Book Review

Book Review: A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1) by Elisa Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 338 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: November 6th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Uprooted, this stand-alone, fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the Elf King is impossible to put down!

The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

A Deal with the Elf King is a complete, stand-alone novel, inspired by the tales of Hades and Persephone, as well as Beauty and the Beast, with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for fantasy romance fans looking for just the right amount of steam and their next slow-burn and swoon-worthy couple.

ROMANTIC.

This was pretty good! I enjoyed some aspects, but had some issues with others. Overall, I’m excited to see where this series goes. I love Elisa Kova’s work and was definitely excited for a new series from her.

I was smitten with Eldas. My brooding, dark king with a soft side. His character development went beautifully over the course of a shorter standalone. He was the gem between him and Luella. Because Luella, Luella annoyed me. Ugh. I liked her on and off throughout. Her naivety (read: stubbornness) about many things made wish she would catch on a touch quicker. Luella communicated well, but not at times she should have that came off as just an attempt to lengthen the story.

The story was great. I love elves and faeries. I am always here for a fantasy romance. I enjoyed the quick pace and that it didn’t feel too rushed. The romance was developed well and I definitely was shouting at my book by the time we got to the there’s only one bed scene. I would have really loved even more scenes with Eldas and Luella because they had great chemistry and banter that I couldn’t get enough of. This made the middle kind of drag and have some sub-plots that took too long to workout, but otherwise, a good read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few low detailed love scenes
  • Violence: drug addiction, physical altercations, magic attacks, animal attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Fiction Romance
Length: 993 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delta
Release Date: September 27th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future. 

HURTS SO GOOD.

That’s this series so far to me. Heart strings continually pulled, near-death moments, kidnappings, murders, the threat of war, oh my goodness, how do I even keep up? How do I even look away? The answer: YA DON’T. I have been swept up in another great Outlander installment and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love the slow pace and intricate story telling. The ability for this book to span hundreds of pages and an immense amount of information, yet keep me enthralled is no small feat. This series is a gem.

Jamie and Claire y’all. How I continue to love them more and more. Oh yes, I will say there romance is timeless. I can’t get enough of them fighting for each other, being together, working as one, and more. Same with Bri and Roger. Good heavens I’m hooked on them too, and now I NEED TO KNOW WHERE WE GO FROM HERE.

I don’t know where book seven will lead, but I’m here for the ride. This review is short because it feels impossible to cover so much and convey to y’all to read it (without spoilers at this point). It’s entrancing, and will have you completely wrapped up.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: a handful of scenes ranging from kissing to open-door love scenes (brief and extended)
  • Violence: see TW/CW below; physical altercations, guns, thievery
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, slavery, torture, kidnapping, arson, murder (including a pregnant woman), suicide attempt, suicide ideation [I know I have missed some; please research and take caution before reading this series]

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison #2) by Natalie Mae

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (potentially 5☆)
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Author: Natalie Mae
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 15th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this sequel to The Kinder Poison–which People magazine proclaimed a “delicious high-stakes adventure”–the magical kingdom of Orkena is on the brink of war, and the only person who can save it is Zahru, the girl they once doomed for death.

After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?

Thank you to PenguinTeen [Razorbill] and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

SOMEONE TELL ME I GET ANOTHER BOOK.

No, but really.

If that’s the way this is ending I am definitely taking my rating down because that is cruel (ohhhh I did not see that pun coming).

If there’s another book, THEN HOT DANG, I STILL HAVE A CHANCE.

I have found a love triangle I am here for. And a villain with some remorse. These are the moments I am loving. This was a book I couldn’t put down. As soon as the first few chapters rolled by and I remembered everything that happened I was attached to the continuation. Maybe the plot wasn’t the strongest, but these characters are stunningly complex and I LOVE THAT.

I am so endgame for a particular couple in here (and if you know me you probably can guess, but I don’t want to spoil for anyone who read this). AND I JUST NEED IT TO HAPPEN. It will send this book next level because frankly, I’m intensely attached to this scenario.

This was beautifully written and rarely felt like it was diving into second book syndrome. Instead I saw growth on many fronts. I think the story is solid and like I mentioned earlier, realllllly needs a third book to wrap everything up. I want (read: NEED) more. This was entertaining and the writing made it feel like such a quick read. I was surprised how quickly I flew through it. Zahru was a great main character and had me laughing at her jokes and commentary. I to, am easily persuaded when desserts are involved.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, knives/swords, skirmishes, animal attacks, poison, assassination attempts; not overly bloody/gory

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Book Review

Book Review: Sinking City (The Skilled #1) by Megan Walker and Janci Patterson

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA Urban Fantasy
Length: 315 pages
Author: Megan Walker and Janci Patterson
Publisher: Garden Ninja Books
Release Date: October 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

On the streets of Venice, magic burns and wars wage, while powerful illusions and mind-bending magic keep the world of The Skilled hidden from ordinary people—or typics. The powerful Mardova Family rules Venice with an iron fist, keeping their powers secret and their eyes on their enemies.

Zan Mardova would rather use his magical Skills to do tricks on his motorcycle or fly over buildings than involve himself in Family politics, but when he discovers a rival Family has brainwashed a beautiful typic girl named Ellie, he begins to unravel a web of dangerous secrets with Ellie at the center. Zan’s loyalty has always been to the Mardovas and the fate of Venice, but as Zan’s feelings for Ellie grow, he can no longer ignore his suspicions about members of his own Family.

Even in a city as narrow and twisting as Venice, secrets can’t stay buried forever. Zan fears there’s a traitor in the Mardova Family—and it might be him.

Thank you to one of the authors, Megan Walker, for a copy in exchange or a review. All opinions are my own!

WELL.

This was unfortunately disappointing. Urban fantasy is a tough genre for me to get into, and that how it felt here too. I do think a younger audience would be more into some of the tropes/story lines than I was though.

Insta-romance abounded for these two teens. There was one cute date, and then BAM. Couldn’t be without each other. It wasn’t that Zan and Ellie didn’t have chemistry, I just wanted more of a build-up with them, a little more angst. So much was trying to happen at once that this story line fell to the side and then felt disjointed.

There’s a lot of action! Sinking City keeps you busy. The nature behind the magic system was interesting and I appreciated that it seemed to have clear definitions on what could/could not be accomplished. It always seems more ridiculous when magic doesn’t have boundaries so I’m glad they were present here. The Italian setting was nice too. It was a nice wanderlust adventure around the cities.

I liked Zan as a main character. I think he holds a lot of promise for the next book in growth and coming into his power. Ellie, on the other hand, needs to drop the damsel in distress vibes. There were many times she admitted it as well and I get annoyed when a character can’t take care of themselves (I’m cool with them learning/growing into it, but this was a continual issue).

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Urban Fantasy
  • Language: a little; light
  • Romance: Kisses
  • Violence: murder, magical attacks, physical altercations, guns
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one

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