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Stronger Than Magic: An Elemental Fantasy Series

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Water can be deadly, in the right hands. In a world of magic, hidden away from those who have no power, Tarian Xannon commands the natural forces of water, air, and fire. As heir to the Dolphin Throne, her job is to learn what it takes to lead—but she'd much rather forget the heavy weight of responsibility in the waves of the ocean. When Tarian is brutally attacked, she fa Water can be deadly, in the right hands. In a world of magic, hidden away from those who have no power, Tarian Xannon commands the natural forces of water, air, and fire. As heir to the Dolphin Throne, her job is to learn what it takes to lead—but she'd much rather forget the heavy weight of responsibility in the waves of the ocean. When Tarian is brutally attacked, she faces the shocking reality her talent, while strong, is no match for the demon-like creature. This power play for the throne ignites the Succession Ritual, forcing Tarian to make hard choices about the future of her unborn child, House Xannon, and the very fabric of magical society. As her defenses wane, his attacks grow bolder. All she knows and loves hangs in the balance. Tarian fights not only to keep the throne she thought she hated, but to accept her true place in the world. Will her power be enough? Or are some things stronger than magic?


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Water can be deadly, in the right hands. In a world of magic, hidden away from those who have no power, Tarian Xannon commands the natural forces of water, air, and fire. As heir to the Dolphin Throne, her job is to learn what it takes to lead—but she'd much rather forget the heavy weight of responsibility in the waves of the ocean. When Tarian is brutally attacked, she fa Water can be deadly, in the right hands. In a world of magic, hidden away from those who have no power, Tarian Xannon commands the natural forces of water, air, and fire. As heir to the Dolphin Throne, her job is to learn what it takes to lead—but she'd much rather forget the heavy weight of responsibility in the waves of the ocean. When Tarian is brutally attacked, she faces the shocking reality her talent, while strong, is no match for the demon-like creature. This power play for the throne ignites the Succession Ritual, forcing Tarian to make hard choices about the future of her unborn child, House Xannon, and the very fabric of magical society. As her defenses wane, his attacks grow bolder. All she knows and loves hangs in the balance. Tarian fights not only to keep the throne she thought she hated, but to accept her true place in the world. Will her power be enough? Or are some things stronger than magic?

30 review for Stronger Than Magic: An Elemental Fantasy Series

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Tarian is in line for the Dolphin Throne, currently held by her mother, but she isn't too excited about someday completing the ancient Succession Ritual and assuming her role as the next Keeper. Tarian's time table, however, is moved up after an attack by a demon-like creature sets in motion a ticking clock. She must harness the forces of magical energy inside her, complete the ritual, and fend off the villain who wishes to take the throne from her family. The novel's setting is modern-day, but t Tarian is in line for the Dolphin Throne, currently held by her mother, but she isn't too excited about someday completing the ancient Succession Ritual and assuming her role as the next Keeper. Tarian's time table, however, is moved up after an attack by a demon-like creature sets in motion a ticking clock. She must harness the forces of magical energy inside her, complete the ritual, and fend off the villain who wishes to take the throne from her family. The novel's setting is modern-day, but the author weaves a magical tale with ancient historical origins and interesting abilities relating to the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth and thrusts the reader into a world of make-believe that seems entirely real. Despite the amazing imagination involved here, I brought into the premise completely, feeling like this world truly could exist. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Tarian is just the sort of heroine you want to read about and root for. She is ultimately responsible for maintaining peace in the kingdom and aches to do the right thing, but she's also challenged by her impulsiveness, lack of understanding, and external forces fighting against her. She must learn to understand herself, friends and family around her, the evil that exists in her midst, and yeah, how she feels about the couple of sexy guys taking aim at her heart. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eva Pohler

    I loved this book! The story had me on edge from beginning to end, and the characters came to life on the page. I really enjoyed Tarian's gutsy personality as she dealt with everything coming down on her at once. My favorite character was probably her sister, Calliope, the one I could most identify with because she was a book nerd like me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karlena

    why do female leads have to be impulsive and childish?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wood

    Great Magical 'Coming of Age' Novel The main protagonist is a young woman, an heir to a hidden dynasty, but who is put off by the rituals and trials of governing, and wants to be a shieldmaiden of protection for the dynasty and realm, instead. She would much rather swim with the dolphins (who are part of her family) than learn the things necessary to govern. (It also seems to me that she does not really want to grow up!) She has a Talent for tracking, and some level of powers within the magical Great Magical 'Coming of Age' Novel The main protagonist is a young woman, an heir to a hidden dynasty, but who is put off by the rituals and trials of governing, and wants to be a shieldmaiden of protection for the dynasty and realm, instead. She would much rather swim with the dolphins (who are part of her family) than learn the things necessary to govern. (It also seems to me that she does not really want to grow up!) She has a Talent for tracking, and some level of powers within the magical dominions of Earth, Water, Air and Fire...she may or may not have other magical characteristics as well. In some ways, this is a "Coming of Age" novel, but in other ways this is much more than that limited description. I found it enjoyable, easy to read and ended up skipping lunch to finish it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway and am submitting an honest review in return. I greatly enjoyed this book. Kudos to Ms. VanLone for a truly original plot. The pace was perfect with no rushing or dragging. She gave a good background with just a couple exceptions and the characters were very "real." I'm going to have to get quite picky to find some negatives with the book and one of those is the title of the Dolphin Throne. While I get the fact that magic should have a sourc Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway and am submitting an honest review in return. I greatly enjoyed this book. Kudos to Ms. VanLone for a truly original plot. The pace was perfect with no rushing or dragging. She gave a good background with just a couple exceptions and the characters were very "real." I'm going to have to get quite picky to find some negatives with the book and one of those is the title of the Dolphin Throne. While I get the fact that magic should have a source, the dolphin link was weak for me. It seemed that maybe the author liked dolphins, so she threw that in there...or maybe because they are popular animals....I'm not certain. This is one of those cases where some greater expansion/explaination would have helped some - or I could just be overly critical. The only other issue I have is that I sometimes felt that this was a Young Adult novel. It is in no way marketed that way and the content is surely not for young adults, but the way Tarian acted like a whiny, spoiled teenager rebelling against her mother rather than the 24-year-old woman she was made most of the book seem less mature than it would have otherwise. This greatly improved towards the end. Overall, this is a wonderful book with a completely new theme. I'm looking forward to the next one!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Hughson

    This ended up not being what I expected, but it was an engaging story that I wanted to finish. It earns 4.1 out of five stars. The main character seemed inconsistent. Her "epiphany" at the end came at an unfortunate time, and I felt sorry for her more than awed by her. As powerful as her magic was supposed to be, she seemed to lose out in a lot of battles, so I had a difficult time believing she was that powerful in the scope of things. I was intrigued by the universe set up here alongside the mod This ended up not being what I expected, but it was an engaging story that I wanted to finish. It earns 4.1 out of five stars. The main character seemed inconsistent. Her "epiphany" at the end came at an unfortunate time, and I felt sorry for her more than awed by her. As powerful as her magic was supposed to be, she seemed to lose out in a lot of battles, so I had a difficult time believing she was that powerful in the scope of things. I was intrigued by the universe set up here alongside the modern world. But there was a lot of gratuitous sex (yes, it plays a role in the plot, but y'all know how I am about this: old:fashioned) that also made me disconnect with the heroine. The idea that she must have sex and reproduce is integral to the story which is the only reason I read on after the first encounter. I did appreciate that the author didn't gloss over the fact the intimate encounter changed the existing relationship. Most of the conflict happened in ways that felt forced. There were a few moments when I thought the heroine might be too dumb to live. I probably won't read on in the series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrea M

    I really wanted to like this book because I loved the world it was set in - unfortunately I couldn't like the main characters. At 24 Tarian behaves like a spoilt 16-year-old. She is lucky to have her sister and her friends but Alex is too lovestruck to have any sense. Then we have the mysterious stranger lover, who is of course turns out to know all this handy information noone else does and sAves the day. For a society that chooses women to be leaders all the main political players turn out to I really wanted to like this book because I loved the world it was set in - unfortunately I couldn't like the main characters. At 24 Tarian behaves like a spoilt 16-year-old. She is lucky to have her sister and her friends but Alex is too lovestruck to have any sense. Then we have the mysterious stranger lover, who is of course turns out to know all this handy information noone else does and sAves the day. For a society that chooses women to be leaders all the main political players turn out to be men which is rather strange. And despite the book repeatedly says women have more magic, all the guards are men too. With all the unnecessarily detailed sex scenes it feels like the author created a fantasy club with handsome muscles. Lastly, the book also suffers the usual self-publish syndrome: words missing, misspelled and even an editing note left in there... Thankfully it was a free book, I'd have been quite upset had I been paying for it. I will not continue the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Josie Jaffrey

    This was a good fantasy read. VanLone has created a detailed and authentic world with great potential. The characters were well developed, the language accessible and the story gripping. This is a bit of a coming of age story with a young, headstrong princess character discovering that her actions have far-reaching consequences and that responsibility cannot be shirked no matter our own selfish desires. A detective story mixed with fantasy and the modern setting was particularly enjoyable. The This was a good fantasy read. VanLone has created a detailed and authentic world with great potential. The characters were well developed, the language accessible and the story gripping. This is a bit of a coming of age story with a young, headstrong princess character discovering that her actions have far-reaching consequences and that responsibility cannot be shirked no matter our own selfish desires. A detective story mixed with fantasy and the modern setting was particularly enjoyable. The good: I'm looking forward to reading more about this world. It's been well developed and I'm sure there is a lot more to come from all the different powers that have been set up. The bad: I found Tarian particularly unlovable. Selfishness and stupidity have limits. Quite frankly she deserved to be chopped up by a demon until very near the end when she finally realises she's a total brat. I found it very hard to sympathise with her plight, she was totally undeserving of her lovely family and friends and acted very young for a 20 something. It would have been more plausible had she been in her mid teens. The ugly: The inevitable bad editing. Someone needs to fill in all the missing and incorrect words please! The quote: "...What's so wrong about that? I'll be back in time for the next meeting." Marielle arched an eyebrow. "Don't make promises you don't intend to keep."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Talea

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. One of a free books from BookBub. It wasn't what I was expecting but it had me hooked from the first page. Tarina is a strong independent woman whose destiny is to one day preside and provide leadership over a large group of magic wielders. She fights this destiny by going out and bounty hunting which is when a magical being from a different dimension marks her for some nefarious purpose. Can she find out whom is pulling the strings and accept her destiny? I thought the magical elements of the s One of a free books from BookBub. It wasn't what I was expecting but it had me hooked from the first page. Tarina is a strong independent woman whose destiny is to one day preside and provide leadership over a large group of magic wielders. She fights this destiny by going out and bounty hunting which is when a magical being from a different dimension marks her for some nefarious purpose. Can she find out whom is pulling the strings and accept her destiny? I thought the magical elements of the story were strong, but there were a few things that bothered me about the whole every man wants to get in my pants vibe that the main characters seems to find herself in. And the magical ritual to get pregnant seems to be overdone. Other then that, the author knows how to write a solid keep your attention novel.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Melinda pens "Stronger Than Magic" in a well developed, smooth flowing, original plot with strong characters. A great start of a series that takes you into the magickal and paranormal world with a touch of romance. I totally enjoyed the book and can't wait for the next in the series. Highly recommended for all paranormal, magickal, romance fans. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathi

    a lengthy, confusing book. started to skim over the confusing parts just to get to the ending quicker. i like the way it ended, but was more relieved it did finally end, and that they do love each other, like i already knew they did. the confusion was with all the "un-spoken" talk of the archivists, daemons who "speak in riddles"... it proves how she made so many mistakes so easily, and that we, the readers, are also easily mistaken, too, ... hence my confusion not being fictitious!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meg Gallagher

    I only made about 20% of the way through this book.It starts right away with some action and sets up the main character's conflict pretty fast, but I could not bring myself to care about her or what was happening. Interesting premise, but it is not well executed. I was also put off by the amount of "pooling between her breasts" and "settling in her groin". Not the kind of fantasy book I was expecting.

  13. 4 out of 5

    yolande calvert

    Well written, very original but too much blood and gore for my liking. I enjoyed it but I'm not a blood and gore fan and there is a lot of very explicit violence so I found myself skipping paragraphs feeling slightly repulsed and yet wanting to get on with the following turn of events!. The story is very appealing. It's unusual and fast paced but I prefer to leave certain scenes to each person's imaginations. Then again this is only my very personal opinion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brandy Ackerley

    This book was well written and for the most part was quite enjoyable. My main problems with the book was the lack of any up front information which sometimes made it harder to get into the story and the main character. She is the poster child for people who will cause most of the problems in their own lives. Still, it was a good story and one that you'll find a fun way to spend a few hours.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    I went in expecting to not really like this book but it was actually quite enjoyable. It was kinda hard for me to get into at first but once I got past the first few chapters I was hooked.one thing I really didn't like we're the names... unnecessarily unique?? Is that a thing lol, I just had a hard time trying to pronounce some of them. I would recommend to a friend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Gracie

    Warning Before you read this book make sure you can. afford to buy the rest of the series. It's so good it's addictive there is so much going on you probably think quite a few are guilty but keep reading even then you don't really know who they are until they're uncovered fab.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Bird

    Pretty good At first it was difficult to read about Tairien, she was so irritating. But gradually it got beter and i really enjoyed the book overall.

  18. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    This book didn't really pull me in. It had it's moments but some of the plot was a little too out there for me. In my opinion it was a bit more romance novel than fantasy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Musings of a Middle-aged Mum

    This book was V in my list, and I'm getting excited about completing my challenge! I read Stronger Than Magic in a day. Overall, it kept my attention and made me want to know what was happening next. I would even go so far as to say that I enjoyed it, and I have added the next in the series to my wishlist. I didn't realise until halfway through the book that Tarian was meant to be 24yo, as she does act a lot younger (think 18/19yo), and some parts of the story don't make sense (women have power, This book was V in my list, and I'm getting excited about completing my challenge! I read Stronger Than Magic in a day. Overall, it kept my attention and made me want to know what was happening next. I would even go so far as to say that I enjoyed it, and I have added the next in the series to my wishlist. I didn't realise until halfway through the book that Tarian was meant to be 24yo, as she does act a lot younger (think 18/19yo), and some parts of the story don't make sense (women have power, but in reality are only incubators for children) but if you like fantasy, this book will allow you to spend an enjoyable few hours. However, there are three issues that I have with this book: 1. There are three fairly detailed sex scenes. Not a bother if you're YA or older, but if you were to give this to your teen you may want to be aware of them. 2. Twice this book disses human religion (specifically Christianity) as "worshipping an old man in the sky". Firstly, that's a ridiculous straw man, and I don't know any Christians who do indeed worship an old man in the sky. And secondly, this is a book about magic and demons and is set in a fantasy world where dolphins are Ancients. It was just totally unnecessary comments by the author. 3. What is stronger than magic? The title of the book seems to have no relation to what is happening in the story whatsoever. Normally when books talk about 'stronger than magic' they mean 'love' - this book isn't about love at all, just sex. And everything not about sex is about magic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Santiago

    Keeper..... I was overwhelmed with the book. It wasn't my usual read, but captured me with the plot, the characters and the intricacies of the story. It's about love and friendship and finding your way, even after all the mistakes you make. The keeper wants to protect her rebellious daughter, who wants to fight crime and shirk her responsibility as the next in line. Her sister is strong in healing and water element, and she will need that strength at the end. She must complete a ritual to conceiv Keeper..... I was overwhelmed with the book. It wasn't my usual read, but captured me with the plot, the characters and the intricacies of the story. It's about love and friendship and finding your way, even after all the mistakes you make. The keeper wants to protect her rebellious daughter, who wants to fight crime and shirk her responsibility as the next in line. Her sister is strong in healing and water element, and she will need that strength at the end. She must complete a ritual to conceive, but is attacked by a monster who gains control over her body. Follow the breadcrumbs, as it leads to a remarkable story. Read on my friends.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Loved it! This was a lovely book to read. The story pulls yummy in and keeps you interested right to the end. I feel that it definitely deserves a 5 star rating. The nice thing was you didn't figure out who the bad guy was until the big fight scene. Some novels can reveal too much but this had you thinking. I think I need to read the next one now! Thank you Melinda VanLone for giving me something fun and interesting to read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette Hutton

    Awesome Loved, loved, loved. Totally loved the fact that I could be lost in a different world while having a hold in normal life. Good and evil yes but with a power play that has too far to go. At times trying to keep up with who was who and working out who was good and who wasn't. Cannot wait to read the next book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mcf1nder_sk

    This was a wonderfully written tale of magic and demons. Tarian's story at first appeared to be a YA book, but when Tarian starts the ritual, oh boy! This is definitely not a children's book. The author did a fantastic job world-building and creating a cast of characters it is a pleasure for the reader to follow.

  24. 4 out of 5

    LaDawn Maerin

    Knowledge is power but sometimes comes from the strangest sources. A kingdom by the ocean ruled by strong independent women, and one of them is a serious handful! I liked this well developed story so much that I had to purchase the next three books immediately. Highly recommended if you like a little magic with your heroine.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Interesting read I enjoyed this story. It takes place in a unique atmosphere that blends magic on different planes, in different worlds but still includes earth. Lots of evil and heartbreak but there is love, too. Overall, I liked it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pat Raab

    There is a newcomer to the repertoire of supernatural creatures, something that by rights should not even exist. The fate of the Dolphin Throne hangs in the balance, while betrayal lies closer than expected - and then there is the matter of succession ... Convoluted and thrilling.

  27. 5 out of 5

    kim caldwell

    Magical and heart rending! Syrian expects to have to buckle down one day as heir, but bad leads to worse, and everything accelerates . She wants to keep everyone safe but learns to understand (somewhat) the asking for help does not make you weaker...it makes you stronger.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clare Gibson

    Great book/series I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well defined, the setting interesting with its base in our world but much much more. I look forward to the next book in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie's Kindle

    Unique This is the most complex and totally unique book I have read recently. Writers and readers get stuck in a genre or comfort zone, resulting in tedium . Suddenly you venture into a new area and are delightfully rewarded. This was my reward. I look forward to the next books.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    2.5 stars I hover between rating this a 2/5 or a 3/5. The main character was stubborn and never seemed to learn from her mistakes - and there were many - and to not respond to counsel of those around her. Also, I hated how sex was used within the book.

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