Monday 26 April 2021

Arrows Tipped with Honey (Natural Forces Book 2) - Jean Gill


Exiled in the Forest, Mielitta, Queen of the Warrior Bees, could be happy but for her responsibilities to the very people who think her a freak and a traitor. Her hopes for change in the Perfect society of the Citadel rest on one man.

Trapped in a society he loathes and fears, Mage Smith Kermon's mission becomes a test of survival. Can he remain loyal to Mielitta in the double life he leads as her spy in the Citadel? He is quickly embroiled in deceit and subterfuge, forcing him into actions that make him doubt himself and everything he values.

Nobody can be trusted. Least of all the Mages bound to Mielitta's treaty by blood oath. When the dead don't stay dead, a broken oath could be Mielitta's doom.

Block Nature out and she'll force a way in.

What did I think?

Having really enjoyed Queen of the Warrior Bees, the first book in the Natural Forces series, I read book 2, Arrows Tipped with Honey, whilst the story was still fresh in my mind.  As this is a continuation of the story, I would say that you really need to read Queen of the Warrior Bees first, although some of the previous story is covered to ensure that any new readers don't completely lose the plot.

Following the Battle of the Forest, Mielitta along with Jannlou and Drianne have escaped the Perfect society of the Citadel.  Now they are free to be who they are meant to be in the forest, without having their minds sealed to give the illusion of perfection in the Citadel.  Their friend Kermon is their link to the Citadel and now that he is the Mage-Smith, he can encourage changes to be made to so-called Perfection.  

I loved Kerman's visits to the walls and seeing another world through his eyes had almost a dreamlike quality.  It's a world where you can taste honey and chocolate but like a flip of a coin there's also danger hiding around the corner.  I can't say any more about Kermon for fear of spoiling the story but it's like something out of Harry Potter, especially He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  

I've been a fan of Jean Gill for a while now and I love how she manages to sweep the reader away with her beautiful writing, not only to a fantasy world but into the midst of a beehive.  I loved hearing the voices of the bees and seeing how they communicate through dance and rely on smell as they protect the hive and their queen.  Aside from producing honey, there's also a mention of propolis which is an an amazing antibacterial balm also produced by bees.  I only discovered propolis a few years ago and think it's an excellent salve to have handy in every home.  Reading about the bees also made me think of how few we see buzzing around our gardens these days.  I have heard that bees are in decline so it's more important than ever to act now to save these marvellous creatures.

Wonderfully imaginative, Arrows Tipped with Honey is an excellent continuation of the Natural Forces story and it leads on perfectly to book 3, The World Beyond the Walls.

Thank you to Jean Gill for sending me an ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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