Tag: Fantasy (page 1 of 82)

BLOG TOUR + SPOTLIGHT: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis

BLOG TOUR + SPOTLIGHT: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis

Beth Revis is one of the most creative authors I've ever read. Here we get to see her darker side explored, so it won't be one to miss! Make sure to grab (pre-order) a copy today!

BLOG TOUR + SPOTLIGHT: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth RevisGive the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1)
by Beth Revis
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

A young alchemist turns to dark magic when a deadly plague sweeps through her homeland in this epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.

Seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy with only one goal in mind: master the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen.

Until she meets Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the north, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra grow close, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

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Beth Revis is the author of the New York Times bestselling Across the Universe series, the twisty contemporary novel A World Without You, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Rebel Rising. Beth lives in rural North Carolina in a house full of boys–her husband, son, and two massive dogs–and she forces them all to watch reruns of Firefly and Doctor Who. Visit her at bethrevis.com and follow her @bethrevis.



September 17 – Megan Write Now – Author Q&A

September 18 – Gladiator glory – Moodboard

September 19 – Velarisreads – A Book Look

September 20 – The Pages In-Between – Review + Creative Instagram

September 21 – The Fandom – Playlist  


September 24 – Star-Crossed Book Blog – Spotlight

September 25 – Old Enough for Fairytales – Creative Instagram Picture

September 26 – The Busy B. Creative – Creative Instagram Picture + Author Q&A

September 27 – Miss Print – Listicle

September 28 – The Book Enigma – Author Guest Post: The Author’s Research (because of how scientific the premise is) and its incorporation into her fantasy world

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

I had a lot of fun reading this book! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary TingJaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.

But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.

Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.

Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.


Jaclyn and The Beanstalk was a magical tale filled with adventure, love and family.  It was an entertaining take on Jack and the Beanstalk and I loved how creative this story was at times.  While it held some of the same elements as the original tale, it was interesting watching how it veered off onto its own path.  When I reached that last page, three shining things stood out to me, and they were:

How in the world can a tiny little bean help me?

The creativity in this retelling:

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night?

While this book shared a lot of similarities with the original tale, its bright spot was how there was a unique twist on almost every single one of those similarities.  This time it was a girl named Jaclyn who was given the beans and inadvertently grows the beanstalk.  There was also a Jack in this story and I absolutely loved him….more about him below!  Instead of a giant, there were monsters and they were nightmare inducing.  Everything that surrounded them was a huge mystery that we got to unravel.  I’m not going to say anymore than that because there were a lot of surprises along the way and it was a lot of fun seeing how it all played out!  


“This is my destiny. This is my story.” I knew this to be my fate in every vein, bone, muscle, and in my soul.

Jaclyn was who we followed on this adventure and who was given the magic beans. But she was so much more than I thought she would be.  Her father had trained her to be a fighter and I loved how fierce and brave she could be! While she had some growing up to do, we got to watch her mature as the story unfolded.  She was on the right path and I loved how she always had faith in herself.  So I had fun cheering her on!


“Name your price,” Jack said, panic struck in his eyes. “Take me. I beg you let her be.”

Jack was a childhood friend of Jacyln and we got to meet him as the story progressed.  From the moment we met Jack, I liked him right from the start. He was mature, strong and definitely swoon worthy.  Especially since he knew what he wanted, which was Jaclyn, and he had no problem speaking his mind. I loved how protective he was of her and how he could also joke so easily at the same time.  He was a wonderful book boyfriend and I know a lot of people are going to be caught up in his charm!

I shuddered a breath in horror. Smoke shaped like the devil’s hand with long fingernails reached for the sky.
It had begun.

I was happy to see that this book wrapped up nicely and that there was an epilogue that jumped into the future.  In that epilogue there was an element that left the possibility for a future book possible, so that idea was a lot of fun to think about!  So if you’re into retellings, check this book out.  But I have to give a heads up that there was a lot of biblical references throughout the story.  It influenced so many aspects, including the characters.  I still had a lot of fun with the characters and watching how the story played out, even though I’m not the biggest fan of having that in the stories I pick up.  And while this book is YA, it would be a great first step for someone coming from MG!

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


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About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter




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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez

So confession time.  I actually signed up for two tours for this book.  That’s how much I adored this story!  So check out my 5 Star review below and enter a fabulous giveaway!  Enjoy! ♥

Superhero High
T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 5th 2018
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.


Superhero High was mesmerizing, beyond addicting and a ton of fun.  I got completely wrapped up in the characters lives and lost in the pages.  Bullying, first love, friendships, finding yourself and mystery was splashed across the pages.  And that made this book emotional, sigh worthy, and I fell in love with so many of the characters.   I closed that last page feeling happy and I’m excited for future books set in this world *fingers crossed*!

I fall back onto my bed and close my eyes, letting the past few hours replay in my head, a tear slipping out and running down my cheek. This is the worst nightmare ever, and I’m never, ever waking up from it.

Annarenee Stevens’ life may have seemed ordinary, but it was anything but that.  She was the only one in her family without superpowers, but none of her friends or even boyfriend at her public high school truly knew about her family.  With her sights set on a swimming scholarship to UC Berkeley, this was going to be her best year yet!  But her whole life got turned upside down when the government quit funding the Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program.  All GEA families, hers included, were rounded up and sent to live in a community in San Diego. Leaving her whole life in Ohio behind, she found herself at a high school with no sports team and surrounded by Superheroes.  And there were plenty who thought a zero like her, didn’t belong among them.

“I’m talking to you, zero.”
Whirling around, my fists clenched at my sides, I stare him down. “My name is Annarenee, asshole. Not zero, not loser, or any of the other pet names you think are so charming. If you can’t call me by my name . . . you know what? Never mind. Just don’t talk to me. Ever.”
His nostrils flare as he takes deep, angry breaths. “I’ll call you whatever I want, and you’ll answer.”

I loved seeing the world through Annarenee’s eyes and connected with her right from the beginning.  She was was not only smart, but she had no problem speaking her mind. With her dreams of college sailing out the window and going to a new school where some looked down and bullied her, my heart definitely hurt for her.  But she stood up for herself and her zero friends, and I love that she didn’t let others push her around.  She came across as brave and someone I would respect.  

His gaze lifts to mine, and the vulnerability in his eyes steals my breath. I’ve never seen this side of him. Not really. He’s been unsure, or nervous, but not this. Ren searches my face for something, and I’m pretty sure all he’s going to see is pure fear. Because if I kiss this boy, nothing between us will be the same.

In San Diego, Annarenee caught the eye of a Superhero, Ren Gonzalez.  Oh you guys, I loved Ren. He gave me butterflies and I loved learning all of the different sides to him.  Ren made me laugh, he made me feel cautious and he made me fall head over heels in love with him.  The words he chose and the way he treated others just added to the huge list of reasons why I fell so hard for him.  So when Ren flirted with Annarenee he easily made my heart race. But his jealous superhero ex seemed to always be hanging in the background and I was personally scared of her powers.

I’m in serious danger of falling hard for that boy, and I’m shocked it doesn’t scare me.

In the midst of everyone trying to adjust to living in San Diego, some of the teen superheroes started disappearing.  I was grasping at the tiniest clues, like Annarenee, trying to figure out what was going on.  And while I felt as clueless as her, I loved how all of this was a trigger for something huge.  The zeroes and heroes would have to put aside their differences and work as one if they wanted to find those that they loved.  Awww I loved this story and how it played out!

His mouth is on mine in seconds, as if he’d been holding his breath and he desperately needed to inhale.

I absolutely adored Superhero High.  At the base of this story was a romance, but it was also about finding yourself, navigating your teen years and so much more.  This book ended in a wonderful spot with a HFN feel, yet there are so many ways this story can continue.  And I for one can’t wait!

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

Goodreads / Amazon

About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

You can find her online at http://thhernandez.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



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BLOG TOUR+REVIEW: Seafire (Seafire #1) by Natalie C. Parker

BLOG TOUR+REVIEW: Seafire (Seafire #1) by Natalie C. Parker

I won't lie-I NEEDED this book the moment I saw it. I mean...LOOK at it! And I'm happy to report that the beauty within matches the absolutely stunning cover. Rarely does the beauty of a cover match what's inside, so it's a rarity and I'm ecstatic that's the case. Soooo many thanks to Penguin Teen for sending me an early copy and for letting me participate in this amazing tour for this amazing book. See below to follow the tour, learn about the author, and to read my 5 star review. Enjoy!

BLOG TOUR+REVIEW: Seafire (Seafire #1) by Natalie C. ParkerSeafire (Seafire #1)
by Natalie C. Parker
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

“Take your ship, take your crew, and prove to that man that he has not quelled all of us. Prove that there is a fire on these seas he cannot contain.”

Image result for beautiful stormy sea gif
So vivid in detail, you can practically taste the salt from the sea. So engrossing, it’s as if you can feel the wind in your hair. So mind blowing and addicting, you might as well sign your soul over to the Mors Navis crew-because once you start this story….you might as well say goodbye, because you’re done for. Dead. Dying. You’re addicted like any old Bullet to the most powerful Silt Aric Athair can offer. Say hello to your newest obsession.

Image result for girl pirate gif

I’ll admit I was scared when I started this story-well, that’s a lie. From the minute I started, I was ADDICTED-that prologue may be one of the saddest, harshest beginnings to a story EVER. And, let me tell you up front-Parker isn’t afraid to kill people off. JUST SAYIN’.

He smiled in return, saying, “I might not be quite the hammer Redtooth is, but I’ll do my best.”
Redtooth leaned in to answer, “Don’t feel too bad about it. The way you take a beating, you make one helluva nail.”

But no, it’s more than that. It started off so great-it truly pulled me in. But then I found it hard to find and buoy to a connection (har). I don’t know why, honestly, other than the fact that perhaps it has to do with me moving and not feeling wholly myself that first week when I was reading this beauty. But I also wonder if I needed more of a mix of men and women for longer throughout the story-but, like with many things, that’s a personal preference.

Redtooth pushed a finger into his face. “Damn dirty Bullets don’t touch my ship. Try it and I’ll put you down.” Then, as an afterthought, she added, “Unless the captain says otherwise.”

 But, fear not, because a true beauty this is indeed, for I was a total goner not long after that minor lapse in judgement. How can you resist the piratey pirateness that comes with a sea-filled read, full of action and adventure, friendship and heartbreak, loyalty so strong you almost choke on the palpable tension when things aren’t going just as they should be, and an addictive beginning to a slow burn, but [enemies-to-lovers] oh so tiny and fresh, romance. Tell me-HOW. HOW DO YOU RESIST THIS?!

The thought didn’t give Caledonia as much pleasure as she’d expected. It left an uncomfortable crook in its wake, a sea snake disturbing the flow of water. Ceepa was right to call him poison. There was something truly insidious about him. So insidious, Caledonia had stopped wishing for his immediate demise.

 Alas, I did not, could not, and would not resist. And though my not-so-adorably stubborn self did my best to find flaws…there really weren’t any. Truly. Well. I don’t understand boat talk, so there’s that. But I’m going to GUESS that falls under the ‘it’s me, not you’ category.

Masterfully written with a style so smooth and oh-so-wonderfully fluid that you get pulled into its seamless story line and feel as if you’re being lulled to sleep with the beauty of it-I can’t explain it right, but it’s almost like-okay-it’s style of writing drew me in because it was so captivating and had so much action and adventure, but while doing so, it captured the subtle depth of feather-light writing that somehow RELAXED me …just because it was THAT good [that’s not even to mention the excellent, amazing, alluring, vivid world building]. There’s just something about peril mixed with beauty that makes my masochistic self feel, well, self-actualized.

Hm. Wonder what that says about me. I don’t care to analyze that tonight [as I write this], though. So I’ll move on.

But world-building and soothing writing hardly make for a complete book-you need relationships to root for. To ride and die for. To make it worth coming back for after detaching yourself from the story every night when you have to catch up on a pesky thing called ‘sleep.’ What IS sleep, anyway? And why do we need it? Pesky pesky sleep…interfering with my reading every night-sigh. I digress. ANYWAY. There are just so many relationships to root for here-friendships, family bonds…and a hate-to-love between a Bullet and the captain who swore to never trust a Bullet.

“Thank you.”
Her eyes snapped open. She turned to find Oran still watching her. Had he been watching her this whole time? She scowled.
“For saving my life today. I know you didn’t have to, and I’m grateful.”
“I’m not concerned with your thanks. Or your gratitude.” She thought she detected the hint of a smile on his mouth, and she wanted to hit it. Hard.

 Let’s start with that last one, shall we? Actually, ARGH, ya know-sometimes it’s just best to leave it to the imagination, so I will. Just know THIS-Oran was adorable. Their relationship was something that blossomed slowly, like a flower-it didn’t happen overnight and, frankly, I was DYING for it to develop-but when it did…that tentative bond they share-it was ELECTRIFYING. So short, sweet…and well worth the wait. That’s all. (He’s so cute, thoughhhh). Shh, Chelsea, just shhh.

One of us needs to lead, Pisces had said. You need to lead us.
Why not you? Caledonia asked.
Because, Pisces began. One of us also needs to follow.

 I suppose I should focus on my favorite bond of all, and that was between Cal and Pi. Best friends. Both mourning the loss of their families-sworn to be by each other’s side until the end, even in the toughest moments. I ADORED them and their sisterly friendship-the loyalty, understanding, and the push that each needed when things got tough-but, I have to say, Pi stole the show for me. Wow, was she a great, strong, and empathetic person. She saw reason when Cal only saw fire and revenge…and I really connected with her as a person. One act of kindness can start a whole new cycle, and one act of trust can save a life. It can easily go the other way around, but you can’t know until you try, and Pi was so inspirational in that way, standing against her best friend because she knew what was right. I just…I loved her.

Image result for crying best friends hug gif

Cal? She was a little stubborn and hard to connect with sometimes, for me, honestly, because I’m a bit fluffier on the inside, like Pi-however, I know that pain Cal feels, we FELT it from the depths of our soul (damn you, Parker *shakes fist at sky*) because of that poignant and jarring prologue-we know the pain Caledonia hides…and we can’t help but understand that sorrow. So no, I can’t (and didn’t) judge her harshly, which is why I ended up loving her, in the end. Plus, she was a flawed MC-and I dig that.

Image result for girl pirate gif

But, most importantly, probably, is the fact that this book is fueled by the strongest bond of all-family. Even when they aren’t around, we can draw strength from them….and, apparently, drive us to bloody and just revenge.

Related image

(Lol, legit pictured this voice/scene in my head, so naturally I needed the GIF to send my point home)

He hopped to the ground at Redtooth’s feet. “You wanted the gear snapped in, right? No chance for movement.”
Alarm showed on Redtooth’s face. “Snapped in? No, I didn’t want it snapped in! I-“ Her teeth crashed together. “You’re joking. You’re a damn dirty Bullet and you’re joking.” 

In the end, this story was a big punch in the feels that gave me a lot to think about. And it had an epic end I won’t likely forget (UGH COME ONNN) any time soon. I felt every sad moment, even when I wasn’t all in, and that’s saying something about this author’s ability to write. It got me where it hurts, even in the face of doubt, and that’s where the biggest punch in the feels comes from.

“She’s right,” Oran said from beside her. “If anyone could lead a fleet, it’s you.”
In spite of the cold, Caledonia felt a small warmth bloom in her chest.Redtooth groaned. “Things have gone very wrong when a Bullet agrees with you. Quick, say something terrible. Shouldn’t be hard. Just open your mouth.”
“Red, you’re faithful and strong, and if I die tomorrow, I hope you remember I considered you a friend,” Oran said brightly.

 A strong story about friendship, bravery, and a ship of girls all loyal to a fault-but, mostly, it’s a story that centers around love…and that’s what made my heart beat, my soul soar, and my head spin with possibilities. I was lost in the clouds when I read this, and I am SO ready for anything that comes next. Sign me up-I’m a loyal fan. And more Oran, please. Yum.

Pre-order HERE!

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Bookstagram Picture:

(I’m in the process of moving so it is NOT what I normally can do…but it’s the best I could do with no props and no light!)


Natalie C. Parker is the author of the Beware the Wild duology, the Seafire trilogy, and the editor of Three Sides of a Heart. She earned her BA in English literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MA in gender studies from the University of Cincinnati. She grew up in a Navy family finding home in coastal cities from Virginia to Japan. Now, she lives surprisingly far from any ocean on the Kansas prairie where she runs Madcap Retreats with her wife. She tweets @nataliecparker.


Follow the tour below!


August 20 – Bibliobakes – Review

August 21 – My Friends are Fiction – Creative Instagram Picture

August 22 – Gladiatorglory – Moodboard

August 23 – YA Books Central – Author Guest Post: What gave you the inspiration for this book?
August 24 – Starcrossed Book Blogger – Review


August 27 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Creative Instagram Picture

August 28 – NovelKnight – Review

August 29 – Utopia State of Mind – Author Guest Post: Who would be in your pirate crew and why?

August 30 – @Darkfaerietales – Creative Instagram Picture

August 31 – The Fandom – Author Guest Post: Natalie C. Parker’s favorite stories of sisterhood and survival.


September 3 – IceyBooks – Quote Candy

September 4 – Novel Novice – Styled by the Books

September 5 – The Young Folks – Author Guest Post: What was the world building process like? What type of research was involved in creating the world/learning about ships or sailing and what was the inspiration of the world and story?

September 6 – Lindseyybooks – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

September 7 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Spotlight + Listicle


September 10 – Cayla Reads – Review + Playlist

September 11 – Herbookstacks – Review + Book Aesthetic

September 12 – Swoony Boys – Character Interview

September 13 – Book Is Glee – Creative Instagram Picture

September 14 – Sarah June – Review + Creative Instagram Picture 

BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK REVIEW: War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria AveyardWar Storm (Red Queen #4)
by Victoria Aveyard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.


A soldier with orders to answer to. Fitting. That’s who he thinks he is. Just another person under his father’s command, obeying the will of someone dead. Again we lock eyes, and something in both of us burns.
Despite everything, his presence feels like safety. No matter what, he chases away any fear I have for myself.
Of course, that only leaves fear for the people I love.
For Farley, for my family.
And still, always, for him.

I think it’s safe to say that, even though it breaks my heart, this series just was 50/50 for me. Whereas most people would say book one and two were horrendous while three and four flourished, I’d laugh in their face and claim the opposite. See, to me, a book isn’t about bragging rights. It isn’t about doing things for the sake of doing them, nor is it about only making a statement. And, somewhere along the line, this series became about making a statement rather than just being a good book.

I feel cut in two, torn in different directions. An obvious question hangs in my mind. Another choice that I might need to make. His life or our victory? I don’t know which side I might choose, if I ever have to. Which side I might betray. The knife of that knowledge cuts deep, and I bleed where no one else can see.

I’m all about the excitement. The romance. The Peril. I don’t need the MC to stomp on everyone at the expense of keeping things interesting. And, while I’m at it, I don’t need a series or book to be wholly original. If you take a tired, but true, concept and add even a little twist to it, I’m happy. I obviously like what I like, so if you master it and make new characters and a fun storyline seem fresh and new, I’m all for it. I just need to fall for the characters, enough to care what happens to them, in the end, and I am so so happy. But making me fall for a character I’d die for, then making him a shell of a man….Nah. I’m so not here for that, and that’s exactly what happened here.

I don’t care about Iris, still out in the harbor, making her escape. I can only look at him, even though I never want to see him like this. Each passing second is a ruin. I’ve been shot; I’ve been stabbed; I’ve been hollowed out. This is a thousand times worse.

And, to be fair, I’d say that happened more in KC than in WS. In WS we saw my man really do his thing…but, yet, he also seemed like a pussy. Sorry, but I feel like the author totally emasculated him-and I stand by that. Do you know how disheartening it is to fall in love with a character, to really, truly fall head over heels for him for two whole books where he’s protective, loyal, strong-seeing them fall in love slowly, then all at once, even though it’s forbidden-would do anything for the MC, would die for her, to then be demoted to a lovesick puppy dog in book three with his tail behind his legs (and really in book 4, as well) and every POV that isn’t his all of sudden talks crap about him 24/7? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THIS MIGHT RIP APART SOMEONE’S SOUL?!

I wonder which second put this in motion. Which choice. Was it Elara, looking into my head for an opportunity to strike the Scarlet Guard? Was it Evangeline, making me fall into the arena of Queenstrial? Was it Cal, his hand closing on mine when I was just a Red thief? Or Kilorn, his master dead, his fate decided, the doom of conscription looming before him?

And I think, over anything else, I have to ask why. WHY build someone up to then just cut him down? And don’t even get me started about Mare. Weak, pathetic, and really a total moron in book one and two (even though I really didn’t ever dislike her wholly), then made to be a badass (which is a good character arc, to be honest) along with every other woman in the series, yet all the other men fade to the back? Well, okay, except Maven who, frankly, I think was leading all the Maven fans on, so why stoke the fire? I just…this author. I don’t get it. Why???

Constructions of their parents. Cal is built from his father’s dreams, and Maven from his mother’s nightmares.

And sometimes I just need time to figure out what I really feel about a book, an end of series, whatever, before I can give a real rating. As I was reading this, in May, I really thought it was a 4 star or 5 star book…but that end. Give me a break. Yeah, I liked it, it was okay. But, say if it was by Leigh Bardugo (and that’s just ONE example, I have many), for instance-I’d have been all heart eyes and emojis because, as most of the world knows, this woman can write, and a HFN for Leigh is the equivalent to 1,000 parades celebrating a royal wedding-that is to say, you know those characters will be okay and they’ll be together. But, with this author, I find I have no such assurance by that end. And, the most telling for my rating of all-as time has passed, I forgot I even read this novel. Which, as many of you know, is NOT good. It’s not good at all.

Making us wait isn’t just rude; it’s politically stupid. And a waste of my own precious time.
He’s probably off arguing with Mare again, pretending not to look at her lips while he does it. The prince is terribly predictable, and I hope the pair of them will boil over into some not-so-secret secret relationship once more. Will I be expected to guard the door?I sneer to myself.

I won’t go on and on and diss on a series that I really adore-I do and I did. The first two books are so superior to me-I could NEVER forget them. And, frankly, I plan to re-read those two books until the end of time. They still excite me. I still go crazy when I think of them and my heartbeat goes crazy and I’d just defend them to the very end. But those last two books, to me, just weren’t what my heart wanted and they were, honestly, poorly executed (At least book three was). Playing the ‘unreliable narrator’ card for Mare for books one and two so she can demolish another character for the sake of the story is deplorable, to me. And I will NOT support it. However, I will always cherish those first two books with my whole heart. I’ll admit that doesn’t happen often…so kudos to the author for that. If I don’t like a series, in the end, I normally dismiss all the books. But not here-Cal and Mare were EVERYTHING, to me, and I’ll never forget it.

Don’t think about him.
I chant it to myself as I prepare for bed, repeating the words over and over.
Cal’s face seems burned against my eyelids, while Maven haunts even my fleeting, distant dreams. Those stupid boys. They never leave me alone.

And the children. Seriously. Wtf.

And, to be fair, I am extremely hard on series ends…but I truly don’t think I’m the problem here. Just saying. I think I’m just so hurt/betrayed/upset that this wasn’t made to be more. It just could have been so. much. MORE. I cry for what it had the potential to be. And, yet, here we sit.


I have waited and waited and waited to write this review-I had read this the first week it came out…but what do you say when your heart is broken? Frankly, this series started out SO strong for me. Cal is everything. Cal is my baby. Cal is [one of many] my husband. But, after book two, this series lost the sparkle, for me. It became about female empowerment at the cost of other characters’ development, and lost my interest in the process-Just because Mare was an ‘unreliable narrator’, as the author stated at her War Storm signing, does not mean the ‘I am female, hear me roar’ idea should overpower the integrity of the rest of the novels.

Now, I know this will be an unpopular, likely trolled, opinion, but I hope everyone will accept that, while it is not popular, it is my right to say what I feel, to speak with candor, and to not be ‘hated on’.

I will come back with a full review, but, for now, that was my largest problem with this series. Not Mare, the ‘lightening girl’, the repetitive phrasing, nor Camden (who I loathed) (and is that even her name??? Cameron, maybe?). It was this series and how it was handled. And it lost me at King’s Cage. I had hoped for a better, different outcome…but here we are.

Review to come.

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