Posted in book review, fantasy, fiction, gifted

Namesake by Adrienne Young

Published by Wednesday Books (St Martins) – April 2021

May contain spoilers for Fable!!

Synopsis

Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

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Book Tour- Plant Magic

Thank you so much to Love Books Tours for including me on this campaign!

I’m sure you can tell from my photo above that this book is absolutely stunning! The illustrations are beautiful and so detailed!

Synopsis

An informative and entertaining look at why plants have been used in magic and what that tells us about people and plants in a post-magic world.

With chapters on subjects as diverse as Witchcraft, Curses and Blessings, Divination, the Plants of Faery, Hallucinogens, Divine Plants in the Christian and Pagan traditions and a Plant Bestiary, Greg Kenicer’s book is an erudite and informative look at how and why various plants have had a role in Europe’s supernatural and magical traditions.

Individual entries look at particular plants combining botanical analysis with historical examples and anecdote to explain exactly why each plant came to be used in this way. Considerations of dangers and actual efficacy cast light on how modern science is now re-examining the uses of many of the plants and how the evolution of the plants themselves has been influenced by our use of them.

Whether Foxglove or Mandrake, Hawthorn or Aspen, Rowan or Oak, St. John’s Wort or Bird Cherry, Plant Magic  shines a bright and fascinating new light on dozens of familiar plants.

Review

I haven’t read this book cover to cover, it’s definitely one for me to dip in and out of but I have looked at all the pretty pictures!

Considering I’m very much not green fingered, I really have enjoyed the bits I’ve read! It’s an informative and genuinely interesting read. I recognised a lot of names from books that I’ve read (fantasy mainly as they often have magic and spells etc) I wish my physical copy had arrived as I would absolutely love to have this on my shelves – it is definitely one to add to your gifting lists this year at Christmas as it would make a lovely present!

Gregory J. Kenicer writes with a smooth and easy language making this reference text a nice easy read and actually, I quite fancy getting some more plants now!

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Fable by Adrienne Young

Published by: Wednesday Books (US) 
To be Published by TOR Books – January 26th 2021 (UK)

Synopsis

For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.

Posted in book review, fantasy, fiction, supernatural

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Published by Hodder (27th October 2020) – UK

Synopsis

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, thriller

Book Tour – All Your Little Lies by Marianne Holmes

Published by Agora Books – October 2020

Agora Books kindly sent me a review copy of All Your Little Lies so that I could take part in the Book Tour!

Synopsis

Annie lives a quiet, contained, content life. She goes to work. She meets her friend. She’s kind of in a relationship. She’s happy. Not lonely at all.

If only more people could see how friendly she is — how eager to help and please. Then she could tick “Full Happy Life” off her list. But no one sees that side of Annie, and she can’t understand why.

That all changes the night Chloe Hills disappears. And Annie is the last person to see her.

This is her chance to prove to everybody that she’s worth something. That is, until she becomes a suspect.

Review

**My tour stop day was Sunday the 18th of October but I was having technical difficulties – I’m hoping this posts okay today!**

I really enjoyed this book! Marianne Holmes’ writing style is pretty to the point – no flowery descriptions here which means she has words to spare to really get into the mindset of Annie in All Your Little Lies – the journey was really fascinating for me as I could see Annie’s logical conclusions but also I found her very unreliable as a narrator – I was so conflicted!

Annie lives alone and doesn’t have a lot of friends – from the start I could see Annie was insecure and didn’t fit in too well, probably due to some anxiety from her past – this made me question everything she did and said. Also the title of the book – All Your Little Lies – I loved how this made me view Annie, she constantly told little fibs – like children do to make themselves look better and when she got involved with the policy after a child goes missing I could see her getting into soo much trouble!

Alongside the current story there is a backstory which gives you an insight into how Annie’s mind works and events from her past – this was a really good tool for Holmes to use and I’m glad it was included!

My only drawback was I found myself dropping out of concentration – Annie goes round in circles a lot which I just found didn’t hold my attention that well!

I’d recommend this one for fans of thrillers and psychological dramas – the writing style is easy to follow and the characters are realistic. Holmes uses dramatic events to bring Annie’s psyche out to be analysed although it did make me worry how much this happens in real life – so I’m going to be doing some research!

Thanks to Agora Books for the review copy – the book is out on kindle on 22nd October and is currently available to preorder for 99p here! The paperback is out on November 19th!

Posted in book review, fantasy, fiction, gifted

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Published by Titan Books October 2020 (UK)

Titan Books sent me an e-copy of this book in exchange for a review!

Synopsis

An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke’s daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.

When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.

Review

In all honesty, when I first started this YA book, the opening chapter completely overwhelmed me – so much happened and Bartlett introduces such a rich world that I completely thought I wouldnt be continuing with the book … but I pushed myself to not judge by an opening and trust that the author would fill me in on all the details – and she did.

I really enjoyed the characters in The Winter Duke, Ekata was a great protagonist who I did root for – her decisions were human – sometimes reckless and other times calculated which really built her as a solid character. I enjoyed her choosing of a wife although felt the relationship part of the marriage was timid and more hinted at than actions – understandable given their age (sixteen I believe). Bartlett also includes a non-binary character who is quite important to the plot at one point so it was great to see some solid diversity in that respect.

The world was fantastic – I loved the idea of an underwater community living below an ice palace. The relationship between the two worlds is one of agreement – an exchange for the magic that the underwater dwellers can grow – I just found this totally unique and it took me by surprise!

Goodreads has this down as ‘part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia’ but I’m not completely on board with that – I think The Winter Duke was much more original. Bartlett uses russian style names and she has a very in-depth political plot running throughout the novel which although I found a little confusing, it did make sense and I really appreciated the detail involved.

Also – that cover! The US cover is a little different – I much prefer the UK choice – it reminds me of fairytales and folklore which is perfect!

Goodreads Rating: 4 / 5 stars!

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Book Tour- A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Published 2020 by Wednesday Books (St Martins)

Synopsis

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Review

Okay I really enjoyed this one! Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for the early e-arc provided for me to review!

A Golden Fury is Samantha Cohoe’s debut and it’s a good one! I am super impressed by this books story and characters. Thea was a strong lead who I definitely got behind right from the beginning. I also really liked Valentin (but I’m not sure if I was supposed to or not- ha!) He has hidden depths I think!

This was a really easy read for me, I read it quickly because the story was fast paced but smooth. I think the only downside for me was how short it was! I think Cohoe could have made the book twice as long, included more detail and I would have loved it a lot more! The story demands detail and unfortunately Cohoe just misses the mark because of their simpler writing style.

I would recommend this for anyone looking for a devourable and different YA novel, the genre overlaps Historical with a little Fantasy which was great 🙂

A Golden Fury is released in the US next week and the UK on November 1st!

Goodreads Rating: 3 / 5 (3.5)

Posted in book review, fiction

The Curse of the King by Winnie Lyon

Published September 1st 2020 by Parliament House Press

Synopsis

Laura Wilson is the heir to an ancient curse.

As a young witch descending from the very powerful trio of witches that had cursed Macbeth, the pressure she faces daily is non-stop. When Laura is forced to participate in her school’s rendition of the classic play, she gives herself a single task: breaking the curse once and for all.

This task proves itself to be more difficult than she ever could have imagined when a miscast spell leads to the summoning of her dead ancestor, Cecily Wilson, one of the very witches that cursed Macbeth.

As Laura attempts to send her resurrected relative back beyond the veil, she is faced with one of the harsh realities of high school—having a crush on her best friend, Holly. However, things only get more complicated as Holly pines after Peter, a lonely, quick-witted vampire.

While she grows closer to Cecily, Laura sees first-hand the true horrors of being a witch in Elizabethan England as demonic forces arise in her little town of Shipley Hollow.

Can Laura break the curse and save her family name before the curtains rise on opening night?