Tag: Re-telling

BOOK REVIEW: The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn Davis

BOOK REVIEW: The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn DavisThe Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1)
by Kaitlyn Davis
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

A princess longing to be free...

On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.

A bastard aching to belong...

Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.

Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart...

Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.

Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you'll never see coming, don't miss The Raven and the Dove!

Review

She was more than a princess.
She was a force.
If anyone could bring color to a house made of black, it was she. If anyone could return laughter to streets that had grown quiet from so much misfortune, it was she. If anyone could could erase the past and restore the future, it was she.


As soon as I saw that this was a retelling of Tristan and Isolde I knew that I both needed to read this right away but also that I would need to guard my poor lil heart while doing so. I don’t know how many of you know the story of Tristan and Isolde, and while I have never read the actual tale, the movie that came out in the mid 2000s with James Franco and Sofia Myles was my favorite for a really long time. Call me a glutton for punishment but that is my most watched movie of all time. If you don’t know anything about the pair, you might want to look up a synopsis before you dive into this to see what you might be getting yourself into.

On to the plot. This entire book was built upon an incredibly unique premise. Right away in the epilogue, this King who is on a boat on a sea surrounded by mist feels a presence come into the world, “she” he refers to her as. It’s not clear who this “she” is exactly but before he dies from wounds he sustains from a dragon, he tells his only son, “Your queen is here” and then basically makes it sound like they are destined for each other and that their pairing will save the world. Since we don’t know much of anything at this point, we also have no idea what problems this world even has to solve. I was sure intrigued, though.

Once we get into the actual book we learn that this is a fantasy world that features a bunch of floating…islands? I think they’re islands anyway?? That make up different kingdoms that feature a different group of people who have wings of a specific breed of bird. Our main female character, Lyana (dove wings) is the princess of the House of Peace. Since their House is kind of the main one, the courtship trials which are held once in a generation are being held there.

On the morning before it all starts, Lyana and her best friend Cassi fly to a secret spot of theirs just to catch a peak of even the first of the other kingdoms to arrive. It turns out to be the Ravens. Somehow a dragon (which it seemed never usually made it up that high) shows up and one of the Ravens is engaged in battle. Long story short only the crown prince (Xander) and his bastard half brother (Rafe) which had planned on participating in the trials in place of his brother who is missing a hand were ahead of their group. Xander flies back for reinforcements and Rafe is left to try to take on the dragon. He sustains life-threatening injuries. Lyana saves him and they bond when they figure out they both have healing magic in a world where magic is seen is a horrible thing and people are usually killed for.

As you can imagine, things go to hell because as expected, Lyana goes through the entire trials things Rafe is the prince when really he is not and she wins up promised to Xander.

A few other pretty big things happen, too. We catch a few glimpses of that prince I mentioned from the prologue and there’s a spy involved whose identity I never would have guessed and that person ends up in a very interesting predicament at the end of the book. Well, everyone does, really. To be honest, they’re all in a pretty shitty place (which, again, since I knew the story of Tristan and Isolde it really didn’t surprise me).

I’m just now seeing that this is a four book series which I am so happy about because I’m pretty sure this story is going to go to some pretty amazing places. The writing was incredible honestly. From the world-building to the characters, to the flow of everything in general–I was so impressed and am dying for that next book.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Kaitlyn Davis for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review! ♥

BOOK REVIEW: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

BOOK REVIEW: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid KemmererA Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1)
by Brigid Kemmerer
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Review:

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” 

Okayyyyy, folks. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how exactly I should approach this review. On one hand, as you can see, I gave it four stars. Obviously that means that I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters, it was SUCH a great new take on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and the writing sucked me in from page one. However….the ending?????? I just don’t even know where to begin on that so I’ll try to leave any ranting for the very end AFTER I talk about all of the lovely things in this book!

First of all, this is my very first book by Brigid Kemmerer and I can say with certainty that I will be picking up another one of her books in the near future. I realllllly liked her writing and as I said earlier, it sucked me immediately into the story.

The story: Let’s face it, the story of Beauty and the Best has been redone over and over and over again. In my mind, there are really only so many things you can do to change things up and turn it into a new thing that no one else has ever done before. That being said, I think that this story is a prime example of being that something “new.” Rhen is the prince of Emberfall and is cursed to live the fall season over and over again until he can find a woman to fall in love with him and break the curse. At the end of each season he turns into a horrible beast but instead of just sitting around, moping in the castle, he completely loses himself and a lot of people (usually his subjects) end up dying. His commander, Grey, is the only person he has left with him and is the one who crosses over into our world to find women for Rhen to basically court and try to woo each season. Our main protagonist, Harper, was not Grey’s target. No, she had been out on the street, waiting for her brother to return from doing a dangerous job for a loan shark when she sees this random guy seeming to drug and try to kidnap this woman. Naturally our spunky lead picks up a rusty tire iron and tries to stop that from happening. She is instead taken to Emberfall and the rest of the story ensues.

Characters: Aside from being madly in love with both Rhen and Grey, Harper was my favorite character. She has cerebral palsy which gives her a pretty bad limp but that literally never stops her from doing anything. There were actually a few instances of Rhen or someone else saying something about her “broken body” or how she was “crippled” and she was always the first to remind them that she wasn’t broken, she wasn’t damaged. I don’t personally know anyone with cerebral palsy and I know that there’s a pretty big spectrum of how it can affect your body so it was great getting to read about a main character who has it but didn’t let it slow her down. I hope she was a great representation for those out there that read this that also have the disorder.

Back tracking to the two wonderful men…sigh…they were great. You could tell that Rhen had come a long way from where he started during his first cursed season. He became more selfless, he started to care more about Grey, and obviously about Harper too. Her spitfire attitude also re-awakened in him a sense of duty for his kingdom which is great because I felt super bad for everyone outside of the castle who had spent the last five years feeling like their King and ruling family had abandoned them as they starved and were killed off by a rival kingdom and the monster……Anywayssss he was just very kind and sweet and watching him fall for Harper was a treat. Grey reminded me SO MUCH of Chaol which obviously made me love him right away. That’s really all I have to say about that lol.

Lilith…she was the worst and that’s all you need to know for now.

Ending: Well, here we are at the end. I decided that I can’t actually rant about anything because that would reveal spoilers and I can’t do that. Maybe I’ll post more on it after the book comes out…..just know that I was not satisfied with the ending. Like part of me ~kind of~ gets what Kemmerer was trying to do but then another part of me was just left SUPER confused. Like I just didn’t get why this certain main component of the book was so important if things ended like they did…I DON’T KNOW. It made me confused/ annoyed enough that I had to dock the book a star but that’s just me. That epilogue on the other hand had me very intrigued….haha yes apparently my thoughts on the end are very jumbled. Overall though, this is a really good book and I need a second book in my life, please and thanks.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review! ♥

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