Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

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We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday and this week the topic is books you loved but never reviewed! When I have quite a few review copies to review I tend not to review books I bought myself so there are quite a few books that I really loved but didn’t review, so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (97)1. The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Copy of book cover (42)2. The Silvered Heart – Katherine Clements
1648. Orphaned heiress Lady Katherine Ferrers is forced into marriage for the sake of family honour… But with Cromwell’s army bringing England to its knees, her fortune is the real prize her husband desires. As her marriage becomes a prison and her privileged world crumbles, Katherine meets her match in Rafe – a lover who will lead her into a dangerous new way of life where the threat of death lurks at every turn…

Enter Kate Ferrers, highwaywoman, the Wicked Lady of legend – brought gloriously to life in this tale of infatuation, betrayal and survival.

Copy of book cover (98)3. Balfire Omnibus – Cate Tiernan
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.

Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Copy of book cover (99)4. A Clash of Kings – George R R Martin
Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over and age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175225.3045. The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury
Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Copy of book cover (100)6. Shadow Study – Maria V. Snyder
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T135836.6407. The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johnansen
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T135849.7908. Roar – Cora Carmack
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.

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T135906.0779. Dark Matter – Michelle Paver
Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid. My skin pickled. My heart thudded in my throat. My body knew before I did that I was not alone…

London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible.

And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

Copy of book cover - 2020-08-10T140528.57510.  Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton 
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

So those are the top ten books I loved but never reviewed. I’d love to know some of your favourite books that you never got to review!

 

July Wrap Up!

July Wrap Up!

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Today I’m back with a July Wrap up. Things have been slowly returning to normal and I’ve been in work more so I’ve had less time to read. I did manage a total of 8 books, so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (95)1. Music and Malice in Hurricane Town – Alex Bell
This was a book I picked up on a whim and ended up absolutely loving it. It follows a young girl living in a magical New Orleans as she becomes wrapped up in the murder of the cajou Queen. Forced to find out who killed her, Jude goes on a whirlwind adventure through the underworld of Baton Noir. It was a really gripping read and I ended up racing through it. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (4)2. The Dark That Dwells – Matt Digman & Ryan Roody
This epic space adventure was my favourite book of the month. Full of action and adventure, I couldn’t put this one down. It’s a brilliant blend of science fiction and fantasy, following four strangers who become swept up in an epic adventure to stop an ancient evil from returning. I loved everything about this one, from the world building to the character and I highly recommend picking it up. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (59)3. If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha
If I Had Your Face follows a group of women living in contemporary Seoul. In this society plastic surgery rules all and everyone is obsessed with looking beautiful. Each women is dealing with her own struggles of living in this society and it was such a fascinating story. The writing is gorgeous and I definitely recommend if you’re looking for some gripping contemporary fiction. (3.75/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (21)4. Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis
I absolutely love horror movies so when I heard about this story about the daughter of a famous horror movie director, I was instantly hooked. The story follows Lola as she returns to her mothers hometown and the place where her father filmed his cult classic. When she arrives she finds a town stuck in the past, with a number of mysterious secrets. This book was brilliantly creepy and I had such a fun time reading it. It’s a perfect read for Halloween! (4.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (77)5. Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver
Hinton Hollow Death Trip is completely unlike anything I have ever read before. It follows Detective Pace who is returning to his hometown after many years. The story is narrated by Evil, as over the course of a few days he inspires and nudges people to do evil things. This story has really short snappy chapters that had me turning pages faster and faster. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (96)6. The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
This is one I’ve wanted to read for a while and it was so much fun. A heist style novel about a group of individuals looking to steal magical artefacts, it very much gave me Six of Crows vibes. I really liked the characters and the plot was excited but I would have liked a bit more of a chance to get to know the world and the magic system before diving into the main story. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (85)7. The Cry of the Lake – Charlie Tyler
This debut thriller might be short but boy it packs a punch. The story is set in a small town and follows a number of characters during the disappearance of a young school girl. When her body is discovered police find evidence to suspect one of her teachers. The evidence appears too neat, raising suspicions in police officer Annie and the suspect’s daughter Flo. But who would want to frame him and why? Full of twisty secrets, this was a mysterious and gripping read that I ended up reading in one day. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (86)8. The Resident – David Jackson
This book honestly freaked me out so much. Serial killer Thomas Brogan is on the run when he finds refuge in an abandoned house. Whilst exploring he discovers he can access the homes of the neighbours through the attic and decides to have some fun while he’s lying low. I live in the type of house where this seems possible so it definitely creeped me out. A completely terrifying read, it hooks you in right from the very first page. (5/5 stars)

So those are the eight books I read in July! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought as well as what books you’ve been reading in July!

Book Review: Highfire – Eoin Colfer

Book Review: Highfire – Eoin Colfer

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Release Date:
January 28th 2020
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Synopsis

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

Highfire is a genre-bending tour-de-force of comedy and action by the million-copy-selling master storyteller.

Review

Copy of book cover (94)I loved the Artemis Fowl series growing up so when I heard that Eoin Colfer was releasing an adult fantasy novel about a vodka drinking dragon I was desperate to get my hands on it. This action packed tale is full of hi-jinx and humour and is without a doubt one of the most unique tales I’ve read in a long time.

Highfire follows a young boy named Squib Moreau who lives and works in the bayou. He’s often getting into trouble with the law but he tries his best to do right by his mum Elodie. He often has run ins with Constable Hooke, a shady officer who has his sights on his mum, despite her constant rejections. When Squib and Hooke stumble upon an ancient dragon who is spending the rest of the days hiding out in the Lousiana swamp, Squib has to do everything he can to stop Hooke from taking over the bayou.

I loved how brilliant and original this story was. Have you ever read a book about an ancient dragon who drinks Vodka and is obsessed with flashdance? I thought not. This is a very cleverly woven story and I really enjoyed the blend of fantasy, action and thriller. I did find the beginning a little slow to get into but it quickly picked up the pace and the second half of the book is a complete roller coaster ride. The characters are really fascinating and that was probably what I enjoyed most about this one – Vern is grumpy and stubborn, Hooke is the definition of the crooked police officer. Squib was a great protagonist and it was so easy to root for him and Vern to safe the day.

Highfire is an action packed tale that is full of comedic moments. I found the pacing a little off in this one but overall it was a really enjoyable and fun read, full of humour and adventure. If you’ve been curious about this one I’d definitely suggest trying it out.
3 Stars (1)

Book Review: The Deck of Omens – Christine Lynn Herman

Book Review: The Deck of Omens – Christine Lynn Herman

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Series:
The Devouring Gray #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date:
April 21st 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home, in the sequel to hit fantasy The Devouring Gray. For fans of Stranger ThingsRiverdale and The Raven Cycle

Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.

Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.

But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140829.373The Deck of Omens is the concluding book in The Devouring Gray duology. I absolutely loved book one so I was really excited to pick up book two. The Deck of Omens picks up just after the events of The Devouring Gray and this sequel is just as dark and gripping as book one.

The Deck of Omens follows the same characters as book one, and it was fascinating getting to see them as their relationships continue to evolve. I enjoyed the alternating POVs, and Harper was definitely my favourite of the main protagonists. I really loved the history and folklore that Herman has created for Four Paths and it was fascinating learning the history of the townspeople.

While I really enjoyed The Deck of Omens, I preferred The Devouring Gray. The story was still fascinating, but it didn’t grip me in the same way. It was brilliant seeing the Herman expand on the world she has created and I loved the creepy atmosphere she created. This series has so many things that I love, magical powers, strange towns with a mysterious history and a really interesting cast of characters.

The Deck of Omens comes to a satisfying conclusion, and I really enjoyed the duology overall. It’s full of twists and turns and despite being over four hundred pages I absolutely flew through it. This duology has been pretty hyped but I would definitely say it was worth all the buzz. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up this fast paced fantasy duology, I’d definitely recommend giving it a go.
4 Stars

Book Review: Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan

Book Review: Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan

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Series:
The Trials of Apollo #1
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 376
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was sent an Ebook & audio copy from the publisher and then I purchased a paperback copy
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Review

Copy of book cover (51)The Trials of Apollo is the first in a new series from Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan. This series follows God Apollo, as he is cast from Olympus and forced to live as a mortal teenager. When he makes it to Camp Half-Blood he discovers his enemies are plotting to bring down Olympus permanently.

This is such a fun and fast paced adventure. The reader is dropped right in the middle of the action and it doesn’t let up for the whole book. If you’re looking for a story that will sweep you along, this is definitely a series to try. The plot is a little on the predictable side, but the story is enjoyable and steeped in Greek and Roman mythology.

Apollo is a great protagonist, he’s self centred and vain – believing everything should revolve around him. He has a bit of a hard time of being mortal and it’s interesting seeing him grow as a person and learn what it means to be a human. I also really liked Meg, she’s a kick-ass character and I loved her little sidekick Peaches. This is actually my first time reading a Rick Riordan book and while I really enjoyed it I think I would have been better off starting with the Percy Jackson series, as it’s referenced all the way through this story. I think I would have been able to appreciate the story more if I’d known the previous stories.

I’ve been curious about these books for a long time and after reading this one I’m definitely going to pick up more from this author. If you love action packed stories with a dash of comedy, this is going to be just the series for you.
4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart

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Synopsis

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (30)I saw a few people talking about this online and thought I would have a look at the synopsis (mainly because I was intrigued by that absolutely stunning cover!). After reading what the book was about it immediately became an anticipated release. An heir attempting to reclaim her throne? The forbidden art of bone shard magic? WHERE DO I SIGN UP? This sounds like the kind of thing I would absolutely love and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve seen a few people have read it already and the reviews have all been 4/5 stars so that gives me really high expectations for this book. The Bone Shard Daughter is the first in The Drowning Empire series and I just have the feeling that this is going to be one of my all time favourites. I’m participating in the blog tour for this one in September but I know as soon as my copy arrives I’m going to be diving straight into this one. The Bone Shard Daughter is publishing September 10th from Orbit Books.

Book Review: The Cold Is In Her Bones – Peternelle Van Arsdale

Book Review: The Cold Is In Her Bones – Peternelle Van Arsdale

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Release Date:
March 7th 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 288
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

Review

Copy of book cover (29)The Cold is in Her Bones is the dark and compelling Medusa retelling you didn’t know you needed.

The story follows Milla a young girl who lives on a remote farm. She’s not allowed to go into the village and her whole world is her brother and parents. When a young girl named Iris comes to live on the farm as a potential match for her brother Milla learns about the demon who possesses the young girls in the village. When Iris is becomes possessed by the demon and taken to live in an asylum, Milla must use all her courage to rescue her friend and the town.

This is a beautifully told story, and I really enjoyed Arsdale’s writing style. It was dreamy and very fairy tale like. She creates some really fascinating and compelling characters, both Milla and Iris are fascinating and I was really intrigued by Hulda and her story. The story particularly focuses on relationships – Milla’s relationships with her mother, wiht Iris and with her brother. It was so interesting to see those relationships adjust as Milla continued to uncover the mysteries of the demon and why she possessed girls in the village. The characters all felt well fleshed out and it was easy to root for Milla as she fought to safe the village.

While I enjoyed this story overall it is a slower paced story and I did feel it dragged a little in some parts. It is a very loose Medusa retelling, so if you’re looking for something close to the original tales this probably isn’t it. If you’re looking for a fair tale like tale, full of haunting imagery and lovely writing I’d definitely recommend giving this a go.
3 Stars (1)

Blog Tour: Midnight’s Twins – Holly Race

Blog Tour: Midnight’s Twins – Holly Race

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Release Date: June 11th 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

The first novel in a lyrical, endlessly inventive urban fantasy trilogy from debut author Holly Race.

Fifteen-year-old Londoner Fern is about to uncover a place that she could not have imagined in all her wildest dreams. Annwn is the dream mirror of our world, a place where Dreamers walk in their slumber, their dreams playing out all around them. An enchanted, mysterious place that feeds our own world – as without dreams, without a place where our imaginations and minds can be nourished, what kind of humans would we be?

But Annwn is a place as full of dangers as it is wonders: it is a place where dreams can kill you. Annwn and its Dreamers are protected by an ancient order known as the Knights – and when Fern’s hated twin Ollie is chosen to join their ranks, Fern will have to do whatever she can to prove she is one of them too.

But the world Fern discovers in Annwn, in this dream mirror of her London, is a fragile one, threatened by vicious nightmares. Nightmares that are harder and harder for the Knights to defeat. Something dark is jeopardising the peace and stability of Annwn, something that must be rooted out at all costs. And gradually, Fern realises that the danger lurking inside our sleep is more insidious and terrifying than any nightmare. Because if you can influence someone’s dreams, you can control their thoughts …

Review

Copy of book cover (3)Midnight’s Twins is the first in an all new fantasy trilogy from Holly Race. The story follows fifteen year old Fern, who has always felt like an outsider in her family. When she uncovers secrets surrounding her mother’s past, Fern discovers the magical dream world of Annwn. Annwn is protected by Knights and when Fern’s twin brother Ollie is chosen to join them, Fern must do everything she can to prove she is one of them too.

Midnight’s Twins is one of those books that you just sink into and completely lose yourself in the world. The story is beautifully told and I absolutely loved Race’s lyrical dream like writing. The world building in this story is superb and Annwn is a fascinating place. I loved the slightly eerie atmosphere and the strange creatures that come alive in the world of dreams. The story has a really unique and engaging plot full of mystery. The plot is quite fast paced, giving you plenty of action as you learn about Annwn and the Knights.

The characters in Midnight’s Twins are really fascinating, and I loved watching them transform as they spent more time in Annwn. Fern has always been treated like the outsider, judged by her peers and people she meets in the street. Ollie is the popular and can do no wrong. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship change as well as the characters themselves grow. Midnight’s Twins is an addictive read and one that tackles a lot of topics – not just sibling relationships but also politics, family, grief and judging others.

Midnight’s Twins is a magic read that’s difficult to put down. If you’re looking for a vivid fantasy world to escape into, Midnight’s Twins is exactly what you’re looking for. I really enjoyed this one and I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s in store in book two.
4 Stars

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Waiting on Wednesday: Court of Lions – Somaiya Daud

Waiting on Wednesday: Court of Lions – Somaiya Daud

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Synopsis

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (17)Mirage was one of those books that I thought sounded quite interesting and order a copy of and then sits on your TBR for absolutely ages. Eventually I picked it up and I absolutely devoured it. I couldn’t put it down and it was one of my favourite reads of 2019. It was fast paced, I loved the characters and the plot was so engrossing. I love the doppelganger trope and I think it’s done so well in this book. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this second instalment because I’m desperate to know what’s going to happen next. I have really high expectations for this one, so fingers crossed it lives up to it. The release date has been pushed back to August which I’m a bit sad about, but thankfully there isn’t too long to go. There is also a change in the cover design and while I like the new cover I do prefer the simple design of the first book and I’m going to be so sad they don’t match. If you haven’t picked up Mirage yet you can read my full review here, and I definitely recommend it. While I’m not so patiently counting down the days till release, there’s only a few more months to go – Court of Lions is publishing August 6th from Hodder Books.

Book Review: Magic For Liars – Sarah Gailey

Book Review: Magic For Liars – Sarah Gailey

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Release Date:
June 4th 2019
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life. She has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175422.944Magic For Liars first caught my eye when I saw it described as ‘Veronica Mars at Hogwarts’ and while this is a murder mystery set at a magic school, the story was very different from what I expected. Dark and twisty, the story follows Private Investigator Ivy Gamble as she is asked to investigate the death of a teach at a secret magic school. A school where it just so happens her estranged twin sister Tabitha works. Struggling to uncover the truth when everyone around her has magic and she doesn’t, Ivy must face the truths of who she is, and use everything she’s got to uncover who carried out such a gruesome murder.

This book has pretty much everything I love in books, but for some reason I just felt like it fell a bit flat. The story was interesting and I enjoyed seeing Ivy work to uncover the murder but I struggled to connect with the characters. I liked Ivy well enough, but the story was quite slow so by the time things were happening I just wasn’t invested in the characters. The story focuses heavily on Ivy’s relationship with her sister, as well as a budding romance that I didn’t really care for either.

I enjoyed the magic school setting, and the murder mystery aspect did have me guessing until quite near the end. I liked the atmosphere that Gailey created – a rippling sense of unease surrounding this prestigious school and an incredibly horrible murder. I think this book might polarise people, with some people absolutely adoring it and others like myself finding it a bit unmemorable. This one might not be for everyone but I’m sure plenty of people will love it. If you enjoy twisty murder mysteries, magic school settings and sibling relationships, this is definitely one to try out.
3 Stars (1)