Wicked Saints – Blog Tour

fcd7b-wickedsaints_blogtourbanner_before2b4.2

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Emily A. Duncan’s debut novel, Wicked Saints! I just want to say a quick thank you to Wednesday Books for inviting me to be a part of this tour because this book was absolutely incredible.

SUMMARY:

5b4a2-wicked2bsaints_cover2bfinal

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

My Review:

I’m not gonna, the first thing that came to my mind when I read the synopsis of this book was: AHHH! IT SOUNDS LIKE SIX OF CROWS!! Which, if you don’t know, is one of my all time favorites, but this book turned out to be much, much darker, which is not a bad thing. The world Duncan creates is both beautiful and brutal, with the lands being ravished by a seemingly endless holy war. Our main characters are Nadya, a cleric who can speak to all of the gods, Malachiasz, a blood mage who leads a group of rebels, and Serefin, a blood mage prince who is hunting Nadya, who I actually all really enjoyed (an impressive feat considering I always seem to find something to hate on hahaha). I will say I think Serefin is my favorite considering he is both a bisexual icon and one of my new favorite villains.
The book starts off by throwing the reader into the middle of an invasion which really sets the tone for the rest of the book. The pace is quick and the pages are full of action which makes this a hard book to put down. I will say that as someone who hates blood and needles and all things of that manner I was a little put off by the blood magic in the beginning, but I think it’s something really cool that a lot of other authors haven’t really explored. I also really enjoyed the Russian and Slavic influences on the story/world, and though Duncan did a great job in incorporating it naturally into the story. I also think she did a great job at setting up the religions of this world, something that actually reminded me of Bardugo’s other series the Grisha Trilogy, because that is extremely difficult to do! Despite all of my  comparisons to Bardugo’s books I truly believe this book stands on its own, and that Emily A. Duncan is going to be the next YA dark fantasy queen. I really want to talk about everything I loved in incredible detail, but, as this book doesn’t come out till April 4th, I shall restrain myself till then.
Overall, Wicked Saints is an amazing book filled to the brim with beautiful writing, brutal action, and an incredible story. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who loves fantasy–especially dark fantasy–and I need to get my hands on the next book asap!! I’m giving Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan 5/5 stars for being my, and probably everyone else’s, newest obsession.
Image result for 5 stars

About the Author:

41ad2-emily2ba.2bduncanEMILY A. DUNCAN works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science

from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through

interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video

games and dungeons and dragons. Wicked Saints is her first book. She lives in Ohio.

 

Social Links

Website: https://eaduncan.com/

Instagram: @glitzandshadows

Twitter: @glitzandshadows

Tumblr: http://glitzandshadows.tumblr.com/

 

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan releases on April 2nd, 2019.

 If you would like to pre-order a copy of Wicked Saints:

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

Macmillan

CG

We Rule the Night – ARC Review

We Rule the Night

By Claire Eliza Bartlett

Details:


Title: We Rule the Night


Author: Claire Eliza Bartlett


Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: April 2nd, 2019

 

Thank you so much to NOVL for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.

My Review 

I was so, so excited when I received this in the mail not only because of its definite bookstagram potential (just look at that cover!!!), but because of its completely epic synopsis. As a WWII inspired, feminist fantasy novel I had high hopes going into this We Rule the Night, and Bartlett certainly did not disappoint me.

This world is absolutely fascinating and very well fleshed out! It’s completely original and different to many of the fantasy worlds I’ve been reading about lately that have all blended together into a sort of fantasy mush. The war-torn feel comes across clearly, and leaves the world feeling very reminiscent of WWII. The magic system is so intriguing and completely intertwined to the world itself. With Living Metal, the Weave, and the Spark, I can confidently say that this magic system is unlike any other I’ve encountered in my many, many years of reading, which is a truly astonishing feat. The closest thing I can think of is Leo from The Heroes of Olympus, but that doesn’t even compare to how detailed and imaginative the magic system is within these pages.

I literally felt as if I could not put this book down, and somehow managed to finish it within a few hours of picking it up. The action is great, the world it great, and the characters might be the best part of it all. Our main characters, Revna and Linne, are incredibly complex, capable, badass females we all need in our lived. They each had a certain depth to them which brought them to life, and I found myself cheering them on from the sidelines as they faced challenge after challenge. Bartlett clearly put lots of time and effort in developing these characters, and it clearly paid off. I really have nothing bad to say aside from the fact that the plot seemed to slow down and lag at times, but that didn’t do too much to hinder my enjoyment.

In conclusion, I give We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett four and a half out of five stars for fulfilling my feminist fantasy dreams. I highly recommend We Rule the Night to anyone and everyone, but especially to all of the females out there who love a good fantasy novel.

If you would like to pre-order We Rule the Night

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

-CG

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Book Review

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

By Virginia Boecker

Details:


Title: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason


Author: Virginia Boecker

 


Pub. Date: October 23rd, 2018



Synopsis:

When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself.

Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play–it’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on. 

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

My Review 

As a fan of Shakespeare and historical fiction in general, I was itching to get my hands on the books from the moment I read the blurb. An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason has to be one of the most entertaining YA historical fiction novels I have ever read. It’s a wonderful take on classic Shakespearian tropes that I can see many, many people enjoying. 

A royal spy and an orphan out for revenge on the people who killed her father, Toby and Katherine could not be more different. One is out to prevent the people who are plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth and the other out to assassinate her. Katherine disguises herself as a boy, Kit, and auditions for a play which is being put for the queen in order to assassinate. The play itself is actually being put on by Toby who is using it to Lure the assassins in and stop their plotting. Over the course of the novel the two start to develop feelings for each other, and, of course, drama ensues. I really enjoyed both characters, and the similarities with the play which is being performed, Twelfth Night. I loved how we got to see Katherine grow and find herself over the course of the novel, and I found her story to be very relatable and empowering. Toby was so passionate and funny–he’s a character that you can’t help but like. The only real issue I had with this book was the pacing. I felt that there were a lot of things that could have been sped up such as all of the plotting, the investigating, even the relationship between the two main characters. The ending though, that definitely made up for the pacing issues. It was fun, exciting, and the perfect way to tie up the novel. One thing I really need to give props for is how well researched this book was. Reading it, I could tell that Boecker actually put effort into trying to make things as historically accurate as possible which is something that not every author does.

In conclusion I give An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason four out of five stars for being a fun-filled read as well as one of my new favorite YA Historical Fictions. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but especially to fans of Shakespeare.

              

If you would like to order An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

-CG

Furyborn – ARC Review

Furyborn

By Claire Legrand

Details:


Title: Furyborn


Author: Claire Legrand


Page Count: 512


Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


Pub. Date: May 22nd, 2018


Synopsis:


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. (Goodreads Summary)


Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of Furyborn through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Review 


            I was so sad to see that I had missed receiving an arc of Furyborn in the November ‘Ladies that Slay’ Fairyloot box, but then I was granted an ARC off of Netgalley and all of my sadness was forgotten because I finally had the book in my hands! I didn’t read too much about it before starting because I wanted to be surprised, and I think I have discovered one of my new favorite fantasy novels of all time!

            Legrand does a fantastic job of weaving two stories together in Furyborn–Rielle’s story and Eliana’s story. Though the two take place in different time periods, they are connected in multiple ways which are revealed as the story goes on. Each chapter switches back and forth from Rielle to Eliana, which some people might find annoying, but I was so invested in both story lines that I didn’t mind it at all. It seemed to me, even though the book is over 500 pages, that it is very fast paces and almost every chapter ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. There were multiple times throughout Furyborn that I found myself completely caught up in the story, completely oblivious to the outside world. I managed to finish it in one sitting during an 11 hour plane ride, and I could barely notice the crying baby just three rows ahead of me. I thought that the plot itself was brilliant. Rielle is a lady who has grown up in court hiding her powers over pretty much every element from everyone else, until her best friend, the prince, is in danger. After revealing her power, the people are frightened, and she has to prove to them that she is the good queen, the Sun Queen, who has come to help the world. She’s put through a series of trials to prove herself, and in the midst of the difficult physical challenges, she’s going through several things in her personal life–like how to deal with this voice which has appeared in her head and her feelings for the crown prince who just happens to be engaged to one of her other best friends. That’s pretty much all I can say about Rielle’s story without spoiling it. Now, Eliana’s story reminded me somewhat of Celaena/Aelin from the Throne of Glass series. She’s a bounty hunter working for the government, but after her mom gets captured by a mysterious group who’s been kidnapping women and a group of deadly assassins try to recruit her–her life gets turned upside down. Oh, and she also has these powers she can’t explain. I really can’t say too much about her story because then I really would be spoiling it, but I think I liked her story slightly more than Rielle’s because I found it less cliche. 

            Aside from her wonderful storytelling abilities, Legrand also possesses the ability to create an abundance of characters you just can’t help but care for. The two main characters, Rielle and Eliana, are both bad ass women. There’s a constant juxtaposition between the two, and by switching perspectives each chapter, the reader gets to see how they both react to somewhat similar situations. Rielle has been forced to hide her powers her entire life in fear of what might happen to her if someone was to find out, while Eliana is the famed ‘Dread of Orline,’ a famed assassin who’s just trying to survive and keep her loved ones safe. I found myself enjoying both characters for several different reasons, and I enjoyed both of their characters immensely. Aside from the main characters, Legrand includes a plethora of side characters people are sure to love. My personal favorite is Simon, also known as The Wolf, because he is the perfect companion for Eliana, and, I’m not going to lie, they are one of my new favorite ships. In Rielle’s story, she has two best friends, Ludavine and Audric. I adored Ludavine because I could see a lot of my best friend in her, and Audric was so sweet and truly cared for Rielle. Now, let’s talk about the big, bad Corien. I loved him. I thought the way Legrand introduced him as a voice inside Rielle’s head was wonderful, and he definitely gave me some Darkling vibes which was just the cherry on top. I can’t go into too much detail on the characters in fear of spoiling something for y’all, but just know that each and every one of them is fantastic in their own way.


                In conclusion, I give Furyborn by Claire Legrand five out of five stars for being a refreshing, new fantasy novel everyone is sure to love. I already can’t wait to read the second novel, and the first isn’t even out yet! I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fantasy lover, as well as anyone who is looking to get into fantasy. I can’t wait for everyone to read it–I’m bursting at the seams to discuss it with someone! 

If you would like to pre-order Furyborn

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

-CG