Book Review: The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

Book Review: The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

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Series:
The Folk of the Air #1
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 370
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was sent a copy of this book through ReadersFirst.
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Review

book cover (55)This is such a perfect book. I couldn’t put it down and I definitely didn’t want it to end. The Cruel Prince is the first in a new series from ‘Faerie Queen’ Holly Black, and I can totally see why she deserves that name because this book is so stunning. Books about the Fae are not something I read particularly often, though I recently read An Enchantment of Ravens and really enjoyed it. With that in mind I decided to give this a go, and boy was I not disappointed.

Jude Duarte has become my most favourite character ever. She’s a strong woman, she wants to be a knight and fend for herself and she doesn’t expect others to do the work for her. She’s brash and determined, she makes mistakes and works hard. Black portrays her so realistically and so humanly, that I could not help but love her. She’s a fantastic protagonist and it’s so exciting to watch her grow and evolve. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other amazing characters. I loved Cardan and Vivi and The Roach too.

For me what made this book really stand out was the lush, vivid settings and the plot that kept me guessing. Each character in this book has their own motives, and everyone is playing a game. I was never sure who to trust, who was being honest and who wasn’t. So many times I’ve read a book and I’ve guessed what’s going to happen, but that definitely wasn’t the case with The Cruel Prince.

The book is pretty fast-paced and there’s plenty of action and excitement to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you love faerie stories, or you’re a fan of the immensely talented Holly Black, you need to pick up this book now, you won’t regret it.
5 stars

Lost-A-Thon TBR!

Lost-A-Thon TBR!

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It’s February already and I haven’t participated in a readathon! I love readathons so when I stumbled across the Our Lost Library Lost-A-Thon I couldn’t resist making a TBR and joining in. This readathon started yesterday, but it’s also a month long so I figured I had plenty of time to catch up. There are tons of different reading prompts and there’s no way I’m going to get to them all but I thought it would be fun to pick a book for each prompt and that gives me a whole lot of different choices throughout the month. The point of this readathon is to read older books that you have on your TBR but for me I might mix in some new releases that I already have on my shelf that I’m just dying to read!

book cover (83)New Year, New Book: A book you were given as a gift.

Untitled design (40)Long Term TBR: A book that’s been on your TBR forever

the callingA Book Less Than 250 Pages

book cover (74)A Book More Than 350 Pages

corsetFinish A Book You Started

vassaDiscounted Discoveries: anything you got on sale

book cover (86)A Book By A Female Author

book cover (77)Finish A Series: 1 book or 5, it’s up to you!

book cover1New To You Genre: a genre you don’t really gravitate towards

book cover2Historical Conversations: a book that makes you think

Untitled design (63)Classic With A Twist: modern versions of classics (I’m stretching this a little buy oh well)

book cover3Deadly relationships: Domestic thrillers, paranormal romances

book cove4rDiverse Graphic Novel/Comic Book/Manga (I don’t own much in the way of graphic novels on my TBR and I don’t have any manga so I cheated on this one)

ffdTwenty-Somethings in Space

ruinFemale Fantasy

book cover (46)Middle Grade Retelling: Fairytale Retelling (Cheating again, I don’t have much middle grade on my TBR!)

book cover (88)A Book With A Love Triangle

book cover (76)Mystery Genre Pick: Contemporary

slayerFaith, Courage or Strength: words used in the synopsis

blood and sand
A Red Book

grhwoigwTBR Jar Pick: Sky in the Deep

Untitled design (98)Buddy Read: Buddy reading with my boyfriend

Untitled design (62)Book Rec from OLL

killing jokePassion Project: something you’re passionate about – Batman!

Untitled design (33)Free Choice

So those are my choices for Lost-A-Thon! I’m not sure how many I’ll get to – definitely not all of them but if I could read 10/12 I would be so pleased. Are there any you think I should prioritise – I’m honestly dying to read them all – if you do let me know below!

Book Review: The Fandom – Anna Day

Book Review: The Fandom – Anna Day

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Series:
The Fandom #1
Release Date: January 4th 2018
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 403
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly gave me a copy of this book at YALC 2017.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis

Violet’s in her element. Cosplay at the ready, she can’t wait to feel part of her favorite fandom: The Gallows Dance, a mega book and movie franchise that she and her friends know EVERY WORD of (canon and fanfic included).

But at Comic Con, a freak accident transports Violet and her friends into the story for real. And in just the first five minutes, they cause the death of the heroine, and get taken prisoner by the rebel group she was supposed to lead to victory.

It’s up to Violet to take her place, and play out the plot the way it was written. But stories have a life of their own, and when you change the script in one place, the rest gets revised too…

Review

the fandomHow many times have you read a book and wished you could go and visit the world in which it’s set? We’d all love to go and visit Narnia or Hogwarts or Middle Earth, but what would you actually do when you got there, and more importantly how would you get home?

I absolutely loved the concept of this book. Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con, they’re having a great time and meeting the star of their favourite book turned film, The Gallows Dance. Somehow they end up travelling to the universe the book is set and have to find a way to keep the story moving, and keep themselves alive.

The story is action packed, and well paced. The story is multi-layered, Violet is attempting to keep on the track of the original story, Alice is forging a new story and Katie is being help prisoner. Meanwhile everyone is trying to figure out how to get back home. The group soon find that just because you know everything about a story, doesn’t mean you actually want to visit.

The one thing that surprised me about this book is how funny it was. The colourful swear words that Katie uses, how clumsy and awkward Violet is, adds another layer to these fascinating characters, and really made me fall in love with them. You really root for Violet and her little brother Nate. I also loved the references to well known YA books – “Just like Tris and Katniss.” This book really appeals to my inner fan girl, and I loved that.

The book is divided up into pretty short chapters, and that also helps to make the book feel even more fast paced and action packed. I definitely thought this was a unique read and something I’ve never come across before. I did feel there was a bit of repetition which jarred a little – Katie’s soft scouse accent must have been mentioned seven or eight times, but overall I really enjoyed this fun and excited story.
4 stars

Waiting on Wednesday #12: Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan

Waiting on Wednesday #12: Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan

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Synopsis

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Review

Wicked Saints first caught my attention on Twitter when I saw a few people talking wicked saintsabout how excited they were for the upcoming release. The striking cover really appealed to me so I quickly looked it up on Goodreads and honestly after just the first few sentences of the blurb this book went on my wishlist. It sounds like it’s going to be an epic multi-POV story full of magic, war and mystery. I have wished for it on Netgalley and I am praying to the book gods that someone grants my wish. I’ve seen some excellent reviews for it already and one that suggested it was reminiscent of the Grishaverse so this is definitely high on my TBR! Wicked Saints is the first in the Something Dark and Holy Trilogy and is publishing April 2nd from Wednesday Books.

Blog Tour: Slay On Tour – Kim Curran

Blog Tour: Slay On Tour – Kim Curran

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Series:
SLAY #2 (See my review of the first book in the series here!)
Release Date: January 10th 2019
Publisher: Usborne
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review

Synopsis

SLAY are BACK…and this time they’re headed to Tokyo to track down another hell-raising demon. When they’re invited on tour with a super-cool band of holographic girls, SLAY find themselves whisked off around Japan – until strange things start happening on their tour train. Suddenly it seems it’s not just SLAY’s fans following their every move…

Review

book cover (100)Slay are back with even more adventures and demon killing! I read the first book in this series last year and adored it so I was so excited to get back to this fun and exciting story. This time round the band are in Tokyo and are joined by a band of holographic girls. Of course some odd things start happening and the band find themselves dealing with a new enemy – what could possibly go wrong?

Reading the first book I fell in love with Milly and the band and it was so wonderful to be back following their story again. Milly has become a member of the band and it’s wonderful to see her character develop as she takes on the role of Milo. The characters are all really well fleshed out and I love all the banter and fun moments between the band and of course their manager Gail.

As can be expected the story is full to the brim with action and adventure and I loved the sense of mystery – attempting to discover who was behind all the goings on. There were a few twists and turns too which definitely kept me hooked and eager to know more. I loved the new setting for this story, Curran weaves in the sights and sounds of Japan and it adds for another fascinating layer to this addictive tale.

Curran creates a multi-layered plot with the demon slaying, the band leading a double life, Milly pretending to be a boy and love triangle that has been developing throughout both books. I loved the way it all meshed together to create such a fun and exhilarating story. If you’re looking for a fun and fresh new series, these books are perfect for a weekend binge read.
4 stars
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Blog Tour: Dark Forge – Miles Cameron

Blog Tour: Dark Forge – Miles Cameron

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Series:
Masters & Mages #2
Release Date: January 29th 2019
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Only fools think war is simple.
Or glorious.

Some are warriors, some captains; others tend to the fallen or feed the living.

But on the magic-drenched battlefield, information is the lifeblood of victory, and Aranthur is about to discover that carrying messages, scouting the enemy, keeping his nerve, and passing on orders is more dangerous, and more essential, then an inexperienced soldier could imagine . . . especially when everything starts to go wrong.

Battle has been joined – on the field, in the magical sphere, and in the ever-shifting political arena . . .

Review

book cover (99)Cold Iron was one of my favourite new fantasy books of 2018. I enjoyed the world so much and I really grew attached to Aranthur and friends. Masters and Mages has the feeling of an old time fantasy novel but with a completely fresh perspective. When Dark Forge arrived I was so excited to dive back into this world, and it definitely did not disappoint.

This time around we are on the battle field. Cameron brings to life the sights and sounds of the magic filled battle zone and it is a gripping setting for this next instalment.  Aranthur is tasked with carrying messages and he soon finds out this is  a pretty dangerous situation to be in – especially when things don’t go quite as planned. The plot is quite quick paced as the battle rages on and I found it difficult to put Dark Forge down.

Dark Forge also has quite a bit of political intrigue which I really enjoyed. It helped to expand the world and really immerse myself in the story. Like the previous instalment Aranthur goes through quite a bit of character growth and I enjoyed seeing him continue to gain new skills as a mage.

As Dark Forge continues the story of Aarathur it continues that feeling of old time fantasy but with a modern approach. I really loved this aspect of the book and it definitely feels like a breath of fresh air to the typical fantasy novel. Miles Cameron really does a superb job with world building and it was easy to sink into the world he has created in this exciting series. If you’ve read Cold Iron and planning to pick Dark Forge up, it’s definitely worth the wait!
4 stars
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Book Review: Stain – A. G. Howard

Book Review: Stain – A. G. Howard

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Release Date:
15th January 2019
Publisher: Abrams Books
Pages: 512
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins…

After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest … disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

Review

book cover (75)This is my first book from A. G. Howard – I have always wanted to read Splintered but haven’t gotten around to it yet – so when I heard about this it immediately went on my TBR. A Gothic fairy tale retelling of The Princess and the Pea? Where do I sign up? I was completely sucked in by that beautiful cover and the synopsis. After just a few chapters I completely fell under the spell of this beautifully written book.

Stain has that gorgeous, lush fairy tale setting and it was so easy to fall into the story of Lyra. She’s a fascinating protagonist – a princess unable to speak or make a sound. I really liked seeing things from her perspective as she grows and survives the trials she has to get through. She’s a strong protagonist and it was so interesting seeing her gain more power and strength. The tale also features a whole host of supporting characters that really added to the story. Vesper was also one of my favourites. He’s the mysterious and intriguing Prince of Night and I really enjoyed the interactions between him and Lyra.

As you can imagine the story does obviously feature a romance but the romance is definitely something of a slow burn – it doesn’t have that insta-love that so many fairy tale stories do. I really liked this as it felt more natural to watch the relationship develop.

Featuring excellent world building and a whole host of lovable characters, Stain is definitely one of my new favourite reads and I’m so looking forward to reading more from A. G. Howard.
5 stars