Book Review: The Cruel Prince

cruel-prince-cover.jpgBook-cation Location: Forests!

Book: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Print Date: January 2018
Goodreads Score: 5 stars

Short Review: An epic fantasy that you will not be able to put down!

Book Summary

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Long Review: First off I have to say that I LOVE the cover of this book!  My cover is the Exclusive OwlCrate edition! I am so happy this is the version that I have in my book collection. I held off on buying this book because I just knew it was going to be the one that was in the January OwlCrate. I’m just bummed that it took me this long to get to it!

This book has everything and then some that you would want in a fantasy. A tragic backstory for the main character, mythical creatures, good vs evil, battles, magic, spies, royalty, mystery, and betrayal! My eyes devoured every word of this one and I wanted more by the time I turned the last page. The twists were dramatic and exciting and the characters are amazing.

Lets start with Jude first. Jude is a wonderful main character. She is perfectly balanced and as the book went on you were able to get inside her head even more. I loved the strength that she has, about her circumstances, about her goals, about the big twist that I can’t talk about as I don’t want to spoil anything! I really enjoyed her relationship with Madoc too. She really should hate him with every fiber of her being yet she doesn’t. She has been treated as one of his own even tho she is mortal so it provides an very interesting dynamic to her story.

Speaking of relationships with her family members, lets talk about her twin Taryn. I don’t particularly care for her. It’s hard to imagine that she is of the same blood as Jude as they are so different. I can’t say much else about her other than her lack of spine in all the situations that involved Cardan and his group really bothered me. I would never have acted that way if my sisters were the ones being threatened.

As for Cardan and his group, I both liked and hated most of them at some point. I’ve read enough books to know that Cardan isn’t what he seems in the beginning and yet he still didn’t end the book where I thought he would. He has a very complicated yet pampered life as one of the heirs to the throne. I loved the twist in this book that it’s not the first born heir that automatically takes the throne, the current King chooses. Tiny spoiler alert…but once you read you will know this is revealed early on…the King doesn’t choose Cardan!

The author did an exceptional job building this world and I can’t wait to go back to Elfhame when The Wicked King comes out next year!

BOOK-CATION IDEAS!

As I mentioned above the Book-cation location for The Cruel Prince is Forests! Obviously you can’t really visit the realm of the Faerie, but I know of a few forests that will give you a bit of that magic!

  • Hoh Rain Forest. This forest is located in Washington near the town of Forks. (Yes that Forks, WA where the sparkly vampires are.) The crystal clear streams and moss covered trees are beautiful to behold. Some of the trees even have mushrooms that are wrapped around the tree trunks and reminded me of steps for little creatures that belong in a fantasy world.
  • Black Forest.  The birth place of the Brother’s Grimm fairy tales is the Black Forest in Germany. There are so many places to visit here that you can visit castles and stay in small bed and breakfasts along the way!
  • Hallerbos Forest. The final forest on the list that I have for you is located in Belgium. The floor of this forest is blanketed in bluebells in the spring time and makes it a magically beautiful site to behold. If you are there when it is foggy out you will also get a glimpse of the darker side of fairy tale forests.

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.”
~Holly Black, The Cruel Prince

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Book Review: Siege and Storm

14061955.jpgBook: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Print Date: June 2013
Goodreads Score: 5 stars

 

Short Review: So good!  I could not put it down!

Book Summary

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Long Review:  First things first, to everyone that is already a fan of the Grishaverse I apologize for taking so long to join you!  I have had this one and the third in the series on my to read list for awhile now. I finally found the time to dive into the series again and I enjoyed this book even more than the first one.  I also liked that it didn’t follow the traditional path of a story (slow start for character building, starts getting exciting with more going on in the middle, and ends with a huge finale and a giant cliffhanger), this one jumped right in with some very interesting revelations that keep you wanting more the entire book.  This was a page turner for me because I think I wanted to know more about the firebird just as much as Alina did! I read this in an evening because I just couldn’t put it down!

I both loved and hated the new love triangle that gets introduced. I wont tell you who all is involved in this new development, but I promise it’s good!  I know which person Alina should probably end up with, but I am so rooting for someone else! I also could not get enough of the new characters that were introduced, the twins Tamar and Tolya and Stormhund. They quickly became my favorites and I later found out that there was more to them than I even realized at first. Huge spoilers if I expand on this so I will just wait for you to read and find out yourself exactly what I mean.

The only thing that I honestly felt was lacking was the Darkling. I wanted more of his evil self in the story this time around. I mean who doesn’t love to hate a good villain!

“The Darkling had told her he was destined to rule. He had claimed his throne, and a part of her too. He was welcome to it. For the living and the dead, she would make herself a reckoning. She would rise.”
~Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm

Book Review: One Dark Throne

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Book: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Print Date: September 2017
Goodreads Score: 4 stars
Second book in the Three Dark Crowns series

Short Review: The perfect sequel to Three Dark Crowns!

Book Summary

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Long Review: I received Three Dark Crowns as a Birthday gift and as soon as I read it I knew that I had to pre-order the sequel as soon as I could! I am not a triplet, but I do have two sisters so naturally we each had to pick a crown on the cover to see who would win. I picked the Naturalist crown, because flowers, so I have been cheering for Arsinoe from day one! At this point I’m not sure if she truly is the more likable character with her amazing friend Jules and her familiar Cambden, or if it’s because I went into the first book with a bias. I do wish that Arsinoe had explored her true gift a little more than she did during this book.

In regards to Arsinoe’s best friend Jules, I love Jules, but I hate that she loves Joseph. I’m not a fan of him at all and I do not understand why two of the main characters are so enamored with him. Now I’m not knocking young love, but seriously after what he has done I don’t understand how she can still love him. What I do love about Jules is her fierce loyalty to Arsinoe and her depth of character. Some crazy stuff happens to her in this book and I think she handles it all so well.

Mirabella comes in second in my order of favorite Queens. She has so much compassion and she has such amazing talents with her gifts. She was the chosen queen during the majority of the first book and it was interesting to see how her and her “family”  handle the turn of events after the Quickening. This allowed for a lot of reflection time for Mirabella and I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the book. I can’t say too much about this growth without giving anything away so you will just have to read to find out for yourself!

The last and final Queen is Katharine. I will admit I felt sorry for her during the first book and she was my second favorite, but after this book all I can say is WOW. She is nothing like the girl that I came to know during Three Dark Crowns. She is so dark and driven to see the death of her sisters. She has no compassion left in her and she came back from the Quickening changed. To fully understand how changed you will have to read as what would be the fun if I spoiled it for you?  

Like the first book in this series I found the beginning of the book a bit slow. I was not at all worried this time around though as I knew it was going to get so good by the middle and the end! I highly recommend reading this book!

“Three dark queens
are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends.

Three dark sisters
all fair to be seen,
two to devour
and one to be Queen.”
~Kendare Blake, Three Dark Crowns

 

 

Book Review: The West Woods

The West Woods Cover Reveal - Suzy  Vadori Aug 8 2017.jpg

Book: The West Woods by Suzi Vadori
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Print Date: September 2017
Goodreads Score: 3 stars
Giveaway: $15 Amazon gift card
Enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! 

Short Review: Such an enchanting story, I could not put it down!

Book Summary

Magic, sacrifice and the quest for freedom.
Courtney Wallis wants nothing more than to escape St. Augustus boarding school. After uncovering a well-kept secret about the school’s founder, Isaac Young, Courtney turns to the school’s magic to convince her dad to let her leave. Things take a turn when she meets Cole, who lives in the nearby town of Evergreen. He gives her hope that things might not be so bad. However, the school’s fountain has other ideas, and binds Courtney to her ambition, no matter the cost.

As Courtney struggles to keep the magic from taking over, she and her friends get drawn into the mystery woven into the school’s fabric. Everything seems to lead back to the forbidden West Woods. Together, she and her friends seek out the spirits of the past to ask for help, and find themselves in much deeper than they’d bargained for. If they succeed, Courtney could be free of the magic. If they fail, she may never be the same.

Long Review:  Think back to when you were younger and your mom or dad handed you a penny and told you to throw it in the fountain and make a wish. You held on to that penny, thought long and hard on your wish, and then tossed it into the water smiling because you just knew this was the time your wish was coming true.  Now imagine if your wish did come true, right there while you were standing next to the fountain! This story is full of magic that keeps you guessing from chapter to chapter.

The story follows the life of Courtney Wallis during her Junior year. It starts with a conversation with her father on how she doesn’t want to go to St. Augustus but her Dad went to school there and wants her to realize how great it is.  I will admit when I first started reading this book I thought to myself, “Is this going to be another I hate this school, but then I find a new best friend and didn’t realize how awesome high school really is kind of stories?” Luckily for me I was very wrong! Be prepared for mystery and magic the entire time.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that I enjoyed seeing both sides of the wish. Watching the characters figure out that their wishes may have repercussions. I also enjoyed the mystery of Ms. Kirk, but I would have liked to have a little more info on her and her back story.

Overall, I recommend this book. It is a fun read!

About the Author suzy vadori
Suzy Vadori is an Operations executive by day, Writer by night. The Fountain is her debut novel for Young Adults. Suzy is an involved member of the Calgary Writers’ community, service as Program Manager for Young Adult at When Words Collide (a Calgary festival for readers and Writers) since 2013. Suzy lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and three kids.
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To purchase The West Woods: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
To purchase The Fountain:
Amazon US | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

To enter the GIVEAWAY Click Here

“When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.”
~Marilyn Manson

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