Book Reviews

Review of All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars #2) by Heather Fawcett

img_7194

Release date: December 4th, 2018

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

 

My Rating:

4.5 stars

4.5 Stars

 

**This review/synopsis WILL contain spoilers for the first book, Even the Darkest Stars, please read at your own risk**

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?   

Quick Summary:

  • Picks up pretty much right after the first book ends
  • So much exploration happens…including the search for a fallen star
  • More River (swoon!!) and Kamzin and Ragtooth!

My Review:

Earlier this year when I read Even the Darkest Stars I fell in love with the characters and plot and just everything about that adventure driven book. I had been anxiously awaiting this book and was so excited when December finally rolled around! This book was different from the first in that it focused more on the spell being broken and the witches compared to the first which was about the hike up the mountain and survival. I still really enjoyed this book and couldn’t read it fast enough!

The story picks up right after River left Kamzin on the top of Mount Raksha. Kamzin is left to deal with the fall out from the spell breaking as well as River’s betrayal. While River returns to the Nightwood to reunite with his brothers. During this time a star shower occurs during which one of the stars falls to the earth. Fallen stars have immense powers and River’s brother wants it to help him get revenge on the Empire while Kamzin wants it to help protect the Empire. Kamzin, Lusha and Tem head out on another dangerous exploration but when they cross paths with River and the other witches…well I’ll let you read to find out what happens.

I don’t want to give away too much because A LOT happens in the book but it was a wild ride. I loved learning more about the witches and their side of everything because in book one all we know are rumors and folklore. The storyline was a little slower in the beginning but once the journey for the fallen star stars it really picks up and kept me on the edge of my seat! One of my favorite things about this book was the world building. We got to see so much more in this book than in the first and I loved learning all about it! Heather does such a wonderful job describing the new places we visit that I felt like I was right there with the group seeing it for the first time. It was truly remarkable!

Probably my favorite part of this book though were the characters! River and Kamzin’s relationship (or lack thereof after his betrayal) was just as intriguing as it was in the first book, almost more so now that his betrayal is known! We also got some more insight in Lusha and Tem which to me personally made them more likeable. I was not the biggest fan of Lusha in the first book but by the end of this book I actually liked her! I did feel like we missed out on knowing some information on Chirri. I don’t think it would have been pertinent to the story but I was so curious about her when she did pop up at various points. But probably my favorite character was Ragtooth. I loved him in the first book and it only gets better in the second!!

Overall, I loved this book and highly recommend this duology!! It was so nice to finish this book and have an ending that didn’t take a million books to get to. I love reading Heather’s writing and cannot wait to see what other books she has in store. Her story lines are so creative. I love how she takes a concept such as witches and spins it into this whole new and unique story. Plus have you seen the covers of these books?!? I cannot get over how gorgeous they are and how beautiful they look on my shelves!

Here are some helpful links to add these books to your shelves:

Even the Darkest Stars (Amazon)

All the Wandering Light (Amazon)

 

SaveSave

Advertisements
Book Reviews

ARC Review of The Wicked King by Holly Black

img_7025

Release Date: January 8th, 2019

Publisher: Little, Brown Books

 

**WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers for the first book, The Cruel Prince**

 

My Rating:

5 stars

5 Stars

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

 

Quick Summary:

  • Basically a crazy spy thriller but with faeries and magic
  • So much Jude and Cardan
  • Plot twists left and right that will BLOW YOUR MIND

 

My Review:

Thank you to The Novl for this beautiful ARC of the Wicked King in exchange for my honest review (technically I won it in a giveaway and have been jumping up and down ever since).

Let me start by saying that I liked The Cruel Prince. The characters and plot were all well developed and it was a fun read but I couldn’t quite understand the crazy hype. After I finished reading The Cruel Prince I thought well that was a good book but I wasn’t as obsessed with it as some of my friends were and other people on bookstagram. But after I finished The Wicked King I can now officially say that I AM OBSESSED!!! Oh my goodness this book was everything and so much more!! I spent the better part of the day contemplating everything that happened in the book and trying to wrap my head around everything that happened. This book got it hooks in me and would not let me go!

The book begins 5 months after Jude tricked Cardan into being the High King of Elfhame and let’s just say Jude has had her hands full with trying to keep Cardan under control, running Elfhame and being a part of the Court of Shadows.  I don’t want to spoil the fun and wickedness so that’s all the summary I’m going to mention (since the synopsis doesn’t give much away either).

In my opinion Wicked King blew Cruel Prince out of the water! The stakes were higher, the characters more devious and NOTHING was as it seemed. I absolutely loved the story line of this story. It read like a spy thriller but with faeries and magic! There was always some new piece of information given to the reader or some new problem that Jude had to solve. And the plot twists were pure genius, totally an evil wicked genius, but one still the same. I did not see them coming and was completely dumbfounded! We also got to see a bit more of Elfhame than we did in the first book and I just want to know so much more about it!!

By far my favorite part of this book were the characters. I absolutely LOVE Jude and I would want to be her best friend…mostly because I know I would not survive in Elfhame without her!! In the first book we saw her become this scheming, cunning woman that could contend with the most devious of the Folk and we see a lot more of that in this book. But we also get to see that while she can contend with the Folk on an intellectual level she does fall short in some aspects. Mainly we get to see more of her human side, which can be a dangerous thing in Faerie. And then we have Cardan. I have such a love hate relationship with Cardan and I can 100% relate to Jude on this aspect. Cardan grows so much in this book and seeing it all happen as a reader just blew me away. I cannot wait to see what happens with each character in the next book!!

If you don’t want to know anything from this book scroll down now because I’m going to share a quote from the ARC

.

.

.

“I hate you,’ I breathe into his mouth. ‘I hate you so much that sometimes I can’t think of anything else.”

.

.

.

.

As I said, totally a love hate relationship with this gorgeous but wicked king.

I absolutely loved everything about this book and feel so humbled that I was able to read it early! Thank you again the The Novl for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC. I cannot recommend this series to you all enough! I know my many copies have already been pre-ordered and I cannot wait for them to arrive and to read this book all over again!! If you have pre-ordered this book already make sure you submit your pre-order to get the amazing enamel pin and bookmark!! You can find all the information you need about submitting your pre-order here

Bookish Blog

Top Ten Tuesday: Perfect reads for winter

img_4162

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hello again and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This weeks prompt is cozy/wintery reads. I decided to break this into two parts. The first 5 books will put you right in the middle of winter and are great reads for while snuggled under a warm blanket with a cup of tea! The second 5 books will definitely warm you up with their romantic pairings and scenes that give off some steam!

5 Books that will keep you in the wintery mood:

1. Winterspell

  • This book is by far my favorite winter read! It is an adaptation of the Nutcracker (one of my favorite winter time stories) but with a darker spin. Plus it is written by the ever amazing Claire Legrand who weaves magic into all that she writes!

2. Stealing Snow

  • The main character of this book is named Snow, do you really need more of a reason to read this in winter than that? Okay how about a girl locked in a psychiatric ward who’s kiss broke a boy, who dreams of a tree that take her to another land and a whole lot of attractive men? I would say yes to any of those things!

3. A Court of Frost and Starlight

  • I know a lot of people didn’t have the best reception towards this novella (yes it is a novella, it is NOT a full book). But I absolutely loved it and the wintery scenery we encountered. Of course you need to read the first three books in the series first but it’s winter you got all the time in the world to read!

4. Stitching Snow

  • This is a serious winter read! The main character Essie lives on a planet (yup it’s a space story!) that always has sub-zero temperatures! She spends her days coding/fixing the 7 drones (basically robots) that she built but work at the local mines and then her nights are spent cage fighting! Yup you heard that right, this is one super bada$$ MC. Basically it’s a play on Snow White but in space. This is one book you should 100% check out!

5. Frostblood

  • In a world that is dominated by frostbloods (aka magical people who can control ice), Ruby is a fireblood (aka fire magic). Firebloods are pretty much relentlessly hunted and when Ruby is almost caught by a group of the King’s men she loses her mother and vows revenge. She teams up with some Frostblood rebels and one in particular, Arcus (swooooon!!), and tries to get her powers under control. I LOVED THIS BOOK!! It is the perfect combo of wintery coldness and hot smothering fire!

 

5 books to warm you up with their romances

1. A Promise of Fire

  • This is my number one recommendation for hot steamy romance! Be warn this is a romance novel (but reads like a YA fantasy) so there are some sexy scenes. But with a combination of Greek gods, a fiery female lead, some gorgeous men and a whole lot of trouble I could not put this book down. I definitely recommend snuggling up and devouring this book whole, you will not be sorry!

2. Air Awakens

  • This book is my lady jam. Elemental magic, a girl who basically wants to live in the library and a dark moody prince…there is nothing more I can ask from a book. Did I mention there are 5 books in the entire series? Sounds like a perfect winter weekend to me.

3. A Court of Mist and Fury

  • Do I need to say more about this book? Probably not, but if you haven’t read the Court of Thorns and Roses series now is the perfect time. Magic, Fae, and men that most of us would really like to exist in this world. That’s really all you need to know going into this series.

4. Daughter of the Pirate King

  • Alosa is the daughter of the pirate king and she is one kick butt pirate lady herself. She is sent on a mission by her father to find the missing piece of a map that will lead to treasure galore! What better way to find the map on an enemy ship that to get yourself captured by said enemy. But Alosa doesn’t anticipate Riden, the very handsome first mate, who seems to push all her buttons (both good and bad). I could not get enough of these twos and while I loved that it was a duology, I so wanted more!!!

5. The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1)

  • This book deserves so much more attention than it gets! More elemental magic, princes and prophecies about saving the world. I could not get enough of the main characters and loved the fast pace of this series. Highly recommend having all three books before you start because you will not want to stop!

 

I hope you all enjoyed this wintery reads and found a book or two that will help you get through these long cold months! Do you have a wintery book or hot romantic book you like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

 

Bookish Blog

Top Ten Tuesday: Five books I am thankful for this year

img_4162

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

In honor of Thanksgiving (in the US that is) this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about books I am thankful for. I wanted this post to be a little more meaningful so I narrowed it down to the 5 books I’ve read this year that I am most thankful for. And without further ado, here they are:

1. The Raven Cycle

This series has taught me so much and I am eternally grateful. I felt at home reading this series and I will treasure it forever

2. Even the Darkest Stars

This book encourages readers to never give up on their dreams. That no matter what you keep going and climb that mountain even if everyone tells you that you can’t.

3. The Medoran Chronicles

This series made me believe that one day I will open a door to a magical realm and a whole new set of possibilities. (It could totally happen!!)

4. Sky in the Deep

I am thankful for this book that encourages people to look beyond what you have been taught about another group of people. That by forming your own opinion you can discover something about yourself that you never would have figured out otherwise.

5. Stalking Jack the Ripper series

I am so beyond thankful for Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell, the best OTP. And I guess I am thankful for these books that show a woman is capable of great things on her own but to have a partner who respects you and your work makes the victories that much better.

 

Well that’s it for now! What are some books/series you are thankful for? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! I’m always looking for new good books to add to my neverending TBR!

 

Book Reviews

Review of We Three Heroes by Lynette Noni

img_6578

Release Date: August 27th, 2018

Publisher: Pantera Press

My Rating:

5 stars

5 Stars

**Be aware this post may contain spoilers for the first four books! Please read at your own risk!!**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“We all have to do our part if we’re to survive the coming storm.”

Alexandra Jennings might be the hero of The Medoran Chronicles, but she would be lost without her three closest friends. They are her heroes, and like all heroes, they each have their own story.

Meet the real D.C. in Crowns and Curses and discover how she becomes the princess Alex once despised but now adores.

Follow Jordan on his healing journey in Scars and Silence as he struggles in the wake of being rescued from his living nightmare.

Walk beside Bear in Hearts and Headstones as he faces an unspeakable trauma while helping his world prepare for the coming war.

D.C., Jordan and Bear are the heroes of their own stories.

It is time for their stories to be told.

My Review:

I loved everything about these novellas. They helped me create an even deeper bond with the three “sidekick” characters, D.C., Jordan and Bear, from the Medoran Chronicles. I already loved all of these characters so much before reading this book but now I’ve gotten an even deeper look into their points of views and the most terrible moments of their lives and I love them all the more for it!! I loved that we were able to see scenes in this book that we weren’t privileged to in the other books because they are all from Alex’s point of view. Now all I want is to be able to see each book again from everyone’s point of view…don’t think that will be happening any time soon though! I’m going to break down each story individually now.

Crowns and Curses – D.C.’s story:

When you think of being a princess you never think of the hard ships that are associated with it, like never having people treat you as just a friend, not a princess. I loved getting a glimpse into D.C.’s past and her first couple of years at Akarnae. It was so informative to see what had happened to cause D.C. to be the girl we first met as Alex’s roommate before they became best friends. To learn of the barriers D.C. had to overcome to finally let her walls down and find the friendships she was always destined to have was such a heart warming story!

Scars and Silence – Jordan’s story:

This was the story I was most looking forward to and the one I loved the most! After Jordan was claimed by Aven we only got to see short snippets of what things were like after for him and all from Alex’s point of view. And honestly Alex was so busy with everything else going on we didn’t get much insight into how Jordan was doing, which I always wanted to know more about. I don’t want to tell too much about this one but the information we learn in this story was absolutely AMAZING!! We learn so much in such a short story and honestly even though he and D.C. are perfect for earth other I just love him so much!!!!

Hearts and Headstones – Bear’s story:

Honestly with a title like that I should have known I would be balling by the end but it still hit me hard, just like it did in the books. I actually finished this book while sitting in the ICU with my Dad after he had finished surgery and so I’m of course crying my eyes out and the poor nurse stopped what he was doing to ask me if I was okay! I felt so bad and had to explain that the book I just finished was really sad and everything else was okay! But now back to Bear’s story. I thought this was the most heart wrenching and touching story out of the three. Bear’s family is so inviting and absolutely wonderful and it just hurt so much at the end of Graevale and to have to re-live it all again!! I loved all the insights we got from Bear’s story, especially with Declan who we still don’t know a lot about but is truly an intriguing character.

All three of these stories were so insightful and I have a feeling will be helpful to have read for the final book of the series! I cannot wait for Vardaesia even though I know it is going to wreck me!! Lynette also just released the cover for Vardaesia which you can view below…isn’t it gorgeous?!?!

vardaesia-cover-final

Bookish Blog

Cover Reveal for Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

The time has finally arrived for Elise to release the cover and synopsis of her new book series the Vortex Chronicles!! I have been OBSESSED with Elise and her magical writing abilities since I discovered the Air Awakens series back in 2016. Now the time has come for her to return to one of my favorite worlds in this new series featuring Vhalla and Aldrik’s daughter!

Here is the synopsis:

A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have.

Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

 

And if that doesn’t entice you to pre-order this glorious book then I can guarantee that the cover will…

.

.

Are you ready??

.

.

.

.

.

.

45788068_2232268270432134_1329524675713171456_o

I just LOVE the beauty of this cover and I know there are probably some hidden treasures within the art that will make sense once I’ve read the book!!

Now some information about this book:

  • Release Date: February 4, 2019
  • The story follows a new protagonist (Vhalla’s daughter from the original Air Awakens), on a new adventure, fighting a new villain
  • Readers do not have to read the original Air Awakens series. They can start with VORTEX VISIONS (although I HIGHLY suggest reading the previous series!! Elise always likes to hide easter eggs in all her books that relate back to previous books/series)
    • From November 11th to November 27th you can get the first book (kindle) in the Air Awakens series (aka Air Awakens) for only $0.99!!
  • The series is currently planned to be four or five books, which should be released every 3 months (I seriously don’t know how she does this??)
  • The book will be available in paperback and hardcover on Feburary 4th (or just before)
  • People who pre-order can forward proof of purchase + their full name + their mailing address to ElisePreOrder[at]Gmail[dot]com to get a free signed postcard (while supplies last) and be entered to win a special swag box including a signed hardcover. Open internationally.

I know you all are ready to pre-order this book now, right?? Here is the link:

Pre-order Vortex Chronicles #1: Vortex Visions

And because we all love adding books to Goodreads, here is that link:

Vortex Visions on Goodreads

Also if you’d like to receive notifications about ONLY this series here is the link:

Release Alerts for Vortex Chronicles

Or if you would like to subscribe to Elise’s Newsletter (where you get awesome tips/updates), here is the link:

Elise Kova’s Newsletter

Thanks for taking the time to check out this awesome new series!! Feel free to fangirl with me anytime!!

 

Book Reviews

Review of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

img_6776

Release Date: October 2nd, 2018

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

 

My Rating:

4 stars

4 Stars

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Quick Summary:

  • My brain was spinning in circles after finishing and hasn’t stopped since
  • LOVED all the Japanese culture and history integrated into the story
  • The world building…I mean just wow it was so similar to our world but then so fantastically not

My Summary:

This was my first book by Julie Kagawa and she did not disappoint! This book was a combination of beautiful history and culture integrated with magical beings and storytelling. I have to preface by saying that I LOVE Japanese culture. Every since I was little I have been obsessed with it so this book was everything I could want and oh so much more! Now onto the book.

This story starts off with one of the craziest first chapters I’ve ever read, but I’m going to leave that as a little surprise. We then met Yumeko who is half human and half kitsune, or fox demon/trickster, that lives in the SIlent Winds Temple. She has been isolated in the temple her entire life and rarely ventures outside of it’s walls. Inside the temple the monks help Yumeko to control her kitsune powers while she plays small harmless tricks on them in return. One day her temple is completely destroyed and Yumeko is sent on a mission to deliver part of an ancient scroll to a far off temple. This scroll contains the power, when combined with the other parts, to grant one wish when the dragon rises. But Yumeko has never ventured this far outside of her temple and so when she runs into the handsome Kage Tatsumi she tricks him into helping her travel across the lands to deliver the scroll. During the journey Yumeko and Tatsumi meet some new friends and some not so friendly things all while discovering a lot about themselves.

This book is told in alternating point of views mostly between Yumeko and Tatsumi. Julie is a storyteller in every sense of the word. Her writing style was so versatile, from beautiful and lyrical with Yumeko’s point of view to dark and sinister when she would switch to Tatsumi’s point of view or when talking about demons or evil spirits. I loved being able to read the story from both characters points especially when they both had their own little secrets. I also really enjoyed the plot of the book. I did feel that after that first chapter the book was a little slow to get going but once it picked up I was hooked. I did initially read this book as the ARC so my copy did not have the map in it but I am so excited that the finished copies do! I kept thinking while reading how helpful it would be to see their journey and the first thing I did when I got my copy was look at the map to see what their journey was like! I also love all the Japanese culture that was integrated into this story! From the smallest little details about ryokans to all the information about Samurai and their culture, I found myself devouring every single little bit and am hungry for more!

The characters in this book were so masterfully created and I have adopted them all as my precious little babies. Yumeko was one of my favorites (I mean of course she is the main character). Her struggle to want to be who she is while also trying to strive to be what the monks what her to be felt so real to me. And watching her grow and struggle with various issues during her journey made me love her all the more. But the fact that she always chooses to see the good in people and always wants to help is what made her my favorite in this story. While Yumeko is my favorite Tatsumi comes in at a close second. His story is so interesting and dark and twisty and I loved every minute of learning more about him, his sword and the shadow klan! I also loved how Reika reminded me a lot of Rei aka Sailor Mars from the Sailor Moon series. I’m not sure if it was the name, the fact that she was a shrine maiden or just her personality but I really enjoyed her character and hope to see more of her!!

By far my favorite part of this book was the world building and oh my gosh was it perfection. Julie introduced us to a fantasy realm that was similar to our world and yet so different. I loved that in one book we covered so much of the world. We got to see everything from small farming villages to temples to bigger towns all the way to the capital city! I loved learning everything I could about each place. I especially loved seeing towns for the first time from Yumeko’s point of view. She made them sound wondrous, so full of life and light, I wanted to be right there with her. I cannot wait to explore more of this world in the next book!

I truly loved just about everything about this book. It was an amazing journey and I already miss all my characters so much! I am anxiously looking forward to book two and to be reunited with them all!! Julie has already released the cover and title of book two and wow just take a look at it below!! It is so beyond beautiful which makes this wait so much harder!!

img_0453

 

SaveSave