Friday, 11 June 2021

Blog Tour: The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox

So, today is a review blog tour post for you all of this book. I got the email in my inbox asking if I'd like to be a part of the blog tour and the description on this book just jumped out to me (and the cover, I mean, come on how beautiful is it?!) so I knew I had to say yes!

Here's the book:

Somewhere in England, in a small town called Strange Ground by the Skea, Ebbie Wren is the last librarian and he's about to lose his job. Estranged from his parents, unable to make connections with anyone except the old homeless lady who lives near the library, Ebbie isn't quite sure what he's supposed to do next. His only escape from reality is his deep interest in local folklore, but reality is far stranger than Ebbie can dream.

On the other side of the sky and the sea, the Queen of House Wood Bee has been murdered. Her sister has made the first move in a long game, one which will lead her to greatness, yet risk destruction for the entire Realm. She needs the two magical stones Foresight and Hindsight for her power to be complete, but no one knows where they are. Although the sword recently stolen by Bek Rana, small time thief and not very good at it, might hold a clue to their location . . . and to stopping the chaos. But all Bek wants is to sell the sword and buy herself a better life. She's not interested in being a hero, and neither is Ebbie.

But someone is forcing their hand and playing for the heart of the Realm. Ebbie and Bek are destined to unite. They must find a way to stop the destruction of House Wood Bee, save the Realm, and just maybe save themselves in the process. All victories come at a price. The Oldungods are rising. And they are watching...

The first thing I will say about this book is that it was absolutely magical, and I loved that. If you've ever dreamed of being transported to another world, this is the book for you. Ebbie, the MC, is transported between the land that he's only ever heard of from myths and folklore (Strange Ground Beneath the Skea) and his modern day home (Strange Ground by the Skea) in this story, and it just really resonated with me and made me think of all the times I've ever wanted to visit magical lands that I have read about or heard about - if I could take his place I totally would. 

The main plot of the book is so interesting - it mixes some of the Gods we know, like Juno and Persephone, with new myths and superstitions and we also get to see just how Gods interferences can impact the life of the people who worship them. It was quite an interesting take on it, and showed what seems a bit like a chess game between two of the Gods involving the rest of the worlds that they look over which was such an intriguing concept to me.

Ebbie and Bek, two of the main characters, were written so well and you really started to like them as soon as you met them. Ebbie was especially easy to connect with as he was just as I imagined I would be if I took his place- full of wonder and awe whilst visiting the world that he has studied so much from back home. They were unlikely, and also slightly unwilling, heroes in this book and the way that they work together to help save the Realm is amazing - I particularly like Bek because as you learn more about her she just becomes a whole lot more likeable as a character.

I admit, I was a bit confused by the ending, but yaknow what - I liked that. It meant I can try and figure things out myself, and I'm sure it will mean it will be a fun book to reread. This is definitely one of my favourite standalone books of this year!

Overall, this is definitely a great read - it's a fast-paced, magical book that you can't help but love. I give this book: 5 cats! 

Don't forget to check out the other stops from the tour this week, which can be seen below!

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Review: Sistersong by Lucy Holland

 So, I'd been hearing about this book for a while and was lucky enough to get a physcial ARC (and what a beautiful orange ARC it is), but unfortunately a slump hit and I couldn't pick it up for a while.

But, I picked it up this month and just breezed through because I loved it so much! I will definitely be putting this on my top reads of 2021.

Here it is:

535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador's children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king's son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It's a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.

I have always loved historical fiction inbetween my fantasy fix, and this mixes the two beautifully - it's set in a Britain that is slowly losing it's magic, and shows the journey of 3 sisters learning just how they can try and continue to use this magic for themselves. This was also based on an old English ballad called The Twa Sisters, which I found intriguing, so I decided to look it up and see what exactly the book was based on - and I suggest you do too if you read it as it's so interesting to read about and see the similarities.

I do like that this book had the POV of all the sisters, though I do admit sometimes I got so frustrated with a couple of them - that may be because I'm quite good at figuring out what may happen in a book though. However, I think the character of Keyne was amazing - they were so well written and their storyline was absolute perfection. They were born a daughter, but throughout the whole book are fighting to be seen as a son - and I don't think that Keyne's character could have been written better. You really saw their struggle throughout and their strength to push through all the problems.

To me it did seem a bit slow at first, but after a while you see why, you really need to learn about the three sisters and see what part they will play in the storyline, and you soon get hooked into it and begin to connect with the characters and see all the different points coming together.

However, I do have to say the best part of the book in my opinion was the ending - it was mind blowing. I was absolutely entranced by the storyline at the end, and I couldn't believe how beautiful it was I got so emotional just reading it and finally seeing the link to the ballad it was based on. On top of that there was even an epilogue that just closed everything together wonderfully, and for me it helped to make the story. I do love a good epilogue.

I could say so much more on this book, but I won't ramble too much and instead I will just say go and buy a copy, you will not be disappointed at all. Overall, I give this 5 cats!

Have you read this book yet? Do you like retellings and have any favourites to recommend? Comment below I'd love to hear opinions!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Blog Tour: Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings

 So today I have a blog tour post for you all! Blood Metal Bone just sounded so interesting that I thought I would take part, and so my review is below. Don't forget to check out some other stops on the tour too.

Here's the blurb:

Her destiny was death. The shadows brought her back.

Wrongly accused of her brother’s murder, Sonara’s destiny was to die, sentenced to execution by her own mother. Punished and left for dead, the shadows have cursed her with a second life as a Shadowblood, cast out and hunted by society for her demon-like powers.

Now known as the Devil of the Deadlands, Sonara survives as a thief on the edge of society, fighting for survival on a quest to uncover what really happened to her brother and whether he is even dead at all…

I mean, after a blurb like that how could you resist reading it? I sure couldn't, especially as it was described as something fans on Throne of Glass would like, and that is one of my favourite series. It definitely didn't disappoint - I found this a fascinating book. It's a standalone, which I am grateful for because I don't think I'd have been able to wait to see what happens, so it's definitely good if you're looking for a quick fantasy fix. But, on top of that it was quite original because it was a mix of both fantasy and Sci-Fi - something I was not expecting at all.

A fantasy book, in the form of Sonara and her Shadowblood, and a Sci-Fi book, in the form of a MC Karr being a space smuggler. And, if you really want to be picky you can also add a hint of a Western theme thrown in too! It may sound like a bit much, but I found it all blended in perfectly to create a unique plotline that was something I never even knew I needed in a book.

It did take me a little while to get used to the shock that it was a mix, as I went in expecting a total fantasy book (my mistake for not looking at the tags!), but once you get used to it you end up getting into the flow of things and really enjoying the mystery of what is happening and figuring out where, exactly, the book is going.

I will say this though, as you got towards the very ending of the book the writing was just spectacular, and as the MC Sonara was finding her way some of the snippets of her thoughts just stuck with me, her thought process was just beautifully written and, as I've mentioned many a time before, I absolutely adore when we see a MC come into themselves and really become a powerful character. Mix these powerful main characters in with all the information coming together towards the end and you have an absolutely gripping novel that you will want to read again and again.

Overall, I give this book: 4.5 cats!

Blood Metal Bone was released on the 7th January, so make sure to go and pick up a copy, I guarantee you will not regret it!

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Review: The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

 Many of you may know by now, Garth Nix is one of my favourite authors. So, as soon as I saw this available on Netgalley I just knew I would be requesting it, and I also have the Waterstones special edition now too (sprayed edges and an extra story!!)

And, as I expected, Garth Nix has written yet another fantastic and action packed book, one that I will definitely be going back to read again and again.  

Here it is:

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn't get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.

Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.

Susan's search for her father begins with her mother's possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.

Merlin has a quest of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan's. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.

Can I just say I absolutely love how Garth Nix writes characters? I've never found a character that I hated in his books and this is the same for this book too - I absolutely adore Merlin, and Susan is just as good too (but Merlin is definitely my favourite) and throughout the whole story you just feel as if you are actually running around with the characters yourself.  Even his creatures in this book were written incredibly, but I expected that as in my opinion Garth is always good at writing such unique characters that you can really visualise and put your own spin on in your mind.

I admit though I was delightfully confused through most of this book, just wondering what was happening as he jumps right into the action, it was both a puzzling and fast-paced storyline, and one that definitely keeps you hooked.

The thing that I enjoyed the most in this book was the way that Garth has interwoven the real with dark legends and folklore like goblins, giant wolves and lake creatures, it really made me want to look up these legends and just see where he got the inspiration from and I love when that happens in a book I read.

All in all I am obsessed with this world of Left and Right Handed Booksellers now, so I will definitely dive back in with happiness if Garth decides to come back to writing in this particular story.

Overall I give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read this book yet? If so comment below, I'd love to hear some other opinions on it!

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

So, I will be one to say I was exited when I learnt that Christopher Paolini was writing a new book, as I do love the Eragon series. When I found out it was a sci-fi book I was definitely intrigued, I've recently found I like space themed books, but I have never really tried to read a whopper like this. I absolutely adored it though, and definitely recommend it. Here it is: 
Kira Nav├írez dreamed of life on new worlds 
Now she’s awakened a nightmare 

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. 

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .

Can I just say, I was absolutely lost for words when I finished this book, it was that amazing. It was everything I expected when I first heard about it, and so much more. I was a bit intimidated when I first went into the book, not having read much sci-fi and also with how long this book is - over 800 pages! However, once you start you get sucked straight in. Even with the more scientific references you are still able to keep up with the book, and the plot really draws you in.

When you really get into the story you get hooked so easily as there's so much action and really big twists that you would never expect, but I suppose that's what's best about this book. In fact, the plot to this book was just mind-blowing, so much so that it kept me on edge wondering what was going to happen and the last 20% blew me away, it was so full of emotions and I even teared up at one point it was written so beautifully. 

I got my finished copy not long before publication (thanks to Tor for my review copy) and I just had to take a look through at the diagrams in the book - I love diagrams! They will definitely come in handy when I have a re-read, and I think a re-read is definitely in order just to see if I missed anything.

Overall, I loved this book and it's just proven that Christopher Paolini is an amazing writer, and one I will always read. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this beast of a book.

I give this: 5 cats!

Have you read this yet? Comment below if so to tell me what you thought!