Book Review

ARC Book Review: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 496 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 13th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

To save their kingdom, they must embark on a dangerous journey…

The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.

But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir.

When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship.

This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they seemed to be. . .

Thank you to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for an eARC.

PROGRESSIVELY BETTER.

This was almost a miss for me, buuuut I liked the second half so much more that I’m anxious for the finale. And what I did most love was the writing. Kemmerer is a brilliant writer and I love how smooth and easy it is to follow her story and be tucked into the pages.

This book had very slow pacing. The entire first half was dedicated to getting onto a ship. At least interspersed were some total character upheavals. I think the progression focus was on who Corrick and Tessa are becoming. That mindset really helps set the scene for how a lot of these moments occur. I wish there was a toooouch more romance, but I feel it in my bones that it’s coming!

There’s even a third POV thrown in that was fun to figure out and to see another side to the world that was needed to keep the pace for book three. I think there’s SO MANY places that POV could go and I can’t wait to get to know them even more. I already love this character as much as Corrick and Tessa so it was exciting to have that added in as well.

While it took a long time to get to the ship, I do love a good boat book. There’s the right amount of drama and intrigue. Characters getting to know one another. And allll the secrets revealed (like what’s behind the door?!). I thoroughly enjoyed how this played out and even though the ending left me going WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, I know the next book will deliver too.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: some mild
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of life, battle scenes, physical altercations, weapons violence, kidnapping, poisoning

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Book Review, Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: August 2022

I finally had a great reading month again! Only one 2 star read and I am hoping to ride this high through the fall.

Favorites this month:

  • The River of Silver
  • Well Traveled
  • A Tale of Stars and Shadow (full series)
  • Miss Newbury’s List
  • A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting
  • The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy
  • Kiss and Tell
  • Eloise and the Grump Next Door
  • Violet Made of Thorns
  • Royally Rearranged (reread)
  • Red Rising (reread)
  • Begin Again
  • Complete
  • Hidden Waters
  • The Paris Secret

Least favorite:

  • The Even Odder Couple
  • Echoes of TIme
  • In the Weeds
  • Love on the Brain
  • Back to You
  • The Reigning and the Rule (Surviving Trace #2) by Calia Read
  • [ARC] Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) by Brigid Kemmerer
  • All Tricked Out (Wayfair Witches #13) by A.A. Albright
  • The River of Silver (The Daevabad Trilogy #4) by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Even Odder Couple (Apple Valley Love Stories #4) by Julie Christianson
  • [ARC] Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
  • [ARC] Well Traveled (Well Met #4) by Jen DeLuca
  • Scales of Ash & Smoke (Ash & Smoke #1) by Emily L. Schneider
  • A Tale of Stars and Shadow (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #1) by Lisa Cassidy
  • [ARC] Miss Newbury’s List by Megan Walker
  • Echoes of Time (Surviving Time #3) by Calia Read
  • Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata
  • Faking it (Wayfair Witches #14) by A.A. Albright
  • A Prince of Song and Shade (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #2) by Lisa Cassidy
  • Brought to Light by Allie Lewis
  • A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin
  • [ARC] The Do-Over by Lynn Painter
  • [Reread] Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
  • Testing Times (Wayfair Witches #15) by A.A. Albright
  • [ARC] The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
  • Upgrade by Blake Crouch
  • Kiss and Tell (Creekville Kisses #3) by Melanie Jacobson
  • [ARC] Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcoms #1) by Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor
  • Violet Made of Thorns (Violet Made of Thorns #1) by Gina Chen
  • [ARC] In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by B.K. Borison
  • [Reread] Royally Rearranged (Sweet Royal Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair
  • [ARC] Begin Again by Emma Lord
  • [ARC] Ledge (The Glacian Trilogy #1) by Stacey McEwan
  • A King of Masks and Magic (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #3) by Lisa Cassidy
  • A Duet of Sword and Song (A Tale of Stars and Shadow #4) by Lisa Cassidy
  • A Duel with the Vampire Lord (Married to Magic #3) by Elise Kova
  • The Hookup Plan (The Boyfriend Project #3) by Farrah Rochon
  • [ARC] To Capture His Heart (Matchmakers #2) by Nancy Campbell Allen
  • Complete (The Sweet RomComs #3) by Kortney Keisel
  • [ARC] The Liar’s Crown (Dominion #1) by Abigail Owen
  • Unhappening Ever After (Wayfair Witches #16) by A.A. Albright
  • Promised by Leah Garriot
  • Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
  • A Confirmed Rake (The Donovans #2) by Martha Keyes
  • Back to You (San Diego Marines #1) by Jess Mastorakos
  • Hidden Waters (Tattered & Torn #3) by Catherine Cowles
  • The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Liar’s Crown (Dominion #1) by Abigail Owen

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 448 pages
Author: Abigail Owen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: August 30th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

One born to rule. One to forfeit…

Everything about my life is a lie. As a hidden twin princess, born second, I have only one purpose—to sacrifice my life for my sister if death comes for her. I’ve been living under the guise of a poor, obscure girl of no standing, slipping into the palace and into the role of the true princess when danger is present.

Now the queen is dead and the ageless King Eidolon has sent my sister a gift—an eerily familiar gift—and a proposal to wed. I don’t trust him, so I do what I was born to do and secretly take her place on the eve of the coronation. Which is why, when a figure made of shadow kidnaps the new queen, he gets me by mistake.

As I try to escape, all the lies start to unravel. And not just my lies. The Shadowraith who took me has secrets of his own. He struggles to contain the shadows he wields—other faces, identities that threaten my very life.

Winter is at the walls. Darkness is looming. And the only way to save my sister and our dominion is to kill Eidolon…and the Shadowraith who has stolen my heart.

Thank you to RB Media and Netgalley for the Audio ARC.

WOW THIS WAS GOOD.

Book hype for this one is real. I super enjoyed this.

Audio notes: I don’t have any! I LOVED the audio. Great narrators. Easy to listen. I flew through it. Highly recommend that avenue if you’re into audiobooks!

Another read where I felt remined why fantasy genre is the best genre. I loved the world building and shadow concept. The twists behind that was so cool and I felt added another unique layer to this story overall. Filled with a morally gray love interest that you can’t get enough of, I was hooked. I liked the steady pacing and that there’s a slow build to everything else happening.

Meren was a strong FMC and I liked her tenacity and loyalty to her sister. I love a great sister bond and I know that’s what is happening here and I hope we get to see more of it in the next book. Reven is the complex soul I love and I’m happy that I feel like I know him as well as Meren. Sometimes the love interest gets tossed aside and seems one dimensional and I liked the complexity his characterization received.

The ending was WILD. Still a bit in shock and everything expertly led to this conclusion. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: one open door + some innuendo
  • Violence: moderate
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: battle scenes, loss of life, kidnapping

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Furysong (The Aurelian Cycle #3) by Rosaria Munda

Rating: ★★★★☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 496 pages
Author: Rosaria Munda
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: August 9th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this explosive conclusion to the epic trilogy that began with Fireborne, Annie and Lee are fighting for their lives—and for each other—as invading dragonfire threatens to burn their home to the ground.

A new revolution is underway, and nobody will emerge unscathed.

In New Pythos, Griff is facing an execution by the dragonborn, who are furious at his betrayal. He has allies on both sides seeking to defy his fate, but the price of his freedom might come at a dear cost. And Delo will have to make a choice: follow his family, or finally surrender to his conscience.

Meanwhile, Annie must race home to hatch a plan to save her Guardians and their dragons. With Callipolis on the brink of collapse and the triarchy set to be reinstated, she may be the one person who can save the city—if she can overcome her own doubts about her future.

Lee is a revolutionary at heart, but now he’ll have to find a way to fight with diplomacy. Going up against the dragonborn court and a foreign princess, he faces a test of loyalty that sets his head against his heart.

As the fate of Callipolis darkens, Annie and Lee must determine what they are willing to sacrifice in order to save each other, defeat their enemies, and reclaim their home.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for the eARC.

EPIC.

This series is TOTALLY UNDERRATED AND EVERYONE SHOULD GO READ IT PLEASE.

Now with that business out of the way let me give a non-spoiler review.

I LOVED this story. It is slow for YA, but as someone who loves fantasy across the board I was into it. Packed with a punch from the get-go the action did not cease for awhile. I loved the drift it took into slower territory, where building of armies, tension, and romance was able to happen. I was absolutely smitten with both romances. Lee and Annie are too precious for this world. This incredible bond formed when they were orphaned children that grew into something unquantifiable. It was passionate and TEARS WERE SHED at some specific, not to be named scenes.

I also adored the romance between Griff and Delo. It had a whole different vibe to it with a changing of position and having to be let the festering anger burst before bonds could reform. I love the hope that came from between them even when things were at there bleakest.

Can we also discuss the side characters??! Holy cow they brought it too. Power has got to be one of my new favorites. He was everything I love about morally gray dynamics. Caught wanting to better his life, falling into unrequited love and more that I wish I could say. His scenes were next level.

And the plot is full of DRAGONS, politicking, action and more. I think this plot flowed really well and I truly didn’t know how things were going to end up working out in the end. I did nick 1/2 star because I wanted a little more *oopmh* in the ending (though I do promise it ends perfectly well and you will not throw your book). Besides that hard to nail down thought with the ending, I NEED Y’ALL TO PLEASE READ THIS SERIES.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: closed-door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: battle themes, loss of life, loss of loved ones, grief & depression depiction, near death experiences, torture, animal cruelty, fires, indentured servitude, harassment

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