Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, 1)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternate Universes, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Titan Books (27 February 2015)
Blurb:

Kell is one of the last travellers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, without magic and ruled by the mad King George III. Red London – where magic is revered, and where Kell was raised alongside the heir to the empire. White London – where people fight to control the remaining magic and magic fights back. And once there was Black London . . .

Officially Kell is the Red traveller, carrying letters between the monarchs of each London. Unofficially he is a smuggler, a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences. His escape to Grey London leads to a run-in with Delilah, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations, who forces Kell to take her on a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and an adventure becomes a mission to save all the worlds.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is the first book in a new series by V. E. Schwab. It follows the stories of Kell, a magician who is powerful enough to travel between worlds, and Delilah, a thief who wants to see the world. Kell is delivering a letter from his home court when he is forced to flee to Grey London where his path crosses that of Delilah.

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Review: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy (UK edition)

Title: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle (The Hero’s Guide 2)
Author: Christopher Healy
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher: Harper Collins (4th July 2013)
Blurb:

The League of Princes are out to prove themselves true heroes, and stop their kingdoms from falling into the wrong hands.

Magical swords, man-eating eels, evil warlords?

All in a day’s work.

And it’s going to be a looooong day . . .

Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:

THE HERO’S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE by Christopher Healy is the second book in the series. Things have gone downhill for our heroes (princes Liam, Frederic, Gustav, and Duncan) with the Bandit King getting his revenge, but the princes soon find themselves involved in another adventure.

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Review: My True Love Gave To Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins (UK edition)

Title: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Winter Romances
Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Short Story, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (9th October 2014)
Blurb:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .

This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME is a collection of Young Adult short stories edited by Stephanie Perkins. All twelve of the short stories are set during the Christmas period. Each story varies in length, some of the stories read like a contemporary story, whilst others are more fantastic.

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Mass (UK edition)

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, 3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury (11th September 2014)
Blurb:

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back . . .

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil her bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

HEIR OF FIRE marks the third book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass. The book continues Celaena Sardothien’s story, following the King of Adarlan’s orders in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (review) she has arrived in Wendlyn but past events have left her shaken and wounded, and she must decide what her future is going to be.

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Review: Clariel by Garth Nix

Clariel by Garth Nix

Title: Clariel (The Old Kingdom Series, 4)
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books (2nd October 2014)
Blurb:

The beautiful royal city of Belisaere is the jewel in the crown of the Old Kingdom. Its citizens are wealthy, refined and noble. They are also dangerous, cruel and riddled with corruption . . .

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to city life. She yearns to be roaming free in the forest, not continually making mistakes in this new city filled with courtiers, false flattery, secrets and endless rules of propriety.

Then Clariel’s destiny takes an unexpected turn. A dangerous Free Magic creature is stalking Belisaere. Is it coincidence that the creature has arrived at the same time as her family? Or is this a warning that the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr are crumbling? Clariel aches to escape this dangerous, cloistered world, and the burden of responsibility that comes with it – but when your path calls, can you disobey?

The highly anticipated prequel to Garth Nix’s bestselling Old Kingdom trilogy.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

Set within the same world as Garth Nix’s OLD KINGDOM trilogy, CLARIEL tells the story of a  seventeen-year-old girl whose family moves from Estwael and the Great Forest to the capital of The Old Kingdom, Belisaere. Clariel is not happy with the move to help further her mother’s career, and longs to return home but events within Belisaere are coming to a head, and Clariel finds herself caught up in them.

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Review: Odin’s Ravens by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr

Odin’s Ravens by K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr

Title: Odin’s Ravens (The Blackwell Pages, 2)
Authors: K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mythology
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (13th May 2014)
Blurb:

Seven kids, Thor’s hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things that standing against the end of the world.

When thirteen-year-olds Matt Thorsen and Fen and Laurie Brekke, modern-day descendants of Thor and Loki, discovered they were fated to take the places of the Norse gods in an epic battle against the apocalypse, they thought they knew how things would play out. Gather the other descendants standing in for the gods, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?

But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend Baldwin is poisoned and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in hopes of saving him. That’s only the first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and save humanity – a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and colossal monsters to make Matt and his friends legends in their own right.

Perfect for fans of ancient myths and filled with young heroes, monstrous beasts, and godly enemies, this fast-paced adventure is impossible to put down.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

ODIN’S RAVENS is the second instalment of K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr’s epic THE BLACKWELL PAGES. It continues the journey started by Matt Thorsen and Fen and Laurie Brekke in the first book in the series. After the events of LOKI’S WOLVES (review) Ragnarök looks closer than ever, but Matt and his friends are determined to stop the end of the world. Even if that means venturing into the Underworld to try to save Baldwin.

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Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)
Authors: Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Orchard Books (2nd October 2014)
Blurb:

WELCOME TO NEW VEGAS.

A city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. At the heart of it, Natasha Kestal is looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land where the sun still shines and the waters flow. A place where she won’t be hunted by those who know her darkest secret.

Until Nat gets to the Blue, she will never be safe. Not even from the boy entrusted with her life – and heart.

The thrilling first instalment in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

FROZEN is the first book in a new series from wife and husband team Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston. It follows the story of Natasha Kestal who wants to leave New Vegas and head to a place called the Blue. Unfortunately, leaving New Vegas isn’t an easy task – it costs a lot to get the help needed to get past government security – and you have to be careful that the people you hire to get you out aren’t going to sell you.

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