Monday, 1 June 2020

Review: Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross

Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross
Release Date: June 23, 2020
Sisters of Sword and Song
After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sisterHalcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.

Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.

Sisters of Sword and Song is a beautiful twist on Greek mythology that left me wanting more. It has a great story of sisterhood and friendship with a strong cast of characters. The writing flows easily allowing you to slip into the world and feel completely emersed in its richness. It follows Evadne and Halcyon, two sisters carrying out punishments for an accident that left Halcyon's shield mate in the queen's army dead at her hand. This turns out to be her commander Lord Straton's son. Evadne takes part of Halcyon's sentence and has to serve his household for the next few years to come. Straton's other son Damon is a mage and Evadne grows to learn more magic through him. Meanwhile, Halcyon is sent to the quarry where she struggles each day to stay alive. The story unravels as we learn more about the threats to the queen and a deadly mission to save the kingdom. The dangerous quest involved also reminded me of Percy Jackson with our heroes out to save the world. If you enjoy this classic storyline this book is perfect for you.  

The first thing that won me over in the book was the Greek-inspired mythology and the idea of the relics that all hold individual powers. This is set in a world where gods had once reigned and left magical relics behind for mortals so that they may be able to experience a small piece of magic. Some abandon their families in order to become relic hunters to attempt to get their hands on the few relics that are still lost. I would have liked a bit more explanation or back story to the relics as I found this to be a really interesting aspect of the mythology. There is a guide page at the beginning that lists the relics and their powers, which was very useful and it definitely set the mood for the book. 

The pacing in this book is brilliant and I was never bored. It had a brilliantly original concept that I was immediately interested in. I always find with books with dual POV that I occasionally dread to read one character’s chapters because I prefer the other character’s chapters. However, I did not feel like this at all in this book and found myself loving how it made the story feel complete. I loved that it was about sisters and embodied the depth of family love. The romance in this book does not take centre stage but adds such a nice element to the story in the midst of everything going on. I also loved how sweet and real it felt as it was a slow-burning romance that could have easily been a case of insta-love. For a standalone novel it had an ending that was satisfying overall and a great way to tie-up the story.

If you are looking for YA fantasy with kick-ass characters and great world-building I would highly recommend this book. It is a strong standalone with a lot of heart and I cannot wait to get my hands on other books by Rebecca Ross. 

Rating
4.5 Falling Books

A review copy was provided by HarperTeen on Edelweiss.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Book Haul (#110)

This is my book haul for the last two weeks. I've been able to buy some books on Facebook Marketplace and I am loving secondhand book-buying life. 
Sisters of Sword and Song
Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross - ARC (Release: June 23, 2020)
Thank you Harper Teen for the eARC on Edelweiss! This book sounds and looks like my dream. It's a story with a twist on Greek gods and humans with magic. 
Defiance (Defiance, #1)Deception (Defiance, #2)
Deliverance (Defiance, #3)
I bought this beautiful US hardback trilogy and I cannot wait to dive in. I actually read Defiance and Deception previously and rated them highly but cannot for the life of me remember the story. I think it will be interesting to give these a re-read six years later to see if I think they're still just as awesome. And it will also be good to finally finish it after all these years! I must not have been able to get my hands on the finale, but I am so excited to get back into this world again. If you have not heard of this trilogy it's a YA fantasy/dystopian. 

If you have a book haul this week link it in the comments and I would love to check it out! Also if you've read any of the books that I've shown let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (166)

This week I am waiting for:
The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1)
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
Release Date: June 2, 2020
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina's life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father's fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger--the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh--Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city's dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice--protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

This book has been described as a Les Miserables meets Six of Crows so I am very intrigued. It's set in Paris during the French revolution. It's giving me historical criminal extravaganza! I don't think I've come across anything like it in a while and I truly hope that the story is just as good as the cover. 
Rupauls Drag Race Season 10 Episode 2 GIF by RuPaul's Drag Race ...
Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Friday, 8 May 2020

Book Haul (#109)

Recently I have been able to get back into reading, which has felt amazing. Maybe it's because of lock-down or maybe it's because I'm in my final term of university completing my degree and exams from home and every cell in my body is screaming for me to procrastinate. Either way, I can't be sure. Here are a few books I've picked up in the last few weeks.
To Kill a Kingdom
I have wanted to read this book for the longest time as it sounded like an amazing twist on The Little Mermaid. I have indeed finished it since I bought it as it wasn't a very long read and I did thoroughly enjoy it. I will aim to have a review up soon. 
Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)
I read Serpent & Dove about two weeks ago and I absolutely adored it (check out my review here). It's a witch meets witch-hunter, enemies(ish) to lovers kind of book that I found myself finishing at 4am when I only sat down to read for 20 minutes! Massive thank you to Harper Teen on Edelweiss for access to this ARC. I am so freaking excited for more Lou and Reid! And Ansel and Coco... and all of them, I miss everyone.
Another thank you to Harper Teen for this ARC. I enjoyed The Selection series by this author and this book seems to be a similar type of royal romance! Can't wait to get started on it.


Leave a comment with a link to your book haul or let me know which books you're excited about! 

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Review: Serpent and Dove

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Book Depository

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Serpent & Dove gave me ALL the feels. It had everything I never knew I needed and made me laugh so hard. It is a perfect blend of magic, mystery, and romance. If you're looking for a story to sweep you off your feet witch-hunter style then you need this book!

Lou is a witch that has had to hide her powers as her kind are hunted and burned at the stake by the Chasseurs (aka witch hunters) of the Church. In a sudden twist of fate involving an incident that could reflect badly on the Church, Lou is forced to marry Reid, a chasseur. You can see where this story is going right? Witch and a witch hunter get married but he doesn't know she's a witch. Lou is also one of the funniest and most loveable characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about, which made this such an enjoyable read. The overarching plot of this story involves exploring the war between the Church and the witches. The way it unfolds just had my jaw on the floor, my heart racing, my palms sweating, I was totally HOOKED! Another aspect I enjoyed this story is that it's set in Belterra which has French vibes. The author has an amazing way of describing the vibe of the city and all of the glorious food it has to offer. My mouth was truly watering at some of the descriptions. 

The enemies-to-lovers romance in this book was everything I could have wanted. I had just finished The Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black and was feeling a bit underwhelmed by Cardan and Jude, but Lou and Reid picked me right up off the floor. I don't think I can describe how entertaining this book is. I loved all the characters and created so many combinations of ships by the end of the book. Reid has stolen my heart and I can't wait to read the next book for him to take my soul.

I would completely recommend Serpent & Dove to anyone who is looking for a unique and fun take on witches and witch hunters with a glorious cast of characters. It has an amazing blend of magic, friendship, romance, and betrayal. This is really a book that you sit down with thinking you'll just read the first few chapters, but then suddenly it's 5am and you finished the whole book! I cannot wait to devour Blood & Honey (book #2) just as fast as I devoured this one. A definitely recommend from me as it put a massive smile on my face.


Rating
5 Falling Books

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Book Depository

Girl, Serpent, ThornThere was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming...human or demon. Princess or monster. 


Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a refreshing story rooted in Persian culture and sprinkled with magic. It is effortlessly written and throws the reader into a dark fairytale of a hero struggling with what it means to hold a deadly power.

We follow Princess Soraya who has been cursed with the ability to poison every living creature she touches. She has been hidden away from the people and spends a great deal of her time in isolation. She is at a constant struggle with her deadly power knowing that she could take life with a simple touch and longs to be normal. Soraya is uncertain of what life holds for her until a mysterious guard named Azad begins to show interest in her and convinces her that he does not fear her. The story that follows is a tangled web of plot twists and dangerous encounters, which allows Soraya to learn more about both the curse and herself. Other magical elements of the story include 'divs' which are demons from Persian-mythology that add an interesting element to this world.

I did not anticipate the twists and surprise bombs that this threw at me. At one point I thought I had the story sussed out and then it took an even darker turn. I enjoyed Soraya's character and her development over the book to explore whether her power predetermined her for evil. She was unpredictable and there were moments when I thought she may turn into the villain of the story. Another factor I found refreshing was that the story did not have a heavy focus on the romance plot, as a whole it felt more like a journey of character growth and self-realization. However, I adored the unexpected f/f love interest that Soraya found in the dangerous, badass div Parvenah. A div on a mission to right her past wrongs. I loved Parvenah and Soraya scenes together they were pure magic. Their story flowed nicely alongside the broader plot of the novel and added a soft layer to the darkness of the story.

Overall, I would recommend Girl, Serpent, Thorn to lovers of fantasy who are hungry for something slightly different. This Persian-inspired world of magic and demons is a great standalone to sink your teeth into with a truly original story.

Rating
3.5 Falling Books

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing an ARC for review on Netgalley.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

My review of Everless

Everless (Everless #1) by Sara Holland
Release date: December 27, 2017 (UK)


Everless (Everless, #1)In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Everless easily drew me in with its promise of fantasy, romance and secrecy. However, the characters felt very one dimensional and lacking in development. Throughout the story I found myself caring less and less about what the main character Jules was doing, and waiting for a moment when the storyline would completely blow me away, which sadly did not happen.

The premise of blood being currency was very interesting but the execution was not completely there. I can imagine if I had read this book five years ago I might have really loved it, but the bar for YA fantasy romance is so high Everless just did not match up. The romance plot between Jules and Roan, the son of one of the wealthiest families, never took off. It was almost like their interactions were forced and Roan was just added into scenes here and there at random. It did not flow and it did not make me swoon so I am very, very gutted. 
Image result for gutted gif
Will I read the sequel? Perhaps. I did enjoy the story and felt that it had a lot more to give and so did its characters. Would I recommend? If you don't mind your main characters being bland and confused, and the storyline being slightly predictable then this may be your cup of tea.
Rating

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Book Haul (#108)

Hey,

The end of summer, fun, and cute Instagram posts is approaching! Feel like August has breeeeezed by. I was lucky enough to spend a week in Malta and then Prague, probably my last taste of freedom before I start university this September. *Sigh* But luckily I have some books that I can sink my teeth into before then!
The Crowns of Croswald (The Croswald Series)
Thank you, D.E. Night and her lovely press release team, for sending me over a copy of this book! Super excited for this middle grade fantasy that will probably transport me back to the age of reading Harry Potter. 
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
I had to request both the 2nd and 3rd book as soon as I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses because the book utterly swept me off my feet. You can read my review here.   It was simply brilliant and I had to get my hand on all the stories out so far!! I've actually just finished this sequel and oh my god!!! Guys, I'm so in love. My review will be up soon! I am currently devouring the third book.

Leave a comment with a link to your book haul or let me know which books you're excited about! 

- Sam

Saturday, 29 July 2017

My review of A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...


Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A rich fantasy world that swept me off my feet and into the High Lord Tamlin's arms. Maas has succeeded once again at delivering readers a team of badass characters and a delicious plot line to go with them. This story follows Feyre as she introduces us to a harsh and cold world where faeries and mortals are separated by a wall. She hunts tirelessly in the forest to provide for her father and two sisters, who are unwilling to help her no matter how small the task. When she kills a faerie disguised as a wolf by accident, she is thrust into the faerie world as punishment to live with her captor. I make this sound bad, but it really isn't that bad. In the house of her captor, Tamlin, Feyre's hate and fear of faeries begins to fade and she begins to feel things she never thought would of been possible for her to feel towards such beings. And this is how our romance plot unfolds. Feyre begins to fall for Tamlin and the soft nature within him, and the harder she falls for his charm so do we. 

I haven't read a Sarah J. Maas book for a while now and I completely forgot how easy is it to fall in love with her storytelling. Every character she introduces and every scene she describes feels so rich that it feels like they're practically falling out from the pages and unravelling in real life. You will want to explore all of what the faerie realm has to offer including all of the seven courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. In this instalment, we see a lot more of the Spring court, but I'm sure as the series goes on new courts will be introduced to readers and more exploring can take place.

I've finished this book feeling like I've fallen in love with so many charming guys. Especially, Tamlin. Oh, no one will understand the depth of how much you could possibly adore him until you read this book. He stole my heart only a few chapters into the book and I can't wait for you to fall in love with him too. He is introduced to us firstly as a beast who ransacks Feyre's house in search for the one responsible for killing one of his men, but as the story progresses secrets are revealed and so is the gentle and kind person beneath that frightening exterior. Maas has used inspiration from the tale of Beauty and the Beast perfectly to create a world and story which feels dangerous yet so irresistible. 

A strong start to what I can already feel will be an action-packed and thrilling series.


Recommended if you also loved: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Rating

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Book Haul (#107)

Hey,

I know it's been a while since I've regularly posted actually it's probably been a really long while, but I hope you are all okay and still enjoying books! The last 2 years I've been studying for my A levels to hopefully get me into university this September and I honestly was hardly reading at all. Buttttt, it's summer now and I'm trying to power through all the good books that I've missed and I'm loving it. A positive to that is that sequels to series I love are mostly all out, or there's a good few of them out so I can get binge reading.

Here are some books that I've received, bought, and borrowed:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo - Received -
Thank you so much, Penguin! I went to see the Wonder Woman movie when it came out and goddamn did I love it. Definitely one of my favourite superheroes!! Then I was online you know seeing what authors that I've loved in the past have been releasing and I see this book by Leigh Bardugo. Oh my lord, what a beautiful combination?!?!? So I'm very excited to start this one. The DC Icons series will also have Batman by Marie Lu and Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas. I'm honestly so pumped. Look out for my review around the release date at the end of August.
The Young Elite 3 Books Set Marie Lu Collection (The Young Elites, The Rose Society, The Midnight Star)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)
The Young Elites Series by Marie Lu - Bought -
I loved Marie Lu's Prodigy trilogy and I saw this box set online and couldn't resist. I haven't gotten round to it yet, I've heard a few mixed opinions but I'll let you guys know what I think when I've read them.
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare - Bought -
Read and loved. I'm still a hardcore lover of The Infernal Devices, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this series plays out. The characters are great, there's interesting and problematic romance, so yeah... let's see where Clare takes this.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas - Borrowed -
Finished this one right before I started writing this post and goddamn I forgot the feels that books like this give me!! Already reserved the 2nd and 3rd book at the library so I can catch up with this train.
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray - Borrowed -
Not sure what to expect from this one, some kind of multi-universe hopping story "The Flash" style. 
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Second Chance Summer
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch - Borrowed -
From the look of Goodreads, people are either hating this or loving it. I'm willing to give it a chance, the premise seems interesting. Let me know if you guys have read this one!
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - Borrowed -
I've always wanted to read this one since many years ago when I read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, so when I saw it in the library I couldn't resist. I haven't read a contemporary in a while so I'm looking forward to jumping into these summer romances.
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare - Borrowed -
I wanted to buy this as soon as I finished Lady Midnight but I was on a plane so I had to hold on. Then when I was going to buy it I realised I had the small paperback version of Lady Midnight and my copies wouldn't match and I just didn't know if I felt comfortable with that, so off I went to the library. Very, very excited to see what this one has in store. Everyone is raging about the ending and the 3rd book isn't out until 2019 so I'm a bit worried about how I'll cope. 

Did you guys get any cool books this week? Please give me suggestions I feel like I've been out of the book loop.

- Sam