Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (UK edition)

Title: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, 4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (26th April 2016)

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into his mission: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer life; and Blue, who loves Gansey . . . and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Nothing dead is to be trusted.

Now the endgame has begun.

Nothing living is safe.

Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

THE RAVEN KING is the fourth and final instalment of Maggie Stiefvater’s enthralling The Raven Cycle series. This book brings Stiefvater’s magical series to its conclusion. Gansey’s search for Glendower reaches its finale whilst Ronan deals with the consequences of his power; whilst Adam with the results of his bargain; whilst Noah faces what it means to be dead; and whilst the prophecy of killing her true love when she kisses him looms over Blue.

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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)


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)

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)


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)

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: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (UK edition)

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, 3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books (21st October 2014)

For the first time in her life, Blue Sargent has found a place where she feels at home. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own and she is sure that this is where she belongs.

But certainties can unravel.

Visions can mislead.

And friends can betray.

The trick with found things is how easily they can be lost . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater is the third instalment of the fantastic The Raven Cycle; it is the penultimate book in the quartet. Blue Sargent and her Raven Boys – Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah – are still searching for Glendower, but the consequences of events in THE DREAM THIEVES, the second book in the cycle, play out in this book.

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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)

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)

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: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Books (7th April 2015)

Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.

But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.

Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

SIMON vs. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli is a standalone young adult novel that tells the story of sixteen-year-old Simon Spier. When the book starts Simon is exchanging emails anonymously with someone named Blue, who he forms a connection with. After he forgets to log out of his email account at school these emails fall into the wrong hands and life gets complicated for Simon.

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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)


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.


Rating: **** (4 stars)

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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Review: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Title: Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf, 1)
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: Alternative History, Historical Novel, Young Adult
Source: Illumicrate, box 1
Publisher: Indigo (5th November 2015)

Once upon a different time, there was a girl who lived in a kingdom of death. Wolves howled up her arm. A whole pack of them – made of tattoo ink and pain, memory and loss. It was the only thing about her that stayed the same.

Germany, 1956. Over ten years since the Nazis won the war.

Seventeen-year-old Yael is part of the resistance, and she has just one mission: to kill Hitler.

But first she’s got to get close enough to him to do it.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin tells the story of Yael who lives in a world where the Nazis won the Second World War, and she is part of the resistance. A decade after their victory, when Yael is seventeen she is given the mission to kill Hitler.

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Review: The It Girl by Katy Birchall

The It Girl by Katy Birchall

Title: The It Girl (The It Girl, 1)
Author: Katy Birchall
Genre: Contemporary,  Young Adult
Source: Secret Santa
Publisher: Egmont (7th May 2015)

Anna Huntley’s aims in life:
1. To recerate famous film scenes with Dog (her pet Labrador) such as the lift from The Lion King during that ‘Circle of Life’ song.

2. To NOT accidentally set Deputy Queen Bee Josie Graham’s HAIR on FIRE (again).

3. To keep her very first and only two school friends by NOT doing anything in usual manner of socially inept DORK and OUTCAST.

4. To find out whether points 1 and 2 constitute being socially inept – or outcastish.

5. To find a cupboard to hide in with Dog (preferably for life) after her dad gets engaged to one of the most famous actresses ever, the PAPARAZZI move in and the WHOLE WORD is on the brink of discovering why no one wants to be friends with Anna . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)

THE IT GIRL by Katy Birchall is the first book in a new series. They story follows Anna Huntley who finds herself moving from invisible new girl, to hanging with the popular crowd at school when her dad gets engaged to a famous actress.

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Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Jackaby by William Ritter

Title: Jackaby (Jackaby #1)
Author: William Ritter
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (16th September 2014)

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary – including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing the ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villian, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities – with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane – seem adamant to deny.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

JACKABY by William Ritter is the first book in the Jackaby series. It tells the story of newly arrived English immigrant Abigail Rook, who arrives in New Fiddleham, New England at the start of the book. Whilst looking for a place to work, Abigail comes across an ad for an assistant. Having no luck anywhere else, Abigail decides to try her luck with R. F. Jackaby, investigator of the unexplained.

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