Here’s a compilation of screen shots of my Apple watch workouts that were recorded while on the treadmill. My goal is to read while walking on the treadmill for at least one 30-minute mile per day.
What I #AmReading…
Tracking Trouble by Aldrea Alien
Tracking Trouble is a prequel to In Pain and Blood, which I read and featured here on the blog a few weeks back. In that post I pointed out that this book isn’t truly necessary to understanding the next one, and that it wasn’t even published until after the first edition of In Pain and Blood came out. Now that I’ve gone back and read this one, though, I think I would recommend reading it first to give a fuller picture of Tracker and his character and motivations. This book sets up the world building and leads toward the bigger story, which’ll solidify in the next book.
Also note…the series is primarily about the drama with a strong side of romance starting in In Pain and Blood, but while Tracker is one of the MCs in that relationship, the second MC is not yet introduced in Tracking Trouble. Tracker will have a fling with another character, though.
This book features Tracker, a “hound” serving his king. His purpose is to track down spellsters who’ve escaped the spellster tower or who’ve managed to evade capture up to this point.
Spellsters in this world have magical abilities with varying skillsets and strengths. They are universally feared by the general population but used by the king in battle against the realm’s enemies. While they are universally feared, they are not innately evil people. Some, often only because they are driven by their circumstances caused by their imprisonment, do bad things.
Hounds are born to their vocation. They have innate defenses against spellsters and are given no choice. Their training is harsh and difficult, with many not surviving to adulthood.
I’m loving this series and am looking forward to the next installment!
All told from Tracker’s 3rd-person POV:
Tracker is in pursuit of a rogue spellster:
The man laughed. “Your promises mean nothing.” He spat, the glob of saliva making an impressively wet slap as it hit the dirt floor near Tracker’s feet. “I know my options, just as I know why you’re here.”
Tracker tensed, expecting some form of retaliation.
The spellster didn’t bother with the usual attacks of fire or lightning—he must’ve learnt they were ineffective against hounds. That only meant he couldn’t let the man escape. A deadly spellster was merely dangerous. One who knew how to thwart the King’s Hounds was a disaster.
Some insight into elves in general and Tracker’s sense of humor:
Tracker reflexively ran the tip of his tongue over one of his canines. There were all manner of tales about elves and their fangs, of how their length equated to bloodlines untainted by human ancestors. He couldn’t imagine being one of those myths.
Still, he put on a charming smile and purred, “Do not worry, I only bite when asked.”
Ouch. He’s joking, though 😀:
Marna jolted upright, whirling to face him as though he had pinched her rear. “Tracker, you vile dog!” Even as she cursed him out, her melodious Dvärghem accent couldn’t help but soften the words. “You nearly startled the life out of me,” she finished, thwacking him on the shoulder with an open palm before turning to bellow at the man still standing at the top of the gangplank, “Bryn! Didn’t I tell you not to let a single soul aboard?”
The man shrugged. “Everyone knows his kind have no souls.”
Tracker has rescued a couple kids and his handing them over to someone who can better help them:
“Goodness,” she breathed. “He’s skin and bone. What grave did you vandalise to unearth him?” She looked around the deck. “Did you say there was more than one?”
Tracker’s got nerves of steel, and the skills to back up his cockiness:
Tracker scoffed. “I would hardly call it a threat.” More of a promise seeing that he had found her little camp and clearly wasn’t looking to set him free. “Death is such a foolish thing to threaten a person with at the beginning. Where do you go from there?” He shook his head. “There is no way to escalate once you reach the top. The threat must either be carried out or you prove it is nothing but hot air.”
For years, Tracker’s life has had two facets: Hunting spellsters and entertaining strangers in his bed. Few doubt he’s good at both, although only one is considered acceptable amongst the King’s Hounds. His trip to Toptower should be just another task in an endless string of routine. Take down any dangerous spellster he finds and send the timid ones to Demarn’s tower prison.
It is a role he was born to play. One he has grown weary of.
But there’s something off about the spellsters he’s encountering. The people he typically finds aren’t usually this powerful or anywhere near as lethal to a man immune to magic. It’s as if something, or someone, is releasing them with an eye to weaken an already harried kingdom. To what end, he cannot be certain of. History is littered with the dangers of magic running unchecked.
He must uncover the truth, and quickly. But with all leads pointing one way, will he be able to uphold the code of the King’s Hounds once he finds it?
*This book contains violence, gore and explicit adult themes.*
Spreading more book love! Here are more of my…
✓ recent reads ✓ current reads ✓ re-reads ✓ want-to-reads
(all genres included)
About My #Treadmill / #AmReading Posts
I started out with this being a Sunday thing, but sometimes I’d rather not mash multiple books into a single post, so now, you never know when you might see one of these posts.
Rather than give a true “review,” which I’m not entirely comfortable doing as an author myself, I share snippets from books I’ve read and enjoyed, letting the authors’ words speak for themselves.
As you’ve possibly noticed, if you’ve been following along, I highlight snippets for reasons of my own which might veer from what is often seen. Sometimes my highlights have more to do with a paragraph simply impressing the heck out of me for its fabulous writerly technique, other times it has to do with the lovely way it gives subtle insight into the story/characters. Still other times simply because it made me laugh.
Anyway, I sometimes add a little commentary, but not always, which is not in any way, shape, or form, to be taken as unwritten commentary. Most likely it just means I’m short on time and/or context isn’t needed to understand what’s happening, and/or my brain doesn’t feel like putting out the effort in that particular moment.
Also, I’m going to try to spread the book love by tacking on covers of more books at the end of the post that I’ve either recently read, am currently reading, or want to read. Not seeing a full post with snippets for any of these books is not a commentary on anything other than how much time I have available in a day either to read or to create a post about what I’ve read. It might also mean I listened to the audiobook only or that it’s a reread that I’ve featured previously, or it’s not M/M so probably not a good fit for featuring on this blog.