Blog Tour | Black Wings Beating by Alex London Fan Art!

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Hello everyone!

I’m excited to be one of the blog tour stops to celebrate the release of Black Wings Beating by Alex London, which came out yesterday. Woohoo!

This was a super unique, soaring fantasy that I think many readers will be drawn to. It features a m/m romance (that’s #ownvoices), twins who have an ever-evolving relationship, hidden political schemes, plenty of action, and the graceful flight of birds of prey that you really grow to appreciate while reading the story. I really urge Young Adult fantasy lovers to pick this book up from your local bookstore or library!

36949994Black Wings Beating
Author: Alex London
Series: Skybound #1
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists. Brysen strives to be a great falconer–while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

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Book Review: Beyond A Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

32295486Beyond A Darkened Shore
Author: Jessica Leake
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Wow, wow, wow.

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Beyond A Darkened Shore was magnificent! Although I really liked the cover and was intrigued by the blurb, I didn’t think that I would become so engrossed in the story and characters. I’m so glad I was wrong with this one! Beyond A Darkened Shore follows Nordic and Celtic mythology as two characters from vastly different locations and cultures clash. I loved reading the historical elements that Leake weaved into the story, as well as the different gods and folklore that came up. The antagonistic romance was also a blast to read. 😀 There was an amazing, slow-burn development as Leif and Ciara went from enemies, to distrustful allies, to a couple that would dare to defy the gods for their love.

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Blog Tour: Revisiting A Lush World With Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Hello everyone!

Today I’m here with a review of Star-Touched Stories, the third book that takes place in the beautiful setting of The Star-Touched Queen (my review here and fanart here), and A Crown of Wishes (my review here and fanart here). Star-Touched Stories, however, brings forth three short stories that not only ties these books together, but wrap them in an epilogue that will leave readers brimming with love and emotions. Chokshi’s writing is always so passionate, and this master storyteller leaves not a thread hanging in these stories.

36396341Star-Touched Stories
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: Book 2.5
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Throughout these stories, Chokshi’s writing remains provocative and sensual – perhaps leaning towards the purple prose side for some readers. I for one really enjoyed her heady descriptions and imaginative metaphors, and any reader who has enjoyed her previous two books in this world will adore this one. It ties in so many stories and characters, as well as presents itself as a final kiss and goodbye to the stunning world that we have visited twice already.

Note: this review will contain slight spoilers to The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes!

Death and Night

“Love was extraordinary.
Extraordinarily spiteful.
Extraordinarily blind.
Extraordinarily misleading.”

This story is a prequel to Chokshi’s debut, The Star-Touched Queen. In TSTQ, Maya and Amar are given a second chance to revisit their love and correct their mistakes. But what happened when they first fell in love?

I love how Chokshi set-up Death and Night’s characters in this story. Night sold her wares at the Night Bazaar, which consists of this dream fruit that is coveted by many, but at a high price. She wants recognition. Death has been lonely these past years, and he needs to take a bride. The only catch is: he can’t fall in love with her. Despite obstacles and all odds, they meet each other and begin a sweet, sometimes snarky, but altogether delightful courtship that is tested through the threads of time. I loved this little insight to Maya and Amar’s past life, and seeing familiar characters! Continue reading

Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser Review: Magnificent Conclusion to A Quiet YA Duology!

34519536Whisper of the Tide
Author: Sarah Tolcser
Series: Book 2
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

For now, Caro is landlocked, helping Markos reclaim his throne after nearly his entire family was assassinated in a political coup. Without any financial or military support, Markos is desperate for allies, and Caro has fought off more than one attempt on his life. When a powerful Archon offers his army in exchange for Markos’s marriage to his daughter, Caro must choose: Her love for Markos, or the fate of Akhaia? And more importantly: How much is she willing to risk to defy the sea god’s wishes and chart her own course?

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and breathtaking romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing your fate.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Song of the Current, which you can find my review here. It may contain slight spoilers!

Whisper of the Tide was a stunning sequel! I came in with high expectations, and was honestly ready to give it a 3 star midway through the book, no joke. What changed my mind? I could say that the events that happened were pretty awesome, or the resolution was sooo satisfying and lovely, or how the stuff that had me side-eyeing were properly addressed. But I think plain and simple, Tolcser breathed life into Caro’s character and made her resilient, flawed, and just great in general. I adored her from start to finish, mistakes and all. And I hope fans of the book come into Whisper of the Tide with an open mind and heart to Caro’s flaws. Continue reading

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Review | Another Fairy-Tale Fantasy Hit!

36896898Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“A moneylender’s daughter, even a bad moneylender, learns her numbers. I wrote and figured and wrote and figured, interest and time broken up by all the little haphazard scattered payments… And when I had my list finished, I took all the knitting out of my bag, put my shawl on, and went out into the cold morning.”

And thus begins Miryem’s beginning as a cold moneylender, and eventually the queen of the cold.

This was another winner from Naomi Novik! After reading and adoring Uprooted when I first started reviewing books (you can find my review here), I was exceptionally eager for Spinning Silver and I was NOT disappointed. While the books are not connected at all, they follow a similar fantastical theme, with the most recent being fairy-tale based. Both books are amazing for different reasons, and I can’t wait for readers to pick up and love Spinning Silver like I did.

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Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen Review | BATB Retelling I Couldn’t Get Into

31019831Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Author: Lisa Jensen
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Well, this made for a rather peculiar retelling.

Before I begin the actual review, I do want to let readers know about certain important triggers that they should be notified of:

  • 12% into the book, a rape scene occurs where the heroine experiences it – and the consequences – first hand. It is mildly described.
  • 16% into the book, the heroine is devastated after the rape and tries to drown herself.

These are not light topics, and it was rather shocking to see it in the story, and so early. The revenge after the rape is what serves as Lucie’s driving motivation – and basic plotline – of the book. Soon enough, Lucie’s wish for revenge is granted when the handsome chevalier who attacked her gets transformed into a hideous beast, forcing all the servants to flee. Everyone leaves except Lucie, who gets turned into a candelabra so he can see his ugliness every day. Or something like that. It was a weird explanation for keeping her there.

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Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (The Folk of Air #1)

26032825The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of Air #1
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review
So the most important question for this book to me is… hype – worth it or nah? For me, the answer is in the middle. There are some parts I liked about The Cruel Prince (namely, the main character), and other parts that fell very flat with me. This book follows the tangled politics and court intrigue of the High Court of Faerie and the human girl that resides there and is ready to rise up in the ranks. There is a bit of a romance (honestly, hardly anything and I’m disappointed that people place so much on it), an intriguing father-daughter relationship, and sisterhood that pushes past certain boundaries. It’s a pretty large book, but in the end I’d say it’s worth the read. Continue reading

ARC Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Legacy of Orïsha #1)

34728667Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orïsha #1
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

How to even begin reviewing this incredible book? Children of Blood and Bone wasn’t just gorgeous…. It was GLORIOUS. The immersive world is so full and vibrant, and the characters’ internal and external conflicts were explored with so deeply and realistically. I loved how thick it was and the large range of emotions it brought me: fear, anger, hatred, love, and justice. Y’all better pick this up for one for the most divine YA fantasy. Continue reading

ARC Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

30694168Shadowsong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Series: Book 2 of 2
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This book is the sequel to Wintersong, which you can find my review here! There will be minor spoilers in this review.

WHAT A SEQUEL. Seriously, Shadowsong is everything I wanted after that cliffhanger in Wintersong and more. The ending was absolutely fantastic, and I reread it multiple times just this past week before I could muster up the energy to write this review. That’s right – this book left me emotionally drained in the BEST of ways. We delve deeper into the darks of Liesl’s mind and her relationship between her and her brother, and her and the Goblin King. There is less of an emphasis of the romance like in the previous book, and more of an emphasis on Liesl’s growth and her love for her brother. Also, shout out to Jae-Jones for the content warnings at the beginning of the book.

“Sometimes, I fear there is a maelstrom swirling within me. Madness, mania, melancholy. Music, magic, memories. A vortex, spinning around a truth I do not want to admit.”

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ARC Review: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet (Kingmaker Chronicles #3)

33607186Heart on Fire
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #3
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Who is Catalia Fisa?
With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin’s role in shaping her destiny.

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step–reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.What doesn’t kill her will only make her stronger…we hope.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This review will contain slight spoilers for the book series. My review of the first book, A Promise of Fire, can be found here and my review of the second book, Breath of Fire, can be found here!

Also: This series contains mature scenes in both sexy times and graphic violence. Please be aware before reading!

Passion, empathy, love, and growth: four words that this book is comprised of. There is passion in the actions of the characters, stimulated by the love of their family or romantic counterparts. empathy in the feelings they feel regarding one another, and tremendous character growth as each takes the time to learn lessons that would help them grow stronger both physically and mentally. Heart on Fire was a romantic, fun ending to the Kingmakers’ Chronicles (although I do believe, and am excited, for extra stories featuring the side characters). Cat and Griffin’s love story is written in a dramatic conclusion that is full of action and twists. Continue reading