A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“The strength of the butcher bird is the strength of the Empire, for she is the torch against the night. Your line will rise or fall with her hammer; your fate will rise or fall with her will.”

I’m still not sure how I feel about this one if I’m being honest. There were some epic moments and fight scenes, but this one was muuuch slower and didn’t quite pack the same punches as the first 2 did.

I personally didn’t care for Elias’ POV at this point, and could have done without them. It kinda dragged the story down a bit.

Laia was kind of annoying, but I love her heart and determination.

The revelation she was given…let’s just say, I KNEW IT!

The Blood Shrike – Ahhh..my fave character! The one I’m constantly rooting for. Her POV was the star of the show for me. Even with her best laid plans, somehow the Commandant is always two steps ahead! It’s almost aggravating to watch.

The Nightbringer – The most intriguing character. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of havoc he unleashes.

Something happens in the last 30%, that was really the highlight of story for me!

Overall, I still enjoyed it and can’t wait for the finale!

Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power–regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path. 

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight. 

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender–even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.

[Buddy Read] Sorcery Of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

Officium adusque mortem. Duty unto death.

I buddy read this one with my pal Jonny from @jaunts & haunts. You can see how our chat went below.

This story started off very strong and was sitting at a 4 star rating, until I got to ch.17 & 18. That’s when things started to dwindle and drag.

What didn’t work for me..

⁃ too much filler at the 40% mark with missed opportunities. Everything just seemed to fall into place too easily and neatly! Like when Elisabeth arrives at Leadgate Hospital. Ugh.. this had the potential to be a great scene/event, but instead it lasted all of ten seconds with me rolling my eyes and saying, “Of course! How fucking convenient!”

⁃ Because of the fillers, the ending seemed rushed and didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It was kind of predictable.

What I enjoyed..

⁃ The library and grimoires! I absolutely loved that the main setting was in a library with books that came to life.

⁃ The characters. Silas stole my heart!!

Overall, it wasn’t perfect, but it was an entertaining read with a happy ending!

Buddy Read Book Rant:

Jonny: Oh my gosh, how much fun was this book Gigi! I think hands down this was the funnest buddy read to talk about while reading to date. Overall I had a really good time with the book, even though it had its cons here and there. How about you?

Gigi: I had a lot of fun reading this one with you too! I want my own Silas!! How do we get one?! 😜

Jonny: Hmm, bribery? Theft? Seduction? Shoot, I’d pay a hefty price for one.

Speaking of the demon, Silas really stole the show. This book definitely would’ve suffered without him. I love how he would serve tea one moment, then be ready to kill his enemies the next. Plus, he was very emotionally unavailable so he had this air of mystery to him that I really enjoyed.

How did you like the other main characters?

I thought Elisabeth was pretty strong as well. I liked how scrappy she was and also bold. I mean, she fought a Malefict in a nightgown. How crazy is that? She definitely gets some mad props there.

Nathaniel was something of an enigma with his magic and dark past, but he kind of paled in comparison to the other two in my opinion.

Gigi: I agree! Silas really made the story for me, eventhough he was a side character. I loved the banter between him & Nathaniel.

I liked Elisabeth as a strong female lead, and not afraid of anything! She was badass with Demonslayer! Made me wanna learn how to use a sword!

Any complaints I had about the book, were really in the storytelling. There were some missed opportunities in my opinion. There seemed to be quite a bit of filler after the 40% mark. I also felt like everything kinda fell into place a little too easily (i.e the events that took place at Leadgate Hospital) with the action scenes being short-lived.

Jonny: Totally! It’s funny how side characters can make or break the book. Kind of like M-bot in the Skyward series.

I loved their witty comebacks at each other too. It really showed how strong their odd relationship was, and there were several funny moments that really lightened things up where they were needed.

Yeah, I totally bought into her as a character, and I definitely want a replica of Demonslayer one day. It’s a gorgeous sword but also deadly, the best of both worlds.

I agree. Most of my complaints are with the execution of the writing, not the characters. I think some events or small resolutions in the plot came way too easy, especially with Leadgate Hospital like you mentioned. It was far too simple in my opinion and some of the details surrounding the girl Mercy were bizarrely convenient if you ask me.

As far as the action, I did enjoy it, but some of the scenes either gave too much detail or felt clunky. I don’t think there was a single fight/action scene that I felt 100% hit the mark, but it came very close in a few instances.

Ooo, can we talk about grimoires?

Gigi: Omg..yes!! The grimoires!! How cool would it be to be surrounded by them and be able to talk to them?

Creepy that some can unleash demons..no thanks! But I’m so down for a talking book!! Haha.

Jonny: Right! I lived for the grimoires and loved how the author gave them each so much personality. There’d be a snooty one here, a friendly one there, ones that sang, and then others would openly talk in spots.

Can I please be verbally destroyed by a book? I would cry, but they would be tears of joy lol!

There were definitely some creepy ones I would keep away from, like the one with needle and thread. Not messing with that one!

Wait, we should capitalize on the opportunity and make a talking book that comes in a variety of personalities. We’d be millionaires! They’d have phrases like “Hey, wash your hands!” or “Don’t manhandle my spine, creep!”

The grimoires aside, did you like the magic system in this book?

Gigi: We’d be billionaires if we came up with a book that could talk back!

Ooh, yes! I can do without the needle & thread one! Or the one that could scream. 😬

I actually thought it was interesting that the high demons were the source of the sorcerer’s power! I also liked the scrying mirrors, even though I don’t like mirrors in real life!

Jonny: Alright, we’re definitely going to have a pow wow about our business idea once this is all over!

Right? It’s those little touches to the grimoires that helped make the experience so much more. There were even ones with teeth! Better hope your book isn’t hungry when you wanna read it!

Me too. It’s an unusual source, but that made it refreshing. I’m just glad Nathaniel didn’t get stuck with a lame demon. Can you imagine? Like I summoned this demon and all I got was the power to make marshmallows fall from the sky.

I loved the scrying mirrors! They reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. That being said, they did have a creep factor to them because they’re not exactly the safest of magical artifacts.

Gigi: I was totally thinking Beauty & the beast too! “Show me the Beast!”

What did you think of the ending?

No spoilers. It felt a little rushed for me, but I did enjoy the happy ending.

Jonny: Yeah, and fun fact, the original Beauty and the Beast had even more magical artifacts than that. There was this awesome teleportation glove thing that was really nifty!

I liked the ending. It didn’t shake me to the core, but it was a positive end and it left me feeling happy as a result.

This author has another book that I’ve heard is similar to this one, so I might give it a shot sometime.

Overall this is one of my favorite books that I’ve read with you friend! I’m looking forward to more bookish adventures!

Gigi: Me too! While it wasn’t perfect, it was the most fun one we’ve read together where we gushed over the same parts, characters, etc.

We should definitely try horror next!! I’ve been neglecting my horror pile. 😜But I’m totally down for another Fantasy as well.

Can’t wait for our next read! Whatever that may be!! 🙌

Jonny: Yeah, I had a ton of fun gabbing, and that’s the whole point of having a book buddy. Thanks for keeping things so fun!

I’m totally game for Horror. It’s been too long!

Until next time..

Have you read this one? What did you think?

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Chain Of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is my first Cassandra Clare novel that I’ve read. To be honest, I tried to read City of bones during my Twilight loving days, and just couldn’t get into it. However, I seem to have fancied this one! Maybe cause of the historical setting, and the fact that all the shadowhunters are gorgeous! I dunno. But I totally want my own Cortana!! Anyone know where I can get one??

My only complaint were the amount of characters thrown into this story. Now normally, I hate when a story is repetitive. But in this case, it actually worked cause of how many names there were. Maybe it’s just me, but it was hard to keep track of at times. But as a shadowhunter newbie, I had no issues getting into the story.

I’m a big fan of love triangles and this story was full of them! I really liked Cordelia! I was rooting for her the whole time! I just wish she’d stop denying her feelings for James. She wasn’t fooling anyone.

Grace, on the other hand. Not so much! I didn’t think too highly of her from the beginning, but I’m intrigued and want to know what her real deal is.

Matthew was another one I found myself cheering on. I wanna see him have a happily ever after and I’m just dying to know what his secret is!!

I enjoyed the alternating timelines between the present and past. It sets up this series very nicely! And the ending…omg. I can’t wait to dive into Chain Of Iron next!

Have you read this one? Do you have a favourite Cassie Clare book? Any plans to read Chain Of Iron?

Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

Genre: YA, Ya Fantasy

My Rating: DNF @pg. 90 ⭐️⭐️💫 (2.5 stars)

I really wanted to love this one! After all, I have the ARC for Phoenix Flame. 🙈

If I have to try this hard to stay invested in a story, not only is it not worth it, but it’s time for me to call it quits!

Unfortunately, it was the continuous reminder of Maddie’s feelings and past (in every single chapter) that grew tiresome and bordered on to a painfully slow read. The premise is what had me going initially, along with the setting of the Inn and magical realms. But it wasn’t enough to keep me invested. It was easy for me to spot who the villains were. It was very obvious from the get-go.

As for plot..well, this was the ultimate downfall for me. It wasn’t a very plot driven novel, which is a no-no for me when it comes to Fantasies. I need my fantasies to be as equally plot driven as the character and world development is. This was really bland in all departments.

Nothing really happens until chapter 6, and even then, it slows right back down! 🤦🏻‍♀️

This one had so much potential..it’s too bad it didn’t shine through.

Have you read this one? Any plans to read the next instalment?

Maddie loves spending summers at her uncle’s Inn at Havenfall. But the Inn is much more than a Maddie’s safe haven, and life in Havenfall isn’t without its secrets. Beneath the beautiful, sprawling manor in Colorado lie hidden gateways to other worlds, some long-sealed by ancient magic.

When a body is found on the grounds, the volatile peace brokered between these worlds is irrevocably compromised. What’s worse is that Maddie’s friend Brekken stands accused of the murder. With everything she loves at stake, Maddie must confront shocking truths about the dangers lurking beneath Havenfall – and discover who she really is. 

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Loyal to the end”

“Even if it means my sister’s destruction. Even if it means a madman running the Empire. Even if it means I have to torture and kill my best friend.” “To the end.”

This is the first time I’ve ever thought the second book in a series was just as good as the first! It was equally as brutal, with just as much (if not more), going on. I said it in my last review, and I’ll say it again! I frikkin love Helene!! And love that we get her POV in this one.

My heart broke multiple times. Those who have read it, will know which parts I’m talking about.

I loved the surprises in this story! Especially with the Nightbringer!! I so did not see that coming.

And omg. I’m dying to know who Elias’ father is! I hope I get to find out either in the next book or the last one!

I’m also really liking Harper. I was intrigued by him early on in the book, and wanna see what his deal is.

Normally by now, I’d be taking a long break before reading the next instalment, but I cannot wait!!

“You are a torch against the night-if you dare to let yourself burn .” -Cain to Helene

Have you read it? What did you think?

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
 
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. 
 
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. 

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

OH-M-GEE! This book is INSANE!! It’s the most intense, action-packed story I’ve ever read. I actually feel sorry for anything I read after this, cause there’s a lot to live up to.

Is it possible to give a book more than 5 stars? Cause this is the best Eff-ing book I’ve read in a really long time! Talk about giving me a bookgasm. I’m legit hungover right now, it’s left me breathless.

I have no clue as to why it took me this long to read it. I’ve had it on my tbr for years! Shame. I know. Better now than never, right?

Loved the alternating POV between Elias & Laia. It was done incredibly well. Sabaa Tahir is definitely a new fave author of mine and super talented.

The character development was amazing. All the characters in this book were well-written, including the ones that got under your skin.

The Commandant

⁃ Argh..she was just so cruel!! The most brutal & heartless character I’ve ever come across. I seriously wanted to kill her and give her the same slow and painful death she’s given to her victims. She was always one step ahead, which drove me nuts! But she was such a good villain!

Elias

⁃ He couldn’t be any more different than his mother. His emotions were palpable throughout the entire book. It was interesting to see him struggle between duty and what he wanted, which was freedom.

Laia

⁃ she kept referring to herself as weak and a coward, but she had the heart of a warrior in my opinion. Things she endured..fuck. I don’t know if I could do it! She was also careless, which was kinda frustrating to watch at times.

Helene

⁃ She was so badass! Definitely a fave character of mine.

Marcus

⁃ Ugh. Another character that made my blood boil and wanted to butcher. He was such a douche and so undeserving.

Keenan

⁃ I really liked Keenan. I found him intriguing and wanted to know what his deal was from the get-go.

Mazen

⁃ I didn’t trust this guy from the very beginning and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, cause that’s what I felt like was gonna happen with him.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

– mention of rape, abuse, violence, blood.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

If you like:

-YA

-Gothic, historical settings

-Mystery

I reeeally enjoyed this one! Dead bodies, brutal murders..yes please!!

Was I surprised by who Jack turned out to be? Not really, but I did have someone else in mind who I thought was more likely. Hats off to the author for making me second guess myself and proving me wrong!

Really looking forward to reading the next book!

Have you read it? What did you think?

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. 

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 

[Buddy Read] Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a really long time, and I finally had a chance to buddy read it with Jonny @Jaunts & Haunts

Here’s how our chat went down:

Jonny: I’ve never flown a plane before, but I figure it can’t be much harder than driving a car, right?

Gigi: I’m afraid of heights, so I’d be too afraid to fly a plane (even though I’ve been on one a few times). 😜

Jonny: Yeah, I’d need to strap some pillows on me for reassurance, haha! Alright, on to the buddy rant!

Jonny: So how did you like this book? This was my first time reading Brandon Sanderson, and I think he did a pretty great job!

Gigi: It was my first time reading his work as well. Overall, I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t quite the 4 or 5 star read I was hoping for it to be.

Jonny: Well I’m glad it wasnt a total disappointment for ya. We talked about this during our read, but the first half of the book’s pacing was kind of here and there. One chapter would have great developments, then the next would be a little slow for my taste. Rinse and repeat.

That being said, after that the pacing was really good, enough so for me that I think it redeemed itself.

Gigi: I agree. The beginning was a little rocky. It had some great moments & revelations, but then it would lose momentum. The second half was the best part and what really kept me going. I wanted to see if I was right about Spensa’s dad.

Spoiler alert: My theory was that something else happened but got covered up. I didn’t believe he was truly a coward.

Jonny: Oh yeah, the truth behind her dad’s death was a big part of it for me too.

Did you like Spensa in general? I did like her spunky, scrappy demeanor. Characters like that usually win me over pretty quickly, but I actually liked M-bot better with it’s odd humor and personality. ‘I hate your shoes!’

I actually wish she would’ve spent even more time with the ship, so I’m hoping the next one has tons of M-bot.

Gigi: I like her initially, but her arrogance ruined it along with the constant use of the word ‘scud’.

I really liked M-bot too! He kinda reminded me of AIDAN from Illuminae, even though they’re completely different.

Jonny: Yeah, I do think that she could’ve been a bit less arrogant, but I do think she had some good progression along the way.

Haha, I agree! I didn;t mind the use of scud, but if they came up with more swear words to switch out it would’ve been less repetitive.

I actually haven’t read Illuminae yet. Hmm, the best comparison I can make is that he’s kinda like a mix of Ax and the Helmacrons from Animorphs. The humor and personality was super unique and I loved every second of it, especially his little rivalry with Rodge.

Did any other characters stick out to you?

Gigi: I actually liked Jerkface (aka Jorgen). It was easy to judge him for being privileged, and I really liked that we got to see the other side of him. As with real life, it’s so easy to judge others without knowing their background.

How about you? Who else did you like? Or not like?

And omg. You need to go read Illuminae! Coolest book you’ll ever come across! You need to get your hands on a physical copy!

Jonny: Haha, deal once my TBR settles down a smidge. I actually liked Kimmalynn a lot. She reminded me of my high school friend Michelle. Talented, but has a hard time accepting it sometimes.

I didnt like the admiral Ironsides, but I think that was what the author wanted. Even after we learn all the knitty gritty I still felt like ‘Nah, I still dont like you very much’, but it can be hard for me to forgive characters after some shady business.

Gigi: I didn’t like Ironsides either! She was really petty.

Yes! I liked Kimmalynn too. She had a good heart. Loved when she gave Spensa a dinner roll in one of the chapters!

I did like the flight training and all the scenes with them flying the ships and fighting the Krell. I too, liked that we weren’t overwhelmed with info!

Jonny: I know, right? Even though things were more complicated than meets the eye, I think she could’ve led her people better and strived to be a better person.

Totally! That and Kimmalynn had a cute sense of humor. ‘Bless your stars’, haha! She definitely gets miss congeniality award in this book.

Yeah, some of those fights were insane and action-packed, just like I like it. Would you consider reading other Sanderson books in the future? I have a copy of the first book in the Reckoners series that I’m just dying to give a try!

Gigi: 😂 Yeah..Kimmalyn was a sweet heart.

Hmm.. I don’t know to be honest. I might try a different series of his down the road, just to give it another chance. But I know for this particular series, I’m going to leave it.

How about you?

Jonny: Most definitely!

That’s fair. His novels span a good many genres, so who knows what may work for you a bit better down the line.

I think I’ll continue with the next book in this series in a little bit. I think he even has a third coming out this year if I’m not mistaken. Definitely going to try out some other stuff of his in the future.

Thanks so much for reading this with me! I can’t wait for our next adventure!

Gigi: Yes, the 3rd in this series is supposed to release this year!

You are so welcome! I’m so glad we read this one together. As always, it was fun! I’m looking forward to our next read!! ❤️

 So..What did you think? Have you read this one?

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

 

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The story started off very strong, but as the story progressed, it became underwhelming for me.

What Didn’t Work..

⁃ It started to feel like something I’ve read before. Like all the fairytales I’ve read growing up, crammed into one. Think, Shrek and Alice in Wonderland put together.

⁃ this read more like it was meant for a younger audience..like a middle grade book. I mean, it wasn’t horrible. I love MG books! But if I wanted to read one, it’s what I would have chosen.

⁃ All the characters were just ‘meh’ to me, except Grimalkin. I liked him the most, but he also felt way too familiar. There’s nothing original about a talking cat.

The story does move at a really good pace. There was enough going on to keep the reader focused. But the amount of creatures encountered combined with the number of captures and escapes, were completely unnecessary in my opinion.

Like I said, it wasn’t a bad read, but it’s not a series I would consider continuing either.

Have you read it? Have you read the Shadow Of The Fox series?

MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE.

In less than twenty-four hours, I’ll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

I DON’T THINK IT WILL BE THAT WAY FOR ME.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan Chase’s life, ever since her father disappeared when she was six. Ten years later, when her little brother also goes missing, Meghan learns the truth—she is the secret daughter of a mythical faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she loves, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Today’s Burn Book entry..

Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling

My Rating: DNF @ ch.8 ⭐️⭐️

The story started off really well..just like a fairytale. I was very intrigued by Soraya and her curse of being poisonous. But somewhere along the way, it started to go downhill for me. It was slow with very little happening. I grew bored and a little frustrated with Soraya. Did we really need an entire chapter describing Soraya’s need to talk to her brother during the Nog Roz celebration. She’s gifted with this power/curse and could have been a fierce MC, yet cowers and lets Ramin treat her like shit. Umm.. aside from her power, isn’t she royalty?!! It was infuriating. And don’t even get me started on the instalove/love interest! It felt forced.

It’ll come down to personal taste (doesn’t it always?), but I really wanted more action and evil! I would have been more interested in seeing Soraya become evil or killing someone. But that’s just me. Maybe the story picks up later on? I don’t know, and really didn’t care to find out.

Have you read this one? If so, did you like it more than I did?

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story. 

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison. 

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

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