Cover Image: The Heretic Royal

The Heretic Royal

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Member Reviews

As always with this author, I loved the book. It has humour, action, adventure, lots of intrigue and some romance. 
Like with previous books, we get several different POVs, not only the main couple’s. 
Love Gruff, he’s my favourite centaur, and Ainsley is a great character too, put them together and makes the book all the better and more hilarious.
And we get more of Annwyl and the dragons, of evil Beatrix and her plans, of the oldest sisters and their centaurs, and some from the rest of the family.

- Minor OM drama with a soldier that h had sex with some time before. No details, just mentioned that she had sex and he didn’t treat her right.
- Nothing on H.
- HFN.
- No epilogue. The series continues and so does the story.
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The snarky humor, the action and adventure, and (high pitch squeal) so many familiar faces I’m about to burst. I am super excited that I received an arc copy of this book as this series keeps getting better and better! Don’t let the beginning frustrate you, as this book picks up right at the end of the last one. There is a lot going on, but the laugh out loud humor starts off with a bang and I can’t tell you if I love the instigator Ainsley or the silent and grunty Gruff more. They are opposites in all ways, I mean one of them is a centaur for goodness sake, but these two leads blend so well with each other. Those of you who are familiar with this author and this series, which I highly, highly recommend that you read too, know that there’s a lot of snark, attitude, pent up heat, and action in her characters, and this book does not disappoint, but to be fair there’s more of a slow build up of the relationship between Ainsley and Gruff than actual bedroom time. Trust me you will not be disappointed. There is an end to the story but there’s definitely a set up for more and let me tell you the ending, chef’s kiss.  Definitely 5 stars, must read. I voluntarily read and reviewed an arc copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Fingers crossed the next book comes out soon.
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*Received a copy for review.* 
I absolutely adored the first 2 books in this series.  I was looking forward to the continuation of the story. 
However, this book was really hard to get into.  The beginning of the book took me over a month to get through.  It was way too busy in a distracting way.   Instead of getting in with the main story, there are a ton of characters from her other series and just nonsense. 
I plan to read the rest of the series but this book was a difficult read and the romance took too long.
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I love this series ! I look forward to each addition. G.A. Aiken has the best sense of humor. This is the 3rd release in the Scarred Earth series and they are all great. I love this family and dragons ! 
We don't get a lot of Queen Keely in this one and the war between two sisters does not move a lot but Beatrice makes a move at the end so I can't wait to see what happens next.
Ainsley and Gruff are the love match for this one but the story focuses on everyone that is coming together to fight Beatrice. Filled with humor and sarcasm, it made me laugh out loud at times.
Highly recommended and can't wait for the next one !
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The Heretic Royal by G. A. Aiken is the 3rd book in her The Scarred Earth Saga series. I am a big fan of G.A. Aiken (aka Shelly Laurenston), and as I have said before, I will read anything she writes; as she is one author who I look forward with high anticipation to read her books, which are fun, exciting, enjoyable and so much laughter along the way, with crazy and wonderful characters.

Ainsley is the third and good sister, with Queen Keeley and Gemma having had their story previously. Keely had become Queen of the Western Lands, with Gemma protecting her sister from the evil Beatrix (Queen of the East). Ainsley, who is excellent at shooting an arrow, steps up in this story.  Beatrix is the evil sister, who is determined to kill off all her sisters, as she continues to build her own kingdom. 

Ainsley has always been the quiet sister, who likes to climb up to the trees to get away from the constant bickering between her sisters. Ainsley knows that she must join the fight against Beatrix, who must never be queen; even joining with centaurs, monks and to her surprise, Dragons

Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan is a Centaur, whom we met with his sister and brothers, in the previous book.  Gruffyn rarely talks, just likes to grunt, but finds himself being attached to Ainsley, even talking to her; as well as protecting her. I really enjoyed the slow built romance between Gruff and Ainsley, which was at times funny.  
Of course, this is G.A. Aiken, which means the entire story was suspenseful, action packed, but totally hilarious; especially with the return of the Dragons.  It was so great and hysterical to see all of them again; as these wonderful zany characters are so much fun. We did not miss any of the amazing dragons, and Annwyl from the start, played such a major role. I loved every minute of these wonderful, wild, insane and violent characters, who spent time working closely with Queen Keely, Gemma and Ainsley.  

What follows is a wild, exciting, non-stop action adventure filled with bloody battles, deaths, and our fantastic dragons. The entire book has so much humor with me constantly laughing from start to finish.  I loved that Aiken brought the Dragons back, and allowed us to revisit these insane wonderful characters, who are bloodthirsty, violent, fun and totally entertaining.

The Heretic Royal was a fun filled, exciting amazing ride, with fantastic characters that G.A. Aiken creates so well.  It blew my mind that the Dragons returned, giving us a wonderful trip down memory lane. If you enjoy Aiken/ Laurenston, you need to be reading this series.
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Fantastic! Hilarious! Crazy! Action packed! Insane! Yup this a G A Aiken book! The Heteric Royal is book three in the Scarred Earth Saga and focuses more on Ainsley - one queen Keeley’s sisters. We get to see her grow from a hiding in a tree with her bow to taking charge in helping her sisters queendom and of course getting to know center Gruff. More importantly this book truly brings in the dragons and their crazy human queen Annwyl and dragon queen Rhiannon. The dragons bring an even crazier world into this saga. The action, family dynamics and laugh out loud antics! This book is hard to put down and even harder to read in public because you will keep laughing! Hope there is another book!!
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I love this book and love this series! More than the other books in this series, this book felt a little more chaotic, but we're AT WAR, so I guess that would be very chaotic. I can't wait for the next book!
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. 

The Heretic Royal continues the trend from the previous book in the series of being rather bland and dull. There are some small elements I did still like, but they were mostly related to the fantasy aspect. The Mad Queen, for example, was a cool character, and I did generally like the focus on her. 

The world remains pretty interesting-ish…but I’m not sure if it’s enough to keep me invested in this continuing saga of nothingness on the romance side of things. 

But who are the main characters supposed to be again? The only thing I remember about the hero is that his name is Gruff, and that pretty much sums up who he is too…he’s, well, gruff. And I can’t think of anything remarkable about Ainsley either. 

While I can see how G.A. Aiken’s writing, including this series, works for others, I’ve decided that this series at least isn’t for me. And given much of her other work under high pen names  is paranormal or urban fantasy, I’m unlikely to pick up anything else from her. But if her style and subgenre appeals to you, and you enjoyed the first two books, you might enjoy this more than I did.
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The Heretic Royal is the third book in G.A. Aiken's Blacksmith Queen series (which is really called the Scarred Earth Saga.) This book is in no way a standalone, so go read the first two books or you may get confused.  G.A. Aiken has the best dry wit commentary by characters and has the ability to elevate common dialogue to the hysterically funny level - you don't want to miss it!

Do you remember the dragons from book two?  Well you get to see more of them and their queen along with everyone's confused reactions to well, everyone. There are shenanigans, some fighting, more shenanigans, dragons, undead horses, dragons, centaurs, dragons, the Blacksmith Queen Keeley trying her best to work out a treaty with the Mad Queen Annwyl the Bloody, and Ainsley hangs out in some more trees.

The Heretic Royal is another G.A. Aiken book that will live on my re-read shelf and I recommend it to you  wholeheartedly!
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I love this book series I requested this as soon I knew it was available as I enjoy all the books by this author.
This is third book of the Scarred Earth series this time following Ainsley the fourth eldest in the Smythe family. Ainsley is the archer in the family and can always be found in trees mainly avoiding her family drama.
This book continues straight on from the last book with Annwyl and the dragons appearing hunting from for the slave queen.
Once this has been ironed out they get down to finding a way to stop Beatrix.
A non stop laugh with action and romance too if you’ve read Shelly Laurenston/G.A Aiken before then you’ll love this
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4,5 stars

I have yet to find something G.A. Aiken (Shelly Laurenston) has written that I have not loved. Her Dragon/Centaur world is  right up there and The Heretic Royal was a delight.

I confess I was a bit skeptical when Aiken came out with the Scarred Earth Saga, but I should not have worried, cause she always delivers. The Heretic Royal proves that even more cause we get my favorite queen ever back and a bunch of dragon join the chat. I can’t imagine a better combination.

The romance in this new novel is not as predominant but the intrigue, alliances and relationships (old and new) more than made up for that. 

If you have yet to check out Aiken’s books, I definitely recommend them, any of them to you. They are the perfect combination of world building, romance, laughter and action.

*book provided in return for my honest opinion
**review will be posted on Amazon after release
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As usual, G.A. Aiken does not disappoint. I found myself laughing very loudly on numerous occasions. I can think of twice where I sprayed my coffee on the Kindle. Thank goodness the dragons have come to Keely's kingdom. They have made my day. 

I didn't realize how much I missed the wonderful dragons from the Dragon Kin series. Then Gwenvael let loose with so many things he might have thought better of. The strength of Morfyd shines as she puts Briec in a corner. He may think he doesn't belong there, but his antics say otherwise. Oh my word!!!! My side was hurting. The clashing of personalities was lovely. 

The clashing of queens was not so lovely. Others trying to influence the possibility of an alliance created chaos. The rumors have both queens leery of the other. They are not off to a good start. Have no fear, Ainsley is here to help save the day. 

The archer is so misunderstood. I don't see it. If I had her family I would be hiding in trees as well. Her actions have its advantages. She listens and learns. She will fight battles to protect her family. She will have Gruff right by her side. 

The battle scenes had me wishing The Heretic Royal was on the big screen. But I didn't need that. The author was so descriptive, I could picture arrows flying. The author had me gagging with some of the situations. The Heretic Royal is not a cute romance. 

My imagination went wild with Annwyl dropping into to save the day. Queen Beatrix is at war with Queen Keely. Queen Beatrix will stoop to new levels in her quest for world domination. Only Annwyl knows how to destroy the demon army. As usual, it got a little messy. It was a glorious battle. 

But there is more to come now that Beatrix has begun to make moves on the Dark Plains. Alliances have never been important. It will now be three queens standing against Beatrix. The question is--will it be enough?
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How unfortunate.  I was so looking forward to reading The Heretic Royal.  Especially since I enjoyed Aiken's previous novels, The Blacksmith Queen and The Princess Knight.  Both of those novels garnered five and four stars respectively from me.

The Heretic Royal didn't quite get my attention.  Perhaps it's been too long of a time span (2 years) between the last installment and this novel.  I was just lost at the get-go and I didn't really want to re-read The Princess Knight to play catch up.  Too bad that I thought I could just pick up and go.

With so many new characters (at least that's what it appeared to me,) I was floundering from the start.  At least there was the staple of the four sisters.  But it didn't help much.  

The same entertaining snarky remarks between the characters were there, but after struggling to recall the plot of the previous novel, I called it quits at 33%  I think that had I read The Heretic Royal shortly after The Princess Knight, my opinion and outlook would have been a lot different.  As it stands, The Heretic Royal is a disappointing single star.

I received a digital ARC from Kensington Books through NetGalley.  The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
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The Scarred Earth Saga continues with much occurring -- there is adventure, battles (great & small), humor (sometimes off the wall), family shenanigans and drama, a bit of romance, and twists and turns a plenty.  As with the prior books, it is primarily a fantasy story with a relationship forming and becoming serious subtly happening in amongst the rest of the story.  This series takes place on the opposite side of the huge mountain range from the author's Dragon Kin series with little more than a brief mention of dragons and the "mad queen" occurring in the prior books as no one crosses those mountains (or at least never returns if they do).  However fans of that series will get a treat as part of the royal dragon army has indeed crossed those mountains with Annwyl, Fergus and several of his siblings and other relatives to find out what is going on and offer some wisdom and advice to Keeley and her sisters about what it now means and is expected of their change in status to "royals" and warnings on what might expect on dealing with Beatrice.  All in all, it was an enjoyable, interesting and entertaining read that left looking forward to the next book.
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This series continues to be an absurd amount of fun. The interactions between Annwyl and the dragons on one side and Keeley, her family, and the centaurs on the other side were delightful. The main characters were great and the development of their relationship was a pleasure to read. Aiken remains on my must-read list.
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This is book three in the Scarred Earth Saga, a continuing story featuring four sisters.  Two of the sisters are battling for a single throne.  One of them would be a disaster for the whole world.  This is a continuing story so I'd recommend reading them in order.  

The Smythe family is huge as their parents have many, many children. The sisters featured in this book are Keeley (a blacksmith and Queen), Gemma (a War Monk, a fearsome group of warriors), Ainsley (quiet and usually in a tree), and Beatrix, an emotionless, ambitious, and ruthless psychopath.  This is Ainsley's book.  There is a romance between her and one of the centaurs, Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan.   

Ainsley would rather be neutral, but she knows that Beatrix must not be allowed to win the throne.  Beatrix married a king of a neighboring kingdom so she is a queen, but she wants to rule it all.  Everything.  Everyone.  In this book, her army takes on Keeley and her allies - the War Monks, the centaurs and the dragonkin.  

I already knew from small hints here and there in previous books that the Dragonkin books and the Scarred Earth series inhabited the same world, and the dragons finally arrived!  Flying over the huge mountain range that divides the continent and shaking the ground as they landed!  With Annwyl, the Mad Queen!  Ainsley was the first sister to meet one of the dragonkin.   

The ending of the book was shocking - Beatrix causes something to happen that will have a huge impact on everyone and everything who lives near the mountain.  I can only hope that the next book comes soon.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher Kensington Books via NetGalley, and have voluntarily read and reviewed this book.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read a copy of one of my most anticipated reads of 2022!

This might just be my favorite so far! I love Aiken’s dragonkin series because of the chaos and ridiculousness which this book has in spades. The action sequences were so well-written and the slow burn romance was cute! My only complaint is that I would have liked more progress on the overarching war as this book didn’t offer much in the way of overall plot. Don’t get me wrong, Ainsley and Gruff are adorable and I would read a whole nother book about them, but I also want the war to be resolved so we can get a new villain. Beatrix is a genuine psychopath but also has no fighting skills and doesn’t really feel like a ‘big bad’. Everyone agrees that no one is safe with her alive, and yet no one is willing to use their formidable abilities (physical or magical) to really take action.
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I will admit I am having a hard time connecting with the secondary characters in this series. There seems a point in the storyline where I just no longer care what happens to the main character, I am purely interested in what is going on in the background. And this time, there is ALOT going on in the background. The dragons have arrived! 
And..promptly took over the entire plot. 
I'm not mad. I love the dragons, have read and reread that entire series. I'm just sad that this series feels like an extension of an already fleshed out world, while being marketed as a new entity. Do the crossover! Have the worlds meld, create the chaos. 
Just. Don't lose the actual main character in the folds of the story and then seemingly go, oh yeah, she can play too. 
I Love this author, I have read ALL the books of hers I can find, and laughed my way through all the worlds she has created. This is a good story, just not the one I was expecting for this series.
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It seems like we've waited forever for this book--and it didn't disappoint!!!  Yay for G.A. Aiken!  From the beginning to the end, it took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.  Ainsley isn’t your traditional strong-willed heroine—at least compared to her two older sisters.  But I love how she and the Hero, Gruff seem to complement each other’s personalities.  And I love how we meet the Dragonkin characters again after so many years.  I will have to re-read the whole series before the next book (crossing my fingers it’s about the fifth sister, Isadora) so I can get them all straight in my head.  And there's so many new characters introduced who might have an interesting future story? (hint, hint) I loved the “Blacksmith Queen” and the “Princess Knight” and I can’t wait for the audiobook of “The Heretic Royal” to come out!  I have both the paperback and the audiobook on pre-order!  Love, love this series!
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When I got approved for GA Aiken's Heretic Royal, I screamed internally & externally. GA Aiken or Shelly Laurenston never fails to make me chuckle, cackle or literally laugh out loud with her banter. This is the 3rd book in the Scarred Earth Saga and is in the same world as her Dragon Kin series. As usual her characters are crazy, out of control and hilariously unhinged. 
Ainsley Farmerson, as the 4 eldest sister is constantly trying to find her way without her older sisters ordering her around....and her other sister trying to kill them all. Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan speaks in grunts and holds the esteemed title of Grudge Holder in his tribe (honestly same). As a centaur, humans get on his nerves to know end...except for Ainsley. This book is full of violence, action and great humor. Heavy on the humor. 
This book is a 3.75 for me and I just want to note as usual I love how Aiken/Laurenston can write a well-complex character but excels at developing diversity in her worlds. 
Please please PLEASE check her out, you will not be sorry!
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