Kingdom Cold

43203291._uy2400_ss2400_Kingdom Cold takes place in the realm of Besmium. Princess Charlotte is betrothed to a man she has never met in a political move for her father’s kingdom. But just as she’s getting to know her intended, a war breaks out with a neighboring kingdom. Will the kingdom of Besmium survive? And will Charlotte see her wedding day come?

I have to admit, I couldn’t put down Kingdom Cold. In fact, I finished it in one day (which may not be saying much as I’m a bookaholic). I enjoyed the fact that the story was told from multiple characters’ views. The plot twists almost gave me whiplash, but I loved it! I couldn’t tell where the story would end or how which kept me very intrigued.

However, I don’t feel like the characters were well developed and it felt as if the ending was a bit lackluster, albeit unexpected. Brittni Chenelle does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in and keeping them on their toes. I just felt that this book could have been fleshed out more and perhaps even made into two books. There was very little detail and I found myself without a connection to the character, but still very invested in the storyline. It was a strange position to be in.

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

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.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

It’s been quite a while since this blog has seen some use. In fact, I think I see some cobwebs lying around. Sorry about that guys. Life got pretty hectic last year with personal life and my photography business. I am making more of an effort this year to lead a more balanced life. So here I am with a new review!

It’s possible to love your grandmother for years and years without really knowing anything about her.

img_0764My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry depicts an extremely unique and strong relationship between almost-eight-year-old Elsa and her Granny. Between the two of them, they have created a magical world with many kingdoms and thousands upon thousands of fairy tales. Fredrik Backman pulls you into this heartwarming relationship and the exciting and imaginative stories from the minds of these two characters.

But at the end of every fairy tale, there is a dragon and Elsa must face hers. However, she won’t do it alone. While Elsa and her grandmother spend their times in the realms of their own making, reality is much harsher and no less fantastical. Between the wurse, The Monster, and the sea-angel, Elsa has an army and a family at her back as she takes on the biggest dragon of all: life.

The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people left behind want to stop living.

I was blown away by the wordsmithing in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Every page is filled with beauty and emotion. You can’t help but be drawn into the relationship between Elsa, her mother, and her grandmother. The layers upon layers of stories were intricately woven in such a beautiful way. Definitely a story I would love to share with anyone. If you’re looking for a novel that will give you just about anything a literary piece can, look no further than this one!

Serafina & The Twisted Staff

It’s been a long time, book lovers! Life has gotten pretty crazy lately what with family, job, and all the goings on of summer vacation. I’ve been lax in my reading schedule (sorry about that) and this blog has suffered for it. But I am trying! And just this week I finished Serafina & The Twisted Staff.

51z482Xyp0L._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Not too long ago, I wrote about the first book in this series. I wasn’t blown away by it but it was still an intriguing read. Beatty’s second installment is no different. It was very well written and I was excited to read about Serafina’s next adventure but some of the plot was quite predictable and it didn’t hold the same magic for me as the first one did. Still, it’s worth the read.

In Serafina & The Twisted Staff, we pick back up with Serafina and Braeden after they’ve defeated the man with the black cloak. But now there’s a new danger at Biltmore and it’s affecting the animals. Serafina and Braeden work together to solve the mystery of what could be harming the animals of the forest as well as those on Biltmore’s estate. But in the process, Serafina is torn from Braeden’s side and begins to question where she belongs and who is her true friend. Robert Beatty is a brilliant writer who has created a fantasy that every reader will enjoy. While the second book is not quite as powerful as the first, I was still sucked into the story and curious to find out how it would end. I’m very much looking forward to picking up the next book in this series.

#FictionFriday: Harry Potter (Yes, all of them)

Hey guys! I feel a little guilty this week as I haven’t read in any of the books I’m supposed to. I just haven’t had the motivation this week. Let’s be honest, if I’d forced myself to read, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. So I took this week off and worked on some personal things. But this weekend I plan on reading as much as I can. Anyone else have an open weekend? What do you plan on spending your time doing?

I’m fairly certain most (if not all) of you have read the Harry Potter series. But I have to mention it. Magic, mystery, romance, dragons. What’s not to love about this series? I’ve been trying to get my husband to read them for ages now and he still hasn’t! But he does enjoy the movies. (I know, I know. The books are better. But I’ll take what I can get with him.)

HarryPotter

I started reading these books when I was 11 years old. I literally grew up with them and I appreciate them so much. When I was 11, I moved away from my best friend and I was heartbroken. These books helped me get through some tough times and the friends I’ve made because of these books are that much more special.

It’s a series that I go back and read at least every year. And every single time, I feel the magic from them hitting me. They’re an amazing story that deserves to be read.

#FictionFriday: The Sight

It’s Friday!!! *cue happy dance* I don’t know about y’all but it’s supposed to be gorgeous today and I intend to enjoy every bit of this weather. Anyone else happy to have those winter blues melt away?

This #FictionFriday I’d like to introduce you to The Sight. I read this book a few years back and absolutely fell in love with David Clement-Davies’s work. I even went out and bought another of his books because I loved the stories he was telling.

51WsYOlYyFLIn the middle of a Transylvanian winter, a wolf pack seeks shelter. As they are stalked by a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed by a terrifying power known as the sight. Because of this mysterious curse, Morgra knows there is a wolf pup in the pack that has power even greater than her own. The pack will do anything to protect the pup, even as far as starting a war involving all of nature.

When I first heard about The Sight, I was afraid it was going to be another White Fang but Clement-Davies does a wonderful job of creating his own story. I love a good animal story (although Watership Down tore me up) and this is one of the best. If you like stories like the ones mentioned above, I highly recommend picking up The Sight or Fire Bringer. Both are solid works and will leave you wanting more!

Carry On

I love books that dabble with magic. Seriously, you wanna be my friend? Suggest a good fantasy novel to read (bonus points if it’s a series). So obviously, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. Ask my husband. I made him watch the movies and he kept asking questions. All I could tell him is he needs to read the books. (He still hasn’t read them.) So I was excited to pick up Carry On. I’d only read one other Rainbow Rowell book and was in love with her writing style.

IMG-2291Simon Snow has been raised in the Normal world most of his life, hopping from orphanage to foster home, never really knowing where he belongs. Until The Mage comes for him and opens his eyes to the World of Mages and the magic within. But most of the time Simon can’t get a spell out correctly and the rest of the time he’s sitting something on fire. Now it’s his final year at Watford, the wizarding school, and he must face a multitude of troubles, including a magic-eating monster that is terrorizing this place he has come to call “home”.

Sounds very similar to a certain other magic-wielding orphan, right? That’s what I thought too when I started Carry On. It put a bad taste in my mouth because it seemed like Rowell was trying to rewrite the Harry Potter story. While there are some strong similarities between the two, Carry On definitely stands apart. With some intricacies not shown in Harry Potter and an ending that left me unsettled, I was sucked in. Rainbow Rowell is a phenomenal author. Once again I was blown away by her story-weaving abilities. In the end, I absolutely loved reading Simon Snow’s story. If I had to complain about anything, it’s that I wish she had turned it into a series if only so I could stay in that world a little longer.

When the Moon was Ours

To the boys who get called girls,
the girls who get called boys,
and those who live outside these words.
To those called names,
and those searching for names of their own.
To those who live on the edges,
and in the spaces in between
I wish for you ever light in the sky.

Do you ever have those books that you draw you in with their beautifully written words? Those books that seem lush and eloquent and absolutely breathtaking in their prose? When the Moon was Ours is definitely one of those books.

IMG-1975From a boy who hangs moons in the trees to a girl who grows roses from her wrist, When the Moon was Ours is a tale of two best friends and the strangeness that bonds them. Sam and Miel are inseparable and strange in their own ways, but even as the town spreads rumors about their oddities, they all know to keep their distance from the Bonner sisters. Four girls who run the town and who are now convinced Miel’s roses will give them more power. Using every secret to bribe her to hand over the roses, Sam and Miel must face each other’s darkest secrets and see if they can knock the Bonner sisters down a peg or two.

While Anna-Marie McLemore writes beautifully, I found myself wishing there was a plot to the story…or any plot at all. I felt as if McLemore was covering for the lack of story with her well-written words and her apt for creating a fantasy world. It was hard to pick out absolute truths from the story amidst all the metaphors McLemore filled the pages with. That being said, the story itself is absolutely wonderful. I just wish a little more thought had been put into the plot of it all.

#FictionFriday: The Night Circus

Hey book lovers!!! It’s Friday which means another #FictionFriday. It’s been a while since I’ve read this one but boy, has it stuck with me.

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them, and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”

51gfkfjupcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus is all about two young magicians, Celia and Marco, trained since childhood to duel. Suddenly, a circus appears as if from nowhere. Only open at night, it becomes the battleground for Celia and Marco. But neither of them could expect the relationship that would blossom between them. Now they must face their mentors and the fact that only one of them will come out of this alive.

Morgenstern poetically creates a world in which the reader will not want to leave. Magic occurs with every turn of the page. It is almost impossible not to imagine this fantastical world that Morgenstern has written into existence. I have a hard time picking a favorite book (because I have so many) but The Night Circus is definitely at the top of my list. This one will leave you spellbound!

The Bear and The Nightingale

25489134._UY1000_SS1000_This book has intrigued me for quite some time. I’ve heard some good things about it and was excited to finally add it to my list.

Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale is the first book in the Winternight Trilogy. The Bear and The Nightingale is set in Russia, where winters are hard and household demons run rampant. Vasilisa is the last born of her mother, and just like her mother she carries magic in her blood. She can see and speak with the wood spirits, the river goddess and even the vazila in the horsestables. But her stepmother is a Christian woman who fears the old gods and tries to bring her husband’s lands under a Christian rule. But in doing so, she puts everyone in danger. It’s up to Vasya to save her people and discover who she really is with the help of an unlikely alliance.

Arden weaves a tale of literary beauty and fantasy. While each character has about four different names, which can make it a bit difficult to keep track of them all, the story itself is beautifully written. Perfect for a winter read. I easily fell in love with the characters and the flow of the story had me staying up way past bedtime in order to finish another chapter. I highly recommend picking up The Bear and The Nightingale and I’m excited to read the second installment of the Winternight Trilogy.