The Fourth Wing by. Rebecca Yarros | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Fourth Wing (#1)

Author: Rebecca Yarros

Format: ebook (owned)

Pages: 662

Publication Date: 5/2/2023

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, New Adult, Series, Dragons

Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die .

Content Warning: violence

I’ve been seeing so many good reviews for this one and then I found an audiobook copy available on my online library and so I borrowed it. Two chapters in and I made the decision to buy the ebook and read it faster because I was hooked!

This book has everything I want in an enemies to lovers romance. It has a competition, high stakes, great world building, friendship, enemies, a satisfying slow burn, tension, action and dragons. And it’s not a quick read – I actually stayed up past midnight to finish this on and honestly it was worth it.

Violet is supposed be a scribe but her mother, General Sorrengail, believes all her children should be dragon riders. But Violet isn’t physically strong like her deceased brother, and her sister Mira. She wasn’t trained in warfare. Being a Sorrengail doesn’t do Violet any favors in the Riders Quadrant, many of her classmates are out for her blood. It’s survival of the fittest and Violet believes she’ll die trying to be a rider, but better to die than disappoint her mother. I love Violet’s story and how she overcomes various physical challenges in order to become a rider. I was rooting for her all the way!

The secondary characters are fantastic as well. I love Rhiannon who was Violet’s first friend. All the other classmates we meet along the way are distinct in their own way. It’s a big cast but every character had a way of standing out, even if they were hateful. And the dragons are epic, majestic, fearsome and I love the bond they have with their rider. The banter between Violet and her dragons are so fun. I even love her relationship with her sister Mira, who I hope we get to see more of in book two. I love the sibling bond being strong despite the way their mother treats them.

And the bond between Violet and Xaden is purely electric. What a slow, hot burn between these two. And it wasn’t even purely focused on them in the beginning of the story. He came and went while Violet was training hard, but their interactions are so good and it kept building to an awesome climax and I mean that literally! When they finally can’t stay away from her, my goodness, it was everything I wanted it to be in an enemies to lovers romance – even what happens in the end. I love them.

The ending…when you think this book can’t get any better, it ends in a cliffhanger like that. This story was an amazing ride. I can’t wait for book two, which comes out in November. Thank you for not making us wait forever!

Why you should read it:

  • the enemies to lovers between Violet and Xaden
  • the world building, the characters, the competition, the action, the dragons!
  • book two comes out in a few months

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into dragons

My Thoughts:

The hype is real for this one and it’s well worth it if you like everything I’ve mentioned above. I’m always looking for a good new adult fantasy that has all the elements I love – especially if it’s an enemies to lovers romance, and this one gave me all the feels I’ve been searching for lately. I’m counting down to book two which releases 3 days after my birthday!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


These Infinite Threads by. Tahereh Mafi | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: These Infinite Threads (This Woven Kingdom, #2)

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Format: ebook (owned)

Pages: 416

Publication Date: 2/7/2023

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, Series

With the heat of a kiss, the walls between Alizeh, the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom, and Kamran, the crown prince of the Ardunian empire, have crumbled. And so have both of their lives. Alizeh, the heir to the Jinn throne, is destined to free her people from the half-lives they’ve been forced to live under human rule. When Kamran, the heir to the human throne, falls in love with her, he’s forced to question everything he’s been taught about Jinn. Kamran’s grandfather lays dead at the hand of Cyrus, ruler of the neighboring kingdom of Tulan. Cyrus has stolen Alizeh away to his homeland and plans to marry her there, giving her everything she needs to become the Jinn queen—and when she assumes the throne he will have fulfilled his own bargain with the devil. Alizeh wants nothing to do with Cyrus’s deal or the devil. But without a way to escape Tulan, and with the fulfillment of her own destiny tantalizingly close, she’ll have to decide whether she can set aside her emotions to become the queen her people need. Kamran, meanwhile, is picking up the pieces in Ardunia. Facing betrayal at every turn, all he knows is that he must go to Tulan to avenge his grandfather. He can only hope that Alizeh will be waiting for him there—and that she hasn’t yet become the queen of Tulan.

Content Warning: violence

I went into this with no expectations and of course, of course Tahereh Mafi throws in a love triangle. Is Cyrus the new Warner (Shatter Me series)? 😆 I can’t take it anymore. J/k, give me more! lol

What exactly happens in this sequel? I have no clue! Nothing much moves the story forward – so why did I enjoy it? Well, I didn’t enjoy Kamran and Alizeh being separated because then I wanted to read more of Alizeh’s interactions with Cyrus than all the emotional trauma Kamran was going through. He lost his grandfather, he lost the girl he was falling deeply in love with (he’s kind of obsessed but is it magic doing it to him or not?), and he’s now physically deformed and probably dying. Kamran’s scenes are best when he’s with Hazan, who he wants to kill but their bond goes deeper than that. I like their friendship, their banter is fun, even when it’s not meant to be.

Speaking of banter – what was going on with Alizeh and Cyrus? There is tension, hate, desire, and even at some points mutual understanding and maybe friendship – which I love. Alizeh is soft, beautiful, and naive. Cyrus is her exact opposite and when the two are together their fighting is so good – it’s pretty much the only thing that held me in thrall during the whole story. Who will Alizeh end up with? Cyrus who pretty much knows everything about her or Kamran, who fell in love with her before he knew what she was.

There is something about Alizeh that bugged me but I don’t know if that’s because I’m used to reading about bad-ass girls in books. Alizeh is a soft girl, and I don’t mean she hasn’t struggled, but her whole demeanor is soft. She’s a gorgeous girl who cries easily, a sweetheart basically and there is nothing wrong with that at all. She hasn’t had an easy life. She’s had to struggle in life because she’s different. I felt like she at least was stronger in book one. I think being with Cyrus brings out the fight in her though and I like that because she’s supposed to lead her people. If she’s someone destined to be Queen and lead her people, the Jinn, then I want to see her get stronger, while keeping her softness.

Where does this leave Kamran and Alizeh, I don’t know. He wants to kill her, but he’s also obsessed with her. I’m team Cyrus for now, but I’m afraid what the devil, Iblees, will do to him and I can imagine all the ways this story could break my heart if I root for Cyrus. 😅 I’ll root for him anyway.

Tropes: special girl, love triangle

Why you should read it:

  • the enemies to lovers between Cyrus and Alizeh, love how they fight and hoping to see them one day “love”

Why you might not want to read it:

  • it’s a filler sequel – nothing much happens
  • love triangle

My Thoughts:

For a sequel that’s basically just a filler, I know I gave it a high rating but Alizeh and Cyrus was really entertaining. I hate when there is a love triangle where I like both guys. It’s a guaranteed heartbreaker! I do wish more happened with the plot, because when I ended the book, I was left with the feeling of “what? that’s it?!”. Will I be reading book three? Most definitely yes, just to see who Alizeh ends up with – and I’m hoping it’s Cyrus, but the devil or Alizeh may kill him by then. 😒

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This Woven Kingdom by. Tahereh Mafi | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Review: Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Book Review: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King by. Carissa Broadbent | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King (#2)

Author: Carissa Broadbent

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 665

Publication Date: 4/14/2023

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Vampires, New Adult

Love is a sacrifice at the altar of power.

In the wake of the Kejari, everything Oraya once thought to be true has been destroyed. A prisoner in her own kingdom, grieving the only family she ever had, and reeling from a gutting betrayal, she no longer even knows the truth of her own blood. She’s left only with one certainty: she cannot trust anyone, least of all Raihn.

The House of Night, too, is surrounded by enemies. Raihn’s own nobles are none too eager to accept a Turned king, especially one who was once a slave. And the House of Blood digs their claws into the kingdom, threatening to tear it apart from the inside.

When Raihn offers Oraya a secret alliance, taking the deal is her only chance at reclaiming her kingdom–and gaining her vengeance against the lover who betrayed her. But to do so, she’ll need to harness a devastating ancient power, intertwined with her father’s greatest secrets.

But with enemies closing in on all sides, nothing is as it seems. As she unravels her past and faces her future, Oraya finds herself forced to choose between the bloody reality of seizing power – and the devastating love that could be her downfall.

Content Warning: violence, death

I’ve been waffling back and forth on how to rate this book because I loved it but also I had some issues with it (not major) so maybe it’s more like a 4.25 rating? I loved the first book because it was pretty ruthless and there was a competition, so it was a fast moving story.

After the events of book one, Oraya and Raihn are a bit broken. Raihn has gotten what he wanted but has hurt Oraya beyond belief. He’s killed Vincent, to become the new King of the House of Night. What I really love about this book is the struggle Oraya and Raihn have to deal with. Raihn is trying to be a better king, but how when there is no one he can really trust. And how does he mend things with Oraya? As for Oraya she has to reconcile all the lies and truths she knows of Vincent and deal with her grief at the same time. She loves him, but she hates him too and she needs to figure out how to move on in his life without him. Then there is the problem of Raihn, her husband, her best friend really, but also her enemy. He has broken her heart. The shining star in this book are the relationships between Raihn and Oraya, and also Oraya’s memories of Vincent.

Speaking of Raihn and Oraya – yes she has been so hurt by him, but under the hurt is the friendship they built in book one and I loved when that side of them would peek out from the pain between them. It’s quite a love story and one that shows no matter how times were going to get…even if they couldn’t say the words and even didn’t know it was love, that ultimately it was heading towards it. They are a great couple. They have each other’s back and I love that they are not fated mates. I like that they had to do very hard work and fight for their bond and love. I’m also glad we get two perspectives because the whole situation between them is complicated.

I love that Mische came back into the story because she’s a ray of sunshine in such a dark story. And yes, Vincent is a bad man, but he is one of my favorite characters. He was a ruthless king, saw humans as beneath him but his half-human daughter does something to him. And I liked all the complicated feelings Oraya has about him and I was so so sad for her and with her.

I did hear that this series is now going to be a 6 book series but that Raihn and Oraya’s story is concluded. With that said, there are some loose ends in the story, especially when it comes to Septimus and I’m sure he will be dealt with in the future books. I think Mische’s story is next though so that will be exciting to read. She deserves a great love story of her own.

As for the story-telling, I think there was a few lulls in the story because Oraya is in grieving mode and Raihn is in rebuilding mode. But I did love the action when it was there – especially when they visit Oraya’s cousin.

Tropes: enemies to lovers

Why you should read it:

  • you liked book one and want to be immersed in this world again
  • Oraya and Raihn
  • Oraya and Vincent (heartbreaking)

Why you might not want to read it:

  • didn’t enjoy the first one
  • some loose ends but it’s going to be a 6 book series

My Thoughts:

I’m sad that Raihn and Oraya’s story is over but super excited for Mische to get a spotlight because she deserves one. I think this was a good conclusion for Riahn and Oraya – I mean these two really battled it out between one another, between enemies and traitors, and each time they came back together. I’ll miss Vincent but I did feel like Oraya got closure about her feelings about him. Oraya found herself and learned to become powerful without him – which is what she deserved. This was an awesome book, some issues here and there but overall it was entertaining and it met my expectations!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

The Serpent and the Wings of Night by. Carissa Broadbent | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kingdom of Blood and Salt by. Alexis Calder | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Kingdom of Blood and Salt (#1)

Author: Alexis Calder

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 330

Publication Date: 3/30/2023

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Fae, Shapeshifter, Vampire, Political, New Adult

An epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Raven Kennedy, and Sarah J Maas.

After spending years training to defend my people from our enemies, I never expected that my enemy would be the one keeping me alive.

Athos is the last human city. A treaty with the Fae keeps the fae, the vampires, and the wolf shifters at bay, while we fight against the dragons at our border. Being a human in this world is dangerous and we all make sacrifices to survive.

When the delegation sent by the Fae King arrives to claim the human tributes required by our treaty, I never expected to forge a connection with their leader.

Ryvin is as dangerous as he is handsome. I know he’s my enemy, and I know I’m supposed to hate him, but with each passing day, he’s more difficult to resist.

But things are changing in Athos. Humans no longer want to bend to the Fae King.

Alliances blur and centuries of lies begin to unravel.

And I’m faced with a choice.

No matter how much I hate him, Ryvin might be the key to preventing war.

But it may mean sacrificing everything….

Kingdom of Blood and Salt is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy with fae, vampires, and shifters. This enemies to lovers series contains violence, mature language, and spice. This is a NA/adult fantasy romance and steam level will increase as the series progresses. Mind the cliff.

Content Warning: violence, sexual assault

I wanted a Fae story and I got one with some vampires and shapeshifters on the side.

So this is the typical romantasy – an illegitimate human princess, Ara, meets a tall, dark, handsome stranger, Ryvin, who turns out to be part of the delegation from the enemy Fae kingdom of Konos. The attraction between them is instant. This is an enemies to lovers romance, and the animosity and desire between Ara and Ryvin was the most entertaining part of this book.

There wasn’t really anything new in this story compared to other books that are similar to ACOTAR and this genre. Ara is trying to be a dutiful princess, and out of all her sisters, she’s the one training to be a warrior but when secrets are unveiled, her world is shattered. Ryvin is the typical charming, possessive, sexy, shadow-wielding, Fae (or I think he’s Fae?). I enjoyed the sparks between them! She’s sassy and he can’t help but be attracted to her resistance of him. I think my favorite part was whenever the two of them were together and aggravated with one another.

There is spice but for some strange reason I felt like it could have been spicier? I think because their fighting was so good I just felt like the sex should have had a better pay off. But I think there is hope for it in the next book. I know it’s because they agreed it would be just the act and no feelings (even though there is definitely feelings!).

I also enjoyed the sisterhood between Ara, Cora, Lagina and Sophia. It would be nice to get to know all of them better. That goes for Ryvin and the kingdom of Konos. I will be reading book two just to learn more about Konos and maybe eventually the other kingdoms.

Tropes: enemies to lovers, princess is a sacrifice, shadow-wielding death Fae

Why you should read it:

  • you like stories about the Fae
  • enemies to lovers romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into stories that are inspired by ACOTAR

My Thoughts:

I found this one entertaining but I often love stories about the Fae even if they are starting to sound alike! I enjoyed the bickering and spice between Ara and Ryvin because I like a good enemies to lovers romance with my romantasy stories. I think Ryvin is still mostly a mystery though, as is the kingdom of Konos. Another thing I liked is the relationship between Ara and her sisters. I didn’t feel like this book had anything outstanding and unique about it but I enjoyed it regardless.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Forestborn by. Elayne Audrey Becker | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Forestborn (#1)

Author: Elayne Audrey Becker

Format: hardcover (own)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 8/31/21

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Political Intrigue, Shape Shifters


Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness–and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.

When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up–and to which she swore never to return.

But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley’s is not the only life that hangs in the balance.

Content Warning: violence

It took me a few months to finish this book and not because it’s bad at all! I was in the mood and then not in the mood for a few months, so I read this little by little until finally I was recently in the mood to finish!

The things I enjoyed about this book: the world building, the shape-shifter magic and the political intrigue. I love the sibling relationship between Rora and Helos. There is very slow burn romance brewing, one that I just put to the side because it was barely there for a long while in the book. I just concentrated on the relationship between Rora and Helos.

There is a lot of travel and adventure in this story and it’s where Rora and Weslyn finally lower their guards to get to know each other better. It will be interesting to see what happens in book two.

Tropes: slow burn, sibling bond

Why you should read it:

  • adventure, world-building, shape-shifter magic
  • slow burn romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • no reasons I can think of – maybe if you are not in a fantasy mood

My Thoughts:

Once I pushed through the story, I actually enjoyed the story. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Rora and her brother Helos. I love their shape-shifter magic and the adventure they go on. I look forward to reading the next book..

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Outlet

**I got my copy from Book Outlet but sometimes they don’t have it in stock, so keep that in mind if you click the link**

Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by. Rati Mehrotra | Audiobook Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove

Author: Rati Mehrotra

Narrator: Zehra Naqvi

Format: audoiobook (borrowed)

Pages: 352

Publication Date: 10/18/22

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Romance

To learn what she can become, she must first discover who she is.

Katyani’s role in the kingdom of Chandela has always been clear: becoming an advisor and protector of the crown prince, Ayan, when he ascends to the throne. Bound to the Queen of Chandela through a forbidden soul bond that saved her when she was a child, Katyani has grown up in the royal family and become the best guardswoman the Garuda has ever seen. But when a series of assassination attempts threatens the royals, Katyani is shipped off to the gurukul of the famous Acharya Mahavir as an escort to Ayan and his cousin, Bhairav, to protect them as they hone the skills needed to be the next leaders of the kingdom. Nothing could annoy Katyani more than being stuck in a monastic school in the middle of a forest, except her run-ins with Daksh, the Acharya’s son, who can’t stop going on about the rules and whose gaze makes her feel like he can see into her soul.

But when Katyani and the princes are hurriedly summoned back to Chandela before their training is complete, tragedy strikes and Katyani is torn from the only life she has ever known. Alone and betrayed in a land infested by monsters, Katyani must find answers from her past to save all she loves and forge her own destiny. Bonds can be broken, but debts must be repaid.

Content Warning: violence, whipping scene, death

I read this one as an audiobook and I am horrible with retaining details when I’m doing an audiobook but I’m trying to practice by listening to more audiobooks! With that said I found this book to be very entertaining. The narrator did such an excellent job doing to the voices for everyone.

I loved the action, adventure and humor in this book. The world-building is lush and it’s inspired by medieval India, which I thought was cool. I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters. Katayani’s relationship with the royals she grew up protecting was so fun to listen to because they acted like siblings. There were a few twists in this book and some that are heartbreaking – this story is emotional. There is a romance and I thought it was entertaining with how it started since the Katayani and Daksh are such opposites in character. It got rough for the two of them though.

There were some parts in the second half of the book that I was pushing through and I couldn’t understand why I was ready for the story to be over – don’t know if it’s because it’s an audiobook and I was impatient to finish or something in the story wasn’t holding my attention.

Tropes: opposites attract

Why you should read it:

  • it’s a standalone fantasy
  • the romance between Katayani and Daksh
  • the adventure, world-building and relationships between characters

Why you might not want to read it:

  • some pacing issues

My Thoughts:

Overall, I found this one to be really entertaining. I liked the world building, relationships and Katayani’s strong personality. The adventure kept the story moving. It had only slight some pacing issues but I still think it was an enjoyable story.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rule of the Aurora King by. Nisha J. Tuli | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Rule of the Aurora King (#2)

Author: Nisha J. Tuli

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 4/6/23

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, Fae, Adult

“I am not his conquest. I am not his to claim. I am my own castle.”

Freed from the golden clutches of the Sun King, Lor now finds herself in the hands of Nadir, the Aurora Prince. Convinced she’s hiding something, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her talk. But Lor knows the value of secrets—she’s been keeping them her entire life—and she’s not letting hers go without a fight.

When Lor and Nadir team up to search for a lost item that holds the key to her past and her future, she isn’t sure if she can trust him. All she knows is she won’t fall for his promises and make the same mistakes again.

Lor also hasn’t forgotten her vow to destroy the Aurora King. As Atlas hunts her across Ouranos, Lor plots to bring down the Imperial Fae who took everything. But she soon realizes the future of the continent is about so much more than just her shattered legacy.

Content Warning: mentions of sexual assault, violence

In book one, Trial of the Sun Queen – Lor was sent from prison to a competition to be Queen, and it had lots of action and court intrigue. It had all the tropes I enjoyed. But the ending of that book was a cliffhanger and turned the story in another direction – straight towards Nadir, the fae Aurora Prince.

The thing I loved about this book was the tension between Lor and Nadir who hate each other mutually but want each other overwhelmingly and don’t know why. Plus this is a dual POV book so we get both of their thoughts. I loved their bickering because Lor is never one to back down and Nadir can’t help but edging her on. He’s that type of guy who thinks she’s hot when she’s spitting mad at him! So I wanted the steam to burn but every time they got hot, something would dampen the fire (Lor pulling away). The back and forth between them kind of drove me crazy but she had some stuff to work through mentally. Because obviously she wants him badly physically! There were some steamy scenes but these two still don’t have sex in this book, so I’m expecting book three to be filled with some good spicy scenes.

I think because book one was a competition, stakes were higher. In this one, Lor has time to process some of her trauma from the prison. She’s also trying to figure out who to trust. We learn more about the kingdom of Heart and we even get snippets of the past, which I thought would lessen my enjoyment of the story because sometimes time jumps don’t work for me, but this one was interesting since it’s about Lor’s grandmother and what happened to mess everything up in their world. Lor is in search of the Heart Crown in this book and Nadir partners up with her to try and find it because he needs her power to help defeat his evil dad.

I like the themes about family in this story. Lor and her siblings which makes you realize what she’s trying to fight for (I keep forgetting she’s the youngest of the three!). Also I love Nadir and Amya’s sibling relationship also. Put them all together and they are starting to become kind of a family.

Of course the ending is a cliffhanger and now I have to wait patiently for book three!

Tropes: one horse, pretend lover, enemies to lovers, mutual hate/longing, fated mates, possessive male fae, slow burn

Why you should read it:

  • frustrating, steamy slow burn – so much tension!
  • it’s got a lot of enjoyable fantasy tropes and the Fae
  • family bonds

Why you might not want to read it:

  • maybe wait for the last book so you can binge the whole thing

My Thoughts:

I was not disappointed in this sequel. I was all in for the crazy tension between Lor and Nadir! Those two are off the charts and the slow burn is making me a little bit impatient but at least there were a few spicy scenes to keep me hanging on. Lor is a Queen in the making who won’t back down and Nadir is a Prince who usually gets his way so we shall see what happens to them in the next book!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Trial of the Sun Queen by. Nisha J. Tuli | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Hunger of Thorns by. Lili Wilkinson | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: A Hunger Thorns

Author: Lili Wilkinson

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 4/18/23

Publisher: Delacorte

Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, LGBT, Magic, Paranormal, Young Adult

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Delacorte for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Maude is the daughter of witches. She spent her childhood running wild with her best friend, Odette, weaving stories of girls who slayed dragons and saved princes. Then Maude grew up and lost her magic—and her best friend.

These days, magic is toothless, reduced to glamour patches and psychic energy drinks found in supermarkets and shopping malls. Odette has always hungered for forbidden, dangerous magic, and two weeks ago she went searching for it. Now she’s missing, and everyone says she’s dead. Everyone except Maude.

Storytelling has always been Maude’s gift, so she knows all about girls who get lost in the woods. She’s sure she can find Odette inside the ruins of Sicklehurst, an abandoned power plant built over an ancient magical forest—a place nobody else seems to remember is there. The danger is, no one knows what remains inside Sicklehurst, either. And every good story is sure to have a monster.

Content Warning: violence, death

The cover on this book caught my eye really quick. It’s gorgeous! As for the story, this is what I thought:

+ This is a dark fairy-tale and some parts of it reminded me of the book, The Hazel Wood. There are modern and fantasy elements and there are monsters and violence.

+ Maude is an unreliable narrator and a pretty good one meaning I couldn’t tell if what she was remembering was a dream, hallucination or a memory. As the story unfolds and the story comes together, it starts to make more sense. I did like the concept of the story.

+ I found the magic system intriguing and the world is unique. Maude is from a line of witches and magic in the town seems like it’s a forbidden thing. I also liked the fairy-tale characters that come to life, they were interesting!

~ The pacing didn’t work for me. Most of the action takes place in the second half of the book.

~ It took too long for me to feel like I understood the world. It’s contemporary with fantasy elements but in the beginning of the story I was trying to figure it out because it had some modern things like the power plant and the way the characters talk. I didn’t feel settled into the story until almost the end. I think if it was pure fantasy it would have worked much better for me.

~ I didn’t connect to the characters but it kept me hooked enough to finish because I wanted to see how Maude would fix things. Maude was a bit obsessed over Odette but I guess that’s something she was working out with her other issues about losing people in her life.

Tropes: unreliable narrator

Why you should read it:

  • you like dark fairytales, unique world building and interesting magic system
  • unreliable narrator

Why you might not want to read it:

  • slow beginning, got interesting in the end

My Thoughts:

I love the book cover and I love the concept of the story. I think the dark fairytale aspect of the story with the unreliable narrator was enough to keep me interested. The thing that was a miss for me was the pacing, which was too slow in the beginning with flashback memories that made the story feel like a dream at some points. Also the characters were interesting but I couldn’t connect to anyone. It seems like there will be a sequel but I’m not sure that I will continue the series. I think people who like dark fairytales like The Hazel Wood.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

These Twisted Bonds by. Lexi Ryan | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: These Twisted Bonds (These Hollow Vows #2)

Author: Lexi Ryan

Format: hardcover (own)

Pages: 496

Publication Date: 7/18/22

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, New Adult, Magic

Brie finds herself caught between two princes and two destinies while the future of the fae realm hangs in the balance.

After Abriella’s sister was sold to the fae, she thought life couldn’t get any worse. But when she suddenly finds herself caught in a web of lies of her own making ­- loving two princes and trusting neither – things are not quite as clear as she once thought.

As civil war wages in the Court of Darkness, Brie finds herself unable to choose a side. How can she know where she stands when she doesn’t even know herself anymore? In this darkly romantic thrill ride, the more Faerie is torn apart from the inside, the clearer it becomes that prophecies don’t lie and Brie has a role to play in the fate of this magical realm – whether she likes it or not.

Content Warning: violence

I finally got to read this book! Here is what I thought:

+ I honestly forgot what happened in These Hollow Vows – but the sequel did a good job in reminding me of past events. I did remember that this had a major love triangle and it continues in this conclusion. There is a choice made though, thank goodness. I was definitely there for the romance but I have more thoughts on that below.

+ I enjoyed it because I love Fae stories. It’s got a lot of the tropes I love: fake dating, love triangle, one bed, etc…and also it’s got some sexual situations which is always surprising because I always see this cover and think young adult. But this New Adult.

~ I think I would have eaten this book up in my 20’s. In my 40’s I was tired of her going back and forth between her feelings. And I always enjoy love triangles but I hate it when it’s between brothers because I tend to like both brothers! So yes 20 year old me would’ve given this 5 stars but 40 year old me has no patience lol.

~ I love chosen one stories but why is Brie so special? I was rolling my eyes when another Fae King started flirting with her. Like come on! And because of that, this book could have been 100 pages less. This is an always 500 page book. There is a lot of angst on Sebastian’s part – ugh….Sebastian. Actually there was a lot of angst going around – Brie was was blaming herself. She’s the special one but she doesn’t know why (I didn’t either) and she kept saying everything was her fault.

Why you should read it:

  • all the tropes, Fae, romantasy
  • you want to complete the duology
  • entertaining

Why you might not want to read it:

  • love triangle, angst, blame game

My Thoughts:

Like I said above, I would have eaten this up in my 20’s. In my 40’s I’m a bit less patient about the love triangle (and I usually like love triangles) and the angst, along with the blame game. Also it was maybe 100 pages too long. But I did find the story entertaining because I like romantasy and especially when there is Fae involved, so I’m glad I got to take this off my TBR list!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

These Hollow Vows | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

The Foxglove King by. Hannah Whitten | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Foxglove King (The Nightshade Crown, #1)

Author: Hannah Whitten

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 466

Publication Date: 3/7/23

Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Magic, Kingdom Politics, LGBT+, Romance

In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.

Content Warning: violence

I liked this author’s previous series but didn’t love it. When I heard about this new book I was excited to read it because the synopsis sounded intriguing. Here is what I thought:

+ I love all the political intrigue in this story. The king thinks his son is betraying their kingdom by working with the enemy so they plant a spy, Lore, to find out his secrets. What she finds out is more than what she was led to believe. I enjoyed following Lore and this story to see where it would go, and I can say it wasn’t disappointing.

+ I enjoyed the world building and magic system. Lore can control Mortem – which is basically death. She’s basically a necromancer but that’s the least of her problems. There is a power play happening in court between the King, and the religious body the Presque Mort, and Lore is being played around like a puppet.

+ I was definitely invested in the characters, especially Lore, Gabe, Bastian and Alie. I was not disappointed with how everything unraveled and it makes me eager to read book two.

~ I can’t really call this a romance which was my biggest issue with the book. I wanted all the romantasy I got in her previous series! I was waiting and waiting for it and only got 2 kisses when this is definitely the type of story that calls for more heat. Gabe is basically a monk and he is attracted to Lore – he’s fighting tooth and nail against it, which means, I wanted a little more stolen kisses between them. Also…is this a love triangle? I’m not sure yet…because I don’t feel like Bastian comes off as a love interest. I feel like he and Lore are very good friends instead. So I don’t know but really, these characters are 23+ and I admit I wanted more action between Lore and Gabe at least! There was some angst between them though.

~ The story moved slowly but honestly I am so surprised I read this in two days. Usually a slow moving plot will lost my attention but I think the characters kept me in the story.

~ Lore…I liked her but I also expected more from her being a spy with all these powers? Okay she doesn’t know much about it but she came off confident in the first pages but when she has to spy on the prince – it’s not easy for her and she blows her cover right away. The prince is smart and calculating and I kind of wanted her to match up against him but I guess they were matched in a different way.

Why you should read it:

  • you like kingdom politics
  • it’s not heavy on the romance
  • I enjoyed getting to know the characters

Why you might not want to read it:

  • a love triangle brewing? To be honest, I wanted more romance

My Thoughts:

I like this series much more than the previous one already! It held my attention even though some parts were slow because I was invested in the characters. If you don’t like love triangles, you won’t like this one even though it’s not clear where Lore’s attentions will land. I liked the ending of this book and can’t wait to see what happens in book two!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

For the Throne by. Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

For the Wolf by. Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️