Being a bookworm ain’t cheap. Fortunately, there’s a ton of free ebooks out there. Unfortunately, sorting through them to find one you like can feel as tedious as searching through receipts during tax season.
Free ebook Friday spotlights a free ebook I’ve personally read and enjoyed, and hopefully, it’ll help you find a good read. The posts come out on random Fridays, not weekly, and the books featured will probably be speculative fiction.
This week’s pick is:
Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…
Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.
Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade—her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death.
This book has fighter pilots flying magically powered biplanes. The heroine wields a sentient, telepathic sword whose dialogue is almost constant snark. And if that hasn’t piqued your interest, let me tell you about the competence porn.
Ridge is an expert fighter pilot, skilled tactician, and a leader who inspires loyalty in almost everyone he commands. Sardelle is a highly-educated, talented sorceress just as capable of healing people with magic as she is battling with it. The conflict in this book doesn’t come from characters making stupid mistakes. It comes from extremely powerful enemies and the constant threat of Sardelle being exposed as a sorceress.
It’s also the perfect mix of action, romance, and comedy. If you like reading about two witty, likable characters falling in love and want aerial dogfights, magical duels, and an action-drive plot, you’ll probably like this book.