Book Review

Book Review: Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 12th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Fans of Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

I LOVE AEDUAN.

Oh man. I’m so happy to get a book that had him more at the forefront. Gosh, I am smitten with this broody sassy man with a huge heart. And him and Iseult? Just stop. TOO CUTE.

But I mean, this whole book hurts. This is not some happy-go-lucky fantasy novel. The amount of backstabbing and political maneuvering that happens throughout this series blows my mind. I honestly can’t tell you where I think everyone *exactly* lies. All of these characters have their own motives and it definitely influences that intense action of Bloodwitch.

Addressing what I mentioned last time [not loving Vivia], she did grow on me over this book! She is truly having to claw her way to what she deserves and I feel that. I am enjoying her character arc. Also, real obsessed with pretty much everyone else. I love these characters. Everyone is unique and vastly opinionated and I here for it. This is a cast to enjoy and hug tightly because I’m convinced someone won’t make it to the end.

THE SHIPS. How can you not love them ALL? Seriously. I have intense emotions for everyone of them. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE HAPPY. I will go down in flames with Aeduan and Iseult because they have one of the best developments I’ve read. The sparks between them will set the world in flames.

There were a lot of emotions throughout. I was up, down, and all around. So many things happened and I was convinced one too many times for my heart that someone was actually dead. WHY. Such strong and steady writing. Maybe a little slow at times, but this definitely [overall] held my attention.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: a little mild
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: plenty; skirmishes, physical, magic, arrows, swords

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Book Review

Book Review: Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

I HAVE SO MANY CONCERNS.

This book left me hanging. And not in a bad, huge cliffhanger that drives you up a wall, but more in a, I have many questions and am concerned for all my characters, give me answers, kinda way. I found this to be a great second book, kept me interested, and the audio books are fantastic.

I am SO VERY UPSET that all of my loves are split across the lands and everyone thinks everyone else is dead and I JUST CAN’T. This is the worst feeling when reading a series. I need everyone happy, together, conflicts resolved and I know I can’t have that yet. While upsetting, I always remember how great it is an author can make me feel this way about their characters. SO YAY.

Pretty obsessed with everyone currently. Except Vivia. I am still not sold on her. Granted, it was the first time I was getting her POV so I’m figuring in Bloodwitch I might get behind her more. I can’t decide how villainous she actually is and what her plans are. Which makes her ambiguously nerve-wracking. We’ll see. I AM IN LOVE WITH AEDUAN THOUGH. For real. He’s my sweet favorite and you can’t convince me otherwise. If you can’t feel the vibes between him and Iseult then we need to talk. I am the captain of their ship and need more. Need.

Also I have an intense amount of time invested in my love of Merik. And I am very concerned for him. I’m going to need some answers. ASAP. There will probably be a Bloodwitch review sooner rather than later. I love these characters and how they’re developing. I wish we had Safiya and Iseult in the same location for a bit because I missed their bond. But good things come to those who wait. And wait I will (because apparently there’s 5 books all together?!).

Needless to say, I’ve become hooked on this series and am confident they’re going to only get better from here.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: magic, physical, swords, poison, skirmishes
  • Trigger warning: two characters remember their mother passing away from suicide

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Book Review

Book Review: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 415 pages
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

FINISHED STRONG.

I know I know, I can’t believe I haven’t read this series yet either. A few years ago I chose the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes over this one (which side note: was WONDERUFL). Then Truthwitch sat there…until it didn’t. I nabbed the audio book from the library and dove right in.

Things started off a bit slow and confusing. This often happens to me with fantasy books + audio books. So after I got a few chapters in and understood the story and characters things coasted much more smoothly.

I looooove that this had a heavy focus on the threadsister bond between Safiya and Iseult. They were an amazing combo who continually looked out for one another and truly love each other. I thought they were a great duo who brought out the best sides of themselves when they were together.

There’s an amazing world being set-up with grey characters who I can’t decide what level of evil anyone is. MY FAV. Keeps things interested and keeps me intrigued. I found that the action picked up a good pace and yet, there were still those slower moments where I got to see another level of the characters. The magic system is really interesting and I love the way that witches are portrayed in this series. I like that there’s so many different types of them and that the magic makes sense for the world too.

The other two POVs, Merik and Aeduan were stellar too. Everyone had there own roll to play and I loved switching up the point of view and getting all the angles. Merik is swoon-worthy and I am pushing the Safiya and Merik ship off the shore. I adored their interactions and the way things progressed between them. There’s definitely a spark that will ignite the world by the end of this series. Aeduan, our grumpy Bloodwitch was one of my personal favorites. Sassy and angry with the ability to help others while hunting down witches. Yup, I’m here for it. And I can’t wait to see what happens between him and Iseult.

Clearly, I am smitten with this book. I can’t wait to read book two and see where this story moves too. The ending left things nicely open without being a total cliffhanger.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: some mild throughout
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: magical, physical, swords, poison, arrows, skirmishes

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About

Howdy readers!

Another Top 10 Tuesday coming your way! This one was tough for me. I had to really search out books I have considered to add to my TBR, but am still thinking it through.

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

After Queen of Air and Darkness I am at a crossroads. Am I over CC? Am I over the Shadowhunter world? These are the questions that plague my book life.

Summary: From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

I actually haven’t read any of the Truthwitch book series, but there seems to be a lot of hype around this one. So now I’m trying to decide if I should add the series to my TBR.

Summary: Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

This is about to come out, but I’ve never read anything by this author. Her previous series (and this one) have a summary that seems up my alley, but is it worth it? Because I think I’ll have to read the others first…

Summary: Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about? 


Enchantée by Gita Trelease

LOVE historical fiction, but also really picky about historical fiction.

Summary: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Bookstagram has made me want this, but am I just in it for the gorgeous cover? Maybe.

Summary: Eragon meets And I Darken in this thrilling new fantasy debut that follows a fallen princess as she ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

TW: Depression

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

I liked her first series The Crown’s Game, but have heard mixed things about this book. It might make its way to my TBR eventually. We’ll see.

Summary: A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Thrillers for me can go either way. I have a handful I loved and a handful that were just eh. This cover is super creepy though. Tell me, will I be freaked out!?

Summary: Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patientis a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. 

Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu

Do I want more!? I’m so nervous about continuation of series when they were originally finished!

Update: I literally added this to my TBR this morning. The author’s Insta post convinced me. I want a real, solid happy ending with my loves Day and June.

Summary: Eden Wing is a brilliant student. He’s about to graduate a year early from Ross University of the Sciences, with honors, and already has an internship lined up back in the Republic. But most people don’t introduce Eden this way. Instead, they say, “This is Eden, Daniel Wing’s younger brother.”

Ten years ago, Eden’s brother Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. His name was spray-painted on walls, his profile splashed on both rebel pamphlets and wanted posters. He went from being a hunted criminal to a national hero in less than a year.

Day has spent the past decade piecing together his memory of his time in the Republic, pretending to enjoy life in Antarctica’s capital, Ross City , and quietly hiding out from the world—even if it’s meant giving up June, the great love of his life. As long as he can keep his little brother safe, that’s all that matters . . .

But Eden isn’t safe. As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become, they grow more distant from one another than they’ve ever been. Eden finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into Ross City’s dark side, until even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own.

When June suddenly steps back into Day’s life, rekindling the flames of their romance, the pair team up to do whatever it takes to rescue Eden. But like the rest of the world, they may have underestimated Eden—what he’s capable of, where his loyalties lie, and how hard he’s willing to fight for what he believes.

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend—for the most thrilling adventure yet. A truly grand finale.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Will this compete with the glorious Illuminae series I LOVED? Will this instead be a DNF like Nevernight? Only time will tell.

Summary: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

I really really….really don’t like reading novellas unless they are necessary to the story and not some fluff piece or background story that I’m cool not knowing.

Is this necessary? Do I need to read this before Defy Me? I DON’T KNOW.

Summary: Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates t his gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me!

Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me, the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Which ones should I add to my TBR? Because really, I need some help. Lets talk in the comments!