Book Review

ARC Book Review: The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Adult fantasy romance
Length: 391 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: 47North
Expected Release Date: August 20th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From ​the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

I’M STILL STUNNED.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, 47North, for the e-ARC and opportunity or read The First Girl Child. All opinions are my own.

I’m sitting here trying to write this review, but I’m not even sure where to start. I absolutely love everything Amy Harmon writes. And this was no exception. TFGC was different from her usual books (generally contemporary, she does have 2 that are fantasy). It only goes to show she can write, regardless of the genre. AND I AM HERE FOR ALL OF IT.

One of the big themes I noticed was about mother’s. And all different types too. Ones who were unloved and unwanted, had their babies taken from them, ached to have a child, and more. This personally resonated with me (because I am a Mom) and struck chord after chord of the fierce love and protection mother’s have for their babes.

A lot was also focused on the true need and affect women have on the world. We are all so unique and divinely inspired and have immense amounts of talent to give to the world in various forms. It was interesting to feel what it would be like if girls did stop being born. And what an awful place that would be.

BAYR. I so deeply love this character. This book is around 400 pages and it felt long because of the intense connection that was built watching Bayr from birth to growing into a man. As he learns to speak it’s noticed that he has a stutter. The way Harmon uses his weakness as a strength was everything. There were some allegories woven in that were stunning. I cheered Bayr on in every way possible. Watching his relationship with Alba had me staring at my book contemplating what gods I was going to have to pray to for them to get a happy ending. This was a relationship built out of pure childhood love. It was so achingly sweet and precious and beautiful.

I loved so many of these side characters too. Dagmar, Ivo, Ghost, The Keepers, Dred, seriously, everyone. Dagmar was the best POV to watch Bayr grow up and his heart-shattering relationship with Ghost will bring you to your knees. It was tender and built on so many things they both needed. I loved Dred (Dagmar’s Dad, Bay’s Grandfather) because his immediate acceptance of his grandson has me feelings all the feels. I enjoyed every connection I built with these characters.

Amy Harmon is one of my favorite authors for a reason. Her ability to bring out these characters to life and create magnificent worlds filled with heartbreak and hope always leave me breathless.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to make-outs, mentions of wanting to lie with another, some vague mentions of having done so, but not descriptive
  • Violence: knives, murder, battle
  • Trigger warnings: childbirth resulting in mother’s death, suicidal thoughts, someone with a disability being referred to as an idiot and bullied

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Favorite Genre (Fantasy, of course)

Okay, I DROPPED THE BALL LAST WEEK AND I AM SO SORRY.

I realized Tuesday afternoon that I never finished my Top Ten Tuesday post, so I am trying my best to get back in it here. I am really ahead of writing reviews (like I have the entire month of June already booked) so remembering to come and write other posts has fallen back a bit.

I’m really excited for this week because FANTASY IS THE BEST GENRE EVERRRR. And in order to try to get some different books added on here I wanted to say:

My top two choices are the A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I will forever love them, rave about my love for them, and try to convince everyone I know to at least give them a chance. I didn’t want to add them to the list today because I wanted to show off some other books I love.

If you want to see something funny and have read ACOTAR check out my Instagram where I have a highlight of my sister’s text conversations as she read them for the first time.

I’m also including the entire series if applicable, because YOU SHOULD READ THEM ALL.

Also, if you’ve read this far, know this is so hard because they’re too many good choices here.


Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima


The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson


Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Adren


The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare


Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber


Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo


The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski


The Bird and the Sword Chronicles by Amy Harmon


The Bone Season Series by Samantha Shannon (still in progress)


Arc of a Scythe Trilogy by Neal Shusterman
(a bit dystopian but enough fantasy to count)


BONUS BECAUSE I’M ON A ROLL:

Falling Kingdom Series by Morgan Rhodes


Have you read any of these series? Any on your TBR? If you’re a fantasy fan what’s a favorite series of yours? I felt like I could go on for days!

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

Howdy y’all! Happy Top Ten Tuesday to all.

Okay, I’m not a reader that writes out a lot of quotes or remembers them for that matter. The way I came up with these quotes today was in all honesty, remembering books I enjoyed. The only book quote I religiously remember is the first one from, A Court of Mist and Fury. The following are quotes I looked up from Goodreads that stood out to me from some of my favorite books.

“There are good days and bad days for me — even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

– A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas

“If you give up what you want most for what you think you should want more, you’ll end up miserable.”

– The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

– Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”

– The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (I’m clearly a big fan of hers)

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

– Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

“Each scar marks me as a survivor. A warrior of the wild.”

– Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

“Unknowing ignorance is preferable to informed stupidity.”

– Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson

“You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.”

– Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

“We turn memories into stories, and if we don’t, we lose them. If the stories are gone, then the people are gone too.”

– What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

“But maybe it’s better to go after something, and not get it, than to not even try.”

– The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

And this is only a small portion of the quotes I could have chosen. Isn’t it amazing how words from all of these books we read affect us? Going back and doing this was actually really enlightening. Like remembering dear friends who hold wise words.

Do you like any of these quotes? What is one of your favorite though-provoking quotes?

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: The First Ten Books I Reviewed

Once upon a time, before I started a blog and an Instagram, I began writing tiny reviews for books I had read.

And thus, my obsession began.

I scrolled back through my Goodreads to find these baby reviews and thought it’d be funny to show them along with the Top Ten Tuesday’s theme.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

My review: ☆☆☆☆

I liked this book! Definitely one of those “finish in a day” types. I thought the story was inventive and it took me awhile to grasp what exactly was going on. Not something I would normally choose, but glad I did for a change of pace. Would definitely recommend to a friend.

Little Women (Little Women #1) by Lousia May Alcott

My review: ☆☆☆

** spoiler alert ** I can’t get over the fact that I felt it should have been Jo and Laurie who ultimately ended up together. I didn’t think this book was anything spectacular. I enjoyed some of the funny quirks from the author through different characters, but I grew tired of the randomness of the stories and chapter and chapter of how they’ll do better next time!

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

My review: ☆☆☆

While I LOVE all of the other Amy Harmon books I’ve read, I felt this one was almost too much drama. It was one thing after another and I could see each one coming. I’ll still read her books, but for this one I definitely wasn’t as big of a fan as I have been of her others!

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab

My review: ☆☆☆☆

If there’s one thing you can count on from Schwab, it’s that she has no problem killing off characters. Which I actually like because it’s different from how most authors write. Now, I wouldn’t want it this way ALL the time, but it’s nice when there’s a dark side. 😉

I enjoyed this book and thought it was a good ending to the duology. I will definitely continue to read Schwab’s books! It was evil, and filled with internal struggles that gave the characters more depth from the first book.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

My review: ☆☆☆☆

I really enjoyed this book! It as a good historical fiction novel. Kinda Great Gatsby-esque. I loved the way it was narrated (after I got use to it, haha). The characters were intriguing and unique.

Outliers: The Story of Success

My review: ☆☆☆☆☆

Phenomenal book! My husband and I both enjoyed reading this over the weekend and discussing all of the topics. It really makes you think.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review: ☆☆☆☆☆

I had originally shelved this book as ‘eh, I’ll read that eventually, but I’m not really feeling it right now…”. I’m so glad I finally picked it up because it was SO GOOD. It was heartbreaking, yes, but also told beautifully. I actually enjoyed the way it was narrated, it added an additional layer to the story. All should read!

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brenè Brown

My review:☆☆☆☆☆

I love reading Brene Brown’s books! I always think they’re insightful and current. She keeps me interested by adding stories to the data that helps drive the point home. I often think ‘oh goodness, that IS me!’ over and over when I’m reading. Definitely recommend!

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

My review:☆☆☆

I really just couldn’t get into this book. I did finish it still because I was intrigued enough to know what happens at the end, but I felt there were a lot of flaws. It drove me batty that she kept going back and forth incessantly about whether or not she loved her father. I get the author was trying to convey the struggle, but it just came off annoying to me. There’s more reasons I could list, but I definitely think I should have just borrowed this book rather than bought it. Oh well, on to the next!

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renèe Ahdieh

My review:☆☆☆☆☆

SUCH A GOOD BOOK. I love a good plot twist. Why do I have to wait for the sequel!?!?

There ya have it! The first 10 books I reviewed. Wow, how time (and practice) can make things better! Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads