Book Review: Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3)

Let me preface this by saying that two years is too freaking long to wait between releases for a fantasy series. Luckily, I enjoy this series too much that I won’t hate on Susan Dennard for pushing back Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3).

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

I just need to say how beneficial it would be for readers if publishers put series summaries at the beginning of each book. When there are such long gaps between book releases, it is so easy to forget all of the important parts that have happened in a series, especially fantasy series which are so complex. Because of this issue, I will say that for the majority of this book, I didn’t remember a damn thing that had previously happened which took away from some of the enjoyment. I was too busy wondering who so-and-so was and why they were doing such-and-such. The only characters I remembered were Iseult, Safi, Merik, and of course, Aeduan. Everyone else? Yeahhhhh…. it took me the majority of the book to vaguely remember who they were.

With that being said, Dennard continues to fascinate me with how she is able to have so many different storylines consistently move seamlessly in the same direction. I loved seeing how everyone was dealing with being split up and having to navigate their own adventure. I think it definitely kept the plot engaging and fairly quick-paced. The only time I felt my concentration lagging a bit was during Vivia’s chapters. She’s never been my favorite character and I think that probably had something to do with my lack of focus. I will say that this was definitely Aeduan’s and Iseult’s book more than anything and I am definitely not complaining about that.

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Iseult and Aeduan are goals. Seriously. It was wonderful to see how their relationship changed over the course of the book. Iseult was still her cool self, but you could see how being around Owl and Aeduan was bringing her out of her shell. She was more engaging and showed some personality, that we haven’t gotten to see much of in the previous books. I thought Owl did a great job of bringing that out of her (mostly by just being a little brat, haha!). I don’t want to spoil too much, but it was also interesting to see her and Aeduan almost do a role reversal due to some unforeseen circumstances. But as obvious by the title, this was really about Aeduan’s personal journey. He had the most development of any of the characters. I liked seeing this vulnerable side to him, as it was able to give him a new perspective to do some self-reflecting. And of course, Safi was her usual spunky self. I really enjoyed seeing her take charge and learning to follow her gut, rather than always relying on or thinking about what Iseult would do in her situation. Then poor Merik… Other than Aeduan, Merik definitely had the roughest storyline in this book. I can’t say too much about him other than that. And oh my gosh, I have to know what’s going to happen to him next!

Like I previously stated, I think the only issues that I had with this story was due to the length of time since the previous book. There’s so many different plots in this series, that it’s very hard to be able to keep track of and remember them all. This caused me to take a longer time really getting into the story, as I was fairly lost for the first 100-150 pages (yes, really that long). I highly recommend doing a reread or recap of the first two books in the series before picking up this book. It’s also probably a good idea to read Sightwitch as well since the story in that novella actually affects the overall plot, which isn’t always the case when it comes to novellas. I know I’ll definitely have to do an entire reread of the series before the next book is released next year… not that I’m complaining!

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars


Have you read Bloodwitch yet? If so, what did you think of it? Did you have a hard time remembering what had happened in the previous books like I did? Which POV did you enjoy the most?

WWW Wednesday – February 27th, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison – audiobook
  • The Fever King (Feverwake, #1) by Victoria Lee – eARC
  • Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1) – physical book, buddy read

I’m going really slow with Whiskey When We’re Dry as it’s a literary fiction and that makes for a much slower read, even as an audiobook. I’m doing a buddy read of Sleeping Giants with my friend, Britt @ Geronimo Reads. We are going slow with it as well, reading 50 pages at a time. It’s really interesting so far and I’m definitely excited to see where this story is going to go next. I’m a little over a quarter way through The Fever King and I’m pretty obsessed so far. I love this dystopian/fantasy futuristic version of the United State. I also like how there’s an air of mystery to the entire plot that just makes it so hard for me to put down this book. Sooo good!

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3) by Susan Dennard – physical book, review scheduled
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi – physical ARC, review to come

Let me go ahead get this off my chest…. Pride just wasn’t very good. I really enjoyed how Zoboi weaved modern themes like class and gentrification into this retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but the characters were not good. Zuri is just a bitchy version of Elizabeth Bennett and her only redeeming quality was her loyalty to her family. She is definitely not someone I’d want to be friends with. I really just wanted to slap her the entire book and really took away any enjoyment I was getting from the story.

Bloodwitch was a great installment in The Witchlands series. The only issue I had was that due to the two years time lapse since the previous book, I remembered almost zero percent of the plot which made it hard for me to really get into the story from the beginning. Luckily, it was full of action and PLENTY of our fave, Aeduan. I’m really hoping the finale comes out next year or I will freaking riot!

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms, #6) by Morgan Rhodes – physical book
  • Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith – physical ARC
  • Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee – physical book

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

My Recent TBR Adds That You Might Not Have Heard Of, Part 3

Honestly, I love doing this series. It’s a great way to introduce all of you wonderful readers to some books that caught my eye on Goodreads. I know we all enjoy finding out about books that we might haven’t heard of yet, or at least I do. I mean, are you really a bookworm if your TBR pile isn’t threatening to bury you alive? I didn’t think so.

Previous Posts:


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The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif

release date: October 8th, 2019

Jessie Archer is an agent for the Athena Protocol, a vigilante all-female organization created to combat injustices around the world. Athena has strict policies to not kill, so when Jessie loses control on a mission, she’s kicked off the team, right before they’re supposed to take down a human trafficking kingpin in Belgrade. Desperate to prove herself, Jessie launches her own investigation—but going rogue means there’s no one there to watch her back as she gets closer to the horrifying truth.

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Suggested Reading by David Connis

release date: September 17th, 2019

Eleanor and Park. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Their Eyes Were Watching God. These are just a few of the books at Lupton Academy that are now considered “prohibited media.” A passionate reader who loves staying up all night to highlight the best lines in her favorite novels, Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers the titles on the principal’s hit list are being taken out of circulation at the school library. In fact, the books aren’t allowed anywhere on the school’s premises, and students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished. Many of these stories have changed Clara’s life, so she’s not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal, Mr. Walsh, abuses his power. She’s going to strike back.

With the help of her friend and student body president, LiQui, Clara starts an underground library—the UnLib—in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the UnLib books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara’s forced to face her role in it. Will she be able to make peace with her conflicting feelings, or is fighting for this noble cause too tough for her to bear?

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Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

release date: July 9th, 2019

At the height of WWII, five idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the OSS, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds–a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer — all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of his or her own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly.
Soon after their training, they are dropped behind enemy lines and take up their false identities, isolated from one another except for a secret drop-box, but in close contact with the powerful Nazi elite who have Paris under siege.
Thus begins a dramatic and riveting cat-and-mouse game, as the young Americans seek to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But…is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?

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The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

release date: March 12th, 2019

Set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, The Bird King is the story of Fatima, the only remaining Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker.

Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

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A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

release date: May 14th, 2019

In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra’s intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count–and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast.

Danio’s fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count’s chambers one autumn night–intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger–and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.

Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.

A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune’s wheel.

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The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

release date: May 28th, 2019

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

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The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

release date: October 2nd, 2019

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.

Includes vintage media interstitials, oral history commentary, photos, and more.

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Foundryside (Founders, #1) Robert Jackson Bennett

release date: August 21st, 2018

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. 

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

release date: June 4th, 2019

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

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The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

release date: August 13th, 2019

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.


What are some recent additions to your Goodreads TBR shelves? Are you interested in any of the books on my list? Have you read any of the books on my list?

 

 

My Top Five Auto-Buy Authors

We all have our favorite authors. Those authors who it doesn’t really matter what they’re writing about because we’re going to buy it either way. Before today, I had never really sat down and thought about which authors I naturally gravitate towards. But I think it’s interesting to talk about the authors that we love and why we love their work, which is why I wanted to share a few of my favorites with y’all!


Samantha Shannon

I don’t what it is about Shannon’s writing, but she always has me hooked into the world and plot in the very first paragraph. Her world-building is just phenomenal and she creates characters that are so complex and aren’t necessarily always good or bad. I really appreciate authors who can create characters that feel very real to me, which usually means they are very flawed and aren’t necessarily always doing the right thing. And you best believe that I am anxiously awaiting for my preorder of The Priory of the Orange Tree to arrive next week!

Emily Henry

I will be the first to admit that I typically hate magical realism, like I will go out of my way to not read magical realism. But dammit, if Emily Henry doesn’t make me pick up her books every single time a new one comes out! I’m not sure why it is but her writing style of magical realism is so much more accessible than the others that I have read. I never feel confused as to what is happening plot-wise. Also, Henry’s stories will make you feel ALL the feels, especially A Million Junes. I’m actually really interested in her upcoming release When the Sky Fell on Splendor, as it’s science fiction instead of her usual magical realism and I am so here for it.

Claudia Gray

Gray is my go-to for some amazing science fiction with strong female characters. I also like how I’m never bored with her stories. They’re really fast-paced and very engaging. I also love her writes relationships, whether it’s romantic or strictly platonic. She’s also a hardcore Star Wars fan (like your’s truly!) and has written a few new canon novels which I highly recommend. I have a few of the most recent ones that I still need to get to…

Leila Meacham

I love a great sweeping historical fiction novel and Leila Meacham writes those to perfection. She has this ability to immediately draw you into her novel and transport you back in time. I also really appreciate a well-written romance, which features prominently in her stories. I had no idea that she had a new release coming out that is set during WWII, called Dragonfly. I am pre-ordering that one immediately!

Pierce Brown

I will never not stop recommending Brown’s books to every single person I know. His writing is so expansive with some AMAZING political intrigue and epic battles sprinkled throughout. He does write adult science fiction so the situations can be very grim and violent. But my gosh, does he pull you into the world while falling in love with such flawed and complex characters.


What are some of your favorite/auto-buy authors? What is it about their writing that makes you want to read everything they create? Have you read any of the authors on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

My 5 Star TBR Predictions: Round 2

So a long time ago, I originally posted my first edition of 5 star predictions for books on my TBR. It was a lot of fun and for the most part, I really enjoyed the books that I’ve read on the list since then. And since I haven’t posted a follow up to that post from 2017, I think it’s time to dive back into that and examine some of the books on my current TBR. For the sake or my sanity and yours, I’m only going to choose books that I already own or have preordered since there’s so many books out there that I’m sure I’ll end up loving when I get to them.

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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee

Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for — and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone — even foreigners — wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones — from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets — and of Kekon itself.

Jade City is the first novel in an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.

Ummm, how can you read that synopsis and not be immediately intrigued by it?! This book sounds like it hits all of my buttons – interesting magic system, dark fantasy, loyal families, etc. I’m pretty sure that this book will kill me and then bring me back to life many times before I finish it.

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

I’ll be honest, Samantha Shannon is pretty much an auto-buy author for me. I love her worldbuilding and characters so much. Plus, this book just sounds so amazing and it includes DRAGONS. Sign me up!! Now if we can just get the next book in The Bone Season series released…

30312855 The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

I’m a sucker fantasy and when you mix that with alternate history, that just sounds like the perfect blend for a fun story. I love the sound of a dark fantasy turn of the century New York that is full of secret societies. I want some epic fighting and intrigue going on here!

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The Oracle Year by Charles Soule

Knowledge is power. So when an unassuming Manhattan bassist named Will Dando awakens from a dream one morning with 108 predictions about the future in his head, he rapidly finds himself the most powerful man in the world. Protecting his anonymity by calling himself the Oracle, he sets up a heavily guarded Web site with the help of his friend Hamza to selectively announce his revelations. In no time, global corporations are offering him millions for exclusive access, eager to profit from his prophecies.

He’s also making a lot of high-powered enemies, from the President of the United States and a nationally prominent televangelist to a warlord with a nuclear missile and an assassin grandmother. Legions of cyber spies are unleashed to hack the Site—as it’s come to be called—and the best manhunters money can buy are deployed not only to unmask the Oracle but to take him out of the game entirely. With only a handful of people he can trust—including a beautiful journalist—it’s all Will can do just to survive, elude exposure, and protect those he loves long enough to use his knowledge to save the world.

Delivering fast-paced adventure on a global scale as well as sharp-witted satire on our concepts of power and faith, Marvel writer Charles Soule’s audacious debut novel takes readers on a rollicking ride where it’s impossible to predict what will happen next.

This book sounds so fast-paced and interesting. I love the concept of a present day Nostradamus who is turned on by governments and powerful people. I can actually imagine how crazy it would be to know I had this power that could change every single life on this planet.

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Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

I absolutely loved The Remnant Chronicles series and so when I heard that Pearson’s newest book was going to be set in the same universe, I got extremely excited. I loved that the writing got better with each book and that gives me a lot of hope for this one. Also, I love when a story is told by characters on opposite sides. Plus I’m getting major enemies-to-lovers vibes from this synopsis and I am so here for that.


What are some books on your TBR that you’re positive that you will love? Have you ever been wrong? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think about it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1)

To say that I’ve been dying until this book was released would be a bit of understatement. I was able to snag a sampler at BookCon last year and was immediately hooked. And I am happy to say that A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer, lived up to the hype!

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Let’s be totally real here, I am a SUCKER for a fantasy retelling. I don’t care what fairytale is being redone, I’m probably gonna pick it up at some point. (Though now that I think about it, I haven’t read any Little Mermaid retellings.. Interesting.) And I will totally admit that Beauty and the Beast is my number one favorite story for retellings. I will fall for the broody and kind of jerk guy in need of some character development, every single time. Luckily, Kemmerer took this retelling and truly made it her own. Plot-wise, I really loved the mix of contemporary and fantasy. I also enjoyed how she twisted the story around to where it wasn’t a complete rehash of the original story, but instead gave us more background and expanded upon the fantasy world. There was war, some run ins with loan sharks, and an enchantress who actually has a presence throughout the story. Yeah, quite a bit different from the original story… THANK GOODNESS!

You're invited to ababy shower for

Oh my, is Harper the heroine that we’ve been needing. She is fierce, loyal, and so damn independent. I loved how she was willing to do whatever it takes to help someone or do the right thing. Harper is definitely no pushover and I freaking loved her for it. I also really appreciated that Kemmerer wrote her with cerebral palsy. You don’t get many physically disabled main characters and this one was so well done. Her disability never kept her from doing what needed to be done. It was just a part of who she was. Then there’s Rhen, whom I really liked his character. He was kind of an asshole but in an unassuming way. It was just the way he was and it took him a while to notice how he was treating others. I appreciated how willing he was to save his kingdom as well. Also, his and Harper’s interactions were so entertaining. I loved the banter between these two. Finally, we have Grey. My sweet sweet Grey.. He was so loyal to Rhen and eventually Harper. His relationship with Harper was probably my favorite in the book. They played off of each other really well, both being stubborn and immediately recognizing the strength in the other. I want him to get a happily ever after so badly!

I really only had a minor issue with the story overall. The pacing was never steady, but instead was up and down throughout the book. It started off really strong and then dipped a bit in the middle of the book before ramping back up at the end. I was still invested in the story the entire time but I do feel that the editors could have cut about 50 pages from the story to help ease some of those pacing issues.

If you enjoy fairytale retellings, then I definitely recommend this book. It was a unique twist on the original story filled with a diverse cast of characters. I think that readers will really appreciate how strong of a female main character Harper is, which is a nice break from the usual sappy romantic type that you typically find in fairytales. Just be aware that this story does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to see what Kemmerer has in store for us in the next book!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars


Have you read A Curse So Dark and Lonely? What did you think of Harper? Do you enjoy fairytale retellings?

 

WWW Wednesday – February 20th, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison – audiobook
  • Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3) by Susan Dennard – physical book

I’m still in the first chapter of Whiskey When We’re Dry so I don’t have an opinion on this one yet. It’s a literary fiction Western which I expect will may it more of a slower listen than my usual historical fiction audiobooks.

Okay, I’m 100 pages into Bloodwitch and it’s making me realize that I should’ve reread the first two books in the series before picking this one up. Two years is a long time between releases and I remember absolutely NOTHING from the previous books. I mean I vaguely remember bits an pieces, but that’s about it. I do remember that I love Aeduan so I can’t complain that he has such a big part in this one.

What did you recently finish reading?

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse Do Dark and Lonely, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer – physical book, review scheduled
  • Reign of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles, #2) by Helen Scheuerer – audiobook

I super enjoyed A Curse So Dark and Lonely. It was a really unique spin on the original fairytale, with some pretty kickass characters. I’m really glad that we’re getting a sequel to the story because there is so much more to explore in this world. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!

Reign of Mist was a really good follow up to the first book. I loved seeing all of the characters come together in different ways, each bringing a new perspective to the war that is brewing. Bleak is still my fave character and Swinton is growing on me as well. I really have no idea what will happen in the next book!

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms, #6) by Morgan Rhodes – physical book
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi – physical ARC
  • Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith – physical ARC

Still trying to work my way through all of my BookCon 2018 ARCs. If I can knock out two more this month, I will feel a whole lot better about myself. And of course it’s time for me to finish the Falling Kingdoms series. I’ve been putting it off because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters but I think it’s finally time. I just really want a happily ever after for Magnus…


What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

Three Day Lyrical Challenge – Day Three

A big thank you to Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for tagging me to do such a fun tag!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day. (I always hate tagging specific people, so if you like this tag then please feel free to do it!)

Speechless by Dan & Shay

[Verse 1]
You say you’ll be down in five
The smell of your perfume is floating down the stairs
You’re fixing up your hair like you do
I know that I’ll be a mess
The second that I see you
You won’t be surprised
It happens every time
It’s nothin’ new

[Pre-Chorus]
It’s always on a night like tonight
I think you can read my mind
‘Cause when you look at me with those eyes

[Chorus]
I’m speechless
Starin’ at you standin’ there in that dress
What it’s doin’ to me ain’t a secret
‘Cause watching you is all that I can do
And I’m speechless
You already know that you’re my weakness
After all this time I’m just as nervous
Every time you walk into the room
I’m speechless

[Verse 2]
It started when you said hello
Just did something to me
And I’ve been in a daze
Ever since the day that we met
You take the breath out of my lungs
Can’t even fight it
And all of the words, out of my mouth without even tryin’

[Chorus]
And I’m speechless
Starin’ at you standin’ there in that dress
What it’s doin’ to me ain’t a secret
‘Cause watching you is all that I can do
And I’m speechless
You already know that you’re my weakness
After all this time I’m just as nervous
Every time you walk into the room
I’m speechless

[Bridge]
Yeah, baby, mmm
It’s always on a night like tonight
I think that you can read my mind
‘Cause when you look at me with those eyes

[Chorus]
I’m speechless
You standin’ there in that dress
Girl, it ain’t a secret
‘Cause watchin’ you is all that I can do
Oh, I’m speechless
You already know that you’re my weakness
After all this time I’m just as nervous
Every time you walk into the room
I’m speechless

[Outro]
Oh, you know it, baby

I’m a sucker for a good love song. Sue me.


What kind of music do you like to listen to? Do you listen to country music? Have you heard of Dan & Shay before?

Three Day Lyrical Challenge – Day Two

A big thank you to Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for tagging me to do such a fun tag!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day. (I always hate tagging specific people, so if you like this tag then please feel free to do it!)

Jesus Christ by Brand New

 

[Verse 1]
Jesus Christ, that’s a pretty face
The kind you’d find on someone that could save
If they don’t put me away
Well, it’ll be a miracle

Do you believe you’re missing out?
That everything good is happening somewhere else
With nobody in your bed
The night is hard to get through

[Chorus 1]
And I will die all alone
And when I arrive I won’t know anyone

[Verse 2]
Jesus Christ, I’m alone again
So what did you do those three days you were dead?
Because this problem is gonna last
More than the weekend

Jesus Christ, I’m not scared to die
But I’m a little bit scared of what comes after
Do I get the gold chariot
Do I float through the ceiling

[Chorus 2]
Or do I divide and pull apart
Cause my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark
This ship went down in sight of land
And at the gates does Thomas ask to see my hands?

[Bridge]
I know you’re coming in the night like a thief
But I’ve had some time, O Lord, to hone my lying technique
I know you think that I’m someone you can trust
But I’m scared I’ll get scared and I swear I’ll try to nail you back up
So do you think that we could work out a sign
So I’ll know it’s you and that it’s over so I won’t even try
I know you’re coming for the people like me
But we all got wood and nails
And we turn out hate in factories
We all got wood and nails
And we turn out hate in factories
We all got wood and nails
And we sleep inside of this machine


What kind of music do you like to listen to? Have you ever heard of Brand New’s music before? What are some of your favorite songs?

Three Day Lyrical Challenge – Day One

A big thank you to Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for tagging me to do such a fun tag! I never get to talk about all of the amazing music that I listen to with y’all, so this is perfect!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day. (I always hate tagging specific people, so if you like this tag then please feel free to do it!)

Flicker by Niall Horan

 

[Verse 1]
When you feel your love’s been taken
When you know there’s something missing
In the dark, we’re barely hangin’ on
Then you rest your head upon my chest
And you feel like there ain’t nothin’ left
I’m afraid that what we had is gone

[Chorus]
Then I think of the start
And it echoes a spark
And I remember the magic electricity
Then I look in my heart
There’s a light in the dark
Still a flicker of hope that you first gave to me
That I wanna keep
Please don’t leave
Please don’t leave

[Verse 2]
When you lay there and you’re sleepin’
Hear the patterns of your breathin’
And I tell you things you’ve never heard before
Asking questions to the ceilin’
Never knowing what you’re thinkin’
I’m afraid that what we had is gone

[Chorus]
Then I think of the start
And it echoes a spark
And I remember the magic electricity
Then I look in my heart
There’s a light in the dark
Still a flicker of hope that you first gave to me
That I wanna keep
Please don’t leave
Please don’t leave

[Bridge]
And I want this to pass
And I hope this won’t last
Last too long

[Chorus]
Then I think of the start
And it echoes a spark
And I remember the magic electricity
Then I look in my heart
There’s a light in the dark
Still a flicker of hope that you first gave to me
That I wanna keep
Please don’t leave
Please don’t leave

This song just gets me every single time. If you ever want me to get emotional, all you have to do is play this damn song. Also, totally saw him in concert last summer and it was probably one of the best experiences. It’s very chill and just has an intimate feeling to it, which is helped by how relaxing his music is. I highly recommend seeing him live if you ever get the chance!


What are some of your favorite lyrics? Have you seen Niall Horan in concert? What was the best concert experience that you’ve had?