Blog Tour Review for Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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 Title: Wicked Saints

Author: Emily A. Duncan

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: 2nd April 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Buy From Macmillan

 

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. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

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I’d like to say thank you to Wednesday Books for giving me a chance to review Wicked Saints in exchange for an honest review during this blog tour. Over the last few months, I have heard a lot of amazing reviews about Emily’s debut novel, so of course, I was over the moon when I was given an eARC to read. The danger with a lot of hype surrounding a book is that it may not always live up to the expectations, but luckily for me, Wicked Saints did.

Kalyazin and Tranavia have been at war for a century, with the Tranavian heretics slowly growing in power. The gods have always listened to Nadya when she prayed and only she is strong enough to go against the blood magic of her enemies. When her monastery is invaded, she goes on the run to escape the High Prince, Serefin, who is the strongest of his kind. While travelling she meets two refugees and a Tranavian blood mage called Malachiasz who has rebelled against his order, the Vultures. Going against the wishes of the gods, Nadya forges an alliance with them in the hopes of travelling to Tranavia to kill the king and stop the holy war before it destroys them all. However, not everything is as it seems and Nadya begins to question everything she has been told about blood magic and her gods.

“We’re all monsters, Nadya,” Malachiasz said, his voice gaining a few tangled chords of chaos. “Some of us just hide it better than others.”

As an atheist, I normally tend to stay away from books with religious themes but I was intrigued by Wicked Saints, mainly because it was so different from anything I’d read before. The idea of gods choosing clerics who can hear them was interesting, especially because Nadya can hear all of them, the only one of her kind.

We’re thrown right into the action from the very beginning and I flew through the first quarter of the book. It was really enjoyable and I became more invested as I went along. It took me a little while to connect with Nadya as a character, probably because it dived into the action straight away, but I have to say I enjoyed the banter between her and the gods and it had me smiling on more than one occasion. I love the fact that her opinions never stayed the same and she questioned everything. She struggled, she made mistakes, but that is what makes her real. What teenager doesn’t struggle with their identity and beliefs at some point?

The world building was probably my favourite aspect of this story, as it was based on Russia and Poland. I could feel the chill of the mountains thanks to Emily’s descriptions and felt immersed in the story. Wicked Saints doesn’t read like a debut. It’s intriguing and full of atmopshere. Each new chapter opened with snippets about the history of the saints, clerics and gods of Kalyazin, giving insight into just how violent their world is. While the story takes place in Kalyazin and Tranavia, we also meet two characters from the desert lands of Akola, Parijahan and Rashid, who I really enjoyed reading about in this book. Hopefully, the world will expand more in the rest of the trilogy because I really liked what I read.

Blood magic is rife in Wicked Saints and I loved the new take on it. The mages have to cut themselves (TW: self-harm) and then press the pages of their spellbook against the cut to work the magic, which is something I have never read before. This is a dark book with dark themes (TW: torture, abuse, gore and blood), although I think part of me was expecting it to be more brutal and darker. However, Malachiasz is a blood mage who caught my attention instantly because I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. Nothing is as it seems with this book and it was fun watching Nadya try to handle this monster boy who makes her question everything. Malachiasz is a bit of mystery and it was good to see the secrets unravelling in a way I thought they would. There is nothing better when a plot twist happens the way you expect, showing it was well thought out.

As far as romance goes, I kind of wish it hadn’t stayed so close to the trope of enemies-to-lovers as I didn’t feel Nadya really had a reason to hate him and there was a lot of focus on him. I never once felt that it wasn’t Nadya’s story, but I wasn’t as invested in the romance as I thought I would be. However, I did enjoy their characters and can’t wait to see what becomes of them later on. Now, Serefin…he’s my favourite. He is morally grey, loves to drink and is always tired, which makes him the best kind of character in my eyes. Some people say the amount he drinks is unrealistic but they’ve clearly never been to a house party in the UK (I won’t say how much I used to drink). I really loved his character arc in Wicked Saints and I’ve been left with a lot of questions after the ending. There are other side characters who I loved reading about as well and who also offer some LGBTQ rep in the book, as well as disability, so there is something for everyone.

I’m glad Wicked Saints was a fast-paced book because it meant I was flying through the chapters, but sometimes I felt as if things moved too quick at times. The first 25% and the last 25% were my favourite parts as there was a lot going on, but I wish there had been more than just travelling in between that space. I also wish there had been more to read because of how much I enjoyed it. Saying that, now that the world has been set up, I’m sure there will be more twists and turns in the sequel which I cannot wait for. The ending left me feeling very excited to see what these characters get up to because I have questions. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I can’t wait to find out.

Overall, I really enjoyed Wicked Saints and felt it was a great debut for Emily A. Duncan and showcased her style of writing perfectly. It was unique with the world building, it had interesting characters, dark themes and plot twists, which are always my favourite parts of a story. I’m giving Wicked Saints a solid 4 stars!

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Praise For Wicked Saints

“Prepare for a snow frosted, blood drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare. Utterly absorbing.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen  

“Full of blood and monsters and magic—this book destroyed me and I adored it. Emily is a wicked storyteller, she’s not afraid to hurt her characters or her readers. If you’ve ever fallen in love with a villain you will fall hard for this book.” – Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval 

“This is the novel of dark theology and eldritch blood-magic that I’ve been waiting for all my life. It’s got a world at once brutal and beautiful, filled with characters who are wounded, lovable, and ferocious enough to break your heart. A shattering, utterly satisfying read.” – Rosamund Hodge, author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

Wicked Saints is a lush, brutal, compelling fantasy that is dark, deep, and bloody—absolutely riveting! With a boy who is both man and monster, mysterious saints with uncertain motives, and a girl filled with holy magic who is just beginning to understand the full reaches of her power, this gothic jewel of a story will sink its visceral iron claws into you, never letting go until you’ve turned the last page. And truthfully, not even then -the explosive ending will haunt you for days! ” – Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin trilogy

“Dark, bloody, and monstrously romantic. This is the villain love interest that we’ve all been waiting for.” – Margaret Rogerson, New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens

“Seductively dark and enchanting, Wicked Saints is a trance you won’t want to wake from. Duncan has skillfully erected a world like no other, complete with provocative magic, sinister creatures, and a plot that keeps you guessing. This spellbinding YA fantasy will bewitch readers to the very last page.” – Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep

About The Author

Emily A. DuncanEMILY A. DUNCAN works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. Wicked Saints is her first book. She lives in Ohio.

 

 

Website: https://eaduncan.com/
Twitter: @glitzandshadows
Instagram: @glitzandshadows
Tumblr: http://glitzandshadows.tumblr.com/

Why CPs and Beta Readers Are So Important

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I started writing my own books when I was about 13/14 years old (it could have been before then because my memory is terrible sometimes). Back then, no one saw my writing apart from my best friend at the time and even then, she never offered a critique of my work. She just told me it was good or that she enjoyed it. Of course, I was practising, and I wasn’t as serious about publishing as I am now.

During my time at school, I wrote 3 completed novels, but I never edited them. Another idea always popped up to drag my attention away. There were also a number of ideas I started and never finished. When I completed my 4th novel in March of 2018, I thought that was the one. I started revising it, but then I got the idea for my dragon book. I couldn’t ignore this one because everything about it felt so right. I could see the world, the characters and where I wanted the story to go. I finished the first draft in 4 months and managed to find an incredible critique partner who has helped me along the way and become such an amazing friend in the process.

Working with A CP

My CP, Noelle, started reading my chapters while I was still writing, so she has literally been there since the beginning and has seen the messier stuff. I’ve sent chapters to her with little apologies and emails saying, ‘this is probably trash but here we go!’ However, she normally lets me know those doubts are just in my head and that for a first draft, it was pretty good. I suppose that’s the perfectionist in me making sure I get it mostly right the first time, even though I don’t outline. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.

Noelle has shown me when I use ‘and’ and ‘that’ too much, which I am slowly fixing as I go through my third draft and has been so supportive. She knows when I can do better, urging me on with comments along the lines of, ‘use your descriptive powers, show me what it feels like’ because I can admit that description is one of my strong suits when writing. When it comes to sentencing structure and pacing, her advice is invaluable in helping me improve. She is also my biggest supporter. She will scream in the comments when a plot twist occurs and tell me how much she loves my characters, so much so that she wants me to promise I won’t hurt them (which I can’t do, unfortunately – sorry Noelle).

Of course, there are things I need to work on, like all writers, but having a CP who looks at a story beyond the words on the surface is invaluable. All the advice she has given me sticks in my brain and has made my second and then third drafts even better. A CP also helps when there’s a plot point that you’re stuck on. Noelle helped me smooth out the kinks with the backstory of the enemy in my story and notified me when things might get tricky for a reader to understand. After all, I want this story to be as smooth as possible when I send it to agents for querying. They will want to know I can put in the work before I ever had an agent and that I’m taking this seriously.

While Noelle was my first CP, one of my beta readers has become another CP as her comments are so detailed and helpful. The more eyes on my manuscript, the better. However, when it comes to choosing a CP, make sure they are people you trust and who have similar views and tastes as you. It will make the process a lot smoother.

Taking It Up A Notch with Beta Readers

After smoothing things out in the second draft with the help of Noelle, I knew it was time to get other people to look at my words. This is when the beta readers come in. Personally, I chose four (making it 6 people in total who are helping me). For me, four is the perfect number as some of them don’t make a lot of comments, whereas others do. It also allows me to know when there is truly a problem with the book. If only one person picks up on something, it’s likely to just be their opinion, but if three of my betas pick up on something, I know it needs changing. However, that isn’t always the case. I had one beta reader let me know why my beginning might not make sense and suggested a way to change it (which I loved), but I wanted to run it by my other betas. They agreed, saying they hadn’t thought of it before and instead of sending them the second half after reading the first, I wanted to do a third draft so they could see if it flowed well. Two of my betas also suggested altering the character of Afira slightly, as well as having more of her voice in the story, and it made me realise it’s what I always wanted her to be like.

Another reason having beta readers is great is because it allows you to know when you’ve done something right. There have been certain scenes and sentences where all my beta comments were along the same lines. Whether that is telling me it shows great character or made them emotional, it lets me know I’m doing something right. On the days where I’m feeling down about my writing, I simply open up the document with their comments on and read it. Seeing those positive comments does so much for me mentally and gives me the drive to keep on going.

I know with the help of my betas I will be ready for querying in the summer, hopefully before I hit the first anniversary of working on this book (which is in June). I trust them all and listen to their comments. Criticism wasn’t something I dealt with well when I was younger (something my mum likes to remind me of), but I’ve grown a lot recently. Sometimes I get that ‘oh no, they hate it and think it’s terrible’ feeling when I see the comments, but after a little time, I realise they only say it because they want to help. Because they believe in me and this story and want to make it better. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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If you’re a writer and you’re at the point where you think you need some more eyes on the draft, go for it! Choose friends and people you trust who will be able to give both praise and criticism. It’s a great way to prepare you for if you do get an agent because it’s likely they’ll want you to rewrite parts or cut whole sections.

I’m happy to have found people who will hopefully stick around for all my other magical ideas!

How I’m Staying Motivated While Revising My Novel

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Back at the beginning of June, on the 8th to be exact, I got an idea for a YA Fantasy story about dragons, which is now called Beneath the Empty. I won’t go into too much detail because there’s been a lot of plagiarism lately, but it’s about a princess who has the ability to shift between her human and dragon form. With her dragon guardian by her side, she goes against her mother’s wishes and ventures into enemy territory to figure out why her kind are being killed. Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s how it gets started.

I finished the first draft in October and the second draft in February, but my work wasn’t done there. In that time, I got an amazing critique partner (CP) and several beta readers who have helped me so much. Their help has been invaluable, but I’ll go into detail about why you need a CP and beta readers in another blog post. With their detailed notes, I have started writing the third draft of my book, which is currently sitting at 54,000 words (it was 109,000 at the end of the second draft). So far, they have only read the first half as I was writing the second half while they read it, but after this round of revisions, they will be able to read it all, which makes me slightly nervous.

I’ve lost count on the number of times I have read through my book, but I know it so well and the changes I am making have made it much stronger. However, it hasn’t always been easy to stay motivated, especially when new ideas start to pop into my head (which happened a couple of weeks ago).

Creating an Outline

A few of my betas suggested big changes which would have meant rewriting most of the first act, which was daunting in itself. However, I embraced the changes because I knew it would make the story better and improve character development. One of the ways I managed to stay on track was creating a detailed outline for all the changes I would be making. It’s hard to keep your mind focused when you’re jumping around from document to document, so having everything in one place helped.

I started by going through all my beta readers notes, jotting down all the changes I needed to make, before visualizing what the story needed to be, what I wanted it to be. I wrote down where I needed to expand on details or cut any info-dumping, as well as drafting completely new chapters that hadn’t been there before. The outline I made helped keep me on track instead of feeling like I was losing my mind trying to sort it out.

Setting a Goal

This may not work for everyone, but I am a very goal-oriented person. When I set myself a goal, most of the time I am able to achieve it. When I was first drafting my book, I set myself a target of writing at least 1,000 words a day, which I suppose is the reason I was able to complete the 92,000-word draft within 4 months. Of course, I didn’t always write that much because life gets in the way sometimes and I also went through a low period when I was made redundant at my previous job. But it worked and I decided to set myself a similar goal for this draft.

If I want to finish this draft by the end of March, I need to be writing at least 2,500 words a day. Recently, I’ve been writing more than that because I am at the point in my revision where I can copy and paste certain pieces into the new draft as they don’t need any changes. This will be the case for the second half as I don’t have any beta notes for it, only a few CP ones, but some of the earlier changes will echo through the later chapters, causing dialogue and descriptions to change. At this point, I feel confident I will be able to send the new and improved document to my betas by the end of the month.

Listening to a Playlist

Unfortunately, I can’t write all day, not when I have a job to do and an art commission to finish. Even when I’m not writing, I am still thinking about my characters and the world, and having a playlist dedicated to my book helps a lot. The one I created for Beneath the Empty is full of haunting and cinematic songs which represent the book perfectly. Some songs make me feel emotional and others have me wanting to ride into battle on a dragon. Some have provided a lot of inspiration for certain scenes which wouldn’t have happened without it.

On the days where I’m feeling a little unmotivated to sit down in front of my laptop, I simply pop my headphones in and listen to the playlist. It’s amazing how much my mood can change by doing that and before I know it, I’m typing away. I don’t listen to it while I’m writing (I need to be able to hear the characters in my head, which doesn’t sound creepy at all) but I do when I’m stuck on something.

Rewarding Myself

When I finished the first and second draft of Beneath the Empty, I rewarded myself with my favorite meals, a bottle of wine and a new book. I’ll probably do something similar when I finish this draft, but in between, I give myself smaller rewards. When I reach the end of a chapter, I allow myself to indulge in my favorite treat or watch my favorite TV show. It helps keep me motivated, especially if I’m addicted to what I’m watching. Everyone loves to be rewarded, so don’t be afraid to do it for yourself when you’re writing.

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That’s all I have at the moment and so far, they have been working. I feel so excited every day when I finish work to get home and improve on this story. Before my current manuscript, I never edited a book, ever. I always got better ideas, but Beneath the Empty has my heart and I cannot wait until I can start querying it.

WWW Wednesday – In Love With This Series!

I am currently writing this blog post while the World Cup is on in the background (which I am being forced to watch, but it’s fine). I also have a book next to me ready for half time because I gotta take any chance to read at the moment.

I’m so glad it’s halfway through the week already because it’s one step closer to the weekend and I can spend it reading, writing and drawing. And hopefully finish reading the book I am currently making my way through, which happens to be a very long one.

What Are You Currently Reading?

a court of mist and fury

This book is incredible. I’m already obsessed with this series, the characters and the story. I haven’t read a book like this about the Fae ever before and I am captivated by the magic of this world. I didn’t think Maas’ writing could get any better than the Throne of Glass series, but I was wrong. As the story progresses I am finding my thoughts and feelings on certain characters are changing drastically (hint: it’s Rhys). I am nearly 40% of the way through and it’s taking me much longer to read this story than others. However, I think it’s because there is so much detail in the writing and I just want to savour it. I’ll let you know my thoughts on this series soon.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

ACOTAR

I know, I know, I haven’t written the review for this yet. I am so behind because life has been all over the place lately, but I am going to try and catch up soon. This book completely blew me away, which you can probably tell as I jumped into the second one straight away. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much while reading a book, but at the same time be so tense (especially with that ending). This may be another series that will go down as being one of my favourites ever, so long as the books continue this way.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

a court of wings and ruin

Is there any other book I could read? I have a feeling July will be the month that I finish a full series (if it’s a trilogy, I’m not sure), with the exception of the novella that I haven’t purchased yet. Of course, I have no idea how the second book will end, but I have a feeling it’ll be a cliff hanger for sure!

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What book are you currently reading this week?

My Top 5 Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? Where have the last six months gone?!

I’ve seen a couple of people talk about the books they’ve read so far in the year and which ones they have loved the most. Currently, I have read 33 books, which is 66% of the way through my Goodreads challenge and I am over the moon. There have been some incredible books published in the first half of the year, and I also managed to pick up a couple series that I hadn’t gotten around to.

It was way harder to narrow the 33 down to 5 because I have actually given away so many five stars reviews because the books are that good. They aren’t going to be in an order, as that would make it even harder, but my top 5 so far are…

1. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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I was originally going to put Scythe on this list, but the second one blew me away even more than the first. I can’t stop thinking or talking about this book and I totally get why everyone loves it. The world building is fascinating and the characters are so interesting.

You never really know what is going to happen and the last 50 pages of Thunderhead were shocking, but in a good way. It means I have absolutely no idea what will happen in the third book, The Toll, and I’m even more excited for its publication date. You can check out my review for Scythe here and Thunderhead over here.

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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I’ll tell you how much I loved this debut novel, enough that I am going to meet the author herself in less than a months time! Everything about this book was incredible. The magic system, the stakes, the plots, the characters…Everything!

There was so much hype surrounding this book, which always makes me worried, but I had no reason to be. I cannot fault Children of Blood and Bone because it was amazing. A re-read will definitely be in order before Children of Virtue and Vengeance comes out next year. Check out my 5 star review here.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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I only finished this book two days ago and it is already in my top 5 for the year. Why didn’t I read it before now, you ask? I keep asking myself that because it was freakin’ amazing! I think I might even love it more than the Throne of Glass series, which is saying a lot because I adore those books. I’ll be writing up my review for this book within the next few days, but I can’t get over it.

There is something so appealing about the Fae and these characters really made me feel for them. I was literally smiling as I read their interactions and I can honestly say I’ve fallen for Tamlin (although everyone says I shouldn’t and it makes me nervous). I’m over 100 pages in to A Court of Mist and Fury and I can feel my thoughts changing on certain characters when I didn’t want them to (mainly Tamlin and Rhys), but I just know this series is going to be one of my favourites.

4. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

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The only downside to this book is that it is a standalone. Sky in the Deep knocked my socks off with the world building and how divided it is, the prejudice that surrounds the characters, and not to mention the fact that it has a viking influence. I grew to care so much about these characters and what they were going through as I was reading.

There are some incredible action scenes that were fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat, as well as a sweet romance that blossomed. This book has everything and it was thoroughly deserving of five stars. It is one of those that I could read again and again and never get bored. See more of my thoughts in my review here.

5. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Can I put the Grisha trilogy in here as well? I would say all of her books deserve to be here, but I have yet to read Six of Crows,. However, I chose The Language of Thorns to be in this list as it was the first book I read by her. Honestly, it was magical, as well as being dark and deadly at the same time. I read it in one sitting, that’s how much I loved it. I just couldn’t get enough!

Each of the six stories that are included are beautifully told, and featured the most gorgeous illustrations. Bargudo is an incredible writer who made the words jump off the page and come to life for me. Will I pick it up again one day? Hell yeah! This is the kind of book I will forever keep and one day pass on to my kids if I have any. It was a no brainer to give this 5 stars, and you can check out my review here.

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I could have added so many more books, but then we would be here all night! I know that the rest of 2018 is going to be filled with some amazing reads as well, so I am dreading my end of the year top ten list!

What is the best book that you have read so far this year?

My TBR For July – Starting New Series!

Honestly, I’m not sure why I bother giving myself a TBR anymore because my mood changes and I decide to pick up random books throughout the month. Or I get accepted for NetGalley books and have to slide those ones in (which could be the case this month).

For the month of July I want to start two new series, one of which I already started as I just finished A Court of Thorns and Roses last night (and it was incredible!). The books I am choosing for the rest of the month are all quite large books between 500-700 pages long, so I’m not even sure if I’ll finish them all. Either way, I’m going to try my hardest to read the four books on this list.

And they are:

Considering how much I loved ACOTAR, of course the next two in the series are going to be on my TBR. I am so excited to see where this story goes and what happens to the characters. So, far I am loving Tamlin (although I hear everyone loves Rhys) and as the books are MUCH bigger, I’m assuming a lot of great things happen. If I’m honest, I think I’m enjoying this series more than Throne of Glass, and I read five of those books!

Next I will be carrying on with the Shades of Magic series by reading A Gathering of Shadows. It has been a good five or six months since I read A Darker Shade of Magic, so I can’t wait to dive back into this magical world and see what happens.

And finally, I will be starting the book that everyone seems to love, Six of Crows. I think seeing all the fan art on Twitter has made me even more excited to start this series, considering how much I loved the Grishaverse Trilogy.

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If I manage to finish all of these books, I will be more than happy because that is a lot of pages altogether! Plus, I’m also preoccupied with my own writing, and finally getting back into my art and drawing.

What book are you looking forward to reading the most this month?

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?

WWW Wednesday – An Explanation

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

It’s been a few weeks since I last took part in WWW Wednesday, but I have a perfectly good reason. Almost three weeks ago I came up with a story idea which wasn’t the one I was currently editing (which my mum moaned about because I can never stick to one thing). It came to me out of the blue and everything was so clear; the characters, the story, the romance, the antagonists, everything! So I just had to start writing it and I haven’t stopped since. I’ve written 27,000 words so far and it has basically taken over my life. I can’t stop thinking about it.

For a little bit of background the story features a race called the Dracari who have the ability to shift forms into dragons and each one has an elemental power. I won’t give away what my main character, Afira, has as her power, but each Dracari has a dragon guardian and hers is Kato. I absolutely love writing about their relationship because it is different to anything else I have done before. Of course there is a handsome clansman who she has some history with and there are the hunters in the neighbouring Kingdom that have broken the treaty. Or have they? I can’t say too much, but I am so excited to keep on writing!

So, yeah. That is the reason why I haven’t been around a lot, but I am going to try and change that.

What Are You Currently Reading?

an ember in the ashes

This is a book series that I am seeing everywhere, especially as the third book just came out, so I knew I had to start it. I am already over 30% of the way through (I’m reading on my Kindle) and I’m really enjoying it. I can see how it has been inspired by the Roman legions and there’s quite a bit of brutality, which is to be expected. I love the dual perspectives from Laia and Elias, and how different they are. It will be interesting to see how their paths cross and what will happen. Something tells me I’ll want to buy the second one when I finish it.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

thunderhead

This book wrecked me. I still can’t get over it and I finished it 5 days ago! I think the Arc of a Scythe series is my favourite ever. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love the writing, the world building, the diverse characters and all the political drama that comes with the Scythedom. Scythe was a perfect book and I wasn’t sure it would be topped. I was wrong.

Thunderhead was an incredible read and the last fifty pages had me holding my breath because it was so tense. 2019 seems so far away, which is when The Toll comes out, and it’s made even worse by the fact that it had a cruel cliffhanger. Definitely a set of books I could read again. If you haven’t read Scythe then you can check out my review here, and if you have then you can check out the one for Thunderhead over here.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

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This has been on my TBR list for a while now and I think it’s time to give it a go. I have only heard good things about this series, which makes me even more excited to read it. If it’s as good as the Throne of Glass one then I’ll be more than happy. I don’t know too much about the world and the characters (thankfully I haven’t run into any spoilers on social media) but I can’t wait to dive into the world of the fae.

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Once again, I am sorry for being a little MIA. I still have two reviews to write for Frozen Tides and Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes, both of which I adored, but I think that because I am so far into the series now I am going to do mini reviews instead. Plus, I’ve read a couple books in between that and my memory isn’t all that good.

What book are you currently loving (or not loving) at the moment?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’ve been a little MIA lately, which I will explain about in another blog post, but I have been super excited to write this blog post. There are so many amazing books that I want to read over the next few months. I get really bad hay-fever so I tend to try and stay indoors when the pollen levels are high, which means I get a lot of time for reading.

It wasn’t too difficult to choose which books to put on this list, mainly because they’re all ones I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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I’ve been meaning to read this series, but I was so caught up with the Throne of Glass series that I figured it would be best to wait. Well, I only have Tower of Dawn to read, so you can bet that I am starting this. Everyone always says how much they love these books and the characters, so I can’t wait.

2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an ember in the ashes

I am seeing this series everywhere, so of course I’m going to want to read it (spoiler: I already bought it on my Kindle). Plus, that cover is gorgeous! I originally wanted to buy it in this version, but I couldn’t find a seller, and I won’t order from the US Amazon because shipping is too high. However, I am really excited to read these books and see what all the hype is about.

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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The time has finally come when I can read this series! I am so excited to dive back into this magical world and meet new characters that everyone loves. I have a lot of expectations going into this new series and I hope that they can be met!

4. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crooked kingdom

I already know what’s going to happen. I’m going to end up enjoying Six of Crows and I’ll just have to dive into the next one. And then I’ll feel sad that I read them so quickly.

5. Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn

While I haven’t bought this book yet, I definitely will be within the next two months. I have heard some amazing things and people are raving about this book. It is such a unique idea and while I don’t know too much, I can’t wait to be surprised.

6. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

godsgrave

I absolutely loved Nevernight. It is one of my favourite reads ever, and the UK paperback for Godsgrave comes out very soon! I will probably read this towards the end of the summer, mainly because the third and final book, Darkdawn, won’t be out until next year. I am definitely looking forward to this one.

7. Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

immortal reign

How am I already onto the final book? I don’t want this series to end! I love all the characters and each book in the series has hooked me even more than the last. I only finished the fifth one a couple of days ago, so I still have to buy this, but I cannot wait. I have no idea how it will end. I just want Magnus and Cleo to live happily ever after. Please.

8. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

tower of dawn

Gearing up for the big finale in October! I’m a little sad that this won’t feature all the other characters, as it’s mainly about Chaol, but I’m still looking forward to reading it. Although the blue cover REALLY stands out against the rest, which are all white. Not quite feeling it, but if Kingdom of Ash is dark, it’s alright.

9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone

I’ve already read this once, back in March, but I am going to an event at Waterstones to meet the woman herself! I am so excited and figured it would be a good idea to re-read the book so I am prepared for the event. Expect lots of pictures and a long blog post about it all in the beginning of August.

10. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

a gathering of shadows

It has been a good few months since I read A Darker Shade of Magic and I am ready to jump back into this world. I’ve heard that the books just get better as they go along, and also that they crush a lot of peoples’ hearts, but I’m gonna ignore that part.

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That is all!

What books are you looking forward to reading the most this summer?

WWW Wednesday – Cliffhangers!

It’s the peak of the week, as my manager at work likes to call it. It’s been a great week so far, not that anything incredible has happened, I’m just very happy. It helps that there are only two days left of work and then I have a weekend of reading and writing ahead of me.

Speaking of my writing, I hit 8,000 words of my dragon WIP today after writing 1.5K at lunch and I am loving it! The characters are perfect to me and they seem so real when I’m writing them, which makes me realise I’m doing something right. I might even do a bit more tonight if I have time before Love Island (which I shouldn’t be watching but I can’t help it – it’s addictive).

What Are You Currently Reading?

crystal storm

I know I said in my last weekly wrap up that I would read Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman next, but with a cliffhanger like the one Frozen tides gave me, how could I not pick up Crystal Storm? Already I am a third of the way through and I am loving it. More characters are being added into the fray and it seems like everyone’s paths are about to cross once more. I am so glad with the way Magnus is acting in this book, it makes my heart happy. Fingers crossed I can finish this before the week is up!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

frozen tides

That ending! This book! There was so much treachery, I loved it. I swear this series just gets better and better, with so much political manoeuvring that it’s hard to keep up. There were some unlikely alliances, and romances that I was happy to finally see come to life. I am pretty sure that Falling Kingdoms has solidified itself as one of my favourite series ever at this point! Keep an eye out for the review, which I will probably be writing tomorrow.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

thunderhead

I think I am going to be spending my weekend dedicated to this book. Thunderhead has me so excited, especially with the way that Scythe ended. I won’t lie, my expectations are high for this, just because of how much I loved the first one. I highly doubt that it will disappoint. Not to mention, the covers for these books are so pleasing. I just love the design and the colours…Amazing! I can’t wait to see what colour the third will be. I’m kind of hoping it’s either dark blue or purple.

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There we have it! My plans for the rest of the week are pretty much sorted at this point.

What book are you currently reading?