Crista McHugh s Poisoned Web picks up a week after the climatic ending of Tangled Web Readers have already met the hero and heroine, Izana and Modius They both had small roles in the first book I do recommend reading these books in order Events that happened in the first carry over into the second.Azurha wants to give her soon to be husband the gift of closure She wants to find out who was behind his father s death She has perfect truth seekers in mind and enlists their assistance Titus s life is still in danger though This time there is a race against the clock to save his life Modius and Izana s research uncovers many answers while unearthing some ancient history that saboteurs would see stays hidden.I love the mix of futuristic sci fi and far away ancient desert land that the Deizian Empire books blends together The three different races and their vastly different cultures are very interesting and affect their surroundings and lives so differently One races enslavement of another is what has led to the poisoning of one emperor and the attempted assassination of another With a possible rebellion on the horizon it is imperative to see Azurha in a throne next to Titus. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by Lovers of Paranormal I have fallen in LOVE with this series These female characters are such strong characters, I love them Azurha is still my favorite character, but Izana was GREAT She was so brilliant and I love that her spirit was still strong even after her life as a slave.I even enjoyed Modius He was courageous in his own right I guess it s no surprise because I m such a fan of Varro, that I would love his son also, and I loved the father son interactions and reconciliation, made me love them even.I m interested to see what will happen with Captain Galerius after how Crista McHugh left it at the end of this book Good thing I m going right on to book 3 I love that I get to spend time with these characters 4.5 stars The Fate Of The Empire Hangs On One Slave Breaking Her Silence As The Deizian Empire Prepares For The Upcoming Wedding Of Emperor Titus Sergius Flavus And Azruha, One Mystery Remains Unsolved The Sudden And Unexplained Death Of The Former Emperor And As Her Wedding Gift To Titus, Azurha Wants To Give Him Answers She Suspects An Unknown Poison Was Involved, And Her Search For The Truth Enlists Two Unlikely AlliesModius Varro S Thirst For Knowledge Caused An Uproar In Emona Three Years Ago And Exiled Him To The Border Town Of Medrena But When Titus Falls Victim To The Same Poison, His Expertise In Medicine Becomes Essential In Solving Both The Riddle Of The Former Emperor S Death And Finding A Cure To Save The Current One His Search Leads Him To Far Reaches Of The Alpirion Realm, To An Ancient Culture Shrouded In Secrets, And Into The Arms Of One Slave Who Must Break Her Silence To Save The Empire What a great follow up to Tangled Web It felt like forever waiting for this book but Crista definitely delivered It s a good thing I read it on my kindle because it sizzles to the point the paper might catch fire Poisoned Web has it all Action, Suspense, Intrigue, passion, betrayal you name it There was just the right mix of Titus and Azurah but not to much that I was still able to follow in love with Izana and Modius as well I loved how strong and confident Izana is and she is comfortable with who she is The emotions of the characters come through the story in a flood as if I am actually a part of it and it kept me riveted through all the twist and turns And since I did completely fall in love with all these characters, the ones we met in Tangled Web and the new ones and feel like I am vested in them Its comforting to know that there are many many stories to come from the Deizian Empire Originally published at Reading RealityCrista McHugh s Deizian Empire series reads like a fantasy romance, but there is than a touch of science fiction lurking deep within the web that she weaves In this second book in the series, one of those science fictional elements plays a primary role in solving the central dilemma that moves this stage of the overall story, but it still leaves readers with than enough drama to make us eager for the next book in the series.The Deizian Empire is not at peace The young Emperor Titus faces enemies both from without, and from within As the saying goes, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.Titus was supposed to have been a weak emperor, easy to manipulate Or, he was supposed to have been dead Unfortunately for his enemies, the assassin that they sent to kill him, fell in love with him instead Even unfortunately for his enemies, they actually did pay to send the very best Their love story is told in the marvelous opener for this series, Tangled Web.But Titus desire to make a freed slave his Empress has upset even conservative advisors even further, and they were frothing at the mouth already over his plans to free the empire s slaves Adding to the ongoing ferment, his consort Azurha has determined that the previous emperor did not die of natural causes he was poisoned And as the famous assassin named The Rabbit , she is an expert on poisons.The only problem is that Azurha can t tell which poison did the deed And that s where both the science fiction and the romance come into this story.There are two races in the Deizian Empire The Deizians and the Alpirions The Deizians came from another planet and conquered the native Alpirions It is common medical knowledge that certain medicinal plants cause different reactions depending on which race a person is from Someone used that knowledge to poison the late Emperor.Two people are called in to figure out not just what poisoned the emperor, but who did it and how The emperor s food was tasted, so whoever did the deed had to be someone who had trusted access to the palace as well as some pretty sophisticated medical knowledge Along with one hell of a motive.Only two people can solve this problem before it is too late Izana and Modius But they both have terrible secrets that might get them killed before they can finish Izana is Azurha s trusted servant, and she knows how to read the ancient Alpirion script that leads to the old secrets, but she is a slave and it is illegal for slaves to be able to read and write.Modius is a trained healer, but he left the capital in disgrace after he was caught dissecting army corpses after a battle If they put their skills together, they can find the answer If the secrets they keep from each other don t trip them up first.And they need to figure things out fast, because the new emperor has developed symptoms of the same illness that killed his father Time is running out for everyone.Escape Rating A Poisoned Web is the portrait of the empire in the throes of cataclysmic change And the thing about change is that most people don t like it very much, especially the ones who benefit from the status quo.So much about the Deizian Empire reminds me of the Roman Empire, especially the nastier bits of I, Claudius without Livia s machinations, at least so far , that one sees plots and poisoners pretty much everywhere There are even barbarians at the gates The gates are maintained by magic, or science, or a combination of the two.But Titus is changing too much, too fast, and all the Deizians who have their income tied up in slavery don t want to see the end of their privileges Of course he has to go And on the other side, the ones who foment rebellion really aren t interested in a slow path to change, because they get their kicks from the violence This is not to say that the Alpirions shouldn t be free, but that most of them would not advocate assassinating the emperor who wants to free them as the best way to go about it Then there s the love story Izana and Modius both have been horribly wounded in their pasts, and have a difficult time trusting anyone Izana s road is much difficult Modius was terribly disgraced and vilified because of the experiments he was conducting If the previous Emperor hadn t gotten him out of town, he might very well have been lynched But that time has passed.The secrets Izana is protecting are deadly, not just for her, but for every single person who she reveals to Modius Her past as a sex slave feels degrading and demeaning, but it is her past alone, at least in context The network of illegal knowledge about the Alpirions, the network of slaves who can read and write, is death to every single slave that is even tangentially involved in it While Titus does not seem to be that kind of emperor, he can t be or he wouldn t be the center of this series, any corrupt noble could invoke the law and destabilize the regime.I feel like the series, in addition to having wonderful love stories, also has this epic rise and fall of empires thing in the background, and that s part of what makes it so marvelous to read. This series has me held captive I ve not read anything like it for a very long time This second book continues the first of the Emperor Titus and his soon to be wife Azurha Something has happened, and the wedding might be called off Azurha calls to her side the caretaker of the castle in Madrena She s asked him to help her solve, what she believes to be the murder of her Emperors husband Little does she know that the deception is closer and farther than she thinks.Azurha sends her slave to help Modius in his research and they find themselves immediately drawn to one another Will Izana break her silence Will she risk her life to help him Originally Reviewed For Tea and BookIn book two of Crista McHugh s Deizian Empire Series, Poisoned Web, the saga continues In book one, Tangled Web, we were introduced to a world in change.While Titus and Azruha are still pivotal characters The story shifts They have settled into their reign accepted that change will take time And in general vet happy But Azruha, ever the assassin wonders just how the former king died Was it truly a mysterious illness Or were foul means involved, solving that question becomes much important when Titus comes down with the same disease.Izana is Alpirian and was born a slave While she was never abused, left homeless or hungry, she was a slave and her former owner owned a brothel Her beauty and skills took her far but still her body was sold, not by her choice but another s Because she was a favorite, she was sold into the royal household and now She is handmade to a queen, an Alpirian Queen And Izana dreams of someday being free Modius Varros has a thirst for knowledge Trained as a soldier with the heart if a healer he was sent away in disgrace when he was found in his lab surrounded by dissected bodies yes they were already dead when he git them Like the medical students of our own history, he needed to study the body in order to understand it But when you are a culture of magic and mystery such behavior is abhorrent But times have changed and Modius is called upon to search out the reasons for the illness.Modius and Izana search from the very bowels of the capital to the darkest places of Alpiria Discovering together that there is much their two peoples have in common And that their differences only make them stronger In so many ways these books make me think of Rome Maybe we are supposed to There is a conquering people who rule with an iron fist Leaving all those they conquered as slaves and servants, at the very best middle class There is serious racism where those who are darker skinned are considered inferior While they once had a proud culture all their own, the Alpirians have been conquered But they refuse to stay underfoot There are still those who dream of freedom and those who fight for it.I can say enough about this amazing series Crista McHugh is fast rising to the top of my list of favorite authors There is magic in her worlds, in her stories, yes in her very words.Next week, Deception s Web ShauniThis review is based on the ARC of Poisoned Web provided by the author. Set in the Deizian Empire, a land with traces of Ancient Rome, Azurha is determined to give her soon to be husband a unique gift She is determined to find out who killed Emperor Decius to put his mind at ease She worries that her future husband s life could be in jeopardy, and she loves him too much to let anything bad happen to him.Izana, slave to Azurha, is sent to investigate along with Modius, a man with forensic experience The two quickly engage in a sexual relationship based at first on pure physical attraction As their suspicions turn from poisoning to a possible magical curse as the emperor s cause of death, things truly start to become interesting.I liked the world that is presented in this story It has echoes of Ancient Rome which helps it to maintain a sense of familiarity It also includes magic, which adds fantasy to a world that might otherwise be very realistic There are also traces of steampunk or sci fi because the chariots fly and airships are flying around in the sky I commend the author for trying something new by combining these elements, but I prefer to keep my steampunk in the Victorian Era I also prefer to keep my sci fi based in the stars That is my personal preference and has no bearing on what Ms McHugh has done here She has incorporated these elements well.The sex scenes in this story are highly descriptive I would not consider them raunchy or pornographic, but they are vividly detailed If you prefer sexual innuendo over graphically detailed love making, this is not the book for you Romance authors vary widely in their depictions, so you have been given fair warning This is a steamy one I loved the female lead characters Azurha and Izana Azurha s back story had me wanting to read part one of this series, which I have not done Still, this story gives enough information that it was easy for me to pick up part two and follow along without scratching my head I also very much enjoyed the magical elements of the story This story has a little something for everyone magic, suspense, and romance.I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be found on my blog A Match Made in HeavenI really enjoyed this book and still love the world of the Deizian Empire Modius and Izana make a great pair and I just loved them together Izana was such an interesting character I loved how confidently she seduced Modius despite being a slave She was a very strong woman, but she was very different from Azruha She wasn t physically capable, but she was incredible brave and self sacrificing Willing to do anything for the people she cared about and the empire.Modius was a great character too He was both highly educated and physically capable due to his previous military training But he was also very loving I think that was probably my favourite thing about him How easily he accepted Izana and opened his heart to her He had no hesitation due to the fact that she was a slave This story wasn t as action packed and intensely suspenseful as Tangled Web, but it was still a great part of the story of the Deizian Empire that is told in this series It was definitely worth it to see Modius and Izana fall in love, and to know that there are great people like Azruha and Titus, and that there is hope for the empire.I can t wait to read Galerius and Claudia s story I really didn t expect the next story to be about them I was thinking it would be about Marcus But I definitely look forward to learning about the glowering Galerius and seeing Claudia redeem herself I would like to thank the authors for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. Poisoned Web by Crista McHugh picks up shortly after book one, Tangled Web As Titus and Azurha are preparing for their wedding, Azurha can t seem to let go of her questions surrounding his father s death If someone got to Titus father, what would keep them from getting to him Once Modius arrives and Azurha tells him of her suspicions, he sets out to see if he can unravel the mystery And, when Azurha confides in Izana, a slave and Azurha s attendant, and asks for her to help Modius, who has been away for some time.When Izana meets Modius, they are immediately attracted to each other and act on that attraction rather quickly And once they begin their quest into finding out exactly what happened to the former emperor, they each question whether or not they should continue to act on their feelings Seems they both think that once the other learns of the other s past, that will somehow change things Then, the unthinkable happens Titus is poisoned as well, and time is now as much the enemy as the person who poisoned both Titus and his father Once the mystery starts to unravel, Izana and Modius are placed in grave danger and have only each other to depend on And, depend they do.What makes an author great for me is when they grab you from the very first and don t let go That is exactly what Crista McHugh has done with Poisoned Web I didn t think that she could top, or even equal, how much I loved Tangled Web Pfffftt What in the world was I thinking McHugh s world building abilities astound me Her characters are so relatable and so real, as is the world she builds Once again, there is no filler She simply tells her characters story and you are immediately immersed into their world She does a fantastic job with the secondary characters as well, of which I can t wait to read about Poisoned Web lets us see the continuation of Azurha and Titus relationship as well But make no mistake, this is definitely Izana and Modius story Izana was a great heroine She was fearless in her quest to help save her emperor, as well as trying to save herself and Modius And Modius was fearless as well in their quest as he realizes that he will do anything for the woman he loves If you ve not read any of Crista McHugh s stories, you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice She is on my must read list and I look forward to all of her works I will sum this up by saying that I d read a phone book if it were written by her Yep, she s that good Well done Crista McHugh, very very well done..
Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary.She also writes fantasy with less kissing and a lot action as
- 257 pages
- Poisoned Web
- Crista McHugh
- 06 November 2019 Crista McHugh