Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #25 - The Hundredth Queen / Dividing Eden (June Releases)

Okay so this is a bit of a mash up of my normal Monthly Releases post and a Waiting on Wednesday post. So there is only two books coming out in June which I can currently be excited about, so here they are and why I can't wait to read them: 

The Hundredth Queen (#1)  by Emily R. King
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Synopsis from Goodreads
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

Why I Am Waiting

Firstly, PRETTY COVER ALERT!!! Just adore this cover the contrasting colours the be simplicity, the font it all works so well together. So obviously the synopsis has also drawn me into wanting to read this book. It starts off sounding like a Asian influenced version of Rags to Riches (Cinderella like) story but as you read on it begins to sound more like a dystopian, fight to the death and take over the government plot line. Either way this book has spiked my interest and I look forward to read it.
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau
Pre-order from Amazon (UK)
Synopsis from Goodreads
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing trilogy comes a sweeping new fantasy series, perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sarah J. Maas.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Why I Am Waiting

Again another pretty cover a bit of mix between the Gilded Cage and Carval? This book just sounds like a web of political intrigue and power plays, while everyone tried to win the crown or scrape what ever power they can from the mess left in the shadow of the assassins.

Friday, May 26, 2017

WEE REVIEW: The Prophecy (Saga of the Chosen #1) by Petra Landon

Synopsis from Goodreads

A powerful wizard threatens the Chosen from beyond the grave. Can they unravel The Prophecy in time to save their world!

Chosen have walked the earth for time immemorial. Tasia is a very special Chosen. Warned to keep her distance from her brethren, she makes a fateful decision one night to assist an injured Shape-shifter. Suddenly, Tasia finds herself in the cross-hairs of Shifter mercenaries encroaching on San Francisco. Forced out of the shadows, Tasia has little choice but to ally herself with the local Shifter Pack led by a formidable and dangerous Alpha Protector. In the cut-throat world of a Shifter Pack, Tasia must fight to protect her secrets while struggling to negotiate with the enigmatic Alpha who holds his violent Pack together with a ruthless hand on its reins.

Grave danger threatens their world as a powerful wizard exploits an old prophecy to divide the Chosen. When the Pack is asked to investigate the twenty-five year old mystery, Tasia is drawn deeper into a past that risks raising the suspicions of the very Chosen she hides from. As danger closes in on her, Tasia must decide who to trust with the deadly secrets she guards.

Published January 27th 2017
Source: Bought
Wee Review (4 Stars)
This was a bit of surprise of a book. Although I had read good reviews of this book, I didn't have that high of an expectations for it, with the generic urban fantasy cover and the unoriginal title I couldn't keep my hopes that high for it. However, I did give this book a try based on the review and recommendation of Bite Into Books, and I am glad I listened and gave this book a chance, because it has pleasantly surprised me. 
  • Complex and mysterious main character with a hidden past. Although some of her secrets are revealed in this book, I think even at the end of this book there is some secrets she is still holding onto tightly - can't wait to find out what they are in future books.
  • Through-out this book we get a ever growing cast of secondary character which are developed in such a great way. All of them have their own personalities and characteristics, such a great group which are deep and complex as individual characters but to read about their interactions just highlights their complexities and I feels as though I got to know them just as much as the main character.
  • Complex super natural communities, which all have their own governing structures with power plays happening all over the place both inside these communities and between them.
  • I really enjoyed the 'investigative' aspect of the plot. As this unlikely group of allies work together to piece together the complex plan put together by Lady Bethesda many years ago and trying to made the connection between her action then to some more current events.
  • My favourite kind of romance -  hate to attraction,  for a hostile but sometimes caring guy. 
  • The only negative for me is the sudden time and character perspective jumps. I found these a bit disorientating although it did keep you on your toes, and I can understand why the author would want to create that effect.
Final Thoughts
Over all I enjoyed this book, I look forward to the release of the sequels, where I hope that answers will be discovered, secrets revealed, and friendships and alliances strengthen and evolve.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Who's Afraid? (Tommi Grayson #1) by Maria Lewis


Synopsis from Goodreads

This is the story of Tommi, a young Scottish woman living an ordinary life, who stumbles violently into her birthright as the world's most powerful werewolf. The sudden appearance of a dark, mysterious (and very attractive) guardian further confuses her as her powers begin to develop and she begins to understand that her life can never be the same again. The reader will be swept up in Tommi's journey as she's thrown into the middle of a centuries-old battle and a world peopled with expert warriors and vicious enemies - this is the start of a series - and a world - you will fall in love with.
Published July 14th 2016 by Piatk(first published January 12th 2016)
ISBN13: 9780349408972
Series: Tommi Grayson #1
Source: Bought
 Review (4.75 Stars)
This was a great book, surprisingly so! It wasn't that I wasn't expecting to enjoy it,
I was excited to read a story with Scottish werewolves (I can't think of any book
where they are the main characters - any recommendations welcome), however
 this didn't turn out to be the direction that the story was heading, but I am getting
ahead of myself.
Let start for the beginning, this book begins by introducing 
us to Tommi (in a hilarious internal monologue introduction!) and her normal life
as a recent gradate working in a Dundee gallery. She has just lost her mother and 
is about to go on adventure to find her absentee dad down in New Zealand. She 
has a great group of friends who are supportive and they are full of Scottish
 banter (which I loved),  I think this book did a great job of representing the
Scottish culture and attitude. However, finding her family down under doesn't
 work out anything like she'd planned and nothing like she could have ever
imagined and she rapidly returns to Scotland. As she is now aware of her
 'more than human' state I was fully expecting her to panic and
hunt down a group of supernatural to teach her to control. However,
this is where my preconceived ideas of this story were dashed, she is a strong
independent woman who although isn't all that comfortable with the changes
 she is enduring she deals with it cool head and remains in control.
I don't want to go into too much detail of this book, because I loved going into
this book with limited knowledge. All I will say it that I loved it and highly
recommend, it has a authentic 'modern Scottish ' feel with a few (understandable
don't worry) phrases and a snarky, down to earth, kick-ass, independent
woman who has some great friends who have her back. There is also a
 side thread of romance and hint of bigger supernatural power plays
 and a author who isn't afraid to put her characters through the worst.
(don't want to spoil this book for anyone but Maria how could you?!?)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Synopsis from Goodreads

Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.
Published March 29th 2016 by CreateSpace (first published March 29th 2013)
Series: Standalone
Source: Received a copy via Netgalley
Review (4.75 Stars)
This book started a bit like a crime show episode with : a glimpse of someone's life, then their death followed by small scene of a investigation before finally zooming to a other persons seemingly unconnected (although we all know there has to be some connection) life.
Once passed the crime show like prologue, we follow a girl called Blue in her last year of high school. I enjoyed the way that from the start we get to see the mask Blue has created for herself and it was interesting though the school year to see the two different sides of Blue. Her 'slutty' shameless and outgoing mask when she is in school, and her more quite and lost personality when she is at home. This first half of the book while Blue is still in school, shows how much teacher's can impact their students lives. It highlighted the power of other people believing in you, and the impact that can have on the views you have of yourself as well as the ways in which you view the world and your place in it.
The second part of the book we follow Blue as she tries to find out more about her past and her birth family. However, I felt as though the theme of this half of the book was more about realizing that your blood family isn't the only family you can have, but rather you can create you own family from those who have your back, care and love you. 
This is such a powerful story of a broken, forgotten girl (who's very good at playing the role she created to hide this), who is on a quest to find herself and a teacher determined to see her for who she is and help her discover her true self, and find her place in the world. We also get a great side theme of romance, it is messy at some points and beautiful at other points.
I am not often a fan of teenage contemporary romance's but this one is fluffy and fake, this is deep, heart-breaking, full of loss and self doubt, searching and finding, of discovering and falling.   
My Favourite Quotes from A Different Blue  
"There's a whole lot more to most people than meets the eye, Wilson. Unfortunately, a lot of times it isn't good stuff. It's scary stuff, painful stuff. By now, you know so much scary, painful stuff about me, it's a wonder you're still around."
“Someone told me once that to create true art you must be willing to bleed and let others watch.”  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Valiant (#1) by Lesley Livingston

Synopsis from Goodreads

Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.
Published February 14th 2017 by Razorbill
ISBN13: 9780448493787
Series: The Valiant
Source: Bought

Review (5 Stars)

I knew I was going to enjoy this book the moment I read the synopsis, I have been looking for a book with a female gladiator lead for ages (I have only ever found some Wattpad stories) so was so excited when I found this one. Thankfully this book was everything I had been hoping for.
The first chapter throws us straight into Fallon's life in her tribe. In this first chapter we get to see Fallon's brave, recklessness and fearlessness nature as well as her determination to prove to everyone that she is worthy - not just because she is the daughter of the king but because of her skills. As we move into the second chapter we get to know more about Fallon's past and her backstory, which really highlights her love for her deceased sister, giving us some insight into her motivation behind her desire to join the tribe war band and proving herself. 
It was nice to get to see Fallon in her 'normal' life in the tribe and to watch the tribes internal politics even without the help of the invading Romans. This book is just a whirlwind of action, I loved it all,  from the events leading up to Fallon's enslavement; to the dramatic and unusual start to her friendship with fellow slave Elka's; from the slave block, to her training and the arenas, and the more complex working of Rome, from the power plays and conspiracies, to dark mysteries passages and even a few familiar faces from home.
I loved watching Fallon grow from a unseasoned warrior into a Gladiatrix learning to play in the political power games of Rome. Overall, this book ticked almost all the boxes for me with a strong female lead, some mysterious happens, a great sisterhood, political manoeuvring and even a bit of romance. Highly recommend read if you're into either fantasy or historical fiction. I can't wait for the sequel!   


Friday, May 12, 2017

May Releases I am Excited About

SO MANY BOOKS! There are so many great sounding fantasy books this month, I am not sure how I'm going to afford them all (although a few of them are only £0.99 on kindle so woop!). But hey, here are all the May release books I can't wait to read (at some point):
A Court of Wings and Ruins (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: 2nd May 2017
Synopsis From Goodreads
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
Avenged (Ruined #2) by Amy Tintera
Release Date: 2nd May 2017 
Synopsis From Goodreads
A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.

Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.
Flame in the Mist (#1) by Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: 16th May 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known
The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye
Release Date: 16th May 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads
Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
Dark Breaks the Dawn (#1) by Sara B. Larson
Release Date: 30th May 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.
So quite a few new series by some great authors coming out this month! Any other new releases your excited for? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ARC BOOK REVIEW: Flame in the Mist (#1) by Renee Ahdieh

Synopsis from Goodreads

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.
Expected publication: May 16th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young
ISBN13: 9780399171635
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Source: e-ARC via Netgalley

Review (4 Stars)

Although I have given this book 4 stars and I did enjoy reading this book, it was a bit disappointing. I read both of Ahdieh's other books (see my review of the first one here) and loved them (5 Stars all around) so i had high expectations of this book from my experience of her previous books, as well as i read somewhere that it had been inspired by Mulan. So I thought 'great author, amazing inspiration, what could go wrong?' but it just wasn't as wow as either her other books or what I was expecting. However, it wasn't all bad to here is my - mixed - thoughts:

This book starts by following Mariko on her way to marry the emperor's son when her escorts are killed and she flees for her life. In many ways in these first scenes Mariko comes across as quite a feeble and scared character as she is thrust into this difficult situation, however she is also a determined character who has awareness of the impacts of her situation. 

As well as Mariko's point of view (POV) some of the book is also told from her twin brothers POV as he searches for her. The first few chapters from his POV made me love him and his relationship with his sister. He had a way of being worried for her while also having faith in her cleverness and holding onto hope while everyone else had lost theirs. It's a shame that this worry, loss and protectiveness in his character seem to twist him into a completely different person though this book.

There was a -what i would call a - "character dump" where a large number of characters are suddenly introduced. I found this a bit confusing at the point in which all these guys were suddenly playing a vital part in the plot, however after a scene or two I finally cottoned onto who was who. Once i had got over this it was interesting to see the different personalities of the Black Clan members and loved the verbal sparing between our main character and Okami (AKA The Wolf). We also got a good old fashioned love-hate romantic relationship in this book which i can't flaw Ahdieh for putting in because I love this trope.

I (as well as the slightly less informed) main character spent this book trying to uncover who the "villain" is who ordered Mariko's death, something I thought I had sussed out but after a twist late in the book I am now not sure. This book leaves us what feels a lot like a cliffhanger with a world in upheaval and unknown consequences which i look forward to reading about in the next book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, it was a bit of a mix between Mulan and Robin Hood. It just didn't have anything amazing about it to make it stand out for me.

Monday, May 08, 2017

March and April Book Haul


Yes I am still alive!
It seems like forever since I last sat down and wrote a post. Seeing as I have missed both my March and April reflection posts, over the next few weeks I am going to be trying to catch you guys up on all the books I have been reading. However, to start off I wanted to share with you guys what I have bought in March and April.
March's Book Haul - I decided to finally splash out and buy the hardback editions which I had been eyeing up, and of course I had to buy the final book in the Red Queen series (although it is now May and I still haven't read it - woops!):

April's Book Haul - My copy of The Valiant finally arrive from the US and I was browsing though Amazon and found these other two books for pretty reasonable cost so had to try and squeeze them onto my TBR shelves.

So there we have it eight beautiful books have been added to my collection over to last two months and look out for reviews for some of these soon. I would love to know if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them.