Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Blog Tour: Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Oh guys, you have no idea how excited I was when I heard that Garth Nix was writing a new fantasy book. He has been my favourite author for a long time, and I knew that I needed to read it as soon as I heard about it. I was lucky enough to be one of the people asked to be a part of the blog tour, and I jumped at the chance.

And well, I have to say that Garth Nix has struck again with yet another spectacular book that will drag you in and keep you reading until the very end.... Here's the book for if you were wondering what it was all about:


More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .

So, this book has quite a few different POVs - something that I can't usually get on board with, but I had no issues here. All the characters personalities came through really well, and I feel like you really got to know all of the MCs separately - not one of the characters overshadowed any of the others which I found particularly wonderful. I know it's weird, but I did love Liliath's POV the most, and I actually really liked her as a character, she was one of my favourites despite everything that went on in the book, and I think that you really see her complex personality come through once the book concludes.

Most Garth Nix books have amazing world-building, and this one lived up to that reputation too, with different countries and different Archangels for each of them. It was such an interesting take on Angels being part of the world, and I loved hearing about all the different angels and their different 'scopes' that each has - it will be so fun to re-read this book now I have a physical copy with all the maps, it will be so much easier to visualise everything with how beautiful the maps are.

Well, if I don't stop now I'll just keep singing the praises of this book, so all I'll say is that if you are a fan of Garth Nix's previous books you won't be disappointed, so you should pick it up. I know this is a standalone book, but I really hope to see more of this world at some point - and I can't wait to get my hands on the bonus chapter in my Waterstones edition of the book when it comes!

Overall, I give this 5 cats (of course)

This book is out 17th October, you should definitely go and order your copy. Don't forget to keep an eye on the rest of the tour stops this month, with the first half shown below!

Friday, 13 September 2019

ARC Review: Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

So I got this ARC from Netgalley after I was one of the lucky few to get their wish granted by Harper Voyager (yay!). I'd been hearing so much about it I knew that I needed to try, and I'm so glad the wish paid off, it was definitely worth it!

Here's the book:



Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can't even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

Oh, guys, I really have no idea where to start on this book because it is so amazing. Like really, really amazing, so I don't know if my words will do it justice at all. But, my main love in this book was the imagery. Rena describes everything in this book so vividly and beautifully that you feel like you are inside the book alongside Arrah, seeing all the beautiful magic around her. I think the imagery is what really pulled me in and got me hooked.

It wasn't just the imagery that was written well, however, it was also the characters.Each character you meet seemed to have their own story, and everything seamed together nicely - it didn't feel like any one character had too little of a story or that all the different backgrounds got confusing. I think this was great as it really made it easy to keep up with the story despite the many different backgrounds.

In fact, I definitely wonder how Rena managed to think up such a complex, beautiful book as she did with characters and settings just flowing together so well - I asked this question as part of a Q&A Harper Voyager are having, and I can't wait to see if it will be answered!

All I know guys, is that I'm so glad I heard about this book - even if, I admit, the main reason I even thought to look it up and see what was happening was because of how beautiful the proofs that were flying about were. That's not to say the full cover isn't beautiful, it is, and I always get my head turned by anything with gold leafing on.

I don't know how I'm going to wait for the next book, as this will only be out next week, but I guess I'll just have to reread it until I know when the next one is out.

So, I give this book: 5 cats (and so many more if I could).

This book is out 19th September, go pre-order! I'm sure  you wont regret it. If you've read this book / want to read this, comment below I'll be interested to see your comments!

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Samplers: What I'm excited for

So, today's post is a bit different to others that I've done - it's a bit short, and it's a post about the titles that I'm most excited for out of the samplers I picked up at YALC.

As you can see below, I got quite a few samplers in my time at YALC this year, and I've read through them all and come up with a list of which ones I will be buying when they come out!

(if you have any questions about any of the samplers or even the books I got at YALC, comment below or tweet me)

I've included release dates for anyone interested too, and Goodreads pages if available. Without further ado, this is my list of books I'm excited for!

  1. Havenfall by Sara Holland - out 3rd March 2020 (my birthday so this'll be a nice present!)
  2. The Library at the End of the Earth by S. M. Wilson - out April 2020
  3. Devil Darling Spy by Matt Killeen - out March 2020 (another for my birthday month, I'll be spoiled!)
  4. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna - out July 2020
  5. Wicked Kindred by L. A. Weatherly - out September 2020
  6. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo - out October 2019
  7. Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan - out October 2019
  8. Tears of Frost by Bree Barton - out November 2019
  9. Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury - out March 2020 (and another for my birthday month, wowza)
  10. Blood Heir by Amelie Web Zhao - out November 2019

Of course, there are so many more books I'm excited for, and I'm sure there will be many more I don't know about that I'll get excited for, but these are the 10 that really called to me out of all of the samplers I picked up (I, of course, did not add Queen of Nothing to this because it's one of the more obvious books that I can't wait for and loved the sampler)

Only two of these don't have a Goodreads page (from what I could find) but, if you can get a hold of it both number 2 and number 5 are in the Usborne sampler booklet, which is well worth a read.

If you can think of any other books that I may be interested in, please comment below so I can add them to my list and my Goodreads ready for when they come out!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Review: The Red Abbey Chronicles by Maria Turtschaninoff

So today I'll be reviewing a whole series of books instead of just one - as I got gifted the whole series by Pushkin Press and thought they were so good, I couldn't just review one! Originally, I was approached about reading the latest in the series - Maresi Red Mantle, but when I was offered the chance to read the whole series I jumped, and I breezed through all 3 so quickly!

As it is 3 different books, I'll post the goodreads links to all 3, but here is the blurb of the most recent book, Maresi Red Mantle:

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Maresi returns in the thrilling conclusion to the feminist fantasy epic The Red Abbey Chronicles

For Maresi, like so many other girls, the Red Abbey was a haven of safety in a world ruled by brutal men. But now she is a young woman and it is time for her to leave. She must take all that she has learned from her sisters and return to her childhood home to share the knowledge she has gained.

But when Maresi returns to her village, she realises all is not well - the people are struggling under the rule of the oppressive Earl, and people are too busy trying to survive to see the value of her teachings. Maresi finds she must use all the terrible force of the Crone's magic to protect her people, but can she find the strength to do so when her heart is weakening with love for the first time?

Goodreads links:
Maresi Red Mantle (Book 3)

When I first started on this series I was worried I wouldn't be able to get into it as there was so much to take in - the different Sisters, the different places in the Abbey, what the Sisters do etc. but all of that worry was for nothing. You soon get the hang of it and really get pulled into Maresi's life. I think the only thing I would have loved was more background to the Abbey and the history to everything - but you get a lot more background over the next two books to help you understand more.

The second book Naondel is actually all about how the Abbey started and the different Sisters and how they came together to eventually leave their lands and make the journey on the boat Naondel to get to where they would eventually create the safe haven of the Red Abbey. I think this was definitely a crucial book in the series, as you learnt just why the island helped the Abbey women and where the power of the land in the first book may have come from, as well as showing just why the Abbey was created to help women in need. Its such a powerful book, showing you a lot more of the world that the Red Abbey Chronicles is set in.

Lastly, we come to the most recent addition to the chronicles: Maresi Red Mantle. This follows Maresi as she leaves the Abbey to try and found a school in her homeland. This was different to most books I've read as it was all in letter form to people we had met in the first book such as Jai and Sister O. I think, in a way, this was one of the most beautiful books as it really shows Maresi growing into herself as she learns to readjust to life outside the Abbey.

I always love stories where the female MC really grows into herself, and this didn't disappoint. We see her go through first loves, and learning to accept that she is her own person and is allowed to be different. I think I especially loved that she showed her family that sending her to the Red Abbey was worth it - I think the scenes where she teaches her brother to read are some of my favourites, alongside the scenes with Maresi's sister who really supports her throughout with her ambition of opening a school.

I could talk about the series for so long, they really surprised me with how amazing they were, especially when read together, but if I did this review would be way too long. So, I highly suggest going to buy your own copies ASAP!

Overall, I give this series 5 cats!

Have you read this series? What do you think of them? Comment below!

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Review: Magic Bitter Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

So this is a lovely book that I got on a daily deal, and although I read this a while ago, I decided to re-read it because it was so intriguing!

Its such a sweet book, that mixes tiny little bits of fairy tales in as well, which made it all the better.

Here it is:

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

This is actually the first book that I'd read from Charlie Holmberg, but after this I went out and bought some of her others - and now her Paper Magician series is one of my favourites. After re-reading it made me adore the book even more than I did before! I picked up a lot more things than I did the first time round, and some of the things I picked up had me wondering how I didn't notice them.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the fairy tale references dotted throughout - I didn't catch that on the first read until part-way through but the second time round I really picked up on it and it was so much better because of that. In case you were wondering, some of the ones included were Hansel and Gretel and the Gingerbread Man tales.

I admit, the plot did frustrate me a bit the first time I read this - but only because you couldn't guess where it was going, and it did leave you a while before explaining what exactly happened to Maire, but it was actually a well written book - I just get frustrated when I can't guess what will happen.... but I guess that's actually a good thing for most people! I think I preferred the re-read because I knew what was happening and it gave me time to really pick up on things I may not have the first time around.

Most of all though, I loved how it all wrapped up in the end and I adored the epilogue the most of all. It really let you guess what had happened to Maire and fill in the gaps the way you wanted to, which is my favourite way of ending books.

Overall, 4.5 cats to this book!

Have you read this? Do you agree with me about it/did you guess what would happen? Comment below!