The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapowski

The Last Wish cover art

This is a late post because The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapowski was my February pick and I finished it that same month. Funny thing: when I got to the last page of the book, I realized that I’ve already read it before.

I started reading it after the first season of the Witcher series came out on Netflix, and it seems I just forgot about the entire thing. In my mind, I only got halfway through the book and put it down. I decided to pick it up again this year and since I couldn’t remember much about it, I started over.

When I was reading it, I kept waiting to get to the part where I stopped before, but then suddenly I was at the end. My memory sucks. LOL.

The Last Wish by Andrzej SapowskiThe Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5)

by Andrzej Sapkowski, Danusia Stok (Translator)

Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—is a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Anyway, it’s a good read. I love all the mythology and the interesting characters, human and otherwise. The stories in this collection are in the first season of the show—not exactly the same, but pretty close. I enjoyed the writing, but wondered at times about the Polish nuances that got lost in the translation. I’ve read a few online discussions that mentioned this, so I’ve been curious. The official English translation is supposed to be good though, so I guess I’m not really missing a lot. I hope.

I don’t know, but TV Geralt seems rougher and grittier than Book Geralt. Maybe it’s just because Henry Cavill plays him that way and so well, too. It also doesn’t help that I saw the series first and it formed the idea of Geralt for me so I was already looking for that in the book. I think the series (Season 1, I mean) and the book are both good though.

So, it was good to re-read this book. I’m not jumping into the next Witcher book just yet, but I hope to read the rest of the books soon.

A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani [Review]

A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani

I read a book! I’m so happy to say that I finally finished A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani.

This is the sequel to The Theft of Sunlight and is part of the Dauntless Path series, which starts with Thorn. Thorn is a standalone and is not a requirement for ADATD, but you’ll need to read Theft to appreciate ADATD.

Warning: a couple of potential spoilers ahead. I say “potential” because they’re not really specific, but they might spoil the overall feel of the ending a little.

A Darkness At The Door coverA Darkness At The Door

I’ve been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can’t be allowed to die.

Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

Add this book on Goodreads. Buy this book: https://books2read.com/adatd

About the Author: Intisar Khanani

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | GoodreadsInstagram | Patreon

A fitting conclusion to the duology

Okay, a few disclosures. One, I may be a little biased because I’m a big fan of Intisar Khanani’s work. Two, I went into this book as someone who’s been having a hard time getting back into reading for the last few years. Last year, I read one graphic novel (Neil Gaiman, et al) and two short stories (Intisar Khanani). The year before that I read one full-length book and one novella. That’s how dire my reading has been. In an effort to get me into some kind of reading mood this year, I revisited old favorites–specifically, Intisar Khanani’s Sunbolt Chronicles, a series that I absolutely love. I read the two books in the series before diving into A Darkness At The Door.

So, take all of that as you will. My ‘reader self’ is still out of sorts so writing a review after so long feels a little strange.

Anyway, having said all that, I find that A Darkness At The Door is a great conclusion to the duology and I enjoyed reading it. Well, I like most of it.

Here are some of the things I like:

It has a strong and resilient woman at the center, and the supporting characters are pretty interesting, too (shoutout to Artemis and Lirika!). It’s a gripping story with a lot of action and a little magic thrown in. It has disability representation that’s handled well. It has some pretty dark stuff and mature themes, but I think they’re tackled well, too. Also, [spoiler] villainous folks get their comeuppance and good folks win some.

I think the best thing about the duology is the main character, Rae, who is the heart of it all. She’s strong, but also vulnerable. She’s smart and thinks things through, but she’s not closed off to her emotions. She gets herself into some kind of trouble so many times, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she’s a big-hearted person who doesn’t let anything stop her from trying to help others.

Some of the things I don’t care for:

I think the pacing isn’t as consistent as Theft and my attention wavered a bit somewhere in the middle of the book. It’s like so many things are happening and also nothing is happening, I don’t know. Things pick up towards the end though so it’s fine. Also, the romance bit, which isn’t bad really. I’m not a big fan of heavy romance mixed in my fantasy and sci-fi reads, so I’m glad that the romance here is kind of light and clean. I would have preferred none of it for this, but that’s just me (haha).

I don’t know how to get into more details without spoiling a few things, so let me just say that A Darkness At The Door is a great ending to the duology. Many things are wrapped up nicely. And there are no [spoiler] major heartbreaks, too, which I appreciate (haha).

Like most good stories, the book ends with new beginnings, so, you know, I think it’s nice and open to potentially more stories in the Dauntless Path world. I know I would be happy to read something that features other characters like Rae’s sisters Niya and Bean or even Lirika.

Blog Tour [Review]: Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall ($25 Giveaway)

Academy Arcanist Blog Tour Banner

Hello, friends! Today we have Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall, one of my favorite authors.

Read on to know more about the book. Don’t forget to enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Enjoy!

Shami Stovall, author of Academy Arcanist

Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall book coverAcademy Arcanist

Hopes. Dreams. And literal nightmares out to kill a young boy.

Gray Lexly, son of a candlemaker, wants to escape his life of old-world technologies and study at the prestigious Astra Academy, a school for arcanists—those who can wield magic. But Gray has a major problem. Every night, as he sleeps, he’s visited by monsters. When they injure Gray in his dreams, he wakes with the same wounds in real life…

On the night Gray might finally die in his nightmares, he is saved by the kind and mysterious Professor Helmith, a powerful arcanist. She offers to protect Gray and invites him to attend Astra Academy.

Before that can happen, Gray must bond with a mystical creature to become an arcanist himself. Will he bond with a unicorn? A pegasus? A kitsune? Whatever he bonds with will determine his magical abilities, so he must choose wisely.

And when trouble finds Professor Helmith, Gray must become powerful enough to help her and fend off the terrible nightmares, before it’s too late…

Add Academy Arcanist on Goodreads.

About the Author

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Check out my reviews of books by Shami Stovall.

Good story and another interesting cast of characters

I should say that I’m already a big fan of Shami Stovall and her books, especially The Frith Chronicles, her series about arcanists, so I’m already a little biased towards the whole concept of arcanists. I absolutely love this magic concept and it was great to see it again in this setting.

So this was a nice read – great pace, interesting characters, an interesting story and, again, an amazing magic concept. I liked reading about magical creatures I was already familiar with from the Frith series and about some new ones. Also, the characters here are young, so sometimes I couldn’t help feeling like an old fart, annoyed with some of the things they do (hah), but that’s always been my thing with very young characters in books. Anyway, it didn’t distract me from the story, which moved forward well and kept me reading. 

Overall, I enjoyed this. I love the Frith Chronicles, so I’m glad that I didn’t hate this one. I can’t say I like it more than the Frith Chronicles, but I’m interested to see where this series goes.

If you like reading fantasy about magic wielders bonded with intriguing magic creatures, you might like this one. :)

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Excerpt from Academy Arcanist

“I don’t want to sleep,” I said. “The monsters will return. They’ll…”

My father lingered by the door, half inside my bedroom and half in the hall. He turned down the light of my oil lamp, though he didn’t snuff it out. The shadows in the corners of my room grew darker. I dared not stare at them. 

“The monsters aren’t real, boy.” My father offered a gentle smile. “Those were just nightmares. Everyone has them occasionally.”

I sat on the edge of my bed, my posture stiff as I tried to act twice my age. With my throat tight, I lifted my left arm. An injury ran from the crux of my elbow all the way to the edge of my palm, scabbed over and red. It was a straight and shallow cut, but it stung worse than a normal wound. 

“The monsters are real,” I said, defiant. “I told you—they attacked me.”

“Gray, we talked about this,” my father said, sighing.

His shoulders sagged and his eyes were heavy lidded. He looked tired. Probably because he was. Every day, he worked from sunup until sundown, mixing waxes and perfecting wicks. He was our island’s only tallow chandler—a person who made candles with oil, wax, and animal fat. 

My father wore an apron marked with his profession, stained by the hot wax. He rubbed his blistered hands down his sides, no doubt trying to think of what to say. I already knew what he would eventually settle on. 

He would say, “You just fell out of bed.”

“You just fell out of bed,” my father muttered.

And then he would say, “I know your arm hurts, but it was an accident. Just go to sleep.”

“I know your arm hurts.” My father half closed the door as he spoke. “But it was an accident. Just go to sleep.”

All those long hours working meant my father didn’t like dealing with problems. He was rather predictable. His most common advice was to just ignore my problems. “They’ll go away eventually,” he often muttered. “Keep your head down and do your work.”

That was easier for him, I supposed.

And although I knew he cared about me and my brother, I sometimes feared he didn’t listen. The monsters in my dreams? They were real. One had attacked me, and if I hadn’t woken up, it would’ve ripped me apart.

Academy Arcanist Review Tour Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Academy Arcanist blog tour and comment on the other hosts’ blog posts; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Cover Reveal: A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani

A Darkness at the Door header

A Darkness at the Door, the follow-up to Theft of Sunlight is almost here! The book comes out in a few months, but the UK cover is ready to be revealed!

Scroll down to check it out!

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Aaaand here’s the cover. Ta-da! Haha!

A Darkness At The Door cover

A Darkness At The Door

I’ve been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can’t be allowed to die.

Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

Add this book on Goodreads.

Look at that gorgeous cover!

The cover artist is the same artist who did Theft Of Sunlight: Jenny Zemanek.

A Darkness At The Door comes out in a few months! I can’t wait! :)

About the Author: Intisar Khanani

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author on her website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Pre-order A Darkness At The Door: https://lnk.to/DarknessAtTheDoor

Check out the Audiobook Kickstarter for A Darkness At The Door: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/booksbyintisar/a-darkness-at-the-door

What do you think about the cover?

Blog Tour [Review]: Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie (eBook/Paperback Giveaway)

Weep Woman Weep Tour

Today we have gothic novella Weep, Woman, Weep by author Maria DeBlassie. I’m not gonna lie. It was the cover that reeled me in. I mean, look at that lovely cover.

Read on to know more about the book. Check out my quick review and enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win an ebook or paperback!

Weep Woman Weep About the book

A compelling gothic fairytale by bruja and award-winning writer Maria DeBlassie.

The women of Sueño, New Mexico don’t know how to live a life without sorrows. That’s La Llorona’s doing. She roams the waterways looking for the next generation of girls to baptize, filling them with more tears than any woman should have to hold. And there’s not much they can do about the Weeping Woman except to avoid walking along the riverbank at night and to try to keep their sadness in check. That’s what attracts her to them: the pain and heartache that gets passed down from one generation of women to the next.

Mercy knows this, probably better than anyone. She lost her best friend to La Llorona and almost found a watery grave herself. But she survived. Only she didn’t come back quite right and she knows La Llorona won’t be satisfied until she drags the one soul that got away back to the bottom of the river.

In a battle for her life, Mercy fights to break the chains of generational trauma and reclaim her soul free from ancestral hauntings by turning to the only things that she knows can save her: plant medicine, pulp books, and the promise of a love so strong not even La Llorona can stop it from happening. What unfolds is a stunning tale of one woman’s journey into magic, healing, and rebirth.

Add this book on Goodreads. Get the book on Amazon.

About Dr. Maria DeBlassie

Maria DeBlassie

Dr. Maria DeBlassie is a native New Mexican mestiza and award-winning writer and educator living in the Land of Enchantment. She writes about everyday magic, ordinary gothic, and all things witchy. When she is not practicing brujeria, she’s teaching classes about bodice rippers, modern mystics, and things that go bump in the night. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there. Find out more about Maria and conjuring everyday magic at www.mariadeblassie.com.

Connect with the author on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Buy your copy of Weep, Woman, Weep on Amazon.

Fascinating and deeper than it seems

This was a fascinating story and, for a novella, it was more layered than I expected. The writing is also beautiful and descriptive, so it was easy to read.

I’m only a little bit familiar with the Lla Llorona tale, but it was interesting to see it being used here as more than just a scary story. In fact, this isn’t really a supernatural ghost story, but more like a story about personal ghosts, trauma passed on from generations, surviving and overcoming demons and growing from it all. There are a lot of themes touched on here and some can feel heavy at times, but the story moves well towards a somewhat open and hopeful ending.

Overall, I enjoyed this novella. If you like a story with some gothic elements, a little bit of magical realism, difficult themes that are anything but fantasy, and resilient characters, you might like this one.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read an Excerpt

One time, I was feeling mighty fine and thought I’d try something different. I saw this ad in a magazine where a woman was in an obscenely large bathtub and covered up to the neck in bubbles. This was in a room with a marble floor, and there were candles everywhere, and she had her hair up all nice and a face mask on. Well, I got to thinking a nice long soak after a hard day’s work would be nice.

This was a few months after my run-in with Sherry, and I was trying hard to let myself enjoy things more. It occurred to me after seeing her that her fatal flaw was not believing that her future was right in front of her. Or maybe she was too afraid to take it with both hands. I began to wonder if we didn’t hold back and do half the work for La Llorona with all that we ran from life.

So I bought some bubble bath and made more beeswax candles and set about having myself a spa night. I mean, my bathroom was nowhere near as nice as the one in the picture. My tub was only long enough for me to sit upright and was right next to the toilet, but I made do.

It was lovely. I mean, divine! I could see why fancy women liked this. I put on the radio, and the music was soft and sweet, like the candlelight against the fading day. I was so relaxed, that I was about to fall asleep in that tub.

That was when I felt cold hands grip the soles of my feet and pull me under.

I should have seen it coming. Why willingly linger in a body of water? But I didn’t, and that was how I found myself drowning in bubbles and thrashing around in my tub. It’s also how I learned that evil woman could find me anywhere—and I mean anywhere—so I could never let my guard down.

Her grip was strong. Seemed like the harder I fought, the stronger she got. I was flailing about, my arms searching for anything and everything to hold on to, when I knocked one of those beeswax candles into the tub. To this day, I have no idea why that scared her, but it did. She recoiled something quick at the hiss of the flame when the wax hit water.

I didn’t waste a second—I hoisted myself out of the tub and collapsed on the bathroom floor, choking and sputtering and sopping wet. Took me forever to clean up the mess and cough up all those flower-scented bubbles. My feet were cold and sore for days, with claw marks where her bony fingers hooked into my skin.

Whoever said bubble baths were relaxing was a big fat liar.

Giveaway

Maria DeBlassie will be awarding a copy of the book (ebook for International winner/signed paperback for US Only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other blog tour stops for more reviews of the book and comment for more chances of winning! Find the tour schedule here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2022/02/review-tour-weep-woman-weep-by-maria.html

Blog Tour [Review]: The Final Decree by Shami Stovall ($25 Giveaway)

The Final Decree_TourBanner

Today we’re featuring The Final Decree by Shami Stovall, one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Read on to know more about the book, and read an excerpt below. Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift code!

The Final Decree coverThe Final Decree

The Kingdom of Luka is controlled by the decrees of God-King Eliezer. Break one and become a twisted monster or serve forever, loyal to the crown. From the author of Frith Chronicles and Star Marque Rising, comes a new fantasy epic.



When God-King Eliezer utters a decree, it’s the law of the land, no matter how subtle or outrageous. Those who break the decrees suffer the god-king’s curse—their bodies twist into nightmarish monsters of devastation and hunger, forever a blight upon humanity.



The magic knows when a decree is violated, the moment it happens.



There are no exceptions. No loopholes. No escape.



Artemisia, a mysterious girl on the run from God-King Eliezer’s Holy Guard, is cursed and doesn’t know why. Fortunately, she has yet to change into a fell beast, but that isn’t a comfort. She could transform at any moment, and the resulting monster would destroy everything she cares for.



Desperate and fearful, Artemisia finds herself captured by a group of monster hunters led by Rylion Nasos, a man of superhuman strength and skill. When Artemisia displays magic of her own—magic that threatens God-King Eliezer’s rule—an agreement is made to confront the crown, despite the horrors it could unleash.



Cursed be the man who disobeys the god-king’s direct command.

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About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Quick Review

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Shami Stovall so far and this book is no exception. The Final Decree is an enjoyable fantasy with interesting characters, great world-building and exciting magic concepts.

I was intrigued from the get-go, especially by Artemis who is introduced to the reader shrouded in mystery. From the start I just wanted to know more about her story and where it would go.

I also really like the magic concepts, they’re unique and exciting — not really a surprise for me because I absolutely love the magic concepts in the author’s other books (The Frith Chronicles, Company of Monsters). There are so many fascinating things in this that I like — the idea of God-Kings and God-Queens, curses, the forsaken, old gods, people blessed with divine magic.

Overall, this book is worth the read. If you’re a fan of the author or of fantasy in general, you’ll probably like this one.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read an Excerpt

Once I reached a patch of iced-over shrubs, I eased myself into the detritus beneath them. I would die here. In nature. Away from everything I had grown to hate. It was how my father had died, after all. I supposed I deserved no better.

Before my wish was granted, the clink of metal returned. I closed my eyes, hoping to feign death, and I listened as the soldier easily followed my furrow through the dirt. He pushed the branches of the bushes aside and stepped close to my body. I couldn’t help but shudder.

He knelt again and turned me onto my back, his now bare hands warm and powerful. I opened my eyes, confused by the gentle way he lifted my head. My vision, blurred with hunger, took in a young man with a hard, neutral expression. Calm brown eyes, dark chestnut hair, red maple leaf scarf—or maybe I was looking at a tree, I couldn’t tell through the delirium—and I relaxed a bit, amused by my own skewed perceptions.

Knowing I would die had removed the stress of trying to live.

The soldier placed the lip of a canteen at my mouth and poured. I gulped down the water—warm water, not hot—and the heat coated my insides with comfort. It was only after a second gulp that I realized it was soup. The fragrant herbs and shreds of meat were like distant memories returning to me after having been long forgotten. I had never tasted anything so delicious in my life.

“Everything will be fine,” the soldier said.

Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment on the other hosts’ blog posts; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Blog Tour [Review]: In The Jaded Grove by Anela Deen

In The Jaded Grove header

Today we have In The Jaded Grove by author Anela Deen! This is a good one, folks! Not gonna lie, it was the cover that first caught my attention, then I read the synopsis and was even more intrigued. Anyway, I’m really glad to be in this tour and I can’t wait for you all to read this book!

Read more about In The Jaded Grove and check out my review below! :)

In The Jaded Grove coverIn The Jaded Grove (by Anela Deen)

Author: Anela Deen

Genre: new adult, portal fantasy

Diversity tags: author of color (biracial); poc representation (filipino main character); lgbtqiap+ representation (queer secondary characters)

Publication date: 15 April 2021

Publisher: Fine Fables Press

Cover artist: Jenny Zemanek

Synopsis:

Simith of Drifthorn is tired of war. After years of conflict between the Thistle court and the troll kingdom, even a pixie knight known for his bloodlust longs for peace. Hoping to secure a ceasefire, Simith arranges a meeting with the troll king—and is ambushed instead. Escape lies in the Jaded Grove, but the trees of the ancient Fae woodland aren’t what they seem, and in place of sanctuary, Simith tumbles through a doorway to another world.

Cutting through her neighbor’s sunflower farm in Skylark, Michigan, Jessa runs into a battle between creatures straight out of a fantasy novel. Only the blood is very real. When a lone fighter falls to his attackers, Jessa intervenes. She’s known too much death to stand idly by, but an act of kindness leads to consequences even a poet like her couldn’t imagine.

With their fates bound by magic, Simith and Jessa must keep the strife of his world from spilling into hers—except the war isn’t what it appears and neither are their enemies. Countless lives depend on whether they can face the truths of their pasts and untangle the web of lies around them. But grief casts long shadows, and even their deepening bond may not be enough to save them from its reach.

On-page Representation:  Filipino (main character), secondary sapphic characters

Trigger and Content Warnings:  Violence, trauma, grief, death of a loved one (in the past – not on page)

Add this on Goodreads.

About the Author

In The Jaded Grove author

A child of two cultures, this hapa haole Hawaiian girl is currently landlocked in the Midwest. After exploring the world for a chunk of years, she hunkered down in Minnesota and now fills her days with family, fiction, and the occasional snowstorm. With a house full of lovable toddlers, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.

Connect with the author on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and on her Website.

Incredibly fast-paced, exciting and well-written fantasy

I don’t read a lot of fantasies with pixies, fairies and fae, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I’m glad now that I decided to give this book a go. I really enjoyed it!

In The Jaded Grove is incredibly fast-paced, which I really liked. There’s always something interesting on every page. The writing flows well, so I found it pretty easy to read.

I like the characters – complex enough, likeable and even relatable. Jessa and Simith both carry a lot of pain in their hearts and it was beautiful to read about them working with it and through it. The secondary characters, Jessa’s friends, are also great and I would actually love to read more about them. Also, I love that the main character Jessa is Filipino. I enjoyed the bits about the culture thrown in.

The book has amazing world building (another thing I absolutely love in fantasies). I like the author’s take on fairies, pixies, fae and trolls. It’s something I didn’t really expect so that was interesting to read.

There are very real and serious themes running through this book – grief and trauma, war and oppression – and they’re handled well and not overwhelming, for me at least.

I’m not entirely sold on the ending, but the whole book was so engrossing that I didn’t mind so much. If you like portal fantasies with complex characters and lots of action (lots of fighting scenes in this one), you might enjoy this one!

Note: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Also, please bear with how this review is written – present and past tenses all jumbled in! I can’t get it right at the moment, but I hope you get what I’m saying. LOL. Read this book! Thats all. :P

Favorite Quotes

Okay, these aren’t exactly actual quotes but the lines that struck me most in the book were the snippets from existing poems by well-known authors.

And into the forest I go,
to lose my mind and find my soul.
- John Muir

Beautiful words.

Yet if hope has flown away,
 In a night, or in a day,
 In a vision, or in non,
 Is it therefore the less gone?
 All that we see or seem
 Is but a dream within a dream. 
 - Edgar Allan Poe

I commend the author for choosing these because they were just so apt and beautiful. I also appreciated the reading recommendations the author gave at the end of the book.

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Book Blast [Review]: Realm Of Dragons, Fight For The Crown by L.C. Conn

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Today we have Realm of Dragons: Fight For The Crown by author L.C. Conn! I like fantasy and I like dragons, and I just felt like joining this blog tour.

Read on to know more about the book and read an excerpt! Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Woot!

Realm_of_Dragons_coverAbout this book

The Realm of Dragons is in peril from hidden plots and conspirators, which threaten not only the crown, but the dragons that are at the very heart of it.

Teagan Loinsigh, long ago banished from her magical home of dragons now lives on Earth. Her dreams and memories of the great creatures are put down to fantasies and an overactive imagination, until one day she comes across a creature so unlike any other in the land she lives in. A baby dragon.

Muniath Magaoidh, a Dragon Warden fallen so low by a failed mission, must be brought back from his despair to retrieve what is lost.

Scetis Mordha, alone in the world since he was a child. Finds himself in the middle of intrigue and conspiracy against The Realm of Dragons.

Tying them all together is a dragon. Not just a dragon but The King of Dragons.

Can these four save The Realm of Dragons?

Add this book on Goodreads.

About the Author

L.C. Conn grew up on the outskirts of Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Her backyard encompassed the surrounding farmland, river, hills and mountains which she wandered with her brothers and fed her imagination. After discovering a love for writing in English class at the age of eight, she continued to write in secret. It was not until much later in life that L.C. turned what she thought was a hobby and something fun to do, into her first completed novel. Now married, L.C. moved from New Zealand to Perth, Western Australia, and became a stay at home mum. While caring for her family and after battling breast cancer, a story was born from the kernel of a dream. The first book of The One True Child Series was begun, and just kept blooming into seven completed stories, which have garnered great reviews. She continues her career with more stories waiting in the wings to be released.

Connect with the author via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads or on her website.

Interesting fantasy about dragons!

This was a good read. I don’t know what I was expecting or if I was just in the right mood for this story, but I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It turned out to be quite interesting and when I had to take breaks from reading (because, you know, life) I found myself thinking about it and getting impatient to get back to the story.

I thought the writing flowed well and the pace was steady. I like that it was basically three stories (Teagan’s, Muniath’s and Scetis’s) that eventually came together. I like the characters, the main ones and most of the supporting ones. I thought they were hashed out well enough, though sometimes maybe a bit too good to be true, but I didn’t care. I liked the whole story and the dragon lore. There were some pretty good twists in there, too! If you like fantasies and dragons (like I do), you might enjoy this one.

Note: I received a copy of this book as part of my participation in this book blast. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read an Excerpt

“I don’t understand, what do you want to do?” she asked, collapsing to the hot rock.

“Stand before the fiery pit. Face your fear and grow into who you were meant to be.” His voice boomed not only in her mind but echoed off the circular cavern.

“I’ll die,” she whimpered.

“No, you will not. Now stand,” he commanded.

Slowly she got to her feet. Sweat dripped from her body in rivulets, stinging her eyes as she wiped her face on her sleeve to clear it. As she did, Gremlin moved and the full heat from the lava hit her. She stumbled back, but he supported her with his neck, holding her up. The fiery liquid turned her skin first red, then it started to blister. Teagan screamed at the pain and with fumbling fingers began to tear at the remaining clothes she had on. Now standing nude, her body shook as the outer skin burned away. It melted from her body, slipping, and exposing raw flesh underneath. A scream she so desperately wanted to release caught in her throat.

“Into the lake.” Gremlin commanded.

Each step she took was laboured. She tried to stop herself but found her body would not respond. Her mind screamed at the thought of the agony and death that she was sure awaited if she obeyed the Dragon King. But she went. Standing on the precipice, in a gap of the wall, the scream at last escaped her lips as she stepped down into the rock from the centre of the world.

Giveaway

L.C. Conn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Get your entries in via the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning! You can find the schedule here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/03/book-blast-realm-of-dragons-fight-for.html

Review: World Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5) by Shami Stovall

Today I’m reposting my review of World Serpent Arcanist, the fifth book in the Frith Chronicles by author Shami Stovall. Yayyy.

Okay, I read this book in December last year but I realized a few days ago that I don’t have the review on this blog. It’s on Goodreads, but since I have my reviews of the first four books here, I thought I should also have it here, too.

Anyway, read on for more about this fantastic continuation to the series!

World Serpent ArcanistWorld Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5)

Death. Destiny. The rise of god-arcanists.

Volke Savan has reunited with the Frith Guild just in time to help fight the Second Ascension, a group of power-hungry dastards bent on controlling the newly created god creatures. The world serpent is the first on their list, and if the Second Ascension manages to harness its power, the world will forever be changed for the worse.

But the Frith Guild has another plan. They intend to beat the Second Ascension to the world serpent and have it bond with someone trustworthy—a mysterious man who Guildmaster Eventide believes will usher the world into an era of peace.

As Volke struggles to improve his magic, and also become a mentor for a new knightmare arcanist, he realizes that this may be one adventure the guild never makes it back from…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the fifth book, World Serpent Arcanist!

Add this book on Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

If you would like to find a full list of her novels and audiobooks, you can do so on here.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Does not disappoint. Another fantastic ride!

Great continuation to the series!

Volke is great as always, growing nicely into a skilled arcanist and into an even more genuinely good guy. I’m not a big fan of his, er, romantic links, but I do like the potential of one possible pairing.

The book is mostly about Volke since he’s the main character after all, but I would have liked to read more about the other characters, his pals from book 4 mostly – Fain and Adelgis. I mean, all Volke’s friends are in this, I just wanted to see more of them also growing into their magic.

Speaking of magic, this book is full of it and more. We get the usual stuff I’ve come to expect from this series – interesting magic concepts, fascinating creatures and lands, exciting fights, awesome twists. The twists at the end are pretty cool. I mean, I’m sure everyone who has read the series was probably thinking about this thing in some way or other, but what actually happens is just wild. It was nicely done, methinks. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

If you’ve been enjoying the other books, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

If you like fantasy and are looking for a new series to binge, I say pick up this one!

Note: I purchased my own copy of this book. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my reviews of the previous books: