How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks (The Embraced #1)

4 Stars

It has been way too long since I last read a paranormal romance, and it felt good to be back. How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is the first book in Kerrelyn Sparks new The Embraced series. I haven’t read any of her books before, but enough of my friends have raved about her work that I was pretty sure she would be a hit for me.

This book was a perfect start to a new series. The world building was detailed and unique without getting bogged down with unnecessary information. It was funny, charming, and still had some heat. It did feel a little long, but it was a quick read because it was so engaging. The next book in the series will be So I Married a Sorcerer coming out at the end of August.

Buy HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS Here – (Paperback)

Buy HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance readers copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

 4 Stars

I never expected to love Royal Bastards like I do.

This is one of those books that you can’t even talk about because everything you want to say is a spoiler. I will say there were way more twists than I expected and most of them were not pleasant. There is some romance, but it is definitely not the meat of this story. This is the 1st book in a planned trilogy, and I already know I will read every. single. one. I am in.

The beginning of this book reads more like MG and the vocabulary is oddly modern for the type of historical fantasy I was expecting. When I started I thought it would end up being a light fantasy like My Lady Jane. It definitely takes a darker turn though and sets itself firmly on the YA shelf. It is political, violent and magical with a definite world that is solidly set. I hope the physical book gets a world map, and I can’t wait to see the fan art for these characters (and creatures).

Buy ROYAL BASTARDS Here – (Hardcover)

Buy ROYAL BASTARDS Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

4 Stars

I’m pretty sure the reason I wanted to read this book was because of the cover. I mean, LOOK AT IT!

I’ll be honest with you here. I haven’t read much of the mainstream YA Fantasy out there right now, so I can’t tell you if “it’s been done before”. What I can tell you is this book drew me in and kept me there. The slavery conditions Rose experiences are incomprehensible and create an instant “bad guy”. From the very beginning, there was always something happening, and I couldn’t put this book down.

I have two minor complaints. I usually enjoy “insta-love” (especially the fated kind) but this was a little fast, even for me. After I got over the initial “insta-love” shock I was completely on board with the romance. I also felt like Rose got too involved in the group too quickly. She went from being imprisoned, then training the next day, and being involved in her first mission the next. She jumped in with both feet, and they seemed to welcome her.

Amber Mitchell said she wrote this as a standalone with room for a sequel. She is completely right. I finished this book and was satisfied with where it ended, BUT I would 100% read a sequel. In fact, I’m hoping there is a sequel. Rose experienced so much growth in this book that I can’t wait to see how she handles what comes next.

Buy GARDEN OF THORNS Here – (Kindle)

Buy GARDEN OF THORNS Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Gilded Cage by Vic James (Dark Gifts #1)

4 Stars

Gilded Cage by Vic James is the first book in her Dark Gifts series. This book has such a great atmosphere full of political intrigue, magic, and rebellion. She said that the initial arc is intended to be a trilogy but she does see room to expand the story to more books if she feels it is needed. I love the way it looks like these books are going and I will happily read three books. I am a bit apprehensive about it going past more than that, because ultimately I want a happily ever after ending. I want the Slave Days to be abolished and everyone to live together peacefully. Can that happen… PLEASE?!

This world is dark. I read this at the same time I was reading Six of Crows, and I had a bit of trouble distinguishing the worlds at first. Not because they are similar in a detailed way, but it is more the feeling you get while reading. My favorite character is Silyen with his smart and powerful creepiness but I also loved the direction Luke’s character took. And then there is Renie. She is perfect but I have been scarred by dystopian writers that always seem to kill off my favorite characters. I worry she has a huge target on her back.

There were definite plot twists that I never saw coming, and I’m sure the next book will have many more. I’ll definitely be reading the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Gilded Cage is in stores TODAY.

Buy GILDED CAGE Here – (Kindle)

Buy GILDED CAGE Here – (Hardcover)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows Duology #1)

4.5 Stars

This isn’t a book I ever really intended to read. I’ve seen it all over Bookstagram, and I’m pretty sure all my GoodReads friends have read it, but it just didn’t sound like it was for me. I saw it on sale on Audible and picked it up on a whim, but I still didn’t read it for 5 months. Then I started this book and suddenly there was not enough time in the day to listen to it. That first chapter with Inej sold me. I kept thinking I wouldn’t like any other character as much as Inej, but then with each additional POV I found more and more to love.

I knew the phrase “No Mourners, No Funerals” was somehow related to the book, but I didn’t realize how entwined the phrase is with the characters. I think “No Mourners, No Funerals” may have seeped its way into my vocabulary much in the way “Wingardium Leviosa” did (meaning I have absolutely no reason to say it, but probably will all the same.)

I’m nervous about starting the next book, because I’ve heard vague spoilers. I may give myself a few months of loving this book before moving on to Crooked Kingdom.

Buy SIX OF CROWS Here – (Kindle)

Buy SIX OF CROWS Here – (Hardcover)

Buy SIX OF CROWS Here – (Paperback)

 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

4.5 Stars!

WOW! The Bear and the Nightingale is an atmospheric treat.The writing is incredible. It’s a slow, rich tale full of myth and religion. I’m generally not a fan of literary fiction, but his one has a historical fantasy element to it that really pulled me in.

This book took a little bit for me to get into it. It is set in historical Russia and many of the words and names are obviously foreign. There is a glossary at the back that I didn’t find until I finished the book. It was helpful in that it confirmed what different words meant, but the author used most of the words in such a context that you are able to figure out what they mean without referring to the glossary.

I can’t continue without stopping for a minute to comment on the covers. There are 2 covers that I know of, and both are incredible. I want to buy a copy of this book, but can’t decide between the American or English version. They are both amazing and completely different. I love the boldness and colors of the English cover, but the American cover perfectly captures the atmosphere. This is the 1st book in a planned trilogy, so I may wait to see the other covers before buying the set… (or both sets if my bookshelf will agree).

I believe this book will find a wide range of fans. In my opinion, it is the perfect mix of literary fiction and fantasy so it will appeal to lovers of both. I loved it as a fan of fantasy, but I will also be recommending it to my sister that is more of a literary fiction type of gal.

Buy THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE Here – (Kindle)

Buy THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE Here – (Hardcover)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

 

 

$1.99 Book Sale! My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane is on sale for $1.99 on Kindle. I just finished this book and haven’t written the review yet, but I couldn’t wait to tell you it’s on sale right now. This book is usually $9.99 (for the Kindle version) and $1.99 is a great sale. This is a comedic fantasy unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It is in no way heavy, and just an all around enjoyable read.

The narrators do break the 4th wall though and speak directly to you, so if that is something that annoys you then this might not be for you. I really enjoyed how lighthearted this fantasy was. There is a touch of romance, but it is definitely YA material.

Buy MY LADY JANE Here – (Kindle)