Book Review

Book Review: Children of Fallen Gods (The War of Lost Hearts #2) by Carissa Broadbent

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 666 pages
Author: Carissa Broadbent
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 31st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

No war can be fought with clean hands. Not even the ones waged for the right reasons. Not even the ones you win.

Tisaanah bargained away her own freedom to save those she left behind in slavery. Now, bound by her blood pact, she must fight the Orders’ war — and Max is determined to protect her at all costs.

But when a betrayal tears apart Ara, Max and Tisaanah are pushed into an even bloodier conflict. Tisaanah must gamble with Reshaye’s power to claim an impossible victory. And Max, forced into leadership, must confront everything he hoped to forget: his past, and his own mysterious magic.

All the while, darker forces loom — far darker, even, than the Orders’ secrets.

As Tisaanah and Max are ensnared in a web of ancient magic and twisted secrets, one question remains: what are they willing to sacrifice for victory? For power? For love?

WHOA.

I hardly noticed this was 600 pages I was enjoying the ride so much. This is a captivating fantasy series that I am allllllll the way here for. I can’t wait to get to book three.

I like that this didn’t have the dreaded sequel issues. While still slower in nature the plot kept moving forward in turns I didn’t see coming. I loved the character growth for Tisaanah and Max AND them together! I think I would have loved even more romance (those little quiet moments I love so much), but I’m especially grateful there’s not some dumb breakup involved in this story.

There’s a bunch of moving pieces that keep unveiling themselves. I was excited about the third POV wondering why in the world it was there, but trust me, IT MATTERS. I think this was a really exciting and interesting piece to add in because it provides a lot more sustenance to the entire story.

I’m nervous to see what darkness rises in book three, and to see how my sweet couple survives.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: two open door
  • Violence: med-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, war themes, loss of life, near death experiences, possession, medical experimentation

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Book Review

Book Review: Songs of the Wicked (A Dreamer’s Misfortune #1) by C.A. Farran

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 703 pages
Author: C.A. Farran
Publisher: Sylvan Ink Press LLC
Release Date: January 22nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Fear is not my master. I will never submit.

A grave threat looms over the mortal world. The veil that separates the realms has weakened over time, and monsters-Undesirables-claw their way out of the Netherworld to torment the living. What once dwelled in whispered stories now stalks the shadows. The only guard against chaos is balance.

Reapers are duty bound to uphold that balance, tasked with guiding mortal souls to the afterlife. Lark secretly dreams of shedding her immortal chains and forging her own path. She’s captivated by the humans and envies their freedom, their passion, their anguish. Her master, Thanar, god of death, forbids this fascination and demands her utmost loyalty.

When Lark encounters a mortal whose fire and suffering awakens something in her, she denies fate and saves him, refusing to guide him to his death.

To escape Thanar’s wrath, Lark makes a deal with the witch-queen of the Netherworld and is remade as human-trading her power for mortality. She flees through the veil and enters the land of the living, unaware she isn’t the only one freed from the clutches of the Netherworld.

Songs of the Wicked is a New Adult dark reimagining of the Little Mermaid.

STUNNING.

I’m always hesitant to start fantasies over 500 pages (though let’s be honest, that’s also MY JAM). And then most of the time, I find myself completely engrossed in the story not realizing I’ve spent so much time with a new favorite.

This was a fantastic read. Great writing and characterization. I am alllll about the characters and the found family here was WONDERFUL. I loved Lark and her progression throughout everything thrown her way. She was resilient and yet, always remained kind and I can’t get enough of that type of FMC.

Enter in one of the slowest burns ever with Gavriel and I was smitten. If at anytime I here myself say, KISS ALREADY, I know it’s good. And it happened here multiple times. There relationship is so complex and I am very curious how it continues to evolve as the series progresses.

There is a very nuanced Little Mermaid vibe. If you’ve watched the movie enough times it was fun to notice the subtle ways Farran threw in nods and allusions to the tale. While I would have definitely appreciated some actual mermaids, I was pleased with everything else!

The plot is thick with many layers. I thought the world building was written well. Not overly convoluted, but spaced out without info dumping to really allow for the build that this story took. I’m excited to see what book two holds.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of rape (in initial scenes, side character), kidnapping, loss of loved ones, weapons violence, physical altercations, creature attacks, imprisonment

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Book Review

Book Review: A Tale of Stars and Shadow (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #1) by Lisa Cassidy

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 500 pages
Author: Lisa Cassidy
Publisher: Tate House
Release Date: May 18th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Dumnorix princess and born warrior, Talyn Dynan was the finest fighter of her generation. With her Callanan partner at her side, she was invincible, reckless, a death-knell to their enemies. But after her partner is torn away from her, Talyn is left broken, wracked with guilt and unable to regain the confidence she once had. Could an unexpected mission to the mysterious country of Mithranar, home of the magical winged folk, be the thing that saves her? Or will the danger and secrets she finds there finally break her completely?

The Shadowhawk lives a life in the shadows. Constantly hunted for his criminal exploits, yet desperate to help the human folk of Mithranar who are oppressed by their winged folk rulers, he haunts the streets of Dock City. The arrival of a foreign warrior threatens to upset the carefully balanced life he leads, but when she begins to offer a hope for the humans he’s only ever dreamed of, can he risk trusting her?

And unbeknownst to both, a mysterious foe stalks the dark corners of Dock City. One that answers to a single purpose…

Vengeance. 

I. AM. HOOKED.

I have had a friend beg me for months now to read this series. OHHHHH BOY WHY DID I WAIT.

I loved this?! It had all the things I love about adult fantasy!!

The rag tag group of criminals turned found family warriors is my kind of jam, ALWAYS. I loved this group and how the butting heads turned to watching each other’s back. It was powerful and they made me smile and want to shake them. I can’t wait to see this group continue to blossom.

I adored our main character Talyn! Coping with the loss of her battle partner she is adrift and forced to create a new protection force for the prince. I loved her tenacity and strength. The way she kept getting back up and worked hard. Talyn is intelligent and just full of the things I need in a FMC. I am stoked to continue her story.

Shadowhawk?? OHMGEEEEEE. I had a million theories and I am happy to say many of them were correct. I loved his character development as well and the part he plays in the larger scheme of things.

I need more. more. more. and will be continuing this series ASAP. This first book is severely underrated.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: weapons violence, attempted kidnappings, attempted rape (brief scene with side characters), assault, loss of loved ones, grief and depression depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: The Phoenix Priest (The Blood and Water Saga #2) by Cassidy Clarke

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 780 pages
Author: Cassidy Clarke
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 22nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Elias Loch has nothing left to believe in.

After the loss of his battlemate, all he wants is to go home to Nyx and lose himself to grief. But when the Goddess of Death summons him to Artem, a kingdom of fire and steel, he finds himself plunged into a series of trials to earn him and his princely companion an audience with Artem’s Empress—trials that will force him to confront what it truly means to have faith in his goddess…and himself.

Finnick Atlas is playing a game against the gods, and he’s used up all his cheats.

Burdened by his new title and the two gods walking his halls, he needs to be at the top of his game to keep control over his kingdom. But with a maddening magic threatening to steal what’s left of his sanity, a goddess puppeting his little sister’s body for nefarious ends, and an arranged marriage with the Queen of Lapis looming on the horizon, he’s running out of sleeves to slip aces into. Luckily, a new friend from the Lapisian delegation may just be the key to winning all his games…if he can trick a worshipper of the Trickster Goddess.

Soren Nyx can’t seem to die.

Trapped inside her own body, she has only one goal left: to keep Anima, Goddess of Life, from seeing into her memories and finding her family’s weaknesses. But retreating into the depths of her own mind has unintended consequences, and with the help of an old friend, Soren must navigate the lost memories of her childhood as Soleil, all with one question in mind: will she finally give in to the death that’s been chasing her since girlhood, or will she rise again as someone new?

READ THIS SERIES.

I am so impressed by this series. 800 pages and I hardly notice. I love the writing. It’s captivating and keeps the pace moving. The characters are extremely easy to get attached to and I can’t believe some of the things that happened this round?! NOT OKAY.

I love how much depth we got from many characters. Specifically this time, Elias. He went through the ringer (and fire, literal fire) and now I can see just how strong of a character role he’s going to continue to play. And his bromance with Kallias? ADORE!!!!! We stan strong friendships. Moving towards Kallias, do I spy a romance? The slow burn is torturous, but oh so good.

MY SWEET BABY FINN. Easily my favorite character for this book. Wow his story took so many turns. I loved it. I love his morally gray, but fiercely protective self. My heart hurts for where his arc may lead. I need him comforted ASAP.

The plot moved beautifully. A mix of action and politicking. Sneaking out at night and creatures coming out of the woodwork. I loved the changes in scenery and all of the new characters that I got to meet. Everyone felt pertinent to the story and only added to how much I love reading these books.

ADD TO YOUR TBR ASAP PLEASE.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: med/high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, torture, physical altercations, creature attacks, near death experiences, poison, grief depiction

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