The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) Review [Spoiler Free]

Author: Brent Weeks

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: August 25, 2010

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 4 Stars

| Amazon

“Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Gavin Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Gavin Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.”

First Thoughts. Pretty awesome actually. So this book came HIGHLY recommended by my husband who went 27 years without reading. This is his first year where he actually wanted to read books. I was shocked! But I dutifully started this fantasy series that he so loves. And y’all, I am so glad I did! It’s been since 2014, I think, that I have read an adult fantasy. Horrible since it’s my favorite genre. IT WAS SO GOOD! What a breath of fresh air! I had so much readers anxiety during this adventure. I had so many burning questions and theories! Some were answered and some have still not been and it’s driving me nuts.

Plot/ Story. A pretty fast paced story for a first book. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of action, and a lot of intrigue! Plus learning about the Color System of magic was SO COOL!! What a neat concept! Depending on what color you can draft, you can make different things and the color can change your mood. The downside is, the more you draft, the quicker you die. Most only live to be 36-40. Only the Prism can draft all of the colors and has to keep a balance in the world. 

Characters. To start, I ship Gavin and Karris so hard!!! Please just be happy together! Anyways, Kip is adorable and witty and charming. He is Gavin’s overweight son that may or not be more powerful? I don’t know yet! I really like the different POV the book takes you through. Karris is one of my favorites because she’s super feisty and great fun to read about.  My favorite character though is hands down Iron Fist!!!! He’s one of the coolest characters I’ve ever read about! He’s go secrets, he’s powerful, and he’s got that upstanding honor thing going without being boring. 

Final Thoughts. I highly recommend. It’s SO much fun to read and the writing is phenomenal. I don’t understand how I’ve never heard of this book before my husband told me about it. I feel like this series has a following, just no one I know! I’ve already wasted no time to start book 2!

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) Review [Spoiler Free]

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

The Wicked King (Amazon)

The Cruel Prince (Amazon)


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.”

 

*E-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*

Plot/ Story. Y’all, this book took me all of two days to read, I think. I seriously love this series so much. It’s just a fun, suck you right in, type of read. In this second book, Jude is trying to juggle many things within Faerie. It’s really interesting to see how sneaky and manipulative she has to be to do it. And maybe Cardan isn’t as dumb as he likes to play… 

Characters. I actually didn’t like Jude as much in this book. While I understood the choices she made, she just seemed smarter than that. Like, she took the wrong risks. She never once trusted anyone. It annoyed me that she didn’t, even when multiple faeries proved themselves to her. Now, Cardan was the surprising character. Some of his secrets come out and he’s a very deep guy. He’s got a lot of layers to him and some of them get peeled back to reveal the true Cardan. Side note: I still hate Taryn and Locke. They’re suuuuuper mean. In real life I am all about forgiveness, but since this is a fake world I’m like, okay, they need to die now. *Shrugs*

Writing. This is only the second of Black’s books I’ve read and I don’t know why I haven’t picked up more. I am a huge fan. Her writing style is just straight up story telling. She’s not overly poetic/ flowery, but she’s not “here’s the straight facts”. She’s like a perfect in between. That’s my favorite. 

Final Thoughts. First, let me say, OMG OMG OMG WHAT IS WITH THAT ENDING?!?!?! This book built me up then knocked me down in tiny pieces and now I’m wallowing in the deep, dark pit of book hangovers. Now, let me say, I will continue to be obsessed with this series and it remains one that I highly recommend to all of my friends and followers. 

White Stag (Permafrost, #1) Review [Spoiler Free]

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Author: Kara Barbieri

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

Amazon

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Synopsis 2

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.”

My Review 2

*Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for sending me an e-arc!*

Plot/ Story. Y’all, this is the goblin story I’ve always wanted to read. I’ve read a few of the more popular goblin re-tellings and I actually didn’t like any of them. Whoops. But this story blew me away! It was gritty, bloody, stabby stab, adventure, and awesome sauce. Janneke and Soren’s hunting adventure (that’s putting it extremely mildly) is non-stop action packed. There was seriously never a lull. I was entertained throughout the entire shebang.

Magic. This was actually a unique system where if you defeat another being, you absorb their strength. It was actually really cool! Anyone could get stronger at any point in time.

Characters. Janneke was BA. Her character growth was done really well too. She started off as sour and hating everything and everyone. But she grew into a social butterfly. Just kidding. She kills a bunch of people and gets cray strong.

Writing. Barbieri skips the whole “first writer slump”. It’s literally like she’s a seasoned writer. She was descriptive, but not overly so. She got into the mind of her characters like a psychologist. Serisouly. You could feel what Janneke was feeling. Her worries were yours. It’s good stuff y’all!

Final Thoughts. I can’t wait for the next book! I seriously need to know what happens right now. Also, I freaking love Soren and Janneke. My favorite character is Seppo. Also, let me leave you with this: Wolves that they ride and can speak in their minds.

 

Happy Adventuring

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

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

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For a Muse of Fire Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Heidi Heilig

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

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Synopsis 2

“A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. The first book in a new trilogy from Heidi Heilig.

Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.

Heidi Heilig creates a world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism.”

My Review 2

Plot. It’s been a few books since I’ve had a plot suck me in completely. I absolutely adored the asian and french mash up! So unique! It was like an alternate, steam-punk history. Heck to the yeah. I’m all about that. Plus you add in a kick a** heroine who can command souls, and is bi-polar. So. Much. Awesome! It had all the adventure my readers heart could want!

Characters. Jetta had a lot of character growth. At first she was just trying to find a cure. That’s all she cared about. But Leo, mayhaps, changes her mind on fighting in a war? Which by the way, I loved the slow burn between those two. But I want more burn in the second book! I also loved that there were GOOD parents! Jetta’s parents were so sweet and so supportive! It’s rare that you see that in a YA book! I also loved that Heilig blurred the lines a bit with one character in particular, of what was good and bad. He was just trying to do the right thing in this crazy world.

World/ Magic. Heilig did a fantastic job creating this alternate history type world. I found it fascinating to watch how Jetta’s magic came to be and how she can control it! The reader learns about the magic as Jetta learns, so I hope to know more about it in the second book! The shadow player thing is really cool, and gives a nice cover for Jetta to use her magic. I really liked the late 1800 early 1900 feel. I mean, it’s steam punk and that’s generally the period I picture steam punk happening.

Writing. I actually loved the way this was written. It’s not very traditional. It’s written in first person POV, ACTs (as in a play), mini stories, and letters. I like when books are written like that, it gives the reader a unique experience.

Final Thoughts. I obviously loved this book. It was different. I liked that the main character didn’t want to fight right away. She just wanted to get her cure and be done. But she saw the injustices of the world and decided to help. So, if you are looking for something really different from your usual YA, I highly recommend this! Also, that cover is… AWOOGA!

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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