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Sunday, July 31, 2022

A Kingdom of Flame and Fury by Whitney Dean

 



Blurb: 


At ten years old, Raven was mysteriously willed to be the next ruler of Seolia, a kingdom nestled within the realm of The Four Kingdoms.

Orphaned as a baby, she has spent fifteen years ruling over a kingdom she believes she did not earn all while hiding secrets: she possesses dark magic and she thirsts for blood.

Now at almost twenty-five years old and with a sudden addiction to stealing life, Raven must fight through her new procured darkness to save her soul, but when a mysterious stranger arrives in her kingdom, she starts experiencing vivid dreams that detail who she truly is. As she slowly starts to unravel her story, what she uncovers at the end of the spool will change the course of her life and her kingdom forever.


Thoughts:

There's some good things, and some bad things in this novel, and I think I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

The good...this was a well paced book, with great world building. Raven's character and history I felt was fairly original, her not knowing her past or even why she had magic. We gradually get into her history...but I won't ruin it for you.  It unfolds nicely. Also...I love a good romance triangle.  We definitely get that, except...we always kind of know who is right for her.  Missed opportunity...the beauty of an achingly good triangle is that both could be really good for our MC.  Instead the author makes both of them kinda lame choices for her.

Queen...you don't need a man.




Things I didn't like. I am not a fan of insta-love.  There could have been any way to go about this, but they hardly knew each other and there were crazy sex scenes and love proclamations and they barely knew each other's names.  I also got annoyed at the scene repeats, the author would replay scenes from a different person's perspective. It seemed to slow the book down, and I didn't need to see what happened twice, and she did it A LOT.  The sex scenes dominated the book at the beginning making me think initially this was just some light smut...but there was a story there. Also...the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger with lots of things being left unresolved. Brace yourself.

Overall this book just barely scrapes by with three stars for me. I just was not that into it. 

Steam factor 10/10.


Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Driftworld Atlas




Blurb 

Like snowflakes in a snow globe, the worlds drift across creation. And, recording their tales, is the Driftworld Atlas.

When an eternal traveler finally awakens, he does so in a world that has been shattered to ash. Creation has been stained by a crime, and while his jumbled memories provide no answers, a single note is left to guide him forward. "Let's drink, come find me."

 

But to follow this message, he has to get help, from a witch who knows how to read the sea, trapped in a prison of her own making. The problem? Clearly his old habits, for why shouldn't he take in the demon needing his soul he found along the way? When unlikely connections emerge from the sea, threatening to put his search to an early end, the answer is simple. Because his biggest obstacle has always been himself – and old enemies don't wait.


Thoughts:


I initially was drawn in to this book based off the cover, and it's ethereal beginnings. In this story we follow the "eternal traveler" who looks at the world through this childlike, yet immortal wonderment. Everything seems to have a touch of humor, even serious and deadly situations, yet on the flipside small inconveniences....like being woken up, or having plans changed seem to upset him more.



Overall the book was a fun light hearted read, will quick dry humor. The writing style took some getting used to at the beginning, but I felt it evened out for a pretty enjoyable story. Readers who enjoy high fantasy would love the book.



Rating: 3.5 stars!


Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!



Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Droplets of Magic: A Review




 Book 4 of the Unstable Magic Series by Emily Bybee

Blurb:

Kira’s spells always end the same—rain and violent storms. She’s what’s called a Defect, and that means one of two things in the witch world—losing your magic or death. After faking her demise, Kira is in hiding. She risks exposure and travels the world, making the Defective magic that would get her killed into a gift by bringing rains to places that most need water.

The witch world has changed in the ten years Kira’s been gone. Kira doesn’t know that she has a much bigger part to play against an ancient danger that threatens the entire world. But the witches want her for their own greedy plans. Her only chance to escape the witch council is to hide in areas where her storms go unnoticed. After one last stop in Africa, she plans to disappear again.

But Kira’s past catches up with her and a decade old blood debt comes due. As if being prey to the witch world isn’t enough, her family’s history with the Russian Mafia causes an enemy who was once her childhood friend to hunt her down. She and her only ally Alex—a na├»ve American—team up to escape the underworld warlord. As Kira’s feelings for Alex grow, she fears he will be caught in the crossfire. To settle this debt, someone will have to die.



Thoughts:
This is book 4 in a series, and I wish I had read the other books first. Having said that, I still was able to understand the world well enough and many reviews say each book in this series could be read as a stand alone. I love the idea behind of intermixing a bit of science in the magic. Kira's gift is water, and she can manipulate water and even turn oxygen and hydrogen molecules in the air into water. Even with such a strong power, she is considered a defect.

This was a very much a cat and mouse type of book. Kira is being chased by the Russian Witch Mofia and her childhood friend and former betrothed Rurik. Rurik tracks her and hopes to use her for his own political gain. There are lots of tense moments and the story is well paced. I wish the relationships had been given more depth. We learn why Rurik despises Kira, and there's a secondary romance story between Alex and Kira that I just couldn't get into. It almost felt like instant love and I didn't see any thing that would make them attracted to each other beyond physical looks and proximity. This lack of connection between what I think is supposed to be a fantasy romance book is what brought my score down for this one. Even with a lower than normal score I felt it was a good book overall.

Rating: 3.5 stars


Droplets of Magic is available for purchase now and is available on Kindle Unlimited!! Click here!



Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, July 11, 2022

Mother of Pearl by Blankah Madow: A Review



 Ya'll this adorable story I think is going to stick with me for a bit.  It was the absolute perfect escape. Read on.


Blurb:


Lured to a mystical land, Valeri must learn to harness a power deep within her.

Orphaned at a young age, sisters Valeri and Amelia shouldered the household responsibilities in their small village of Noor. Valeri was the hunter; Amelia the gatherer. While fishing one day, Valeri follows her instinct into the depths of the ocean despite a raging storm. She discovers the Mother of Pearl shell - which unbeknownst to her, unlocks the secrets of her ancestral power.

Knocked unconscious by the storm and washed ashore in a foreign land, she soon realizes she is thousands of miles from her sister, and there are wicked plans afoot. As she struggles to find a way to return home to her sister, Valeri befriends Prince Rulin at the magical court. In each other, they find purpose. But she must harness the newfound power within her blood first.


Valeri: Art Credit @siyana__art 


Thoughts:


Honestly, this blurb doesn't do this book justice. What I think I loved the most about this book was the MC secretly wishes she lived in a fairytale where a prince would save her.  Don't we all honey! She continuously digs deep and saves herself. And character development you guys. Valeri begins this book kinda lost and walking through the paces of every day, to finding her own direction making choices for herself and making changes for the betterment of her own life.The world building is gentle with out the dreaded info-dump and there were so many plots and twists. I love how the author pulls you in to read the next book with out a stressful cliffhanger.  Overall, well done! I can't wait for book 2!


Rating -- 4.5 stars!

Steam: 1 -- there was sex, but it was not described


Mother of Pearl by Blankah Madow releases August 23, 2022!



Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Queentide: A Review



Queentide is a fictitious dystopian novel that hits very close to home.



Blurb:

Australia in 2026 is not an easy place to be a woman.


Authoritarianism has crept into the country and women have lost their rights and voices. But Bodie and her militant granddaughter, Insley, are gambling everything to return them. They have set up a radical feminist group, Queentide, to steal the upcoming election and make Aboriginal politician, Kathleen, the next Prime Minister of an all-women Government. The ex-wife of a senior Minister, Lilith, vows to help them by sharing explosive secrets that will guarantee Queentide's success.


But two things might stop them. A state-backed, violent men's rights group and a bitter power struggle that threatens to tear Queentide apart. Can the women harness the storm and smash the patriarchy?Or will Queentide wreck itself?


Thoughts: 

I want to preface this review by letting you know, I am absolutely a feminist.  The last few weeks in the US with the court rulings has tipped me further towards the radical feminist side. So when I read books like this it just ignites my fury. So having said that.... I found this to be a difficult read.

 

In 2026 in Australia women had no voice, no control over their bodies, their lives, or their children. Poor behavior from men was often overlooked or excused and women were perceived guilty unless proven innocent.  When a woman left her marriage she very likely lost her children. Lilith bravely left her husband, and only seeing her children when he allowed her to. Bravely..she secretly began attending meetings with Queentide.  Where she met Brodie, an older woman with experience leading groups for women.






I personally read books that pull me out of reality so I can get a break however this book immersed me into a reality that was not far from where we are.   Women had no voice, men's poor behavior was excused.  Women were perceived guilty unless proven innocent, and when a woman left her marriage she very likely lost her children. Ya'll...we are only four years away from the reality in this book...and I know a lot of women fear the world this book built may be our not so distant future. 


I would have liked to have seen more intersectionalism in the book. There were lots of strong independent women in this book, with lots of tense moments.  Would Queentide be successful and get Kathleen elected, dispite all the odds stacked against her? Well I'm not going to tell you, go get the book. If you enjoy feminists books, or need a book to ignite your fury then this book is for you.


Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review. This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to bookshop here, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog. Thanks!