The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia, #1) by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Blood
Rating: 4.7 Stars
Succeeding Book: The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia, #2)

Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.

Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.

Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.

Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.

Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you, Rend you, tear you, kill you dead.

I started this book thinking that it might be a typical YA fantasy. Where the lead female and male characters love each other and save the world kind of YA. Well, I surely was mistaken, this story is definitely Delaina of Greytree’s and no one else. I like how the author inserted scenes that showed that women have the freedom to pursue their sexuality if you’re all for woman empowerment this is for you. Renthia’s countries are ruled by Queens, chosen by the spirits from a number of heirs and female because they have the affinity to control them. I thought that Deleina would be the typical powerful girl from the woods or some not expect origin who actually has immense power, but no, if anything Deleina’s power doesn’t fit with what the society of Aratay deem as strong and powerful. To them, she’s just so-so, but Delaina’s no wimp. This is what I like about the lead character, she’s relatable in a way she wasn’t born with this huge secret power and that no one thinks she can do it but she struggles, improvises and looks for a way for her to pass and succeed; and in the end that is what saves her.
It’s a fast read, there’s no dragging moments but not much world building but maybe in the next book?

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman

Image result for scythe neal shustermanScythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
By: Neal Shusterman
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Succeeding Book:  Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we ever lose that.”

I read the book because I’m Fascinated by Death and have always wondered what it would feel like to be the Angel of Death. Scythes are different they’re humans task in “gleaning” people in a future where we’ve conquered death, no one is poor or hungry basically, comfort was a given. I expected the story to be action packed because it was dystopian? And because it’s YA (hunger games and divergent anyone?) Well I was wrong. I felt that 70% of the story was focused on Citra’s and Rowan’s training and world building here and there.
Initially, I was wary of their attraction towards each other. It seems that in YA there always has to be a romantic relationship (maybe that’s just YA) and sometimes it just seems like the love story’s like KoKo Krunch! (“And pooofff it became KoKo Krunch!”) It’s instant and the story revolves around the couple. Here, though it’ slow burning and by the end, it’s clear to the readers and characters that they do care for each other and that the story isn’t about them together it’s about their journey to scythe hood

The action part’s near the end of the book and I like that in some key parts the author wrote it in a way that could trick you into believing that the character took the option that would lead him or her to the dark path of killing (or maybe it was just me secretly hoping for the worst) I also like the way the book was written in the two main character’s POV with snippets from the supporting characters before each chapter in the form of a journal entry.

It was not boring but it didn’t really pump an adrenaline or made me randomly rise up from bed while reading.

Will I read the next book? Yes

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) 
Author: Marie Lu
Rating: 4 Stars
Preceding Book: The Rose Society

“Someday, when I am nothing but dust and wind, what tale will they tell about me?”

A nice ending to this Anger-filled series, I was expecting Adelina to do something redeeming in the end which she did The story starts months after Violetta left Adelina’s side at the end of The Rose Society. Our dear White Wolf is busy securing her empire as well as looking for her little sister because you know, no one can leave her unless she says so? At night she’s plague by nightmare upon nightmare, the whispers are getting stronger and louder as she fears that one day she’ll finally descend into insanity and loose control of her powers. While all that is happening, a threat looms that could destroy the whole world and Adelina has to work with other Elites to save the world that has treated them, her cruelly.

I like how there’s a “myth” about Adelina at end of the book and that her relationship with Magiano has leveled up, no more glancing at each other longingly and the whole charades. If you’ve read and liked the first 2 books then this last one will make your eyes tear up , because it did with mine.

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #3) by Brian Stavely

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The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #3)

Author: Brian Stavely
Rating: 3 Stars
Preceding book: The Providence of Fire

This is the final book in the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne and for me Books 1 and 2 was better. The ending was satisfactory but I can’t help but feel that the story line of this one was dragged. I know they don’t have smart phones in their world but come on I huge chunk of the whole problem could’ve been prevented if the talk between Kaden and Adare happened earlier and with Valyn too, who by the way went down the drain in this one but manage to get pass that. The light at the end of this tunnel was Gwenna. She just swooped in and stole the limelight from the siblings. All things considered, I still recommend this book for those who’ve read The Emperor’s Blades and The providence of fire.

The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2)

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The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2)

Author: Brian Stavely
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Preceding Book: The Emperor’s Blades
Succeeding Book:The Last Mortal Bond

Behind her, the flames still raged. Forgiveness, it seemed, lay far from the providence of fire

The second book of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne starts immediately after the events in The Emperor’s Blades, and if you like the first book you’ll surely like this one. We get more insight into what makes the characters tick and As Adare, Kaden and Valyn find out who is behind the plot to kill their father, they go onto very different routes to save themselves and the empire. Also as the cover depicts Adare has more chapters in this book and will play a very big role in the events that will affect the lives of her brothers. We also get to learn more about the Csestriim , Atmani and their mythology. I got mind blown, this is not just a simple killing of an emperor and revenge of an ancient immortal but something more Unlike other books I’ve read written in POVs where sometimes I forget which character POV I’m reading, Brian Staveley writing isn’t like that, from the words they use to the thought processing. There’s a clear distinct flavor for each character

Books I’m Excited to Read Part 3

It’s part 3 of this segment! I was inactive for 3 or more months and mostly concentrated on my Goodreads account, but now I’m back and I’ve decided to post 1 review per week (crosses fingers*) Without further ado and as what Li Shang says it Mulan: Let’s get down to business!

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Red Sister US Cover

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) 
by Mark Lawrence
Expected Publication: April 6th 2017 by Harper Voyager

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

I’m a Mark Lawrence fan so this is a big deal for me. I just love how he write atypical lead characters. If you’re looking for something new from the usual goody two shoes leads and if you liked the Broken Empire Trilogy  (you can find my reviews on the Index  section) and the The Red Queen’s War Trilogy then I’m sure you’d want to get your hands on this.

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Red Sister UK Cover

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Skullsworn 
By: Brian Stavely
Expected Publication: April 25th 2017 by Tor Books

“Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer–she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial.”

I just wrapped up the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series (review in the Index page) aside from Gwenna Sharpe and Pyrre were the characters that I liked. I’ve always like the concept of death as a religion and despite the insight about the Skullsworn on the Last Mortal Bond (3rd book of the series) I’d still like to know more about  Pyrre and the sect she belongs to.

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UK Cover

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Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1)
By: Brian McClellan
Published : March 7th 2017 by Orbit

An epic new fantasy series from Brian McClellan, set in the same world as his wildly popular Powder Mage trilogy.

The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place a frontier destination for criminals, fortune-hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of a suppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

The insurrection that threatens Landfall must be purged with wile and force, a task which falls on the shoulders of a spy named Michel Bravis, convicted war hero Ben Styke, and Lady Vlora Flint, a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall’s present.

As loyalties are tested, revealed, and destroyed, a grim specter as old as time has been unearthed in this wild land, and the people of Landfall will soon discover that rebellion is the least of their worries.

I haven’t read any Brian McClellan books and most of my friends in Goodreads has marked it as “to read” so I’d like to change that.

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Stranger of Tempest (The God Fragments #1)
By: Tom Lloyd
Published: May 19th 2016 by Gollancz

Lynx is a mercenary with a sense of honour; a dying breed in the Shattered Kingdom. Failed by the nation he served and weary of the skirmishes that plague the continent’s principalities, he walks the land in search of purpose. He wants for little so bodyguard work keeps his belly full and his mage-gun loaded. It might never bring a man fame or wealth, but he’s not forced to rely on others or kill without cause. Little could compel Lynx to join a mercenary company, but he won’t turn his back on a kidnapped girl. At least the job seems simple enough; the mercenaries less stupid and vicious than most he’s met over the years. So long as there are no surprises or hidden agendas along the way, it should work out fine.

As you can tell by the published date, I’m almost a year late to this party. Don’t ask my why, because believe me I’m asking that myself.

The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Stavely

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The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #1)
Author: Brian Stavely
My Rating: 4.9

You are my last blade. You, and Kaden and Valyn. If you feel, any of you, that you have been hammered hard, it has been that you might better hold and edge

Likes:

Action packed
Conspiracies
Huge Flying birds
Monks
Assassins
Smart and strong female characters
Good main Characters
Character development
was not “wordy or too poetic” in describing the sceneries.
No info dumping when it came to world building, it was introduced gradually.

My favorite POVs would be Valyn’s, Kaden’s and Adare’s. I guess because Valyn had more screentime then Kaden and lastly Adare ( I think she had 3 to 5 chapters) but all were interesting even with Adare’s few chapters. Valyn struggles with his training to become a Kettral , a special group of assassins. Kaden, the heir to the throne also struggles with his training with the shin monks. He doesn’t completely understand the relevance of such training to ruling the empire but strives to anyway. Adare was pronounce Ministry of Finance, in the world of male dominated Annurian politics she knows that they will look at her and only see a princess raised to that stature because of her father and not of her skills. Each have their own obstacles but it all comes together near the end as they try to discover who’s behind the plot to end the Malkenian line.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows,#2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 5 Stars
Preceding Book: Six of Crows

“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”

All beginnings start with an end.
What a bittersweet ending filled with hope and possibilities. I Ended my year with Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom and it hit me, The Six of Crows series just ended. Is it really just a duology? I need moooore!

The second instalment starts with the remaining members trying to gather intel to rescue Inej after she was taken. Aside from trying to get their money from their heist in the Ice Castle and getting her back, new problems arise. Grishas in Ketterdam are going missing with while delegates from Ravka, Shu Han and Novyi Zem have arrived. Characters from the Grisha trilogy also make an appearance and will play important roles in Kaz’ ultimate plan.

There’s more character development in this one. The Crows really grew up by the end of this book, especially with Kaz and Jesper. They face and acknowledge their inner demons, came to terms with it and are working on to get pass it. I hope I get to hear more of them soon (stand alone books? or cameos?).

If you like The Grisha Trilogy and like the Six of Crows then this is a must read.

                                                       “No mourners. No Funerals” 

 

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3) by Sara Raasch

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Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)
 By: Sara Raasch
My Rating: 4.50
“Angra wanted to break me.
But he only made me unbreakable.”
Time flies so fast sometimes right? What I’m trying to say was that Frost like Night caught me by surprise when I realised that this is the final instalment in this series. Funny thinking how in my last review for (Ice Like Fire) I was complaining about the cliffhanger.But as they say, all good things must come to an end and this is it. Heads up before you start reading this book and especially is you’ve read the previous two then you have to emotionally prepare yourself. This is where our heroine Meira and her friends go into a full on war against Angra, and like all battles, many will DIE . I mean it, this book made me shed some tears. If you’re looking for a happy ever after you’re not going to find it here. Though they do get some happiness in other aspects. (M+M fans) But like I said once the war’s fought it’s time to count the loss and honor the once who’ve fallen by trying to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
Here are my reviews of the 2 previous books in this series

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes, #2)

And I Darken (And I Darken (The Conquerers Saga #1) by Kiersten White

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And I Darken (The Conquerers Saga #1)
by Kiersten White
My Rating : 4.3 of 5  stars

“Not Dragwlya,” she said. “Lada Dracul. Iam no longer the daughter of the dragon.” She lifter her chin, sights on the horizon.
“I am the dragon”

If you’re about women empowerment, equality, and self-discovery then this book is for you. Told from 2 perspectives, the first book of this trilogy mainly deals with the main character  Ladislav or Lada’s realization of the gender inequality in her society and her quest to rise above it and prove herself worthy as an equal. She learned that for her to be respected she has to act tough and be better or equal with men in her society. Lada trains herself in fighting, studies military tactics and despises the show of weakness or vulnerability. Which is the complete opposite of her younger brother Radu,who we get to see the story through his eyes, as he struggles to find himself and place in a brutal time where men were expected to be strong and tough/macho. Both have created a place for themselves. Lada, as head of her own group of men guarding the Sultan and Radu as a court favorite , collecting secrets and creating political threads for him. But both of them have bigger aspirations and at the end they have to choose  between love, and staying in their comfort zone or stepping out and reach for more.

 Here’s my attempt to draw Lada haha!

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