January Book Haul!

January Book Haul!

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Today I’m bringing you my January Book Haul! I’m trying to make a concerted effort to buy less books in 2019 – I’m also tracking how much I spend on books over the year so that will be interesting to see what the total is in December. I was lucky enough to get quite a few books from publishers (thank you so much!), so as usual I’ve split them into two lots. Let’s dive in!

Books I Bought:

1. The Wicked King – Holly Black
The sequel to The Cruel Prince obviously had to be the first book I bought in 2019. I’ve read this already and it was brilliant.

book cover (13)You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

2. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
ssdI really loved the first book in this series so I just had to pick up the second instalment of Amdanda Lovelace’s inspiring poetry. I’ve also read this one too and loved it as well.

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

3. The Witch of Willow Hall – Hester Fox
I have an e-ARC from Netgalley for this book that I still haven’t read so when I saw it in the bookshop I decided to pick it up.

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

halTake this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end… 

4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
I really love Brigid Kemmerer’s books so I’m so looking forward to reading this Beauty and the Beast retelling.

book cover (46)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.

5. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
Favourite author has a new book about one of my all time favourite characters, need I say more?

book cover (47)Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Books From Publishers:

6. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
This dark and twisted thriller completely hooked me and I can’t wait for the next book in the series (check out my full review here)

book cover (98)A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

7. Dark Forge – Miles Cameron
The continuation to the Master and Mages series was another brilliant read and you can check out my stop on the blog tour here.

book cover (99)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 . . .

8. We Are Blood and Thunder – Kesia Lupo
This honestly sounds like such a stunning book and comes out in April from Bloomsbury Books.

bldthIn a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.

A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within.

9. Five Feet Apart – Rachel Lippencott
This kind of reminded me of a Fault in Our Stars kind of story and I know there’s a movie coming out soon so I’m definitely going to have to get to it before that comes out!

book covlhkjgerCan you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

10. The Killing Joke – Christa Faust
I loved the Harley Quinn novel in this series and Titan books kindly sent me copies of book one and three!

killing jokeA tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) patrol Gotham City together, taking down perps such as the crime boss Maxie Zeus. Simultaneously Detective Harvey Bullock works with Commissioner James Gordon to take down a drug factory. Back in Arkham Asylum, Joker learns of a new technology he wants to acquire and escapes, setting out on a mission designed to break the Commissioner, forcing him to abandon his ideals as a police officer. In a violent home invasion he shoots and cripples Barbara, then takes Gordon hostage. Batman races to rescue Gordon, ultimately confronting his arch-foe in an amusement park fun house. This edgy adaptation by Hard Case Crime novelist Christa Faust expands upon the cast and adds intricate layers to the events of the graphic novel, further examining the nature of morality.

11. The Court of Owls – Greg Cox
This is the third instalment in the DC comics novels!

bojhghgBeware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
–a nursery rhyme

The Court of Owls is a criminal secret society that has existed in Gotham City since the 1600s, led by some of the city’s wealthiest and most influential families. They employ deadly trained assassins known as Talons, taken as children from circuses such as the one where Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. These children are trained to become the assassins known as Talons. Bruce Wayne came to the Court’s attention when he announced plans to reinvigorate Gotham, threatening their control. They sentenced him to death, bringing themselves to the attention of Batman. Though they suffer defeats, the Court continues to fight to retake control of the city’s underworld – a fight that has gone on for centuries.

12. Shadow Captain – Alastair Reynolds
This is the second book in the Revenger series, it’s been a while since I read book one so I’m definitely going to have to binge read them both.

bjhk coverAdrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.

Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship.

Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining … and of betrayal.

13. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland
This has long been on my wishlist so I was super excited to be sent a copy to coincide with the publication in the UK.

book cove4rJane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

14. Sky In the Deep – Adrienne Young
I’m so excited about this Viking/Fantasy story and I’ll be participating in the blog tour so make sure you check that out.

grhwoigwRaised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

15. Stronger, Faster & More Beautiful – Arwen Elys Dayton
This sounds like such a unique and fascinating read so it’s very high up on my priority list.

jjjjjSet in our world, spanning the near to distant futures, Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is a novel made up of six interconnected stories that ask how far we will go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimens, and how hard that will push the definition of “human.”

This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances. The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. Deeply thoughtful, poignant, horrifying, and action-packed, Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is groundbreaking in both form and substance.

16. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartley
This sounds like such a fun and exciting middle grade story and this is another one that I’m participating in the blog tour for!

hjDarwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors into different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world . . . and only he can save it.

The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out . . .

17. End of Magic – Mark Stay
Mark kindly reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his new fantasy novel and of course I immediately said yes. This sounds amazing and it’s definitely going to be my next read!

endThere are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again… This is not one of those stories. The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose… Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills. Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone. Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever. Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

So those are the books I picked up in January! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know which ones to prioritise!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favourite couples in books. I don’t read romance novels or much in the way of contemporary so most of these are from fantasy books! There might be slight spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read these books so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

1. Yelena & Valek – Study Series
Yelena and Valek are definitely my favourite couple from a book. This series is one of my all time favourites and I loved watching their relationship grow over the six books.
the calling
2. Hunter & Morgan – Sweep Series
These two were some of my favourite characters growing up and I loved them as a couple. I’m currently rereading this fifteen book series and I still adore the characters so they definitely deserve to be on this list.

3. Vasya & Morozoko – Winternight Trilogy
I recently read the final book in this beautiful trilogy so I couldn’t make this list without my favourite heroine and the King of Winter. They were such fascinating characters and the romance between them blossomed so well in the story!
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4. Jude & Cardan – Folk of the Air
I imagine this one might be on a lot of people’s lists. The love/hate relationship between Jude and Cardan is one of the things I love most about this trilogy and honestly I’m just dying to read Queen of Nothing.


5. Hanna & Nik – Illuminae Files

I loved these two so much. Hanna is on the surface a pampered princess but with much than meets the eye and Nik is the drug dealer with a heart of gold. What’s not to love about this couple?
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6. Alosha & Riden – Daughter of the Pirate King

This duology was completely not what I was expecting and was much more romance focused than I originally thought but I really loved the sassy banter and budding romance between Alosha and Riden in this series so they were an easy choice for this list!

7. Lara Jean & Peter – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
THEY ARE JUST SO CUTE AND ADORABLE. This is the only contemporary couple on this list but they are just perfect. I loved them in the books and I adored them in the movie – they’re sweet and funny and definitely one of the best couples.
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8. Alina and Mal – Grisha Trilogy

This might be a bit of a controversial one. I know a lot of people don’t like Alina and Mal together and while I really love the Darkling, I think Alina and Mal make a really lovely couple and ultimately she ended up with the right person.

9. Hoshiko & Ben – Showstopper
These two make a really fascinating couple because they come from such different worlds. Ben is rich and lives comfortably with his status as a Pure and Hoshiko is forced to perform in a deadly circus as one of the Dregs of society. They get together and they’re such a sweet couple!
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10. Lou & Robert – A Sky Painted Gold

This Gatsby-esque historical fiction novel features a romance between the wealthy Robert Cardew and local girl Lou and I completely fell in love with their story when I read it last year. It’s a perfect summer read and a gorgeous romance!

So those are my top ten couples from books. Which couples made your list?

Guest Post: Where I Wrote Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone

Guest Post: Where I Wrote Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone

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Where I Wrote Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom by P.M. Freestone

Some people can write anywhere, anytime, with any distractions going on around them. I envy their ability to shut out the world and instantly become one with the words. That said, I’m lucky to have lots of options when it comes to writing spots. And I’ve managed to ‘train’ myself to write in some less likely places, too. Here’s just some of the locations where I wrote Shadowscent:

1. My study

WhiteboardAfter many years of writing at home, I’ve recently managed to dedicate most of a room to writing. I painted it the deepest, darkest blue, which I find helps with concentration. It’s also filled with plants—on shelves, stands, even hanging from the walls—most of them on NASA’s list of top plants for using on the ISS, because I’m a nerd like that. There’s also another beloved item hanging from my study wall, my whiteboard. Here’s where the plotting and planning happens, usually beginning with a cast of characters (blurred out in this photo because it’s for a Sekrit Project!)

2. Libraries

EdinburghCentralLibraryThere’s a reason that multiple libraries feature in Shadowscent. I love them. There was a particular time in my childhood where we couldn’t afford to buy books, so the library was a paradise. When I went on to university study, I veritably lived in libraries. My favourite is the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Then, whenever I visit London, I try to make room for a writing or research session at the British Library. In Edinburgh, I love the Central Library for getting my fix of hushed voices and the scent of old tomes—it also has a gorgeous ceiling to gaze at while figuring out thorny plot points.

3. Trains, planes and airports

AirportsI do a fair bit of travel, both for author stuff and for my other job, so I’m often furiously drafting or desperately editing while on the go. I’ve learned to work in airports, and on planes and trains wherever possible. Last year, I finally invested in some noise-cancelling headphones and this has made all the difference.

4. Outdoors

VerandaScotland doesn’t make a frequent habit of putting on prime outdoor writing weather, but when it does, I’ll grab the laptop and head out into one of Edinburgh’s beautiful parks. I’m also fortunate enough to able to get back to Australia once (sometimes twice) annually, so I squeeze in as much outdoor writing time while I’m there—hat and SPF 30+ essential! My favourite place is on the veranda at my sister’s house, if I can get the locals to let me concentrate…

SHADOWSCENT: THE DARKEST BLOOM by P.M. Freestone (SCHOLASTIC) is available now.

January Wrap Up!

January Wrap Up!

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January felt like the longest month ever but I only ended up reading ten books. I felt like I kicked 2019 off quite well as a few of these were really fantastic reads, so let’s dive into my January wrap up!

gfsrThe Awakening – Kate Chopin
This little book has been on my TBR forever so I thought I would kick 2019 off by getting it off my to read list. The story is a feminist classic about a women who has an affair and becomes increasingly unhappy with the role thrust on her by society. It was a really interesting read and I found it pretty fascinating to learn how much this shocked readers when it was first published in 1899. (3/5 stars)

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The Fork the Witch & the Worm – Christopher Paolini
I really adored The Inheritance Cycle growing up so when I was given the opportunity to return to this world and all the characters I loved I was so excited. This book offers three short stories from the world of Eragon and provides an insight into what happens after the original series ends. I participated in the blog tour for this one so if you fancy reading my full review, you can check that out here. (4/5 stars)

book cover (13)The Wicked King – Holly Black
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and I was so excited to see if it would live up to my expectations. I’m happy to say that I thought The Wicked King was brilliant, the plot was so addictive with even more twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming. I’ve really grown attached to the characters in this series and I honestly can’t wait to find out what’s in store in The Queen of Nothing. (5/5 stars) 

book cover (75)Stain – A. G. Howard
This was my first time reading a book by A. G. Howard and I loved it so much. This beautiful gothic fairy tale follows two kingdoms, one that only contains day and one that only contains night. The heir to the kingdom of day cannot speak and sunlight burns her skin. The story follows her as she is cast out of the kingdom by her aunt and attempts to regain her kingdom. It’s gorgeously written with excellent world building and you can read my full review here. (4.5/5 stars)  

book cover (40)The Wolves of Winter – Tyrell Johnson
This was another one that I’ve had on my TBR for quite a while. The Wolves of Winter is dystopian in which disease has destroyed much of the planet. Lynn and her family survive in the harsh landscape of the Yukon but when a strange visitor appears in their community he brings with him a whole host of secrets and shadows. I loved the setting and the atmosphere in this story and it was a really enjoyable standalone story. (3.5/5 stars)

cacsArtificial Condition – Martha Wells
I read the first book in The Murderbot Diaries at the end of 2018 so I decided to continue on the series with Artificial Condition. These short novellas follow a security bot gone rogue – “Murderbot” – and his adventures. In this instalment he teams up with a research vessel named ART to explore his past and the place where he went rogue. It’s a fun quick read and while I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed All Systems Red I’m still looking forward to continuing the series. (2.5/5 stars)

ssdThe Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
I read The Princess Saves Herself In This One quite a while ago so when I spotted the second book in this series in my local bookshop I quickly snapped it up. I really enjoyed the first book but this one is definitely my favourite. Powerful and inspiring, I read the poetry in one sitting because I was completely absorbed in this collection of poems about the resilience and power of women. (5/5 stars)

book cover (98)The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
The first in an all new crime thriller series, The Puppet Show opens with a series of murders in the Lake District. A serial killer is burning people alive at stone circles throughout the area and the police don’t have much to go on. When a clear message is sent to disgraced detective Washington Poe, he’s brought back onto the force but as he investigates these dark murders he uncovers a whole lot more than he bargained for. This book is so dark, twisty and unforgettable. It’s definitely one of my favourite crime thrillers of all time and I can’t wait to read the next instalment in the series – full review here! (4/5 stars)

book sdsThe Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One – Amanda Lovelace
After I read The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This one I requested the next instalment from Netgalley and was so excited when I got approved. This is the final collection in the Women are Some King of Magic series and whilst I still really enjoyed this, it was my least favourite of the three collections. The poems were beautiful, but they didn’t speak to me in the same way the others did. (3.5/5 stars)

book cover (100)Slay On Tour – Kim Curran
Slay are back! I read and loved the first book in this series last year and was super excited to be back with the boy band that are world famous by day and demon hunters by night. This instalment sees the gang go to Japan to investigate a series of demons that have been causing havok. They go on tour with a band of holographic girls but when things start to go wrong during the tour they soon learn they might have even bigger problems. The book is fun, fast paced and has a really great storyline. It’s a brilliant addition to the series and I’m hoping the series will continue with the band travelling to more places around the world. If you want to read my full review you can check out my blog tour stop here! (4/5 stars)

So those are the books I read in January! If you’ve read any of them definitely let me know what you thought and tell me some of the books you read and loved in January!

Waiting on Wednesday #13: King of Fools – Amanda Foody

Waiting on Wednesday #13: King of Fools – Amanda Foody

kf.pngSynopsis

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

Thoughts

book cover (44)It’s time for another Waiting on Wednesday! Today I wanted to talk about King of Fools, the highly anticipated next instalment in the Shadow Game series. This series started last year with Ace of Shades. Ace of Shades is set in a City of Sin, where casino families reign. The story follows Enne Salta, a young woman who comes to the city in search of her missing mother. As she delves into the secrets of her mother’s past she meets Levi, a local street lord and all round crook. As she digs deeper Enne begins to lose herself in the glamour and corruption of New Reynes – but will that be enough to save her mother?

This story hooked me from the start and it was one of my favourite books of 2018. I loved the creativity behind the world, the mix of glitz, glamour and magic and the fast paced plot. I gave it five stars and you can read my full review for it here, if you want to know more. I really enjoyed Amanda Foody’s writing style and I am eager to continue this wonderful series. The story of King of Fools seems to pick up straight where  Ace of Shades left off and I can’t wait to dive into this world again. The stakes sound like they’re going to be even higher this time and this is definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2019. King of Fools is publishing May 2nd 2019 from HQ Young Adult. 

Book Review: Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone

Book Review: Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone

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Series:
Shadowscent #1
Release Date: February 7th 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power.

When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.

To succeed, the pair must uncover secrets – cryptic, ancient tales as well as buried truths from their own pasts – in an adventure that will ignite your senses.

Review

book cover (39)As soon as I read the synopsis of this book it went on my wish list. It sounded completely unlike anything I’d read before and I was so fascinated by this beautiful sounded story. I’m so happy to say that it was everything I wanted and more. This is a superb start to a new fantasy  series that will have you hooked and leave you wanting more.

The story follows Rakel a young girl who is brilliant at detecting scents and understanding fragrances. When the crown prince comes to visit her village he is mysteriously poisoned and Rakel is suspected to be the poisoner. With the help of Ash, the prince’s Shield she must work to find an antidote to the poison, clear her name and uncover the secrets surrounding her past.

I honestly loved this story. It’s told in alternating points of view between Ash and Rakel. This was great because it gave you the chance to understand the magic system and the world from two different perspectives – Rakel is a poor village girl trying to earn enough to help her father and Ash has spent the majority of his life behind palace walls protecting the prince.

I really loved the scent based magic system in this story, it was such a unique idea and I enjoyed the way that the different scents were weaved into the plot and the mythology of the world. It’s was a really brilliant way to evoke smells and bring the story to life. The two main characters are really fascinating and each had really interesting story arcs that weaved together. They both have secrets surrounding their pasts and I was so intrigued to find out what was going on and who was behind it all.

The story is quite slow building in the begin as you get to know the world of Aramtesh and I did feel a little confused in the begin as I struggled to understand the world and how it worked. I soon settled into the story though and I definitely struggled to put the book down as the plot ramped up and the stakes were even higher. This is definitely a new favourite of mine and ended on such a cliff hanger that I am already dying to know what’s in store next.

If you enjoy beautifully told, slow burn fantasy stories full of mystery and intrigue, Shadowscent should definitely be the next book you pick up.
5 stars

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