Book Review

Book Review: Crystal Caged (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #5) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: NA Fantasy
Length: 426 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: March 11th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The highly anticipated and breathtaking finale of Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova.

One way or another… she will be the end of the world.

With powers that weren’t supposed to be touched by mortal hands, Vi Solaris is determined to free herself and the world from the deadly vortex it’s trapped in. This mission has taken her to forbidden lands and has transformed her from a sheltered princess to a fearsome warrior.

But the ultimate triumph requires the ultimate sacrifice, forcing Vi to choose between the last tethers to her humanity and the very people she’s sworn to protect.

Vi’s story of magic, sacrifice, triumph, and love reaches its epic conclusion in Crystal Caged. Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles should be read in order:Vortex Visions Chosen Champion Failed Future Sovereign Sacrifice Crystal Caged

FINALLY FINISHED.

It’s no secret I LOVE the original Air Awakens series (for real, please go read this). So I dived into this one thinking I would at least really like it, and I am sad that it overall was a let down. To show you, it took me 4 days to read the original 5 books, and 2 years to finish this series.

My biggest issue was the entire basis for the plot. I never got fully behind it. It continues after the first series, and yet, twists back to it as well? I don’t know. Things became very convoluted and I found myself staring down an enigma that I just didn’t feel like solving.

The romance was great at least. I adored Taavin. He was tender and kind. Full of support for Vi, but also willing to go toe-to-toe with her if needed. I thought they were a true match and grateful the ending worked out for them (I thought it was heading in a different direction and I was going to riot). This ship was the high point throughout the books and kept me going when I wasn’t interested in the wider story.

I mostly read this to read the next series in this world (you don’t have to do that, but I’m, in general, a big Kova fan so why not?). I’m ready to move on and see what A Trial of Sorcerers has in store for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed and brief open
  • Violence: physical altercations, loss of loved ones, weaponry, magical attacks, near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 374 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: August 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?

THIS COVER IS EVERYTHING.

I can’t help my obsession with this cover. It’s just gorgeous. Every time I pulled up this book to read I stared at it some more because I couldn’t have enough. It is what it is.

ANYWAYS, I guess I’ll discuss the book now.

The first half was realllll slow. Really slow. The romantic slow build up was working for me, but the plot slow build with the Fae lands was not. They kept clashing and I didn’t know how I was going to enjoy it by the end.

Cue the second half. Much appreciated that this got a lot of momentum and was actually interesting. Once the blindfolds were removed, hot dang the chemistry between Katria and Davien was finally able to take off. THANK HEAVENS.

After that it did become fairly predictable (it’s a Cinderella retelling). Which can be bad and good. I really did end up loving the romance between Katira and Davien and felt that passion and tension. They were pretty enigmatic and I felt caught up in Davien’s vivid green eyes myself (see, cover obsession acknowledgement prior). Katria also got a much needed character arc before my frustrations grew anymore. I’m really handing this star ranking over to the second half of this book. It’s whimsical, it’s romantic, and I do like the set-up for book three.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance / Retelling
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to brief open
  • Violence: physical altercations, weaponry, kidnapping, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, child abuse

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Hunt of Shadows (A Trial of Sorcerers #2) by Elise Kova

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 382 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: March 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The second book in A Trial of Sorcerers is filled with forbidden magic, shadowy intrigue, heart-pounding action, and slow-burn romance.

Eira is now a champion of the Solaris Empire. She’s off to a land she’s only dreamed about. But a nightmare awaits her.

Her sworn enemy has escaped. His allies are powerful and deadly. And Eira finds herself tangled in the dangerous web of the undercity of Risen where the mysterious Court of Shadows and lethal Pillars battle for the fate of the kingdom.

But vengeance has a price. When Eira is captured by her enemies, it’s not only her life, but the lives of her friends, and the man she loves most, at stake. The woman she was won’t be enough to turn the tides churning against her from long before she was born. She’ll have to become something more. She’ll have to love deeper and fight fiercer than ever before.

The only way to kill a legendary champion, will be to become one herself.

Experience Eira’s adventure in the A Trial of Sorcerers series by USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova today, for readers who enjoy young adult, epic fantasy, filled with sorcery, deep friendships, forbidden romance, and tales of faraway lands.

A Hunt of Shadows takes place after the events of A Trial of Sorcerers. Readers should begin with A Trial of Sorcerers before reading A Hunt of Shadows.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

A JOURNEY.

Kova really likes to hit you with the punches in the end ya know? My heart is hurting after that ending. I knew something was coming and now I have to contend with waiting until next year for more answers for my love birds! THE AUDACITY.

I loved the journey Eira went on as a character. Heck bent on revenge at the beginning she learns over time to open up and rely on others. I liked her acknowledgement of her faults and the way she unfurled as a force to content with. I adored all of her friendships. I love a strong friend group and even the more salty characters are charming and perfectly placed.

The plot slowed in the middle with all of the Court of Shadows talk. It took up a lot of space and dragged for a bit. That was my only major complaint. I think a little more build up in the romance before things got heated would have been nice too. But that made more sense with the ending and subsequent plot lines so I’ll let that one slide.

I absolutely hate all of these villains. Yet I love that I hate them. The writing here is amazing at really building up that awfulness and dread every time The Pillars come into play. They’re terrific antagonists and I can’t wait for the ultimate takedown.

This series is full of action and heart. Romance and friendships. Twists and turns and the cliffhangers I have come to expect. I love this universe and can’t wait for the next book!!

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: one vague open door
  • Violence: mild gore/blood
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual harassment, torture, fire explosions resulting in loss of life, kidnapping

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Book Review

Book Review: A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: NA Fantasy
Length: 355 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: March 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Ice is in her blood.

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.

This is the first book in a young adult, epic fantasy that’s a tale of competition, coming of age, distant lands, elemental magic, and romance. It’s perfect for fans of the Legend of Korra, Truthwitch, and A Sorcery of Thorns.

WELCOME BACK TO SOLARIS.

Ahhhhh I’m so happy I loved this one. I LOVE AIR AWAKENS WITH MY WHOLE BOOKISH SOUL. And when the Vortex Chronicles let me down I didn’t know what to expect with A Trial of Sorcerers. Thank heavens it was a HIT.

I felt a reawakening of my love for Kova’s writing and expert slow burn and torturous romance scenarios. I loved Eira. I loved how much she learned to believe in herself and stand up on her own. I also felt like there were some nods to Elsa from Frozen. I love a bad-a ice queen so no complaints here. It was delightful.

Completely tortured by a love triangle where I just KNEW what was going to happen and wasn’t surprised (but not in a bad way) when things unfolded as they did. I honestly would have been upset otherwise. I can’t wait for more of Cullen. ALL THE CULLEN.

The plot is intricate and I’m amazed how easily another story in this universe has been unwoven. I think it’s going to be another great series ahead and I am anxious for book two.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one (on page), near death experiences

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