Monday, 30 June 2014

Tower of Obsidian

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Leia Getty for giving me this book to review.

Kale mac Tadhg and Aoife of Westgate are childhood sweethearts but after a lengthy conflict, Kale is forced to choose his loyalty over his heart and breaks their engagement. However, Kale is then betrayed, taken captive and is ultimately sent on an impossible mission to slay the witch in a tower and free the land from its curse. Both Aoife and Kale’s best friend Aaron set out to rescue him but their journey is not as straight forward as they initially believed. With all their fates tied to the tower’s, will they be able to stop the curse without paying too high a price.

Tower of Obsidian is an ok historical fantasy as it was hard to get into and had a very slow pace, but did pick up a bit towards the end. It had an interesting plot, however, I did find it a bit confusing.

I did not get on well with Kale because he said he loves Aoife but if he did he would have fought a lot harder to stay engaged to her. Aoife is not much better as she is too impulsive and was so obsessed with finding Kale she did not treat her friends very well. I liked Aaron as he was kind and much more chivalrous than his noble friend. My favourite person was Fianait as she was fierce and had the most interesting POV, but about a third of the way through her story just disappeared which was disappointing.

Tower of Obsidian had potential but was let down by slow pacing and characters I found hard to connect to. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The First Crown

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Harry G Sherwin for giving me this book to review.

There is a new emperor on the throne of Justava, and the Masked Man is more cunning and ruthless than his predecessor. When Torrin, an explorer from a distant land, comes to Justava he comes across an old man who gives him a stone which is very dangerous and must be hidden, but the Masked Man will do anything to get his hands on it. Meanwhile the resistance needs more forces to fight the emperor’s tyranny, so Brenik divides his friends and sends Nalia and Yukov to Al Quidin to seek aid. While Ornith and himself go to Resgard, along with a young woman called Jess, who might be the key to success for the resistance.

The First Crown is a good second book, with lots of intertwining stories, action and drama, and had a very Lord of the Rings feel to it, especially with the stone. However, because I had not read the first book, The Darkening Lands, in a while, I had trouble remembering the different characters and some of the things that happened, but after a while I got back into it.

I like Brenik as he is surer of himself in this book and is accepting that he is a natural leader. Nalia has a lots of changes in her mood, but I don’t mind this because in the last book she came across as too perfect. I liked Jess as she has had a bad start in life but it has not turned her bitter, however, she did come across to me as not being too affected by it, which seemed a bit unnatural.

I don’t know if Nalia’s reveal at the end was meant to be a surprise, but I knew what was happening from the beginning. I am looking forward to the next book and would recommend The First Crown to fans of the first book, The Darkening Lands, and the Seven Kingdoms series to people who enjoy books that are similar to The Lord of the Rings.  

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Threats of Sky and Sea

4 Stars/5

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

Bree has lived a normal 16 years as a barmaid at her father’s tavern, until her father’s past catches up to them. Bree discovers that her Da was a good friend of the king but ran away after his last mission. With her father in prison, Bree is throw into a new life of politics and lies. Bree is desperate to free her father and escape but that becomes difficult when the king finds out that she is the weapon he has been waiting for. With time running out for Bree, her da and her friends, will Bree be able to unravel her past and escape from the king’s grasp before she is used to destroy a nation.

Threats of Sky and Sea is a very good if predictable fantasy book, with danger, a hint of romance and magic. It was slow to start, but as we got to know the characters it quickly picked up.

I like Bree as she stands up for herself but is also kind and handles the changes in her life reasonably well, however, because she was so headstrong it caused her problems as she did not know which battles to fight and which to not. Bree’s Da is a very mysterious person and even at the end of the book there is more to discover about him. Prince Caden is a charming character who is torn between loyalty to his father and what he believes is right. However, the characters which I was underwhelmed with are the villains, the king and lady Kat, as they are not original.

I saw the twist at the end I saw coming but I still want to see what happens next in Riot of Storm and Smoke. I would recommend Threats of Sky and Sea to fans of Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas or Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Girl with the Windup Heart

4 Stars/5

Mila, a part-automaton is struggling to find her place in the world, especially with the criminal mastermind, Jack Dandy, not seeing her as woman, she decides to leave his house in search for independence. Meanwhile whilst stopping a killer, Griffin is taken to the Aether and is held captive by his archenemy The Machinist. Finley, along with her friends, find that the only way for them to go into the Aether to free Griffin is for Finley to temporarily die. With The Machinist determined to destroy Griffin, body and soul, Griffin must confront his greatest fears but will he survive the destructive power within him.

The Girl with the Windup Heart is the really good final book in the steampunk chronicles, which is very fast paced with non-stop action and romance. There are 2 stories going on at once in this book and while I enjoyed Jack and Mila’s it felt like it should have been in a separate book or novella, as it was distracting form the main story.

Mila is a likeable character as she is a naïve and innocent young woman who, during this story, learns about both herself and others. In this book we got to see a different side of Jack as he was caring and protective. Both Finley and Griffin are the same from the other books, as they were strong and loyal, and were willing to do anything to save each other.

I really enjoyed this series and I hope Cross writes more books like this in the future. I would recommend The Girl with the Windup Heart and the whole series to fans of YA steampunk.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

For Better or For Worse

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Ingrid Nickelsen for giving me this book to review.

Evangeline has lived a long and happy life as a loving mother, wife and grandparent, until one day when she dies in a car accident. Evangeline wakes up in a new world, with the body of a young woman but cannot remember anything about her new life. To help guide Eve though this society of the dead she has 5 godparents who she can turn to, however, on her first night she meets a mysterious stranger called Will who claims he can help her get her memories back. Is Evangeline prepared to reveal her past, especially as not all is as it seems in her new home?

While For Better or For Worse had potential, I found it only ok as the plot was confusing and some things were not explained, such as why Eve had a younger body. However, while the story was slow paced at the beginning it did pick up about halfway through the book.

I just could not connect to Eve as I did not really understand why she did some things, like not opening her letters or following a stranger in the middle of the night. I found that Will was too mysterious as he did not tell Eve anything about himself, whilst expecting her to tell him everything. However, I felt very sorry for Josh in this book, I cannot explain why because of spoilers, but I felt bad for him at the end of the book.

While I found For Better or For Worse ok, I seem to be one of the minority, because most reviewers seem to really like it, so I recommend you read the synopsis and other reviews first before you decide if you want to read this. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Ruin and Rising

4 Stars/5

The Darkling now rules Ravka and Alina is recuperating under the dubious protection of the Apparat. But while the Apparat wants to control Alina and turn her into a saint, her plans are to find out if Nikolai survived and where he is and to find the third Morozova’s amplifiers, the firebird. While searching for the firebird along with Mal, David, Genya and Zoya, Alina unravels her connection to the Darkling and discovers his secrets. Alina must find the third amplifier as it is the one thing that stands between Ravka’s destruction, but will it cost her everything she has been fighting for?

Ruin and Rising is the very good and fast paced final book in the Grisha series, but it is not as brilliant as the first book. There is action, deaths and some surprises but I was hoping for bigger twists like what happened in the High Lord, in the Black Magician trilogy, however, the ending was very predictable.

Alina has grown since the beginning of the trilogy as she understands both her good and bad sides, however, is was a bit irritating how self-sacrificing she is. I like Mal as he is both good and brave, but I always find him a bit forgettable, especially compared to Nikolai and the Darkling. However, I love the Darkling as he really made this trilogy and I have missed him in these last 2 books.

Bardugo is a really good author and I am looking forward to see what she does next, though I would really like to read a prequel book about the Darkling. I would recommend Ruin and Rising to fans of the first two books of the Grisha series, or people who like the Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Mine to Spell

4 Stars/5

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

Since Cynthia’s older sister, Serena, did the unheard of in Chardonia and gains her own independence, Cynthia and her sisters have been free. But as Cynthia reaches her 17th birthday, to protect her family, she meets society’s expectations and is bought by a new master. However, when her new master attacks her, she reveals a secret, that she can do magic which it is believed that women cannot do. With the help of Lukas, a foreigner who want to change how Chardonia’s people are treated, Cynthia is willing to do anything to prove that women are more than possessions and are just as able as men.

Mine to Spell is the really good sequel to You Are Mine which is a feminist fantasy novel but does not do this by putting down all men. I like that there is more magic in this book and it is better explained than the last and also there is more romance but it is still on the light side.

Cynthia is just as protective as Serena and I like her as she has had to hide who she is and while is insecure is still willing to fight for independence for herself and others. I also like Lukas as he is brave but also kind and is a friend to Cynthia when she really needed one. I also enjoyed seeing characters that we met in the first book such as Serena, Zade and Waverly.

This is a really enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the next book. I would recommend Mine to Spell to people who enjoyed the first book You Are Mine and this series to those who like reading fantasy novels. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Mine to Tarnish

4 Stars/5

Katherine has never been comfortable being the property of males and when she is sold to an old repulsive warlock it drives her to run away. She is not prepared for life on the run with warlocks hunting her down and she is not sure who she should turn to, as a wrong decision will lead to her death. Mine to Tarnish is a very good prequel novella showing Katherine’s past which is full of action and a hint of romance. I like Katherine as she has an inner strength and a determination to take control of her life. I recommend that you read this novella after You Are Mine as you will enjoy Mine to Tarnish more.

Friday, 13 June 2014


4 Stars/5

The Shifter is an immortal who lives in Mistwood forest, who is strong, has amazing instincts, and can change her form, she is bound to protect the kings of Samorna when they need help. Isabel remembers nothing when Prince Rokan takes her back to his castle, nothing about who she is and what her powers are. Isabel protects Rokan even though she knows he is keeping the reason he needs her help from her. When the truth comes out and everything changes, Isabel faces a choice which threatens the person she is meant to protect.

Mistwood is a very good YA fantasy book which is full of secrets, lies, loyalty and romance. It is really descriptive but was very slow to start and struggled to pick up for the first third of the book.

I liked Isabel when she was more human, having and struggling with her feelings, but when she was acting more like The Shifter I just could not connect with her as she lacked emotions. I liked Rokan as he was nice but not perfect and made mistakes.

I like that this is a standalone book and has a good but final ending. I would recommend Mistwood to fans of Kristen Cashore and those who have enjoyed Leah Cypess’s other books. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


5 Stars/5

The countries of Idris and Hallandren are on the brink of war, so the king of Idris makes a deal by sending one of his daughters to marry the God King of Hallandren. However, when it is time to send one of them, instead of sending his oldest daughter, Vivenna, who has been preparing all her life, he sends his youngest and wildest, Siri. In Hallandren, magic is determined through the amount of breath people have, which controls how powerful you are and some who die come back as Gods. With princesses, Gods, Mercenaries and a mysterious man with an unusual sword, all having their own agenda, will there be peace between the two countries.

Warbreaker is a brilliant fantasy book full of political intrigue, action, romance and loads of surprises. Like most of Sanderson’s books it is big but you forget this as it so gripping. Also Sanderson has an amazing ability as each book or series has a unique magic system and interesting world building and this book is no different.

I like Siri as she coped despite being throw into a situation she had no choice in and was not prepared for. However, I found Vivenna a bit annoying and did not agree with some of her decisions. I really liked Lightsong as he is charming and a god who does not believe he is a god, which makes him unusual. I like Vasher as he is mysterious but one thing which did not seem right was his sword, Nightblood was referred to as a “him” but it definitely came across to me as a “she”.

I hope there is a sequel as I loved this book and I want to see what happened to all the characters. I would recommend Warbreaker to fans of Brandon Sanderson or people who like really good fantasy books.