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Top Bookstagram Props

Kiss of Deception The Remnant Chronicles ReviewShopping for props and putting together photos for Instagram (Bookstagram) is so much fun. But sometimes finding just the right prop can be a challenge so I have created a list of some of my favorites! Almost all of the items below I have personally ordered and used and I will continue to add more as I find new and wonderful products.

Crowns:

I use the crowns ALL the time in my Bookstagram photos! I love the sparkle that they add to pictures, but can still be used in darker themes.

Click on the below photos to shop for these crowns and more!

Backgrounds:

I change out my background every few months. I have tried several different options but have found its worth spending a few extra dollars for a nice matte backdrop. I tried a few stick on options or cheaper plastic options and they either did not last of caused terrible lighting glares that made editing a nightmare.

This is the current background that I am using in my photos, I highly recommend it and will be purchasing in a darker color for fall/winter here soon!

Swords/Daggers:

Swords and daggers make such a fun throw in for photos, especially for someone like me who reads a ton of fantasy where main characters are often warriors or assassins. They can also be used to add an extra edge to creepy photo styles.

Flowers:

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book ReviewFlowers are a wonderful way to fill up blank place in photo set ups and they tend to add such a great touch! I usually pick up flowers from my local hobby store for a few dollars a stem.

You can use flowers or foliage to enhance any theme set up, it does not have to be a “fluffy” set up to include them. I like to use muted or darker colored flowers to accent my darker aesthetic photos and then use bright white flowers for my lighter themes. I have also seen some folks do amazing rainbow themes with their flowers.

Scarves:

I use scarves in the background of TONS of my photos to break up the wood color and add another layer to the photo. I personally have a ton of scarves that I wear throughout the year so I really enjoy being able to leverage my collection for photos as well.

Fun Accessories:

I am always on the hunt for unique accessories to fill spaces in my photos, I personally can not stand having a lot of open space. I have included links to a few of my favorite items that I have picked up (just click on the pics below).

You can also add layers to your photos using folded old books, book pages, or rolled pages. I have picked up a couple of old dingy books from the dollar or resale shops to re-purpose.

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely Book Review

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer Book Review

Overall rating:***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: *****

Pages: 484

Buy it on Amazon: Here

I was so so so excited for A Curse So Dark and Lonely to come out! I also got a stunning edition in my Fairyloot Beauty and the Beast crate. I put my whole TBR aside and started reading this right away! This turned out to be a suck you in, fast paced read and only took me two days to knock out. Sometimes I love books like this that send me into a reading rush to cure my hangover from the story.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely Book Review

I admit I thought this was going to be a 5 star read for me, but after much consideration I landed at 3. Just a few pages in I already had a major ship going and as the book went on a love triangle started to come out. I know some folks totally love this angle though, it tends to frustrate me a bit as a reader… I am really a die hard One True Pairing kind of girl.

I thought this was an interesting take on a Beauty and the Beast. Most retellings that I have encountered the “Belle” knows that the Prince is the Beast. In this book the nature of the curse is a bit different in that a new girl is brought to Prince Rhen at the start of a “season” and he has until the end of that season to make her fall in love with him, before he turns into a monster. Once the season has ended, often with a large amount of loss, it resets and a new girl must be found to start all over.

We come in at the start of the last season for Prince Rhen as he is has upset the Enchantress, and she has doomed him to be a monster forever if he cannot make this final girl fall in love with him. That is only where some of the trouble begins as Harper attempts to stop the abduction of the final girl, only to end up in her place….

This is the first book in a series and I feel it will only get better with time now that a lot of the ground work and character building are in place. The second book in the series A Heart so Fierce and Broken is set to be released by Bloomsbury Publishing in January 2020.

Have you read A Curse So Dark and Lonely or have other retellings that you love? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Official Synopsis:

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

 

 

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Book Review

Overall Rating: *****

Guys! I cannot say enough about this audiobook!!!! I admit I didn’t even read the synopsis for this book before I started listening and I COULD NOT STOP. I went through an 11 hour audiobook in two days!!

I have heard that the book is a bit harder to read as it is written like a file after the eventsIluminae Files Book Review have occurred. The audiobook is done with a full cast and it comes off wonderfully!!! This book had the Sci-Fi, the end of the world dystopian feel, the zombie land feel, AND the love story. I think I cried 4 times listening to this and have also now ordered a hard copy to have for a follow along reread with the book accompaniment. I would have started the second book right away, however I hit my max of audiobooks on scribd for the month so have to wait a few more weeks for it to be available.

The characters in this book are so well done, I can’t believe I was able to connect with them so much through a “case file” document. I think you love or hate (or can’t determine which feeling you really have) each of the characters detailed along the journey.

One warning- This book has a lot of heart wrenching moments and quite a bit of graphic death. If the story had not been so consuming I would have had a hard time being ok with it.

The book is in the YA section but is more in the NA spectrum, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for a child younger than 15-16 just due to sheer gore factor and sexual references.

Official Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

I would love to hear your opinions on this story (include spoiler alerts if applicable please) in the comments below! I hear I am going to need a support group after the final book!!!

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I almost bought An Enchantment of Ravens from Book Outlet a few weeks ago and decided to hold off after reading the synopsis didn’t do anything for me. Then I stumbled upon it on Scribd and decided to go a head and give it a shot… and I am SO glad that I did.

This book was such a neat take on Faerie and really made humans seem superior in so many ways. The narrator did a great job with the characters even though the guys voices are a little hard to take seriously. The writing was very descriptive and I was able to keep a clear picture of the characters and events occurring even while listening instead of reading, which is a bit harder for me. I think it might actually have been a bit challenging for me to read vs listen to in the beginning due to all of the descriptions.

This is a standalone and also a pretty short book so is a good light read if you are in a slump or not wanting to take on a complex series. If anything I wish there had been more to the story or more books to read. The author Margaret Rogerson is actually releasing another book this year called a Sorcery of Thorns in the same universe and I am sooo ready for it now. Just one more thing….. these covers are gorgeous!!!!

Official Synopsis:

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I had heard a lot of good feedback about this book but I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book. The synopsis didn’t draw me in but it was an audiobook on my unlimited subscription so I decided to give it a try any way.
Wonderfully Strange is the best way I can think to describe this book. The way that you meet the characters and the way the world is built out is presented in such a genuine way. The author says the odd little things that people think but usually don’t say out loud, for me it formed a unique bond with the characters.

I hate to even try to describe the plot of the books, it’s almost impossible to tell you what it is really about without giving away too much. This book had all kinds of paranormal elements with a house full of psychics and even a ghost (or two). So many things I may have seen sprinkled here or there in a book but never all together and in such a wonderful way.

This is the first book in the Raven Cycle and I will review the full series when complete. I will say that some might find the writing difficult or the story a bit slow to get into. The story is 100% worth getting through and was way easier with audiobook, this is the only reason I gave the book 4 stars vs 5.

Official Synopsis:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black Book Review

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)

Overall Rating: ****

I read The Cruel Prince last year and thought it was good but not the most amazing thing I have ever read. The Wicked King was much better in my opinion.The Wicked King Book

It still took me a few chapters to really get drawn in but once I was there I was totally hooked. The Jude and Cardan dynamic just drove me crazy and on top of that you never know who all else is really out to get her versus help her (especially her sister Taryn). I love to hate these characters!

Part of the outcome of the book is a bit predictable due to the release of the title of the third book “Queen of Nothing” but I still did not see the ending coming and I want the next book right now!! (This is why I told you guys I don’t like reading until a series is complete!)

Official Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

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March 2019 New Book Releases

What is with all of these amazing books the beginning of this year! I want to share a few of my picks for this month’s releases and also some neat special editions that will be coming out!!

March 5th

The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross

I have to admit I have not heard a lot of about this series but it is one that has personally caught my eye… and the covers are just stunning!

Synopsis: Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life. Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone? As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep- seated love.

 
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch) by Rin Chupeco

Eeek this trilogy is high up on my TBR and now that it will be complete I am ready to binge!!! Already have the first book queued up on Audiobook as soon as I finish the Rain Cycle.

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance  Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart. Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a
power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience… 

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates this gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me! Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.
The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me (Shatter Me), the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4) by Matt de la Pena

Synopsis: When the dawn breaks, a hero rises. His power is beyond imagining.
Clark Kent has always been faster, stronger–better–than everyone around him. But he wasn’t raised to show off, and drawing attention to himself could be dangerous. Plus, it’s not like he’s earned his powers . . . yet.
But power comes with a price.
Lately it’s difficult to hold back and keep his heroics in the shadows. When Clark follows the sound of a girl crying, he comes across Gloria Alvarez and discovers a dark secret lurking in Smallville. Turns out, Clark’s not the only one hiding something. Teaming up with his best friend, Lana Lang, he throws himself into the pursuit of the truth. What evil lies below the surface of his small town? And what will it cost Clark to learn about his past as he steps into the light to become the future Man of Steel? Because before he can save the world, he must save Smallville.

Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

I am just loving all of the series conclusions!!! I have always herd wonderful things about China’s work so I will be accumulating this series to reach throughout the year as well.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

 
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

I read her book Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be last year and just loved it! This is one of my most anticipated books this year and I cannot wait to pick it up!

Synopsis: In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out
of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself. 

  • I checked this morning and the B&N exclusive was only $14.99!

 

March 12th
Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith

Guys I have been seeing all of the ARC packages for this book and it is just gorgeous!!! Plus is supposed to be an amazing read! I am pretty sure this will be a drop all of my there books and read this one situation when I get my order.

Synopsis: Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants.
Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game. To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of
carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

There are also a few special editions releasing this month that I think you will be very interested in…
I know I cannot wait to get my hand on these!!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab Collectors Edition

*End papers featuring stunning fan art
*An updated glossary of Arnesian and Antari terms
*Original (never before seen!) short story from within the Shades of Magic world

There is also a Barnes & Noble exclusive that is a different color.

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.  Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

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February 2019 New Book Releases

This February is another great month of new releases!!! There is just so much coming out on February 5th!

February 5th

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Enchantee Book ReleaseParis in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology #1) by Robin LaFevers

Courting Darkness BookThis author has another series called His Fair Assassins that has been a hot item on my TBR recently. I am really eager to dive into that series and then will tackle this duology. I have heard so many great things about this author.

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

I will most likely be attending a signing for this book at a local independent book store in Houston, TX, Blue Willow Books. I will be sure to share my experience!

Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joanna Hathaway

Dark of the West new bookAurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

February 12th

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard

Bloodwitch Witchlands 3 by Susan DennardI have started this series and enjoyed it so far, looking forward to finding out more about Aeduan!

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

The Blood Spell (Ravenspire #4) by C.J. Redwine

Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating tension among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

February 26th

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the orange tree book releaseThere has been a ton of hype over this book for several months so I have been pretty hesitant about reading it. I decided not to pre order and will wait to see how the reviews pan out after release.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Book Review

Overall: ****

I have heard so so so much about Schwab and this series in particular so I have just been itching to give it a try. When this booked popped up on my Scribd suggestions I knew I had to check it out.

A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

I am really glad that I kicked this series off with an audiobook due to the amount of world building that occurs, what with the multiple Londons and their different dynamics. I think I might have struggled to get into the book so much if I was trying to read through all of those details versus having them read to me. Once I was in though I was sucked in. I actually ended up finding a gorgeous collectors edition of the book at Barnes and Noble, bought it and finished reading the physical book instead of listening. One thing I will caution to those of you who choose to pursue the audiobook, the narrator was a bit of a challenge. I felt a little bit like I was being read to by Alfred the butler from Batman, and it was hard not to giggle at some of the voice impressions he did. Especially Lilah who happens to be one of the main characters and talks A LOT!

The ideas of the different London’s was very unique, I liked taking the idea of alternate realties and playing it with magic and a “back in time” feel instead of it being sci-fi. Strangely I was satisfied with the way the book ended but also with so many more questions!

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 just because of the slower start… I have a feeling that the series will be 5 stars overall. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel A Conjuring of Shadows! The collectors edition of this book releases in March!! I also have a book box from Enchanted book box that is based on the V.E. Schwab world… I was a replacement for a prior box I purchased that had to be canceled and I was a bit nervous since I had not read any of her work yet but now I am super excited!!!

Official Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

More to come as I complete the series!

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January Owl Crate Unboxing and Review

Overall rating: *****

By now I am sure you have seen I have developed a serious love for Owlcrate. In my opinion it is hands down the best U.S. based crate and value for the money. I actually committed to a subscription… which I have never done for any box ever!! I was quite positive about the book that was going to be in the box so I could not wait to get it, and took a gamble on not pre-ordering the book on my own to have release day.

Owlcrate January unboxing

The theme for January was Magical Artifacts. What came in the box:

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – Exclusive Owlcrate edition. Guys I really did not think this book could get any more gorgeous but they did it somehow! This also came with author letter and a cute Gilded Wolves themes luggage tag
  • Gilded Wolves themed pin of the month by Alchemy and Ink
  • A Darker Shade of Magic inspired bag by Stella Bookish Art
  • Sting Sword letter opener by Juniper & Ivy Designs
  • The Gold Compass inspired tapestry by Holly Dunn Design
  • Harry Potter inspired Master of Death Socks
  • Antler bracelet inspired by the amplifiers from the Shadow and Bone series

Owlcrate full unboxing January

I was just in love with this box, the book, the Darker Shade of magic bag!! Ah I already cannot wait for the February box whose theme will be Whimsical Beasts!!!

P.S. If you Google search Owlcrate and then click on the ad, I have found that it gives you a coupon!