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.

The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead

GoodReads Summary:
Meet Tamsin, the Glittering Court’s hard-angled emerald. Her outsized aspirations make her a fierce competitor, rising to the top of the ranks. But when the ship she boards for the New World is tragically lost at sea, she is quite literally thrown off-course.
The Emerald Sea (The Glittering Court #3)Review:
Tamsin’s book is the one in this series that I was the most excited for. Her adventures were the most different from the first two girls in the previous books. We got to see more of Adoria because Tamsin sees more of it.
I liked Tamsin. She’s a fiery spirit and fights for what she believes is the right thing. She has to spend so much time standing up for the other girls. I really loved finally getting to figure out what her big secret was. And I am not afraid to admit that I definitely cried at Tamsin’s reunion with Mary.
I loved the relationships and the adventures that Tamsin found. She became a voice of reason in a world that is so full of hate for those that may be different. I thought it was really interesting that the scheming that we learned about in the first two books were tied even more together with this one.
I’m not sure what else to say about this book because so much of it could be considered a spoiler and I really loved this so I want others to read it without knowing what happens.
Overall, I loved the happily ever after. I loved getting to see more of Adoria and the people that live there. I really enjoyed finally getting to know Tamsin’s story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Inferno by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
Ember Hill has learned a shocking truth about herself: she is the blood of the Elder Wyrm, the ancient dragon who leads Talon and who is on the verge of world domination. With the Order of St. George destroyed, Ember, Riley and Garret journey to the Amazon jungle in search of one who might hold the key to take down the Elder Wyrm and Talon—if they can survive the encounter.
Meanwhile, Ember’s brother, Dante, will travel to China with a message for the last Eastern dragons: join Talon or die. With the stakes rising and the Elder Wyrm declaring war, time is running out for the rogues and any dragon not allied with Talon.
The final battle approaches. And if Talon is victorious, the world will burn.
Inferno (Talon, #5)Review:
This conclusion was a wild ride. This was the last book I read in 2019 and I had to listen to it on a zillion speed. I usually can’t enjoy an audiobook when I listen to it on too fast of a speed, but I was so into this story that the narrators basically speaking jibberish didn’t even phase me.
I loved this final book. The characters have really grown and developed throughout the series. I ended up loving Ember. She’s not an annoying girl anymore. She’s passionate and does her best to do the right thing. She refuses to bend when it comes to her morals. She faces reality and does whatever she needs to keep her loved ones safe.
I loved the final battle toward the end of this book. It was so well written and I was absolutely sucked into the story.
Though I’m not totally happy with who Ember ended up with, I still loved this book. I thought it was a wonderful ending to a complex series. The stakes were higher than ever and some unlikely allies came together to save the rest of the world from Talon.
Overall, I really ended up enjoying this series. I’m glad I continued on even when Ember really annoyed me. I think the development of the characters was incredible. Seeing the former enemies come together against a bigger evil was so good. I also really liked the epilogue. I loved seeing where the characters ended up after everything happened.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

GoodReads Summary:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)Review:
I have sadly been slacking on keeping up with series. The third book in this series came out last year and despite owning it, I still haven’t read it. So I’m rereading the first two books.
I forgot how much I enjoyed this series. Laia and Elias and Helene. They must be protected at all costs. I’m a sucker for the friends forever to lovers trope so part of me wants Helene and Elias to love each other forever. But also unlikely lovers is a good one too. I already know where things will go in the romance department though so it was hard not to root for the couple that I know will come together. I liked that the romance wasn’t really a huge part of the story though.
This book focused more on the inner conflict of each character. Helene is hiding an oath she made. This oath and Elias’ behavior leads the two to grow apart from one another. This made me sad because I loved their friendship. But I understood from Elias and his thoughts. He hated where he was and everything his training stood for. I totally agree with him. But, I understood why he stayed.
Then there’s Laia who just wants to save her brother. I loved the sibling motivation. I can’t wait to see her and her brother together again. I love Laia because she’s out into a situation she’s utterly unprepared for, but she manages and somehow succeeds.
This story was so interesting because of the politics and I’m excited to continue my reread of the second book and then finally manage to get to the third.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Legion by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all, let alone with a human and a former dragonslayer. With Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself.
Ember vows to stand against St. George and her own twin brother, Dante–the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known. Talon is poised to conquer the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who will not yield.
LegionReview:
I’m finally starting to get really into this series. I’m liking Ember more and more. The action is getting more intense the more secrets that are revealed. The love triangle is sort of resolved (though not to my liking).
Ember has really grown. She knows that she needs to do whatever it takes to fight Talon. She doesn’t shy away from the hard things anymore. While they still bother her, she understands what she needs to do. I really loved the moment she had where she was in her head and came face to face with her dragon. That really made me happy because the separation in Ember’s mind of her dragon and the human side was something I complained about in my review for the last book.
I liked that while Garret and Riley still had their own chapters, they sort of took a backseat to the other characters. I still like them both, but this book was meant for Dante and Ember to shine.
Dante makes me so mad. I just want him to come to Ember’s side and understand that everything he thinks he knows is a lie. I hate that he’s being fooled and I’m really hoping to see him learn the truth in the final book.
Overall, this one was probably my favorite of the series so far. I’m excited to read the final book in the series and finally finish this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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