There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

GoodReads Summary:
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.
All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:
A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.
One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?
There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness, #1)Review:
There Will Come a Darkness became a new favorite book of mine immediately after I finished it. I am blown away by all of the different aspects of this story.
Let’s start with the world, which leads to the plot. A hundred years ago, the Prophets disappeared. This is something I still want to know more about. Why did they disappear? Where did they go? Will they be coming back? They left behind one final (secret) prophecy that tells of the Age of Darkness. This prophecy is what brings our five characters together. I loved the magic system and the concept of the Graces. I thought it was unique and interesting. I have to say, I am in awe of Katy Rose Pool’s ability to tell this story in five different perspectives and still give each of them a very distinct voice and personality.
The Pale Hand or Ephyra is a mysterious killer that leaves behind the mark of a pale hand on her victims. We learn why she is killing people and it makes me feel for her. She has a younger sister, Beru, that is sick. So Ephyra kills terrible people for their esha and gives it to Beru to heal her. This moral gray aspect of her story made her that much more interesting. I went back and forth between hating her and feeling bad for her and the struggles she’s faced.
Beru is horrified by her sister’s actions to keep her alive. She’s at the point where she’s just ready to die. I was blown away by the secret that these sisters are keeping and what that secret means for the world. I loved the inclusion of the sibling relationship, especially since it was a complex and morally grey one.
Hassan was probably the character I cared about the least, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like him. I just loved all the others so much that he takes the bottom spot. Hassan is the heir to a kingdom taken over by a terrible, terrible person. He wants to take action to save his kingdom from the Hierophant (who is trying to rid the world of the Graced.) When he is convinced that he is the last Prophet that was named in the secret prophecy, things start to speed up. He gathers an army to take back their country and this is when things go wrong. I won’t go into detail about what exactly goes wrong, but it was exciting and full of action. The stakes were high and I loved every page of the climax of this story.
Now, for my favorite character, Anton. Anton is my little bean. He is running from his older brother, who was horribly cruel to him in their childhood. He lives life on the run, never getting close to anyone. He also can’t seem to use his Grace without being taken back to the moment when his brother tried to drown him (which is when he left home and has been running ever since.) I loved the mystery that surrounded Anton. We’re not sure why he’s running or what the problem is with using his Grace for quite a while. He teams up with the Pale Hand because she thinks Anton can find an object that will save Beru. His involvement with these two is how he gets dragged into everything else going on with Jude and Hassan. When Ephyra and Anton get arrested, Jude comes to save the day, sort of.
Jude was my second favorite. Jude is the Keeper of the Word, meaning it is his duty to protect the Last Prophet and help them prevent the Age of Darkness. Jude struggles with the duty he knows he has to fulfill and his doubting his ability to do this duty. I loved Jude. I was a little mad at him a few times when he did things that I really didn’t want him to do. But he came back around in the end and saved the Last Prophet. I loved Jude and his journey to figuring out what really mattered.
The characters were really what made this story. But the plot was exciting and surprising. There were several different times where I said out loud to myself, “WHAT” because Katy Rose Pool made me care and believe in all of these characters (even the bad ones) so I was floored by the betrayals and screaming with happiness for the characters that I so easily fell in love with. The development of each of these characters was so well done. The world was creative and so interesting. I’m left with questions, a fierce desire to want more, but not so many questions that I’m upset with a lack of answers. We were given enough to be satisfying but also left craving more of the world, more answers, more character interactions. I’m so invested in the romantic relationships and the friendships. I loved this interesting world and the diverse cast of characters.
Overall, this is a new favorite and I cannot wait for the second book in September. I will be picking it up immediately and devouring it because I need more of this world and the characters that live in it.

Quotes:

“Those who cannot own their choices will always be mastered by fate.”

“There was nothing to be frightened of when you were the most dangerous thing that stalked the streets”

“Those who abused their power would only continue the cycle, rewarding the ones who enabled them.”

“I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know about duty and purpose. But I know what people want. You may think you’re different, that you live by some special code that sets you apart, but everyone wants something Jude. Even you.”

“You can spend your entire life looking over your shoulder, waiting for your past to catch up to you. Or you can stop running and finally face it.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.
Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.
But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.
Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #3)Review:
I was beyond excited when I approved for an ARC of this book, so to start, big thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a wonderful finale for this trilogy. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but that was my own issue with fantasy at the moment. I pushed through and once the gang made it about halfway through the book (to the location where the big battle was going down) I was hooked. Julie Kagawa has created such lovable and well-developed characters. I just adored them all. Their relationship as a whole group was so heartwarming. They’ve been through so much together and it was absolutely devastating to see the end result for these characters. (Julie Kagawa takes “kill your babies” VERY seriously.) There is a wonderfully done male/male romance. And I would die for both of them. I’m purposefully not naming any names because I cannot spell any of them to save my life and I’m writing this on my phone because this review will never get written otherwise.
Overall, I really thought this was an excellent ending to a great series. I really loved the ending even though parts totally broke my little heart. I love this world and there were so many little details that just made the story that much better. Sorry if this review is a bit vague, but it’s the third and final book and I don’t want to spoil anything. But please read this series. It’s diverse and wonderful and everyone needs to love it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

GoodReads Summary:
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.
A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)Review:
Okay, I just honestly am not sure where to begin or what to say. Also, I’m a fair bit into book three while writing this, so I’m going to do my best to keep them separate.
I’m honestly a bit over it. I think that’s because half the book Elias and Laia weren’t even together. If Elias had just stayed none of the bad shit would have happened with Laia and those who have read this know who. I’m so mad that he left. I am just mad at him in general. He’s a huge idiot. I liked the forest that he finds that I can’t remember the name of right this minute. I thought it was a very interesting place and the girl he meets there challenged him. I really enjoyed the interactions between them.
Now, Laia. I honestly liked her with Keenan until I found out the truth. Despite that, I find myself annoyed with Laia. She’s on the way to rescue her brother and manages to find herself in a stupid love triangle, like why Laia, why. I did enjoy the relationships she created with the Tribes people and I’m interested to see what direction that will go in the next book. I also am very intrigued by her mysterious ability and am wondering where it came from and why that was not explained. Maybe we’re left to assume it’s the same as where Helene’s came from?
Helene’s parts of this book were so sad. I felt so bad for her. She does not deserve any of the things she has to do or see in this book. I really hope there is some good for her somewhere in the rest of this series because it’s clear that she wants to be a good person, but she’s being controlled by a monster and has to play the games of those around her, no matter how horrible.
Overall, I didn’t love this, but I still plan to continue the series. I liked the characters. The story was interesting. Things were slow here and there, but that’s with most fantasy books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen

GoodReads Summary:
A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.
A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.
A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.
Dark Skies (Dark Shores, #2)Review:
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I was a little worried when I got approved for this one. I don’t remember all that much from the first book, (Dark Shores) aside from the fact that I totally loved it. So, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to jump right into this one, but I saw on GoodReads that the author made a statement that Dark Shores and Dark Skies can be read interchangeably. I thought that was super interesting, so I just jumped right into this one.
We follow Lydia and Killian. They each have their own perspectives, which I loved. Lydia is a bookish girl who loves to learn. But when her future husband attempts to murder her, she finds herself on the other side of the world, a world that she thought was a myth. I loved Lydia because she was determined and strong, even when she didn’t feel like those things. She made a plan and did her best to see it through or make the best of any situation. She was clever and loyal to her loved ones. She did her best to learn as much as she could, about the world she was in and about herself.
Killian is a Marked One. This means he was chosen by a specific god, the God of War, and given abilities. He’s disgraced after losing an important battle, so he becomes the personal guard of the princess. Which means he’s dragged into her plot to overthrow her father. Killian is a good man, though his reputation may not say so. I really liked him.
Overall, I loved this book. It made me want to immediately reread Dark Shores. I loved the world and the characters. There was action and romance and drama. I loved it all. The stakes were high and only got higher. I loved the way the story was concluded. The ending was satisfying enough that I was eager for more of the story, but not annoyed that everything wasn’t solved. I am beyond excited about the characters from this book and the first book to meet. This is a must-read.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

GoodReads Summary:
Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.
James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.
Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1)Review:
I’ve read all of the Shadowhunter books so did anyone really expect that to not include this one? I went into it not expecting much because I didn’t really love The Infernal Devices. Something about the time period just isn’t my favorite. But I’m happy to say that I really loved this book and I’m very excited for the series to continue.
I love that we get to see will, Jem, Tessa, and a few others from TID. I love it when books connect with other series. There are such great friendships and relationships in this book. I loved being back in a (mostly) familiar world with a whole new cast of characters.
Obviously, Cordelia was the mysterious one. Our lady on the cover. I adored her. She’s fierce and passionate. She’s full of love for her family and the new friends that she’s making. I loved her friendship with Lucy. I’m also super invested in her relationship with someone I won’t mention. Her brother Alistair was a character that I went back and forth so many times sometimes hating and sometimes loving. I think by the end of the book I really love him. He grows and that matters.
Lucy Herondale is the sister of James and I love both of these Herondales. Lucy is a writer. She’s a good sister and a loyal friend. I love seeing her with Cordelia and the gang. I’m excited to see where her story is going to go. Because she is a child of Tessa, she has some warlock blood in her, so I think that’s where her extra ability to see ghosts comes from. I’m interested to see where this aspect of the story will go. Then there’s her brother, James. Our messy, messy James. I really adored him except when he was thinking or talking about Grace. We know about their relationship from one of the novellas. I vaguely remember liking her in the short story, but I almost immediately did not like her in this book. I wish she would go away and that’s all I’m going to say about her. James was messy because of Grace. But other than that, he was an extremely loyal brother and friend. His relationship with his parabatai, Matthew, was my favorite. James will do anything for the people that he cares about and it’s very clear. I adored seeing the friends together after getting to know them a bit in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. Christopher, Matthew, James, and Thomas. These four are best friends and though they each face their own issues, none of them ever has to do it alone. I really liked Matthew, personally. But that’s because of my own issues. I could go on and on about all the different characters that were involved in this story, but I won’t. I just don’t have the time or attention span for that.
So, I’m just going to say that I really really loved this book. I loved the friendships. I loved the characters. I loved the mystery and drama. I loved every single minute and I am already dying for book two.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

GoodReads Review:
Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.
Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.
Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.
As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.
Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)Review:
This finale was incredible. It was for sure my favorite book in the series. Meira has lost and gained much. She trains and learns about herself. But loses many that she loves. Raasch really took “kill your babies” to a whole new level. There are not many fantasy books that can make me cry but this one did. This series was so well done all around. We get to see a bit of autumn and paisley. The two final places we haven’t seen much of. I liked the world-building. Each of the seasons and rhythms had their own customs and things that they valued. I thought that made each new place really interesting.
We also learn more about magic, though the end goal is to rid the world of magic. I thought the magic was really well explained and limits made clear.
I don’t want to say too much about the romance because spoilers. But like if you haven’t read this series or the first two books, maybe don’t read any further. I was so happy about the two characters that I shipped finally coming together. I’m always a sucker for childhood friends to lovers and this gave me everything I wanted.
Overall, I loved this series. And you will too. If you want angsty romance, a bit of a love triangle (but like a good one), interesting magic, and great world-building this series is one you need to read.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

 

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

GoodReads Review:
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes, #2)Review:
Meira is really coming into her own in this book. I really appreciated the development she went through. She starts off thinking she needs to act one way now that she knows she is winters queen. But as the book progresses, she realizes that she needs to be true to herself and her instincts too. I liked seeing her work on merging her behavior of how she thought she was supposed to act with what she felt was the right thing to do. Also, she is 100% a savage when it comes to starting shit. I love her.
Theron was my favorite in book one and now I hate him. But Raasch writes him in a way that most of his behaviors aren’t really his fault. Which I think is a cop-out. I just straight up don’t like him anymore.
I was sad in the last book when Mather sort of faded into the background so I loved that he got some of his own chapters in this book and I hope that continues in the third. I really like and respect him. There were some really touching moments where he’s trying to come to terms with most of his life being a lie, usually followed by some really terrible heartbreaking scenes. I definitely ship Meira and Mather.
I also have to mention Ceridwen, the summer princess. She’s fierce and always stands up for what she believes in. I really liked her relationship with Meira. The two brought good things out in one another. She suffers much in this book and I’m hopeful that things will get better for her in the final book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this sequel. I’m eager to start on the third and final book. Ice Like Fire is full of complex (but mostly well explained) magic. We get to see more of the world outside of winter and I thought the world-building was really well done. I loved visiting the other kingdoms and seeing how different they all were. There was also some great mystery left for us toward the end, which is what makes me so excited to finish my reread of this series. I also have to mention that the narrators for this book did such a great job telling the story. They really put emotion into the voices and scenes.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

GoodReads Summary:
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Review:
This was a reread for me and I listened to the audiobook. I’m glad I chose the audio because it was so well done. I didn’t like Meira at first because she was annoying. Always asking to go for the dangerous missions, which I could understand her motivation. She wanted to be valuable for Winter, but she was more important than she knew. She grew and I really liked her growth.
The magic in this story is so interesting. I remember bits and pieces of what’s to come with the next books and it made me all the more excited to continue my reread. I think the magic (that we learn of in this first book) is explained well and has mostly clear boundaries. It makes sense within the world.
I don’t totally love the idea of the potential love triangle, but I’m also not super mad about it. The romance is very light in this first book, but I know it will go further in the next book and I’m excited for it.
I think the villain was a great one. He’s evil, but it’s also not totally his fault. I think he was a really well done bad guy.
Overall, I’m excited to continue my reread and I think this is a series that many will love.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

GoodReads Summary:
Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1)Review:
Hi, I loved this. That’s it. That’s the review.
Just kidding, but I do for some reason I find it harder to review books that I liked over books I didn’t.
I’ll start with the world. I was fascinated with this world. The concept of the Breaking and how it happened was a mystery that pulled me through the story. The need to know more about how this world came to be how it is was and how it might be fixed. I thought the world-building was so well done. This is a fantasy world, but I could still picture the places so vividly in my mind (which is something I’m usually pretty bad at). Chupeco has done such a great job describing this broken world.
The characters were certainly an interesting bunch. Let’s start with the twins, Haidee and Odessa. I really liked Haidee. She’s on the sun side of the world and wants to make positive changes, but her controlling mother doesn’t really make that easy. She meets Arjun and they go off on a dangerous mission together to learn more about how they might fix the world. I liked that they started off bickering and we got to see them learn to admire one another and then have that turn into more. I thought their relationship progressed naturally and not too fast. Odessa is a character I have mixed feelings about. I liked her at first, the sheltered goddess who loves someone she shouldn’t. But as they travel toward The Abyss she kind of loses her shit. She is influenced by gifts she’s given and changes dramatically. I really didn’t like her as she became more ruthless and paranoid. I did like that she pulled it together and did the right thing. But I didn’t like her for most of the book. Odessa is one half of a female/female romance. The other half is Lan. I liked Lan a lot. She’s damaged, but still very strong. I enjoyed seeing her overcome her past and working through it via talk therapy with a friend of hers. I liked the romance between Odessa and Lan at the start but stopped shipping them when Odessa started losing it.
The last thing I want to mention is the magic. The magic in this world was bizarre but also really well explained, which I always appreciate. It had limits and purposes. There were different kinds of Magic’s and I completely understood the gates and that part, I didn’t totally know everything about the abilities of The Devoted. It seemed like they all have different extents of abilities, but I don’t know if I missed it or if it just wasn’t talked about.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. I thought it was beautifully written. The mysteries were suspenseful and very intriguing. The characters were ones I cared about and felt strongly about (whether good or bad). The world was so well built and described. I will forever scream about Chupeco’s work because she is an incredible author and this book is just another great example of that.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Reverie by Ryan La Sala

GoodReads Summary:
All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.
As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.
This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.
ReverieReview:
I picked up Reverie because the author will be at the NoVaTeen Book Festival. I’ve seen lots of promotion about this book before its release but never any actual reviews. I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed this book.
Reverie was interesting and compelling. I thought it was incredibly unique and I couldn’t get enough. The main character Kane is dealing with memory loss and was honestly rather unlikable. But he grows, and his growth was really well done and I ended up liking him by the end of the story.
The concept of this book is that there are things called ‘reverie’s’ and Kane and his friends have abilities that keep them lucid and also allow them to keep the reveries from getting out of control. The reveries were a little confusing at first, but they were explained a bit better as the book went on. They’re essentially dreams that come from the subconscious. I’m still not totally sure how they come to be or why, but I’m not overly bothered by that.
Overall, this was a super enjoyable book. The writing was beautiful. The characters were interesting. I definitely am excited to meet the author and hear him speak. I will be recommending this one for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

GoodReads Summary:
Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?
The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)Review:
Let’s talk about disappointment friends. So, I flew through this story because Kemmerer is an incredible writer and can draw me into the story even if I don’t particularly care or like what I’m reading. So many books that I’ve read in the last few months have fallen into the trap of one of the sequels (sometimes the second and sometimes the third book) completely undoing the events of the previous book. It seems like Rhen just completely undoes all of the character development that we saw in the first book. He’s cruel and horrible, even after finding out the identity of the heir. I hated him and hated that Harper was staying with him.
The next biggest issue I had was that it really felt like…nothing happened? Like I said above, Kemmerer is an amazing writer, so the story is paced well and I never felt bored, but I finished the book and honestly wondered what the point of the book was being really nothing happened aside from the heir deciding he wanted to be the heir instead of hiding or dying.
Despite these issues, I still enjoyed reading it? I know that doesn’t make any sense. I liked Lia Mara. I liked that she could see what was wrong with her country and how things could be better if only things other than cruelty and viciousness were valued.
Overall, I’ll probably finish the series when the third book comes out, but I won’t have very high expectations.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Spellhacker by M.K. England

GoodReads Review:
In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.
But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.
No pressure.
SpellhackerReview:
After reading The Disasters last year, I was very excited about England’s 2020 release. I was even more excited to see that they will be at the NoVaTeen Book Festival.
Spellhacker was diverse and funny. It was full of found family and diverse characters overcoming hardships. I loved every page. The group we follow are friends that are all very different but love one another anyway. They come from different places and manage to make the best found family. That was one of the big differences between this and The Disasters. This friend group had a past and in England’s first book the friends were strangers when they met. I think the backstory of the characters and how they met was well done and believable. Their history wasn’t info-dumpy, rather it was given to us in bits and pieces at the perfect moments.
Diz was an interesting main character. There were times I really didn’t like her. The conflict between the friends somehow was simultaneously silly, but also very understandable. Some of the fights seemed totally blown out of proportion but then we would hear from another character and it didn’t feel that way anymore.
I also loved the magic. It was interesting but there was so many different kinds so I was grateful for the guide of what each one did at the beginning of the book. I would have liked to explore the limits a bit more, but I didn’t think there was anything left unexplained or that didn’t make sense.
Overall, this story was so much fun. The banter was enjoyable. Though there was a certain betrayal I saw coming from a mile away. Part of me was waiting for it the whole time and another part kept doubting the first part would ever happen. I loved the characters and their relationships. The diversity was wonderful and I loved the little romances that came about. This is definitely one that people should be talking about.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch

GoodReads Summary:
As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.
Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.
Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?
As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.
These Divided Shores (Stream Raiders, #2)Review:
Okay honestly, I’m not even sure where to start with this review. This book was large. And overall, I really enjoyed it. There were a few little things that I didn’t like. The main one being Lu’s attitude. She had a few revelations about her past and they’ve really hit her hard. I can understand being thrown and upset by this for a little while, but she was made miserable the whole book, whiney and lost in herself. I honestly wouldn’t have cared if it had been for like the first half of the book at most. But it wasn’t really resolved.
I loved Ben and Gunnar. Their relationship and its development were 100% the best part of this book. They were two people from such different backgrounds and despite that, wanted to be together. I loved every word of their flirtation and ultimate coupling.
I’m going to keep this short because I took forever to write this review so I don’t have that much to say. I thought the political issues were wrapped up really well and I was very satisfied with how everything ended. I will definitely continue reading the work of this author.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

GoodReads Summary:
She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, though they are companion novels and not truly a series. I loved this second book much more than the first. All of the things that made me not totally adore the first book were resolved in this book. I’ll stop being vague and get right into it.
First of all, it’s an enemies to lovers trope which is always a good time for me. Gauri is the princess of her kingdom and Vikram the prince of his. They are at war. When Vikram gets invited to the magical Tournament of Wishes, but is told he must find and bring his partner. The moment he sees Gauri, he knows she is the one he was told about.
I loved Vikram. He seems like he doesn’t take anything seriously, but he does. He just has that positive personality that means he makes jokes at the wrong times and is just generally an upbeat person. I really loved him. I think the contrast of Gauri’s character was so well done. She’s a warrior and all she wants is to be the leader to her people she knows she can be. I really enjoyed both characters accepting their desires and facing their fears.
Their banter had me cackling. I really loved their constant teasing and shots at one another. It was definitely my favorite part of this story. We really got to see their relationship for and develop together as we also got to see them grow individually. This was something I missed in the last book because the characters already had a past together. Also, the timeline wasn’t at all confusing like it was in the first book which I appreciated. I also really loved that we get to see bits and pieces of the previous book. The characters didn’t play a huge part, but we saw them and I enjoyed that.
I loved this world that we were in. The magical and the mythical were well explained and honestly so fascinating. I was completely captivated by this world and all of the characters in it. I adored the romance, especially the ending. I have loved everything I’ve read by this author and I’m not really excited to pick up the first book in her newest series.

Quotes:

“A story had no owner ship. A story could break its bones, grow wings, soar out of reach and dive out of sight in the time it took just to draw breath. It meant we weren’t walking a cut path. We carved it into existence with
every step.”

“It felt silly to say that he couldn’t bear to lose her. He never had her. She was not a thing to be possessed. But her entrance in his life had conjured light. And losing the light of her would plunge him into a darkness he’d never find his way out of.”

“Surviving isn’t just about cutting out your heart and burning every feeling into ash. Sometimes it means taking what ever is thrown at you, beautiful or grotesque, poisonous or blissful, and carving out your life with the pieces you’re given.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Beholder by Anna Bright

GoodReads Summary:
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
The Beholder (The Beholder, #1)Review:
Honestly, I was really hoping this would be a new favorite or at least a four-star read. Sadly, I gave it three stars, but I could have given it two. I really just couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be historical fiction or fantasy and there was potential for a retelling aspect as well. It was just confusing. There were real places used, like England. Then there were “fantasy” elements that were very clearly based on Norse mythology of Asgard and Yggdrasil. Along with the main character being from Potomac, which may or may not be a real place in history but if so, it’s not one I’m familiar with. I just wanted some consistency. It’s one thing to borrow from history or mythology but to borrow from both in one story is too much.
Another thing I had an issue with was the main character, Selah. I listened to this on audio so I don’t know how to spell her title. But she’s the equivalent of a princess without actually being one. She’s next in line to lead her people. But I don’t know how she plans to do that because she is extremely naïve and also a huge pushover. She doesn’t even really object much when her stepmother informs her that she’s being sent away.
Then we get to the journey and Selah shows how much of a thirsty girl she is. She flirts with the ship’s captain. She has weird feelings she isn’t sure how to deal with. Then she gets to England and she “falls in love” with the English guard that is assigned to her. (By the way, I guess the plot twist with this like a day after she got to England.) She finds out some things and she’s embarrassed and “turned into a joke” which was just so ridiculous and overdramatic. I was so annoyed with her because the reasoning for the deception in England was honestly good and she acted like a child. After she arrives in Norge, suddenly she’s in love again. How does a girl fall in love (like deep, serious love) with two people she’s never previously met in the span of a month? It was annoying and very unrealistic. But then things happen and she has to leave the second prince that she’s fallen in love with.
Torn from the man she loves; she must continue on. She knows something is going on with her father and instead of, I don’t know BRINGING HIM A LEGITIMATE DOCTOR, she just continues on the journey she’s been assigned. I don’t know if I’ll continue. I liked the narrator and the book went by fast and I am a little curious as to how this will all come to an end. A lot of things bothered me in this book, but it was still kind of fun.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.