Review: Three Dark Crowns

A47B1A61-FCE9-4353-B78F-7ECBD9009857Three sisters. Three queens. One crown.

Life for Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella is anything but normal. They are gifted girls, each with a special power. Katharine has the gift of poison, able to withstand ingesting any poison she comes in contact with as well as mixing intricate potions to dispatch her enemies. Arsinoe is a naturalist, a gift that allows her to make plants bloom and call animals to her. Mirabella is an elemental with the ability to control the weather as well as the elements. But only one of them can take the throne.

In a novel filled with rituals and long-standing traditions, Kendare Blake weaves a dark tale of magic, romance, and evil. The three sisters are unique characters on their own. However, I felt a bit inundated with the other characters (i.e., the priestesses, the council, etc.). It became intricate and at times hard to follow. There were also places where I questioned why the characters would make that decision. Nothing leading up to it seemed to make sense and nothing after made sense either. As if it was spur of the moment and simply to move the story along.

Blake of course left Three Dark Crowns with a cliffhanger, and one I definitely wasn’t expecting. With a significant twist in the story (saved for the last page), Blake left me wanting more and curious to see how the triplets would continue in a world that seems set against them killing one another. All in all, a decent read but probably one I wouldn’t pick up again. However, that could all change with the sequel to this one, One Dark Throne.

Review: Die Again, Mr. Holmes

I’ve been a little lax in my reading habits lately and I’m trying to rectify that. But I just have so many books I want to read and I’m trying to do it all at once. Obviously, it isn’t working.

C1B37DBC-EB33-49D8-A501-B775B53236A1A woman seeks the assistances of Sherlock Holmes to discover where the man she loves has gone. An uptight noblewoman has lost her maid and requests the help of Lucy James to find her. Sherlock and his daughter are at it again in the gripping mystery with all the familiar characteristics of the classic Holmes we love.

Die Again, Mr. Holmes is another Holmes/James mystery that is sure to keep you turning the pages. I was skeptical when I received this book for a review. As someone who loves Doyle’s classic character as well as Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayals of the detective, I wasn’t sure that this book could stand up to such a large character. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed following Holmes and his daughter on their adventures as they try to track down the two missing people and suddenly find that their cases are related.

In true Sherlock fashion, there is plenty of intrigue and plots that Holmes has neglected to share with his counterparts. Among the staple characters of Holmes and Watson, we’re introduced to quite a few new ones as well. While this is not the first book of this series, it makes me want to read from the beginning and explore the history of Holmes and his daughter.

**I received a copy of this book from Smith Publicity for an honest review.**

The Defiant Heir

Ok, you guys, I am obsessed with this trilogy. And it kills me that there are only three books to this amazing story! Why?!?!?

img-0812The Defiant Heir is the second book of the Swords and Fire trilogy. Amalia Cornaro has made her way to Callamorne with Zaira, the fire warlock, and Marcello by her side. Their mission: attempt to find out what Prince Ruven is planning and, hopefully, stop the impending war. But when a Witch Lord offers to court Amalia, what’s a girl to do?

I could not get enough of this book! I literally did not want to put it down and, if I didn’t have to sleep, I probably would have finished it in a day. Melissa Caruso is killing me you guys! She has such a good creative mind and it blows me away that she has created such an amazing world. I want to stay in Eruvia forever! Honestly, I don’t have any complaints about this book. Except for maybe the fact that I finished it. I’d love to go back and read it again with the same fascination I had the first time.

If you’re looking for a good fantasy trilogy, I highly recommend picking up The Defiant Heir (after you’ve read The Tethered Mage of course). The final book in this trilogy is set to be released April of this year and you can bet it’s at the top of my most anticipated books for 2019. I can’t wait to see how she wraps up Amalia’s adventures!

What’s a Soulmate?

We’re not necessarily “snowed in” this weekend but I’m definitely enjoying staying cozied up with some good books while it’s cold outside. Seriously, this is my kind of reading weather. I love to stay snuggled up in the blankets with a book and a cup of coffee (or cocoa in this case).

What’s a Soulmate? has been on my TBR list for quite some time. It fell to the wayside as I got caught up with other books. But I finally got to read it!

51ucjvlvw-lMeet Libby Carmichael, a seventeen-year-old girl whose only focus is making clothes, getting prepared for college, and listening to whatever drama her best friend Beth has going on. Her world is filled with blacks and whites. There is no color. Until one day, she meets her Soulmate and her entire universe explodes in vibrancy.

Andrew McCormack has had a bad day. Being detained for assaulting a police officer tends to do that to a person. But then he sees Libby, and the drab juvenile detention center becomes the most colorful part of his world. But how do you have a relationship with your Soulmate when there is perpetually a barrier between you?

I was thoroughly excited to read this story. The concept is phenomenal and not something I’d seen or heard of before. To live in a world devoid of color until you meet your Soulmate is an interesting theory. Lindsey Ouimet does a wonderful job of fleshing out that theory and making a reader crave the relationship between our two main characters. There is intrigue, mystery, and of course romance in every page. However, I found myself getting rather bored with the story and wanting to just skim through to the next interesting part. I felt like bits of it dragged and I lost interest more than once.

Overall, I believe What’s a Soulmate? is a great read for any teen and something you won’t see on every shelf in every bookstore.

The Tethered Mage

I’m a sucker for a fantasy novel involving magic and a strong female character. The Tethered Mage is absolutely perfect for anyone who enjoys the same.

img-0778Welcome to the Serene Empire. Where children with the mage-mark are taken to the Mews to become Falcons, an elite group of magic-wielders who are at the mercy of the Empire’s political schemes. Lady Amalia Cornaro, the daughter of a well-respected Council member, has just found herself a Falconer and in the middle of a political battle she has no interest in waging. But family duty calls and she must find a way to save her beloved home from those who would destroy while also navigating the struggles of having a Falcon who despises everything they stand for.

The Tethered Mage had me staying up late simply to finish “just one more chapter”. Caruso does an incredible job of creating a system of magic, politics, and even a bit of romance that work so well together. This book managed to anger me, bring me laughter, and intrigue me beyond measure. I didn’t want it to end! Thankfully, this is just book one of her trilogy and I can’t wait to get my hands on book two and see what else happens in Eruvia.

#FictionFriday: Tuck Everlasting

I remember reading Tuck Everlasting back in middle school and this book has stuck with me ever since. I find myself constantly thinking of this book and wanting to read it again and again.

51pjcLaWOSL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Meet Winnie Foster. Her family is relatively normal, life fairly predictable. Until one day she discovers a spring on her family’s land. Not just a normal spring but one that grants immortality if drunk from.

Meet Tuck. His family has drunk from the spring on Winnie’s land and boy do they have a lot of stories. Winnie is enamored with them and their history. But soon she must decide whether to keep their secret or join them. Is eternal life a blessing or a curse?

Natalie Babbitt has created a world that you will want to revisit again and again. With characters to fall in love with and a unique story, you won’t want to put this one down!

By Your Side

I’m not usually big on teen romance novels. They’ve never rocked my proverbial socks off. Not much was different when reading By Your Side.

IMG-2041Anxiety-riddled Autumn Collins finds herself locked in the local library over the long holiday weekend. She thinks she’s alone until she finds herself face-to-face with Dax Miller, the black sheep of their school. But as the weekend wears on, and left with no other company, Autumn finds herself opening up to Dax in ways she hadn’t even with her love interest Jeff. When the weekend is over, will the feelings that have blossomed wither? And if not, who will hold Autumns heart when she makes her final decision?

Kasie West does a wonderful job of bringing the trials and tribulations of anxiety disorders to the story. She definitely enlightens readers to what their fellow classmates and friends may be going through. While I found myself wanting to finish the story, I didn’t really find myself invested. It seemed from the very beginning who Autumn would choose. Other than the corny lines that seem ever present in teen romances and the predictable outcome, it was an enjoyable read. Definitely a refresher for the senses after some heavy reads beforehand.