Book Review

Book Review | THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE, by Samantha Shannon

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The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

Publish Date: February 26, 2019
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 830
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review. Please note, though, that because I did not finish it before the publishing date, I ended up reading from the finished novel as well. There weren’t extremely large changes between the two as far as I could tell, save for one or two name changes, age differences, and line changes here and there.**


Synopsis:

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


My Review:

This book was enthralling. That is honestly the best word I could use to describe it. From the start my attention was captured, and as the world was slowly and steadily built up, my interest intensified at the same pace. Before I had even finished the first section of this monstrosity (it’s a chunky bastard and I love it), I already knew that I was in love and going to be praising this story for quite some time (possibly a thousand years or so.)

Continue reading “Book Review | THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE, by Samantha Shannon”

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Book Review

Book Review | THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, by Helene Wecker

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The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)by Helene Wecker

Publish Date: April 1, 2013 (audiobook published April 23, 2013)
Published by: HarperCollins
Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 19 hrs 42 min (484 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinniweaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.


My Review:

Continue reading “Book Review | THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, by Helene Wecker”

Book Review

Book Review | WHITE HOT KISS, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publish Date: February 25, 2014 (audiobook published April 22, 2014)
Published by: Harlequin Teen/Tantor Audio
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 12 hrs 25 min (392 pages)
Genre: YA Paranormal/Romance
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

One kiss could be the last 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.


My Review:

Continue reading “Book Review | WHITE HOT KISS, by Jennifer L. Armentrout”

Book Review

Book Review | ONCE & FUTURE, by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy

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Once & Future (Once & Future #1)by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy

Publish Date: March 26, 2019
Published by: Jimmy Patterson Books/Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Retelling
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.


My Review:

So this book has been on my TBR since the moment I first heard about it. King Arthur retelling, space setting, and LGBTQ+ representation out the wazoo? It sounded perfect. And it almost was. While this book started off in a bit of a not-so-great spot and had me feeling iffy about going forward with it, by the time I finished it I had a million smiles on my face and a new gay puppy magician to love. Told in alternate point-of-views of Ari (King Arthur reincarnation #42) and Merlin (same one, younger body), this book is full of action, mildly steamy romance, diverse characters and a plot that takes you near and far in an adventure to mirror one of the many quests of King Arthur himself. Continue reading “Book Review | ONCE & FUTURE, by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy”

Book Review

Book Review | THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE, by Rebecca Ross

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The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2), by Rebecca Ross

Publish Date: March 5, 2019
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life.

Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone?

As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep-seated love.


My Review:

I absolutely positively adored The Queen’s Rising so as soon as I saw this was coming out I knew I had to get my hands on it. This sequel lived up to its predecessor in many ways and more, exploring the aftermath of the uprising and including the point of view of Cartier to give a new perspective to the story as well as his own personal growth. Continue reading “Book Review | THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE, by Rebecca Ross”

Book Review

Book Review | FOUR DEAD QUEENS, by Astrid Scholte

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Four Dead Queensby Astrid Scholte

Publish Date: February 26, 2019
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Four Queens. A divided nation. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington is one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves, but when she steals an unexpectedly valuable package from a messenger she is soon entangled in a conspiracy that leads to all four of Quadara’s queens being murdered.

With no other choices and on the run from her former employer, Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, and together they race to discover who has killed the queens. But when dark secrets threaten their reluctant partnership and put everything at stake, Keralie and Varin must use all their daring to stay alive and untangle the mysteries behind the nation’s four dead queens.


My Review:

This book is one of those kind of books that landed in my top ten most highly-anticipated reads of 2019 as soon as I heard about it. I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as I possibly could. Thieves and a murder mystery in a nation ruled by four queens? It sounded so intricately unique and interesting and just so up my alley that I was on edge about it – what if it turned out to be something that fell flat in the end? I’ve had that happen before – highly anticipated books turning out to be complete duds. But not so with this book. From the moment it began to the moment it ended, I was hooked. Continue reading “Book Review | FOUR DEAD QUEENS, by Astrid Scholte”