Mini Reviews

Hello!
I thought I would share some of the smaller reviews that I have done over the last couple of months, for some recent and upcoming releases.

*Disclaimer: I received e-arcs of the books in this post from netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Reviews & Ratings

Ignite the Sun – Hanna Howard [Release Date 18th August 2020, Blink]

Genre: YA Fantasy

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Book Summary:

Once upon a time, there was something called the sun … In a kingdom ruled by a witch, the sun is just part of a legend about Light-filled days of old. But now Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the Light—or lose everything trying.

Sixteen-year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. That’s because Queen Iyzabel shrouded the kingdom in shadow upon her ascent to the throne, with claims it would protect her subjects from the dangerous Light.

The Darkness has always left Siria uneasy, and part of her still longs for the stories of the Light-filled days she once listened to alongside her best friend Linden, told in secret by Linden’s grandfather. But Siria’s need to please her strict and demanding parents means embracing the dark and heading to the royal city—the very center of Queen Izybel’s power—for a chance at a coveted placement at court. And what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of Light, alongside a ragtag group of rebels who could help her restore the sun … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.

Review:

   The cover -which is stunning- and the premise were what drew me into this book, and I found it an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the worldbuilding, and magic, although I would have liked to see if developed or maybe explained more – for example what were the limits of Yarrow’s power? There was also a feeling of being rushed along too quickly, perhaps if it had been longer this wouldn’t have been the case, but I felt that there wasn’t quite enough time for the development of Siria’s powers and the relationships that we saw. It also felt that there were a lot of revelations towards the end of the book, that weren’t explored properly and left more questions. Still, for all that, I really did enjoy it, and I think it would be a great introduction to fantasy.

Rating: *** (3/5 Stars)

Pre-order: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

***** ***** *****

The Book of Koli (The Rampart Trilogy #1) – M.R.Carey [Published 16th April, Little Brown Book Group]

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

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Book Summary:

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognisable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, the Shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.

Review:

I leapt at the chance of an ARC from NetGalley for ‘The Book of Koli’ after reading the blurb, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, it was above anything I had expected, perhaps from being unfamiliar with the author’s other works which I will be checking out while waiting for the next books in this trilogy.

It did take me a little while to adjust to the narrative style. The narrator, Koli, is almost illiterate, and this is cleverly reflected in the speech patterns, grammar and syntax of the narrative itself. Which is different from anything I had read before and took a while to adapt to. Still, once I did, I found that it was a wonderful, integral part of the book and Koli.

I loved Koli as the main character, and while his age and therefore outlook/interpretation of the world gave the earlier part of the book a more YA feel, it was in keeping with the character and did not detract in any way from the impact, of a thought-provoking narrative. Beyond Koli, the cast of characters is large and colourful, and as interesting as Koli in their own way.

The world-building was fantastic. To be honest, I was sold at carnivorous trees, but this look at how the human population is prey in a world that they have helped to ruin is both hard-hitting, relevant and endlessly fascinating. I enjoyed the look at life reverting to more primitive methods – with what little technology remained and was still functional, almost considered as ‘treasures’ that were not fully understood. Later in the book, where more technology is found, it is interesting to see the reverse, and how technology can affect an individual raised in such a world.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Book of Koli’. Although I did find the earlier half of the book a little too slow in terms of pacing, but it was made up for by the world and the characterisation. It was an entertaining read even in the slower parts, and it was a fantastic, fresh approach to a post-apocalyptic world. I would highly recommend and will eagerly be waiting for the next two books.

Rating: **** (4/5 Stars)

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

***** ***** *****

Feathertide – Beth Cartwright [Release Date 30th July 2020, Del Ray]

Genre: Fantasy

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Book Summary

Born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets, Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met.

The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted.

And Mara will never forget what she learns there

Review:

I fell in love with this book from first sight. The cover is lovely and caught my eye immediately, and I am delighted that I was able to get the e-arc. The writing blew me away from the start, it is beautifully evocative and carried me along from start to finish. I found the world quirky and magical, and the entire book is discovery both for the main character Marea but also for the reader, and I felt very much as though I was coming of age with the character.

Rating: ***** (5/5 Stars)

Pre-order: Amazon UK| Amazon US | Waterstones

***** ***** *****

Emberhawk (The Katrosi Revolution #1) – Jamie Foley [Published 10th March 2020, Fayette Press]

Genre: YA Fantasy

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Book Summary:

The elementals have decided they’re gods, and humans are nothing but fuel for their fire.

A starving trapper.

Merciless drought withers Kira’s ranch, leaving her family hungry—and desperate enough to cross the border into the forbidden forest to trap wild game.

But the forest is infested with tree-scorpions and giant cats that wield elemental invisibility, and they’re hungry, too. When Kira mistakes one elemental creature for another, she ends up with the last thing she wants in her trap: an enemy soldier.

An invisible spy.

Ryon can’t afford to be a prisoner of war. If the Malaano Empire extracts his secrets, the rumors of war will be confirmed—and the tribes stand little chance against the Empire unless they can put aside generations of bad blood for the sake of a Tribal Alliance.

When Ryon’s escape leaves Kira injured and her livelihood in flames, Ryon must choose between aiding her… or returning to his chieftess with vital information. But can he survive the trek when an elemental pursues him for his rejected heritage?

A sacrificial princess.

Imperial Princess Vylia is given a powerful ancient stone as her wavesinger trials approach. But is the stone’s whispering voice from the water goddess, or a masquerading elemental the creator god imprisoned millennia ago?

When Vylia’s diplomatic mission to the tribal lands erupts in fiery revenge, she, Kira, and Ryon must work together to survive—or become pawns in the battle of the gods.

Review:

I found this an enjoyable, if confusing at times read. Some of the language choices did not fit in with the setting, or the culture that was being presented and I found that disconnected me from the story. The world was interesting, and I would loved to have seen it developed more and more fluidly, and the same with the characters. They all had potential for the most part – and I would definitely like to see more of Vylia. I am however, completely in love with the cover and the premise, and I will be checking out the rest of the series.

Rating: *** (3/5 Stars)

Purchase: Amazon UK| Amazon US | Waterstones

***** ***** *****

Monstrous Heart – Claire McKenna [Published 31st March 2020, HarperVoyager}

Genre: Fantasy

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Book Summary:

Review:

I fell in love with the cover and the premise for this book, the summary made it sound like everything I was looking for. Unfortunately, the execution let it down in this case, and I was not swept away by the story. I very much enjoyed the use of language, and the writing style and there were places where the atmosphere were fantastic, but despite that, I did struggle to finish this one.

Rating: ** (2/5 Stars)

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US| Waterstones

***** ***** *****

Seven Endless Forests – April Genevieve Tucholke [Release Date 1st August 2020, Simon & Schuster Children’s UK)

Genre: YA Fantasy

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Book Summary:

Review:

   I absolutely adore the author’s writing style, it was vivid and poetic and everything I love about writing. That, and the stunning cover art immediately caught by attention and drew me into this book. However, while the story itself stated strong and had a fascinating premise – I adore Arthurian myths and retellings – but I felt as though it became a bit more muddied especially towards the end, and as such lost its flow.

Rating: *** (3/5 Stars)

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

***** ***** *****

Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) – Julie Kagawa [Published 31st March 2020, HQ Young Adult)

Genre: YA Fantasy

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Book Summary:

All is lost.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of Evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

Review:

    A fantastic end to this trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it from the worldbuilding, to the characters and their development, and the narrative. A well-deserving conclusion, and a series that would happily recommend to any fantasy lover

Rating: **** (4/5 Stars)

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

**

If you’ve read any of these, or read them in the future please feel free to shout at me about them.

Rowena

 

 

One thought on “Mini Reviews

  1. Pingback: May Wrap-Up and What’s next – Beneath A Thousand Skies

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