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STEPHANIE C. - 5 STARS


 


A.L Hawkes created a vividly detailed trilogy with the Azure Series. Consisting of three books, the series focuses on the life of the goddess Persephone. In book one of the series, Cora, Rise of a Fallen Goddess, Queen Nepherea of Azure Blue flies to the island of Hellena. She was searching for Demeter. Persephone attempts to act superior to Nepherea based on her mistaken belief that Nymphs are inferior. Demeter tells Nepherea that Persephone can prophesy and that Hades wants to abduct her as his bride. Demeter wants Nepherea to hide her daughter in Azure Blue. The Queen agrees to give the goddess the name of Cora to hide her. She is treated like every other nymph except many of them avoided the bratty child. Her status as a goddess is hidden until Prince Amenhotep arrives in Azure Blue. Nepherea was in love with the Egyptian warrior and threw a feast for his arrival. During the meal, Cora becomes upset with Amenhotep’s advisor and kills him. Amenhotep leaves abruptly and Nepherea is heartbroken. Cora atones for her mistake and convinces Amenhotep to return to Nepherea. The next day, Hades captures Cora. Demeter angrily begins to freeze Azure Blue. Nepherea promises to save Cora in exchange for the cold ending. Nepherea enters the Underworld and helps the Mandrigels to liberate themselves from Hades’ genocide of the race. Cora uses his scepter against him and destroys his ability to control the Underworld. Hades consents to allow the Mandrigels to be free in exchange that all nymphs cannot leave Napea without loss of their immortality.


The second book of the Azure Series is Azure Blue. Avva, a descendant of Nepherea, is rebellious and stubborn. In an act of defiance, she flies across the straight to land in the HInterlands. The act is forbidden by an edict made by Hades. “Any outsider that steps foot on Gaia will come to me,” Avva meets Prince Solinair, and both are smitten with each other. When she returns home, Queen Delia has the princess locked in a dungeon. When Hades comes for her, the Queen offers to take her daughter’s place. He accepts the exchange and Avva is automatically made Queen. Against the advice of many elders, Avva offers Prince Sol aid in the war. Unfortunately, this left Azure Blue vulnerable to an attack by Prince Sol’s brother. The Tiger King, Tolinth is imprisoned, ending the war. The Queen is lost to Hades when she falls from her flying unicorn. Her guard Cambria reports the loss to Prince Sol and his daughter Cassandra.


The final book of the series is Coral Read. In Egypt, princess Cassandra is accompanying her father, Emperor Sol of Atlantis. Cassandra finds an intruder, Theseus. He asks her if she knows how to get into the Underworld so he may claim his birthright. Cassandra denies having any knowledge of how to enter the realm. The Greek prince leaves but doesn’t believe her. The Egyptian Pharaoh tries to convince Sol that Avva was still alive and was being held prisoner in the Underworld. Sol is aware of the Greek navy’s presence and tells Cassandra that he must go to war and that he has released the Tiger King to keep Azure Blue safe. Meanwhile, Theseus hasn’t forgotten Cassandra and sneaks to Azure Blue. He finally convinces her to tell him how to get through the Underworld. Cassandra begs him to stay the night with her. Tolinth arrives the next day and tells Cassandra of an invasion by the Greek military. Theseus discovers his father’s plan and attempts to return to Azure Blue to stop the attack. Unfortunately, he is too late and Poseidon kills Cassandra. In revenge, Sol and Tolinth plan to destroy the Greek men. Tolinth captures Theseus to deliver him for Sol to execute. Cora learns of Cassandra’s death by Poseidon and attacks him brutally. She despises the gods and goddesses for abandoning her to be married to Hades. Fueled with rage and hate, she wants to avenge Cassandra.

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