Fantasy

The Prison Healer – Lynette Noni

In the inescapable prison of Zalindov, Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years working as the healer. The sporadic messages from her family on the outside give her hope that she will one day be free. When the Rebel Queen is captured and sent to the prison, Kiva is charged with keeping the critically ill woman alive to face her punishment, Trial by Ordeal, which consists of four impossible elemental challenges. In the midst of all this, she receives a coded message from her family, informing her that they are coming, and to keep the Rebel Queen alive. Knowing that the queen cannot survive the trials, Kiva puts herself forth as her champion to undergo the trials on her behalf. As a deadly and unexplainable illness sweeps through the prison population, conditions inside Zalindov become more dangerous than ever, and between the plague and the Trials, with no sign of the promised rescue, Kiva will have to find a way to survive and save herself.…

Blood Scion – Deborah Falaye

In a society ruled by the cruel Lucis, anyone found to be a Scion, a descendant of the Orisha, is immediately put to death. Sloane has spent her whole life concealing her abilities, which allow her to summon fire, but when at fifteen, she is drafted into the Lucis army, she has no choice but to train alongside the very people who would kill her in a moment if they knew who she was. However, she sees it as an opportunity to gain some valuable information about her mother who disappeared years ago and possibly bring down the Lucis from within. The training is brutal, yet Sloane persists, rising through the ranks, but can she overcome the challenges placed in her path without becoming one of the monsters she has always despised?…

The Knave of Secrets – Alex Livingston – The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour

When cardsharp Valen Quinol is offered an opportunity to attend and play in the invitation-only Forbearance Game, a gambling tournament where players stake secrets, by a local gangster, he cannot resist. Valen does what he was sent there to do, beat another player who has an extremely valuable stake, and wins the secret too – but now he and his crew are in danger on all sides. From gangsters to spies everyone is after this secret, knowledge that is worth a fortune, and in the wrong hands, could start a war.…

Mini Reviews #19

Hello readers, and welcome to Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. This installment, let’s chat about: Aru Shah & the Nectar of Immortality, This Golden State and Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak.…

From Dust, A Flame – Rebecca Podos

All her life, Hannah has never stayed in one place for too long. Her mother always moved her and her brother Gabe every year or so with no explanation. When on her seventeenth birthday, Hannah wakes up to find that her eyes have changed in shape and color, her mother leaves to find someone she knows who can help them, but is not heard from again. As time goes on, Hannah awakes each day to find a new bizarre mutation and she and Gabe decide it’s time to take matters into their own hands. They set out on a journey to their mother’s childhood home to meet an extended family they never knew of and discover their Jewish ancestry and a history stretching back to their grandmother’s childhood, including myths and legends that might just be the key to breaking the curse that plagues Hannah.…

Eyes of the Void – Adrian Tchaikovsky – ARC Review

Following the second battle of Berlenhof, the Architects are indubitably back and causing chaos as they begin to destroy world after world. Where in the previous war, the presence of Originator artifacts on a world provided a certain amount of protection, the Architects seem to have found a way to circumvent its protection. Every planet a target and the various groups of humans, aliens and other species are thrown into chaos as they argue about how to combat the threat. Idris, who has spent his life running away from the memories of the first war, is very much in demand to get back on the front lines as his Intermediary abilities, combined with the discovery he made about the Architects at Berlenhof, may be the only ray of hope. As various factions make a play for power in the chaotic political situation that has resulted, Idris and his allies search for a weapon that can repel the Architects, but the answer may not be what they expected.…

Ballad and Dagger – Daniel Jose Older – ARC Review

When the island nation of San Madrigal sank into the ocean fifteen years ago, the survivors made their way to New York, settling in the Brooklyn neighborhood that has come to be known as Little Madrigal. The citizens of this community continue their way of life, whether it be their culture and traditions or the politics, but all of them are hopeful of finding a way back home, of raising the island again. High school student Mateo Matisse who lives with his Aunt Lucia is only interested in his music and perhaps one day being good enough to play backup for his idol Gerval, a local legend. But on the night of a major celebration, Mateo learns that he is an initiated child of Galanika, a god with healing powers, and is one of three such initiates of the island spirits that possess the ability to raise the lost island. He is not happy with the unexpected role that has been thrust on him, but is unwillingly dragged into the fray as political infighting leads to violence on the streets. As the evil that sank their island returns once more, Mateo must learn to use his new powers and uncover San Madrigal’s long buried secret history.…

Mini Reviews #18

Hello readers, and welcome to Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. This installment, let’s chat about: Terciel and Elinor, Crown of Cinders, Hush and Veil.…

A Forgery of Roses – Jessica S Olsen – Inkyard Press Winter 2022 YA Blog Tours

Ever since Myra Whitlock’s parents went missing some months ago, she has struggled to earn a living for herself and her sister, who is severely ill. Myra is a Prodigy, an artist who has a magical gift of being able to alter people with her portraits, a secret she has always guarded closely because of the many people who would either hate her or try to exploit her for it. But when the governor’s wife uncovers her secret, she is blackmailed into painting a portrait to resurrect the governor’s son who has just died in an accident. As she begins her work however, it quickly becomes clear that his death was no accident, but something far more sinister, and without knowing all the facts, Myra cannot complete the painting. With the help of the governor’s older son August, she sets out to uncover the truth, but this quest may make her the next target instead.…

This Rebel Heart – Katherine Locke – ARC Review

Set during the Hungarian revolution of 1956, This Rebel Heart tells the story of Csilla, a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust only for her parents to be murdered by the government. She and her aunt, her last surviving family member, plan to flee the country but her escape plans grind to a halt when her parents are unexpectedly cleared of the crimes they were executed for. As stirrings of a revolution begin in Budapest, Csilla must decide if she will stay and fight for what is right, even if it is for a country that she has never felt was truly hers.…

House of Sky and Breath – Sarah J. Maas

A few months after the events of the first book, Bryce is trying to adjust between her Starborn abilities and figuring out a new normal with Hunt. Both of them are eager to sit back and relax after everything that has happened, and are more than willing to heed the Asteri’s not so subtle warning. The Asteri too, seem to be keeping to their word so far, but unrest is stirring outside Lunathion. The rebellion is gaining momentum and as what could be a crucial piece comes into play, Bryce and the entire group get drawn into the whole affair, placing them on a collision course with both the rebels and the agents of the Asteri.…

Only A Monster – Vanessa Len

On vacation in London visiting her mother’s family, Joan’s summer is turned upside down when, on her way to a date with her long time crush Nick, she accidentally travels to the future by stealing time from someone. Turns out, the fairytales her grandma used to tell her are entirely true, and her mother’s family are actually monsters who can steal time from humans and use it to travel, and she herself is half-human and half-monster. But before she has had time to digest this shocking revelation, she finds out that Nick is actually a figure from legend, known as the hero, whose purpose is to slaughter all monsters. When tragedy strikes, Joan is forced to work with Aaron, the heir of a rival monster family and travel through time herself, battling Nick and seeking a way to stop him.…

The Long Weekend – Gilly Macmillan – ARC Review

Three couples plan a relaxing long weekend trip to an isolated, refurbished barn on a remote Northumbrian farm. When, for different reasons, the men, Toby, Paul and Mark are delayed, their wives arrive ahead of them for a girls’ night, and they feel this would be a good opprtunity for Emily, the latest addition to the group to get to know Jayne and Ruth a little better. But what should have been a restful trip almost immediately turns into a nightmare, as the three women arrive to a disturbing letter, supposedly from Edie, the fourth of their group not joining this trip, claiming that she is going to murder one of their husbands. While they initially think of it as a prank, something typical of Edie, they have their doubts, and with a big storm in the area and no cell service or internet to make sure everyone is ok, tensions begin to run high, leading them to take some drastic steps.…

What We Harvest – Ann Fraistat – ARC Review

Hollow’s End was once known for its miracle crops that drew tourists to the small town from far and wide. But when the blight, a quicksilver, mercury like substance appeared, it first poisoned and destroyed the farms, then the animals, and finally the people, who it turned into zombie-like creatures. Among the last locals still surviving, Wren knows time is running short when she finds that the blight has at last, made its way onto her family’s prized, multi-colored and shimmering wheat farm. When her parents fail to return to their home one evening before curfew, the only person she can turn to is her ex, Derek, and though they haven’t been on speaking terms in months, together, they set out to seek a cure that could save Hollow’s End. But the town has many secrets buried in its past, and the miracle crops come with a cost that it is finally time to pay.…

The Righteous – Renee Ahdieh

Following the events of The Damned, Odette Valmont is grievously injured, and the Court of Lions has but one option left to save her – a healer from the Sylvan Vale. Arjun, being half fey, is the only one of them who can cross over into the fey realm, a world he hates, but for Odette, he agrees. Pippa Montrose is days away from her wedding, but she is determined to find Celine who has seemingly disappeared into thin air along with Sebastien. With Eloise’s help, she sets out to find the gateway Arjun uses to travel between worlds, and she unheedingly marches through, only to find herself in the dangerous world of the fey.…

Mini Reviews #17

Hello readers, and welcome to Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. This installment, let’s chat about: Love at First Spite, Queens of Fennbirn and Love & Olives.…

Edgewood – Kristen Ciccarelli – ARC Review

Emeline wants to become a famous singer and her hard work has finally brought her close to getting a big break when she receives a call from her hometown informing her that her grandfather has disappeared. She returns to Edgewood, a town where mysterious occurrences near the woods are not uncommon and the people are all rather superstitious and firm believers in the magical forces that dwell within. The rumor is that her grandfather has been tithed to the Wood King and now belongs to his court deep in the woods. Emeline has never believed in these stories, but having exhausted all other options, ventures into the woods, determined to get him back, only to find out that all the stories were true.…

The Book of Living Secrets – Madeleine Roux – ARC Review

Best friends Adelle and Connie are huge fans of an obscure gothic romance novel called Moira. When the owner of an occult shop they like to frequent tells them of a spell that would allow them to enter the world of Moira and experience it for themselves, they are skeptical, but agree. But when they enter the book, nothing is as they remember it from the story. Far from the setting of fancy balls and secret romances that they expected, a monster lurks in the shadows, causing terrifying dreams and luring people to their deaths with a mysterious hypnotic power. The longer they stay in the world of Moira, the more things change, and the friends must figure out not only how to stop the monster, but also return home before it’s too late.…

Gallant – V. E. Schwab – ARC Review

Orphan Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School with no knowledge of her past or family, save for her mother’s journal which is full of cryptic notes that seem to grow increasingly mad over the course of time. When she receives a letter from a long lost uncle, inviting her home to Gallant, Olivia accepts without hesitation, hoping to at last find her family. When she arrives however, not only is no one expecting her, but there’s no sign of the uncle, and her cousin Matthew is outright hostile at her presence. But Gallant is the first place that has felt like home to Olivia, and she is determined to unravel every secret the manor house holds. When she crosses a ruined wall in the garden, she discovers another Gallant, but a very different one, a the house in ruins and haunted by ghouls, solid where the ones she sees in the real world are not, ruled by a mysterious and powerful force. As she uncovers the secret of what has ruined generations of the Prior family, and continues to threaten it still, she must decide whether to take a stand and protect Gallant. …

League of Liars – Astrid Scholte – ARC Review

The use of edem, extradimensional magic that can be found only in the shadows, is illegal in the land of Telene. Ever since his mother was killed as a result of someone wielding edem, Cayder Broduck has always wanted to bring criminals responsible for such occurrences to justice. When he gets a summer internship with a public defender, he is excited to finally learn the tricks of the trade that will help him in his ultimate goal to become a prosecutor. He is initially not all that interested in what justification for their actions the criminals he is supposed to defend may have, but when three prisoners arrested in high profile crimes with equally mysterious stories show up, things are no longer as cut and dry as he has always viewed these cases – especially not when one of them is his own sister Leta. While their stories initially appear unrelated, as Cayder desperately delves into the accusations made against Leta, it becomes clear that these cases are linked with a much larger conspiracy in play.…

Bright Ruined Things – Samantha Cohoe – ARC Review

Mae has lived on the Prosper family’s island all her life and has never seen the world beyond it. But with her 18th birthday approaching, her future is uncertain and all she wants is to stay, and above all, have some magic of her own, magic which has been closely guarded and controlled by the Prospers for generations, making them extremely wealthy. Most of the family lives away from the island, returning only for First Night, when they host an extravagant party, and Mae looks forward to seeing her best friend Coco and her longtime crush Miles each year. This year is different however, when the spirits, who are key to the island’s magic, start dying mysteriously. Mae sets out to unravel the mystery with her friends, but the island holds more secrets than any of them suspect, and this First Night will bring to light the dark truth about the Prosper’s magic.…

The Excalibur Curse – Kiersten White

Camelot is safe behind the magical barrier Guinevere has created, but only as long as Lancelot stays inside it. Now a captive of her enemies, and with Arthur lured far away by false information, Guinevere is more determined than ever to find some answers about her past. She teams up with Morgana and Mordred and the truth she discovers leaves her with a terrible decision – to right a heinous wrong that could mean destroying herself, or prevent the brewing war and stop the Dark Queen’s plans.…

Castles In Their Bones – Laura Sebastian – ARC Review

Beatriz, Daphne and Sophronia, the triplet princesses of Bessemia, have just turned sixteen, and it is time for them to depart to the three neighbouring kingdoms to marry their betrothed. This is the first step in a plan that has been in motion ever since they were born, for Empress Margaraux’s intent is for the sisters to turn the kingdoms against each other and incite them to war so that she can sweep in and take over, bringing the entire continent under her rule. However, things don’t go according to plan for long as the princesses arrive to royal courts rife with lies and political intrigue and as they begin to understand that they can’t trust anyone, not even each other, will they complete their missions, or break away from the plan and stand for what they feel is right?…

This Woven Kingdom – Tahereh Mafi – ARC Review

Alizeh is a Jinn, but one with ice in her veins, denoting her as the long lost heir to the Jinn kingdom. She works as a lowly servant in a noblewoman’s home, hiding her true heritage and doing her best to keep out of sight and notice of anyone important, but one day, when she is attacked in the marketplace by a hungry street child, the altercation draws the attention of none other than Kamran, the newly returned crown prince of Ardunia. Kamran has always known of the prophecy that foretold the death of the king, but is shocked when he begins to realize that the insignificant servant girl from the marketplace might be the driving force behind the destruction of his kingdom.…

Vespertine – Margaret Rogerson

In Loraille, those who possess the Sight are taken in and raised by the Clerisy to use their abilities to fight the dead in different ways. Artemisia is training to join the Gray Sisters at the convent in Naimes, who purify dead bodies to prevent them from becoming corrupted and rising as spirits to possess the living. When the convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia uses an ancient saint’s relic and calls upon the spirit bound to it to protect it. But the spirit turns out to be a revenant, the most powerful order of spirits and while through it, she can wield extraordinary power in combat against the dead, she is acutely aware that the malicious spirit can and will possess her the moment she lets her guard down. When it becomes clear that someone is using Old Magic to control the possessed soldiers, Artemesia finds herself turning to the revenant itself for help to unravel the conspiracy.…

Echoes and Empires – Morgan Rhodes – ARC Review | Blogmas 2021: Day 21

Magic of any shape or form is evil and illegal in Ironport, and anyone found having anything to do with it is summarily executed. So when Josslyn Drake, the daughter of the former prime minister and the Queen’s favorite, stumbles into a robbery during a royal gala and accidentally gets infected by a piece of said forbidden magic, she is desperate to get it out of her and realizes there is no one she can trust to help her – except the thief himself. Criminal Jericho Nox offers her a deal: he will help her remove the magic in exchange for the magic itself. But as she sees the world outside her luxurious life in the city, it raises more and more questions about the facts she has always taken as granted, and the shocking revelations that come to light will change her life forever.…

Once Upon A Broken Heart – Stephanie Garber | Blogmas 2021: Day 19

Evangeline Fox has always believed in the stories about happily ever afters and true love, until she finds out that her first love Luc is suddenly engaged to her stepsister. Desperate to get Luc back, she seeks out the Prince of Hearts and strikes a bargain with him – in return for him stopping the wedding, she promises him three kisses to be given at a time and place of his choice. But making deals with a Fate is always a dangerous game, as Evangeline finds out after her first promised kiss. The Prince of Hearts has his own plans in mind for her and Evangeline finds herself in the middle of an increasingly dangerous situation and must figure out what he is after and her role in it all to survive.…

The Winter Charlatan – Victoria McCombs – TBR And Beyond Tours | Blogmas 2021: Day 11

Rowan is the true heir to the throne of Elenvers, but she has a curse that will see her sleep for a hundred years when she turns 18. Fearing the instability her curse could plunge the kingdom into, the king and queen traded away their own daughter to a family friend, taking in return their son, Cassian, who has been raised as the crown prince. Rowan has grown up hating Cassian, and continuously searches for a way to break her curse, determined to one day reclaim her rightful place. But when the neighboring kingdom of ThornHigh threatens to invade, Rowan will have to work with the imposter on her throne to save Elenvers with only a matter of months before the curse is due to strike.…

Defy the Night – Brigid Kemmerer | Blogmas 2021: Day 10

The kingdom of Kandala is in a precarious position. A dangerous and contagious fever ravages the land and the only cure, an elixir made from Moonflower petals, is severely rationed and available to only those who can afford to pay for it. The flowers themselves grow in only some parts of the kingdom, leading to political tensions between the sectors as King Harristan, aided by his brother Prince Corrick, the King’s Justice, attempt to maintain order with harsh punishments for any rule breakers. Meanwhile, Tessa, an apothecary apprentice who lives in the Wilds, is tired of the rich people in the sectors hoarding the medicine while the poor can’t even get a single dose, and so, accompanied by her friend Wes, steals Moonflower petals to make and distribute the elixir themselves. But there are rumors of rebellion in the air, and when the King’s Justice metes out his latest cruel punishment, it directly affects Tessa, making her desperate enough to sneak into the royal palace. What she finds there however, changes everything she thought she knew.…

Kingdom of the Cursed – Kerri Maniscalco | Blogmas 2021: Day 7

Following the shocking revelations at the end of Kingdom of the Wicked, Emilia has sold her soul – literally – to become Queen of the Wicked, going as far as accepting to marry Prince Pride in order to find the demon who killed her sister Vittoria and avenge her. But the world of the seven Princes and their courts is a dangerous one, and Emilia will have to learn to adapt quickly, especially when she is not sure who she can trust.…

Into the Dying Light – Katy Rose Pool | Blogmas 2021: Day 5

After the events in Behezda, an ancient god has been resurrected and trapped in Beru. The Prophet Pallas holds her and Ephyra captive in order to wield the god’s power to take over the Prophetic Cities, but the battle of wills between Beru and the god continue and it will only be a matter of time before he breaks free to wreak destruction. Meanwhile, Anton, Jude, Hassan and Hector set out on a quest to seek a way to bind and kill the god as the original Prophets did. But Anton hides a dark secret that may end up being the only chance at victory, but will require an unimaginable sacrifice.…

Daughter of the Deep – Rick Riordan

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a specialized high school that trains students for careers in marine fields. The freshman class heads out for the important weekend trial at sea that will determine their future in the school, but no sooner are they off campus when the school comes under attack and is completely destroyed by their rival school, Land Institute. With the enemy in close pursuit, Ana and her classmates make for a hidden island refuge. Along the way, they discover the true purpose behind Harding-Pencroft Academy and the hidden legacy they have safeguarded for over a century, and Ana – and her heritage – play a pivotal role in it all. …

The Postmistress of Paris – Meg Waite Clayton – ARC Review

Naneé is an American heiress but has always felt most at home in Paris, where she has lived for the past ten years. When war breaks out and the Germans invade, instead of escaping, she chooses to stay and join the resistance, gaining the nickname of Postmistress for her work in delivering secret messages to people in hiding and helping them get to safety.…

The Last Graduate – Naomi Novik

El has survived three years at the Scholomance and now faces her final year, with the dreaded and deadly graduation run just around the corner. She is no longer alone however, and in the past year, has gained a small group of trusted allies with whom she plans to make the run. But the school itself seems to have it out for her this year, tossing what seems to be every mal within the walls of the Scholomance at her and she is spending more time fighting them and protecting a group of inexperienced freshmen who have inexplicably ended up in one of her classes rather than preparing and building up her mana for graduation. While she continues to struggle against her natural affinity towards darker and more destructive spells as the Scholomance challenges her more than ever before, placing difficult choices in her path, El begins to suspect that the school’s motives behind these latest actions might not be what it seems.…

When Night Breaks – Janella Angeles – ARC Review

With the chaotic conclusion of the Spectaculore, Daron Demarco’s secret has been revealed and is headline news. But he is more focused on finding Kallia, who fell through a mirror during her final performance and is now trapped in another world with Jack, whose motives are still suspect. This mirror world is a dazzling place, but it also has its dangerous side, ruled by a powerful magician known as the Dealer who has sinister plans. With her magic depleted, Kallia must survive in this new world as Daron sets out on a deadly journey to reach her. But time is running out quickly and Kallia has to figure out a way to escape.…

All of Us Villains – Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman – ARC Review

In the remote city of Ilvernath, the seven leading families each name a champion to take part in a tournament to the death every twenty years when the Blood Moon Rises. Only one will survive and gain the prize for their family – exclusive access to a cache of high magick, powerful and extremely rare until the next tournament. The cursed cycle has continued, generation after generation for centuries, but this year, with a tell-all book leaking the secret tradition to the world being published right before the tournament is due to start, the champions are under a media spotlight as reporters and spellmakers have descended on Ilvernath en masse. This offers them new information and avenues to victory, but the stakes are also higher than ever. This tournament will be unlike any other before it.…

Within These Wicked Walls – Lauren Blackwood – ARC Review

Andromeda, a debtera who cleanses houses of the Evil Eye, is hired by wealthy heir Magnus Rochester. But she quickly realizes that this job is very different from others she has handled in the past. The castle is filled with dangerous Manifestations, and staying to complete the job almost certainly means death. But leaving, apart from giving up a chance to gain a patron, which Andromeda, as an unlicensed debtera, desperately needs, would also mean dooming Magnus to live with the curse for the rest of his life. The evil that has a hold over the castle will not be defeated easily, and each day Andi lingers there, the more danger she places herself in.…

The Bronzed Beasts – Roshani Chokshi

Following the events in the Sleeping Palace and the revelation that Séverin alone is capable of playing the Divine Lyre, he now plays a dangerous game as he balances a delicate alliance with Ruslan, the Patriarch of the Fallen House to discover the location of the temple where the lyre can be played. Meanwhile, Séverin’s seeming betrayal has driven a wedge in the team even as Laila, Enrique, Zofia and Hypnos make their way to Venice to find him with only the barest of clues. Laila has only ten days before she expires and the crew must set aside their doubts to reach the temple in time. Playing the Divine Lyre in the temple promises divinity, which for Séverin, would be the power he needs to keep his friends safe. But will they be prepared to pay the price this apotheosis demands?…

Gods & Monsters – Shelby Mahurin

Gods and Monsters picks up where the story previously left off, as Lou and company make their way towards Chateau le Blanc, still in shock from the confrontation with Morgane and the horrifying consequences. What they don’t know yet is that Lou has been possessed by Nicholina under the orders of La Voisin, who has allied with Morgane. Freeing her from the dark presence that has taken over will be a difficult task, and even if they are successful, Lou may not emerge from it as her old self.…

The Hawthorne Legacy – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Following the shocking events of The Inheritance Games, Avery and the Hawthorne brothers continue to seek out Tobias Hawthorne’s motive in leaving his entire fortune to a random girl. Being the Hawthorne heiress is no joke however, and with a fortune in the billions at stake, things are getting more dangerous by the day for Avery as enemies are emerging on all sides and she has no idea who can be trusted.…

The Keeper of Night – Kylie Lee Baker – Inkyard Press Fall 2021 YA Blog Tours

Ren Scarborough is half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, and while she has been raised in London, she has never felt like she belonged, often looked down upon for her mixed heritage. When one night, Ren loses control over her Shinigami powers and injures three High Reapers, she knows that her only chance of survival is to flee England. With her brother in tow, Ren heads for Japan, hoping to find acceptance and a place serving the Goddess of Death, and also seek out the mother who abandoned her. The Goddess however, sets her a task to complete in order to prove her worth, to destroy three deadly Yokai demons who are threatening the balance. With her brother and a new ally, Hiro, by her side, this dangerous journey will test the limits to which Ren is willing to go to become a Shinigami and what she is willing to sacrifice for it.…

The Color of Dragons – R.A. Salvatore & Erika Lewis – ARC Review

Maggie, a young orphan, is assistant to a traveling magician who has little skill beyond some sleight of hand tricks. But when she encounters a draignoch that has been captured by the cruel king’s soldiers and is being taken to his Walled City, something within her awakens and she soon realizes that she is the one with actual magical powers. Maggie knows she has to keep this hidden, but she also needs to learn how to control it. When she meets Griffin, the king’s champion and famed draignoch slayer, the two of them must work together to figure out her abilities, even as Griffin participates in a gladiatorial style tournament to defend his title from his latest challengers.…

Luminous – Mara Rutherford – Inkyard Press Fall 2021 YA Blog Tours

In a land where mages are hunted for their magic, Liora has spent all her life hiding her abilities, most particularly her glowing skin that would give her away instantly. But when she is discovered by the king’s warlock, Darius, instead of taking Liora, he instead takes her younger sister Mina to work in the palace, essentially holding her hostage. Even worse, Liora’s best friend Evran, the only one outside her family who knows her secret, has been acting strangely of late and he goes missing following Darius’ visit. Liora must set out on a journey to not only find Evran and save her sister, but also stop Darius from unleashing a dark power upon the world and she’ll have to accept and learn to use her magic in order to succeed.…

Jade Fire Gold – June C L Tan – ARC Review

Ahn, a peasant girl with no knowledge of her past or family, struggles to support herself and her adoptive grandmother, all the while hiding magical abilities that could get her killed. Altan, a prince in exile, and the rightful heir to the throne, has been biding his time to take back what is his and avenge the murders of his family. When their paths cross, Altan realizes that Ahn’s unique – and lethal – form of magic is what he needs to reclaim the throne. Ahn, on the other hand, sees the opportunity to find out about her past and also gain the control over her magical abilities that she desperately needs. While both of them are in this for their own gain, hiding many secrets, they will have to learn to trust each other in order to save the kingdom.…

The City Beautiful – Aden Polydoros – ARC Review

In the shadow of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, a killer is stalking the streets, targeting young Jewish immigrants. Alter Rosen, who recently immigrated from Romania, struggles to make a living while also trying to save up enough money to bring his family to America. But when his best friend and roommate Yakov is the latest victim of the killer, he gets caught up in a dark plot as Yakov’s dybbuk possesses him and begins to take over him entirely. The only way Alter will get out of this alive is to complete the task for which the dybbuk is lingering and turning to a friend from a past he left behind might be the only way to accomplish it. With each day, the dybbuk threatens to take over, and it’s a race against time for the two boys as they must track down the killer before there are any more murders.…

Beasts of Prey – Ayana Gray – ARC Review

Koffi and her mother are indentured to the Night Zoo and they care for the dangerous magical creatures it hosts. But just as they are closer than ever to finally paying off their debts for good, an incident occurs that threatens their safety and Koffi uses a magical power she doesn’t fully understand with severe consequences. Ekon is a warrior in training, going through the rites of passage to become one of Lkossa’s elite Sons of the Six, but the final rite is interrupted when a fire breaks out at the Zoo. Amidst the chaos, Koffi is attempting to escape and as Ekon gives chase, they encounter the Shetani, the monster that has been plaguing and killing people. Koffi’s mysterious power seems to cause the beast to listen to her, and that saves Ekon’s life, but when he lets her get away, he ruins his chances of becoming a warrior. Hunting down the Shetani seems to be the solution to both their problems and when their paths cross again some days later, they form a tentative alliance to travel into the depths of the deadly Greater Jungle. But not only are they hunting a vicious monster in a hostile jungle, they each have motives they are keeping secret from the other.…

Dark Rise – C. S. Pacat – ARC Review

In 1821 London, Will Kempen is working on the docks, hiding from the men who killed his mother and trying to find out who ordered her death and why. Just as an old servant finds him and informs him of a great destiny he is meant to fulfill, Will is captured and held prisoner in the hold of a ship. Violet Ballard sneaks onto that same ship to watch her brother take the brand of the mysterious and powerful trader, Simon, as she hopes to someday, when there is chaos as the docks are attacked by men dressed like Knights of old in search of someone. In the confusion, both Violet is also mistaken for a captive of Simon’s and both she and Will are rescued by the knights, known as Stewards, and taken to their hidden stronghold. They are introduced to a magical world where an ancient battle between Light and Dark is on the horizon as descendants and loyalists of the Dark King are working to bring him back to life, unleashing evils that would destroy the world as they know it.…

Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao – ARC Review

The land of Huaxia has been at war with the Hunduns and mecha aliens beyond the Great Wall for many centuries and the only way to fight them are using Chrysalises, giant robots that require a boy-girl pair to activate and pilot. The girl of the pair often dies of the mental strain involved in the process, but the harshly patriarchal and misogynistic society sees them as acceptable losses. When Zetian’s sister is killed by one of the most famous male pilots, she enlists as a concubine-pilot to gain vengeance. And on the field, a shocking and unprecedented event occurs – instead of dying from the strain, she instead overpowers the male pilot through the psychic bond, killing him and taking control of the Chrysalis to return unharmed. Labelled an Iron Widow, the army is eager to silence her and pairs her up with the strongest pilot in Huaxia. But while this was initially about vengeance for Zetian, the taste of power she has gained has her seeking more and more, determined to break down the skewed pilot system and stop any more girls from being sent to their deaths.…

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina – Zoraida Cordova – ARC Review

The Montoyas gather at their family home in Four Rivers when they all receive invitations to attend the funeral of their matriarch, Orquidea Divina and collect their inheritances. But Orquidea hasn’t died, she has transformed – just one more unanswered question in a long line of puzzling occurrences. They each receive their inheritances, in the form of various magical powers, and go their separate ways. Over the next seven years, the gifts have manifested in different ways for those who followed Orquidea’s last instructions flourish, most particularly for her grandchildren, Marimar and Rey, and her great-granddaughter Rhiannon. But someone starts hunting down the Montoyas for their magic, one after another, the family knows the answer lies in Orquidea’s past, which she never spoke about. The three of them, along with Rhiannon’s mother Tatinelly, travel to Ecuador, where Orquidea spent her childhood in hopes of uncovering the truth and saving what remains of their family.…

Kingdom of the Wicked – Kerri Maniscalco

Emilia di Carlo and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe, part of a community of witch families who live in Sicily amongst humans, hiding their powers. Even as they learned to use their witch powers, the sisters have grown up listening to their grandmother’s stories about the dangers of dark magic and the Wicked – Princes of Hell – whom witches must beware. But with several witches found brutally murdered, they all realize something dangerous is here. When Vittoria is found to be the latest victim, Emilia is willing to go to any length to find the murderer. Her quest leads her to accidentally summoning Prince Wrath, who also claims to be after the killer, and while she does not trust him, working with Wrath seems to be quickest path to gaining her vengeance.…

Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas

Yadriel is determined to prove that he can be a real brujo, though his traditional family has trouble accepting that he is transgender. With his cousin Maritza, he performs the ritual to gain his powers successfully one night. He soon finds out that his cousin Miguel has been murdered that same night, he decides to raise Miguel’s ghost to find out what happened, but also set it free and demonstrate to the brujx community and his family that the ritual was a success. But the ghost Yadriel raises is not his cousin, but that of Julian Diaz, the school’s bad boy and he is less than cooperative about being released into the afterlife. Julian wants to find out how he died, and check in on his friends before he leaves and having no choice, Yadriel agrees.…

Threadneedle – Cari Thomas

Sixteen year old Anna lives in London with her aunt, and has grown up hearing about the dangers of magic. The day when her magic will be permanently bound draws closer, and Anna will become a Binder alongside her aunt, joining the ranks of those who believe magic is a sin. But when Anna meets a few other witches, she discovers a whole other side to magic and begins to question everything she has been told, wondering just how much of it is true.…

Six Crimson Cranes – Elizabeth Lim – ARC Review

Shiori’anma is the princess of Kiata, and as the seventh child and only girl has lacked for nothing, beloved by both her father and brothers. But she has long hidden a dangerous secret – she possesses magic, forbidden in Kiata. When on the morning of her betrothal ceremony to Takkan, a lord from the distant north, she loses control over it, it brings her to the attention of Raikama, her stepmother. Unknown to everyone, Raikama is a sorceress, and with dark magic, turns the six princes into cranes and strands Shiori on a remote island with a warning that for every word she speaks, one of her brothers will die. Voiceless and alone, Shiori is determined to find her brothers and break the curse, but in the process, stumbles upon a deeper conspiracy that stretches far beyond Raikama’s betrayal. It’s up to her to restore Kiata to what it used to be, and when she unexpectedly crosses paths with Takkan, learning to trust him could be crucial to her success as danger draws closer.…

Rising Like A Storm – Tanaz Bhathena – ARC Review

With the usurper Queen Shyla on Ambar’s throne, Gul and Cavas are fugitives wanted for the death of King Lohar. But Gul finds out that the connection between her and Cavas is more than it appears – he is fated to be her partner in magic and love, and this may be just what they need to save Ambar. She must learn to use her magic and get it under control, but when Cavas is taken prisoner, she must also train an army of warriors alone for the fast approaching conflict. …

Illusionary – Zoraida Cordova

Facing betrayal from the Whispers on one hand and the king’s soldiers on another, Renata Convida finds an unlikely ally in her erstwhile enemy, Prince Castian as they share a common goal. Finding the Knife of Memory may be the only way to bring down King Fernando and restore peace to Puerto Leones. Renata’s control over her magic is slipping however, and the Gray, the fortress in her mind where she keeps stolen memories is falling apart, the memories invading her own and threatening her sanity. The journey to find the Knife is a long one that will take them across the country and over the sea beyond, and with danger on all sides, Ren and Castian will have to put their complicated feelings aside and learn to trust each other in order to succeed.…

Sisters of the Snake – Sarena and Sasha Nanua – ARC Review

Ria, a street thief, breaks into the palace in hopes of stealing enough valuables to buy fake documents that will get her and her friend out of the kingdom to safety from the war that is looming. Things don’t go as expected however, when she runs into Princess Rani, who, to her shock, looks exactly like her. The girls quickly figure out that they must be twins who were separated for some reason. The Princess of Abai has led a privileged life, but longs to prove herself and sees an opportunity in the situation. They strike a deal to switch places for a time: Rani to see the world outside the palace that she has been kept from and Ria to experience the royal life while searching for the truth of why she was sent away. But danger lies in both their paths and the secrets and plots they uncover threaten the entire kingdom.…

The Serpent’s Curse – Lisa Maxwell

Esta and Harte continue their quest to find the remaining stones that are scattered across the country, but the Order is not far behind and their influence presents an obstacle wherever – and whenever – they travel. More dangerous however, is the powerful goddess, Seshat, who now resides inside Harte and wants nothing more than to break free and destroy Thoth and all magic. Back in 1902 New York, Viola, Jianyu and Cela come up with a plan to get back the Delphi’s Tear while also dealing simultaneously with two enemies – the Order and Nibsy Lorcan.…

Shipped – Meredith Tate – ARC Review

Stella Greene and Wesley Clarke are long time rivals and their battle reaches new heights this year as they are their high school’s top contenders for the prized position of valedictorian, and the scholarship that comes with it. While in real life, they can’t stand each other, they’ve unknowingly been chatting online in a forum for fans of a famous sci-fi TV show. When they realize they are both planning to attend SciCon this year, they make plans to meet in person for the first time. The end of the school year, and with it, SciCon, draw closer by the day, and when Stella and Wes are forced to pair up for a major class project, they start to realize that when they’re not fighting, they actually work well together and share more things in common than they realized.…

Rule of Wolves – Leigh Bardugo

Ravka is at war. As Nikolai continues to deal with the demon within him, the Fjerdans prepare to invade, but the return of the Darkling poses an even larger threat. Deep undercover in the Fjerdan court, Nina is able to finally access information that could be vital to the war effort. With the spirit of Juris inside her, Zoya must accept her past to become the weapon Ravka needs to survive the war.…

Realm Breaker – Victoria Aveyard – ARC Review

Corayne an-Amarat, daughter of a pirate captain, has spent her life in a small port and has always felt a restless urge to seek adventure. When an assassin and an immortal arrive on her doorstep with news of long sealed gateways across Allward to realms full of horrors being torn open again, she learns the truth about her lineage: she is the last of an ancient bloodline, and the final hope to save Allward from destruction. The quest Corayne embarks on will bring the unlikeliest group of people together to face the growing darkness and close the gates before it is too late.…

These Feathered Flames – Alexandra Overy – Harlequin Trade Publishing Winter 2021 Blog Tour

As per the tradition of Tourin, when twin heirs are born, their destiny is divined and they are separated at a very young age – one to be the future Queen and the other to be the Firebird, who ensures the balance of magic in the land by claiming a price from those who did . Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she would need to rule and Asya is taken away by her aunt to train to one day take on the powers of the Firebird. When Asya’s power awakens far earlier than expected, it can only mean that the queen is dead. It is time for her to become the new Firebird, and for her sister to be crowned queen. Asya returns to find both her sister and the court much changed. With the coronation being in a matter of days, time is short. Surrounded by scheming courtiers who are waiting for her to fail Izaveta must handle her mother’s death and take over the reins of the kingdom smoothly. And Asya must accept the full responsibilities of a position she has long felt is too brutal and unfair – for if she does not, magic will be thrown out of balance and chaos will follow.…

A Court of Silver Flames – Sarah J. Maas

Following the war with Hybern, Prythian is slowly healing and returning to normal. But Nesta has far from adjusted to becoming High Fae and is headed down a very self-destructive path. The horrors of the battle, seeing her Father die and being forced into a Cauldron still haunt her. Sent to train with Cassian by Feyre and Rhysand in a last attempt to help her, Nesta sets out on a difficult journey of healing and acceptance. But the mortal queens who returned to the Continent are plotting, and have formed an alliance with an ancient enemy, and Nesta’s unique powers, which she has kept buried deep, might very well be the key to defeating them.…

Witches Steeped in Gold – Ciannon Smart – ARC Review

Witches Steeped in Gold brings us the story of two witches from rival orders who find themselves on the same side of a fight for the throne. Jazmyne Cariot, the doyenne’s daughter, works an Emissary, but has been collaborating with a resistance movement to overthrow her mother ever since her sister was sacrificed to maintain the throne. Iraya Adair, the long lost and rightful heir, has been held prisoner for ten years and now longs for vengeance. To accomplish their common goal, Jazmyne and Iraya form an alliance, though neither really trusts the other.…

A Conjuring of Light – V. E. Schwab

Shadow has fallen over Red London and Osaron has proclaimed himself the true king, controlling the people with dark magic so powerful that even an Antari cannot hope to stand against it – not alone. Kell, Lila, Alucard and Holland set out to find a magical artifact that may be their only chance at defeating Osaron and restoring order to the Maresh empire.…

Chain of Iron – Cassandra Clare

It’s time for James and Cordelia’s wedding, but only a few know the truth of the matter. This marriage is a ruse, contrived to protect Cordelia’s reputation, for James is in love with Grace Blackthorn. On top of that, her father, Elias Carstairs has returned home a very different man and Cortana inexplicably burns Cordelia’s hand when she tries to wield it. Meanwhile, Lucie is set upon bringing Jesse back to life by any means possible, and James begins to realize that he is far from free of Belial’s influence. When a murderer begins to target London’s Shadowhunters, the Merry Thieves, Cordelia and Lucie begin to follow the clues and must find the killer before it is too late.…

Pride and Premeditation – Tirzah Price – ARC Review

Aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet wants to work at her father’s law firm, but must prove herself before he will consider it. When wealthy Mr Bingley is arrested for murder, it is the talk of London high society, and Lizzie sees an opportunity to prove herself. Mr Bingley’s lawyer, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, is none too pleased with her interference, but she is determined to solve the murder herself and prove Bingley innocent. But as the case grows both complicated and dangerous, they realize that they may have to work together after all to find the real culprit before it is too late.…

Kisses and Croissants – Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau – ARC Review

Aspiring ballerina Mia Jenrow arrives in Paris for the summer to attend an elite ballet program with big dreams. If she can succeed in the next six weeks, she could qualify for an audition with some of the best ballet companies in the world. But already the summer isn’t going according to plan. For starters, her mother is less than supportive of her ballet dreams. Her rival from New York, Audrey, is her roommate for the summer, and Louis, a charming French boy whom she meets threatens to be a distraction from her goal. But as the weeks progress, she finds herself discovering the city and she and Louis find themselves on the trail of unravelling the truth behind an old family story of Mia’s, concerning an ancestor who was supposedly a ballet dancer in Paris herself.…

Infinity Reaper – Adam Silvera

Infinity Reaper picks up right where the first book ended – Emil has been stabbed with an infinity-ender blade and Brighton has drunk the Reaper’s Blood potion. But things are not going according to plan. The potion which should have given Brighton powers and made him invincible is now poisoning him. The brothers know that it’s a race against time to save Brighton, having seen their father die the same way. Meanwhile, Ness is held prisoner by his own father, Senator Iron, and forced to use his shifting ability to create propaganda for the Senator’s political campaign. The Spell Walkers believe him dead after the battle at Nova, and while he wants to send them a signal to let them know where he is, he knows keeping his distance for now is the best plan as he learns about his father’s plans which are more horrifying than he ever expected.…

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor

Jael has brought his army of seraphs to the human world, trying to take advantage of perception of angels and demons in an effort to gain weapons to bring back and use in the war. Meanwhile in Eretz, the alliance of Misbegotten and Chimaera is coming together united in their purpose against a common enemy. This uneasy alliance is the only chance at building some semblance of a peaceful future. Even as Karou and Akiva work to save their world, a mysterious enemy hunts Akiva and a larger threat approaches.…

A Gathering of Shadows – V. E. Schwab

Four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic, and the dust has mostly settled. Preparations for the Essen Tasch, the Element Games, are in full swing in Red London, and the international contest between magicians brings faces both old and new from around the world to the heart of the Maresh Empire. Now severely restricted in his travels, Kell is growing more restless by the day as he and Rhy struggle to cope with their new bond. Lila Bard sailed off to become a pirate, but as the Games approach, she finds her path leading back to London too. But while Red London is enthralled by the Games, trouble is brewing and another London is returning to life.…

Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor

Karou has finally discovered the truth of who she is and still reeling from the revelation of what happened to Brimstone and the others, she has returned to Eretz seeking revenge and is living amongst the Chimaera again. Only, she finds herself under the White Wolf’s thumb, working on what used to be Brimstone’s job – resurrecting the Chimaera who fall in battle. Akiva is back with Hazael and Liraz, having told them the full truth, but he is struggling to return to his old life and refuses to harm another Chimaera. But in the Seraphim capital of Astrae, the political situation is escalating – the Emperor and those around him have some dangerous plans in mind, and it may be up to Akiva to thwart them.…

Everything that Burns – Gita Trelease

After the events of Enchantée, Camille and her sister Sophie are now living in Séguin’s mansion, and it seems they have everything they ever wanted. Sophie is making beautiful hats in a store of her own that are in high demand everywhere and Camille finally has a printing press and is working on making pamphlets. One day, she saves a flower seller named Giselle, and this act leads her to a group of girls in desperate need of aid, Camille uses her pamphlets to share their stories and they become wildly popular, convincing people across the city to help. She soon realizes that their success is not due to only the words, but the magic she unwittingly put into the pamphlets while printing them – the very magic she has sworn to give up. As she struggles with this revelation, conflicted that this magic she worked was able to do some good instead of the havoc it has wrought so far, revolution is afoot in Paris. And Camille is all for revolution and change – but she is now both an aristocrat and a magician, and the city is about to become a dangerous place for both. When Louis XVI paints all of France’s sufferings as the doings of magicians and proclaims them traitors and magic a crime, she must find a way to get her magic under control before it is too late.…

Pariah’s Lament – Richie Billing – ARC Review

Edvar, the youngest advisor to Ashara, the Keeper of Yurr, is charged with finding out who is behind the assassination attempt on the Keeper. Trouble is brewing and Edvar seems to be surrounded by enemies on all sides, with unrest in the city and the looming threat of war from the neighbouring kingdom of Karrabar, whose ruler, Tesh, has an old enemity with Ashara. On the other side of Yurr, an ancient race of people called the Amast who have been in hiding for many years are on the verge of starvation and in a last effort for survival, turn to social outcast Isy for help in taking their plea to the Keeper.…

We Free the Stars – Hafsah Faizal

Zafira, Nasir and Kifah have survived the battle on Sharr. Heavy with the guilt of having to leave Altair a captive of the Lion of the Night, are heading for Sultan’s Keep with four of the hearts of the Sisters of Old to restore magic to Arawiya. The Arz is gone, and the various issues that plagued the caliphates are starting to wane – but with it, the curse that bound the inhabitants of Sharr to the island has fallen too and the Lion is free to return and wreak his vengeance. The zumra is on the path to completing the final steps in Altair’s plan, but each of them is contending with other threats too. Nasir struggles with his magic, knowing that he will need to use it not only against the Lion, but also to free his father who has been under the Lion’s control all these years. Zafira’s battle is within her own mind – bound to the Jawarat, she quickly realizes that it has a mind of its own and will not hesitate to use her as a conduit to unleash its power.…

Namesake – Adrienne Young – ARC Review

The Marigold is out of Saint’s control at last, but before Fable could enjoy her success with the crew, she has been kidnapped by Zola as a part of some scheme. To her surprise, she finds a familiar face on board Zola’s ship: Clove, who used to be a part of Saint’s crew and saved her life in the storm that the Lark went down in – and who was there when she was abandoned on Jeval. Fable is unsure about exactly what Zola’s goal is, but she is determined to get back to West and the crew, so she plays along, agreeing to dredge for gems as he asks and once in Bastian, help him secure a deal with the famous gem-trader Holland. But Holland has a surprising connection to her, and as she begins to learn more about her mother’s past, and what the events that are unfolding could mean for those she cares about, Fable will have to decide where her loyalty lies.…

Sing Me Forgotten – Jessica S Olsen – ARC Review

Isda is a gravoir, someone with the ability to alter people’s memories when they sing. In the kingdom of Channe, where memories are currency, gravoirs are condemned to death on sight, but Cyril rescued her from the well she was thrown into as a baby and she has lived in the opera house he owns all her life. He only asks that Isda use her ability to keep ticket sales high and that she never allows herself to be seen, which is a simple enough rule for her to follow until she accidentally meets Emeric. His voice calls to her and his memories are brighter than any she has ever seen before, but more importantly, she gets a glimpse of something in one of his memories, that may be a way out of a life in hiding. Determined to discover more, Isda begins to spend more time with Emeric, searching his memories as he sings under the guise of vocal training, but as she sees more and more, her desire to have a life outside the opera house too grows.…

Breaking Damian – Eren Morgul

In the Gauntlet, where weavers, those who can use magic, and benthon, ordinary people, live side by side, orphan Damian struggles for survival on the streets. All Damian has ever wanted was to be a weaver and wield magic of his own. When one day he finally does manage to weave a spell, he is noticed doing so by a powerful weaver and his life changes overnight as he starts training to use his ability. But Damian soon realizes that he has gotten more than he bargained for – the Gauntlet is poised to descend into a power struggle with the Emperor gone missing – and Damian is about to find himself at the center of a brewing war.…

A Vow So Bold and Deadly – Brigid Kemmerer

With the revelation that Grey is the true heir, Emberfall is splitting into factions even as the end of Grey’s two month ultimatum draws closer. Meanwhile in Syhl Shallow, Lia Mara is now the queen, but after a reign so ruthless as Karis Luran’s, Lia Mara’s gentler approach is less than effective, particularly as the people are not pleased to see her with a magesmith by her side. But now that the enchantress Lilith is back, they all face a bigger challenge, and though Rhen and Grey stand on opposite sides of the brewing war, the only way to defeat her once and for all is to work together.…

woods of silver and light

Woods of Silver and Light – Victoria McCombs – TBR And Beyond Tours

A few months after the events of The Storyteller’s Daughter, Cosette’s sister Anika has travelled to Wateredge Manor and is trying to adjust to her new life as a noble. It is far less of an adventure than she anticipated however, and navigating society as a lady with a title comes with many rules, but she attempts to use her new privilege to help the tenants on her land work through the aftermath of the war. When Anika witnesses a gang of thieves known as the Silver Raiders steal from another noble, she becomes curious about these bandits who steal from the rich and give to the poor. Upon learning that they are camped in the Woods of Silver and Light, the magical forest that borders her lands, she sets out to confront them and meets with their leader Ronin. While she sympathizes with their intentions, she still dislikes their methods, but Anika is increasingly drawn to the Woods even as she begins to realize that the magic that lives there is more dangerous than it seems.…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Karou is an art student living in Prague leading a seemingly normal life. But she was actually raised by a group of demonic beings called Chimaera who form her surrogate family, and she now works for one of them, a wishmonger named Brimstone who collects teeth. Karou lives between these two worlds, never feeling like she really belongs in either. One day mysterious black handprints begin to appear around the world on doorways which act as portals into Brimstone’s workshop, and Karou runs into an angel, Akiva, causing her to question who and what she really is. A day later, all the doorways burn down at once, cutting off Karou’s connection from her only family and she finds herself caught up in an ancient war between the Seraphim and Chimaera.…

City of the Uncommon Thief – Lynne Bertrande – ARC Review

In a walled-off city, people live in tall iron towers, each organized by a trade or craft guild. Once a year, the city’s gates are opened to receive a shipment of food and other essentials, and also ship out the products the guilds make to the world outside. Teenagers can opt to become runners between the towers and spend a few years on the rooftops before taking up an apprenticeship with one of the guilds. New runners often play pranks and dare each other to complete tasks. When, during one of these dares, what looks like a pair of iron knitting needles are stolen, it quickly becomes clear there is something special about them as the regnat, the main administrator of the city, is willing to do anything it takes to get them back.…

This Golden Flame – Emily Victoria – Harlequin Trade Publishing Winter 2021 Blog Tour

Karis, an orphan, was separated from the last of her family, her brother Matthias when she was brought to the island of Tallis to serve the Scriptorium. After all automatons mysteriously stopped working 200 years ago, the Scriptorium has been working to unlock the secret to awakening the army of machines again. Karis has been on Tallis for years, but has never felt at home or wanted to connect with any of the other orphans with the exception of her best friend Dane. Her main goal has always been to discover where her brother was sent and find out what happened to him. When she stumbles upon an automaton hidden in a cave, she manages to wake it and realizes that Alix, as he introduces himself, is capable of speech, thought, and feeling, something that has always been deemed impossible. With Alix’s help, she is able to obtain information about her brother, but with the Scriptorium now hunting them, both of them must find a way to flee Tallis.…

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

As punishment for a past rebellion, every seven years, nine Greek Gods are forced to descend to earth and live for seven days as mortals. During these days, the descendants of ancient heroes hunt the mortal gods, seeking to kill one of them and gain their power, immortality and eternal glory in a lethal hunt known as the Agon. Lore of the House of Perseus fled that dangerous life following the brutal murders of her family by a rival house, but as a new Agon begins in New York City, she finds herself drawn back into that world when on the first day, two participants seek her out – Castor, a childhood friend she believed long dead, and the goddess Athena, one of the last original gods still alive. Severely injured, Athena asks for her help and in return, offers her an alliance and what she has long sought: revenge against Wrath, the new Ares, and the man responsible for her family’s deaths, and possibly a way to stop the cycle and end the Agon forever.…

The Last Tiara – M. J. Rose – ARC Review

In 1948 New York, Isobelle Moon, an architect, starts renovating her apartment following her mother’s death when she happens upon a box hidden in the wall containing the silver frame of a tiara and some receipts showing that the jewels it once held were sold. Intrigued as to why it was kept hidden, she seeks out the jeweller, hoping to find out more about the life her mother left behind in Russia and always refused to speak of and also about the father whom she has never met. As Isobelle’s search for information intensifies, a parallel timeline unfolds in 1925 Russia, telling the story of Sofiya Petrovich, best friend to the Grand Duchess Olga, and the journey that led her from Tsarist Russia to New York.…

Muse – Brittany Cavallaro – ARC Review

In an alternate version of history where George Washington became King and formed the First American Kingdom, the province of St Cloud is preparing to host the World’s Fair. Claire Emerson’s father, an inventor, is working on a mighty weapon that is to be unveiled at the fair and display St Cloud’s strength in a kingdom where the provinces are poised for war. Claire has bigger problems: her father believes that she possesses a magic that allows her to bless him with good fortune, and as a result, she has spent most of her life under his suffocating restrictions – but she’s finally hatched a plan to make her escape. Her plans go awry however, as the weapon fails to fire on opening day and she is taken captive by the province’s young Governor, Remy Duchamp, all at once finding herself in the middle of a deadly game of politics.…

We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

Zafira is the legendary Hunter who can venture into the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people and return unharmed – but if anyone were to ever find out that the Hunter is actually a girl, her achievements would be considered meaningless. Crown Prince Nasir of Arawiya is better known as the Prince of Death for the many assassinations he has carried out at the command of his ruthless father, the Sultan, and forbidden to display any compassion. The caliphates are growing restless however, and war is on the horizon as the Sultan grows more power hungry, but the immediate threat is the Arz which creeps closer by the day. Zafira sets out on a quest to find an artifact that can bring back magic to the lands and destroy the Arz where on the other hand, Nasir is ordered to go the same quest – but to kill the Hunter once the artifact is found and retrieve the artifact for the Sultan. But a larger scheme is at play here, and Zafira and Nasir must become reluctant allies to face an evil greater than anything either of them anticipated.…

Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik

Miryem’s father is the town’s moneylender, but he’s not very good at it, repeated failing to collect on debts, leaving his family in a very poor financial condition. Determined to do something about it, Miryem takes over collection duties with immediate results, and gains a reputation for turning silver into gold, soon hiring Wanda a peasant girl to help. Her success however, draws the attention of the king of the Staryk, who sets her an impossible challenge. Meanwhile, the plain daughter of a local duke, suddenly becomes attractive to everyone around her due to the jewellery made of fairy silver that Miryem sold her, and is married off to the tsar. But Tsar Mirnatius has a dark secret of his own that threatens both mortals and Staryk alike.…

Shadow City – Francesca Flores – ARC Review

Aina and Tannis have now taken over Kohl’s tradehouses, but Kosin is far from peaceful. The corrupt general Alsane Bautix who was ousted after Aina revealed his corruption is already making moves to take back his power with no care for anyone who stands in his way. When Kohl returns and asks Aina to join him in taking down Bautix, she is reluctant, but seeing no other option to protect her home, agrees. But their alliance is an uneasy one, knowing that once they’ve achieved their goal, it will be time to face each other once again.…

Cast in Firelight – Dana Swift – ARC Review

Heirs to their respective kingdoms, Adraa Belwar and Jatin Naupure meet as children, and their parents plan for them to be married when they are older. Needless to say, that first meeting does not go well, and after years of intense rivalry from afar, it is time for them to come face-to-face once more, something neither of them are looking forward to. Adraa is now a powerful witch, weeks away from going through the royal ceremony test to prove her mastery over the nine colours of magic and officially being declared the heir. Jatin, no less competitive, has already been through his ceremony and is returning home after years of studying abroad. Through an interesting sequence of events, neither recognizes the other when their paths cross, and when criminal activity surfaces in Belwar, the two agree to team up, both going by secret identities in order to reveal the source of the corruption and the real threats to their homes.…

A Sky Beyond the Storm – Sabaa Tahir | Blogmas Day 20

Following the events at Antium, the Martial Empire has been plunged into chaos. The imprisoned jinn are free and wreaking their long-awaited vengeance on humans. The Nightbringer has deadlier plans that stretch far beyond mere vengeance however, and self-declared Empress Keris Veturia takes city after city, massacring dissenters. Laia, now allied with the Blood Shrike, vows to destroy the Nightbringer even as she struggles with recent losses. Meanwhile in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher only wants to forget his past life and get on with his new duties, but to uphold his oath to Mauth, he must once again step out of his lands to prevent the oncoming destruction.…

Holy Sister – Mark Lawrence | Blogmas Day 18

Holy Sister is narrated in two timelines. One picks up immediately after the ending of Grey Sister, following Nona’s escape from the Tetragode, as she and Zole head for the ice to keep the shipheart safe with the enemy in hot pursuit. The other is in present day, three years after these events – the Corridor is narrowing fast, the Empire is under attack from all sides. Nona has nearly completed her training and is taking the tests to become a full sister, but the final battle is approaching faster than expected, and it may be the biggest challenge of all.…

A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab | Blogmas Day 15

Centuries ago, four Londons existed side by side, sharing the name but essentially in very different worlds. When a massive magical accident occurred in the place known as Black London, the doors between the worlds were sealed and all magical travel restricted. Since then, the only people who can travel back and forth are the Antari, or blood magicians, who act as messengers between the rulers. Kell is the Antari in service to the King and Queen of Red London, and on one of his travels to the notoriously unstable court of White London, is tricked into bringing back a forbidden artifact that turns out to be from Black London (all of which were supposed to have been destroyed). This sets off a chain of events as Kell races to find a way to dispose of the item before anyone figures out he’s committed treason or the dangerous magic within it turns on him. Delilah Bard, a thief from magicless Grey London, has spent her entire life looking for adventure and a way out. When she stumbles into Kell and learns about his abilities and mission, she sees it as the perfect opportunity and makes him take her along. But the two are about to stumble into a much larger plot than Kell foresaw and if they don’t succeed in their aim, the doors between worlds could be torn down and corrupted magic unleashed once more.…

Grey Sister – Mark Lawrence | Blogmas Day 13

Two years after the events of Red Sister, Nona is now fifteen and has moved up into Mystic Class. Nona’s enemies haven’t given up yet though. The powerful Tacsis clan is still seeking revenge for Raymel’s death, but the immediate threat is much closer, inside the walls of the Convent. Nona’s actions have gained her many enemies and when the Emperor’s sister Sherzal finally makes her move to take over the Empire, they seize their chance. The Inquisition arrives at the Convent, claiming to be hunting heretics and things quickly go downhill as it becomes clear that Sweet Mercy is no longer safe for Nona. Abbess Glass is in an equally precarious position as the inquisitors, under the direction of the Emperor’s sister Sherzal, take her into custody for trial and interrogation.…

Supernova – Marissa Meyer | Blogmas Day 8

Nova has completed her mission and retrieved Ace Anarchy’s helmet – but not everything went according to plan. Sentinel, aka Adrian, has captured Ace, Max was severely injured and is now in a coma, so Nova is back at Renegade headquarters playing her role as a spy. But she is on the verge of being discovered: Danna may be unable to reveal what she knows for the moment, but someone else has found out about Nova’s double life and begins to blackmail her for Ace’s helmet. Where Adrian’s interest in Nightmare previously was to find out what she knows about his mother’s death, he now wants to get revenge on her for hurting Max. Time is running out fast, and the Anarchists know that they need to move quickly.…

Archenemies – Marissa Meyer | Blogmas Day 6

Following her shocking discovery that Ace Anarchy is still alive, Nova is continuing her pretense of being a Renegade attempting to find Ace’s legendary helmet and further the Anarchists’ cause. Her mission is becoming more complicated by the day however, due to her growing relationship with Adrian, the son of Captain Chromium himself whom she holds responsible for her family’s death. But Nova is not the only one leading a double life. Adrian has secrets of his own – he is struggling to hide his identity as Sentinel as he becomes even more determined to find out the truth of his mother’s death – and he’s not convinced that Nightmare is really dead. And though he created Sentinel with the best of intentions, his actions have unwittingly caused the Renegades to become even more committed to stopping rogue prodigies – with terrifying results.…

A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir | Blogmas Day 4

On the run after the events of the Fourth Trial, Elias and Laia flee across the Empire, headed to the dread prison of Kauf where they hope to save Laia’s brother Darin, who knowledge of Serric steel is crucial to the Scholar’s revolt. But darker forces than Martial soldiers pursue them, and their other enemies are already plotting: the cruel Commandant, the new Emperor Marcus and worst of all, Elias’ old friend Helene, the new Blood Shrike.…

The Wolf and the Water – Josie Jaffrey – ARC Review

In the city of Kepos, located in a secluded valley that is sealed off from the outside world by a massive wall, ten aristocratic families rule. Kala is the daughter of the least influential of these, the Glauks, and is shunned due to a childhood illness that left her deformed. When her father dies under mysterious circumstances, her mother is forced to remarry according to the laws of the city and Kala’s new stepfather is a cruel man, and will certainly not tolerate her for long. Kala is determined to find out what happened to her father, but in the process stumbles upon the horrifying secret that has long been kept hidden from the people of the valley – what lies beyond the wall that keeps them isolated – and she must make a much bigger decision than she anticipated: flee or reveal this knowledge and jeopardize her own escape.…

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

Nona Grey is about to hang after attempting to murder the heir of one of the wealthiest families in the Empire when she is rescued by Abbess Glass of the Convent of Sweet Mercy. Sweet Mercy isn’t your average convent though – the novices are basically trained as warriors and assassins who fight in the name of the Ancestor. Nona will need to do her best, for even behind its secure walls, she can’t escape her past, and she has made powerful enemies who continue to chase her.…

Renegades – Marissa Meyer

The Renegades are an organization of prodigies – superheroes – who fought to take back Gatlon City from the prodigies known as the Anarchists led by Ace Anarchy. When they succeed, the Renegades are hailed as heroes and saviours by all – all but the Anarchists who were forced underground after Ace Anarchy’s death. Ten years later, Nova, Ace’s niece, has sworn to get revenge and has spent years training for it. But when she infiltrates the Renegades to get closer to her targets, she meets the people she has hated all her life and begins to realize that things aren’t as black and white as she has always believed.…

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