Book Review

Book Review: Carry the World by Susan Fanetti

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Susan Fanetti
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Eastern Kentucky, 1937.

After the death of her husband, Ada Donovan returned home to live again with her aging parents. She does all she can to help them keep the small family farm going. But times are hard, and there’s never enough.

During one of her infrequent visits to town, she sees a help-wanted notice for the Pack Horse Librarian Project, seeking librarians to ride up high in the mountains and bring books to the people there. Before her marriage, Ada was a teacher, and the thought of returning to the work she loved is impossible to resist. The mountains are her favorite place, books are her great joy, and her horse is her best friend.

But not everyone on the mountain is happy to see her.

Living in a crumbing cabin at the highest, most isolated point of Ada’s route, there’s a family that catches her attention. The father keeps to the shadows. There is no mother to dote on the happy, curious children. But soon Ada comes to love them just as fiercely as the woman they lost.

And makes it her mission to bring them the world.

TENDERLY ROMANTIC.

This was a read that was recommended to me where I was a bit nervous initially diving in. The first chapter is a present moment that then flashes back to a story. I was worried we would go back and forth, but NEVER FEAR, the entire story in 1937 is told before the last chapter that flips back to the present. You won’t be taken out of the story, read away my friends!

I got completely wrapped up in the romance between Ada and Jonah. Oh my goodness it was so dang sweet. It was a slow-burn with a lot of past to work through. I LOVE having both points of view because it allowed me to really appreciate both sides. Struggling through grief, isolation, and wondering if you’ll be able to provide for your family. The hardships of this time were very much realized. It was beautiful getting some hope in this couple and the surrounding plot.

This is a historical fiction about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky! I’ve read one other book about this time and so I was happy to read another. The setting, characters and background are really well written. I felt transported to this time and felt the rawness of all that happened. A romance built on the resilience of Ada and Jonah and the love of their families (past and present) was resonating.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to open and closed door scenes
  • Violence: animal attacks, near death experiences, gun violence, physical altercations, murder, car wreck
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a spouse(s), loss of a parent(s), home invasion, domestic abuse (Ada notices this about a small side character), attempted sexual assault

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Book Review

Book Review: The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 814 pages
Author: Robert Jordan
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 15th, 1990
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

A GOOD START.

I did it! Started a new fantasy series and I am ready for more.

There is a LOT to unpack here, but I’m just going to hit the highlights. It’s the first book in a long [14 books] series. I wasn’t expecting to be wholly blown away since there clearly is a slower nature to it, but I was impressed enough to keep going. I like the world Jordan has built and appreciate that as the wheel turned I was understanding more and more about the magic system and world.

I loved meeting the heroes and getting a multi-POV set-up. I actually liked that they got separated for a bit because it helped strengthen smaller storylines and breakdown the backgrounds of other characters.

The amount of world building felt like a lot, but towards the end I think I got a handle on it. There’s a lot of traveling and seeing many cities and groups of people to really tell an adventurous tale. I’m excited to continue the series and see how things further expound. There’s an interesting prophecy at foot and some fantasy tropes I look forward to seeing!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: many skirmishes, some battle themes, physical and magical altercations, loss of loved ones, animal attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: Gild (The Plated Prisoner #1) by Raven Kennedy

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 375 pages
Author: Raven Kennedy
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.

Gold.

Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and rape. It is not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. This is book one in a series.

I READ IT.

I feel that’s a pretty good accomplishment after it took me three tries to get here.

First and foremost: skip the first chapter. It’s not of use to the story and really turned me off. So much so it took a few friends to say consider giving it one more try. I can say I’m not upset I read it and truly do want to read book two, so that’s saying something!

I liked Auren. Not the strongest main character but there’s a lot of potential there. As the book progressed you could really see her slowly move towards independent thought and unravelling her old notions. I think Auren will only grow from here.

There is absolutely zero world building until about 80%. That’s when I FINALLY got a small glimpse of the world at large. Does it really explain the magic system? Nope. Still not sure about that one. At least the world is a touch clearer. I liked defined ideas and space in fantasies and that was missing here.

Not really any romance in this book. It’s a lot more like Stockholm syndrome. I think that’s played a big part into Auren’s character and the dynamic between her and King Midas. I like that I see potential. The ending added enough oopmh that I’m excited to see what book two holds.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy romance
  • Language: strong and derogatory (a lot of the use of the word c**t)
  • Romance: open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: on page violent rape (occurs to side character), sexual assault, murder, blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: Cast in Firelight (Wickery #1) by Dana Swift

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 448 pages
Author: Dana Swift
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: January 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

UNDER THE RADAR FAVORITE.

I’m not surprised I loved this when I realized how many of my favorite tropes were flying about: enemies to lovers, arranged marriage, hidden identities, etc. YUP. It’s a gem from the get go.

I LOVE Adraa and Jatin! Adraa is such a kicka character. She’s strong and intelligent. I love how she worked toward her goals, but also accepted help. She wasn’t blind to needing others, but also could completely hold her own and her take downs were magnicient. Jatin was the best type of side-kick. Jumping into the fray, falling in love and making me absolutely SMITTEN with his care for Adraa. I love the way these two just clicked.

And when things were clearly reaching their conflict between the main characters, unnecessary drama wasn’t added!!!! I love how it was approached and that Adraa and Jatin actually had a conversation with each other without assuming the other’s thoughts. Put a perfect kissing scene on top and it really sealed the deal for how much I adored this read.

The plot isn’t widly intricate. I was interested and thought the end left enough to explore in a second book. I did really like the magic system. It was a unique play on a rainbow of magic and it was fascinating how it worked with the world building. A really great read that I definitely recommend.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical weaponry, natural disasters

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