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)

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab

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Synopsis

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (3)The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is one of my most anticipated releases for 2020. Although I’m still working my way though V. E. Schwab’s back catalogue, I’ve read and loved her City of Ghost series, The Near Witch and Vicious. Each one was a four or five star read and I’m so eager to read more of her books. I went to an event to celebrate The Near Witch last year and she talked about how long she had worked on Addie LaRue and even with her just mentioning it briefly I was hooked. It sounds like an incredible read and I really adore Schwab’s writing. There’s been quite a lot of buzz about this book already, and I’ve seen a number of five star reviews from bloggers too. I’m so excited to get my hands on a copy but there are a few more months to wait, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is publishing October 6th 2020 from Titan Books.

Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

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Series:
Girls of Paper and Fire #1
Release Date: November 6th 2018
Publisher: Hodder Books
Pages: 385
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in my local bookshop
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-28T161834.015Girls of Paper and Fire is a book that has been on my TBR for absolutely ages. I’ve heard incredible things about it so going in I had some pretty high expectations. The story follows Lei, a young girl forced to become a courtesan for the Demon King. Being a Paper Girl is the worst fate imaginable for Lei, who wants nothing more than to remain at home with her family. While forced to learn skills befitting a woman at court, Lei falls in love – a forbidden romance that if discovered, could be her death.

Girls of Paper and Fire has a really fascinating premise and while I really enjoyed it, I had expected to love it a lot more than I did. I really enjoyed Ngan’s writing style, but felt the world building could have been a little stronger in this book. There is quite a bit of info dump at the beginning and it took me a little while to wrap my head round the castes and rules of the world.

The story is well paced, and the last hundred pages are incredibly gripping as the action heats up. Girls of Paper and Fire ends with the promise of even higher stakes and more drama in book two, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Girls of Storm and Shadow will bring. The characters Ngan has created in this book are probably what I enjoyed most about this story. I really liked Lei and the other paper girls, it was fascinating seeing them come from different backgrounds and cope with the horrors of being a paper girl. The romance is well done too, it doesn’t overtake the main plot and Ngan gives it plenty of time to develop. I would have liked to learn a bit more about the Demon King. He felt like a bit cookie cutter for me.

Natasha Ngan has weaved a clever tale full of action, political intrigue and romance. A word of warning that the story is quite a dark one, and will have trigger warnings for rape and abuse. It’s an impressive start to this exciting YA fantasy series, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Natasha Ngan. Though it didn’t completely live up to my expectations I still really enjoyed this one, and if you’re curious about picking it up I’d recommend trying it out!
4 Stars

Book Review: A Conjuring of Assassins – Cate Glass

Book Review: A Conjuring of Assassins – Cate Glass

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Series:
Chimera #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: February 7th 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 455
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.
Source: I bought a copy of this from BookDepository.
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

A Conjuring of Assassins is Cate Glass’s second adventure with the Chimera team, a ragtag crew who use their forbidden magic for the good of the kingdom.

Romy and her three partners in crime—a sword master, a silversmith, and her thieving brother—have embraced their roles as the Shadow Lord’s agents, using their forbidden magic to accomplish tasks his other spies cannot.

Now, the Shadow Lord needs them to infiltrate the home of the Mercediaran Ambassador and prevent him from obtaining information that would lead to all-out war with Cantagna’s most dangerous enemy.

To succeed, they will have to resurrect long-buried secrets, partner with old enemies, and once again rely on the very magics that could get them sentenced to death.

Review

Copy of book cover (2)A Conjuring of Assassins is the second instalment in Cate Glass’s Chimera Series, featuring Romy and her rag tag band of magic users. Magic is forbidden in Cantagna, so when Romy and the gang become entangled in a secret plot to incite revolution, they must use all their whits and schemes to foil the plot and stop their magic being discovered.

An Illusion of Thieves was one of my favourite books of 2019. I loved the world building and the heist aspects of the story, so I was incredibly eager to pick up this second instalment. The story dives in pretty much straight where An Illusion of Thieves leaves off, dropping the reader straight into the action. The story is a fast paced one, full of magic, action and scheming, it’s the perfect read if you’re a fan of heist novels.

One of things I love most about this series are the magnificent characters – Romy, the Shadow Lord’s dismissed mistress turned scribe, Neri her rebellious younger brother, Dumond the blacksmith who does whatever he can to protect his family and Placidio the wise and mysterious duellist. They’re all fascinating each with a complex back story and I loved seeing the characters continue to grow through this second instalment. We are also introduced to a new character – the mysterious Teo who I have so many questions about – making me all the most desperate to get my hands on book three.

A Conjuring of Assassin’s is a clever tale, full of mystery and intrigue. It will have you hooked from the very beginning and this is definitely a book I found hard to put down. As a sequel it definitely did not disappoint and I am so looking forward to finding out what the gang get up to next. If you haven’t had the chance to pick up An Illusion of Thieves yet, now is definitely the time – the beautiful writing, fascinating world building and brilliant characters will make you completely fall in love with this series.
4 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik

Waiting on Wednesday: A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik

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Synopsis

Lesson One of the Scholomance

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (1)A Deadly Education is the first in a new series from fantasy author Naomi Novik and it sounds INCREDIBLE. I love a magic school setting and everything about this book just sounds like my perfect kind of read. I’ve actually never read a Naomi Novik book, but I have Spinning Silver and Uprooted on my TBR. I’ve heard amazing things about her books so I’m really interested in trying A Deadly Education. It’s been pitched as ‘a dark feminist Harry Potter’ and I was pretty much sold from that alone. I’ve seen a few early reviews and they’ve all been extremely positive so that gives me really high hopes for this one. I also completely adore that cover! A Deadly Education is definitely one of my most anticipated releases and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. There’s not too much longer to wait, A Deadly Education is publishing September 29th from Del Rey Books.

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire

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Series:
Wayward Children #5 (Read my review of book one here!)
Release Date: January 7th 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 208
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I listened to this via Scribd.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister—whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice—back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.

Again.

Review

Copy of book coverCome Tumbling Down is the fifth instalment in Seanan McGuire’s incredible Wayward Children series. I was so excited to learn that this next instalment would be following Jack and Jill again, the characters we followed in my favourite book of the series – Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Come Tumbling Down follows Jack as she returns to Eleanor West’s Home after the events of book one, and has to enlist the help of her fellow wayward children in a quest to save the moors.

I must admit I had pretty high expectations for this book. I hadn’t been so keen on Beneath the Sugar Sky, but this instalment was following my favourite characters from the series. After just a single chapter I was completely hooked on this story and I think Come Tumbling Down is probably my favourite book of the series so far. This instalment is fast paced, full of action and features a whole host of characters travelling to the moors in an attempt to help Jack. It’s a clever, twisty story and I definitely didn’t want it to end. Like the other instalments McGuire manages to pack so much into just a short novella. The story concludes well, but I would absolutely love a full length novel about these magnificent characters.

Come Tumbling Down gives the reader an opportunity to get to know some of the other characters a bit more and it has definitely made me want a book based on Christopher and his world. Come Tumbling Down is a fantastic addition to the series and I can’t wait to see what Seanan McGuire comes up with for the next book. If you haven’t yet picked up this newest instalment, it’s definitely worth giving a go.
5 Stars