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Book Review: The Lady Raven by Rebecca Henry

The Lady Raven

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Rebecca Henry, for an honest review.

Genre: Fantasy/Retelling

Plot: In The Lady Raven, Rebecca Henry tells the tale of Zezolla, a little princess abandoned by her father into the hands of her evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters. A familiar fairy tale you may think but all is not as it appears. The reader is soon drawn into a web of witchcraft, lies and deceit, and gradually realizes that this is no typical fairy tale but a dark and macabre take on one. Zezolla is treated with the utmost cruelty, neglected and vilified, and left to live in the damp cellars of the castle. The only friends Zezolla has are her beloved raven and her pet wolf. Her only comfort lies in the loyalty of the creatures of the forest and her mother’s hazel tree. Will Zezolla have the power to escape her torment and ultimately save herself from the unscrupulous clutches of the king? The Lady Raven is a compelling tale and one that is not for the faint-hearted.

Opinion:

Fridays are for dark retellings, murder and deceit.

In this twisted tale there are more than just stepmothers to defeat.

Vile stepsisters and wicked, forceful Kings,

Have a chance to be defeated with the help of paws and wings.

With a Princess clad in black and magic scorching through her veins,

A Queen must arise to break free from her chains.

I love a fairy tale retelling, especially one that flips the story from cheery to morbid.

But what I love even more, is a story of a Goth Princess Witch.

Rebecca Henry got our Princess’s name wrong though,

because this is DEFINITELY written about me.

Princess Zezolla lead a life of happiness and bliss with her parents in their castle. A life with a doting father and a mother that showered her in love and affection. At least until her mother was drowned at the hands of her father. Now Zezolla’s life is one doused in sorrow and cruelty. Countless deaths and misfortunes follow the Princess as she grows into a young woman, with only her Raven and her magic to keep her company. Forced into the cellars of her castle by her stepmother and her daughters to live for years, the only solace Zezolla can find is through the woods and its creatures. But the bloodshed in Zezolla’s life has only just begun, and to survive, she must trust in her magic and her guardians.

Zezolla is the witchy Princess that my childhood heart has always wanted!

This girl is sweet, caring, compassionate and loving to everyone and everything around her-even those who treat her horribly. After the death of her mother, she falls into a state of mourning that takes hold of her life and leaves her lonely and neglected. Her father, after being betrayed by his wife and then drowning her, becomes a nonexistent parent to Zezolla, only focusing his efforts on securing a new wife and improving his status. And so begins the onslaught of stepmothers that will enter Zeolla’s life, leaving a trail of cruelty and vile behavior in their wake.

It seems to be a theme in this retelling for characters to begin as somewhat decent beings, and then turn rather drastically into monstrous versions of themselves. It was so saddening to watch Zezolla lean towards so many figures in her life that she loved and respected, only for them to turn on her and wish for her demise. But another huge theme was the act of characters attempting to have ownership or control over our little Cinderella girl. She was constantly being thrust into the hands of those who either wanted her for gain or to be a slave that they could torture. This poor girl is beaten, betrayed, manipulated, verbally abused and treated like an object constantly.+

“You have witnessed man’s true desire…to own a woman.”

But before you think that she is totally helpless, don’t. Zezolla is a fierce and witty character with extraordinary abilities. She has a deep understanding of the Earth and the animals, and has extremely dedicated companions by way of a raven and a wolf. These two creatures steal and kill in order to protect their Princess, and to be completely honest, it is badass and ruthless! There is SO much blood being spilled in this story, but don’t fret, it isn’t graphic at all and won’t keep you up at night.

 

What I really enjoyed about this story as well, is the romance. It is a bit unexpected and not a huge part of the story…which I really LOVE! Look, I adore my fantasy romances just like the next YA obsessive out there. But what I adore even more, is a story where a female isn’t waiting in the damn shadows for a man to rescue her and fight her battles. I crave that feminine strength and power in books, and Rebecca delivered.

Overall, I am really impressed with this dark Cinderella retelling. The pace is quick, and this book covers a TON of ground in just 180 pages. It completely sucked me in and left me feeling a bit dismayed that it was over, because all I wanted was to stay with Zezolla. I would gladly welcome a series of The Lady Raven, or even a dark retelling of EVERY princess (hint hint, Rebecca). I definitely recommend this gritty and gothic fairy tale to those of you who are looking for a new retelling or a spooky read for October!

4-stars

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Edelweiss+ · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #30: 10 Badass Female Leads…

Murder, revenge, plotting, espionage, manipulation and sarcasm.
These ladies just don’t give a f**k.

 

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~* 10 Badass Female Leads…

That Will Kill You in Your Sleep *~

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1. Fortuna Sworn (Book 1) by K.J. Sutton
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

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We’re starting this “Badass Bitch” list off with a true nightmare:

Fortuna Sworn.

Fortuna is literally a Nightmare – a creature whose face shifts and transforms in order to accommodate the onlookers tastes, but who can reach into your mind to find your fears, and make you think they are now reality.

Twisted, right?!

Not only is this lady FIERCE and lethal, but she says demented things like this:

“For a terrible moment, I considered snapping my brother’s neck.”

This Adult Fantasy is by the amazing Kelsey Sutton who has written a ton of fantastic YA novels, but this is her first adult Fantasy and it is hot, HOT, HOT! If you like a Fae story that shows off the evil side of those intoxicating creatures, then read this. It has ACOTAR and The Folk of the Air vibes ALL over it!

(See my review here)

 

2. Alarum (Walking Shadows, Book 1) by Talis Jones
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Sci-fi

Alarum

Flinch, Vizsla, Kid, Fury.

All one person, and ALL total badassery!

Fury is the epitome of a ruthless, strong, sassy, resilient and dangerous woman. From being sold as a slave into a new world after the collapse of the United States, she is thrust into a simple lifestyle: kill or be killed. This tale tracks her childhood in a slave camp, her time working for a brutal family, and her transition into lawless renegade.

This lady is the shit!

Plus, Alarum will most likely make you cry…so that’s a plus.

(See my review here)

 

3. Serpent & Dove (Book 1) by Shelby Mahurin
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance

Serpent and Dove

No list is complete without a Witch to spice things up, right?!

Allow me to introduce the one and only, both incredible and crude, yet arrogant and hilarious, Louise le Blanc.

Look, a woman that will scream a pub song called “Big Tiddy Liddy” at the top of her lungs is a winner in my book. But throw in some SERIOUS Witch heritage, insane abilities, and murderous tendencies…then I will just turn to jello.

Serpent & Dove is a newly released YA Fantasy about Witches vs Church. Our main character is forced into marrying a guard of the church, even though he is unaware that she is actually a Witch and is VERY good at gutting people.

A Witch marrying a Witch Hunter.

Romance.

(See my review here)

 

4. Glitter (Book 1) by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA/Historical Fantasy/Dystopian

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Versailles, ball gowns and royals, high-tech automation and a courtier selling makeup with drugs in it?

Get it, girl!

Glitter doesn’t seem to be a super well-known series, and I am wondering WHY?! It has everything us YA book lovers need! Romance, scandal, an asshole young king and a leading female who just wants to take those bastards down…one jar of rouge at a time!

It’s a Historical Fantasy with a Science Fiction twist and it is SUPREMELY amazing!

 

(See my review here)

 

5. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

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Drownings, scandals, near decapitationsOH MY!!

13 Minutes is a slinky little YA Contemporary Thriller that will have you mumbling “wtf” while also grinning from ear to ear. I really can’t say who the badass is in this without giving EVERYTHING away, but just know…it’s delightful

It follows Natasha as she wakes up in the hospital after being washed up on an embankment. Nobody knows how she got there, and worst of all, she can’t remember anything. Natasha links up with her friends and a former friend to find out what really happened, and the truth is…shocking.

But just know this, these girls are twisted.

(See my review here)

 

6. With Malice by Eileen Cook
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Thriller/Mystery

With Malice.jpg

Want to be completely blindsided, infuriated AND appreciative of the truly devious acts of women?

You’ve come to the right place.

With Malice is exactly as the title describes: Malicious.

It is another story about a girl waking up in the hospital not remembering what happened to her. Slowly it becomes revealed that she was involved in a car accident, and there was someone else involved.

There are some serious Amanda Knox trial vibes going on here, and involves some cutthroat behavior by a female that I just can’t help but slow-clap for. This book has a twist and an ending that will make you just

(See my review here)

 

7. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling/Feminism

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You know what I love?

A feminist retelling of men being drowned for treating women like they’re nothing.

The Surface Breaks showcases a mermaid named Gaia who starts out as a meek and subservient daughter of the Sea King, but swiftly turns into a truly glorious character hellbent on standing up for herself and her sisters.

It’s a darker version to the original Little Mermaid tale you know, but one that NEEDS to be read!

(See my review here)

 

8. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Genre: YA/Mystery/Horror/LGBT

Wilder Girls

I am obsessed with this book, and even more obsessed with the female characters that grace its pages!

Wilder Girls is a YA Horror/Mystery filled with a collection of girls who are as freakish as they are resilient. These girls will claw at each other for food and kill you on the spot, but their hearts are filled with immense love and loyalty for one another.

This breathtaking and eerie story is about a school on an island that has been quarantined after a Tox infiltrates their walls. The girls are mutated and dying, and it is downright DARK! But oh so good.

(See my review here)

 

9. Darkness of Light (Book 1) by Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: New Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance

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Looking for another Celaena Sardothien and Rowan Whitethorn to swoon over?

Okay, technically this isn’t like TOG at all, but it’s Fantasy, it’s hot and I just love a female who can fight alongside some fantastical creatures!

Darkness of Light is an Adult Fantasy series filled with demons, fae, goblins and dark dwellers. This series is exciting and soooo romantic, but most importantly, it gives you a female lead who is SO saucy and fierce!

I am planning on reading it again this weekend, so jump on the train with me and let’s all just drool over this series together!

(See my review here)

 

10. Killing November (Book 1) by Adriana Mather
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/Contemporary

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Killing November is not high on my list of favorite books…at all, but it IS stuffed full and exploding with various characters who are all passionate about one thing:

Killing. ❤

Academy Absconditi is a school for assassins and spies in training. Classes range from poisons, knife throwing and plain old manipulation. So in this case, there is a whole host of badass females who will kill you in your sleepliterally.

(See my review here)

 

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Stay Witchy

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of january

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Redhook Books, via Netgalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Opinion:

“…the Door seemed to be murmuring in a soft, clattering language made of wood rot and peeling paint. I reached toward it again, hesitated, and then-

I opened the Door, and stepped through.”

January Scaller has been under the care of Mr. Locke, a wealthy and highly prominent figure, for as long as she can remember. With her father under his employment and traveling all over the world in order to track down hidden and rare artifacts, January is left in the mansion where is expected to be a good girl. But with only strict nursemaids and colleagues of Mr. Locke to keep January company, she finds solace in her books and her vivid imagination. As January grows, confined to the walls of her wealthy yet lonely lifestyle, she searchs anyhwere she can for something or someone to fill her empty void. It isn’t until she stumbles upon a strange book about magical doors and a lost love that January finally begins to find new meaning in her life, while also learning how far from mundane her history truly is.

“Sometimes I was so lonely I thought I might wither into ash and drift away on the next errant breeze.

Sometimes I felt like an item in Mr. Locke’s collection labeledJanuary Scaller, 57 inches, bronze; purpose unknown.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a YA Historical Fantasy about a girl searching for a way out of the life that has been forced upon her. At a young age she is put into the care of Mr. Locke, a man with insurmountable wealth and a love for rare artifacts. He employs her father to travel around the world in search of these items for him, while he houses and cares for January from child to teenager. Set in the early 1900s, January is expected to act like a proper lady. To have proper etiquette, learn the necessary studies and skills that make up an accomplished woman, and to remain silent. To be a good girl.

“Be a good girl.

To hell with being good.”

While we watch January grow from a young girl to a young woman, the loneliness and isolation that she feels is deafening. She is mostly ignored by the men and women that come and go from Mr. Locke’s house for parties, her nursemaid is strict and unrelenting, and the only semi-friend she has is a delivery boy by the name of Samuel. Though January has a deep love for books and and vivid imagination, she is taught from a young age to not waste her time and energy on such silly ideas. It was so tragic to watch her spirit be broken by these people who seem to care for her, but you’re never really sure if they actually do. But maybe the most tragic aspects of this story, is January’s relationship with her father.

…there was just something about the shape of him in the doorway that made me dizzy with anger. Maybe because he smelled like jungles and steamships and adventures, like shadowed caves and unseen wonders, and my world was so ferociously mundane. Or maybe just because I’d been locked away and he hadn’t been there to open the door.”

For a good portion of the book, I was unsure of the relationship they had and when her father had the time to spend with his only daughter. It turns out, he didn’t spend much time with her at all. He completely left her in the care of Mr. Locke while he flounced around the world, forgetting birthdays and barely writing to her. Naturally, Mr Locke becomes her stand-in father figure, and at first he seems to be a stern and cold man, but someone who cares for January and who has a witty yet dry sense of humor.

That is until he locks her in her room for weeks on end, in order to rid her of her imagination.

You don’t really know how fragile and fleeting your own voice is until you watch a rich man take it away as easily as signing a bank loan.”

So this story took a little while to get going, because there is a TON of buildup and backstory that needs to take place before the actual fantasy can begin. I was having some trouble staying focused during the first 20% of this read, but once January starts to figure things out and begins…unlocking things, it really gets going. And when I say it gets going, it REALLY gets going! The amount of creativity and imagination it took to write this book is on full display, and the author does a fantastic job of making you feel as if anything is possible. The writing is elegant and descriptive, the characters well-developed and alluring, and the plot is…breathtaking!

I dreamed in gold and indigo.”

For a time in this story, the reader is taken back and forth between the present with January, and the past that is written in her mysterious book that she finds in the bottom of a chest. It is the beautiful and tragic story of a man and a woman, from two different worlds, who search for years trying to find a way back to one another. They travel around the world searching for thousands of doors that lead to various places of beauty and treachery, all to find a door of sea that will bring them back together. It is romantic and bleak, hopeful and gentle. This author has a way of opening little doors in your heart, while simultaneously setting them all on fire and burning them to the ground.

But another wonderful aspect of this intricate story, are the lovable and brave characters that are littered throughout its pages. Samuel, a young man who is a constant in January’s life who is always there when she needs someone the most. Bad, a scrappy and devilish dog who is fiercely loyal to January, and only January. And Jane, her new nursemaid that begins as stoic and reserved, but turns out to be a TRULY fierce and badass woman. These characters bring out the best in January, and show her another side to humans that she didn’t see a lot of growing up. They fight to protect her and keep her safe, and volunteer without question to follow her into danger.

I closed my eyes against the weight of guilt settling on my shoulders, heard the clock of claws and the scuff of worn shoes as Samuel and Bad approached. They settled on either side of me, warm and constant as a pair of suns.”

As a whole, I really liked this story and thought it was unique and a book I could truly get lost in. It felt exciting and sparked the notion in me that seems to be so easily forgotten – that anything is possible. Though I struggled a little at the beginning to stay focused, once I got about 20-30% in, I was hooked and loving every aspect of it. I cannot wait to see what else this author writes, and if it’s as good as this, I will be a lifelong fan!

4-stars

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #29: 10 YA Book Love Triangles

Love comes in ALL shapes and sizes…
Especially TRIANGLES.

 

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~* 10 YA Book Love Triangles *~

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1. The Healer (The Healer series) by C.J. Anaya
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The Healer.jpg

There’s no better way to start off a love triangle post then with a love triangle of EPIC proportions!

Step the f**k aside moody werewolves and sparkly vamps –

the Gods have arrived!

The Healer series tells the tale of two gods who basically fight over a girl who is prophesied to save the world. It switches between present tense and 1000 A.D., where our main character (Mikomi/Hope) learns that she is a reincarnated princess with extremely powerful healing abilities. She is prophesized to marry Masaru Katsu (Victor), the God of War, so they they may seal the veil that is bringing demons into the world…but NATURALLY she finds herself being pulled to Musubi (Tie), the God of Marriage.

The series is wonderful when it is in the flashbacks, and meh when it goes back to present times. BUT the flashbacks are SO incredible and captivating, packed with romance, action and detail, that reading the series just for that would be worth it.

My Pick: Team Musubi/Tie

(See my review here)

 

2. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series) by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA/Adult/Fantasy

Throne of Glass

Hold on to your panties, boys and girls!

SJM just walked into the building to confuse your heart and give you a dose of book-boyfriend that will NEVER be replicated in real life.

sorry.

Throne of Glass is the downright AMAZING, WONDERFUL, EVERYTHING series that you need to get involved in if you STILL refuse to read it.

There are stacks on STACKS of love triangles in this colossal series, and they are heart-wrenching, raw and will make your heart implode inside your chest from all the feels.

There are practically 30 combinations of love interests and crushes in this series and it is…bloody fantastic. They’re exhausting, they’re passionate, they’re…

Just read them. You’ll understand.

My Pick: Team Rowan, Team Aedion, screw Chaol.

 

3. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Thriller

The Best Lies

Now this isn’t your TYPICAL love triangle, but I think it more than deserves its spot on this list.

The Best Lies is about Remy Tsai and the story of how her best friend ended up shooting her boyfriend and killing him. It switches between Remy being questioned by the police and dealing with the aftermath, with a bunch of flashbacks to moments with her boyfriend Jack and her best friend Elise.

As I said, this is an unconventional love triangle. You might think you know where it will end up, but you’d be wrong. It is beautifully written, will take your breath away, and then sprinkle dirt on top of you as you slowly begin to die.

Ugh. I’m still reeling.

My pick: Just be single, girl.

(See my review here)

 

4. Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls series) by C.C. Hunter
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal

Born at Midnight.jpg

Born at Midnight is kind of your typical teen fantasy love triangle series. Kylie Galen finds herself sent to a campy for “troubled youth”, but really the troubled youth is just a bunch of teen werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, witches, and fairies.

This love triangle is between Kylie, obviously, Derek (half-fae) and Lucas (werewolf). There is drama, there is secret kisses and tumultuous past feelings and there are EVEN countless attempts at our main character being killed!

How romantic.

My Pick: Lucas

 

5. The Selection (The Selection series) by Kiera Cass
Genre: YA/Romance/Fantasy

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The Selection: It’s like The Bachelor for the YA book obsessed boys and girls who have an affinity to ball gowns and castles.

The quest to LITERALLY marry your Prince Charming.

Thirty-five eligible girls are picked around the kingdoms to compete to win the hear of Prince Maxon. But our main character, America, has no desire to be in the running because she is in love with a boy named Aspen, who is in a caste below her.

This turns into a love triangle that I found myself conflicted with who to root for. The “down to earth” love from her past, or the regal and charming prince in her present?

My Pick: Aspen, but it’s a tough call!

 

6. A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR series) by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA/Adult/Fantasy/Romance

A court of thorns and roses

Don’t act so surprised.

You knew I was going to put ACOTAR in this list.

It is THE love triangle!

ACOTAR is a loose beauty in the beast retelling about a human girl named Feyre who kills a wolf in order to provide for her poor and less than helpful family. But then a Fae beast show up at her house, demanding she live out her days in his territory for taking his friend’s life.

That isn’t even a smidge of the devastating beauty and sorrowful wrath that this book is.

But a love triangle LIKE NO OTHER is filled within these magnificent pages, and I think it is the best one I have EVER come across.

My Pick: The NAGC…and Cassian, even though that doesn’t count

 

7. Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely series) by Melissa Marr
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal

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Wicked Lovely is a fae series that showcases the darker and more cruel side of the whimsical creatures you love to read about.

Aislinn is a human that has the ability to see faeries, even though she wish she didn’t. She has spent her whole life trying to avoid them, but suddenly, all her hard work is for not…and she is thrust into the thicket of these sneaky creatures.

This love triangle involves Aislinn, Seth and Keenan. Seth is a human friend of Aislinn’s and Keenan is Fae, but also the Summer King. Though USUALLY I always go for the mysterious, arrogant, dark creature type of love interest…I can’t help but like Seth a little more.

Well, at least in the first book.

My Pick: Seth

 

8. The Host (The Host series) by Stephanie Meyer
Genre: YA/Adult/Fantasy/Romance

The Host.jpg

The Host is yet another lusty love triangle from Stephanie Meyer, but one that has WAY less cringe and a little more flare.

Aliens has taken over Earth, inhabiting the bodies of humans. Melanie Stryder is no playing host to an alien creature, but she refuses to go quietly. Hellbent on finding her brother, the battle for control of Melanie’s body begins.

So this love triangle is really more of a square, but you get the idea. Melanie is still in her body, but so is an alien. They can communicate with each other and…it’s just odd. Melanie is in love with Jared, the guy she was with before she became a host. But the “alien” inside Melanie, named Wanderer, begins to have feelings for Ian…but also Jared due to Melanie’s memories.

I know…sounds weird.

But sooooooo good!

My Pick: Ian, surprisingly

 

9. Red Queen (Red Quuen series) by Victoria Aveyard
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Dystopian

red

Not my favorite series ever, but there is still a quote from it that I LOVE.

“I don’t miss her eyes flicker back to the notch, where half my heart sleeps. And then to the forest, where the rest wanders.”

Red Queen is about a world that is divded by the color of blood you have, red or silver. Red are the lower class, with silver being the high who possess powers. Mare is a red blood, but eventually begins working in the palace, and eventually she discovers that she has powers of her own.

Blah, blah, blah.

The triangle is this: Mare, Cal and Maven. Be aware, this is one of those very lonnggg drawn-out love triangles. The ones where little things are said, slight looks and movements are made, but not really anything of consequence happens for a while. It’s just a meh triangle for me, but a triangle nonetheless.

My Pick: Nobody

 

10. Splintered (Splintered series) by A.G. Howard
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

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Splintered is the first in the Alice in Wonderland Retelling trilogy called Splintered, and follows Alyssa Gardner, a descendant of Alice Liddell who finds herself in Wonderland. But this Wonderland isn’t the cutesy little place with a couple of tricks and sassy characters roaming around. It is dark, gritty and full of countless dangers!

This love triangle involves Alyssa, her best friend Jeb and the mysterious and alluring Morpheus of Wonderland. This love triangle was super one-sided for me, inthe sense that I was rooting for Morpheus the ENTIRE time! Jeb was so blah and boring. Like stale bread, or unseasoned chicken.

My Pick: Team Morpheus, ALL. THE. WAY.

(See my review here)

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Stay Witchy

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · JKS Communications · New Releases · Reviews · Wrap-Up

Binding of Bindings #28: August Book Wrap-up

Look August
It was fun and all.
We had some good times, some bad times.
But, like, I just can’t anymore.

 

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~* August Book Wrap-Up *~

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1. Terrible Lizard: A Memoir of My Time in the Police Dinosaur Unit by Doug Goodman

Terrible Lizard

Terrible Lizard is an Urban Fantasy that tells the tale of former law enforcement officer, Oak Jones, who spent 7 years in the Police Dinosaur Unit. This fantastic book is a collection of memories and action-packed moments that Oak experienced alongside his partner Banshee, a velociraptor with a tumultuous past.

I have read a lot of books by Doug Goodman, and each time I am more and more impressed with his attention to detail and superb storytelling. This book is suitable for ALL ages, so feel free to read it on your own or with your little dino-loving munchkins.

4-5-stars

(Click here to see my review)

 

2. Forsaken Wrath (The Scorpio Files, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Forsaken Wrath

Forsaken Wrath is the first book in the adventure short story series called The Scorpio Files. It centers on the tales of fortune hunters Nick Reed, known as Scorpio, and Bartimaeus as they embark on an adventure around the world that will lead them to treasures and deep history.

If you were a big fan of National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code or even Pitfall (a game that was released on Atari, but revamped for Wii) then you will absolutely love this book. The writing is excellent, and it kept my attention for its entire 70 pages!

I’m honestly hoping these turn into full-length books, because I NEED!

5-stars

(Click here to see my review)

 

3. The Surface Breaks by Luoise O’Neill

The SUrface Breaks 2

Guys!

THIS one.

My poor heart, is still breaking in two and filling over the brim from the sadness and strength I got from this book!

The Surface Breaks is a feminist re-imagining of The Little Mermaid, and it is EVERYTHING that you, your mother, your sister, brother, father, daughter and son need!

The amount of quotes I inserted in my review for this book was…slightly embarrassing, and honestly, I could have just written a review in quotes. Because I highlighted that many, and it was that good.

This rendition is dark, gritty, and gets real AF. This isn’t a fluffy twist on mermaids and young love. It hits you where it hurts, yanks those heartstrings, and makes you rethink how much of yourself you are willing the shred apart in the name of love.

If you do anything after reading this post, buy this book.

5-stars

(Click here to see my review)

 

4. The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

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Okay, my review for this isn’t up yet.

So I’ll be brief.

THIS is a newly released Adult Fantasy about a kingdom that becomes cursed to no longer bear daughters, after a chieftain denies his unborn child.

The First Girl Child tells the story of Bayr of Saylok, a bastard son of a cruel chieftain and the woman who cursed the Kingdom, and a daughter named Alba that was born 7 years after the curse went into effect. Bayr is blessed with in-human strength, and has been tasked with protecting Alba and acting as her guardian.

This book was NOT what I was expecting, but I’m not mad about it at all! THIS WAS SO GOOD! The writing, the story-building, the characters, descriptions, EVERYTHING was perfection!

I will have my review posted this weekend or early next week, so look out for it!

 

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So honestly, yea, my August was a little slow. I have been in a distracted slump and finding it hard to read, but I’m back on it.

I have 100 books to read this year, and I am NOT very far, so I have to get it into gear like…yesterday!

Stay Witchy, my loves!

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Edelweiss+ · Netgalley · New Releases

Binding of Bindings #27: My Top 10 Anticipated September Book Releases

What…
What.
Is.
That?!

Could it be?!
Books releasing in September that you DON’T already have on you TBR?!?!?!
The outrage.
The HORROR!!

It would behoove you to get your sh*t together!

 

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~* My 10 Anticipated September Book Releases *~

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1. Shadow Frost (Book 1) by Coco Ma
Release Date: September 1, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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So author Coco Ma wrote this when she was ONLY 15. It has STELLAR reviews on Goodreads, and to be honest…I can barely wait to bury my precious, fantasy loving face in it.

Shadow Frost is about a girl named Asterin (TOG vibes, AH!), Princess of Axaria, who vows to slay a demon that is terrorizing her kingdom. With the help of her friends, they set off to kill the beast in question, but discover startling information in the process.

An assassination against Asterin has been planned, and a series of lies begin to come to light as they fight for survival.

 

2. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

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I received an ARC copy of this book from Simon and Schuster for review, and let me tell you…this book is even more gorgeous in person!

The Lady Rogue is a historical fantasy that is kind of a Dracula retelling, but not at all? It centers on Theodora as she travels around the world with her father as he seeks treasure. But when her father suddenly goes missing on a search in Istanbul, her help is enlisted by her father’s protege and her ex-boyfriend, Huck Gallagher.

The two travel to Romania once they learn what Theo’s father was actually on the hunt for, Vlad the Impaler’s ring…or better known as, Dracula. So ensues a tale of adventure and mystery, with a wonderful gothic theme! 

 

3. Serpent & Dove (Book 1) by Shelby Mahurin
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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ATTENTION, my dear witches.

There’s another magical book releasing this month, and it’s tailored JUST for us!

Serpent and Dove is the story of the war between the church and witches. It follows a female witch named Louise le Blanc who has fled her coven and given up her powers to go into hiding, and Reid Diggory, a young man who has sworn an oath to the church as a soldier and to never give in to the wickedness of witches.

But when the two are forced into marriage, they must make a choice between what is expected of them, and what they feel brewing between them.

Romance, witches, religious psychotics and turmoil?!?

Am I still breathing??

 

4. The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary

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If you know me even a little, you know I just love a cult vibe.

Stalk cults, witch cults, nerd cults, goth cults.

I just love a cult.

Piper has unknowingly been raised in a cult all her life, with her father being the supposed prophet and chosen one. That is until the government sweeps in and Piper is separated from her family, and placed into the world outside of the small circle she’s always known.

But when Piper is told that her father isn’t actually her father, and that she was kidnapped as a child, she refuses to believe that everything she has been taught was a lie.

The Liar’s Daughter looks AMAZING! I just know I am going to devour it, and that it will probably punch a hole in my already battered stomach/chest…but I don’t care.

Give me ALL the feels.

 

5. His Hideous Heart by Various Authors (see below)
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: YA/Retellings/Anthologies/Horror/Short Stories

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Check. This. Out.

Dahlia Adler, Kendare Blake, Rin Chupeco, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Stephanie Kuehn, Amanda Lovelace, Marieke Nijkamp, Emily LloydJones, Hillary Monahan, Caleb Roehrig, and Fran Wilde.

His Hideous Heart is a collection of retold/re-imagined Edgar Allen Poe poems written into new short stories.

I mean…I feel like I don’t even have to continue at this point.

This is an obvious book buy.

 

6. A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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A Treason of Thorns is about a girl who has an immense devotion to a house of magic called Burleigh House. But for the last seven years, she has been in exile due to her father committing treason.

Now finally able to return Burleigh House, Violet finds it to be in dire condition and lacking the plentiful magic that it once exuded.

Annnd…that’s literally all I know about this book.

Confused?

Naturally.

So obviously…we have to read it!

 

7. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

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Reviewers are calling this story “achingly beautiful” and I’m just over here like…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is set in the early 1900’s and is about a young woman who stumbles upon a strange book about doors to other worlds.

The book teaches her about love, herself, and countless important lessons along the way.

I am honestly having a really hard time even finding a complete description of this book, but all I can find is countless pleads to read this book and promises of how breathtaking and wonderful it is.

 

8. The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale, Book 2) by Margaret Atwood
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Fiction/Dystopian/Feminism

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PRAISE. F***ING. BE.

It’s finally here.

If you don’t know about The Handmaid’s Tale book, or even show, then you need to crawl out of the broom closet you’ve been living in and WAKE UP!

The Testaments picks up fifteen years after the ending of book 1, where Offred steps into the van and awaits her fate. This installment features three female voices from Gilead, and will supposedly explain the “inner workings” and much deeper details to the obsession that is this story.

 

9. The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Release Date: September 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling/Paranormal/Feminism

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This book description has me at the cover, and then at Gothic, Feminist, Dark and Romantic!

The Deathless Girls is the untold story of the brides of Dracula, girls captured and enslaved in harsh conditions. It follows sisters Lil and Kizzy as they are forced to work in the kitchens of their newly cold life, and the connections that Lil makes with other inhabitants of the castle.

 

10. Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Genre: YA/Horror/Mystery

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You’ve been waiting for a horror story, I know.

Don’t worry, I got you. ❤

Rules for Vanishing is a mystery horror in the style of The Blair Witch Project about a missing girl and a ghost.

A year after Sara’s sister disappeared and she has been exiled from her friends, a mysterious text suddenly has her and her former friends coming back together to “play the game” and find the ghost of Lucy Gallows, a legendary ghost story that still circulates their town. And so the friends meet with cameras and walk into the forest where Sara’s sister was taken.

Hopefully they all survive.

 

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Stay Witchy

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Fortuna Sworn by K. J. Sutton

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, K.J. Sutton, for an honest review. 

Genre: Adult/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Romance

Plot: We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in.

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.

Opinion:

Like the nightmares that came at night, we were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure our victims in. Then, when it was too late to draw back, we struck.”

This book is a nightmare beckoning you into the shadows of your fears and insecurities.

It sings promises of love and protection into your all too innocent ears, reaches a tender hand of surety out into the open space between you, and just as your fingertips meet…

just as you begin to taste the sweetness of heartfelt completion

it drags you down, down, down.

Into the recesses of sorrow, lies, heartbreak and death.

Until you’re nothing more a than mermaid trapped in a puddle, in a lonely decimated forest.

You’re a Nightmare.”

Fortuna Sworn is one of the fallen, a collection and species of various creatures descended from angels with intriguing abilities. But Fortuna is the last of The Nightmare’s – a creature of intoxicating beauty whose face shifts and transforms to accommodate the onlooker’s tastes. A creature that can reach into your mind with a gentle caress, find the fears that lay delicately in the folds of your thoughts, and turn them into a horrifying reality. But when Fortuna is captured by two goblins who intend to sell her to the highest bidder, she is freed by a strange faerie that offers her a deal she can’t refuse. He knows where her brother is, who disappeared two years prior, and he can take her to where he is being held if she agrees to just one thing: to be his mate.

Where do I even start with this book?

It…

*sigh*

it pains me.

I love and hate it. It makes me happy and sad, thrilled and disgusted, excited and revolted. I have so many feelings and thoughts on this book. About the questions that are left unanswered. About the characters I THOUGHT I knew, but obviously don’t know at all. About the direction I assumed this story was going, until the trap door opened up beneath my feet and swallowed me whole. But there is one single feeling that stands high above all of this.

Pure obsession.

Because I, am obsessed.

There is SO much happening in this story, and I barely even know which direction to turn to first. The Unseelie Court is the epicenter of the turmoil in this tale, and the Fae in this book are not the sweet and caring creatures we have come to love from Sarah J. Maas books. These are Holly Black level Fae. Twisted, dark, deviant and 100% psychotic! They love to get inside your head and jumble your inhibitions, to see you writhe in pain. They kill each other, own slaves, and even have sex in the middle of the damn throne room during parties!!

Oh no lassies.

This is NOT your fluffy little Fae tale.

But absolute horrors and atrocities aside, the real confusion of this book starts and ends with the lovely Fae male that Fortuna becomes mated to: Collith. He is…pure sex in earthling form? Can I say that on here…? He is mysterious, brooding, regal, rough and goddamn drool-worthy. Things get heated between Fortuna and Collith, and I don’t just mean Fortuna’s temper. It’s going to get steamy, and it’s going to get intense. But remember, no leading Fae male would be ever be complete without him contradicting EVERY single thing he says with questionable actions, vague answers and secrets on top of secrets on top of SECRETS. . So go forth, my child. Fall for this dreamy, tall, dark and handsome Fae male that stalks women until they mate him. Be my guest.

And enjoy the whole in your chest later on, okay?

It’s your funeral, I’m just always dressed for it.

With every lash, I lost more than skin and blood. I lost the potential to someday love my mate.”

But of course, the true gem of this stomach pain inducing book is Fortuna. She is a fiery, snarky, sarcastic and saucy woman who my dark little heart can only PRAY to resemble one day. This woman is badass incarnate and would have ZERO problems sinking her claws into your face while she takes a trip into hell, and drags you down with her. From the very start of the book she proves to be an intelligent and ruthless character, but also incredibly human. She is both powerful and unique, but she is also so relatable and heartfelt in everything she does. She is confident and tough, as well as sensitive and compassionate.

I adored Fortuna and every deliciously horrifying comment that dripped from her lips like sweet wine.

For a terrible moment, I considered snapping my brother’s neck.”

Though I wholeheartedly am ravaged by this book, I do wish it was a bit longer and more drawn out. I felt like the trials Fortuna had undergone were a bit rushed, and therefor her emotions towards what she was forced to do and endure weren’t focused on as much as I would have liked. What can I say? I like to see characters in immense suffering. I also would have preferred more time with her and Collith to see if their relationship would grow/evolve/crumble, but I guess that is what book two is for…right?

As this is Kelsey Sutton’s first Adult book, I am positively impressed and not at all surprised at her abilities to make me lose my mind over another one of her books. Fortuna Sworn is an addicting and vile book that you need to get your spindly hands on NOW.

 

 

4-stars

 

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