Book Review

Book Review: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Roseanne A. Brown
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 2nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death? 

MANY GOOD THINGS.

Grateful my library picked this one up, and that I happened to see it because I loved this! Definitely a great first book for a YA fantasy series. Definitely here for the sequel.

ASOWAR covered so many important topics. Police brutality, supremacy, slavery, corruption, and more. I love that no matter the genre, important and relevant topics can be addressed. This never took me out of the book but further brought to light topics I am continually learning about.

I liked this world-building and magic system. With a mix of some general YA tropes were many new things that made ASOWAR feel new. These main characters, Karina and Malik had flaws, and yet, I could clearly see the growth from them by the end of the book. I LOVE THAT. I love characters that feel real, experience a range of emotions, make mistakes, and strive to pick the best choice in a world where few of those are available.

The twists and turns occasionally took me by surprise, and even the ones that didn’t, were still interesting and progressed the story effectively. I loved the premise of this massive festival filled with all of these magical beings.

This was a great cast, a beautiful world, wonderful and engaging writing. I had a blast with this one and look forward to seeing how this story continues. I’d love to see more development of the romance, and further explore all of the world!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses, closed door scene (with no lead-up detail)
  • Violence: bloody/gory; physical, murder, assassination, magical, kidnapping
  • Trigger warnings: mild self-harm ideation, anxiety and panic attacks, loss of loved ones, animal death

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Book Review

Book Review: Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of the Stars #2) by Elizabeth Lim

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of UNRAVEL THE DUSK.

MISSING.

*sigh*

A second book that didn’t have the same flare as the first.

*deeper sigh*

First off, WHERE WAS EDAN? Practically all aspects of his character were taken out here. He occasionally stopped by to confess his love and give Maia a kiss, and that was about it. I really would have loved more of him.

The demon aspects were kind of creepy and kinda cool. I can’t remember reading a YA fantasy that really had a character dive into the realm of demons and almost become on themselves. The lore of it all was interesting and kept me reading when I struggled to pick it up.

Speed and writing were great. It’s a short book and things kept moving. I liked the pace, but lost the overall emotional connection. This was definitely a different and darker stroke from Spin the Dawn. The ending wasn’t anything I didn’t see coming.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses; a closed door scene with on detail
  • Violence: physical, animal attacks, weapons, depictions of war/battles

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Tarnished Empire (Dark Shores #0.5) by Danielle L. Jensen

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: TBD
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: CLA
Release Date: January 26th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

DEFIANCE IS TREASON. TREASON IS DEATH.

A siege is laid against the last resistance to the Senate’s rule. As the battle rages, a commander, a soldier, and a rebel will decide how far they are willing to go for victory.

THE COMMANDER

Marcus is forced to choose between destroying the rebel forces and liberating his legion. He must face the true cost of being a leader. And an oppressor.

THE SOLDIER

Agrippa sets his sights on glory to fill the deepening void within him. He discovers that the price of fame might not just be paid in blood, it might be paid by his heart.

THE REBEL

Silvara joins the rebel forces to fight against the legions who would see her family dead. While she dreams of being a warrior, she finds her sharpest weapon is seduction. But to defeat the Empire, she’ll have to betray the young man who now has her heart.

Inspired by the harsh world of ancient Rome, readers are obsessed with this martial tale of fiery romance, friendship, and enmity. Told from three points of view, TARNISHED EMPIRE is filled with twists you’ll never see coming but will keep you turning the pages all night.

TARNISHED EMPIRE is set in the world of Danielle L. Jensen’s DARK SHORES. But readers new to the world can begin here.

Thank you to the author for an eARC. All opinions are my own!

A MUST READ.

Set in the Dark Shores world, this book about Marcus (and some new characters) is definitely worth the read. It’s especially recommended before Gilded Serpent (book three), but can be read at any time!

I loved this. So much. I love Marcus, and getting more of his background was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with the other characters too. AGRIPPA? Yes, please. He is a new addition I didn’t know I needed. He’s snarky and funny (actually laughed out loud a few times). Agrippa keeps you on your toes and has a strong heart full of loyalty and bravery. Oh goodness, y’all need to get to know him too.

This book burns hot and fast, yet doesn’t feel over done. I loved the romance and how it developed. The push and pull, leaving me with many questions. All beautifully written.

I don’t want to spoil much of the story or what happens and more. It’s filled with a lot of fitting information and characters I wouldn’t mind getting even more stories from. I’m even more excited for Gilded Serpent now and can’t wait to dive in.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; one little detailed fade-out love scene
  • Violence: battles, swords/arrows, loss of friends/loved ones, starvation

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2020

What a month!

I devoured another 31 books and can’t believe my eyes. I finished and caught up on series. Read a smattering of genres and really enjoyed my October reads!

Favorites: The Extinction Trials, the Wayfair Witches series, Kingdom of the Wicked, Empire of Storms, Code Name Helene, Enjoy the View

Least Favorites: The Guinevere Deception, Fire Study

  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials #1) by S.M. Wilson – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (☆☆☆☆)
  • Loved Up (Wayfair Witches #6) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Lost Roses (Lilac Girls #2) by Martha Hall Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Small Spaces (Small Spaces #1) by Katherine Arden – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Boyfriend Project (The Boyfriend Project #1) by Farrah Rochon – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Rocking Out (Wayfair Witches #7) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White – (☆☆☆)
  • London Prep (London Prep #1) by Jillian Dodd – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Reread] Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Fire Study (Poison Study #3) by Maria V. Snyder – (☆☆☆)
  • Acting Up (Wayfair Witches #8) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison #1) by Natalie Mae – (☆☆☆☆)
  • London Prep No. 2 (London Prep #2) by Jillian Dodd – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Legally Red (Wayfair Witches #8.5) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Swotting Up (Wayfair Witches #9) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Reread] A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • London Prep No. 3 (London Prep #3) by Jillian Dodd – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire #5) by Michael J. Sullivan –(☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Forget Me Knot (Wayfair Witches #10) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • If It’s Perfect (The Wedding Business #1) by Summer Dowell – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson – (☆☆☆)
  • All Hallowed Out (Wayfair Witches #11) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Holiday Heist (Wayfair Witches #11.5) A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Age of Empyre (The Legends of the First Empire #6) by Michael J. Sullivan – (☆☆☆ 1/2)

How was your month? Do you have a favorite book you read? Lets talk in the comments!

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