Book Blog, Book Recommendations, Book Talk

Stand Alone Fantasy Recommendations

Standalones for fantasy aren’t as uncommon as they have been in the past but there’s still too few of them. I understand the appeal of large sweeping fantasy novels. My favorite genre is fantasy so I am ALL for longer series but sometimes you just need a quick journey that isn’t Romance or Middle Grade.

This is not a comprehensive list and I wish it was longer but I don’t want to recommend books I haven’t read yet.

If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments. I would really appreciate it!

Belle Révolte Linsey Miller

Belle Révolte

Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

This is a YA standalone fantasy with a wlw romance. This is incredibly fast paced which could become confusing when learning about the magic of this world alongside the history of the rebels and kingdom. Other than that the characters were very dynamic and interesting especially side characters.We have a Trans character & another that is biromantic ace.


Stain by A.G. Howard

Stain

This high-fantasy YA gothic fairytale, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, takes place in an alternative medieval world split apart by magic. One kingdom lives in perpetual night while the other in daylight.

One of our Main Character’s Lyra is mute and allergic to the sun and she lives in the kingdom of daylight.  The complexities of the characters and the world make it hard to put this story down.

This story might be inspired by Andersen’s story but it’s also a love letter to fairytales in general. If you enjoyed the movie Ever After you will love this.  


Blanca & Roja by Anna Marie McLemore  

Blanca & Roja

This is YA magical realism that mostly centers on two sisters who could not look or be more different from each other. There’s a curse on the daughters of the family that will soon come to pass unless they do something about it.

We also follow two more characters who are also navigating difficulties of their own. Their stories intertwine with Blanca & Roja’s and interferes with the cursed magic that runs in the family.

The writing style fits the whole fairytale like way that this story unfurls. I loved all the characters! I was in a constant state of wanting to hug them all.      


A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton

A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology

This is my FAVORITE anthology I’ve ever read. I’m not seeing enough love for these diverse magical stories. It’s criminally underrated and I don’t understand why? I get short stories aren’t for everyone and I have those same hesitations but let me rest your fears because each story just gets better and better.

There are a few that I wish (& hope) could become more because they’re just THAT amazing but also THAT important. This is YA Fantasy and Science Fiction short story collection centering desires and wishes and what that looks like for a macabre of characters.

 I have a full review of each short story in my November wrap up.  


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane

This is Chinese inspired YA fantasy following a princess who inherits an unstable kingdom after her father’s untimely death.

When I picked this up a couple of years ago I didn’t know it was a standalone. I haven’t read it since so my memory of all the details is a bit fuzzy but I remember reading this in a day. I could not put it down.

It was action packed throughout plus there’s a mystery and the enemy to lovers trope.


Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno- Garcia

Gods of Jade and Shadow

This is Adult fantasy that involves Mayan gods, vengeance and a smart head strong main character.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

This story was a delight from beginning to end and I had no idea what was going to happen next.


Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments ❤

Book Recommendations, Book Talk, Review

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


Amazon.com: The Wife Upstairs: A Novel (9781250245496): Hawkins, Rachel:  Books

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Release Date: January 5, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Synopsis:

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

My Thoughts:

There were times in the first half of the story like I was watching a Lifetime Movie LOL. That’s the only way to explain it. For me personally I found that to be really cringe-y.

I read Jane Eyre a very long time ago & I didn’t love the ending. I loved Jane at the beginning but I never understood her liking Mr. Rochester. So I was very curious about a re-imagining of sorts.

Honestly I liked this better but only by a little. The story is predictable. I was hoping for big twists or at least veering off the beaten path and explore something new.

I do think this works best without prior knowledge of Jane Eyre than maybe it won’t be so easy to predict.

Even though it was a fairly straight forward thriller it was still thrilling, which is the point.

My thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for the advanced copy


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My Favorite Books of 2020

2020 Edition

This was not easy to narrow down but I’m highlighting the ones that have stuck with me since finishing them.

I need everyone to know & read these so we can shout into the void about them forever. I believe most of these if not all of them are 5 stars.

Clicking on the images will take you to the GoodReads page to add them to your never ending tbr pile. You’re welcome 😉

I didn’t rank these they’re just in order of when I read them.


A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell, #4)

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn, the fourth installment to the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series.

This is definitely my favorite of the series so far. It manages to combine Agatha Christie and Edgar Allen Poe vibes throughout. It was the best!!


The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1)

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C Yee the first book in a trilogy.

This is so much fun and funny. Love this take on Sun Wukong. This also has a lot of heart at the center of the story. Also, Sunshine paired with the grump trope 🙂


Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1)

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

I thought this would be weird following the kids but its actually fun. Especially since it is such a large cast of characters. Definitely will need a chart to keep track of everyone.


Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy #1)

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Adult Fantasy with magical technology. Found family, powerful artifacts, wlw, & a cast of misfits.


Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1)

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Native American mythology, hunting monsters, the sunshine paired with the grump trope.


Woven in Moonlight (Woven in Moonlight, #1)

Woven in Moonlight by Isobel Ibañez

Bolivian-inspired fantasy

This story is enchanting with wonderful characters. Don’t get me started on the food descriptions 🙂


Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1)

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Adult Fantasy with South Asian Mythology.

Slow burn romance that is both sweet and vulnerable. Love the magic and lore of this world.


A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #1)

A Song of Wraith & Ruin by Rosanne A. Brown

A Fierce and dangerous girl, a soft and sweet boi what more can I say.

The magic and African mythology is incredible!


The Empire of Gold (Daevabad Trilogy, #3)

Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakoborty

The finale of an AMAZING series. Seriously check it out!!!!

I cried and raged and cried some more. It’s not all bad pain but it is pain 🙂


The Last Namsara (Iskari, #1)

The Last Namsara by Kirsten  Ciccarelli

This is intricate tale of power and hate.

Did I mention dragons? This has dragons and they love stories that’s how they get their power.


A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy, #1)

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

This is a space opera retelling/ re-imagining of Mahabharata.

It has family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.


You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Inject this straight into my veins.

I LOVE that this story gives you those butterfly feelings.


Monday's Not Coming

Monday’s not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

You can’t read this and not have it change you.

This was beautifully written even though the story itself is utterly heartbreaking.


The Black Flamingo

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Told in verse this story spans the life of Michael who is navigating life as a mixed race gay guy. Trying to find his place and his voice in the world we get to see him grow into his skin and find his self.


Stain

Stain by A.G. Howard

Gave me ALL the fairytale feelings.

I absolutely love fairytales and I love retellings that take on a new fresh spin with originality.


A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology

A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhoneille Clayton 

15 unique wonderful diverse stories that tell of loss, hope and our biggest wishes.

I loved almost all these stories which is rare for me with anthologies but they’re all just that amazing.


These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

This was incredible and it lived up to all the hype. And there is a lot of it for good reason.

Holy Smokes this was a grand adventure and I need the sequel STAT!


Bonus: Webtoon’s I Love!

I love this app SO Much! This is where I get my Romance fix. There are too many wonderful stories and illustrations to mention all of them but below are a few that I’m currently obsessed with.

Siren's Lament - Webtoon Photo (43397117) - Fanpop

Siren’s Lament by instantmiso

It’s finished *cries forever*

I found this on a whim & immediately fell in love ❤

Sirens, cute boys and family what’s not to love.


Midnight Poppy Land | WEBTOON

Midnight in Poppyland by Lilydusk

This is another I randomly stumbled upon.

This has the forbidden pining.

It turns a lot of tropes on its head.


Creator Rachel Smythe Dream Casts Lore Olympus! - Frolic

Lore of Olympus by Rachel Symthe

My question is, who isn’t obsessed?

These Gods/Goddesses have always been a favorite!


Facebook

Suitor Armor by  Purpah

This is my newest obsession 🙂

Hidden Identities, sentient knights, magic, fairies!

I can’t wait t see where this goes! *heart eyes forever*


Are there any you’re obsessed with?? Any Webtoon’s you’d suggest?

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Alphabet Reading Challenge Q-Z

The Alphabet Reading Challenge for 2020 is finally over for me!

Its a fun yet stressing event that I task myself with every year. I might have to get more creative with certain letters. I feel Z should be like X where if it’s in the title you’re good.

Now we’ve come to the difficult letters of this portion. If you have any suggestions for Q , U, and Z I would love to hear it.

Next year these posts will be done differently.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a more in depth look into her TED Talk on the history of introverts and how the world works for and against them. She goes over how society and Western culture is shaped to uplift and reward extroverts.


RWBY : Vol 1 The Fall of Beacon Arc  by Bunta Kinami

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is the manga of the first volume of the show. This is a great format for new comers. I thought it was really nice to revisit this story in a new art form. My only problem was confusion over who was talking. I read an ARC and hope that the final version cleared this up.  


Small Spaces by Katherina Arden

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Spooky Middle Grade. This was a delight! I haven’t read to my knowledge a scary middle grade novel and I think it’s better than some YA, or Adult. This was entertaining and creepy. I highly recommend for Goosebump fans.  


Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This was incredible & powerful. This has Native American folklore where a girl hunts down and kills monsters. She lives far away from her community and refuses to make attachments after being hurt in the recent past. It has the angry one paired with the soft one trope. LOVE to see it.


Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott

Rating: 2 out of 5.

For one delirious moment I thought this was going to be a horror starring two mystery solving lesbians.  I hate to report that this is not that story. If you know a story like that please leave a comment. Thank you 🙂

The beginning set it up nicely for a lovely thriller mystery solving duo who possibly are more than friends but sadly that is not the case. Honestly I have no idea what this story is about. This was droll as all hell and I don’t recommend. Sorry.   


Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This duology was a disappointment after having loved the Remnant Chronicles. This duology focused heavily on the romance which was big mistake. This last book tries to over correct this but it didn’t fix the issues.


Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This was a delightful & fierce reading experience. I honestly loved everything about this gorgeously written tale. We have hate to love, magic, & tyranny.

For this to be a standalone the pacing was amazing. That’s usually thing that I notice the most to be off with a lot of fantasy but this one pulls it off.

I wish the magical elements were more or at least the world building/ lore in that area was more. Also the fight at the end could have been better.

There is a companion novel Written in Starlight out in January.


The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a bridger book. A lot is being built for the rest of the series to build off which can slow the progression. This was still fantastic just not as heavy on the action but of the politics which is prevalent throughout the series.


You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is the rom-com I’ve been needing! This was a feel good story that I needed to read. I couldn’t stop grinning while reading this just exudes good vibes. There are some super cringe things like with our Mean Girl© & the high stakes prom elements which I can over look for scholarship reasons buuut its still a mighty stretch. Either I’m old or I went to a low cal school but prom was never important. In any case this didn’t spoil or ruin my fun. I really LOVE friendships between siblings and M/F platonic friendships as well. I need more. Also, I’m glad to see lighthearted fun stories center Black characters. More of this immediately!


Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I read this without every reading his fiction pieces. I’m aware of them and after having read this I’m even more interested in picking them up. This was interesting to read just for the insight into the world of writing back in the 50’s and how much and how little has actually changed. This focuses on his own work and how he writes. It’s always fascinating to see the behind the scenes of writers.

Have you read any of these? How would you like to see these posts done differently?


Previous Challenge Posts:

Reading Challenge A

Reading Challenge B

Reading Challenge C

Reading Challenge D- F

Reading Challenge G – K

Reading Challenge L- P

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My MOST Anticipated Reads of 2021

This is in no way an exhaustive list of all the books just the ones I’m eagerly awaiting.

I’ve put them in order of their release to make it more coherent. I added the release date as it stands right now in the US but they are subject to change.

Also clicking on the image will take you to Goodreads to find out more or add it to your already out of control TBR. You’re welcome 🙂

There is a mix of Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Most of these are also sequels & Fantasy.

I only have two or three new to me authors. Maybe that’s bad but I like to get series completed before starting new ones. It obviously doesn’t always happen like that but I do strive to finish series because I need to know how it ends.

Luckily 2021 is providing me with ALL the sequels.  


Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas January 12

Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give, #0)

YA Contemporary which takes place prior to The Hate You Give.

The prequel to The Hate You Give follows 17 year old Maverick Carter as he navigates what the world expects him to be and who he is capable of being.

I’m excited to read more Angie Thomas!

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal  January 19

YA Fantasy The sequel and conclusion to We Hunt the Flame.

I’m equal parts ready & NOT ready. I want them all to be happy & safe.

Is that too much to ask??

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2)

Written in Starlight by Isobél Ibañez January 26

YA Fantasy Companion novel to Woven in Moonlight.

I’m so ready to be back in this world. We’re following a character from the first book but we didn’t get to see much of them there.

Can’t wait to see what adventures await!

Written in Starlight (Woven in Moonlight, #2)

The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa February 9

YA Fantasy a new book in a new spinoff series of The Iron Fey series.

I’m optimistically hopeful. The previous spinoff was terrible.

In this we are following Puck the funny sidekick turned leading fey.

The Iron Raven (The Iron Fey: Evenfall, #1)

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna February 9

YA Fantasy first book in a new series.

Warriors, magic, and things are not what they seem.

This looks and sounds awesome!

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)

The Galaxy & the Ground Within by Becky Chambers February 16

Adult Science Fiction the fourth book in the Wayfarer series. I don’t care who we’re following I’m going to be there.

Her characters and the found families they make for themselves just kill me every time.

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers, #4)

An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn March 2

Adult  Mystery   The sixth book in the Veronica Speedwell series.

This isn’t the last there’s at least a couple more planned. Which is great since I can’t get enough of this duo.

An Unexpected Peril (Veronica Speedwell, #6)

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare March 2

YA Fantasy  Second book in the Last Hours Series.

I feel like this is a lot of peoples highly anticipated books & you can’t blame them with that kind of ending. Plus the characters are just entertaining as hell.

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2)

Red Tigress by Amélia Wen Zhao March 2

YA Fantasy  Sequel to Blood Heir. This series reminds me of Marie Lu’s Young Elites series.

Our morally gray main character is trying to get back her kingdom and enlists the help of those who are the enemy of the kingdom.

Red Tigress (Blood Heir Trilogy, #2)

Aru Shah & the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi April 6

Middle Grade Fantasy The fourth book in the series.

These are just great stories with awesome characters. I love that these feature Hindu myths.

Aru Shah and the City of Gold (Pandava, #4)

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart April 20

YA Fantasy first book in a new series.

The cover is what drew me in initially but then I read the synopsis.

A Jamaican inspired story of two sworn enemies entering a precarious alliance to take down a threat. Like YES PLEASE!

Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold, #1)

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He May 4

YA   Science Fiction/ Thriller

I’m going into this one with as little info as possible. Because apparently this is a crossover of sorts and I don’t want to spoil anything.

The Ones We're Meant to Find

A Psalm of Storms & Silence by Rosanne A. Brown  June 1

YA Fantasy sequel to A Song Of Wraiths and Ruin.

Bring on my utter destruction!

I miss my fierce warrior and my soft boi!
I love how this story tackles anxiety its underrepresented especially in Fantasy settings.

A Psalm of Storms and Silence (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #2)

The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker June 8

Adult Historical Fiction Sequel to The Golem & the Jinni.

I’m super curious as to how this will continue. The first book takes place in the 1920’s in New York when these two meet.

The Hidden Palace (The Golem and the Jinni, #2)

Witchshadow by Susan Dennard   June 22

YA Fantasy The Fourth book in the Witchlands series.

If i were to rank these this would be No.1 I LOVE this series with my whole being. And I especially love Iseult!

Witchshadow (The Witchlands, #4)

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri June 22

Adult Fantasy

The first book in a new series with f/f r0mance angst and politics. I don’t need to know more than that. I just need the book in my hands please.

The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1)

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia September 14

YA Graphic Novel Fantasy sequel.

I was stunned that this was the next to be released because I thought it would be Cyborg. But I will GLADLY take this one!

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven

Gilded Wolves Book 3 by Roshani Chokshi

YA Fantasy The last book in the Gilded Wolves series. I cannot wait to find out what happens to my children!!

No cover or title as of right now 😦


Let me know which books you’re highly anticipating. Is it in this bunch??


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The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neil

This is the cutest illustrated story ever told. I love this series so much it has the cutest dragons and the stories are always so thoughtful and wonderful.

Check out my review for the other books at my Goodreads

This is the third and final installment (which I hope isn’t entirely true) I love this series so much and hope more tea dragons are in our future.

In this story we are following Greta, and Minette who are learning to navigate the world. Greta has been offered a apprenticeship to forge with a prestige master smith. However she’s also dealing with her tea dragon’s depression over losing their last owner.    

Minette is also struggling with coping with her new life after the monastery. Life isn’t how she pictured for herself and she is unsure if she’s heading down the right path.

I really love the messages in these stories they’re great lessons for everyone to remember.

I highly recommend this series to everyone, the story and the art are phenomenal.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry (Tea Dragon, #3)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Oni Press and Netgalley for a review copy 

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Try This if you liked That

This can go in any direction depending on what you’ve read and/ or prefer. I feel like a lot of people either already know or read City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. If this is you than I suggest these other two books.

I have a Young Adult trilogy and an Adult standalone to recommend.

The common thread amongst these stories is capable women dry heat/ desert settings and just incredible characters


The Daevabad series, City of Brass– S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for The City of Brass:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for.

My thoughts:

I love this world! The world building is complex and interesting. I love all the layers you know exist and it isn’t until the books continue that you get to experience the vastness and even then it still feels like you’ve only experienced a taste. The characters are the best part of this whole world and series. They will pull at your heart strings and then make you want to pull out your hair. I love how much this story unfurls and the depths that are explored.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Synopsis:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

My thoughts:

I really love and admire Elisa and the growth of her character over the span of the three books. She’s resourceful and resilient. There is romance in this series but it isn’t the sole focus. This does focus on politics and religion/magic but it is YA so it doesn’t go over your head.

The relationships are some of my favorite, and I don’t mean romance even though it has one of my all time favorites. (I’ve mentioned it in an earlier post) But women/ girl friends are a rarity in fantasy which is a crime.  


Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1)

Synopsis:

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance.

My thoughts:

Not enough people talk about this book.

Mehr reminds me a great deal of Elisa and Nahir with her determination and resilient strength. She is dealt a hand of cards she wasn’t expecting and she navigates to the best of her ability.  

The romance is slow and wonderful. It builds into something very powerful but it never detracts from the story.

The story itself is something that has to be experienced because it holds so much depth to it.


If you like characters you can’t help but root for great friendships and romance world building that is top notch. These books are definitely worth your time.

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Yona of the Dawn Vol.26

AAAAAAAAAHHHH

That’s my review just screaming. I honestly don’t know how to form sentence to articulate what I just read.

I can’t believe it finally happened!! If you want to know what that it is you’ll have to read this book.

This is the best one of the series but I say that after everyone.

I just really love this series it has all the elements that I just can’t ever get enough of. Found family, love, pining/ angst, and such strong and loyal characters.

I first found out about this manga through the anime a couple years back.

This is more than just a romance story with so much political intrigue and wars with the clans. It has something for everyone.

buy links:

Indie | Book Depository

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 26

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Many, many thanks to Viz Media and Negalley for the free review copy

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The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

For my thoughts on The Gilded Wolves here’s the link to my review


We are back in the beautiful and lush world but things are very different and somber now. Silvered Serpents picks up where we left the characters still recovering from their sudden loss.

There is a new search underway to find something that is of equal importance to many. This quest leads them out of Paris and into Russia.

There is a lot of intrigue, scheming and a dangerous leviathan that our cast of characters have to thwart to unravel the mystery of the item they hunt for. For this is literally now life and death.

I love and cherish Roshani’s writing. This was a heartbreaking story and frustrating at times because you just want to shake some of them but that’s not how grief works.

The characters are what I love the most about these books. Even though they are hurting they’re still a joy to read. There’s just such wonderful representation and the frustration that feel is very palpable and heavily relatable today.

The only problem I have now is how long I have to wait for the last installment. The ending snuck up on me and stole my breath away.

buy links:

Indie Bound | Amazon US | Book Depository

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for a free arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blog, Book Recommendations, Book Talk, Review

Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo

Why did this feel so short?? I don’t if it’s because I sped through this or if it is actually shorter than Raven’s. There’s never enough time! I just need full length novels.  

I enjoyed seeing Gar with his friends. His struggles with his appearance and wanting acceptance with the popular crowd was portrayed nicely. Nicely as in these are real struggles teens face and to see it being depicted outside of the girl narrative is what’s nice about it.  

The illustrations are just as wonderful and I expect nothing less from Gabriel. I love how much his art really compliments these characters.

Speaking of characters, I’m happy to see more inclusive cast. We have a character, Tank that discovers he has dyslexia. I loved seeing a Black gamer girl, Stella who is Gar’s best friend.

They try to talk sense into Gar when he goes on about his looks and wanting to impress the “cool” kids.

He finally gets everything he wants, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger and the stakes keep getting higher.

I can’t wait to get a final copy to go with Raven. I LOVE the Teen Titans and I’m thrilled that we’re getting more of them.

Indie Bound | Amazon US | Book Depository

Teen Titans: Beast Boy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Netgalley and DC Ink for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review