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Series Spotlight: Ruined by Amy Tintera

Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series is one I just recently finished and it was a favourite.

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The Ruined series by Amy Tintera

Review status: 2/3. Ruined, Avenged

All books are released, own in hardcover.

I was hesitant going into this one even though I loved the Reboot duology since I’d seen this one compared to The Selection and I have mixed feelings on that series. This one did suck me right in though. It had great characters, interesting magic, and plenty to keep me reading.

Favourite character: Aren. It really didn’t take me long to fall in love with him. He could be sarcastic and brutal but he had a good heart and was protective of the people he cared about.

Favourite book: Avenged. We get so much more of the sister dynamic between Em and Olivia, plus even more Aren.

Status: Finished.

Author status: Auto-buy. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her.

Next up from Amy Tintera: Allied just barely came out but hopefully there’s something new coming next year.

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Book Haul

Bought:

Leah on the offbeatcourt of frostBurning mazePuddinAllied

ARCs:

Little Do We KnowWar outsideRuleWhat If It's UsDeepest RootsWildcard

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Book Haul time

Every time to I go post one of these, I try to remember what I’ve bought and it’s always, always way too many books. My poor TBR pile.

Bought:

Picture Us in the LightSleightMore than we can tellFates DivideBeyond a Darkened ShoreRelative Strangers

ARCs:

For a Muse of FireHeart of ThornsTiffany Slynewbird

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Series Spotlight: The Crown’s Game duology by Evelyn Skye

Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series is a duology that was magical and dark and had great character dynamics.

the crown's gamethe-crowns-fate

 

The Crown’s Game duology by Evelyn Skye

Review status: 2/2. The Crown’s Game, The Crown’s Fate

All books are released, own in hardcover.

The tone of the two separate books were very different but I still thought they worked. The first book was more of a whimsical dark. The magical battle between Vika and Nikolai was fun, interesting, and I didn’t even mind the love triangle with Pascha. It felt more like they were both fascinated with Vika instead of it being a love triangle. The second book was darker than the first but this time it was more dark magic than whimsical.

Favourite character: Pascha. I think he was a good kid who was thrown into an impossible situation, made some pretty majors mistakes, and got in way over his head. Plus I really like the name Pascha.

Favourite book: The Crown’s Game. I slightly preferred the more whimsical plot of the magical battle of the first book over the brewing war of the second.

Status: Finished.

Author status: Semi auto-buy. Hard to say auto-buy after one duology but there’s definitely potential.

Next up from Evelyn Skye: Circle of Shadows coming out in 2019. It’s ninja inspired!

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Was hoping to go to the movies this week but nothing is playing at the local theatre except action movies. Guess I’ll read instead.

Currently reading: Chaotic Good Comps14.indd

Finished reading: Spindle FireAru ShahMiles Away From YouSave the Date

Reviewed: Where I Live (Final Cover)

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Ash Princess34726469 to read

Aru ShahSave the Date to review

Books read it 2018: 42

Debut authors read for 2018: 15

Contemporary: 22

Fantasy: 13

Sci-Fi: 2

Dystopian: 3

Historical: 1

Misc: 1

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

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Sky in the Deep

Release date: April 24th 2018

Goodreads: OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
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.

Why I’m excited: This seems to be the year for fantasy set outside of castles and kingdoms, where main characters aren’t princes or princesses. This one sounds like it’s going to keep me up all night.

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Book Review: Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Onyx and Ivory

Onyx & Ivory

Release date: May 15th 2018

4 stars

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.

Every time I read a new Mindee Arnett series, I feel like it hooks me even more quickly than the last did. The synopsis of this one sounded really interesting, maybe a little similar to other fantasy novels, but I was confident Mindee Arnett would put a spin on it that would make me love it. And I did. The history, the world-building, and the characters were more than enough to make up for the tropes used and I found myself getting sucked deeper and deeper into the story the more I read, which was exactly what should happen.

It was told in the two POVs of Kate and Corwin. Kate, nicknamed Traitor Kate due to her father’s attempt to kill the king a few years before, tried to stay under the radar working as a member of the Relay. She had the power to connect with animals, understand them, control them, though she only used her powers when absolutely necessary. Her magic, like many others, was forbidden and if she were caught, it would be death. Corwin was the second born son of the king, childhood friend of Kate before her father tried to kill his, and someone who never expected to contend for the throne. Their paths collide during Corwin’s peacekeeping tour and it really ended up changing everything. I enjoyed both these characters, together and separate. Kate was strong, determined to find the truth about why her father tried to kill the king, his friend, and she bravely went back to the city where it all happened even though she knew the reception she would get. Corwin was battling some demons and unsure about his ability to lead, feeling unworthy of the throne he’ll likely never have anyway. I liked how these two were childhood friends who knew each other better than anyone but, after the event with their fathers and a few years apart where they both changed, they were almost strangers. There were so many moments to remind us how close they used to be and just how much their relationship had changed.

I absolutely loved the supporting cast. Mindee Arnett is so great at writing supporting characters that I love just as much as the leads. Kate’s friends Tom Bonner and Signe were so loyal but they also had great stories on their own. They weren’t there just to support Kate. Tom was like a brother and Signe was her hilarious, never boring best friend. Corwin’s best friend Dal made up the last of their group and he as well was more than simply a character to prop up Corwin. He was the last born son of a low Lord, always quick with a joke and looking for adventure. They were a great group with interesting dynamics and that’s something I will always love in books.

The plot had a lot of key components. Kate’s search for the truth about her father, the nightdrakes/daydrakes that were attacking travelers around the kingdom, and the ritual battle for the throne between Corwin and his brother. All three wove into each other and were equally important. It also felt like learning something new in one plot could lead to something new in one of the other plots. It was intriguing and kept me reading. There were surprises, some more easily guessed than others, but overall, I really enjoyed it.

And I also really want the next book.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

Two Dark Reigns

Two Dark Reigns

Release date: September 4th 2018

Goodreads: There’s no synopsis yet.

Why I’m excited: This series has been getting darker with each book so I’m expecting a lot of action, reveals, and plot twists in this one. The second one avoided middle book syndrome and I have confidence this one will as well.

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Book Review: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

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Ace of Shades

Release date: April 10th 2018

4 stars

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.

It hasn’t taken long for Amanda Foody to cement herself on my list of auto-buy authors. I loved Daughter of the Burning City, it was one of my top surprise books last year, and this one was just as magical and addicting. I loved that the setting was so different from DOTBC but the atmosphere that I fell in love with was still there. It has a very interesting world, great characters, and it just completely sucked me in.

I really liked how the POV was split between Enne, a newcomer to the city, and Levi, someone who’d lived most of his life there. They balanced each other well. Enne was more innocent, only in the city to find her adoptive mother, and determined to do so even though she had no idea where to start. She was naive and at times, a little bit of a snob, but she grew so much through the book. Levi was the leader of the Irons gang, probably the nicest gang leader out of all of them. He may have agreed to help Enne for selfish reasons but he came to care about her. He cared about all of his members but it seemed like he may have been stretching himself too thin trying to be the Iron Lord, being caught up in a scheme at work, and helping Enne.

Two supporting characters really stood out in Jac and Lola. Jac was Levi’s second, his best friend, and he was a complete charmer. I fell in love. Lola came in a little while into the book but her introduction was very memorable and I loved the relationship that developed between her and Enne.

The plot revolved around two main points. Enne’s mission to find her adoptive mother and Levi needing to find enough volts, or currency, to pay off someone he’d scammed. Working together was a perfect solution since Enne had volts and Levi had connections. It took its time to develop the setting, talk about the past revolution, unveil the mysteries of what was called blood talent vs split talent. It was all very interesting and I really couldn’t put this book down.

I’m so happy that this is the first in a series. I cannot wait to see where it goes.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

Furyborn

Furyborn

Release date: May 22nd 2018

Goodreads: When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

Why I’m excited: I love the cover, it caught my eye right away. I’m already intrigued to see how the fates of these two girls will come together.

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