fantasy romance, second in the Gathering of Dragons series. As in the first in the series, this one features a strong heroine, Lizzan, cast out of her home city when her tale of a battle lost through magical means went unbelieved. The man she thought would fight to keep her, the prince Aerax, instead helped plan her escape. Fighting as a mercenary, awaiting the return of The Destroyer to their realm, A barbarian world of magic and violence is the backdrop of this gritty and completely absorbing fantasy romance, second in the Gathering of Dragons series. As in the first in the series, this one features a strong heroine, Lizzan, cast out of her home city when her tale of a battle lost through magical means went unbelieved. The man she thought would fight to keep her, the prince Aerax, instead helped plan her escape. Fighting as a mercenary, awaiting the return of The Destroyer to their realm, she never thinks to set eyes on Aerax again but fate has other plans as her life becomes intimately entwined with his and they get their second chance. Blood soaked battles abound as the overall worldbuilding arc continues but amid the chaos is a heartfelt romance and steamy sex for Aerax and Lizzan. One of my favorite parts of the worldbuilding for this series involves the complex mythology of their gods and goddesses and how the characters' beliefs drive their actions. This one can be read as a standalone as it only marginally relates to the first story in the series, however the overall story arc builds on that one and some of the secondary characters overlap. It's a story I didn't want to put down, and will definitely be reading again! A copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳
    January 1, 1970
    I NEED this NOW.
  • Visionary Druid
    January 1, 1970
    Review courtesy of Romance JunkiesLizzan is a Kothan solider living in exile. She travels the world as a sword-for-hire. Lizzan’s path brings her to the one man she wishes never to see again. She begs the goddess Vela for a quest to redeem her family’s honor. Lizzan must protect the first person she sees outside the temple, who happens to be Koth’s feral prince. Will Lizzan be able to complete her quest? Can she convince Koth to ally with the southern realms against the Destroyer? And what sacri Review courtesy of Romance JunkiesLizzan is a Kothan solider living in exile. She travels the world as a sword-for-hire. Lizzan’s path brings her to the one man she wishes never to see again. She begs the goddess Vela for a quest to redeem her family’s honor. Lizzan must protect the first person she sees outside the temple, who happens to be Koth’s feral prince. Will Lizzan be able to complete her quest? Can she convince Koth to ally with the southern realms against the Destroyer? And what sacrifice will Lizzan have to make?Aerax is a bastard prince of Koth. He travels outside his country to seek help from a neighboring realm. Instead, Aerax encounters Lizzan with a party from the southern realms. The goddess Vela gives him a task too: to become who he is meant to be. Something Aerax intends to do; however, he wants to renew his relationship with Lizzan. What role does fate have in store for Aerax? Can he right an ancient wrong? Or will he defy the gods to keep Lizzan with him?Lizzan is a less-than-perfect heroine. I love that she is not the typical, cliché beautiful heroine. She has been mentally and physically scarred by her ordeals as a solider. I like Lizzan’s determination to help the southerners form an alliance with the western realms. Her country may have betrayed her, yet she still wants to keep them and the neighboring realms safe from the Destroyer. What I adore the most about Lizzan is her thoughtfulness towards others. She not only helps a foreign queen but a village that spurned her and an old woman with no expectations of recompense.Aerax is such a love. He is a man defined by the secrets he is forced to keep and the tough choices he must take. I understand Aerax’s reluctant allegiance to his country. He has no love for Koth. However, that does not stop him from doing what he needs for it. What I adore the most about Aerax is his patience and protectiveness towards Lizzan. He understands it is hurt that drives her from him. Instead of pushing her, he lets Lizzan come to him on her own terms. Aerax also risks censor by defending her against their countrymen’s ill treatment.A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW is book two in Milla Vane’s barbarian-fantasy romance series, A GATHERING OF DRAGONS. It is crucial to read the first book to understand the world-building and the story’s undercurrents. I am a fan of the author’s steampunk series, THE IRON SEAS, under her alias Meljean Brooks. Milla Vane’s jaunt into the fantasy genre did not disappoint me! I love how certain side characters from book one play important roles throughout the story.A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW is a masterful tale that blends high fantasy with romance. I hope the author plans to write a story for the Parsathean warrior Seri and the Syssian prince Tyzen. I cannot wait for more adventures in this fascinating world.
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  • Carly
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the first book in this series for harder, bloodier, more intense reasons, but A Touch of Stone and Snow proved to be a much gentler follow-up with characters who have more of a shared history than Maddek and Yvenne. Lizzan is a mercenary for hire, a sellsword, and a drunkard, and she’s been shunned by her own people for almost as long as she can remember. But when she comes face-to-face with the bastard prince of Koth, Aerax — her childhood friend, the first love of her life, and the man I loved the first book in this series for harder, bloodier, more intense reasons, but A Touch of Stone and Snow proved to be a much gentler follow-up with characters who have more of a shared history than Maddek and Yvenne. Lizzan is a mercenary for hire, a sellsword, and a drunkard, and she’s been shunned by her own people for almost as long as she can remember. But when she comes face-to-face with the bastard prince of Koth, Aerax — her childhood friend, the first love of her life, and the man responsible for her exile — her first instinct is to put as much distance between them as she can. Unfortunately for Lizzan, the goddess Vela has other plans in mind, and an unexpected quest binds her and Aerax together right when they least expect it. If you love childhood friends to lovers to enemies to… it’s complicated(?), you should definitely pick this one up. Bonus points for an intelligent and loyal animal companion who steals the show in plenty of scenes.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • LAB☺
    January 1, 1970
    An amazing story that picks up a couple of years after the ending of the first book. The Destroyer is still coming and the kingdoms are trying to form alliances to fight him. The main characters and their love interest was well developed - you got to read about their history together and really felt their emotions for each other.I also loved that the reader is told the different stories of the gods and I loved reading every tale that was woven into this book. They make the world so much more bel An amazing story that picks up a couple of years after the ending of the first book. The Destroyer is still coming and the kingdoms are trying to form alliances to fight him. The main characters and their love interest was well developed - you got to read about their history together and really felt their emotions for each other.I also loved that the reader is told the different stories of the gods and I loved reading every tale that was woven into this book. They make the world so much more believable and when appearances are made by the gods you feel like you know them and they are in fact their own characters and not just stories and myths. I also felt deeply for the tale of the mother waiting for her son by the river. And I of course loved the snow cat!Looking forward to the next book!
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  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    If you were a fan of the first book in this series you will ADORE this book as well! Lizzan is such a strong and powerful female lead that you just can't help but cheer for. Aerax is Maddek's complete opposite. Aerax is a character you will love from the first page. He's just so compassionate and devoted. Let's not forget to mention he has a pet saber-toothed cat! The love story between Lizzan and Aerax will have you unable to put this book down. A Touch of Stone and Snow is a must read for all If you were a fan of the first book in this series you will ADORE this book as well! Lizzan is such a strong and powerful female lead that you just can't help but cheer for. Aerax is Maddek's complete opposite. Aerax is a character you will love from the first page. He's just so compassionate and devoted. Let's not forget to mention he has a pet saber-toothed cat! The love story between Lizzan and Aerax will have you unable to put this book down. A Touch of Stone and Snow is a must read for all fantasy romance readers. Milla Vane is blowing me away with how amazing this series is. Action packed, romance that's to die for, and world building unlike any other! There are also many reappearing characters from book one that we all know and love! You're going to want to pick this series up!
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  • Carissa
    January 1, 1970
    Egh this one didn't have the same flair for me as book 1. I just had a hard time concentrating and I'll have to decide if I'll read book 3, which I guess its the last in the trilogy.
  • FV Angela
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come at Smexy Books
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