Book Review

Book Review | THE CONFECTIONER’S GUILD, by Claire Luana

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The Confectioner’s Guild (The Confectioner’s Chronicles #1), by Claire Luana

Publish Date: October 23, 2018
Published by: Live Edge Publishing
Pages: 395
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.

Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.


My Review:

On reading the premise of this book I was immediately intrigued. It sounded both magical and mysterious and I was in the mood for a little bit of both. The Confectioner’s Guild turned out to be a semi-sweet tale that had a lot of intrigue and intricate world-building, some really interesting characters, and a unique blend of magic that added just the right touch to the story. Continue reading “Book Review | THE CONFECTIONER’S GUILD, by Claire Luana”

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Book Review

Book Review | THE DEVIL’S THIEF, by Lisa Maxwell

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The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2), by Lisa Maxwell

Publish Date: October 9, 2018
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 704
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss, and as an ARC from BookCon 2018, in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.

Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.


My Review:

I absolutely adored reading The Last Magician last year so of course this was going to be one of my most anticipated releases this year. I loved Maxwell’s world-building in this first one, and it continued to be just as great in this one, if a little more confusing with some new information, and of course the characters are definitely what kept me going. There were some flaws, though, and it did feel like it dragged a bit at times, but overall I was mostly content with it as a sequel. Continue reading “Book Review | THE DEVIL’S THIEF, by Lisa Maxwell”

Book Review

Book Review | EMERALD GREEN, by Kerstin Gier

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Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3), by Kerstin Gier

Publish Date: December 8, 2010 (audiobook recorded in October 8, 2013)
Published by: Macmillan Audio
Translated to English by: Anthea Bell
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Pages: 451 (approx. 12 3/4 hrs)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along. Emerald Green is the stunning conclusion to Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red Trilogy, picking up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.


My Review:

I had my fears that not everything was going to be able to be wrapped up in this book, because the first two had so much mystery that left me with so many questions, but thankfully it did. I wouldn’t have minded a fourth book, to be sure, but this one was just as fun to listent to as the others (and let me just say, the narrator Marisa Calin, is amazing with all of the different nuances she puts into the character voices). It was a very good conclusion to the trilogy, with intrigue that continued to keep me on the edge of my seat, and answers that were both expected and unknown. Continue reading “Book Review | EMERALD GREEN, by Kerstin Gier”

Book Review

Book Review | SAPPHIRE BLUE, by Kerstin Gier

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Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red Trilogy #2), by Kerstin Gier

Publish Date: January 5, 2010 (audiobook recorded in October 30, 2012)
Published by: Macmillan Audio
Translated to English by: Anthea Bell
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Pages: 357 (approx. 9 hrs.)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean. At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.


My Review:

This one was just as fun and exciting to listen to as the first one! I absolutely love Gwen’s narrative voice, the mysteries are starting to make sense, and the intrigue is still enticing me along. Continue reading “Book Review | SAPPHIRE BLUE, by Kerstin Gier”

Book Review

Book Review | A BLADE SO BLACK, by L. L. McKinney

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A Blade So Black, by L. L. McKinney

Publish Date: September 25, 2018
Published by: Imprint
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
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:

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.


My Review:

When I first started this book I really enjoyed it. It pulled me in quickly and held my interest throughout the story. The writing is excellent, the storytelling very well done, and the characters were very lifelike and distinct. It had a bit of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe which I digged a lot, and the action and intrigue kept me captivated throughout. My only issue, though, was that by the end it started to feel like things were getting dragged out, and with so many new issues occurring and adding up on top of each other, it felt like the plot would never end.  Continue reading “Book Review | A BLADE SO BLACK, by L. L. McKinney”

Book Review

Book Review | TWICE DEAD, by Caitlin Seal

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Twice Dead (The Necromancer’s Song #1), by Caitlin Seal

Publish Date: September 18, 2018
Published by: Charlesbridge Teen
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through NetGalley and as an ARC at BookCon 2018, in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue. 

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.


My Review:

I really wanted to like this book. From the minute I saw the title, the cover, and read the synopsis, I was eager to read it. A book about necromancy told by the perspective of one who has been brought back from the dead? I thought it sounded interesting and unique. And while it was both of those, the world-building unfortunately was so confusing at times that it sadly ruined the whole story for me. Continue reading “Book Review | TWICE DEAD, by Caitlin Seal”