Friday, 19 August 2016

Goldenfire

****
4 Stars/5


Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for giving this book to review.

Goldenfire is a really good sequel set a couple years after Darkhaven, which left me on the edge of my seat as there was so much going on, lots of POV and a real page turner. There is action, romance and well written three dimensional characters with their own strength and flaws. I found the alchemy in this story interesting. However, while there were a lot of twists I guessed the assassin much easier than I did the mystery in the previous books.

Ayla is more confident in this book but does keep judging herself compared to her father and his rule, and she therefore has to shoulder a lot of the responsibility of ruling. Tomas is still loyal and determined but we also see him as a clever leader even though he does not see this as he has lots of insecurities about himself. I really like how mature and realistic Ayla and Tomas relationship is and shows they love each other while they still argue.

There are so many characters in this book, with people from the last book, Elisse and Sorrow, as well as the new Helm recruits like Ree, Zander and Penn. I was annoyed with Serenna’s character as in the last book she was willing to consider leaving being a priestess for Myrren but not for her own child, I felt that really did not fit her character.


I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to more novels in this world. I would recommend Goldenfire to fans of the first book Darkhaven. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Bound by Love

****
4 Stars/5


Bound by love is the last book in the Elven Princess series and is a fun light read. This book is slower paced than the previous books but in a good way as there is more suspense and less action and constant kidnappings. This book also has more romance but it is very innocent and in a more fairytale fashion.

Arabella is intuitive, sincere and has grown stronger as the trilogy continued and does not give up. Robert has more responsibilities on his shoulders but he is still dependable, charismatic and diligent. Jocelyn comes across as unassuming but she is sociable and an empathic person and I feel she has become my favourite character in this series.


I did not see the twist at the end coming and I am looking forward to reading what Janeal Falor writes next. I would recommend Bound by Love to fans of the first two books in the Elven Princess series, Bound by Birthright and Bound to Endure, and this series to fans of light fantasy.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Bound to Endure

****
4 Stars/5


Bound to Endure is the second very enjoyable and fast paced book in the Elven Princess series. This book has non-stop action and a forbidden romance. This book is fun to read but more serious than the previous book, but it is not as dark as it very easily could have been.

Arabella is emotional and courageous in this book and is selfless when it comes to her country and people. Robert is friendly and considerate and also adventurous and versatile. I like that we got to know Abner better and while he is still aloof he comes across in a more good light. I also liked Jocelyn and how she was a good friend to Arabella but the friendship is not the healthiest as Arabella is very clingy to her.


I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the last book in this series Bound by Love. I would recommend Bound to Endure to fans of the first book Bound by Birthright.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Bound by Birthright

****
4 Stars/5


Thanks to Netgalley and Patchwork Press for giving me this book to review.

Bound by Birthright is a very likeable light fantasy novel. It is very fast paced with action, romance and adventure. However, the insta-love was irritating and for the most part I found the story predictable.

Arabella is na├»ve, friendly and impulsive and for the most part I liked her but she did act a bit too proper and self-centred and I wished she would realise what it is like for her staff. Robert is protective and hardworking while also being loyal and open minded. There are lots of other characters in this book such as the mothering but stern Constance, the elf hating Abner and Arabella’s maids Jocelyn and Emeline, but I hope they are more fleshed out subsequent books.


I did not expect that ending and it is going to make things interesting in the next book Bound to Endure. I would recommend Bound by Birthright to fans of Cutlass by Ashley Nixon and Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Weeia on my Mind

***
3 Stars/5


Thanks to Elle Boca for giving me this book to review.

Weeia on my Mind is the second book in the Weeia Marshals series, which is an enjoyable Unban fantasy book. This story has mystery, action and romance and while mostly predictable there were a few twists I did not see coming. However, I get the feeling that Elle is not sure how she wants the series to progress, I could be wrong though, but it doesn’t feel as if it is working towards an end point like her previous series was.

Danni feels more secure in herself in this book and is determined to do a good job and to protect those in need, and is also short tempered and observant. Sebastien is considerate, friendly and easy-going but I was not sure if he was trustworthy as he seemed too perfect. I am glad Iaen is in this book but I hope in the future he is more part of the story instead of just the love interest.


I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I would recommend Weeia on my Mind to fans of the first book in the Weeia Marshals series Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia and those who enjoyed the Unelmoija series. 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Of Sand and Storm

****
4 Stars/5


Thanks to Amber Argyle for giving me this book to review.

Of Sand and Storm is the very good 3rd novella in the Fairy Queens series and like the others it is fast paced, well written and has good world building. However this is the darkest of the books as it deals with difficult issues such as slavery and sex trafficking. I would suggest you don’t read this story until you have read the previous books otherwise it could be confusing. One thing which lets this story down is that it had insta-love which I am not a fan of, and I got the impression from Winter’s Heir that Cinder would not have a love interest.

Cinder is determined, protective and like all of Amber’s protagonists she has strong inner strength. However, she is the most damaged of the heroines with a coping mechanism in numbers, and not surprisingly Cinder is not very trusting. The love interest,  Darsam, pretends to be flippant and cocky but is actually selfless, kind and gentle. Ash and Storm would do anything to protect Cinder and want her to have a better life than they did.


I love this series and I am looking forward to reading what Amber writes next. I would highly recommend the Fairy Queens series to fans of YA fantasy novels, especially to those who like Maria V Snyder and Trudi Canavan’s books. 

Monday, 1 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

*****
5 Stars/5


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the fantastic 8th story in the Harry Potter universe, and I have not felt this nostalgic and sentimental about a book since I finished reading The Deathly Hallows. This story has the same atmosphere as the books and I loved being back in this magical world again. It is a very quick and easy, with an engrossing plot, twists and turn and lots of familiar faces. Like the books, it focuses on friendship and love but also looks at the impact and outcomes from the decisions from the original 7 books.

I had to get used to reading a script layout instead of a normal book format which I did but because it is not a standard book I missed the emotional depth we see in characters in novels. One criticism is that it has a fanfic vibe to it, with all the old favourites back, and one thing in particular I felt was there to power the story and to make fans happy rather than it making sense in the original books (will talk more about this later).

I struggled to get on with Albus in the beginning as he came across selfish and with too much angst but he did grow on me. He feels he is disappointment as he cannot live up to his father and is an outsider. While the story points out often the Harry and Albus are different I felt their personality and beliefs are very similar, which is probable why they clash and quarrel often. My favourite character in this story is Scorpius as he is an outsider and geeky (and proud). He is the sensible best friend who is a follower not a leader, and is also kind and lonely.

Harry is stressed as an adult as he has to deal with being thought of as legendary and his traumatic childhood which has still left some big emotional scars. I also think fans will like and understand his struggles with being a good parent and feeling like he is doing everything wrong. Hermione has become more confident and determined as an adult and has a lot of responsibilities resting on her shoulders but is still the same character we know and love. However, I was very disappointed with how Ron was portrayed in this story. This is because instead of having the complex and overlooked Ron from the books we have the Ron from the films whose only role is to be the joker of the group.

Spoilers!!!!

The main thing which made no sense to me in this story was Delphi’s parents for two reasons. Firstly I got the impression from the book that as Voldemort became less human he lost interest in having sex and generally he saw people were pawns just used to get him more power, so him fathering a daughter near the end of his life did not ring true to me. Secondly, whilst Bellatrix adored Voldemort and would have very happily slept with him, how come no one knew she was pregnant or had had a child including her nephew Draco?

Spoilers End


That being said I love this book as it adds to the story of Harry Potter without copying it, and I am desperate to watch the play soon, to see this story in the format it is meant to be seen. I will always want more books set in this world and while J K Rowling says this is the end for Harry, I would love more books set either in the past or future. I would recommend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to everyone who loves Harry Potter and wants to find out what happens next.