Monday, 31 March 2014

Death Sworn

4 Stars/5

17 year old Ileni is losing her magic and with that everything she has ever wanted, her place as the most powerful sorceress in the Renegai, the man she loves and her purpose in life. The elders send her to be the magic teacher to the group of assassins who they have an alliance with, but her real mission is to discover what happened to the previous 2 magic tutors who died under unusual circumstances. The assassin’s caves are not how she imagined and neither are the young assassins, some of whom are hostile towards her but all of them will to anything to stop the Rathian Empire and obey their master, even if they will die. With some of the assassin’s out to get her, more twists to how the two teachers died and her growing feelings towards her protector, Sorin, Ileni has to find out what is happening in the caves before it is too late.

Death Sworn is a really good fantasy book which is fast paced and an interesting read. I liked this book partly because, unlike most other YA books about assassins, they were actually deadly and would actually kill people. However, there is not much world building in this book as all we really know about the world was the assassin’s caves and not much about anywhere else.

I liked Ileni as she was fatalist and depressed about her situation but instead of mopping around and waiting to be killed, she was determined to go out fighting and is willing to stand up for herself against a cave full of deadly assassin’s. Sorin is reserved, does not show much emotion and comes across as cold, but he is willing to bend the rules and is caught between his feelings for Ileni and his loyalty to the cause. I would have liked to have known more about Tellis as he was an important part of Ileni’s past but I knew nothing about him.

I really enjoyed this book but I hope we get to see more of the world and learn more about Ileni’s past in the next book. I would recommend Death Sworn to fans of Stolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen or Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Death on The Empress

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Stuart Harper for giving me this book to review.

In an alternative Britain, 14 year old Oliver starts a new job with his uncle on the largest airship built, The Empress. However, a curse seems to be on the ship as a passenger goes missing, a priceless jewel is stolen and a ghost has been seen on the ship, Oliver realises that not everything is as it seems. Is Oliver, along with other crew member Grace, able to figure out the mystery that is happening aboard The Empress?

Death on The Empress is a good steampunk mystery, and while I am older than the target reader, I enjoyed reading as I wanted to see what happened next. The book is a quick read and I could not guess what was going to happen next.

Oliver is an interesting character as he is an inquisitive teen who is not happy to leave a mystery unsolved, but is also friendly and gets on well with and tries to be helpful to everyone. All the other characters are unique and interesting, but some of them did feel a bit over the top.

The ending was surprising as I really did not see it coming and I am interested to see what happens next with Oliver. Both boys and girls will enjoy this book and I would recommend Death on The Empress to fans of Artemis Fowl.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The 5th Wave

3 Stars/5

The first 4 waves have killed Billions of people and now the few people left are waiting to see what the aliens have planned next. 16 year old Cassie is running from a silencer, an alien who look like a human and who kill any human they see. After being shot in the leg, Cassie is rescued by Evan Walker who may be her only hope to rescue her 5 year old brother, but with people not always being what they seem can she trust Evan. At the same time Zombie driven by the guilt that he could have saved his baby sister is at a military camp and is trained to be a solider, but is everything as it appears.

The 5th Wave is a good and dark dystopian book but it was a slow read, especially the start as I found it hard to get into. Yancey is really good at making you unsure who is a human and who is an alien as I kept on guessing. What I don’t understand is the effort aliens went to with their plans as they could have done it easier.

Cassie is a bit of an annoying character as firstly I did not like that the world was in ruins yet she goes weak at the knees around the first good looking man she sees. Secondly I did not understand why she waited so long to rescue her brother which makes her seem weak compared to Penryn from Angelfall. I liked Zombie better as while he made a lot of mistakes, he tried to learn from them and I can empathise with his guilt.

I enjoyed The 5th Wave and would recommend it to fans of Angelfall by Susan Ee.

Friday, 21 March 2014

White Hart

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Sarah Dalton for giving me this book to review.

There is only one craft-born every generation and because the realm needs magic again the king has said that the next craft-born has to marry his son Prince Casimir. Mae is the craft-born but does not want to be a princess instead she wants be with her father and someday have adventures, when Ellen another girl from her small town claims she is the craft-born, Mae is happy to let her marry Casimir. But on the day Prince Casimir comes to their town, Ellen is kidnapped and Mae’s father is murdered. Mae, along with Casimir and Mae’s white stag Anta, go into the cursed Waerg woods to find those responsible. However, will Mae’s quest for revenge overcome her fear of her craft-born powers being discovered?

White Hart is a good YA fantasy novel which has the classic fantasy and fairytale feel, as it has a quest, young love and magic. I liked how descriptive the Waerg woods are as they come across as creepy, not just because of the creatures in it, but its general atmosphere.

Mae is a very impulsive and a bit of a whiny character, but I understood her desire to leave her town where she is an outcast looking for adventure even though it is a bit cliché. I liked Cas as he is more complex than he first appears to be, although he is oblivious and wanders into danger all the time, but I liked how he grew to appreciate Mae and see her as more than just a poor farm girl. I also liked Sasha as she says what she thinks and was willing to help Mae and Cas even when they had not been kind to her.

This book ends on a cliff-hanger I did not see coming and I am interested to see what happens next. I would recommend White Hart to fans of Witch Song by Amber Argyle and Cornerstone by Kelly Walker. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Burning Sky

4 Stars/5

Iolanthe is an elemental mage who has spent all her 16 years living a quiet life with her unreliable guardian, Master Haywood, but when trying to fix a potion with a lightning bolt, she sparks a chain of events she could not imagine. Titus is the figurehead prince of Elberon which is run in all but name by Atlantis. Whilst he comes across as spoilt and rude, this is just a mask as all his life he has been preparing to protect and help the greatest elemental mage ever to defeat the leader of Atlantis, the Bane. His is drawn to Iolanthe’s lightning bolt but is surpised to see that she is a girl. Having to hide from Atlantis’s agents they go to the non-magic land of Victorian England, at Eton collage, were Iolathe has to pretend to be a boy called Archer Fairfax. With Atlantis closing in and Titus and Iolanthe mixed feelings for each other will they be able to complete Titus’s mission.

The Burning Sky is a really good fantasy book which has complex characters, an interesting world and story, and is hard to put down. While this book is well written and most of the time the pacing is good, it was a bit slow during the middle of the book. I really like the idea of element mages as it was fascinating to read about yet easy to understand.

Iolanthe is a likeable character as she is vulnerable and in a totally foreign place but she has a resolve and inner strength. Titus is brave and dedicated to his destiny but he can also be cunning and ruthless, he is also very lonely and conflicted as he cannot show his true self to anyone. However, while Iolanthe and Titus work well together and have a nice slow building love/hate relationship, they are both just too perfect and are good at everything.

I am looking forward to see what happens next to Titus and Iolanthe in The Perilous Sea. I would recommend The Burning Sky to fans of YA fantasy.

Sunday, 16 March 2014


1 Star/5

Thanks to Netgalley and 47North for giving me this book to review.

Tyrus of Kenatos believes the end of the plague, which ravages the kingdoms, is in Scourgelands, but his quest fails and most of his party don’t survive. Now years later he sends his nephew, a Druidecht, Annon, to find a hidden treasure to purchase his twin sister, Hettie’s, freedom along with the help of warrior-monk Paedrin. However, they find out that they have been manipulated and the ruthless leader of Kenatos, Arch-Rike is determined to stop them.

Fireblood is not a bad book, but I was bored while reading it and did not care about the story. I could not connect with the characters as they came across as stereotypical.

Fireblood is not a terrible novel but it did not hold my interest so I could not finish it.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Cruel Beauty

3 Stars/5

Since birth Nyx has known she will be sacrificed to the Gentle Lord because of a bargain her father made, and she loves yet resents her sister, Astraia, as she is the daughter her father chose to live. On her 17th birthday Nyx is married to the Gentle Lord and is sent to live with him in his castle. However, she has a plan, as with her Hermetic powers she must find a way to break the 900 year old curse on the people of Arcadia. But the Gentle Lord, also known as Ignifex, and the castle are not what she imagined and she finds herself drawn to him as she does not have to hide who she is. Is Nyx able to complete her mission to destroy Ignifex even as she grows to love him?

Cruel Beauty is an enjoyable YA book but I found it hard to connect to and it seemed too complicated. The book is kind of based on Beauty and the Beast but only loosely, and I felt it was more inspired by Pandora and other mythologies.

I found it hard to like Nyx as she was not a nice person, I could understand why but it did make it hard to connect to her, plus she was so conflicted and the whole book was her having an inner battle with herself. Ignifex is a mysterious character as you could see how evil and heartless he is yet at some points he was sweet and kind of compassionate, and he reminded a lot of The Darkling from the Grisha series.

This is a good book but it was let down by the characters, I would recommend Cruel Beauty people who want to read a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a unique mythology.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Beautiful and The Damned

3 Stars/5

Cyn Hargrave is on the run after blacking out, and waking up covered in blood and her boyfriend, Hunter, dead next to her. After hiding out in a small town for a few months, things start to go downhill for her with her blacking out more often and a cop from her home town, Sleepy Hollow. With her being able to influence people, her blacking out and seeing other people’s faces in the mirror Cyn finally turns to an unlikely ally. Avian, the thirteenth Revenant, has always felt like an outsider and has had an unfortunate history with Echo’s like Cyn. Together they try to break her connection to the evil soul inside her before it destroys her.

The Beautiful and The Damned is a companion book to the Hollows trilogy, and is a quick read, which, at first, the story is a bit uninteresting but it definitely picked up and I was on the edge of my seat to see what happens next. It has been a while since I have read the Hollows trilogy and while I was a bit lost with some bits, I was able to follow the story.

Cyn is a strong chick as she has been through lots and yet she still fights to survive, and also she could also easily abuse her powers, but she doesn’t as she is a good person. Avian is a complex character as he is scarred from his past, and is dealing out justice to though who deserve it, but is very loyal to those he cares about. I thought there would be more romance in this book than there was, as it was really subtle. I really like that there is a cameo of Abby and Caspian as it was good to see them again.

I did not expect the ending and it was an interesting twist. I hope there is more books in this series as I would like to see more of Cyn and Avian. I would recommend to fans of The Hollows trilogy.

Friday, 7 March 2014


3 Stars/5

When Emariya learns that an enemy country has been holding her father captive for years, she will do anything to rescue him. She travels to Thalmas to marry Prince Torian, someone she has never meet before. However, on Emariya’s journey she is confronted by her mother’s killers and discovers that if she marries the Prince she will fulfil a prophecy which could curse everyone she cares about.

Cornerstone is a likable book which is fairly quick and enjoyable YA fantasy novel. However, I felt the prequel story, Jaded Stone, was more enjoyable as I felt there was more of a plot and intrigue.

Emariya is a nice yet naïve girl, but I liked her as she wants what is best for her kingdom and those she loves. We don’t get to see much of Torian in this book but he was a good hero as he was very charming.

I would recommend Cornerstone to fans of YA fantasy books such as Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Stolen Songbird

4 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for giving me this book to review.

Cecile de Troyes is looking forward to moving to the city to sing, until she is kidnaped on her way home and taken beneath the Forsaken Mountain to fulfil a prophecy to set the trolls free. For 5 centuries the trolls have been trapped under the mountain because of a curse a witch put on them. Cecile is bonded and married to the troll prince Tristan but all she want to do is escape, but while she binds her time looking for the opportunity, she sees the unjust way the human-troll half-bloods are treated and starts to fall for Tristan, who is the rebellion’s secret leader. With both Tristan and Cecile seen as the hope for the trolls, she wants to help the people, but is she willing to risk her freedom for them?

I really enjoyed Stolen Songbird as it is a good YA fantasy book with romance, intrigue, rebellion and magic. I have not read any books about trolls and, while they were not what I usually think of as trolls, it was an interesting new fantasy creature.

Cecile is a good leading lady as she is not special but is still willing to help the race which kidnapped her and she is very strong willed and compassionate, however, I felt that she accepted her situation way too easily. I also liked Tristan as he is complex, as he has to be seen to agree this his father, while trying to help his people and at the same time struggling with his feelings for Cecile. I liked the romance, as it developed slowly, and they had to get to know each other, and understand the others situation, before they could trust and like each other.

I really want to read the next book as it ends on a big cliff hanger. I would recommend Stolen Songbird to fans to Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.