Blog Tour (Book Review): Not Good for Maidens – Tori Bovalino

Hello!

Today I am joining the TBR & Beyond Blog tour for ‘Not Good for Maidens’ by Tori Bovalino, a horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forestin this horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”

Lou never believed in superstitions or magic–until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.

The market is a place Lou has only read about–twisted streets, offerings of sweet fruits and incredible jewels. Everything–from the food and wares,to the goblins themselves–is a haunting temptation for any human who manages to find their way in.

Determined to save Neela, Lou learns songs and spells and tricks that will help her navigate this dangerous world and slip past a goblin’s defenses–but she only has three days to find Neela before the market disappears and her aunt becomes one of them forever.

If she isn’t careful, the market might just end up claiming her too.

Content warnings: on-page gore, on-page body horror, violence, trauma

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): Not Good for Maidens – Tori Bovalino”

Blog Tour (Book Review): Perception Check (The Mages of Velmyra Saga #1) – Astrid Knight

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be joining the Escapists Tours blog tour for Perception Check by Astrid Knight. I was super excited to read this one as a keen D&D player (although usually the words ‘perception check’ are a cause for concern and rolling dice), and I had a lot of fun with this book and can’t wait to continue the series.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

Her favorite tabletop roleplaying game is real, and her kidnapped childhood best friend is trapped in a far off land. Will she be able to save her? Let’s roll initiative!

Violet Spence wants nothing more than to have a normal life. After witnessing her childhood best friend get abducted by monsters, that’s easier said than done. At twenty-three years old, Violet cannot seem to move past that fateful night ten years ago. Her only solace is Mages of Velmyra, a tabletop roleplaying game filled with goblins, fairies, and all-powerful magicians. But of course, that’s all fantasy.

Or so she thought. As it turns out, the land of Velmyra is very real and the home of the monsters that took her best friend.

With the help of her friends (and the creator of the game itself), Violet must navigate the once-fictional creatures and powerful mages of Velmyra to retrieve a set of ancient relics—all in the hopes that the journey will lead her back to her friend. But for Violet, fighting monsters and magic workers doesn’t seem nearly as terrifying as confronting her own demons. And she’ll soon realize fighting the battle within herself can be just as tough as those fought against demigods.

Perception Check is the magical first installment of the Mages of Velmyra Saga, great for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Critical Role, and The Magicians. With endearing and hilarious characters, an exploration of mental health and trauma, LGBTQ+ representation, gut-wrenching twists, and a whirlwind of an ending, you will never want to leave the world of Velmyra.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): Perception Check (The Mages of Velmyra Saga #1) – Astrid Knight”

Blog Tour (Book Spotlight): Hands Like Secrets (The Seven Strands #1) – Mariah Norris

Hello!

Today is my stop on the Escapists Tours book tour for Hands Like Secrets by Mariah Norris. This book has some incredible representation and the worldbuilding, especially the magic system is fascinating, and in this post I have an extract to whet your appetite as well as a chance to win a copy for yourself. Please do also check out the other blogs participating in the tour.

Book Summary:

Saeli has always been different: she is autistic, in a world that doesn’t have a word for people like her.

She attends the exclusive institute of Aschamon, learning to harness her inner qi and preparing to join the battle between her people and their enemies, the Crimson Cowls. But despite her years of work, her teachers still refuse to elevate her to Silver Mantle status and dedicate her to their god’s service.

When notorious Crimson Cowl Rafel Kailar breaks into her school, it is either cruel irony…or fate…that Saeli is there to confront him.

But Rafel is nothing like the Cowls she’s been taught to hate. He draws her in with his charm and reveals his ultimate ambition: to overthrow the gods of Verre and end a hundred years of war. And he needs Saeli’s help.

As she is pulled deeper into Rafel’s schemes, Saeli fears she’ll be forced to choose whose side she’s truly on: her people, who have never understood her…or Rafel, who’d gladly turn her world upside-down to kill the gods.

Hands Like Secrets is the first installment of The Seven Strands, a new adult epic fantasy series that follows a young autistic woman who joins an assassin on a hunt across worlds for a god-killing immortal. Along the way, she’ll have to come to terms with love, loss, betrayal, and the shifting nature of good and evil itself.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Spotlight): Hands Like Secrets (The Seven Strands #1) – Mariah Norris”

Blog Tour (Book Review): The Rarkyn’s Familar (The Rarkyn Trilogy #1) – Nicky Lee

Hello!

Today I am joining the Escapists Tours blog tour for The Rarkyn’s Familiar by Nicky Lee, which is the first book in The Rarkyn Trilogy – and what a fantastic book it is! Please do check out the other blogs taking part in the tour!

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

An orphan bent on revenge. A monster searching for freedom. A forbidden pact that binds their fates together.

Lyss has heard her father’s screams; smelled the iron-tang of his blood. She’s witnessed his execution.

And plotted her revenge.

Then a violent encounter traps Lyss in a blood-pact with a rarkyn from the otherworld and imbues her with the monster’s forbidden magic. A magic that will erode her sanity. To break the pact, she and the rarkyn must journey to the heart of the Empire. All that stands in their way are the mountains and the Empire’s soldiers—and each other.

But horrors await them on the road, horrors even rarkyns fear. The most terrifying monster isn’t the one Lyss travels with…

It’s the one that’s awoken inside her.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): The Rarkyn’s Familar (The Rarkyn Trilogy #1) – Nicky Lee”

Blog Tour: Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path #1) – Michael R. Fletcher

Hello!

Today I’m back with a review for Black Stone Heart by Michael R. Fletcher, the first book in the Obsidian Path series. I read this book for the first time a while ago and shamefully never got around to reviewing, but I’ve just reread it in preparation for the third book in the series coming out – and I have promised myself that I won’t read An End to Sorrow (Book three) until I’ve reviewed this one and She Dreams in Blood and it is sat on my shelf begging to be read so here we are.

Book Summary:

A broken man, Khraen awakens alone and lost. His stone heart has been shattered, littered across the world. With each piece, he regains some small shard of the man he once was.

He follows the trail, fragment by fragment, remembering his terrible past.

There was a woman.

There was a sword.

There was an end to sorrow.

Khraen walks the obsidian path.

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path #1) – Michael R. Fletcher”

Book Review: Starbinder (The Eye of Eternity #0.5) – Mark Timmony

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be reviewing Starbinder by Mark Timmony, a new novella in The Eye of Eternity series. If you missed the cover reveal across at Novel Notions yesterday, you can find it here. You can also find my review for the first book in this series – Blood of the Spear – here.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

Forged in betrayal.

Tempered by the stellar winds.

Chosen by the stars.

For five hundred years since the Sundering, the order of the Shaluay Starbinders has been dwindling. With their Starwells lying dormant, key artefacts of their order lost and their seers driven mad by the powers that broke the world, only one hope remains to the man who leads them; a fifteen year old girl.

Born to a clan of Wanderers, Reiana has been raised by a harsh grandmother who blames her for the death of her daughter, Reiana’s own mother. When bandits attack the clan’s camp, Reiana leaves the safety of the caravans to pursue the abductor of her younger cousin, heedless of the dangers.

But when a creature of the Void takes notice can Reiana’s own untapped abilities save her, or will the truth of a betrayal see her lost forever?

Continue reading “Book Review: Starbinder (The Eye of Eternity #0.5) – Mark Timmony”

Blog Tour (Book Spotlight): Where Shadows Lie (The Last Gift #1) – Allegra Pescatore

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be joining the Escapists Tours blog tour for Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore. I do have a review coming for this book, which is one I’d been wanting to read for ages but unfortunately I’ve been struck down with a nasty bug of some kind and as I want to do the book justice, I’m waiting until I feel less dead. So today I have a spotlight, complete with an extract and a chance to win this fantastic book for yourself.

Book Summary:

The Chosen One is Dead.

Disabled since childhood, his little sister never expected the weight of a crown. Now, she might lose it before ever sitting on the throne. Beset by rebels, scheming politicians, and cutthroat bankers, Elenor must choose between accepting her father’s despotic rule or risking everything for her late brother’s lofty ideals.

Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the ripples of her actions have inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives, unaware of the danger they carry with them. 

Where Shadows Lie is a non-stop epic fantasy ride, featuring an lgbtq+ and disabled protagonist and filled with court intrigue, sizzling romance, and adorable baby dragons. Dive in and get swept away!

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Spotlight): Where Shadows Lie (The Last Gift #1) – Allegra Pescatore”

Blog Tour (Book Review): The Knave of Secrets – Alex Livingston

Hello!

Today I’m joining The Write Reads blog tour for The Knave of Secrets by Alex Livingston, which is out next month from Rebellion Publishing.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

A twisty tale of magicians, con artists and card games, where secrets are traded and gambled like coin, for fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Mask of Mirrors.

Never stake more than you can afford to lose.

When failed magician turned cardsharp Valen Quinol is given the chance to play in the Forbearance Game—the invitation-only tournament where players gamble with secrets—he can’t resist. Or refuse, for that matter, according to the petty gangster sponsoring his seat at the table. Valen beats the man he was sent to play, and wins the most valuable secret ever staked in the history of the tournament.

Now Valen and his motley crew are being hunted by thieves, gangsters, spies and wizards, all with their own reasons for wanting what’s in that envelope. It’s a game of nations where Valen doesn’t know all the rules or who all the players are, and can’t see all the moves. But he does know if the secret falls into the wrong hands, it could plunge the whole world into war…

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): The Knave of Secrets – Alex Livingston”

Blog Tour (Book Review): Hag of the Hills (The Bronze Sword Cycles Duology) – J.T.T. Ryder

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be joining the Escapist Tours blog tour for Hag of the Hills by J.T.T. Ryder, the first book in the Bronze Sword Cycles Duology.

If you want to check out the book for yourself, then it is currently available FREE on amazon from May 2nd – May 6th!

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

“Nothing is unconquerable; even our gods can die.”

All his life, Brennus has been destined for warriorhood. However, a farmer’s life doesn’t provide many opportunities for swordplay and glory, despite the Goddess of Winter’s gift of the Sight—the ability to see the sidhe of the Otherworld. But when the Hillmen kill his family and annihilate his clan, he knows the truth—no one can avenge his homeland but himself.

As he prepares to set out against the Hillmen and their Queen, the clan’s chief druid entrusts his daughter, Myrnna, to his protection, to which Brennus swears a solemn oath. As they fight toward the sanctuary of Dun Torrin, he must survive the endless hordes of Hillman and the monstrous sidhe while shielding Myrnna from harm, aided only by the Sight, a band of shifty mercenaries, and an ancient bronze sword.

As Brennus struggles through this new world of blood and magic, the tension between protecting Myrnna and avenging his homeland threatens to tear him apart. Failure means the curse of dishonour. Victory would bring glory to himself and his ancestors. But what if keeping both of his promises proves impossible?

In the words of his father…

“Nothing is unconquerable; even our gods can die.”

Hag of the Hills is the first book in The Bronze Sword Cycles duology, a heroic fantasy set in 200 B.C. on the Isle of Skye, steeped in Celtic mythology and culture.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): Hag of the Hills (The Bronze Sword Cycles Duology) – J.T.T. Ryder”

Blog Tour (Book Review): No Gods, Only Monsters (Antiquity Chronicles) – Steve McHugh

Hello!

Today I am delighted to be joining the Escapist Tours blog tour for No Gods, Only Monsters by Steve McHugh which out in the world tomorrow!!

Please do check out the rest of the tour stops, and there is also a chance to win a copy of this fantastic book for yourself at the end of the post.

Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Book Summary:

Diana, the Roman Goddess of the hunt, lives alone on the far edge of the Roman Empire. When an old friend arrives looking for help, Diana finds herself thrust back into her old life, and old problems.

With innocent lives caught in the crossfire, Diana realizes that the only way to ensure the safety of her friends and loved ones is to do what she does best: hunt her enemies down.

Continue reading “Blog Tour (Book Review): No Gods, Only Monsters (Antiquity Chronicles) – Steve McHugh”