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: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (UK Edition – Zoella Book Club)

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1st June 2016)
Blurb:

AMANDA HARD IS the NEW GIRL AT SCHOOL.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with.

AMANDA HAS A SECRET.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is Meredith Russo’s debut novel. It tells the story of Amanda Hardy an eighteen year old who has moved in with her dad for the first time, and is starting a new school. Like everyone else, she just wants to make friends and fit in. Amanda has a secret, one that has caused (and is causing) her a lot of heartache and pain: one that has pushed her and her family to their limits. Amanda used to be called Andrew. The trouble with secrets is that they have a way of getting out, whether you’re ready for them to or not.

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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: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I Was Here by Gayle Forman (UK Zoella Bookclub edition)

I Was Here by Gayle Forman (UK Zoella Bookclub edition)

Title: I Was Here
Authors: Gayle Forman
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster (29th January 2015)
Blurb:

I regret to inform you that I have had to take my own life. This decision has been a long time coming, and was mine alone to make. I know it will cause you pain, and for that I am sorry, but please know that I needed to end my own pain. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. It’s not your fualt.
Meg

Cody and Meg were inseparable – best friends for life. They knew everything about each other. Or Cody thought they did. But how well do you ever really know your best friend? And what do you do when they choose to leave you behind?

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman is a standalone novel that tells the story of Cody Reynolds. As the novel starts we discover that Meg Garcia, Cody’s best friend, has committed suicide. I WAS HERE follows Meg’s journey as she struggles to deal with the loss of her best friend – someone she thought she knew, someone who she’d grown up with in a small town. Meg’s suicide blindsided her; Cody had no idea that Meg was struggling. Cody finds herself questioning what she knew of her best friend, and soon sets out to get some answers – surely there was more to Meg’s death than there appeared?

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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: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Title: Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf 2)
Authors: Ryan Graudin
Genre: Alternative History, Historical Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books (6th October 2016)
Blurb:

There would be blood.

Blood for blood.

Blood to pay.

An entire world of it.

The war might be over, but the fight has just begun.

For the resistance in post-war Germany, blood must be paid with blood.

For seventeen-year-old Yael and her unlikely comrades, there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all – how far can you go for the ones you love?

The thrilling conclusion to WOLF BY WOLF.

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin is the sequel to the brilliant WOLF BY WOLF, concluding the story. It continues the story of seventeen-year-old Yael, resistant fighter and shape-shifter. After the events of the previous book, the world stands on a precipice; dangerous secrets have been revealed, and events set in motion that cannot be stopped. Yael is left reeling, but her mission for the resistance must be completed. The fight to regain control has begun, though not everything is as it appears. The future of the world hangs in the balance. BLOOD FOR BLOOD brings Yael’s story, and that of the resistance, to a thrilling conclusion.

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Review: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (UK/Zoella Book Club edition)

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (UK/Zoella Book Club edition)

Title: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily 2)
Authors: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Electric Monkey (6th October 2016)
Blurb:

Twelve days.
We had twelve days.

It was going to take more than finding the perfect tree.

It was going to take a miracle.

Dash and Lily have been dating for nearly a year, but when Lily’s beloved grandfather falls ill, the repercussions take their toll on everyone. Even though they are still together, somehow the magic has gone out of their relationship and it’s clear that Lily has fallen out of love with life.

Action must be taken! Dash teams up with Lily’s brother and a host of their friends, determined to get Lily’s groove back in time for Christmas.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a brilliant continuation of Dash and Lily’s story. This book starts just before the one-year anniversary of Dash and Lily’s relationship, during the run-up to Christmas. A lot can happen in a year; Lily’s beloved grandfather is ill, and this has turned Lily’s family’s lives upside down. And, although they are still together Lily and Dash seem to be drifting apart. Lily herself is definitely not in the mood to celebrate Christmas. Dash teams up with Lily’s brother, and the rest of her family, to try and reignite Lily’s love of Christmas.

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Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition)

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition)

Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, 5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury (6th September 2016)
Blurb:

BLOOD WILL RUN.
DREAMS WILL SHATTER.
AN ARMY MUST RISE.

The assassin-queen has sworn not to turn her back on her kingdom again. Especially when she might be the only one who can raise an army to keep the Dark King from unleashing his beasts upon them all.

But Erawan will wield Aelin’s past, her allies, and her enemies against her.

With a powerful court trusting Aelin to lead them, and her heart devoted to the warrior-prince at her side, what – or who – is she willing to sacrifice to spar her world from being torn apart?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

EMPIRE OF STORMS is the fifth book in Sarah J. Maas’s brilliant Throne of Glass saga. Maas continues the story of the assassin-queen Aelin Ashryver Galathynius as she seeks to reclaim her kingdom and defeat her enemies. Regaining her kingdom is not an easy feat when she has to raise an army to keep the Dark King from unleashing his beasts upon the world. Aelin does have some aces up her sleeve though, in the form of her powerful court. But gaining an army isn’t an easy feat, not with Erawan hunting her and her companions, and old enemies lurking in the shadows.

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Review: The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (UK edition)

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (UK edition)

Title: The Bronze Key (Magisterium, 3)
Authors: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Sword & Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Corgi Books (1st September 2016)
Blurb:

MAGIC CAN SAVE YOU
MAGIC CAN KILL YOU

It should be a time of celebration. The Enemy of Death is dead; a severed head proof of his downfall – Callum, Tamara and Aaron, all students of the Magisterium, are heroes.

But when a fellow pupil is brutally murdered, Call’s worst fears are confirmed: there is a spy in his magical school.

No one is safe.

Now, using the powerful magic they’ve been taught, the trio must risk their lives to track down the killer. But magic is dangerous – in the wrong hands it could bring terrible destruction. And reveal the deadliest secret of all . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE BRONZE KEY is the third book in Holly Black and Cassandra Clare’s brilliant middle grade fantasy series Magisterium. This book continues the story of Callum Hunt – or Call to his friends – as he attends magic school. The Enemy of Death has been defeated, and Call is about to start his third year at the Magisterium. Call had a good summer with his father and best friend Aaron away from the world of magic; he hopes his third year will be less eventful than the previous two. Unfortunately that isn’t to be, as not long after his return a pupil is murdered.

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