Adventure, blogging, Books, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Reading, Six of Crows, Uncategorized

Siege and Storm By Leigh Bardugo

“Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

 

Our Heroes search for the Amplifiers for Alina’s Sun Summoning power and try to stay hidded from the Darkling and those who would want to cause them harm. some of the strenghts of this book is the character of Nikolai, a new character of this book, her is well written and he shows to grow through the book. her had depth. Alina is sometimes well written and develops well as a character, but she at times acts out of character it seems from how she was in the first book and knot in a good way, and it mostly has to do with Mal. Mall comes of as a normal cliche male lead. he has very little depth and personality other than being a brooding male that wants the girl he had known all his life but not liked in that way until now.

The Darkling is a good character, written wise. as a villian his ideas are ones that anyone could see the justification in them. i can see why there were Grisha and others who believed in him and what he wanted to do with Alina’s power. overall though this book is a little lacking and was at times easily forgetable.

without giving too much away there are parts that take place at the little place that are well written and show real actions that would take place. the jealousy between brothers and the hasty decisions one can make when seeking favour that is clear another is taking form them. the treatment of someone because she is ‘just a servant’ and how it is dealt with to the comanding of an army, the pull of evil that can have a hold on anyone one no matter how good they want to be.

Adventure, blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Reading

Shadow and Bone By Leigh Bardugo

“Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, she is sure of only one thing: her best friend, Mal–and her inconvenient crush on him. Until the day their army regiment enters the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. When their convoy is attacked and Mal is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power not even she knew existed.

Ripped from everything she knows, Alina is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With Alina’s extraordinary power in his arsenal, he believes they can finally destory the Fold. Now Alina must find a way to master her untamed gift and somehow fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. As the threat to the kingdom mounts and her dangerous attraction to the Darkling grows, Alina will uncover a secret that could tear her heart–and her country–in two”

 

Shadow and Bone is a typical first book in a series type of troupe books. The whole book is basically a set up for books two and three. It sets up Alina and Mal’s characters, the Darkling and what is happening in their home and who the Grisha are. It is not that it is bad it is just, cliché. The Girl/Guy best friends where the Girl is in love with him and watches him with other girls but tries to hide it. The guy who doesn’t notice her that way until others are.

Alina is a strong character, she has wit and power, she had strength she admits that she may not be the best at what she is doing and she is right. she doesn’t believe that the power she is given is hers. Just doesn’t want it when it is proven to be hers. She struggles with controlling it. She works hard to learn and follows her heart, in the end and trusts, that others may know better than her.

Mal on the other hand, he is in this first book very little. He, in my opinion is weak and only good at tracking and being handsome. He complains more than any of the girls. He gets jealous and angry at Alina for things that she cannot control, things that he let happen, when he could have stood up for her.

I also noticed that he language and some of the story comes from Russia and Russian history and Language which is what I majored in. I loved the parallels and names and different parts of that history that I saw as I read which is something I enjoy.

The book itself is a good set up and makes for a great catch for the first book in the series. I cannot say much because that will spoil the other books and I don’t want to do that, but I will say that I did like this book. I enjoyed this intro to the Grisha and the world that is parallel to Six of Crows

Adventure, blogging, Books, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Reading, Uncategorized

Tiger’s Voyage By Collen Houck

“With the head-to-head battle against the villainous Lokesh behind her, Kelsey confronts a new heartbreak: in the wake of his traumatic experience, her beloved Ren no longer remembers who she is. As the trio continues their quest by challenging five cunning and duplicitous dragons, Ren and Kishan once more vie for her affections–leaving Kelsey more confused than ever.”

 

We come back to this the third book in the series, and Ren has lost his memories of Kelsey. All of them. Her remembers the events but not that Kelsey was there. Ren had been caught by Lokesh in the last book and rescued at the end. To keep Kelsey and the others safe his memories got locked away. Kelsey is upset by this, of course. He pushes her away and pulls her close and so on through the book. Kishan tries to get close to Kelsey and not let her get her by Ren. Together the three of them go to find the third item for Durga.

Through the whole book Ren does not act like the Ren from the first two books and where it would make sense in some cases In this one it feels like a ploy for Kelsey to justify turning to Kishan for comfort. I get to a point why Kelsey acts the way she does. Her love has forgotten her, and his brother want to be with her. she thinks she may like Kishan as well as Ren yet she wants Ren more but cannot be with him. But it turns into a cliché love triangle. It would have been fine had it just been this one book but it (Spoiler) gets worse in the next book. But this is about this one not hat one.

The book itself is worth the read especially if you have read and liked the first two books/ the challenges offered in this one are better they are more thought out and more challenging in a good way. They challenge all of them not just Kelsey or Kishan or Ren. The end is a good one two it leaves just enough out to make for the promise of a good conclusion. While the book is full of the typicall troupe and cliché, it is worth it to read. I did enjoy reading it. I read this through my audible app, with my sister, it makes for a good buddy read. Someone to talk through it with, to compare ‘notes’ on what you have read and what you liked and didn’t like.

Adventure, blogging, Books, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Reading, Uncategorized

Tiger’s Quest By Colleen Houck

“Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. Kelsey Hayes’s eighteenth summer was crazy. The kind of crazy nobody would ever believe. Aside From battling immortal sea monkeys and trekking the jungles of India, she fell in love with Ren, a 300-year-old prince. When danger suddenly forces Kelsey on another Indian quest, with Ren’s bad-boy brother, Kishan,the unlikely duo begins to question their true destiny. Ren’s life hangs in the balance–so does the truth within Kelsey’s heart. Tiger’s Quest, the thrilling second volume in the Tiger’s Curse series, brings the trio one step closer to breaking the ancient prophecy that binds them”

 

I Enjoyed the Tiger’s Curse the first book in this series of four yet I had to push myself through the first few chapters of Tiger’s Quest, not because it was bad, no, it was because for those chapters Kelsey, our main character was whining like an annoying middle school girl. Kelsey is supposed to be 18 and through the first book acted as such. Kelsey at the end of the previous book choose to leave India and Ren. Ren and Mr. Kadam have purchased a home, paid for her school, bought a car and bought her school books. she buys a stuffed white tiger because it reminds her of Ren. She goes through her classes and goes on dates, all while saying she is not beautiful, and men don’t like her. Um what? Her attitude does get better as the story continues.

Ren and his brother Kishon, are in India with Mr. Kadam looking for the villain Lokesh at around Christmas time Ren decides that he had been away from Kelsey long enough and joins her in Oregon. Kishon also joins later in the story.  Together the second task of four is embarked on. I enjoyed the little names that Ren and Kishon call Kelsey and the relationship she build with Mr. Kadam. Even the way she acts with the boys while on the quest. Her relationship with the only other female is the story, Nilima Mr. Kadam’s granddaughter, is not shown much but when she it it is assumed that they have a close relationship, one that resembles sisters.

The overall storyline is good the same as the first book where in Kelsey goes on a journey to find something for the Indian goddess Durga and her Tiger to free Ren and Kishan  from their Tiger forms. Once you get past Kelsey’s whiny phase at the beginning of the book it gets much better. The task to get this gift are interesting and they way the book ends Is good too sets up the third one really well.

Adventure, blogging, Books, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Reading

Tiger’s Curse By Collen Houck

“The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger’s curse, Kelsey’s life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.”

 

So here is the thing. I really enjoyed this book. It has a strong start of easing you into the story to come, it introduces Kelsey Hayes and gives her back story without feeling overly boring or too detailed. It explains why she takes the job at the Circus. Her character as a whole is left has a mystery, but in a good way, so you can learn about her as you read.

Kelsey Hayes is an Orphaned eighteen year old girl who got a two week job at a circus that came to her town in Oregon.  I don’t think it is that believable that they would trust a young girl with no training the job of feeding a Tiger, no matter how tame it seems. That aside, it was a really good book.

The curse it explained as well as it should have been, knowing that there are three more books to follow. Ren, is the White Indian Tiger that Kelsey is tasked to take care of. Mostly to feed everyday. She takes a liking to him and sits and reads to him when she can. Picture that a massive white tiger in a cage and just sitting near the cage reading him Shakespeare?

Ren, as a Tiger is said to have some human like tendencies as Kelsey takes care of him, never hurts anyone and refuses to do certain things during performances. A few days into her work Kelsey meets Mr. Kadam and Indian gentlemen who wants to buy Ren and take him to a reserve in Indian, back to his home (The Tiger’s). the Tiger Trainer is persuaded that he cannot go and that Kelsey must go, all paid of course. She does, as it is shown that her connection to the Tiger is growing.

Overall this book to me is the strongest of the series. It is a great introduction to a wonderful story about the little written about Indian mythos. Those mythos are not even the only ones told in the story. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and others are pulled into help tell the story and it is done so well. I loved reading this book. The adventure was great.

Adventure, blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Reading

The Architect of Song

“A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.”

 

I have Read Many things by author A.G. Howard, this one captured my attention from the beginning. This book differs from Howards, other books mostly because it is not, to my knowledge, based on a fairytale.

I like Juliet’s Character, how tightly she holds onto what she has left of her parents, the house she grew up in. she, with the help of her uncle and mother, learned how to hide her deafness from the world. She is a strong, but weak girl, who owns that. She does know what she wants but at the same time she doesn’t. she comes off as a girl who is confused, about what to do in her life. she is a hat maker, a talented one. She works with her uncle, who makes fabrics. on the day they bury her mother she goes to a grave and sort of meets a ghost. This changes her, simply because he can hear her thoughts, and intern talk to her. she has not had this kind of interaction before.

The Ghost, Hawk, does not know how he died or why this girl can see him and hear him, and he her. I do like him but I don’t. he is compelling but everything about their relationship seems Toxic to me. He treats her with disrespect and taunts her modesty, he controls her and what she does threatens her and I felt uneasy about that. He is using her and calling it Love. I do not like the way their whole story together is written.

Lord Nicholas Thornton, is interested in buying the house that Juliet now owns. He wants to Marry her, knowing about her Deafness and still wants to marry her. he has a mansion that he wants to turn into a vacation type place, he wants her to come and work there to see if she likes it, before agreeing to marry him.

All this being said, my biggest problem with the  book is  Hawk and they way he is shown throughout the story, he comes off as arrogant, and not the good kind, he throughout the book also shows the signs of a toxic personality. He had no growth, and no real depth. That being said, had this changed I would have enjoyed the book so much more.

Adventure, blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kerstin Grier, Reading, Uncategorized

Ruby Red By Kerstin Gier

“Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.”

 

So I found this book on kindle and I read it and the two sequel books in about four days. I really enjoyed the series. The book follows Gwen, a 16 year old girl who finds out she has the time travel gene and not her cousin whom everyone thought had it. The story is told in such a way that the reader can connect with the characters and what is going on with them, while not giving away plot points and details.

It does sometimes get muddled when they travel through time and meet someone that had met them but they have not yet met, but it works well with the story and they way that it is being told so that by the end of the series the questions are answered. The relationships that Gwen had with her siblings and mom are really great to read, she cares about them and it shows. Also her friendship with Lesley, they rely on each other and support one another no question.

This shows when it is mentioned that Gwen can see and talk to ghosts, Lesly doesn’t make little of it or make fun of Gwen, she believes her and even talks to them through Gwen. Gwen’s relation ship with her cousin Charlotte is more strained because Charlotte grew up believing that she was the one with the gift, not Gwen. The same goes for Gideon, who trained with Charlotte to travel.

Over all this book is a wonderful piece of literature that I recommend to anyone who loves history and time travel. It is a really good book series that is developed well and not over play the relationships are realistic and have problems but are also not overly unrealistically dramatic or perfect

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.