Book Review | Shielded

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Shielded (Shielded #1) by KayLynn Flanders

Published July 21, 2020

Ebook 432 pages

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

Holy wow that was sooo sooo good!!!! I saw someone else say “for fans of Snow Like Ashes” (of which I am) … and also greatly agree.

The Story

A war looming, a second-born heir to the throne, a battle ready princess and a betrothal to a Kingdom on the other side of the Wild (a place where rouge magic abounds). Magic and intrigue and romance and family.

(Goodreads synopsis):

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

What I liked

Well, everything!

Seriously, I adored this book in its entirety. The world building was intriguing, easy to understand and unique. The political intrigue was spot on. There were twists and turns that I did not see coming (although I have some theories on a few things). And the romance was slow-burn “WILL YOU JUST KISS ALREADY” perfection.

I loved the magic system, though light. I feel like we are going to get a lot more out of the magic in the next book.

I love how strong the MC became over time, and how all of the characters had realistic strengths and weaknesses throughout. There were no “perfect characters” in this story (except Mari who should be protected at all costs), and that’s what makes them realistic.

There was action, there was tension, there was suspense, and the author was able to write excellent side characters who felt just as real as the MC.

What I Did Not Like

Which is really an inadequate tile for this section. There is nothing I didn’t like. The only real difference between a 4.5 and a 5 star review is an indescribable “more-ness”. This story captivated me, but it didn’t destroy me. It didn’t inhabit me. It didn’t quite have that extra something that only very few books ever really have. But that is not to say that this book isn’t a pure joy and a must read!

In Conclusion 

Absolutely wonderful read and I would and will recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.

Book Review | Live Like Legends

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Live Like Legends by Kate Cornell

Published June 1, 2020

Ebook 400 pages

3.5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

This was such a hard one to rate and review. I enjoyed it, but it could have been SOO much better if for one simple fix which I discuss below. All in all, not a bad debut.

The Story

Kalista is married off to a prince she did not intend to marry, to a Kingdom she knows nothing about, to fulfill a prophecy that will lead her into a world where a monster thirsts for royal blood. But who are the real monsters?

(Goodreads synopsis):

“Princess Kalista has known her role from birth. She’s spent her entire life preparing to be the socialite wife of a prince from a peaceful kingdom. But on her big day, she is shocked when she is instead forced to marry the warrior prince of a cursed land, who is as cold as the wintry kingdom he’ll one day rule.

Carson has a throne no princess wants to share with him. An immortal beast ravages their land, and he’ll do anything to stop it, even marry a complete stranger on the day she was supposed to wed her betrothed. Let her hate him for it, but Kalista is his only hope for peace.

Kalista knows she’s just a pawn on the chessboard of politics, but now she’s expected to kill an unstoppable creature because of some legend about her bloodline that Carson believes as truth. He trains her how to fight, and when lessons in swordplay lead to lessons in love, her destiny puts more than just her life at risk.

How far is she willing to go to save the prince she never wanted…but can’t imagine living without? 

What I liked

What I did enjoy was that the author explored the concept of cultural and language barriers … which tbh is something most fantasy novels don’t even touch and now that it’s been brought to my attention … it makes sense that there would absolutely be cultural and language barriers in these types of scenarios (arranged/forced marriages to faraway countries).

The concept and the world was very interesting. The characters were well written. And the plot was spot on. I also really enjoyed the romance. Toward the end, I was definitely invested in their outcome … buuuuut …

What I Did Not Like

Honestly, if this had been a duel POV book, it could easily have been a 5 star read. Such a tragic missed opportunity. I don’t think it completely works as a single POV story. Still enjoyable but for the most part uneventful and boring. I did finally start to emotionally attach to the romance in the last 35% of the story, but I feel like it could have been an incredibly emotional story if ONLY FOR DUEL POV!!!

Imagine how much more emotion there could have been. Imagine how many more encounters with danger and turmoil we could have had. Imagine how many more characters we could have understood the complexities of!

Unfortunately, because it was only one POV, the main character couldn’t understand anyone else most of the time and therefore any connection I could have had to any of those character was also lost on me.

In Conclusion 

I enjoyed this read. It was quick and easy and intriguing. but DUEL POV!!! I hate that it could have been such a simple fix 😭

Book Review | The Hollow Gods

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The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology #1) by A.J. Vrana

Published July 28, 2020

Paperback 409 pages

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

Guys, this book was so good though! Think a much darker Linger series by Maggie Stiefvater meets The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab. I Loved it!

The Story

At it’s core, it is the story of a werewolf and a girl. Or perhaps it is the story of a girl who is lost and then found. Or perhaps it is the story of a history that is doomed to repeat itself over and over again. I think it is absolutely a story of redemption.

(Goodreads synopsis):

A perfect story for contemporary fantasy readers who love their narratives razor-sharp and their secrets dark and deadly.

Black Hollow is a town with a dark secret.

For centuries, residents have foretold the return of the Dreamwalker—an ominous figure from local folklore said to lure young women into the woods and possess them. Yet the boundary between fact and fable is blurred by a troubling statistic: occasionally, women do go missing. And after they return, they almost always end up dead.

When Kai wakes up next to the lifeless body of a recently missing girl, his memory blank, he struggles to clear his already threadbare conscience.

Miya, a floundering university student, experiences signs that she may be the Dreamwalker’s next victim. Can she trust Kai as their paths collide, or does he herald her demise?

And after losing a young patient, crestfallen oncologist, Mason, embarks on a quest to debunk the town’s superstitions, only to find his sanity tested.

A maelstrom of ancient grudges, forgotten traumas, and deadly secrets loom in the foggy forests of Black Hollow. Can three unlikely heroes put aside their fears and unite to confront a centuries-old evil? Will they uncover the truth behind the fable, or will the cycle repeat? 

What I liked

I loved the characters, their internal struggles, their parts to play in a story that was also sort of reminiscent of the movie Inception.

Reading this story was like walking through a dense fog in the not quite night and not quite day. The way the past and the present collide. The way shame and guilt and fear collide. The way light and dark, sleep and wake, life and death all collide. It’s honestly a difficult book to really even describe. At it’s core, it is the story of a werewolf and a girl. Or perhaps it is the story of a girl who is lost and then found. Or perhaps it is the story of a history that is doomed to repeat itself over and over again. I think it is absolutely a story of redemption.

The way the author was able to create this air of suspense throughout the entire novel is incredible and definitely transported to me a world far away from my own (which of course is what a story is supposed to do). I was immersed and I never wanted it to end.

The characters are complex, shaded in tones of gray. Broken and battling with demons within and without … and perhaps in this way, this story is one giant metaphor.

What I Did Not Like

What keeps a book at a 4.5 vs. a 5 star for me really just comes down to the book’s ability to be MORE. Pull my emotions MORE. Connect me to the characters MORE. Connect me to the world MORE. And while this book had everything that a great story has … it just didn’t quite yet push that limit that I know this story can have. I hope to see this continue to develop in the next book in this series.

In Conclusion 

A truly wonderful debut! I can’t wait to see MORE.

Book Review | The Court of Miracles

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The Court of Miracles (The Court of Miracles #1) by Kester Grant

Published June 2, 2020

Hardcover 464 pages

3/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

Maybe it’s my own fault for having pretty high expectations with a blurb that reads “Les Misérables meets Six of Crows” … it’s not. I mean kind of if what we are actually saying is that it takes place in a French/Ketterdam style setting, with criminals and a revolution. But certainly I would not compare this book to either of these brilliantly crafted stories in the way of any real substance.

I say all of this to say … I was disappointed.

The Story

Girl tries to be Kaz Brekker, and fails.

(Goodreads synopsis):

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger. 

What I liked

Which is not to say that I did not enjoy this read. I actually did enjoy it, in the way I would enjoy a shallow easy beach-read while not having to get immersed into a world or emotionally attached to the characters. The story was fun and entertaining, the concept was very interesting and well executed in many ways. But the MORE of the story was completely missing for me.

What I Did Not Like

The story lacked anything of any real depth. Like I mentioned, it felt like floating through a light simple read … but that didn’t feel right either because the atmosphere of the story is actually quite dark. Because this story lacked that depth, the fact that dark horrible things were taking place failed to truly resonate in me any real shock or outrage. As a whole, this story failed to inspire any real emotion within me. I was not connected to any of the characters most of the time in the least. I will, however, say that there were moments … moments when I thought ah ha! Here it is … that thing … that strand that finally makes me feel … something … only to be severed just as quickly and I drifted back down to “don’t care land”.

And let’s be honest, I don’t even think the characters cared. Lets talk about the fact that off screen, hundreds of people died and no one seemed to care. Just completely glazed over … like “well a lot of people died and that makes us sad … is that a squirrel?”

I actually canceled my pre-order of the hardback copy because I simply don’t think this story was enough for me to need it on my shelves.

In Conclusion 

I know some of this sounds actually quite harsh. Again, perhaps my expectations were too inflated to give this book any real chance of succeeding with me.

It was enjoyable, but it lacked depth and detail. Connection and emotion. That being said, I will still probably pick up the sequel when it is released.

Book Review | Queen’s Peril

Queen's Peril (Star Wars)

Queen’s Peril (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel) by E.K. Johnston

Published June 2, 2020

Ebook 352 pages

3/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

When given the opportunity to dive into the life of Queen Amidala from the Star Wars megaverse, I was very intrigued.

The Story

This story follows Padma’s life as she wins the title of Queen and begins her term serving Naboo.

(Goodreads synopsis):

When fourteen-year-old Padmé Naberrie wins the election for Queen of Naboo, she adopts the name Amidala and leaves her family to the rule from the royal palace. To keep her safe and secure, she’ll need a group of skilled handmaidens who can be her assistants, confidantes, defenders, and decoys. Each girl is selected for her particular talents, but it will be up to Padmé to unite them as a group. When Naboo is invaded by forces of the Trade Federation, Queen Amidala and her handmaidens will face the greatest test—of themselves, and of each other. 

What I liked

This story was a quick and easy read, though I will say it reads for a much younger audience than I was hoping. Somewhere around the age of 8-14 would be ideal. I deeply enjoyed the camaraderie of the women of Padme’s court. I think it is extremely important for authors to highlight solid and positive friendships between women as a whole, and this book definitely delivers on this. And while I found the story interesting for the most part, it was not enough of a story to stand on it’s own two feet. It reads much more like a novella than a true novel.

What I Did Not Like

The story lacked … story. Again, it had its moments that filled in some interesting gaps behind the scenes of the main Star Wars storyline, but it wasn’t enough. I found myself very detached from the characters for most of the story in general. And when I did care, it wasn’t for Padme, she lacked any real development and felt extremely stale. Honestly, I cared the least about Padme as a whole. Although I will say that yet again, it had its moments where I did genuinely care for the other characters.

There was a lack of emotion, a lack of action, a lack of turmoil, a lack of tension. It read like a slow moving river that never really produced any rapids to keep me hooked. I think that if this book had not been such a quick and easy read, it would have been dnf’ed.

Furthermore, the writing was simplistic and juvenile which, of course, is why it felt more middle grade than young adult.

In Conclusion 

I may or may not continue the series from here. I do not know that it really gave me enough of a look into Padme that it really became necessary. Nice story, but not enough and very simple.

 

Book Review | Dark Skies

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Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Published May 5, 2020

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

Another gorgeously written and beautifully told story by Danielle L. Jensen in this fantastical world. This book finds its voice through Lydia (who we met briefly in Dark Shores) and Killian (who you will not regret meeting in this book <3). If you enjoyed Dark Shores, you will adore the continuation of this story from this varying POV.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

What I liked

Speaking of POV, I really enjoyed how Jensen chose to tell this story. Instead of cramming all POVs into one novel, she chose to alternate between the novels themselves. I mentioned her being a “smart” writer in my review of Dark Shores, and I feel this is further evidence to that statement. I was allowed to immerse myself into a singular storyline for the length of each novel. And Storyline it is! Wow! So much action and angst and all the romance-y drama you could possibly want! Not to even mention how masterful Jensen is at spinning a twisty tale of intrigue. Once again, I had no idea what to expect, and poor Danielle had to endure me messaging her on IG to scream about the turns I did NOT SEE COMING!

Jensen has officially secured me as a fan … I will be pre-ordering the next book in this series, Gilded Serpent as soon as it is available (scheduled to release March 23, 2021). I even went out and purchased the first two books in her The Bridge Kingdom series because I cannot get enough of her writing, worlds, romance and political intrigue!

What I Did Not Like

This book was not my favorite of the two books so far … which is not to say that it wasn’t still and incredibly enjoyable adventure. This book had a bit of a lag in the middle that the first book didn’t have, and I just found myself connecting to it a little less. However, this is still an incredible read and I cannot wait for the rest of the series!

In Conclusion 

This series is fast paced and enjoyable. I would recommend it to everyone.

 

Book Review | Dark Shores

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Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Hardcover, 368 pages

Published May 7th 2019

5/5 stars

This book though!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Which is to say … I enjoyed this read immensely so. In fact, I immediately purchased a hardback copy of this book and the soon to release Dark Skies upon finishing. It’s that good.

The Story

I will only tell you that this story is not the one about pirates that perhaps you think it is … but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant and enjoyable!

(Goodreads synopsis):

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A SAILOR WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

What I liked

The writing is extremely smart. I never knew where it was going, but it all made perfect sense along the way. The politics play such an important role in this world and are extremely intricate. The story-line is detailed, easy to follow and gloriously twisty. The romance is believable and beautiful … omg my heart!!! The characters are flawed and complex, with backstories and beliefs that are interwoven throughout to make everyone feel very “real”. The magic system was easy to understand (and gets explained more in book 2). I loved it all!

In Conclusion 

This book was a delight from the very moment I picked it up. I recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for a fast paced, fun read and world!

 

Book Review | Nevernight

26114463Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff

 

Hardcover, 429 pages
Published August, 9 2016

5/5 stars

Brilliant, dear reader. This book is absolutely brilliant.

You know when there are books that are just … better. You don’t know exactly what the difference is between one book and another, but you know that this one is … more. It’s deeper, more polished. In a pocket of coppers and irons … it is gold. Nevernight is that book.

The Story

Mia has been training for vengeance her whole life. After her father’s failed rebellion, everything was taken from her. She swears to take it all … and more … back by entering a league of assassins and becoming one of them.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

What I liked

Piss and blood and gore and rebellion and history and pain and suffering and loss and friendship and love and relationships and life and death and betrayal and hurt and failure and triumph and faith and confusion and … and … and …

Everything.

And while we’re at it, I should ask … why are the best books the hardest to review?

There is nothing I did not absolutely love about this story, about this world, about the characters, about the narration … I loved it all. This book immersed me into the world. This book made me fall in love. This book made me cry, made me hate, made me scream. This book made me laugh, made me smile. And when a book can do all of that … the specifics don’t even really matter. Or rather, me listing the specifics doesn’t matter. Because you shouldn’t even be sitting here reading this review … you should be out there reading this book!

In Conclusion 

If you do not read this book, you have done yourself quite the disservice. Period.

 

Book Review | Like the First Moon Landing

Like the First Moon LandingLike the First Moon Landing by Matthew J. Metzger

EBook

Published Apil 13, 2020

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Such a beautiful LGBTQ story about identity, relationships, acceptance, struggle, questioning, confusion … all of those terrible things we all deal with, but even more so as an individual who doesn’t feel like the labels of the world quite fit who they are … and does it even really matter? Does a label matter? Should it?

Beautifully written and beautifully emotional. It reads more like a story of self and relationships, placed against the background of space and suspense, than a true sci-fi fantasy adventure.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“Stranded and injured in deep space, Maggie McLean has one chance at survival–the ship drifting off her starboard side, refusing to answer her distress calls. The ship the whole universe has been looking for.

Maggie most of all.

The Swift vanished without so much as a cry for help. There have been endless conspiracy theories, from aliens to government corruption to wormholes leading to other dimensions, but one thing was certain. She was gone, with all two hundred and thirty-six crew members on board. Including Maggie’s wife.

Maggie’s going to figure out what happened come hell or high water—but she might not like what she finds.

What I liked

I flew through this book in the series of a few hours time … and it felt like minutes. This book captured my attention from page one and never let me go.

The story was a beautiful representation. A story for anyone struggling with identity … especially those struggling with gender identity. It brings to light the various labels we find throughout the community and asks the question … are labels truly necessary? Or is it enough to just be “you” and loved for “you”? This story also brings up relationships – why we hold on to them, and when it is better that we let them go. As a whole, this is a story that makes you question and makes you think … and this world needs books that force us to do just that.

If we’re being honest, not a lot really happened, but the suspense that Metzger was able to paint across the entire setting was brilliantly done. Even with little action taking place, I was constantly on the edge of my seat, and consistently engaged.

And the writing … absolute perfection.

What I did not like

I wasn’t completely hooked on the relationship between our two characters as I felt like I could have been. That being said, it quickly grew into something that felt very honest.

In Conclusion 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was very excited to find that Metzger has plans for a second book in this series. I went into this book thinking it was going to be a stand-alone, of which it is not. Thank goodness … because when I read the final sentence of this book I audibly shouted “What? You can’t end it there!”

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy reading about the internal struggles of ones self.

 

Book Review | Until All Curses Are Lifted

49898821. sx318 sy475 Until All Curses Are Lifted by Tim Frankovich

 

Kindle Edition, 438 pages
Published August, 13 2019

2.5/5 stars

This book is a glorious winged beast leaping from the nest before it is quite ready to fly.

In short … underdeveloped.

This story was every bit of promising, every element that makes up an incredible story was present … almost. Where this book fell short was in the writing. I honestly fell like this is a problem with not enough revisions, not enough editing, and not enough people being critical with their reviews. Which is actually quite tragic … because this story, this world, these characters … are all incredible. Not to mention a unique magic system which is hard to come by in this day and age.

The Story

You have Marshal and you have Seri. Basic chosen one scenario on both ends. Mashal is cursed through no fault of his own and has a back-story that I’m sure we can all pretty early on guesstimate. Seri wants to be a mage … the first female mage … the first female master mage … but we don’t every really get much about her as to why … or as to why she was chosen as an acolyte. All of these things are just expecting the reader to accept and move on … which I do not like. But we will begin with some positives.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“The laws are enforced by magic.
If you break the law, you’re cursed.
But the rich and powerful twisted the laws to allow for… exceptions.

Marshal has been cursed since birth for his unknown father’s crimes. When he discovers he’s also heir to immense magical power, he must flee for his life. His half-brother wants the power for himself and has hired an assassin to pursue Marshal and his mother. No one has ever escaped from a curse, but it’s the only way for Marshal to be truly safe.

Seri wants to become the most powerful mage in history. But the magic that holds the world together is failing and no one knows why. While the ground itself shakes, someone begins murdering mages. In danger from all directions, Seri must learn how to use her unique abilities before everything falls apart.

Neither of them know they are being watched from another realm…

What I liked

Unique, whimsical, intriguing.

I enjoyed reading this book, although I had to turn off the critical reader parts of myself in order to do so. Surface level, this is a wonderful story. Extremely enjoyable even with all of it’s flaws. I cared about the characters … even though I felt like their stories were underdeveloped. I enjoyed this world, even though it lacked spacial descriptions to set the atmosphere.

I will say that the one thing that was not lacking was the magic system. Extremely unique and very well explained. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the story.

What I did not like

As I mentioned, this book lacked something in almost every aspect of the writing. It was doomed to be always “almost”. The dialog was not great, with much of it being unnecessary and even cringe-worth at times. The characters could have been pushed a little more, especially supporting characters, all of which fell extremely flat. Because the secondary and supporting characters were underdeveloped, the relationships between the characters felt flat as well.

I think Marshall’s side of the story was a little more successful over-all. Seri’s story had a lot of plot holes that, again, I feel could have benefited from letting this whimsical story marinate a while longer before publishing.

In Conclusion 

I enjoyed the world and the story, but I am saddened by the potential this book had and did not achieve.