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

Julie Kagawa_Hires2017 (1)

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

Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, #1) by Kathryn Purdie

Bone Crier's MoonTitle: Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, #1)
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Rating: ★★★★★

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really excited for this book; I just wanted the items in the FairyLoot box. Sorry, not sorry.

Aliesse. I’m not leaving you. You’re worth the risk, do you hear me? You’re always going to be worth the risk.

 

Ailesse: Destined to be the next Matrone. Brave. Headstrong. Ambitious.

Sabine: Aliesse’s best friend. Quiet. Reserved. Loyal.

Bastien: Seeking revenge for his father’s death. Head of a gang of thieving orphanswhose father also died from the Leuress.

 

Things I Liked Loved:

  1. Sisterly love. The bond between Ailesse and Sabine is so strong. I loved that it seemed to be the main focal point over romantic love. They will risk anything and everything for each other.
  2. Pacing. It was perfect. There was never a dull moment. I was reading along with the FairyLoot group and I found myself wanting to read more each day, but forcing myself to stop to keep pace with the book.
  3. Multiple POVs. The change from one protagonist to the next kept me on the edge of my seat. The end of every chapter was a cliffhanger.
  4. Mythology. This was such a unique twist on sirens. The magic system was well thought and intriguing.

 

Things I Didn’t Like:

  1. The ending. I wasn’t convinced that there should be a second book. It seemed like this novel could’ve ended with just a twinge difference.
  2. Animal violence. Yes, I know it goes along with the magic system, but I love animals.

 

Bone Crier’s Moon is a story about sisterly love, enemies to lovers, and revenge. People who enjoyed All the Stars and Teeth and Serpent & Dove would enjoy this novel.

Book Reviews

The Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles, #1) by Kester Grant

The Court of MiraclesTitle: The Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles,  #1)
Author: Kester Grant
Rating: ★★★★

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little over novels set in Paris. Especially when they all have to do with heists. Let’s be original, people.

Sometimes we must pay a terrible price to protect the things we love.

Nina: “Black Cat” of the Thieves Guild.

Ettie: Nina’s “little sister”. The root of this war (granted, it was inevitable in time). 

Tiger: Lord of the Guild of Flesh. Lord Kaplan. No Lord will cross him. 

Montparnasse: Loves Nina. My lover. Master of the Assassins Guild. Willing to lay himself on the line for Nina, even if he has to betray his guild.

St. Juste: Loves Nina. Everyone in his family was killed. Leader of the rebellion of people who aren’t in a guild.

The Dauphin: Loves Nina. Prince of France. Nina steels from him at a young age. They see each other later and help each other out. Has a mother who is always on the verge of handing him a glass of poison.

Orso: Has an army of “Ghosts” aka little kids. The only Lord who will stand up to the Tiger.

Thernadier: Nina’s dad. Beats her. Will do anything for whoever offers the most money, even betraying his own.

Tomasis: Lord of the Thieves Guild.

 

if he kills you, I’ll take his head from his body and I’ll set it on a pike in the middle of the Lords’ table in the Miracle Court, and none will ever take it down. There it will rot, the worms will eat it to bone, and all who see it will remember you. Even if Corday asks my life of me in return, I’ll do it. I swear.

Can’t get any more romantic than that!

 

Things I Liked:

  1. Secret societies. I love the idea of secret societies being known for specific talents. I love seeing the atmosphere from each unique faction. I’d love to learn more about how these came about and a look deeper into each society.
  2. Unpredictable. I did not predict one particular event to happen in this novel. That never happens!
  3. The world-building. Grant made this incredibly easy to follow.

 

Things I Didn’t Like:

  1. Hunger Games vibes. If you interchange Nina for Katniss and Ettie for Rue/Prim, you pretty much have the Hunger Games novel.
  2. The beginning. I was ready to DNF right away, honestly. But, I’m not a quitter, so I kept on trekking, and I actually really enjoyed the novel.
  3. The timing. I followed this pretty well through most of the novel, but I got a little confused at times by home much time passed.
  4. Everyone guy loves her. Give me a break! I’m so over the main character having all of these guys wanting her. Not reality!

 

The Court of Miracles is a story about war, ambitious power, and adversity. People who enjoyed The Gilded Wolves and Six of Crows would enjoy this novel.

Book Reviews

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2) by Roshani Chokshi

The Silvered SerpentsTitle: The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves,  #2)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Rating: ★★★

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

I wanted to love this, but Severin is just an extremely annoying character. He pushes everyone away who is close to them thinking it is for their betterment. How can he lead people when he can’t even face his own demons?! I wish the plot was more focused on the puzzle aspect of the heists versus the emotional. It was a bit too dark for my liking.

Severin: French-Algerian. Leader of the group. Supposed heir to House Vanth. 

Tristan: Severin’s foster brother. Botanist. Pet tarantula Goliath (yikes!).

Laila: Indian. Chef. Dancer. Can read objects.

Enrique: Spanish-Filipino. Historian. Bi. 

Zofia: Jewish-Polish. Lab rat. Autistic? OCD. 

Hypnos: French-African-descent. Heir to House Nyx. Enemy to friend.

 

Things I Liked:

  1. Growth. We start to see the characters’ flaws and how they came to be the people they are today. We see their weaknesses, as well as, them overcoming their fears in the form of strengths.
  2. Not everything goes right. So many young adult novels have characters with essentially no faults. It is nice to see things not work as they are planned.
  3. The puzzles. I love them! It was so fun to try to figure the puzzles out before the characters.

 

Things I Didn’t Like:

  1. People who think they can decide what is best for someone. Severin is a guy that you love to hate. He has the best interests of people close to him in his heart, but he doesn’t always execute in the best way. He takes responsibility for things he has no control over and let’s that fear of hurt for those he loves takeover his life. People can decide for themselves if they want to take risks, they don’t need someone else choosing for them.
  2. Forbidden love. Man loves girl. Girl loves man. Man can’t be with girl for fear of hurting her and vice versa. This is so stupid! You’ll make things work with someone if you truly love them.
  3. Dark. The Silvered Serpents was a lot darker than The Gilded Wolves. Readers can find more foul play, deception, and a look into the darker parts of the human mind.

 

The Silvered Serpents is a story about deception, love, and friendship. People who enjoy heists and a loyal gang of misfits will love this novel.

Book Reviews

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1) by Roshani Chokshi

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

This edition from Owlcrate is signed and has an exclusive cover.

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.

I’m always a little skeptical going into novels placed in Paris. For some reason, books set in Paris and I do not get along. Probably, mostly due to the lavish descriptions included in the novels. Hey, I’m simple, so just get to the point.

Severin: French-Algerian. Leader of the group. Supposed heir to House Vanth. 

Tristan: Severin’s foster brother. Botanist. Pet tarantula Goliath (yikes!).

Laila: India. Chef. Dancer. Can read objects.

Enrique: Spanish-Filipino. Historian. Bi. 

Zofia: Jewish-Polish. Lab rat. Autistic? OCD. 

Hypnos: French-African-descent. Heir to House Nyx. Enemy to friend.

 

Things I Liked:

  1. I LOVED the aspect of the Seven Deadly Sins cast as Severin’s fathers. That was such an interesting aspect for someone to experience who pretty much lost everything in his life. In this aspect, he thinks the answer is black-and-white when it comes to those emotions, but we see his character start to grow throughout the novel. I think the ending left Severin feeling empty, but we will be seeing his character growth a lot in The Silvered Serpents.
  2. The gang. These friends have each others’ backs, even if it means putting their lives at stake! Give me some friends like that. They are all so different, and honestly, I liked all of this, which is rare for me.
  3. Zofia. She is probably the most similar to me. What I loved most about her is that the Polish are represented! Five five, y’all. I rarely read books where Polish people are represented in a positive light. My mom immigrated here legally from Poland, so it is nice to be represented. She shares my godmother’s name, and for me, was the most “normal”. She is the only one still connected with a family.

 

Things I Didn’t Like:

  1. Magic System. Wait! I did like the magic system, but I don’t feel like it was explained enough for the reader to understand. I would like to know the differences, how they are formed, and more about the history of the Houses and the unique abilities each House wields. A prequel about the history of the Houses would be amazing.
  2. Predictable. The end wasn’t really a surprise to me with how things went. I won’t go into spoilers. But Severin’s situation didn’t surprise me at all. And every time a heist was taking place, it never went like it was supposed to. Normally, I would like that, but things going wrong was the normal, so I wanted to see things run smoothly for once.
  3. The beginning. I had such a hard time getting into the novel. Once I did, it was amazing and I appreciated every minute.

 

The Gilded Wolves is a story about magic, vengeance, and friendship. People who enjoy heists and a loyal gang of misfits will love this novel.

Book Reviews

The Beholder (The Beholder, #1) by Anna Bright

The BeholderTitle: The Beholder (The Beholder, #1)
Author: Anna Bright
Rating: ★★★★

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

 

Peter:

Peter

 

Bear:

At first I think of this guy (just by the name):

bear

But, in reality, this is who Bear reminds me of:

darcy

 

Torden:

torden

 

The Beholder initially gave me vibes of The Selection and The Bachelorette, however, after reading this novel, it is completely different. The motivation is to help her father.

Selah’s story starts off like Cinderella with the evil step mom. Being the heir to Potomac, Selah poses a threat to her step mom’s soon-to-be baby. However, since Selah is a woman, it is best to have a man sitting by her side. Her best friend, Peter, seems like an easy shoe-in for her, but she is rejected and humiliated when making a proposal. With her reputation at stake, she has no choice but to travel abroad and find a husband somewhere else. Of course, her evil step mom helps profusely. The only problem is that everyone on the list is heir to the throne besides for one young man.

First stop is London to find the first Prince Charming, aka Bear. Bear, her bodyguard, is actually secretly the Prince the entire time. I loved this aspect of the story and wish it would’ve ended here. It proves that it doesn’t matter what your status is if the love is real. I totally understand why the King wanted things to play out the way they did and I don’t blame them, but Selah is all butt hurt about it. If she really loved him, she would understand, but she is all self-righteous. This is how the good guys are ruined. Girls like her! Don’t even get me started on how this ended. It makes me want to eat a whole bag of gummy candies.

Then comes Thor, aka Torden. Literally, I felt like I was watching the movie and the rivalry between Thor and Loki. Torden and Selah will never work. I don’t understand the chemistry. They have nothing in common and I feel like she is trying to change who he is. He actually is setting aside his responsibilities for her. Torden told her that his people come first, but we all know that wouldn’t be enough for her.

It was clear as day to me from the beginning that you were the one.

Things seem perfect for Selah and Torden. He promises to go to Potomac with her for a little while to save her father. And BOOM! Oden finds out that Selah’s crew on The Beholder are all rebels, so no proposal for you, sweetie. At least two people found a happy ending 😉

Selah is one of the most annoying protagonists. She says she wants love, but honestly, I feel like she is selfish. She leads these guys on and wants them to fall in love with her, but will always choose something else over them. There is always an excuse for it to not work. A good leader is patient and understanding. How can she rule a country and be a good leader when she can’t even afford to give the same to people she supposedly loves?

Something else confusing was the world-building. We have I’d guess 1800’s England and Nordic Thor. I’m not sure what the time period was. The countries seem to emulate the world today, but it is slightly confusing. There are so many alliterations to other fairytales or stories, yet these are from many different time periods. There just needs to be some consistency, and I found it hard to piece it all together.

A thousand tiny moments.

Yeses and nos that change the world.

The Beholder is a story about finding love, overcoming adversity, and loyalty. Bright makes readers swoon with the introduction of princes from all over. Perfect in their own ways, yet full of flaws. The emotions that Bright was able to pull from my black heart is why I rated it so high. Team Bear!