Tag: Fae (page 1 of 6)

BOOK REVIEW: A Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1) by Katie McGarry

BOOK REVIEW: A Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1) by Katie McGarryA Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1)
by Katie McGarry
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Twenty-eight year-old Cassie Strega can’t escape fate.

All she wants is to live a normal, quiet life delivering the babies in her small town. But when she discovers she comes from a lineage of witches, her life becomes extraordinary—in the gravely dangerous type of way.

Then, she’s reunited with her first love.

Orion, the sultry Fae warrior who broke her heart years before, is searching for a baby. Not just any baby, but the queen of the Fae who will one day lead them in their final battle against the demons determined to rule the world. The same baby who has been calling to Cassie for help in her dreams.

Fighting the intense attraction of their former blood bond, Cassie and Orion work together to find the child. But when the heartbreak that nearly destroyed Cassie nine years before looms once more, she’ll have to decide whether getting involved in the supernatural war is worth losing everything, including her life.

Review:

A Wicked and Beautiful Garden was an enchanting tale that will sweep you away!  With magic, questions and the unknown swirling around, it made this book impossible to put down.  If you’re a fan of fantasy or urban fantasy, then you’ll definitely want this one on your tbr!

Once upon a time, I had fallen in love with him, and to him, I was nothing more than a momentary distraction.

Cassie Strega was kind, caring and felt so much around her.  She loved her job of delivering babies and living in her quiet, little town.  So when her ex walked back into her life, everything changed.  The loss of Orion had devastated Cassie years ago.  Little did she know that she would need his help soon.  The world was about to wake up knowing that witches exist, and Cassie was one of them.  But he needed her help too.  Orion, who was Fae, was searching for a baby.  She was their queen who was to lead them into battle against the demons.  And that same baby had been calling to Cassie.  With so much at stake and up in the air, their fates were irrevocably tied together…for now.

“Take what you need from me, Cass.” His hot breath tickled my ear. “Take everything and all you need. I’m yours.”

I wasn’t sure what to think of Orion MacAleese at first.  He was a warrior Fae that was tasked with finding their queen.  And while he didn’t always play by the rules, it was obvious that he still cared for Cassie.  Fiercely.  He would do anything to protect her and he showed her time and again exactly that with his actions and words.  While Orion could be thoughtful and caring, he also had kept many secrets from Cassie.  And Cassie struggled with his deception and secrets, while trying to ignore the passion that was running between them.

Making the strands a rugged mess, Orion shoved a frustrated hand through his hair. “What do you want me to say?”
I slapped my palm against the table. “I want the truth!” I whisper-shouted . “I want this black hole in my brain to be gone. I want to know what happened to us!”

I loved learning about Cassie’s powers right along with her.  She had always been able to read human’s emotions, but as she learned about controlling the elements I was fascinated.   I also loved watching what Orion was capable of, I was jealous of his transporting skills!  But with life and death situations surrounding them, and fate constantly pushing them together, it was hard to ignore all of the emotions there.  Cassie tried her best to keep Orion at an arm’s length away, but as we got peaks into their past it was so obvious how wonderful they were together.  As they continued to work on their common goal, to find the baby, it became harder to ignore that they belonged together.  And the chemistry, lust and love that swirled around them.

“Heaven, hell and earth, Cassie. I will move each and every single one for you.”

A Wicked and Beautiful Garden will keep readers hooked from beginning to end!  I’m so happy that the ending was the perfect stopping spot!  We got to breathe for a moment and even got a few answers, but there are still so many unanswered questions.  From how their world worked, to those around Cassie, to even her past, I can’t wait to learn it all!  If you’re a fan of JLA, I think there may be a good chance you’ll enjoy this book!  There were quite a few elements in this series that reminded me of a few of JLA’s series, so if you like her stories then I think you’ll like this one too!  I can’t wait for that next book!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

REVIEW: The Queen by Jennifer L. Armentrout

REVIEW: The Queen by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Queen by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next installment in her Wicked series.

The King must have his Queen....

Bestowed the forbidden Summer’s Kiss by the King of the Summer fae, Brighton Jussier is no longer just human. What she is, what she will become, no one knows for sure, but that isn’t her biggest concern at the moment. Now Caden, the King, refuses to let her go, even at the cost of his Court. When the doorway to the Otherworld is breached, both Brighton and Caden must do the unthinkable—not just to survive themselves, but also to save mankind from the evil that threatens the world.

Review:

The Queen was impossible not to devour in one sitting!  This story was emotional and packed with friendship, love, lies, secrets and betrayal.  It was a wonderful ending to the Wicked Series and that epilogue was more than I ever could have wished for.  So don’t tell Ivy and Ren, but this spin-off is my favorite series in their world.  Plus it left the door open to future spin-offs, which I’m keeping my fingers crossed for.  So if you love fantasy, romance or Jennifer L Armentrout’s books, then you definitely need to pick this one up!

I’d always dreamed about the kind of love where someone was willing to risk everything. I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of it, but I wanted it—wanted it so damn badly.
But was that kind of love worth everything?

With that huge announcement at the ending of The King, I desperately wanted to read this book.  But when we started to learn how the fae’s lives worked, I was shocked, just like Brighton.  It all felt so hopeless.  Brighton was left with the choice of her happiness, or the safety of the world.  All the while, she was still mentally suffering from when she was held captive.  Her flashbacks were suffocating.  But Brighton was rational, strong and knew what she had to do.  Even if it meant keeping Caden at arms length and hoping her heart wouldn’t shatter in the process.

He took a small, measured step forward. “But things are different. You have me now. You have all of me.”
It felt like a knife being shoved straight into my heart. His words shouldn’t make me feel that way. They should bring me nothing but happiness.
This isn’t fair.

I. Loved. Caden!  The King, Caden, was loving, protective, strong, loyal and intoxicating.  Even though the world rested on his shoulders, there was absolutely nothing he wouldn’t do to keep Brighton safe.  He cared so deeply and purely for her.  And as we got to see all that he would do for her, it made me fall that much deeper in love with him. I was obsessed.  Caden and Brighton seemed to be embedded into each other’s hearts and souls.  So how could he choose another?  And how could she deny him the truth?  It all felt like an impossible feat.

He took my face in his hands. “You hold a part of my soul, Brighton. You are my everything. Nothing will change that. Ever.”

With the appearance of so many favorites from the previous books and series, The Queen had it all.  Tink made me laugh so much that my sides hurt.  I loved that there was lots of laughter in the pages, but there was also so much that made my heart hurt.  This book was definitely heavier on the emotional aspect, then the action.  But it still felt like there was danger around the corner.  And I just want to say, I knew it!!  This book wrapped up with an epilogue that absolutely breathtaking.  And the door is wide open for future spinoffs, since there are some unanswered questions.  So yes, I absolutely recommend this series.  Just be prepared to not be able to put The Queen down!!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & iBooks (click on titles)

The Prince   #1

Review:
Jen

The King #2

Review:
Jen

The Queen   #3

Review:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly BlackThe Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

I wonder if there’s a limit to what I will let them do, if there is something that would make me fight back, even if it dooms me.
If there is, that makes me a fool.
But maybe if there isn’t, that makes me a monster.

I guess that’s the thing about being in love with a series. You love the first, you anticipate the second, and then wonder what’s to come with the third-but you can’t ever really know if that author is going to do what you want. Do things that make sense to you while also coming off as exciting and better than you possibly could have anticipated. If that author will make you happy while also crushing your soul, like the best possible twist of the knife and manipulation of your heart. This never happens. Yes, I have MANY favorites. YES, lots of things happen that I like and that placate me. But rarely-VERY RARELY-does an author do every maniacal thing I could possibly imagine-and even take it farther than I could even fathom. And this is what Black did. She came. She wrote. She F****** conquered.


“Power,” he said. “Power is the ability to get what you want. Power is the ability to be the one making the decisions. And how do we get power?”
“We learn how to fight well?”
“We get power by taking it.”

I just…this NEVER HAPPENS. Yeah, there might be one little thing I wish wasn’t a part of the end. But, like, that is nothing in the way of how excellent, how thorough, how utterly magnificent she wrote this book. The scheming. The lies. The betrayals. The heat. The ROMANCE. There was not one thing that I love about a fantasy book that was not in this story. There really and truly wasn’t. In fact, this book taught me far more about myself than I’ve learned in a long time.

“It seems I have a singular taste for women who threaten me.”

If you recall, or care at all, I read Outlander and The Diviners (how could you forget?) last year and they were so far out of my comfort zone that I read them YEARS after I was told to. A big mistake, I’ll admit. And they consumed me-I’ll just say it. Especially the prior, making the month of October a big waste of a TBR because all I read was the three books available in that series. But Outlander did something to my being, too, that possessed me for quite some time around the holidays. To say I was possessed in body, mind, and soul a few times last year would be an understatement. I even found Mariana Zapata and was a big ‘ol mess when I read her books, too. Let’s just say that 2018 was interesting, to say the least.

“The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.” Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.

But then this. THIS masterpiece. The thing is, I’ll be frank, that I hate middle books. I LOATHE THEM. They never go right. Ever. And I actually have started to hate final books, too, because authors just don’t have what it takes to end things right, to wrap them up nicely, and, I’ll say it again, rarely do they meet the expectations I’ve upheld through the series and give me what I am craving, needing, wanting to put the series down wholly satisfied. And-I always try not to have any expectations, to not fangirl too much before a release, and to not expect much. Sadly, I still always fail. My entire being always wants more, whether I try to keep it chill or not, and I end up with a broken heart. Always.

He smelled like smoke and dried blood, and Jude let herself sag against him. It was good to be hugged. Even by a monster.

But here’s the thing, and my entire point: I didn’t, not once, doubt Holly Black or her writing before the release, so I anticipated and fangirled freely. I’ve read her White Cat series, and it was nothing short of all consuming, even if not many talk about it. I loved it. Cassel was my first thief and conman, and he lead me to Kaz from SOC. So, to say Holly Black can finish a series with a bang, wrap things up neatly and how I love and expect is, again, an understatement. I legitimately, for the first time in as long as I can remember, wasn’t the least bit worried that I would be bored, unhappy, or underwhelmed. I had that much confidence in this author. I had no worries at all. Well…except for what was to come. But that’s a different beast entirely.

“Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”

What came with this story wasn’t a fairy tale romance, nor an underhanded, leisurely stroll in politics (following the first book’s end). No, it wasn’t action every minute…but there wasn’t a chapter that didn’t steal my breath away. This book was pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, butterfly inducing panic and mayhem, wrapped in sexual tension and explosive….erm….developments. It was underhanded, dirty, and altogether a total mind bender that never let you have your guard down, your mind not spinning, and your soul not entirely invested. It was a home run, triple play, and home base stealing ride-you could never take your eyes off the page for reality and day to day activities because you couldn’t ever possibly get enough.

“For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”
I make a face at him. “And what made you decide it wasn’t?”
He grins up at me. “They missed.”

I read both too fast and too slow, a perfect symphony of chaos and calm, and I never wanted it to end-But I had to know what was coming next. Where it was going…and what predicament my darlings would inevitably get themselves into, in the end. And I couldn’t be happier with the absolutely soul-crushing finish.

My body has acclimated, and now it craves what it should revile.
An apt metaphor for other things.

And, before I can wrap this up, I have to embark on the journey that is Cardan and Jude. I can’t say much, and I promise I won’t (though it kills me slowly not to), but you must know that any feels that overcame you, possessed you, enraptured you in TCP…they are tenfold…and you just cannot be prepared. I don’t believe in overhyping-in fact, I discourage it. But here, I am confident that even if you don’t love this, you will feel something when it comes to the sexual tension between these two. I am THAT confident. And I would never do that to you, unless I believed it with my very being.

…and the single last thing in my head: that I like him better than I’ve ever liked anyone and that of all the things he’s ever done to me, making me like him so much is by far the worst.

The heat, the tension, the pure and utter HATE they have for one another…it’s so intoxicating. Sick. Depraved. Wrong. Yet you can’t not ship them. You can’t not love them. And, inevitably, you can’t not hope for them to just do it already. He loves her. I know it. And she loves him. I know that, too. THEY HAVE TO. I just….I can’t say anything. But, I will say this: I got everything I could ever want and more-without getting everything I want….and more.

It occurs to me that maybe desire isn’t something overindulging helps. Maybe it is not unlike mithridatism; maybe I took a killing dose when I should have been poisoning myself slowly, one kiss at a time.

So, to say I didn’t love this and that another book will pass by my love for it this year would be a lie-so I just won’t say it. What I will say is this: If you didn’t love the first, I don’t know that you will love the second. But maybe you will. It has even more lies. Deceit. Chaos. Heartbreak. Longing. If you dig that, this is for you. It has it all. And it doesn’t just come from the human in a faerie world. Just. F’in. Sayin’.

********************


I am angry editing my Instagram pictures right now. My nerves are shot, my stomach is a mass of nervous butterflies. When, only moments before, they were butterflies of hope and romance and so much more. So, I guess what I’m saying in a nutshell is: Holly Black got me. She got me fucking GOOD. I am not alright. I am not okay. And I just don’t know if I can pick up the pieces of my fractured heart off the floor for this one-And I don’t think I’ve ever said that. Well played, Black-You own my soul.

**************

OMG JUST GOT MY EXCLUSIVE OWLCRATE VERSION BOX EARLY SO GUESS WHO IS STARTING THIS OMG THIS IS THE FIRST OWLCRATE BOOK IVE TAKEN OUT OF THE PROTECTIVE PLASTIC TO READ OMGGGG I CANT EVEN

View all my reviews

REVIEW & EXCERPT: The Prince by Jennifer L. Armentrout

REVIEW & EXCERPT:  The Prince by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Prince (A Wicked Trilogy)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Review:

The Prince was everything I absolutely love about Jennifer L. Armentrout!  It was a page turner, had a sigh worthy male, a heroine I loved, an addicting storyline, and by just that second chapter I found myself bawling my eyes out.  Between the tears, smiles and laughter, my emotions were all over the place.  JLA packed so much emotion and action into this book that I still can’t believe I was reading a novella.  I absolutely loved The Prince and I was left feeling so excited to see what happens in the future with these characters!

Panic began to blossom, but I fought it down. I started to raise my leg, aiming for where it counted, but he pressed his hips in, trapping a large thigh between mine.
“Foolish. So very foolish,” he said. “Also kind of hot.”
Wait. What?

While The Prince can easily be read as a standalone, I definitely recommend reading The Wicked Trilogy too.  Learning first hand about Ivy, Ren and Tink’s past was a fabulous and crazy ride, and they are also in this story.  But The Prince does a wonderful job of getting you caught up on the past events, so you can easily follow along with this story without having any prior knowledge.  Little clues to the past, or learning who was who, are sprinkled here and there. It’s all done without info dumps and is extremely easy to follow and understand. Just know that there are spoilers about The Wicked Trilogy in this book.

The contact was a shock to my system, and when I drew in a deep breath, he smelled like summer thunderstorms and reminded me of glistening beaches. My skin burned and tingled and the reaction was swift, potent. His hand slid to the center of my back, and the next breath I took caught in my throat.

This time we followed Brighton Jussier.  She had an administrative job in The Order, and was not part of patrolling their city for fae.  I already liked Brighton from the previous books, but in this book I came to love her!  I loved watching her find not only herself but her confidence too.  And I loved that she stood up for herself. Her life hadn’t always been easy and in this book she was dealt some hard hands.  Hence the sobbing on my part. So I was grateful that Brighton wasn’t on the front lines. But she was there when everything went down in the final moments of The Wicked Trilogy.  And because of that she got to meet both of the Summer Court’s Princes. But two years later, one of them started to appear everywhere she seemed to go.

“Because what you said about yourself is a lie.”
I stilled. “What do you mean?”
A long moment passed, so much so that I thought he wouldn’t answer, but then those thick lashes lifted and those eyes seemed to see straight through me once more. “You’re not a ghost. You never could be one, not when you burn as brilliant as the sun.”

If you adore tortured males, then you HAVE to meet Prince Caden!  His past haunted him and my heart continually broke for the horrors he was put through.  And while he could be cold and distant, he wasn’t always that way around Brighton. He could be seductive, playful and the way he was protective of her was sexy as hell!  Caden was absolutely beautiful inside and out and he easily caught me in his web of seduction.

Something warm and confusing and consuming filled up my chest as I stared at this beautiful, complicated man. And that’s what I saw when I stared at him. Not a fae. Not an Ancient. Not a Prince. Just a man.

So like I was saying, Brighton kept finding herself in these random situations with the Prince.  She had no problem putting such a powerful being in his place and their moments together always felt charged.  There was this underlying tension between them that was sexy and smoldering and I always felt like I was on the edge of my seat waiting for them to explode.  It was impossible to keep the smile off of my face when they were near each other!  It was so much fun and also oh so hot!

He drew my head back and then I felt his lips press to my temple. He kissed me there, and I don’t know why, but that act squeezed at my chest like my heart was in a juice grinder. It was sweet and intimate and… It was everything.

That’s all I’m saying about where this story goes, but just know that I loved, loved, loved The Prince!  And the best part is that we are going to get more Brighton and Caden! I can’t wait to pickup their next book and see where their story goes!  I laughed, smiled, cried and was completely captivated reading The Prince!  So yes, I definitely recommend this book!

PS Can I just say that I adore Tink and his cat Dixon?!  They are so hilarious and cute together!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & iBooks (click on titles)

The Prince   #1

Review:
Jen

The King #2

Review:
Jen

The Queen   #3

Review:
Jen

Excerpt:

Did it make you a bad friend if you were completely, a hundred percent envious of that friend? Yes? No? Kind of?

I figured it was somewhere in between.

That’s what I was mulling over as I watched Ivy Morgan brush thick, red curls over her shoulder, laughing at something her boyfriend Ren Owens had said to her.

At least I wasn’t envious of that—their love. Okay, well, that wasn’t entirely true. Pretty sure anyone who was as single as me would be envious of all that warm and fuzzy that was passed back and forth with each long look or casual brush of skin. The two could barely tear their gazes away from one another to eat the dinner we’d grabbed at the cute little diner inside the shopping center on Prytania Street.

I honest to God couldn’t be happier for them. They’d been through so much—way more than two people should ever have to go through to be together, and here they were, stronger and more in love than ever, and they deserved that happiness.

But their epic love story wasn’t the source of a current case of the green-eye monster that was sitting on my shoulder.

Ivy was just such a… badass.

Even right now, relaxed in the chair, surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights with her hand in Ren’s and her belly full of a cheeseburger deluxe and crinkle fries and half of my tater tots, she could kick ass and take names along with addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers.

If the proverbial poo hit the fan, you called Ivy or Ren.

If you needed to know what streets Royal intersected with, you called… me. Or if you needed coffee or fresh beignets but were currently busy, you know, saving the world, you’d call me.

The three of us were all members of the Order, a widespread organization that was literally the only thing that stood between mankind and complete, utter enslavement and destruction by the fae. And not the super cute fae found in Disney movies or some crap like that. Humans thought they were on top of the food chain. They were wrong. The fae were.

The only thing pop culture got right about the fae was their slightly pointy ears. That was it. The fae were more than just beings from another world—the Otherworld—they were capable of glamouring their appearance to blend in with humans. But all Order members, even me, were warded at birth against the glamour. We saw through the human façade to the creature that lurked beneath.

Trailer:

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest, with black hair as iridescent as a raven’s wing and cheekbones sharp enough to cut out a girl’s heart. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

This book gave me life…for the second time around.

And it’s crazy, really, that sometimes it takes reading a book at a different time in your life (less busy, in my case) for it to really become something to obsess over. I’ll admit that, while I adored Cardan and Jude the first time around, it was a 4 star for me. It was wonderful, really, but that obsessive spark I find myself tapping into often didn’t quite appear. So, when my friend read it and didn’t quite fall hard for it, I felt a fierce need to defend it. Not because it doesn’t have 1,000,000 reviews and reviewers singing it’s praises, because it does. And it certainly doesn’t need my little review to defend it. However, sometimes the fangirl reviews are just that-fangirl reviews. And I like to bring a little reality to the table.

I cannot seem to contort myself back into the shape of a dutiful child.
I am coming unraveled. I am coming undone.

I’ll admit I’ve fallen prey to this many times, writing reviews from the bottom of my little fangirl heart. But a lot of times, random people who stumble onto a book’s page think that all the praise means it’s a sure thing. And, frankly, it’s not. Just because I love and obsess over a book doesn’t mean it is without it’s flaws. For instance, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander, ya know? So, even though I LOVE harsh, simplistic writing instead of a heavy poetic prose, that doesn’t mean that everyone feels that way. In fact, it might surprise people because they are expecting the best of the best….and, to many, it was, but to others they might wonder what the fuss was about because it was so understated and simple. But that’s why I am forever a fan of Holly black (I loved her White Cat series)-The subtle severity wrapped in beautiful, simplistic words.

I want to scream at him: Do you know how hard it is to always keep your head down? To swallow insults and endure outright threats? And yet I have done so. I thought it proved my toughness. I thought if you saw I could take whatever came at me and still smile, you would see that I was worthy.
You’re no killer.
He has no idea what I am.

For me, that was the beauty of this book. Mean, cruel, unrelenting fae and the humans who were swept away into a world where they have to adapt to be just as cunning and harsh as those that surround them, lest they be taken advantage of…or worse, die. The beauty was in the simplicity of the delivery of such nasty moments. It’s not as cruel if it’s not stretched into three descriptive, over the top sentences, right? Wrong. It’s almost worse-and that’s why I’m so so here for it.

Do not reveal your skill with a blade. Do not reveal your mastery over glamour. Do not reveal all that you can do.
Little did Prince Dain know that my real skill lies in pissing people off.

Jude was, I’m sorry, literally such a sly, devious bada**. She makes mistakes, clearly, but she meets Cardan’s worst moments head to head with nary a look of fear on her face…even though she’s shaking from the inside out. Now, that varies between anger and fear, I’ll admit-but keeping a calm, cool, and collected persona in the face of your nemesis is amazing, no matter the fluff on the inside.

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that.

And sweet, tortured, menacing Cardan. I loved him even more the second time around. How? I don’t know. But he is bae now. He is everything…I lapped everything up he did-and I have to wonder if it’s because I knew about all his layers beforehand, so I was already a goner, then I got to re-lap him up and drool over him some more. All the while knowing all his deepest, darkest secrets and his true intentions or the menace behind his words. It makes a difference, for me, to be honest. To know someone’s true face behind a mask-thus, I fell for him harder.

“So I am to sit here and feed you information,” Cardan says, leaning against a hickory tree. “And you’re to go charm royalty? That seems entirely backward.”
I fix him with a look. “I can be charming. I charmed you, didn’t I?”
He rolls his eyes. “Do not expect others to share my depraved tastes.”

And that’s why I waited SO LONG (I read this the day it came out in January) to write this review-I bided my time so I could refresh myself and write a review that was worthy of such an epic novel, so it could be fresh in my mind and so I could give it fair review. And here is where I will capitalize on what I mentioned earlier-I LOVE to fangirl-but many times we love a book so much we don’t tell people the whole story. We don’t give a circumspect view on an otherwise addicting story, so those who aren’t just all about this or that know better than to even give this a try. Like, okay, I trust a review a LOT more if someone does sour AND sweet, as opposed to just sweet. I may love a book, but I can see the flaws, too. Like, for this book, I loved everything about it-though, I do wish there was more school where they were all mean to Jude. Yeah yeah, I’m masochistic, okay? But, this time around that didn’t bother me as much. I saw how the story unfolded and wanted to just bask in every moment. And while I love the nastiness…some might find all the characters a bit unredeemable.

Whatever essential thing the other Jude has, whatever part that’s unbroken in her and broken in me, that thing might be unrecoverable. Vivi is right; it cost me something to be the way I am. But I do not know what. And I don’t know if I can get it back. I don’t even know if I want it.
But maybe I could try.

While many of us LIVE for unredeemable characters (and honestly, they ARE redeemable, but it’s hard to see that haha), lots of people want kindness or more to root for on the GOOD side, not just the revenge side, like all of us relentless, bloodthirsty, vicious fans 😉. And, honestly, if you didn’t like fae before, you’ll likely not like them here-this story is a great example of the worst side of fae, and therefore won’t win you over…unless you like lots of, as mentioned above, vicious, unrelenting bloodshed to get what you want lol.

Faerie might be beautiful, but its beauty is like a golden stag’s carcass, crawling with maggots beneath his hide, ready to burst.

So see? I don’t mind a little horrificness with my cereal, but many do. So that was my warning. Where I see depth and amazing character arcs, many would be affronted. Not I, though. And, the writing. I’m sorry, but the GD writing. Good LORD I loved it. So simplistic yet so beautiful! I can’t even hardly stand it!

Of course, Taryn is right about stories. Bad things happen to those princesses. They are pricked with thorns, poisoned by apples, married to their own fathers. They have their hands cut off and their brothers turned into swans, their lovers chopped up and planted in basil pots. They vomit up diamonds. When they walk, it feels as though they’re walking on knives.

So I guess I’ll leave you here. It’s all about what you like/want/need in a novel. For me, a little peril, a forbidden romance, some cruelty and smexy I-hate-you-but-let’s-make-out is all I really need-BAHA! I mean, what more could I possibly ask for? Do I think this is overhyped? Partially-it’s not fair to say it’s wholly overhyped because it is a truly wonderful book and it deserves so much praise for such subtle severity wrapped up into such a sexy little book package. And people deserve to love it how they want. However, I’ve read 5 other books I loved just as much that are hardly talked about at all. Ten, even. But that’s just how it goes, right? Some stand out above the rest. My biggest advice, if you live under a rock, that is, and haven’t read this yet, is to go in with the mindset that it’s overhyped and not to expect too much…and frankly you’ll adore it. And, come on, not only do I have a MASSIVE crush on my cruel prince, but I have a girl crush on the human, Jude-the girl who (view spoiler). But, to be honest, I had a crush on her long before that. What can I say? I love a girl who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty *shrug*. I’ll jump in on that hype.

*********************

Re-reading bc why not?? I LOVED this (Cardan) in January and I literally am in the mood for nothing. Plus I still owe this masterpiece a review. Let the blood bath begin…

You haven’t seen the least I can do >.<

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