Blog Tour: The 8th Island Trilogy – Below the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute with iRead Book Tours

Join Us for this Book Series Tour from Jul 7 to Aug 10, 2020!
A Wrinkle in Time meets The Princess Bride.” – Review by Lee Lee Thompson, The Perpetual You Magazine

“Chute’s novel weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for booklovers of all ages.” – US Review of Books

Fast and bizarre… Never a dull moment. – Foreward Reviews

SERIES DETAILS:

Series Title The 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs) (368 to 448 pages)
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Jun 2018; Oct 2019; Apr 2020
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.



Series Description:

The 8th Island Trilogy
includes Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. Over the three books, we follow the adventures of a quirky family, the Wellsleys. The main characters are frumpy senior citizen Archie, his daughter-in-law, Tessa, and his ill fourteen-year-old granddaughter Ella.

Archie, searching for his missing son, accidentally transports his family—and a cruise ship full of people—to a magical planet. There, they uncover the truth: all worlds are dying. Yet hope is not lost. A way to restore all that will soon be destroyed is revealed, along with the realization that Ella will play a role no one could have imagined—especially not her.

On the mysterious island of Jarr-Wya, many races of creatures battle for dominion and magic lurks around every corner. When the world falls dark, that is when bravery must shine the brightest, and the Wellsleys will reveal the strength they never knew they possessed—as well as the power of love to save the day.


Books in the 8th Island Trilogy:



Book Details:

Book TitleAbove the Star by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 368 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Jun 2018
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.


Book Description:

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.




Book Details:

Book TitleBelow the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 448 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Oct 2019
Content Rating: PG: Battle scenes and death depicted.

Book Description:

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family―her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend―in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos―and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey―armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies―each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.


Book Details:

Book TitleInside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 384 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   April 2020
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.

Book Description:


All worlds are dying, and it’s up to one broken and dysfunctional family from Earth―the Wellsleys―to save the day.

Cancer-ridden Ella celebrates her fifteenth birthday beneath an enchanted mountain, but it is what lies even farther below―the mysterious Star in the sea―that demands she grow up quickly. While Ella grapples with the sacrifice she must make and the lies she is forced to tell, her mother, Tessa, is hell-bent on protecting her.

Through bizarre encounters, love-sick Tessa realizes that she is not the lonely orphan she believes. Her husband, Arden, and father-in-law, Archie, are not the only ones with magical bloodlines. This revelation changes everything. As Archie chooses to embody his unexpected ancestry, he learns that leading the charge in the ultimate battle against evil won’t be as easy as he thought. He’ll need his family―and the strange allies he has gained―by his side to give Ella enough time to set things right.

Can they defeat the unstoppable Millia sands―and another unexpected foe―before everything they hold dear is destroyed? Or will their adventure tear them apart for good? The finale to The 8th Island Trilogy will hold you spellbound until the final page, and long after.

This review is part of a series blog tour for the 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute. 

I am a day late with this review, for which I am incredibly sorry!  Massive car troubles have led to a decrease in available time in the past week!

Anyway, this is Below the Moon!  Another rollicking and oh so interesting adventure into the world of Alexis Marie Chute!  I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment in this trilogy, Above the Star, and I looked forward to this novel for a long time!  Rather than having a lot of time pass, this book picks up at the moment the previous book left off!  These are definitely meant to be read consecutively! 

I’m so glad that Archie, Tessa, and Ella are still with us for the start of this book!  Archie is loveable in that grandpa sort of way and I think this is a really unique character, particularly for a YA fantasy novel like this!  He’s probably my favorite character after having followed him this far, navigating a brand new world and fighting so hard to save Ella!  The political structures in this book are nuanced and interesting and far too complicated for me to attempt to explain in this review.  I would much rather you read the book and discover the intricacies and delicate balances for yourself!  We begin with the three heroes working hard to understand their surroundings and really navigate the world around them!  The pacing in this book is again fast, but in a good way.  You don’t have to wait for action or suspense or things to happen in this narrative.  It doesn’t get bogged down in the details and it leaves you craving more! 

We also have some new characters along for this journey who are just so cool!  I love the names, I love the characters!  They are developed, realistic (even though they are kind of fantastical), and just the right amount of detailed!  The writing here is phenomenal, building off of the first book and bringing you into a fantasy world unlike any other!  I love how unique the ideas are in this book, rather than being drawn out tropes that we’ve read over and over again. 

I would absolutely recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy novels and wants something out of the ordinary!  Thank you to iRead Book Tours and Alexis Marie Chute for the opportunity to read and review!  This is my honest opinion.

Meet the Author:

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter   Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ YouTube ~ LinkedIn


Tour Schedule:

July 7 – Splashes of Joy – series spotlight / guest post / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 7 – fundinmental – series spotlight / giveaway
July 7 – Corinne Rodrigues | Booksnista – series spotlight / giveaway
July 8 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 8 – Book Bustle – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 8 – Living in a Bookworld – series spotlight / giveaway
July 9 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 9 – I’m Into Books – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 10 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 10 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 13 – Books and Zebras – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 14 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 14 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 15 – Blooming with Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 16 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 16 – Books and Zebras – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 17 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 17 – Writer with Wanderlust – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 20 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 20 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 21 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 21 – Stephanie Jane – series spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 22 – T’s Stuff – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 22 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 22 – Blooming with Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 23 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Inside the Sun / guest post / giveaway
July 23 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 24 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 24 – Books and Zebras – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 27 –  Book Bustle – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 27 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 28 –  Working Mommy Journal – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 28 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 28 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
July 29 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 29 – Blooming with Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 30 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 30 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 31 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 3 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 4 –  Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 4 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Inside the Sun / guest post / giveaway
Aug 5 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 5 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 6 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 6 – Olio by Marilyn – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 7 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 10 – Books for Books – series spotlight
Aug 10 –Book Bustle – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:


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ARC Review: Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura

Poe Dameron: Free Fall

Author: Alex Segura

Published: August 4, 2020

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Learn more about the dashing hero from the new Star Wars films! Telling a story hinted at in The Rise of Skywalker….

It’s been a few years since Poe’s mother passed away, and Poe and his father, who was a pilot for the Rebellion, have had more and more trouble connecting. Not sure what he wants to do with his life, teenage Poe runs away from home to find adventure, and to figure out what kind of man he is meant to be.

I have read my fair share of Star Wars novelization and extended universe content and have been disappointed in the past.  Poe Dameron:  Free Fall was even better than I expected!  The novel begins with Poe starting trouble and grappling with his failing relationship with his father.  The first chapter had me hooked and I couldn’t put this down!

After a brief joy ride in his deceased mother’s ship, Poe lands in confinement, fights with his father, seeks advice from a mentor, and eventually ends up getting himself a job as a pilot for Spice runners!  This is backstory that was alluded to in The Rise of Skywalker, but readers will really get a feel for the interplay between Poe and Zorii Wynn.  This relationship was one of the things I was most curious about when I watched the latest Star Wars film.  I am so glad that Disney/Lucasfilm is releasing this book to provide that backstory! 

Having never read anything by Alex Segura, I was a bit cautious, but from the opening scene, I could tell that he really understood the elements of Poe’s character.  Throughout the narrative, we see that hotheaded, excitable, but prone to leadership person that Leia mentored and attempted to temper during the latest round of films.  I felt like the conflict both internal and external was really well done and softened just enough for a YA audience to digest and be able to relate to.  Though many teenagers don’t have a fight with their parent and take off to live a life as a smuggler, but many do have struggles with their parents. 

This novel presents all of the things a reader wants from a Star Wars story:  high flying space battles, emotional conflict, a struggle between right and wrong, and fantastic characters.  This is a well written book I would recommend to YA readers and general Star Wars fans alike. 

I received a galley copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

PURCHASE LINKS
AUTHOR SOCIAL LINKS

Blog Tour: The 8th Island Trilogy – Above the Star by Alexis Marie Chute with iRead Book Tours

Join Us for this Book Series Tour from Jul 7 to Aug 10, 2020!
A Wrinkle in Time meets The Princess Bride.” – Review by Lee Lee Thompson, The Perpetual You Magazine

“Chute’s novel weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for booklovers of all ages.” – US Review of Books

Fast and bizarre… Never a dull moment. – Foreward Reviews

SERIES DETAILS:

Series Title The 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs) (368 to 448 pages)
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Jun 2018; Oct 2019; Apr 2020
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.



Series Description:

The 8th Island Trilogy
includes Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. Over the three books, we follow the adventures of a quirky family, the Wellsleys. The main characters are frumpy senior citizen Archie, his daughter-in-law, Tessa, and his ill fourteen-year-old granddaughter Ella.

Archie, searching for his missing son, accidentally transports his family—and a cruise ship full of people—to a magical planet. There, they uncover the truth: all worlds are dying. Yet hope is not lost. A way to restore all that will soon be destroyed is revealed, along with the realization that Ella will play a role no one could have imagined—especially not her.

On the mysterious island of Jarr-Wya, many races of creatures battle for dominion and magic lurks around every corner. When the world falls dark, that is when bravery must shine the brightest, and the Wellsleys will reveal the strength they never knew they possessed—as well as the power of love to save the day.


Books in the 8th Island Trilogy:



Book Details:

Book TitleAbove the Star by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 368 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Jun 2018
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.


Book Description:

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.




Book Details:

Book TitleBelow the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 448 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   Oct 2019
Content Rating: PG: Battle scenes and death depicted.

Book Description:

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family―her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend―in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos―and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey―armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies―each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.


Book Details:

Book TitleInside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute
Category:  Young Adult Fiction (13 to 17 yrs), 384 pages
Genre fantasy, adventure, coming of age, ya, adult
Publisher SparkPress.
Release dates:   April 2020
Content Rating: PG:
Battle scenes and death depicted.

Book Description:


All worlds are dying, and it’s up to one broken and dysfunctional family from Earth―the Wellsleys―to save the day.

Cancer-ridden Ella celebrates her fifteenth birthday beneath an enchanted mountain, but it is what lies even farther below―the mysterious Star in the sea―that demands she grow up quickly. While Ella grapples with the sacrifice she must make and the lies she is forced to tell, her mother, Tessa, is hell-bent on protecting her.

Through bizarre encounters, love-sick Tessa realizes that she is not the lonely orphan she believes. Her husband, Arden, and father-in-law, Archie, are not the only ones with magical bloodlines. This revelation changes everything. As Archie chooses to embody his unexpected ancestry, he learns that leading the charge in the ultimate battle against evil won’t be as easy as he thought. He’ll need his family―and the strange allies he has gained―by his side to give Ella enough time to set things right.

Can they defeat the unstoppable Millia sands―and another unexpected foe―before everything they hold dear is destroyed? Or will their adventure tear them apart for good? The finale to The 8th Island Trilogy will hold you spellbound until the final page, and long after.

This review is part of a series blog tour for the 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute.  Above the Star is the first book in the series and what an introduction it was!  This book is weirdly quirky in the best way!  You will be confused about the premise of this book until about a quarter of the way through.  Essentially, Ella lives with her mom and grandpa.  Her father mysteriously disappeared and hasn’t been heard from since.  Ella has been battling cancer, which has taken her voice.  She communicates largely with sign language, homemade hand signs, and by writing on paper.  All of this is beautifully explained in the book and I really appreciate it!  Elle’s grandpa Archie takes the family on a cruise to the Canary Islands, but he has another motive.  Archie is looking for his son, you know, the one who left and hasn’t been heard from since.  Archie has found Ella’s dad’s notebooks and is on a mission to find his son, or at least find out what happened to him.  This is where the story takes a sharp left turn into an wholly original fantasy world that is like nothing I’ve ever read before!

It is incredibly hard to describe exactly how out there this story is, but it’s wonderfully fascinating.  The book is almost 400 pages, but I found myself unable to put it down.  Ella, Archie, Tessa, they are all so well written, along with all of the other characters that the reader meets along the way!  This book is interdimensional travel, a la Doctor Who (kind of), but with incredibly real and relatable characters. 

The world-building is incredible and vivid.  I kept getting lost in my imagination while reading, picturing the adventure as it unfolds.  The plot is tight and just goes, goes, goes.  I loved it!  The reader and the characters are thrust into this insane world, Jarr-Wya, which is almost John Carter-esque.  It’s wonderfully woven together pseudo-science fiction with fantasy elements thrown in, all wrapped up in a coming of age story about love, loss, grief, and the power of bravery.

I was utterly fascinated with this book and I am so glad that I have the other two books to look forward too!  I’ll have Below the Moon and Inside the Sun reviewed later this month as part of this tour!  Thank you to iRead Book Tours and Alexis Marie Chute for this opportunity!  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Meet the Author:

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter   Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ YouTube ~ LinkedIn


Tour Schedule:

July 7 – Splashes of Joy – series spotlight / guest post / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 7 – fundinmental – series spotlight / giveaway
July 7 – Corinne Rodrigues | Booksnista – series spotlight / giveaway
July 8 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 8 – Book Bustle – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 8 – Living in a Bookworld – series spotlight / giveaway
July 9 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 9 – I’m Into Books – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 10 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 10 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 13 – Books and Zebras – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 14 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 14 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 15 – Blooming with Books – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 16 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 16 – Books and Zebras – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 17 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 17 – Writer with Wanderlust – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 20 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 20 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Above the Star / giveaway
July 21 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 21 – Stephanie Jane – series spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 22 – T’s Stuff – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 22 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 22 – Blooming with Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 23 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of Inside the Sun / guest post / giveaway
July 23 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 24 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 24 – Books and Zebras – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 27 –  Book Bustle – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 27 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 28 –  Working Mommy Journal – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 28 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 28 – Library of Clean Reads – series spotlight / giveaway
July 29 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 29 – Blooming with Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
July 30 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 30 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Below the Moon / giveaway
July 31 – She Just Loves Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 3 – Leels Loves Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 4 –  Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 4 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of Inside the Sun / guest post / giveaway
Aug 5 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 5 – Adventurous Bookworm – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 6 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 6 – Olio by Marilyn – series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 7 – Falling Into A Good Book – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway
Aug 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 10 – Books for Books – series spotlight
Aug 10 –Book Bustle – book review of Inside the Sun / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:


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Review: Shielded by KayLynn Flanders

Shielded

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Published: July 21, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

When I was approved for this ARC, I let out a squeal of excitement.  I’d heard about this book and it looked oh so interesting and I was incredibly excited to read it!  After reading a few early reviews, it looked like most popular YA novels:  people either loved it or hated it.  5 stars of 1 star was what I largely saw.  I get it, it’s a new release that has a lot of promise and the cover is pretty, what’s not to like here. 

At first glance, it’s a little bit tropetastic:  Girl has magic, but it’s a secret.  She’s a princess in a kingdom that reviles magic and it’s only reserved for the ruling family.  Girl gets betrothed against her will to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she loves wearing pants rather than dresses because she isn’t your typical princess.  I’m sure we’ve all read that book in some form or fashion.  But the thing that set this book apart for me was that this was a return to the roots of YA.  With clear cut heroine/hero and villain interactions.  No enemies to lovers, no gray area characters.  Everyone is trying to either do good or evil and it’s really easy to see the sides each character is on.  I actually appreciated that very much.  I’ve been reading a lot of edgy, almost speculative YA fantasy fiction recently (which is something I do enjoy), but this was a break from that and I liked it!  This is also probably more of a lower to middle YA book as far as age groups go.

Princess Jennesara is a fun character to follow, she is headstrong, but lacking sometimes in confidence.  I relate to that a lot in my personal life.  But she begins to find her confidence along the way.  This book is also written in the vein of the sweeping, epic fantasy novel in that there are lush countrysides, towering mountains, a wild forest filled with old and untamable magic, and neighboring kingdoms with scores to settle.  The world had a distinctly Nordic influence that I also really enjoyed.  Vikings were cool a few years ago, but this is more Viking-adjacent. 

The plot takes a bit to really get going and there’s a lot of traveling in this book.  One reviewer mentioned that it had more walking than a Lord of the Rings novel, and it kind of does?  Lots of traveling to one destination or another, but lots of self-discovery and beautiful imagery along the way.  The plot is solid, with a duology-type conclusion, so there’s definitely a second book.  I did enjoy it, even with the tropes laid on thick.

Overall, great book that gets back to the roots of YA fantasy literature.  Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Elena May, Rebecca Ross, Rebecca Lim, etc. will really enjoy this book! 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book!  I received a galley copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Author: Melissa Bashardoust

Published: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

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

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

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

Girl, Serpent, Thorn is a new YA novel inspired by ancient Persian mythology, Zoroastrianism, and it’s got an f/f romance!  This is Melissa Bashardoust’s second book and it blew my mind!  I’ve got to get a physical copy when it releases.

A quarter of the way through the book and it felt like it had been really heavy on the information dumping.  I still liked the information as it contributed to the story, but it felt heavy at the beginning.  Around the 25% mark the story really started to pick up.  Whatever qualms I had in the beginning, they were completely gone by about 1/4 of the way into the book.  Seriously, it got really, really good. 

There is a lot of imagery and some vocabulary the reader will need to learn, but that’s typical for a fantasy book.  As Shadow and Bone has a quasi-Russian setting, and City of Brass has a quasi-Persian setting, both with mythical creatures, Girl, Serpent, Thorn has a similar setting with the power structure being a Shah with patrilineal inheritance and the main antagonists being divs, who are magical beings created by the Destroyer.  In this world, the Creator gave human life and the Destroyer created divs, who were intended to destroy humans.  The world is intricate and interesting and I had a wonderful time learning all about the world of Atashar.

Of course, Saraya is the main character and I was so happy to read a book that follows one person, rather than switching between characters every chapter.  I’ve read so many of those and it’s really in vogue right now, but man was I tired of it.  This books works much better as a singular point of view and kudos to the author for this!  Other characters include Saraya’s brother, a few divs who make up the antagonism, and of course a big, bad villain who wants to take over Atashar and dethrone the shah.  There is romance in this book, but it isn’t overt or pushed on the reader, rather it is threaded just underneath the  surface of the narrative and I had a great appreciation for it!  I don’t want to say much more because I’ll get into spoiler territory, but trust me that this is a great book!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Girl, Serpent, Thorn and would encourage readers of YA who are fans of Leigh Bardugo, S. A. Chakraborty, Sabaa Tahir, Holly Black, Sarah J. Maas, and others to read this book!

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Review: Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross

Sisters of Sword and Song

Author: Rebecca Ross

Published: June 23, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: eBook

Source: Edelweiss

From the author of The Queen’s Rising comes a thrilling YA stand-alone fantasy about the unbreakable bond between sisters. Perfect for fans of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep, and Court of Fives.

After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.

Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death. 

This was one of my most anticipated books of the summer and I  was really happy when I was approved for an ARC!  The premise sounded really fun, a story about the bond between sisters, set in an alternate ancient Greece sort of place, with gods and mages and warriors.  All things that I am extremely interested in! 

The world building was very well done and concise, not too many exposition dumps in the beginning, which I appreciated.  The plot was interesting, but it did take about 5 chapters for the inciting incident that wasn’t really an inciting incident to resolve and the heart of the story could begin.  I only say this so if a reader thinks this story may not be for them in the first few chapters, hopefully they will give it a few more pages for the story to really take off!

I am such a fan of mythology and this is a wonderful blend of Greco-Roman mythology with a bit of a twist!  I felt like I was reading the feats of Hercules, with monsters and spirits and hoplites and fighting, but in an alternate reality with two sisters as the main characters.  It just has the feeling of a myth woven into the fabric of the narrative and I so enjoyed it!  The characterization is really well done, of course Halcyon and Evadne are my favorites, but that should be obvious because they are the sisters in the title and the story!

Overall, this is a really exciting read filled with mythology, intrigue, gods, magic, and plot twists!  I’d recommend this to any YA reader who loves mages, magic, and mayhem! 

I received a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this book!

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Bonus Review: The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

Author: Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Published: May 5, 2020

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Goodreads Giveaway

A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian. 

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.

I want to start this review by pointing out that this book feels like a re-telling of pirate legends, with subtle magic (and I mean subtle), and numerous instances of LGBTQIA+ representation.  There are incredible strengths to this book and some notes that fell flat for me.  Let’s get into it.

It is probably most appropriate to talk about characters, of which there are many, and I think this I one of the strengths of this novel!  In a world of Imperial rule and little acceptance, Flora/Florian finds themselves on a pirate ship posing as a passenger ship, hoping to survive, and adopting a new gender identity in order to blend in to the crew.  I felt this adoption of an identity out of necessity was well-handled and the question of identity comes up numerous times in the book, with characters asking for preferred pronouns in a respectful way.  Evelyn is complicated and intelligent, she wants love from her parents but they have none to give.  This is a bit trope heavy, but Evelyn’s development through the narrative makes up for her start and the story really comes full circle for her.  Among the other cast of characters are Rake, the first-mate aboard the Dove, the Captain, a nameless man who helms the Dove, Alfie, Flora/Florian’s brother, and a few other side characters.

As the title suggests, there is a Mermaid, a Witch, and the Sea in this book.  I felt like the mermaid references and the Pirate code could have been explored a little bit earlier in the book, it didn’t hit home for me how much of an offense this was until about halfway through the book.  The Witch is present, though I felt like those chapters weren’t as fleshed out as they could be.  It’s a huge story to tell in only 368 pages.  All good pirate stories feature the Sea as kind of a character and this book presents the Sea beautifully, always present, always watching. 

Part 1 of the book is slow, but things need to be unpacked for the reader to fully understand.  Flora/Florian’s life on the Dove needs to be explored, the danger needs to related to the reader, as well as the yearning for a better life that they experience.  The reader needs to understand the reach of the Imperial state, the workings of Imperial culture and how they will impact Evelyn’s story.  Once Evelyn  and Flora/Florian meet, the story really picks up.  The pacing can get a bit bogged down in a few places, but it picks back up with action quickly.

I mentioned subtle magic at the beginning of this review, and I still believe that the magic didn’t get quite enough attention.  It seems intended to be subtle, floating just below the surface of the narrative, but why are there several chapters devoted to it in the middle of the book?  I loved the way the magic worked, but there was just enough to pique my interest, but not enough to keep me interested.

Chapters that switch between characters is a trend that has been really prevalent among YA authors for a long time.  Initially, I didn’t like it.  As I kept reading, I understood the need for it in this story, because it isn’t the story of one main character interacting with people.  It’s also not a narrative that works with a third person narrator telling the story.  This story seems to only function if we switch back and forth between the key players, the juxtaposition between Flora/Florian’s rough and tumble pirate life and Evelyn’s pampered Imperial life are stark and intentional.  By the end of the novel, I felt like this style choice was well suited to this novel and it worked really well.

A couple of warnings for explicit torture, allusions to rape, some violence, and trauma in this book.  I’d put it firmly in the upper YA category.

This is a debut novel from Maggie Tokuda-Hall and it is an accomplishment.  In reading the acknowledgements, I saw that the first draft of this was completed during NaNoWriMo in 2016.  What a great nod to a month dedicated to creative writing and craft.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy adventure books with interesting characters!

I won a goodreads giveaway for this book and the publisher sent an ARC.  This review is given of my own free will and is my honest opinion.

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Review: The Shadow Wand by Laurie Forest

HER WORLD-ALTERING SECRET CAN’T BE HIDDEN MUCH LONGER

Elloren Gardner hides the most powerful secret in all Erthia—she is the Black Witch of Prophecy, and destined to triumph…or be used as the ultimate weapon of destruction.

Separated from everyone she loves, isolated and hunted, Elloren must turn to the last person she can trust—her fastmate, Commander Lukas Grey. With the Mage forces of Gardneria poised to conquer all of Erthia, Elloren has no choice but to ally with Lukas and combine their power to keep herself out of the hands of Gardnerian leader Marcus Vogel…the holder of the all-consuming Shadow Wand.

With just weeks to train to become a warrior, and no control over her magic, Elloren finds unexpected allies among those under orders to kill her. It’s time to step up. To fight back. And to forge onward through the most devastating loss yet.

This is a third book, I need to get the two books before it, but I like it all the same.  It’s easy to understand the world, even without the world-building that usually comes with a first book.  I did some research and got the gist of the plot of the first two books, which are now on my TBR list! 

So many elements of high fantasy!  Reminds me of Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and Holly Black.  These are authors with very different writing styles, but I can see elements and influences from each of them in this writing.  And don’t forget dragons!  I’m a sucker for dragons!  It’s a classic heroine rising story with a protagonist still grappling with figuring out her power, aiding the oppressed, being one with nature, and standing up to a regime that threatens all natural life in the world.

In an effort to prevent spoilers for the previous books, this review will focus on the themes, writing quality, and overall impressions of the book/series.  There were some very heavy themes in this book, racism/genocide, but most fantasy novels have a nod to these themes.  It seems like many science fiction/fantasy stories end up with the protagonist fighting against a regime that seeks to oppress their people.  Conflict is natural in these situations, though not always appropriate.  I thought this book dealt with these themes in a respectful and thoughtful way, providing the reader with points to think critically about the fantasy world.  This is rare in fantasy books and I absolutely appreciated it in this narrative!  Allusions to naturalism are prevalent in this book as well. 

The writing and pacing in this book were top-notch.  I didn’t feel lost when trying to remember all of the characters, which is a testament to the skill of the author.  This installment is almost nonstop action, be it fighting, training, fleeing, romantic interactions, and so many more instances that would be spoilery if I mentioned them.  One thing I want to point out is that there is a lot of romance in this book.  And I mean a lot.  So much kissing, some adult scenes (I would recommend at the very least this book, to older young adult readers).  It’s not bad romance/kissing, there’s just a lot of it.  So much smoldering, melting, dissolving, burning, simmering, and all of the other ways to relate romance to fire/heat.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to older YA readers and fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and the other authors I’ve mentioned above.  This is a striking third book in a series with a lot of promise.  It looks there will be more books in this series and I will be patiently awaiting their publication!

I recieved a galley copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

Incendiary

Author: Zoraida Córdova 

Published: April 28, 2020

Publisher: Hyperion

Number of Pages: 450 pages

Format: Hardback

Source: Purchased

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.


Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. 

Incendiary is a well written YA novel from a best-selling author!  A few things I want to say at the top:  warnings for torture, some violence, perceived abuse in childhood, and of course trauma.  I’d also like to point out the fantastic Latinx representation in this book.  Zoraida Córdova brings various YA fantasy tropes, molds them into something brilliantly new, and gives us deeply flawed but also deeply human Latinx characters in a world filled with villas, palaces, citadelas, cloisters, and safe houses. 

Getting immersed in this world was so fascinating!  Starting with the magic system, it’s a duel between the haves and have nots.  The Moria are magic users with incredibly interesting abilities that manifest in individuals.  Some are gifted with powers of illusion, emotional influence, mind reading, and the most rare are those who steal memories.  The Whispers, Moria’s military or what is left of it, work in shadow and attempt rebellion over the ruling Kingdom of Puerto Leones.  The conflict is old, with many clashes and many deaths.  The Leonesse do not have magic and revile those who are Moria.  This system of magic and conflict is really interesting and I loved the way that the Whispers were able to work as teams, particularly in the beginning chapters.

The political aspects are intriguing and I wish there was a little more development of the overall political situation.  The novel is written from the perspective of a teenager who doesn’t have as much interaction with the overarching political system, so it makes sense that this was missing from the narrative.  Enough information is provided through discovery or spying that the reader gets a good picture of what is going on as it unfolds.  There is exposition, but it is very skillfully wrapped into the narrative through memory, after all Renata’s powers are memory-related!

Renata is an incredibly complex and tortured character, she runs through the gamut of emotions throughout the novel.  Elation, contentedness, frustration, anger, rage, and she feels these things seemingly moment to moment.  My other favorite character is Leo.  He is kind, intelligent, and cunning.  Leo doesn’t arrive in the narrative until midway through the book, but he is a fantastically written person!

Overall, this is a great start to a series and I am very happy that I picked this up!  Another great YA fantasy novel!  This is perfect for fans of Victoria Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Roseanne A. Brown and others! 

I purchased this book and this review is my honest opinion.

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Review: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Author: Roseanne A. Brown

Published: June 2nd, 2020

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Number of Pages: 480 pages

Format: eBook

Source: Edelweiss+

Synopsis from Goodreads

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . .

requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

Brown, R. A. (2020). A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

My Review

Not only is this book based on folklore, which I am so here for, this story is reverberates through pop culture. I am so glad to see a book with a Black cast, kicking butt, taking names, and traveling through a beautiful narrative set in the city of Zarin. The imagery was breathtaking, sweeping descriptions of a huge city, a crowded refugee camp, and so much more!

The narrative style of two point of view characters is really popular in YA fiction right now, but I actually enjoyed it in this book! It isn’t always effective, but I felt like it checked the right boxes for me in this case! Malik and Karina are so well developed very early on in the book. The reader can feel Malik’s vulnerability, his longing for home, his desire to protect his family by any means necessary. Karina seems spoiled and self-serving, something that is typical of royalty, but there is an underlying desire to do what is right.

The pacing was highly effective and kept my attention throughout the entire book! The stakes are incredibly high, but the characters meet each challenge head on. There are so many fantastic twists and turn, you never know what will happen next.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed A Song of Wraiths and Ruin! On sale June 2nd at your favorite retailer!

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