Blog tour, book review, fantasy, magic, romance, Young Adult

BLOG TOUR} These Feathered Flames by. Alexandra Overy | ARC Review

Welcome to the blog tour for These Feathered Flames by. Alexandra Overy!

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: These Feathered Flames

Author: Alexandra Overy

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 496

Publication Date: 4/20/21

Publisher: Inkyard Press

BUY HERE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | AppleBooks | GooglePlay

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sibling Rivalry, Political Intrigue

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

Three Dark Crowns meets Wicked Saints in this queer #ownvoices retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale, by debut author Alexandra Overy.

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

  • It has a gorgeous cover! I love red covers.
  • I liked the power of the Firebird. Izaveta and Asya are twins but separated because one will be Queen and the other will be this mysterious, powerful Firebird. The Firebird basically finds someone who’s done something it deems wrong and takes “payment” in usually violent ways from the person committing the crime. Asya is the Firebird and she is trying to control the power in her, afraid of it’s power.
  • Izaveta is the cold and cunning princess who will be Queen. She plays the politic games and tries to stay a step ahead of everyone, including her own sister.
  • There is a strained relationship between them since both have different roles in this kingdom. But each of them have missed one another, so it was interesting to see them navigate their relationship as strangers pretty much. Deep down though, their need for each other is fierce.
  • I liked Asya’s growing relationship with her guard. Asya is feared and despised by everyone around her, including her guard, but things change when they are thrown together. Things definitely get intense between them and it’s a f/f romance. Izaveta has a growing love interest as well but with a scholar.
  • Sadly, I didn’t connect to any of the characters.
  • If you like Three Dark Crowns where sisters are against one another, you will enjoy this one. I think I needed to be in the right mood to read this one.

For me this was just an okay read, maybe it would have been more enjoyable for me if I was in the right mood for it. I do think the story is fascinating with the Firebird storyline and it will definitely appeal to young adult fantasy readers.

🔥 ~ Yolanda

About the Author:

ALEXANDRA OVERY was born in London, England. Ever since she was little she has loved being able to escape into another world through books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, and is completing her MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA. When she’s not working on a new manuscript or procrastinating on doing homework, she can be found obsessing over Netflix shows, or eating all the ice cream she can.

https://www.alexandraovery.com/

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

book review, fantasy, magic, romance

Fly with the Arrow | Book Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Fly with the Arrow (Bluebird’s Secret, #1)

Author: Sarah K.L. Wilson

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 311

Publication Date: 3/2/21

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Fairytale Retelling, Fae, Young Adult/New Adult

A STOLEN BRIDE. A TERRIFYING BRIDEGROOM. THE GAME THAT WILL DETERMINE THEIR FATES.

No one told her the most important law of the court – the Law of Greeting.
If they had, maybe she wouldn’t have greeted Bluebeard when he arrived to claim a mortal wife. And if she hadn’t greeted him, she wouldn’t have become his sixteenth wife or been swept away to the lands of the Wittenhame.

But if none of that had happened, then she wouldn’t have been an integral part of the game that takes place every two hundred years – a game that determines the fates of nations .

For not all is as it seems, not in her homeland of Pensmoore, not in the Wittenhame, and certainly not in her new marriage.

  • I haven’t read the classic Bluebeard story but I’ve heard about it, and always thought it was just some pirate story. After reading this retelling of it, I’m very curious about Bluebeard (I don’t think I’ll read it still) but I’m fascinated about why he killed his wives! Anyway back to Fly with the Arrow, I found this to be a fast-paced, wild story that at times reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, Izolda being Alice and entering this crazy and wild world of the fae in Wittenhame.
  • Izolda is very level-headed for 19 years old which I appreciated because Arrow (Bluebeard) is really her opposite, full of energy, mood swings and very unpredictable. They are a great match, balancing each other out.
  • I enjoyed the world building even though at times I felt confused, because there is a lot going on but I also didn’t mind the whirlwind of it…if that makes sense? I loved Arrow’s magical house with a talking fireplace and a gargoyle. I love the humor and the way Arrow talks just cracks me up, especially when it’s with his riddles. I love riddles so this book was so much fun to read.
  • I love the cover, that’s what drew me to the book and I passed it on by because it was a Bluebeard retelling. But I came back to it because of how pretty the cover is.

Triggers: violence, decapitation

  • It’s a cliffhanger ending. 😦 So if you can’t stand cliffhanger endings then I’d suggest you wait for the whole series to be published.

This is a fun, wild journey into the world of the Wittenhame where Arrow (Bluebeard) is a ruhthless fae prince. Arrow has collected a few wives in his past but Izolda is different from all the rest, so far. It’s got action, a slow burn romance, humor and riddles galore. I’m excited to see what happens next in this series! I’m glad I decided to read this one.

📚 ~ Yolanda

book review, fantasy, magic, netgalley, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

The Stolen Kingdom | ARC Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: The Stolen Kingdom

Author: Jillian Boehme

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 336

Publication Date: 3/2/21

Publisher: Tor Teen

Categories: Young Adult, Teen Readers, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Court Intrigue

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

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

  • World Building ~ Mara lives on a vineyard that produces the best wine in Perin Faye. That all changes when she discovers she is from a royal bloodline, and she is maybe the true heir to the throne. The Thungraves have ruled Perin Faye since they stole the magic and throne from the Dallowyn line. There is dark magic, good magic and politics at play here which makes it an intriguing story.
  • Characters ~ I thought Mara was pretty level headed even if she was thrust into a high pressure situation. She also knew she didn’t want to just be a winemaker all her life and I liked that she accepted her role as Queen. There were two sides to this story, and two perspectives being told which I appreciated. Prince Alac didn’t want to be royal but he is tied to this dark magic his father has entrusted upon him. What will he do when someone comes to take the crown from them? Will he fight or surrender? I think he was the perfect spare, kind of aloof, didn’t care for the royal duties and out of sync with his father and brother.
  • Romance ~ slow burn, enemies to lovers – I think it was perfect. Mara had her goals and really did good sticking to them until she came to care for Alac. Alac had his own dreams too until something major comes between them. I was fascinated to see how it would work out for them after the major scene that took place to throw all Mara’s plans off but in the end it worked out well. And this story is very PG rated, basically only kissing happens and not a lot of it.
  • The story is written well. I read it in one sitting which was unexpected but I was drawn to Mara and Alac’s story.
  • Triggers: death
  • A little bit of insta love? Maybe – Mara and Alac only knew each other for like…2 weeks? I didn’t mind it and this is a standalone so I think it fit because they did fight their feelings for one another and the ending left me satisfied.

I really enjoyed The Stolen Kingdom. I found Mara to be a strong main character and Alac equally intriguing, they made an interesting pair who in the end had a common goal to save their kingdom. I think this is more for teen readers than young adult but can be enjoyed by both.

📚 ~ Yolanda

adult fiction, book review, fantasy, New adult, romance

A Court of Silver Flames | Book Review

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Title: A Court of Silver Flames

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Format: eBook (owned)

Pages: 768

Publication Date: 2/16/21

Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Adult, Romance, Family, Friendship, Mature Audience

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

  • Off the bat I want to say if you were uncomfortable with Rhys and Feyre’s sex scenes – then you will be more so with Nesta and Cassian. Because let me tell ya…it’s hot, it’s intense, and Nesta and Cassian enjoy it that way. Some will think it’s too much but I was a romance reader before I was a young adult reader so this is nothing new. More power to them! I expected nothing less especially from Nesta and Cassian. I’m actually glad this book is for more mature audiences because it was starting to get that way with Rhys and Feyre but was still being touted as Young Adult. Nesta and Cassian in the sheets or out of it lol…is 🧨. But because this series went from young adult to new adult/adult, I think there should be warnings to prepare a young adult reader haha.
  • I always loved Nesta because she was fierce, not likable, but I could admire her protectiveness over Elaine even though I despised her for treating Feyre the way she did – but everyone has a past. Someone isn’t hard and bitter and cruel as a child, they are made that way. And we learn just how Nesta’s upbringing shaped her into this woman with very sharp edges and walls, so many walls. Her story is important. I cried for Nesta multiple times in this story. I resonated with her – her story triggered a lot of things in me. She is at rock bottom but she rises to the top, claws her way to the top of the mental pit she’s in.
  • Friendship. This book and the women in it and the FRIENDSHIP. Even with Cassian, it’s her friendship with him that makes them so perfect for one another. Cassian doesn’t give up on her, doesn’t pity her. It’s why Cassian is her perfect mate. But the new women we meet that come into Nesta’s life are a force to reckon with. These women have been traumatized, scarred, broken, like Nesta – but they help each other up. Ugh…what it did to my heart seeing women uplift women. It’s beautiful.
  • Family ~ this one is tricky and messy and so complicated. But even I understood how she needed to break from them and choose her own family (her friends). There is so much hurt between Nesta and her sisters, I mean look what they all went through in the previous books. Trauma. Feyre and Elaine weathered it better but Nesta did not. Nesta has to learn to make amends, and she has to forgive herself. So easy to say, so hard to do but she gets there. It’s heartbreaking but she gets there.
  • Romance ~ Cassian gives Nesta the tools to save herself and when she breaks, he is there to tell her she got this. THIS MAN. UGH….give him to me. 😅 I love how he wasn’t afraid of her sharp edges. I liked how he called her out on his bs, and I liked how he gave her space even though he wanted to consume her. She was always so safe with him, from day one.
  • Triggers: story of rape, story of abuse, violence, death, grief, depression, self-loathing
  • Because I’ve read so many romance novels in my lifetime and sex is always in it ~ I get that SJM’s sex scene can be go from dirty talk to stars are exploding and the world is ending or made new when they orgasm. 😅 I’m like, okay…chill with the universe coming apart already. Fae sex is good, I get it! lol…but that’s just her writing style.
  • This is a long book but I read it in one day (throughout the day because I have kids and a puppy to care for) ~ it didn’t feel long to me though. The story is very character driven but yes there is actually something going on other than Nesta falling apart haha, the human Queen that was turned into a crone in the Cauldron wants to be made young again and she needs three artifacts to do it. War between courts/kingdoms are also threatening to erupt again. But for me ~ Nesta took the spotlight. It is her story.
  • Did I mentioned I cried? Multiple times, because I could relate to Nesta’s personal journey on so many levels.
  • Now give me Azriel’s story. Also, Morrigan and Elaine’s please. ☺️

This book went above and beyond my expectations, especially with care to Nesta’s character development. Also, with Nesta and Cassian’s love story. This is for my new adult/adult romance lovers, young adult readers beware if you aren’t here for the sex because Nesta and Cassian deserve their adult sexy times. 😅 I think it’s funny how Cassian is an alpha male but hello, Nesta is an alpha female, so when those two collide? It’s not fire, it’s dynamite. What I loved the most in this story has to be the friendships that Nesta builds, as the story kept reiterating “like calls to like“. Nesta called to me from the moment I met her because she had some darkness in her, some trauma and grief we didn’t know about that shaped her and made her lash out and angry. She needed to break so many walls and fears inside her to rebuild herself into someone she doesn’t hate. Nesta had to face her past and make amends. She had to forgive herself, she had to not give up, she had to just try. That’s inspiring and brave. It’s courageous, and that’s Nesta. This story broke me in so many ways but it will be the one that stays in my head for a long time ~ when I feel low, I’ll just remember Nesta’s climb to the top. ♥️ One step at a time. 💪🏾

📚 ~ Yolanda

book review, E-book, fantasy, magic, New adult, romance, Young Adult

A Twist of the Blade | Book Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: A Twist of the Blade (Shadows and Crowns, #2)

Author: S.M. Gaither

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages:

Publication Date: 1/28/21

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

Mercenary. Survivor. Queen. 

Who is Casia Greythorne?


Still reeling from an unimaginable loss and the revelation of an identity she isn’t sure she wants to embrace, Casia has one plan: Try to control something. Something like the strange magic awakening inside of her. Mastering that magic will take her and her friends on a quest through cursed lands, into the dwellings of old gods, and deep into a southern empire filled with deadly foes and unlikely allies.

Meanwhile, the foundations of the Kethran Empire continue to crumble. The king-emperor clings to his crown with increasingly bloodied hands. Monsters and soldiers alike stalk Casia’s every step, determined not to let her return to claim a throne that is rightfully hers. Still, the greatest threat to her possible rule may not lie in the king-emperor, but in a former captain of his army—a man that she came dangerously close to falling in love with.

Elander Revenmar thought he knew who he was. He had a mission, a plan, a god he was content to serve. Then came Casia. A woman as mysterious as she is dangerous. One he should have stayed away from, and whose life he never should have saved.

Because salvation always comes with a cost. 

And some debts can only be paid for in blood. 
  • World Building ~ I really enjoy the story about the Gods and their revenge on humans. Cas was in Oblivion at the ending of book one but she doesn’t stay long. She needs to find her friends and stop her brother Varen from world domination. So Cas picks herself up, her broken-hearted, weakened, lost self and puts one foot in front of the other and keeps moving forward. We get to visit a different kingdom in this book which is great because Cas needs help, so she goes and seeks it out.
  • Characters ~ Cas is resilient, even when she thinks of giving up, she tries again and again and that’s so inspiring. And I love her friends, her support group that sticks by her no matter what. There were many times when the story was emotional because of what was happening to her friends.
  • Romance ~ or what is left of it…it is “complicated” as Elander likes to say. This is a story of past and present, reincarnation, a second chance, but it gets more complicated for Elander and Cas the more the truths are revealed.
  • Storytelling ~ this just flowed so easily, I read it in one night. I like how nothing is easy in this story between Cas and Elander with their romance or with Cas and Varen and their family ties. But for sure I love when Cas has her friends around her.
  • Not gonna lie, I wanted more of Elander and Cas together ~ I love them. But he kept having to disappear, he had his reasons though.

This story had action, good story telling, great world building, an inspiring main character and a complicated romance that just makes me hope so hard that Cas and Elander have a happily ever after. I look forward to reading book three which can’t come soon enough!

⚔️ ~ Yolanda

Blog tour, book review, bookish, fantasy, Young Adult

BLOG TOUR } This Golden Flame by. Emily Victoria

Welcome to the blog tour for This Golden Flame by. Emily Victoria!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: This Golden Flame

Author: Emily Victoria

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 384

Publication Date: 2/2/21

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | Kobo |IndieBound | Powell’s | Bookshop.org

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Pirates

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

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

  • World Building ~ I thought this world of Scriptorium and scribes was very creative and fascinating. I also enjoyed the history of the automatons. Runes are used as their magic system in this story and I thought it was interesting how it was used to control the deadly automatons in the past.
  • Characters ~ This story is told between Karis and Alix but Alix really stood out for me more than Karis. Karis has walls, understandably so after being orphaned and separated away from her only family. Alix is also in a tough situation but for someone who should be untrusting of everyone around him, he was willing to help strangers. There was growth for Karis though and that was nice to see. The secondary characters are great, I think they were all varied and added something to the story.
  • Representation ~ I knew Karis was asexual but this is the first time I’ve heard of Aro which stands for aromantic. But I’m learning! So aromantic would be people who experience little to no romantic attraction. According to what the author said in reply to a question on Goodreads, Karis is both Ace and Aro. Yay for learning something new and for more of these representations in books so I can learn. Also there is a m/m relationship.
  • Themes ~ story explored what family and friendship is (biological & chosen) and how far you would go to protect the ones you care about. Another subject that is explored is that of being controlled by others, enslaved by others by use of magic runes. Whoever had Alix’s tome could control him and I felt for him even though he was just an automaton.
  • If you love romance in your story – this may not be for you. I usually NEED romance in a story to enjoy it. This one didn’t have any and I still enjoyed it, so you may want to give it a shot.
  • Karis’ goal in life was to find her brother, but I felt when she found him…he wasn’t as focused on finding her. I was a little bummed about that. I was hoping for this amazing reunion but, Matthias had his own life going on – I know he probably did that to cope with being torn away from Karis but I guess I was hoping for more.

This story starts off with Karis, but in the end Alix’s journey won me over. This is a wonderful story about an unconventional friendship set in a fascinating world of magic runes, a history of automatons and the Scriptorium who wields a lot of power. Oh and there are pirates too…did I mention that?

🧡 ~ Yolanda

About the Author:

Emily Victoria lives on the Canadian prairies with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, works at her public library, and has just finished her Masters of Library and Information Studies.

SOCIAL LINKS:
Author website: https://www.avictoriantale.com/

Twitter: @avictoriantale

Instagram: @avictoriantale

book review, Dystopian, E-book, fantasy, New adult, romance

The Fallout | Book Review

My Review: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: The Fallout (Dominion of Ash, #3)

Author: Frost Kay

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 277

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

An ENEMIES TO LOVERS post-apocalyptic fantasy perfect for fans of Cruel Prince, Skyward, and Hunger Games.

She should’ve died. She didn’t.

Reborn into a damaged, depraved world is nothing short of a nightmare. In an instant, every hope Hazel harbors for the future disappears along with her humanity, leaving her with overprotective guarding and a useless mutation.

With war brewing between Humans, the Tainted, and a new unknown enemy, she’s forced to pick a side before the world implodes once more and she loses everyone she loves.

Sacrifice is never painless. 

  • It’s been awhile since I read the last book, so I liked how easily I got into this one. Hazel was bit in book two and in this book she is trying to survive the change her body is going through. Looks like she isn’t going to make it but she’s a fighter.
  • This book is about Hazel’s struggle to accept the new changes happening to her body and her life as a Tainted. I love that she has Noah’s grandmother, Matt and the kitsune to help her with it.
  • Noah ‘s POV was nice to have! He wants Hazel but he doesn’t push it which is nice. He gives her the space he needs.
  • World Building ~ We learn more about the Chosen’s plans to go to war with the Tainted. I always found this world in Dominion of Ash very fascinating because of the virus that changes people.
  • This book is too short, it’s under 300 pages! I wish there was more…

I enjoy this series a lot, I kind of wish this one was a few pages longer. But I’ll definitely be continuing with the series when the next books come out. If you aren’t the patient kind, then I suggest you wait before starting this series because they are quick reads.

💛 ~Yolanda

book review, E-book, fantasy, magic, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Among the Beasts & Briars | Book Review

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Title: Among the Beasts & Briars

Author: Ashley Poston

Format: eBook (borrowed)

Pages: 352

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale, Romance

Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya.

Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.

As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.

  • World Building ~ this book is told like a fairytale. It’s so light, magical, and full of fantastical things like a fox that turns into a boy. It has villains, a mysterious wild wood, a legend about a kind and so forth. All of it worked beautiful to me. There are two kingdoms, separated by the wildwoods. And in these woods are scary creatures like the ancients and bone-eaters and a fog so thick it’s easy to get lost in.
  • Characters ~ we have Cerys/Daisy a gardener’s daughter with a touch of wild magic in her. A fox, who becomes a boy. A villain who wasn’t always one. I love Cerys and Fox’s relationship even though Fox had to do some soul searching. Their romance was sweet, it was barely anything until the end, so I liked seeing them bicker as friends do. Fox might be my favorite character in the book because he is so conflicted but with good reason.
  • I love how whimsical the story is – but it did have it’s dark parts especially when dealing with the ancients and bone-eaters. I enjoyed it all! The story felt like it was a combination of Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty mashed together (without the sleeping parts, just the briars). For me it was about pure escape!
  • We get a happy ending…and maybe a sequel? I’m here for it if we get a story about Seren and the Lady of the Wilds.
  • This story is like a fairytale and so if you are looking for a heavy detailed ya fantasy, this is definitely not it. It seems like it’s made for teen readers (has some profanity in it), and I don’t usually enjoy teen fantasy and gravitate more towards mature YA or NA but I found this one was really fun to read!

I didn’t know what to expect with this book because I borrowed it mostly due to it’s beautiful cover art! I was pleasantly surprised when I couldn’t put the book down. I was swept away in this magical world with a girl and a fox trying to save the people she loves. If you like light young adult fantasy stories that read like a fairytale, you may enjoy this one.

🦊 ~ Yolanda

book review, E-book, fantasy, magic, romance, Young Adult

Uncaged | Book Review

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: Uncaged (Unspoken, #2)

Author: Celia McMahon

Format: eBook (own)

Pages: 402

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Review for Unspoken (Book #1)

Not every queen needs a crown.

After escaping Stormwall, Izzy and Fray have finally crossed through the Archway and into The Old Kingdom in search of allies. But finding a place within Fray’s former pack is harder than they imagined. When Izzy’s father warred with the Gwylis, it made a lifelong enemy of the Rowan name. Fray’s betrayal of siding with Aquarius in the war makes him no less an enemy to the pack. 

Izzy struggles to understand her newfound magic and build a relationship with her new family, but when the new king’s soldiers arrive in The Old Kingdom, Izzy must fight to secure the protection of her new home. With war looming once again, Izzy is thrust back into the life she tried to leave behind.

As danger mounts, past, present, and future collide between kingdoms, and the lines of allegiances are drawn. Izzy must decide who she is willing to fight for, and where her loyalties truly lie. 

UNCAGED is the stunning sequel to Celia McMahon’s debut UNSPOKEN, the first in her fantasy trilogy set in a world of curses, wolves, and war.

  • Aesthetics ~ the covers for the whole series are so good! I love the color scheme and the cover art is just so beautiful.
  • World Building ~ Izzy and Fray have left Stormwall and now they are in The Old Kingdom which is very detailed. I enjoyed learning about this land of Gwylis who aren’t voiceless, the Gwylis history and their way of life. We get a lot more wolves in this book as Izzy meets Fray’s old pack.
  • Characters ~ I like meeting the new characters like Olio (he’s my fave). Sonia is tough as nails too and we learn a little about her. Branch is cool too since he comes off scary in the beginning but starts to train Izzy and she needs training.
  • There is a darkness to Izzy now and I’m sure it will be explored more in the final book of the series. Whatever powers she inherited from the Gwylis, Aquarius, has come with some consequences that she has to figure out.
  • This one was slower than the first one because Izzy is new to the Gwylis and finding where she belongs. She is also busy training and learning her powers. I know Izzy is a strong female and now even more powerful with her Gwylis form but at times I feel like she doesn’t listen to anyone and I wish she would.
  • I’m not sure why Ashe is trailing her and what his role is? To remind Izzy of what she once was? Human? 🤔 I guess we shall see in book three.
  • Speaking about feelings – what is happening with her and Fray? They were tight and now unravelling. They do not communicate very well even though they can communicate through sign and with voice! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I know she’s going through some things though.
  • Triggers: grief, violence

This felt like a second book because how slow the story became and we spent time just watching Izzy trying to find where she belongs and learning all about her new powers. I think it definitely sets up some things to go down in book three where she has to go back and figure out what to do with her home Stormwall. This was a solid sequel but not my favorite of the series so far – but I do enjoy this world of wolves this author has created.

🐺 ~ Yolanda

book review, E-book, fantasy, kindle unlimited, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Shadow Knights (Knights of the Realm #2) | Book Review

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

Title: Shadow Knights (Knights of the Realm, #2)

Author: Jennifer Anne Davis

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 301

Categories: Teen Readers, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

With Prince Henrick dead, a foreign army in league with the king, and the palace taken, Reid must find a way to right the wrongs for the people of Marsden.

Reid never expected to find love, friendship, or her mother in the kingdom of Axian. She also never expected to become a leader for her people. With the king threatening to overthrow the dukes and take complete control of the kingdom, Reid realizes she may be the only one in a position to stop him. With the ring her father gave her, the commanders of the army at her side, and a master schemer in league with her, Reid just might be able to pull off the greatest upset in Marsden history—all she has to do in step into the role she was born for.

To protect her kingdom, Reid must outsmart them all. Luckily, she’s spent the last eighteen year learning the art of manipulation, and she isn’t above putting those skills to the test.

  • I read the arc of the first book in the series through NetGalley then saw the final books in these series are on Kindle Unlimited so I decided to finish the series. The first book didn’t was flat – but I did like the girl growing up as a boy, Mulan thing going on. So I wanted to see what happened. Reid is now living as a full on girl, but trying to adjust to it.
  • I do like Prince Dexter and his brother. They seem to have a close bond and are very different from each other.
  • The political intrigue between kingdoms is solid. I thought it kept the story moving.
  • I think this series is for a teen reader yet I was expecting young adult story levels. So this sequel fell even shorter for me than the first did! Reid just feels so weak for someone who grew up as a boy. She is so boring and doesn’t inspire me at all. What was her role as a knight really? She’s supposedly undercover but it seems like everyone knew why she was in Axian, there was nothing shadow like about it! That frustrated me the most.
  • Reid and Dexter lack chemistry. They didn’t do it for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • The writing was more telling than showing at times.

I will say this, if you want a simplistic, light, young adult fantasy story, you will enjoy this one. It’s a quick read. For me, I don’t think I’ll read the next book because I just want a bit more from Reid since she is the main character.

😘 ~ Yolanda