Book Reviews

[BLOG TOUR & Q&A] The Iron Raven (The Iron Fey: Evenfall, #1) by Julie Kagawa

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Welcome to my stop on The Iron Raven book tour! Thank you to Inkyard Press for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

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Title: THE IRON RAVEN
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pub. Date: February 9, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Teen; Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy; Folklore and Fairytale; Paranormal romance
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, IndieBoundBooks-A-MillionAppleBooksGoogle Play

Wicked faeries and fantastic danger… Welcome to book one of the new trilogy in New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey fantasy series, as infamous prankster Puck finally has a chance to tell his story and stand with allies new and old to save Faery and the world.

“YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF ME…”

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten. Filled with myths and faery lore, romance and unfathomable dangers, The Iron Raven is book one of a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the world of The Iron Fey.


REVIEW

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Wait, hold up. Wrong story.”

From my understanding, this is a continuation off of Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series, but this time from Robin “Puck” Goodfellow’s viewpoint. Having not read the previous series, readers will not be misplaced. The story starts sometime later with a new problem, just with recurring characters.

Here is a little background that I gathered: Puck is an arrogant bastard (haha) who lost his love to a Winter fey and has been sulking ever since. Meghan Chase aka The Iron Queen is the amour to both Puck and Ash. Always looking for an opportunity to kill each other, they somehow always end up on the same side.

The crew of estranged lover, worst enemy, lost love, and lost memory bond together in order to stop a mysterious darkness that is creeping over the land.

Kagawa always does a great job of incorporating the land into her stories. We meet different cultures, see vast geography, and come across the paranormal. Her characters are based off her culture or some very familiar races living jointly in the world…but with a twist.

Things I Liked

  • World-building
  • Character Vulnerability
  • The magic system – while not well-explained in this novel, I’m sure there is more explanation in The Iron Fey series
  • Ash – I have a feeling I will really like him when I read The Iron Fey series

Things I Didn’t Like

  • The “MC” – he was just too cocky for me – I felt like I was potentially missing out on the truth of some parts of the story since he exaggerates a lot
  • Meghan – I never like those hoes who lead two guys on – look at the lasting damage she did!
  • The ending – this felt like it could’ve been a standalone and ended just with the destruction of the darkness. It felt a little like grasping for more.

Knowing me, you’d know that I could care less about character development and care more about the action, but Puck ended up not being as douchey as I originally thought, so I appreciated that. 

Having read The Shadow of the Fox, I felt more detached from these stories than those. I enjoyed this novel, but it may have been better designed as a novella. Again, it could’ve been because I haven’t read The Iron Fey, but the culture was harder to read because we weren’t staying as long in one portion of the land.

The Iron Raven is a tale of coming together despite difference in order to preserve good. Readers who like a story where the good guys win and the bad get what they deserve will love this novel.

★★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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JULIE KAGAWA is the New York Times, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author of The Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, The Talon Saga and the Shadow of the Fox series. Born in Sacramento, she has been a bookseller and an animal trainer and enjoys reading, painting, playing in her garden and training in martial arts. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and a plethora of pets. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Follow Julie:
Website| FaceBookInstagram | Twitter| Goodreads


 

Q&A

Q: What was the hardest scene to write in The Iron Raven? What was the easiest?

A: I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers, but the hardest scene in The Iron Raven was near the very end of the book when they’re fighting the final Big Bad, and Puck does a completely Puck-ish thing to give them a fighting chance. It was random and irreverent and completely ridiculous, so I had to get it just right to avoid making it cheesy. The easiest scene was one where Puck and Ash were semi-seriously threatening each other, because I know those two so well and it was all rather familiar.

Q: Did you hide any secrets in your book? (names of friends, little jokes, references to things only some people will get)?

A: Lol, well I’m going to reveal my absolute geekiness and say that the name of the newest character, Nyx, is actually my D&D character, a dragon-hating elven assassin. There were a few tweaks, of course, but Nyx is…well, me in a D&D campaign. 😛

Q: What do you hope people remember about The Iron Raven?

A: I hope The Iron Raven brings back the feel of the first Iron Fey novels, where everything was new and surreal and exciting. I hope readers will experience the same wonder and belief in magic, friendship, love and heroism that I tried to present in the first series.

Q: Did The Iron Raven have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?

A: My music tastes are eclectic, but I do listen to a lot of Two Steps From Hell while writing, because its mostly instrumental and they have some epic soundtracks.

Q: What is your dream cast for The Iron Raven?

A: I am so bad at this question I don’t even think I can answer it. Apologies, but I really am terrible at remembering actors and actresses. This is a great question for fans, though. Who would your dream cast be for an Iron Fey series?

Book Reviews

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

The Lady in ResidenceTitle: The Lady in Residence
Author: Allison Pittman
Rating: ★★★★★

Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

I received this novel from NetGalley and Barbour Fiction in exchange for an honest review.

The Lady in Residencec is the start to collaboration of the present and the past in The Doors to the Past series. I don’t know if it was divine intervention or just perfect time, but I started reading this while watching Alias Grace on Netflix. The story follows two women over a century apart: Hedda Krause, a young widow staying at the Menger Hotel, and Dini Blackstone, a magician who gives ghost tours. The stories collide when Quinn Carmichael, a descendent of the detective in charge of the case of Hedda Krause’s robbed room, embarks on one of Dini’s ghost tours.

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?! Or an unsolved case?! Pittman seamlessly intertwines the lives of Hedda (1915) and Dini (2017), while walking readers through the solving of the mystery. The chapters alternate between Hedda and Dini. As the story advances, the reader starts to see similarities between Hedda and Dini. Both girls are slowly falling in love…and with men who happen to be related! While the case was never solved, Dini and Quinn believe with her knowledge of Hedda’s novel and his family heirlooms, they can solve the case of who Sallie, the ghost, really is, and why she stole Hedda’s jewelry from her late husband.

The Lady in Residence is a story of two women who find themselves finding more than they ever wished and coming to terms with the truth of Sallie. Pittman expertly weaves together the past and the present in a story of love, mystery, and the paranormal.

Book Reviews

Written in Starlight (Woven in Moonlight, #2) by Isabel Ibanez

Written in StarlightTitle: Written in Starlight (Woven in Moonlight, #2)
Author: Isabel Ibanez
Rating: ★★★

An adventerous South American Tomb Raider! This hotly anticipated companion to Woven in Moonlight follows an outcast Condesa, as she braves the jungle to forge an alliance with the lost city of gold.

If the jungle wants you, it will have you…

Catalina Quiroga is a Condesa without a country. She’s lost the Inkasisa throne, the loyalty of her people, and her best friend. Banished to the perilous Yanu Jungle, Catalina knows her chances of survival are slim, but that won’t stop her from trying to escape. It’s her duty to reclaim the throne.

When Manuel, the son of her former general, rescues Catalina from a jaguar, a plan forms. Deep in the jungle, the city of gold is hidden, home to the fierce Illari people, who she could strike an alliance with.

But the elusive Illari are fighting a battle of their own—a mysterious blight is corrupting the jungle, laying waste to everything they hold dear. As a seer, Catalina should be able to help, but her ability to read the future in the stars is as feeble as her survival instincts. While searching for the Illari, Catalina must reckon with her duty and her heart to find her true calling, which could be the key to stopping the corruption before it destroys the jungle completely.

I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Written in Starlight is the continuation of the fantasy series Woven in Moonlight. This was definitely different than most other series. In this novel, we follow Catalina instead of Ximena, who took us on her journey in the last book. I’m not entirely sure if I believe that this novel was necessary to the storyline overall until the very last few chapters. I missed Ximena’s viewpoint.

Woven in Moonlight leaves off with Catalina being betrayed by her best friend Ximena. While both wanted the removal of Atoc, Ximena wanted the best person for the job, which she thought to be Princess Tamaya. After refusing to submit to Tamaya, Catalina is sent to fare in the middle of the jungle. If she can make it out alive, she is absolved of all. The problem is making it out alive, among the deadly beasts and plants, and who knows what else.

Shortly after entering the forest, Catalina runs into someone we have all been curious about: Manuel. Where are all of these girls finding these selfless men and where do I get one?! Manuel is finally ready to return home only to be forced on another journey to find the illusive Illari.

Proving their truest hearts and tackling many obstacles, the Condessa and Manuel prove not only their physical strength, but their mental, as well. Not to mention, some low-key flirting. The growth of Catalina is apparent. The physical and emotional struggles that both Manuel and Catalina face is real and not forced. While predictable, Written in Starlight is a pleasant read for those who want to adventure into the unknown while getting a little into the “feels”. 

Anyone else wonder why the King wasn’t saved?

Readers do not have to read Woven in Moonlight, however, it is recommended if you are an order person like myself. 

Written in Starlight is a story of one girl who finds herself, can admit when she is wrong, and will do what is best for those around her. Ibanez brings readers a story of adventure, love, and the lasting ties of friendship.

Book Reviews

Warmaidens (Gravemaidens, #2) by Kelly Coon

Warmaidens (Gravemaidens, #2)Title: Warmaidens (Gravemaidens, #2)
Author: Kelly Coon
Rating: ★★★★

Warmaidens is the dark, action-packed conclusion to the heartwrenching Gravemaidens fantasy duology. Kammani and the maidens are now going to war against the ruler who tried to entomb them.

Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.

But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.

Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.

I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Warmaidens is the continuation of the fantasy duology Gravemaidens. Readers left off with a crazy ending, so of course there was only more action to come!

After Kammani took the place of her father as the healer for the King and her sister was chosen to be one of the three sacred maidens, Kammani does everything in her power to save the King so that her sister will not have to face the sacred maiden fate: death. After faking their deaths with the death of the King, they now must escape discovery of the new lugal. But of course, they cannot stay undiscovered for long.

Warmaidens was the perfect blend of character growth and action. Nanaea was by far the most annoying character for me in the first installment. But oh my gosh! I see so much growth for her and how mature she has become. I just love it! The action is constant and keeps readers on the edge of their seats. There are some tough events, and the reader can feel the emotion that the characters are feeling. This was a really balanced novel between the character development and strengthening of the plot.

Let’s be real…the person who stole the show is Dagan, but maybe I am biased. He is such a nice guy that any girl would be lucky to have him. However, he acts like a puppy around Kammani and would do anything for her, yet she is confused on whether or not she wants to marry him. Come on! Girls only wish to have a guy like that.

Probably one of my most loved and appreciated experiences in novels are stories within stories. For example, the Three Brothers in Harry Potter. Warmaidens shared that, as well, with the Boatman. I absolutely adored the story and it fits in perfectly with the rest of the novel.

Warmaidens is a story of the power of friendship, sisterhood, love, and the power of good over evil. Coons brings readers a story of a protagonist who defied all odds for the protection of her family. 

Book Reviews

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

The Camelot BetrayalTitle: The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
Author: Kiersten White
Rating: ★★★★

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

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

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

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

The Camelot Betrayal is the continuation of the fantasy retelling of King Arthur. In a world where kingdom comes before love and magic is forbidden, readers continue on Guinevere’s journey of magic, friendship, love, fealty to the kingdom, and self-discovery.

In the second installment, White brings readers into the complicated and confusing head of Guinevere. After being betrayed by a love, learning how to wield powers for the good of the kingdom (the same powers that could put her in jeopardy of being found out), and blaming herself for the wickedness that plagues the land, Guinevere has more going on than she can handle. We discover the inner workings of our protagonist in a real way: both her strengths and her weaknesses.

While I enjoyed the character building, I felt that the story lacked a little action. Typical for most trilogies, I wanted to be “wowed” and felt a little disappointed. This felt like an entirely different plot line and, I believe, could’ve been emitted from the story entirely without losing any substance. My only objection is that I enjoyed learning more about the relationship between Guinevere and Mordred.

The Camelot Betrayal is a story of the power of friendship, loyalty, and how our own minds can betray us. White brings readers a story of a protagonist who questions herself: her decisions, her friends, and even those closest to her heart; a protagonist who has flaws but is loved despite them, will do anything for the people she loves, and most importantly, who learns from her mistakes.

Book Reviews

Massive Book/Bookish Fun Unload on Poshmark

Hi Everyone,

I know it has been a while, and I’m sorry to inform you that this is not one of my typical blog posts.

I’m trying to “declutter” (not sure if that will ever be possible) and unfortunately, I don’t have enough room for all of my bookish belongings.

Soooo…I’m hoping to unload on you or any other bookish friends through my Poshmark.

Bundle and I’ll make deals, or if there is a specific edition of a book or item you are looking for that I don’t have listed, please inquire and I may be able to part with that item.

I’m planning on posting the rest of my massive unhaul this weekend, so keep an eye out!

Book Reviews

Goodbye

Good morning fellow bloggers and readers,

I am just writing to let you know that I will no longer be posting. I’m not for sure how long, maybe forever. As many of you know, I haven’t had FaceBook or SnapChat in over five years. Any of the other platforms aside from LinkedIn and Goodreads, (and this blog), I have never had (besides for when someone made a Instagram account of me, which was hell to delete!).

Unfortunately, I have always viewed social media as an unnecessary evil. I’m not being condescending for anyone else who does have it; it just isn’t for me.

As for the blog, I appreciate all of the support I have received from everyone over the years and would love to keep in contact with those of you who have interest! As time went by, I found myself almost “forcing” myself to write posts or reviews, and not enjoying it as much. What I believe is the “killer” of my blog for myself is that I wasn’t always reading what wanted to read. Reading wasn’t as fun anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot of great books, but there are so many hanging out in my TBR that I still need to read/want to read more. And sometimes, quite frankly, I don’t want to write a review (insert shruggy shoulders emoji).

I’ve always told myself I need to live in the moment more, stop living by the deadlines I give myself, and actually enjoy the moment. So, that is what I intend to do. And for me, that is time away to focus on things I want to do, my empire (my two side businesses), and enjoying the beautiful weather outside.

I wish you all of the best on this journey and DO NOT hesitate to reach out if you need anything (support, a laugh, or just a friend)!

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – June 5, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

Once, there were four Houses of France.
Like all the other Houses within the Order of Babel, the French faction swore to                  safeguard the location of their Babel Fragment, the source of all Forging power.
Forging was a power of creation rivaled only by the work of God.
But one House fell.
And another House’s line died without an heir.
Now all that is left is a secret.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Gilded WolvesTitle: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Rating: ★★★

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Bookish Features

FairyLoot March 2020 “Break the Curse” Box

FairyLootMARCH 2020
BREAK THE CURSE


Resized_20200507_171521Cursebreaker Book Sleeve
@eviebookish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Raven Boys Headband
@taratjah

 

 

 

 

 

 


Resized_20200507_171119Wonderland Passport Cover
@noverantale


Queen of Nothing Tumbler Cup
@noverantale


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Caraval Lanyard
@catarinabookdesigns

 

 

 

 

 


Genie NotepadResized_20200507_171204
@catarinabookdesigns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Seven of Cups & Eight of Cups Tarot Cards
@gabriella.bujdoso


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Bone Crier’s Moon
FairyLoot Exclusive Edition, Beautiful Shimmery Sprayed Edges, Exclusive Foil on the Title, Artwork on the Reverse of the Dust Jacket by @dianadworak, and Signed by the Author
Kathryn Purdie


Did you get the March 2020 FairyLoot “Break the Curse” Box?
What did you think? I loved the tumbler and book sleeve!

 

 

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Give Off Summer Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

READ

1. The Court of Miracles, Kester Grant

2. All the Stars and Teeth, Adalyn Grace

3. Night of the Dragon, Julie Kagawa

4.  Tweet Cute, Emma Lord

5.  Heart of Flames, Nicki Pau Preto

 

TBR

1. Sisters of Sword & Song, Rebecca Ross

2. Girl, Serpent, Thorn, Melissa Bashardoust

3. The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass, Adan Jerreat-Poole

4.  Where Dreams Descend, Janella Angeles

5.  Forest of Souls, Lori M. Lee