• Title: Mariana’s Secret
  • Author: A.D. Lombardo
  • Publisher: Self Published on November 5, 2019
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Pages: 322
  • Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
  • Rating: 4/5

Trigger Warnings: Graphic Violence, War, Gun Violence

Many thanks to Blackberry Book Tours and A.D. Lombardo for providing me with a digital copy of Mariana’s Secret with a request for an honest review.

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Mariana’s Secret Blurb

Prince Kai is his own worst enemy. Nothing about his life is within his control. Although warned not to experiment with his gifts, he is determined to take control of his fate. His struggle to take matters into his own hands lands him in deep water-literally.

Choices have consequences; regrettably, his family will pay the price for his decisions. But anger is a painful emotion to manage, especially when everyone keeps secrets and tells lies. The truth behind his mother’s fate, shatters Kai’s precious relationship with Kendra. Mariana’s deepest secrets begin to fall like leaves off a tree.

Coupled with an old foe, a mysterious stranger attacks Diu and rocks the foundation of Kai’s life. Faced with a life-altering decision, Kai looks to his emerging romance with Rayna to help him take the next step.

Provided by Blackberry Book Tours for Tour Use

My Review

A.D. Lombardo is back with the second novel in the Katori Chronicles series, Mariana’s Secret. I reviewed the first book a few months ago and adored it. This book is no different. The pages turned faster and faster the further in I got. I love this magical world and everything in it, even if there is more than meets the eye.

In this book, we learn more about the death of Kai’s mother, Mariana. He uses his Katori magic to go back in his mind to that fateful day. Kai needs to remind himself of what really happened near the banyan tree in the maze that day. Once he remembers, he becomes eager to follow his memories. Unfortunately, he has duties to attend to that won’t allow him to go on the quest for answers. Though, he does find out more about his roots and where his mother came from. 

I enjoyed going back to Diu and getting back into the lives of the characters I am so fond of. Prince Kai grew into an intelligent, strong young man. King Iver is still under Queen Nola’s strange influence, and the action is as strong as ever. I love when my fantasy stories are full of action and deceit. It makes for an entertaining read. I have to admit that Kai’s actions are too rash, and he acts on them without thought. Before, he had guidance to keep his feet on the ground, but he doesn’t have that in this book. This lack of guidance made for an interesting story, even though I wanted to punch Kai in the face.

The trip to the land his aunt and uncle govern held a lot of surprises. The setting was gorgeous. Being surrounded by fantastic gardens and the ocean on all sides made it seem enchanted. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay enchanted for long, and the horrors that do come are easy to imagine as well. Lombardo does a great job with her setting descriptions. You feel like you are right there.

Even though I enjoyed this novel, I felt that it rushed through a bit too fast. There is so much information to take in that confusion quickly sets in. I understand the need for the information dump, as there is a lot of story to tell, but it doesn’t lessen the feeling of being in a whirlwind.

I award Mariana’s Secret 4 out of 5 stars. This series is wonderful with its dragons, magic, and warring cities. I can see folks who are serious about their fantasy novels loving this series.

See my review for the first book in the series: The Half-Light

About the Author – A. D. Lombardo

Angela Lombardo was born in Akron, Ohio, raised on a farm by her grandparents who sacrificed a great deal to give her and her brother a good life. Public school came as a complete culture shock after attending a small Christian private school.

She loves animals, the country life and is still a tomboy at heart. You can take her off the bobcat, but you’ll never get her to enjoy the city. She dabbled in playing the piano, playing sports and fishing.

Her love of comics started with Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. Being a Trekkie and a BMX rider, Angela did not have many girlfriends or time for makeup. She spent most of her time with her older brother crashing dirt bikes and three-wheelers. As a teenager, her grandmother sent her to Barbizon to teach her how to be a proper girl. She is fortunate she had a son.

Angela started writing The Half-Light in fall 2017 after a sleepless night gave her pause about the mother in a made-up story she created for her son. She spent the weekend solving the mystery of where the mother went.

Author’s Contact Links: Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram

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