Adventure, blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Reading, Six of Crows, Uncategorized

Six of Crows

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

I Read this book a few weeks ago, I am always a little hesitant to read books that have a lot of hype surrounding them. In the case of this book, it did and did not live up to the hype that surrounded it.  I did really enojoy this book. Six of Crows is a well written complex book that takes many things into account for its story.

one thing i enjoyed about the book is the character of Kaz. Kaz’s character is well written and he sticks to his personality through the whole book. He doesn’t change is tune when things happen, he does what he wants and does not apologize for it.

I like the dynamic between the six characters featured in the book. they all have their own little things and reasons as to why they are the way they are. through the book and the adventure that it takes you on, is a wonderful one.

i am trying to explain the book and yet not giving anything away, and i am finding that really hard to do. trying to put into words why i liked this book is becoming a very difficult thing to do today. i feel like that is okay, sometime it is okay to just not have the right words to describe a book.

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Adventure, Ash Princess, blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Laura Sebatian, Uncategorized

Ash Princess

Ash Princess  By Laura Sebastian

 

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

 

So I finished Ash Princess in about a day. I loved it so much. The story of Theo was good. the reason why she doesn’t stand up for her people, yet she still has such strong feelings against the King and his people. She hates having to do what she does because she is surviving, something she repeatedly tells her self. She tries to be what they want her to be and still true to herself.

When she decides she is done being a coward and not standing up for her people the turn around in her attitude is not immediate she still doubts herself and if she is able to do it. Can she stand up against this wicked king who killed her mother? Kill the man who killed her mother? Take back her land and her kingdom? All with seemingly little support and few people to stand behind her. Most of which she is doing in secret.

Theo’s journey through coming to terms with her role and embracing it slowly is a wonderful quality to the book, not having the hero immediately accept what they are supposed to do and do it with little to no thought on how it will happen. Seeing her deal with her emotions and bearing the pain that she is put through at being laughed at and ridiculed by the people who stole her kingdom and murdered her people. Yet these people are the people she has known since she was young, for over half her life. The people took her home but raised her, not letting her forget it.

I loved going on this journey with Theo, feeling her emotions as I feel my own. Knowing the hard decisions that she had to make and knowing why  she had to make them and what that will mean for her and her journey through the rest of the series. I cannot wait to read the rest of it and travel with Theo on her journey through getting her kingdom back and freeing her people.

I recommend Ash Princess to anyone with a sense of adventure who is not afraid of bloodshed and death of betrayal and unexpected kindness. Figuring out who you are and who to trust and respect and how to get it and earn it in return, proving to oneself and others that you can be trusted to make the right decision.

Adventure, blogging, Books, Clare Legrand, Fantasy, Fiction, Furyborn, Uncategorized

Furyborn

Furyborn Clare Legrand

 

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

 

I liked this book for the most part. It opens with a very intense scene and then goes into the main story beginning with Rielle, and her story, how she has control of all seven elements and is being told by her father and teacher to hide it and control it. She feels restricted and that her father does not love her. That he does not know her. While going on a challenge with her friend, the crown prince she ends up exposing her true power and thus begins her adventure and challenges.

Eliana is a bit different, her story begins a thousand years after Rielle’s. it opens and you see that her personality is different then Rielle’s and that she does not seem to have control over elements, no one does. She is simply doing what she must to keep her family safe and feed. She is able to block out her emotions to do what she feels is necessary.

Through both girls reactions to their situations both thinking what they are doing is right and necessary. You are shown there reactions and decisions through the story and what they do and why. Their thought process as to why. Rielle thinks that she is good, she tries to prove that she is good through doing what she thinks is right, doing what the king tells her to do. Eliana on the other hand does what she must though she does not always agree with it.

The story does have a villain though it does not present itself right away and takes time to figure out why they are the villain, what motivates them. thought this is only the first book in the series, it is a good one. It leaves the reader with questions and a sense of wanting to know what will happen next, what decisions Eliana and Rielle will make, and how that will affect the out come of the series.

At times the story does not tell the reader all you feel you should know, certain parts of the history, why they have the control of the elements and why the prophecy was given. There was also a few parts of the story that were, in my opinion, unnecessary and inappropriate for a YA book. a book meant for teens. These three scenes were not okay to be in the book and the information in them could have been given in another way. I felt like these scenes, one in particular was not realistic either, even for a fictional world where control over the elements is a thing.

Overall I did enjoy the book and am awaiting the sequel impatiently, hoping it does not contain any more scenes like the ones in this first installment. I would recommend this book but with a caution warning about those scenes. The story takes you on an adventure through time and what can feel like two different worlds. It is good and lets you feel as though you are apart of the story

Adventure, blogging, Books, Cruel Prince, Faeries, Fantasy, Fiction, Holly Black, Mythology, Uncategorized

The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince  By Holly Black

 

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

 

I just finished The Cruel Prince and I loved it. The story itself was well told. Jude, the main character, is fierce and stubborn, she knows what she wants. She thinks she knows how to get it. She thinks she knows what she is doing. She has the struggle of wanting to belong in a world that she simply does not belong to. she and her sisters live with the man who murdered their parents, she fights with herself on loving him and hating him at the same time, him and the rest of the world she lives in, and still at the same time not wanting to leave because it is all she knows.

The story telling is again one that is recently become popular in YA books, that of not having or showing who the villain is until the very end. That is something that this story does well, with Cardan and the others that seem like the obvious villians, even Madoc, Jude’s adopted father who lives for the bloodshed. The way Black crafted the words into the story that is played out in the pages of the book make it a wonderful story to loose oneself in for a day. For that is about how long it took me to read it.

I was pulled into the world of the seelie and unseelie courts and the faeries, a world that I have always loved to see how it was explored in different authors viewpoints. The way it is crafted from the point of view of a human looking in onto the world of the faerie, wanting to be apart of it yet knowing that she may never be. Jude holds her own against those who want to hurt her and her sister. Her strong character does get her into trouble and cause problems but she faces those head on and does her best to make up for them and make things better.

I recommend this book to anyone one who wants to read a fantasy, with very little romance thrown in. An adventure with no real villain, a story about figuring out what you want to do and exploring one’s feelings, that seem to complicated, that are not even wanted. This book pulls n the reader and compels you to finish is as soon as possible, not wanting to set it down till the story of book one has come to and end and the wait for the second begins!

blogging, Books, Caraval, Fantasy, Fiction, Stephenie Garber, Uncategorized

Legendary

Legendary (Caraval 2) Stephanie Garber

 

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

*Spoiler Warning for Caraval. This is the second book so I am going to assume since you are reading this review you have read Caraval (Book 1) there will be Spoilers for book 1.

Legendary takes place right after Caraval, Julian and Scarlet are working things out after he revealed that he was working for Legend and his Brother, Scarlet questioned his love for her and all he had told her during the last Caraval. Julian is trying to prove to Scarlet that he does care for her.

Tella, takes on this second book and having to repay a debt she owes, to a mysterious person. This person helped her find Legend and make the events of the last book play out. She now owes him Legends real name, Tella goes through the game trying to find out legend’s name, as well as finding out what happened to her mother.

Through out the story we follow Tella on her adventure with Dante, who we met in the last book. Tella starts the book not wanting to know Dante, she thinks he is a player and not someone she wants to be with. She has resigned herself not to fall in love.

Her mission is to find her and Scarlet’s mother, who disappeared when they were little. Tella ends up spending the game with the Heir to the Throne, an evil Prince. She claimed to be his fiancée and he in turn wants her to keep pretending to be his fiancée till the end of the caraval, because the people think he murdered his last one.

I like Tella better in this one than Caraval, she is given more depth as a character. The story itself is much more face paced at times and slower at others. The twist in finding out who Legend may be and what happened to their mother. She shows more determination, to do something that she thinks will help her sister. She wants to see her mother again thinking that it will help her and Scarlet since they do not have their father, anymore, due to them faking Tella’s death.

 

Overall this book is a good follow up to Caraval, both are ful of adventure and mystery, they same style is used for the books but the difference is that Legendary’s Caraval has different rules, instead of remembering that it is all a game you, just play you never know if it is real or not.

blogging, Books, Caraval, Fantasy, Fiction, Stephenie Garber, Uncategorized

Caraval

Caraval byStephanie Garber

 

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

 

One thing I am finding with new YA fiction is they new way of approaching the ‘villian’ and ‘hero’ of the story, they way that it is not perfectly clear who is the villain and who is the hero. Garber does that with Legend, the master of the Caraval, the one who decideds what the game will be for that year.  Another element of Legend is that it is stated no can be sure of what he looks like, it was said that no one had seen his face. I like this face because it adds another layer of mystery to his character, it makes you guess at each new introduction if that could be Legend.

Scarlet, is the main character in Caraval, it is her who begins the adventure and journeys through caraval, with the help of Julian and her sister Donatella, she is able to see her own strength and her determination to rescue her sister and go back to her father. Through everything that is thrown at her she meets it with hesitation but also a willingness to try it.

Tella was not one that I cared for, she as not as developed in this story and we know little about her except what we are told by Scarlet. She seemed very self-serving and not caring much how her decisions will affect her sister and those around her.

Julian is a character that I absalutly loved. I loved that way he was written, his introduction to the story happens right away it is the perfect way to have him introduced because of what he does in the story. He is that antihero character whose motives are not quite clear in the beginning.

Scarlet, Tella, and Julian make up the main characters that are seen in the story, there is Legend who is mentioned but not seen, as far as Scarlet knows. There is also the girls’ mother who is mentioned to have left them when they were younger.

Overall the plot and story of Caraval is well crafted and told in a way that pulls the reader in and makes them want to finish the story that has started and fells as though they are part of this big adventure mystery that is taking place, being pulled into the world of Caraval and the games that are played during the seven days. They things that happen to Scarlet and Julian seem as though the could be real but one must keep in mind the slogan of that Caraval, “Remember it is only a Game”

I recommend this book to anyone who loves games and mystery of puzzle games. It is not a long book, it can easily be read in a weekend or a day if you so wish  to do so. This book draws you in and doesn’t let you out till you have finished. Well done Miss Garber this is a wonderful read.

Alice In Wonderland, blogging, Books, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Fiction, Heartless, Marrissa Meyer, Uncategorized

Heartless, Marrissa Meyer

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Heatless By Marrissa Meyer is a take on Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. But it is not about Alice, it takes place before the events with Alice and her adventure. Instead it tells the story of the Red Queen, before she became the Queen we know from the story. This is the story of a simple girl who wants to open a bakery. This is the story of Catherine, Cath.

I Don’t know what it was that first drew me to this book, I had read the other books by Meyer, the Lunar Chronicles, and loved them. I had read another book about Alice in Wonderland and enjoyed it a lot, I loved the cover art on this book, though it was simple. I read this book in one day just over twelve hours it took me to finish this book. I loved Cath character and how she responded to what was happening to her, she wanted a simple life owning a bakery and making people happy, but her parents wanted more for her they wanted her to be queen. Cath had caught the attention of the Red King, the short man whom Cath does not really care for.

The way each character is introduced to the book is another thing I really enjoyed, it wasn’t rushed of over explained, or even quickly explained, they were introduced in a way that made sense to the story and they direction it was going. following Cath as she goes to the dance and interacts with the people there and meets new people and then her story with Jest, and the Raven, the Hatter and Rabbit. Their journey into becoming the characters we know.

With a book like this one though, a sequel to a book that has already been written (and by another author) there is already a cannon ending to her story, one that every one who has read it knows, we know what Cath becomes, we just didn’t know why, with Heartless, we are given a possible reason why she became, the Red Queen that is angry and not loving, who screams “off with Their Head” and anyone that displeases her. I love this book it is well told and yet still holds true to the original tale the Lewis Carrol wrote while being it’s own story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes wonderland or reimagining of classic tales or just to someone who wants to read a new book. Marrissa Meyer is an author who can relate to the fans of original stories who also want new story but also want something new that is still the original tale at the same time, she is a wonderful author who knows how to write well and stay true to the tale she is writing without making it to far from the original and yet still close to the original story to recognize what it is emulating.

blogging, Books, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Uncategorized

The Truth Seeker

“Women are turning up dead, and Lisa O’Malley has a habit of walking into crime scenes, curious. She’s a forensic pathologist, and mysteries are her domain. U.S. Marshal Quinn Diamond has found loving her is easier than keeping her safe. Lisa’s found the killer, and now she’s missing too.”

The Truth Seeker, by Dee Henderson is the third book in the O’Malley series. I know I am changing things up by doing a review of the third book first, but this one is my favorite in the series and I wanted to start with it. Henderson’s series are inspirational religious books. She is very good at writing fiction that makes one think about things in a unique way. They way she tells each of the stories in this series is different from the other yet the same.

Lisa O’Malley struggles with the resurrection of Christ, and Quinn Diamond is falling in love with Lisa, while investigating the murder of his father that happened over twenty years ago. Together they put pieces together, of the murders in Chicago. The way Henderson writes this story is not sappy and unrealistic, it is realistic, and at the same time still not boring. She brings across the point of the investigations, and the terms that go along with that. She uses detail to such a point that the reader can clearly see the picture of what is happing in ones mind eye.

The reason this book is one of my favorites is that reason, the vividness of the descriptions and feelings of the characters. It feels as though the reader is experiencing everything with the O’Malley’s. I recommend this book and the rest in its series to anyone who is looking for a mystery and a romance as well as a laugh. Dee Henderson knows how to write mysteries and romance while still throwing in a laugh.

blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology

The Red Pyramid

“Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe – a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.”

I have already wrote some about mythology, so it should come as no surprise that I am writing again about mythology. Egyptian mythology holds a place in me. I love it because of the history that is steeped in the mythos itself. With that explanation out of the way I will get to Rick Riordan, he writes all types of mythologies and blends them together. He has written about Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse Mythology, and he does it wonderfully. This book in particular is about Egyptian Mythology.

Carter and Sadie Kane are siblings, but they spend the majority of their time away from each other, Sadie living with their Grandparents in England and Carter Traveling with their Father. Their mother has passed away. When their father disappears Carter and Sadie are swept up on an adventure that takes them all over the place. Riordan does something different with this series than he did with his Greek Mythology ones, where in those the heroes are descendant of the Greek Gods themselves, Carter and Sadie are simple magicians, they are not related to the ancient Gods of Egypt, though they do have the Blood of the Pharaohs in them which allows them to do many remarkable things on their journey.

Riordan also does well to not make the parents compete idiots and unlikeable. He makes them real parents and acting the way a parent would, the same goes with the Uncle. Riordan is able to play with the story and make it his own version of the mythos. Because mythos have many different versions of each story they are easy to play with and make it different but still the same story. Another thing he does is pull in the stories that he has written previously. At one point it is mentioned, “Manhattan has other problems. Other gods. It’s best we stay separate.”

Riordan has fun with his writing, he plays around and makes it fun while still being able to tell a story, a good one and not one that is bland and predictable. This book and the others in the series have made me laugh and I have been able to share it with my sister and she loves it as well. it makes a connection to my sister that gives us another thing in a long list of things to speak about and laugh about. Riordan has made work of these Mythos and told a brilliant story out of it.

blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Uncategorized

Two Princesses of Bamarre

“Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre of gryphons, specters, and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful even of spiders and depends on Meryl for courage and protection. Waving her sword Bloodbiter, the older girl declaims in the garden from the heroic epic of Drualt to a thrilled audience of Addie, their governess, and the young sorcerer Rhys.

But when Meryl falls ill with the dreaded Gray Death, Addie must gather her courage and set off alone on a quest to find the cure and save her beloved sister. Addie takes the seven-league boots and magic spyglass left to her by her mother and the enchanted tablecloth and cloak given to her by Rhys – along with a shy declaration of his love. She prevails in encounters with tricky specters (spiders too) and outwits a wickedly personable dragon in adventures touched with romance and a bittersweet ending.”

I Love this book! My sister introduced me to this book, and I have read it multiple times. It stars Meryl the Princess who wants to save her kingdom, her little sister Addie, on the other hand does not, she is content to watch as her sister plays at saving the kingdom. I love Addie, her personality is something I related to as a kid, she is not very courageous in the beginning, she is scared of almost everything, but when it comes down to it she bucks up her courage and leaves to save her sister. Family means everything to her.

Gail Carson Levine is a great author I have read many of her books and love them, I get drawn into them every time I read them, regardless if it is the tenth time or the first time I read it. The way that she developed Addie’s personality and lets her find her way while still staying true to the base of who Addie is, created a princess who has the courage to go out and find a seemingly impossible cure for a sickness that threatens her sister. Throughout her journey Addie grows as a Princess and a person, she gains the courage she needed but still contains the vulnerability she had at the beginning of the adventure.

One thing I love about this book is that reason, Addie, Meryl and Rhys are characters one can relate to and are not out there so relatable that they’re fantastical story cannot seem unreal, that it should not happen to them or that something is off about it. It is the perfect mix of Fictional, and reality. The reality is that we all face hard things in our life and while people will let us down and we face things in life that we may think we cannot handle but we do, and do with courage. Though I cannot speak for Levine and why she wrote the book and what she wanted readers to take away from it, but what I get from the book is that no matter where in life one goes, family and friends are always looking out for you.

Addie, Meryl and Rhys, are imperfect characters, that do not try to pretend that they are perfect, they know that they have faults, they accept that, they embrace it and when doing that it helps them get to their end goals in the adventure and they are able to get through it all. I love this book and strongly recommend it to any reader not matter their age! It is a timeless tale that is longing to be enjoyed by people for years to come. As my Favorite quote from the book states “Step Follows Step, Hope follows Courage, set your face toward Danger, Set your Heart on Victory”