Meet the (Other) Hero: Dmitri

Meet Dmitri

Full Name:
Dmitri Straussen

Featured in: The Wrong Prince by C.K. Brooke

From: Tybiria, East Halvea, World of Jordinia

Status: Crown Prince of Tybiria

Distinguishing characteristics: Tall, blond, and bespectacled. Loves books and reading poetry and novels. Often lost in his own daydreams.

Motivations: Until his imprisonment, his biggest aspiration was to write his own novel. Now he wants to break free—and find a way to be with the mysterious and brilliant girl who is helping him.

Dmitri’s Story:

Dmitri is the Crown Prince of Tybiria. Unlike his younger brother, Dmitri isn’t very athletic and never considered himself a talented soldier. But he’s been credited for killing an enemy prince in battle—landing Dmitri in the clutches of the prince’s father, the deranged King of Llewes. Locked away in the tower’s keep at Wintersea Fortress, Dmitri has been left to die. But a mysterious young woman discovers him there and helps keep him alive. They conceive a plan to break him out. But will it work in time? And as he grows fonder of the girl who sustains him, what of the bride back at home that his parents have chosen for him?

Discover Dmitri’s fate in The Wrong Prince!

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Meet the (Other) Hero: Raul

Meet Raul

Photography by Giulia Pugliese. Courtesy of Unsplash.

Full Name: Raul Petigya

Featured in: The Emperor’s Daughters: Jordinia, Book 5 by C.K. Brooke

From: Halai, Heppestoni

Status: Former foot soldier, builder.

Distinguishing characteristics: Dark skin tone, warm eyes, sharp-witted.

Motivations: Homeland, service, and helping others.

Raul’s Story:

Once a foot soldier lost in the wilderness, Raul Petigya discovered his knack for building shelters. With his hometown recently ravaged by a hurricane, Raul utilizes his skills to help rebuild homes for his neighbors. The last thing he wants is a fussy foreign duchess in his way. But as he comes to know and admire the headstrong young woman, he begins to realize he may have judged her too soon…

Read Raul and the duchess’s story in The Emperor’s Daughters:



Meet the (Other) Hero: Bram

Meet Bram

Photo by Paolo Nicolello. Courtesy of Unsplash.

Full Name: Officer Abram Visigoth

Featured in: The Duchess’s Descendants: Jordinia, Book 4 by C.K. Brooke

From: Pierma, Jordinia

Status: Officer of the Royal Guard

Distinguishing characteristics: Very tall. Calm demeanor. Dark eyes and hair with a violet sheen.

Motivations: Duty, honor, and service. Compassion.

Bram’s Story:

Following in his father’s—very large—footsteps, Bram is a trained soldier and officer of the royal guard. Having grown up alongside the four grand duchesses, as well as the destitute women his mother tends at her shelter, Bram is no stranger to ladies’ affairs. So when, abroad on the emperor’s nephews’ expedition, he notices their sister’s strange behavior, it doesn’t take long for Officer Bram to figure out the compromising position the young woman is in. He’s determined to protect her—and the innocent life she carries—even if it means keeping her secret from the royal family he has vowed to serve…

Find out what happens in The Duchess’s Descendants, Jordinia: Book 4 by C.K. Brooke!


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Meet the (Other) Heroine: Pavi

Meet Pavi

Full Name: Pavola Ward

Featured in: The Wrong Prince by C.K. Brooke

From: Wintersea Fortress, Llewes, East Halvea, World of Jordinia.

Status: Ward of the king

Distinguishing characteristics: Tiny and slender. Cropped red hair. Extremely intelligent. Taught herself to read and loves devouring tomes about science and mathematics.

Motivations: To escape the oppressive prison of Wintersea Fortress and use her intellect in the world.

Pavi’s Story:

Born and raised in cold and blustery Wintersea, Pavola is a ward of the king. She isn’t allowed to leave the fortress, due to a long-kept secret she was never meant to discover. But not even confinement could quash her brilliant mind. Having taught herself to read and write, Pavi hopes to flee the castle and become educated at a university far away. Yet when a gentle and handsome prisoner appears in the keep at Wintersea, Pavi puts her plan on hold to kelp keep him alive, even if doing so is treason.

Read More in The Wrong Prince:

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Meet the (Other) Heroine: Benedicta

Meet Benedicta

Photo by Hai Phung. Courtesy of Unsplash.

Full Name: Grand Duchess Benedicta “Nedi” Ducelle

Featured in: The Emperor’s Daughters by C.K. Brooke

From: The Royal Palace, Pierma, Jordinia

Status: Fourth and youngest Grand Duchess of Jordinia

Distinguishing characteristics: Pale blonde hair, a generous heart, determination.

Motivations: Benedicta would like a husband and family someday, but not without a story and her own adventure behind it.

Benedicta’s Story:

Though the youngest of the four Grand Duchesses of Jordinia, Benedicta Ducelle is not overshadowed by her sisters. With so many suitors after her, Benedicta has her pick of eligible husbands. Before accepting her latest marriage proposal, however, Benedicta decides to volunteer and help rebuild a flooded city in another country. The head builder and recruiter doesn’t seem too pleased with the distraction a princess will cause…especially when they both become the biggest distraction to each other…

Join Benedicta in The Emperor’s Daughters:



Meet the (Other) Heroine: Johanna

Meet Johanna

Photo by Tiko Giorgadze. Courtesy of Unsplash.

Full Name: Johanna Cosmith

Featured in: The Duchess’s Descendants by C.K. Brooke

From: Rhys, Jordinia

Status: Daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Jordinia

Distinguishing characteristics: Wild curly hair; flirtatious. Perhaps a bit too experienced with gentlemen…

Motivations: Johanna is carrying an unexpected surprise and she is determined to do anything to hide it from her family and find a solution, far away…

Johanna’s Story:
One too many trysts with the Earl of Tremblay—whom Johanna was never too serious about, and who certainly isn’t that serious about her— have led to an unexpected predicament for the young woman. By inviting herself on her brothers’ risky expedition abroad, Johanna hopes to hide her secret from her aunt and uncle, the Emperor and Empress, and handle the situation someplace remote and far away. But one of the royal guardsmen accompanying her begins to suspect too much. To complicate matters, he’s irresistibly handsome and kind…

Join Johanna in The Duchess’s Descendants, Jordinia: Book 4 by C.K. Brooke!


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Meet the Hero: Geo

Meet Geo

Full Name:
Georome Straussen

Featured in: The Wrong Prince by C.K. Brooke

From: Tybiria, East Halvea, World of Jordinia.

Status: The younger Prince of Tybiria

Distinguishing characteristics: Raven hair, athletic, courageous. Can be reckless but for noble causes.

Motivations: Loyalty and family. Will do anything for his brother.

Geo’s Story:
Although the two couldn’t be more different, Prince Geo’s best friend is his elder brother, the Crown Prince, Dmitri. While Geo bests all his father’s knights at swordplay and weaponry and Dmitri prefers the books in his study, the brothers share a close bond. But when the girl Geo has secretly been seeing is revealed to be engaged to marry his brother, Geo is beyond shocked—he’s devastated. On the same evening, Dmitri is abducted by an enemy king for a murder Geo is pretty sure the Crown Prince didn’t commit. There’s no question; Geo must go after his brother to rescue him. What he wasn’t expecting was for his ex-lover, his brother’s fiancée, to come along…

Start the Adventure in The Wrong Prince!

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Meet the Heroine: Guinevere

Meet Guinevere

Full Name: Guinevere Pendrakon

From: Camylot

Featured in: I, Guinevere by C.K. Brooke

Status: Queen-to-be of Camylot

Distinguishing characteristics: Long blond hair; has a special, innate connection to the sword, Exkalibur

Motivations: Fighting for the ones she cares about, becoming the queen her kingdom needs.

Guinevere’s Story
On the winter solstice, a mysterious sword appears in a stone in the churchyard. Fifteen-year-old Guinevere is the only one who can remove it. Her ability to wield Exkalibur proves the unthinkable—that Guinevere is, somehow, the blood of Pendrakon and heir to the vacant throne of Camylot. Now she must learn from Merlyn, Vivien, and Lancelot how to protect herself and her kingdom from the Saxyns, despite her doubts and her humble origins. Will she summon the power within, or is Camylot already destined to fall?

Learn a whole new side of the classic myth in my retelling, I, Guinevere:


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Book Review: Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown


Origin (Penguin Random House, October 2017) is the latest installment of the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, following bestsellers Angels & Demons, The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno. However, the books can more or less be read out of order, as each adventure is separate and none really build upon the others or upon Robert Langdon’s character.

Origin is a fast-paced techno-thriller starring our favorite Harvard symbology professor, Robert Langdon (who’s described in previous books as looking like Harrison Ford, but I just picture Tom Hanks from the films), this time on a dangerous escapade across Spain. (At this point, after 18 years, I’m hoping Brown will branch out of Western Europe and finally give us an installment someplace else – China? Africa? South America? Russia? The Middle East…? There; I just tweeted him about it.) However, I use the term “starring” loosely, as this is really a story about one of Robert’s former students, a fictional Mark Zuckerberg/Steve Jobs/Elon Musk-esque tech mogul genius named Edmond Kirsch, who has just made a groundbreaking discovery about the origin of life, and the direction in which humanity is headed.

The pros about the books are, as usual with Brown’s novels, its un-put-down-able readablity, fun and intellectual banter between science vs. religion, and fast-moving plot that makes you feel like you’re watching a movie rather than reading a book. I LOVE THAT, and I love the tech, science, and ideas swimming through this novel, which are presented in a very accessible way. One of the joys of reading Brown – particularly his Robert Langdon series – is the fact that you will not only be entertained but will learn about art, history, literature, real secret societies, religion, philosophy, symbols, and more. But it’s not just a love letter to the humanities – just like his previous books, it contains the cutting-edge tech & science of the day.

However, although it’s a fast ride that kept me invested till the last page, be forewarned that the “big reveal,” when it finally comes, is anticlimactic, and many aspects of the plot (the identity of “The Regent,” who’s behind the assassination and why, etc.) is predictable from miles away. Kirsch’s “major” revelation – which is, of course, saved for the final chapters – is nothing groundbreaking that we haven’t heard from Stephen Hawking or Elon Musk already, or from various popular TED Talks. Sadly, I didn’t feel the theories proposed fulfilled Kirsch’s bold promise of debunking the world’s religions. (If anything, even if we understood how the laws of nature created life, the question remains…who, or what, created the laws of nature? And why?) Sorry if this is a little spoilery, but it’s important that, if you’re going to read this book, just read it to go along for the ride, but don’t expect anything earth-shattering in the end, even though that’s what’s promised throughout the book. This will save you the disappointment.

Lastly, I want to mention I enjoyed the Artificial Intelligence character of Winston; he reminded me of Jarvis from the Iron Man and Avengers movies (indeed, that’s whose voice I heard in my head when I read him). Although some writers may feel having a genius AI computer is kind of a cop-out method to provide otherwise impossible escapes, connections, and exposition, Winston’s character is actually one of the most – if not *the* most – significant parts of the overall plot and message. And, I find, his role opens up an even more fascinating discourse on human technology and ethics than any of the ‘religion vs. science’ discourses this story presents.

I recommend Origin to anyone who enjoyed the previous Robert Langdon books; those interested in the future of science, humanism, or the Singularity; or to someone looking for a fast/light techno-thriller with a philosophical edge.