Book Review

Book Review | ROAR, by Cora Carmack

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Roar (Stormheart #1), by Cora Carmack

Publish Date: June 13, 2017
Published by: Tor Teen
Length: 380 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


My Review:

Not going to lie, the cover was a real draw for me when it came to picking up this book. I was in the mood for a good high fantasy read, and I thought, “Magic and storms? Why not?” I was instantly drawn into the world of Caelira, where storms rampage sentiently, and only a certain handful of people can control them. It turned out to be a really enjoyable read, despite some qualms here and there about relationship situations and how certain plot devices were added into the storyline.  Continue reading “Book Review | ROAR, by Cora Carmack”

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Book Review

Book Review | BONE CRIER’S MOON, by Kathryn Purdie

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Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1), by Kathryn Purdie

Publish Date: March 10, 2020
Published by: HarperCollins/Katherin Tegen
Pages: 480
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.


My Review:

I know this book doesn’t come out for quite some time (March of 2020), but I was in a bit of a rut when it came to what I wanted to read next. I knew it wanted to be some sort of fantasy but I just wasn’t sure until I came across this on Edelweiss. What definitely got me was the bit about Ailesse having to kill her soulmate in order to become a Ferrier, only to be kidnapped by him instead, and everything inside me just went YES PLEASE. It sounded so interesting, and while the concept was really original and I thought the world-building was unique, I just feel like the writing style left a lot to be imagined and didn’t make for as magical a storytelling as this could have been.
Continue reading “Book Review | BONE CRIER’S MOON, by Kathryn Purdie”

Book Review

Book Review | BLOODWITCH, by Susan Dennard

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Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3), by Susan Dennard

Publish Date: February 12, 2019
Published by: Tor Teen
Length: 464 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

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.


My Review:

Holy moly. This book. THIS SERIES. I just….I swear with each book it just gets better and better. The intricacies of the world-building and plot. The complexity of the characters. The slow-burn, scream-at-the-characters-to-just-kiss-already romance that is so much more than just romance, its soulmates. The high-paced action and gut-dropping twists and turns. If you haven’t caught on by now, I LOVED this book. Continue reading “Book Review | BLOODWITCH, by Susan Dennard”

Book Review

Book Review | SPIN THE DAWN, by Elizabeth Lim

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Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)by Elizabeth Lim

Publish Date: July 9 2019
Published by: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
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:

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.


My Review:

Not many people would think to themselves: “You know what would make a great crossover? Mulan and Project Runway.” But Elizabeth Lim apparently did and guess what – she was right. Obviously that isn’t the entirety of the story (although the part that was was so interesting I could have easily read an entire book about a magical fantasy fashion contest), but was actually just the beginning. This story is filled with trials, magic, myths and legends, a delicious slow-burn romance and a journey that will take you to the moon and back – literally.   Continue reading “Book Review | SPIN THE DAWN, by Elizabeth Lim”

Book Review

Book Review | THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, by Holly Black

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtownby Holly Black

Publish Date: September 3, 2013
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Length: 419 pages
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Coldtown was dangerous, Tana knew. A glamorous cage, a prison for the damned and anyone who wanted to party with them.

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. And once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.


My Review:

I started reading this just before BookCon and while I wasn’t all that in the mood for it afterwards, I had made enough of a dent that I wanted to keep going. The writing is very much the style I come to expect from Holly Black at this point – both easy to fall into but also full of imaginative prose. Continue reading “Book Review | THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, by Holly Black”

Book Review, Favorite Reads

Book Review | THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS, by Katy Rose Pool

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There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness #1)by Katy Rose Pool

Publish Date: September 3, 2019
Published by: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496
Genre: YA 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.**


Synopsis:

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it? 

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?


My Review:

This book has completely stolen my heart. When I first came across it, I discovered it on Edelweiss and the cover is what clearly caught my eye. And seriously, bravo to the designer and publishing team for so encapsulating this story in such a poignant design for the cover. I then read the title, the summary, and just went “yes.” I couldn’t stop thinking about it and when I found out that Katy Rose Pool was going to be at BookCon, I started reading it sooner than anticipated and have zero regrets. (And yes I stalked met her outside of a panel she was doing and she was sweet and wonderful and I couldn’t have been happier). With a cast of characters that steal your heart away and a breathtaking world that is built upon my dreams (or so it seems), this book is just…everything. Continue reading “Book Review | THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS, by Katy Rose Pool”