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Publisher's Summary

War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side. Isian decides to make an alliance with their long-time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?

©2014 Serena Clarke (P)2016 Serena Clarke

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good sequel.

This second edition of The Isian Series sees the focus on Princess Gabrielle of Isian and Prince Alec of Tandori, The Tandori and Isian Kingdoms have been sworn enemies for decades but have decided to make an alliance by marrying Gabrielle and Alec. Gabrielle comes from a different culture and doesn't like Alec because of his wonanising ways. She has no choice but to marry him and does so with trepidation.

This second edition in the series was a little better than the first, in that the characters were more likable. Despite Alecs womanising ways, I found him to be incredibly charming. I loved how he was with his lessers and how he always did the best for his subjects. He despises magic because he has seen what it can do on a battlefield, but he is willing to listen to Gabrielle about magic because he respects her. Gabrielle was also a lot stronger character than Elani. I liked that it took a while for her to trust Alec.

The plot was a little more fast paced than book 1 too, though still not at adventurous as I hoped. War is brewing and I felt like there needed to be more tension and action than there was. But other than that, this was a great second book.

In all, this was a sweet story. Seeing Gabrielle and Alec learn to trust and respect each other was heartwarming. If you enjoy a sweet romance, then this is the story for you.

I'm going to stick with what I said about the narrator in book 1.. Carolyn Kashner was clear and read this well. Her tones and vices were adequate and she did put effort into the narration, but I felt like her male voices were all the same and she needed to put a little more emphasis to her inflections to really capture the mood. I'm hoping she might pick up a bit over time!!

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Solid Fantasy Sequel

This is the second book in the Isian series, and it continues the story of the struggles of the kingdoms to unite before an inevitable war. Young Isian princess Gabrielle has been groomed all her life to marry a noble to consolidate power. She never expected that man to be Prince Alec of Tandori, one of Isian's mortal enemies. After meeting Alec six years ago, she formed an impression of him as a vulgar drunken womanizer. Alec has never even seen her face behind the veil young Isian women wear. Neither of them know the other, but in order to provide an example to their people to unite, they need to learn to work together. Complicating matters, someone seems to want Gabrielle dead.

I enjoyed this book, it's written at a slower pace that takes more time with the characters and we learn more about the Isian people. I found the glimpses of them in the first book intriguing, and wanted to learn more about their magic and customs. As Alec and Gabrielle clash over their opposing viewpoints, they discuss their cultural differences in detail. We learn their countries' viewpoints on everything from prisoner treatment to government assistance.

While the couple suffered from the usual misunderstandings that come from not communicating properly, there were plenty of sweet moments between the two. I loved Gabrielle's interaction with children, and Alec's thoughtful gifts. This is a clean romance, but you can still feel the mutual love and respect that grow between them.

The narrator did a great job with the accents. She has a young voice that fit Gabrielle well. She didn't overact and kept a good pace throughout. Overall great narration.

I received a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda R
  • Ann Arbor, MI United States
  • 01-12-17

Just loved it!

This is the second in the Isain series and I liked it even better than the first one. Such a challenging premise that a prince and princess from, formerly, waring countries should marry and try to get along to help mend the breach and form an alliance against a mutual enemy.

Gabrielle and Alec are both strong personalities but also hold unswerving loyalty to their countries and their duty. This loyalty they slowly also give to each other as they discover misconceptions each have held about the other's people. But they don't have a nice quiet time to get to know each other, Gabrielle is attacked several times by those who don't want to form an alliance and Alec is kept busy fighting a magical monster that is attacking outlying villages.

As Gabrielle and Alec learn to trust each other and care about each other their own people slowly start to do that same. Day by day a true alliance is formed. So very captivating and satisfying to read!

The narrator, Carolyn Kashner, did a tremendous job with all the voices and especially Gabrielle's accent. So enjoyable to listen to.

I received this audio book from the author but the opinions are my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A sequel that's as good as the first!

I love it when the second book in a series is as engaging as the first book and this one definitely was! It took me a little bit into the book to figure out the relationship to the first book. But once I did, it was very intriguing. I loved that it was another story in the family. Serena Clarke has a way of developing the characters so you feel like you really know them. I found myself getting frustrated with them, laughing with them, and wanting to fix their situation! I always know when I've found a particularly good audio book because I found myself looking for times when I can listen to it throughout the day. The narrator also portrayed the characters excellently. I loved the accents she gave to each character. Thanks for a great book Serena Clarke!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

Any additional comments?

This is a very enjoyable story. Romance, some mystery, magic and mythical creatures. What else can ya ask for? The narrator did a fantastic job with the characters. This story holds your attention all the way to the end. If you're looking for a book to take you away to a far away place with filled magic and mythical creatures then this is the book for you. I highly recommend this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Alliance of Isian

Wow! This series just keeps getting better. Clarke melds fantasy with a vivid manner of storytelling that had me hooked. The intricate descriptions lend themselves to Clarke's vivid world building while the intimate voice allowed me to really get into the exciting and fast paced plot.

I love how Clarke showed the separation between those who approve of magic and those who don't. It's not just a given thing in this world. Many are against it, and for good reason. This divide added a complexity to this tale that I never expected.

I love how character driven this story was. It really allowed me a mulit-perspective view of the story. Beyond that, I truly enjoyed getting to know these new characters. They quickly and easily found a place in my heart.

All in all this was a fantastic story on it's own and an unforgettable addition to the Isian series. I'm dying to see what comes next!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A gentle and sweet romance with a touch of magic

What does Carolyn Kashner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really enjoyed Carolyn Kashner's performance of the story. There was just the right amount of expression in the dialogue to show how the characters were feeling and her tone of voice was very easy to listen to.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Although I preferred all the drama and suspense and sense of danger that was so prevalent in the first book I did enjoy listening to the Alliance of Issian. The romantic element was sweet and the mystery of who was trying to undermine the alliance was intriguing. It is a gentle read and I was never in any real doubt that the pair would to find their way to happy ever after- as in the way all good fairy tales end.
I would recommend this series. Each can be read as a stand alone but I suggest listening to Book 1 first as you get a good introduction to the characters and the world they live in.

Any additional comments?

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Can one arranged marriage defeat flying beasts?

Any additional comments?

The Alliance of Isian by Serena Clarke is an charming story about how two people from very different cultures and backgrounds can learn to admire and eventually love the other after an arranged marriage. The story centers around Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec, who both agreed to the arranged marriage at the request of their parents in order to defeat a common enemy.

While at first I didn't care for Gabrielle's character because she seemed liked a stereotypical pampered princess, as did Alec's character, much of what I didn't like about her could be attributed to her cultural differences. Alec's kingdom and customs seem more similar to what we have today (or at least we did few hundreds of years ago) where hard work, determination, and vigilance is usually rewarded. Gabrielle's culture was more "magical" where the citizens can use the elements and nature to enhance one's abilities and gifts. Of course Alex mistrusts magic and forbids it, which puts a wedge between the pair just when they start to develop a mutual respect and admiration for the other. Through well written and good old fashioned storytelling, Gabrielle and Alec learn to trust each other and together they and their armies defeat the forces working against them, killing a few fantastical beasts along the way.

I listened to the Audible version of this story narrated by Carolyn Kashner, who did an admirable job with varying voices for each character. The Alliance of Isian is the second book in The Isian Series, following The Treasure of Isian, which in truth, I enjoyed slightly more than this story). In short, I highly recommend this book and entire series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Inspirational characters and clean fantasy romance

I liked this book. This is the second book in the Isian series that I have read. They are clean, fun, fantasy romance. What I especially liked about this book is that the main characters, Gabrielle and Alec, are such inspirational people, but more so, inspirational leaders. They put the good of the people above their own personal needs and desires and rule with humility. I really liked the story that Alec told about how his father "humbled him" as a young boy.

I listened to the Audible audio edition of this book narrated by Carolyn Kashner. I thought she did a good job with character voices and pacing.

If you're looking for a clean fantasy read, this is a great choice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great adventure

This book had a medieval feel but with mythical creatures and added adventure. Great engaging reader

1 of 1 people found this review helpful