Book Review

Book Review: This Woven Kingdom (This Woven Kingdom #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: February 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.

The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world.

Clashing empires, forbidden romance, and a long-forgotten queen destined to save her people—bestselling author Tahereh Mafi’s first in an epic, romantic trilogy inspired by Persian mythology.

NOT A BAD START.

Ah, this book felt like a YA fantasy hug. All of the tropes and themes I love. The enjoyable predictable nature of it all. This was a great opening to a new series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the books.

I listened to the audio and loved it if you’re looking for a new book to read!

Back to the story here, I adored Alizeh and Kamran. Alizeh is just trying to survive and keep hidden in the shadows not telling anyone where she comes from. Enter Kamran, a bold prince who is captivated by Alizeh. I did think the pacing for this romance was a bit quick for me, so we’ll see how the other books shake out (especially after that ending!!).

The writing was wonderful as always. Engaging and kept a steady pace. I don’t remember any major lulls or dull moments. Consistent development and world-building were another great feature and something I love in my fantasy reads. The mythology was interesting and I loved all of those editions as too.

I always love a lost queen, a duty-bound prince and a forbidden romance.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: abuse, injury, death of a parent, light blood/gore

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer #1) by Breeana Shields

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Breeana Shields
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

CAUGHT UP IN THIS ONE.

Oh wow. I read this from a friend’s recommendation and Y’ALL. TBR STAT.

I found this to be such an easy read. I loved the magic system. Things made sense and was unique. It was twisted and set-up in a way that I was worried it would be confusing, but turns out…it worked out perfectly.

It’s told from two divergent timelines. One if Saskia made one choice, and one if she went on a different path. I loved how this played out! Even while reading the chapters it was straight forward as to which voice was narrating. And the way they combined hit everything right. I haven’t read a timeline like this that worked out so beautifully.

There’s a soft and slow romance throughout that was tender and sweet. Bram stole my heart (and Saskia’s) and someone needs to tell me they get a happy ending.

The book has a lot of dark tones and ambiance. The villain was an absolute type who took a bit to see coming. I liked that they fit into the story well and their corrupt nature kept me on my toes. I really can’t wait to read book two and see how everything ends!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: death, intense murder scenes; generally a bit morbid

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Romance
Length: 489 pages
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

WORTH THE HYPE.

Without a doubt. If you’ve been on the fence about reading this one (like I was), give it a try.

I feel like this review will be hard to put into words because there’s so much here!! Holy cow, I wanted to highlight every other paragraph in this book. I loved the internal conflict and resolutions, the characters, the story and drama, how the further I went the more enamored and unable to put it down it became.

It does start off a little slow yes, but I found the more I read it settled in. This is a journey, more than the story itself, of Addie, Henry and Luc. Goodness, I can’t help it, I LOVED Luc. I really wish there was more to his background. What a complex character from the get-go. Henry was fantastic as well. He and Addie fit together like puzzle pieces and it was hard not to fall to pieces by the end. I adored Addie too. The resilience to go 300 years with the deal she made was unbelievable. These three working together and apart brought it home. This is a heavily character driven story. The wider plot isn’t as much there as it is about what these characters mean to each other.

Addie had absolutely beautiful writing. It draws you in immediately. Filled with so many moments that will pull at every heart string. I was feeling every little thing by the time those last few chapters rolled around. It’s an interesting conclusion that left me with some questions, but also satisfied. I closed the book knowing just how magnificent of a story I’d finished.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Romance
  • Language: a little throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few closed door & a few little detailed open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: attempted assault, abuse, loss of a loved one, substance abuse, depression, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 743 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: July 1st, 1992
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the author of Outlander… a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland…

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones …about a love that transcends the boundaries of time …and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart …in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising …and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

TALK ABOUT SOUL CRUSHING.

I was warned 100 times over that the ending would make me sob and that it would rip my heart out. I can’t say I sobbed (which I will explain why), but I definitely had plenty of emotions coursing through me with that finale.

Okay, why I didn’t cry. The set-up. I wish organization of the book was a bit different. That was my only complaint for this book and I’m curious how the next novels will continue. By adding in the present time section in the beginning it already gave me an inkling as to what was going to take place over the book. So by the time it happened, the writing was beautiful and made me invested, BUT, I also knew what was coming and with 6 more books [currently, I heard she’s writing a 9th one] there’s clearly more to the story.

Jamie and Claire. Ohhh I’m starting to love their relationship more and more. Since it was incredibly rocky at first I struggled to connect with them. Now that I’ve got nearly 2,000 pages of them together, I’m feeling it. Jamie is bold, brash and incredibly tender-hearted. He smooths my soul and makes me want to throw things at him (I feel you Claire). It’s a great combination that keeps me wanting more. I love Claire’s nature and passion. Still think she’s crazy for choosing to stay in Scotland, but it’s fine. Claire makes her own path and I will follower her gladly.

SO MUCH HAPPENED in this book. Oh wow, I could barely keep up, even with it being a slower read. What I finally started grasping by the end was the understanding of the aristocracy and royalty in France, Scotland, England, etc. I don’t know much about this history and the amount of people that are included can be a wee bit mind-boggling. Now that I have a firmer knowledge I think subsequent books will go much more smoothly.

Truly another fantastical tale. I am smitten with all thing Scottish now.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; a few detailed love scenes
  • Violence: battles, swords, be-headings, hangings, physical; see trigger warnings
  • Trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, miscarriage, mentions of abortions (by a side character, not Claire); PTSD for prior sexual assault and rape [There are a lot and I apologize if I missed any]

Instagram || Goodreads