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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The 48 Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Donna Hosie

Publisher: Holiday House

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction

My Rating: 3 Stars

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I received a copy of this book from Storygram Tours. My post on Instagram for this will be on September 2, and there will be a giveaway!   

Story. I was really looking forward to time traveling, teen assassins. However, this was a bit of a let down. The premise made it sound like a lot of action would take place and they would, you know, actually be assassins. I guess not. And this isn’t a spoiler by the way, it says it right in the beginning. They train to rewrite history. There was little action. The story didn’t pull me in as much as I wanted it to. I just liked it. I didn’t think about it in my free time and I kind of forgot about it after I was done reading it. Now, with that being said, it was still a likable read. I just would have written the synopsis a bit differently. It was a tad misleading, in my opinion.

Characters. Honestly, same thoughts as the story. They were likable, but I didn’t think about them. And Charles was a bit all over the place with his feeling between two women. I had to reread a couple of his paragraphs to understand what he was trying to get across. Alex sometimes too. It was as if they couldn’t decide on what to do at any given time. It got kind of annoying. I just wanted to yell at them, “Make a decision already!!”.  I really enjoyed Lady Margaret’s point of view. She was the most consistent character. The characters had good chemistry. Alex and Charlie’s twin bond was so fun to read about! I loved how they interacted with each other. And when one of them would get hurt the other would go crazy and be like, “I’m going to kill whoever did this to my brother.” I liked it.

Final Thoughts. I liked this book. It didn’t keep my attention, but I am interested enough to want to read the second book when it comes out. The writing was pretty good, but not what I wanted when reading a historical fiction. I wanted a bit more oomph from her. But if you are looking for a light read, and you like historical fiction or maybe want to branch out slowly, then I think this would be a good starting place!

Happy Adventuring

*Post contains my Amazon affiliate link*

Ink, Iron, and Glass (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Gwendolyn Clare

Publisher: Macmillan/Imprint

Publication Date: Feb. 20, 2018

Find Synopsis Here

My Rating: 4 Stars

Ink, Iron, and Glass was a really unique adventure ride that I wish I could take again for the first time! Steampunk set in late 19th century Italy is a really fresh take on the genre, in my opinion. There are scriptologists who can write whole new worlds into existence. Think about every book you’ve ever read. Now, if a scriptologist wrote it, you could travel inside that world!! How freaking awesome is that?! There are also mechanics who can build crazy inventions that defy their time. And there are alchemists who can mix up a potion (or antidote…) on the spot. Very interesting stuff to read about, y’all!

Elsa, a scriptologist, was a really engaging character to read about. She had the most character growth going from a major loner who didn’t need anyone in the beginning of the book, to relying on a few trusted individuals who earned it. I enjoyed reading how all four of the characters came together and solved their problems together. There is a part in the book where they go to a labyrinth and each person adds something important in solving it. It kind of reminded me of The Infernal Devices trilogy a little bit because of the group camaraderie and steampunk feel.

I gave this book 4 stars because it was such a fun read, however there were a few things stopping me from giving it 5 stars. I thought that the romance felt a little forced. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry there. I also feel like I won’t re-read this book. It didn’t stay in my head and I moved on really easily to my next book.

All in all, I thought this was a really fun read. It had everything I love in a story; romance, a BA heroin, good world building, and a plot twist that hurts.

Happy Adventuring! 

 

A Treacherous Curse (Spoiler Free)

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“She regarded him and counted only the damage; I saw only the places where he had stitched himself back together. What repelled her was to me the greatest part of him. Every mark that his suffering had left upon him was a must monument to his strength, the inhuman courage that had caused him to reject death and degradation and every evil with which he had consoled himself on the long journey back from his destruction. He had walked through hellfire and back again and she saw only the scorch marks whilst I saw the phoenix.” – A Treacherous Curse

Title: A Treacherous Curse

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Publisher: Berkley

My Rating: 5 Stars

*Synopsis taken from Goodreads*

“London, 1888.

As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .”

Deanna Raybourn is a masterful storyteller. She weaves a tale so intriguing that you feel as the characters feel. You hurt when they hurt. You are happy when they are happy. Just read again the quote from above! How moving!

One of my favorite things about the third book in this series is the character development. Veronica especially. She starts off this whole shebang as a one woman show. She slowly starts to melt until this third book where she becomes a puddle of emotion, in a good way. Her outer shell starts to crack when she finally decides to let someone in. And that someone is Stoker.

Oh Stoker. I’m thinking about making him a book boyfriend. I adore him to pieces. You get a lot more of his backstory and it just makes you feel for him! And the strength and courage he has is amazing. Why can’t all men be like this? (For the record, I have a man like this. They are just rare. :P)

And can we talk about the plot?! Sweet Abraham’s mother this was good. This was my favorite out of all the books because, in my opinion, it has the best story line. A supposed curse from Egypt, a man masquerading as Anubis, a few murders, AND Stoker’s backstory. Um, yes please.

So, I gave this book 5 stars. However, there was one thing I didn’t like. There is a suicide in this book. I didn’t like that. I don’t like reading about suicide. It’s dark and depressing and I think it’s one of if not the worst way to die.

All in all, I’m still in love with this series. The writing, the characters, the story, all of it just speaks to me. I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes historical mysteries!

Happy Adventuring!

 

Blood and Sand (Spoiler Free Review)

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“‘Spartacus was a Thracian from the nomadic tribes and not only had a great spirit and great physical strength, but was much more than one would expect…’ Plutarch of Chaeronea, AD 100” 

Title: Blood and Sand

Author: C.V. Wyk

Publisher: Tor Teen

My Rating: 4 Stars

*Synopsis taken from Goodreads*

“Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…”

*I got a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!*

Sweet mother of Caesar what a grand adventure this book was! It had action, adventure, romance, and a butt kicking heroine who takes a licking and keeps on kicking! (I seriously want to learn her crazy moves.) I loved Attia. I thought she was the perfect amount of feisty while still maintaining a gentleness. Just look at her relationship with Rory, who is a six year old child. Six year olds are crazy and wild and a lot to handle! Attia managed her caretaker duties flawlessly in one scene and then maim some dude in the next! She was everything I imagine a warrior princess should be! She is by far my favorite character I’ve read about in a long time!

And can we talk about Xanthus?! He is basically the worlds best gladiator! He was the perfect calm to her storm. Don’t get me wrong, he also knows a million ways to kill a guy, but he does it all with a stoic demeanor. I adore his tortured soul.

Now, the reason I gave this book 4 stars was because I felt as though the romance moved too quickly and didn’t make a smooth transition. At one point, they didn’t trust each other at all, then a day later they were best friends. It was just a little too choppy. And y’all remember that I only give a book 5 stars if I am going to re-read it. I don’t feel as though this was that type of book for me.

Overall:  I found this book to be HIGHLY entertaining with a unique plot! I would recommend this to anyone who loves Roman culture, adventure type, YA, historical fiction. Also, the ending is brutal and I need Fire and Ash RIGHT NOW!