Kingdom of Souls eARC Review

 

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GoodReads:
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.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US 
[Affiliated Links: You will not be charged, I will receive a bit of money if you use my link to purchase]

My Review

This is hands down one of the best YA fantasy books I have EVER read. Barron’s writing is superb, her worldbuilding engaging and the pacing was perfect. Honestly, there is little to no complaint out of me other than I wanted more haha [and let’s face it, that’s a pretty common complaint from me].

The magic system is out of this world, I mean, it’s not born or earned, it’s given and it’s not even necessarily a good thing depending on the situation. Though in Arrah’s case, it’s something she wants and yearns for. Still, it’s such a great change of pace to the things we’ve gotten used to seeing in magic systems.

Arrah is such a wonderful protagonist and the side characters are so easy to love [or hate depending on which side of the plot they’re on] and I think I could never get enough of the relationship between Arrah and her Father. So often we find not enough positive parental relationships in YA but Barron gives you the good and the bad and Arrah’s father and grandmother are two of my ultimate favorite characters in this book.

I really want to focus on Arrah and her Father though. There is not enough YA with healthy parental relationships, like not even anything outstanding, just HEALTHY. So the fact that Barron used this as an opportunity to show both sides of parental relationships the amazing on both ends of the spectrum, speaks VOLUMES. Arrah and her Father are close, there is a deep sense of trust and love and the affection is so blatant from her father that it made me teary-eyed several times. His love is what I hope Fathers show their children more often than not and it’s a great balance to strike against the relationship Arrah has with her Mother. [Who still loves her in her very misguided way]

There is so much love in this book, between friends, including Rudjek, between Arrah and her father, and her grandmother, and it makes all the difference when you read this story.

Arrah’s strength is in her love for those close to her, and she comes to realize that it’s a strength, that even if she hadn’t been gifted magic like those around her, she still has something to fight for and the spirit to do so. Not to mention there are some great twists and crazy obstacles that she faces.

If you want lore that’s drenched in the wonders of different African-inspired tribes and cultures with a kickass magic system, heartache, love, and perseverance, well, I present Kingdom of Souls.

** I preordered this in February, and I even was lucky enough to get the Goldsboro edition, but for this review, I used the eARC that HarperVoyager UK gifted me, via NetGalley **

[I could sincerely gush about this all day and feel so lucky to have had a chance to read an eARC of it….But…if you have a physical ARC and wanna talk trades or something, hit me up, please, that is high on my wishlist lol.]

 

About the Author

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes. She’s a self-proclaimed space nerd. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Author Links

Website| GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram

Kingdom of Souls Site

^^ This site is AMAZING and has so many cool extras ^^

Cover Reveal: Windborn by Mary Fan

It’s cover reveal day for Windborn (Fated Stars, #1) by Mary Fan! This sweeping YA fantasy will be released on February 11, 2020 by Snowy Wings Publishing. An epic adventure across an enchanted fantasyland, this story follows air nymph Kiri on her desperate journey to escape from dark magicians. The cover painting was done by Anne Drury, with titles by Story Wrappers.

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DESCRIPTION

The Age of Fire is coming. It’s written in the stars.

Trapped by dark magicians, the air nymph Kiri is running out of time. Like the rest of her kind, she’s bound to her homeland, and if she doesn’t return in seven days, she’ll die. Her only hope is in the magicians’ young apprentice, Darien, whose fierce gaze belies a kind heart. Despite her warnings, he helps her escape, and Kiri soon finds herself fleeing from relentless pursuers who will stop at nothing to recapture her and kill the boy who dared defy them.

With the magicians hot on their trail, Kiri and Darien embark on a treacherous journey through dangerous lands. But she soon learns that there’s more at stake than her own life. An ancient evil is stirring, one foretold to consume the world with fire. And Darien is at the center of it—though how, she doesn’t know.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on her life, and unless she can make it back to her land, she won’t live long enough to unravel the dark puzzles surrounding the intriguing, secretive young man—or stop the monstrous force bent on destroying everything.

Goodreads Link

 

And here is the full wrap for the hardcover:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Mary Fan is a YA and sci-fi/fantasy author based in New Jersey. Her books include Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon (YA steampunk fantasy, Page Street Publishing), the Starswept trilogy (YA sci-fi, Snowy Wings Publishing), the Flynn Nightsider series (YA dark fantasy, Crazy 8 Press), and the Jane Colt trilogy (a space adventure series from Red Adept Publishing comprising Artificial AbsolutesSynthetic Illusions, and Virtual Shadows). In addition, she is the co-editor of the Brave New Girls YA sci-fi anthologies about girls in STEM, which aim to encourage girls to explore STEM fields and raise money for the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.

When she’s not writing, she can usually be found at choir rehearsal, at the kickboxing gym, or falling off a flying trapeze.

Author Links

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Realm of Knights – Blog Tour

Realm

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Synopsis:
Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.
In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.
Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.
To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.

Book Information:
Realm of Knights
by Jennifer Anne Davis
Publication date: September 10th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Where to Buy

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

My Review

I knew I was going to like this book, but I was wrong. I ended up loving this book, I underestimated how much I would enjoy this and that makes me so happy.

Davis is plot and character driven, her world building is easily worked in but not the focus, and it works well, she’s slowly peeling back the layers of her world as you experience them through Reid’s discoveries of the land.

I am a sucker for girls dressing up as boys trope and this delivered in spades, not to mention it had a unique twist to it. Reid isn’t doing it to defy her father, she’s doing it at his request.

Of course even the most carefully laid plans can backfire and once someone has discovered the secret, that The Duke’s heir, Reid, isn’t a he but a she, well it seems that the act is up.

But, what is the price of the secret?

This is where it gets amazingly interesting and I don’t want to give anything away but expect some really cool things to happen.

There’s political intrigue, a hint of romance, a mysterious other county, and the ever present thought; ‘who is telling the the truth and who is lying?’

Reid has to keep her guard up as she wonders this question the deeper she gets thrown into the political side of things and at the end of the book, she’s left with quite the unexpected path for her.

Seriously, I thought maybe that ending could happen but doubted it and then I was lulled into a false sense of security and then boom. And now I’m left with questions that have to wait until December to be answered.

It’s a great start to a new YA series, it has all the elements I enjoyed and I thought Reid was a fun protagonist. She seemed to have some seriously logical thoughts which cracked me up, such as ‘why did I decide to swim naked?’

Do you like YA Fantasy? Do you like royal politics and girls disguising as men? What about swoon worthy princes and princesses? If you do, you will probably like this book.

The pacing is great, the characters are fun, and I loved the trope(s) that were used, so it was just a win for me all across the board.

I CANNOT wait to read book 2.

This was five cups of coffee for me, I just enjoyed it so much.

About the Author

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Jennifer Anne Davis graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. She is currently a full-time writer.
Awards:
Cage of Deceit: Winner 2018 Kindle Book Awards
The Key: Finalist 2014 USA Book Awards 
The Voice: Finalist 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
The Voice: Winner 2013 San Diego Book Awards

Author Links

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway

INTL: Win a $100.00 Amazon Giftcard
Click on the link here to enter on the Rafflecopter site

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

Click on the picture to be taken to the full tour schedule!

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Tour Host:

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Thanks to Xpresso Book tours and the pub/author for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Tiger Queen – Blog Tour

 

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Synopsis:
From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”
In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.
But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Book Information:
By: Annie Sullivan
Publisher: BLINK
Release date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance

Book Links

GoodReads | Amazon US | Barnes&Noble | Book Depository

 

My Review

Reading the synopsis, I was like ‘all the yes’ a princess who battles her suitors in the arena? I mean it sounds pretty cool on that alone, but this book turned out to be so much more than just battling against suitors.

First of all battling the suitors showed that she was strong enough to lead on her own, to pick her own suitor, if she could beat them all for one year until her birthday is super cool.

Secondly, it wasn’t just about the fights.

This is a desert kingdom that has been through a drought and has strict water restrictions in place. What doesn’t help is the fact that so called Desert Boys are stealing the water from the citizens.

Kateri is determined to stop them, she promised her mother that she would take care of their people, but finding the leader of the Desert Boys is harder than anyone anticipated. In order to prove herself, she’s going to need help in battling her last opponent, but in order to defeat him, she may have to ally against another enemy.

Again, loved the premise of this! This is a awesome twist to ‘The Lady or the Tiger’ in my opinion.

Not only that but as tough as Kateri thinks she is, she has so much to learn and she is humble about it and I love that about her. I also love her misplaced love of her kingdom and people.

There’s a nice rich world built by Sullivan and the creatures in this desert kingdom were so much fun to read about. I would have to say as far as characters go, though I loved Kateri, I think I had the biggest soft spot for some of the Desert Boys.

The ending was supremely satisfying for me and though I wish I would have seen more of the king, to know more about his ambitions and workings, I was happy enough with the way this was. A nice full story, no loose ends and did I mention a warrior princess who is a sheltered cinnamon roll outside the arena?

Anyway, this is definitely four cups of coffee from me and I CANNOT wait to get my hands on my hardcopy preorder.

[Speaking of, if you look on my bookstagram later, you’ll see my awesome preorder swag from Sullivan]

Thank you to the publishers  and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for a chance to read and honestly review this, and not to mention joining in on the tour!

 

Favorite Quotes

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[Reminder: These quotes were taken from my eARC copy and so may not be the same in the final copy!]

 

About the Author

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Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway

Prize: Tiger Queen poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
Starts: 9/4/19 | Ends:  9/13/19
Click Here for Giveaway Link

 

The Rest of the Tour

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[Click on picture to be taken to the tour’s schedule]

 

The Girl The Sea Gave Back

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Synopsis:
“But what did these warriors know about fate?
It was the curling, wild vine that choked out the summer crops. It was the wind that bent wayward currents and damned innocent souls to the deep. They hadnt’ seen th stretch of it or the way it could shift suddenly, lik a flock of startled birds. Fate’s hand was something they said because they didn’t understand it.
That’s what I was for.
Set ten years later int he same vividly imagined world of Sky in the Deep and featuring an adult Halvard, The Girl the Sea Gave Back promises to be a refreshingly new, yet familiar addition to the captivating series.
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast, the rune stones and see into the future. Tova has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect ther newfound power? And when their chieftan looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again – a home.

Book Information:
Written By: Adrienne Young
Published by: Titan Books [UK]
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook
Price: £8.99
9781789091298|320 PP

My Review

I think this book is so different than its predecessor, as in that it feels like it’s there for the pure love of prose and I am completely there for that. This is set in the same world as Sky in the Deep but ten years later. This means the world has already been set up in a large fashion. Still though, Young makes it easy for someone who hasn’t read her previous novel to dive right in. [Pun intended]

Tova is a character who has always been on the outside looking in of the people around her. We’re allowed to dive deep into her mind and insecurities while we are also shown Halvard, switching between the two all the while being tugged along by this almost mystical connection that seems to lay between them.

The battle scenes were some of my favorites and Young has a true talent for writing them.

While the story switches between Tova and Halvard, it was truly Tova’s story in my mind, the girl that washed up in a burnt-out funeral pyre. She constantly shows an inner strength despite the self-doubt and insecurities and that made her feel so real and I loved her for it. [I do have to admit though, haha, Gunther was actually my favorite character.]

I would have liked to explore Halvard as he has aged ten years since the last book but I did appreciate that the focus was on Tova’s story that just happened to revolve around him in its own way. You did feel his motivation and the love he had for his. family and that was quite poignant.

Halvard is a strong warrior but he’s also someone who still observes and listens and that was his true strength, especially in his connection to Tova.

Lost in a world that is not her own, but unable to remember her own, Tova has dealt with the hand she assumed life had dealt her, living a parallel life to a clan that resents and fears her, not knowing the true love of family, and yet still retaining a heart capable of empathy and kindness.

Though Tova is a Truthtongue, she has weaknesses and other strengths and the fact that Young explores so much of Tova in so little time is pretty impressive.

This was a slower-paced novel with fates intertwined through the power of rune stones though Tova tries to make sense of it all.  Despite the fact she can read the stones, the future is never clear.

Four cups of coffee from me!

Thank you to  Sarah Mather/Titan Books for a copy of this for me to honestly review!

 

 

About the Author

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun. Adrienne is the author of the New York Times bestseller Sky in the Deep and the forthcoming The Girl the Sea Gave Back.

 

August Rewind

 

My August Reads

 

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^^I had so many problems with this book, it’s just not for me^^

 

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^^Another one that wasn’t for me but this wasn’t problematic like Never Have I Ever ^^

 

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^^Review to come^^

 

^^Review to Come^^

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^^ Review to come ^^

 

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^^Review to Come^^

 

 

^^Review to Come^^

 

Favorite Posts from around the book blogger-verse

 

Isabelle @ Bookwyrm Bites: How I Created My Custom Rating System

Sam @ Fictionally Sam: Why Do You Read?

Michelle @ Michelle Likes Things: Why I Banned Myself From Requesting ARCs

Ruby @ Ruby’s Books: Wednesday Chatter: Musings About ARCs And ARC Bans

Kal @ Reader Voracious: Chased By A Flock of Seagulls

Clo @ Book Dragons: 2 Year Blogoversary! (ft. My Favourite Posts)

Susan @ Novel Lives: His Hideous Heart Editor, Dahlia Adler Discusses Reimagining Of Classic Literature With Marginalized Narrators, Conquering Her Fears As An Editor And Future Projects In A Blog Tour Interview -Releases 9/10 via Flatiron Books

 

What I’ve Posted

Charity Shop Finds!

Content/Trigger Warnings

Descended Author Interview: Amanda L. Almaraz

Ed Bookfest Day 1

Ed BookFest Day 2

Ed Book Fest Day 3

Harley in the Sky Cover Art

My First Book Box/Unboxing!! [Fairyloot August Spoilers]

The Tag of Rage and Sorrow

Favorite SciFi Books: The First Half Of 2019

Thriller Thursday

 

Again, I was so so so honored to have been nominated in the Book Blogger Awards, but a HUGE congrats to the winners and of course the other nominees!

Edinburgh’s [International] Book Festival was great, and I would really like to go to again next year, so fingers crossed!

I’m trying to work out train fare for the Jay Kristoff event in Glasgow next week but if I can’t go, well, I’ll just give my ticket to someone who can!

Still waiting on our house, we may get it before I turn 31, but since that’s in October…I mean, maybe not, maybe by the time I’m 40. *Insert a lot of cursing in various langauges here* But I am still hopeful about moving!

So this month I got to see Holly Black for the first time, along with Joanne Harris and Alexander McCall Smith and saw Samantha Shannon a second time!

Also! I got my first two books from Orbit Books UK and I feel so special!!!!! AND

If you all notice, I really love Canongate Books, they’re one of my favorite publishers and they made me their August Blogger of the month!

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Station Fosaan – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
Scientists and their families stationed on the remote planet of Fosaan were promised a tropical vacation-like experience. But Fosaan, devastated from an apocalyptic event nearly 300 years ago, is full of lethal predators and dangerous terrain. Earthers are forbidden to go beyond the safety zone of their settlement and must not engage the remaining reclusive Fosaanians, native to the planet. 16-year-old Quinn Neen is about to do both of those things.
During an unsanctioned exploration of the planet, Quinn discovers a Fosaanian girl named Mira stealing food from his family’s living unit. But before he can convince her to show him around, scientists are taken captive, leaving Quinn and the other young Earthers at the mercy of space raiders.
Quinn must go from renegade to leader and convince Mira to become an ally in a fight against an enemy whose very existence threatens their lives and the future of Earthers stuck on Fosaan and at home.

Book Information:
Title: Station Fosaan
Author: Dee Garretson
Publication Date: February 14th, 2017
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Space Opera/ Post-Apocalypse
GoodReads Link

Where to Buy

Amazon US | Barnes&Noble | Indiebound

 

My Review

I love when I’m pleasantly surprised by a book and Station Fosaan did that for me! Don’t get me wrong, I did pick this book to be on the tour for, but it’d been so long I wondered if I was going to want to read it just as much as I had the first time I read the blurb.

I did.

And.

It was such an enjoyable read! Quinn was a sixteen-year-old who loved science and when faced with a pretty girl who just appears in his house, Mira, he’s a bit taken with her. What I love though is that it’s not ‘insta-love’ he’s a boy curious about the native girl in his kitchen, and he develops a crush. It’s sweet, and it’s natural feeling the way Garretson wrote it. Since the tale is from his point of view in first person, the crush is quite one-sided as he has no idea what she’s feeling or thinking and again I really appreciated that. Also, he’s not completely stuck on her, which when faced with some dangerous moments. I like that Garretson had Quinn preoccupied with keeping safe versus ‘mooning’ over Mira.

Mira is fascinating and I can’t wait to find out more about her. This is the first tale in the Torch World Series and the ending leaves you wanting to jump right into the next one.

The planet is fascinating and I loved to dislike Ansun, but on the same token, I was completely on board for learning as much as I could about the natives of the planet and not just them but the natural wildlife and the history, I wanted more.

Overall a really solid start to this YA Sci-Fi/Space Opera series, I’ve already gotten the prequel and the second book in the series off Amazon and plan to go jump into the series again!

Thank you to Reeds&Reels for a chance to read and review this in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.

 

About the Author

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Dee writes middle grade, young adult and adult fiction under her own name and also writes for the Boxcar Children series under the original author’s name. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family in a book-cluttered house surrounded by a semi-wild garden. Her two cats Piper and Poppy are her writing companions and the stars of Skype visits with book clubs. When Dee is not writing or reading, she is most likely watching old movies, cooking treats to go along with book reading or trying to learn to make jewelry.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Giveaway!

Giveaway GoodiesA paperback copy, a key chain/backpack clip and a signed bookmark.  *North America Only*

Click Here or on the Pic to be directed to Rafflecopter for the Giveaway

 

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This blog tour was organized by R&R Book Tours

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