Book Tag

The Folk of the Air: Book Tag

The lovely Xandra at Starry Sky Books created and tagged me in my very first book tag! SO EXCITED. And this one is so clever and fun. Thank you for the tag!

RULES:

  1. You must tag the original creator (Xandra @ Starry Sky Books)
  2. Spoilers galore! You should probably read The Cruel Prince first! (You don’t really need to read The Wicked King, but that would be nice.)
  3. Answer all the questions.
  4. Try to tag at least 3 other bloggers.

Jude: A character who would probably kill you in your sleep.

Okay, so I’m quite confident any villain would kill me in my sleep. I’m too dangerous to have around in the first place. But for the questions sake, the Archivist of the Great Library would definitely have me taken out.

Cardan: A character who seems like a Bad Guy™ but is ultimately more complex than you thought.

I totally wrote in my review that I loved Cardan for this exact reason. So I had to think about a second character I feel this way about.

AH YES, HAN ALISTER. My little cinnamon roll who only wants love. He’s not a villain, or really that wicked, but everyone assumes he is. Alister is a complex, consorting mastermind who I’m so happy won in the end.

And hopefully that means Cardan wins in the end too.

Locke: A character (or plot twist) that made you want to throw the book.

My first initial thought was Allegiant. YOU ALL KNOW (and I honestly did actually throw this, and freaked my husband out). In interest of choosing a book I at least enjoyed with the plot twist:

Have you read this? Because if you have: YOU ALSO KNOW. I was gasping and freaking out. Didn’t throw the book per se, but you better believe I raged until KoA came out.

Taryn: A character who deceived you.

I finished reading this a few days ago and loved it, but Malachiasz from Wicked Saints totally deceived me!? I didn’t like him, then he grew on me, then he deceived me, and now I need the sequel. Need.

Vivi: A book that was significantly different from the others in its series. 

I wrote my first true, snarky review about this book. I truly loved Everless. And I was very upset with how book two went down. The characters acted differently, pieces of the plot were forgotten, and plenty of other issues that were vastly different from the original.

Valerian: A character who just needs to die (or, you know, get stabbed).

I’m trying really hard to make sure I have a different series for each book so this one took some thinking because they’re so many people I think need stabbed if I’m being honest.

Dr. Hatch from the Michael Vey series is a top contender. Who takes in kids and makes them evil for his own gains!? This man of unlimited resources caused one to many problems for me.

Oak: A smol™ character you would protect at all costs.

Marya from The Winter of the Witch. I think that Vastya does a WAY better job of protecting her than I every could, but I love this little witch immensely.

The Cruel Prince: A book that surprised you with a twist.

I remember reading this book right before the hype really hit and exploded this into a movie. When I got to the flip in the book I had to re-read the page over a few times. DUDE WHAT JUST HAPPENED is putting it lightly.

The Wicked King: A book you thought was better (or worse) than the first in the series.

There’s a reason I read this multiple times a year. This is the pinnacle of sequels. I haven’t come across many “book twos” that hold as the best book in the entire series.

The Queen of Nothing: A book you’re excited for, but know nothing about.

THE BONE SEASON #4. I have no idea when this is coming out, and no idea what it will entail, but I am here for the wait. I got attached to this series in 2017 and am hoping it will continue soon since Shannon has finished her latest project.

There you have it! My first book tag. Totally a blast. I’m going to tag:

LaureGalie // Paper Fury // Siobhan’s Novelties

Please feel no pressure because I’m not sure if you’ve finished TCP/TWK yet! And anyone else who has, you’re totally welcome to do this too. The more the merrier!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: New to Me Authors I Read in 2018

Howdy!

It’s the first ever Top 10 Tuesday for my blog! One of my resolutions for this year is to add more content to GoodeyReads and I know this will be a step in the right direction.

This is a handful of New to Me authors (and I defined that by those I hadn’t read before, but maybe knew who they were) from last year!

Cinda Williams Chima

Oh y’all. This was one of my top favorite series from last year, and it is on my all time list. WHY DID I WAIT TO READ THIS? I’m super excited to start her following series, Shatter Realms, soon.

Brandon Sanderson

I held off on reading Sanderson for fear I wouldn’t love him as much as everyone else seems to. I was wrong. This series is wonderful, I’m currently in the midst of The Hero of Ages and plan to continue listening to the Cosmere.

Grace Draven

Seen on a Bookstagram post I took a leap of faith and absolutely adored this fantasy romance. It was different, passionate, and I have plans to read more of her books this year!

Rachel Caine

These are the first dystopian-based books I have read in a long time and have been completely enraptured (after the Hunger Games/Divergent era I was so over the concept). I love The Great Library series and can’t wait til the next book comes out.

Kristina Perez

My first of her books (and I believe one of her first novels too!). Totally swept away in this historical, magical romance. I was shook at the ending (because I did not know the tale it’s based off of) so I am all for the sequel this fall!!

Ron Chernow

I went through a history phase during the summer and read both of these practically back to back (these are 2,000 pages combined — yikes). I love love the way Chernow writes. It’s a history book that I’m captivated by. He tells the good, bad, and ugly of these men and I feel such a deeper understanding of American history by reading them.

Adrienne Young

VIKINGS Y’ALL. A beautiful debut standalone. She announced plans for a new book soon in the same realm (but years later with a new main character) and I squealed when I heard.

Kristin Hannah

Historical fictions are my jam. I was so engrossed in this I’m pretty sure I finished it in a day. It’s heart-breaking, soul-finding, and a strong story of a heroine I could cheer for.

Neal Shusterman

OH MY GOODNESS. THIS SERIES IS AMAZING. A librarian convinced me I would appreciate these, and she was on point (don’t we all love librarians?). Jaw dropping twists and cliff hangers galore.

Holly Black

Oh, I know at this point you’ve heard of her too. I never realized what I was missing until these cruel and wicked tales (see what I did there?). I think I’ll be looking in to her other books this year.

There ya have it! Ten authors I only read last year. Which authors are some of your fav? Did I definitely wait too long on some? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review

Review: The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Young adult fantasy, no language, some kissing and love scenes, a lot of violence
Length: 598 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed-Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it? 

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series. 

THIS WAS A FINALE.

The Crimson Crown was everything I love in a finale. It’s one of those books where yes, you know where it’s going, but not how, and I continually sat there way too anxious if my favs were going to make it out alive.

Han is definitely my forever favorite. He took a few pages from the dark side and I couldn’t be more thrilled. His continual passion for his one goal made me swoon and cheer him on over and over. I love that he’s not a typical hero. He came from a situation that should have never given him hope, and yet, he fiercely clung to the last string of faith he had.

Raisa is one of my all time top Warrior Queens. She unsurprisingly remained strong and stubborn. Even when crisis upon castle siege crisis came upon her, she was steadfast. I appreciated that she continually held to her ideals and what she wants for her Queendom (and Queendom? Hell yeah).

Now put those two together and they are a top OTP. Passionately fighting to be with each other, somehow betraying each other, and feeling this impending doom of never getting to be together. AHHHHH THE ANGST. Their collision is everything and their moment in the garden had me by my very soul. I love love love that they never lost faith in them.

This magic world is totally complex and the world building blew me away. I was so invested in how everything looked, felt, worked, sounded, etc. The prose isn’t heavy, but enlightening and spans the time that it needs too.

All of the side characters were well personalized. I actually felt like I knew them as well as I knew the main POVs. Crow, Dancer, Cat, Amon, Night Bird, and I could go on and on!! Crow was so presh. Acting all fatherly to Han and making sure he was okay and got what Crow never did *TEARS*. Cat was another great one who at last found a place for her in the Queendom and it was amazing to watch her grow over the series.

I missed seeing Amon a little bit, he wasn’t as big of a side character this round. But Dancer mostly picked up those sections, so it was alright, but that’s honestly the only major thing I can think of I struggled with. There’s a lot of politics, though enough kept happening that I didn’t mind.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • No language
  • Some intense kiss scenes, a loosely implied love scene
  • Lots of violence (torture, knives, magic, birds eating you alive)
  • Trigger warnings: implied rape (a backstory of one of the side characters)
Book Review

Review: The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, very little language, some kissing, a lot of violence
Length: 517 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen. 

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate. 

LOVIN’ EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Barring a total downfall in the last book (which I strongly believe won’t happen) this will land in one of my top favorite series. This is all so great!

“Why is prophecy always so bloody cryptic?”

Isn’t this the epitome of most fantasy books? I love that Raisa freely speaks her mind. She is a fierce Queen who holds her own in warring circles of men. Her continual push to make her own decisions and on her own terms makes me love her character even more. Raisa isn’t wishy-washy and stands to be one of my fav feminine ladies.

I’m still obsessed with my cinnamon roll of a book boyfriend Han. Happiness is almost within reach. AND HE NEEDS THIS, OKAY? I can only hope that for once things work out in his favor in this last installment. I’m not sure what games he’s playing, but I will stand by his side to the end!

Y’all, the way this last book is shaking out, I’m in for a ride. There’s a lot of politicking that does get a little tiresome, but has been written really well compared to other books I found odious. The manipulations and machinations with this court are tricky. I can’t wait to see all the cards laid out!!

The world building is another great portion of The Gray Wolf Throne. All of our characters are continually moving around the countryside and I’m amazed at how beautifully it’s all written. Nothing is drawn out, but The Seven Realms are so diverse and I love being in this world.

What I also find unique is that Wizards aren’t loved. Other books tend to lean towards, everyone wants to be a wizard!, but here they are so mistrusted. It makes me enjoy this series on a new level.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy: wizards, magic
  • Almost non-existent language
  • A lot of violence (swords, arrows, knives, etc.)
  • Some solid kiss scenes, but nothing too crazy
Book Review

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult, no language, violence, lots of kissing
Length: 506 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD OF THIS SERIES TIL NOW?!

Y’all I was loving everything this book was putting out. It did begin slow and dragged through some sections, but the tale it set up for the next three books…I am SO EXCITED. 

Raisa is a strong female character who is the sassy princess heir I need. She is a lover of flirting with the boys, but who can blame her? Got some endgame choices to decide upon. I love that she refuses to set aside her ideals to be a better Queen and refusing to marry “just because”.  Raisa holds her own and is a smart fun character to watch.

I have a soft spot of reformed characters. Han gives the story some edge, but his heart is in the right place. His sections do drag more than Raisa’s, but his story line built over time. The plot twists involving Hanson did surprise me. I had surmised most information, but now I’m wondering where this all ends.

Raisa and Han are endgame though…right? If not, I have already chosen wrong which may affect my view points later on, we’ll see. They’re quite a few suitors (on both sides) that haven’t formed defined love triangles, so I’m still on board. Though, I do love Amon. He’s a precious cinnamon roll who I want love forever. DON’T BETRAY ME AMON. BUT ALSO, FIND HAPPINESS PLEASE. K, thanks.

This story progressively gets faster and more convoluted. The side characters are throwing so much into the mix that I’m sitting here debating who’s good, bad, or just in the book for fun. 

It was somewhat silly that these kids are 16-ish and so grown-up. Han was a previous streetlord, Raisa is taking on tasks befitting someone older, and is already trying to be married off. And the same goes for side characters. Though, the world is built in the concept of children as adults, so it’s not glaring if you’re okay with that concept. 

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • No language
  • Handful of kisses, nothing more
  • Violence (burnings, knives, pummelings, magic)