Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan | an edgy gothic fantasy

review template (17)

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan

April 2, 2019, from Wednesday Books
YA fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

cab2star

2 stars

This book seemed cool from the outset; look, I like dark fantasy, and I generally tend to enjoy all the blood and gore that comes with it. That paired with the Gothic, eastern-European setting made me think this book could be for me despite the mixed reviews I’d read. Alas, the potential was wasted. Despite Wicked Saints seeming like something I’d enjoy, I went into it with trepidation, and it still fell flat.

Continue reading “Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan | an edgy gothic fantasy”

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera | urban fantasy, phoenixes, and brotherhood

review template (14)

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

January 14, 2019, from HarperTeen
YA fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

cab3star

3 stars

When I heard Adam Silvera was writing a fantasy book, I was thrilled. His contemporary books are some of my favourites. So I went into Infinity Son optimistic. Though there are some problems with the worldbuilding and pacing, I ultimately liked Infinity Son; it’s an urban fantasy that stresses the importance of family and responsibility.
Continue reading “Infinity Son by Adam Silvera | urban fantasy, phoenixes, and brotherhood”

Crier’s War by Nina Varela | in which f/f enemies to lovers is what fuels me

review template (3).png

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

October 1, 2019 from HarperTeen
Young adult fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

cab4star

4 stars

Crier’s War was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It took me a lot longer to get through than I’d hoped, but in the end, I ended up really enjoying it. Crier’s War is an ode to queer high fantasy, with memorable characters and a romance that you can’t help but root for.

Continue reading “Crier’s War by Nina Varela | in which f/f enemies to lovers is what fuels me”

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco | blog tour & aesthetics

again, but better (12).png

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

October 15, 2019, from HarperCollins
Epic fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

cab4star

4 stars

I’m very excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Rin Chupeco’s The Never Tilting World! Thanks so much to Shealea at Shut Up, Shealea for giving me the opportunity!

I knew I had to read The Never Tilting World when I read the synopsis. I’d read The Bone Witch and loved it, and the premise to this book just sounded on point. I was not disappointed. The Never Tilting World is definitely one of the most creative fantasies I’ve read in a long time, full of action and adventure.

Continue reading “The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco | blog tour & aesthetics”

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett | a historical romp through Europe

again, but better (10)

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

September 3, 2019
Young adult historical fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

cab3star

3 stars

I’ve always enjoyed Jenn Bennett’s romance, something that surrpises me every time. So when I heard she was writing a historical fantasy, I was intrigued. I love history, I love secret societies and magical artifacts, so I was excited to get my hands on this book. A lot of The Lady Rogue felt like a rehash of her contemporary romance in a historical fantasy setting, but it was still on the whole enjoyable.

Continue reading “The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett | a historical romp through Europe”

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen | a delightfully macabre fantasy

again, but better (8)

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

July 30, 2019, from Henry Holt (BYR)
Young adult fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

A future chieftain.

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince.

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard.

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

cab4star

4 stars

A guilty admission: I came for the crows, because I’m inexplicably attracted to anything that has to do with crows, literal or figurative. I stayed for the impeccably built world, and the strong and well-written characters. Everything about this book was so new and refreshing, starting with the first line: “Pa was taking too long to cut the boys’ throats.” What. An. Opener. From the beginning, I was drawn in, first by the opening line and then by the beautifully macabre tone of the whole story. By the first chapter, I was hooked.

Continue reading “The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen | a delightfully macabre fantasy”

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells | a dragon adventure with a slow pace

again, but better (9)

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

July 30, 2019, from Simon & Schuster BYR
Young adult fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

cab3star

3 stars

I was so excited about reading Shatter the Sky. I mean, dragons? With a bisexual protagonist on a frantic mission to get back her girlfriend? And while a lot of what I was hoping for delivered as promised, there were a lot of parts that made the book a lot slower than I would have liked.

Continue reading “Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells | a dragon adventure with a slow pace”