Kingdom of Ash Cover Reveal/Reaction

Well…we’re almost there folks! It’s only a couple more months until Kingdom of Ash comes out, and Aelin’s adventure will come to an end. A couple days ago the lovely Mrs. Maas revealed the cover of the final novel! I think it’s really beautiful, although I have always been more drawn to the UK editions. All in all, I think it’s a spectacular way to end the series, all of which have lovely covers. The armor is intricate, and the brightness of the background gives me a little hope as to how the series will end. I’m hoping it means that it goes well… Also, I am beyond excited to see how the gold actually turns out when it’s done in gold leaf. I love the cover, and I think it adds beautifully to look of the series.

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Kingdom of Ash is scheduled for release on October 23, 2018. 

Here are summaries of the first three books that I wrote a while ago when I was doing a re-readathon. I never wrote summaries for the remaining books, but these can get you started. To see more summaries, visit the lovely folks at Book Series Recaps, who do the entire book community a favor by writing both reviews and summaries of lots of popular books.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the new cover?

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Circe by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

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Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

When Lady Saren refuses to marry a man she fears, she and her maid, Dashti, are locked in a tower with just a tiny flap open to the outside world. As food runs low and the weather changes from broiling hot to unbearably cold, it is all Dashti can do to make them comfortable in their dark prison.

Not long after their confinement begins, Saren’s suitors arrive–one welcome, the other less so-and she orders Dashti to speak to them. Impersonating Lady Saren is a crime punishable by death, but Dashti will have to play the role many times if she is to save them both from the tower and the dangers outside. As she takes control of their desperate situation, Dashti begins to understand her own astonishing talents and believe that even a low-born maid can find true love.

Book of a Thousand Days is an acclaimed romantic coming-of-age tale that is impossible to put down. Shannon Hale’s lyrical writing, unforgettable characters and intriguing setting give this book the timeless quality that any classic must have.

Read below for my review.

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello everyone! Recently I’ve only been posting reviews, so I thought I’d find a tag that I could do–I haven’t been reading as much this year, so it was a little difficult to find one that I could find applicable books for. I ended up choosing this one, which I originally found on Two Book Thieves’ blog (see their post).  Also, just a disclaimer, these are books that I’ve read in 2018, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they were released this year.

  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018?

I’ve read so many good books this year! I think one of my favorites is The Golem and the Jinni. Surprisingly, it’s not YA, but it was an excellent fantasy novel that ties itself up perfectly, although I think there will be a sequel.

 

 

 

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018?

Looking at my Goodreads reading challenge, I see that most books I’ve read this year are actually the first in the series…so almost by default this one has to go to A Reaper at the Gates. Key word is almost…because I probably would have picked this one even if I had read many other sequels. Ms. Tahir never fails to deliver on an epic story. It was bone-chilling and tense and beautiful. I cannot wait for the next one. (Although I am disappointed about the mid-series cover changes. bleh.)

 

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to? 

Okay so this one came out a while ago, but I still haven’t gotten around to it yet. I absolutely adored the first novel, Wintersong, and I’ve heard that this one does not disappoint.

 

 

 

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2018?

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.12.48 AM.pngThis one’s a no-brainer. I’ve been following these books since I was 12 years old and no one had ever heard of Sarah J Maas. Ever since I picked up Throne of Glass I’ve been hooked. Every year I re-read the series and waited anxiously for the next one to come out…and this is the last year that I get to do that. I have grown up with Celaena and this series will always have a piece of my heart.

 

 

5. Biggest disappointment?

Marissa Meyer has always been one of my all-time favorite authors, but recently with Heartless and now Renegades, I have to say that I’m losing faith…

 

 

 

6. Biggest surprise? 

I’m taking this to mean the biggest pleasant surprise, though I had some unpleasant ones too. This one goes to Assassin’s Heart. It didn’t get great reviews, but I was seriously blown away by this book. It was completely different than the usual YA assassin novel, which have been popping up everywhere ever since ToG, and I finished it in about one sitting. Its characters are unique and captivating and the premise dragged me in from the first page. I loved it!

 

 

 

7. Favorite new author?

I’ve read the first two books of the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden this year, and I am absolutely in love with her writing.

 

 

 

8. Newest fictional crush?

For this one I’m going with Simon from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Yes. I know he’s gay. But he’s really adorable and I’m still allowed to have a crush on him. It’s probably due to the fact that he’s played by my love Nick Robinson…

 

 

 

9.  Newest favorite character?

For this one I’m choosing Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. I absolutely love Elisa’s evolution of self-love and acceptance in this story. I can personally relate to her struggle and I can honestly say that I learned so much from her.

 

 

 

10 . Book that made you cry?

I haven’t bawled this year because of a book, but A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea definitely made me tear up. It is a brutal memoir that doesn’t flinch from the horrors of North Korea, and it is a chilling read that opened my eyes to the extent of suffering and inhumane treatment that is occurring.

 

 

 

 

11. Book that made you happy?

Geekerella is a light-hearted, adorable read that I could 100% relate to. 10/10 would recommend.

 

 

 

 

 

12. Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

The Swedish version, NOT the American one. Excellent book and excellent movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year?

Okay. So I actually wrote this review on December 31st last year…but I really want to include it since I love this book. You can read my review here.

 

 

 

 

 

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year?

This one hands-down goes to The Gallery. While it wasn’t the most well-written, the cover is a beautiful work of art. Also, shoutout to Bookoutlet.com for having all of these beautiful books for super cheap.

 

 

 

 

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? 

These are just a few I’m looking forward to reading. A couple have already come out but I haven’t read them.

Thank you so much for reading! I really enjoyed doing this tag, it’s been a while since I did anything other than a review. I tag anyone who wants to do this–I would love to see your version of the tag. Feel free to leave a link in the comments or just tell me what you would have answered. Do you have the same answers? Or do you disagree with some? Let me know 🙂

Happy reading,

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Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

 

  • Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 10.25.51 AM.pngMy rating: 3 out of 5 stars
  • Published by Philomel Books
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.

Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and  exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.

Continue reading for my review

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Scythe by Neil Shusterman

 

  • 81xxSRsPPuLMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
  • Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover 435
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • most YA dystopia sucks, this one doesn’t

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

  • 25614492My rating: 4 of 5 stars
  • Published by Philomel Books
  • Hardcover 393
  • Amazon
  • Spoiler-free review

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

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In Real Life by Cory Doctrow and Jen Wang Mini Review

In Real LifeIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This graphic novel was a nice break between larger books. I enjoyed the fact that it was short and light, but I wish there had been a bit more depth. In the prologue, the author writes a heartfelt message explaining the economics involved with gaming and how the internet is a human construct (along with many other things) that has provided a means for organization in a new way. This little introductions was actually quite fascinating, but I wouldn’t have gotten the message from reading the graphic novel alone. In this case, the author had to tell instead of show. The plot of the novel itself was short and sweet, if not predictable and simplistic. That being said, it was entertaining, but not as profound as I would have expected given the introduction. The ending seemed a bit rushed and a bit too perfect, so I think that could have been fleshed out a little more.

The art style was lovely–the characters were well-drawn and the scenery was consistent. The paneling seemed a bit lazy compared to what I usually read (which is manga), but I think it worked well with the cutesy aesthetic of the story. If I’m being honest, I enjoyed the art itself more than the story.

I would recommend this as a quick read for anyone in need of a break from more complex, involved books. It was sweet, simple, and entertaining.