Book Review

Book Review: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 713 pages
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: November 30th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect. 

WHAT A BOOK.

I honestly was a bit nervous to dive into this one. I LOVE this series and knowing that this book somehow covered 30 years had me wondering how this was all going to go down. I did cry multiple times so IT HURT. BUT IT WAS AMAZING.

This review will not be able to contain everything I want to say because words are hard. So first off I’ll say, YOU NEED TO READ IT. At least that refrain is here.

I am obsessed with this entire cast. I love every single one of them. I love that I got to see their entire lives, see the kids grow up and more. There’s still plenty of action, many twists and turns and betrayals to make you fall apart. The quiet moments with deep conversations, the soft times built on reconnection. And the last moments with good-byes and a request to do better. How can you not be emotionally attached?! *cue more tears* I could write a paragraph for each of the characters, that’s how much I loved allllll of them.

Many things I didn’t see coming and left me shattered. Though I felt by the end I understood Lee’s choice in writing this book over such a large amount of time. There was only one way this could end and I get it. My heart might not recover for awhile, but I get it. And actually, I really loved the ending. I love endings that click and work for all parties.

The Green Bone Saga is built with intricate world-building, an awesome magic system and a tight knit clan. I have been utterly captivated by this entire series and would recommend it to anyone interested in adult fantasy. This is NOT one to miss y’all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: multiple brief open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: suicide, bullying, murder, gun violence, cheating, kidnapping, torture, heavy gore/blood depiction, grief, explosion

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Book Review

Book Review: A Fate of Wrath & Flame (Fate & Flame #1) by K.A. Tucker

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 634 pages
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 25th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Gifted thief Romeria has flourished from her days as a street kid pilfering wallets to survive. Now she thrives, stealing jewels from the rich under the involuntary employ of New York City’s most notorious crime boss. But when an enigmatic woman secures her services at swordpoint, Romeria is plunged into a startling realm of opposing thrones, warring elven, and elemental magic she cannot begin to fathom.

Her quest is straightforward: Steal a stone from Islor’s sacred garden without anyone discovering her true identity, which would earn her certain death. But the identity she has inexplicably assumed is that of the captured Ybarisan princess—an enemy to Islor after she poisoned their beloved king and queen on the day she was to marry the prince.

Her betrothed, the newly crowned King Zander, detests her with every grain of his handsome being. Fortunately for Romeria, she is more valuable to him alive than dead. Zander gives her a choice: life in a cell, or an acquittal of all charges in exchange for her help in exposing the growing plot against him.

Romeria sees no other option and embraces the tricky role of smitten queen-to-be until she can escape, a ruse that brings her far closer to the king than she anticipated and threatens more than her safety. As she digs deeper into this sacred garden and the ancient feud between Ybaris and Islor, she discovers monstrous truths that could spell ruin for all.

She would know the world of vengeful gods and monsters, and the lengths one would go for love. And nothing would ever be the same for her again.

TOOK AN UNEXPECTED TWIST.

Was it a good twist?

Not from my perspective.

Sooooooo I’m feeling a bit disappointed over this. I was SO EXCITED for this fantasy by one of my favorite authors, and maybe I hyped it too much? Maybe this fantasy just didn’t click? Maybe some combination of a handful of things.

I liked the romance between Romy and Zander. It’s a slowwww burn, but works so well here. I thought the chemistry was there (would have loved even more) and the banter was great too. I look forward to more of them based on how this ended so I’m definitely looking towards the sequel for a lift.

What fell really flat was the world-building and the magic system. Romy spent most of the time in the dark, so I spent even more time in the dark. I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. I could form a list for you, but it would probably spoil most of the story, ha. There’s some info dumping pages where I kind of caught up on what was happening, but frankly, I have no idea what’s going on. The whole quest to get the stone wasn’t even the plot of this book. Many mixed messages.

Speaking of mixed message, I’m still upset over the twist. It felt like it only added to the confusion. Why was it added? Why do they need to be that way? And once again, many more questions.

Even though the story wasn’t the necessarily like the summary led me to believe, I did like most of it. It was entertaining most of the time and I’m still curious enough to see what’s next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Violence: sword battles, physical altercations, poison
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slavery

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Book Review

Book Review: House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 805 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: February 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal―they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode―and the people who will do anything to save it.

*FLAILS INCOHERENTLY*

Someone should have recorded me as I finished this book because the way I ran around my house flipping out was WILD.

BECAUSE THAT ENDING WAS EVERYTHING AND MORE.

Once again SJM has brought the house down with her captivating storytelling. I loved that there were even more points of view from this whole cast. I felt more connected to everyone and got a better feeling for their personal and group dynamics. I’m very much emotionally attached to them and the ships I want sailing and will not stand for anything less than HAPPY EVER AFTERS FOR ALL.

The plot thickens even more and my jaw hit the flow as things were unveiled. I love how the web is woven and die cast for all at play in the world. The combination of masteries it took to put this together blows my mind. Writing wise, it reads slower. Yet, it’s one of those novels that makes sense for the slowness. It’s heavily character driven and those stories need told.

I LOVE where many of these lines are heading and I will be impatiently awaiting the next book. I intentionally tried to keep this as vague as I could because people who spoil are the worst. Another SJM all the dang stars read for me!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: multiple (5+) open door
  • Violence: mild-strong blood/gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, torture, creature attacks, physical altercations, gun violence, loss of loved ones, slavery, imprisonment

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Book Review

Book Review: The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 640 pages
Author: R.F. Kuang
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The exciting end to the Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.

 After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead.

Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation.

Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?

ONE NOTE.

I know I’m the unpopular opinion here, buuuut I didn’t love this conclusion.

I really wanted more from Rin. I thought she spent too much of this book hell bent on revenge that the warm themes became very one note. It was travel here, destroy some of the villains, travel here, repeat. It’s very violent, which I was fine with, but wanted something more. I don’t think every book needs a romance. I do think (at least in this books case) it needed ONE soft thing. Something to see that Rin had another side to her (maybe that was the point? These are just my thoughts).

Anyways, it was fine. I listened to it on audio and that was a great medium for this series. I liked seeing Nezha and what he was up to and the twisted way this story played out. It’s very nuanced and intricate in regards to some aspects. This series is harsh in nature and an emotional read at times.

The ending let me down. There was one aspect to it that made me want to throw a book. The longer I sit on it, I can see the intention of the decision, but I still think things could have worked out a bit differently. And it didn’t feel like it actually ended either?? I don’t know. A huge mixed bag of thoughts for a series I was initially in love with.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: none
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: extreme depictions of blood/gore, rape, war themes, suicide, mass loss of life, magical and physical altercations, torture, executions, and more that I might have missed; please check into the content before reading!

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