Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary:
A splintered allegiance.
Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf line.
An ancient danger.
In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms…as well as the enemies within the castle.
The deadly cost of peace.
Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series.
Deathcaster (Shattered Realms, #4)Review:
I’m honestly a little sad to be writing this review. I cannot believe that this series has been concluded. After eight books and two series and more character deaths than I’d like to remember. I have loved the world of the Seven Realms for many years. They are the books that got me into loving fantasy as much as I do. (Read my review for the first series here.) So, I’m sad to see my time in this world come to an end (in terms of reading for the first time anyway). Okay, enough sadness. Time for the real review.

“She told me that love is not measured by the amount of time you spend together, it’s how that time is spent.”

No surprise here but I loved this book. Deathcaster was my most anticipated release of 2019 and I procrastinated reading it for an entire month because I didn’t want my time with these characters to be over. I still don’t feel like I got enough of their story. I loved this conclusion. I loved the way these characters ended their stories. I loved every single page.

“He said that all we can do is make the best decision  possible in that moment. Then move on. Because we can’t know how a different choice would play out, it makes no sense to beat ourselves up over what looks like a bad choice in retrospect.”

There are entirely to many characters to get into the details for each one of them. I love all of the characters that play a part in the chaos happening in the world. With princesses turned Queens, soldiers turned Kings, missing Princes reuniting with loved ones, pirates with powers, soldiers of all sorts, there really is not a dull moment in the almost 650 pages of this conclusion. I laughed, I cried, I squealed, I did all of the things. I have been on such a journey with Lyss, Ash, Hal, Destin, Evan, Talbot, Jenna, Lila, and so many others. I have loved them all, even the ones I have lost. I loved that each character had their own distinct personality, which I think is impressive with the large amount of characters. It’s a testament to Chima’s talent that each one of these people have their own personality and voice, they each play a vital part in this series. I do want to mention the dragons. I absolutely adored meeting more dragon’s after Cas. Cas raising the fledgling dragons was one of my favorite parts of Deathcaster. They were sassy and smart. They had me laughing every time they were on the page. I loved seeing the other characters learn about and interact with them.

“That’s how they get you-hope. That’s how they break you’re heart.”

The world of the Seven Realms is one that I will miss dearly and I will very likely revisit again before the end of this year. It has become such a well-loved story and I just cannot stop shouting about them from the rooftops about them. I think every lover of fantasy needs to read these books (starting with The Demon King). The world that Chima has built is incredibly intricate and complex. The history, the different cultures, the places we visit, its so in depth and fully envelops you into the story.

“I learned a long time ago  that it’s not our fault if our parents are monsters. We can’t take responsibility for that, or we’re twice damaged. All we can do is try to go forward in a different way.”

Overall, I loved this conclusion. I don’t know that it was my favorite of the Shattered Realms. I probably won’t be able to decide which is my favorite until I reread all of them together. But the characters that reunite. Winning the war on several different fronts. This book has everything I wanted. If you haven’t read these, you need to and that is all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Villains

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Villains (favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc.) I’m going to go with a combination of all the options. This list will include some of my favorite villains, who are the best and the worst at the same time, but also loveable. Some will be the evilesttop t t and maybe a little creepy too. Villains are some of my favorite and a great Spooktober topic!

 

1. The Darkling, Grisha Verse by Leigh Bardugo – Anyone that knows me knows that I miiiight be a little obsessed with this series and the Darkling. He’s such an excellent villain. Attractive and mysterious, he lures you in before pulling you into the dark side. A backstory that gives him a human side. He’s excellently developed and I just love him.
2. Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Creepy, downright evil, this guy is just the worst in all the best ways. He’s a character that I love to hate.
3. Maven Calore, Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – A loveable villain in the first book. Before we’re blindsided by the fact that he’s actually the villain for this series. I loved him in Red Queen and HATED him the rest of the series. Aveyard made him loveable and personable and I still love him a little even though he’s pure evil.
4. Tea, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – Tea is made out to be the villain in this story but as we read we find out that she’s doing what she really believes in, despite the fact that she knows it will upset pretty much everyone. The minute she finds out she’s a bone witch she’s already given a stigma of being bad.
5. BeiTech, The Illuminae Files by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – I think this interesting twist of making a corporation the villain of the story is really cool. Though there’s more to this villain I won’t spoil anything. I think this was a well thought out and well-executed villain.
6. Empress Celestine, The Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – There’s still much to learn about this particular villain, but so far she’s very intriguing. She’s the worst, but I find myself liking her more as we get deeper into the series.
7. Nova/Insomnia, Renegades by Marissa Meyer – The main character who is a villain, but seems to start to have conflicting feelings about being a villain once she finds herself surrounded by heroes.
8. Martin Chatwin, The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Martin is just the worst. He’s basically psychotic on top of being pure evil.
9. Adelina Amouteru, The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Adelina was one of the first characters that made me realize I might like villains more than I thought.
10. King of Hybern, ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas – This guy sucked. He was actually the worst and I hated everything about him. Greedy and selfish, not satisfied with what he already has so he has to stir up all kinds of drama.

Who are your favorite, best, worst, most evil villains?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Longest Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – longest books I’ve ever read.
t10t

 Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

880 pages

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

870 pages

The Witness by Nora Roberts

757 pages

Night World # 3 by L.J. Smith

732 pages

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

720 pages

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

693 pages

Eona by Allison Goodman

637 pages

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

626 pages

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

598 pages

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

594 pages

What are the longest books you’ve ever read?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Authors to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – authors I’d love to meet.
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1. John Green – I’ve seen him on tour but didn’t actually get the chance to meet him face to face. I’m basically obsessed with him. I’ve seen all his youtube videos and own all his books, several copies of a few of them too.
2. Sarah J. Maas – ACOTAR is one of my favorite series and I definitely loved the Throne of Glass series too. I would love to meet the incredible writer that brought these amazing books into the world.
3. Leigh Bardugo – Again, I totally love all of the books she’s written. I have the special edition of Six of Crows preordered along with King of Scars. I’d love to meet her and fangirl a little.
4. Nora Roberts – Nora has been such a staple in my reading life that she totally deserves a place on this list.
5. Janet Evanovich – I would like to meet her even though I haven’t heard the best things about her interacting with her readers.
6. Cinda Williams Chima – I would love an autograph from her. Her stories are incredible and she’s totally tweeted at me before (yes I squealed.)
7. Cassandra Clare – I feel like I have to meet her just for all of the time I spent agonizing over TMI and waiting for each book to come out.
8. Richelle Mead – All I have to say is thank you for the Vampire Academy.
9. Stephanie Meyer – The fifteen-year-old in me is making me put this on the list.
10. Ellen Hopkins – The things I would do to see inside her creative mind. She’s such an incredible writer. I’d kill for even a quarter of her talent.

What authors would you like to meet the most?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Back to School

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – back to school/learning freebie. So for this, I’m going to choose my top ten favorite books that take place in or at a school. In no specific order here’s my top ten for this week.
top ten tuesday picture
1. Looking for Alaska by John Green – A book that kickstarted my secret desire to go to a boarding school or live in a dorm of some sort (something I never got to do.) Even though this book 1000% broke my heart into a million pieces, I loved the unique experience these characters had living away from their parents, making friends and the adventures.
2. The Seven Realms & The Shattered Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – Oden’s Ford, the school in these two series was a really interesting one. It trained everyone from all of the realms, warriors, wizards, and healers alike, regardless of the war going on around them. It’s a place of peace and learning in a tumultuous time.
3. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – Featuring a school that trains girls how to be upper-class ladies so that they may find husbands and work on developing the new world into a proper society.
4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – Another boarding school adventure. But this one is a murder mystery. Everything about this school intrigued me. They give their students the freedom to study what they want, for no cost at all.
5. The Secret of Spellshadow Manor by Bella Forrest – This was a fantastic series that featured several different schools. Not always good at teaching their students and some of them were pretty twisted, but it made for a really good story.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – Am I even a real bookworm if I don’t have this book/series on this list?
7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – Good old St. Vlad’s.
8. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – This heartfelt story follows Laurel through her first year of high school where she’s trying to figure out who she is without her sister and what her place in this seemingly foreign world. I love this book very much.
9. Evernight by Claudia Gray – I’m putting this in here for a throwback. An oldie, but goodie. Evernight Academy was such a creative idea, a place for vampires to figure out how to really blend in with the rest of the world. I still think, years after reading this series, which was a great twist on the vampire craze.
10. First Year by Rachel E. Carter – With a choice of working a trade or attempting to earn an apprenticeship as a soldier, mage or knight Ryiah always dreamed of becoming a mage. This series follows her through her incredible journey during her schooling.

Here’s my top ten for this week’s school-related freebie topic. What books do you think I should have included in my list? Let me know your top ten in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

ABC Book Challenge |F|

Hi, Bookworms!

This week we will be talking about books with the letter F. For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This weeks letter is – F.

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima (reviewed here) – I can not say enough good things about this book or this author. I’m obsessed with everything she’s written. If you haven’t read these books stop what you’re doing and go read them asap. You can thank me later.

(The) Fault in our Stars by John Green (reviewed here) – No surprise here with this one. Green is my favorite author and though I haven’t read this book in quite a while I still remember it so well.

Antonia

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine – This was the first book I read of hers and it still remains my favorite. I just always loved the unique fairy tale elements and the fact that the heroine isn’t pretty but is extremely kind. It’s one of the major themes throughout the book.

Fire by Kristin Cashore – I loved everything about this book but especially Fire herself.

 

Books Still on Our TBR List

Amanda

(The) Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser – This is one I picked up because I have another book by the same author (that I also haven’t read). But the cover is beautiful and the book description sounds super interesting.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino – I picked this up on my last Target adventure. I haven’t actually heard anything from anyone about these books, but I’ve seen them at a few different bookstores and the covers always catch my eye. I’m excited to get to this one because I love fairytale retellings and I love villains and this has both.

Antonia

(Of) Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – Amanda review this recently (read it here) and it sounded amazing so I’ll definitely have to read it.

Fate Undone by Linsey Hall – I’ve loved her Dragon’s Gift series so I was really excited to see she has an adult romance series as well. The Greek mythology is just an added bonus for me.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to let us know what books you would use for the letter F in the comments or leave us a link to your post!

Book Tag – Book Blogger Confessions

Yes bookworms, another book tag. We found this one posted by Sionna at Books in her Eyes, so go check out her answers to these fun questions.

The Rules – 

Answer the questions truthfully.

Tag five book bloggers to answer these questions next.

Which book did you most recently DNF?

Amanda- I make a point to not DNF books. So the closest I’ve come would be I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman which you can see my review here.

Antonia- Tequila and Tea Bags by Laura Barnard. I was really excited for this one but absolutely could not connect with the protagonist and couldn’t manage to get past about 30% because of it.

What book is your guilty pleasure?

Amanda- This has to be any of the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands. They’re creative but filthy and I love it when the new ones come out. Who doesn’t love a sexy vampire romance?

Antonia- I probably would have chosen the same as Amanda but in an effort to be different I’ll pick The Dark-Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Sexy immortals and greek mythology? Yes please.

Which book do you love to hate?

Amanda- This is a tough one because I don’t have one that comes immediately to mind. After looking at my GoodReads list of books that I’ve read, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (review here) is definitely a book that I dislike (I don’t really hate any books) but I liked the second one a bunch, so love to hate I guess?

Antonia- I always think this questions a little weird. Usually I just love it or hate it, there’s not much in between for me.

Which book would you throw into the sea? 

Amanda- What bookworm in their right mind would throw a perfectly good book (or even a perfectly terrible book) into the ocean?

Antonia- Yeah, I agree entirely with Amanda.

Which book have you read the most? 

Amanda- Looking for Alaska by John Green. My favorite book in the world. I’ve reread it so many times it’s ridiculous. Check out my review here.

Antonia- A lot. If I had to guess though, I’d say The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. I read it at least once a year and it’s been over ten years since I first picked it up.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Amanda- Well, I wouldn’t hate to receive any books for free. But I much prefer when gift givers ask me specifically what books I need or want.

Antonia- Nothing specifically. I mostly agree with Amanda; I’d rather be able to pick out my own books with the exception of a few people who know my tastes well enough.

Which book could you not live without?

Amanda- All of them? Seriously, I’m supposed to pick just one book?

Harry Potter (all of them) by J.K. Rowling

Looking for Alaska by John Green

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Antonia- The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Beastly by Alex Flinn

The Witness by Nora Roberts

The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

And like 5,000 others.

Which book made you the angriest?

Amanda- The Young Elites series by Marie Lu (reviewed here.) The main character of this series is absolutely infuriating, but like I also totally loved her. She just made me mad like 90% of the time.

Antonia- I’ve talked about this one before but I have to choose Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. She killed off one of my favorite characters from the previous series and I couldn’t handle it. To the point where I refused to finish it for the longest time.

Which book made you cry the most?

Amanda- I feel like I’ve mentioned this a million times at this point but, The Air Awakens series by Elise Kova made me cry for like an hour. My husband just hugged me and asked me if I was okay like a hundred times. He definitely thought I was never going to stop crying.

Antonia- All of them. Not literally of course but there’s a lot and almost always, if a book made me cry once, it’ll make me cry every time. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman has always been one of the worst. Most recently is probably Year One by Nora Roberts. A character dies suddenly which would be tragic enough but he has the same name as my husband so I found it harder to read than I might otherwise.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

Amanda- I just talked about this with someone the other day. I don’t have any specific book covers that I hate, but I don’t particularly love book covers with faces on them. The faces that their making are always so awkward and I just think they could have done better with something other than a random face.

Antonia- I also hate the awkward face covers. Especially when half the face is cut off. It just doesn’t look appealing to me in any way.

Tags – 

Danielle at YAAllegience 

Sara at Bookish Traveling Wife

Jess & Teagan at Fiction No Chaser

Ashley at Thrifty Bibliophile

Alana at The Bookish Chick

Feel free to complete this tag even if we didn’t tag you specifically and link back to our page! Thanks for reading bookworms.

Book Tag – Inside Out

inside out

Hi, friends! We’re back with another book tag! They’re just too much fun to stop playing. With so many different themes and ideas. I loved the movie Inside Out, so when I saw this one I knew Antonia and I just had to play. I found this tag done by Jenny @ Jenny in Neverland. We’re not going to tag anyone at the end to play, but feel free to do this book tag & tag us in it!

joy

Joy – What book brings you the most joy?

Amanda- This answer isn’t going to surprise anyone unless you’re a new follower. I’m going to have to go with A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. There’s just so much development and love and happiness and wonderfulness by the end of the series. Check out my reviews here – ACOTAR, ACOMAF, ACOWAR, and ACOFAS.

Antonia- The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. This will always be my favorite. I’ve had to get new copies because I wore out the old ones and I read it at least once a year. For me, it’s just one of those books that feels like an old friend every time I open it.

fear.jpg

Fear – The book that scared you more than anything?

Amanda- This is another easy one. I found this book on my Kindle through my book subscription. I was so spooked by this book that I ended up reading an entire book afterward because I needed something else on my mind before I tried to go to sleep. Secret of Mckinley Mansion by K.F. Breene was such an interesting read but had me turning on the lights so I wasn’t scared in the dark.

Antonia- This one’s easy for me because I avoid scary books and movies like the plague. When I was about fifteen though, I received the book The Devouring by Simon Holt as a gift and it scared the crap out of me.

disgust.jpg

Disgust – What book grossed you out the most?

Amanda- Hmm, I think for this one I’m going to go with Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. I’m answering this one with ‘grossed out’ being more disgusted by something. There was a kidnapping aspect of this story that lasted way too long and it was honestly just disgusting to read the things that this awful human put one of the characters through. Check out my review here.

Antonia- My high school boyfriend wasn’t much of a reader but when he did read, he’d usually try to get me to read it too and I’d say yes to try to encourage him to read more. Hellbent by Anthony McGowan was one of those books and I hated it so much that it actually made me like my boyfriend less for liking it. A teenage boy dies and goes to hell then proceeds to try to work the system in his favor; which might have been a cool storyline if it didn’t include disgusting humor that young boys tend to enjoy, i.e. fart jokes and way too much mention of bodily waste.

sadness.jpg

Sadness – Which book make you cry the hardest?

Amanda- This is either going to be Looking for Alaska by John Green because I reread this book once a year usually and it makes me cry every time or it’s the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova because I cried for a solid hour after certain events in these pages.

Antonia- Way too many. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman was probably one of the first. The Shack by William Paul Young was another that made me inconsolable. Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson was really bad; I’d cry after the fact just talking about it.

anger.jpg

Anger – Which book pissed you off?

Amanda- Triangles by Ellen Hopkins (reviewed here). This is one I read recently. The book itself didn’t piss me off. It was a really good book, but specific characters within the stories just made horrible choices that I don’t like or respect and it really pissed me off.

Antonia- Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I adore her books and I was so excited for this book to come out (it’s the first in a spin-off series from The Seven Realms series). I couldn’t wait to see older versions of all my favorite characters and then something terrible happens to one of them in the first chapter. I was so mad and upset about it that I immediately put the book down and refused to finish it for a really long time.

What books make you feel all the Inside Out emotions?

ABC Book Challenge |D|

This week we’re going to talk about books that have the letter D. For those of you that are new to this book challenge, we’re going through the alphabet and talking about memorable books and books still on our TBR lists. Each week we write another post with the next letter in the alphabet.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter – D.

Most memorable books 

Amanda-

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – I love a good retelling and this series does not disappoint with a wild retelling of the Wizard of Oz.

Antonia-

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima – This was a book I got from the library because I had nothing better to read. I didn’t have high hopes for it but I ended up reading it straight through then making emergency trips to multiple libraries to try to find the rest of the series. It’s now one of my all time favorite books.

 

 

Books still on our TBR list

Amanda-

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – This is the second book in The Raven Cycle series. I haven’t started this series yet, but it’s on my list for this month to do as a buddy read with a bookish friend of mine.

Antonia-

Die for Me by Amy Plum – This is the first book in The Revenants series. I thought the concept sounded really unique and I was excited that it takes place in Paris which is a setting I haven’t often read about.

 

 

These are our picks for the letter D. What are your memorable books with this letter? Do you have any books that you’ve yet to read starting with D? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments!

Book Tag – Halsey

halsey book tag.jpg

Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

drive

Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

empty gold

Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

ghost

Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

haunting

Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

hold me down

Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

hurricane

Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

new americana

Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

roman holiday

Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

trouble

Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

walk the line

Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

young god

Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

gasoline

Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 

Tome Topple Challenge – Wrap Up

Hi, bookworms! We’re back again with the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge. This time it’s to give an update about how we did! Tome Topple has officially ended, sadly. It was a fun challenge and great to help us get some of the bigger books on our TBR lists knocked off. While our TBR lists are forever getting longer instead of shorter, this challenge helped us get through a few of the longer books for sure.

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Amanda

I managed to get through three and a half books! I started off with Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (review here.) The third book in the Shattered Realms series was amazing. I can’t wait for the fourth book to be released next year. This book was my ‘tome that’s part of a series’ for the readathon. Next, I picked up Triangles by Ellen Hopkins. My review for this book will be published this upcoming Monday, so keep an eye out if you’d like to read my thoughts on that story. Triangles was my ‘adult tome’ for the readathon. After that, I couldn’t help but pick up the sort of companion novel, Tilt, that focuses on the same story but from the young adult perspective. This wasn’t on my TBR list for this challenge but it’s over 500 pages, so I’m counting it! I’m currently reading The Diviners by Libba Bray but did not finish it in time for it to count for this challenge. So that’s why I said three and a half books.

Antonia

I definitely didn’t do as well as I was hoping to for this challenge. I just started a new full-time shift at work and was there eight days in a row without a break. To top it off, the new shift is 1pm-10pm which is my normal reading time and I had some trouble trying to get into a book first thing in the morning. I managed to finish Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (review here) which fit “tome that’s part of a series” but barely started the second book, Inkspell. I read a couple smaller books in between so I’d still be able to post reviews which you can view here: Institute of Magic and Crime of Magic, both by Linsey Hall.

How did everyone else do with their Tome Topple TBR lists?

Book Tag – Reader’s Problems

We’ve become obsessed with book tags and we’re not sorry about it. We found the Reader’s Problems Book Tag posted by Linda at Linda’s Little Library! She has some great posts over there, so go check out her page. We saw this tag and thought it looked like fun.

You have 20,000 books on your TBR list. How in the world do you decide which book to read next? 

Amanda- This is actually a real life, everyday problem. One that I’m currently facing. I have at least twenty books on my TBR and I almost dread finishing a book because I don’t want to have to think about what I’m going to read next. But when I do finally decide, it’s usually based off whatever mood I’m in. I may want something quick and fun to read or I may be ready to get invested and lose a piece of my soul in some new series.

Antonia- Like Amanda, it mostly depends on my mood. I think more often than not it’s the book I’ve been thinking about longest or the new book I’ve been waiting for. Usually when I can’t decide between a bunch I’ll read the synopsis of each (even if I’ve read it a million times) and that’s how I figure out what I’m in the mood for.

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it, do you quit or are you committed? 

Amanda- I’m committed. I’m not someone that is capable of not finishing a book unless I’m less than fifty pages into the book. This recently happened to me with The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (check out my review here) I finished the entire book and still really just didn’t love it. But the person that I am, I still read the second book, The Heart Forger (review here), and I ended up really enjoying it. I’m excited for the third to come out. So, yeah, I have to finish a book once I’m halfway because I’m pretty invested, even if I finish it and don’t like it, that’s okay.

Antonia- I’m not afraid to DNF but I try not to. Like Amanda, I’ve definitely read books I didn’t like but loved the rest of the series so I always try to keep that in mind when I don’t like something. I really only DNF when I either REALLY hate the main character or dislike the writing style so much that I have to keep rereading sentences because I can’t stay focused.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, yet still so far away from your reading goal on GoodReads. Do you try to catch up and how? 

Amanda- Wow, I love this book tag. This literally happened to me New Years Eve ’17. I spent half the night reading (even though I was at a friends house with a big group of my friends) because I needed to try to make it to 300 books for the year. I finished a book that night but only made it to 299 books for the year. Better luck next year I guess.

Antonia- It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to reach my yearly goals so I don’t worry about it too much anymore. I usually have so much going on in December that it’s unfortunately not very high on my list.

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope? 

Amanda- Depending on the series I will not care or I will buy more copies of said books to make sure I have a matching set. For example, I own every book in the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich but I’ve bought them slowly over the years from yard sales and library sales and a few new hardcovers here and there – so not one book in this series matches. But my favorite series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas all have to be the same or I will lose my mind. It would bother me so much that I didn’t have a matching series (I do though, so it’s fine.)

Antonia- It’s definitely an unpopular opinion but I really don’t care. Sure it’s nice when they look all pretty stacked together but that frequently means having to buy hardcover copies and that means less money for other books.

Everyone and their mother really loves a book that you really didn’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? 

Amanda- Antonia, duh. Mostly because she doesn’t read half of the books that I do. We both read our own kinds of books, so generally if I’m reading something popular that everyone loves (in certain genres) she hasn’t read it and I can complain to her. But I mean, I can complain to her even if she read it and liked it. So, Antonia is my answer regardless of what book it is.

Antonia- Amanda, duh. For literally the same reasons.

You’re reading a book in public and it’s going to make you cry. How do you deal? 

Amanda- I’m okay with that. I’m one of those crazy bookworms that you may see in public hysterically laughing at whatever is in my book. The same goes for crying. If the book’s going to make me cry, it doesn’t matter where I am.

Antonia- Unlike Amanda I really don’t like crying in public so I’ll usually just take a few deep breaths and hold back the tears or if that’s not possible, I’ll put the book away.

A sequel of a book you love just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you reread the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on GoodReads? Just cry in frustration?!

Amanda- I will reread the book. This is another real-life situation for me. I’m actually doing this now. I’m reading Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima (which I reviewed here when it came out a few years ago.) So even though I read and reviewed it, I know I’ve forgotten important details. So I’m going to reread it along with the second book, Shadowcaster, now that the third has recently been released.

Antonia- Definitely reread. I love rereading books. If it’s been recently enough that I remember a lot of it then I might find a summary and that’ll help me remember the rest.

You do not want anyone, ANYONE, borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people no when they ask? 

Amanda- This is actually really easy when you don’t have any friends (HAH, it’s true though.) And the friends I do have live hundreds of miles away from me. Also any friends that live close don’t read or aren’t comfortable asking to borrow my books (because I’m smart enough to not offer for them to borrow, which is something I used to stupidly do all the time.)

Antonia- I also don’t have friends so there’s no one to ask me. The few people I’m close to who read (like Amanda, husband, mom, sister) I know are trustworthy with books and will give them back. Anyone else I usually just make up some excuse not to.

Reading ADD, you’ve picked up and put down five books in the last month. How do you get out of your reading slump? 

Amanda- When this happens to me I tend to pick one of my go-to authors that write easy, fun, lighthearted books. This happened to me a few weeks ago and I got out of the slump by reading Come Sundown by Nora Roberts (reviewed here) and it was a quick read that got me out of my slump. Janet Evanovich, Linsay Sands, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are other authors that I can read their books any time, but especially when I find myself in a slump.

Antonia- Again, my answer is very similar to Amanda’s. (Are we the same person?) Nora Roberts is always my go to when I can’t get into any books because I’ve literally never had that problem with any of her books (and I’ve read at least a hundred of them).

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Amanda- All of them. What kind of question is this?

Antonia- I wish I could say all of them. Unfortunately money’s often an issue for me. I’ll buy the 2 or 3 that I can’t live without then either wait for the others or try to find them at the library.

After you’ve bought all of the new books that you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you read them? 

Amanda- Um…About this. A long time. But only because I have to reread some books before I can get to the new ones. And because more new books keep coming out and I have to get to those too and read some of them first.

Antonia- I’ve gotten better about this since I don’t often buy a ton at one time but occasionally one still waits for too long.

 

Okay, so we had a ton of fun with this Reader’s Problems Book Tag, mostly because many of these are real struggles we face as bookworms. So if you’re reading this and think it sounds fun, consider yourself tagged!

Tome Topple Challenge – Update

Hi, bookworms!I thought an update would be great now that we’ve made it through week one of the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge! Just here for a check in to let you guys know where we’re at with our goals and TBR lists and ask how everyone else is doing so far in this readathon challenge. Without further ado!

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Amanda- So far I’ve completed one full book for this challenge. It’s one that I’ve been putting off because it’s part of a series but the last book hasn’t been released yet and I don’t want to wait a whole year to know what happens next! Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima is the third book in the Shattered Realms series. Here are links for my reviews of the first book, Flamecasterthe second book, Shadowcasterand the review I just posted today for the third book, StormcasterNext, I’ve started Triangles by Ellen Hopkins and I will hopefully be done with it by the end of this weekend. But I might not be because I’m visiting some family this week and I’m not sure if I will have as much time as I want to read. This book fulfills the ‘adult novel’ challenge for this readathon. I’ll be sure to post the review once I’ve finished it.I’ve also been listening to some audiobooks (I’m not sure what the ruling is on audiobooks for Tome Topple) that are over 500 pages in their paper copies. So I’m going to count it. American Gods by Neil Gaiman so far is bizarre and weird but I just can’t stop listening. So far, I’m doing better than I thought I was going to with everything else I have going on this week. I’m hoping to keep that progress where it’s at and keep moving forward page by page!

Antonia- I just finished Inkheart by Cornelia Funke which fulfills the ‘part of a series’ category. You can read my review of it here. I’ve already started the second book in the series, Inkspell, though I, unfortunately, don’t have the third book yet. I’m working the next eight days straight so my reading will probably be pretty slow for a bit. I’m hoping to at least finish Inkspell though.

This is where we are both at so far for the Tome Topple Challenge. Who else is participating in this readathon? Where are you at with the TBR list you had planned?

Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary:
A pirate on the run.
Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move wind, waves, and weather, but his magical abilities can’t protect him forever from the brutal Empress Celestine. As Celestine’s relentless bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom that an invasion is imminent. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall and his last sanctuary will be destroyed. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.
A warrior princess.
Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship, sailing east. Lyss may be the last hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled stronghold.
The storm of war.
Intricately interwoven storylines converge in this gripping novel as the warring Seven Realms struggle to unite against a horrific tyrant.
Review:
Oh my god the way this book ended. I almost don’t even know how to write this review right now with that freaking ending. The fourth book, Deathcaster, isn’t scheduled to be published until March of next year and I might just die waiting.
Okay, you guys obviously know that I love this series and this author from previous reviews that I’ve written. Sadly I think Stormcaster is going to be my least favorite out of the Shattered Realms series unless the fourth book is terrible and I hate the ending, but I don’t predict that happening. There is really only one reason why it was my least favorite and it’s not even a very good one. These books are written in the perspective of multiple characters that we spent the first two books meeting and getting the history for most of them. This third book follows Evan Strangward, our next mage marked character, while we learn his history and how it intertwines with a few characters that we’ve met in the previous two books. The book was almost hard to read because there was so much going on. At this point, we’ve met six or more characters that are all playing their own crucial part to the story. So we need to check in with each of them and see where they’re at and what they’re doing toward their part in the story. While some of them are together and that combines the story, we still hear from all of the characters and see their point of view. It was honestly just a little too much for me. I’m one that usually loves the multi-perspective stories and I did love this story, but it was a little much. I wanted more from each character. I wanted to see more and know more about what they were doing next. This is really my only complaint though.
I absolutely adored all of the characters, new and old. I’m not going to say too much about each of them or I would go on for days. I loved finally catching up with Ash and seeing where he was. Getting to see him reunite with his mother literally made me cry and it was amazing. I especially loved Evan, our newest main character. We met him in previous books but we really got to know him and where he came from in this story. I without a doubt adore and fully support his relationship with Destin. I really enjoyed getting to know Destin better as well. Seeing this other side of his character was really interesting and I enjoyed seeing this other side of him. I still love Hal but I’m upset that he doesn’t make an effort to go after Lyss. I get that he has his family to worry about and is trying to do the right thing and help everyone instead of just Lyss but I still wanted him to go after her. Lyss is still the absolute best. She’s still a kickass girl who takes nothing from anyone. Even kidnapped she’s still sassy and fierce and I’m obsessed with her. I really enjoyed her and Jenna meeting. I think they are an interesting combination and their story could be really fun together. Jenna is so smart and so determined even though she is inexperienced and this is where I think Lyss will fit the gap beautifully. They can become such a fabulous team and I’m excited to see where they go together in the next book. I wonder though if the other characters in the story will get to see what a personality Cas has like we do. I think if they do it will be portrayed very interestingly.
There were so many unlikely alliances in Stormcaster. Many that I never saw coming. All of them were slightly hilarious and added so much fun to the story, especially with all the different points of view. We really got to see what each character thought of one another and it made for some great comedy. Along with this comedy, there were quite a few little (some not so little) bits of irony. I’m not going to say anything specific, just that it was really well written and I loved that these little things were added to the story. This was just another thing that made the writing that much better. I think this book, like the last, was very well written with all of the characters’ stories intersecting and meeting at different points in their lives and then again in the present. All of the characters working toward the same goal all over the world without knowing that their friends and not always allies are out there doing the same thing.
I was glad to finally get some answers in this book. There is one giant event or secret or something that these books have been leading up to. The magemarked, what’s up with the mark on their neck and their abilities? Where do they come from? Why does no one know where they come from or their purpose? We finally get a few (very minimal) answers. Just enough answers to leave us wanting more and wondering what the rest of the story is. I’m glad to finally have some answers but honestly, everything in this book just made me want the fourth book to be here already so I can know how this story ends. I’m sick of waiting. I want to rescue Lyss and make sure this stupid evil empress leaves the rest of the world alone. I believe the final book is going to be where we get the back story on Empress Celeste. Let me tell you, I’m SUPER excited to learn about her past from the little bits and pieces we learned about her in Stormcaster.
Anyway, I’m going to stop now or I’ll just keep going and going. Overall, the writing was (as usual) amazing and incredible and hilarious (especially their swearing, so creative and funny). It’s another book by Cinda Williams Chima that I enjoyed getting lost in the wonderful world that she’s created with characters that are unforgettable and so so lovable. This series is great for all those readers out there that love excellently built worlds and fantasy and a touch of magic all tied together with characters that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same damn time.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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