The Gilded King – Blog Tour

 

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Synopsis:
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

[Psssst, atm it’s free to get!]

 

My Review

Yay for a cool vampire story, it’s so rare for me to really get to enjoy vampire stories these days. Not for a lack of cool vampire stories, but because it’s hard to sift through the endless options of vampire books.

Not to mention this is a post-apocalyptic setting where vampires rule, and, they’re old enough to make ‘Interview with the Vampire’ jokes.

I love how mysterious the backstory of the world is in this book. There are prequels, but I think they aren’t necessary to read as Jaffrey does a pretty good job of setting up the world on her own. The story switches between Cameron and Julia’s POVs which is fun because they’re doing two completely different things, so it’s not just rehashing what you just read, though sometimes I wanted to shake my fist at Jaffrey because she’d just leave you hanging some chapters. *Glares* I see what you did there, Author.

There are these really awesome and terrifying things called Weepers, I won’t say what they are exactly to avoid spoilers, but another cool take on a monster.

Because of the almost two different stories, I found myself so intrigued and always wanting to know more, but, Jaffrey is clever and you can see the threads of the stories are interwoven even if Cameron and Julia aren’t tied to each other, there are events that they’re both connected to.

There’s love but it’s not overwhelming and there’s a good cast of characters, and I hope we get to know more about them in the next book(s), not to mention the way it’s left off, you just want to immediately jump into book 2!

Well-paced, fun characters, m/m flirting to make you go ‘awwwwwww,’ cool vampires, and political intrigue, plotting, and shenanigans.

Bring on book 2!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to WriteReads and Josie Jaffrey for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of the tour! Four cups of coffee from me!

About the Author

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I live in Oxford, UK, with my husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for me to wear black, which is largely why I gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, I still miss my old wardrobe.

Author Links

Website | Patreon | Twitter

 

The Tour

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Bloodlust & Bonnets Blog Tour

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The Year is 1820, and bored young debutante Lucy knows there must be more to life than embroidery and engagements – no matter how eligible the bachelore might be. Some bechelors, she has discovered, are less ‘eligible’ than they are ‘bloodthirsty,’ however…literally. It turns out that there are a lot of vampires in latje-Regency England, and Lucy has an eye for spotting them and the desire to rid the world of them.
It’s not long before Lady Violet Travesty, leader of a mysterious vampire cult, spots Lucy’s talents and offers her a place amongst her vampire acolytes. Unfortunately, lady Violet is most horribly slain by the famous Lord Byron before Lucy can accept. Lucy instead joins Lord Byron and his enormous, psychic eagle Napoleon in their ongoing fight against evils such as bloodsucking ghouls and bad taste. Before long they’re joind by the mysterious Sham, an androgynous bounty hunter, who catches Lucy’s eye. The trio lie, flirt, fight and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.
A balm for the soul for readers who love Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, novels by Eloisa James and Jane Austen, and the action and adventure of Xena, Warrior Princess, Bloodlust & Bonnets is the most modern action-heavy love-story set two hundred years ago that you’ll read this year.

Book Information:
By: Emily McGovern
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Format: Trade Paperback
Price: £14.99
ISBN: 9781471178955
GoodReads

 

My Review

Do you enjoy dramatic walks in the park? Reading the poetry of Lord Byron and scoffing at Walter Scott? Historical fiction with vampire hunting and endless adventure? What about amazingly funny and witty humour?

This may be the graphic novel for you.

Lucy finds herself being approached by the vampire Lady Travesty and before she can consider the woman’s offer, Lord Byron takes care of Lady Travesty with his sword.

They run off together to start a string of adventures in their pursuit of Lady Travesty, to vanquish her…of course.

Along the way they meet and interact with some hilarious characters, BB, Walter Scott, a quadrille society. You heard me.

But the best character they interact with along the way is Sham, the androgynous and mysterious third to their newly made trio as Sham is also seeking out Lady Travesty.

Are there sparks between Sham and Lucy? They do both reach for the same piece of bread after all.

Guys, there is even a psychic eagle named Napoleon who speaks French and honestly, he is the one I can connect with most bahaha. He’s hysterical and seems to be going through a bit of a mid-life/existential crisis. [To be fair, if I had to be Lord Byron’s loyal animal sidekick, I might also be acting that way.]

Also, Lord Byron lives in a magical castle who though capable of speaking, seems to enjoy carrying its own schedule and doing as it pleases, always mysteriously gone when they need its answers most.

I was cackling [as Slytherins tend to do] through this so much. It is a longer graphic novel at around 200 pages but it kept me chuckling cackling the whole time. I loved how ridiculous their plights were and the villains were appropriately hilarious and gifted with bad timing, well, to be fair the bad timing was more on Lord Byron’s part.

Funny, great queer rep, and with vampires and poetic rivals Byron and Scott, I really truly enjoyed this. The colours are brilliant and I really love the art/comic style that is used.

Already a huge fan of McGovern’s ‘My Life As A Background Slytherin’ I knew that I needed to read this, something different but still full of her wonderful sense of humour and the art that has become so easily recognizably McGovern’s.

Four and a half cups of coffee from me, and I can’t wait to read what McGovern comes out with next.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Simon&Schuster for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review. Expect this to continue tomorrow as part of Darkroom Tours as well.

 

About the Author

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Emily was born in the UK but grew up in Brussels, where she attended the European School of Brussels II. After graduating, she began a Foundation Art Diploma course at London College of Fashion. She studiously avoided any fashion, and instead spent her timemaking hand-drawn animations and weird paintings of witches.
She began a BA degree in Russion Studies at the University College Lonon and spent a year in Russia working in a rural commune, where she ran a weekly art “gathering” for the kids. The year abroad allowed her to go to many Russian art galleries, which were a revelation to her – artists such as Vereshchagin and Vasnetsov she found influenced her greatly.
She graduated with First Class Honours and by 2016 was uilding a comic driven social media platform based around the regular posting of her ‘My Life as a Background Slytherin’ comic. Emily’s instagram account @emilyscartoons has over 135K followers. Bloodlust & Bonnets is her first graphic novel.

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Droknina eARC Review

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GoodReads Blurb:
As the consort of the Prince of the Vampiri, Saphrona resolves not to lose her identity in Gideon’s shadowy world. Though she feels ever more drawn to him and sympathizes with his people’s struggle to emulate human compassion, she refuses to allow anything to threaten her autonomy. 

Gideon longs for Saphrona’s love, but he is reluctant to reveal the full reality of their new relationship, for fear it will drive an irrevocable wedge between them before he has a chance to win her heart. When Saphrona discovers his omission, it shatters her trust in him. 

Heartbroken, Gideon risks self-destruction to prove to Saphrona that her free will is sacred to him. Even as his gamble leads to a revelation that will bring them forever closer, the consequences of such a risk set the Followers on the path of war with Antonia and tragic betrayal in House Bloodstone.

Content Transparency Statement
1. This is hate-free fiction.
2. The Garden of Night Series contains:
(a) PG-13 rated sensuality
(b) R-rated violence
(c) Vampire characters. Some of them fall in love with humans. There will be talk of blood and biting one another.
Like Vampire stories?
Want an interesting vampire one set in a new world and is more like a Fantasy novel?
Like slow burning romances that make you ship harder?
How about a book where the female protagonist is a freakin sculptor and has a really strong personal/guild moral code she sticks to?
Cool beans. Let me drop Ghondatha at ya.
I was really unbelievably pleased with Ghondatha.

^ Staring my review for the sequel to Ghondatha in much the same way, so just leaving that there to entice you to read the first book’s review.

Droknina picks up where Ghondatha left off and it’s great, if you have the ability to just go from one to two, I would. The books aren’t very long and Ayres packs so much into these books and she paces them brilliantly. Her world building set the stage in book one and now she can focus on giving us more about the vampires, their plots, and their humans.

Ayres just enhances everything I loved in Ghondatha and this book was probably one of my favorite May reads so far.

Saphrona is still strong, but she is is no longer arming her heart to the teeth.

Gideon is the same little cinnamon roll, but we get to see more of his kind ways and the depth of his feelings for Saphrona.

We also get to see more of his ten (think of it as his royal council) and more of Bradley and Sheena which is great.

The story Ayres is weaving for us is intricate and layered, this is about the past and present, with a hope for the future.

I particularly enjoyed the Ferals in this book, and Saphrona’s kindness really just captured my whole admiration.

Sheena’s storyline is probably my favorite, but, I won’t say more, #nospoilers.

Antonia is badder than ever, and pushing her powers to the limit while all the while keeping her goal, Gideon, in mind.

Gideon and his followers want nothing more than to reclaim their humanity, to feel their hearts again but Antonia is pulling out all the stops to make sure Gideon is restored to his former ‘glory’ and under her influence once more.

The stakes are high and this is building up to be what I feel will be an intense third book and I can’t wait.

Pros:
– Strong female, and she has a heart of gold and sticks to her guns.
– Sheena really got the spotlight and I loved it.
– Complex relationship between humans and vampires that consort them, but we get into different issues in this book.
– The shared memories were amazing
– The book is short but it feels nice and full, and in fact you’ll want to dive right into the next book.
– Sheena and Bradley are still showing the different ways in which humans can be affected.
– I didn’t not see the few plot twists, they were brilliant.
– We got to see more Antonia just like I wanted AND more Qyva as I had hoped!

Cons:
– Still want more Leigh
– I really would have loved more Qyva but I don’t know, there could be more in book three, but I may just be greedy at this point lol.
– People may be put off by the fact that it has vampires in it.
– Pacing could feel too fast, but this series is meant to be exactly how it is, so, may not be for everyone.
– I would have loved a bit more time for Leigh and Saphrona to just reflect on their new lives but I did understand the shift from them to Saphrona and Gideon

Any Vampire book recs for me? Have you read Ayres books?

 

Toodles!

 

WWW Wednesday

I know. It’s Sunday, but this isn’t my fault for once, things came up, today’s post is scratched, so I give you this and wonder why I’m not better prepared for the unexpected.

So.

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

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What Are You Currently Reading?

GoodReads Blurb: 

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 PIRATE 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.

I read 50% in like two small sittings, I’m finding it a really fun read and it comes out on the 7th in the US! (In the UK we’ll be waiting until June 1st!) I’m loving the mix of Roman soldiers and pirates so far the blurb is true to its word and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m hoping to finish this later tonight.

 

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

 

GoodReads Blurb:

Being one of the most formidable archangels with the power to end the world doesn’t serve you well if you don’t know how to use it.

Thrown into a battle of courts and factions, tangled in a web of intrigues and palatial games, naïve Ariel is surrounded by powerful angels, chasing their own agendas.

There’s no one she can trust. Everyone stands to gain something from her death.

To avoid the bloody battle that Baza brought to her door at Uras, Ariel retreats back to Apkallu (Earth) to find her sister, but the Heavenly battles and intrigues she flees follow her, as Baza’s immense hold on Apkallu forces Ariel and Rafe to make uncomfortable choices.

Ariel’s fight for survival is far from over and it looks like it’s going to be a deadly one. 

Tuesday is my day for the tour for this book so you’ll have to wait until then to hear my thoughts. I read its predecessor Heavenward as well and plan on giving my thoughts on it in the tour post. A solid series for something quick and enjoyable with pretty decent pacing!

 

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

GoodReads Blurb: 

As the consort of the Prince of the Vampiri, Saphrona resolves not to lose her identity in Gideon’s shadowy world. Though she feels ever more drawn to him and sympathizes with his people’s struggle to emulate human compassion, she refuses to allow anything to threaten her autonomy. 

Gideon longs for Saphrona’s love, but he is reluctant to reveal the full reality of their new relationship, for fear it will drive an irrevocable wedge between them before he has a chance to win her heart. When Saphrona discovers his omission, it shatters her trust in him. 

Heartbroken, Gideon risks self-destruction to prove to Saphrona that her free will is sacred to him. Even as his gamble leads to a revelation that will bring them forever closer, the consequences of such a risk set the Followers on the path of war with Antonia and tragic betrayal in House Bloodstone.

I finally get to read book 2 of this trilogy by the talented Emery Ayres! I’ve been itching to get to it but wanted to get some other May reads done first.

I guess you could say I’m in a mini slump, but it’s not so much because I’ve lost interest rather than we’ve been super busy. I’m not too worried about it…yet…I also think that a couple of months of a scheduled TBR was okay but I can’t handle it all the time so I’ll be going a bit rogue this month aside form the books I’m reading for blog tours!

Toodles!

 

My Top 5 Vampire Novel Picks

I’m going to be so very totally honest here.

I don’t read a lot of Vampire books. I mean I’ve read more than 5, but, but less than like 15.

So, this was an interesting one to do, but I felt I ought to in light of Ghondatha, and just how much I enjoyed it!

5. Millenium Snow, Vol. 1


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GoodReads Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won’t live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years.

Chiyuki makes the most of the time she has left, even though things aren’t that exciting–until she comes across a reluctant vampire late one chilly night. Can Chiyuki teach Touya to feel a passion for life, even as her own is ending?”

So, there are originally 2 volumes but they were incomplete and I’ve only found out today that she finished the other 2 volumes, so guess what got added to my reading list lol. Anyway, I love shojo manga and I think this one was just super cute. As I only read the first volume, that’s all that goes on my list! Again, I just thought this one was cute and sweet so, here we go, it made my list.

4. Interview with the Vampire


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GoodReads Blurb: This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.
[source: annerice.com]

I had to add this one to the list! Now there are definitely better-written novels out there but nothing beat the enjoyment I got out of reading this. I eventually hope to read the others in the series but I can’t say Vampire novels are my favorite so I don’t really rush them, I know I’ll get there in the end! [I’m also a sucker for this movie, and you know what, unashamedly I liked Queen of the Damned, so, you know, pfffft I’m allowed to have my questionable movie picks!]

3. Ghondatha


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GoodReads Blurb: 

The power to love.

The power to heed your own voice.

The power to hope in a world of blood and shadow.

Yesterday morning, most of Saphrona Melioska’s family was executed. Today, at dawn, she and her brother’s widow would have followed them to the block. But something changed.

Saphrona doesn’t know who paid for their sentence to be commuted, but by that act of kindness, she and her hearth sister are exiled to the remote island of Ghondatha, where Saphrona’s only relatives live.

She has nothing to take with her but the legacy of ten generations of master sculptors, a family name beloved in the world of Art, and her own credo: there is goodness and beauty in everything.

Upon their arrival at Ghondatha, however, Saphrona and Leigh find that even ageless Ghondatha is not what it once was. The island has a new liege-lord, a nobleman from the lavish Amkadan Empire, with deep pockets and extravagant ideas about progress.

All Lord Gideon Bloodstone requires is that the villagers obey three laws: no one may leave the island; all who are invited to his nightly masquerades must attend; and those who are not invited must mind the curfew and stay home.

Who is this man who has stolen the last familiar piece of life Saphrona has left in the world?

Someone who will change forever how she defines that which is good and beautiful.

Content Transparency Statement

1. This is hate-free fiction.

2. The Garden of Night Series contains:

(a) PG-13 rated sensuality

(b) R-rated violence

(c) Vampire characters. Some of them fall in love with humans. There will be talk of blood and biting one another.

I’d like to go on and on and on about this one, because if you’ve read my review you know I was so pleased with this read. I love it because it’s vampires with two different camps/mindsets. The Ferals and The Followers, and I love how unique Ayres has made her story, so, this was probably my best vampire read in a looooong time. If you haven’t read my review, click here.

2. The Den of Shadows Quartet


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GoodReads Blurb (From first book only): By day, Risika sleeps in shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone.

But someone is following Risika. He has left her a black rose, the same sort of rose that sealed her fate three hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago Risika had a family- a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human.
Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. But her past has come back to torment her.

I only took the GR Blurb from the first one because the Quartet blurb was like one sentence lol. Okay, so, I need peeps to hear me out on this one. This was the first vampire book I ever read and I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be impressed by it because when Atwater-Rhodes wrote this book she was… drumroll, please!

Thirteen.

That’s right, you read that right, 13. So when I read it when I was about 11/12, I was floored. Reading it now would I write it 5 cups? I’m not sure. But I probably would because I’ll never get over the fact of her age. Also for sentimental reasons I am really very fond of Atwater-Rhodes in general, what I didn’t know however is the Den of Shadows books are now beyond a quartet, looks like I’ll be adding more books to my reading list.

1. Dracula

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GoodReads Blurb: When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing – Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Uhhhhhh how could I not??

Like

How could I not? It still has to be number one on my list it’s the real MVP of Vampire novels, even if you don’t like it, I still like to think without it, we wouldn’t have some really kick-ass vampire books/movies/tv shows that we have today. [And we wouldn’t have Van Helsing, which, uh, I love Van Helsing] It’s not a read for everyone and if you’re like ‘nah, it’s totally boring’ that’s okay, you chuck it to the side. I will probably always have a soft spot for it though and can’t wait to give it a reread when October rolls around because that’s the sort of person I am lol.

So that’s my top 5 list, but, I’d love to hear what your fave Vampire picks are, and any recs you may have! Cause who doesn’t need to add a few more books to their TBR?!

[Sidenote: I have indeed read The Twilight series but I think aside from Den of Shadows it’s the only Vampire series I’ve read.]