Tag Archives: Poppy Kuroki

Review: Rhoda: A Black Diamond Origin Story

Rhoda: A Black Diamond Origin Story

by Poppy Kuroki

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Before she was one of the Black Diamond Assassins, Rhoda was a young woman about to marry Lord Drew Fiscal. An arranged marriage, but one she’s eager for. A handsome and dashing man who will give her a beautiful daughter to be the next empress.

But her dream marriage is about to become a nightmare.

A drunk and abuser, her first night and all those after are not what she expected. A thing sold to him by her parents, she drowns in despair. Her only victory is every month when her period comes, denying her husband his heir.

But that isn’t an escape from her pain. That can only come from one place.

Rhoda is a sad story of a young woman locked in abuse and her journey to escape it. Her steps into a world of darkness. As always, Kuroki peers into the darkness and takes you on a journey with her characters.

The world-building continues, standing on what Oaths created. If you haven’t read Oaths, you don’t need to have because this story, though short, takes you on a journey. You will cheer on Rhonda as she seeks to escape the prison of her life.

The prose is fantastic, the imagery clear, and the story pulls you along. A great afternoon read.

You can buy Rhoda from Amazon.

Review: Oath: A Black Diamond Novel

Oath: A Black Diamond Novel

by Poppy Kuroki

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Colette, growing up on the streets, wants something different. She needs to get away. Travel the world. Find a better life.

She finds that with a group of assassins. Colette has found a home. A place. A skill to develop. But she’s not universally loved. Jealousy simmers, and her new life may not be as peaceful as she hoped.

Oath is a phenomenal book. I had trouble putting it down when I read it. Colette is an endearing character that you can’t help root for. From her time on the streets to her journey to find a new life to her yearning to have a family and home.

Kuroki has created a rich and wonderful world. Her characters are vibrant and you can’t help but root for them. There are some shocking twists and some powerful moments. This is a book willing to punch you in the guts when needed.

This is a story that comes from passion! It shows!

Kuroki does a masterful job of telling Colette’s story. This is a must-read fantasy novel!

You can buy Oath from Amazon.

Review: A Bard’s Lament by Poppy Kuroki

A Bard’s Lament

by Poppy Kuroki

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Ella and her sister Lucinda are trapped by crushing debt, forced to earn coin to pay off their dead mother’s bills. Luckily for Ella, she has a talent. She’s a bard.

Unlucky for Lucinda, she has only her body.

As Ella sings her songs, she struggles to take care of her sister while plotting their escape from their plight. But every day things grow worse and worse and worse.

Will all Ella have left is a lament?

Kuroki’s return to fantasy is amazing. This novelette is a powerful, emotional, and tragic tale of two sisters trapped in a prison of an uncaring society. Crushed beneath inequity, they are doing what they can to survive.

The prose is lyrical and moving. Kuroki slowly ratchets up the tension until you’re desperately tapping on the side of your eReader to read what happens next. With such a short space, she brings Ella and Lucinda to life, makes you care for them, and takes you on the journey of their lives.

Though a short read, it’s an impactful one!

You can buy A Bard’s Lament from Amazon.