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”

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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”

Book Review

Book Review | A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY, by Brigid Kemmerer

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1)by Brigid Kemmerer

Publish Date: January 29, 2019
Published by: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 496
Genre: YA Fantasy/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:

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


My Review:

While I enjoyed this book and was mostly engaged while reading it, I did think it had a few flaws. The characters were interesting and well-rounded, the romance grew beautifully, and the plot was engaging. Continue reading “Book Review | A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY, by Brigid Kemmerer”

Book Review

Book Review | UMBERTOUCHED, by Livia Blackburne

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Umbertouched (Rosemarked #2), by Livia Blackburne

Publish Date: November 6, 2018
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 375
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.

As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself—especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left.

Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.


My Review:

This was a very strong sequel to Rosemarked, and I absolutely loved watching the continuing journey of Zivah and Dineas after the events in the previous book. It was filled with action and intrigue and kept me engaged throughout. It left me feeling happy and sad, content with how things ended but also leaving things a little open-ended, not perfectly wrapped up in a neat little bow. Continue reading “Book Review | UMBERTOUCHED, by Livia Blackburne”

Book Review

Book Review | ROSEMARKED, by Livia Blackburne

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Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1), by Livia Blackburne

Publish Date: September 7, 2017
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.


My Review:

This book pulled me in from the start. I don’t know what it was about it – the writing style, the characters, the world-building – but I fell in love with it almost immediately. There was just something about it that had me constantly engaged and wanting more. With beautiful world-building and characters that shine off the page, Livia Blackburne has made me an immediate fan of this book. Continue reading “Book Review | ROSEMARKED, by Livia Blackburne”