Reviews

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Book Review

The Falconer
The Falconer
by Elizabeth May
(The Falconer #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, Historical Fiction
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Synopsis
One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read. (less)

What I thought
This was a reread for me and it was much needed. I read the book way back in 2014 when it first came out. In 5 years I forgot a lot! So I am very happy that I decided to read it again.

I know that the title Falconer has thrown off many people. So I am going to put it here sorry if you feel spoiled however most people miss this brief explanation. I am summarizing this since I am not going to go back and find it, it’s so brief I would have to read most of the book again to find it really its all summed up in like one or two sentences. Okay so way back when before the war those women who fought the Fae used Falcons to slip into the Fae world to see what was going on. From my understanding, they could see through the Falcons eyes. Since these Fae hunters used Falcons they were given the name Falconer by the Fae. So now that we have that out of the way I can tell you how much I enjoyed this book.

When I read this book the first time I did not know what steampunk really was it was after reading it that people put that label on it. Yes, it has steampunk vibes but they are not heavy. Aileana the last falconer that we know of (hey I still need to read books 2 and 3 so I can’t be sure) discovers her “destiny” in the most horrid way, she is witness to her mother’s murder. In this story, Aileana is torn regarding the two sides of her life, but due to the events that happen in the end of book 1, I can not wait to see where she goes from here. I really did not like her father and I hope he is absent from the rest of the series. I get that he is hurting but he is practically abandoning his daughter. She may be 18 now but she was not when he first stepped out. Oh, and the outright forcing her to marry…I get that he can because of the time period but it still makes me want him gone. Sorry for the rant. As much as I did not like this one character I really did like the others and this first book.

If you like strong female characters who battle Fae this is one for you!

My Rating: /54 Stars

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Waiting On Wednesday: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The Guinevere Deception
The Guinevere Deception
by Kiersten White
(Camelot Rising #1)
Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

*THE FIRST BOOK IN THE CAMELOT RISING TRILOGY*

Expected publication: November 5, 2019

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Blog Tour: Sword of Betrayal by Robert Evert

SwordofBetrayal

Welcome to the blog tour for Sword of Betrayal by Epic Fantasy author, Robert Evert! Read on for details, an excerpt from the book, and a chance to win a digital copy for yourself!

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Sword of Betrayal 
by Robert Evert
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Between the Lines

Edris’s lay-about life of privilege ends abruptly when his father, Lord Elros, announces that his adolescent son will enter the military in the spring. Edris has only six months to ready himself to serve a king who despises his family and will undoubtedly make his life beyond miserable.

To prepare him, Lord Elros puts Edris through a brutal training regime. Not only does he demand Edris beat every man with whom he spars, but he also insists his son knock them unconscious—even if that means fighting dirty.

About to crack under the relentless pressure, the sensitive Edris seeks a way to get out from under his father’s heavy thumb. A solution presents itself when an announcement for the latest Kings’ Quest arrives. According to the royal proclamation, the adventurer who finds the fabled Sword of Betrayal will win one thousand gold pieces, money Edris could use to start his own life with the woman he loves.

Edris proposes to undertake the quest in order to get in better shape; however, Lord Elros has another idea—Edris will undertake the quest so he can get close to, and kill, the king’s son.

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Excerpt

Kriton charged him, swinging a big right hand at Edris’s jaw.

Edris easily slipped under the blow. With Kriton’s defenses dropping, he could’ve countered, but decided against it.

Kriton shot a flurry of jabs at Edris’s nose. Weaving to the left, then the right, Edris dodged them all.

Several people booed.

“Come on!” one of them yelled. “This ain’t no dance! Fight!”

Kriton threw another powerful right at Edris’s head. Again, Edris dodged the blow. He then slipped a left jab into Kriton’s forehead. It wasn’t hard and Kriton knew it.

“You laying back?” Kriton hollered, furious. “You think you can lay back with me? I can take anything you got.”

Faking a left to Edris’s chin, Kriton kneed him in the groin. Edris doubled over, clutching himself. The referee attempted to get in between the two fighters, but Kriton shoved him away. He pummeled Edris’s head, then sent uppercuts into his unprotected face.

“How’s that, Eddie?” Kriton asked as he battered Edris mercilessly. “Where’s your father now? The drunken whore-chaser!”

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Author Bio

Robby2
By day, Robert Evert is an old and decrepit university professor who teaches hordes of smelly college students who rarely deign to look up from their damned phones to pay attention to the many brilliant and exciting things he has to say in class. By night, he is an aspiring writer.

Once young and idealistic and built like a skinny Norwegian god, Robert has been beaten down by time, pointless faculty meetings, and hundreds of students who repeatedly come up to him and ask: “I wasn’t in class last week. Did I miss anything?” He is now a shell of a man who sits in his darkened office sobbing while he waits patiently for Ragnarök.

When Robert isn’t daydreaming about walking through the streets of Bree or sitting in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, he writes fantasy stories which he reads to the critical acclaim of his two dogs and three cats.

His wife wants him to stop grumbling to himself and finish doing the dishes.

Robert Evert

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Book Blitz: The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
Published by: Blink
Publication date: October 1, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

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Q&A with Lauren Mansy:

  • What was it like to write your first book and have it published?

Incredible! It’s been such a wonderful journey filled with many sweet moments. I began writing over seven years ago, and it’s definitely surreal that The Memory Thief is now on shelves! As of late, there have been quite a few teary moments—and I’m totally not a crier! I’m truly overwhelmed by every kind word, the support, and the willingness to walk alongside me as The Memory Thief has gone from something imagined to a real book. I couldn’t be more excited to share this story with readers!

  • What was your inspiration behind TMT?

When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition, which led to an unexpected heart surgery. On the way to the operating room, her heart stopped six times, and the doctors warned my family that it was unlikely she’d survive. And if she did, she may not remember us due to the trauma she’d experienced throughout the entire ordeal.

I was sitting at her bedside when she first began to stir after her surgery, and I slipped my hand into hers and told her that it was me. Then she began to squeeze my hand three times, our signal for I love you! That’s my most favorite memory because I’d never felt such fear suddenly overcome by the most incredible joy. That collision of emotions was the moment which first sparked the idea for The Memory Thief.

Ever since then, I always struck by how memories make up so much of our identity and influence our relationships with others. It terrified me that my mom wouldn’t remember me, but I’m so thankful to say that she made a full-recovery. Though it was long and difficult process, she never gave up hope that things would one day get better. Her unwavering courage inspired me to want to share this story.

  • What kind of impact did writing TMT have on you personally?

Writing TMT has had a huge impact on me. I first began writing after completing treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. It was a very difficult time in my life, and writing fiction helped me express myself in ways that I’d never done before. It helped me process through some of my most difficult memories.

When I first began drafting The Memory Thief, I realized there were still some emotions about being faced with the possibility of losing my mom that I’d yet to express out loud. Writing this book proved to be a source of healing, and a wonderful platform for exploring truth in my own life through a backdrop of fiction.

This story is very dear to my heart, and reflecting back on the process of writing this book is what made the moment of holding it in my hands so amazing.

  • What is your favorite part about TMT?

I think my favorite part is the relationship that Etta has with her mother.

Gwendolyn was one of my favorite characters to write because she’s full of opposites. Because of her coma, she hasn’t spoken a word in four years yet that entire time, she’s been teaching Etta how important it is never to give up, even when all the odds are stacked against you.

On her journey to save her mother, Etta discovers that Gwendolyn’s story is intertwined with Etta’s in ways that she never imagined. Writing this aspect of the plot was so much fun, and definitely one of my favorite parts of the drafting process, as well!

  • What do you hope readers take away from TMT?

The main thing I hope readers take away is that it isn’t the hardships of the past which define us but the strength we find in overcoming them. Etta has been through a lot of difficult things, and she struggles with trusting others because she has a hard time trusting herself. At the beginning of the story, Etta has spent four years hiding from both the people and events which haunt her, but to save her mother, she’ll have to come face-to-face with the past. I hope her journey will inspire readers to never lose hope, even in the midst of impossible odds.

  • How are you reflected in TMT (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?

Because this story is based on my own journey with my mother, many of Etta’s worries, doubts, and fears are things I also experienced when faced with the possibility of losing my mom. The questions that Etta asks about how to deal with a situation like this are questions that I often pondered myself.

So when I first began writing TMT, I thought, “What if I wasn’t the only one who faced this fear? What if there was an entire society that feared their loved ones no longer remembering them?” It was these kinds of thoughts which ultimately let me to want to explore a world where memories reign over everything. Then writing Etta’s emotional journey also helped me process through a lot of my own memories, as well.

That’s one reason that I love not only writing but reading fantasy novels. Even though these characters live in worlds that are vastly different than our own, what they love, hate, and fear can often be so relatable. That often sticks with me long after I read the last page, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share this journey with readers.

  • What is your favorite thing to do to promote your book?

My favorite thing has been getting to know readers. I had the privilege of attending BEA and ALA this past summer, and I loved meeting librarians, educators, fellow writers, bloggers, and industry professionals. Writing can often be a solitary venture, but the publishing process has been filled with creating some wonderful relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for this community!

  • Why should readers be sure to place TMT on their TBR list?

The Memory Thief is a book full of secrets, lies, and betrayal. It’s set in a world where memories are currency, people are struggling to hold onto their true identity, and nothing is quite what it seems. And Etta is a very flawed character. She has a lot of regret and has made many mistakes, yet she never stops fighting to save her loved ones. If any these things appeal to you, I hope you’ll consider adding TMT to your TBR!

  • What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while being a writer?

I think the biggest lesson being a writer has taught me is the importance of the “story behind the story”. Though the publication journey is filled with exciting moments (like seeing the cover for the first time and holding the final copy!), the journey of getting here has changed me for forever. There have been highs and lows, moments of uncertainty coupled with unexpected encouragement, and wonderful support from family, friends, and even strangers! Writing fiction gave me a voice when I was still struggling to find mine, and I’ll be forever grateful that even as the last page of The Memory Thief ends, my own life story is still being written

  • Additional thoughts?

If you’re interested in learning more about The Memory Thief, I have more information of my website, and I also LOVE connecting with readers!

Website | InstagramTwitter

 

Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. You can visit her online at http://www.laurenmansy.com.

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Reviews

Review: Earth’s End by Elise Kova

Book Review

Earth's End
Earth’s End
by Elise Kova
(Air Awakens #3)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

What I thought
This is the third book in the Air Awakens series. This will be a short review due to not wanting to spoil anything, but guys this book was one wild ride.  Only two days passed since the end of the second book. So there is no space of time you miss.  This book was full of action from beginning to end. Vahalla is no longer the girl from the library. She has transformed into a fierce woman and everyone better get out of her way. She is full of passion no matter what she is doing. There is no going halfway with her. 

There has always been something that I just don’t like about Aldrik and yep still not fully behind him.  This book gave me so much more respect for Baldair. Sorry, I can’t tell you why it would spoil too much.  Then we have Daniel, my heart just bleeds for him and I really want him to have a happy ending.

I really need to pick up the next book so I can have some questions answered.

If you enjoy books with kick-ass female characters then you really need to pick up book 1 Air Awakens.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Waiting On Wednesday: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Winterwood
Winterwood
by Shea Ernshaw
Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

Expected publication: November 5, 2019

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Reviews

Review: Grains of Fire by Jessica Bucher

Book Review

Grains of Fire
Grains of Fire
by Jessica Bucher
(The Bohemians Book 2)
Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance
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Synopsis
Old rivalry. Broken hearts. New plan.

Katia nearly lost everything to save the one she loves. Now she will stop at nothing to make the Magistrate pay and free the Bohemians from his rule. After joining Bohemia’s rival, the Cirque, Katia makes a risky plan to infiltrate the Magistrate’s heart in hopes of obtaining the secrets that could destroy him forever. Broken hearts can be mended, but at what cost?

The Magistrate is no stranger to pain. So, when the girl who broke his heart appears on his doorstep asking for help, he proposes a dangerous trade. He will give her his secrets in the hopes of winning her heart back…even if costs Bohemia everything.

Katia and Yuri are playing with fire, and in this game, everyone burns.

Grains of Fire is the second installment in The Bohemians series and a sequel to Notes of Magic

What I thought
I waited so long for this book and was over the moon when I found out it was finally happening. I was even happier when I received a copy from the author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving this book.  

This book was a ride. I love that it is set in the future but has such an old-world feel to it. I thought I knew what I wanted when I started this book but now I don’t anymore.  I feel like its been all turned on its head.  All in a good way but now I can’t wait for the third book to come out so I can see what happens next!

When I went into this book I did not expect to come out of it wanting the best outcome for Yuri.  I mean I outright hated him at the end of the first book and here the author goes making me feel for him.  In this book, you get a lot of his back story and you’re able to understand why he is the way he is. Don’t get me wrong this by no means excuses him for all the crap he has done but his growth in this book is phenomenal.

After the way book, 2 ended I can’t imagine how book 3 is going to go.

Part of me feels so bad for Katia,  but another part of me just gets so frustrated by her. I can’t explain more due to spoiling things, sorry.

One of the reveals in the last part of the book I saw coming but I think this is just going to add another layer to this story. I don’t know how many books are supposed to be in this series but it has to be more than three there is no way everything can be wrapped up in one more book.

This book was just an amazing sequel and I know I will be investing in a physical copy in the future.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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