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!

The Gems of Elsana: Into the Wildbarrens by Christian Sterling Review

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I know, I know I’m the worst person on social media these days! I have been absent so much lately, but I’m back with a review for you all!

Anyway lets get started…

Into the Wildbarrens (The Gems of Elsana Book 1) by [Sterling, Christian]
  • Title: Into the Wildbarrens (The Gems of Elsana Book 1)
  • Author: Christian Sterling
  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Indie published
  • Genre: Fantasy Adventure
  • My Rating: 3*

Synopsis – From Amazon

EVERYONE’S FAVORITE WIZARD, BEFORE THE BEARD.

We know him well. Ever-flowing wisdom. Concealed power. A white beard and a proclivity for mentoring chosen ones. 

In so many tales, we find ourselves enamored with a kindly wizard guiding our protagonist, curious to his roots, source of power, and hidden knowledge. This is that wizard’s story.

Falin is only twenty years of age, and with nine-hundred eighty years left to explore the world, he is eager to begin his quest for the Gems of Elsana, four jewels that provide wizards with their full power. Accompanied by four Champions, Falin considers himself lucky, joined by a sage healer, elven assassin, drakkish warrior, and madorian prince. 

All seems well until the elder wizards reveal they expect Falin’s quest will take them into the Wildbarrens, a desolate and horrid land teeming with creatures of the Dark. Given the circumstances—and to the chagrin of Falin’s honorable Champions—the group is accompanied by an unscrupulous pair of outlaws claimed to have traveled through the Wildbarrens.

In this feel-good fiction, we are cast into a world brimming with our favorite elements of fantasy with new twists unlike anything we’ve read before. Christian Sterling has cultivated the start of a series with unparalleled charm, action, humor, romance, and thrills. All ages will be sure to enjoy this story from its first magical pages, to its last.

My Review

I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest review here, and so I’m just gonna be 100% transparent and let you all know that before I get into things. This absolutely has no bearing on my review…all opinions are my own.

So, when I was first approached about this book it sounded like something new, fun and such a different take on the old wise one trope, which I love. I loved the different races and the takes on them. I especially loved the Draks – they were such a cool take on something we see saturating the market in the last decade or so!

I really like the idea of the world, and the way it was so divided into different segments and different people. And I also found that the plot line often gave me ‘classic fantasy’ vibes. It was clear to me whilst reading that the author himself is a fan of classic fantasy, and that by writing this he wanted to take classic fantasy and spin it on its’ head.

However, and there is unfortunately a however, I also found that the writing itself seemed a little less than natural at times. The dialogue for one didn’t seem to flow at times, and I often found myself transported back to the type classic fantasy that showcased characters who didn’t quite feel real or believable for that matter.

Sadly I also have to say that I found things to be a little too predictable, a little too convenient, and sometimes I felt there were character inconsistencies.

I really don’t have an awful lot to say on this book if I’m honest. I feel the premise had great potential but the execution let it down a little.

Daughter of Kali: Awakening by Shiulie Ghosh Review!

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! So sorry I haven’t been around lately, but today I’ll be sharing my views on this arc I read recently. Buckle up booknerds

  • Title: Daughter of Kali: Awakening
  • Author: Shiulie Ghosh
  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Peach Publishing (1 Jun. 2018)
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • ISBN-10: 1780363710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780363714
  • My Rating: 3*

SynopsisFrom Amazon

We all have our demons. Kaz Deva aches to fit in and be normal. But with the unnerving ability to see things that others can’t, ‘normal’ is not an option. After a shocking confrontation with evil, Kaz is drawn into a dangerous world of myth and magic. An ancient Guild of Warriors fights to keep demons at bay, her mother is harbouring a dark secret, and a Hindu goddess is haunting her dreams. Everything she thought she knew is a lie, except her feelings for a boy she can never have. As Kaz learns the truth of who she is and where she comes from, something awakens inside her; something cold and ruthless. With the battle between Warriors and demons becoming ever more deadly, Kaz must find a way to survive her destiny and control her supernatural powers before it’s too late.

My ReviewSPOILER WARNING!!

Firstly let me say this was an arc from netgalley, but I picked up this book because I was really interested to see how hinduism played a part in the story. In my opinion it’s not something we see often in YA.

You will have noticed that I only gave this a 3* and here’s why:

Whilst I was over the moon about the diverse rep of the main character her strange character behaviours were too much for me to overlook. Firstly we get the immediate angle of ‘mother and daughter don’t get on’ – to the point that the daughter is outright rude A LOT, but we have no real indication of why that is. Oh but she does like to mock her mothers indian food, and her mother’s love for the Gods etc, which I found odd considering I was excited to see some hindu rep!

There wasn’t a whole lot of reasons behind the strange resentment Kaz had for her mother…at least in the start anyway, and it bothered me that she was outright mocking her mothers way of life, and at one point even claimed the incense and statues of the Gods had embarassed her!

Another thing that annoyed me was the forbidden love trope. Whilst I confess to enjoying a forbidden love story when done well, I just couldn’t get on board. If you have read this you may be thinking “Why Steff? Because it makes her a terrible best friend to like the guy?” No, my darling readers, that is not my issue. My issue lies in the fact that Kaz, and her best friend are 15. The Love interest is 18, and someone who was brought up as trained warrior…

Let’s just think about that for a second. Now whilst in the UK the legal sex age is 16, I still don’t find it appealing to read about an 18 year old guy lusting after a 15 year old…it’s weird, and quite frankly I just can’t! As for him being trained as a warrior from a young age, I just can’t see how that would at all fit in well with two girls who are in high school. Am I insane, or are they just leaps and bounds apart.

It gave me shadowhunter vibes a little, with the whole ‘demon hunters’ thing and a whole guild of people who govern them and their training.

Another thing that I didn’t particularly like, yes another, was that Kaz (aged 15) was a normal kids then her mum SPOILER got kidnapped by a demon and all of a sudden she is commanding all the people in one of the safe house/ bases for the demon hunters. Like what….ACTUALLY WHAT!!! ARRGGHHH! How on earth can you expect me to believe, a 15 year old with no experience, in comand/ management and who has only just found out demons are real can suddenly flip a switch and start commanding other who are many years her senior and have been doing this basically their whole lives…uh uh! No sorry you lost me!

Whilst this has become a rant, I do think that the way the demons where portrayed was different, and I was intrigued by the whole Kali twist in there, so that was fun, but I’m afraid overall I can’t say it left me feeling like I has just read a great book…the more I think about it the more it annoys me.

So that’s it, my rant…I mean review for Daughter of Kali: Awakening! Please let me know in the comments below if you have read this, it would be super interesting to know what other peoples opinions are on it.

So…I did a thing!

Hey beautiful booklovers! How have you all been? I’m getting my reading groove on this week and I’m hoping to smash my tbr this month…I mean we’ll see, but that’s the plan!

Anyway, todayis going to be a quick one. I’m posting a bit of news…I’ve joined booktube!! I can’t believe I took the leap, but I am now making videos of my bookish antics and posting it…because doesnt that sound fun? Lol!

I’ve just posted my booktube newbie tag on there and if any of you lovely people are interested I’ll link it below 😘!

You can watch my video here if you are interested.

I just wanted you all to know that I’m now over there too if you are interested at all. Other than that, I’ll have another review coming to you by the end of this week hopefully so stay tuned for that!

A Pack of Vows and Tears by Olivia Wildenstein arc Review

Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I am so excited to tell you all about this beautiful arc I received. This is the second book in The Boulder Wolves triology, and I had the privilege to get the arc of the first on netgalley a while back.

The second (and the book I am reviewing today) I recieved from the lovely Olivia Wildestien herself. Please note that although I recieved this arc for free all my opinions are, as always, my own, and I have not been paid at all for this review.

A Pack of Vows and Tears (The Boulder Wolves Book 2) by [Wildenstein, Olivia]
You can find your copy here!
  • Title: A Pack of Vows and Tears
  • Author: Olivia Wildestien
  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Twig Publishing (28 May 2019)
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy/ PNR
  • ISBN-10:  1948463172
  • ISBN-13:  978-1948463171
  • My Rating: 4*

SynopsisFrom Amazon

She thought the fight was over but it was only just beginning.

Ness Clark’s place amongst the Boulders and at Liam’s side is compromised. First, when her cousin claims Ness helped him elude his death sentence. And then, when August Watt, Ness’s childhood friend, comes home to Boulder.

Although August’s plan was to pledge himself and return to active duty, he finds himself incapable of leaving. This becomes problematic for Liam and Ness, because a mating link has clicked into place between Ness and the ex-marine. If not consumed, the link will fade, but that’ll take months. How long and hard can two people fight a physical attraction that renders their bodies unreceptive to anyone’s but their mates?

Ness is tired of fighting, tired of having to prove herself worthy of her pack’s trust and of her Alpha’s affection. But when an enemy pack arrives and threatens the Boulders, she has two choices: step aside and let the wolves who have pushed her away fend for themselves, or step up and help them fight the newcomers.

Ness has never stepped aside…not for anyone.

Why would she start now?

My Review

As this book is a sequel I kind of knew what to expect. Not in terms of plot of course but in terms of setting and characters etc. I had my fave characters, I had characters I was less keen on. That being said, Olivia Wildenstien has this ability to take me on a wild ride, and turn my emotions completely on their head!

There were twists I didn’t see coming, a few actually, and I read this book in record time. I’m a sucker for the romance in this story and can’t tell you how much I’m rooting for the ship. The annoying thing is how quickly Olivia can make you change your mind about someone you thought you liked! I went into this book thinking I liked a character, and it turns out I really don’t after reading this.

What I really appreciate about these books is that Ness, our main character, is strong, independent, and has known much heartache and personal tragedy. It’s one of the reasons we root for her so much in these books. She is strong yet vulnerable, and whilst she always bounces back we get to see the strife she endures.

It’s hard to review this book because all I want to do is scream about the spoilers. I just want to chat until the cows come home about what happened and how I feel! I really enjoy these books. They always get devoured within hours, and quite honestly I find it cruel I have to wait for the next one…not fair at all.

Immediately after reading this I messaged Olivia and told her about my angst and she just laughed, saying she had done her job.

These books are definitely worth a read if you like romance shifter stories. I should add that I normally never read shifter stories but for this series I make an exception.

If you are interested I suggest taking a look at book one – A Pack of Blood and Lies:

Find it Here!

Synopsis

The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender. 

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane–son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him. 

Except Ness. 

Thus begins a treacherous game. 

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

Have you read any of these books? If yes…we should chat! If not, then you really should give it a go if it sounds like your cup of tea. Let me know in the comments below!