Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me a hot second to really think about how I felt about this book. I really enjoyed it and I’m going straight into book 2, but when I try to think about what I really liked, I can’t seem to be able to put it into words. I’m giving this book a solid 3.5 stars, because I did really enjoy it, and the plot and characters are pretty interesting and the rest of the series will probably give more insight into the history and characters.

I think that the reason its so hard for me to do a review on this is because it felt like this book was more setting up the plot, characters and world for the future books, considering that there are now 6 books in the series.

Another reason is because the characters all felt really morally gray to me, which I love in a book, but they were all that way, which made it hard for me to identify with any of them or really get attached to them.

I can see where the comparison between this series and GoT comes from, both authors have no problem with killing off characters that you like, but I don’t really think that you can say that its a YA version of GoT because nothing can ever come close to the amazingness that is GoT.

I don’t really feel like I have much to say about the plot and characters, other than I am very interested to see where this goes, and I’ve heard from a lot of people that the series just gets better as you go so I still have really high hopes!

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The Queen's RisingThe Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

So I had read an excerpt from this book before it came out and I was very interested in it, so when it released I bought it.

When I started reading the physical copy, at first I was a little meh about it, but then it really picked up around the 30% mark, and by the end I was blown away! I finished this book in one sitting. (Which is now two books in two days, I’m on a roll!)

I liked the characters and how the girls were more of a family and raised each other up instead of being catty and petty. This was carried throughout the book and was really refreshing to have such strong female friendships.

The world building was done really well, and you can see the influences from real world countries like France and Scotland. There were plenty of descriptions to give you an idea of what everything looked like. Normally, I feel like when a book is really descriptive you kinda lose a bit of what is going on and it takes away from the story instead of adding to it, but that was not the case with this! It really brought you into the story and made you feel, hear, smell and see things the way Brienna did.

The reveals of who all the characters were was really well done, and the reveal of Lord Morgane killed me, I honestly didn’t see it coming and I was totally there for it! I loved Brienna’s relationship with her adopted father and brother, they really did feel like a family right off the bat.

Also, the romance I felt was very well done, it was not a central part to the story and wasn’t one of those romances where their personalities disappear because of their significant other. They didn’t even kiss until the last few pages, and the whole time I kept screaming internally for them to kiss already!

I don’t want to go too much into the parts that I liked, because that could spoil the whole book, and this is one that I think you should go into without knowing too much.

I do have one reccomendation, and that is to not look at the included genealogy because it does have some spoilers in it when it comes to the identity of some of the characters.

Overall, it was a really great read and I enjoyed it immensely, the ending was wrapped up so neatly that I don’t think there will be a sequel, but a girl can hope, can’t she?

The Last Namsara (Iskari, #1)The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Solid four stars, I really really enjoyed this book and read it in less than a day, which definitely says something about my enjoyment of this book.

I love that dragons need stories to become stronger, and that storytelling is such a major part of this book. Also the dragons themselves are amazing. Shadow is so sweet and deserved so much more. The characters were really entertaining and the plot was very well thought out. Most of the plot twists I saw coming, with the exception of the truth behind the death of Asha’s mother, which really surprised me. I was actually really upset that one of the characters that I thought was a good guy was actually one of the bad guys. I definitely thought he was going to be redeemed and we would learn that he just made a mistake, but that did NOT happen.

I loved the plot and how the religion was woven into the story. I’m not usually a fan of religion as a major part of fantasy novels, but this was really well done.

The reasons I took a star away was because at first I REALLY did not like Asha. She was far too close minded and I could not stand her and how she treated everyone around her. When the Old One started giving her gifts and having her complete tasks for him, I could see what it meant from a mile away, but Asha either chose not to see it or was so consumed with her desire to kill the First Dragon that she just ignored the signs. The other reason I took a star away is because there really wasn’t a lot of information given with the background of the Old One, Namsara and Iskari. I wish it would’ve gone into more detail on who and what they are. It also would’ve been nice to have a map to reference, as I found I kept going to the front of the book to look up these locations but there was nothing there!

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and I’m looking forward to book 2 because this is a fascinating world and I really want to hear more about these characters and find out what happens to them.

Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1)Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my god this book was HILARIOUS!!

 

“Go get the boss,” says one guardsman to another. “This bunch looks like trouble.” And they do. They do look like trouble, at least until the wizard trips on the hem of his robe. He stumbles, cursing, and fouls the steps of the others as he falls face-first onto the mud-slick hillside.”

Eames takes the idea of old rock bands that get together for one last tour and turns them into mercenary groups to create a brilliant fantasy novel. There are mercenary bands that go on “tours” of the wild and take on numerous monsters for their shot at fame and glory. If that sounds interesting to you, just wait.

Like in real life, old rock bands will sometimes get back together for one final farewell tour. The same happens with this book, a group of old friends and warriors get back together to make one final trip to save one of the members daughters, and plenty of ass-kicking and hilarity ensues.

Seriously, there is nothing bad to say about this book! I loved every second of it.

The characters were amazing! First we have Clay “Slowhand” Cooper, who is our central character and the story is told from his POV. He carries a huge shield called Blackheart and basically he uses that as his primary weapon, and hes good at it. He’s also kind of a softy and one of those silent types and I love it.

Then we have Gabriel, also known as Golden Gabe. Its his daughter Rose that they go off to rescue (although she does a pretty good job of holding her own). He carries a sword that was made by a Druin (more on them later). Gabe is the face of the group and was loud and in your face in his youth, but now is more unsure of himself since losing his daughter.

Mattrick is the third member who after their group disbanded, became a king. He has five children, none of which are his own because his wife is a little….affectionate, with her guards and men passing through. He wields daggers, and was once a thief.

Mattrick’s best friend is Moog, who is one of my favorite characters. Moog is the groups wizard, and when we first meet him he is running a very interesting little business out of a dilapidated tower. He sometimes creates more problems than he solves, and was a big source of comic relief in the book.

Then we have Ganelon, who unlike his bandmates, hasn’t really aged since they disbanded. That’s mainly because he was turned into stone as punishment for killing a prince. He’s the muscle of the group, always killing the most monsters and is by far the most violent of the group.

And the bad guy is a Druin named Lastleaf. He’s a badass immoral, who has three swords strapped to his back and has a huge army that he has laying siege to the city where Rose is at. Also, he has bunny ears. Which is fantastic.

Basically the entire plot of the book is this group of guys past their prime (knees popping while climbing up mountains, throwing out their backs, growing old and fat) that make their way through a monster infested forest to fight Lastleaf and his army of monsters all to save Gabe’s daughter.

This book will make you laugh out loud and sometimes cry, and you will really feel for the characters. Do they survive? Do they save Rose and defeat Lastleaf and his army? You’ll just have to read it to find out!

“The pool,” said Kallorek, pointing. “The pool, right there.”
“You mean the pond?”
“I mean the pool,” growled the booker. “Get in. Swim.” He accompanied these words with effusive gestures that set his jewellery ringing.
Clay examined the pond. “Swim to where?” he asked.
“What do you mean swim to where?” Kallorek’s brow deepened.
“Is it a healing spring?” Gabe asked. He flexed his arm, wincing as he extended it fully. “Because I think my elbow—”
“Listen, fuck your elbow!” Kallorek blew up. Clay had forgotten how short the booker’s fuse was. That big toothy smile one moment, and the next …“It ain’t a spring, or a pond, or a godsdamned sea nymph’s bathtub. It’s a fucking pool. Just a pool! You swim around in it to relax.”

Book of Souls (Gods of Egypt, #1)Book of Souls by Nadine Nightingale

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

**I received an arc copy of the book from NetGalley**

I really wanted to like this book, because the premise of it sounded so cool! Ancient Egyptian gods meets modern day times? A girl who is considered an Angel of Death? Sign me up!

I got to chapter 6 and had to put the book down. One of the things I just couldn’t get past were the pop culture references. At first, I thought it was pretty cool that they mentioned them, but by the time we were introduced to Scooby and Shaggy, (yes those are actual character names) I couldn’t handle it anymore. It was a new reference every page and was just too much. It kept taking me out of the story and I couldn’t enjoy what was going on because of it.

The other thing I couldn’t really get past was Blaze. Yes, his name is Blaze. And everytime he is mentioned, they always describe how hot he is and how sexy his smile is.
For example: “His posture screams “confident”, his smile is sexy, and his lapis eyes promise kindness.” or “The intensity in his eyes makes me gasp for air.”

Usually I don’t have a problem with insta-love and extreme descriptions of how hot a guy is, but when its on every page the guy is on, combined with the pop culture references, I just couldn’t do it.

I have so many other books on my TBR that I am more excited to read than this one, so its a pass for me. However, there have also been a lot of people who love this book, so if it interests you, give it a try!

Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy, #1)Furyborn by Claire Legrand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t even know if I have the words to describe how much I loved this book! It was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018, and when I got the notification from NetGalley that I was approved to read an arc I was over the moon and immediately stopped what I was doing to start reading!

This book started off with a bang in the prologue, which shows Queen Rielle giving birth, sending her child away to protect her, and then fighting an angel. From there, we go three years into her past to see the events that lead up to that intense scene, and let me just say that it was basically heart stopping action from beginning to end! I don’t know the last time I actually yelled at a book before, but I was screaming and my hear was pounding throughout the entire book!

We switch perspectives between Rielle and a badass assassin/thief named Eliana. Based on the synopsis for the book, you know that one of them is the Sun Queen and one is the Blood Queen, but you don’t know how the two characters relate to each other until closer to the end of the book.

The characters were amazing and both women were strong and independent, and really didn’t take crap from anyone. If I had to choose a favorite perspective, I would go with Rielle, mainly because from her perspective we can see how the world became the way it is.

I cannot wait to read the second one to see what happens to both characters! Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I can reread it over and over again!

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cruel Prince definitely got better the farther into the book you got. The beginning felt kinda slow and wasn’t really all that interesting/captivating. However, the second half of the book really took off and I read the second half in like, an hour and a half it was that entertaining! I was really nervous that this book wouldn’t live up to the hype, but I feel like it really did in some aspects.

The things I liked:

-I loved how complex and crazy the plot was, and how the court was so conniving and were backstabbing people left and right! How the fae were able to get around their inability to lie was really fantastic to read, and was honestly pretty awe inspiring. Not that I’m going to use that as an example, but it may come in handy some day. (Just kidding! Or am I?) I started to guess what was going on with Locke when Taryn started acting strangely whenever Jude would mention him, so that wasn’t really a big surprise to me. What was a surprise was the way Jude handled it, I love that she defended her honor instead of fighting over him.

-I also loved that the world building lived up to my expectations. All these books that we have on faeries say that they are deadly and their world is perilous for humans, and this really shone through in this book. The fae are cruel and deadly, and so is the environment. The bullying that Jude goes through is harsh, but definitely fits in with what we know of the fae and how they treat humans. There is so much cruelty and murder and honestly, its pretty freaking fantastic.

-I love and hate Jude all at the same time. I think she is so wonderfully complicated, but she is also kind of heartless and yeah, she says that her actions are to protect her brother, but really its so that she can have power over the faeries that have had power over her for so long. The fact that she admits that if she stopped to think about the murder of her parents the fear would swallow her whole is something that makes her more relatable. She is absolutely ruthless when it comes to her scheming and getting what she wants to happen. Love it! (And hate it, which I’ll explain later.)

-Cardan is so horrible, but I love him at the same time? He does kind of redeem himself in the second part of the book (I won’t say how because spoilers), so I actually really enjoy his character and cannot wait to see more of him in the next book! I especially cannot wait for the interactions between him and Jude, and I totally ship it! (Even though that seems highly unlikely to happen since they kinda hate each other)

-I have heard people mention the plot twist at the end, and it was really entertaining to watch it play out finally! I wouldn’t quite call it a plot twist, because Jude walks through her decision making process and we can see where it is going, but it was still fantastic and had me flying through the last few pages!

The only things I didn’t like about the book was that the first part was a lot of set up for the second half, so it was a little bit slower. I wouldn’t say that that was necessarily a bad thing because every book does better with some background, and I’m definitely being nit-picky.

The other thing that I didn’t really like is actually also one of the things I liked about the book, which is Jude. I loved her, but at the same time I hated her and thought that she could’ve been a much better person than what she was. I didn’t totally enjoy how heartless she came across, but at the same time I totally understand why.

I was really afraid that this wouldn’t live up to the hype, but for me it really did and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves books about faeries and stabby stabby books!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first time EVER rereading Harry Potter! I read them forever ago (I distinctly remember dressing up as Harry when one of the last books came out), so it was obviously time for me to do a reread. I listened to this on audiobook, and it was fantastic! I couldn’t help but to compare everything to the movies (which I love) and I had a lot of fun noticing the differences between the two. Obviously it gets rated a 5 out of 5 because Harry Potter is amazing!

Markswoman (Asiana, #1)

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and I thought it was a great first book in a new series. It set up a lot for the second book, which means that now I need to read book 2 to see what happens!

I loved the characters, especially Kyra. She’s almost like a “chosen one” character, with none of the regular tropes that go along with that. She isn’t instantly powerful or super talented right off the bat, she is still learning skills as the book goes on and makes mistakes, just like anyone else. What I really love about her is that she never needs anyone to come after her and clean up her mistakes, she owns them and deals with it. She also never lets her feelings for Rustan get in the way of achieving her goals, which is very refreshing. Rustan was also a great character, I love that he has this inner struggle with himself after killing an innocent man, he doesn’t just say oh well and move on from it. I really hope the second book goes deeper into his past and gives us more about him, because he was really enjoyable.

There was romance in the book, but not once did it overshadow the plot. They are never all lovey dovey with each other, mainly because it is against the law for them to be together, but they don’t let their feelings get in the way of what they have to do in order to survive and serve their orders.

I also really liked the world that this is set in, its a post apocalyptic fantasy type world, where there was a Great War where an ancient civilization disappeared and left behind all their technology. The people who currently live in Asiana don’t fully understand how that technology works, but they are still able to use it and study it. I hope that this is expanded upon in the second book because it almost doesn’t fit in with a fantasy world, having these doors that can transport you through time to another door. That was really the only thing in this book that I didn’t really like, it took me out of the story and seemed more like it was a way of solving the issue of traveling from one place to another, instead of adding to the story.

I loved that we got to see different parts of this world, from Ferghana with its forests and mountains to the Empty Place with its deserts and sandstorms. There are 5 orders, all are made up of women but one, the Order of Khur which lives in that desert. They aren’t well respected as Marksmen because the Markswomen mostly think they are an abomination and should not be allowed to bond with the blades they use.

I do wish that we got more fight/assassination scenes, because that is the purpose of the Markswomen, to kill people who disrupt the peace. Hopefully we get more of that in the next book.

Overall, a great start to a new fantasy series and I cannot wait to pick up book 2 to see where the story goes, since the ending of this one left so many questions unanswered and wow, that reveal at the end! I kind of saw it coming but it was actually a surprise the way it was revealed. Definitely recommend!

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse, #2)

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow this was a fantastic second book! No second book slump here, the writing is excellent and the plot even more so. I still love all the characters (even the Darkling, who I love to hate), but my favorite is definitely Nikolai and now I understand why everyone is so excited that he is getting his own spin off series! I really enjoyed the fact that Alina doesn’t just want to be a pawn, she wants to lead the army and help fight the Darkling. The end of the book was so intense, I couldn’t put it down! I actually stayed up late to finish it, and I haven’t done that with a book in a long time.

I never really saw Alina with Mal, so I’m actually kind of happy with the way their relationship turned out because I totally ship Alina and Nikolai, even though at the end of the book we don’t even know if Nikolai is alive (I definitely think he is, because that would be a waste of a fantastic character).

So far my favorite book in the series, but I haven’t started the third book yet so that could change.