Tag: Romantasy (Page 1 of 3)

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie GarberLegendary (Caraval #2)
by Stephanie Garber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Donatella and Scarlett Dragna escaped their cruel father and made it out of Caraval alive, but the games aren’t over yet. What Scarlett doesn’t know is that, in order to gain their freedom, Tella made a deal with a mysterious stranger and now it’s time to pay.

Except what Tella owes is something that no one has ever been able to deliver: the true name of Caraval Master Legend. Tella’s only chance at uncovering Legend’s true identity is to enter the dangerous game of Caraval once more, and win. But what will she have to sacrifice to do that?

Review:

Legendary started right after Caraval ended, and Tella had made a dangerous bargain.  She was to obtain Legend’s real name, and for that she had to win the next Caraval.  Back are the mysterious moments, the what ifs, and not knowing what was going to happen next.  Legendary took us through another game that twisted and turned as the story unfolded.  The journey was magical, and I loved seeing it through Tella’s eyes.  If you adore YA fantasy, definitely give this series a try!

He cradled her sobbing head to his chest. “Can you open your eyes for me?”
“Maybe I want to sleep here,” Tella mumbled. “I’d wager it’s safer than in your arms.”
“What’s so dangerous about my arms?” He murmured.
“For me, everything.” Tella slowly lifted one lid open.

Tella was a sneaky little soul.  I was intrigued that she kept one of the Fate cards that she had stolen.  It showed her pictures of the future, or possible futures.  Her decisions could change what it showed her.  So as Tella worked her way to winning Caraval, it was impossible not to feel everything that she did.  She was brave, focused, and loved her sister fiercely.  And even though Tella didn’t believe in true love, watching her interact with Dante and Jacks were my top favorite moments in this book!

Dante’s voice rumbled with a laugh.  “If I were Legend I’d definitely never tell you.”
“Because you don’t trust me?”
“No,” he answered slowly, gently tugging her even closer.  “I’d hold onto my secret because I’d want to keep playing the game with you, and if I told you the truth it would spoil all the fun.”

Dante, oh my heart.  When Dante created a situation pushing her closer to Jacks, I was intrigued that he would play such a dangerous game.  I had already fallen for Dante in the previous book.  He was a man surrounded by darkness and the unknown.  Yet Dante also came through time and again.  I couldn’t help but love him. 

His laughter was surprisingly disarming.  “Then tell yourself everyone wishes they were me, dancing with you.”  With a grin he must have stolen from the devil, Jacks looped an arm around Tella’s hips and swept her on the dance floor.

Jacks created jealousy and tension that was so delicious and palpable.  He was a man who was so much more than what he seemed.  And I don’t want to say more because of spoilers, but just know that both of those men were so easy to love and obsess over.   Yet as someone who read OUABH, I definitely recommend reading this series before Once Upon a Broken Heart.  Or else you’ll spoil so many pivotal moments in this story.

He was supposed to break her heart.
She wasn’t supposed to break his.

Legendary was shrouded in mystery, and the story wove itself together so beautifully.  With characters that were so easy to like, a story-line that kept you turning the pages, and magic sprinkled throughout the book, Legendary was such a fabulous YA fantasy!  

BOOK REVIEW: Crown of Wings and Thorns by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW: Crown of Wings and Thorns by Mary TingCrown of Wings and Thorns by Mary Ting
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A fight for a throne that will rewrite history

The demon King Asmodeus has taken over the mortal world. The Order of Angel warriors have a mission to take him down, but many have died or joined the enemy. When Evangeline’s team is ensnared in a web of deception, she has no choice but to form an alliance with King Victus, a vampire ruler with a reputation for killing angels. Can the two set aside the past and take down Asmodeus? Or will they turn on each other first?

Michael is a half-breed angel who wants no part of the nonhuman world. However, his immense power makes him a target. King Asmodeus wants him to join his army, and so does Order of Angels, but Michael dreams of settling down, not going to war. He may not have a choice. When his family’s lives are at stake, he’ll have to pick a side or lose everything.

Review:

Crown of Wings and Thorns was a fast paced romantasy, that swirled together angels, demons and vampires.  Within the pages there was a lot of mystery, we got introduced to a new world, and the story was told from multiple points of view.  With characters that were unique, and an ending that left us at a great stopping point till the next book releases, this story was such a quick read!

“I loathe your kind,” he hissed, baring his teeth.
“And I despise everything about you.” I clenched my jaw.

My favorite character in this story was the demon, King Victus.  He was fair, yet could be ruthless. And I loved how multifaceted he was!  The secrets he kept were intriguing, and as the story went by I guessed everything correctly about him.  I loved seeing how he reacted to things, and the decisions he made.  He was someone that was so easy to fall for.

“And I’m debating if I should snap your neck or rip out your heart.”
“What kind of angel are you?”

The story was also told from Evangeline’s view, who was an angel.  She seemed like a true warrior that was destined for greatness.  She was smart, kind, and fought for what was right.  Plus she loved her friends.  Yet I could never connect to her.  I thought it was because she was with Zander.  I never swooned over him, even when they were intimate together.  So when King Victus stepped on the pages, I hoped that was a path Evangeline took.  Because he intrigued me, and made my heart race!

My job is to either bring in or kill Asmodeus. I prefer the latter … We’re stronger together. Eva’s words filtered through his mind.
Victus might regret his decision, but a deal was a deal. And he needed the feather being to recover fast.
“Take the cuffs off her, now.”

We also got the story in Michael’s POV.  He was a fighter who would go to the ends of the world to protect you.  I can see readers falling in love with Michael, and wanting to read more about him!  I haven’t read it yet, but he was from the Crossroads SagaI again wasn’t able to connect to him, but I enjoyed listening to his journey to save those he loved!

Bite me harder. Take me. Break me. I was all his, and at this moment, he was mine.
As my pulse drummed faster, my world turned. My present faded and my past came crashing through.

There were more characters we got to hear from, yet these three were who we spent the most time with.  And I loved how all of the different stories wove in and out together, it was masterfully done.  While there was heartbreak, death, and betrayal, there was also hope, love and watching those work together for the greater good.  I definitely don’t want to touch on the story here, because it’s better for you to discover it on your own.   If you have fallen for any of Mary Ting’s previous books, I think you’ll fall head over heels in love with this one too!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Rise of the Cinder Fae (Dark Hearts Fairytale Retellings #1) by Whitney Dean

BOOK REVIEW: Rise of the Cinder Fae (Dark Hearts Fairytale Retellings #1) by Whitney DeanRise of the Cinder Fae (Dark Hearts Fairytale Retellings #1)
by Whitney Dean
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Born and raised in the forgotten and broken kingdom of Ashbury, Elora has spent years resenting the royals of Pumpkin Hollow, the kingdom that forced the fall of Ashbury and procured the town as its own.

Separated by a mysterious glass bridge, Ashbury is treated as the orphan kingdom, left to squander and starve with only the promise of protection from King Jasper, preventing anyone outside their realm from searching for the magic that lay within the ashy valleys and red skies.

Because twenty-five years ago, the Cinder Fae arrived. As mysterious as the magic encompassing Ashbury, the Cinder Fae bargained for their lives by promising to keep the entire realm warm with their ability to mine mountainsides into coal.

But Elora and the Cinder Fae hold a secret that could bring the end to Ashbury and the mysterious winged creatures, who, despite Elora's best efforts to pry, refuse to share where they came from or why they can't return.

In her desperation to prevent the downfall of her kingdom and the death of her beloved Fae, Elora drinks from an enchanted spring, convinced she can make the prince of Pumpkin Hollow fall in love with her and guarantee their safety.

But magic takes to give.

And Elora didn't realize her heart would be the sacrifice.

Review:

Rise of the Cinder Fae was an enemies to lovers, fairytale retelling of Cinderella.  With a fantasy twist, an arranged marriage, found family, and one horse, this book will take readers on a magical journey!  

“A marriage of convenience. How romantic.”
I curse. “Believe me, Irina. The only one this is convenient for is her.” I recall Elora’s glares and venomous insults, my jaw clicking as a fresh wave of annoyance rises and nearly drowns me. “Romance is out of the question.”

My heart was instantly pulled in by Elora.  With an evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters, who used her as their personal maid, I couldn’t help but feel for her.  She should have been a princess.  Yet instead she slept in the attic and didn’t seem to have much freedom.  So when Elora was taken in a pumpkin carriage to the ball to meet a dashing prince, I was so excited for her!  Yet this Cinderella retelling had so many fascinating elements mixed in.  There were the cinder faes, an arranged marriage, a King who was disgustingly horrific, and a future mother-in-law and sister-in-law who I absolutely cherished!

“This is twice you’ve walked away from me,” he snaps, his tone laden with irritation.
“I’m shocked you can count.”
A low growl rumbles in his chest as he wraps a hand around my wrist and tugs me backward.

The kingdom Elora was from, suffered greatly.  And as she set her sights on the prince, she hoped that she would be able to save her kingdom.  I adored that we not only got this story from Elora, but from Finnian too.  He was the dashing prince.  I loved their enemy vibes from the start.  And I loved how they both saw each other, because I just knew their growth would be fun to watch.  From the moment they smashed pumpkins together, I was smitten.  Especially during the cleaning up afterwards.  Elora and Finnian were at the start of a beautiful relationship! So by the time they were dancing where she grew up, I was in love. 

Finnian tsks. “I expected more from you, Elora. Is your only weapon that mouth of yours?”
My lower stomach tightens. “The one you keep staring at?”
I don’t turn to gauge his reaction.
  

My absolute favorite in this story was Irina!  She was Finnian’s sister, and a princess.  She was bold, hilarious and just made my heart melt with happiness.  Her taking a liking to Elora, and helping her every step of the way just made me love her that much more!  I would hope that she gets her own book too, or is super prevalent in the next book.  

The second I crossed that bridge, my life was decided.
I fell right into their trap.
What a foolish doe to graze where lions play.

While this story was slow to start, I adored the first half.  I didn’t care that it was long, I was fully absorbed and obsessed with every single word.  Yet the latter half of this story dragged for me.  Even with some interesting twists, I couldn’t help but find myself skimming from time to time to hurry it along.  Also, there were some scenes that had me questioning what the characters were thinking, like the river and small room scene.  But as the story kept unfolding, I realized that I couldn’t ever find the love I had for this story.  Which made me so sad.

“There is only one way this can end.”
I barely feel his hand on my lower back as the stars above us start to spin. “And which way is that, little doe?”
“Ruin,” emerges in a breath as the starry sky envelopes me.

This story ended with a bang, and will leave the reader excited for the next book.  While I’m unsure whether I’ll read the next story in this series, I absolutely loved how unique this retelling felt.  So if you’re looking for a spicy retelling that also has fae mixed into the story, then definitely give this one a try.  Here’s hoping you love it more than me!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Visions of Flesh and Blood: A Blood and Ash/Flesh and Fire Compendium (Blood And Ash #5.5) by Jennifer L Armentrout and Rayvn Salvador

BOOK REVIEW: Visions of Flesh and Blood: A Blood and Ash/Flesh and Fire Compendium (Blood And Ash #5.5) by Jennifer L Armentrout and Rayvn SalvadorVisions of Flesh and Blood: A Blood and Ash/Flesh and Fire Compendium (Blood And Ash #5.5)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Rayvn Salvador
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

VISIONS OF FLESH AND BLOOD: a Blood and Ash/Flesh and Fire Compendium is a comprehensive companion guide for background, history, reader-favorite information, art, and reference materials. Combined with original short stories and scenes from some of the world’s most beloved characters, as well as never-before-seen visual enticements, it’s a treat for the senses.

Told from the point of view of Miss Willa herself, the compendium acts like research material but reads like a journal and cache of personal notes, allowing the reader to revisit the characters and history they so love yet view things in a different way.

VISIONS OF FLESH AND BLOOD by Jennifer L. Armentrout with Rayvn Salvador is a must-add addition to the series that any Blood and Ash/Flesh and Fire fan will enjoy.

Review:

Visions of Flesh and Blood was a comprehensive guide of the Blood and Ash Series and Fire and Flesh Series so far.  If you’re needing a refresher, or have questions about this series, this is the perfect place to look!  And just know that while this doesn’t further either of the timelines, it does give us beautiful artwork, bonus scenes from both worlds, excerpts from Miss Willa’s Diary, and so much more!  

Cue gasps. I mean, I knew this, but can you imagine what it was like for her to discover that little tidbit?

Starting out, one of the things that made me scream was a reference to another series!  A Fire in the Flesh gave us all the hints, and then this book left so many little easter eggs in the pages for Fall of Ruin and Wrath And I’m excited to see how it all plays out!  

Loves to hear himself talk. Driven. Takes pleasure in killing when it’s warranted. Loves to read. Feels spousal needs should come before those of the kingdom. Knows how to braid hair. Expert with many weapons.

This book gave us not only the history of the worlds, but details about what each of the characters had gone through up until this point.  It was emotional seeing how much they had endured!  You’ll get to read about all of your favorite Blood and Ash characters, along with Flesh and Fire characters too.  But keep in mind that those moments were written by Rayvn Salvador. There were so many things that I had forgotten, like why the dragon’s eye color changed over time.  Or the different kinds of Ascensions.  It was all spelled out clearly. I also loved how within the characters, there were a few new things we learned.  Like how emotions taste to Poppy.  I loved approval!  Or the amount of times we got to watch Callum die, I couldn’t stop laughing.  We also got info on what their personalities were like.  And you know who my favorite character summary was?  Isbeth.  I am beyond shocked!

I want you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. I want to see what the future has in store for us.

The artwork was stunning!  My absolute favorites were The Blood Forrest, Seraphena “Sera” Mierel, Vonetta Contou, and Jasper and Kirha Contou.  I wanted to lick Jasper lol.  And a heads up to ereaders, I read on my Kindle Fire and while the picture was small, there was a ‘click here’ button that allowed us to see the images full-size in a browser.  And they’re all in color!  But just know that for paperback and hardback, they are still gorgeous, but in black and white.

Personality: No one knows if she likes them or is seconds away from setting them on fire.

The bonus scenes that were written by JLA were phenomenal!  We got a new scene of Poppy and Cas, that made my heart so happy!  We got multiple Diary Entries from Miss Willa!  Those were scorching hot!  AND I was shocked, and am still shocked, who two of those entries were with!  The interview with Kieran had me screaming with laughter!  If I had to pick one thing in this book I loved the most, that was it!  But then there was Emil.  And Netta.  And Tawny.  Ash.  And soooo much more!  The extras in this book were astonishing and worth all the stars!

“You are always safe with me, liessa,” I promised.
That was an oath I’d never break.
Because she trusted me.
And that was a gift. One I would cherish and protect.

Included in this Compendium was the Prophecy broken down.  I desperately needed that!  Favorite quotes from every single book.  The playlists were emotional and I loved that some of the songs I was thinking about, when reading, were in the list!  And more!  And I highly recommend that you pick up this book in pieces.  Not to read it from front to back like I did.  I would have read all the bonus scenes, looked at all the pictures, looked at different special content.  And then read the character profiles that I needed refreshers on.  So happy reading!  And I can’t wait to see what happens next in this world!

*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)


From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash Series) #1
Review:

Jen

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash Series) #2
Review:

Jen

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash Series) #3
Review:
Jen

A Shadow in the Ember Ash (Flesh and Fire Series) 
#1
Review:

Jen

The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash Series) #4
Review:
Jen

A Light in the Flame (Flesh and Fire Series ) #2

Review:
Jen

A Soul of Ash and Blood (Blood and Ash Series) 
#5
Review:

Jen

A Fire in the Flesh (Flesh and Fire Series) #3
Review:
Jen

Visions of Flesh and Blood (Blood and Ash Series) #5.5
Jen

BOOK REVIEW: A Crown This Cold and Heavy (Kingdom of Lies #3) by Stacia Stark

BOOK REVIEW: A Crown This Cold and Heavy (Kingdom of Lies #3) by Stacia StarkA Crown This Cold and Heavy (Kingdom of Lies #3)
by Stacia Stark
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The unimaginable has happened,
And none of our lives will ever be the same.

Surrounded by enemies, I've never been further from my crown...

Or closer to death.

Amidst a betrayal we couldn't have anticipated, I'll do whatever it takes to find my way back to Lorian – before his fury lays waste to this continent.

Alliances are being forged and broken, our enemies are unifying, and Regner’s spiders are closer than ever before.

We have only one chance to prevent him from attaining god-like powers and enslaving every human, fae, and hybrid across the four kingdoms.

Meanwhile, the human king believes I’m trapped here, yearning for my death, and waiting for Lorian to save me.

But Regner hasn’t yet realized that I'll stop at nothing to free my people.

And he's the one who should be afraid of me.

Review:

A Crown This Cold and Heavy was laced with death, secrets, friendship, torture, lies and love. This was an emotionally powerful book that took this series to new heights. Prophecies lay in wait that were soul shattering. The torture will rob you of your breath. Alliances were formed that were smile inducing, yet will leave you feeling angsty. And plans were created that were terrifying because every single thing could go wrong and blow up in their faces. This book, from that first page to the last, consumed my every waking thought and kept me in the palm of its hand!

“You don’t let this break you.”

A Crown This Cold and Heavy started with a few pages that had the most fabulous recap of the second book, A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty! I wish all books in a series would do this! Starting the story, those first few pages were rough. Prisca was held prisoner. And the torture she faced was beyond horrific. It created this fog that made me terrified of what could happen. There was no limits to what could be done. It chilled me to to the bones. Yet we watched as Prisca was brave, powerful and would not yield. She showed us she was a true leader. Someone you could look up to. So even though she drowned in her grief, she still fought fiercely and he watched her succeed. She made moves, plans, and alliances that would help her people. She surrounded herself with those that would fight beside her. And I loved how blood thirsty she could be at times. She was fierce and showed us time and again what a true queen should be!

I screamed and screamed. The horror was torn from my lungs, burning up my throat.

If you haven’t heard me say this before, know that Lorian was the ultimate book boyfriend. He stood by Prisca’s side. He wanted what was best for her. Not only would he help her fight every step of the way. But at the same point, he knew she had to make her own waves. And as he watched her do just that, his love sihned bright. So the relationship and love between Prisca and Lorian is one of my favorites. I love that they are adults. That yes they fight and struggle, but they also know how to talk and work it out. I have so much respect for them. And I loved that their moments together were steamy, seductive and beautifully intimate. Also when something was revealed, it explained so much back to that first book, I couldn’t stop smiling and screaming with joy!

I couldn’t fall apart here. I had to lead. We had to make plans.
Lorian tightened his arms around me, and I took a deep breath. Then another.

We also got other people’s POVs again. And as someone who usually only wants to hear from the hero and heroine, I was obsessed with the other POV’s we got! Here are some of my thoughts on those…..

*Madinia

The amusement drained from his face. It wasn’t real amusement anyway. “What do you want?”
It was my turn to smile. “I want chaos.”

She became my favorite side character. She made me laugh. She was so cunning and smart. And I loved that she pushed herself to try her hardest. To accomplish what goal was set in front of her. Yet, she didn’t think she had any friends. She never did. Yet as she worked with this group that surrounded Lorian and Prisca, it was impossible not for anything to be formed. Even if it was just plain old respect. But I loved watching her and Prisca interact and it always warmed my heart.

*Asinia

Demos had only ever seen me as yet another person to keep alive. I was a promise he’d made to his sister.
And most days, I was fine with that.
Today…today, it ached.

I was obsessed with her relationship with Demos, Prisca’s brother. Since she was first locked in the cell next to his back in the first book. They have come so far. And I loved how we got to share moments like Demos remembering what Asinia had told him. They became so much more than just Prisca’s best friend and brother. I was rooting for them! So out of all the side character’s POV’s, I was most emotional with them. Not only did they go through horrific battles, but there were times when it felt like I couldn’t breathe until I was back with them. Just like my scenes with Priscan and Lorian. Asinia and Demos also made me sob. For pages I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. And my lips are zipped for why!

 

*The Queen

She was so tricky and played her part so beautifully. I never thought she could be this woman, underneath the facade she wore. Not only was I beyond fascinated by her, but I was also terrified with what she could want down the road. Because she let us in. We got to know her all of her thoughts and plans. But even still, she was someone that will leave you guessing and always thinking about in the back of your mind.

I couldn’t speak. The tears I couldn’t shed were drowning me, and I was gasping for breath.
But there was something I had to say. A promise I had to keep.

I know I haven’t talked about what happens as this story unfolds, but I can’t say much since there are way too many spoilers. Just know that there were scenes that created guilt that festered in those we love. It was impossible not to shed tears when truths were told. And also tears for those we love that were put in horrific situations. So the pain at times was gut wrenching, when death seeped into the pages. There was also emotional and beautiful sacrifices. And battles that will rob you of your breath. Yet there was also so many moments filled laughter and love. The friendships were everything. The romance was sensual and steamy. And this book had the perfect mix of heart and angst! And be emotionally prepared because this book ends on a cliffhanger! If you thought the last one was challenging, you haven’t seen anything yet! A Crown This Cold and Heavy has a heart stopping ending that will leave you gasping for more!

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

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