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Bride to the Sun

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Once, she could pluck fire out of the very air. Now she is the most insignificant member of an imperial court seething with intrigue. Shay, firedancer and bride to the sun, faces punishment for the crimes of her dead father: she has her magic bound and at the emperor's whim finds herself handed over as concubine to a barbarian lord. However, Lord Medyr of the Hawk doesn’t Once, she could pluck fire out of the very air. Now she is the most insignificant member of an imperial court seething with intrigue. Shay, firedancer and bride to the sun, faces punishment for the crimes of her dead father: she has her magic bound and at the emperor's whim finds herself handed over as concubine to a barbarian lord. However, Lord Medyr of the Hawk doesn’t particularly fancy such a dubious gift – proving a surprise both to Shay and to the man who wants to use them as pawns in his ruthless bid for power. The reserved, self-controlled firedancer is bewildered by the task of having to deal with that strange creature, a male. Yet with enemies threatening on all sides, Shay and the hot-headed warrior from the north must build a fragile bridge of trust. But will they realise in time that the growing attraction between them is also their deadliest danger? A tale of elemental magic, perilous intrigues, a tortoise and pond slime.


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Once, she could pluck fire out of the very air. Now she is the most insignificant member of an imperial court seething with intrigue. Shay, firedancer and bride to the sun, faces punishment for the crimes of her dead father: she has her magic bound and at the emperor's whim finds herself handed over as concubine to a barbarian lord. However, Lord Medyr of the Hawk doesn’t Once, she could pluck fire out of the very air. Now she is the most insignificant member of an imperial court seething with intrigue. Shay, firedancer and bride to the sun, faces punishment for the crimes of her dead father: she has her magic bound and at the emperor's whim finds herself handed over as concubine to a barbarian lord. However, Lord Medyr of the Hawk doesn’t particularly fancy such a dubious gift – proving a surprise both to Shay and to the man who wants to use them as pawns in his ruthless bid for power. The reserved, self-controlled firedancer is bewildered by the task of having to deal with that strange creature, a male. Yet with enemies threatening on all sides, Shay and the hot-headed warrior from the north must build a fragile bridge of trust. But will they realise in time that the growing attraction between them is also their deadliest danger? A tale of elemental magic, perilous intrigues, a tortoise and pond slime.

30 review for Bride to the Sun

  1. 5 out of 5

    Minni Mouse

    This was both a delightfully entertaining and strange read. On one hand, Warprize vibes...so "yay." On the other hand, The Moon in the Palace vibes...so "uhh..." And overshadowing it all is a peculiar childlike tone to the writing...so "who to the what now?" THE STORY Shay is the orphaned daughter of a seemingly traitorous father. As punishment for her father's crimes, the pre-pubescent Emperor and his half-brother end up selling her as a concubine to a barbarian warlord named Medyr under This was both a delightfully entertaining and strange read. On one hand, Warprize vibes...so "yay." On the other hand, The Moon in the Palace vibes...so "uhh..." And overshadowing it all is a peculiar childlike tone to the writing...so "who to the what now?" THE STORY Shay is the orphaned daughter of a seemingly traitorous father. As punishment for her father's crimes, the pre-pubescent Emperor and his half-brother end up selling her as a concubine to a barbarian warlord named Medyr under the guise of sealing a peaceful union between their two people. As one might tell, this is one of my favorite storylines. THE GOOD Boy oh boy, we really get inside our characters heads here. We're given the opportunity to connect so well with Shay and Medyr because we're constantly in the know of how they perceive affairs and what they're thinking about the other person. THE BAD 1) Little bit of weird going on here with storylines that are introduced but superficially executed, e.g., Udgai, the half-brother with his secret concubine, the whole magic system, Medyr's backstory, the war, etc. 2) The writing was ridiculously naive and childish, which isn't bad in itself because it still somehow managed to hold pretty convincingly. Which begs the theory that the author must have purposefully intended to write like that because it's overall too well written to be an accidental, rookie mistake...but why write like that? Why write characters with such childlike thoughts and silly dialogue out of place with the world building? THE VERDICT I liked it! It wasn't a Warprize or even a Nemesis ...but then again, when am I ever going to find another Warprize?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    Bride to the Sun is the debut novel by Lia Patterson. Basically, since I joined goodreads did I walk around this book in circles. Should I read it? Shouldn't I? When? For months other books always seemed more important and then destiny or the book gods or who ever is responsible for me choosing my reading materials intervened! The author left a comment on one of my reviews and we had a nice little chat about it. I took it as a sign and immediately bought the book … another two weeks or so later a Bride to the Sun is the debut novel by Lia Patterson. Basically, since I joined goodreads did I walk around this book in circles. Should I read it? Shouldn't I? When? For months other books always seemed more important and then destiny or the book gods or who ever is responsible for me choosing my reading materials intervened! The author left a comment on one of my reviews and we had a nice little chat about it. I took it as a sign and immediately bought the book … another two weeks or so later and I finally read it! ^^ Bride to the Sun is about Shay. She is the titular Bride to the Sun and has fire magic. Due to unfortunate circumstances completely out of her control her powers have been bound and now the emperor gifted her to a visiting 'barbarian' lord as a concubine. Now, Shay has to find a way to survive the treacherous waters of the royal court, find a way to exonerate herself so she can return to her life as a priestess and deal with being the possession of a barbarian. Let me start with the easierst thing about this book. The cover picture! It's sooooo preeeeeettttttyyyyy!!!! xD Now that that's out of the way lets go for more substance. I loved the writing style! The world and magic were very atmospheric and colourful. I mostly enjoyed the characters though some of the side characters could have used a bit more fleshing out and some of the background stories for Shay and Medyr could have been more detailed. And the plot! It's not the most original plot in itself. In fact the synopsis alone gives you pretty good idea where everything is going and that's exactly what you get. But that's by no means a bad thing! Especially the betrayals in the end are very interesting and well done! However, I did have some problems with the book. And with this we get into the spoilery territory I like to start big, so lets. By far my biggest problem was the story structure. Without this the other complaints are pretty minor. The book has three POV characters. Shay (obviously!), Medyr (acceptable) and Ghazal … and that was the problem. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Ghazal a great deal and her story was very interesting, but having her be a POV character took away a lot of the intrigue and excitement of the story. (view spoiler)[ Ghazal only pretends to be Shay's friend and ends up betraying her. (hide spoiler)] . Unfortunately, since she is a POV character we know that was going to happen right from the beginning which significantly lowered the emotional blow that revelation should have had on the reader. (view spoiler)[ it also gave away the fact that Ugdai was going to betray the prince (I'm sorry I'm too lazy to look up the spelling) (hide spoiler)] . The space those chapters took could have been used far better to give us more background information and establishing the relationships better. For while I liked the world building there were still many things too superficial. The relationships between the countries. Why was magic apparently only present in Shay's country? Medyr's past (what was that story about that woman about?). Why exactly is it a bad thing if a person has two types of magic? Wouldn't that be even better than just one? And the relationships could have used more development. We only know that Shay and Ghazal were friends because we are told so but we also know it's not real because we have Ghazal's POV chapters. Also, the tortoise! It basically begged to be a weird and funny bonding moment for Shay and Medyr, instead she got it and then the animal just kind of disappeared until she needed it again. There were also some plot holes. At one point it is implied that the prince has spies in Shay and Medyr's house … but that is never picked up again. The servants/slaves play no significant role at all and only Shay's maid has more than two sentences to say. The finale also seems awfully convenient. (view spoiler)[ What would have Koshayar (yes, I looked the spelling up ^^) done if Shay's father hadn't betrayed him? For his plan he needed a fire magician under his control. He only had Shay because her father had been killed. Would Koshayar have had him killed anyway just to get his hands on Shay? Somehow he seems too intelligent to rely on coincidences, I mean he bought a slave as a young girl and had her trained to be his brother's favourite concubine and that took years! Also, who would he have blamed if Shay and Medyr had never met? Did he have all his pieces in place and was just patiently waiting for a situation where a fire magician and a scapegoat were presented to him by fate? Seems a bit too coincidental for such a schemer. (hide spoiler)] The ending seemed a bit rushed. Why didn't we get a scene of Shay giving Mother Azar crap for her arrogance and meddling? And how come Shay didn't understand the meaning of Medyr giving her his hair thingy immediately? He had told her the meaning of it earlier in the book. All in all, The Bride of the Sun was a nice read but it could have been amazing! And that it wasn't is a real shame. Anyway, I enjoyed the book enough to take a look at whatever the author might put out next … I hope she will publish something else.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    This novel has got it all. Action, a fascinating world brimming with magic, great characters, and above all a wonderful romance. The romance ... ahhhh where shall I begin? The romance is perfect. It is as simple as that. It is slow burn and there's no such thing as instalove whatsoever, there are lovely, tense, intense, explosive, sexy, awkward, romantic and funny moments between Shay and Medyr (yes, I love their names even) and their anger, disdain, fear, incomprehension of/towards each other t This novel has got it all. Action, a fascinating world brimming with magic, great characters, and above all a wonderful romance. The romance ... ahhhh where shall I begin? The romance is perfect. It is as simple as that. It is slow burn and there's no such thing as instalove whatsoever, there are lovely, tense, intense, explosive, sexy, awkward, romantic and funny moments between Shay and Medyr (yes, I love their names even) and their anger, disdain, fear, incomprehension of/towards each other turns in just the right tempo into trust, respect, deep affection and even love. Shay and Medyr are perfect for each other and both of them are strong, independent, honest, brave, honourable (that's Medyr especially) - in short, wonderful - characters. God, and the way they treat each other, the way they talk to each other, the way they defend each other, the way they look at each other, the way they fight and make up with each other, the way they first try keeping their (emotional) distance from each other, the way they love each other... I simply love it and couldn't get enough and couldn't wait for them to (against all odds) get their happily ever after. I could go on forever, but believe me the romance simply is perfect.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Shay, a Sikhandi firedancer, has her magic bound to pay for the crimes of her father and is given as a concubine to Medyr, a barbarian lord on a diplomatic mission – a gift Medyr accepts most unwillingly. It is the first carefully plotted move in a long-awaited power struggle at the Sikhandi court, and Shay and Medyr, both apprehensive about and mistrustful of the other, find themselves at the centre of a dangerous game. This was a lovely, light and sparkling read, overflowing with ideas and det Shay, a Sikhandi firedancer, has her magic bound to pay for the crimes of her father and is given as a concubine to Medyr, a barbarian lord on a diplomatic mission – a gift Medyr accepts most unwillingly. It is the first carefully plotted move in a long-awaited power struggle at the Sikhandi court, and Shay and Medyr, both apprehensive about and mistrustful of the other, find themselves at the centre of a dangerous game. This was a lovely, light and sparkling read, overflowing with ideas and details about the fantastic world, its magic, mediaeval life and eastern cultures. The story starts slow and deliberate, but the second half of the novel is action-packed and the heroine quickly turns from lost and floundering to likeable and strong. At some point I found the plot a bit overly complex: one of the characters likens his actions to a game of Shah - “A good player will try to choose the most successful path, but a great player will play the game so that all paths lead to victory” – only to come up with an excessively convoluted plan that is almost bound to end in disaster – but it does a good job at keeping the reader on the edge of her seat. The writing is also strong; there are a few awkward lines, but generally it is both inventive and functional, infused with subtle humour and nice turns of phrase. There were a few moments at which I wished Bride to the Sun challenged genre tropes a bit more, or more openly questioned its orientalism – although I feel I should stress that Shay makes a wonderful and unique heroine - but this is not that kind of book. It is a classic story, meticulously researched and ambitiously plotted, and if you like novels at the intersection of fantasy and romance, with feisty heroines and handsome heroes, you should definitely give this one a go.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 I liked it for the most part, but felt it was a bit lacking in certain ways. Bride to The Sun had such an interesting plot, however I kind of wanted more action. Whenever there were action scenes, especially during the climax of the story, they were quite well done. This was when I became more invested as well. The romance and action weren't quite balanced in my opinion I knocked down two stars because reading this book was just so slow for me. I wasn't really into it as much as I want ⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 I liked it for the most part, but felt it was a bit lacking in certain ways. Bride to The Sun had such an interesting plot, however I kind of wanted more action. Whenever there were action scenes, especially during the climax of the story, they were quite well done. This was when I became more invested as well. The romance and action weren't quite balanced in my opinion I knocked down two stars because reading this book was just so slow for me. I wasn't really into it as much as I wanted to be. However, I really liked the magic system here despite how the story never really focused too much on the culture of it. I'm aware Lia had written a prequel/ spin off, but I would love to see her explore in depth in another book. So much that it reminded a lot of Chinese court dramas due to the Asian influences present in Bride to The Sun. I also think that this book could have been expanded into a duology rather than standalone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janine Spendlove

    What can I say? I couldn't put this book down. Well crafted plot, solid world building, and with amazing and deep and complex characters. Action, adventure, and romance! This book has it all! My only complaint is that it ended. What can I say? I couldn't put this book down. Well crafted plot, solid world building, and with amazing and deep and complex characters. Action, adventure, and romance! This book has it all! My only complaint is that it ended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Absolutely amazing!!! Love adventure, intrigue, romance, magic, and Eastern culture? This is the book for you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hollie Locke

    I first discovered Lia Patterson through one of her Lord of the Rings fanfictions titled On the Wings of the Storm. I thought her writing was gorgeous and was pleasantly surprised to find that she had published a book. There are a lot of self-published works out there on Amazon, and not all of them are good. However, this is not one of them. Bride to the Sun is a great read with thorough world-building, interesting character development, and a compelling plot. I really loved this and always reco I first discovered Lia Patterson through one of her Lord of the Rings fanfictions titled On the Wings of the Storm. I thought her writing was gorgeous and was pleasantly surprised to find that she had published a book. There are a lot of self-published works out there on Amazon, and not all of them are good. However, this is not one of them. Bride to the Sun is a great read with thorough world-building, interesting character development, and a compelling plot. I really loved this and always recommend it to fans of young adult fantasy. The protagonists have a great relationship that is dynamic and realistic, which is something a lot of young adult novels fail to accomplish. There is enough romance, mystery, and action to satisfy fans of any more genres. I've already read this book five times and although the storyline tied up nicely by the end, I would totally read a sequel with Shay and Medyr in Aneirion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ozsaur

    There's a whole lot to love here: the characters, the setting, the romance. I really liked Shay and Medyr individually, and as a couple. The way their relationship developed was well done. I especially enjoyed how they started out with a bunch of preconceived notions about each other, as well as cultural misunderstandings, that they had to overcome. The plot was also good, but a bit contrived at points. The villain was well drawn, with understandable motivations. His minions, on the other hand, There's a whole lot to love here: the characters, the setting, the romance. I really liked Shay and Medyr individually, and as a couple. The way their relationship developed was well done. I especially enjoyed how they started out with a bunch of preconceived notions about each other, as well as cultural misunderstandings, that they had to overcome. The plot was also good, but a bit contrived at points. The villain was well drawn, with understandable motivations. His minions, on the other hand, were uncomfortable stereotypes. The pace was also a bit off. Everything happened within a period of five days, which made all of the events that happened, as well as the romantic arc, feel compressed, and rushed. Expanding the plot to a couple of weeks would have given the story room to breathe. In the end though, I enjoyed the book. The author is talented, and I look forward to what she writes in the future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Makoto Kobayashi

    LOOOOOOVED this story! I love reading about lovestories where two people from two different cultures meet and get to love each other. Shay and Medyr were magnificent characters and the whole setting of the story was so beautiful. Definetly recommended!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ness Kingsley

    Not my very favorite story by Lia, but I really adore the stories she tells and the way she tells them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan Beauchamp

    The slow burn of this book about two people from very different cultures being thrown together and having to rely on each other just really got to me. I loved Shay, liked Medyr a lot, and the magic and world it was set in was fascinating and well fleshed out. I will say that the villian, who was supposed to be brilliant and conniving, ended up making a very convoluted plan that was easily defeated. That was the one big down side for me. He didn't feel real like the other characters did, even Gha The slow burn of this book about two people from very different cultures being thrown together and having to rely on each other just really got to me. I loved Shay, liked Medyr a lot, and the magic and world it was set in was fascinating and well fleshed out. I will say that the villian, who was supposed to be brilliant and conniving, ended up making a very convoluted plan that was easily defeated. That was the one big down side for me. He didn't feel real like the other characters did, even Ghazal. Also Medyr made me mad sometimes. How many times are you going to rage at someone, tell them you own them and can do whatever you want with them, and then turn around and get upset when they act submissive? It was just annoying. The one thing about him I didn't like. At least it wasn't instalove. The characters fit well together and really cared about each other. I laughed at scenes with them, and some made me so mad. All in all a surprisingly good read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I was really looking forward to this book, when I read the blurb. However. I was a bit disappointed. The story all over was good. Just the two main characters were off. They looked to much a like to me. They used the same sort of words and lines throughout the book, which made me feel like they were the same. I really liked the world and the magic system in this book though. That was really a plus. And I really like the idea of a forced marriage and the story surrounding that. It wasn't my best I was really looking forward to this book, when I read the blurb. However. I was a bit disappointed. The story all over was good. Just the two main characters were off. They looked to much a like to me. They used the same sort of words and lines throughout the book, which made me feel like they were the same. I really liked the world and the magic system in this book though. That was really a plus. And I really like the idea of a forced marriage and the story surrounding that. It wasn't my best read, but I still enjoyed it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Voirrey

    This really is the best book I have read for ages - and the best first book I've read in a number of years. The writing flows beautifully and the story held my attention from start to finish. Lia Patterson's world works. The Empire of Sikhand, whose capital city is the scene of the action, is similar to Imperial China (Ms Patterson's time spent in the Far East, and meticulous research, show here) but the addition of Elemental Magic makes it her own creation. The, non-magical, Barbarian tribes from This really is the best book I have read for ages - and the best first book I've read in a number of years. The writing flows beautifully and the story held my attention from start to finish. Lia Patterson's world works. The Empire of Sikhand, whose capital city is the scene of the action, is similar to Imperial China (Ms Patterson's time spent in the Far East, and meticulous research, show here) but the addition of Elemental Magic makes it her own creation. The, non-magical, Barbarian tribes from outside the borders, represented here by the hero Medyr and the extremely unpleasant Ugadai, and their relations to each other and to Sikhand, are also well drawn and totally believable. As I always try to avoid spoilers (that Medyr is the hero, and Ugadai extremely unpleasant are really not spoilers!), I will say little more about the characters, except to add that the strongest character is the heroine. Nor will I unfold the plot any further than the outline above; but it is a very well thought out plot, with unexpected twists and turns from the opening chapter right to the end. Definitely well worth reading and, for me, one of those stories I will go back and re-read more than once. My only problem is that, now, I really want to know more about this world!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angarad

    A great discovery, beautiful story, very well thought world, full of magic, mysteries and intrigues. The beginning may appear a bit unoriginal, poor girl given to the barbarian visiting, it very quickly differentiate itself with the magic and the very interesting background story of both main characters. The magic aspect, the very well described cultures and traditions make this story take life before your very eyes. I loved it. Shay and Medyr are both different and similar in their story and origi A great discovery, beautiful story, very well thought world, full of magic, mysteries and intrigues. The beginning may appear a bit unoriginal, poor girl given to the barbarian visiting, it very quickly differentiate itself with the magic and the very interesting background story of both main characters. The magic aspect, the very well described cultures and traditions make this story take life before your very eyes. I loved it. Shay and Medyr are both different and similar in their story and origins but they are both proud, determined and honourable. IT was a pleasure to see them grow closer and closer. I would love to continue following them to Medyr's country. Looking forward for more!!!! :)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jayden

    I bought this on a whim. As a cover lover (yes, that's a term ;) ), it wasn't quite my thing. But I was pleasantly surprised. The story is interesting, the clash of cultures made it really great, and while the main character was a little annoying at times with her sometimes too-much inclination of "not giving in for any reason" which was, at times, unreasonable, she was also believable and endearing. I absolutely enjoyed this book, and I'll look at this author again. I bought this on a whim. As a cover lover (yes, that's a term ;) ), it wasn't quite my thing. But I was pleasantly surprised. The story is interesting, the clash of cultures made it really great, and while the main character was a little annoying at times with her sometimes too-much inclination of "not giving in for any reason" which was, at times, unreasonable, she was also believable and endearing. I absolutely enjoyed this book, and I'll look at this author again.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christen

    Lia's fantasy world is fully fleshed out and inventive. I enjoy the way she takes places that are mostly familiar and then makes them her own. It was fun to follow Shay and Meydr's adventure (and misadventures), occasionally wanted to knock their heads together, and more than once felt more than a little worried! Lia's fantasy world is fully fleshed out and inventive. I enjoy the way she takes places that are mostly familiar and then makes them her own. It was fun to follow Shay and Meydr's adventure (and misadventures), occasionally wanted to knock their heads together, and more than once felt more than a little worried!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Giving this a 3.5. Initially the premise reminded me of the Warprize triology, but Lia Patterson weaves in lots of Chinese customs and beliefs and a hint of Vikings to make it unique. It really was pretty good. I hope she writes a sequel and we get to see Shay and Medyr's next adventure in his homeland. Giving this a 3.5. Initially the premise reminded me of the Warprize triology, but Lia Patterson weaves in lots of Chinese customs and beliefs and a hint of Vikings to make it unique. It really was pretty good. I hope she writes a sequel and we get to see Shay and Medyr's next adventure in his homeland.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tomoe-Aurelia

    2.5 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alice_nh

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

  22. 4 out of 5

    Siana

  23. 4 out of 5

    Birgit Kroonder-urban

  24. 4 out of 5

    CallingAllCurious

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emmanuelle

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aliza

  29. 5 out of 5

    Awishhaa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Feminista

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