The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

“You can’t assume that because you have plenty to eat that everyone does.” 

– Cinda WIlliams Chima

Series: Seven Realms #1

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Date Published: 6 October 2009

Page Count: 524

Source: ebook (own copy)

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off. One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her—including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for. The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I immediately took a liking to the US edition of the cover rather than the UK edition. I felt the colours blended together much more seamlessly and love the final touch of the amulet being the main subject on the cover. The writing was a very unique touch as I have not read a book that had the title going vertically instead of horizontally and I felt as though it gave the cover some character.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐

Majority of the characters presented in the book did not seem to captivate me as much as I felt they should have.

Han was the first character we were introduced to. In the beginning, I did not like him one bit. He appeared to me as reckless, almost stupidly so. As I got to know him in the book, I did grow a subtle liking towards him but I still felt as though he was lacking a lot of character development.

I felt the most connected to Dancer. I found him to be a much more likeable character but he was also very bland. There was nothing in his character that really stood out to me and I think he lacked the complexity he should have.

I was extremely conflicted when it came to Raisa. She came across to me to be extremely naive (although she was only sixteen) and almost selfish at the beginning. Later, I did change my thoughts and decided she was a very strong character and actually quite selfless.

Micah was not my favourite character, but he was my favourite development wise. He was strongly written and I felt as though he was written to be disliked and I loved that.

Amon to me was just a character lacking in personality, much like dancer. He didn’t catch my attention at all besides his relationships with other characters.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐

I was exceptionally underwhelmed by the overall plot line to this story and I felt like nothing extreme really surprised me. It was a very predictable read and the main plot twists I had already predicted within the first 5-10 chapters of the story.

I also felt as though this book didn’t really contribute much to the series and not a lot really happened which led me to be quite disappointed as I was expecting a little more from it. I almost would go as far to say that I would have enjoyed the series (keep in mind I have only read the first two books) if I had only read the last part of this book.

I really loved the magical aspect of the story though and the world building and magic system was something I really enjoyed.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐

The writing was nothing out of the ordinary. It was very easy to read and provided us with enough descriptive nature to get a decent grip on what was happening. It definitely dragged on in some places much longer than it should but other than that I don’t have much to complain about.

It was written in a third person style where the chapters alternated, following both Han and Raisa. This allowed a good contrast between Han and Raisa to be established.

Overall Summary⭐⭐⭐

The standards for this first book was set high for me and I was unfortunately disappointed. I was not captivated by the characters and was constantly let down by the predictability and blandness of the plot. I feel as though the book contributed little to nothing to the rest of the series and I hated the slow pacing of the book and the writing style seemed to be quite average. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike this book, I just found it to be nothing special and quite underwhelming.

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Furyborn by Claire Legrand

“I fear no darkness
I fear no night 
I ask the shadows
To aid my fight” 

– Claire Legrand

Series: Empirium #1

Author: Claire Legrand

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Date Published: 22 May 2018

Page Count: 512

Source: Own copy

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Summary

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first. One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart 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.

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I adored this cover. It was pieced together beautifully and the artwork, although relatively simple, was very eye catching and fitted the theme and tone of the book. I love the naked cover of the book (it is red) and there really wasn’t anything to fault in regards to the cover.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Although there were many characters, I’m only going to cover the two main characters who the story is initially about however there are many side characters whom I loved.

Rielle Dardenne was a character who lived by defying who she really was and who she was to become. She was taught from a very young age to fear herself and contain rather than to express. Her character was very complex and I could see the beautiful character development as the story progressed.

At first glances of the main characters, I was drawn to Eliana Ferracora the most.There was a contrast between Rielle and Eliana which was shown from the alternating chapters and I was able to distinguish their similarities and differences very easily.She was undeniably a badass and was willing to do anything for family, even if that meant sacrificing all the good in her.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐⭐

As soon as the story begun, we were thrown into a captivating prologue which set the entire tone for the story. Although at the beginning of the book I was not able to identify the significance of the prologue, as the story progresses I was able to begin to see the connection.

For the first part of the book I was very confused and wondering what was going on and trying to connect the dots for everything. I was challenged in this book and forced into a world which I knew nothing about.

I began to care about and wanted to understand everything. There were so many unanswered questions popping up in my head and I just kept reading more.

The plot was my favourite part. Although it was full of common fantasy tropes, It was pieced together perfectly and many things were connected when I did not even realise it. There were so many twist and turns, it had me on the edge of my seat.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I immediately found a liking towards the writing style. The chapters followed alternating characters (Rielle and Eliana), however, they were written in third person. The writing wasn’t intensely or overly descriptive but it expressed enough for me to imagine a vivid picture of what was going on in my mind as any book should.

I loved the pace of the writing, I found it rather easy to read once I got a grasp on the world and begun to understand the words I was unfamiliar with.

Overall Summary⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

An absolutely beautiful book, from cover to writing. I was drawn into the world of the Empirium and taken on a journey of a strong cast of characters and interesting plot. The prologue grasped me immediately and although I had no idea what was going on in the beginnings of the book, I felt compelled to read and read. I found the plot to be common but it was done so differently it caught my attention. The writing was quite simple but I still found it to be very descriptive in a minimal way. It sped the pace of the writing up. Overall, a solid read and I’m looking forward to when the sequel comes out.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

“Imagine you could erase your grief. Imagine you could forget your pain. Imagine if you could hide a secret. Forever.”

– Bridget Collins

Series: Standalone

Author: Bridget Collins

Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Adult

Date Published: 10 January 2019

Page Count: 438

Source: Harper Collins NZ

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Summary

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse. For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored. But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Immediately stunning at a single glance, The Binding cover took on a beautiful historic-like form which grabbed me from the beginning. The spine looks absolutely gorgeous on any bookshelf and the artwork on the cover was alluring and immediately reached out to me. It related perfectly to the story and I wouldn’t want any other cover. I loved the deckled pages as it gave a feel to the historic element of the book and the plot of the story itself, being about book binding.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

With a complex character basis, I was able to identify with many of the characters presented in the story and felt emotionally drawn to them. We get to see both the present and the past of many of the characters which definitely allowed to get a deeper grasp on who they are. I was swept off my feet by all of them and I wanted more.

Emmett, a distrusting and outcasted character. He was very interesting and curious and I felt like he was a very undeveloped character but not in the writing aspect. He had not yet experienced himself enough to know who he truly was and I felt as though that made him very lost but also very relatable to me. He seemed to be full of doubt, especially towards other people.

We are then introduced with Seredith, a great representative of an old aged person who had lived her life. I felt as though she signified a lot of mystery as whenever I was reading her parts, I just wanted to know more about her. She had a certain wiseness about her that can only be associated with age and I feel like this made me want to understand her and what she has done throughout her life.

Lucian, yet another beautifully written character, and probably my favourite character of them all. I loved how we were introduced to him, he displayed mystery and darkness which left you wondering who this person is and you wanted more, you needed more. I was instantly drawn to Lucian and I believed he had many sides to him which built him into a very complex and well written character overall. He possessed hatred, anger, love, kindness, gentleness and was a very contradicting but understandable character.

De Havilland was a minor villain in the story from what I gathered, he wasn’t evil but he was in no way good either. He looked down on others and viewed himself as superior. He was quite manipulated but he also did not pretend to be anything else. I felt like he cared about nobody but himself.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The book was split into three parts, each with it’s own plot and reasoning. I felt as though it was laid out perfectly and the contrast from each part was evident enough but recognisable to be the same story.

I was a little underwhelmed by the lack of magic in this book as a hard fantasy lover. It was a very subtle fantasy and form, something I am most certainly not used to as I usually indulge myself in high fantasy, but I eventually grew a fondness towards it. The plot took a turn for what I was not expecting and the story took a much different path. I was not disappointed by this, as I am quite fond of unpredictability when it comes to reading. Despite it not being what I expected, It was still a great story and I really felt drawn to it and loved every piece of it. I adored how books were incorporated into it in a very unique way and feel like this added a very unique element to the story.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I knew within the first few chapters that this was gonna be a beautiful read for me. The book was written in first person perspective and I guarantee you that I felt every feeling and every thought of the main character. The language use was enticing and wound me up in a coil of emotions which I crave from a book.

The three parts were all in first person, however the first two were in Emmett’s perspective whereas the last shows a perspective of another who I’m not going to mention.

Overall Summary⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

From the first sentence, I was caged by the book. I have no way of pinpointing exactly what it was, but this book spoke to me in a way that no other book has before. I felt like I was living in the book and it was so well written I was breathing in the words and becoming the words themselves. I adored the immediate mystery which made me want to read more and more. The characters pulled me in from the very beginning and I felt every emotion they did. They were put together extremely well and I felt like I was able to relate to each and every one in their own way. The plot was very unpredictable, especially from the second part as I was not expecting it to go in this direction however it did not disappoint me. There was only a subtle hint of magic in this, so personally I would not have categorised this to be fantasy. The language use in the writing was very enticing and beautiful and this added so much to the story. Overall, I found this to be an exceptional read.

January Wrap Up

In the month of January I managed to get through a total of twelve books which is one of my best months ever for reading. I started the year of strong and will hopefully continue to reach my goal of 40 books. Which books did you read this month? Without further ado, here is the books I read this month.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone

Publish date: 16 January 1997

Series: Harry Potter #1

Author: J.K Rowling

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

This was a reread for me, I enjoyed it just as much as the first time and found it to be a quick and easy read. It was the perfect read for my first read of the year. If you have not yet read this series, I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is purely magical and something one should not miss out on.

Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa

Publish date: 16 January 1997

Series: Harry Potter #1

Author: Joey Graceffa

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

As This book was a complete shock to me. If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did and although I love Joey, I didn’t know how good of a writer he would be. Yes, the writing wasn’t perfect but I was so overshadowed by the beautiful and unique plot and world that he created that it didn’t really bother me that much. I’m really wanting to pick up the sequel “elites of eden” but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere that I deem affordable.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling

Publish Date: 2 July 1998

Series: Harry Potter #2

Author: J.K Rowling

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

A second reread for me of the year and if you haven’t noticed by now, I am rereading the entire Harry Potter series this year. This book used to be my least favourite of the series but the more I read the book and watch the movie, I have started to grow a very special liking for it.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Publish Date: 23 October 2018

Series: Throne of Glass #7

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

The Throne of Glass series is a special series in my life. It is amongst my favourite and I felt drawn to the characters and the entire plot line of the story. It was sad to say goodbye to this beloved series but also very excited to see how it all ends and came to a close. I was happy to see all the relationships that remained and those that fell. The character development was very evident on those we were taught to hate and I loved the in depth understanding the finale gave us in approximately 1000 pages.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Publish Date: 22 November 2016

Series: Arc of Scythe #1

Author: Neal Shusterman

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

With my first five star read of the year came Scythe. A dystopian tale in which death is more uncommon than immortality. This book I started last year in September but for some reason I put it down just before half way and never picked it up again until this year. A mystery as to why I would do such a thing, I still later rated it the higher of any book this year.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Publish Date: 4 July 2009

Series: Hogwarts Library

Author: J.K Rowling

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

An adorable sized book with much to tell, I wanted something easy and light to read so thanks to one of my fellow bookstagrammers, I was able to pick up this little gem and give it a read. I had already read the illustrated and this one wasn’t too much different minus the fact that it was not illustrated. It was basically all the title says and I loved the little additional notes J.K Rowling added from the golden trio (as this was Harry’s book).

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab 

Publish Date: 23 February 2016

Series: Shades of Magic #2

Author: V. E. Schwab

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

A very solid sequel to the first book. The plot was very effective and leads up to a lot of suspense and I found myself turning page after page. This book did have a very slow start and little action for a long while however the beautiful writing style and new character introductions made the book into a perfect follow up book full of magic. I am looking forward to reading the final book.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Publish Date: 6 March 2018

Series: Legacy of Orïsha #1

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.75

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

This one was definitely a hard one to get into, I got very confused with the language but as I progressed through the book it started to grow on me and I actually came to really like it. The characters were a little difficult to empathise with but overall I did really enjoy reading the book once I got into it.

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Publish Date: September 2017

Series: Standalone

Author: Sarah Crossan

Rating: ⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

My first very disappointing read of the year and I must say. I did not like this book. The writing style was a real big put of and I was unable to connect with any of the characters. I am a highly sensitive person so this is actually something very important to me. I wanted to love this book but I just could not.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

Publish Date: 8 July 1999

Series: Harry Potter #3

Author: J.K Rowling

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

From all the times I have read this, it has never failed to amaze me. I am swept away into this magical book every time and with that we give it yet another well-deserved five stars. Nothing more needs to be said.

Foreign to You by Jeremy Martin

Publish Date: 11 February 2019

Series: Standalone

Author: Jeremy Martin

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

I received a copy of this to read from Nine Star Press through Netgalley. This was my first review copy I had received via Netgalley and I was quite intrigued by this book. I immediately grew a liking towards the writing style and really adored the uniqueness of the plot line and the story itself. In the end, I was very impressed with this story.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

Publish Date: 10 January 2019

Series: Standalone

Author: Bridget Collins

Rating: TBC

Goodreads summary

My thoughts

Despite not having finished this book yet, I decided to include this book in my January Wrap up as I do intend to finish it before the end of the month, however, I am only half way through it. It captivated me from the very beginning and potentially could be my favourite read of the month. I will definitely be writing a review so be looking out for that!

Foreign to You by Jeremy Martin

“I wonder what it would be like to look in a mirror and find someone foreign to you.”

– Jeremy Martin

Series: Standalone

Author: Jeremy Martin

Genres: LGBTQIA, Young adult

Expected publish date: 11 February 2019

Source: NineStar press via Netgalley

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Summary

The harmony between humans and fianna, a species of shape-shifting deer, begins to wither as racial tensions and deeply rooted resentment turns violent. Ruthless hunter Finn Hail and prophesied liberator Adelaide may be heroes to their own species, but they are enemies to each other. With war on the horizon, the reluctant pair must team up to find the most elusive of prey: the god of the Forest. As enemies press in from all sides, true intentions begin to show. For Finn to save the boy he cares for most, he might need to aim his gun at the very god he seeks. And Adelaide, with her festering hatred for mankind, will have to determine if peace holds true salvation for her people.

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The cover immediately caught my eye. The art is beautiful and unique, the colours are beautiful and I felt there was little to nothing to fault in regards to it. I really love the choice of fonts as they were all easy to read but still decorative to an extent and complimented one another very well. The cover was very relatable to the story and it tied in very well to the plot and characters nicely.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐

The characters was the let down of the story for me. I feel like they were confusing and very hard to understand and become part of their thinking. While this could be entirely due to my personal reason of not connecting to them or just the character not being developed enough.

Finn was the first main character we were introduced to. I couldn’t quite grasp his character as I wasn’t really able to relate to him. He felt like he did not want to be wherever he was at the time through the entire story and he was just out of place to me.

Adelaide was another main character and one I failed to understand. I would have liked her curiosity and unknowing nature to be far more evident as I feel like the level that was expressed in the beginning was not quite enough. She was a confused character overall, and when she was

Jay, although not a main character, I felt the need to do a brief analysis because he was my favourite character in the book. I feel like I got the most from him and his personality and could follow his character much easier than the others. He was a very gentle character, unwilling to cause pain to another. Despite this, he was very hard to intimidate due to his upbringing which I found to be amongst the most fascinating part of his character. He was forced to grow up quickly.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐

A fascinating concept right from the synopsis, the plot showed a very different direction and a concept laced with uniqueness. I have never read anything like it before and it was a great refreshing concept towards the usual Young Adult tropes you see constantly. I did notice that some concepts didn’t feel to be developed enough or not thought through as they should have been which let the book down a little for me. There were holes in the plot from time to time which I felt needed to be filled up but despite this, it was still thoroughly enjoyable to read. I did find the story to be quite slow paced, the concept was very hard to understand from the beginnings and because of this, I did get a little tired of reading from time to time due to the lack of understanding. The ending was thought out well, amongst my favourite scenes of the book and I was very content with how it all played out.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The writing style was my favourite aspect. The use of vocabulary and language features were beautiful and kept me turning page after page. I did feel as though the descriptive nature of the book did die down a little as you progressed through the book and I feel as though it wasn’t entirely consistent in regards with that writing style.

Overall Summary⭐⭐⭐.5

This book was most certainly not perfect but I felt drawn to the plot line and was quite fascinated by the overall uniqueness of the story, never reading anything even remotely like it before. The use of language features were beautiful and left me turning page after page. I was quite content that this book lacked many of the common Young adult tropes you read time after time in fantasy books. I found the book to be rather slow paced and the concept quite difficult to get a grasp on until the end, where you are given a better understanding. I also felt like I was unable to connect to the two main characters as to me they both seemed quite dull despite it being in first person perspective. I did, however, find a liking to the side character, Jay. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Most Anticipated books of 2019

2018 was a year which I found myself very underwhelmed by the releases and the year of reading in general. I found myself completing only 12 books and this year I am hoping to increase that number and find more excitement in the books I read. While these are not necessarily anticipated reads, they are more so a list of books that I am excited about and very intrigued to read whether it be in 2019 or the following years. What are your most anticipated reads of 2019?

1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Publish date: 15 January 2019

Series: The Gilded Wolves #1

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Goodreads summary

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

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.

2. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Expected Publish Date: 12 February 2019

Series: Crown of Feathers #1

Author: Nicki Pau Preto

Goodreads Summary

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

3. We hunt the flames by Hafsah Faizal

Expected Publish Date: 14 May 2019

Series: Sands of Arawiya #1

Author: Hafsah Faizal

Goodreads Summary

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

4. Children of Virtue and Vengence by Tomi Adeyemi

Expected Publish Date: 4 June 2019

Series: Legacy of Orïsha

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Goodreads Summary

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. 

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

5. Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zao

Expected Publish Date: 4 June 2019

Series: Blood Heir Trilogy #1

Author: Amelie Wen Zao

Goodreads Summary

A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A cunning conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.

The Cyrilian Empire: a glittering white sprawl of frozen tundras and ancient, snow-capped forests, where ice spirits roam beneath the flickering northern lights, and where slavers hunt Affinites — those born with powers to manipulate elements.

Born with a horrifying Affinity to blood, Anastacya Mikhailov has never believed herself to be anything more than a monster. Her curse rings true when an accident in the dead of the night results in the death of her father, the Emperor of Cyrilia — and she is sentenced for his murder.

But Ana knows what she saw that night: the scent of poison in Papa’s blood, and the face of a murderer vanishing into the dark.

Alone, hunted, and on the run, Ana makes a bargain with Ramson Quicktongue, a handsome yet dangerous underground crime lord: help her find the true murderer and clear her name in exchange for her alliance.

When Ana’s search lands her in the lair of the most powerful slave trader in the Empire, she uncovers a horrifying truth. A new monarch stands poised to lead the empire to a path of hatred and divisiveness, and Ana must stop her before Cyrilia falls to darkness. But first, she must come to terms with the monster she thinks she is and the heir she was destined to be.

In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin color, and good and evil exist in shades of gray… comes a dark Anastasia retelling that explores love, loss, fear, and divisiveness, and how ultimately it is our choices that define who we are.

6. Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Expected Publish Date: 3 September 2019

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #3

Author: Jay Kristoff

Goodreads Summary

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

New York Times and internationally bestselling author Jay Kristoff’s writing has been praised by critics and readers alike and has won many awards, including five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, and David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards.

7. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Expected Publish Date: 19 November 2019

Series: The Last Hours #1

Author: Cassandra Clare

Goodreads Summary

From #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare comes the first novel in a brand-new trilogy that stars the Shadowhunters of Edwardian London. Chain of Gold is a Shadowhunters novel.

Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London… and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.

James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero… and falling in love.

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

“We aren’t the worst things we did
or the worst things that happened to us.
We’re other stuff, too.”

– Sarah Crossan

Series: Standalone

Author: Sarah Crossan

Genres: Young Adult, Poetry, Contemporary

Date Published: 7 September 2017

Page Count: 385

Source: Own copy

My rating: ⭐⭐.5/5

Goodreads Summary

‘They think I hurt someone. 
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’ From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐

I found the cover to be quite beautiful, and something I would easily buy just by cover. The art style is beautiful and the title and author name is able to be read very clearly. One thing I feel the need to critique is the title, I feel as though it didn’t relate to the story as it should. Yes, there were references of the moon such as the last name of the family is ‘Moon’ and other brief moments when the moon is referenced. I feel as though it just didn’t compliment the story and there is a million better titles that could have been more suited.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐

Joe was made to be the main character of the story. It follows mostly his story and generally only exploits his feelings and whereabouts. I was not sure whether I really got to know Joe very well in the story, he was confusing but I feel that due to the writing style, I wasn’t able feel and live through him as you would if it were written as a traditional style. Family was clearly important to him, and he rarely seemed to connect with people. I just didn’t get much else from his character.

Ed was the second main character in the story. Although, I don’t think I would classify him as a main character, he was extremely important in terms of the plot. From being in death row, overtime I believe he eventually made peace with himself and accepted his future despite the unfairness of it.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐

The plot was undoubtedly excellent, very heartfelt and something that needs addressing in today’s society. It follows the holes and corruption present in the justice system and the effects a family whom has had a convicted member. Despite the heartfelt plot, I feel as though there was not enough depth and events happening in the book. It felt like things just didn’t really build up to anything and it simply started and ended. Despite the predictability of the end, I feel as though the plot was honest, as in saying “this is how it happens in real life” which I really commend.

Writing Style ⭐⭐

The writing style was most certainly the biggest let down for me in this story. While it is definitely a personal preference, it just wasn’t for me. The story was written as a poetry-like style and generally only incorporated short verses. I think this disallowed me to fully connect with the story and turned what was meant to be a very tearful and sad story into something that just lacked emotions. As a highly empathetic person, this surprised me, it made me quite disappointed as I would have liked to be really moved by the story.

Overall Summary⭐⭐.5

The idea of the plot was very heartfelt and addressing of a common problem we find throughout the world, the justice system. I appreciate the honesty and truth to the story but I felt as though it lacked a lot of things such a character development, side events happening and captivating writing language. I also felt is the title had little to no relevance to the story despite being referenced a few times. I hated the poetry and verse-like writing style as I felt as though I was not able to connect with the characters or what was happening in the story the entire time. A great concept, but not executed to my liking.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

“When your opponent has no honour, you must fight in different ways, smarter ways.” 

– Tomi Adeyemi

Series: Legacy of Orïsha #1

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction

Date Published: 6 March 2018

Page Count: 531

Source: Own copy

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐.75/5

Goodreads Summary

Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden. Zelie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The cover immediately appeared to be very ethnic based, recognisable as some kind of African-based culture. A dark-skinned female with bronze coloured emblems with very intense white and wavy hair. She also had some type of headband piece which was blue and red. The title and author stood out very well and is easily read with a very interesting font style. It coincided with the novel very well and definitely related to the characters in the story.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐.5

Zelie is the first character we are introduced to. I immediately observed she had quite a temper and has a very confident and headstrong personality. She is very overpowering to other characters and extremely confident in her abilities. She appears to have a guilty conscience, but only to those she believes does not deserve it. I feel as though her character was not consistent throughout the book as her temper didn’t seem to last past the first few chapters and I was unsure if she wanted peace or justice/revenge, which are two very different things.

Amari is quite the opposite. Amari grew up very priviliged as she is a princess and treated like one too, although neglected to some extent. She judged people not based on the prejudice she had grown up with, but rather what she believed to be right. She grew fond of her handmaiden, Binta, who she was taught to hate as she was maji. She was demonstrated to be brave, selfless and gentle (in a strong way), refusing her fathers demands. She was brought up to be cruel to maji and yet she remained caring towards them. I felt the deepest connection to Amari based on the three main characters.

Inan was the most interesting character in the story to me. His main desire was to live up to the expectations of his father to be a great ruler of Orisha. However, despite knowing what kind of person his father is, he still chooses to side with him over and over. We are shown compassion from him from the beginning, specifically towards his sister. Overall, I feel he is quite a conflicting character in the way that his heart repeatedly goes against his actions.

Although his point of view was not shown in the book, I believe Tzain was a main character too. He cared deeply for his family, his sister especially, where he would protect no matter the cost. He is quite a responsible character and tends to focus on what needs to be done. It confused me why his perspective was not included, as I felt like he was just as relevant as the other three characters.

I also feel as though there were some unnecessary romantic related relationships intertwined in the story that didn’t really need to be included. Despite that, some of it did contribute to the plot line and I feel as though it was very vital.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐.5

The plot was a typical fantasy plot line basis you see in many books. The main characters are set on a singular quest and that quest needs to be done. I didn’t dislike the plot but I thought it was nothing special and nothing out of the ordinary. It did it’s job but I would have liked it better if it were a little more interesting. I adored the magic system with the different clans and feel that really made the story stand out from other, but not necessarily the plot.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐.5

The writing style of this book was first-person where it alternated between three main characters. I feel as though for this story, a third person would have been together as it could get very confusing when swapping perspectives all the time, especially when the characters were in the same place. There was a inclusion of cultural words based on the world which I feel made the story very unique, although this did cause confusion to me quite often as it wasn’t always explained or obvious what the words meant.

Overall Summary⭐⭐⭐.75

My favourite part about this book was undoubtedly the cultural aspect and inspiration of African culture. I haven’t read many books with that set of inspiration so it was very refreshing to read something like that. The magic system was definitely one of my favourite out of most of the fantasy novels I have read. The characters, most I hated at first, but gradually took a liking to as the story progressed and I got to know them better and witness their relationships with one another. Overall, I really enjoyed the story.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

“Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy.” 

– Neal Shusterman

Series : Arc of scythe #1

Author: Neal Shusterman

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopian

Date published: 22nd November 2016

Page count: 443

Source: Own copy

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Goodreads Summary

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

The review

Cover Design ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I found the cover to be a very unique design and unlike any other that I’ve seen before. Both the author and the title name are both shown very clearly and stand out from the background. Despite the simplicity of the design, It came together very well and created a very eye appealing and intriguing cover.

Characters ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Right near the beginning of the book , we are introduced with three immediately recognisable main characters; Citra, Rowan and Scythe Faraday.

Citra has impeccable mental strength. She was very unsure when accepting to be the apprentice of Scythe Faraway but eventually determination overrules and her character development becomes evident where she releases that the job of a scythe would suit her and she would be good at it.

Rowan on the other hand showed to be very protective of the people he cared about, he had the mentality to eliminate right and wrong on his own without any source of influence and showed a general sense of selflessness which was demonstrated all throughout the book.

Scythe Faraday was what I would consider an “old soul” in the Scythe world, his age was most likely the influence of that and also a contribution of his astounding wiseness which he possessed.

Plot ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The plot, in my opinion, was executed perfectly. In the story we are mislead numerous times and taking on many journeys. I think it is safe to say that in this book, I was never once bored. This is most likely because of the fact that their was always something interesting happening which either led to my curiosity to find out more or just general interest to what happens. The entire concept of the thunderhead was also very unique and intrigued me so much that I can’t wait to pick up the sequel.

Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Scythe was written in a third-person style (while I do prefer first-person perspectives much more), I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it in this way. In each chapter, one character is generally focused on more which allowed me to understand the characters far more. It was almost like being inside their mind in first-person however it was completely in third-person.

Overall Summary⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book really amazed me and sparked curiosity within me that a book has not sparked in a while. It is a completely unique concept in every aspect and showcases multiple character personalities which I found to be especially enticing.

About this human.

Name: Shar

Age: 19

Personality: infp

Birthday: October 12

Starsign: Libra

Location: New Zealand

Hey there! My name is Sharnae/Shar and I’m a 19 year old Kiwi (New Zealander) who does not know how to adult yet. I’m currently just getting into my second year of University where I am doing a bachelor of arts majoring in creative writing. I have an adorable white cat called frost who only has one and a half ears. I’m in too many fandoms for my own good but that is okay.

In this blog, I am hoping to review the books which I feel like I have a decent opinion on (majority of the books I read). I tend to fall into the genres of YA and fantasy but will occasionally venture outside my comfort zone every now and then.

I’m hoping to post on here at least 2-4 times a month, also depending on how many books I read in the month this may vary.