Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition), with bookcover from Illumicrate.

ON THE DARKEST NIGHT, THE STARS STILL SHINE.

Feyre’s first Winter Solstice as High Lady is drawing near. With it will come a hard-earned rest from the work she. Rhys and their friends have done to rebuild the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. Yet the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows from looming. Even as her own heart heals, she finds that those dearest to her have wounds that go deeper than she knew.

AND THE SCARS OF THE PAST WILL TOUCH HER COURT IN TIMES TO COME.

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses 3.1
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: BLOOMSBURY YA (1st May 2018)
Source: Illumicrate - The Starfall Edition.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

A Court of Frost and Starlight is a companion tale set in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses universe. It follows after the events of the third book A Court of Wings and Ruin and it is set around the Winter Solstice. It is the first Winter Solstice since Feyre became High Lady, and she is nervous about what to expect. The Night Court is rebuilding itself, but it has meant a lot of work for Feyre and her family. Despite then festive atmosphere shadows are hanging over Feyre and her family, as they try and cope after the war.

A Court of Frost and Starlight was one of the books I was most anticipating in 2018, curious about what story Maas wanted to tell. At over two hundred pages A Court of Frost and Starlight is considerably shorter than the three main novels in the series. It is therefore quite a quick read, and one I really enjoyed perhaps more because of the brevity of it. I went into the story without any real knowledge of what to expect apart from the blurb, which I think worked well. I fell straight back into the world of Prythian without feeling lost at any point.

There is, in my opinion, not a lot going on in A Court of Frost and Starlight in terms of the plot. If you are looking for something as filled with plot as the main novels of the series, then I think you will be disappointed. In the two hundred plus pages not a lot happens. But that is for me the cleverness of A Court of Frost and Starlight. Instead of plot Maas focuses on the characters; on Feyre and her family, and how they are coping with the fallout from the events in the previous books in the series now they have had time to take stock.

Seeing more of Feyre and her family and learning more about them was really interesting. I enjoyed how realistic the different ways everyone was coping were, and how the different narrators really helped to illustrate this. I also enjoyed getting to see how Feyre was settling into her role as High Lady without the threat of war looming over her. I would have liked to read more about how everyone was settling in, but even with that A Court of Frost and Starlight does feel like a complete story: Maas does a good job with leaving me wanting more, helped along by the sneak peek of the next novel at the end of the book.

Fans of Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses will not be disappointed by the addition of the companion tale A Court of Frost and Starlight. It may not add much to the overall story arc of the series in terms of plot, but it does add extra dimension to the characters and allow you to get to know them a little more. It has left me looking forward to getting my hands on the fourth book in the series, as if the hints in this book is anything to go by it will be a great read.

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Title: Etched in Bone (The World of The Others, 1)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace (6th March2018)
Blurb:

In this thrilling and suspenseful fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, an inn owner and her shape-shifting lodger find themselves enmeshed in danger and dark secrets.

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others – vampires, shape-shifters, and even deadlier paranormal beings. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns such as Vicki’s don’t have any distance from the Others, the dominant predators who rule most of theland and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what is out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger , Aggie Crowe – one of the shape-shifting Others – discovers a murdered man, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the death on her, despite evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, ancient forces are roused by the disturbance in their domain. They have rules that must not be broken – and all the destructive powers of nature at their command.

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

LAKE SILENCE is the first book in Anne Bishop’s new series The World of The Others, a spin-off from her brilliant The Others series. This book is set in the same world as the first series, but features new characters in a different place. This book follows the story of Vicki DeVine, a divorcee, who has taken over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. The new move was supposed to signal a new start for Vicki, but the discovery of a dead man on her property brings a lot of trouble instead.

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Review: Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Title: Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, 2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber and Faber (1st February 2018)
Blurb:

Once, there was a desert under siege, and no one to defend it . . .

The rebels are crushed: most are captured, burned out or dead. Except Amani, and it’s up to her to protect the survivors.

But how can one girl save a whole rebellion?

Then foreign armies begin advancing across the desert plains and the Sultan stars hunting the rebels through the streets of Izman.

Now Amani must prove that she’s not  just a  desert girl any more, that she’s learned a few tricks since then. . .

Here begins the final battle for the throne. Who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?

All heroes are mortal in the end . . .

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

HERO AT THE FALL brings Alwyn Hamilton’s fantastic Rebel of the Sands trilogy to a spectacular close. It continues the story of Amani and the Rebellion after what looks like the end of their uprising: their story is not over yet. Amani must work out how to save the rebellion, and in doing so prove that she is more than just a desert girl as the final battle for the throne begins. There is more than just the Sultan to be wary of, as foreign armies have begun advancing across the desert as the realm appears up for the picking.

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Bout of Books 24

Bout of Books 24

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

From the Bout of Books team

Writing this post has been an interesting experience, as WordPress seems to have updated/changed the writing posts portal. It’s been interesting learning how to use it. I guess I really have been away for a long time…

This post is going to act as a permanent spot to keep track of my progress during Bout of Books 24, rather than creating a new post every day. So be sure to check back here if you want to see how I’m doing.

  • Monday Jan 7th
    • Currently Reading: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
    • Pages Read: 109
    • Challenges: Currently Reading (on Instagram)
  • Tuesday Jan 8th
    • Currently Reading: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
    • Pages Read: 164
      • Total Pages Read: 273
  • Wednesday Jan 9th
    • I didn’t do any reading today.
  • Thursday Jan 10th
    • Yeah, no reading from me today either. This is really exciting, and top content right?! 🤔
  • Friday Jan 11th
  • Saturday Jan 12th
    • Aaaand back to no reading. 😓 I did however take part in the Twitter chat, and I had lots of fun. An hour is just not enough!!!
  • Sunday Jan 13th
    • The final day. Eek. And what do you know…
    • Finished Reading: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
    • Pages Read: 99
      • Total Pages Read: 372

Bout of Books 24 Wrap-Up!

So Bout of Books 24 has finished. Where did the time go?! I guess I better get this wrap-up written and stop procrastinating.

Although I only read one book, I do think for me Bout of Books 24 has been a success. I did actually read 372 pages. In an ideal world I would have loved to have hit 700 pages or at least finished a second book. Archangel’s Prophecy was a really enjoyable read, and a good set up for the next book in the series – which I now have to wait for, boo!

I took part in a Twitter chat, and a couple of the Instagram challenges. I think next time, if I can take part, I want to be better at visiting other people’s blogs and leaving a comment to say hi. I was really bad at that this time. Normally I manage to leave a couple of comments a day, or maybe every couple of days, but this time I did not visist any blogs at all.

Thank you to everyone who reads this far, and who has stayed with me for this journey. 😘

2019

I can’t believe it’s 2019 already! 2018 just seemed to fly by. 2018 was not a good year for reading for me. I completely failed my reading goal – I didn’t even make it half way to my goal of reading 52 books. I also stopped posting on here. Sorry about that. I don’t even really have an excuse, except that reading just wasn’t happening for me. Still, I hope you had a better 2018 reading-wise than I did and that you managed to reach your reading goals. So we’re now in the first month of 2019, and I am back and determined to keep on track. Thank you to everyone who has stayed with me, I really appreciate it.

Jan In Books

#JanInBooks19

 

Bout of Books 24

So what do you have to look forward to? Well nothing is set in stone yet, but there will be reviews from me this month for Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton and A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I’m also planning on taking part in Bout of Books, which starts on January 7th (you can sign up to take part yourself here). In February I will be taking part in the London Bookshop Crawl and I will of course be documenting that (click here if you think you’d like to take part too). On Instagram I’m taking part in bookisglee’s photo-a-day challenge (you can find me here). I’m still subscribed to Illumicrate so there will be unboxings of that. I am also considering doing a monthly Books I’m Looking Forward To post that would include both new releases and books I’ve already got, but we shall see.

Here’s to reaching 52 books this year, and keeping up here on the blog. I hope you had a great December, and saw 2019 in in the style of your choosing. I’d love to know what you are most looking forward to this year, bookish or otherwise, so please leave me a comment. Until next time.

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Title: Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega, 5)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (8th March 2018)
Blurb:

NO. 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER PATRICIA BRIGGS RETURNS WITH A THRILLING NEW ADVENTURE IN HER ALPHA AND OMEGA SERIES.

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana.

Mated werewolves Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the moutainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf – but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn . . .

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BURN BRIGHT is the fifth book in Patricia Brigg’s brilliant Alpha & Omega series, a spin-off from her fantastic Mercy Thompson series. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m something of a fan of this world. In BURN BRIGHT Charles and Anna are in Aspen Creek, Montana covering for Bran who is busy with business elsewhere. Whilst they are there they receive an urgent call for help from the fae mate of a werewolf too damaged to live safely amongst other werewolves. They head out to help, but ultimately cannot stop blood being spilled. The only recourse they have left is to track down those who dared to harm ones under the Marrok’s protection.

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Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Title: The Waking Land (The Waking Land, 1)
Author: Callie Bates
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29th June 2017)
Blurb:

It’s been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father’s rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she’s come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again… but this time by her father’s mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins. Now she must decide which side she’s on, and whether she’ll use her powers for mercy… or revenge.

– blurb from Amazon.co.uk

Rating:⭐️ ⭐️ (2 stars)
Review:

THE WAKING LAND is Callie Bates’s debut novel. It tells the story of Lady Elanna Valtai who has lived in the court of King Antoine for fourteen years; a hostage in a foreign court because of her father’s failed rebellion. Elanna knows she does not belong in King Antoine’s Court, but at the same time it is the world she has known for most of her life and she wants nothing to do with her father. Still, rebellion is in the air and when events come to a head Elanna finds herself in the middle of them. Torn between two worlds Elanna must choose which path to follow forward.

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Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Title: Ocean Light (A Psy-Changeling Trinity Novel, 2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gollancz (14th June 2018)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love . . .

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there’s a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment – taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he’s at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling . . .

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won’t hide the facts of Bo’s condition from him or herself. She’s suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret that Bo could never imagine . . .

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back – even if it means striking a devil’s bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy.

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

OCEAN LIGHT is the second book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Trinity series; a continuation of her brilliant Psy-Changeling series. At just over four hundred pages, it is slightly smaller than the first book in the series. OCEAN LIGHT tells the story of Kaia Luna, a woman who chose to leave a scientific career and become a chef, and Bowen Knight, a security specialist in the Human Alliance who fans of the series may be familiar with. Their paths cross whilst Bowden is recovering from his brush with death hidden at the bottom of the ocean, and even with all that is against them sparks soon fly.

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Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, 1)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books (2nd January 2018)
Blurb:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls and brings them to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed into the royal court. Mocked and tormented for being merely mortal, Jude soon realises that to survive in this treacherous, dangerous, new world, she needs to be as smart, cunning and deceitful as the Fey themselves.

But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan. Jude must take the utmost care . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

Holly Black returns to the world of fairy with a new book and series. THE CRUEL PRINCE follows the story of a human girl who grows up in fairyland. Jude and her sisters grow up in the fairy courts, where being mortal comes at a terrible cost – it is easy to fall under its spells. Even with the everyday cruelties and despite knowing she doesn’t belong, it is the only home Jude has known. She no longer fits into the mortal realm; to her it is as foreign and strange as fairyland is to mortals. It is a fight for survival.

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Illumicrate #11 – Hidden Talents | Unboxing

The May Illumicrate.

The May Illumicrate.

I’m back with a post on my regular schedule. I hope you enjoy this unboxing of the May Illumicrate – I will be posting the August one soon, but I wanted to get the May edition up first. If you don’t want to scroll through the pictures you can watch me talk about the items here.


The card contains a list of all the items included in the box.

Let’s have a closer look at the items.

This is an exclusive advanced reader copy edition of Light Years by Kass Morgan [goodreads]. It’s the first book in a new young adult sci-fi series.

This is a sample of Holly Bourne’s first adult contemporary novel How Do You Like Me Now? [goodreads]. I’ve never read any of Holly Bourne’s young adult fiction, but I think the blurb for this book sounds interesting.

The postcard and badge are for I was Born For This by Alice Oseman [goodreads].

This #preferfictionalworlds Box is beautifully illustrated by @aliceosemanart. I think it looks utterly gorgeous.

This Camp Half-Blood Enamel Pin is designed by @fableandblack and whilst it might not be my fandom, I do think it looks lovely.

All bookworms/bookdragons should have a book sleeve. This Black Panther inspired It’s Your Time Book Sleeve is designed by @risarodil and will be fantastic for protecting my current read.

This postcard celebrates the release of Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir [goodreads] , the third book in the Ember in the Ashes series.

This dagger bookmark celebrates the release of Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence [goodreads] the second book in the Book of the Ancestor series. An ARC of the first book was included in a previous Illumicrate.

A postcard celebrating the release of From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon [goodreads].

Another fandom I’m not a part of, but these Infernal Devices Cards by @taratjah are absolutely gorgeous! 😍

The penultimate item of the box are these lovely Elements Page Markers designed by @anotherstudio_ inspired by avatar: the last airbender.

And the final items included in the May Illumicrate are all to do with this quarter’s book – A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews [goodreads]. The book itself is exclusive to this box, with red sprayed edges. Also included are a bookmark, a signed book-plate, and a letter from the author which also includes bookstagram tips on the back.

So that is it for the May Illumicrate. Overall I am very pleased with this box, and I’m looking forward to discovering what is inside the August one. I’d love to know your thoughts.