Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

GoodReads Summary:
A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.
By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.
MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.
Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court, #2)Review:
Midnight Jewel was a book I was excited to read because I think Mira is just such an interesting character and I really wanted to learn all her secrets that were kept so mysterious in the first book.
I think Richelle Mead does a really great job of making these books their own. Even though these are three stories all happening at the same time, she does really well to make sure not to repeat every scene of the girls together. She shows a few scenes that the reader is familiar with, but doesn’t go into the same detail she did in the previous book.
I liked Mira. I thought she had really strong morals, even if she did find herself straying from them, she always found her way back. I really enjoyed how her story was wrapped up to give her the happily ever after that she deserved. I wish we had gotten to see her reunite with her brother.
I liked all of the other characters well enough. Tom Shortsleeves was captivating and the twist with him was a really good one. I loved Grant Elliot and that’s all I’m going to say about him.
Overall, I enjoyed this book but I’m most excited about Tamsin’s story. The mystery and suspense involved in the first two books are enough to drive me crazy wondering the details of Tamsin’s adventures. I’m very excited to see the details of the parts we already know and how her story will end.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Sovereign Sacrifice by Elise Kova

GoodReads Summary:
Vi was supposed to be the perfect crown princess. Then, she abandoned her throne.
Vi was supposed to save the world as its Champion. Then, the world she loved vanished.
Now, all she knows is that she has deadly magic and brutal cunning and she’s ready to settle some scores.
Old loves and new allies tell her to play it safe. But Vi is done with caution. She has a chance to right ancient wrongs and this princess-turned-warrior isn’t turning back.
She’s ready to bring an end to the vortex of death the world is trapped in.
The magic, romance, and epic adventure continue in book four of Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles.
Sovereign Sacrifice (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles, #4)Review:
I wish Elise Kova was a more widely known author. She is honestly just incredible. I absolutely adored this latest installment of the Vortex Chronicles. The way Kova ties the events in this book to all of the previous stories has me in awe of her writing abilities.
I love Vi and the path she is trying to follow in this book. I’m not going to get into too many details because this is book four in a series (and also a sister series to another five-book series). But, the way that Vi handles herself and uses her magic is interesting and I really enjoyed her trying new things and working on changing the outcome of the world.
I wish there was more going on with Taavin. I know he’s in the story, but I felt like his parts were minimal and I’m not sure where his path is headed.
I absolutely adored meeting all of the characters I already know. I won’t say too much about this. But I think Vi being in a world I know from somewhere else was so much fun. Seeing what parts she played was beyond interesting.
Overall, I really cannot wait to read the final book in this series. I love all these characters. I love their goals and their adventures. I love their relationships. I loved this book very much a lot.

Quotes:

“The world was a puppet, and it was her job to pull the strings.”

“I don’t know what pain fuels your flames, but I can see you’re burning alive.”

“You keep looking back. Those decisions have been made and the ink in the history books is already dry. Keep your eyes forward.”

“She felt herself burning from the inside out with a fire she’d never known before. A fire that felt like it could light the whole world.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda

Blogmas Book Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.
With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.
Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.
Finale (Caraval, #3)Review:
Finale is the final book in the Caraval trilogy. I really wanted to love this after liking the first book and loving the second, but I just couldn’t. So much of that had to do with an event in the beginning. Basically, the whole plot of book two was made pointless and that really pissed me off. I stopped really caring about the rest of the story after that event.
I still liked Tella and Scarlett. I actually liked Scarlett more in this book than I did in the first book. She really grew into herself and I liked the new confident version of her. But Tella was the one that annoyed me. There’s a sort of love triangle and Tella going back and forth between it really annoyed me.
Which brings me to Legend. He’s so hot and cold with Tella that it wasn’t cute anymore. It was just annoying. Tella had him all figured out and he just denied it all before finally admitting that she was right. Like, he could have just pulled his head out of his butt and had these realizations sooner and so many bad things would not have happened. He was just annoying.
Then there is Jacks. I loved him. I’m a sucker for the bad boy. I loved all the antics he put Tella through. The fact that she was his true love just made me love him. Like, maybe he didn’t show his love in the best ways, but he showed his love the way he knew how.
I guess I’m glad that there was a mostly happy ending. But this book took so many bizarre twists and turns that I did not see coming. I think it was just a bit too much for one book. I think there were parts that were just completely unnecessary to the whole of the story. I still loved the fates and magic. But I just couldn’t care after the whole plot of book two was made irrelevant. I still enjoyed the series as a whole.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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GoodReads Summary:
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
Sorcery of ThornsReview:
I have been seeing everyone and their brother absolutely raving about this book. Now that my fantasy slump is over, I thought I’d give it a try.
I adored this book. It was so atmospheric. I adored the library setting and the idea of books being alive in a sense. I only wished we got more of the library.
I adored Elisabeth. She knew she was different, but didn’t care. She didn’t fret over her parents that gave her up. She was a child of the library and I loved it. She had a strong sense of right versus wrong and despite not being a sorcerer, she’s determined to take down the man that is creating dangerous grimoires and killing directors.
With the help of Nathaniel Thorn, the pair team up and I adored their relationship. She sees the darkness he thinks is within him and does not run from it.
I even loved Silas. He was Nathaniel’s demon and continually told Elisabeth not to trust him. But he was so unique and interesting, I couldn’t help my love for him.
I wish I knew what else to say about this book. The writing was beautiful. The characters were complicated and loveable. The world was interesting and unique. I just could not put this book down.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

GoodReads Summary:
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.
Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)Review:
I received Wicked Saints as an advanced review copy thanks to NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I finished this book earlier tonight and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
I had trouble in the beginning of the story with the world building and the two alternating perspectives. Because the two characters came from different places, they had significantly different views on the world and the politics within. So, going back and forth between the two while trying to learn about the world and which countries thought what and which terms meant what was a little confusing for me. But that wasn’t long lasting. I got the hang of the world and found myself completely immersed in the story. The other thing I want to mention with learning the world was the character names. I don’t think I could save a single one of them if my life depended on it. So I gave them all nicknames in my head, but until I did that some parts were tough.
The book starts out action packed and leaves you wanting more, but also immediately caring about the safety of the main characters. I loved this set up for the story. Things calm down for a bit as we learn about the world we’re in and how things work. This is where we really start to get to know the characters.
I immediately like Serefin even though I think we weren’t supposed to. I liked his complete distain for the things he’s ‘supposed’ to be doing.
Then there’s Nadya who does what she’s supposed to almost all the time. She was interesting. And I’m still not sure if I completely liked her. She took risks even when she knew they were risks and somehow was still surprised when it all backfired in her face. I thought her powers were incredibly interesting. I would have enjoyed seeing them used with the gods a bit more though. I’m interested to see where her story is going to go with the way this book ended.
Finally, Malachiacz. I wanted to like him. I really did. But I preferred Seferin the whole time. There was something about Malachiacz that I didn’t like and didn’t want Nadya to involve herself in.
Overall, the world and the magic systems in it were complex and interesting. I’d love to learn even more about them in the next book. I’m also hoping we get to travel a bit more and see some of Nadya’s home country. The characters were interesting and entertaining. There was some diversity which is always appreciated. I totally loved all the supporting characters. Wicked Saints was action packed and full of fun. Though the ending had me a bit confused and definitely wanting more. I’m not sure how I’m going to wait so long to see where this story goes next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Summary:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Review:
I’ve been rereading so many of the books I’ve read and loved over the years, but don’t remember every detail about. Six of Crows is one of those. I haven’t read this duology since the second book came out in 2016. I thought now would be the perfect time to reread these books before I got my hands on King of Scars at the end of January.

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every  monstrous thing.”

Rereading this book was exciting and wonderful. I loved being back inside this world with these characters. Ketterdam is one of my favorite fictional worlds. It’s. complex and dark, filled with corners you really should stay out of and all the scheming you could imagine. I love the world of Grisha. It has the ability to suck me in, chew me up, and spit me out at the final page. I was so engrossed in this story that I didn’t want to put it down. I spent several nights staying up later than I should to read more pages.

“The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive.”

The characters were equally as good as the setting. They were complex and dark, each with their own story to tell. Kaz Brekker, our fearless leader, has such an interesting backstory. Dark and gritty, he does whatever he needs in order to reach his goals. Getting to learn his backstory definitely humanized him as the story went on. He wants everyone to think he’s the big bad, but he cares more than he’s willing to admit.

“Better terrible truths than kind lies.”

Inej, the Wraith, is another character that will do what she needs to as long as it brings her closer to her goals. Sold into slavery, then into the Dregs, she does what she must to survive while trying to keep her conscious clear, not always successfully. She sees the best in her friends even when they don’t deserve it. Nina is probably my favorite though. She’s sassy and fierce, loyal and caring. She doesn’t take anyone’s shit and she stands up for what she believes in. I’m so excited to see where Nina’s story goes in King of Scars.
Jesper was the comedic relief of the group. He turns everything into a joke because he can’t stop and take time to think about what his life has become. He is impulsive and it’s not always a good thing. Then there’s Wylan, sweet and soft Wylan. A merchant’s son, he joins the Dregs to escape a life that seems better than it is. He’s constantly trying to prove himself and that he is worthy to be a part of the team. I think he’s my favorite. I love a good soft boy. Then there’s Matthias, the opposite of a soft boy. He’s full of nothing but conflict and a need for revenge. I think Matthias has the best character arc and development. He’s fighting to decide between the girl he’s grown to care for and the things he’s always known and believed in.

“Greed may do your bidding, but death serves no man.”

These characters all together create the most interesting and conflicted squad, which makes for interesting times as they sail to another country to kidnap someone, a mission that is very likely to fail. All of the different personalities combining in the adventures they go on is guaranteed to be a good time full of laughs, danger, and maybe even a little death. This is still one of my favorite books. It’s just so good. Leigh Bardugo will forever be my Queen. If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.