Monday 11 September 2023

Blog Tour: Bride of the Shadow King by Sylvia Mercedes

 Well, today is a blog tour day! And it's a good one, in fact, I can say it's one of my favourite reads of the year.... but that may be because I have a weakness for Fae books, and one of my favourite reads from the younger years had Trolls in it (or as they are called in this book Troldefolke).

Here's the book:

A shunned princess. A reluctant king.
A marriage that could save both their kingdoms . . . but destroy their hearts.

Though she is the oldest daughter, Princess Faraine lives in the background, shunned from court and kept out of sight. Her chronic illness makes her a liability to the crown, and she has learned to give place to her beautiful, favored younger sister in all things.

When the handsome and enigmatic Shadow King comes seeking a bride, Faraine is not surprised that her sister is his choice.

Though not eager to take a human bride, King Vor is willing to do what is necessary for the sake of his people. When he meets the lively Princess Ilsevel, he quickly agrees to a marriage arrangement.

So why can’t he get the haunting eyes of her older sister out of his head?

When disaster strikes and the marriage alliance is compromised, Faraine suddenly finds herself forced to take her sister’s place . . . regardless of her new husband’s desires. Can she find a place at Vor’s side as his queen? Or is his heart forever closed to the woman who deceived him so cruelly?

Well, first of all I have to talk about the beautiful cover we can see here - which is even better in person because there is silver foiling!! You all know how much I love a good silver foil.... But not only that the actual details on the cover are beautiful, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the series covers look like.

Now, onto the actual contents of the book. I said earlier that it may be one of my favourite reads of this year, but I have seen that the next in this series is also out this year (and I WILL be reading it), and to be honest after that ending I can expect that the next book will take my heart even more than this one did, so it may be put down in the list of favourites very soon. I think the chemistry between the two MCs, Faraine and Vor,  when they meet was one of my favourite things about this book, and then everything that happens after between them was amazing to read.

I love Faraine as a character in this book, and gosh did I wish it went a bit differently for her and Vor overall, but we shall see how that will go when it comes to the next book! I do love them both as characters, but Faraine really interests me, and I'll be intrigued to see how her God given power changes over the next few books.... I have my theories!

We see a little bit of the Trolde world in this book, but not very much as the beginning focused on the human world and the marriage process, however the world building in this just makes you think there will be many more places to explore in the coming books - we get told about the different types of Fae, and the size of the Trolde kingdom so I can't wait to see more of that (hopefully) in the future as what we have seen of the Trolde kingdom so far seems beautiful and Sylvia has written the Fae world fantastically so far - it really draws you in and wants you to read more and more.

I could talk about so much more when it comes to this book, but I will wait until the next book to see if my theories work out or not. Overall, I give this book: 5 cats!

Don't forget to check out the other stops on this blog tour too, and I hope to be back with a review on book #2 soon!

Sunday 13 August 2023

Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

 Guys, I just can't put into words how much I loved this book. I took part in the twitter poll version of this, essentially a choose your own adventure, and adored it then, so I knew when it was going to be published and have some differences to the twitter adventure that I would NEED to get it.

There's also the fact that I love the Truthwitch series from Susan so I knew I'd be reading this as well just because I like to see how other stories pan out from authors that I like.

Here's the book:

Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you…

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie's town―and the rest of humanity―from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night. Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal―and restore her family's good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie must enlist the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.

Okay so, first things first, I HAVE to mention how beautiful the artwork is for this book, both in the beautiful cover and also the illustrations inside! I'll admit I was a bit biased with the ARC I got because I love gold foil, but then when I saw this cover I was like woahhh that's pretty, and once you've read it you can see why some of the details are there. But yes, I mentioned illustrations inside - there are illustrations of some of the Nightmares in there! Brilliantly done, I love being able to see what they look like as I can really imagine them when reading - I can't wait to see the next books illustrations too, it was confirmed that the illustrations will continue in that which I am so excited for.

Second thing: I finished this in one sitting it was so good! It's not often these days that I read things in one sitting, I tend to break them up into a few days more often than not due to my schedule, but I adored this book and I just couldn't put it down. Granted, it may have been because I wanted to see how different it was to the original choose your own adventure, but still I think even if you weren't part of that you would have a hard time putting this book down.

I think, and I'm being nitpicky here, the only downside to this was that I didn't get all the information I wanted - but yaknow, that is my own thing and I fully trust Susan to give us all the information in the future books now that we have finally got to know a bit more about the world, the Nightmares and the MC Winnie - I especially can't wait to see where the storyline about her father goes and I really want to see some more information about the Diana's and what they do, I'm hoping to see Susan dig into that a bit more in The Hunting Moon when it comes out!

Overall, I give this: 5 cats!

I really can't wait to see what happens in the next book - which has just had the cover reveal (OMG it's just as beautiful). Did any of you join in with the Twitter adventure? If so what did you think of the final book compared to that? I'd love to know!

Monday 17 July 2023

ARC Review: Queen of Gods by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

I was so excited for the final book in this duology, and I was so glad when I got approved to read it early on Netgalley! I have loved all of Katharine & Elizabeth Corr's books since I read The Witch's Kiss, and I'm sure I'll love them going forward too. However, I do have a weakness for Greek inspired books, which this is - throw in some Gods and Goddesses and I'm hooked!

This is the finale to a duology (you can see my review of the first book, Daughter of Darkness HERE), and wow what a finale it was! Now I just need to wait for the pretty Forbidden Plant exclusive cover to get into my hands and I'll be even happier! Here's the book:

Return to the Underworld...

Deina has finally found what matters most to her in all the world. And lost it. To save the one she loves, she's bound herself to the Underworld and an endless future of darkness.

But not even her sacrifice is enough to secure Theron or her friends' safety in the mortal realm. Aristaeus has seized power in Thebes and his tyrannical reign is a constant, looming threat to their lives.

So when Deina is offered the chance to destroy him and the gods altogether, she sets out on a new quest. But to succeed, she must turn away from everything she holds true.

In a game with the gods, the rewards are infinite... but the punishments are eternal.

Be prepared for a nail-biting race for survival in the breathtaking sequel to Daughter of Darkness.

The blurb says nail-biting, and wow was that true. I breezed through this book in less than a day and can definitely say this was a stunning conclusion to this duology! In fact, I'll go as far as to say this is one of my favourite reads of this year so far, I'll definitely be picking it up as a re-read in the future. I thought the last book was a ride, but this had so many twists that you didn't see coming and it really kept you on your toes guessing what was going to happen next.

One of the most interesting parts of this book for me was that we got to explore some more places - in the last book it mainly focused on the Underworld, but in this you also get to see the House of Zeus and the House of Poseidon as well as some other parts of the Underworld, and you also get to explore some of the other Theodesmioi houses which was interesting. I always like exploring new places in series because it really helps with the world building, and it was explored so well in this book, threaded in perfectly to the main plot line.

Characters wise, I have to say I liked seeing more of Thanatos in this book, and I will have to admit that I was routing for him throughout, but considering I love when Death is a character in books I tend to always end up routing for him despite the weirdness. Did anyone else end up loving Thanatos as a character? The triangle between Deina, Thanatos and Theron was such fun to read, and I loved the dynamic that Deina had with both of them throughout. (I know who I would have chosen if I was Deina, but unfortunately I can't transport myself to the universe, so it's up to Deina what she wants to do *sigh*)

Overall, I really think this is my favourite series from Katharine & Elizabeth Corr yet, and I really can't wait to see what they come up with next! I couldn't give this less than 5 cats, and I would give it so many more if I could.

Queen of Gods is out on the 20th July, and I highly recommend you go get your copy (especially the pretty Forbidden Planet editions with the different colours!)

Saturday 20 May 2023

Blog tour: Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

 I'm so excited to be on the blog tour for the newest release from Christopher Paolini - Fractal Noise! Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour too, and grab a copy of the book as it's out now! Here it is:

On the planet Talos VII, twenty-three years before the events of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, an anomaly is detected: a vast circular pit, with dimensions so perfect that it could only have been the result of conscious design. So a small team is assembled to learn more – perhaps even who built the hole and why. Their mission will take them on a hazardous trek to the very edge of existence.

For one explorer, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. For another, a risk not worth taking. And for xenobiologist Alex Crichton, it’s a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe. But every step they take towards that mysterious abyss is more punishing than the last. Ultimately, no one is prepared for what they will encounter.

So, Christopher Paolini is one of my favourite authors, and as soon as he started telling us about branching into Sci-Fi, I knew I'd be picking up whatever he wrote. It was definitely worth it, and now he's gone and wrote a prequel to the beast of a book that is To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. I would say, if you are a bit worried about starting the giant TSiaSoS, you could very easily read this book as a standalone, or read it first if you want to start small. There's nothing in this that would confuse you or make you not understand what was happening, everything in it is well explained, so you can definitely read this first if you want to jump into something smaller to begin with!

Now getting into the actual book - this was definitely a fascinating read. The characters were so well written, each having different motives for going to explore the new planet. The MC and narrator, Alex, was especially an interesting person to read the POV of. Although you were exploring the new planet, and had lots of information thrown at you about that, you also get to read about his reason for exploring - the death of his partner. It can be a bit hard hitting at time as the book leans on that, but you really get to see his struggles with grief and at times you really feel like you are living it with him and I just found that such a thought-provoking way of reading - not one I've really dealt with before in a book, but one I would definitely read again if they're written as well as this was.

I think the suspense of getting closer to the centre of the hole they found on the planet was really well done - and the noise that the hole is making follows you through the book with a 'Thud' every few lines. I found this really good at keeping the suspense and also I think it really made you feel how much that noise would affect you if you were in the book too. I especially loved that it slowly got larger as you read, as if you really were in the book and could see how much it would affect the explorers the nearer they got.

I'll admit, I am a bit rusty in my sci-fi reading, so quite a bit of the terminology went over my head, but it was still a smooth read and I really didn't want to put the book down after starting it was so gripping. I think that the writing was so good, because even if you aren't the best with sci-fi terminology you can still pick up the plot and read along, and if you are a sci-fi buff then you'll love it too! 

Overall, I give this book: 5 cats!

Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour below, it's running until the 2nd June, and go pick up a copy of the book! It will definitely be worth it - and if you loved TSiaSoS in sure you'll love this too. I can't wait to see what else Paolini will come up with in the world of sci-fi!

Sunday 14 May 2023

Review: The Book That Wouldn't Burn by Mark Lawrence

So I may have requested this purely because of the description that there was a giant library.... I mean, what book lover wouldn't do that? But this turned out to be an amazing random pick from Netgalley, and now I must know what's going to happen in the future books!

But for now, here's the book:

All books, no matter their binding, will fall to dust. The stories they carry may last longer. They might outlive the paper, the library, even the language in which they were first written.

The greatest story can reach the stars . . .

Evar has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.

Livira has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.

The world has never noticed them.

That’s about to change.

As their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time, each will unlock vast secrets about the world and themselves. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another.

I admit it did take a while for me to get into this book, mainly because I really couldn't figure out where this was going and how the two characters would come together - but it was definitely worth the patience as you get to the end and want to see so much more out of it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book - I like to think that the slow burn in this one was really building up the premise and the world, ready to jump right into the action, but we shall see... One thing's for sure though, I'll definitely be waiting to jump back into this when the next book is out as I already want to continue with Livira's and Evar's story!

Although it may have taken me a while to get into, I can definitely see this as a book that you can read again and again to pick up little nuggets you didn't notice before. I think one of the things I'll be paying specific attention to is the quotes at the beginning of each chapter - I love quotes at the beginning of chapters in books but I think I passed them by, hopefully a reread I'll be able to see if they link in more.

The two main characters in this, Livira and Evar, are really well written. Specifically I loved Evar's character, seeing him begin to explore after his life trapped in the library was fascinating, he was just a joy to read. That isn't to say I didn't like Livira - seeing her character develop through the years was definitely interesting too. Also, no spoilers here, but if you've read it - how much did the Raven's name amuse you? It gave me a chuckle!

Overall, I give this book 5 cats!

It's definitely a book I'll be reading again, and after that ending I think the anticipation of what may happen in the next books may kill me! It's a book that keeps your mind cogs turning, and definitely one I'd highly suggest!