Updated: May 26, 2021


Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books


Synopsis: A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win. After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name. The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more―and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about―maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever. Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.


Review: I adored Caraval, but Legendary fell flat. The plot felt forced, and the characters failed to keep me engaged. I wanted to like Tella, unfortunately her naivete drove me crazy. Yes, she’s a young teen, yes, she’s lovesick over Dante, but I prefer strong female leads who don’t fall at men’s feet.


Scarlet’s POV in Caraval was much more enjoyable than her sister’s in Legendary. Speaking of Scarlett, her minor role in this book made me forget about her altogether. The author’s over the top descriptions pulled me out of the story. I love vivid details, but the purple prose did nothing to enhance the scenes. Most of the time, I giggled at the silly similes and metaphors.


Now, I will say this, my reading taste has matured over the years. This is probably why I didn’t enjoy this book. It’s catered to younger audiences.


On a positive note, Garber has created a magical world of deception. The characters are colorful and mysterious. The plot twist, though predictable, are fun and the cliffhanger leaves you curious about the next installment.


Plot: 3/5

Pacing: 4/5

Escapism Factor: 3/5

Emotional Connection: 3/5

Character Development: 3/5


Warnings/Triggers: N/A

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Completed Read: 1/31/2021

0 views0 comments

Author: S.A. Chakraborty

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Synopsis: Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe..

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

Review:

As an author, I’m constantly searching for books that help elevate my writing. S.A. Chakraborty’s series is a blessing. Words can’t express my love for the Daevabad trilogy.

I devoured The Kingdom of Copper. It’s the perfect sequel to The City of Brass. I feared the author would leave out one of my favorite characters in this installment, but thankfully he made an appearance sooner than later. I refuse to give any spoilers in this review. The twists and turns blew my mind.

The award for MVP goes to Ali. His growth amazed me. Nahri stayed strong and Dara…oh, Dara. I’m hoping for a story of redemption in book three.

The author has the magical ability of making her readers develop love/hate relationships with her characters. I despised a certain royal only to find myself cheering for him in the end. Go figure. I definitely recommend this series to those who enjoy epic fantasy. This is not an easy read. The world building alone can leave your head spinning.

Plot: 5/5

Pacing: 4/5

Escapism Factor: 5/5

Emotional Connection: 5/5

Character Development: 5/5

Readers: for those who love epic fantasy, complex reads, Middle Eastern culture, and stories of betrayal

Writers: a brilliant case study for those writing epic fantasy, tension, combative scenes, dialogue, and plot twists

Warnings/Triggers: adult language, violence

Star Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Completed Read: 1/12/2021

0 views0 comments

Author: Emily A. Duncan

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war. In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

Review:

This book took me by surprise. After glancing at a handful of mixed reviews, I didn’t know what to expect. The first chapter knocked my socks off. I was hooked. Morally grey characters are my favorite and Wicked Saints is filled with plenty. Nadya’s connection to the gods left me guessing, Serefin’s cutthroat approach to justice left me on the edge of my seat, and Malachiasz’s troubled soul tugged at my heartstrings. His Kylo Ren vibes had me swooning and tearing up all at the same time.

The plot fizzed out a bit in the middle of the book, but once it picked back up, I couldn’t put it down. Author Emily A. Duncan wove a dark and depressing tale of betrayal and heartache. Her gothic approach to this story hit all the marks. And the ending…good Lord. I never saw it coming.

Plot: 4/5

Pacing: 5/5

Escapism Factor: 4/5

Emotional Connection: 4/5

Character Development: 5/5

Readers: for those who love gothic tales and morally grey characters

Writers: for those who need guidance with dark imagery, morally grey characters, and world building

Warnings/Triggers: dark and graphic imagery, some language

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Completed Read: 1/5/2021

0 views0 comments