Wrapping Up The Week (7th May – 13th May)

This week and the weekend has flown by. Not only was there a bank holiday on the Monday, but I was also off on the Friday as my dad was over for the weekend from Ireland. It was a busy few days and we spent a lot of time outdoors, which was great and I FINALLY got to see Infinity War. Waiting to see it with my dad was torturous and I am still unable to have coherent thoughts about what happened. The fact that we have to wait another year for the next one is killing me.

On the Friday we headed to Belton House, which is located in Grantham, and is a place I hadn’t been to in years. I actually reached my target of 10,000 steps for probably the first time ever as we explored the Victorian mansion, the gardens and surrounding area. It was a lot of fun and here are just a few pictures that I took (also, I aspire to have a library like this one day).

The rest of the weekend was spent in the cinema, going around town and taking my dad out for a belated birthday lunch before he headed home today.

Books I read and reviewed…

As I was spending time with my dad I only managed to write my review for Falling Kingdoms, but I still need to write one for Queen of Shadows and Rebel Spring. I finished both books in the last seven days and boy, were they amazing. Fingers crossed I can get them to you early on in the week if I’m not too busy.

I am currently reading…

gathering darkness

As soon as I finished Rebel Spring I picked up Gathering Shadows and I am loving it. I’m only 40 pages in because I haven’t had much time to read this weekend and I’ve been so tired, but I am hoping to smash another 60 tonight and hopefully read it all before next weekend. This series has me hooked and I just love everything about it. I can’t wait to see how things play out in the third instalment.

Posts from the week…

My TBR For May

Top Two Tuesday: Books With My Favourite Colour on the Cover

WWW Wednesday – So Much Fantasy

Even though it was a busy week, I still managed to get out my minimum of three blog posts, so I’m calling that an accomplishment.

My WIP…

Last week I promised myself that I would start edited again and I didn’t manage to in the end. This week I am telling myself it will be different. Instead, I am going to bring my laptop with me and start doing it on my lunch break again because I am just too tired in the evenings. Fingers crossed this works!

Other Fun Stuff…

Well, I kind of already talking about this in the opening paragraphs, but it was great to see my dad again and spend some time with him. It’s always tough saying goodbye and I feel down for a little while afterwards, but I am always grateful of the time I get to spend with him. It’s tough having a parent living in a different county to you, but I’ve been doing this since I was seven, so I’m pretty used to it (although there were lots of tears when I was younger when the goodbyes happened).

I’ll be seeing him again in a few months time and hopefully I can go over to Ireland again before the year is out.

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And that has been my busy week/weekend! I got quite a bit of reading done when I think about it and I hope the rest of the month can continue that way.

What books did you read this week?

Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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Title: Falling Kingdoms

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Publisher: Razorbill

Date: 11th December 2012

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

I just have one question…Where has this book been for my whole life? It was incredible. The first thing I did after finishing Falling Kingdoms was to go to Amazon and order the second and third book. I had heard a lot about this series, but it completely blew me away. I finished it in less than 48 hours, that’s how good it is. I loved everything about this book; the characters, the action, the politics, the myths and so much more.

The land of Mytica is made up of three kingdoms, Auranos, Paelsia and Limeros. All have lived peacefully, until now. Auranos is a prosperous land and home to the beloved Princess Cleo, who travelled to Paelsia to retrieve wine with a group of friends. While there the unthinkable happens and she witnesses a murder that begins to threaten the place she calls home. The brother of the man killed, Jonas, has set his mind on revenge and has sworn to destroy Auranos at whatever cost. In the cold and freezing kingdom of Limeros, Prince Magnus yearns to earn his fathers trust, and his sister, Lucia, discovers a secret that will change her life forever. Each ruler wants power and some will stop at nothing to get it.

It isn’t often that I read a book where I feel as if I am one of the characters. The way it was written was so vivid and captivating, I just couldn’t get enough. The world building was incredible and as each chapter changed with the multiple perspectives, I could clearly see where our characters were. I especially loved the scenes where they were on their travels, as well as when all the action was taking place. I was hooked and so invested in the story, always wanting to know what would happen next.

I really enjoyed learning about the myth and lore of magic in Mytica, how some Kingdoms had outlawed it and in others witches were still said to roam. Religion has fallen by the wayside in Auranos, while Limeros has it still integrated into their lives, causing a rift. We learn early on the story of the two Goddesses and what happened to the magic, why it disappeared. Let me tell you, it is very intriguing and mystical.

Third person perspective is one of my favourite ways to read now, mainly because we get to see so much more than first person would, and with four different perspectives, we see a lot. Everything flowed nicely and it didn’t feel disjointed at all. I could easily keep up with the story and follow what was happening, even if I hadn’t read a scene from one of the characters in a few chapters. Each character had a different voice and style that made them easy to differentiate and it was one of my favourite things about this book.

The characters are full of life and so unique. Cleo goes through a tough time in this book, but she tries her best to rise above it all, even as her heart is breaking. When it comes to rebels, Jonas plays the role perfectly and I loved his scenes, especially with Cleo and their arguing. Magnus…he’s a confusing one for me because he’s so conflicted. I want to root for him and for him to be good, despite how awful his father is. I feel like I know more about the other characters than Lucia, but I have an inkling that she is going to feature more in the following books.

As soon as you start reading Falling Kingdoms you are thrown into the action and there is no stopping from there. I honestly feel that this is going to become one of my favourite series and I’m only just getting started! Everything about this book was perfect. At just over 400 pages it was the perfect length (in fact, I ended up wanting more) and the end left me wanting more. This is easily a five star read and I just know that it is only going to get better.

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Wrapping Up April ’18 – Best Reading Month Ever

The days are going by far too quickly. Where did the last four months go to? April was an extremely busy month for me, what with moving house and all, so I’m genuinely surprised that I managed to read six books in total. That is the most I have read in a month so far this year (although I missed out on seven as I didn’t finish Falling Kingdoms in time).

Overall, April was a great month for reading, and every book I read was 3.5 stars and above. A record I think. I even found a new favourite that I love with all my heart.

Books I Read…

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse mythology

The first book I finished in the month was Norse Mythology, which was a book that I had sitting on my kindle since Christmas. I had never read anything by Gaiman before this and finally understood why people loved his writing so much. He is an incredible story teller and his thoughts on Norse Mythology were refreshing. I only knew bits and pieces (mainly thanks to Marvel) but I ended up really enjoying the collection of stories. You can read more about why I gave this book 4 stars here.

The Oracle Queen by Kendare Blake

the oracle queen

This was a pre-ordered novella that I bought because honestly, I need as much as I can get about this world because the third book seems so far away still. I love everything about this series and while this was only a novella, I really enjoyed learning more about the infamous Oracle Queen. Her story wasn’t what I thought it would be and I was pleasantly surprised. I gave this a solid 4 stars, which you can read about here.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

ash princess

I was lucky enough to be given the chance to review Ash Princess on NetGalley and I thought that it was a really great debut novel for Sebastian. It seems many people agree with me as it just hit the NYT bestseller list, which is incredible. This was a really great start to what will probably be an amazing trilogy, with characters that I cared about and some really interesting aspects to do with the magic. You can check out my full review here and see why I gave it four stars.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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Again, another book that I was given on NetGalley to review, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. This story is told through multiple perspectives and features five diverse characters, whose paths end up crossing over (some in unusual ways). While there is some action, mainly towards the end of the book, it is slow moving in some places, but there are also great characters in it too. This was a mixed one for me and in the end I gave it 3.5 stars, which you can read about here.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

sky in the deep

Hands down my favourite book of the month. Sky in the Deep was incredible and I was so happy to find out that it hit the NYT bestseller list this morning because this book deserves it. I kind of hate that this is a standalone because I want more of these characters, but at the same time it is one of the best standalones that I have read. While there is so much action in this book, with incredible fight scenes, there is also a lot of raw emotion and some amazing and relatable characters who tugged on my heart strings. You can see why I gave this book a solid five stars in my review here.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

nevernight

Last, but not least, I read Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I didn’t know what to expect when I first started reading this novel, but I ended up loving it. You never know what will happen, but one thing that’s for sure is that it is action packed, with lots of killing, drama, sex and swearing. I couldn’t get this story out of my head for days and that is how I knew that I loved it. Now I need to get my hands on Godsgrave. Check out my 4.5 star review here.

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And there we have it, all the incredible books that I read in the month of April. I also noticed that there seems to be a pattern of light and dark covers, which was completely unintentional.

What was the best book that you read in April?

Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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Title: Nevernight

Author: Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Harper Collins

Date: 29th June 2017

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

It isn’t very often that I read a book that is written by a male author, or even an adult fantasy for that matter. I’m not sure why, maybe I relate more to female authors or I just prefer the kind of stories they write. I hadn’t read a good novel by a male author…until I read Nevernight. I had heard people speak of Jay Kristoff’s writing, mainly Illuminae, but that is a sci-fi book (and I don’t like sci-fi) so I thought it best to give his fantasy series ago. I am so glad I did. This book sucked me in and although I had to stop reading about a third of the way through (had two ARCs to read) I found it so easy to pick back up again.

Death has followed Mia Corvere around since she was ten years old, when she saw her father die and her family be taken away from her. She made a promise to avenge them and destroy the lives of the men who killed her family. Everything she has done in her life has been to work towards a goal. To train among the best assassins in the Red Church of Itreya. There she will learn how to survive, to battle and outwit her classmates, and earn a place among the chosen ones. But she finds that it isn’t as easy as she had hoped and along the way she yearns to know more about her own dark powers.

Nevernight is a truly unique book, with a world that is unlike any other. It is dark, dangerous, full of intrigue and I keep wanting to know more. Kristoff writes very well, although I know it may not be for everyone (if you don’t like metaphors and similes, stay away) but I for one really enjoyed his style of flowery writing. Just because I say flowery, it doesn’t mean this book is like that. It is brutal, with lots of killing and blood, but what else can you expect from a book about bad ass assassins?

Something that I thought was unique was the use of footnotes from the narrator. Mia’s story is being told from the future, as we are notified at the beginning that she is dead and that this is her story (so I’m not spoiling it for you). Throughout the book there are little stars that indicate there is more to know about a certain place or person and it can be found at the bottom. While this sometimes interrupted the flow of the story in places, I enjoyed most of the information I was told, especially the witty comments.

Mia Corvere is one hell of a protagonist. You never know what she’ll do next and I love that about her. She is frank, to the point, likes to swear a lot (like…a lot…and with words my mother always said were the worst). She is so intriguing and the fact that she can control shadows and has a shadow cat as her friend is amazing. Mister Kindly (the shadow cat) is always by her side, ever since her family was taken away, and their friendship is a unique one. I often found myself smiling as I read their interactions.

Of course, there is also the other assassins at the school. Some were awful (because we always need a villain) and others were sweet and kind. But looks can be deceiving, as we often find out in this novel. Tric is a character that Mia encounters early on in the novel and someone I grew to love. They understood each other and while things weren’t always good between them, they cared for one another in their own way.

Nevernight has an amazing plot twist that I didn’t see coming, at all. When this happens it often makes a book that much better for me. I love the unexpected and this novel definitely gave me that. There is still so much more to find out about in Godsgrave, which I need to get my hands on immediately. I was thinking about Nevernight for days after I finished reading it and that is how I know when a book has stolen my heart.

Overall, I thought that Nevernight was a brilliant read and I think that Jay Kristoff is one of my favourite authors now (I may even have to check out his other books, whatever the genre may be). This book is for you if you love darkness, action, politics, killing, sex and a whole lot of swearing. While I know it may not be for everyone, this will probably become one of my favourite trilogies. A solid 4.5 stars from me.

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WWW Wednesday – So Many Books!

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

I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I have turned into a reading machine. Last week I finished three books and already this week I am onto my second. I’m so happy about it because I am finally making my way through all the books on my TBR. I’m even five books ahead on my Goodreads challenge, with a total of twenty one read so far this year (I set myself a target of 50).

Unfortunately, I started an amazing series and only had the first book, so of course I have to buy the rest (not at once, don’t worry – I’m buying the next two). It just seems that all the books I am reading at the moment are amazing and I am loving each of them for different reasons.

What Are You Currently Reading?

queen of shadows

I am diving back into the incredible world created by Sarah J. Maas and it’s like I never stopped reading it. It’s been a good couple of months since I read Heir of Fire, but my memory has served me well. I started this last night and I’m already on page 110. This isn’t a small book by any means, so it’s going to take me longer than normal. However, I am looking forward to it and hope to finish it at least by the end of Saturday night (if I’m lucky).

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

falling kngdoms

I recently finished Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and I have to say, instant five star read. Where has this series been all my life? It was incredible! I read it in less than two days, which is happening a lot lately it seems. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series because I’ve heard that it only gets better.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

rebel spring

It really depends. If my book delivery arrives before I finish Queen of Shadows, then I will be diving straight into Rebel Spring. I need to know what happens after the ending in the first. I feel like this series could become one of my favourites. We shall have to wait and see. However, if it doesn’t come then I will probably read either Empire of Storms, or start A Court of Thorns and Roses.

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It’s been a good couple weeks of reading and I hope that it can continue. What book are you currently reading?

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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Wrapping Up The Week (23rd April – 29th April)

How is it nearly the end of April already? This month flew by and in the last week I have managed to read so much! In total I finished three books, which is almost unheard of for me, but it really helps when they’re all so good. However, I only managed to write a review for one so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for the others within the week.

I’m settled into my new home, enjoying the surroundings and I am finally getting internet on Tuesday. It’s been a pain having to use my data for everything, especially when the service isn’t the best. I’m still waiting to get my sofa (had some issues) but fingers crossed that’ll be here within the next two weeks. I’m just lucky that I have a job which allows me to work from home when I have deliveries and such.

Books I read and reviewed…

the-smoke-thieves

The first book I finished in the week was The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green, although I still haven’t written the review yet. I’m starting to really enjoy books with multiple perspectives and as this one has five I was more than happy. It was great to see how the lives of the five characters differed and how they eventually came together. The idea of demons having smoke released from their bodies after they died was interesting and how it was an illegal trade. Keep an eye out for my full thoughts on the first book in the trilogy later on in the week.

sky in the deep

I flew through Sky in the Deep in less than 48 hours, which is something I don’t tend to do in the working week. It was amazing! The characters were so relatable, the story was full of raw emotion and had me feeling all sorts of things. There was intense action that was written beautifully and I was hooked. You can check out my full review here and see why I gave this debut novel five stars.

nevernight

Yesterday I read about 200 pages to finish Nevernight, staying up past 12, and it was the best use of my time. This book was amazing! It is the first novel I’ve read by Jay Kristoff and, surprise, it wasn’t YA. This is definitely adult fantasy. There is blood, death, torture, tons of swearing and some steamy sex scenes. However, the ideas and characters are so unique that I would recommend this book to any lover of the fantasy genre. Mia Corvere is the most badass character I’ve had the pleasure of reading about and I cannot wait to have Godsgrave in my hands. I just have to wait until the paperback version is released at the end of June (they have to match, okay). Not to mention, there is an incredible plot twist that I did not see coming. Keep your eyes peeled for a review soon.

I am currently reading…

falling kngdoms

I am finally picking up Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, a book that I have seen many people talk about, as well as Regan from PeruseProject on YouTube. I love that this is the first in a series of six, so I am hoping that I enjoy it. I’ve only read 45 pages so far, but you can be sure that I will be spending the rest of my Sunday curled up in bed reading. I would love to finish this before the 1st of May, but it’s highly unlikely. Although, never say never…

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Covers of Books I Own

WWW Wednesday – Vikings Galore

I managed to get my regular blog posts out into the open, but next week will have a lot more as I get around to wrapping up the month and showing off all the amazing books I read (April was a good month).

My WIP…

I am finally getting back into my editing after writing 1,400 words on Friday and another 1,300 on Saturday. All these new ideas are popping into my head and there are a lot of changes being made, all good ones of course. I’ve made the decision to cut a lot of words (it’s scary how many) but I am introducing new scenes that feature my main characters so we can get a feel for them more.

It’s an exciting time, especially as I am going onto chapter 5, which is where the good stuff starts to happen. I am a long way from being done, but slowly I am getting there. Fingers crossed one day I will be able to share The Lost Heir with you all (it has a title now).

Other Fun Stuff…

Not fun, but necessary. I spent a good part of the weekend hoovering, dusting, doing a deep clean of the bathroom (my arms hurt) and dusting the giant mirror on my built in wardrobes. Although, I would say that it is quite therapeutic and you work up a good sweat, who knew?

bates-motel

My boyfriend and I started Bates Motel (I had only seen season 1 and a bit of 2) and we are really enjoying it. He wasn’t sure at first, but eventually he got into it and we’ve watched three episodes today (I knew he’d get addicted, I have great taste in TV shows). Also, The 100 came back!!! I forgot how much I missed that show and I have a feeling this season is going to be a good one.

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Quite the week I would say. I hope you all managed to read some amazing books as well. Which one was your favourite?

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

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Title: Sky in the Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Date: 24th April 2018

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

When I first heard of this Viking inspired standalone novel, I got really excited. I headed straight to Amazon and pre-ordered it, only for Amazon to later cancel the order and say they would no longer be stocking it. Imagine my disappointment. But then, one day, I was scrolling through NetGalley and saw that Sky in the Deep was available to request and of course I did. I waited weeks without hearing anything and with the release date less than a week away I had given up hope. Then I got the email saying that I was approved and I have never been happier. I read this book within two days, which is very quick considering I have work in the week. It was incredible and so moving, one of my favourites of the year so far.

For centuries the Aska and Riki clans have been battling every five years, fighting for their deities and honour. Eelyn is a seventeen year old Aska warrior who prides herself on her fighting skills and has a strong will to survive. As she is battling against the Riki clan once more on the battlefield, she sees something that stops her in her tracks. Before her eyes is her brother Iri, the same one that she watched die five years beforehand. A brother that is fighting with the Riki, not against them. Following him to discover the truth, she is captured by Fiske, the one who is with her brother, and is taken back to one of the Riki villages where she is surrounded by her enemies. All she wants is to understand what happened to her brother and to eventually return home, something that is easier said that done when you are stuck on a mountain in the dead of winter. But when a dangerous force attacks the village, Eelyn has no choice but to trust Fiske and the other Riki, and to help bring the clans together before their enemies destroy them once and for all.

I have so many wonderful thoughts about this book that it is hard to know where to begin. I’m going to start by saying that, at its core, this is a book about family and loyalty, as well as overcoming prejudice. It shows us that sometimes we need to look past the thoughts and feelings that have been instilled after centuries of thinking a certain way and that we should open our hearts to others. The emotions in this book are raw and you feel everything that Eelyn is going through. When she is angry you feel it burning your skin, and when she is sad and at a loss you can feel your heart breaking with her. The writing style flowed perfectly and kept me turning the pages, always wanting to find out what happened next.

I really liked the mythical lore of the clans and their Gods/Goddesses. The Aska worship Sigr, the God of Water and the sea, where their home lies, whilst the Riki worship Thora, Goddess of Fire and the mountains. The origin of the hatred that runs between these two clans is explained early on and is something that is referenced throughout. Both clans fight for honour and to earn a place in the afterlife with their family, they just have different ways of worshipping their deities.

There are some incredible action sequences throughout, with axes swinging, blood covering clothes and blades being drawn across skin. In fact, the first chapter jumps straight into the action of the battlefield and it set me up for the rest of the book. Not exactly for the faint of heart, but there are also parts that are heart warming and touching. Sky in the Deep stirred so many emotions in me and it is something that doesn’t always happen. I felt like I was right there by Eelyn’s side as she went through everything, some of which wasn’t always pleasant. I will mention that there are mentions of rape at times, so that is something to bear in mind.

Our main character, Eelyn is feisty, strong and a true warrior. She is protective of the ones she loves and won’t take any crap from anyone. So, when she is captured it really hits her hard and she has to adjust, but at the same time the survivor in her is always looking for a way out. She has great character development, shown through her emotions and actions as she begins to learn why her brother stayed with the Riki and didn’t return home to the Aska.

While at the Riki village, Eelyn sees that they aren’t so different from the Aska, and slowly but surely we get to find out more about Fiske’s family, the people who took Iri in after the accident. There are some very sweet and tender moments between them all, often reminding me of my own family. Then there is the slow burning relationship between Eelyn and Fiske, which was just incredible. I haven’t enjoyed a romance like this in a while and it was extremely refreshing for it not to be instant-love, or a love triangle.

I could probably go on and on about how much I adored this book. Everything was perfect. We have fully fleshed out characters, incredible relationships, great action, a quick pace and some of the best world building I’ve read in a while. There wasn’t too much of any one thing, and I loved it that much I may have to just buy my own copy. One of the easiest five star ratings I’ve given out this year.

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WWW Wednesday – Vikings Galore

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

Less than one week to go until I have internet at the house and I cannot wait! Using my phone data has been getting me by, but the service out here in the countryside isn’t the best (I live in a village). However, I am getting back into my blogging and I have been reading some amazing books lately that I can’t wait to tell you about!

What Are You Currently Reading?

sky in the deep

Late last week I was notified that I had been approved on NetGalley to read Sky in the Deep, something I was thrilled about considering Amazon cancelled my pre-order and said they wouldn’t be stocking it. I picked this up Monday night (only reading 7% as it was late), but then I flew through it yesterday and I am now on 80%. You can be sure that I am going to finish this tonight. I am so invested in the story and these characters. Adrienne Young has created a unique world that feels so real and raw. I cannot wait to write a review for this book and show how much I am loving it. Plus, that cover is incredible!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

the-smoke-thieves

While I haven’t written the review yet (I’ll be getting to that tomorrow) I finished The Smoke Thieves on Monday and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. This was a great start to the trilogy, introducing us to all the characters, the world and the conflict that is surrounding them. I loved how each chapter was from one of the five perspectives (I think it was five) and how eventually their paths crossed. The dialogue in this was great, with some of my favourite scenes being with Tash, the thirteen year old demon hunter/thief, because she was hilarious. I’m looking forward to giving you all my thoughts.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

nevernight

Poor Nevernight keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the pile thanks to NetGalley reads, but I PROMISE I am going to finish it before the weekend is over. I’m a third of the way through, and thanks to how detailed the writing is I can remember everything that has happened so far. I’m looking forward to diving back into this strange and dark story.

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Let me know in the comments below what book you are reading, or if you have read (or want to read) any of the three I have mentioned above.

ARC Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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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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