Cover Image: The Stone Warriors: Nicodemus

The Stone Warriors: Nicodemus

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This fifth and final book in the Stone Warriors series starts with Nicodemus’ backstory from what he thought would be the final battle with his greatest enemy, Sotiris, when his four right-hand warriors were cursed and then disappeared. Not only did Nico lose his men, but also the woman he loved, Antonia, was taken from him. Nico follows Sotiris through the centuries trying to find those who are held dear to him. Despite Nico’s enormous magical powers, he always seems one step behind Sotiris or when they battle, the wily sorcerer always get away.

The first 2/3rds or so of this book are Nico and Antonia’s relationship, and then the search for his men and Antonia as well as his time getting ready for the major battle. Also, in this part is Nico in more time periods such as learning to live in the Paris of the 1800’s and tracking down Sotiris’s trail only to be foiled time and again. He knew back then his warriors where somewhere in time bound as statures that needed a specific antidote to unravel their curses. Nico has no idea about Antonia or even if she is alive.

In the last third of the book set in the present time, Nico and his now awakened warriors with their mates help to develop and strategize on once and for all defeating their hated enemy especially after he finally finds Antonia and unlocks her curse as well. She had no memory of their time together until recently images and feelings had begun to return. Now that they are all finally together and with the help of Nico’s least favorite people: the vampires, they have enough power to end this once and for all.

Fans of the VOA series will enjoy having Raphael, Cyn, and their people helping out since Sotiris has nefarious plans for Raphael as well. Since most of this book is told in retrospect, it has a different feel than the other in the series especially since Nico is on his own for a good part of the story. In some ways the beginning and ending of this story are the same: Nico is all about the battle and his people. He and Antonia have to learn to be together as a modern couple which has its challenges for both of them. When it all comes down to the final confrontation, the sorcerer/vampire army kicks in gear in a big way.
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If you, like me have found yourself curious about Nick since Raphael, wait no more. This book is really almost 2 separate stories. The first half is Nicos journey before Sotiris battle that banished his warriors, during the battle itself and his long trek to finding his warriors and his beloved, Antonia. The second half is present day, finding Antonia and using her to defeat Sotiris, there’s a lot to digest but as usual DB does a fabulous job twining the parts together to make a cohesive world that draws you in. The romance part for Nick and Antonia seems quick, but they have history so that’s to be expected I think. We get Cyn & Raphael and really that made me happier than if we got a drawn out re-get to know you from our leads! This is a must read for series lovers of the Stone Warriors, as it draws an end to their story but If you are new to the world; start with Raphael I promise you won’t regret it! 
This was a complimentary advanced reader copy given in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.
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GAH!!!  What a way to end the series!  LOVED every minute of this one. Loved the back story on Nico and Antonia. Loved all the warriors back together. Fun to watch Nico and Raphael putting aside their differences. If I had to fault anything, I would say that the writing at the beginning of the book--Parts I and II--was so detailed and the world building so fantastic, it truly sucked me in. The last part seemed rushed to me. Not as much detail but the grand finale of action was worth it! 

And what was that little sneak peek at the end???  More goodness to come in this world it looks like.
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Nicodemus has been long anticipated by avid fans of D.B. Reynolds and the conclusion to the Stone warrior saga has been equally craved. As expected, this book is long due to the required backstory which explains the timeline of Nico’s battle with Sotiris and the events that unfold which resulted in his warrior’s disappearance. And there lies my problem. I kept going over the timeline and it didn’t align with the previous books in this series. Nico’s story starts out in 1824, but previously it has been mentioned on more than one occasion that Nico had searched for his Warriors for a millennium, but this story only incorporates less than two centuries. So hence my confusion. I realise that Nico made mention of different worlds and not knowing what timeframe that would entail, but at one point he says they have been gone a millennium, but he hasn’t found them yet to know this information. That said, the story itself was very detailed and provided insight into the long waging conflict between Nico and Sotiris and Nico’s heartache over their loss and his willingness to risk all to find and rescue them all. Nico’s connection to Vampires and their constant battle with sorcerers was included, but again there was no mention of Raphael having met Nico prior to Cyn, yet it was implied that they had a history in previous books. Antonia started out as a typical woman of her times, but there was never any doubt to her intelligence and smarts. However, she evolved into a mature, confident and assertive woman when she eventually was found and often called Nico out on his arrogance and inflated ego. For me personally, Nico was the most unlikeable character that Ms Reynolds has written; he was ego driven and obnoxious to a fault and exhaustively condescending which I found disagreeable. Overall, NICODEMUS is a good book, but as someone who has read every story written by this author there were aspects of the story that were missing or didn’t align that I found disappointing. I’m sure this story will be positively received by many and this is only my opinion and my  4 Star rating is basically for Ms Reynolds talented writing style which is always impeccable.
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I will start by saying this is almost a book of two halves as initially we get to discover what Nick did before we met him in the VOA series. This is essentially his story as he travels through time to try and save the four Warriors he considers more than just friends and the woman he loves. Most of the journey we follow with him is set in the early 1800's in France but there are also snippets of Antonia as she too begins her new life with the Sorcerer Sotiris.
Fast forward a couple of hundred years and Nick has made a good life for himself and he's finally found his missing friends. He has never stopped loving Antonia but has almost given up hope of ever finding her. The trouble is Sotiris is very much alive and well and that is something Nick is determined to change . Unfortunately that means asking the powerful Vampire Raphael for help and if you've read the previous books in this series then you know that might not end well !
This wasn't at all what I expected but that isn't a bad thing. Following Nick as he sought to unravel the mystery of just where Sotiris sent those he cares for enabled the reader to get a much clearer view of Nick and why he is the way he is. Yes he's conceited and if I'm blunt can be quite cold at times but he is also loyal and I felt his family background particularly had hardened him. This isn't a typical romance as the couple seemed to gel very quickly but it is the story readers needed after reading so much about the Stone Warriors and their curse. If I were to have a slight niggle it would simply be that for some reason Antonia didn't really impress me but as we get Raphael and Cyn as well I'm not going to complain.
I'm very happy that we finally got Nicks story as it ties off loose ends. I would personally advise starting with Raphaels book as its an amazing journey but the Stone Warriors has been a fabulous series chock full of action and romance so I'm left feeling very happy indeed.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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