Book Review: Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

AuthorLeigh Bardugo
Release Date: 12th July 2016
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic & Elementals
Series: Six Of Crows (Book #1) & Grishaverse
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 495
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Blurb:
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Review

★★★★★

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, the first book in the Six Of Crows Duology (also a part of the Grishaverse), is DEVILISHLY GOOD!!

When I was starting with this book, I did not even have the slightest of ideas that it would turn out to be one of my all-time favourite fantasy books! I loved, LOVED, the world-building and felt like Ketterdam was indeed a real world of which I desperately wanted to be a part of! This book is like a dream come true for a fantasy reader because this book has so much to offer to its readers that you simply can’t fault it! The conflicts were ridiculously good and lent an air of authenticity to the characters, something that lacks in most of the fantasy books these days. It was pure bliss to have read this book as I was so fed up of reading books that were only hyped up and had literally next to nothing to offer Caraval.

description

This book is a mind-blowing and earth-shattering dark fantasy novel. The story is deliciously complex and suitably grounded and the characterisation very mature, gritty and intricate. The story and the concept are simply out of the world and the author’s meticulous detailing is spot-on. This is a book you’d want to get lost in forever.

It is like a beautiful piece of art that you want to collect and then visit and revisit it again and again and again… This book is so ridiculously good that I can re-read it right now (only after 10 days.) It is one of those books that you wish would never get over… like The Hobbit and the ASOIF series but in a totally different way.

description

THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL!!
✦ A badass anti-hero with gut-wrenching inner-conflicts and an extremely difficult background and who is dubbed by people as the demon or the devil – check ✔︎
✦ A deadly and dangerous heroine who uses her Wraith-like persona to find out everyone’s dark secrets in order to serve the devil himself – check ✔︎
✦ A super-funny, charming and dangerous sharp-shooter side-kick who also happens to have a crush on the devil – check ✔︎
✦ A super-sassy, bold and gifted enchantress with unmatched super-powers who can kill you with a snap of her finger – check ✔︎
✦ A badass warrior-hunter-soldier who cannot be matched for strength – check ✔︎
✦ A naive rich brat who has left all the comforts and riches behind in order to find himself – check ✔︎

And there’s even more…
☛ An impossible heist
☛ Harsh weather conditions
☛ Bitterness amongst some people in the crew
☛ Possibility of backstabbing
☛ The odds are completely against and the stakes are so high that the readers can’t help but get swept away by how things happen the twisty turns that greet them at each and every page turn!

This book is a legitimate un-put-down-able read and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy and/or books with a solid plot as well as characterization. I mean, What The Hell Are You Still Waiting For?! Go and get this book today and do yourselves a huge favour!!

this review is also posted on Goodreads
Advertisements

Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

AuthorStephanie Garber 
Release Date: 28th November 2018
Genre: Techno-Thriller, Action, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Series: Written By Blood #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 238
Publisher: 
Blurb:
The Sunday Times bestseller WELCOME TO CARAVAL, WHERE NOTHING IS QUITE WHAT IT SEEMS . . . Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show. Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father. When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

REVIEW

★★+1/2

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is one book that I had waited for a long time to read before, finally, I was able to read it for the buddy read of RMFAO‘s Buddy Read for December’s Fantasy Month. To say that I had monumental expectations from this book would be a complete understatement. I’ve always loved reading immersive and elaborate fantasy books, but after having read The Night Circus, I was completely enthralled to have discovered magic in such a conventional form – Circus. And that was the reason why I was so eager to read Caraval which, to me, seemed a lot like The Night Circus.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, comparing both these books would be an insult to The Night Circus as Caraval miserably and unapologetically failed on more fronts that I even care to count. The only reason I even completed the book was the plot because somehow (unbelievably) the plot managed to keep me interested and I wanted to find out how the book ended.

I was appalled to see that the characterisation was so lifeless that I don’t even remember the names of the leading heroine even though I finished the book only a couple of days ago! And this was not even the fault of my huge expectations because I really feel that if a book is a Sunday Times Bestseller, it has to have something going for it, shouldn’t it??

The descriptions were very forced and sounded repetitive, the characterization was weak and immature and the progression of the plot felt weak too. The pacing was not great as at some places it was so slow that I had to skim over portions. The world building was okay but not as it should have been and the dialogues were outright bad at some places.

I hate writing so much negative about this book as I do feel that this book had a lot of potentials but it failed miserably for me in almost every aspect. I won’t be recommending this book to anyone. Though if you love reading fantasy genre, you should really give The Night Circus a read because that book is simply MAGIC!

this review is also posted on Goodreads

Book Review: The Snowtiger’s Trail by Watson Davis

Author: Watson Davis
Release Date: 12th April 2018
Genre: Swords & Sorcery, High Fantasy
Series:  The Windhaven Chronicles (Book #9)
Edition: E-book
Pages: 315
Publisher:
Blurb:
Welcome to Windhaven and the Wrath of the Wizard-King!A deposed Wizard-king leads his ragged band of followers to the last town before the Far Waste and hides there from his vengeful queen while building an army to re-take his rightful kingdom. A regular army won’t do for the Wizard-king. He needs something deadlier, something magical, something demonic.When Wallak of the Bright Fox tribe wakes up from a night of carousing in Ancliff, he can’t find his nephew. He can’t return to his tribe alone, but if he discovers his nephew whereabouts, he may never return to his tribe at all.

This is a swords and sorcery tale of dark, soul-twisting magic where no-one is safe.

Review

★★★★★

The Snowtiger’s Trail by Watson Davis is a beautifully written and a very well thought-out high fantasy read that totally blew my mind!

I am a big fan of the fantasy genre but only if it is done right and that was something I was expecting from this book when I got a chance to read it, and this book did exactly that and so much more. It totally exceeded all my expectations and I was sucked into the story right from the very beginning.

The characterization is spot on, the writing style is brilliant, the world-building is simply amazing and the pacing is superb! All-in-all, this book had everything that I expect from a solid and meticulous fantasy book.

What is really amazing is that even though this was the 9th book in the Windhaven series, I did not feel, even for a second, that I wasn’t getting some part of the story or was missing out on some bits because of not having read any of the earlier parts. Initially, I had forgotten that this was a part of an ongoing series and realized it only when I was near the end (that too only when I was checking its cover on my kindle and happened to read the extra pages of the book which had a list of names of the other parts.) So this can be read as a stand alone without any reservations.

I loved this book and I’d recommend it to everyone who wants to read a nice story involving swords, sorcery and fascinating (and totally amazing) animals.

this review is also posted on goodreads and amazon

Audiobook Review: Looking For Dei by David A. Wilson

Author: David A. Willson
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Release Date: 
30th March 2018
Genre: High Fantasy
Series: 

Length: 10 hours 7 hours 25 minutes
Publisher: Seeker Press
Blurb:
Join Nara and Mykel on a journey through the Great Land….
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never been good at keeping secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious adoptive father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her and her friend on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

Review

★★★+1/2

Looking For Dei by David A. Wilson is an interesting new high fantasy read with a believable storyline and an impressive world-setting. I was pulled into the story right from the start and was kept engaged till I hit the middle part of the story, and that was when I kind of hit a brick wall. After about 45% I started to struggle because of the pacing, which was pretty good until that point but then suddenly slacked and the story started to feel like a drag. Fortunately, after a while, the pacing picked up again (albeit a bit slowly) and I was happy to reach the end of the story without any further pacing issues. The story picked up in the ending again and overall I was glad that I picked this read.

I was fortunate enough to get this book in both the formats – e-book from NetGalley and audiobook from Audiobookworm. I started this with the e-book but when I got the audio, obviously I listened to the entire story because that just saved me a hell of a lot of time! Also, the narration was pretty good and I loved the different variation the narrator used especially of the old crone, Ann.

I’d recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers, and even to those who rarely read fantasy and are looking for a new fantasy series to explore.

 

this review is also posted on audible and Goodreads


Tour Schedule:

May 24th:

T’s Stuff

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

May 25th:

The Reading Bud
Blogger Nicole Reviews

May 26th:

Lilly’s Book World

May 27th:

Adventures Thru Wonderland

May 28th:

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

May 29th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

May 30th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Literature Approved

➜Sign up as a host here

Book Review: In The Blood by R.L. Martinez

27689746Author: R.L. Martinez
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Series: The Witchbreed Series
Genre: High Fantasy, Magic Realism
(Magic Elementals > Wizards, Witches & Shapeshifters)
Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 356
Publisher: Lake Water Press
Source: Publicist (via NetGalley)
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

The Warrior
The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.
But she may arrive too late…
The Witch
Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster.
Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Review

I enjoyed this book through and through. I picked up this book in hopes of reading a decent fantasy novel, but this book pleasantly surprised the hell out of me! It is an epic book with a brilliant plot, stunning characterization, and beautiful writing – all weaved together into a fantastic work that I was lucky enough to read.

This book has everything a fantasy lover craves – A new world to get completely lost into, characters whom you can love and hate forming unbreakable emotional bonds and a story that’ll make you forget everything else.
I was completely blown by the simplicity of this book and I’m eagerly waiting for the next part in this wondrous series.

In this book, the author uses realism as her weapon. Not all tales of good witches and helping shapeshifters end happily, and I’m really glad to say, that this book made me realize that the world of magic is not something to play around with.

R.L. Martinez uses her dark imagination to plow the fields of her war-wrought world with realism. It really made the entire witch breed concept interesting and mesmerizing. Now, I’m actually afraid of witches (which is something that is always  missing in most of the fantasy novels.) The author’s writing was really smooth and the pacing was exceptional.

The romance in this book literally swept me off my feet because of its simplicity and subtlety.

At first, the timelines seemed a little jumbled, but once I got in sync with the story I was able to make out the timelines pretty clearly.

In spite of all the raves, there was only one significant negative that stood out while reading this book, and it was the fact that most of the names (both of places and people) were odd and difficult to pronounce. It made it a bit difficult for me to enjoy the first few pages, but once I let go of my obsession of pronouncing the word right, I was able to get into the book easily enough. (Though I’m pretty sure I’ve got more than half of the names wrong, and to be honest, this book is so great that I don’t even care about it anymore.)

As I said earlier, the characterization is brilliant! I felt a really strong  connection with the leading twin ladies of this book (I’m not gonna say the names as I’m sure I’ll pronounce them wrongly.) The other characters were so good that I felt a bond with each and every single character (secondary as well as not-so-important ones.)

This book ended on an excellent note with a smasher of a cliff hanger. After reading the last page I was literally pulling at my hair!

I loved this book and I think that everyone on this planet should read this series as I really think that everyone will love it!

Video Podcast

 

Bookstagram

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 1.11.01 am

Instagram

Other Stuff

Opening Line: With cold stiff fingers, Ottilde Dominax rubbed the prisoner number tattooed on the side of her neck.

Highlights: Storyline and magic realism.

Lowlights: Names with difficult and odd pronunciations.

Memorable Quotes:

The world is only so big and you can only run so far.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant high-fantasy read that you simply can’t afford to miss!


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Netgally and Amazon.

 

Book Review: The Prophecy (The Fulfilment #1)

23265671

Author: Erin Rhew 
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Series: The Fulfilment Series
Genre: YA | High-Fantasy | Romance
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 381
Publisher: BookFish Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Erin!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

Rating

TRB 4 half star

Review

Plot/Story:

I absolutely loved the plot line of The Prophecy. It’s entertaining as well as really emotionally involving. I really enjoyed the story and  it pulled me into the world of Vanguards, Ethereal and Outlanders right from the very beginning.

The world-building is superb and the author has really done a commendable job in detailing. The book is written in multiple POVs and takes us through the lives of all the three main characters in detail. The pace of the story is great and being an absorbing read and all it proved to be quite a fast read.

I’m really excited to read the next book in the series as I honestly want to explore the amazing world of this book.

Characters:

The characterization in this book is really impressive. I loved the main characters, Layla, Will and Nash and even the supporting characters of Vespa, Grant and Volton Holt (there were more but I’m just mentioning my favorites.) I was able to connect with them all and was able to feel all the emotions the characters were experiencing. I really wanted to cry when they cried and literally grin when something good happened (especially when Nash came in the picture.)

Romance:

This book is a romantic YA Fantasy, so what else do you expect!? It has tons and tons of romance and the author managed to pull off the love-triangle thing gracefully. Though at first I thought it to be a little weird, considering Layla’s nature, but it was all explained beautifully in the second half of the book. And yes, it all did make sense (which is really rare these days!)

Writing:

The writing is really powerful which I was expecting and which doesn’t come as a shock because the author is an editor and I’ve read quite a few books edited by there and they were really awesome! T

Begining:

The Prophecy pulled me in right from the start. I loved the Day Of Dawning was intrigued about all the cryptic thoughts Layla had about the First Ones and the Ecclesiastics. I mean that really, really made me curious and that was the point where I realised that I was in for a brilliant read.

Ending:

The ending surprised me, but I must say I did expect a little more (just a teeny bit.) I mean the ending was haw-inspiring but I kind of made my peace with it thinking that at least now Layla won’t have to choose between the two princes. Maybe it’ll be different in the second part but I really needed something more that would have made it a cliff-hanger of an ending.

Blurb:

The blurb is perfect and it totally managed to get me to read this book. So yeah, it’s as good as it can be.

Cover Art:

I absolutely cover the cover art of this book and it really makes me want to pick up a hardcover copy of the book.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Beware of gray skies; they can be an omen.

Highlights: The world-building.

Lowlights: None

Final Thoughts: An engaging fantasy read with brilliant world-building.


 

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: The Accidental Apprentice (ARC)

AccidentalApprentice_Cover

Author: Anika Arrington
Release Date: October 4, 2014
Series: Not sure
Genre: NA | High Fantasy
Edition: e-book (epub)
Pages: 180
Publisher: Xchyler Publishing
Interest: Requested by publisher
Source: Xchyler Publishing 

Blurb

Brilliant and ambitious, Rezdin the Wizard has one goal: impress the king, but he answers to Baron von Dappenshien who refuses him access to Court. However, before Rezdin can maneuver himself into the limelight, the king arrests von Dappenshien for treason, and Rezdin goes to ground. The wizard finds himself dependent upon the wits and good will of one starving street urchin. But what can he offer little Tommy in return? When old dangers and new alliances rear their menacing heads, Rezdin must decide where his true loyalties lie, and what to do with his newfound entourage of one.

Review

4.5

4+1/2

Positives:

The Accidental Apprentice is a wonderful and fascinating book, full of magic! I liked everything about the story and the characters. The Characters are one of the many ‘positives’ for the book, they are very well developed and quite influential. You can instantly connect with the characters as the book is written in various PoVs. I loved the fact that magic, in this book, is described so flawlessly that for a minute I was wondering about having powers within myself. This book is very beautifully written. Anika’s writing carries you magically through the entire story and leaves you craving for more at the end. The plot is aptly intriguing and the concept of DMZ (Demystifying Zone) is just amazing.

I can’t even pick up a favourite character, as each and every character felt so true!

Negatives:

I would have greatly appreciated one more chapter from Erik’s PoV. I strongly feel that this chapter would have provided the character of Baron von Dappenshien a satisfying closure. I really, really missed him in the end. That’s the only reason for me to cut back on 1/2 a star in the rating. Also a different cover might have done wonders for the book!

Conclusion:

The Accidental Apprentice is a wonderful book full of magic and surprises. It has successfully made it’s place amongst my favourites. I’d recommend it to all the high-fantasy readers.

PS: I really hope that the author writes a sequel to The Accidental Apprentice. I’d love to see Tommy’s progress in the Academy.

Other Stuff

Highlights: Anika’s fantastic imagination and writing .

Low-lights: Ending felt a bit incomplete.

Memorable Quote: “Magik is quite, invisible, small. And in the quietest, simplest gestures, the most powerful magiks reside.”

Final Thoughts: An amazing read.

Sign

Book Review: Eagle En Garde

eagleengarde_small1

Olga Godim

Olga Godim

Author: Olga Godim
Release Date: May 2014
Genre: Adventure | Fantasy
Edition: e-book (epub)
Pages: 271
Publisher: Champagne/Burst Books
Interest: Requested by author
Source: Author (Thanks, Olga!)
Buy: Amazon

Summary

Darin, a mercenary officer, lives in Talaria, a kingdom surrounded by a magic-resistant spell. While some people wish to break the spell and invite magic back into the country, the fanatical sect of Cleaners is determined to prevent the return of magic. Darin doesn’t agree with the Cleaners’ doctrine but he doesn’t dispute it either. He is a soldier, not a philosopher. Then he accidentally overhears the Cleaners’ hidden agenda to destroy all magic workers in Talaria, including witches and elves, and his orderly life is turned upside down. His sweetheart is a witch, his daughter is a half-elf, and he has many elven friends. He can’t allow the Cleaners’ murderous scheme to succeed, can’t allow innocents to suffer from the rabid zealots. But what can a lone mercenary do against a horde of extremists? His only choice lies in trickery and deceit to outsmart his enemies. And the anti-magic spell on the border suddenly becomes his only ally.

Review

4

**Spoiler Alert**

The book starts with Captain Darin Barclay saving a women (a witch) form a bunch of cleaners in a fair in Coll, Talaria. Talaria is an imaginary kingdom whose borders are bound by a spell that prevents magic to enter inside the kingdom. Anything that has magic or anyone who can perform magic (elves and witches) can not enter the spell-bound boundaries of Talaria. Darin Barclay is a courageous 24 year old, dangerously handsome, captain of the Eagles, who has sworn to protect the people of Coll, Talaria. Cleaners are a nasty bunch of people who are against magic and all the magical people and want others to follow their Gods and believes. A few elves and witches who live in Talaria can never leave it’s borders because if they do so they’ll never be able to return because of the spell. These good-natured elves and witches are constantly haunted by the cleaners to leave Talaria.

This books takes the reader through the adventurous journey of Darin Barclay in saving elves from cleaners and in doing so, saving numerous lives, including that of his daughter Leatanis (who is half elven) and his love Ana.

Olga Godim captures the reader’s imagination effortlessly. This light-hearted story has just the perfect amount of adventure, magic, emotion, drama, morals and most of all courage. I would like to quote this book as a “no-nonsense adventure”. Right when you think something is going to go wrong with Darin’s plans, he successfully pulls off each and every plan neatly. This really made me wonder about a reader’s unnecessary need for twists and turns, just so that they have something to think about. And this is where Olga Godim, for me, has given this book a new, very positive, direction. The story runs smoothly and at a quick no-fret pace.

You can read this review on goodreads here.

Other Stuff

Map:

Map Of Talaria

Map Of Talaria

Opening Line: ‘Behind a thin wooden fence, the spring fair in Coll pulsed and hummed like a human sea.’

Highlights: Darin Barclay.

Low-lights: None.

Interview: You can read the author’s conversation with the novel’s protagonist, a mercenary officer Darin Barclay here.

Final Thoughts: A light-hearted adventurous read.

Sign