Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1) – Spoiler Free Review

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Author: Tasha Suri

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

Amazon

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Synopsis 2

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.”

My Review 2

*I received an e-arc from Edelweiss+ and Orbit in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*

Plot/ Story. This actually turned out to be a really sweet love story. Mehr’s personality kind of matches my own. She’s really sweet and will do her job unless she’s pushed and pushed then she will bring wrath down. She’s got this awesome ability to “control” (it’s more like persuade) the desert spirits. And she’s powerful too. I am super interested in learning more about the Amrithi people and their magic.

Magic. There wasn’t really much to the magic system per se, only that the Amrithi people have the ability to talk to / persuade the desert spirits. It was beautifully written about though. The magic was strongest when there were storms and it was a dance between the Amrithi and the spirits. Depending on what symbol you traced or made with your hands, it would mean something different. Think sign language.

Characters. The more I review, the more I realize that I am a character driven person. If I don’t like the characters OR if I don’t understand their reasoning, then the book won’t get as high of a review from me. I LOVED the characters in this book. Mehr was relatable in the sense that I feel as though I would make the same decisions as her and feel the same way. She got down and depressed at one point and had to make the decision to take a lickin’ and keep on kickin’. We’ve all been there. I know I have. And the sweet, sweet love between Mehr and Amun!!! SWOON! They were forced together but when fighting side by side and knowing the other was all they had, they fell in love. For me, it enhanced the beauty of the story.

Final Thoughts. I definitely want to read the next book! Suri’s writing is alluring; it brings you into the story itself. I’m officially a big fan! This is a diverse book based on Indian culture! So cool!

Happy Adventuring

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) Review (NOT Spoiler Free)

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Author: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufmann

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis 2

“Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.”

My Review 2

I am doing something a little different today. Since this book came out like, 6 months ago, AND it’s the last in the series, I decided I’m going to do an ALL the SPOILERS review. I’ve never done one before so bear with me. Another disclaimer, I AM TRASH FOR THIS SERIES AND FOR JAY KRISTOFF. I have loved Kristoff since Stormdancer. I’ve read all of his books (except 2!) and met him. I’m pretty sure I’ve rated all of his books 5 stars. Okay, enough of my gushing, let’s get on with it.

Likes. Everything.

Dislikes. Nothing.

Just kidding. I’ll go into more detail. Nik Malikov is one of my book boyfriends. I also just adore him with Hannah. They are like the dream movie couple, the bad boy (who is not so bad) and the good girl (who is not THAT good). It’s one of my favorite tropes that I will never get sick of. I loved watching their relationship grow, and totally squealed at the end when they were engaged. And THAT KISS! Right before the battle!!! SWOON!! And his relationship with Ella is the cutest ever. AND his bro-mance with Ezra is hilarious.

Going to try and move on from Nik. Hannah is my favorite girl character. She’s everything I want to be. She knows kung fu (I mean, basically) and she’s a battle tactician.  Boo yeah, baby. Plus she has the best guy. Whoops started talking about him again. Sorry, not sorry.

Kady is also BA! I hurt so much for her when she thought Ezra was dead. She was going to sacrifice herself. I was like noooooo!!!! And then when Aidan sacrificed himself instead?! OMG. I freaked out. But sneaky Ella saved him. I actually didn’t see that one coming. It was weird / sweet that Aidan loved Kady. I think. I’m still not sure how I feel about him since he was a murderous AI but did it to save more people. But I don’t blame him for trying to do something, because Kady couldn’t think of a way to keep everyone alive on the journey to the Mining Colony. Everyone was going to die until Aidan stepped in. The character I actually hated was Ben. I’m still a little salty he lived.

Asha and Rhys were the new characters and I loved them just as much. Rhys was so sweet in trying to protect Asha! He was naive, don’t get me wrong, but super sweet. I almost cried when the little girl Asha was trying to protect, got shot!

I thought the side characters were done really well. We got some back story on them as well, and it made the Baytech soldiers more human.

Literally everything about this book is amazing. The unique writing style, the story, the characters, the ending, all of it. It was a super satisfying ending. I was afraid Kristoff was going to kill a few characters. Because he usually does in his books. But I’m super happy he didn’t kill any of the main ones! And that battle scene at the end was EPIC!! I had so much anxiety over it. I’m glad Ezra’s stupid mom got taken down. Highly satisfying.

So, in the series, Gemina was my favorite book. But obviously, I loved all of them! Also, while I own the books in HC, I listened to the audio books. THEY ARE AMAZING! Full cast and sound effects.

Okay, sorry for the jumbled mess of a review! This is the first I’ve done like this! I think I’ve covered everything!

What did you think of the book/ series?

Happy Adventuring

Madilla : Spirit of U’Katang Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Ian B. Boyd

Publisher: Ian B. Boyd

Publication Date: March 14, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism (Maybe?)

My Rating: 3 Stars

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Synopsis 2

From her very first touch of the piano keys, Madilla feels a strange tingle of energy running through her fingers. In defiance of the customs of her people, she connects through the spirit of her music with a wild mountain sparrow that shows her the freedom of wings and an endless blue sky.

Her piano becomes Madilla’s only escape from the violent atrocities of an isolated and forgotten mountain village, poisoned by centuries of military occupation. But her family has no escape. Tormented by lust and hatred, her uncle succumbs to the ways of the soldiers, igniting an even greater evil lurking within his spirit.

Recognising the confusion of her Mama’s unshakable beliefs, Madilla searches for her own truth. What she learns is that the magic she feels through her piano is only the beginning.”

My Review 2

*Thank you to Mel over at Everyday_Reader for sending this one to me! Click on her link to read her review!*

The Story. I honestly thought this was a very unique book. I’ve never read anything like this before. I loved the musical elements that were infused in the story telling. I myself play the piano (that’s mine in the photo above), so I really related to Madilla when she felt something every time she played. It really is it’s own kind of magic. I am not sure if her village was real or not, but it was most definitely stuck in time. I actually had no idea what time period we were in until Madilla found out. It was a mixture of music, war, fear, and magic.

The Characters. I really enjoyed Madilla. She started off as a strong young girl, and grew into an even stronger young woman. She just wanted to escape and play music, but outside forces kept stopping her. She can’t be found out that she can see through her sparrow, or she will be branded as a witch. She was very brave in figuring out and learning why she has this ability.

The World. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t understand the magic system at all. I kind of knew where it came from, just not how it got passed down. BUT some people might like that because it keeps an air of mystery surrounding the book.

Final Thoughts. While I enjoyed this book and the writing was really good, I found myself putting it down way too much, even though it’s a shorter book. It didn’t captivate me. I don’t have anything bad to say, it just didn’t have that oomph. I liked the message behind the book, that Madilla, as a young woman, was the strong one to save her tribe. Plus, I thought there might be a bit of a forgiveness message in there as well. 3 stars is a “I liked it” for me.

Happy Adventuring

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

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