Favorite Fantasy Books: The Second Half Of 2019

Time for the second half of this, you can find the first half here

Alright, let’s get these down, in no particular order.
Clicking on the picture takes you to the GoodReads Link, clicking on the title above it takes you to my review of it!

 

6. War of Mist, Book III The Oremere Chronicles

War of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles, #3)

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War is here.

Toxic mist drives all life to the brink of destruction and the conqueror queen, Ines, has her talons in the kings of the realm.

Bleak, having discovered her true heritage, must now scour the lands for the one thing that might save them all.

But the search is a treacherous one – and it will push her to the very limits of endurance.

Amidst secrets, lies and the intricacies of battle, Bleak and her companions learn just how far they’ll go for the ones they love. But will it be enough?

As deadly forces grapple for power across the continents, families, friends and allies unite to take one final stand.

Explosive revelations, heart-wrenching betrayals and breathtaking magic soar in the epic conclusion to Helen Scheuerer’s bestselling trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.

5. The Return of King Lillian

The Return of King Lillian

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The Return of King Lillian is a mythic journey tale – a metaphysical fantasy for dreamers and nonconformists of all ages.

So, why the manly moniker in tandem with the womanly name?

“The Firstborn Child of The Emperor-King Inherits the Ruling Crown, the Title of Emperor-King and All Powers Thereof.” (Item 37, The Royal Manual)

Enter Lillian, the firstborn child of said Emperor-King. Cast out of her Kingdom by malevolent forces, mysteriously waylaid by Destiny, the spirited, self-reliant Lillian sets off on an exuberant journey to find her way home and claim her birthright. As she travels through marvelous and mystical lands in search of her origins, Lillian encounters and befriends a kaleidoscopic cast of characters. Most of the tale is told by Lillian herself, as she chronicles her extraordinary adventures.

The audiobook of The Return of King Lillian is performed by the author, Suzie Plakson.

 

 

4. House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrows

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In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. 

 

 

3. Kingdom of Souls

Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls, #1)

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Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him. 

 

 

2. The Winter of the Witch

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3)

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Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

 

1. Girls of Storm and Shadow

Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)

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In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.

Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

 

War of Mist – Blog Tour

War of Mist (2019)

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Synopsis:
War is here.
Toxic mist drives all life to the brink of destruction and the conqueror queen, Ines, has her talons in the kings of the realm.
Bleak, having discovered her true heritage, must now scour the lands for the one thing that might save them all. 
But the search is a treacherous one, one that will push her to the very limits of endurance. 
Amidst secrets, lies and the intricacies of battle, Bleak and her companions learn just how far they’ll go for the ones they love. But will it be enough?
As deadly forces grapple for power across the continents; families, friends and allies unite to take one final stand.
Explosive revelations, heart-wrenching betrayals and breathtaking magic soar in the epic conclusion to Helen Scheuerer’s bestselling trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.

BOOK INFORMATION
Title: War of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication date: 15 July 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

GoodReads Link

 

Excerpt

‘If you want something done right, do it yourself,’ she muttered under her breath. Her fingers toyed with the layered necklace resting against her collarbone, a pretty gift from the infatuated king. She was fond of this piece in particular, adorned with rare jewels from lands long forgotten. It reminded her of something her mother had worn so many years before. A piece she was meant to inherit, before they’d taken her and stripped her of all her rights and belongings. The order of the high priestesses allowed no effects, no personal property, but now … now she had many things to call her own.

Below, the castle maze sprawled across the grounds, and beyond the walls and gatehouse, the whole of Ellest bent to her will. It was all hers. She had taken it easily, as was her destiny. The instinct of the magic in her veins drove her to take and take, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted to add to her kingdom, her collection. The need to do so raged within her, a demand, a drive to fill the gaping hole in her chest.

 

My Review

 

Do you remember the first time you finished a series that just swept you off your feet? For me, there were a couple that comes to mind but not recently. Suddenly though I finished this book and I realized that this was now a favorite trilogy of mine. From the first book, it had me captured. In fact, I hadn’t read any of these until the tour sign up, I read all three in less than a workweek, I could hardly put down the first two and I did put down War of Mist until I’d read it through in one very long sitting. I devoured all three books and could hardly believe that someone could write so descriptively without bogging down the world with words.

Helen has presented a lush world full of varied landscapes, cultures, and a variety of people. There is great diversity in her writing from the characters to the lands and it shows in every sentence.

In fact, to give you an idea to my reaction to this book, I was looking through my notes and the first thing I had written was; ‘Ugh, what is this book doing to me?!’ If that isn’t a sign of greatness, I don’t know what is. There’s also a note that just says ‘*internal sobbing* Beautiful, perfect…’

Not to sound too much like a screeching fangirl but this book was a perfect conclusion to such an emotionally charged trilogy.

Bleak has grown so much from the alcoholic ‘hobo’ in book one to how she ended up. [I would say more, but spoilers!] She showed so much growth in her emotional maturity to her abilities both physically and magically. In fact, I would say I wish I had more of her but considering the balance of characters in War of Mist there was no better way to do it than how Helen did. There’s multiple POVs and I loved them all.

During the whole of all three books, the characters are all amazing and all so well developed by the end, you loved and hated something about each character. Except for Dash, Olena, and Fiore, mostly because they were perfect in each and every single way. Sorry, it’s the truth.

Even the heartbreaking moments in the book were perfect and well called for and I don’t think there’s any other way to end it than how she did. A perfect ending, there were flaws, it had hope and love, and so much more.

Another thing that really struck me is that Helen handles romance perfectly, she doesn’t let it override important plot points that have nothing to do with it, and she creates a perfect balance of it.

Honestly, this review is me trying not to repeat myself on how much I freakin’ loved this book/trilogy and to hold in my pterodactyl screeches.

Bleak was probably my favorite character in the end but there was such a huge variety. A blind princess, a queen who prefers her dogs to people for company [I mean, I feel that way too], a Matriarch torn between love of all sorts and her duty, a long lost sister, and characters both worthy and unworthy of redemption, but all earning an ending befitting them.

The pacing was fantastic, and the imagery the author called forth made it feel like one was watching a movie play out as you took in the words that transported you.

The other two books and this one both received 5 Cups of Coffee from me, this was insanely good from start to finish for me.

**Thank you to Shealea/Caffeine Tours and Helen Scheurer for an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. As part of the tour I have also provided an excerpt -above-, photos, and a creative feature post below.**

 

Photos

[Expect a fancy Bookstagram Post later today]

 

Creative Feature Post: What Ability Would I have? [And Why]

We have seers, mind whisperers, travellers, collectors, and these are just a few of the abilities for those in The Oremere Chronicles.

I have to say, I totally see why Bleak drank to push down her powers, and quite frankly I’d do the same in her case, so I’ll pass on hers.

Being a seer seems too frustrating, so I’ll pass on that too. Sorry to Dash, Swinton, and Eydis.

Henri’s ability is completely amazing, but not quite what I’m looking for. I’d end up just throwing stuff all over the place…I mean not a bad thing for me but maybe for others!

You couldn’t pay me to take on Casimir’s powers haha, and Ines, well, very cool but not for me.

So what does that leave me from our cast of characters…?

I want the Tailor’s powers, I want to be a traveller. I can’t tell you how much fun I would have popping around different places and visiting friends and landmarks without a care in the world!

However, if I could pick any ability and thrust myself into Helen’s world, I would probably take on the power of making things grow.

Hear me out.

Someone comes at you with a stabby thing, you freeze them on the spot by growing ivy to root them in place -like my pun?- or have it wrap around the sword. Effect AND aesthetic. And it would work on most of the continents which is a plus, can’t say I’d be able to thrive much in Eydis’s court!

Brilliant.

I know.

But what about you all? What ability would you want from the book or in general?

 

About the Author

Author (Helen Scheuerer)

Bio:
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, Helen Scheuerer was inspired to return to her childhood love of fantasy thanks to novels like Throne of Glass, The Queen’s Poisoner, and The Queen of the Tearling.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online learning platform for emerging writers. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press, with Helen overseeing the production and publication of three creative writing anthologies. It’s now one of the largest writing websites in the world.
Helen now lives by the mountains of New Zealand and writes full time. She has many more books planned for the future.

Author Links

Website/Newsletter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

 

Twitter Chat

Invite (War of Mist)

There’s going to be a Twitter Chat on July 20, 9AM EST/9PM PHT #WarOfMist #CBTTC

I’d love to see you all there because I’m most certainly going to be attending!

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Prize: Audiobook copies of War of Mist and Reign of Mist (one winner only, INTL)

Link to Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

Schedule (War of Mist)