The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: DAW

Publication Date: August 6, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

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From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.

For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.”

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for The Gossamer Mage! Thank you so much to the publisher, DAW, for sending me an ARC and a finished copy in exchange for a review.

Characters. My favorite point of view was probably Maleonarial. He was the mage that raged against the injustice that the goddess takes part of a mages life in exchange for magic. They die early deaths. Maleonarial goes on a quest to kill her and take back the stolen futures of his kind. He was a kind soul but also knew what needed to be done. He mourned but didn’t hesitate to do what was right. I admired that. Kaitealyon is a Daughter of the goddess. They speak with her authority in different holds. I liked her. She was a mother and protected her son at all costs. She had this sense of almost super-hero like honor when it came to Tananen (the land they live in). There were also side character POV that were fun to read about.

Plot. The plot was my favorite part of the whole book. The fact that there is magic but it comes at a very high price. A twenty-seven year old that has used magic since he was fifteen would look like he was eighty. I really liked the magic system. I loved that writing words with your intention could produce something beautiful (or in Cil’s case, something horrible). They not only have to write the right words but have the right feelings behind them. And the plot twist at the end about the goddess was A+! And the eaters were a pretty scary threat. They ate magic and could take over people’s bodies! That Maleonarial and Kaitealyon had to team up against this threat was epic!

Writing. I had a really hard time being drawn into this book because of the writing. It was written very differently than what I used to. While I can appreciate the uniqueness, it wasn’t exactly my flavor. It seemed choppy and really hard to read. I often had to re-read sentences and paragraphs to understand what was going on.

Final Thoughts. This stand alone was hard to read but I loved the plot so much! Everything about this book was extremely unique!

“For over twenty years, Canadian author/ former biologist Julie E. Czerneda has shared her curiosity about living things through her science fiction, published by DAW Books, NY. Julie’s written fantasy too, the first installments of her Night’s Edge series (DAW) A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, winning consecutive Aurora Awards (Canada’s Hugo) for Best English Novel. Having completed her Clan Chronicles series with To Guard Against the Dark, Julie’s latest SF novel is Search Image, Book #1 of her new SF series, The Web Shifter’s Library, bringing back her beloved character Esen the Dear Little Blob. Julie’s edited/co-edited numerous award-winning anthologies of SF/F, including SFWA’s 2017 Nebula Award Showcase, but nothing prepared her for the sheer joy of opening her Clan Chronicles to fans of the series to produce Tales from Plexis, out December 2018. This year, Julie is delighted to a guest of honour at ConStellation, April 26-28th. What’s coming next? Her new fantasy standalone, The Gossamer Mage, out August 2019, and so much more ” Her Website

Courting Darkness Review [Spoiler Free]

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Author: Robin LaFevers

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA

My Rating: 3 Stars

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Synopsis 2

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?”

My Review 2

*I received an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Plot. The plot and premise of this book is what really drew me in. This is my first LaFevers book, I have not read His Fair Assassin trilogy. The idea of lady assassins in the 15th century French court sounded so freaking cool!

Characters. This is where my rating really comes into play. I LOVED Sybella. And Beast. And her whole story. She was hands down my favorite character. She protected the ones she loved. She accepted help from the ones she loved. She was a total BA. I did NOT like Genevieve. She was a piece of crap! Seriously. She was selfish, stuck-up, and judgmental. I hated when it was her turn for the story. Except when Maurad came into the story more often. I loved Maurad. She doesn’t deserve Maurad. I honestly couldn’t stand reading about Gen. I think it would have been better if there had been character growth, but no. She was pretty much the same person the whole way through. I really hope the next book makes her better. I like a character driven story, and I’m all about nasty characters that turn a new leaf OR nasty characters that you can understand. Gen was neither.

World. I like that I didn’t have to to read this new one. However, it may have helped because a lot of the politics and world weren’t explained that much. I understood that there were gifts bestowed on you depending on which of the saints you served, but that was all I understood. Like, is this a Percy Jackson thing where if you serve the saint, they are your parent? I don’t know a lot of 15th century history, but this book could have gone into more detail with it. I understand that this is very loosely based on actual history, but it tried too hard to ride the line. In my opinion, it needed to go one way or the other. Again, maybe things were more explained in the previous trilogy. One more thing, I think the author could have done without the whole wailing on Christians thing. I get it, everyone hates us. But just saying, Catholicism and Christian religion are different.

Final Thoughts. So, I feel kind of bad now. It seems as though I’ve only had bad things to say. The confusing world and Genevieve were really the only down sides. I enjoyed reading this story and still want to read the original trilogy. Courting Darkness was a highly entertaining read that kept me coming back for more! I DO recommend if you like YA Historical Fiction! I can’t wait to read the next book and see how Sybella comes into her new powers, and to see if Gen has a change of heart!

Have you read the original series? If so, what did you think?

Happy Adventuring

*Amazon link is my affiliate link*

 

Beneath the Citadel Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Destiny Soria

Publisher: Amulet

Publication Date: October 09, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 3.5 

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Synopsis

“In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.”

My Review

This was a read that grabbed me right from the beginning. Almost as if I didn’t have a choice but to be transported to the world of Eldra. It literally starts off in the middle of our four main characters being sentenced to death. Yeah, if that doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will.

Originally, I definitely thought this would be a solid 4 stars. Let me start off with what I liked. The story. This has been the first story in a long while that I needed to eat, sleep, and breath. I wanted to be in that world as much as possible because I had so much anxiety for what was happening. And for once, I had no idea whatsoever where we were going. I loved this adventure.

I also quite enjoyed the magic. I personally thought it was very unique, abilities differed from person to person. Some had the ability to take memories and give them back, some had the ability to read the future with all it’s possibilities, and some had the ability to read the future that would definitely happen. Plus regular people with no ability could have the option to get bonded with a metal. A painful process that could kill you. Freaking. Cool. Stuff.

Now, unfortunately, there were things I disliked. Well, really one thing. The character chemistry just wasn’t there. I liked each character individually, but when the interacted with each other I usually cringed. They were all irritated with each other ALL THE TIME! It got really annoying. And it didn’t make sense to me most of the time, why. So I had to knock it down a half rating.

Final Thoughts. I really enjoyed this book despite my irritation with it. I enjoyed the writing style. It was smooth and the perfect amount of description, without losing you. It gave me serious Six of Crows vibes! Plus, that ending was a complete surprise and aaaalllll the feels. ALL OF THEM!

Happy Adventuring

*Post contains my Amazon affiliate link*

The Storm Runner Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: J. C. Cervantes

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Publication Date: Sept. 18, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

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Story. This middle grade book actually kept my attention. The story was interesting enough for me to want to keep reading and reading and reading. I loved reading about the Mayan gods and mythology. I think it’s so cool to learn about other cultures myths! The Mayan’s have some cool ones! Like shape shifting hawks. What?! Yes. Plus, the main character has a disability, one leg is shorter than the other. A lot of the book is centered around that and how he overcomes certain obstacles. It’s pretty rare to see the hero of the book have a disability. It was very interesting / cool to read about.

Characters. For being a middle grade book, the characters were actually written really well. They were well rounded, well thought out. Zane, Hondo, and Brooks are the three main people you read about. They each bring a different flavor to the table. Zane is like any young teen, ambitious, self conscious, crushing hard on someone, and thinks they are unstoppable (for the most part). Hondo is a young twenty year old hot head with an endearing side to him too. And Brooks is your kick a$$ heroine who shape shifts and puts up with the boys’ nonsense.

Final Thoughts. Y’all. I actually quite liked this book. I definitely want to continue with the series! But now I have to wait over a year!! Ugh. It didn’t leave off on too bad of a cliff hanger, but still. Ugh. I also liked this one because it was just a good, clean, fun story! And adventurous of course! It was like Percy Jackson but different enough to seem like it wasn’t a copy. It was it’s own story. So, obviously, if you like Percy Jackson, you’ll like this one!

Find out more about the author HERE!

Happy Adventuring

*post contains my Amazon affiliate link*

*Cup is from The Bookish Shop Coupon Code: StoriedAdventures10*

 

Ignite the Stars Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Maura Milan

Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company

Publication Date: Sept. 04, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pre-Order on Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)

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Story. This was one of the best sci-fi books I have ever read. I am obsessed with it and can’t stop thinking about it. I thought the story was original, fun, creative, and adventurous! And I’m just going to go ahead and add SPACE PIRATES here. If that doesn’t get your attention then I’m not sure what will. Plus space school, plus space battles. Seriously?! Freaking cool! I am having such good luck with lesser known authors lately!

Characters. Ia was my favorite character. And usually main characters are not my favorite. They usually just don’t have that much mystery to them. But Ia is different. I want to know everything about her. She’s a criminal mastermind, but retains her femininity. She can slay you where you stand, but not know how to talk to people. I just find her fascinating. I also like that she does have weaknesses and needs help from her friends. She’s not a Mary Sue. I really liked Knives too! He was such a beef cake! I liked his gripey attitude. He had one for good reason too. It was nice he could be vulnerable too at times. And then Brinn. She was probably my least favorite to read about but only because the other two characters out shone her. But I do like her and Ia’s friendship! It’s so sweet!

Final Thoughts. If you like Sci-fi, I highly suggest this read for you! It’s got everything you could want in space, slow burn romance, space battles, advanced tech, betrayals, and adventure!!! Y’all know I’m all about that! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Find out more about the author HERE. She’s so wonderfully nerdy. Love it.

Happy Adventuring

 

 

 

 

 

August 2018 TBR

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I can’t believe it is August already. I blinked and I missed July! Anyways, as per usual I am determined to read four books this month! I rarely do but it’s always my goal! And I’ve got more ARCs to review this month that I’m super excited about! I hope you are too! 

*Let me say that I finished a book in between writing my Wrap-Up post and my TBR post. The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick. I will be reviewing that bad boy tomorrow (Fri, Aug. 3)!

First up…. The 48 by Donna Hosie. 33006920

 

I am super excited about this one! I got this ARC from Storygram Tours! (Check them out HERE )And while a review is not required, I would still like to provide one! So, thank you Storygram! This one is about time traveling assassins! It already pretty much only has 5 star reviews. Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

Second…. Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan38469737

I am really loving mixing genres at the moment. Once I’m done with historical fiction, I will jump into Sci-fi! My friend, Mel gave this book a great review and she had an interview with the author on her blog! Milan seems like she’d be awesome to hang out with!

Mel’s blog HERE

Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

Third… Impostors by Scott Westerfeld     37825397

 

I read the Uglies series years ago. So I am super happy to have traded an ARC for this ARC! I really enjoyed that series and am excited to see where Westerfeld will take it again!

Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

 

Fourth… The Storm Runner by J. C. Cervantes34966353

 

 

I haven’t read a middle grade book in some time and am excited to get into one! This one is a take on Maya mythology! It sounds so interesting!

Check it out on Goodreads HERE

 

 

This month is pretty slow, life wise, for me so I am hoping I can get through all of these! What are you reading this month?

Happy Adventuring

July 2018 Wrap-Up

Wreath

I started off really strong. But then I went on vacation. Otherwise I would have read four books for sure! Don’t get me wrong, my vacation was amazeballs. I was in the Grand Cayman Islands! Alright you’re not here to hear about my vacation. *Post contains my affiliate links to Amazon*

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson68428

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Review HERE

Buy or read synopsis HERE

I freaking LOVED this book. Sanderson is one of my new favorite authors!

 

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Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

My Rating: 3 Stars

My Review HERE

Buy or read synopsis HERE

Didn’t love it. Just liked it. Loved the writing though!

 

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The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Review HERE

Buy or read synopsis HERE

3.5 stars but bumped up because it was nostalgic feeling!

 

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The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick

Buy or read synopsis HERE

I thought this was worth a mention since I started it in July. I’m not that far in but it’s super interesting so far! I like it!

 

 

This was a pretty good reading month! What did you read this month?

Happy Adventuring