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The Devil’s Concubine

Jill Braden

QuiTai, ruthless concubine of Levapur's mysterious crime lord, the Devil, receives an unexpected invitation to cocktails with disgraced Thampurian Kyam Zul. She doesn't trust Kyam enough to drink anything he pours, and won't help him no matter how hard he begs – or threatens. But when QuiTai's ex-lover is murdered, Kyam is the only one who knows the name of the killer, and he won't tell QuiTai unless she helps him first.

The torpid back alleyways of Levapur's tropical colony hide more than lovers. There are things with claws, beings with venomous fangs, and spies lurking in the jungle.

Most of them want to keep their secrets. One of them wants QuiTai dead.

NOTE: The ebook (digital) version of The Devil's Concubine is available free at most major retail sites. If you have trouble finding a free version, please contact us and we will send you one.

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Review

I am seriously in awe of this book. Not only is it well written with amazing characters and a fast plot, but it also takes place in a fantasy world that’s not based on Medieval Europe! Instead, it’s based upon a tropical island culture with elements taken from both island and Asian cultures as well as some European ones.

QuiTai is now one of my favourite characters–ever. Considering how many books I read a year, that’s saying something. She is amazing! Sensual, manipulative, complex, intelligent, ruthless and at the same time, loyal to her conquered Ponongese people. Words can’t even do her justice. … The plot is fast paced and Jill Braden constantly throws in plot twists to keep you on your toes. Even the characters themselves throw you off sometimes because just when you think you know their motives, their true motives are revealed.

~ Carrie Slager, The Mad Reviewer book blog

The Devil’s Concubine by Jill Braden is a hard novel to categorize. Set in a mythical world containing werewolves, shape shifters, and all manner of beasts, it could be seen as a fantasy. But, there are also elements of science fiction, and a large dollop of just plain thriller. Braden has done an excellent job of creating a believable fantasy world, and her characters are easy to develop feelings for—love or hate. The murky relationship between Qui Tai and Kyam is perhaps the best part of this story of a character who must deal with her internal demons while trying to save her people. There’s enough here to please fans of the fantasy genre, with enough action thrown in to keep adventure junkies reading.

~ Charles A. Ray, Amazon reviewer

 

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The Devil Incarnate

Jill Braden

There's no rest for the wicked, especially for the Devil. While QuiTai recovers from her last adventure, Levapur is turning into a police state. The Pongonese are pushed to the brink of rebellion against their colonial masters, the Thampurians – but who is behind it, and why?

As the new Devil, QuiTai must wield her power and use her brilliant mind to outsmart her mysterious nemesis before a bloody uprising erupts.

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Review

Braden is skillful at fleshing out even the minor characters, such as the Thampurian school teacher, while weaving a sensual story. This book stands alone, telling a complete story, even though it is the second in the series, and yet it leaves us with a desire to know the characters further. I look forward to future installments. 

~Nan A., Amazon reviewer

 

In volume one we met a rare, rather startling, and very unusual female protagonist in the shape of QuiTai, a complex and intriguing woman of the Ponongese people – a race of beings which is humanoid in form, but which carries certain traits typically found, on Earth, in the viperid snake family. You may think it odd that I find such a woman – one who has venomous fangs folded away in the roof of her mouth – appealing, but I found QuiTai to be irresistible, even more so in volume two than in volume one. She is smart, capable, fearless, and relentless. …

This woman is not your usual action hero. She’s more like James Bond, but a James Bond who has gone over to the dark side – yet not completely gone over. QuiTai can be viewed as a recipe which melds James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a dash of The Dark Knight added for piquancy – I kid you not. By the time volume two begins, she’s simultaneously seen by the locals as both an underground hero and a dangerous villain.

She sidles around in the shadows, collecting information, processing it in her sharp and incisive mind, and arriving at conclusions which others would reach slowly, if at all. Once she determines what needs to be done, she does not hesitate to act. In short, she’s the very epitome of what I search for almost fruitlessly in novel after novel: a strong female character where strength isn’t blindly equated with the ability to kick someone’s derriere. QuiTai is a strong female character where strong = the opposite of weak. She’s the kind of woman who does not need rescuing, who relies on her own mind and body to take care of business (whatever that business might be), and who goes after what needs to be done like a greyhound at the track.

~Ian Wood, author and reviewer (visit his website here).

 

Tempt the Devil

Jill Braden

When the body of Former Governor Turyat is discovered in the Red Happiness, QuiTai is the prime suspect. Surprisingly, she seems almost eager to be taken into custody.

If Kyam Zul is to keep her neck out of the noose, he must solve the crime without her help – while matching wits with not only the real killer but his scheming grandfather, his political rivals, and his own wife.

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Review

New characters are introduced and I’m not sure how I feel about one of them, though I feel certain this particular new character is on Ponong to stay. I happen to love Kyam and Qui Tai’s relationship and am not that certain I want to see a monkey wrench thrown in, but I trust Jill Braden. There are lots of twists and turns here and a few uncertainties regarding characters you think you know. The crime is solved, but it’s really more about the journey than the end. We learn more about Grandfather Zul’s machinations and Machiavellian plans and all that assures that there will be more intrigues and adventures to come. Something I’m thrilled about.

If you haven’t dipped your toe into the waters of the Sea of Erykoli, now’s a good time to start, but start with The Devil’s Concubine. You won’t be sorry. This is some of the best world building I’ve had the pleasure to read!

~D.L. King, author of Carnal Machines

 

I have to say this is technically the best-written of the three volumes, but I can’t make up my mind which is my favorite. In each volume there are new things to learn, and some new characters to explore. I particularly liked the introduction of Kyam’s wife, Nashruu here. This is yet another strong female character tossed into the mix, and she promises to be quite a handful in future volumes. Certainly she proves herself her to be more than Kyam can handle in this one.

The world of Ponong continues to grow and to be filled-in with ever more fascinating detail, becoming increasingly intricate and absorbing. I have no doubt that this will continue with each volume, and I am very much looking forward to the next one already. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with the opening few lines from this volume:

She was vapor: insidious, addicting, forbidden. She was QuiTai, the Devil’s right hand – and often his left one, too. Former actress, former prostitute, former mistress to kings and prime ministers, she was a dangerous mixture of ruthlessness, charm, intelligence, and cunning.

What better introduction could you ask for? Now go read it!

~Ian Wood, author and reviewer (visit his website here).

 

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Jill Braden

Jill grew up in a military family that moved frequently. The best part was finding a library full of books she hadn’t seen yet. After reading every mystery she could get her hands on, she randomly selected Dune from the shelves, and has been a science fiction fan ever since. Following her interest in the capital markets, she earned a degree in finance and currently works on the buy side in the industry. She lives in Los Angeles.

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