Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I am back at it with another Blog Tour and I am so blessed to have been #gifted an e-copy of this book for the tour! Massive thank you to Black Crow PR again for letting me join in on the fun that is Into The Forest! As you can see from the above, I am not the only one who is lucky enough to have gotten my hands on this beauty, so please do visit my fellow tour participants to see what opinions they have on this beautiful collection of Baba Yaga inspired tales!
A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by the Baba Yaga. Featuring Gwendolyn Kiste, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Monique Snyman, Donna Lynch, Lisa Quigley, and R. J. Joseph, with an introduction by Christina Henry.
Deep in the dark forest, in a cottage that spins on birds’ legs behind a fence topped with human skulls, lives the Baba Yaga. A guardian of the water of life, she lives with her sisters and takes to the skies in a giant mortar and pestle, creating tempests as she goes. Those who come across the Baba Baga may find help, or hinderance, or horror. She is wild, she is woman, she is witch– and these are her tales.
Edited by Lindy Ryan, this collection brings together some of today’s leading voices of women-in-horror as they pay tribute to the Baba Yaga, and go Into the Forest
Ahhh, what can I say about this set of short stories? Well firstly, I don’t read a lot of anthologies, but when I read the synopsis of this and heard it would be a bunch of creepy themed stories about our main gal Baba Yaga, I had to give it a go. I just immediately squealed when I learnt about this book!
I don’t know what it is, but I have always been drawn to Baba Yaga’s tales. Some part of me has always been equal parts fascinated and disturbed by the folklore that surrounds her. She is the ultimate witch, and these stories didn’t disappoint.
From the very first short story there is a weird sense of something I couldn’t help but being drawn to. Something, that if I was to give it a name would sound something like, divinely, dark, and powerfully feminine. I loved every moment of it. Every disturbing detail, every spellbinding encounter with this mother witch was intoxicating in the most fabulous of ways.
There is something intrinsically primal about the tales of Baba Yaga and each of these stories encapsulates her essence perfectly.
I honestly cannot use words to describe how happy these stories made me; it was everything I wanted out of dark short stories featuring Baba Yaga! Nailed the assignment! Highly recommend!
And if you are someone who has ever felt a pull towards witches, these stories will set your soul on fire!
Thats all I have for you today folks! Thanks so much for reading my thoughts about this book! Thanks again to the team at Black Crow PR – I love, love, loved this!
Hey Beautiful Booklovers! Today is my stop on the blog tour for the amazing Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle!! I am so excited to share this post with you all today, this is a book worth reading for sure and it was one hell of a ride! Just a quick disclaimer and big thank you to Black Crow PR for gifting me a copy and letting me get in on this tour! All opinions are honest and my own as always! Another thank you to A.G. Riddle for this beauty of book! Truly honoured to have gotten the chance to review this for you! And lastly, before I get into it all, please take a look at the above and give some of my fellow blog tour participants a visit and some love when their tour day comes up!
So, let’s start off with the basics as always: What is it about I hear you call?
Control the Past. Save the Future.
Dr. Sam Anderson is one of the most celebrated scientists in history. Ten years ago, he invented a device that changed the world forever. Now his life is about to be ripped apart—and his own creation may be to blame.
One fateful morning, Sam discovers that his girlfriend has been murdered and that his daughter is accused of the crime.
Sam believes she’s innocent, but he can’t prove it. There’s only one thing he can do to save his daughter: confess to the crime. And so he does.
But in the future, murderers aren’t sent to prison. They’re sent to the past.
Thanks to Sam’s invention–Absolom–the world’s worst criminals are exiled forever, sent back to the time of the dinosaurs, where they live out their lives alone.
As Sam steps into the Absolom chamber to leave for the Late Triassic, he makes a promise: he will get back to his family, clear his name, and find the person who killed the woman he loved.
What Sam doesn’t know is that there’s a secret waiting for him in the past. And it might be his only hope of saving himself and his family.
Sam isn’t the only one seeking justice. In the present, his daughter, Adeline, also embarks on a mission to find the person who framed her and tore her family apart. She’s already lost her mother. She can’t bear losing her father too.
As Adeline peels back the layers of the conspiracy against her family, she uncovers more questions than answers. Everyone around her is hiding a secret, including her legal guardian. And some people aren’t what they seem.
Adeline soon finds herself in the midst of a mystery that stretches across the past, present, and future—and leads to a revelation that will change everything.
Lost in Time is more than a murder mystery about advanced technology and time travel. It’s a heartwarming story about family and the lengths we might go to in order to save the ones we love—with a twist that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew since the first moment.
My Non-Spoiler Thoughts :-
No spoilers coming from my lips…or keyboard today friends, I simply won’t ruin the fun – I refuse, however here’s what I am willing to say;
I hang my head in shame and confess that I… have never read any A.G. Riddle books before and now find myself utterly red cheeked and in need of another. I am somewhat picky when it comes to my sci-fi and as you may or may not know if you have followed me for a while – I tend to be a hardcore epic fantasy fan so don’t tend to review too many sci-fi books, but I can wholeheartedly say that this book would fit the build for any reader!
There is mystery, revenge, intrigue, twists… and let’s not forget the dinosaurs!
Straight off the bat we are given the goods. Story telling is all about keeping the readers guessing and this book did not fail the assignment. Immediately upon picking it up we see Sam and his daughter Adeline get arrested and questioned about the murder of Sam’s girlfriend. It is almost as quickly that we begin to question the motives of everyone in this story, and how much we as readers can trust them. There is a good deal of that beautiful Sci-Fi concept thrown in, but even if you aren’t into the technical jargon that comes along with explanations of time-travel etc, you will still enjoy this story as it is, by and large, about the relationships of the characters and about the lengths they go to when life gets tough, and when the world seems to be against them. The story really begins to pick up pace when Sam is sent through the Absolom, which as you can imagine is a difficult place to survive in, but what I like is that Sam’s drive comes from his love of his children, and I think that’s something that is so easily relatable to anyone reading! We also have Adelines’ perspective whilst she is still in the current timeline trying to solve the mystery of who tried to frame her, and I must confess she isn’t getting it much easier than Sam, though her risks are a little different. Riddle did a fantastic job of keeping me suspicious, keeping me guessing, and I honestly burned my way through this book. It was intense in the best way, and I didn’t want to miss a word!
What I love about this book is that it is the everyday relatable emotions that really pull it together. Whilst this is a tale of time-travel and mystery it is also fundamentally about the inner strength that comes from turmoil, which is why it’s so addictive!
If you hadn’t gathered by now – I thoroughly recommend picking this one up! A.G. Riddle has gained a definite fan in me, and I will be looking to pick up another Riddle book soon!
Thanks for taking the time to read through this review! As stated, I didn’t want to spoil any of you but perhaps, if there is a demand for it, I will upload a book chat onto my YouTube channel where I can discuss it in full for any of you who want the spoiler version!
Hey beautiful booklovers! It been an age since I wrote a review for you all, and so why not start my coming back to social media with a review of a book I recently read and loved so much! Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff! I am so excited to chat about this one with you all. For all of you who watched my EotV chat on Youtube, this will be a more concise and comprehensive review compared to my chatter in that video, but for those of you who want to watch it that haven’t I have linked the video here for you.
So for those of you who do not know what this beauty is about (and I doubt there are many of you out there but you never know) here’s what it is about.
Synopsis – From Amazon
It has been 27 long years since the last sunrise.
For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity, building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.
Gabriel de León, half man, half monster and last remaining silversaint – a sworn brother of the holy Silver Order dedicated to defending the realm from the creatures of the night – is all that stands between the world and its end.
Now imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:
The Holy Grail.
So it goes without saying, but I picked up this book (pre-ordered it actually) without having read the synopsis. It really was as simple as hearing Jay was writing a vampire book for me. I loved vampires growing up; by that I mean watching movies like Queen of the Damned, and Underworld, and just being utterly obsessed with how cool it was, not to mention my addiction for Victoria Frances artwork.
So what can I say about this book without spoiling it for those of you who haven’t read it yet?
Well, the worldbuilding is rich and full of life, the characters are gritty and relatable, and the way the story is told is captivating. It kept me engaged throughout, there were moments I laughed and moments I literally teared up because I was so invested in the story and Gabriel De Leon as our main character. The Vampires are ruthless, the humans, you’ll find, can be much the same. There were unexpected turns, moments of despair, and always the want to know what happens next. Overall this book gripped me from page one to the end, and left be thoroughly wanting more. I cannot wait to see what Jay will do with book two but you can be sure that I will be pre-ordering it as soon as I’m able and then consuming it unabashedly when it releases.
Well if you are still sticking around looking for more you must be my spoiler bunch who want the details on what I thought about X, Y, and Z. Don’t worry I aim to please…
Spoiler Review – Turn back ye who haveth not readth this book…(okay that was terrible lolbut you get what I mean!)
So, since I rambled a lot in my Youtube video, I am going to try my hardest to be more clear and concise here, therefore I will break it up into sections below, and let you know my thoughts on each. I will start of with the general and get more into the spoiler stuff as we go on.
So as I said above the worldbuilding in this book is fantastic, and I really fell head over heels for it. We get a similar style of worldbuilding to Jay’s previous ‘Nevernight Chronicles’ in the sense that there is different expressions based on where the characters are located or different gestures for cursing etc, than what we are used to in our everyday lives; this is something so small yet something I appreciate so much because it makes sense and it embellishes the story with more depth. Luckily for us there is no shortness of depth in this world, and it is just brimming with possibilities. We have a high society, an emperor (although very absent throughout), an empress, 4 royal houses of vampires one of which is invading the mortal lands with an army of the dead. We have a pretty comprehensive religion along with the fanatics who blindly follow despite the wrong they do in their Gods’ name, and we have tribes throughout the northern lands/ highlands; some of which deal in other Gods’ and magik (which would definitely be interesting to get more information on). The map of this world is beautiful, and when Jay is telling us the story through Gabriel’s eyes I felt as though this world was vast and real. There is definitely a sense of being able to walk straight into this world. The vastness of the world and its’ ability to captivate put me in mind of A Song of Ice and Fire in my opinion – not that the books are similar but more that the world is so actualised it has the same feel.
Now, I mentioned in my video that the storytelling might not be for everyone since it is in the style of ‘sit down and tell me your tale’. We have a historian who comes to Gabriel in his cell and asks him to share his story. Now some people might be turned away from that, I personally wasn’t as this type of storytelling when done well can be great, and lets be clear…Jay done good! Then there is the whole split timelines thing that might also put people off, which I can understand because if I am being honest I don’t tend to like getting stuck into something only to be drawn out of it and then dropped into another timeline/ perspective. That being said I really didn’t have an issue with that in this book because both timelines were centred around Gabriel, and I was really invested in knowing his tale. There is also the strategic way in which Jay chose those timelines – they are far apart and give us enough to be engaged whilst also wondering what happened in between. For example, we still don’t know how Gabriel came to be in possession of Ashdrinker, and we also don’t know how he came to kill Fabien Voss. These are pretty big moments in his life yet we are kept away from the details which gives more intrigue and helps keep the reader focused on what they will learn next. What happened? How did that happen? When are we going tofind out tnis etc? This is all essential to good story telling because the question is what keeps us (the reader) moving forward with the story, and indeed what drives us back for the second instalment. Jay did a great job with his storytelling on this one and thoroughly has my attention.
The Holy Grail Storyline
As I said before, normally I don’t appreciate being pulled out of something I am enjoying and thrown into something else, and whilst it did take me a small bit to get into this timeline, I did actually end up loving it too. I know that makes it sound as though I slogged through…I didn’t, it was pretty quick for me to realise that this storyline was just as captivating. I think the reason for that is that it also centred around Gabriel, and by that point I was so invested in him I wanted every scrap of information he had to offer. Lets talk characters; in this timeline we have a familiar ‘face’ in Chloe, and we have a bunch of new characters in Dior, Saoirse, Bellamy, Rafa, and of course Phoebe. I appreciated Saoirse as this strong female warrior type who reminded me a lot of Scotland (as you may or may not know I am Scottish) and I loved that she came from some tribe that was steeped in old magik and things. Oh, and that fact that she had Phoebe by her side helped a little too! I loved that she didn’t take Gabriel’s crap at all. She was seriously giving off some bad b***h vibes and I was here for it. I loved Bellamy, he made me chuckle and I was actually surprised how sad I was at his death, I really wanted him to find his final song. Chloe, for me was a shock, because I wasn’t expecting her to be that person that was into human sacrifice and yet that’s exactly who she turned out to be. Dior grew on me massively and I can’t wait to hear more about her in the next instalment. Initially I wasn’t sure about her but she won me over for sure.
Let’s talk about the obvious…The whole sacrifice Dior, kill Gabriel, discovering Celene is still alive thing, because I’m not gonna lie to you folks…that was not what I expected. Well, for the most part anyway. Towards the end of this storyline I did feel that they were going to try either sacrifice Dior or do something along those lines, so I wasn’t overly surprised when that was the case. I did however not see Gabriel dying coming, mostly because he is telling this tale from a cell, but also because I had some kind of childish hope that he wouldn’t be able to be overpowered by them all. Perhaps I’ve been reading too much David Gemmell. Regardless, I wasn’t expecting his found ‘family’ Chloe, Greyhand etc to kill him and watch him die, it was such a betrayal for Gabriel and all because he didn’t believe Dior should die. Then once we get over that we realise that Liathe is actually Celene, and now she hates Gabriel for her untimely death at the hands of his enemy. I was SHOOKETH! There was no part of me at all that expected Celene to still be alive, and to find out that she was some sort of immortal badass with sanguimancy?!? Like what?! She is of the same Esani bloodline as Gabriel! Honestly I need answers folks!
The Early Life of Gabriel Storyline
I loved this storyline. Loved finding out where Gabriel came from, his family dynamic, and his trials and tribulations during his time training to become a Silversaint. It was interesting to have a main character who was young and full of pride to the point of making foolish mistakes. I was also not expecting to have Gabriel be thought of as a Frailblood, I was sitting there thinking ‘nah, that can’t be right’. I loved watching the friendship between Aaron de Coste and Gabriel form; I was fully expecting their hatred for one another to contribute to the death of Aaron, but I am so thankful that they became friends instead. I really enjoyed Greyhand’s character too, he was definitley that militarian man I’ve had the pleasure of meeting multiple times. He reminded me so much of being back in the army, and I loved that he was someone who lived for the Order. It was sad to see how his relationship with Gabriel developed into one of resentment, but that just made his character that much more real to me. Astrid – Honestly I was not expecting the relationship that formed between Gabriel and Astrid to be as pure as it was; I know that sounds weird, but they truly loved each other enough to turn their backs on their positions within the Order, and set out by themselves. It was unexpected but I loved that their relationship went that way.
I would say that Gabriel in this half of the story is very relatable, because he is young, wants to prove himself and is willing to take risks to prove his worth to others, and I feel like that is something all young and naïve people do; obviously not to this extent or within this context but nevertheless I feel it is relatable. Jay captured the spirit of being young, dumb, and ballsy in this part of Gabriel’s story and I loved it.
The Worst Day
What can I say about this chapter other than a part of my soul died reading it. This broke me, honestly. It was so hard to read how happy Gabriel was and how perfectly mundane his life was only for it to be taken so violently from him. Was it not bad enough that his child was murdered and his wife bled dry, but when he woke he had to kill his wife because she had become (cries hysterically whilst cursing Jay for being so cruel). The thing is…I knew it was coming. I knew they were dead, I just had that feeling but when we got to find out how, oh it was heart-breaking, and I just can’t wait to read about the moment Fabien Voss dies at Gabriel’s hands.
The Battles/ Confrontations
I was kind of expecting more battles in this book, not that I didn’t enjoy the conflict and fights that we did get, because I did, but I somehow fooled myself into thinking I would be getting more of those epic battles, probably because I stupidly thought I’d get to read about the fight with Fabien Voss and stuff but apparently I got ahead of myself. Either way what we did get was good, I certainly enjoyed the fights between Gabriel and Danton Voss. It was fun when Gabriel only told his true plan to Dior because he knew Danton would read everyone’s mind. That kind of thing makes me immensely happy, I always love it when our main character is one step ahead.
So we come to the end of the story and the tale of Gabriel’s life hasn’t been fully told but he is in this cell and he gets his hands on Jean-Francois our historian, and tries to use his sanguimancy on him…which obviously didn’t work, but then we are reminded of the moth at the window, and of course my brain goes to Liathe, and makes me think she is keeping an eye on things. It definitely leaves the reader wanting that’s for sure, and as I keep saying makes me want to read the next book immediately.
What’s To Come/ Theories?
Okay, last bit folks. Theories. I do love me a theory and this book doesn’t disappoint with the possibilities. Firstly lets confront the obvious…Astrid. Yes, yes, I know I have been saying she’s dead and he killed her when she became, BUT let’s be honest here, Gabriel is telling this tale to his enemy, is he going to be honest? Probably not. Could he have killed Astrid? I’m not so sure. It’s entirely possible they have been sustaining each other to sate their blood lust, and she had been made by Fabien Voss, how old was that guy? It stands to reason that she would be a pretty powerful vampire, and given their relationship it could be that Gabriel finds himself with another powerful vampire ally. Why would he want to reveal that card up his sleeve so soon? Or maybe he really did kill her? Time will tell.
There is the matter of the sanguimancy too. Gabriel is obviously of a line that has the ability of sanguimancy, and throughout the book we are told that vampirism only passes from male sires to their boys, but then there is Liathe/ Celene who we are told has a different father from Gabriel…which leads me to believe that the Esani line has been passed down from his mother. It’s either that or Celene has the same father but that seems unlikely to me. It will be interesting to find out what the deal is with all this in book two.
I think it’s obvious that we will continue to find out the story that Gabriel is willing to tell in the next book but I have to wonder if he is comfortable there. Throughout the book he listens to the number of steps the servant takes when they rush from his cell etc, which to me is the observation of a man who has no plan to die yet. It feels like if he has been caught and is a prisoner, then it may be his plan to be there. He may have a reason to be comfortably sitting within the cell. Again, we must assume that Gabriel is an unreliable narrator as he considers Jean-Francois his enemy, so who really knows his motives.
On that note I think it would be foolish of us to assume that Dior is lost to Gabriel, as mentioned above it has to be assumed that he is unreliable and in that case why would he tell his enemy honestly where his allies are etc. As the saying goes, keep your enemies close, and this way Gabriel gets to belt feed Jan-Francois whatever he wants them to believe.
Either way I am very excited to find out what happens next!
Well, that’s it, you now have my thoughts on Empire of the Vampire! I hope you enjoyed my waffling, and please let me know in the comments if you’ve read it and what your thoughts were overall. Do you agree with any of my theories? Do you have any of your own? Let me know!
Hey Beautiful Booklovers! I am back with a release day blitz thanks to Storytellers on Tour and of course Alex S Bradshaw! So big big thank you to both for allowing me to take part and to give some spotlight to this beauty!
It goes without saying that this tale in a Norse inspired one and you all know how much I love those so I was obviously very keen to be apart of the release day blitz. I haven’t finished this one yet but what I have read so far I have really enjoyed! Let me tell you a bit more about it.
Drowning is only the beginning…
Edda Gretasdottir is a raider, a fell-handed shield-maiden, feared along every coast. Hers is a life woven in battle scars.
But she never wanted to walk the warrior’s path. All she wanted was freedom, to earn enough gold to buy her family their own remote farm, and to escape their oppressive chieftain. Now, she has enough plunder so that she can finally hang up her shield and live in peace.
That peace is stolen from Edda, however, when raiders burn her home, destroy all that she loves, and toss her, wounded and bleeding, into the ravenous ocean.
But the fates are cruel and this is not the end for Edda: she rises from the bloody surf as a Windborn, a cursed warrior whose supernatural gifts are a poor exchange for everything she has lost.
Fuelled by rage and armed with strange new powers Edda will hunt for whoever sent the raiders, for whoever is responsible for taking everything from her. She will show them the sharp edge of her axe… or die trying.
Windborn is a dark, character-driven Norse fantasy packed with emotion, deadly foes, and vicious battles.
Get your copy of Windborn now to hear Edda’s epic tale!
Sounds great doesn’t it? Now, as I’ve said I haven’t finished this beauty yet so can’t give a full review but what I will say is that I adore a story of revenge and vengeance and this book has that in abundance. Edda is fierce and unforgiving. She is everything I hoped she would be and inspires a strength in you as you read her. Now, let’s move on to teasing you with an excerpt!
There you have it! I hope you are as excited about this as I am and hopefully one of you will pick it up soon. It is currently 99p on kindle so definitely check that out while the deal lasts.
That’s all from me today beautifuls, have a great day and read awesome books.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
My Rating: 3*
Synopsis – From 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 Review – SPOILER 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.
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 😘!
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!
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.
Title: A Pack of Vows and Tears
Author: Olivia Wildestien
Paperback: 418 pages
Publisher: Twig Publishing (28 May 2019)
Genre: UrbanFantasy/ PNR
My Rating: 4*
Synopsis – From 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?
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:
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.
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!