Book Review

Book Review: Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf Books
Release Date: July 6th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A princess in exile, the boy she left at the altar, six enchanted cranes, and a dragon from the deepest sea.

Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne–a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain–no matter what it costs her.

From the author of Spin the Dawn comes a breathtakingly original fantasy inspired by East Asian folklore and perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo or Tomi Adeyemi.

STUNNING.

I looooved this y’all!!!! I think it could easily be my new favorite of Lim’s.

It was extremely well written. I flew through this. And for a fantasy that’s not an easy feat. The writing style is engaging and smooth. I was caught up from the first few chapters because who doesn’t love someone running away from their arranged marriage?

There definitely was a subtle romance that I adored. It was so dang sweet!! Perfectly fit the story and didn’t feel forced. The progression matched the expectations and I can’t wait to see it blossom in the next book.

While there is a little romance, the bigger focus is on the sibling relationship of Shiori and all of her brothers. I liked the approach to their dynamics and how the fought and loved well. There was incorporation of many fairytales that I can recognize the tiny additions. It was neat to look up the many different ones and see how they were used.

I love the complicated morally gray step-mother. What started off as an obvious evil step-mother plot became much more nuanced and layered. She played a much bigger roll than I initially thought. It’s always great having a villain who gives is as complex as the rest of the cast.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: almost kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical weaponry, poison, curses, loss of loved ones

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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

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Book Talk

Bookish Things: Library Book Haul

I haven’t been to the library in a few months because I received so many gift cards for books for my birthday and Christmas that I didn’t need to go (my family gets me).

Now, sadly those cards are winding down and I decided that I wanted to grab some books from the library that I wasn’t quite sure about buying.

This took so long in deciding though because my library is currently 25 minutes away. They’re remodeling the one that is only FIVE minutes away for a few more months. And with a wiggly toddler it was an adventure to get out there. This boot I’m still stuck in made it even more comical trying to manage her and all the books I wanted.

Nobody should let me into a library unsupervised. I had requested five books, but upon perusing the shelves I picked up three more. I have no regrets. I will finish all of them in three weeks!…I hope.

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)

Why I wanted to read it: It wasn’t a book I was originally going to grab, but I saw and figured why not? I actually already read it and enjoyed it. The novella was absolutely adorable.

Synopsis:

In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Why I wanted to read it: Purely, #bookstagrammademedoit, it sounded like the perfect enemies to lovers trope though, so I’m not mad I borrowed it!

Synopsis:

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Why I wanted to read it: I had this on my TBR years ago, took it off, then added it back after hearing about Dark Shores. I’m really interested to see what Jensen’s books are like!

Synopsis:

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…

The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May

Why I wanted to read it: Purely fae. I’ve heard some mixed things, but this is what’s great about a library! No guilt if I end up not loving it.

Synopsis:

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Why I wanted to read it: A bookstagram friend recommended this to me after I mentioned how much I enjoyed Warbreaker. Since it was available at the library I went ahead and grabbed it!

Synopsis:

Age of Myth inaugurates another six-book series set in Elan.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin Beaty

Why I want to read it: This book vaguely seemed like The Winner’s Curse (one of my all time fav series), so I’m going to find out!

Synopsis:

An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom. 

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Why I want to read it: I saw this on a few Bookstagram’s and became really curious. It also sounds totally trippy which is up my alley.

Synopsis:

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned. 

Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what? 

Storm Siren (Storm Siren #1) by Mary Weber

Why I want to read it: I know NOTHING about this book, and I’m kinda excited about it. I simply saw the book and grabbed it. Reminded me of Roar by Cora Carmack.

Synopsis:

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Have you read any of these? Which do you think I should get to first? Let’s talk in the comments!

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