eARC Review: Guardian of the Auras, by Victoria Moschou

Guardian of the Auras victoria moschou

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

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I have received this book through the author in exchange for an honest review.

Victoria Moshou from Victorious Pages was kind enough to send me her debut, the first book in the Auras’ Chest series!

In the world of Aurora, emotion has been banned, substituted by logic and sensibility. Raised by the Priestess of Air, Aurora has a lot of expectations upon herself to pledge herself to one of the four elements and dominate it. For that, she needs to go through a test – a test that will take her through a journey to find her element. When the test goes awry and Aurora accidentally sets free all five Auras, a mysterious and gorgeous Oracle takes her in to help her and guide her.

The book’s pacing is slow, with poetic, introspective writing which reminded me a bit of The Mists of Avalon. Also the world and general vibe of the story made me think of the classic a lot! With the theme of emotions being so present, the whole story feels a bit like a fantasy take on an unconscious mind, exploring emotions, memory and growth. On that sense, it was such an interesting read! Continue reading

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eARC Review: White Stag, by Kara Barbieri

white stag kara barbieri

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

White Stag tells the story of Janneke, a human girl forced into slavery when her village was burned to the ground by goblins. The memories of her first owner still fresh in her mind after a hundred years, she had to learn to adapt to this new, dangerous world in order to survive. She knows how they think. She knows what they can do. And she is losing her humanity in the process. When the Erlking dies, the Hunt begins. The first goblin to kill the White Stag will become king… and Janneke needs to make sure it isn’t her cruel captor who sits on the throne.

I am partial to a good goblin story. There is a lot of fae and vampire stories, so I am quite glad goblins seem to be having their moment, too. Continue reading

Review: The Book of M, by Peng Shepherd

the book of M peng shepard

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy

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The Book of M is one of the most talked about books of this year! And still, I was not prepared for it – it was so much more than I expected! It’s a wonderful fantasy world with well-rounded, interesting characters and a thoughtful work about memories and love. Damn, this was such a good book.

The story begins with one boy in India finding out one day that he’s lost his shadow. At first this is seen with much interest from the public, until it becomes apparent that the boy is starting to forget things: at first a few words, and within a few days, his family. When more and more people throughout the world start losing their shadows, the epidemic of memory loss and despair drives the world into apocalypse. Continue reading

Mini-Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight, by Sarah J. Maas

a court of frost and starlight sarah j maas.jpg

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

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In a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision, I bought all three Court books last year and never looked back. I was addicted to those books and flew through the steamy fantasy, so dark and new to me – neither “boring” adult fantasies nor young adult. This was new and different. So when I saw that A Court of Frost and Starlight was published, I immediately went and bought it! Then I saw lots of review saying it was basically a Christmas short story, and I was like, okay! I’ll read this in December to get the best atmosphere to read this book (it came out in May). So I waited and waited.

But the truth is that I saw no plot at all in this book, and a lot of it was just shopping for gifts and opening gifts. Some of the open points from the last ACOTAR book were briefly touched upon and then not really progressed or finished at all. More like a reminder – hey, remember this was going on? – and felt a bit pointless. Also, seeing the ultra-macho culture of the fae now, a year later, I’m cringing to think that I recommended this series both to my sister and my aunt. Gosh. I was rolling my eyes at it all the time during this book – how they say female and male, how characters’ ARCs are basically gratuitously violent pasts being now slowly healed by friendship and so on. The tortured, brooding, sexy male is abound in this series. I felt emotionally detached from all the characters, even Rhys. I’m still going to read the next book of the series, but this book really disappointed me. Was a really unnecessary thing and could’ve been a chapter or two on the last book of ACOTAR instead.

Review: Jade City, by Fonda Lee

jade city fonda lee

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fantasy, Urban

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This book is one of the best fantasy worlds I’ve read in a long time, and I am in awe. Jade City is a story about two clans, No Peak and Mountain, who have soaring tensions growing between them as the leader of the Mountain clan’s ambition and strength threatens the Kaul family, leaders of No Peak for more than two decades. It’s set in the fictional Kekon, a vibrant city of contradictions, full of promise, opportunity, tradition, superstition and, most importantly, jade. From the jade, Green Bones get powers that make them impossibly superhuman abilities. Amidst the threat of clan wars and foreign interest in Kekon’s jade for military purposes, the Kaul family must learn to stay together and survive, if they can. Continue reading

Mini-Review: The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black

the cruel prince holly black

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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I finally picked up this book, which has been hyped up for a long time now, since way before it got published. I waited a bit until the hype died down a bit to see more reviews on it, since I already have so many YA fantasies to read, but this one keeps being talked about. And with good reason!

This gave me A Court of Thorns and Roses vibes, as well as a bit of Pride and Prejudice. I loved that the main character was a scheming, strong young woman who refused to be made small. This was written so wonderfully, I kept turning pages and as mesmerized by the story, the characters and the richness of the world. I absolutely will keep reading this series! It’s dark, delicious and addictive. Highly recommended!

Review: Circe, by Madeline Miller

circe madeline miller

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fantasy, Mythology

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Is this one of the best Greek mythology retellings I’ve ever read? Well, I’m not saying it is, but IT DEFINITELY IS.

Circe tells the story of one of the daughters of Helios, a powerful Titan who is god of the sun. All his children are beautiful, with golden skin and perfect faces – but not Circe. She is strange, with a weak voice and yellow eyes, and no god-like powers except for her immortality. Among gods, she is an outcast. Things seem to be bound to be that way for all eternity, until Circe discovers that she does have power – just not one that gods are supposed to have: witchcraft. Continue reading

eARC Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, by Mackenzi Lee

ladys guide to petticoats and piracy mackenzi lee

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

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I have received this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Can I just start by saying I absolutely love this cover? I’m so smitten by covers with historical-looking people with modern font on it (like My Lady Jane), is that strange?

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy has far more adventure than the Gentleman’s Guide, and I loved Felicity’s story so much. Her personality, her passion for medicine were so inspirational, but I was surprised to find myself absolutely loving Johanna too! Although to be fair I suspected early that I might like her when she showed up with a big, drooling dog. She was such a great person, so soft and strong and loving and but with iron will. Gosh, I love them both.

And I now have a crush on Sim, as well. She’s a Muslim pirate, all sharp retorts and secrets. I truly liked how rough her edges were, how it still revealed a soft inside. Continue reading

Review: The Poppy War, by R. F. Kuang

the poppy war r f kuangRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, Adult Fiction

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The Poppy War tells the story of Rin, who against all odds passes the Keju and got a placing in Sinegard, the most prestigious military school. As she trains to become a soldier, the Third Poppy War is going to start, and it might cost her everything: her friends, her blood, her humanity.

This is an intense fantasy story! This book is an epic based on Chinese history, more specifically on the Opium Wars. Before you decide if you want to read this, do know that this is an adult book, a very, very dark story and full of trigger warnings, especially for drug addiction and violence. Continue reading

Review: Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone tomi adeyemi

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fantasy

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Children of Blood and Bone is my favorite book of the year – I can say this with confidence although I finished this in mid July.

Zélie remembers the time before magic disappeared, eleven years ago. Her mother was a Reaper, a maji with the power over life and death. But one day, magic disappeared – and then the king’s men came to Zélie’s house and murdered her mother. Now, with the help of a fugitive princess and a scroll, she has the chance of a lifetime to bring magic back to the world. Continue reading