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

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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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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: Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

30339493Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Ulises asked, “How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers.”
Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. “It’s bound to be a goose chase. You know that?”
“Or a treasure hunt,” Ulises countered, “and you’ve always been good at those.”

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side-whether he wants her there or not-Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Isle of Blood and Stone comes off to me as one of those quieter YA fantasies that are hidden gems. It’s not fast-paced, nor does it have tons of thrilling action. But the characterizations fuel the story as we follow on an 18-year old mystery that needs to be solved. Despite the sedate pace, I enjoyed the emphasis in the story on maps and following the political intrigue within St. John del Mar. There’s a marked focus on character relationships and heading into danger, as well as fantastical elements that add flavor to the story. I’d recommend Isle of Blood and Stone to fantasy readers who don’t mind less action in favor of characterization and solving mysteries. It’s for sure a deviation from the princes and princesses route that YA fantasies like to take. Continue reading

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

Book Review: Fearless by Jennifer Jenkins (Nameless #3)

32991897Fearless
Author: Jennifer Jenkins
Series: Nameless #3
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Striker Gryphon has lost his position of honor among the Ram, and is now a hunted man. A traitor.

Zo, the object of his affection, was murdered by members of his former clan. To honor her memory, he journeys to the highly secretive Raven “Nest” to warn strangers of their impending demise—though it could cost him more than just his pride.

He doesn’t know that Zo is very much alive and in another part of the region assisting Nameless refugees over a mountain swarming with wild men known as “Clanless.”

As each struggle to make sense of what their lives have become, they fight and claw to reach the Allied Camp, their last hope in bringing peace to the region.

But the road back to one another is treacherous and uncertain. And freedom will come with a price.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This review will contain slight spoilers for the Nameless series. You can find my review of the first book, Nameless, over here and my review of the second book, Clanless, over here.

Wow, what a whirlwind this trilogy was! When I first picked up Nameless, I had no idea each book would leave me begging for more and that I would fall in love with its resilient characters, action-packed plot, and tremendous character growth. Jenkins is a great writer and catches readers up in this third book in no time. We’re preparing for war, though Zo and Gryphon both have secrets from the other that they’re waiting to reveal. Told from a limited third person POV between Zo and Gryphon , Fearless is an incredible ending to a YA fantasy series from an indie publisher that I recommend fantasy lovers to hurry and pick up!

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Book Review: Fireblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #2)

33784283Fireblood
Author: Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga #2
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

All hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust. The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Frostblood, which you can find my review for here. It will contain slight spoilers!

While Fireblood was an exhilarating book – full of action and never a boring time in the plot – the excessive amount of familiar tropes that this series uses keeps me from lauding it as amazing, or a book to recommend for everyone. Like I said in my review of the first book, Frostblood, it’s more like a comfy blanket you would put on in front of the fireplace during a cold, snowy day when you’re in the mood to reread some of your old fave books. Blake is a great writer and certainly knows how to keep readers in suspense – plotwise though, you’re looking at nothing new from the YA fantasy books that have been out since the 2010’s. Comfortable while reading, but otherwise lacking in the newfound enjoyment that most fantasy books try to create and offer.

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ARC Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

28449207Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Book 1
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’m glad I could finally get to this book. Between my dislike of the author’s previous trilogy and all the hype, I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed Strange the Dreamer! I was wary of Taylor’s lyrical writing at first, but found myself getting used to it and its vivid descriptions as the book went on. While the first half was immensely slow, my patience was worth it for the revelations in the latter half of the book. Strange the Dreamer follows Lazlo Strange, one of the guys on the sidelines. He’s the quiet bookworm that people casually dismiss. But Lazlo Strange, resident dreamer and imaginer, may have hidden facets to his character that readers slowly come to discover. Continue reading

Blog Tour and Giveaway! Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi Review + Fan Art

Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop for the Beasts Made of Night tour. I’m absolutely ECSTATIC to have y’all here, because there’s a lot going on in this post. I will be raving about this book; I will be sharing stunning graphics about this book; I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY for THREE winners of this book. What’s not to love? Let’s get started!

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