You probably already saw my Book Blitz post back in September for this book, but I’m back now with my official review and as part of the Blog Tour! Annette Marie’s latest addition to the utterly epic Guild Codex series, THE ONE AND ONLY CRYSTAL DRUID, kicks off a brand new sub-series in the Guild Codex world and I was so happy to receive a copy to review! The Guild Codex books so far are a series I don’t mind posting more than once about if only to help get the word out to new readers. Keep reading to find out more about the book, read my review (how does this new series compare to the others??), find links to the rest of the Guild Codex world, enter a giveaway, and more!
*Click on the tour banner to find a list of all the tour stops!
The One and Only Crystal Druid
(The Guild Codex: Unveiled, #1)
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: September 24, 2021
I’m not your average girl.
My best friend is my switchblade. My favorite hobby is using it on the cruel, the abusive, and anyone who gets on my bad side. I’m a convicted murderer with a chip on my shoulder and a dangerous lack of restraint.
And then there’s Zak.
His rap sheet makes mine look tame. The bounty on his head is worth more money than I’ll ever make, and the deadly fae that shadow his every step wield more power than I’ll ever know.
He’s the Crystal Druid, and his first mistake was setting foot on my turf.
His second was saving my life.
And his final mistake will be failing to realize that however dark, however ruthless, however broken he is…
From the author of the best-selling Guild Codex books comes a new series that delves into the dark, dangerous world of druids and fae alongside two ravaged souls who may be exactly what the other needs…if they don’t destroy each other first.
Unveiled can be read as a standalone series or in conjunction with other Guild Codex series. For the full reading order, visit Annette Marie’s website.
pooled ink‘s Review
This new series within The Guild Codex world brings us more of the Crystal Druid and I am SO here for it! The One and Only Crystal Druid proves a dark but exciting start to the Unveiled series!
When we first met Zak a.k.a. the Crystal Druid back in the Spellbound series I really liked him and wanted more. People were shipping Tori with different guys and while I shipped her with Ezra I also really loved the vibe between her and Zak. Every time Zak popped up on the scene I was excited and wishing we could have more time with him so when Annette Marie announced a series where he’d play one of the leading characters I was ecstatic. I wasn’t disappointed either. The Guild Codex world continues to expand and deepen, the plots take us along on all sorts of dangerous, magical adventures and mysteries, and most importantly (for me anyway) the characters quickly became people I cared about. If I don’t care about the main characters then I won’t care about the book.
There are of course two leads in this book. One, as I’ve already mentioned, is Zak, the infamous Crystal Druid, whom lurks in the shadows cloaked behind all sorts of rumors that put him on the Top Most Wanted list. The main lead is a witch named Saber Rose Orien. She has little power, she works as a vet technician (and animal justice vigilante by night), and though she is a member of a witch coven none of them seem to like her much. She also has a sassy shapeshifting fae companion and may have murdered someone in her past.
I love Zak, though you have to get to know him through Saber’s eyes in this book and as with most people he encounters they don’t warm up to him right away. When it comes to Saber however… It isn’t that I didn’t like her, I just had a hard time liking her because she was so annoyingly aggressive and painfully cliché at the surface (okay, fine, I didn’t like her haha). I mean, just look at the book’s blurb: “I’m not your average girl.” *eye roll* “My best friend is a switchblade.” *snorts*. Do you see what I mean? She’s also a bit psycho. I mean, I loathe animal abusers too but I’m not about to cut their teeth out lol. So to me she was a bit much and in a cliché way that rather than read as trauma victim came across more as a caricature/trying too hard so it took me a while to get into the book though I held out because of Zak whom I very much wanted to know more about. Regardless of first impressions, the book was good and I got somewhat used to Saber as I kept reading even if I still don’t like her. I will say, I also had trouble with Robin from the Demonized series whom at first was so irritatingly introverted (like I wanted to rip my hair out and I’m a super introvert, but then again maybe I was just too used to reading about characters with more gumption? It’s definitely nice seeing truly introverted characters represented though.), but by book two she started to grow as a character and that series right now is my favorite of all The Guild Codex series so I’m optimistic that Saber will evolve as well with time and I look forward to seeing in which direction she grows.
Regardless of all else, I had fun reading this book and will look for the next one in the series!
Oh, and don’t worry if you’ve never read any of The Guild Codex books before. It seriously doesn’t matter. There is the option of reading them in publication order OR in timeline order OR you can honestly start with whatever series catches your fancy. I didn’t read them in timeline or publication order as I started with The Guild Codex: Demonized first and it was fine. Annette Marie writes these series so that they can be read as standalone series but if you do read more than one you’ll see little cameos and references and crossovers that make it more fun. So go ahead and dive in with this one if you want! Just so long as you give The Guild Codex a chance because they really are exciting books.
Annette Marie is the best-selling author of The Guild Codex, an expansive collection of interwoven urban fantasy series ranging from thrilling adventure to hilarious hijinks to heartrending romance. Her other works include YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter.
Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada with her husband and their furry minion of darkness. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Find out more about Annette and her books at www.annettemarie.ca.
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