review

Review: To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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The Cover: To Kill A Kingdom‘s cover immediately drew me in when I first saw it. The water actually looks like part of a Picasso painting and the tentacles really intrigued me. When you think of a siren or mermaid you think of a fish tail and not tentacles so I really wanted to dive into the book and see how they tied in with sirens and I was NOT disappointed. 

Basics: To Kill A Kingdom was released on March 6th 2018, published by Feiwel Friends and is 352 pages long. Genre wise To Kill A Kingdom belongs to Young Adult, Fantasy and Romance. 

Description: Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Overall thoughts: I read To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo last year but never got around to writing a  review for it, so I thought for my first review of 2019 that I would do a re-read of To Kill A Kingdom and write a review for it. First of all, I won’t beat around the bush…I LOVED this book. I am big a fan of anything (especially book wise) that deals with water, mermaids/sirens or fantasy so the synopsis of To Kill A Kingdom really hooked me. 

If you think about mermaids or sirens in this case, I’m sure many of you think of The Little Mermaid which has several versions. If you just think about mermaids/sirens you think how they use their beauty and mesmerizing voice to lure sailors to their deaths. With To Kill A Kingdom it adds a whole another layer to their life and especially luring people to their deaths. Lira is a siren princess who is known throughout the seven seas as one of the deadliest sirens ever, on top of that she is also one of the sirens who has collected the most hearts of her victims. The sirens in To Kill A Kingdom not only lure and kill their victims to the depths of the sea, but they also the hearts of those victims and Lira has seventeen hearts. When a misunderstanding occurs, Lira is forced by her mother (the hateful and cruel Sea Queen) to turn into the creature she hates most, a human. 

Going against her mother’s wishes, Lira decides to use being a human and a pirate prince she meets upon becoming a human to her advantage. She sets out to find the way to overthrow her mother once and for all. To Kill A Kingdom had so many wonderful elements to it’s story that I honestly don’t think I could do a blog post that would be able to go through it all. I think just all the changes and lessons both Lira and Prince Elian go through are my favorite because they both have these beliefs and lies that they were told about humans and sirens that turn out to be completely false. It’s a really fascinating Young Adult read that really made me think about the differences between sirens and people, but also just in general. 

To Kill A Kingdom is a great Young Adult fantasy read that I couldn’t put down. There was always something that happened within chapter that either had me saying, “wow!” or had me on the edge of my seat. Also, the slow burning of will they? won’t they? / enemies to lovers dynamic between Lira and Elian is AMAZING. They are definitely one of my favorite Young Adult book couples ever! If you love Young Adult, Fantasy books with a darker version of The Little Mermaid, you’ll love To Kill A Kingdom as much as I did! 
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Couple Chemistry Rating: 5/5 Shells
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Favorite Quotes: “In my heart, I’m as wild as the ocean that raised me.” -Lira

“How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.” -Lira

My Rating: 5/5 Shells
5 shells

Buy To Kill A Kingdom:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FdFk3R
Kindle: https://amzn.to/2syaVGu
Barnes & Nobles: https://bit.ly/2FdkC40
Book Depository:  https://bit.ly/2KewnLd
iBooks: https://apple.co/2SFOqdx
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2skxM8b

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About the Author:
Alexandra Christo decided to write books when she was four and her teacher told her she couldn’t be a fairy. She has a BA in Creative Writing and works as a copywriter in London, both of which make her sound more grown up than she feels. When she’s not busy making up stories, she can be found buying far too many cushions and organizing food crawls all over the city.  Alexandra currently lives in Hertfordshire with an abundance of cacti (because they’re the only plants she can keep alive).

Follow Alexandra:
Website: https://alexandrachristo.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alliechristo
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2seMJZ8

katy
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review

Era of Undying by Emilie Knight

51SgdUnrWWL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Cover: I think cover for the Era of Undying is super cool and is the perfect cover for a fantasy book. It really irks me when a book cover has nothing to do with it’s story and characters but that is NOT the case for the cover of Era of Undying and I love it! 

Basics: Era of Undying was released on March 6th 2018, published by Createspace and is 200 pages long. Genre wise Era of Undying belongs to fantasy and adventure. 

Description: There hasn’t been a Blood Warrior for decades. Everyone assumed they were extinct and couldn’t return. Turns out they were just in hiding. Pen chose to revert back to her nomadic life after the death of her family. Life was always safer that way, away from people. Now she’s been caught and odd occurrences have been happening in Ichorisis. People are surviving horrible injuries and illnesses that they shouldn’t be. Now that Pen is under custody of one of the several kings she’s been sent to fix the problem. Whether she wants to or not.

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Overall thoughts:
Era of Undying was the perfect fantasy, epic adventure read! Knight created an amazing story filled with a compelling story line, epic heroine and overall a great read for any adventure and fantasy genre lover. I always enjoy books with fantastical elements but I’ve never read a book that included a different type of magic, blood magic.  

In the world of Era of Undying there are a group of warriors who use the very blood in their veins as a weapon. With a simple cut, the warriors are able to compel their blood to take form into any shape they like and fight with it. How cool is that?! However these heroic Blood Warriors have seemed to disappeared and are only whispered as legends. Pen our heroine happens to be one of the the Blood Warriors, apparently the only one left. After losing her family, she chooses to live solitude and wants to stay under the radar. But when she is thrust back into the daily lives of the Kingdom and forced into custody of the Kings, things get messy and Pan has a number of hard choices to make. 

I loved this book! Although it was a short read, I devoured it and immediately fell in love with Pen and the wonderful world of Era of Undying! If you’re a fantasy and magic book lover, this book is definitely for you! 

My Rating: 5/5 Shells
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Buy Era of Undying:
Kindle
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Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Q6LXLc

About the Author: Emilie Knight may be a new author but she has plenty of experience constantly writing. The voices in her head basically won’t let her stop creating new written works (unless she wants to go mad). Era of Undying may be the first official novel but there will be more to come.

Follow Emilie:
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2qY56R6
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Bnel3H

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Review: The Lord of Stariel by A.J. Lancaster

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The Cover: The Lord of Stariel has a whimsical and magical cover which I really adore because it matches the mood of the book and characters. It’s simple and bright, overall a great cover to look at or to put on your bookshelf. 

Basics: The Lord of Stariel was released on November 1st 2018, is 318 pages long and is part of the Kindle Unlimited program. Genre wise The Lord of Stariel belongs to fantasy, young adult, fae world and romance.

DescriptionThe Lord of Stariel is dead. Long live the Lord of Stariel. Whoever that is. 

Everyone knows who the magical estate will choose for its next ruler. Or do they?  Will it be the lord’s eldest son, who he despised?  His favourite nephew, with the strongest magical land-sense?  His scandalous daughter, who ran away from home years ago to study illusion? 

Hetta knows it won’t be her, and she’s glad of it. Returning home for her father’s funeral, all Hetta has to do is survive the family drama and avoid entanglements with irritatingly attractive local men until the Choosing. Then she can leave.  But whoever Stariel chooses will have bigger problems than eccentric relatives to deal with. 

Winged, beautifully deadly problems.  For the first time in centuries, the fae are returning to the Mortal Realm, and only the Lord of Stariel can keep the estate safe. In theory.  The Lord of Stariel is the first book in the Stariel series. If you like your fantasy mixed with romance, served with a side of mystery, and garnished with statistically improbable quantities of attractive people, you’ve come to the right place!
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Overall thoughts:  The Lord of Stariel, A.J. Lancaster’s debut novel, I believe she went above and beyond my expectations. She paints a beautifully well done opening book to a series, with an engaging plot and kick butt characters that immediately grabbed my attention. As a fantasy book lover I was very impressed and I think any fantasy or fae book lover would really enjoy reading The Lord of Stariel. 

Hetta is a great leading lady: strong, smart and has a great sense of humor. She is someone that every little girl would read about and look up to, but also aim to be like. The story was very interesting and honestly my own issue with the entire book was that it was a little slow in the beginning but overall very enjoyable. 

Hetta has been gone from home for quite awhile and when the death of a family member happens, she comes home and everything changes. She embarks on quite a journey, surviving her distant family and the sudden arrival of fae to the mortal realm. 

A.J. Lancaster should be very proud of her debut novel and I look whatever to her future works, especially the next book in this series! 

Couple Chemistry Rating: 5/5 Shells
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My Rating: 5/5 Shells
5 shells

Buy The Lord of Stariel:
***Available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited***
Amazon
Paperback
Barnes & Nobles
Add to Goodreads

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About the Author:
 A.J. Lancaster is fantasy writer of the whimsical rather than grimdark variety. She wrote her first novel some years ago at the age of 13* and still hasn’t managed to kick the habit. Her favourite authors include Terry Pratchett, Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Georgette Heyer, and Naomi Novik.

She lives in windy Wellington, New Zealand, with two ridiculous cats and many novelty mugs. She is new to indie publishing – but is working on publishing books. She is currently working on a fantasy quartet (the Stariel Series), which plan to be published in 2018.

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Review: A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa

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The Cover: As I stated in my other review of the first book Rhapsodic, A Strange Hymn‘s cover is very similar to the first of the series. You can’t exactly tell what the cover is unless you really focus on it, but when you do my immediate thought was OK…what is that? And again it has the red robe that looks a lot like blood, so interesting but most of all eye catching! Exactly what a book cover should be!

Basics: A Strange Hymn was released on May 26th 2017, published by Lavabrook Publishing Group and is 385 pages long. Genre wise A Strange Hymn belongs to paranormal romance and fantasy.

Description: Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn’t over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there. 

When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues. 

Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret. 

But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn’t careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves—and her along with it.
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Overall thoughts: Rhapsodic ended with a lot of questions and A Strange Hymn comes back with a lot of answers that literally come out of nowhere. There were several things that were explained or discovered as I was reading and I was really taken aback at points because it was one thing after another. 

Callie is finally together with best friend and soulmate Desmond Flynn, AKA King of Night but she is still trying to heal from the horrors she faced from escaping the Mad King, Karnon from the first book. Not only was getting back together with Des a bit stressful, but Callie is pushed even more forward in the Fae Otherworld. Not to mention the fact that the women in coffins still won’t wake up and more fae warriors are missing each day. PLUS Callie thinks Des is keeping things from her, with everything going on around them it seems like their fate is to come back together to only get torn apart again.

A Strange Hymn is A LOT more fast paced compared to Rhapsodic, I found it easier to get into and was hooked from start to finish! Callie and Desmond leap off right the pages and into your heart, I ship them so hard that I genuinely worry about their safety and relationship so much that I found myself on pins and needles while reading. Des is that perfect bad boy, attractive, super sexy guy that most women dream about and I know he may be fictional but Callie is one lucky woman. 

I loved this book so much and the ending was so heart pounding explosive that I had goosebumps as I finished A Strange Hymn. I am super pumped for Dark Harmony because where Rhapsodic may of been the first act, A Strange Hymn set the stage perfectly for the finale of The Bargainer series and you are NOT going to want to miss it! 

Couple Chemistry Rating: 5/5 Shells
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Favorite Quotes: “I would steal the stars from the sky for you.  Anything to hear you laugh like that.” -Des 

“This love between us is bigger than him, bigger than me.” -Callie 

My Rating: 5/5 Shells
5 shells

Buy A Strange Hymn:
***Available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited***
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2D48Oke
Paperback: https://amzn.to/2CDumDq
Audible: https://amzn.to/2z2EQZP
Barnes & Nobles: https://bit.ly/2CB9hJT
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2PkyM90

Buy Rhapsodic #1 of The Bargainer Series:
***Available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited***
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PihWHQ
Paperback: https://amzn.to/2D0v1zS
Barnes & Nobles: https://bit.ly/2yYI0O9
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2AoOp7b
My Review: https://bit.ly/2JdRsBH

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About the Author:
 Laura Thalassa Found in the forest when she was young, Laura Thalassa was raised by fairies, kidnapped by werewolves, and given over to vampires as repayment for a hundred year debt. She’s been brought back to life twice, and, with a single kiss, she woke her true love from eternal sleep. She now lives happily ever after with her undead prince in a castle in the woods. …or something like that anyway. 
When not writing, Laura can be found scarfing down guacamole, hoarding chocolate for the apocalypse, or curled up on the couch with a good book.

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Review: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch by Serena Valentino

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The Cover: I really love this cover especially for a retelling according to the villain’s side of the story. Everyone knows The Little Mermaid and Ursula is one of the most iconic villains ever and I really like this cover. What I also really loved about Poor Unfortunate Soul was the fact that when you remove the cover sleeve, the cover becomes Ursula’s human counterpart, Vanessa. 

Basics: Poor Unfortunate Soul was released on July 26th 2016, published by Disney Press and is 208 pages long. It is the the third book in the Villans trilogy. Genre wise Poor Unfortunate Soul belongs to Young Adult and Fantasy. 

Description: The third novel in Serena Valentino’s (Fairest of All, Beast Within) “VILLAINS” trilogy, featuring the story of the Little Mermaid from the perspective of the sea witch Ursula.
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Overall thoughts: I am a huge Disney fan! Since I was little I loved everything Disney and it’s no surprise that I adore The Little Mermaid! Considering the basis of this blog’s design is based off beachy style! I was in Barnes & Nobles several months ago when I saw on one of the display shelves that Disney Published and author Serena Valentino teamed up to write books based off Disney villain’s points of views. I immediately grabbed Ursula’s book, Poor Unfortunate Soul. I just finished reading it recently and I was completely blown away! 

I’ve read a lot of difference versions of retellings of fairy-tales but not like this! I like reading from different types of perspectives: good guy, bad guy, etc. There’s always two sides to a story and Poor Unfortunate Soul definitely tells you Ursula’s side of the story and then some! Valentino adds some other interesting details in Poor Unfortunate Soul that literally had me pausing my reading and saying, “Wait…what?!” 

Ursula is still herself in this book and she is definitely evil too, but Valentino adds more depth to the sea witch and she actually made me feel bad for her. Seriously. Overall Poor Unfortunate Soul is any fantasy, fairy tale, Disney lover’s dream. It is part of Valentino’s Villain’s trilogy series and can be read as a standalone but I feel like the reader would understand the book and series better if they had read the other books in the series, which I plan on doing very soon! 

My Rating: 5/5 Shells
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Buy Poor Unfortunate Soul:
**Available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited**

Amazon
Barnes & Nobles
iBooks
Kobo
Audible
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About the Author: Serena Valentino is best known for weaving tales that combine mythos and guile with her work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales, and her best selling Disney Villain Novels which have earned her critical acclaim for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty and extraordinary female protagonists.

Her Disney Villain novel series would be best enjoyed if read in this order: Fairest of All: The Story of the Wicked Queen,  The Beast Within: The Story of Belle’s Prince, Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch,  and Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy. Mother Knows Best: A Tale of the Old Witch will be released in August 2018, and the Odd Sisters book will be released in Summer 2019.

Serena lives in New Orleans with her dog Gozer, and a very tiny kitty named Momma.

Follow Serena:
Website http://www.serenavalentino.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SerenaValentino

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