June Book Haul and Being Ill

This week has been so bad and I am just waiting for it to be over. I was off work Monday and Tuesday thanks to a nasty chest infection that my boyfriend passed on to me, and I spent today working from home because I can’t stop coughing. I’ll probably have to do the same tomorrow as it’s not improving, and I just want it to be the weekend so I can sleep.

It is also the reason that I haven’t been able to blog as much, but I tried to gather as much energy as I could to write this post because it’s a short one. The book buying ban is back until I finish some more of the books I already own. I ended up only buying one book on my Kindle in June and resisted the urge to buy the last book in a series (I might also be putting it off because I don’t want it to end).

The only book I bought is…

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And it was so good! Again, still need to write a review but I’ve been too ill this week to even think back over this book (it is still playing on my mind though). Fingers crossed, if I feel better, I will get my thoughts on this book out into the world over the weekend, because it was so good!

I was also approved to read a book on NetGalley that I am going to get around to this month, which is…

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This sounds quite interesting and that cover is gorgeous! I saw a few other people talking about it on Twitter and figured I would give it a go. The publication date is the end of the month, so I have plenty of time to read it.

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I’m sorry for the short and sweet blog post, but I just feel pants. And to think this was the week I wanted to get my blogging back on track. Nope! Even my writing has suffered, but I will be playing catch up over the next week I think.

Did you buy many books last month?

ARC Review: The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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Title: The Smoke Thieves

Author: Sally Green

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Date: 3rd May 2018

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I was lucky enough to be given a chance to review this book early from Penguin Random House on NetGalley. I am all about YA Fantasy at the moment and when I heard of The Smoke Thieves, a story told from different perspectives, I knew I had to find out more. This is the first in a trilogy and I feel that it set the tone really well. I had expected there to me a bit more action and for the most part it was very story driven. Some characters were more memorable than others, but overall I enjoyed this book.

Spread across the three nations of Calidor, Pitoria and Brigant, there is a princess, a traitor, a soldier, a hunter and a thief. Due to changing circumstances among the kingdoms, their lives are about to become entangled in ways they never thought possible. Princess Catherine is in Brigant, preparing to enter into an arranged marriage with the Prince of Pitoria, but her heart belongs to Ambrose, her faithful bodyguard. During an unfortunate situation, Ambrose is deemed a traitor of Brigant and has to flee to save his life. March is a servant who has been pushed around for too long by the Prince of Calidor and he vows to have his revenge, whatever the cost. In Pitoria, a young man called Edyon gets his kicks from stealing, a hobby which is bound to get him into trouble and in the northern territory there is Tash. There she works with the demon hunter Gravell to take the smoke from their bodies and sell it on their travels. Danger is on the horizon, the kind that they will have to work together to defeat.

In terms of world building I felt that this was more basic that the other stories I have been reading lately. Not to say that it wasn’t good, I managed to get a great feel for the land and the people in them. Brigant was a hard country, with a ruthless ruler, and I often felt sorry for Catherine. A large part of this book is spent travelling in Pitoria and the characters begin to cross paths a little ways in. We get to see a travelling market, where some of my favourite scenes take place, and the way the demon world was described was quite unique as it often incorporated the senses.

Nearly every chapter is from a different perspective, but as some of them were set within the same scene I found that they flowed quite easily. Some of my favourite chapters to read were that of Tash. She was hilarious and I loved her banter and interactions with Gravell, the demon hunter. Edyon was also an interesting character who stood out among the others. I’ve read about a lot of Princesses and unfortunately, Catherine didn’t strike me as anything special, but I did like her.

I love a bit of romance in fantasy novels, but I didn’t feel that The Smoke Thieves had a lot of it, when it should have. The relationship between Catherine and Ambrose was my least favourite and didn’t leave a very lasting impression. The slow burner between March and Edyon was interesting, but again, not a lot happened when I expected a lot more to.

While this book had a few bad points, it was mainly good and I felt I grasped a good feel for the story. I am hoping that the second one will have a lot more action and politics, especially after the last quarter of the book where there were a few revelations. This has often been compared to Game of Thrones (something I haven’t read but have watched) and the same was said about Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, but I think they are two completely different novels. Overall, I feel that The Smoke Thieves was an enjoyable read and one that I would give 3.5 stars to.

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WWW Wednesday – Hitting 250 Followers!

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

I just want to start by thanking the 250 people who follow my little blog. While the number may not seem huge, I’m just grateful that there are 250 of you who care about my thoughts and feeling on books. I’m hoping to do a giveaway when I reach 500 followers because that’s my next big goal.

Also, just a little heads up. My laptop has been playing up for the last few days (it keeps freezing, coming up with an error page) so I may have to send it off to see what is actually wrong with it. If that is the case then I may not be able to blog as much, but if my sister is nice enough I can borrow hers for a little bit. So that’s how my week is going so far. However, I have been reading an amazing book I can’t wait to finish.

What Are You Currently Reading?

ash princess

I am currently 72% through this ARC and oh my, it has gotten so good! It was a little slow to start with but the plot is coming together and I love the characters, especially a few in particular. Our Main character, Thora (or Theo as we find out) has lived a terrible, sad and brutal life under the strict rule of the Kaiser, a tyrant who came and took over her land, killing her mother. I recently just read a scene where I found myself holding my breath because it was so tense. I can’t wait to read the rest of it!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

the oracle queen

The last book I finished was the novella called The Oracle Queen and you can find my review here. It was good for a novella and I really enjoyed finding out about this particular Queen. The Oracle Queen is a sad tale, but I didn’t feel it offered much to the story of the three Queens. Honestly, I just read it because I need something to fill in the time until Two Dark Reigns comes out later on this year.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

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The next book I will be reading will be to finish off Nevernight, which I am currently a third of the way through. I put it to the side to finish Ash Princess as there is only two weeks lefts until it gets released and I want to get a review up soon. However, I have been enjoying Nevernight and cannot wait to dive back into the story again.

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I hope you have all been having a great week so far and that you’re enjoying whatever book you are reading!

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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My February TBR Pile

I’m cursing my self for buying so many new books because now I have no idea which ones I want to read first. Sometimes I hate setting a TBR lists because I hardly ever stick to them. Out of January’s one I managed to read 2 out of 4, which isn’t too bad I guess, but hopefully I can be better at sticking to it this month.

I had a couple of approvals on NetGalley that I have to read before the release dates and a pre-order arrived that I want to get stuck into. Last month I managed to read five in total so I am going to make the list that long. If I don’t manage to read them all, or I read more, then that’s okay.

My copy of Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh arrived early and I am super excited to read it because it sounds incredible. If you haven’t heard of this book you should definitely check it out.

I felt so lucky to have been approved last minute to read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, which comes out in about 5 days time. I will be jumping straight into that one today and I wouldn’t be surprised if I finish it quite quickly.

Another NetGalley approval that I need to read by the middle of the month is Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking, which is about Valkyries and I don’t really need to know much more than that.

Finally, I am going to get around to reading Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, something I was supposed to read last month. There are still mixed reviews but I’m excited to give my thoughts on this NYT bestseller.

If I have enough time, I am hoping to squeeze in the fourth instalment of the Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows, and after the ending of the third book I can’t wait to read it. Sarah J. Mass has quickly become one of my favourite authors.

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What books will you be planning on reading this month?

January Book Haul (I think I bought too many)

January seemed to be a month where there were some great deals and I just couldn’t resist buying some more books and completing a few series. There were a couple of new releases that I got my hands on as well and while I haven’t read all of them yet, I will be soon.

In total, I think I bought 10 books, which definitely seems like a lot to me, and I was also approved for 3 on NetGalley, one of which I have now read and reviewed. But after two months of receiving a lot of books I think that it is time I put a book buying ban into place for February (let’s take bets on how long that lasts).

My Haul…

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A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Wings and Ruin (all by Sarah, J Maas)

What do you do when every book in the series is under a fiver? You buy them all of course!

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Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

I think you can tell who my favourite author is…

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

So, these were all the physical books that I bought and after buying The Cruel Prince in hardback I was definitely reminded of why I love them so much. Now I’m buying all the new books in hardback.

Kindle Books…

The Young Queens by Kendare Blake

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

Books From NetGalley…

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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As you can see, there are some pretty amazing books in this haul and I cannot wait to read them all. If only I could skimp on the sleep and stay up all night reading. I would definitely choose that as my superpower.

What books did you get in the month of January?

Wrapping Up The Week (4th Dec – 10th Dec)

This week has felt like the longest one in a while. If you didn’t know, I took a week off from blogging due to my boyfriend being admitted to hospital for an operation on Tuesday and I’ve been helping him recover since (you can read more about it here). For that reason I haven’t really got a lot to show on this weeks wrap up.

My brain has been all over the place and the stress I’ve been feeling hasn’t helped at all. I even took a couple days off from writing because I literally couldn’t form a sentence in my head. I needed it though and I am feeling a lot better. So fingers crossed I can get back to blogging more from now on, even if it’s just 3 posts a week until things get back to normal.

Some good news though is that I start my new job tomorrow, which I am super excited about. Now that my boyfriend is able to move around on his own, I can safely go to work knowing he won’t hurt himself. Starting the new job will also offer me a distraction from all the anxiety I’ve been feeling lately (although I know I’ll still worry about him).

As I haven’t done a lot of reading there are no reviews to show, so I’ll go straight onto the next section…

I am currently reading…

For the first time in a while I am actually reading 3 books at once. This is due to the fact that I am still reading Glass Sword and Angelfall, but I also got accepted for a book on Netgalley that I couldn’t wait to read. And the book is…

Everless

I can’t put this book down, I am absolutely loving it and whenever I get a chance I am switching to the kindle app on my phone (until I buy a kindle at Christmas) and I am reading as much as I can. I’m over halfway now and should probably finish it tomorrow if I’m lucky. It is due to come out on January 2nd and is being published by HarperTeen. Also, look how gorgeous that cover is!

Other Fun Stuff…

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had a lot of fun stuff going on for me this week. It’s mainly been filled with trips to the hospital and doctors, giving medication to my boyfriend and generally running around for him like a headless chicken. Not that I’m complaining, it makes a change me looking after him, and I definitely feel that it’s brought us closer.

My writing is getting back on track and so far I have 42,000 words, something I am so proud of. I worked out that I’m about halfway through the story I want to tell and the next few chapters that I’ve planned have me excited. Fingers crossed I can have a first draft done before my birthday (which is in March, so quite a while away).

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I hope that your week has been going well and you got lots of reading done! Hopefully you’ll be seeing a little more of me over the next week (as long as work doesn’t take up all my time).