Review: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, 3)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternative Universes, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books (21st February 2017)
Blurb:

The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving space for another London to rise. Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – theif, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry.

Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery and the Night Spire crew are attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible, as an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown and a fallen hero is desperate to save a decaying world . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A CONJURING OF MAGIC is the third and final instalment of V. E. Schwab’s brilliant Shades of Magic series. This book deals with the fallout of events that started in A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, as the precarious equilibrium between the four Londons reaches its breaking point. Kell and Lila find themselves in the thick of it, as darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire. An ancient enemy appears to claim a crown, and a fallen hero desperately tries to save a dying world. All whilst Captain Alucard Emery races against time to acquire the impossible. They all stand on a knife’s edge; the shadows are hungry.

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition)

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (3rd May 2016)
Blurb:

FEYRE IS IMMORTAL.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

SHE MUST SURRENDER HER HEART TO HEAL A WORLD TORN IN TWO.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY is the stunning sequel to Sarah J. Maas’s brilliant A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES. Rescuing Tamlin from Amarantha, the wicked Faerie Queen, came at a terrible price. Feyre returned to the Spring Court with the man she loves, changed by the events. Feyre did terrible, horrible, unforgivable things in order to gain the freedom of Tamlin and his people; things she cannot, will not, forget even in the beauty and peace of the Spring Court. Then, of course, there is the matter of the bargain she made with Rhysland, High Lord of the Night Court.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition).

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (5th May 2015)
Blurb:

FEYRE IS A HUNTRESS.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price . . .

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been hold about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

FEYRE MUST FIND A WAY TO BREAK THE SPELL, OR LOSE HER HEART FOREVER.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas is the first book in the series of the same name. The book follows Feyre; she is the youngest of three daughters, and her family has fallen on hard times. With her father injured and neither of her elder sisters willing to, Feyre is forced to hunt to bring in a supply of food and coin for her family. Whilst out hunting for food desperate Feyre slaughters a wolf to gain its prey, so she can feed her family. But it is not just a wolf she kills, and taking the life of a magical creature comes with a hefty price.

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Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, 2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber and Faber (2nd February 2017)
Blurb:

This is not about blood, or love. This is about treason.

Amani has always been more gunpowder than girl. But as the Blue-Eyed Bandit her powers have gone from strength to strength – as has the rebellion she risks her life for.

Then a brutal kidnapping leads her straight to the Sultan’s palace, and she is forced to return to her desert-girl’s instincts for survival. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are a way of life here – and Amani finds she fits right in.

But with the ghosts of her past swirling all around her, Amani’d greatest fight may be to keep her own secret heart and desires under control . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

TRAITOR TO THE THRONE is Alwyn Hamilton’s stunning sequel to REBEL OF THE SANDS, and the second instalment of the trilogy. Amani escaped Dustwalk and found the rebellion in the first book. Known as the Blue-Eyed Bandit to some, she helps the rebellion rescue those persecuted under Sultan Oman’s rule. Then she is brutally kidnapped and ends up in the Sultan’s palace, where she gains not only his attention but also that of his heir. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are the only way to survive, so Amani finds herself returning to her roots – the desert-girl’s instincts of survival that she honed growing up may just serve her well.

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Review: The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold, Illustrated by Levi Pinfold

Sorry this review is a day late, I forgot to schedule it. I hope you enjoy it anyway.

The Song from Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold (UK edition)

Title: The Song From Somewhere Else
Author: A. F. Harrold
Illustrator: Levi Pinfold
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Middle Grade
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (10th November 2016)
Blurb:

Frank doesn’t know how to feel when Nick Underbridge helps her escape from the boys who’ve been bullying her. No one at school really likes Nick. He’s big, quiet and he smells weird.

And yet, there’s something nice about Nick’s house. Frank hears faint music playing – it’s light and good and it makes her feel happy for the first time in forever.

But there’s more to Nick, and his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE SONG FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE by A. F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold is a beautiful and haunting story. The story follows Frank – Francesca Patel – over a period of a week during the summer holidays. All of Frank’s friends are on holiday and her cat has gone missing, so she is by herself trying to put up missing cat posters when the local bullies find her. She is rescued by Nick Underbridge, who no one at school really likes, and she finds herself at his house where she hears beautiful and haunting music. Frank feels happy for the first time she can remember.

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Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (UK edition)

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns 1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (22nd September 2016)
Blurb:

IN EVERY GENERATION ON THE ISLAND OF FENNBIRN A SET OF TRIPLETS IS BORN: THREE QUEENS, ALL EQUAL HEIRS TO THE CROWN, ALL POSSESSED OF A COVETED MAGIC.

MIRABELLA, a fierce elemental, can spark hungry flames with the click of a finger.

KATHARINE, a poisoner, is known to be resistant to the deadliest of snake bites.

ARSINOE, a naturalist, is rumoured to have the ability to bloom the reddest of roses.

But becoming the Queen Crowned is not just a matter of royal birth. These three sisters must fight to the death for the throne, and on the night they turn sixteen the battle begins. Only one queen can inherit the crown.

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THREE DARK CROWNS is the first novel in Kendare Blake’s latest series. The book tells the story of a set of triplets born on the island of Fennbirn. These triplets are all considered queens, and all three of them have an equal claim to the crown. All three of them possess a coveted magic, though that is where their similarities end. Mirabella can control the elements; Katharine is a poisoner, known to be resistant to the most deadly or toxins; and Arsinoe is a naturalist who can make flowers bloom and call animals to her. Only one of them can claim the crown, and the winner must kill her sisters.

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Review: Goldenhand by Garth Nix

Goldenhand by Garth Nix (UK edition)

Goldenhand by Garth Nix (UK edition)

Title: Goldenhand (The Old Kingdom Series, 5)
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books (4th October 2016)
Blurb:

Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind.

When Lirael saves Nicholas Sayre after he is left unconscious by an attack from a hideous Free Magic creature, she finds he is deeply tainted with Free Magic. Lirael must seek help for him at the Clayr’s Glacier, her childhood home.

But even as she returns to the Clayr, a messenger is trying to reach Lirael with a dire warning from her long-dead mother, Arielle, about the Witch With No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning?

Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and must be forestalled not only in the living world, but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

Goldenhand is the long-awaited fifth instalment of Garth Nix’s New York Times bestselling Old Kingdom series.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

GOLDENHAND is the fifth book in Garth Nix’s sprawling young adult fantasy Old Kingdom series. This book continues the story from ABHORSEN, so there will be some spoilers from previous books in this review. When the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, Lirael, gets called to deal with a Free Magic creature that is the Wall she discovers Nicholas Sayre unconscious and deeply tainted with Free Magic. Unsure what is going on, or how to help him Lirael decides to seek help at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier. Meanwhile, a messenger is searching for Lirael with a warning from her mother about the Witch With No Face.

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Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (UK edition)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (UK edition)

Title: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes 1)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Voyager (11th February 2016)
Blurb:

UNDER THE MARTIAL EMPIRE, DEFIANCE IS MET WITH DEATH

When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother is arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.

But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk . . . Laia’s very life is at stake.

There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined – and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is the debut novel of Sabaa Tahir, and the first book in an intriguing young adult fantasy series with lots of potential. The book is set in a traditional style fantasy world. It tells the story of Laia, a young Scholar, and Elias, who is just about to graduate as a Mask. Their paths cross after Laia loses her family and desperation sends her to the rebels, who demand that she acts as a spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff the Empire’s military academy, the place Elias is receiving his training, and it’s not long before their paths cross.

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (UK edition)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (UK edition)

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha: Book 1)
Authors: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher:  Indigo (6th June 2013)
Blurb:

‘I’ve been waiting for you
a long time, Alina,’ he said.
‘You and I are going to change the world.’

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a man of seductive charm and terrifying power. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in her magical The Grisha trilogy. This book begins the story of the lonely orphan Alina, and introduces us to the world of the Grisha – the kingdom’s magical elite. Alina thinks herself ordinary – not special in any way – but then she discovers that she has a unique magical power and is thrust into a strange, heady, new world full of opulence and danger. SHADOW AND BONE presents the mysterious Darkling, the leader of the Grisha: a charming and powerful man. It also introduces us to Mal, Aliana’s childhood best friend.

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Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (UK edition)

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (UK edition)

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Authors: Katherine Arden
Genre: Historical Novel, Fantasy
Source: The publisher via NetGalley
Publisher:  Del Rey (12th January 2017)
Blurb:

A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

(Blurb taken from Goodreads)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden is a beautiful book. It has a gorgeous front cover, and the story inside is delightfully magical. This debut novel tells the story of a young girl, Vasilisa Petrovna – Vasya to her family: the youngest child of Pytor Vladimirovich and Marina Ivanovna. THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE follows Vasya, as she grows up, the daughter of a lord in a small Russian village. Vasya isn’t quite like the other girls, not even her elder sister. Her life changes with the arrival of her father’s second wife, Anna Ivanovna, and Father Konstantin Nikonovich.

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