LOVE & WAR Blog Tour: My Top 10 Favorite Things About Love & War

I am so excited to be a part of the LOVE & WAR Blog Tour and to share 10 of my favorite things about this incredible sequel by Melissa de la Cruz. Though it wasn’t easy to choose just 10, I did manage to narrow the list. But if you really want to know why this book is amazing, you’ll have to read it and discover its magic for yourself.

LOVE & WAR released last week, so if you’d like to grab a copy from your favorite retailer and dive right in, there’s no wait.

And if you’d like to know the 10 reasons I adored ALEX & ELIZA, the first book in the series, I shared them for my tour stop last year.

History isn’t always fascinating or romantic or enjoyable to read about, but Melissa de la Cruz’s version is all of those things and more. To discover a bit more about ALEX & ELIZA and LOVE & WAR, check out the other tour stops – direct links to each of the stops follow at the end of the post.

And to find out my 10 favorite things about LOVE & WAR, they follow the book’s description below.


About LOVE & WAR

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Title & Series: LOVE & WAR (Alex & Eliza #2)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Release date: April 17, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

The thrilling romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler continues in the sizzling sequel to the New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza: A Love Story

1781. Albany, New York.

As the war for American independence rages on, Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler begin their new life as a married couple. Still, Alex is as determined as ever to prove his mettle and secure his legacy . . . even if that means leaving his beloved Eliza behind to join the front lines at the Battle of Yorktown. But when the war unexpectedly arrives on Eliza’s doorstep, she must fight for a better future–for their fledgling country and for her marriage.

Yet even after the Revolution comes to its historic close, Alex and Eliza’s happily-ever-after is threatened. Eliza struggles to build a home in the hustle and bustle of New York City just as Alex’s burgeoning law practice brings him up against his greatest rival–the ambitious young lawyer Aaron Burr. And with Alex’s star on the rise, Eliza can’t help but feel neglected by a husband who seems to have time for everyone but her. Torn apart by new trials and temptations, can Alex and Eliza’s epic love survive life in the big city?

The battles are just beginning in the sumptuous sequel to Melissa de la Cruz’s New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza: A Love Story.

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My Top 10 Favorite Things About Love & War
#1 The Challenges

Things were not always easy for Eliza or Alex. The war kept them apart. Alex’s ambition kept him away from home much of the time. But their love for each other was strong enough to withstand the many challenges they faced as husband and wife.

“She knows of your ambitions then? General Schuyler asked pointedly.

Alex’s words caught in his throat. He could not lie to his father-in-law. “We have not discussed it yet, but I know she will understand. She has your own bravery as a prior example, after all.”

“Hamilton,” John said sharply. “She will be crushed.”

#2 The Humor

Much like the first book in the series, the humor makes this book special, and makes the characters more real-to-life. There is no shortage of moments or dialogue that will make you smile.

“May I suggest that for your next couple of visits you wear something more comfortable? Though that gown is beautiful, and you are a vision in it, I will not be ready for oils for at least a few days. I must first learn how your face paints.”

“My face paints?” Eliza laughed nervously. “Unless I were to take the brush between my teeth, I do not think it will paint at all.”

#3 Eliza

In this sequel, Eliza beats Alex, hands down, as my favorite character. Her strength, her bravery, her fortitude, her intelligence – and of course her wit – make her even more likable than when we first met her.

“You have a saucy mouth,” the apparent leader said. “Especially for a genteel, unarmed woman.”

“I am armed with my God-given womanhood, which is more than enough to protect me from the likes of you. And soon enough our father will be back with twenty men, and then I wonder what will protect you,” said Eliza angrily.

#4 The History

It is still an incredibly exciting time in our young nation’s history when this story takes place (1781-1784). We are still fighting. We are still trying to find our way, free from Britain’s rule. There is so much possibility, so much undecided. The need for independence for the colonies goes against the need for a united country. And it all makes for a very compelling read.

It was a heady time of chaos and change. Both young spouses contributed to the political and moral character of this new nation that had, against all odds, torn itself off from the most powerful empire on earth, and found itself in the unexpected position of having to decide what kind of nation it would be. Would it be a monarchy or a republic? A loose confederacy of thirteen competing states, or a unified polity whose far-flung and disparate regions each contributed their unique strengths to make up for the deficiencies and weaknesses of the others?

And above all, how would it conduct itself?

#5 Eliza’s fury

Eliza is not passive or quiet or accepting or docile. She does not fit into society’s expected role for her. And she does not let Alex forget who she is or what she expects from him.

“My darling, please,” Alex said, grabbing her hands. “There are some decisions a man has to do on his own.”

Eliza resisted the urge to pull her hands from Alex, lest she cause a scene. But her fury was so palpable that Alex dropped them of his own accord.

“A man maybe. But a husband–never,” she said coldly. She stormed away from him, her head held high.

#6 The Chapter Titles

I don’t always notice chapter titles. Especially with books I get caught up in. It’s easy to forget they’re there as you race through the story, desperate to uncover what happens next. The more captivating the story, the less likely I am to notice them – even in a print edition, with pretty fonts.

But the chapter titles really stand out in this second installment in the series. They make me that much more intrigued by what I am to discover in the chapter I’m embarking on. And so I make the extra effort to pause to notice them, knowing that they’ll pique my curiosity and make me read just a little bit faster.

And while I won’t reveal all my favorites, my most favorites are: The Man Who Ate New York, Hot Towels!, Don’t Forget to Take Out the Trash, and Salad Days.

#7 Alex

While he may have fallen a bit further down on my list of favorites in this second book in the series, he is still a big part of why I love this story. He is driven. He does love Eliza fiercely. And without Alex there would be no Alex & Eliza.

“My dearest, bravest girl,” he murmured, bending down to kiss her on the soft spot near her ear. “I am home now. You are my home.”

#8 The Writing

I love how Melissa de la Cruz tells a story. Especially one that has been written by history already. She makes it come alive. She makes it relatable and magical, all at once. She turns dry facts into interesting ones. She turns names into people. She turns historical happenings into moments and events.

She certainly made these two historical figures into people I wish I’d met and gotten to know. Especially Eliza Hamilton.

#9 The Marriage

I suppose I could have said the romance, but their marriage was much more than that. There was love. But there were also disagreements and obstacles and challenges. Some due to the time period, some due to expectations of the time, some due to distance, some due to Alex’s drive. It wasn’t a perfect marriage, there was no wedded bliss, but it felt very real and very strong – which is why it’s a top favorite.

And, of course, the fact that even with all of that…

…Alex literally swept her off her feet and carried her over the threshold. Eliza giggled in his arms, giddy to think that they were alone at least–with no servants, sisters, little brothers, or parents in sight…

#10 The Settings (Locations)

Coming in at number 10, once again, I just have to list setting – or in this case settings plural – as a favorite. I always love getting to “see” different places at different times throughout history through an author’s eyes. Even if the settings are sometimes completely or partially fictional.

But I am partial to New York. And I love that a portion of the story is set in the city of New York. It lets me imagine what life was like there at the end of the 18th century following the hard fought battles in the New York Campaign, and the retreat of the British (finally) in 1783.

And while the author didn’t have too much leeway in choosing the settings for her story, she very much made them a wonderful part of it.


About Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York TimesUSA TodayWall Street JournalLos Angeles Times, and Publishers Weekly internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed books for readers of all ages, including Alex & Eliza: A Love Story, Disney’s Descendants novels, the Blue Bloods series, and the Summer on East End series. Her books have sold over eight million copies, and the Witches of East End series became an hour-long television drama on the Lifetime network. Visit her at melissa-delacruz.com

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Other Books in the Series

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Title & Series: ALEX & ELIZA (Alex & Eliza #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Release date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters–Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival those of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, Eliza can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck–as an orphan, and a bastard one at that–to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

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The Campaign Schedule

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story

Week One

Week Two

Love & War: An Alex & Eliza Love Story

Week Three

Week Four

LOST CROW CONSPIRACY BLOG TOUR: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to the final day of the LOST CROW CONSPIRACY Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.

I am so excited to be a part of the tour and to share my thoughts about this second book in Author Rosalyn Eves’ Blood Rose Rebellion series. While I absolutely loved the first book in this series, I love, love, love LOST CROW CONSPIRACY.

And while I don’t share all the reasons why in my review – because that would be way too spoiler-y – I do list a few. So if you’d like to know what I thought, my review follows a bit further below.

If you’d like to know more about the author and each of the books in series, their information is also below – though you should definitely not read the description for LOST CROW CONSPIRACY if you haven’t yet read BLOOD ROSE REBELLION.

This tour includes a tour-wide giveaway for those with U.S. addresses. So if you want a chance to win an awesome prize, head down to the Rafflecopter for more details.

And if you’d like to check out the other stops on the tour, the schedule follows at the end of the post with direct links to all the stops.


About LOST CROW CONSPIRACY

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Title & Series: LOST CROW CONSPIRACY (Blood Rose Rebellion #2)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 464
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBooks

Description…

Sixteen-year old Anna Arden was once just the magically barren girl from an elite Luminate family. Now she has broken the Binding–and Praetheria, the creatures held captive by the spell, wreak havoc across Europe. Lower-class citizens have access to magic for the first time, while other Luminates lose theirs forever. Austria and Hungary are at odds once more.

Anna thought the Praetheria were on her side, grateful to be free from the Binding. She thought her cousin Matyas’s blood sacrifice would bring peace, equality, justice. She thought her future looked like a society that would let her love a Romani boy, Gabor.

But with the Monarchy breathing down her neck and the Praetheria intimidating her at every turn, it seems the conspiracies have only just begun.

As threat of war sweeps the region, Anna quickly discovers she can’t solve everything on her own. Now there’s only one other person who might be able to save the country before war breaks out. The one person Anna was sure she’d never see again. A bandit. A fellow outlaw. A man known as the King of Crows. Matyas.

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NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

LOST CROW CONSPIRACY is everything you could want in a sequel and so much more. It is action-packed, edge-of-your-seat exciting, suspense-filled, and full of surprises. Magical beings, spell-casting and spell-breaking, hidden agendas, manipulation, betrayal, injustice, fierce battles, and a touch of romance make this installment riveting.

The story picks up shortly after the events in the first book in the series. And while things may seem to have settled down following the rebellion, the reality is quite different. The shift in magic has left many uneasy or angry. The fear of the unknown and of the praetheria has the decision-makers on edge. The now-free Hungary has caused power struggles among the countries looking to expand their empires and has presented opportunities for those looking to lead. And a new, even deadlier threat is on the horizon.

Anna thought she made the right decision when she chose to break the Binding, releasing the magic and freeing the praetheria. Even with what it cost her and with the secrets she had to keep. But her Hungary wasn’t as free as she thought it was. The beings she unleashed on the world might not be as benevolent. The Congress wasn’t as open-minded as she would have hoped. And she may have put herself in a position where she’d have to choose duty, responsibility, country over love.

Author Rosalyn Eves did not let up on the intensity in this second book in her series. She added more battles, more chases and escapes, more fascinating beings, more magical abilities, and many more threats and dangers. She continued to make a connection to the events, people, and climate of the time. She touched on issues of women’s rights and equality. She developed Anna into even more of a strong female lead.

LOST CROW CONSPIRACY is the perfect follow-up to BLOOD ROSE REBELLION. It has a faster pace. It has a whole host of new and interesting issues and characters. It advances the storyline in different and unexpected ways. It offers dual points-of-view that give a peek at very separate and distinct parts of the world. And it sets things up and teases things to come in the third installment in the series.

Thrilling, nail-biting, at times inciting, and completely all-consuming, LOST CROW CONSPIRACY is an absolute must.

The Rating

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About Rosalyn Eves

Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.

She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.

Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.

Her first novel, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, first in a YA historical fantasy trilogy, is out now from Knopf/Random House. Her second, LOST CROW CONSPIRACY, comes out March 27, 2018.

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About BLOOD ROSE REBELLION

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Title & Series: BLOOD ROSE REBELLION (Blood Rose Rebellion #)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • THREE (3) winners will receive a SIGNED finished copy of LOST CROW CONSPIRACY + a magnet – US ONLY

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

TO KILL A KINGDOM by Alexandra Christo Blog Tour Review

I am so excited to be a stop on the TO KILL A KINGDOM Blog Tour. From the moment I saw the cover and the tagline I was intrigued.

But when I read the description I knew Alexandra Christo’s TO KILL A KINGDOM was going to be one of those stories that I’d want to devour in a single sitting just to find out how everything ended – and it was. It was so completely unputdownable.

If you’d like to know what else I thought, my review follows below. If you haven’t yet heard of this book, which comes out next week on March 6th, check out the bookish details below. And if you’d like to connect with the author on social media, links to places you can find her online follow at the end of the post.


About TO KILL A KINGDOM

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Title: TO KILL A KINGDOM
Author: Alexandra Christo
Release date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 352
Foramts: Hardcover, audio, eBook

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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 and 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?

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Note: This review is based on an ARC and eARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

A multitude of battles and skirmishes, oceans of bloodthirsty creatures, a seemingly impossible quest, a golden prince, and a cold-hearted princess are just some of what make TO KILL A KINGDOM unputdownable. Powerful magic, vengeful and ruthless killers, deception, lies, betrayal, stolen hearts, and romance make it unforgettable.

The Sea Queen’s mandate that every siren must add a heart to her collection only once a year, on her birthday, must be followed. Even by her daughter, Princess Lira. But when the chance to steal a prince’s heart a few weeks early presents itself, she can’t resist.

She knew that breaking the rules might incite her mother’s wrath. But she never thought her actions would ultimately lead to the punishment her mother chose to inflict – one that turned her into her enemy, leaving her weak, vulnerable, and separated from her home.

Determined to impress the Sea Queen and prove just how valuable and clever and brutal she could be, Lira set her sights on the heart of the Midasan prince, Prince Elian. Even in human form she would show her mother that she was the Prince’s Bane and had no shred of humanity that would render her unworthy of reigning when the queen stepped down.

Prince Elian never wanted to take the throne and be forever trapped in Midas. He was only ever happy when at sea, hunting down the sirens that lured ships’ captains and crews to their deaths, and pursuing the siren known only as the Prince’s Bane.

When he learned of an object that had the power to destroy the Sea Queen and every last siren, he would do whatever it took to find it. Even if it meant trusting in fairytales. Even if it mean entering a soul-crushing bargain. Even if it meant relying on someone he knew he should never trust.

Alexandra Christo penned a most delightful, fierce, action-packed, vicious, captivating, and immensely entertaining tale. Her monsters are monstrous. Her heroes are deadly. Their adventures are enthralling. Their quest is formidable. The fights are savage. The romance is unlikely. The outcome is unpredictable.

And with one enemy in the dark, another filled with uncertainty, and two kingdoms on the line, TO KILL A KINGDOM is guaranteed to be a gripping, thrilling, and all-consuming, tentacle-filled read.

The Rating


About Alexandra Christo

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).Alexandra is the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

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THE TRAITOR’S GAME by Jennifer A. Nielsen Blog Tour Review

I am super excited to be a part of THE TRAITOR’S GAME Blog Tour and to be sharing my review post on its release day.

Yes, the wait is finally over for Jennifer A. Nielsen‘s THE TRAITOR’S GAME, so if you’ve been dying to read this first book in the new series you’ll be able to grab a copy today!

If you haven’t yet heard of this new release – which is seriously, seriously, awesome – all sorts of info is below, along with a link to an excerpt. And if you’d like to join to conversation to talk about what you think about Kestra and Simon and all that happens, join the conversation on social media using #TheTraitorsGame.

Of course if you want to know why it’s called THE TRAITOR’S GAME or discover the meaning behind the tagline – Motives Will Shift. Secrets Will Emerge. – you’ll have to dive in to find out.


About THE TRAITOR’S GAME

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Title & Series: THE TRAITOR’S GAME (The Traitor’s Game #1)
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Release date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

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Description…

Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well—and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.

The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what—and who—it is they’re fighting for.

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NOTE: This review is based on an eARC and ARC received by the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A finished Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

THE TRAITOR’S GAME is instantly and completely riveting, immeasurably intriguing, and filled to the brim with action, deception, secrets, lies, betrayal, and heartbreak. The dual POV both reveals and teases. The world is elaborate and interesting and dangerous and thrilling. The characters are captivating, mysterious, challenging, defiant, and a bit untrustworthy. The story grips and twists and surprises and leads to a phenomenally astonishing ending that hints at just some of the amazingness to come in the sequel.

Kestra knew the Dallisors had enemies. With her father willing to do Lord Endrick’s bidding, there were bound to be those who despised her family. She just never imagined how many or who she’d have to protect herself against. And she never thought a time would come when she could be coerced into helping them.

Simon took an oath to stand with those looking to take back the throne, those seeking to defeat Lord Endrick. The rage he felt toward Kestra Dallisor for her betrayal was just fuel on a fire already burning. He never imagined his allegiance would be questioned or that he’d be the one to question it. He never dreamed he might one day have to protect the person he hated most in the world.

Jennifer Nielsen went so far above and beyond with this first book in her new series. Her world and characters stand out – corrupting magic, remarkable and deadly creatures and weapons, an alluring myth, exciting and treacherous and conniving friends and foes. The plot is electrifying and jam-packed with harrowing chases, lethal assaults, intricate plans, difficult choices, shaky alliances, unanticipated outcomes, devastating losses. The pace is fast, the writing suspenseful and engaging and detailed, and the ending worth every nail-biting moment leading up to it.

If you like your heroines fierce, your heroes protective, their loyalties divided, their missions complex, their motivations hidden, their lives full of secrets, THE TRAITOR’S GAME is an absolute must.

The Rating

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


The Trailer


Praise

About Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer A. Nielsen is the acclaimed author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Trilogy: The False Prince, The Runaway King, and The Shadow Throne. She also wrote the New York Times bestselling Mark of the Thief trilogy: Mark of the Thief, Rise of the Wolf, and Wrath of the Storm; the standalone fantasy The Scourge; the historical thriller A Night Divided; the second book in the Horizon series, Deadzone; and Book Six of the Infinity Ring series, Behind Enemy Lines; and The Traitor’s Game, the first book in a series of the same name.

Jennifer lives in northern Utah with her husband, their three children, and a perpetually muddy dog.

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Review: THE DARK CALLING by Kresley Cole

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Title & Series: THE DARK CALLING (The Arcana Chronicles #6)
Author: Kresley Cole
Release date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Valkyrie Press
Pages: 350
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

The Description…

New intrigues, adventures, and stunning revelations fill the penultimate installment of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s electrifying Arcana Chronicles.

In a world teetering on the edge . . .

When Evie receives life-changing—and possibly game-changing—news, she has trouble believing it. Why doesn’t she feel any different? Is it possible someone she trusts might be lying?

With enemies at every turn . . .

Tensions seethe inside the castle of lost time as Evie starts to doubt her own sanity. Answers can be found outside their stronghold, but will Death help her find them—or prevent her from learning the truth about her future and Jack’s possible survival?

Darkness beckons. 

A mysterious, sinister power begins to affect the Arcana in its path. Forced out into the wasteland alone, Evie must depend on unexpected allies. But as a battle with Richter looms, can her new alliance defeat the Dark Calling before hell reigns on earth?

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Note: This review is based on an eARC received from the author’s publicist in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

Unexpected. Heartbreaking. Shocking. Surprising. Intense. Amazing. Game-changer. THE DARK CALLING will make jaws drop – many, many times. It promises twists that are astonishing, unforeseen, exciting, fascinating, epic. A new player is revealed. A few players make their exit. Others make their power plays. And several players struggle just to survive.

With the game nearing its end, the post-Flash world is falling even further into ruin, causing some cards to weaken – from hunger, from loss of power, from madness. The Fool continues to make moves, pushing players toward an outcome he has not yet revealed. The final card makes itself known with devastating consequences. Plans and alliances have to be reassessed. And the Empress will have far more to deal with then she could ever have imagined.

With food supplies running low, and desperation growing among those that remain in the Ash, the safest place for Evie is with Death. But when his home turns from haven to danger zone, she’ll have to take her chances with the slavers, baggers, and others not in her alliance. Players like Richter and Zara.

Unable to tap into the strongest of her powers, in mourning and stunned by the turns of events that made her go on the run, out of contact with Matthew, and unsure about what comes next, she’ll have to trust in the tenuous alliance she has with a card she defeated in the past, find a way to reach an ally she does trust with her life, keep ahead of those in pursuit, find food that doesn’t involve cannibalism, and learn how to defeat her newest nemesis.

Kresley Cole is a master at keeping the thrill, the heat, the heartache alive well into a series – and she brought that mastery to this installment in spades. It is nail-bitingly suspenseful. There are a multitude of surprises. There are tragic, heart-rending losses. There is enough romance in a single kiss to more than satisfy.

The game continues on toward its seemingly inevitable, cataclysmic conclusion. But how it will end remains a mystery. Who the victor will be has yet to be divulged. Whose alliances will hold is undetermined. Who will even be capable of fighting in the final installment is unknown. And whether Evie will give herself over to the Red Witch is still uncertain. All of which guarantee a gripping and wildly entertaining read with the promise of an even more extraordinary, astounding, breathtaking series conclusion.

THE DARK CALLING is exceptional, riveting, unpredictable, unforgettable, must-devour, and well worth the wait. Those who have been looking for answers will finally have them. Those who can’t get enough of the Empress’s complicated love life will be satiated. Those looking for an edge-of-your-seat page-turner will be perched precariously on the very edge of their seats, flying through every single page. And those not looking to be left on the edge of a cliff at the story’s end will be over-the-moon happy, but just as eagerly awaiting the next installment as if they were.

The Rating

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About the Author

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances.

A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings.

Her IAD books have been translated into 23 foreign languages, garnered 3 RITA awards, a Hall of Fame induction, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.

Cole lives in Florida with her family.

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