Thursday, May 16

Blog Tour and Early Review: Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2)



Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2)
Claire Legrand

Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Date Read: April 21, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Paperback
Pages: 608
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40523458-kingsbane

From Goodreads:
In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.
"We are the light against the darkness; and we must continue to burn brightly, so others may find their way out."

There are no words to explain just how excited I am to have read Kingsbane. After I finished Furyborn I just couldn't wait to read the sequel... I just needed to know what was going to happen so badly. So when I was offered an ARC of Kingsbane, I jumped at the chance... I am now in two minds as to whether that was wise. On the one hand it's one of the best sequels I have ever read, on the other I have to wait over a year for the next book and it's already killing me. Kingsbane was everything I could have wanted and more. I loved every single, second of it.

Kingsbane picks up where Furyborn left off. Following Queen Rielle as she struggles between her loyalty and love for Audric and the seductive danger of the angel, Corien. As she struggles between her loyalties, centuries later Eliana is struggling coming to terms with the fact that she has power. She is terrified that if she uses her magic she will end up like her mother... but if she doesn't learn to control her power how can she help save everyone from the overpowering angels?

Kingsbane was fantastic. Considering this is a pretty large book at over 600 pages I read it in just a couple of days. Right from the start I couldn't put it down. I was completely sucked back into this amazing world with two fantastic queens. As with the first book I just couldn't decide which character I liked reading the most. As we get alternate point of views, like with Furyborn at the end of each chapter I just needed to know what would happen with the current character and so it made me read the book so much faster. It truly is genius storytelling on Claire Legrand's part.

Kingsbane is filled to the brim with magic, a touch of romance and it pushes all the boundaries of what you think you know about these characters. Claire Legrand is seriously fast becoming a favourite author of mine. She is an absolutely incredible storyteller. I just can't read her books fast enough. They are full of twists and turns and I just didn't know what was going to happen next. I went through all of the emotions while reading this book and one of the twists made me sob my heart out. I am completely and utterly broken after reading this book.

Kingsbane was without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year so far. I loved every single moment of it and the wait for book 3 is legit killing me. I cannot believe I have to wait so long to see what is going to happen. Kingsbane was brilliant and perfect and I can't wait to re-read this series before the release of book 3 next year. If you're a fan of Fantasy this series is a must-read.

"Now that I've known a life with you by my side, I'm not sure I could bear that kind of loneliness again."


Wednesday, May 15

Review: Furyborn (Empirium #1)

Furyborn (Empirium #1)
Claire Legrand

Published By: Sourcefire Books
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Date Read: April 9, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 501
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34323570-furyborn

From Goodreads:
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

"We all have darkness inside us, Rielle. That is what it means to be human."

Furyborn has been sat on my shelf for quite a while before I finally decided to pick it up. I have previously read Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand and really enjoyed it. When I saw that she has wrote a fantasy novel, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. Furyborn is actually quite a long book to me. Pushing on to 500 pages it is quite big. I know it won't be to everyone but the majority of the books I read are about 300-350 pages. Even though it was longer than my usual reads I read it within 2 days. I couldn't put it down.

Furyborn follows the story of two queens in two different times. Rielle is a very powerful friend of the royal family who must go through magic trials to decide whether she is the prophesised saviour The Sun Queen or the one who will doom them all The Blood Queen. One thousand years in the future Eliana is an assassin who has her whole world torn apart. Although these queens live a thousand years apart their stories are linked and both of them are key players in the war that could destroy or save their world.

I loved Furyborn. I thought this book was so expertly written. Each chapter alternates between the points of view of Rielle and Eliana and honestly Claire Legrand did a fantastic job of gripping you. At the end of each chapter you are left reeling dying to know what is going to happen to that character... but you have to get through the next chapter in the other point of view before you get to find out. This made me read the book even faster because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen. This was such a clever tactic that the author used... and it worked. I couldn't put the book down.

I loved both of the main characters. Even though the prologue kind of spoils aspects for you as you know what is going to happen, it didn't bother me that much. I quite enjoyed seeing what happened to Reille to get her to that point... and I loved reading the point of view of Eliana even more. She was definitely my favourite and I think that's because I can see bits of some of my favourite characters from other fantasy series in her. Furyborn definitely had some influences from other major fantasy books but that just made me love it even more. Although it has those influences this is one of the most unique and different fantasy books I've come across.

Furyborn was everything I could have wanted and more. I loved every moment of it. It's packed full of intrigue, mystery and danger. I loved that it's very story-focused with a small dash of romance. This is the perfect balance for me as I can't cope when it's all romance or all story; I need a little bit of both. It's so fast-paced, I couldn't put it down. I just wanted to know more and know what was going to happen. It was a perfect beginning to what I know it going to be an epic trilogy and I just can't wait for book 2 to find out what was going to happen next. If you're a fan of YA Fantasy, I highly recommend this one. You won't be disappointed, it's fantastic.

"People like us don’t fight for our own hope. We fight for everyone else’s."


Wednesday, May 8

Review: Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen
Val Emmich

Published By: Poppy
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Date Read: April 7, 2019
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39088507-dear-evan-hansen

From Goodreads:
From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...


When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

"I wish that everything was different. I wish that I was a part of something. I wish that anything I said mattered, to anyone. I mean, let's face it: would anybody even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?"

There are no words to explain my utter excitement when I heard that there was going to be a novel of Dear Evan Hansen. I am such a huge lover of musicals and I really love the story of this one. I am completely obsessed with the soundtrack and so of course I had to read this book. It was everything I could have imagined and more, I loved every single second of this... and yes, I was singing all of the songs in my head in the appropriate places while reading.

Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a teenage boy with extreme social anxiety. He doesn't really socialise with anyone or have any friends. He has been told to write letters to himself by his therapist that start "Dear Evan Hansen." But when Connor, a classmate, steals his letter to himself and then commits suicide, everyone assumes it's a suicide note wrote to Evan. Suddenly he is caught up in a make-believe friendship and he can't seem to get out. But if it's helping the family of Connor then it can't be wrong... right?

I seriously associate with this story so much. As someone who suffers from anxiety myself it was so easy to sympathise and understand the actions of Evan. I was completely caught up in this story and even though you can see it spinning out of control and you know at some point it's going to catch up and fall apart you can't help but really feel for Evan. He didn't want any of it, he just wanted to help and he lost control of everything. I loved Evan. He is such a sweet character and I really just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug and tell him everything would be okay.

Dear Evan Hansen is such a powerful story about how anyone can get caught up in lies and how even with the best intentions, your actions can effect people in ways you could never imagine. I loved this book so much... almost as much as the soundtrack of the show. It was superbly written and I loved every single second of it. It made me want to see the musical even more than I already did.

Although I am not a contemporary lover, this book was just phenomenal and I loved it. I highly recommend this book to everyone as it's such an important story that everyone should experience. Even if you don't like contemporaries... this one is a must-read!

"Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a good day and here's why: because today, today at least you're you... and that's enough."


 

Wednesday, May 1

Wrap Up: April 2019


Hey Guys,
I hope you've all had an amazing bookish month. April was a pretty awesome reading month for me. I had a wonderful 17 days off work so I managed to get quite a few books read. Here is my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
Slayer by Kiersten White
Nightblood (Frostblood #3) by Elly Blake
Once & Future (Once & Future #1) by Amy Rose Capatta and Cori McCarthy
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

For Review:

Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2) by Claire Legrand

 Illumicrate:



Books Read in April 2019:


Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich - 5 Stars
Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand - 4 Stars
Nightblood (Frostblood Trilogy #3) by Elly Blake
Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3; Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo - 4 Stars
Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2) by Samantha Young - 5 Stars
Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2) by Claire Legrand - 5 Stars

Review Posted in April 2019:

 
Top 3 Reads in April 2019:



What was your favourite book in April?

Wednesday, April 24

Review: The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3)

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3)
Julie Kagawa

Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Date Read: March 30, 2019
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages:  378
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20929541-the-forever-song

From Goodreads:
Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

The final hunt is on.

"If we are talking about choice and regret, what has happened cannot be undone. And dwelling on the past changes nothing. You will only drive yourself to insanity if you do."

I feel like it was forever ago that I started this series and I am so happy that I have finally gotten around to finishing it. I started The Immortal Rules back in 2012 and here I am 7 years later having finally finished this trilogy. I wasn't the biggest lover of the first book in this series and that is probably why I didn't finish it sooner, but I am so glad I did as this has truly become one of my favourite series. The Forever Song was everything I could have wanted for the ending of this series, I truly loved it.

The Forever Song picks up where The Eternity Cure left off, with Allison, Kanin and Jackal hunting the crazed Sarran before he kills everyone... human and vampire. But Sarran leaves surprises for them around every turn. Can they find him in time and will they be able to stop him destroying everything they're fighting for with everyone still standing?

I really enjoyed The Forever Song. It was so brilliantly written and really shows Julie Kagawa as the fantastic storyteller that she is. I loved this finale to the Blood of Eden series and honestly it took me on such an emotional journey. One moment I was overjoyed and happy and the next my heart was breaking. It just shows Julie as such a fantastic author that she can make you feel all of those emotions in such a short space of time. I did think this one was a little bit slower in pacing than the previous book but that didn't stop me racing through it. I just couldn't wait to see how it all ends.

The Forever Song has the most bittersweet ending which I have come to expect from Julie. Thinking back a few years ago when I read her Iron Fey series I actually loved the ending of her third book in that series even though it was heartbreaking. I felt like it was perfect (I know, she wrote book 4 to have a HEA, I just didn't like that as much. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment). I feel the exact same here. The ending broke my heart a little in terms of one main character.... no I'm not spoiling it.... but it was actually the perfect ending for them and as sad as it was it was very fitting.

Although The Forever Song is not my favourite book of the series (yes, I'm looking at you The Eternity Cure) it was a fantastic ending to a brilliant series. I'm not usually a big lover of vampire books but this series is one of the exceptions. It's such a different take on vampires and I loved that. This book was moving and just utterly fantastic. I will definitely be re-reading the series in the future.

"Time never mattered. Vampire or human, if we had forever or just a few years. I'd always choose to spend it with you."


 

Wednesday, April 17

Review: Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2 / Grisha #2)

Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2; Grisha #2)
Leigh Bardugo


Published By: Indigo Books
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Date Read: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 386
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14061955-siege-and-storm

From Goodreads:
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

"Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea."

The Grisha books have been sat on my shelf for such a long time and after starting it earlier this year as part of a series readalong I was completely in awe of this amazing series. Following Shadow and Bone, I couldn't wait to get started on the second book in the series. Siege and Storm was even better than Shadow and Bone. I loved every single moment of it.

Siege and Storm picks up exactly where Shadow and Bone left of, with Alina and Mal escaped from The Darkling and on the run. But soon enough Alina and Mal find themselves in danger again and Aline just can't leave the Grisha part of her behind. Can Alina help defeat The Darkling for good with her growing power while keeping Mal at her side?

I loved Siege and Storm so much more than Shadow and Bone. Leigh completely captured my attention yet again and I couldn't stop reading. Siege and Storm is so action packed and fast paced and I just couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I loved every single second of this book and couldn't believe what was happening. This series has some of the best characters that I have ever read. I have such a love-hate relationship with The Darkling... like I know he's the bad guy but I can't stop loving him at the same time.

Alina is such a fantastic character to follow through and I love reading from her point of view. She is absolutely fantastic and I love experiencing this journey from her perspective. I love seeing her growing more and more powerful and how that has changed her outlook on everything. My one issue with the series is I don't really like the main love interest. Mal irritates me to no end. I just feel like he doesn't really accept Alina for who she is and all he does in mope and complain. Get a grip man! On the other hand, one of the things I loved the most about Siege and Storm was that we were introduced to new character Nikolai. He is fast becoming my favourite character of the series. I love him. He is cocky and snarky and hilarious. I adore him!! I hope there is lots more Nikolai to come in the next book.

Siege and Storm definitely exceeded my expectations. It was absolutely phenomenal and I cannot wait to read the third book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I know it's going to be amazing and I cannot wait to see how Alina's storyline ends. I will definitely be reading it immediately. If you haven't read this series I highly recommend it. I am definitely kicking myself for not reading this one sooner.

"We are alike, as no one else is, as no one else will ever be."


Wednesday, April 10

Review: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Julie Kagawa

Published By: Mira Ink
Publication Date: May 3, 2013
Date Read: February 27, 2019
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 434
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17453202-the-eternity-cure

From Goodreads:
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

"There are no good choices, Allison. There are only those you can live with, and those you can work to change."

The Eternity Cure has been sat on my shelf for years and I always intended to pick it up but then never did. To be honest I wasn't an enormous fan of the first book in this series, The Immortal Rules. I enjoyed the premise of it, the dystopia world with vampires. It was pretty unique and cool but I just found it slow and pretty boring in places but there was just something about it that made me want to continue the series at some point. As part of my 2019 'Series Catch-Up Challenge' I finally picked up The Eternity Cure... and I am so glad that I did. This was far, far superior than the first book. I loved it!

The Eternity Cure follows Allison as she leaves the humans behind and goes in search of Kanin, her sire. But with lots of obstacles in the way, Allison seems to be running out of time. She needs to save Kanin and gain his help to stop the new plague that is on the rise. This one threatening to wipe out both humans AND vampires. Can she get to Kanin in time? And does he really have the answers?

I loved The Eternity Cure. It was absolutely amazing!! Right from the start I was totally enamoured by the characters, the world... everything. This was such a drastic change from the first book. The pace massively picks up in this one and I couldn't put the book down. There were twists and turns that I was not expecting and there were many times that I was left mouth agape unable to believe what just happened. It really showed Julie Kagawa at her storytelling best!

I am a big fan of Julie Kagawa as it is, I loved her Iron Fey series and although I was disappointed with The Immortal Rules, she is back to her best in this book. Her storytelling is phenomenal. She has developed this world so perfectly and it's so complex and there's more to everything than what you first think. I think with The Immortal Rules being slower paced it allowed for this amazing world development that made this book incredible! I am so, so happy that I continued.

The Eternity Cure blew me away! There was so much going on and I couldn't put it down. The ending felt a tad bit rushed to me which brought my rating down slightly but honestly I am so freaking excited to read the third book and see how all of this is going to end. I loved every second of The Eternity Cure and I am itching to get my hands on The Forever Song. This is looking like it'll be my favourite Julie Kagawa series. It's a must-read!

"You will always be a monster - there is no turning back from it. But what kind of monster you become is entirely up to you."