Book Review

Book Review: The Song of the Marked (Shadows and Crowns #1) by S.M. Gaither

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 512 pages
Author: S.M. Gaither
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 17th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


An ancient evil is stirring. The old gods are growing restless. Can she stop the coming storm?

A Devastating Sickness

For decades, the Kethran Empire has been plagued by a strange illness that leaches the very life and soul from its victims.

The Girl Who Survived

Casia is one of the Fade-Marked—one of the few people who caught this sickness and lived. Why she lived is a mystery even to her and the outcast crew of mercenaries she calls her family. It also makes her an intriguing target for the young, enigmatic king-emperor, who claims he wants to work alongside her to find a cure.

Unfortunately, working alongside him also means working with the handsome but infuriating captain of one of the most prestigious branches of the Kethran Army.

A Soldier With No Past

This infuriating Captain Elander also has secrets: A past that Cas can’t seem to uncover, a powerful but strange brand of magic, and a deep distrust of the very monarch that he’s sworn to serve. She feels oddly drawn to him in spite of these things…

But can she really trust him?

The Fate of an Empire

As the bodies pile up and strange monsters begin to wreak havoc throughout the realms, Cas and Elander will have to work together to protect their world whether they trust one another or not. Because one thing is clear: Something ancient and evil is stirring in the shadows of Kethra.

And the empire will not survive its full unleashing.

But how can they save a world where nothing and no one is what they seem to be— including Cas herself?


I’m always looking for a fantasy series to dive into, and this one is it. It was SO DANG GOOD. And the audio book was fantastic. Highly recommend that avenue if you’re interested. I flew through this fast. The pacing was well intentioned and never felt like a drag. I love the high stakes action and the plot itself. Gimme book two ASAP.

Of course, one of my favorite aspects is the enemies to lovers trope. It’s heated and tangled. Left me begging for them to actually kiss and then contemplating what I was supposed to do with AN ENDING LIKE THAT. It’s going to be a long haul and I am here for it.

I love a strong female main character and Cas IS THAT WOMAN. She takes charge, occasionally runs off into danger, but is fiercely loyal and is just looking for answers to save her loved ones. Cas got in on the action and drove this book forward with her stubborn tenacity. Can’t get enough of her. There’s been some mention of Throne of Glass vibes and I can definitely see that here (in a great way).

The ending left me reeling and I am not coping well waiting for the next book. I’m excited to continue this series because that first book was a hidden gem.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: brief open door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, creature attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: blood/gore depiction, loss of loved ones, a wasting sickness

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Book Review

Book Review: Glint (The Plated Prisoner #2) by Raven Kennedy

Rating: ☆☆☆1/2
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 441 pages
Author: Raven Kennedy
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 11th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


“You want to make your life easier? Then be the caged bird that you are and sing.”

For ten years, I’ve lived in a gilded cage inside King Midas’s golden castle. But one night changed everything.

Now I’m here, a prisoner of Fourth Kingdom’s army, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out of this in one piece. They’re marching to battle, and I’m the bargaining chip that will either douse the fire or spark a war.

At the heart of my fear, my worry, there’s him—Commander Rip.

Known for his brutality on the battlefield, his viciousness is unsurpassed. But I know the truth about what he is.


The betrayers. The murderers. The ones who nearly destroyed Orea, wiping out Seventh Kingdom in the process. Rip has power sizzling beneath this skin and glinting spikes down his spine. But his eyes—his eyes are the most compelling of all.

When he turns those black eyes on me, I feel captive for an entirely different reason.

I may be out of my cage, but I’m not free, not even close. In the game of kings and armies, I’m the gilded pawn. The question is, can I out maneuver them?

This is the captivating second book of The Plated Prisoner series. It’s an adult epic fantasy story blending romance, intrigue, and beautiful imagery. Return to the seductive story of magic inspired by the myth of King Midas, and get caught up in the world of Orea.

Please note: There is explicit language and romance in this book, not suitable for those under the age of 18.


That’s the gist of this plot. Things started off well. Literally right where book one ended. But then, while with the enemy army, Auren basically spent the entire time trying to find a hawk. That’s what I got out of this.

I thought there would be a lot more something. Even the one love scene was between a side couple? Soooo not even a romance plot change? Somehow I kept reading, the writing has that kind of quality about it. I’m just sitting here typing realizing not all that much happened and it’s a bit annoying.

Rip was one of the best parts of this book. I love a fae warrior. I would have loved even more of him and his story with Auren! I see hints of where it’s going, but as always, gimme mooooore.

The ending ramped up at least. While highly predictable, it does add another layer to the story so YAY. I’m curious how that actually plays out in book three, which yes, I am going to read too. A pretty bland edition to the series that’s making this review hard to write because of the lack of things to discuss.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: one open door
  • Violence: murder, physical altercations

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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


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.


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: Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic Fantasy
Length: 1087 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance, Book Two of the Stormlight Archive, continues the immersive fantasy epic that The Way of Kings began.

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.


This is one of those books where yes, 1087 pages is a lot, but 1087 is necessary to make this book the amazing story it is. Every dang page, every dang word, is WORTH IT. I read this slowly over a month taking my time to savor the story. There is so much here and everything is woven together intricately to create the Cosmere.

It’s hard for me to put into words a review because SO MUCH HAPPENED. And also it’s one of those trust me and read this if you love fantasy books type of situations. It’s better not having all the details. These characters will swarm your heart leaving you with no option other than to love them (and hate a few, but they meet some good endings).

Kaladin is my cinnamon roll that I CAN NOT HANDLE. This guy has been through hell and back and watching his transformation just from book one to book two is fantastic. I’m praying he survives all 10 books because I need him too.

The Kholin family is also getting some top marks. Dalinar, Adolin, Jasnah, Renarin. They are allllll stunners. I love how there is a wide expanse of age groups here and each character holds their own space in the story. Nobody is wasted by being thrown in casually.

Also, Shallan guys. In Way of Kings, we got flashbacks of Kaladin’s life. In Words of Radiance, we got Shallan’s backstory. If it’s a theme to have a character backstory woven into each book, then I AM HERE FOR IT. I loved getting to know her more and really started to appreciate her as a character.

THIS WORLD BUILDING IS INSANE. I can’t say that enough. I’ve heard it takes him years to write these books and I wouldn’t doubt that for a second. I can only imagine the thought and process it takes to make this elaborate of a world.

If you love fantasy books and want to take a chance on reading something big, try these. Trust me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: ass used once
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: war, battle, swords, assassination attempts, magic, elemental magic, storms

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