Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Godborn and the King (The Raven and the Dove #4) by Kaitlyn Davis

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 486 pages
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 23rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Return to the world of The Raven and the Dove, where winged people rule the skies, a lost kingdom lives at sea, and two star-crossed lovers hold the fate of each in their palms. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

A love written in the stars…

Thrown into a world of claws and flame, Lyana and Rafe must work together to survive. Dragons abound. Danger lurks. And the hybrids are out for blood. But perhaps more terrifying are the questions in their hearts. Are they ready to lead? Were they ever truly in love? Or with the prophecy realized, will everything they thought they had fall apart?

A clash five hundred years in the making…

With the isles now returned to the sea, two worlds have become one. The avians will do anything to protect their homes. The mages will do anything to take them. And without a king or queen of prophecy to guide them, peace is no longer an option. Xander must decide where his loyalties lie—with the ravens he’s sworn to serve or the woman he can’t help but love.

Find the chosen one or face the end of everything…

Deep in the skryr’s dreams, Cassi bears witness to the prophetess’s final vision. A rift mage lives and Cassi is the only one with the power to find her. She’ll sacrifice anything to save the world, including her future with Xander, but even the queen of secrets never anticipated the mysteries waiting for her in the mist. 

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

WHAT A CONCLUSION.

I’ve been enjoying this series since the start and I am so excited to be able to say I loved the conclusion. It had a lot of things I look for in a finale and gave me all the feels.

I adored these romances. Rafe & Lyana getting some alone time and finding an even deeper bond between them. Xander & Cassi both looking past their faults and seeing how strong they can be on their own and together. YES TO ALL THE ABOVE. I thought Brighty’s romance was sweet too, but it wasn’t well developed. It was like one chapter she saw the other woman and was interested, and the next, confession of love. I just wanted more build-up there, but I’m glad she found someone too.

The plot stayed moving. I know I’m not loving a book if I find myself skimming to dialogue, this was not the case for me here. I wanted to take in every word and enjoy the story’s pace and the unfolding drama. Plenty of action, moments to cheer, moments that had me gasping all barreling towards an ending that’s easy to be satisfied with. I would have loved a bit more from Rafe and Lyana in regards to the plot. They were stuck somewhere else for so long that I feel they missed out on a lot. I know part of the ending with them will be polarizing but I LOVED it. I thought it made a lot of sense and got me alllllll in the feels.

Great read, I seriously can’t wait to see what Davis writes next. I’m glad I hopped onto this fantasy romance because it’s a gem. If you haven’t added to your TBR already, now it’s complete so you SHOULD DO IT.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: vague and brief open door
  • Violence: mild to mid-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, loss of loved ones, kidnapping, torture, near death experiences

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess (The Celestial Kingdom Duology #1) by Sue Lynn Tan

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Sue Lynn Tan
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 11th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

ALL THE STARS.

I can’t believe this book wasn’t on my radar until I read it for a book club.

HOLY COW IT WAS AMAAAAAAAZING. WHAT A DEBUT.

I LOVED the character growth that Xingyin exhibited. From the beginning until the end she grew in strength, resilience, listening to her soul to make the next right move. I couldn’t get enough. Xingyin is fantastic and the kind of fantasy heroine I want to always read about.

The ROMANCE. I ENJOYED A LOVE TRIANGLE?! Who am I? This is a testament to the author’s writing abilities because this was accomplished beautifully. The push and pull of young love, new love, and all kinds of love in between. Many quotable moments. Many swoony moments. And moments of pure shock and betrayal. Here for it always.

Everything flowed flawlessly. I didn’t want to stop reading because each chapter kept the right pace for the overall story. I loved the action (and subsequent recovery) scenes. And it even ends just right. No dramatic cliffhanger. Xingyin gets her answers and there’s the small sliver left open for more stories in this realm.

GIVE ME THE SEQUEL.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: some blood/gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, torture, possession and mind control

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: A Twist of the Blade (Shadows and Crowns #2) by S.M. Gaither

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 548 pages
Author: S.M. Gaither
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: January 28th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Mercenary. Survivor. Queen.

Who is Casia Greythorne?

Still reeling from an unimaginable loss and the revelation of an identity she isn’t sure she wants to embrace, Casia has one plan: Try to control something. Something like the strange magic awakening inside of her. Mastering that magic will take her and her friends on a quest through cursed lands, into the dwellings of old gods, and deep into a southern empire filled with deadly foes and unlikely allies.

Meanwhile, the foundations of the Kethran Empire continue to crumble. The king-emperor clings to his crown with increasingly bloodied hands. Monsters and soldiers alike stalk Casia’s every step, determined not to let her return to claim a throne that is rightfully hers. Still, the greatest threat to her possible rule may not lie in the king-emperor, but in a former captain of his army—a man that she came dangerously close to falling in love with.

Elander Revenmar thought he knew who he was. He had a mission, a plan, a god he was content to serve. Then came Casia. A woman as mysterious as she is dangerous. One he should have stayed away from, and whose life he never should have saved.

Because salvation always comes with a cost.

And some debts can only be paid for in blood. 

ANOTHER GREAT READ.

Ohhhh my goodness. Wow am I loving this series!! These audiobooks whisk me away on an adventure filled with fighting monsters, romance, found family, twisted sibling dynamics and more. LOVE IT ALL.

The Throne of Glass vibes are one of my favorite aspects. I really like when books take after some of my all time great reads without feeling like a copycat. This is definitely different and I am wholly attached.

I like how well paced out everything is. There’s movement from high action filled with battles and massive monsters all the way to quiet moments between forbidden lovers that just have me absolutely swooning. It has just the right dash of steam and I need more Elander and Casia.

THAT CLIFF HANGER had me in full riot mode. THE AUDACITY. Though it really only solidified how much I am attached to the series. I need more. I can’t wait until the next audio book is available because it is the perfect format for me to read these.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: one brief open door
  • Violence: battle/war themes, physical and magical altercations, loss of loved ones

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 710 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Release Date: October 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Flesh and Fire series is set in the beloved Blood and Ash world.

Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.

However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot.

Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.

WHY SO LONG.

After not loving the third book in the FBAA series, I decided to give this one a chance hoping it would reignite my love, but alas, that hope was dashed.

Why are these books so long?????? Take away 300 pages and then I would say we have a really great fantasy on our hands. Instead we get a lot of fluff + some info dumping chapters to round out a 700 page monster.

I did like Nyktos. He’s the saving grace. I liked his personality and how sweet he was on Sera. There quiet moments together when they got to talking were tender and I love how both of them began opening up to each other. Sera was a copycat of Poppy. Apparently that was on purpose? At least she asked a lot less questions. I definitely liked her more than Poppy. There was too much steam for me personally. Some scenes furthered the connection and plot, others just seemed there to add in another few pages.

The info dumping did add more to this world and I got a better understanding of the things I learned from TCoGB. I’m still on the fence about continuing this story. We’ll see.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple open door
  • Violence: war and battle themes, weapons violence, magic violence
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, torture (whipping), loss of loved ones

Instagram || Goodreads