ARC Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

ash princess

Title: Ash Princess

Author: Laura Sebastian

Publisher: Delacorte Books (Macmillan Children’s Books in UK)

Date: 24th April 2018 (14th June 2018 for UK)

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I was lucky enough to have been approved to read an ARC of Ash Princess from Macmillan Children’s Books on NetGalley. While this book doesn’t come out until June, I thought it best to post my review now for those who are in the US and those who can buy the book on Book Depository. I was drawn to this because it sounded like some other YA fantasy books that I loved in the past and I wanted to see if it would live up to them. In the end I found myself really enjoying Ash Princess and while it had a few tropes (love triangle anyone?) I didn’t actually mind them. If anything, I thought it was quite refreshing.

When she was six years old, Theodosia saw her mother brutally murdered when her kingdom was invaded by a tyrant known as the Kaiser. Since then he has kept her captive and either slaughtered or enslaved her people. Whenever they tried to start rebellions he took it out on her, whipping and beating her to send a message to her people. To them she is just the Ash Princess, a mockery, but she can only keep up the pretence for so long. When her last hope dies, she seeks out revenge and with the help of her people she concocts a plan to murder the Prinz. But as she grows close to him she realises that her feelings may not be as fake as she wants them to be. In the end, only she can decide what she will do to save her people.

There are a few traits of this story that relate to another famous series, but it was also unique in its own way. It starts off a little slow, as most fantasies do, but the world is slowly built up and we gain an understanding of what happened to Theo’s home, Astrea. Sebastian creates a brutal world where there is no hope until one girl decides to fight back. Throughout the book we find out more about the world, but one aspect I enjoyed was the magic and how it came about. Some Astreans have magical powers gifted from their Gods and they are enhanced with gems that come from the mines, which of course the Kaiser would harvest for himself, even though they cannot wield the magic in the same way.

I will warn you that there are some tough topics in this book, which include abuse, slavery and hints of rape. There were scenes that were tense and horrible to read, especially towards the end of the book, but they led to Theo’s penultimate decisions. Race plays a part as well, as the Kaiser and his people are fair haired with pale skin and the Astreans have olive skin with dark hair, something that is pointed out a few times within the book.

Unable to keep the name Theodosia, she became known as Thora, as the Kaiser wouldn’t allow her to use her royal name, and instantly we know that her life is one that has been spent walking on eggshells, cowering from the Kaiser and his men, and one that was torturous. But as the story goes on we see her finding the willpower to fight back and to be stronger than she has been. There was definitely some great character development and I enjoyed seeing her embrace her heritage.

The other characters in this story were likeable, especially Cress, the daughter of the man who killed Theo’s mother, but who treated her like a sister. Their friendship was sweet in places, especially in the beginning. However, as Theo became closer to the Prinz, you could see cracks start to form. Soren, the Prinz was a complicated character. I wanted to like him, but at the same time I was always waiting for him to become his father. The love triangle enters the story with Blaise, an Astrean who lived at the palace when Theo was young. As far as love triangles go, this one wasn’t hard to stomach and I’m looking forward to the second book where I’m sure it will feature more.

Overall, I found myself flying through Ash Princess and when I was past 75% I didn’t want to stop reading! The ending was great and sets up the second book up perfectly. It will be intriguing to see what happens to all the characters and how their stories will weave in to each other. Ash Princess was a great debut and manages to reach four stars in my opinion.

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Review: The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake

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Title: The Oracle Queen

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Date: 3rd April 2018

I am one of many people that have fallen in love with this series. It isn’t often that I will go out and buy all the novellas that are associated with a book, but when it comes to Three Dark Crowns I can never get enough. Once an email came through from Amazon asking me if I wanted to pre-order, I was as quick as lightning to buy it and then proceeded to read it in a whole day.

Throughout the series we have heard mentions of The Oracle Queen, a Queen that was driven mad by her visions and had to be locked away to keep herself from destroying Fennbirn and its people. Since then all queens with the gift of the sight have been drowned. But is the tale really what it seems? Was she as crazy as everyone made her out to be? Or was there something larger, more sinister at work?

The Oracle Queen tells the story of Elsabet and her fall from grace due to her maddening visions. However, that wasn’t the case and the truth was something I hadn’t expected. She herself was often insecure and treated poorly, especially from those she loved, and it was sad to see. I wanted to root for her, to know that everything would work out, but we all know that it doesn’t.

While we know that the politics and groups in Fennbirn are corrupt, namely the Arrons who are as awful as the recent generation, and it seems that things weren’t so different all those centuries ago. While some aspects of this were a little predictable, I really enjoyed watching the relationships between the characters play out. There is still hostility between those of differing abilities, but there were also friendships between some, especially Elsabet with her War-gifted friend.

While this wasn’t my favourite novella (I much preferred The Young Queens, which you can read about here) I did enjoy reading it. I must have if I flew through it in one sitting. If you love this series as much as I do then make sure you check it out. Overall, I am going to give The Oracle Queen 3.5 stars.

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See where it all began with Three Dark Crowns:

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Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse mythology

Title: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Date: 7th February 2017

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Before picking up this book (or rather, switching on my Kindle) I had never read anything that Neil Gaiman had written. I have heard of him (although I didn’t realise some of the books he had written, such as Coraline) but I never thought to read his work. Everyone said how masterful he was and I figured I would get around to it eventually. Well, eventually did come around when I saw Norse Mythology on offer for £2, which is a great buy.

I have always been intrigued by mythology, especially Greek mythology, and I had a few text books that I once used for a story idea (I never finished it) and I loved reading YA inspired by it. One of my favourite adult series was Goddess Summoning by P. C. Cast, in which different Gods and Goddesses feature. When I saw Norse Mythology, I realise that I didn’t know much apart from what Marvel had taught me (which doesn’t even feature all of the God’s or even Odin’s favourite, which is Balder).

So, I dived into the stories and I loved them. People weren’t wrong when they said that Neil Gaiman is a master of storytelling. There was so much detail woven into the tales and he breathed life into them, making them so vivid in my mind. All the tales were building to the end of days, Ragnarok, and it was so interesting to see how all the parts fit together.

Thor is very different to the one that Chris Hemsworth plays. For one, he is a redhead, and the second is that he isn’t the brightest, often letting pride and ego get in the way. I loved reading about Loki and all the tricks he played, always getting himself and others into trouble, but somehow making things right again. Not to mention, I finally found out what happened to Odin’s eye and why it was gone.

Freya, one of the Goddesses, featured prominently, often put into situations thanks to the Gods, none that she was pleased about, and she often fell out with Loki. We learnt about Balder, Odin’s favourite son, who was the sun for all, and how Loki betrayed him. We learnt about how Thor’s hammer came to be, as well as other gifts given to the Gods, and I found myself wanting to read more.

While this book was very informative, written so that I thought it could have been real, it was also funny in places, with action and drama. I loved the narration that featured throughout, making it seem more real and I was able to connect with the stories. Overall, this was a great read and I think 4 stars is the perfect rating.

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Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Date: 8th March 2018

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It isn’t often that I buy into the hype of new books. It can be dangerous because sometimes they can let you down and not be as good as you would have hoped. That wasn’t the case for Children of Blood and Bone. This debut fantasy novel was everything I hoped it would be and more. Words can’t even describe how much I adored this book. I soaked in every detail, every page that was full of action and I have to say that it is probably the best book I have read so far this year. It isn’t often that a book goes straight into the number one spot on the NYT bestseller list.

There was once a time when magic flowed freely through the Maji in Orisha, when the ten clans wielded their powers and thrived. Then one day, the magic disappeared altogether. They were left defenceless and slaughtered by the King, wiping out all traces of their heritage. Zelie was left alone with her father and brother when their mother was killed for them to see. All hope was lost as the people kept to themselves, especially the Maji with their white hair. By chance, Zelie comes across a rogue princess who just might hold the key to bringing magic back to Orisha, and so they embark on a dangerous quest to restore it. They must outrun the prince who is hot on their trail and hell bent on following the King’s orders, before time runs out.

The world that Adeyemi has created is one of a kind, inspired by West African mythology, and the history is explained in so much detail that I felt as if I was there with the characters. The information was weaved into the story effortlessly and I never felt that I was in overload. When it comes to writing a story that is intriguing, captivating and fast paced, Tomi Adeyemi has it down to a tee. I don’t think I’ve ever flown through a book of this size so quickly (it isn’t a small book by any means with over 500 pages). And I can’t forget to mention how incredible the magic system was, and unique as well. I loved how there were different types of magic that people could specialise in as well.

Some of the history in the book is heartbreaking, especially when it comes to the slaughtering of the Maji and it has echoes of what happened in real life to African people, as well as the oppression that is still happening in the world. We are made to feel every emotion in this book and I was kept on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out if our characters were successful in their bid to restore magic.

All of the characters that feature in this book were fully fleshed out, as though they could step out of the pages and into real life. I laughed with them during the dialogue, I rolled my eyes at some of their actions and I was cheering them on. Zelie was a wonderfully strong protagonist, a fierce warrior guided by her emotions and someone I was rooting for. You could really see her growing throughout the book, learning about magic, and it was great to read about her relationships. Amari, our rogue princess, was just as great and quite a surprise later on. She really grew into herself and showed that we all have courage within us. While Amari and Zelie’s relationship was a little rocky to begin with, it was great to see the friendship blossom.

I can’t forget about the villain of the story, the King who was cruel, vindictive and awful to the people of Orisha. His son, Inan, was a tough one for me. You want to hate him, but at the same time you can’t seem to. Something I loved was the way the perspectives of the story switched between Zelie, Amari and Inan. It provided me with so much more information than I would have had if there was just one main character.

I still can’t get over this book and it’s been nearly a week since I finished reading it. I need more of this incredible world and the amazing cast of characters, especially after that ending. I have a feeling there is so much more to explore and more adventures to be had. If you are looking for a YA Fantasy story that is full of action and magic, then this is the story for you. The easiest five stars I have ever given out.

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Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Siege and Storm

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date: 4th June 2013

I started Siege and Storm as soon as I finished Shadow and Bone, because how could I not? I wanted to find out what would happen to the characters and I have to say that the second book didn’t disappoint at all. It was full of action from the get go and I felt this book was a great follow up. I cannot wait to see how it will all pan out for the characters that I have grown to love (some of them at least).

Running from the Darkling, Alina and Mal sail across the seas to make a new life for themselves, but it isn’t easy. While they had hoped the Darkling died on the Fold, they soon realise he is closing in on them and his plans have only grown more dangerous. To beat him she has to return to Ravka, with the help of a mysterious privateer who isn’t what he seems, and search for the power that can stop the Darkling once and for all…but at what cost?

As with the first, I loved the writing style that was fast paced and full of great descriptions that helped me to vividly picture the world around the characters. The story itself has been progressing nicely and the character development is there for a couple (not all) of the characters. Bardugo knows how to make you feel emotion, whether it is good or bad, and that is always a great thing. Sometimes you need to dislike characters, to roll your eyes at what they say and be annoyed by their actions (which I was when it concerns a certain love interest).

It was great to see Alina taking charge of the situation more in the second book, whereas in the first she was a little weak and moaned a lot. While there were some things I didn’t agree with, it was clear to see that she has had a lot of character growth and has become more sure of herself in her role as the Sun Summoner. The way she interacts with the other characters and Grisha was very interesting, especially the latter. She went from being the girl no one wanted to be around, to the one that would lead them.

From the end of the first book the relationship between Alina and Mal grew, but their ‘honeymoon period’ was bound to end soon. This is my least favourite romance I have read and it has to do with Mal. He wasn’t very likeable and honestly, he annoyed the hell out of me with some of the things he did that ended up hurting Alina. It will be intriguing to see what happens to them during the final book.

However, there was the introduction of a new character that I ended up really liking, and that is Nikolai. He is hilarious, a little arrogant (you find out why), but he does have good intentions. I loved the banter between him and Alina, which left me smiling and feeling warm inside. I hope we get to see a lot more of him in the final book. I can’t forget about the Darkling and his evil ways. It’s funny how I was beginning to like him in the first one and then everything just went south. I want him to be redeemable but I just don’t think it will happen. Saying that, I can’t wait to see what will happen to him, especially after that ending!

Overall, I really enjoyed Siege and Storm, and I am so excited to read Ruin and Rising, where I hope we can have a great ending to the story. I am going to give this four stars, just like the first one.

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

shadow and bone

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date: 5th June 2012

I feel as if I am very late to this series considering it has been out for six years now, but better late than never right? The reason I decided to read the Grishaverse trilogy a go is because I keep hearing everyone talking about Six of Crows, and then I found out there’s a series beforehand and I figured it would be best to start at the beginning. Shadow and Bone was amazing. I read it all within two days and I can honestly say that I think Leigh Bardugo is one of my favourite authors now, especially after reading The Language of Thorns as well, which you can read about here.

Alina Starkov is from Ravka, a nation that was torn in two by the darkness of the Shadow Fold, a place where no light exists and creatures made of nightmares attack whoever enters. Alina is with her regiment crossing the Fold when they are attacked and her best friend, Mal, is injured. He would have been killed if she hadn’t somehow saved him with powers that had been dormant for all of her life. Once they have been discovered she is whisked away by the Darkling, a powerful Grisha who wishes to teach her their ways, for she could be the key to saving Ravka. She soon learns that nothing is as it seems and a dark force is looming in the distance.

When it comes to world building, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do it better than Leigh Bardugo. We are thrown straight into it, with new words, places and people cropping up, but it was done in a way so that it wasn’t information overload. I loved the Russian influence on the names and the setting which made it feel very authentic and real. I became so immersed in the world that I didn’t want to stop reading. I wanted to know more and I cannot wait to see more of these incredible Kingdoms in the following books.

The magical elements of this book were so different to what I had read before and I loved how there were different types of Grisha, all specialising in certain abilities. There were Summoners, like the Darkling who conjured darkness, and there were others that could manipulate the weather. It was very interesting to see how Alina fit into the elite group after living such a mundane life beforehand, one where she was a nobody.

All of the characters in this book are wonderful in their own way and they were fleshed out so they were relatable and real. Alina was a great protagonist, with a strong voice and her character arc was great as she set out to discover who she really is. Yes, she has self-doubt and wonders whether she can be the person everyone expects her to be, but once she stops moping, she turns out to be a badass. Something else I enjoyed reading about were the other Grisha characters that feature and play a role in the story. Genya was someone who Alina grew close to and it was great to see a female friendship that was genuine.

Mal didn’t feature in the book a lot to begin with and I didn’t have much of an option of him, but it was interesting to see his relationship with Alina. The Darkling…He was the most mysterious character out of the whole book and I found myself wanting to know more. His voice was strong and intriguing, with a few twists and surprises that I didn’t expect. You can’t help but like the bad ones and he definitely has hints of that in him. And like with most good Young Adult novels there is some romance in this story and it was wonderful.

Shadow and Bone was a great story overall. While it may have started off a little slowly, the ending was amazing and made me excited to start the second book. If Siege and Storm continues on being as amazing as the first, I have a feeling it will become one of my favourites. I’m going to give this a solid four stars.

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Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: The Language of Thorns

Author: Leigh Bardguo

Date: 26th September 2017

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

I had never read a book by Leigh Bardugo before, but I have heard everyone raving about both the trilogy and her duology and I knew I had to play catch up. I figured the best place to start would be her collection of fairy tales set within the Grishaverse. It was the best decision I have ever made. I read this book in less than 24 hours. The Language of Thorns was incredible and took my breath away. I don’t think I have ever loved a book like this before and when I finished I held it to my chest and just said ‘wow’.

The illustrations throughout this book were beautiful and I loved that they were all in different shades of red and blue. It was very clever how they would start in the corner and grow as you turned the pages until they reached around the border. And the full page spreads…They were amazing and so detailed, capturing the essence of the story in one image. Out of all 6 I think my favourite has to be the first, Ayama and the Thorn Wood, but also The Too-Clever Fox was. But then again, the last one was perfect too.

Six wasn’t enough. I need more of these dark and twisted tales set in this world. I adored how they were all different takes on fairy tales I grew up on. Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid. I just couldn’t get enough of them all.

When it comes to writing, Leigh Bardugo is one of the best that I have seen. Everything flowed and kept to a great tempo, begging me to turn the pages until I reached the end. It was the one thing that spurred me on to wanting to read all of the books she has written, and that is exactly what I am going to do.

How can I give this book anything other than five stars? It is definitely worthy of them and I know for a fact that I will read this again in the future.

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Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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Title: To Kill a Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Date: 6th March 2018

Publisher: Feiwel Friends/Hot Key Books

I was very lucky to have been given a version of this author’s debut to read on NetGalley, but unfortunately I hit a reading slump halfway through this book. It had nothing to do with not enjoying the book, in fact, I really enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom and its refreshing take on sirens, mermaids and pirates. It isn’t very often that I read standalone novels (most books can’t do the character development justice in just one) but the character arcs in this book were incredible, especially Lira’s.

Princess Lira is well known among the seas and the lands, stealing the hearts of princes that sail the waves. She is feared by all, but her weapon, her voice, is taken away from her when she is punished by her mother. The Sea Queen took away what was most important to Lira and turned her into the one thing she despises – a human. The only way to return to her natural form is to take the heart of a Prince, who is also a pirate. Prince Elian runs away from his duties, dreaming of seeing all the kingdoms and spending his life on the sea. He hunts sirens along the way, ridding them so that people may board ships without being afraid. When he crosses paths with a strange woman in the waters, they embark on a journey that will lead them to the key to destroy all the sirens. But can she be trusted?

The world building in To Kill a Kingdom was wonderful and so magical, with amazingly vivid descriptions of what was happening under the sea, as well as on the surface and land. There are some great fighting scenes in this book that weren’t too detailed that you didn’t understand what was going on, but they had enough that you could picture it all in your mind. I’m going to say this now, the end of the book is amazing with incredibly descriptive scenes that were action packed. It was so good.

I can’t forget to mention the fact that the writing in this book was great, the dialogue was incredibly funny and witty at times (the banter between Elian’s crew was top notch). The dual POV really helps to give different perspectives, switching between Lira and Elian, and it was great to have flash backs to their pasts, seeing what their lives were like before they met. You really feel for these characters and want the best for them, especially when you see them being treating cruelly.

Lira was brutal, deadly, but at the same time she was thoughtful and caring. She is a very dynamic character, and she has some incredible lines when speaking to Elian. They had me smiling as I read their interactions which were so genuine. Nothing seemed forced at all and there was a lot of chemistry between the two of them. It was great to see Elian be more than just a Prince. He doesn’t let anyone do the heavy lifting for him and takes an active role in their mission to extinguish the world of sirens. He is more than just a handsome face, he’s a badass and it shows with how he talks and acts.

To Kill a Kingdom was very entertaining and it had everything I love in a YA novel. The fast pace matched the story perfectly, guiding us towards an incredible finale and an ending that left me smiling as I read the last page. It was perfect for me and it more than deserves the 4.5 stars I’m going to give it.

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Review: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

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Title: Between the Blade and the Heart

Author: Amanda Hocking

Date: 22nd February 2018

Publisher: Pan

Until I picked up this book (which I was approved to read on NetGalley) I was in a bit of a reading slump with another book I was slowly making my way through. I knew the publication date was coming up and thought it couldn’t hurt to read two books at once. Turns out it was a good choice to make because I flew through this book. Luckily it isn’t a large read, with only 287 pages on the Kindle, and I have to say it was a fun read and quite entertaining. While it isn’t the best book I’ve read, I will probably be picking up the second after that ending.

Valkyries help to keep the balance in the world by slaying the immortal beings when their time comes to die. Malin is in training to become a Valkyrie, but she hasn’t been finding it easy to balance everything in her life, with things being more difficult once she broke up with her girlfriend. When Malin’s home is broken into and she’s attacked, she realises that the stranger has discovered that a rogue immortal, who should have died, killed his mother. After asking for Malin’s help, she uncovers that a betrayal led to the woman’s death and that nothing is as it seems. She embarks on a journey with her friends to hunt down the immortal and stop him before the end of the world, as they know it, comes about.

I can see why this book was compared to Blade Runner (although I have never seen it myself, I know about it) and it was interesting to see Valkyries in such a modern setting, with strange and unique weapons. It was a different concept and a unique idea, one that Hocking fleshed out so I had a good idea of the way the world worked. I would have loved to see the Valkyries in action more and have more battle scenes, but something tells me that will be in the second book.

Malin was an interesting main character, with so many conflicting emotions that made her relatable, but also annoying at times. She didn’t always make the best decisions, but I liked how she questioned things, about her mother and the way their world worked. What I didn’t like was the little love triangle (if you can call it that) and the romance wasn’t incredible. There were a few scenes that got steamy, but I was expecting more from what I had heard from others. I wish it had seemed before realistic, so I could believe what was being said, but I didn’t resonate with it.

The other characters weren’t too memorable, although I thought Oona, Malin’s best friend, was quite cool, being a sorceress and all. I had read one of Amanda Hocking’s books before, but it was so long ago that I can’t remember if I loved it or not. Between the Blade and the Heart entertained me for a bit and it didn’t take itself too seriously. If you are expecting a book all about Norse mythology, you’ll be disappointed because this has a very urban fantasy setting, something I wasn’t sure about at first and in the end I enjoyed it.

Overall, I thought this was a good read with a fast pace. It was nothing spectacular but I wasn’t expecting it to be from the reviews that I had seen. A booktuber I like said that it was a fun read with some sexy scenes, and that is what it was. I enjoyed it for the most part and I might even pick up the second book, just so I can see how it ends. All in all, I will be giving Between the Blade and The Heart a solid 3 stars.

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Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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Title: Reign of the Fallen

Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh

Date: 23rd January 2018

Publisher: Razorbill

I don’t think I have read a book this quickly in a very long time. The cover is what drew me in to start with. I remember coming across it on twitter and thinking ‘wow, that’s a cool cover. I wonder what it’s about?’ and as soon as I read the blurb I knew it would be something I’d like. And I was right. In fact, I loved Reign of the Fallen. It was emotional, it had action, twists and turns, and characters that I was rooting for.

Odessa is one of Karthia’s Necromancers, a master, and it’s her job to raise the dead. When the noblemen and women die, she goes into the Deadlands and retrieves their souls to bring them back. All the Dead have to remain shrouded, a price they are willing to pay. For if any of their skin is seen by the living they will turn into Shades, demonic creatures with a thirst for blood. Suddenly there are attacks from the Shades, killing the Dead and the living. When one of the Necromancers own dies, they realise that these attacks aren’t random and that someone is controlling the Shades. It is up to Odessa to figure out who is behind it and she wonders if her magic will be the thing to tear apart Karthia.

The world of Karthia felt so real as I was reading the descriptions. I could see, feel and taste the world before Odessa and it was amazing. Karthia was stuck in the past, clinging on to it, unwilling to change for fear of it and I could see the parallels to our own world. I loved the magic system of the world and how your eyes matched with your magical ability, all Necromancers having blue eyes, Beast Masters having green etc. I was trying to think of a book that was based on Necromancers and I couldn’t come up with anything, which made this book very different in my eyes. The Deadlands were as eerie, magical and dangerous as I imagined they would be.

Odessa was such a complex character and her grief spoke volumes in this book. It was heart breaking and I connected with her, feeling everything that she was going through. While she was weak at times, she was also a badass Necromancer with a sense of humour and she was strong when she needed to be, when others in her position would have fallen. She is also bisexual and it was interesting to see her romantic interactions with both males and females, and Marsh made it seem so natural, the way it should be in real life.

It wasn’t just Odessa that was representing bisexuality, there were other characters who were gay, both men and women, and it was lovely to see it being represented in such a normal and natural way. While I myself am straight, I can see why a lot of people who aren’t will enjoy this book and all the characters in it.

I would speak about some of the other characters but it could ruin the plot as not all of them stay with us throughout the book and honestly, so many unexpected things happened to them all. I was gasping out loud in shock, my mouth hanging open, unable to believe what I was reading. When a book can make me do that, I know I’m invested. There were so many diverse characters in Reign of the Fallen and they each had their own voice. It was interesting to see how they all dealt with loss in their own ways, because that is what this book is about. Loss, and how we can move on in a way that isn’t harmful to ourselves or others.

There are some incredible lines in this book and I just wanted to share my favourite one.

“The sun still rises and sets, like it always has. It seems cruel that it wouldn’t stop, just for a little while, to show how much darker the world is without them in it.”

This hit me hard, especially the context in which it is written. At the end of the day, we all feel like this at some point, whether you have lost a loved one, lost a friendship or relationship, or some other part of your life. But we all have to move on at some point and I loved how this was shown in Reign of the Fallen.

I could probably ramble on all day about how much I enjoyed this book, but you wouldn’t probably get bored. Overall, Reign of the Fallen was amazing, fast paced and enjoyable. It made me think about things more and it is more than deserving of the 4.5 stars I’m going to give it.

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