A Ritual of Bone by Lee C Conley | Blog Tour

Hey Beautifuls! Today is my stop on the Storytellers on Tour Blog Tour for A Ritual of Bone by Lee C Conley! I am so thankful to the awesome team at Storytellers on Tour who do an awesome job of getting indie authors some limelight! I am also thankful to Lee C Conley himself for sending me a copy of this book…I cannot tell you how grateful I am! If you haven’t already checked out this tour on the Storyteller on Tour blog, I will link it here for you to check them out, and check out the others who are participating in the tour!

A Ritual of Bone (The Dead Sagas Book 1) by [Lee C Conley]
You can find and purchase this beauty here!

I need to take a minute to appreciate how beautiful this cover is because Damn! its pretty! Now, anyone who knows me, knows that putting a weapon…more importantly an axe on a cover is a sure way to get me to pick it up so this cover is winning on that detail alone! In all honesty I love the use of cool tones and the darker composition it screams all that dark fantasy vibes I live for! Let get to the content…

Synopsis –

‘Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead’

Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds.
The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great Histories.
But now the evil spreads and the dead walk in its wake, terrible creatures roam the night and even the spirits are restless. The Dead Sagas could perhaps be the final chapters of these great records.
Many threads entwine to tell this Saga, interweaving the tales of those who played their part in the search for answers and ultimately their fight for survival. Amid plague, invasion and terror, the inexorable rise of the dead sends a kingdom scrabbling to its knees.

This dark fantasy epic combines dark malign horror and gritty survival adventure as the Dead Sagas unfold in a world where honour and renown is all, where beasts and savages lurk in the wilderness, and where sword, axe and shield is all that stands between the living and the grasping hands of the dead.

My Review –

Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Grimdark fantasies. I know grimdark isn’t for everyone but I personally am a fan. Now, with that out the way, if you happen to be like me and enjoy a good ole bit of dark grittiness (Yeah I’m not sure if that is a word either) in your fantasy then you won’t be disappointed here. A ritual of bone is very atmospheric from the moment you step into this world.

I should also mention that no matter how many books have that whole ‘evil that rises’ trope…ima fall for that every time because to me there is nothing boring about the rising darkness! I loved the setting and the way that Lee C Conley integrated the undead into the story – which for the record I am totally here for some undead craziness!

We got different perspectives in this story which really helped showcase the different lives they led, and how each of them was effected by the evil, and undead rising again. A ritual of bone was well written and well developed, it kept me engaged and eager to see where the story would go, and overall I think it was a really good start to the series; A Ritual of Flesh is now out for those of you who want to dive into books 1 & 2!

It was the best time of the year to read this one for me because it gave me creepy and dark vibes that gets me right in the mood for spooky season! There was atmosphere, action, darkness, and a heft of gore to keep me engaged, excited, and wanting more. I cannot wait to see how things develop in book 2 and I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy grimdark, books with dark undead things, and readers who aren’t afraid to feel a little unsettled or spooked!

There you have it beautifuls! My review of A Ritual of Bone by Lee C Conley! I really hope that some of you will pick this one up and give it a chance because it was a very good start in what I’m sure will be a great new series to the grimdark fantasy genre!

As always leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts. Have you read this one? Are you thinking of picking it up? Let me know!

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco | Blog Tour

Hey Beautifuls, today is my stop on the Blog tour for Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco! I am so thankful to the team at Terminal Tours, and to the Publisher for allowing me to review this ahead of publication; and of course giving me the opportunity to help build up some noise about this fabulous book. Do be sure to check out the other stops on this tour, which you can find the list here.

Now whilst I could argue the cover is beautiful enough to buy this book alone, I am fully in love with the content and want to share with you the synopsis so that you can be as intrigued as I was before I got my reader greedy hands on it.

Synopsis –

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of woman’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

My Review –

Honestly, even now I am still shook about this book. It is so difficult to form words about it when I am so desperately reliving every moment and trying to deal with the fact I now have to wait for the next instalment – let me just tell you now, that’s going to be on hell of a impatient wait. Let’s start with the setting, because I really want to talk about how much I enjoyed the wholesome feel of this Silician island complete with the sights and smells that you can literally feel yourself being wrapped in and wishing you could be there to taste and breath it all in too. I loved that Emilia’s family had a business in the form of a restaurant, it really played into the setting and gave it more depth in my opinion.

I love a book that has magic and myths all combined in one, and Kingdom of the Wicked did not disappoint me in this regard. Emelia’s Nonna is always telling tales of why the girls need to behave and why they shouldn’t do this, that, and the other. I loved her, and whilst reading actually made a note that reads ‘Everyone should have a Nona in their life’. She was a character that played the role of the overbearing grandparent with a life full of secrets well, and I loved her for it.

Emilia was a really great main character, and I really appreciated her confidence, her rage, and her ability to take serious steps despite it probably being a little risky at times. I found her character easy to relate to, and I really liked that Kerri Maniscalco didn’t shy away from the grim changes that grief wrought on Emelia as a person. Grief has the power to change us all and Emelia is a very literal representation of that.

The Wicked were one of my favourite parts of this story; meeting them, trying to figure out their angle and motives. It all added to the stakes and excitement of reading this story. There were moments when I didn’t know who to trust, who wanted what, and the why…forever trying to figure out the real why of the story was so fun.

Kingdom of the Wicked is evocative, deeply sinful, and and absolute joy to read. I highly recommend it, and hope that if you do choose to pick it up, you will find it as great as I did.

For those of you who are planning on picking this one up, I would like to mention the pre-order incentives. This is for US, but for those who are international you can order from Premiere Collectables. Pre-order ends Oct 26th 2020. Here is the preorder link for those who need it.

What you recieve:

  • Enamel Pin
  • Signed Bookplate
  • One Pair of Oracle Cards

So there you have it, my thoughts of Kingdom of the Wicked – of you hadn’t already guessed, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the next book! Please sign me up for the next one because I don’t know I can go without the answers I need!

Thanks for reading lovelies. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time.

The Skald’s Black Verse | Blog Tour

Hey All, today is my stop with Storytellers on Tour for the blog tour of The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short! A link to the Storytellers on Tour post with details of the tour and the other stops can be found here. Please check the others out as well and show support for this book!

  • Title: The Skald’s Black Verse
  • Author: Jordan Loyal Short
  • Genre: Adult Fantasy
  • Paperback: 339
  • Rating: 4 *

Synopsis

When a soldier’s murder sparks rebellion in the tiny village of Skolja, Brohr’s past marks him as the prime suspect. Haunted by his brother’s ghost, and drawn in to a web of dark pacts and tangled loyalties, Brohr must choose between the path of vengeance set before him, and a chance to forge his own fate. From the shadows, an all but extinct race of alien demigods have begun the end game of their millennia-spanning war, and one has chosen Brohr for his closing gambit. But Brohr’s grandfather harbors a dark secret that will change everything. Above it all, a dread portent looms in the sky, spelling the death of Brohr’s world. With doom spiraling toward them, Brohr must lead an unlikely rebellion, unearth disturbing family secrets, and tame the raging ghost that haunts him. Can Brohr lead his people out of darkness, or will he succumb to his own terrifying bloodlust, and destroy the very people he has sworn to save?

My Review

I went into this novel expecting Norse themed fantasy, something I enjoy a lot…what I got was that and so much more! The Skald’s Black Verse starts out with a nitty gritty scene that really does well to set the tone and expectations of the novel. We follow multiple POV’s but Brohr is the main one we really stick to.

Okay, so let’s talk about the things I liked in this story. Firstly, can we just take a moment to appreciate that Jordan Loyal Short threw me a loop when he set me up for Norse vibes and then caught me completely off guard with the insane flying ship thing…it was all very unexpected, and quite frankly a great twist to what I assumed would be another classic Norse type tale. Jordan Loyal Short was able to take a story, infuse it with all the heart and bloodthirst of the Norse Pantheon whilst also showcasing a new dynamic way to infuse the story with colliding planets, inter-planetary spaceships, and interesting cultures. This story was filled with explosive action, dark creatures, awesome magic, and a rise against repression.

The only thing that had me mark it down was that it took me a while to settle into the writing style initially, but this is more a preference than any reflection on the book itself, which is why I have still rated it so high.

Make no mistake people, this story has plenty going on to keep you entertained, and definitely some darker moments to make you squirm. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you are a fan of adult fantasy that isn’t shy about expressing its darker themes.

There you have it beautifuls, I really hope you enjoyed my stop on this blog tour, and I really hope that some of you consider picking this one up to support Jordan Loyal Short. It was book that took me on a journey I wasn’t expecting and was worth the ride.

Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt Review

Hey beautifuls, I am back with a brand new review, and today it is all centered around the beauty that is Northern Wrath. This book was sent to me by the publisher -Rebellion Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. I would like to stress that I requested this book, the publisher did not approach me for this one! I saw this arc, saw that stunning cover, read the synopsis and immediately knew it was a ‘Steff’ book. Anyway…on to the review!

  • Title: Northern Wrath
  • Author: Thilde Kold Holdt
  • Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
  • Paperback: 644 pages
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • My Rating: 4.5*

Synopsis – Taken from Amazon

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods. A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim. A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

My Review

Northern Wrath is an epic tale steeped in authentic Norse mythology. Filled with epic battles, strong characters, and set backs at every turn we follow different characters who are all tied together by fate. Their lives, the lives of the Gods and the whole of Midgard hang in the balance.

When I say I am Norse mythology mad…I mean it! I have read so many books on the history of the folk tales, so many books adapted from the myths – I just love it, and this book blew me away. It gave me all the bloodshed and glory worthy of Valhalla, all the strong characters overcoming their setbacks and dealing with their flaws. It gave me warrior vibes strong enough to make me wish I could wield a damn axe. It was everything I wanted.

This story explores the threat of Muspelhiem (one of the nine realms filled with fire). The threat of Muspelhiem’s demons breaking free and wrecking havoc on Midgard, and ultimately bringing around Ragnorok. If you love the Norse Pantheon then you will love this book, there really is no two ways about it. We have gritty flawed characters and strong females, we have betrayals and deceit that will leave you reeling. More than the epic battles and bravery, this book made me laugh. There were moments of banter and comradery that was just so authentic, you could tell Thilde was drawing upon her own friendships.

I always love seeing strong female characters in books, and Northern Wrath delivered this in abundance; from our unexperienced Tyra who refused to let fear rule her from the very first moment, to Hilda who raged and fought despite all that was taken from her, and all that she had to do.

This book keeps you guessing, this book keeps you engaged and I highly recommend this epic tale to those of you who love fantasy and Norse mythology rolled into a gritty and perilous journey.

There you have it lovelies, my review for Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt. I tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible, because 1. it doesn’t release until the end of October and 2. because this is a journey that you need to experience for yourself. Go in knowing little to nothing and you will feel the full benefit of this story. I really hope you decide to add this to your tbr because this author deserves so much love for this book, and I cannot wait for book two. If this sounds like it’s right up your street please leave a comment and let me know. If you are one of the lucky ones like myself to have received this beautiful arc then please let me know if you’ve read it yet, and what your thoughts were. As always, thanks for reading this review.

The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood Review

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I’m back with a review of this fabulous book by A. K. Larkwood. I was lucky enough to be gifted this beautiful book by the publishers over at Tor, and I cannot thank them enough, but please note that this was in exchange for an honest review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Anyway lets get talking about this book!

You can preorder The Unspoken Name here for its release on 20 Feb 2020
  • Title: The Unspoken Name
  • Author: A. K. Larkwood
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Hardback: 464 pages
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • My Rating: 4 *

Synopsisfrom Amazon

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does–she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin–the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn–gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

My Review

The Unspoken Name is a story that begins with Csorwe, a young orc priestess who is destined to be sacrificed to her God when she comes of age. She has known this for a long time and yet when she is given the opportunity to flee with mage Belthandros Sethennai she dives at the chance and finds herself journeying places she never dreamed of and completing life risking tasks to acheive Sethennai’s goal of obtaining the Reliquary. A object which contains immeasurable knowledge.

What to say about the Unspoken Name?
Its majestical start to a new epic fantasy series, and I really enjoyed this book! The.world.building! I say again the world building: this world is one that terrifies and yet entices me all at the same time! Csorwe’s journey was so beautiful to read and her desire to suceed was so tangible. The things she went through to carry out her task, the consequences of these tasks – it was all so epic. I truly appreciated the lack of fear A. K. Larkwood had when writing Csorwe’s journey. She was not in a glass box; an untouchable figure within the story – there was blood sweat and tears, and this truly made the consequences feel more real.

This book explores the complex nature of decisions made in fleeting moments; moments where doubt settles in and then it explores the consequences of those actions and how one is expected to deal with those consequences. It brings into question how far is someone willing to go, how much are they willing to sacrifice, and is it worth it?

The writing in this book is well executed, however I will say that at times I did feel entirely detached from the emotionally aspect of the characters journey. There were events that happened that would have warrented a stronger emotional response from me as the reader, and unfortunately I didn’t always respond in a way befitting the storyline. I’m not entirely sure why that was the case, but that is the main reason this book is a 4 star for me instead of a 5. Either way, I am very confident I will continue on with this series. The world itself is truly fascinating and the different species within it. I love the aspect of different gods for different lands; it definitely captured my attention, and I cannot wait to continue with this series.

I definitely recommend this book for those fantasy lovers out there. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that this book has some LGTBQ+ rep *Grins excitedly*. Which I am always rooting for in fantasy…this genre needs more of it in my opinion.

Hope you enjoyed this review beautifuls, and I really hope you decide to pick up The Unspoken Name when it releases in February. I think it’s going to be a popular one in the community, and I am definitely 100% privileged to have been given an early copy (Thanks again Tor). If you plan to pick it up please let me know in the comments below, and if you have already read this arc then please hit me up in the comments with your opinions. I’d be fascinated to know your thoughts.

Knight of the Silver Circle by Duncan M. Hamilton Review

As promised here is my review of the sequel to Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton. I would just like to quickly give thanks to the lovely people at Tor who gifted me a finished copy of this book for review – I am so grateful to them for giving me awesome books to review!

You can find it here!
  • Title: Knight of the Silver Circle
  • Author: Duncan M. Hamilton
  • Hardback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • My Rating: 4*

SynopsisFrom Amazon

Dragons have returned after a thousand years, but greater dangers lurk in the shadows…

As the lines between enemy and ally blur, Guillot dal Villerauvais is drawn farther into the life and service he had left far behind. Solène attempts to come to terms with the great magical talent she fears is as much a curse as a blessing, while the Prince Bishop’s quest for power twists and turns, and takes on a life of its own.

With dragons to slay, and an enemy whose grip on the kingdom grows ever tighter, Gill and his comrades must fight to remain true to themselves, while standing at the precipice of a kingdom in peril.

My Review

Firstly, since this is the second book in what is to be a trilogy I will be making this as non-spoiler as I can, and secondly here is the link to my review of book one if you missed it.

Now, let me start by saying that this picks up from where it left off at the end of book one and only ramps up the excitement. We still follow Guillot as he tries to find the knight within himself that he once was, but we also see a lot more maneuvering and power plays from certain characters. I of course loved the appearance of the dragons in this book – we got a whole new side to them that was exciting and I was really happy with that. Further development was given to the magic system and quite honestly I loved it.

I will say that there were certain things that came into play which were kind of left a little unresolved in my opinion and I hope that is something that is handled in the final book. As I mentioned in my review of Dragonslayer Duncan M. Hamilton likes his cliff hangers and he left me on that cliff again! This time its not fun because I don’t have the next book to go straight onto. However, that cliff has left me wanting more, and wanting desperately to find out what happens in the next installment of this story.

I can’t wait for it! Who will prevail? What will happen? I am very keen to know, and hope I’ll get the answers soon.

If you have read or want to start these books, please let me know in the comments. I love hearing your opinions!

Dragonslayer by Duncan M Hamilton Review

Hey beautifuls, long time no speak! I am a antisocial mess at the minute, can’t even lie about it. I’m downright terrible, but since i’ve been too ill to film for booktube (flu and such) – I thought i would give you all some reviews of the recent reads. Today I’m reviewing Dragonslayer…a book I was really exciting about reading and can’t wait to share with you, and tomorrow…the sequel. Anyway lets do this.

Dragonslayer (The Dragonslayer Book 1) by [Hamilton, Duncan M.]
You can find your copy here on Amazon.
  • Title: Dragonslayer
  • Author: Duncan M. Hamilton
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • My Rating: 4*

Synopsis From Amazon

With the dragons believed dead, the kingdom had no more need for dragonslayers.

Drunk, disgraced, and all but forgotten, Guillot has long since left his days of heroism behind him.

As forgotten places are disturbed in the quest for power, and things long dormant awaken, the kingdom finds itself in need of a dragonslayer once again, and Guillot is the only one left…

My Review

The synopsis doesn’t give much away; the bare bones and that’s it, but given that this is a fantasy of only 304 pages I think the synopsis does the job well.

I really enjoyed this book – yes it may have something to do with the dragons, but in all honesty I fell hard for the characters I was rooting for, the villians I wanted squashed and the world itself. The magic system is a simple one to understand, and is placed in a world where those with magic are burnt at the stake for witchcraft. We are drawn into a power struggle and political maneuverings virtually from the beginning, and that is something I always enjoy reading about. Guillot was a character I wanted to succeed – he gave me all my favourite ‘old man warrior’ vibes, and I am always a fan of these types of characters. The story was a little on the short side, but what was there was attention grabbing and hard to put down. I will say that if you plan to read this have the second book to hand because Duncan M. Hamilton likes his cliff hangers (luckily I had the second to go straight onto).

This story is a fun, action packed and an easy binge read. If you like dragons, and you like old warrior ‘call to action’ books then definitely give this one a go.

If you do read this, or if you have already please hit me up in the comments below with your thoughts. I’d love to know what you think!

How To Read Michael J Sullivan

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I haven’t done a post in a bit, and those I have been uploading are mostly just reviews, but today along with my booktube upload I wanted to take the time to explain how to read my absolute favourite author Michael J Sullivan.

If you follow me on social media, especially Instagram, then you will know that I only discovered Michael’s books this year, and since discovering them have managed to read all of his current series.

I love this world, love these characters, and just want to spread the love, so if you are interested in any of these amazing books here is where I recommend you start.

Firstly, Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron are a part of The Riyria Revelations series, which is actually six books in a 3 book bind-up. They follow the story of Royce and Hadrian who are two notorious thieves who complete the supposedly ‘impossible’ missions no one else is capable of. One day they are approached and asked to take on the job of retrieving a sword, but when they embark on this mission they end up being framed with the murder of the king.

These books are set in the ‘here and now’ of the world.

Secondly, we have The Riyria Chronicles, which is made up of The Crown Tower, The Rose and the Thorn, The Death of Dulgath, and The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter. Again we follow Royce and Hadrian, but this time we are set in the past. This is Royce and Hadrian before they became the dynamic duo they are in The Riyria Revelations and follows the beginning of their partnership and how they came to be. I should point out that each novel within this series does not necessarily follow on from the last, meaning you could technically read them as individual novels.

Lastly, we have The Legends of the First Empire series, which currently consists of Age of Myth, Age of Swords, Age of War and Age of Legend, but as of next year Age of Death and Age of Empyre will be added to this series. This series is set 1000 years before the events of The Riyria Revelations and therefore is completely separate. We, of course, no longer follow Royce and Hadrian but are given a full cast of characters to get behind. At the beginning we are introduced to a land severely divided. The Fhrey and Rhunes are two races who are seperated by a river. Rhunes are our human types, and Fhrey are our Elven types. The Fhrey are revered as Gods by the Rhunes because some are able to use magic, but one day Raithe (a rhune) and his father cross the river in hopes to build themselves a better life. They are stopped by some Fhrey on patrol who demand they surrender their weapons and leave. When Raithe’s father refuses he is killed, and Raithe then in turn kills the Fhrey. From then on he is said to be ‘The God Killer’ and as rumour spreads of his victory against the ‘Gods’ both Rhunes and Fhrey accept the idea of war, and so begins the journey.

As I stated above, there is currently four of these books but a further two are being released in 2020. Age of Death and Age of Empyre pictured below.

All of these books are beautiful and epic and I cannot recommend them enough, but where should you start?

In my personal opinion you should read them in the order I have listed above…yes that is technically time reverse order but trust me okay? You could technically read them in time order but I honestly don’t recommend you do that for two reasons;

  • One, because you will miss out on a lot. There is so many moments in The Legends of the First Empire series that meant so much more to me because of the events in The Riyria Revelations and Chronicles. And because I went into it with that prior information was able to recognise it for what it is.
  • Second, because that is the order Michael J Sullivan recommends you read them.

Of course you can disregard both mine and Michael’s opinion and start at The Legends of the First Empire, you could move onto The Riyria Chronicles or Revelations afterward, it is entirely up to you. You could start at the Chronicles, and move to the Revelations then to The Legends of the First Empire. Again, this is entirely your choice, but as someone who has read them all, I recommend the way I listed them above. You will appreciate them much more that way, and of course…they were written that way too. This may be relevant to some of you if you are like me and like to see the progression of an authors craft.

Whatever way you do choose to read them, I am just happy that people are picking up his books and hopefully you will love them as much as I do.

If you have read any of these books or are planning to read any of these books let me know in the comments below, I always love hearing what you all have to say! And of course I would be super hyped to chat with more Michael fans!

The Necromancer’s Prison by Alec Whitesell and Craig Bonacorsi Review

Hey Beautifuls, I’m back with a new review for you all! This book was kindly gifted to me by one of the authors in exchange for an honest review, and here comes the time to share my thoughts with you all.

You can find it here on Amazon.
  • Title: The Necromancer’s Prison – Bluewater Grover series Book 1
  • Author: Alec Whitesell and Craig Bonacorsi
  • Paperback: 313
  • Publisher: Independantly published
  • Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
  • My Rating: 3*

Synopsis – From Amazon

She wanted to find her place in the universe. She never imagined it might not be on Earth.When Emily Murphy over slept the morning of her college entrance exam, she thought missing her test was the worst thing that could happen. She never expected she would wind up lost halfway across the galaxy, battling aliens with laser guns and mages hurling lightning.Like most seventeen year olds, Emily’s main concern had been navigating the perils of high school, not surviving shootouts and sorcery. That changed when her school was attacked and a student was kidnapped. While everyone else smartly fled from danger, she recklessly ran toward it mounting an impossible rescue that would lead her on a journey unlike anything she could have imagined.Dropped into a strange world teeming with merciless criminals and ruthless aristocrats, surrounded by violence and betrayal, Emily must untangle a web of intrigue and deceit to solve the mystery behind the abduction, save her classmate, and discover the destiny which awaits her.It is either that, or die trying…

My Review

This book isn’t what I normally gravitate towards, but I have to say when the author contacted me the synopsis sounded so cool I had to give it a go. We follow our main girl Emily on the day of her college entrance exam, and quite honestly it takes off quickly from there. Which I really appreciated. Emily is brave and fierce and passionate, all things that gives for a combination to root for in a protagonist. We are straight away swept into a world of magic wielding bad guys, and portals to other planets. I have to say when Emily (and her tag along friend Mason) slip through the first portal it was giving me such “Nightmare before Christmas” vibes…because of the doors. I loved that.

Things I felt were done well in this book was pacing. I never felt like the book was dragging, there was always some kind of predicament or action going on that was enough to keep me reading. I really enjoyed Quinn’s character, she is the reason Emily dives head first into the chaos, she was really resourceful, and practical minded which was really nice to see in a YA book. It’s no secret that I don’t often enjoy female characters who are annoying helpless and useless, but Quinn even when in the most difficult and tight spots was still practical and focus on her goals; something I really appreciated.

The reason my rating isn’t higher is that the writing style wasn’t suited to me all that well. Whilst I can appreciate it, I personally felt drawn away from the story on multiple occasions. I also felt that whilst some of my small niggle type questions were eventually answered, I felt it perhaps would have been better covering them earlier, so that for a large portion of the novel I wasn’t thinking “but how can that be, and what about that?”. I also wasn’t a fan of the relationship that was developing between Emily and Mason, it didn’t feel natural to me and I could have done without it.

That being said, this book is fast paced, action packed, and well put together. It was definitely a fun and intriguing start to a new series in the space opera genre.

If you would like more specific spoiler content, this review will be posted with added extra’s to my Goodreads which you can find here.

Blood of An Exile by Brian Naslund Review

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Sorry I haven’t posted a review in a while…I’ve been kind of snowed under by a lot of things and have been finding it difficult to post on here, but I’m here now to tell you all about this lovely book – non-spoiler of course!

So here’s the general details if your not aware…

You can find it on Amazon here
  • Title: Blood of An Exile
  • Author: Brian Naslund
  • Hardcover: 416
  • Publisher: Tor
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • My Rating: 4.75*

SynopsisFrom Amazon


Sentenced to die. Impossible to kill.

Bershad was supposed to die. When he was caught attempting to assassinate a fellow noble, he was given the harshest sentence: a command to slay dragons, so his death might serve the kingdom. Yet for some reason he never lost a fight and is now the most successful dragon-slayer in history. However, as a doomed man Bershad is still shunned by his peers and his countrymen. But that could all change.

The king who sentenced Bershad has just given him a way out: kill a foreign monarch and walk free forever. His problem is that Bershad couldn’t care less about the fates of kingdoms – until the dragon-slayer discovers he could save an innocent child in the process.

His mission might also save every creature in Terra.

My Review

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but you know the drill – all opinions are my own.

Anyway as you can probably guess from the rating, I really enjoyed this book…like really enjoyed it. I honest to Gods didn’t think it would be as good as it was. Quite simply put, Brian Naslund did what hardly anyone does…he thought extensively about how dragons would work in a world among humans. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at other dragon books…I love dragons, but Brian Naslund actually thought about the ecosystem. He thought about how an apex predator would effect that ecosystem and how he could make it work. And work it did my friends. His world building blew me away! I was honestly so excited to learn about the different species, the magic, the eating habbits, the consequence of dragon numbers dwindling…it was just beautiful. Really, a big thank you to Brian Naslund for giving me a world of dragons that I can live and breath and totally imagine being 100% legit.

Bershad, our main character, is a miserable and seemingly prickly man who is forced into a life of killing the very beasts he once admired. His rank and station are removed from him, and he is given over to a life on the road…so it is very understandable that he is prickly. I would be. He gives me all the badass warrior vibes I need in a character! As the book progresses we see him open up and we delve more into him as a person and I have to say… I love him. I’m not even kidding!

There is so much in this story that leaves you wondering why. Wondering when you get to know x, y, and z. It was a truly enjoyable story and I highly recommend this book! If you like dragons definitely pick it up, but even if you aren’t a fanatic like myself pick it up anyway! It was such a good journey, and very worth the read!

Please pick it up if you haven’t already, and then come fangirl/ fanboy with me!! This book needs more chatter! And if you have read it let me know your thoughts in the comments below!