Review | Dark & Twisted Cinderelly

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Kindle Price: Free!

Synopsis:

“And you thought the stepsisters were wicked….

I’m not who they think I am. A docile girl who meekly obeys her stepmother and stepsisters. Some kind of sick angel who cheerfully bears their mistreatment. That’s what I WANT them to think. Because then they won’t suspect what I’m really up to.

The ball, the prince – it’s all part of my plan to come out on top. Stepmother and her demented daughters will pay for every floor I have scoured, every sneer I have borne. They don’t know about the white magic, how I use it to enhance myself. They can’t see that my heart is black as midnight, rotten as a poisoned apple.

They’re about to find out.”

My Review:

This book was…wow. It didn’t guess the ending at all and it was a crazy journey.


Cinderella? Gracious heavens above. She was perfect. Her personality, her wit, her actions, her thoughts, everything. Anita Valle wrote her incredibly well and I honestly have no complaints about her. The Stepmother and Stepsisters are excellent as well. They are realistic and full of personality.

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Review| Tears, Music, & Harmony

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Synopsis:

“Eleanor is a singer. Her songs keep nature in balance, but when they are stolen from her, a grey mist descends and her world fails to thrive. This timid orphan is thrust into a course of action she never asked for, nor envisioned. Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, she must find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark crystal which holds the future of her world. But, Eleanor is no savior. She is a simple girl with strong instincts and she must learn to trust them. Just like the notes of song must connect to create a melody, Eleanor must discover the connections needed to create the harmony required to truly save her world.”

My Review:

Ugh. Honestly.

Books like these just don’t help when you’re still reeling from some other book breaking your heart.

Lansberg has poured hand sanitizer in my paper cut and I can’t say I like that very much.

And yet, I ate it up, didn’t I?

(Not the hand sanitizer, the book)

Okay, truly? I was rooting for the villain when I started reading this. I didn’t know they were the villain, but I just wanted them to succeed, it seemed like it was the right thing, the cause, you know? So imagine my surprise when they become the villain and at one point, in my notes I said,

I don’t want Eleanor hurt! But I want [them] to win!!!

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Review | Magic, Liver, and Adventure

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(credit: received from author)

Kindle Price: $5.99

Synopsis:

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.”

My Review:

My mom hates liver, but I don’t think it tastes too bad. I know some people who like licorice, but I can’t stand licorice. There are all sorts of things that aren’t for me, but are for other people, and I believe this is one of them.

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White Hart by Sarah Dalton (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“In a land where magic has withered for centuries, Mae Waylander is the last magic wielder in Aegunlund. She is the craft-born. But Mae has kept her true identity hidden from the world, and she’s not about to reveal her secret. Not when the King is searching for the craft-born to marry his heir, Prince Casimir.

In Mae’s town of Halts-Walden, the ambitious miller claims his daughter Ellen is the craft-born. All Mae has to do is sit back and wait until Casimir and Ellen are married, then she will finally be free of the threat of her fate. But on that day an event so shocking and terrible occurs that Mae finds herself entering the neighbouring cursed forest on a quest she never thought she’d have to follow.

Join Mae as she rides her white stag through the Waerg Woods with a pampered prince at her heels. She’s out for revenge and nothing–no one–will get in her way.

Join Mae as she rides her white stag through the Waerg Woods with a pampered prince at her heels. She’s out for revenge and nothing, no one, will get in her way.”

My Review:

I’m actually extremely impressed by Sarah Dalton. I read her book The Blemished and I didn’t like it, but I loved White Hart.

Dalton created a world that though I would not want to live in, I imagined it perfectly.

I want to talk about the characters first. Wait no, the romance. No, the characters. We will talk about the characters.

I loved White Hart. She was strong, she was compassionate, she had flaws, and she knew the meaning of grief, remorse, and forgiveness. I was just so impressed I was going crazy. What stood out to me the most was her natural progression. She started off with one goal, which wasn’t a pure goal, and you can see how she grows personally throughout the book.

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Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily (ARC Review)

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.”

My Review:

Well, if I hadn’t had my tear ducts removed and my heart wasn’t completely stone, I’d be balling right now. Welcome to Sortilege Falls captivated my interest and tore my emotions to shreds. Gosh, I can barely even talk about it.

I adore Grape Merriweather. I literally adore her. I love how much she eats and that even when she’s called fat, she continues to eat because that’s what she loves to do. It’s not in an unhealthy way either, she just has a great appetite. It reminded me of myself, truthfully, which I loved and could relate to. Grape is about as unique as her name is and if I ever have kids, I just might name one of my kids after her. She asked questions, stuck up for herself and her friends, and consistently handled herself so well. Grape was funny, serious, kind, inquisitive, intelligent, and an all around amazing character.

The other characters were great too. The Models, Grape’s brother (Brad), Mandy, the family members, and some oddballs that were included. I admit that I got attached to them, which made it even harder to let go of this book.

The plot? Gracious the plot had me spellbound. I definitely have some serious responsibilities that need to be done today (at the time I’m writing this review), but yet, I spent my day reading this book. No regrets, though. It was worth it. Welcome to Sortilege Falls has a bit of a thriller and mystery vibe, which I enjoyed. It was basically the foundation of the whole book, but it still didn’t overpower other things, like relationships and dialogue. I really enjoyed it and I’m trying my best to not give spoilers.

Heily can write well and man, I almost wish she couldn’t. There’s a certain feeling of helplessness I get whenever a book throws my heart around like a rag-doll and yet I can’t stop reading. Hats and beanies off to you, Heily.

There doesn’t seem to be a sequel, but I kind of wish there was. All loose ends were tied up, but Heily made the great decision of leaving there a possibility for another book. I look forward to hearing news about a possible upcoming sequel.

 

Would I Recommend Welcome to Sortilege Falls? I definitely would. Excellent writing, a sound and intriguing plot, well-constructed characters, and a pinch of humor, what’s not to love? It just came out yesterday on the 31st so you don’t have to wait to grab your copy. Plus, there’s currently a giveaway where the prize is a free copy of Welcome to Sortilege Falls! You can enter here.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.”

My Review:

I was drawn in by the title and I thought the cover was absolutely gorgeous, although I still do not understand why there is a crown of what appears to be barbed wire around her head. Even so, I definitely wanted to take a chance on Acne Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon. It took me about two hours to read and to describe it in two words it was ‘mellow’ and ‘adventurous.’

Sometimes in fantasy (or anything with adventure in general) books, there’s a constant urgency feeling. At least, that’s how it is for me. Even though my heart-rate might be steady and normal, my mind is tense, as if I’m wading through an ocean of suspense. And you know? That can be stressful. So I liked the mellow feeling that I got from, Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon (which is hereby shortened to AAOS).

Please welcome Allyson Takata to the stage. Allyson is in high-school and extremely insecure over the acne, later learned to be scales, on her face. She hasn’t had much adventure in her life farther than evading the bullies in her school and snatching hurtling objects out of the air before they can kiss her face.
I liked Allyson. She was intelligent, courageous, and tried her best to save people who she didn’t know. Many people are insecure about acne on their faces, so I found no fault in her applying makeup. The only fault I found in her was that she was disrespectful towards her mom. Rarely has my mom been wrong about things that matter and Allyson’s blatant lack of respect towards the only parent she’s ever known, the same parent who has no doubt been trying to protect her for years (which should have been obvious to Allyson after a while), was terrible. I won’t lie and say that Allyson not having many flaws bothered me since it didn’t. Because of the pace, there wasn’t time for meticulous character development, no matter how realistic it may be. There was still character development, but it wasn’t the kind that I’m usually writing about.

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Mercy’s Prince by Katy Huth Jones (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“As second son of the King of Levathia, seventeen-year-old Valerian desires the quiet life of a scholarly monk. But when he fails to save his older brother in battle, Valerian must instead become crown prince. While a traitorous knight schemes against him, Valerian meets Mercy, a pacifist Healer with whom he can speak mind-to-mind like the great dragons. Their bond emboldens Valerian to seek out the legendary dragons and ask for their help against the monsters who killed his brother. Can Valerian survive the traitor’s assassins long enough to find the dragons? And if he does, can he convince them to lay aside their hatred of humans and help him save the land from destruction?”

My Review:

I’m honestly impressed with Mercy’s Prince. The title is beautiful and unlike other titles I’ve seen and the plot, characters, and writing were just as wonderful.

Ever tried to cut a pie for people who are insistent on everyone having the same sized slice? It’s pretty difficult. But Jones perfectly managed to slice this “book pie” in equal parts for character development, romance, and adventure. There was still one thing that made me feel a bit sick, but as you can see, Mercy’s Prince still received a perfect rating.

Mercy was a valiant and a young woman worthy of the title heroine, despite being the youngest I [believe I] have read about (she’s fourteen). In every situation, she is thinking ahead and thinking critically. No matter the circumstances, even if she was grieving, Mercy picked up her burdens and persevered until things got better. She constantly used the knowledge she had gained from her elders and just by living as she did and used it to her advantage. I especially admired that Mercy neither gave up her pacifist ways nor broke her oath. She had many opportunities to do so and given everything she had gone through, she could have dropped it and blamed it on others. But I admired her all the more for honoring her promise and doing her best to continue to live as usual. I don’t recall very much development, but considering Mercy’s natural personality, I didn’t find it ‘gripeable.’

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Frey (The Frey Saga) by Melissa Wright

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Unaware she’s been bound from using magic, Frey leads a small, miserable life in the village where she’s sent after the death of her mother. But a tiny spark starts a fury of changes and she finds herself running from everything she’s ever known.
Hunted by council for practicing dark magic, she is certain she’s been wrongfully accused. She flees, and is forced to rely on strangers for protection. But the farther she strays from home, the more her magic and forgotten memories return and she begins to suspect all is not as it seems.”

My Review:

Firstly, I was drawn to this book by the cover. Frey, who I assumed was the girl behind the flames, looked powerful, mysterious, and emotionally strong. The hawk that lurked behind the smoke only seemed to heighten my expectations. The hawk seemed to be a hint, meant to lead me to believe that Frey’s powers reached beyond expectations. Dare I say it, that her powers soared. The hawk didn’t mislead me either.

Frey was powerful. She had yet to reach her full potential, which I understand, Frey is just the first book. Frey is learning herself and the ways of magic and I, as the reader learned alongside her. I assumed that Frey is around sixteen or seventeen, but I don’t recall it ever being mentioned inside the actual book or synopsis. Granted, the book does fall under the Young Adult category, so I believe that her being around the young adult age group is a safe assumption. As I said, Frey was powerful. I loved reading about her small adventures while she tested out her magic. They were interesting and I wish she had fully embraced the magical elf in her much more quickly than she did. Sadly, Frey had no emotional strength.

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Wings of Arian (The Solus series) by Devri Walls

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Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.
With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.
However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.
And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.

My Review:

I seriously enjoyed this book. It had me screaming with delight at so many points. However, I feel there was, once again, no reason to have a sequel. Will the sequel be good? It’s very possible. Will I read the sequel? No. The ending felt very “fake”, so to speak. As if Walls thought, “Hmm, I know this is written well, so let’s make a cliffhanger and make more books!” Am I saying that Walls did it for the money? No. Maybe she really did want to continue writing it, which is valid. Maybe it can’t fit into one book, and I can respect that. But, besides that, let’s talk about the book.

Kiora FINALLY. A realistic heroine I can admire. Kiora is powerful and she knows it, yet, she feels unqualified and unprepared for such a great burden. She doesn’t see herself as magnificent and magical as everyone else seems to see her and when she makes mistakes she seems herself unfit to lead. I sincerely appreciated that about her. She didn’t know she could do it, she didn’t expect everyone to follow her, she was just herself, slowly coming to terms that she must lead. I admire that she had weaknesses, made quite a lot of mistakes, some that hurt people, had the capacity to feel more than one emotion, and had the “I don’t understand, but I want to.” kind of mentality. She sincerely was a leader, and I would want to follow her. She didn’t insult her looks whenever she could, I don’t remember her insulting them at any moment. Unless, of course, she was muddy and bloody. While she was unsure of her capabilities, she was still willing to try. She did her best, even if it was hard. Kiora holds a past that brings her guilt, it explains why her parents are dead and why her sister is how she is. Yet, she refused to allow it to cripple her. I say all of this to say, Kiora was an excellent heroine. She had flaws, a pure heart, a mind willing to listen to wisdom, and the natural born gift to lead. A completely admirable character.

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Sworn to Raise (Courtlight series) by Terah Edun

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Price: Free!

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.”

My review

This book is one of the very few where I am interested in continuing the series. I was captured because of the blurb/summary and because of the cover photo. The characters all have depth and I feel like I’m truly there in the story because of how it was written, I love the mix of magic, betrayal, mystery, murder, and friendship throughout the book, there is no insta-love, the love interest doesn’t follow her blindly because “he’s in love with her”, the heroine is truly a heroine, and, surprise! *gets megaphone* THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: THERE WAS NO LOVE TRIANGLE.

There was a hint of love towards to end of the book (a little bit after the middle in my opinion), but otherwise it was romance free. It’s six books long, so it might not hold my interest for that amount of time, but we’ll see.

Because I liked this book and recommend it, I won’t reveal any spoilers, just in case you take my advice and read the book. It was a delightful read, took quite a while to read it, but it didn’t feel like a long time which I appreciated. It was an adventure with magic and mages, usually not the kind of thing that I read, but I had already started and didn’t want to leave. The heroine, Ciadrus, is charming and while she would curse every now and then, when it didn’t feel necessary, she was still a great heroine in my opinion.

Update: I finished the first three books of the series (there are six books, it had my attention, but not that much) and it was pretty good. Still had unnecessary curse words though which was disappointing. There is romance, still no love triangle (YAY!), but it’s a nice subtle romance. It’s obvious that it’s there, but it wasn’t overpowering which I appreciated.