Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sword of Deaths by Christopher Mannino


Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.

Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?

About the Author:

Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Mannino is currently working on a sequel to School of Deaths as well as an adult science fiction novel.

Review by Rochelle:

Sword of Deaths is book two in a trilogy. While School of Deaths ended with the villain escaping, I felt Mr. Mannino tied up the loose ends very nicely at the conclusion. It was so nice to see the first book in a series end without a cliff-hanger. I wish I could say the same for the second book. I’m afraid I’ve deducted a rose for that.

Otherwise, it was good to return to the Deaths’ school. Susan is still the object of suspicion and hatred, but in her second year at the school, she has more people defending her. In fact, four boys now have crushes on her. And, she has a girlfriend—an Elemental who can slip in and out of the school unnoticed now provides Susan with some much-needed female companionship.

Susan still wonders about her connection to the only other female death, Lovethar, and the Dragon Key, but now she has a shortage of scythe metal and another artifact to worry about—the First Scythe. What power does it hold and can it help the Death’s overcome their metal shortage? Unfortunately, those answers lie in the third book. Darn it! Mr. Mannino’s writing is otherwise excellent. His characters are layered, the books are fast-paced, and the reader cares enough about what happens next to come back for more without a cliff-hanger ending. Just one loose thread would have brought me back, anyway.

Heat Rating:  PG
Length:  289 Pages
Print:  $10.95
Digital:  $5.95

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.

Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to replace all of my books. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.

Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting. Donna, Julie, & Rochelle

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