To Kill a Kingdom (Spoiler Free)

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“And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.”

– Alexandra Christo

Author: Alexandra Christo

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Publication Date: March 06, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis Here

Mermaids, sirens, and pirates, oh my! This was pitched as a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, and dark it was! Let me say that it was more akin to the original Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Andersen. It was so wonderfully bloody and intense.

Lira, the main character, is a siren hell bent on killing princes, because that’s her thing. You know, we all have our thing and hers is taking the heart of princes… She is a ruthless killing machine earning the nickname “Prince’s Bane.” Heck yes. Enter Prince Elian, who’s mission in life is to end all sirens, most importantly the Prince’s Bane. Oh yeah, it’s getting good now. What happens when you put two of the worlds top killers together? Sparks fly. Literally and figuratively.

I loved them working together because they furthered each others character development. They slowly, through their murderous intent, started thinking about peace, and what the world would look like without the Siren Queen. I would say Lira had a stronger turn around than Elian. Elian at least had emotions and felt things where Lira started out with only pure savagery. Could have been their upbringing since Lira’s mother literally had no emotions except wanting power over the whole world.

Why I gave this four stars: It was too easy to put down. I didn’t think about it constantly like I do five star reads. I also wanted a little bit more world building because it sounded extremely interesting and vast. I mean, there were 100 kingdoms! But the plot, the character development, and the writing were phenomenal!

All in all, I highly enjoyed this book! I thought the writing was really well done! It wasn’t overly flowery and yet it wasn’t plain. I thought it was a satisfying standalone with keeping it open enough to possibly have more books in the future! At least, I hope so! 

The Cruel Prince (Spoiler Free)

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.” – Locke from The Cruel Prince

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Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little Brown

My Rating: 5 Stars

Find Synopsis Here

This book was dark. bloody and painful in all the right ways. Do you ever get that feeling when you read a book that makes your blood run faster because you just can’t get enough? Yeah, that was this book. I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough or get enough. It was THAT magical.

It wasn’t just the writing that was pure magic, it was the world. The way Holly Black describes everything makes me think of something similar to the Garden of Eden. The world seemed so lush and colorful, with danger lurking around the corner. It was somehow dark and vibrant at the same time. Especially seeing it through the eyes of Jude, the main character.

I felt as though Jude was relatable in the sense of how she reacted to the world around her. She had to survive somehow. She did end up being slightly cruel herself, however, she needed that cruelty to live. Literally. But I liked how she still felt guilty. That was what made her humanity stand out. And, um, I don’t want to give any spoilers, because I ain’t about that spoiler life, but I’m just going to put this here… CARDAN!!!! *sobs*

Literally everything was perfect. The world building was rich and vibrant. The character depth was immeasurably deep for the main characters. The side characters were interesting enough to make me want to know more about them. The plot twists were insanely good. And the ending was a cruel (see what I didn’t there?) cliffhanger, leaving me needing the second book like I need air.

All in all, this will be a re-read book for sure. I literally just finished it and I’m pretty sure I feel a book hangover coming on. I really didn’t want to leave that world! I also loved that Holly Black blended very traditional fairy lore with her own take! Read this. Just do it. 

Happy Adventuring! 

 

The Hazel Wood (Spoiler Free)

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“Look until the leaves turn red, sew the worlds up with thread. If your journey’s left undone, fear the rising of the sun.” – The Hazel Wood

Title: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Publisher: Flatiron Books

My Rating: 3 Stars

I received an e-arc from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Find Synopsis Here

A dark otherworldly tale that sucks you so deep into its universe that you can’t come out. Seriously, every time I had to stop reading this book I had a really hard time coming back into reality. The bump in the night. That shadow on the wall. Is there something there? It was something about Albert’s writing that I couldn’t tear my body from the story. The world building is crazy good, plus it has a very unique plot. Her writing is some of the most magical that I have seen in a very long time!

I rated this book 3 stars for a few different reasons. The story itself, while being magical, was very depressing. I know it was advertised as a dark fairy tale, but wow, it was twisted and full of crazy murderous happenings. I had a really hard time going to sleep after reading this one! Not gonna lie, I found it thoroughly creepy. It just wasn’t my flavor. As well as the main character, Alice, whom I hated. She was extremely angry and really mean. I wanted to punch her so many times. And it got annoying that almost every page mentioned how angry she was. Okay, we get it. I really don’t mean to bash on her, because you understand her anger about 60% of the way through the book. So, really it’s the last half of the book that got most of the stars.

All in all, I would recommend this to anyone who likes dark, twisted, there are no good guys, fairy tales. Like I mentioned before, the writing is deeply moving and there are some major twists and turns that take you for a grand ol’ ride! 

Happy Adventuring!