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    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

    Read an EXCERPT

    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

    Add to Goodreads

    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

    Read an EXCERPT

    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: JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS

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    Title: JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS
    Author: Sarah Beth Durst
    Release date: April 4, 2017
    Publisher: Clarion Books
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    The traditional Emperor’s Journey is meant to be uneventful. But as the princesses Seika and Ji-Lin—twin sisters—travel to pay respects to their kingdom’s dragon guardian, unexpected monsters appear and tremors shake the earth. The Hidden Islands face unprecedented threats, and the old rituals are failing. With only their strength, ingenuity, and flying lion to rely on, can the sisters find a new way to keep their people safe?

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


    The Review

    JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS is an absolutely wonderful, magical, and heartwarming tale that takes readers on an epic, perilous, monster-filled adventure with two sisters and a winged lion. It is exciting and enchanting and amusing and imaginative. It delivers a number of positive messages about conquering fear, growing up, letting go, being understanding, and being responsible. It is a gripping and enthralling story that can and will be enjoyed by readers of any age.

    Ji-Lin missed her sister desperately. As much as she loved training to become a warrior so that she could protect Seika, she wished they didn’t have to be separated for so long. So when she first learned that she would get to go home for a visit, she was thrilled. But when she discovered that the reason for the visit was so that she could accompany Seika on the Emperor’s Journey, her excitement turned to anxiety. Because she wasn’t quite sure she was ready for such an important task.

    Seika followed every rule and did everything she was asked, unlike her sister, Ji-Lin. But when her father, the emperor, told her that it was time for her to do her duty for Himitsu and take the journey to the island’s guardian to renew their bargain, she wasn’t certain she was adequately prepared to honor tradition. She was told the path would be easy, but she had never been away from home before. And she certainly never had to come face-to-face with a dragon.

    Sarah Beth Durst created a story that is delightful and interesting and fun and funny. She introduces two very likable twin sisters with very different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. She tests their fortitude, their ingenuity, their compassion, and their loyalty. And she takes them on a trek through a world that is fraught with danger – but she doesn’t make them go on it alone.

    They are joined by Alejan, Ji-Lin’s friend and protector, an incredibly adorable winged lion who is equally as interested in sharing stories about his idol, Master Shai, as he is in talking about his next meal. And by a boy who they can’t decide whether he’s more of an interloper or a valuable traveling companion.

    Sea monsters and pirate-like ships, earthquakes and abandoned villages, bargains and betrayals, heroes and princesses, JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS has it all and then some. And with a few unexpected twists thrown in, it promises to be a thoroughly engaging and immensely entertaining read.

    The Rating


    About Sarah Beth Durst

    Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of eleven fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults, including Drink Slay Love, the basis for the upcoming TV movie of the same name, airing on Lifetime in 2017. Her latest book for adults, The Queen of Blood, came out in September 2016 from Harper Voyager, and her next book for kids, Journey Across the Hidden Islands, comes out in April 2017 from HMH/Clarion Books. Sarah won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

    Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat.

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    FALLING KINGDOMS Series Promo: My Favorite Kingdoms + Giveaway

    FallingKingdoms-CoverImage-2

    I have owned every single one of the three currently available Falling Kingdoms books since their respective release dates but have only recently had the chance to embark upon the adventure. And all I can say is, “What have I been waiting for?”

    Because… OH. MY. GOSH. I am in LOVE with this series!!!!!

    I fell in love from the very first line in FALLING KINGDOMS:

    She’d never killed before tonight.

    Talk about great first lines. It was instalove for me. And that love has grown exponentially as I’ve continued to read.

    I will be all caught up by the time my pre-order copy of FROZEN TIDES downloads to my Kindle on December 15th. Of course that means I’ll have to suffer the agonizing wait for the final two books in the series. But it will be so worth the wait.

    If you haven’t yet had the chance to discover this seriously amazing series, you can check it out on PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE and on GOODREADS or visit the series WEBSITE.

    Details on each of the books in the series are also below. And there are also links to connect with the author.


    My Favorite Kingdoms

    For this promo post in anticipation of FROZEN TIDES’ release we were asked to talk about which kingdom(s), region(s), or world(s) we would conquer, rule, or live in as a merchant. Here are just a few.

    Kingdoms/Worlds I’d Conquer

    The Winter Realm – a.k.a. The Unseelie Court from Julie Kagawa’s IRON FEY series. The Unseelie have always been the most interesting of the fae and I would love to take Queen Mab’s place and rule in her stead. And, hey, someone has to take Queen Mab down, why not me?

    The Kingdom of Spring – one of the kingdoms from Sara Raasch’s SNOW LIKE ASHES series. Spring has caused so much trouble for the Winterians. I’d love to conquer it just ensure that its former king does not try to take power again.

    Kingdoms/Worlds I’d Rule

    Auranos – from Morgan Rhodes’ FALLING KINGDOMS series. While I might change my mind as I continue my journey with these books, I’d love to rule the kingdom that has the most resources and best climate. And yes they have enemies. But I’d like to think I’d have been a smarter and more fair ruler and thus avoided some of the enmity.

    Cane – from WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand. It was and could be again a beautiful and magical place. I suppose first I’d have to have taken it from Anise, but I wouldn’t just want to conquer, I’d definitely want to rule this land.

    Kingdoms/Worlds I’d Live In

    Lothlórien – one of the Elven kingdoms from LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkein. Though I’d be happy to have lived in any of the Elven kingdoms, even though they fell eventually.

    Gilead – from THE DARK TOWER series by Stephen King. This is not a kingdom. But this world that Roland lived in is one I would have loved to have lived in. It, too, fell. But living there when Roland did would have been amazing.

    ***

    Of course I’d love to live in almost all of the fictional faerie worlds I’ve read about and even be ruler of one or two – Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series comes to mind. I’d live in any of those faerie courts.

    I would love to conquer the more evil kingdoms and vanquish their rulers in any of the fantasy novels I’ve read – Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes series, Rae Carson’s Fire & Thorns series, Josephine Angelini’s Worldwalker trilogy.

    And I’d love to visit any number of worlds or kingdoms, even if I were forced to be just a merchant – The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas, The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and the Defiance series by C.J. Redwine.

    How about you?

    What are your favorite worlds or kingdoms? Would you want to be a ruler, risking your life at every moment to keep your kingdom safe? Or would you prefer to visit or live in one of the kingdoms you’re most curious about? Or are you all about conquering kingdoms to increase your power or to oust an unjust ruler?


    Pre-order FROZEN TIDES

    Frozen_Tides

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: FROZEN TIDES (Falling Kingdoms #4)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 15, 2015
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    The plans are laid and the players are determined…but nothing can prepare these unlikely warriors for what the elemental gods of Mytica have in store. 

    CLEO: Reeling after a shocking realization about Magnus, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a queen.

    MAGNUS: The steely prince of Limeros is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

    LUCIA: Heartbroken and blind with fury, the betrayed sorceress allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

    JONAS: The defeated rebel leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to become a pawn in the dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

    KING GAIUS: A desperate King of Blood flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

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    About Morgan Rhodes

    Morgan_Rhodes

    Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess—the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, and reality TV, and is an extremely picky yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a nationally bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.

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    About FALLING KINGDOMS

    Falling_Kingdoms

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    Title & Series: FALLING KINGDOMS (Falling Kingdoms #1)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 11, 2012
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

    Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.

    The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

    Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

    Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

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    The Falling Kingdoms Trailer


    About REBEL SPRING

    Rebel_Spring

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    Title & Series: REBEL SPRING (Falling Kingdoms #3)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 3, 2013
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 416
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

    Auranos has been conquered and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But alluring, dangerous magic still beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world. . . .

    • CLEO is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people
    • MAGNUS stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia
    • LUCIA is haunted by the deadly outcome of her breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms
    • JONAS watches at the palace gates, a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius

    When Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that will forever change the face of this land.

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    About GATHERING DARKNESS

    Gathering_Darkness

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    Title & Series: GATHERING DARKNESS (Falling Kingdoms #3)
    Author: Morgan Rhodes
    Release date: December 9, 2014
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

    Alliances form across Mytica and beyond as royals and rebels alike race to hunt down the Kindred—the four elemental crystals that give their owners god-like power. The stakes have never been higher for Magnus and Cleo, who are brought together by a life or death decision that will lock their fates and change the course of the kingdom forever.

    THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo slays with sweetness—and a secret that might control Lucia’s magic—as she and vengeful Jonaslead the hunt for the all-powerful Kindred.

    THE KRAESHIANS join the fray. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the vast kingdom across the Silver Sea, prove to be just as ruthless as they are charming as they manipulate their way to victory.

    THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally, in the flesh, with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.

    And which side will Prince Magnus choose, now that everyone he’s been betrayed by everyone he’s ever loved?

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    The Giveaway

    There is a promo-wide giveaway that runs from Oct. 26-Nov.27 for…

    • A SIGNED set of FALLING KINGDOMS, REBEL SPRING, and GATHERING DARKNESS by Morgan Rhodes to THREE (3) winners – US only

    ***Rafflecopter hosted by and prizing courtesy of the publisher***

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    RYAR Review: CHASING POWER by Sarah Beth Durst

    Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks


    ABOUT THE BOOK


    CHASING POWER by Sarah Beth Durst
    Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on October 14, 2014
    Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
    Provided by: Author, NetGalley
    Rating: 4 stars

    AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS

    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

    DESCRIPTION

    Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind—things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers—and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

    When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel—a boy with the ability to teleport—he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.


    REVIEW


    Sarah Beth Durst’s CHASING POWER is a fun, exciting and fast-paced read. It takes readers and its characters on a wonderful adventure across the country and the globe in pursuit of hidden artifacts. It delivers danger, thrills, magic and a bit of romance in its action-packed pages. It has characters who are likable, interesting and quirky, others who are untrustworthy and mysterious, and still others who are detestable and deadly. It’s a story that will keep readers entertained from start to finish.

    Kayla and her mom have been on the run since she was a young child, living in fear, ready to leave at a moment’s notice, hiding from a father she hardly remembers, but whose very existence is a threat to her own. In order to remain undetected she must stay under the radar, avoid attention, and keep her ability a secret.

    But resisting the urge to use her powers to take what she and her mom need in order to stay safe is not something Kayla is capable of. Which is why, no matter how careful she thinks she’s been, she is caught using her telekinetic abilities to steal by a boy who threatens to expose her unless she helps him.

    Kayla and Daniel’s journey is exhilarating and danger-filled. From cave-ins to poisonous snakes to voodoo queens to power hungry pursuers, CHASING POWER doesn’t let up. With a clever best friend who assists from afar, a panicked mother whose spells not only protect but prevent, an unusually helpful voodoo queen whose motives are unknown, and a boy desperate to find his mother no matter how great a risk, there is no shortage of fascinating characters to keep Kayla on her toes.

    Add in a mystery, a number of twists and turns, and an ending that delivers a couple of surprises, CHASING POWER is a captivating and delightful story with a female protagonist who is spunky and clever and caring and adventurous that will appeal to readers of any age.

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    RYAR Review: WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand

    Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks


    ABOUT THE BOOK


    WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand
    Series: Winterspell #1
    Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 30, 2014
    Genres: Fantasy
    Provided by: Publisher
    Rating: 5 stars

    AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS

    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

    DESCRIPTION

    The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

    New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

    Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

    Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

    Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.


    REVIEW


    WINTERSPELL is a completely captivating and utterly enchanting story that combines the magic of a fairytale with elements from urban fantasy, high fantasy and steampunk woven in. The story will take readers from a corrupt, crime-ridden, poverty-stricken version of New York City in 1899 where the greedy, wealthy, power hungry who rule only care about keeping what they have and obtaining more to Cane, a war-torn land where its human citizens aren’t any better off.

    Ruled by a half-fairy, half-human queen who is as temperamental as she is vindictive and vengeful, both the humans and the land are at the mercy of her whims. Forced into servitude, addiction or sent to places that are uninhabitable, forced into overcrowded cities policed by fairies who loathe them, monitored by the queen’s mechanized creations, forced to live in constant fear, life in Cane, with its continually shifting landscape, isn’t what it once was for them.

    When Clara Stole’s father is taken on Christmas Eve she will have to make a choice – blindly follow his captor through a magical doorway to an unknown destination for the slim chance she can find him and bring him home or forget about him, leave New York and flee to safety but leave her sister behind with the ruthless Patricia Plum and the sadistic Dr. Victor.

    Both choices would be dangerous. Both choices would require sacrifice. But leaping through the door would require a bravery she wasn’t sure she possessed. Not until she landed in the frozen, deadly land of Cane alongside someone she could hardly believe is real.

    WINTERSPELL is a spellbinding and beautifully written story. It’s a thrilling and epic adventure. It’s a story that will transport readers to a faraway land tainted by dark and twisted fairy magic, filled with hatred, suffering and fear. It’s a story brimming with secrets and betrayal. It’s a story about bravery and strength and sacrifice. It’s a story about love and forgiveness, about empathy and acceptance, about the devastating consequences of anger and revenge.

    It’s a world you won’t want to leave, with characters you won’t want to say goodbye to. It’s a story you won’t be able to put down.

    And whether or not you’re familiar with the Nutcracker story, WINTERSPELL will be a story you can thoroughly enjoy. It’s magical. It’s delightful. It’s beautiful. It’s disturbing. It’s sweet and sad. It’s romantic. Its characters are charming, fascinating, lovable, diabolical, deceitful, fearsome, wicked, redeemable. It’s a journey worth taking, with an ending that is completely satisfying. And it’s an amazing start to a series that looks to be even more so.

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    Cover Reveal: Wings of Arian

    Wings of Arian by Devri Walls

    Coming May 2012

    ***

    When Ashley of The Bookish Brunette invited me to be a part of the cover reveal for Wings of Arian, there was absolutely no way I would have said no. Even though I hadn’t yet heard of the book whose cover was being revealed. And even though I hadn’t yet seen the cover.

    I didn’t need to. As soon as I heard that the artist behind the cover was Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art I knew I’d love it. Without a doubt.

    And once I had a chance to check out the book’s description I was definitely intrigued by this story of a journey filled with magic and dragons and good and evil.

    Wings of Arian is author Devri Walls’ YA Fantasy novel due out in May from StoneHouse Ink. The story sounds absolutely enchanting and I can’t wait to see what’s behind that gorgeous cover.

    MY THOUGHTS

    This cover is absolutely amazing. Beautiful and enchanting and magical, it is the perfect cover for a fantasy novel.

    There is not one thing I don’t like about this cover. And there are so many different elements that catch my eye. I could literally stare at this cover for hours and still not absorb all that it has to offer.

    There is nothing flat or drab or dull. Everything feels so dynamic and three-dimensional and vivid.

    From the swirls of light that reach from the skies to cross the model’s back and encircle his arm. To the live snake armband that the light just touches upon from one angle causing a multitude of colors to stand out.

    To the ripples in the water that seem to hide ghosted images that are just a little bit too indistinct to make out clearly, adding an air of mystery and giving them a wonderfully magical quality. And to the images in the distance that are also hidden by the swirls of light and air, making me wish I had the ability to cut through the fog and see what’s out there.

    But it is the colors in the sky and water that keep drawing my eyes back to them. They have a luminous quality that I can’t seem to stop staring at. Making it very difficult to create this post.

    I absolutely love the simplicity of the fonts used for the author’s name. While the name is not subtly placed, it doesn’t in any way distract from the beautiful art.

    And I love the fonts for the book title. Although just slightly more elaborate, especially with the added wings to the W, they aren’t over the top. And I find that they are actually quite pretty.

    I would absolutely buy this book for its cover alone, but judging the book by its description, there is a lot more than just a cover to love.

    While I could go on and on about all the different elements that are absolutely amazing in this cover, I thought I’d stop now and ask your opinion.

    Soooo…. that’s what I think… but what do you think?

    ***

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

    With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.

    She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

    However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

    And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.

    FIND IT: GOODREADS

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Devri Walls lives in Kuna Idaho with her husband and two kids. She has worked as a music teacher and currently, a preschool teacher. She majored in theater and her love of a story still drives her today. Thankfully, she has finally found an outlet for all the voices in her head. Her first novel, Wings of Arian, will be released on Amazon May of 2012.

    PLACES TO STALK

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on GOODREADS

    The author’s BLOG

    The author’s WEBSITE

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FTC

All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.