Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: Binding Ties

Binding Ties (Sentinel Wars - Book 9) by Shannon K. Butcher

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384

(Received for an honest review from Signet)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Shannon K. Butcher on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the Series:

Sentinel Wars

1. Burning Alive
2. Finding the Lost
3. Running Scared
4. Living Nightmare
5. Blood Hunt
6. Dying Wish
7. Falling Blind
8. Willing Sacrifice
9. Binding Ties

Coverart: Click on the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Binding Ties, courtesy of the author's website


They are the Sentinels. Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes: the Synestryn. Now a warrior must protect his onetime enemy—without succumbing to his darkest desires. 

Lyka Phelan is a Slayer, sent to live among her enemy to guarantee lasting peace with the Theronai. Yet she has a secret—and it could make her a slave to their power. But when a pack of Synestryn destroys her home and captures her packmates, Lyka realizes her freedom is a small price to pay for the safety of her people. So she strikes a bargain with the leader of the Theronai—one that reveals her true identity and binds her to him forever.

Joseph thought he knew better than to tangle with the beautiful, hot-blooded Lyka. One misstep could send their races straight back to war. But now he has no choice other than to help her. Forced to protect her with his life, Joseph finds himself increasingly drawn to Lyka. As they risk everything in their fight against the demons, he realizes he must convince her to surrender to him completely—otherwise she will never truly be his.


Shannon K. Butcher returns with her ninth book in the Sentinel Wars series, Binding Ties. Readers who are familiar with the series know that the last book, Willing Sacrifice was a departure not only from Butcher's usual style, but from the core group of characters that have populated the series. Readers will be happy that Butcher has returned to series roots and that this book is much lighter novel as compared to the last one. This isn't a series I would recommend reading out of order due to the complex and interwoven storylines. A great new addition to the series. 

Shannon K. Butcher is an author that I really, really wanted to like because I am such a huge fan of her husband, Jim Butcher's writing. I started this series in the middle which was a disadvantage. I think the reader needs all of the interconnected story's to keep it all straight. You really miss a lot if you don't read it from the beginning. Especially when you have a book like Willing Sacrifice, that is completely out sequence with the series. Binding Ties gets the series back on track, but it does have it's issues. 

There is quite a bit to keep straight with this series. The three groups of sentinel's that are basically the good guys, but they tend to fight among themselves. Then you have the bad guys, the Synestern and so many side stories and characters that it reminds me of a high fantasy series that generally includes a map and a family tree... LOL. That's not to say that I don't like it, because I do. It's just a bit complicated and that might turn off some readers. But I love all the nuances and interwoven tales. I am always looking forward to finding out what happened to this or that character along the way.

It's a great series, but I think the heroines of late have been a little flat. The hero's are still right where we need them to be, but I want more out of the women in this series. Joseph is the leader of one of the sentinel groups, the Theroni. He is a great hero, not only because he is handsome and all that, but because of the heart he has for his people. He is dedicated and resourceful. But Lyka may be his undoing. 

I had some issues with this heroine right out of the gate. Lyka has a sassy attitude, but it can steer a little close to bossy and demanding at times. She just doesn't fit my idea of a woman that should end up with someone as great as Joseph. She made poor decisions, she was full hardy and didn't have the interests of the Theroni people at heart, which I guess is normal, considering she is a Slayer. But, wanted more from her and just didn't get it. I did however like the fact that she wanted to save her brother, that was a bit redeeming considering the rest of her escapades. 

Bottom Line:

As usual, Butcher gives readers a complicated, but highly entertaining storyline. She offers up a great hero, that readers will fall in love with easily, but she lacks a little when it comes to the heroine. Strong female leads can be hard to write. I think Butcher is up to the task and I love everything else about her writing. I hope the next heroine is still badass, but not too domineering and inflexible.

Binding Ties is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Since launching her career in 2007, national bestselling author Shannon K. Butcher has penned more than twenty titles, including the paranormal romance series the Sentinel Wars, the action-romance series the Edge, and a handful of romantic-suspense novels and works of short fiction. Being a former engineer and current nerd, she frequently uses charts, graphs, and tables to aid her in the mechanics of story design and to keep track of all those pesky characters and magical powers. An avid beader and glass artist, she spends her free time making jewelry she often gives away in contests on her Web site.

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