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.