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Review: Jade: First and Last – M.D. Grimm

Jade: First and Last - M.D. Grimm

Genre: Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon | Universal Buy Link | Series Link

About The Book

Morgorth and Aishe must contend with a deadly threat that could spell disaster for their world.

Payshthas were the first of the Mother’s intelligent children. It is rare for true friendship to form between them and another species—which makes Morgorth’s bond with Enfernlo unique. And it is due to their friendship that Morgorth doesn’t hesitate to answer Enfernlo’s plea for help.

A thief has stolen something vital from Enfernlo’s colony—a stone of power.

Their hunt for the stone leads them to a war torn kingdom, and Aishe can hardly stomach what he sees. The devastation urges him to assist however he can, no matter the risk. Meanwhile, Morgorth is faced with reminders of the monster he used to be, and contemplates how far he’s come, and yet how far he still has to go. And when his estranged mentor joins them on their search, Morgorth is forced to confront his resentment and sense of betrayal, and use Master Ulezander as a tool to save the payshthas.

Forced into a deadly quest where trust is in short supply, and faced with challengers for the stone, Morgorth must put his faith in those he loves and in himself… and become a champion not just of the Mother but for Karishian itself.

Warnings: magic violence, dragon violence, war-torn country

About the Series:

Lord Morgorth is a dark mage on the planet Karishian. His peers consider him a villain, but there is more to him than they choose to understand. Cursed by a dark destiny and tormented by painful memories of the past, Morgorth struggles to find his place in the world. Far from innocent, Morgorth has teetered between embracing his destiny and fighting against it his entire life. A decision that is made easier when Aishe comes into his life.

Aishe is a creature of the forest, a warrior and healer. He has the moral compass that Morgorth needs, and Morgorth gives Aishe the companionship he craves. Together, they forge ahead, weathering the storms and fighting the enemies fate puts into their paths.

However, their greatest enemy is not a living being, but gemstones infused with deadly power. They are addictive, seductive, and completely treacherous. Morgorth hates them and is determined to find and imprison all of them. But he soon realizes they are keys to a greater power. He learns his destiny is not all he thought it was. And an even greater enemy stirs in the darkness.

The Review

The legend of the stones began when seven mages created the pferun dulleriin. Anyone who possessed one of them would gain immense power, and would not have to endure the many years of in-depth training that mages had to go through. They would also obtain power and mastery over the elements that the Mother wielded.  

From the planet Karishian came Lord Morgoth, the Dark Mage of the North. He lives in his castle – Geheimnis – surrounded by the Vorgototh forrest.  Happy Valley is where all creatures live in peace and happiness.

Morgoth created the gargoyles and boygles for minions, as well as the truls, wichtln and fasion that protect his home and live in Vogototh. He has always had the reputation of being cruel and a villain, and was feared and hated by all. Now, though, he has changed, with the support and love of Aishe, his bondmate. He picks his battles, only with those who deserve his wrath. Although his magick is powerful, he’s still a mage in training and needs to complete the third stage.

Aishe is from the Raven tribe, a dialen and a child of the forest who befriended Morgoth. But things between them have not been without trauma and troubles.

While secluded on an island celebrating their mate bonding, Morgoth and Aishe are surprised by Enfernlo, a payshthas which has the ability to control both their fire and those it harmed. He has come for Morgoth’s help because the jas’inth (jade) stone being protected by his colony has been stolen.

It’s not an easy journey. They have to stop at Morgoth’s castle so he and Aishe can gather what they will need, and Enfernlo is anxious and fears for his colony. He does not want to stop, even though he is exhausted.   

Needing rest, they take refuge with Manuk of the Jesllan tribe. Aishe listens to the stories of violence and war. The younger people of the tribe fight for purpose, experience to hone their craft, and for money. They are different from seelas, who wander and are swords for hire.  Morgoth and Aishe are awoken in the night when the Jesllan tribe attacked by GVattaren, and they help the tribe with the battle.

They finally reach Enfernlo’s colony, where they meet Enfernlo’s mother and matriarch Voydma.  She fears the worst. They advise all the payshthas to evacuate the colony – if the power of the stone is activated, it will destroy them all.

As the world falls into chaos, Morogoth and Aishe continue their quest to find the jas’inth, and then Ulezander, the Hand of the Council, comes knocking at their door. Morogoth still feels the sting of Ulezander’s betrayal, and doesn’t want his help.  Poor Aishe is always caught in the middle and tries to be the peace keeper in this feud. Will Morgoth be able to put his feelings aside and wotk with Ulezander to recover the stone and save the payshthas colony? 

I loved Morgoth’s flashback to his time of healing and his mentor Ulezander and how he met and became friends with Enfernlo, and the time when he almost lost his love Aishe.

I also appreciated the changes Morgoth goes through, he is humbled by the payshthas nest and the wonder of the hatchlings.  I can’t ignore Aishe either -he has a big heart and wants all things protected. His love and care for Morgoth are overwhelming, and he will support and be by his man’s side to the very end.  

The cover is spectacular – a fantastic portrayal of Enfernlo the paysththas.  

Grimm has penned another epic novel in “The Stones of Power” series, filled with colorful descriptions of the dystopian world, along with an abundance of fascinating creatures, tribes and names. It’s well written, flows beautifully, and is easy to understand, even with all the unique elements. There are flashes of sadness, greed, hatred, violence, romance, love and even snarky humor. There’s never a dull moment in this fast paced, adventurous, action packed romance that goes beyond the imagination.

I recommend reading “The Stones of Power” series in order. There are eight books prior to this book and they all involve various gemstones. Grimm provides an excellent description of each novel at the end of this book – ruby, peridot, amethyst, agate, emerald, carnelian, lapis lauli, and sapphire that all lead up to Jade: First and Last.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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