Review: Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat

Title: Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince Trilogy, 2)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (7th July 2015)
Blurb:

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exhange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his idenity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepends, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them a final devistating blow . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

PRINCE’S GAMBIT by C. S. Pacat is the second book in her Captive Prince Trilogy. The novel continues the stories of Prince Laurent and his slave Damen. Prince Laurent has been sent from the palace to spend time protecting the border, which is a powder keg waiting to blow, by his uncle the Regent. Damen follows his master to the border, closer to his homeland, determined to keep the Prince safe and earn his freedom. The closer they get to Damen’s home, the more lethal the secret of his past becomes.

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Review: Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Title: Black Powder War (Temeraire 3)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Alternative History, Fantasy, War Novel
Publisher: Harper Voyager (6th August 2007)
Blurb:

Before Captain William Laurence can prepare his crew for the slow voyage home from China, new orders arrive for him and his dragon, Temeraire. They must fly home immediately, stopping only in Istanbul to collect three priceless dragon eggs, purchased from the Ottoman Empire.

But the cross-continental journey is fraught with danger; not only will they have to survive the perilous terrain but Lein, consumed by vengeance, has absconded from China. Holding Temeraire responsible for the death of her princely companion, her only desire is to destroy everything and everyone he loves.

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

BLACK POWDER WAR is the third book in the magical Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. The book continues the story of the dragon Temeraire and his companion Captain Will Laurence of the Royal Aerial Corps. This book takes place not long after the events of the second book in the series. When we last left Temeraire and Laurence they were in China, this book sees them prepare to return home only to be commanded to collect three dragons eggs, purchased by the British from the Ottoman Empire, from Istanbul; a dangerous journey across the continents, a dangerous journey even without Europe on the brink of war.

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Review: Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Title: Captive Prince (Captive Prince Trilogy, 1)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (23rd April 2015)
Blurb:

FROM THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON C. S. PACAT COMES THE FIRST IN HER CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED TRILOGY – WITH A BONUS STORY.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal polical web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

CAPTIVE PRINCE by C. S. Pacat is book one of the Captive Prince Trilogy. In it we are introduced to Prince Damen and Prince Laurent, who are heirs to the thrones of rival kingdoms. Damen is sent to serve Prince Laurent as a pleasure slave when his half-brother seizes power and becomes King of Akielos. Stuck in a place where discovery will mean his death, Damen struggles to fit into the Veretian Court.

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Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Truthwitch (A Witchlands Novel, 1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Fantasy, Swords & Sorcery, Young Adult
Source: Illumicrate, Box 2
Publisher: Tor (14th Januaey 2016)
Blurb:

IN A CONTINET ON THE EDGE OF WAR, TWO WITCHES HOLD ITS FATE IN THEIR HANDS

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. Afterclashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Count, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Rating: *** (3 stars)
Review:

TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard is the first book in an interesting new series called The Witchlands Series. It introduces us to a new world full of magic and on the cusp of war. The book follows the story of two young witches Safiya and Iseult who have a history of getting themselves into trouble. When the story starts, they end up getting themselves into a far deeper trouble than they expected to.

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Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Title: Hidden Huntress (Malediction Trilogy, 2)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Genre: Swords and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Angry Robot Books (4th June 2015)
Blurb:

SOMETIMES, ONE MUST ACCOMPLISH THE IMPOSSIBLE

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute. The one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power, or his mainpulation.

Cécile now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. By day she searches for Anushka, the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs of those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. Cécile might not just be the hunter – she might also be the hunted.

Book II of the Malediction Trilogy, this is the stunning sequel to the acclaimed STOLEN SONGBIRD.

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

HIDDEN HUNTRESS by Danielle L. Jensen is the second book in the Malediction Trilogy. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus and is beyond the reach of its inhabitants, both good and bad. She has moved to live with her mother in Trianon and has started to fulfil her childhood dreams. However, she misses and worries about her friends in Trollus, so she decides to search for Anushka and find out more about the curse that keeps the trolls trapped.

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Review: Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

Title: Throne of Jade (Temeraire, 2)
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre:  Alternative History, Fantasy
Publisher:  HarperVoyager (20 February 2009)
Blurb:

Captain William Laurence, formerly of His Majesty’s Navy, has had only a few months to adjust to his new life as the captain of a fighting dragon, but now he can’t imagine a life outside the British Aerial Corps and Temeraire.

But now the Chinese have demanded the return of their Celestial dragon, and the British government cannot afford to refuse them, even if it costs them the most powerful weapon in their arsenal. Laurence and Temeraire must journey to Chine, knowing that once they arrive in the exotic east, they could be seperated forever.

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

THRONE OF JADE by Naomi Novik is the second book in her fantastic Temeraire series. The book continues the stories of Captain Will Laurence and the dragon Temeraire. Having settled into life with the British Aerial Corps, Captain Laurence and Temeraire’s lives are disrupted when the Chinese demand the return of their Celestial dragon. As the British government cannot afford to refuse them Temeraire and Captain Laurence are forced to journey to China to find out what future awaits them.

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Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Title: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, 1)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber and Faber (4th February 2016)
Blurb:

Tell me how you want your story to go, he says, and we’ll write it straight across the sand.

Dustwalk is an unforgiving, dead-end town. It’s not the place to be poor or orphaned or female. And yet Amani Al’Hiza must call it ‘home’.

Amani wants to escape and see the world she’s heard about in campfire stories.

Then a foreigner with no name turns up, and with him she has the chance to run.

But the desert plains are full of dangerous magic. The Sultan’s army is on the rise and Amani is soon caught at the heart of a fearless rebellion . . .

An epic story of swirling desert sands, love, magic and revolution.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton is the first book in a new trilogy. It tells the story of Amani Al’Hiza an orphan who lives in a dead end town, where she is beholden to her uncle. Amani dreams of escaping the place she was born, of being able to see the places she has only ever heard about in stories. And this time she might just have a chance to escape.

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Review: Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip

Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip

Title: Dreams of Distant Shores
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
Genre: Fantasy, Short Story
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (June 2016)
Blurb:

Featuring three brand-new stories and an original introduction by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn.

Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of her newest work, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.

Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will find much to delight them; those lucky enough to be discovering her work will find much to enchant them.

(blurb from here)

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

DREAMS OF DISTANT SHORES by Patricia A. McKillip is a collection of seven short stories. All seven of the stories have a fantastical element to them, but some have more of a horror of science fiction twist. None of the stories are connected, and they all vary in length from quite short to fairly long.

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Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Title: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, 2)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternative Universes, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books (23rd February 2016)
Blurb:

Kell is one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes, linked by the magical city of London. It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into his possession and he met Delilah Bard. Four months since the Dane twins of White London fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body back into Black London.

Now Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila. And as Red London prepares for the Element Games – an international competition of magic – a certain pirate ship draws closer. But another London is coming back to life. The balance of magic is perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must fall . . .

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

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS is the second book in V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series. It continues the stories of Kell and Delilah Bard, and takes place several months after the events of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC (review). Whilst Delilah is seeking adventure, Kell is facing the consequences of the choices he made, and another London is coming back to life.

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Review: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Title: The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium, 2)
Authors: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Corgi Books (3rd September 2015)
Blurb:

WHAT IF YOUR SOUL WAS NOT YOUR OWN?
WHAT IF YOU KNEW YOU WERE DESTINED FOR EVIL?

Callum Hunt has returned from the Magisterium victorious. He is now a mage in his own right – a Copper Year student. He has friends; feels at home in the winding tunnels of the mysterious magical school.

But Call hides a terrible secret.

His soul is not his own. His body is a vessel for a powerful evil mage, wielder of chaos magic . . . murderer.

Salvation would like in the Alkahest, a mysterious copper gauntlet. But it is a dangerous object, with a violent history. It could destory everything Call knows and loves . . .

And release the evil within him.

THINK YOU  KNOW MAGIC? THINK AGAIN.
ENTER THE BREATHTAKING WORLD OF THE MAGISTERIUM.

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

THE COPPER GAUNTLET is the second book in The Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. The book continues the story of Callum Hunt who having completed his first year at the Magisterium, is about to start his second but this time he knows a terrible secret that could have terrible consequences. Despite this Call wants to return to the Magisterium and his friends.

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