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: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…
Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.
Legendary (Caraval, #2)Review:
After hearing many mixed reviews from close friends, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like Legendary or not. I liked the first book. It was fun and suspenseful, but I didn’t love it like so many others did. But damn, I really loved Legendary.
In the second installment of the Caraval trilogy, we follow Tella as she takes her turn at trying to win a special version of Caraval. But like in the first book, there’s more at stake than there is for any of the other players. Tella needs to win in order to find her mother, who left years ago. I think I liked this one so much because Tella has mommy issues and that’s something I seriously identify with. I loved her strength. I loved seeing her at her lowest. And most of all, I love the men she finds herself tangled with.
Dante is bae. I loved him in the first book even though he was barely in it and I loved him in this book right up until I hated him. I really am excited to see how things will play out in the finale (Finale, ha ha see what I did there.) Then there’s Jacks, who I also couldn’t help but love even though he was kind of horrible?
I’m happy to be able to say I got a little more of the world-building that I thought was missing from book one. Maybe not necessarily with the whole of the world, but within the culture and the history of this world. We learn that the Fates have been cursed and are doing whatever they can to come back. I loved the magic and myth that came with the information about the Fates. I’m very excited to see more of them and what else we may learn about them in the next book.
Overall, I absolutely adored Legendary. I loved that even though part of the story was resolved, it was by no means a happy ending. There was still so much left to get into for the third book. I loved Tella and Dante and Jack. I loved this round of Caraval and all of the new things we learned. I’m going to go start the final book now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless, she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.
Caraval (Caraval, #1)Review:
In an attempt to read all of the GoodReads Choice Awards Nominees, I am having to catch up on a few series that I have fallen behind on. Caraval is one of those series. I read this when it first came out in 2017. But never managed to pick up the second book when it came out. So, now the series is complete and the third and final book is a nominee, so I’m playing catch up.
I enjoyed this one. I don’t know how much of that was due to my love of the narrator and how much was actually due to the story. My all-time favorite narrator, Rebecca Soler, is really what brings life to this story. I was actually tearing up at one point because of the emotions she portrays.
Garber has created some really interesting characters in this story. Scarlett is annoying, but also, I couldn’t help but feel for her. She comes from a family that is not great. Her dad is abusive, her mother left, and her grandmother died. She’s planning to marry a stranger to escape her father. The one thing she wants most in the world is to protect her younger sister, Tella.
Tella is reckless and just wants to have fun. She doesn’t totally understand what kind of man her father is. I thought she was kind of selfish. I get choosing your own happiness, but at the expense of your sister? A sister that has done nothing but protect you her entire life? That’s selfish. I’ve heard the next book is more focused on her, so we will see if my opinion of her changes.
I really don’t even want to talk about the men. They’re all liars. They’re conniving and, dare I say, evil. I still kind of liked them though. The twist with Julian and Legend was a great one. I wanted to hate them, but…somehow couldn’t?
Overall, I enjoyed this. Though there were somethings I didn’t like, it was still a fun story. I would have liked to know a bit more about the world and the magic. The world wasn’t explained outside of Scarlett’s hometown and the island where Caraval happens. The magic was very undefined. There didn’t seem to be too many limitations and I was just left wanting to know more. I liked the characters well enough, even the ones I didn’t like really made me feel something. I had fun listening to the audiobook and I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next.

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.

Blogtober Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Summary:
Jude has bound to the Wicked King, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)Review:
One half of me is upset I waited so long to read this series and the other half of me is upset that I didn’t wait until all three books were release. The thought of having to wait until November to see how the lives of these characters will play out is its own special kind of torture.
I loved The Wicked King. Holly Black writes a fascinating and completely compelling story. This book was so fast paced that I just couldn’t manage to put it down until the very last page. The writing sucked me in and spit me out an angry mess when it was over. I’m so mad at Holly Black for the way that she ended The Wicked King, but I’m also in complete and total awe of her talent.
Jude is such an interesting main character. Everything she does is for her family, and a little bit for herself too. She’s fiery and passionate. She doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. She will go after her goals with a bloody vengeance. I loved how fierce she was. She’s ruthless, intelligent, and clever—a dangerous combination.
Then there’s Cardan. I love everything but the tail. And of course, the things he did in the final pages. But I’m hopeful that he did what he did for good reason and not to be an asshole. I adored all of the scenes he was in with Jude and I’m really hopeful to see where things end up with them. I also really enjoyed seeing him fill the role of King. It was really interesting to see him take so well to a position he never wanted.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the characters. I loved the pace of the story. There was nothing but action and excitement and scheming and I loved every single page. I will very anxiously be awaiting the final book in the trilogy. If you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

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GoodReads Summary:
One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.
Now he has broken free.
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2)Review:
I found this sequel to be much slower than the first. I had to convince myself to pick it up and finish. The final one hundred pages or so was all action and I loved it. Despite it being a slow story, the world was fascinating. I love what Kagawa has done with Asian mythology. I loved all the different aspects of the world. I especially loved the Kitsune magic and seeing Yumeko learn more about it and herself.
This squad of unlikely friends gives me life. I love the way they bicker and argue. I loved the dynamics between them. There was a bit of male/male romance going on and I’m not sure how it will end but I’m so here for it. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but this group of friends is loyal and determined to beat the odds, to do what is right even if it leads to their deaths.
I definitely enjoyed the first book better, but I think that’s more because of my relationship with the fantasy genre is a little wobbly right now. I made myself read this rather than waiting until I was in the mood for it and that might have had en effect on how much I liked it. I definitely suggest it for anyone looking for fantasy that isn’t European based. It’s full of characters you can’t help but love, fascinating world-building, and myth and folklore that I’d never known anything about previously.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.