7 Weighty Things about Jodi Meadows’s “When She Reigns”

“When She Reigns”

Fallen Isles #3

by Jodi Meadows

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: The Great Abandonment has begun, Idris has risen and no one knows which Fallen God will rise next. As Mira and her friends scramble to find a way to save everyone, their worst fears are confirmed when they learn that the dreaded Empire is working with Anahera. With two foes to fight, Mira takes a risk and goes to the Queen of the Empire to propose a new agreement between the Isles and the Empire. But they may be out of time. Once the double eclipse takes place, the Great Abandonment will be complete and the Fallen Isles will be no more.

7 Weighty Things about Jodi Meadows’s “When She Reigns”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. LGBTQ Inclusive

The Fallen Isles world is inclusive of the LGBTQ community. Through the trilogy, there is a lesbian couple who are side characters and part of Mira’s core group of friends. But in “When She Reigns” there is a scene in which politicians and other influential people are condemning the isle of Idris for not allowing men to marry men or women to marry women.

2. Aaru

Aaru has been a favorite throughout the Fallen Isles Trilogy and happily in “When She Reigns” he begins to speak verbally again showing that he is healing from all he has suffered. One of my favorite things about Aaru is his thoughtfulness especially in regards to Mira. He never rushes her, he does not chastise her, but most importantly he allows her to make her own decisions. Aaru respects that everyone has a right to choice, no human should be able tell another human what they can or cannot do if no one else is being affected.

3. The Empire

While brief, “When She Reigns” takes place in the Empire and though the interactions were sometimes less than pleasant, it was nice to be able to see the Empire and have some of the characters’ misconceptions corrected. One thing that stuck out was Mira being surprised that people of the Empire looked like herself and others of the Isles to the point where they could easily blend and secretly spy without being detected as foreign.

4. Consequences

The Fallen Isles Trilogy overarching plot revolves around the fact that the humans of the Fallen Isles did not protect dragons, the children of the gods, and the consequences are catastrophic. There is a mirror to our world about how we have destroyed our planet across the generations and still are not coming together to fix it. Much like the governments of the Fallen Isles, there are partial attempts, half-assed declarations and intentions that do not solve the problem but are deemed good enough as a means to save face.

5. Sacrifice

Mira’s sacrifice was not what she expected and it was utterly heartbreaking when LaLa and Mira tried to come together before she relinquished her dragon soul. Though it was her dragon soul she needed to sacrifice and not her human life, which was a mercy in many ways, it was still devastating. But a sacrifice is never truly worthy unless it is something you love. Regardless, Mira made it allowing herself and her friends to survive the Great Abandonment.

6. Death and Rebirth

Meadows effectively utilizes the concept of death and rebirth in “When She Reigns.” Through the Great Abandonment and the sacrifice of Mira’s dragon soul, a new dawn arises. A natural cycle, death allows new life, an ending creates a beginning. While death is difficult, there is a purpose and there can be joy found in the sorrow and Meadows paints this beautifully.”

7. Conclusion

Overall, the Fallen Isles Trilogy conclusion is rather bittersweet but fitting. A new island is formed by Mira’s sacrifice but many people of the Fallen Isles perished and those that survived are left giftless now that their gods are gone. Regardless, they are left with a fresh start, a second chance to take care of the dragons and create a better life for them all.


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6 Affective Things about Jodi Meadows’s “As She Ascends”

“As She Ascends”

Fallen Isles #2

by Jodi Meadows

Nikki’s Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary: Escaped from the Pit, Mira and her friends are on the run as they are pursued by Khulani warriors led by Altan, their imprisoner and torturer. As they travel across the Fallen Isles searching for a safe sanctuary for the dragons, they come to realize that the conspiracy to capture and ship off the dragons may have not been limited to just Damina. Governments on each Isle may be complacent and their gods are angry. As quakes and storms ravage the Fallen Isles, Mira realizes that the Great Abandonment has begun and it may be too late to save her beloved dragons.

6 Affective Things about Jodi Meadows’s “As She Ascends”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Inclusion

With the exception of one Isle, being of the LGBTQ community is widely accepted in the Fallen Isles world and Meadows includes a lesbian couple as part of Mira’s core group of friends.

2. The Fallen Isles

The Fallen Isles world is enriched due to the vastly different cultures, traditions, and values seen on each isle. Most importantly though is that Meadows includes examples of misunderstandings and missed opportunities that may arise due to making assumptions, stereotypes, and judgments about others based on their culture.

“We’d both spent those moments making incorrect assumptions about propriety and culture and intention when we should have just talked.”

Meadows 456

3. Aaru & Mira

Ever the romantic, my heart was so happy when Aaru and Mira finally kissed and professed their love. It was nearly torture for almost two whole books of them looking at each other longingly and then deciding that the other didn’t actually like them.

4. Anahera

Surprising twist to find out that perhaps the Empire may not be the big bad but it is actually the Fallen Isle Anahera who are collecting the dragons and noorestones. Believing that cleansing fire is the way to redemption, Anahera would want nothing more than the Great Abandonment to come about in order to “save” the world. Looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds and to learn more about Anahera but I must admit some hesitance in believing a spy from the Empire.

5. Dragons

As a dragon lover and overall animal lover, it was hard reading about how distressed and sick the dragons were. But thankfully I can rejoice and can continue reading the Fallen Isles Trilogy knowing that for now the dragons are free and well. Mira’s affinity for dragons is amazing and I’m absolutely jealous!

6. When She Reigns

Thankfully Jodi Meadows’s Fallen Isles Trilogy concludes in the next book “When She Reigns.”


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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OwlCrate Book September 2017: “Before She Ignites” by Jodi Meadows

“Before She Ignites”

Fallen Isles #1

by Jodi Meadows

Nikki’s Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary: Mira, the Hopebearer, beloved to the people of the Fallen Isles, finds herself in the most unimaginable situation, imprisoned in the notorious and brutal Pit. When she went to the Luminary Council after finding out that dragons, the children of the gods, were being kidnapped, Mira expected outrage and a swift plan to stop the culprits. Now she must consider that it was her government, the Luminary Council, that sanctioned this affront to their gods. Mira must find a way out of the Pit to save her cherished dragons and stop the Great Abandonment, the rise of the Fallen Gods, from happening.

OwlCrate Book September 2017: “Before She Ignites” by Jodi Meadows

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Dragons

Probably my favorite fictional creature, I love dragons. I totally relate to Mira’s character of absolutely cherishing them and wanting to protect them at all costs. In the Fallen Isles world, dragons are children of the gods and endangered thanks to humans. Bit of a reflection of how we are killing our own beautiful animals on planet Earth.

2. The Fallen Isles

The Fallen Isles world is unique and utterly beautiful in its myths and constructs. The Fallen Isles are actually gods who fell from the sky and are known as the Fallen Gods. Each Isle has a unique culture, government, and religious book based on their Fallen God.

3. Gifts

Each of the Fallen Gods have gifts or powers that people of their island are bestowed. Some of them include being able to create silence and/or hear exceptionally well from Idris the Silent, increased speed, reflexes, strength from Khulan the Warrior, charm and allure from Damya and Darina the Lovers, Harta the Daughter allows her people to promote growth of plants, and people of Bopha the Shadow are able to manipulate shadows.

4. Anxiety

I’m really curious to know if author Jodi Meadows actually suffers from anxiety and panic attacks because she really captures this insidious mental condition very well. The main protagonist, Mira Minkoba, suffers from panic attacks throughout the Fallen Isles Trilogy and it actually caused me to experience some anxiety while reading because Meadows does a very accurate job of describing the feelings. As someone with mental illness, I always appreciate books that include characters with mental illness as it is a way to destigmatize it and help others to understand and realize we are human too, not crazy. Also provides great examples of someone being able to thrive regardless of mental illness.

5. Friendship

“Before She Ignites” portrays friendship at its finest. Mira’s best friends Ilina and Hristo attempt to spring her free from her imprisonment at the risk of their own lives and freedom. Even though dehydrated and a prisoner himself, Aaru gives Mira water and stays with her when she unleashes uncontrolled power. Mira chooses to go back to the Pit to free her friends instead of running free when she could have. These friendships are absolutely inspiring!

6. As She Ascends

The Fallen Isles Trilogy continues in Jodi Meadows’s “As She Ascends.”


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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5 Dashing Things about Donna Grant’s “Dark Heat”

Dark Heat

Dark World Book 8.1-8.3; Dark Kings Book 0.1-0.3

by Donna Grant

NIKKI’S RATING: 5 OUT OF 10

Summary: Sworn to defend and protect dragons at any cost, the Dragon Kings have sworn off attachments to humans. As humans once hunted and nearly drove dragons to extinction, the Kings know how dangerous it is for their kind if their secrets get out and have used magic to harden their hearts against all women. But they are in for a surprise as they find out that love is the strongest magic of all.

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5 Dashing Things about Donna Grant’s “Dark Heat”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Short Stories

While short stories are not my favorite as you do not get to know individual characters as well, it is always nice when short stories are collected in one book. With “Dark Heat,” three short stories are included: Dark CravingDark World 8.1/Dark Kings 0.1; Night’s Awakening Dark World 8.2/Dark Kings 0.2; and Dawn’s Desire Dark World 8.2/Dark Kings 0.3. There is also a bonus story, Passion’s Claim included.

2. Dragons

Dragons are AWESOME! I’m so happy that Grant included dragon-shifters/dragon warriors in the Dark World series. These warriors are amazing, they can shapeshift into dragons, their original forms, and they are also responsible for protecting and caring for the dragons. Breaks my heart that they had to send the dragons to another plane of existence due to dragons being hunted by humans. Humans ruin everything!

3. Erotic

Each story heats up with erotic scenes between the featuring couples as they fall in love and can no longer deny the passion between them.

4. Characters

As always, Donna Grant writes enjoyable and likable characters. Her men are usually gentlemen who are tender, strong, and fiercely loyal to each other and their women. And most importantly, Grant doesn’t write damsels in distress but rather strong, independent women who are equals to their men.

5. Midnight’s Seduction

Donna Grants Dark World series continues in “Midnight’s Seduction,” the Dark Warriors Book 3.

What are your favorite things about “Dark Heat”?


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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8 Fun Things about J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

by J.K. Rowling

Nikki’s Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary: Updated and now available to Muggles, Newt Scamander’s compendium of magical creatures, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them is a must-read! Listed alphabetically, Newt Scamander gives important information on all sorts of magical creatures from the dangerous dragons, and their types, to the beautiful elusive unicorn.

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8 Fun Things about J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The World

The Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling is absolutely brilliant and imaginative. “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” is just another glimpse into that wonderful Wizarding World.

2. Immerse Yourself

With a Foreword by New Scamander and the Introduction, which includes a history of magical beasts and Muggle awareness and Ministry of Magic beast classifications, “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” really immerses us into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

3. Enjoyable

While not quite a story, “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” is a fun, enjoyable quick read.

4. Drawings

My only complaint is that “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” isn’t filled with drawings of all the magical creatures! The drawings that are featured are adorbs and make me want these beasts even with dangerous M.O.M. classifications.

5. Animals

“Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” is all about animals and while they are fictional it is interesting to see how J.K. Rowling imagined them.

6. Comic Relief

Comic Relief, a charity with a vision of a just world, free from poverty, gets a donation with each sale of “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them.”

7. Lumos

With each sale of “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,” donations also go to Lumos, a nonprofit set on ending the institutionalization of children.

8. Quidditch Through the Ages

For further reading into the Wizarding World, besides the Harry Potter series, check out “Quidditch Through the Ages” and “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”

What are your favorite things about “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”?


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.