The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2) by Kiersten White

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

Fantasy, 370 pages, published in 2020

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I had wanted to reread the first book before jumping into this one, and although I didn’t have the chance to do that, I do think this book did a decent job at refreshing the reader.

This book felt a little unnecessary, like there didn’t need to be a bridge between the first and last books in this trilogy. Some of the conflict felt a little like fluff.

My main problem with this series is the romance. I consider there to be three main love interests and it keeps feeling like it is going in one direction, then it completely pivots. It felt like the book kept purposefully teasing me with my knowledge of the original story, getting me hopeful, then going in a totally different direction.

One thing I really enjoyed was that Guinevere gets the time to really explore who she is, especially compared to what other people expect of her. She has the duties of the queen on her shoulders, while also dealing with what is expected of her by her guardians. She also has powers that she doesn’t fully understand, so she struggles with the choice between what she can do, and what she should do.

I do think that I am still interested in the final book because I do like the world and the magic. Maybe the ending will tie everything together nicely, but I’m not going in with very high expectations.

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The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2) by Ursula K. Le Guin

When young Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away – home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan.

While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs’ greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and together, he and Tenar escape from the darkness that has become her domain.

Fantasy, 180 pages, published in 1970

When young Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away – home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan.

While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs’ greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and together, he and Tenar escape from the darkness that has become her domain.
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I was hesitant to read this book because I didn’t love the first one, but I was willing to keep going because I’d heard that this book was quite different. However, I didn’t find that this was the case for me.

This book follows a new character, from her childhood through her being a teenager. I didn’t like this about the first book, so seeing it done again was just tedious. I felt like it took forever to get to the actual plot that was described in the synopsis, despite this being a very short book.

I didn’t really find anything interesting about this book. There wasn’t much more of the world explored, which was a big thing I wanted to see by continuing this series, and I didn’t connect to the characters. By the time Ged, the main character from the first book, showed up, I was so tired of waiting for something to happen that I didn’t care when it did.

I know a lot of people have a nostalgic connection to this series, but unfortunately, I can’t read any more of it, no matter how much potential I feel like it has. The story-telling style, the writing itself, and the characters just don’t work for me.

Normally, I wouldn’t read the sequel to a book I didn’t enjoy, but since this one was so short, I figured I’d give it a shot. I know for sure now that I won’t be continuing the series.

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The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.

Fantasy, 438 pages, published in 2020

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: general violence

This book totally took me by surprise! I was expecting to enjoy it, but it was totally not what I was expecting and I still really enjoyed it.

The books follows five different points of view. The main character is Lin, who has lost her memory and is trying to get it back in order to be her father, the Emperor’s, heir. Jovis is searching for his missing wife when he gets roped into saving children. Lin and Jovis seem pretty unrelated and in way different parts of the world for most of the book. I didn’t have an issue with this, because I thought both of their stories were interesting.

Phalue and Ranami are two side characters who have a more minor role in this book. Phalue is the governor’s daughter, so she believes in what the government tells her, while her girlfriend, Ranami, sees the reality of the world around them. I thought their points of view were interesting, but definitely painful at times when Phalue couldn’t budge on her opinions.

The final point of view was from a woman named Sand, who doesn’t remember anything and is out in the middle of nowhere.

Jovis and Lin were written in first person, while Phalue, Ranami, and Sand were written in third. I actually didn’t even notice this until I saw someone point it out! Obviously, it didn’t bother me, but I don’t normally get bothered by things like that.

The magic in this world uses shards of bones that are required to be taken from the citizens of the empire to create new creatures that will follow commands of varying degrees. I thought that the way the magic worked, what it could do, and what cost it had was so very cool and well-thought out! It’s definitely something I am going to be looking forward to seeing more of in the upcoming books.

There were definitely some heart-breaking moments in this story. Things could be pretty brutal and there are definitely scenes that I think about, even a few weeks after finishing this book.

In my content warning, I did say that there was general violence, but this book did get quite dark in a way that’s hard to describe. There were people doing things that were morally not good, so it definitely gave the book an overall dark and creepy atmosphere

I’m so excited for the next book! I can’t wait to see more of the magic, the world, and the characters! There was a ton of stuff that happened in this book that has very interesting implications for the next books.

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Reread Review: Green Rider (Green Rider #1) by Kristen Britain

On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G’ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount’s neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a “life and death” message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission “for love of country.” As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, “Beware the shadow man…”
Karigan’s promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.

Fantasy, 471 pages, published in 1998

On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G’ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount’s neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a “life and death” message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission “for love of country.” As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, “Beware the shadow man…”
Karigan’s promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content Warnings: attempted sexual assault

My best friend always tries to get me to read this book/series in high school, but I never wanted to because I thought the covers were ugly! After I got into reading again, I tried it out and really loved the series overall. The seventh book is finally coming out in September, so I am rereading one book a month leading up to that.

This first book was not my favorite the first time I read the series, and honestly, it is never going to be. I think it is a very good introduction to Karigan, the main character, as well as to the current status of the world this is set in, but there are a fair amount of issues.

The pacing of this book makes it really hard to get fully invested in. For the first half of the book, Karigan is more or less alone, travelling back to the King to deliver a message. She runs into some interesting and scary things along the way and she is also being chased, so the whole journey feels like “what is Karigan going to encounter next?”. The second half of the book is different, but it also feels like it takes forever. It had kind of a Return of the King ending, where you think one thing is the ending scene, then there is another ending scene.

There are chapters from the villains’ points of view, which honestly, I could have done without. The prologue (or just first chapter) is one of the villain chapters, which I think would have sufficed. There were too many throughout the book.

I do like that this book sets up a lot of the relevant characters for the rest of the series. There are some minor characters, like a random child that Karigan meets, that I’m curious to see if they’ll pop up in the rest of the series later on.

This book really does serve as an introduction to Karigan. She runs away from school because she beat the governor’s son in a duel, and got suspended for it. She does this without really thinking it through, so she is definitely a little naïve when it comes to the way the world actually works. Part of this is also due to how insanely rich her father is. I definitely thought the discussion of his wealth was SO over the top.

One thing I noticed that I didn’t think about before is that women in this world are definitely not treated equally, but they are in some positions of power. The leader of the Green Riders is one of the King’s closest advisors and many of the Green Riders themselves are women. There is an elite force, called Weapons, that protect the king, some of which are women. Class still plays a role in what women are allowed to do, but at least there is no classic fantasy “women can’t become soldiers/fighters/etc.” trope.

I’m definitely excited to keep going with my reread! I enjoyed the next two books, The First Rider’s Call and The High King’s Tomb, more than this book the first time around, so I’m assuming I’ll feel the same.

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Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle #2) by Rosaria Munda

After fleeing the revolution and settling into the craggy cliffs of New Pythos, the Dragonlords are eager to punish their usurpers–and reclaim their city. Their first order of business was destroying the Callipolan food supply. Now they’re coming for the Dragonriders.
Annie is Callipolis’s new Firstrider, and while her goal has always been to protect the people, being the government’s enforcer has turned her into public enemy number one.
Lee struggles to find his place after killing kin to prove himself to a leader who betrayed him. He can support Annie and the other Guardians . . . or join the radicals who look to topple the new regime.
Griff, a lowborn dragonrider who serves New Pythos, knows he has no future. And now that Julia, the Firstrider who had protected him, is dead, he is called on to sacrifice everything for the lords that oppress his people–or to forge a new path with the Callipolan Firstrider seeking his help.
With famine tearing Callipolis apart and the Pythians determined to take back what they lost, it will be up to Annie, Lee, and Griff to decide what to fight for–and who to love.

Fantasy, 496 pages, published in 2021

After fleeing the revolution and settling into the craggy cliffs of New Pythos, the Dragonlords are eager to punish their usurpers–and reclaim their city. Their first order of business was destroying the Callipolan food supply. Now they’re coming for the Dragonriders.
Annie is Callipolis’s new Firstrider, and while her goal has always been to protect the people, being the government’s enforcer has turned her into public enemy number one.
Lee struggles to find his place after killing kin to prove himself to a leader who betrayed him. He can support Annie and the other Guardians . . . or join the radicals who look to topple the new regime.
Griff, a lowborn dragonrider who serves New Pythos, knows he has no future. And now that Julia, the Firstrider who had protected him, is dead, he is called on to sacrifice everything for the lords that oppress his people–or to forge a new path with the Callipolan Firstrider seeking his help.
With famine tearing Callipolis apart and the Pythians determined to take back what they lost, it will be up to Annie, Lee, and Griff to decide what to fight for–and who to love.
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: bullying/abuse, death, mentions of torture, mentions of a sexual relationship with questionable consent

I’m going to try to make it through this review without screaming about how much I love this series…but oh man, do I love this series!

This book picks up right were the first one left off and it did also have a pretty good recap of previous events woven in. I shouldn’t have expected any differently, but right off the bat, the characters are thrown into impossible situations once again.

There was a new POV added, which I can be pretty hesitant about in general, but the new character, Griff, added so much to this story. He is a peasant dragon rider under what is left of the old regime and everything about his story broke my heart.

I think contrasting his view on the old regime side by side with Annie and Lee’s perspective of the new regime was very interesting. The first book poses the question of if the new regime really is better than the old, so this comparison helped make that dilemma even more clear.

The politics in this book were so interesting! All the different dynamics, from food rations to what influence someone’s past has on their current standing, was just so interesting. I’ve never thought that I like political fantasy, but if this is what political fantasy can be, I’m in.

I was so emotional throughout this whole book! There are so many things that happen that are absolutely heart-wrenching and the ending also had a big impact. To say I’m excited for book 3 is a total understatement! I would sell my soul to get the next book now. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far.

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The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N. K. Jemisin

This is the way the world ends… for the last time. The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

Fantasy, 410 pages, published in 2016

This is the way the world ends… for the last time. The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: child abuse

I’m pretty sure I said this in my review of the first book, but this series is nothing like anything else I’ve read before!

The first book did an interesting things with the points of view, and while I know it wouldn’t have worked in this book, I still missed it. However, there was a new character with a point of view – Essun’s daughter, Nassun. Essun’s entire goal of book one was to find Nassun, so hearing her story was really interesting.

I found Nassun’s journey particularly heartbreaking. She is travelling with her father, and although she knows that he just killed her brother for what he was (and what she is), he was always her favorite. It was easy to forget how young she really is, because she goes through it in this book.

There was a lot of interesting elaboration on the world in this book. I still don’t think I understand it 100%, but I do think I have a better grasp on than I did before.

While I’m thinking back on this book, it doesn’t feel like there was much of a plot, necessarily. The first book was dynamic because most of the book was about travelling, while for the majority of this book, the characters are staying put. The focus was on learning and preparing, but I still found myself really interested in it. It definitely set up for a big conclusion in the final book.

I can’t wait to get to the next book! I haven’t even finished the series yet and I’m already planning out which N.K. Jemisin books I’ll be picking up next.

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When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle #2) by Nghi Vo

The cleric Chih is travelling when they find themselves surrounded by three tigers. In order to keep themselves alive through the night, they tell the story of a tiger and her lover.

Fantasy, 128 pages, published in 2020

The cleric Chih is travelling when they find themselves surrounded by three tigers. In order to keep themselves alive through the night, they tell the story of a tiger and her lover.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I ended up really enjoying the writing and the message of the first novella in this series, The Empress of Salt and Fortune, and while this novella still had the great writing, I didn’t really find a meaningful message.

The world of the Singing Hills is so unique and cool! This book features tigers that can transform into women and giant mammoths that are used for transport. I think one issue that I have is that I would just love to see more of this!

Chih ends up telling a story to the three tigers they encounter, though the tigers have their own version of the story. I think the contrast between the two stories being told and what is considered the “truth” was really interesting idea, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like I got any sort of conclusion out of it.

One thing I really appreciate the world presented in these novellas. I think they do an excellent job of showing what fantasy could be like if it wasn’t constantly influenced by real world biases. One example is that Chih is non-binary and it is as natural as breathing. I feel like in fantasy there is still a lot of leftover bias, whether in the form of sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. that honestly has no reason to be there because the world is literally made up, so it is refreshing to see this.

While novellas don’t usually work for me, I would love to read everything Nghi Vo comes out with because of her creativity and writing style. Her upcoming (and first full length) novel, The Chosen and The Beautiful, is definitely on my radar.

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March Wrap Up & Haul!

Everything I read and bought in March!

Wrap Up

Books I Read:

Other Posts:

Here is my completed ACMC Readathon MAGIC board:

I didn’t finish two of the books I was planning on, but I’m still quite happy with how it went!

Book Haul

I’m so excited to get to these! I was so pleasantly surprised by Assassin’s Apprentice, so I immediately ordered the next book. I wasn’t sure I would even get The Poison Song because it was out of stock, but I’m so happy I’ll be able to finish this series soon.


What was your favorite read of March?

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Anticipated Spring 2021 Book Releases!

Here are my anticipated releases for the next three months! This list probably has the least amount of fantasy I’ve ever included on a list! I have been reading pretty much only fantasy so far this year, so these will be some good options to break it up.

Here are my anticipated releases for the next three months! This list probably has the least amount of fantasy I’ve ever included on a list! I have been reading pretty much only fantasy so far this year, so these will be some good options to break it up.

APRIL

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts #1) by Akemi Dawn Bowman

April 6th, 2021

Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years. The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.

When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.

As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.

I adore Akemi’s books in general, but I am SO excited to see her first sci-fi/fantasy book! The premise sounds super interesting, and based of her other books, it sounds like it’ll be quite an emotional ride.

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

April 20th, 2021

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.

To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

Although I didn’t love June Hur’s other book, The Silence of Bones, this sounds too interesting to pass up!

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

April 20th, 2021

*Synopsis may contain spoilers for previous books in the series*

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

I am so excited for this book! This series has been so fun so far, so I’m expecting more of the same. There are some things I am curious about and some things that I am hoping will happen in this book.

MAY

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

May 4th, 2021

Southampton, 1912: Seventeen-year-old British-Chinese Valora Luck has quit her job and smuggled herself aboard the Titanic with two goals in mind: to reunite with her twin brother Jamie–her only family now that both their parents are dead–and to convince a part-owner of the Ringling Brothers Circus to take the twins on as acrobats. Quick-thinking Val talks her way into opulent firstclass accommodations and finds Jamie with a group of fellow Chinese laborers in third class. But in the rigidly stratified world of the luxury liner, Val’s ruse can only last so long, and after two long years apart, it’s unclear if Jamie even wants the life Val proposes. Then, one moonless night in the North Atlantic, the unthinkable happens–the supposedly unsinkable ship is dealt a fatal blow–and Val and her companions suddenly find themselves in a race to survive.

I’ve recently discovered that I like YA historical fiction, not adult historical fiction, and after reading and loving The Downstairs Girl, I knew I had to check out more books by Stacey Lee! I love that she tells stories from the perspective of people that history forgets and that she can include important themes while still keeping things fun.

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He

May 4th, 2021

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-cities—Earth’s last unpolluted place—are meant to be sanctuary for those committed to planetary protection, but they’re populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

I didn’t even finish Joan He’s first book, but she’s another author I’m willing to give a second chance, especially because this book sounds so interesting! I really like stories with the kind of vibe that this description is giving.

Son of the Storm (The Nameless Republic #1) by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

May 11th, 2021

A young scholar’s ambition threatens to reshape an empire determined to retain its might in this epic tale of violent conquest, buried histories, and forbidden magic.

In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands–which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist–and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields. Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso will have to set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.

I saw an early review of this and it sounds super interesting!

JUNE

Better Together by Christine Riccio

June 1st, 2021

From New York Times bestselling author and beloved booktuber Christine Riccio comes Better Together, a humorous and heartfelt story about two sisters trying to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.

I enjoyed Christine’s first book, Again, but Better, waaay more than I was expecting, so I am tentatively excited about this one. Though after seeing how brutal the early reviews are on Goodreads, I should lower my expectations a bit. I actually won an ARC of this on Goodreads, so I will be getting to it.

The Roadtrip by Beth O’Leary

June 1st, 2021

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

At this point, I trust Beth O’Leary enough that I don’t necessarily need to read the synopsis of this in order to be excited. In fact, I don’t like second chance romances, but because I’ve loved the author’s past two books, I’ll give it a go!

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

June 1st, 2021

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

I feel like I have been anticipating this book forever because I’ve been seeing the author talk about it on Twitter since Red, White, and Royal Blue came out!

The Chosen and The Beautiful by Nghi Vo

June 1st, 2021

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

The Great Gatsby-inspired books are a niche that I surprisingly love, and this one sounds so good! I actually didn’t realize it was a direct Gatsby retelling until right now.

The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1) by Tasha Suri

June 8th, 2021

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

And last but certainly not least, my most anticipated release of the year!! I have adored Tasha Suri’s other books, and this one sounds beyond amazing and exactly what I love. This can not come soon enough!


What releases are you looking forward to in the next few months?

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The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2) by Jen Williams

The plan that Tormalin the Oathless and Noon the Fell Witch created in order to save the world backfired, and now the threat is even more imminent. With weakened allies and almost no knowledge of their foe, they start out on a journey to find information that will hopefully turn the tides of a losing battle.

The plan that Tormalin the Oathless and Noon the Fell Witch created in order to save the world backfired, and now the threat is even more imminent. With weakened allies and almost no knowledge of their foe, they start out on a journey to find information that will hopefully turn the tides of a losing battle.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: torture/imprisonment, mind control

This book was everything! I loved the first book, and this one certainly did not disappoint.

I do have to say, the beginning was a little slow. There are a few new characters to introduce, so it took a little bit to get to know them and their personalities. I also couldn’t really tell how much time had passed between books. From one character’s POV, it seemed immediate, but from others’, it seemed like it could have been some days or weeks.

The first part of this book was especially funny! There was some morbid humor and I wasn’t expecting it, which made it even funnier.

This book really is about the characters learning about their world. The points of views are split up into a few different groups and each group is kind of discovering things that were previously unknown to them. There are a ton of discoveries that were just absolutely wild! This world is weird and I’ve never read anything like it before. This series is definitely fantasy, but it does kind of cross over into sci-fi a bit as well.

I absolutely adore most of the characters in this series! I just want to wrap them in a blanket and give them hot cocoa. They are all so different from each other and I love seeing their relationships with each other grow.

I’m really looking forward to the last book in this trilogy! The ending of this book definitely set up at least one plotline that is going to be addressed (which I am very excited to see how it will play out) and there is still a lot that needs to be resolved. I have absolutely no idea how it’s going to end because this series keeps surprising me, in the very best way.

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