Saturday, 8 February 2020

ARC Review: The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood

I got gifted an ARC of this book by Tor after requesting it because it sounded right up my street. I'm glad to say that I was right, and it definitely didn't disappoint.


What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Oh, I don't know where to start with this book at all - it was one of them books you really want to savour and so I read it slow and steady so I could really take everything in, and wow was there so much to take in! It was such a beautiful setting, and I'm just sorry I didn't get a map in the ARC, I would love to visualise everything so much more. This is probably why  I'll be grabbing a finished copy, to help me to really get stuck in with visuals on any future rereads.

I think that the fantasy world built by the Larkwood is just so beautiful and complex and I loved the idea that there is a maze with all the different worlds connected that you can get to through Gates, it just seems so wondrous and I really wish that it was a real concept because I think it would be such an adventure to go around visiting individual worlds and seeing the different places and cultures.

If you like Sci-Fi or Fantasy, or even them both mixed together, this is the book for you - add in a bit of LGBT romance and I'm sure it will tick so many boxes for certain people. Add to this that you get the see the MC Csorwe really grow and empower herself as she gets away from being the Bride of the Unspoken and it makes a stunning book that you don't want to put down.

I admit, it took me a while to get into it, but that's because I am someone who loves to make sure she's pronouncing things right, and checking to see who each character is, and this is helped by the pronunciation guide at the front of the book. I do love a guide, but that is something I kept flicking back to so I can check everything, so I think that the flow was disrupted because of that. But, if you're better at me and don't need the guide then you're probably going to get into the book a lot easier than me, and I'm sure once I re-read it I'll be breezing through the beginning of the book.

Overall this book is just immersive and intense, full of twists and turns you wouldn't be able to guess and heroic rescue plots, so I really think you should all go and grab a copy as soon as you can. It's out on 20th February so get pre-ordering now!

I give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read this already or do you plan to read this? Comment below! (and go buy a copy)

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Review: Throne of Swans by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

Oh guys, I am going to try my best to give this book the review it needs, but I doubt I'll be able to put into words how amazing the book was. I got the proof at YALC 2019, and decided to read it around the time it was going to be published - and I'm now kicking myself for waiting so long it was so good!

Here's the book for those wondering:

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In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly...

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother - ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors. 

With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

Written in rich detail and evocative language, this is the start of an irresistible, soaring duology about courage, broken loyalties and fighting for your place in the world.

Okay, first things first: how beautiful is this cover? I went to a Hotkey brunch to do with this book, and we got to see a clip of how it was made by the artist, and wow what an eye-opener that was. Plus, as you all probably know, I'm a bit obsessed with gold foil on covers, and this has it, so yaknow, I'm like Gollum again with the shiny things.

Okay, to the actual content now. I managed to read this book in one sitting - it is a book that you just fly through (no pun intended) and that lets you jump into the world so easily. It's such a fantastical book, and you really connect with the MC Aderyn so easily - I was routing for her throughout the book and you really got to see her evolve after being raised solely in Atratys after her mothers death. You see her adapt to court and learn how to navigate the complexities of court life with the help of Lucien (and oh my I do love a bit of Lucien - but this is not the time to talk about him).

The world building in this series is what I love most, you really get a sense of what is going on in the world, and how the world is run, and that's not always the case in some books. It really helps you to immerse yourself into the book and feel like you are part of it. I think that the underlying issue of the flightless vs. the flighted is such a complex issue, and I can't wait to see where Kat and Liz take this in the second book.

One of the things Kat and Liz told us at the brunch was that the book was inspired by The Swan Lake - so if you like that, then you will love this series all the more. I've never really known the story of Swan Lake, but after reading this and hearing how it inspired the book I think I may have to take a look at it and see what it's all about.

Overall, this is just such a beautifully written book and I think it's going to be an amazing duology, I can easily see this becoming one of my favourite series - I don't know how I'll be able to wait for the next book!

I give this book: 5 cats!

Throne of Swans is out now, and I highly suggest you go and buy a copy - I know I'll be going out soon to buy a finished copy to go with my ARC as soon as I can!

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Blog Tour: Storm of Ash by Michelle Kenney

There are no words to explain how excited I was to be a part of the blog tour for Storm of Ash, I've loved each book of this series and I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed by the finale, which turned out to be true. 

If you're interested my reviews for the first and second books are here: Book Of Fire [1]City of Dust [2])

Here's the description for this one:

"As Talia treks back through the treacherous North Mountains, she knows only three things:

Pantheon has stolen nearly everyone she loves;

Her blood is the only control over the Voynich’s oldest secret;

And Cassius won’t stop hunting Arafel until every last outsider is destroyed.

Will Talia finally face her legacy and defeat Cassius before it is too late?"

Let's just start with one thing - this beautiful cover. I mean, what an absolutely amazing cover, and it just totally fits with the plot of this book so well, when you read it you'll soon find out just why it is as it is. 

Now that the oohing over the cover is over with, can I just say wow. Guys, this was everything I wanted from the last book in the series.... it's just the epic conclusion you need/want from any trilogy. Even if there were some heart breaking scenes throughout - it did definitely take me on yet another emotional rollercoaster like the last book (thanks for the feels Michelle). I couldn't keep up with all the emotions I was cycling through whilst reading this, but it was all worth it for how the series ended.

I have always said that Talia is such a good character, and in this book it was no different, she really had to navigate some difficult things throughout and she managed it brilliantly. I think that's why I like her so much, throughout the books you always see the shine of her outsider heritage, even in difficult times. I think 'feral cat' was definitely a great way to describe her.

Also, not spoiling anything but I'll just say I still love August, even with how much I like outsiders, I will forever be #teamaugust. Now I just need to find my own August in the real world *sigh*.....

One last thing: I seriously can't get over my love for Unus the Cyclops in this series.... He's such a beautiful, friendly character and rereading just made me remember all of that. The friendship between Talia and Unus is definitely one of my new favourite friendships from a series.

I really really hope to see more of this world that Michelle has built, but either way I know I'll be reading any future books that come from her.

Overall l give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read the series? If not I highly recommend them! And don't forget to take a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour for this!

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Review: Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

I got a bit into dragons and any books that mentioned them lately, so when I saw the blurb of this book on a list (and also the cover - I mean, come on how beautiful is that blue dragon cover?? It just pops out to you), I knew I had to read it, and Tor were nice enough to gift me a review copy. Here's the book:


Once a member of the King's personal guard, Guillot dal Villevaurais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He's astonished--and wary--when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capitol in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent...but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.

Between Gill's rusty swordsmanship and Solène's unstable magic, what could go wrong?

The description was of this book definitely intrigued me after being pulled in by that beautiful cover, I mean who can resist magic, dragons and Knights trying to redeem themselves? I was pretty much sold at that point, and the book did not disappoint at all - I breezed through it so quickly.

I actually loved the MC Gill's character development, it was so nice to actually go through the book and see him slowly develop whilst also learning just why he is as he is, which is actually quite tragic. However, despite his backstory you see his relationship with the town's people that he is in charge of, and later his relationship with Solene, and that's so nice to see, even if he is a bit lax in his duties sometimes. I really liked to see his old Knightly self come back into action as you went along.

I think one of the things most interesting to me was the fact we saw some little POV from the main Dragon (Alpheratz) in this book, it had thoughts and feelings and I think the author really made you feel a bit sorry for the Dragons and their extinction, and all because of that one POV. I admit, I really can't wait to see what happens in the next books in this series, it will be interesting to see where the author takes the story line after where it left off - and I really hope to see a bit more information on the world that he has built.

Overall, I give this book: 5 cats

Do you like Dragon books? If so comment below and we can discuss!

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!