Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR] A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

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Welcome to my stop on A Treason of Thorns book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Treason of Thorns

Title: A TREASON OF THORNS
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Pub. Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, iTunes, TBD, Kobo, Google Books

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding. When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.Content warnings are available via the author’s website.


REVIEW

A good Caretaker puts her House first. Before her family. Before her friends.

First off, the cover is beautiful.

The premise of the novel is unique in and of itself: a conscious house, able to perceive and feel things. My initial thought was of the movie Monster House. Burleigh House is in despair after the death of it’s current Caretaker, Violet’s (Vi’s) father. After being put on house arrest after treasonous acts towards the king. The house controls the welfare of the land surrounding it. Animals are becoming diseased, crops are dying, and people are being forced to leave the land unable to survive any longer. But, Vi doesn’t have long herself before she is also killed trying to save the one thing she loves more than anything else: Burleigh.

I was born to look after this land, and to care for Burleigh House.

No matter the cost. No matter the risks involved.

I loved that a “thing” was morphed into a character. I have read novels where the protagonist loves their house in an odd way, but never where the house was a character itself. One of my favorite things about the novel, was the way that history was replayed using memories and the reader slowly piecing together the truth of Burleigh’s journey and history.

Someday, I will die for Burleigh House. It’s only become a matter of when.

I wanted to love this novel and believe there was a little more potential than was executed. As a reader, I wanted to know more about Wyn. Knowing more history of Wyn and Vi’s mother would’ve made the story more well-rounded.

I really did like the story, but I wanted more. With that being said, I think there is potential for a series to arise out of this novel. We know there are more houses that could potentially come to the same result. It could be interesting to learn about the one house that already failed. Could Vi possibly help prevent the other houses from failing?!

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura WeymouthLaura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutivegeneration of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born andraised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods inwestern New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiledcat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She isrepresented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.

Follow Laura:
Goodreads Website Twitter Facebook  | Pinterest Instagram |


GIVEAWAY

Win signed copies of Laura E. Weymouth’s books: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS and ATREASON OF THORNS (US/CAN only)
Starts: 10th September 2019
Ends: 24th September 2019


ENTER HERE


September 10th

September 11th

Utopia State of Mind – Review  + Favourite Quotes
The Book Bratz – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Book Dutchesses – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Hermit Librarian – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Dream Cast

September 12th

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Guest Post
Librorum in Sempiternum – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Baroness of Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Synopses by Sarge – Review

September 13th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Books of Teacups – Review
Chrikaru Reads – Review
A Few Chapters ’til Love – Review + Favourite Quotes

September 14th

Morgan Vega – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Luchia Houghton Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes
Jrsbookreviews – Review

September 15th

NovelKnight – Guest Post
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes
Novel Nerd Faction – Review + Playlist
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sincerely Karen Jo – Review

September 16th

Wishful Endings – Interview
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Reviews

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #3) by Angela Hunt

Delilah

Title: Delilah: Treacherous Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #3)
Author: Angela Hunt
Rating: ★★★★★

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls
Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

This is a historical fiction novel based on the story of Samson and Delilah. Living in a time where women don’t have as much power, especially if they are an “outsider”, Delilah and her mother move to Philistia to live with her mother’s new husband. However, things quickly turn sour when Adinai dies and they are left at the hands of her miserable step-brother, Achish. Always wanting Delilah for her beauty, he takes advantage of her daily and sells her mother into slavery. Only after she escapes the hands of Achish does Delilah realize that she is with child. She will stop at nothing to rescue her mother and get the revenge on Achish that he deserves.

Delilah – Mother; Betrayer; Foreigner

Samson – Strongman;Judge of Israel; taken advantage of by women he cares for

Two very unlikely matches find themselves in a love story. But in order to be free of Achish, Delilah must betray the one she loves.

A story of love, deceit, betrayal, and an exciting account of the Bible, Delilah will have readers fall in love with a story of venerability and mercy.

Book Reviews

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and FireTitle: Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)
Author: Natasha Ngan
Rating: ★★★★★

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king.
It’s the highest honour they could hope for…
And the most demeaning.

This year, there’s a ninth girl.
And instead of paper,
She’s made of fire.

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl whose golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Please be aware that this contains scenes of violence and sexual assault.

This is probably the best book I have read in 2019! I am beyond excited for the sequel coming out in November and especially since I will be getting a FairyLoot special edition to match the one currently sitting all pretty up on my bookshelf.

Girls of Paper and Fire brings to life problems still present in today’s culture. We have the Paper Caste (fully human), the Steel Caste (part human, part demon), and the Moon Caste (fully demon). We see the oppression imposed on by the upper castes and the prejudice present.

I like to think there’s some good behind even the darkest sins. That death can be warranted if it paves the way for hope.

In a world where caste determines all, oppression rules all. Lei’s mother was captured by royal guards and hasn’t been heard from in over a decade. Now, ten years later, Lei is about to receive the same outcome. Being of the lowest caste: Paper, Lei’s unique golden eyes make her an object of interest to the Demon King.

Lei is such a relatable character. Her struggles and her reactions show how imperfect she is. She isn’t the most beautiful character in all of the land, she doesn’t always make the right choices, and she isn’t always confident in her decisions. She is perfectly human. Even the other girls have struggles of their own and they all react differently.

They can take and steal and break all they want, but there is one thing they have no control over. Out emotions. Our feelings. Our thoughts. None of them will ever be able to control the way we feel. Our minds and hearts are our own. That is our power”

After weeks of being treated like a slave, Lei and eight other women learn the secrets of piquing the King’s interest and becoming one of his consorts. Only being privy to the King and doing what suits his needs, Lei finds herself in a compromising situation: in love.

What I love most about this novel is the romance between Lei and Wren. For once, we find ourselves with a natural, slow-moving romance unlike most Young Adult Fiction these days.

But I don’t want an easy life. I want a meaningful one.

Girls of Paper and Fire is a arresting, diverse story of overcoming oppression, the beauty of love, and the strength of women.

Book Reviews

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The Light Between WorldsTitle: The Light Between Worlds
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Rating: ★★★

Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.

When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.

Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

Content warnings are available via the author’s website

The Light Between Worlds is a re-telling of C.S. Lewis’s famous The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but it is not at the same time.

narnia

A Woodlands heart always finds its way home.

While the premise is three siblings find an entrance to a fairytale land called the Woodlands, there is so much more depth to this re-telling we don’t necessarily get to experience in the original masterpiece.

The story starts during the war where the three children find themselves running for survival to their bomb shelter. Being scared, they find themselves at the entrance of a land called the Woodlands. Greeted by a Stag, Cervus, they soon adapt to life in another war-torn country, but in the hopes of helping this one strive for the betterment of the inhabitants. Eventually, after a well-lived life in the Woodlands, the siblings find themselves back in the bomb shelter of the war they were trying to escape. Leaving a land of peace, they find themselves struggling to adapt to a life they were once familiar with. Truly, this is a story of selflessness, dealing with depression, and finding the strength to become your own person.

I love Philippa. She grew so so much throughout the novel! Being a Philippa hater at the beginning of the novel, I actually grew to love her more. She was the dynamic character of the novel and by the end, I felt Evelyn was more the static character. Her romance with Jack (insert googly eyes here) is perfectly imperfect. What I love most is his is not this beautifully depicted person of appearance. He has scars and imperfections, but those imperfections and who he is on the inside make him so attractive. I ship them so hard! Not only that, but Jack makes Philippa comfortable being her true self.

What I find to be really interesting is that we actually don’t really know anything about the Woodlands. We hear about it and how it shaped the rest of the lives of Evelyn, Philippa, and Jamie, but we don’t really get to actually picture the landscape and their lives while at Palace Beautiful. I wish we would’ve gotten to see a glimpse into that life…maybe with an epilogue or something? It would have been interesting to see Jamie’s perspective, as well.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. I don’t feel completely resolved. I understand why it happened like it did, but I think I needed an epilogue or something to satisfy my needs.

aslan

Book Reviews

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave BackTitle: The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Author: Adrienne Young
Rating: ★★★★

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

Buddy read with Breanna.

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

Probably my favorite part of the whole novel is that some of our favorite characters from Sky in the Deep come back! While the reader doesn’t need to read Sky in the Deep to enjoy this novel, it helps to paint a picture of the time and know the history of the clans.

Tova, our protagonist, is a truthtongue from Kyrr. A truthtongue has the ability to predict the future by casting die. Found washed up on shore in a burning boat, the Svell people raised her.

However, the Kyrr being a Svell enemy, they act haughty to Tova. Her life being fated by the die, one wrong prediction and it could mean the end of her life.

Halvard, our other protagonist made an appearance in Sky in the Deep, but as a mere child. Now, ten years later, he is chosen to lead the Nadhir (once Aska and Riki clans).

The reader finds him/her in another enemies-to-lovers romance.

“Augua ór tivar. Ljá mir sýn.”
Eye of the gods. Give me sight.

In a story of deceit, death, peace, and most importantly, family, The Girl the Sea Gave Back doesn’t disappoint! This novel left me wanting more and I can see so many more spin-offs that Young can grace us with (please, pretty please!).

The expected publication date is September 3, 2019.

 

Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

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Welcome to my stop on The Last Hope book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Last Hope

Title: THE LAST HOPE (The Raging Ones, #2)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Pub. Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

A stunning conclusion to the sci-fi romance duology by writing duo Krista & Becca Ritchie, The Last Hope is filled with twists and turns you’ll never see coming.

Sacrifice all you have to survive. 

Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity.

Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins.

As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.

Buy the novel:
Here


REVIEW

After all that we’ve been through, we deserve a better ending.

The story leads off right where we last saw our beloved trio, Franny, Court, and Mykal…captured and in prison. When a stranger offers a way out, they are quick to accept the offer. Slowly, they start to discover secrets from their past and the reason for their existence. Will they choose freedom or saving the planet?!

In a world where everyone knows the day they will die, we follow three teenagers on a journey to defy all odds. But these three have a bigger secret…they are linked and can feel the thoughts and feelings of the other. After three admirals sacrifice their lives for the trio to be released, they start to realize that their lives are apart of something more. And Stork, their rescuer, won’t tell them anything.

Set to rescue a baby from Saltare-1 and save Earth, Franny, Court, and Mykal discover more about each other, but most importantly, about themselves. Through the majority of the book, we witness the self-exploration of the three. We see the undying love they have for each other through their self-sacrifice and risks they each take in order to ensure the safety of the others.

Does anyone else have a crush on Stork?! Ever since meeting him, I knew that he was probably going to be my favorite character. Everything he goes through to do things the correct way and cause the least amount of pain to our protagonists shows how crazily connected everything is in the story. I ship him and who he couples with (sorry, no spoilers!)

Krista and Becca are so creative! The ending is everything I could ask for and more! I feel like a proud parent.

The Last Hope is the epic conclusion to The Raging Ones duology. While this novel is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. The Last Hope is a story of survival, self-exploration, and friendship.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Krista & Becca Ritchie_Author PhotoKrista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times Bestselling Authors and identical twins, one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek. With their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Graduates from the University of Georgia in Biology and English & Journalism, the twin writing duo now lives in Atlanta. The Raging Ones is their first young adult novel.

Follow Krista & Becca:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Krista’s Goodreads | Becca’s Goodreads


Q & A

Q: What was the hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

A: The action at the end was quite challenging. We wanted every moment to be adrenaline-filled while also making sure that each character had the correct closure since it’d be some of the final scenes in the book. The beginning was the easiest by far. THE LAST HOPE picks up right where THE RAGING ONES leaves off – with Franny, Court, and Mykal in peril – and grabbing hold of those emotions felt seamless as we began writing.

 

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

A: We hid some little Easter eggs in THE RAGING ONES! We reference “surface plasmons” – and our granddad, a theoretical physicist, first predicted the existence of surface plasmons in the 50s. And we largely joke about the fish-out-of-water humor between Mykal and Stork in THE LAST HOPE as being Guardians of the Galaxy style of humor. Especially when Mykal has no idea what the word “guy” or “boyfriend” means and Stork tries to define these for him.

 

Q: What do you hope people remember about it?

A:The characters. The soul-mate bonds and even the platonic love between friends. Whenever we write, our biggest goal is to write characters that stay with readers.


 

Book Reviews

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the DeepTitle: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Rating: ★★★★★

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

For the first time ever, I adore absolutely every character…besides the bad guys. This is one of those “can’t put down” novels. From the beginning until the end, the reader gets intertwined with the story and the characters start to feel like family. For a debut, Young did amazing. Not only are the protagonists complex, but it seems like every other character in the story is, as well.

vegr yfir fior – honor above life

The relationships are real. Most times, readers are given a perfect relationship between to people and entirely unrealistic. This idea of a flawed, but loving relationship is clearly depicted between Eelyn and her brother, Iri. For her entire life, Eelyn has been taught to put her clan above all, even family and friends. Iri, her brother, died in battle long ago…or so she thought. When she comes to find him not only alive, but immersed in a rival clan, and what she had been taught her entire life starts to unravel. But Eelyn reacts is exactly how any other person would react…she doesn’t instantly forgive him. She feels betrayal, anger, fear, and love.

“I’ll go where you go.”

Probably my favorite character in the entire novel is Fiske. With how protective he is, caring, and understanding, who wouldn’t love him?! He doesn’t give up on anyone and is so positive. I definitely am crushing hard.

Young does a great job of presenting an action-packed story full of emotion, bravery, and adversity. I wish I read this earlier!