Book Review

Book Review: The Bronzed Beasts (The Gilded Wolves #3) by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 21st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In love they breathed. In destiny they believed. In the end, will divinity be their demise?

After Séverin’s seeming betrayal, the crew is fractured. Armed with only a handful of hints, Enrique, Laila, Hypnos and Zofia must find their way through the snarled, haunted waterways of Venice, Italy to locate Séverin.

Meanwhile, Séverin must balance the deranged whims of the Patriarch of the Fallen House and discover the location of a temple beneath a plague island where the Divine Lyre can be played and all that he desires will come to pass.

With only ten days until Laila expires, the crew will face plague pits and deadly masquerades, unearthly songs and the shining steps of a temple whose powers might offer divinity itself… but at a price they may not be willing to pay.

Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with the final riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever. 

NOT ALL I HOPED FOR.

Do you ever sit on a review because you’re not sure what to write?

That’s how I feel here.

I wanted to love this desperately because I’ve enjoyed the whole series, but something ultimately did not click for me here. I didn’t feel as connected to the characters, the story seemed repetitive and very slow moving, and the ending? *sigh*

I missed this groups usual nature around each other. I know things have changed. So much changed though that I felt like I was looking at a new cast at times. I wanted more puzzle solving and quiet antics. I needed more of them together and working together too.

The ending left me really shrugging my shoulders. Since my emotional connection had dissipated I found I was more vexed than anything about what happened. It left a few things open and another thought or two that I think would spoil if I said. The epilogue was incredibly generic and I’m still in a twist about it.

It was nice being back in this world and getting to read the last tale of The Gilded Wolves. The interesting historical fiction + fantasy combo worked for me (even if it didn’t always make sense). I’m hopeful to read whatever Chokshi writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Historical Fiction + Fantasy
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, murder, explosions, some blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 342 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

*SHRUG*

I’ve been sitting on this review for a few days because I don’t know what I want to actually write. I’m sad to say this was not a hit for me, and even on audio where I listen to it at a fast pace (and it’s only 9 hours) I found myself bored.

Things started off on a good foot with our main character, Maya and her curse. I liked the initial set-up, then some insta-love got thrown in. But later you find out it’s not insta-love? Sort-of? I feel like I was taken on this convoluted journey that only made sense at the very end. And by then, I had already decided I didn’t want to read the sequel.

There wasn’t much depth to anybody. New characters showed up and didn’t make a name for themselves. So much so, I can’t give you any names of any other characters. I don’t remember them and that’s the crux of this entire novel.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexism, sexual assault by coercion, child abuse, domestic abuse (recounted), forced attempted suicide, stillbirth mentioned, death of loved ones, captivity, bullying, war themes

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Book Review

Book Review: Once More Upon A Time by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance Novella
Length: Audio: 3 hours, 26 mins
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Audible
Release Date: June 4th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A dazzling fairy tale about falling in love again by the New York Times best-selling author of The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded Wolves.

Once upon a time, there was a king and queen in a land called Love’s Keep who once loved one another, but alas, no more. Without love, they were doomed to be ousted from their kingdom at the end of a year and a day.

A year and a day passed.

This is where their story starts.

Imelda and Ambrose can’t remember why they got married. A year and a day ago, Ambrose consulted a witch, trading their love to save Imelda’s life – and they’ve been stuck with one another ever since. When that same witch pays them a visit on the day they lose their kingdom, she promises to make their deepest wishes come true in exchange for a simple favor and a short journey. With nothing left to lose, Imelda and Ambrose agree. But, over the course of their enchanted road trip peppered with a delirious cloak, cannibals, and at least one honey badger, something magical happens…little by little, step by step, they regain what they had forgotten.

They remember why they fell in love.

When the end of their journey nears and they confront parting ways forever, a new decision faces them. Will Imelda and Ambrose choose their deepest wishes, or will they choose each other – again?

FAIRYTALE.

No really, this was legit one of those books where everything screamed a fairy tale. A King and Queen, an evil witch, a daring adventure, a noble steed, you think it should be there, it is.

Which was its goodness and its downfall.

I listened to this on a whim because it was available through my Audible account for free (who can pass up free?). I wasn’t expecting much of a little novella. This was cute and sweet and made me laugh a few times while listening to it.

There’s a lot shoved in for a 3.5 hour audio book which was nice. I felt like I still got enough background and information on characters to care what happened and it was a nice story to listen to in-between bigger books. I enjoyed how Ambrose and Imelda remembered how the had fallen in love and got a chance to start anew. Plenty of good tid-bits in here. Some pieces were definitely silly, but I feel if you go into this knowing that and knowing how much of a fairy tale it is, you’ll find the enjoyable pieces too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fairy tale romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses, one closed door scene
  • Violence: physical, poison

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy + historical fiction
Length: 416 pages
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Returning to the dark and glamorous world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever.

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

Thank you to Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the e-ARC. All opinions are my own!

MY SOUL IS IN TORMENT.

Why you may ask? Well because THAT ENDING HURT ME. It was exactly what the book called for though. Not really a cliffhanger, but feeling a desperate need to see how everything is resolved in the last book. Ohhhhh how I need the last book. If these first two books are any indication (The Gilded Wolves review here!), this finale will rock.

The ANGST I felt in this book for Laila and Severin was on another level. Oh em gee. It was the kinda of slow fire, second chance, enemies to lovers-ish vibe that I was ALL OVER. My cinnamon roll Severin who is struggling to work through some things has caused him to push people away. This hard outer shell only makes me love him more. Seeing his inner dialogue is wonderful. I love the rotating chapter POVs because I truly feel for all of these characters now. I want to be apart of this dysfunctional family too.

I liked the way the story moved. I felt there was a steady flow of action, then a lull, then back up again, all at the right times. I was never bored because things were constantly moving. If they weren’t solving a mystery, someone or another was having a tender moment. This gave me a lot of scenes that brought this installment home. The writing was beautiful with plenty of sentences I wanted to highlight and save for later.

The villains are pretty easy to spot, but are quirky and have many layers that I need to sift through. They were a bit creepy and kept me on my toes, especially in the last 20%. I flew through pages trying to figure out what was going to happen next. While my heart shattered at some point, the pieces were picked back up and put in a jar for further introspection. Everything in this book is a few shades darker. There is a lot of pain, inner turmoil, and I feel like I’m waiting on half the cast to apologize to the other half. It’s forming great characters arcs though and I am appreciating watching everyone grow.

Still, I have so many questions!! There is a vast amount of open-ended issues when it comes to everyone. Who is into who? Who is upset with who? Who is alive? Where is who? Why can who do this? I barely had questions answered before I thought of a thousand more. While sometimes too many unknowns can be a bother, I felt this really convinced me I want book three (which I don’t mind in the slightest). I think everything will be answered and while I have no idea how this well end, I am here for it all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + historical fiction
  • Language: some language
  • Romance: a few kisses, make-outs, a no detailed quick fade to black, but mentioned love scene (very appropriate for a true YA book)
  • Violence: poison, animal attacks, magic, fire, knives, murder
  • Trigger warnings: a person disguises themselves as someone else with intent to do sexual things, mentions of child abuse, drugging people without consent

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