HAVEN REVIEW

TITLE: Haven
AUTHOR: Katherine Bogle
SERIES: Chronicles of Warshard #1
PUBLICATION DATE: May 11 2016
PUBLISHER: Friesen Press
SOURCE: Netgalley copy


Princess Haven was never meant to be Queen.
Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.
With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven’s neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia’s shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven’s only home.
As Kadia’s obsession with Haven mounts, little time remains, and Haven must make a choice; join together with her fellow Royals, and test her immortality in a final stand against the evil Queen, or flee across the sea to a foreign republic in hopes of salvation. Both choices have a cost. Both plans could go awry. Haven must decide quickly, or she might be the only one left.

MY REVIEW


Wow wow wow!!!!!!!!!

This book was so plot focused on war and its alliances! Loved it! It's a total immersion into a YA world with six kingdoms on the brink of war with an evil queen that's been attacking the kingdoms. You've got secret council meetings between the monarchs so they can plan out how to help each other. A swoony love interest, a gentle queen and her three badass guards!

Kadia-the tyrant- was CREEPY AS HELL. I was literally cringing every single time she appeared in the book! She was a formidable villain but she was without a doubt absolutely batshit crazy. A total psychopath who was obsessed with how Haven and her curse "worked" so she really wanted to...experiment. The things she made Haven go through omigod it was HORRIBLE. It was pretty brutal stuff but still, wow, Kadia was such a good character!
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Haven was such a compassionate character and she was so dedicated to people. She really broke apart from the usual warrior female characters that have literally been overtaking YA books lately. But she was a warrior through her intellect and the way she always put her people first. I was really picturing her as Adelaide Kane from Reign!
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There was also a lot of conflict in Haven's character. She can never die from diseases/wounds until old age came for her and she saw it as a curse. So she kind of shields herself from the possibilities of love because she didn't ever want her children or descendants to be in the same position as she was-left completely alone without the escape of death until she became old. Even though it was a curse she was grateful at times because her country needed someone with her immunity in these harsh times. She really developed in the sense that she stopped trying to close herself off from others and learns to live and not just survive.


I wish we would have had some more information on how she had this curse and i also thought the romance went a little too fast! I loved both characters (I'm not gonna say who the love interest is) but i think it developed a little too fast and i would have liked to see more of them together.


And while it's true that Haven wasn't physically a warrior, the author balances that out with her three personal guards who are all women and her best friends! Also kudos for mixed characters we have a homosexual couple!

This book can absolutely be read as a standalone! But we were introduced to the Seaburn kingdom in this book. And this kingdom kidnaps children from all over the kingdoms and puts them in awful harsh training academies so they can become full fledged warriors. We met Nina towards the end and her father Drakkone who are part of  the Seaburn empire-and the second book in this series will be about Drakkone and a girl named Breen who i think was Nina's mother! So i'm really looking forward to reading more about Seaburn and the horrible academy!


Savages (Chronicles of Warshard #2)

Katherine Bogle did an amazing job at world building and creating strong and passionate characters! It was so good to finally read a high fantasy YA standalone!!! Thank god i have an ARC of book 2 so i can dive right in!

CRYSTAL CASTLE REVIEW

TITLE: Crystal Castle
AUTHOR: John D. Ashton
SERIES: Standalone
PUBLISHER: Self Published
PUBLICATION DATE: October 24 2016
SOURCE: Free copy from author


Gabriel sits by his fire awaiting the arrival of each member of his fellowship. They do not know of him nor of the epic journey that lies ahead. Brought together by forces unknown, they travel across the vast landscape of New Earth on their quest to bring to an end the evil reign of the mysterious Ruler of the Crystal Castle. During their treacherous journey, which is plagued by the cruel, dark power of the Ruler, they find friendship and love, but also suffer great loss and witness untold horrors as they move closer to the infamous Crystal Castle. Gabriel knows that this mission is his fellowship's destiny, but will they be strong enough to succeed? 

DEATH'S QUEEN REVIEW

TITLE: Death Queen
AUTHOR: Janeal Falor
SERIES: Standalone
PUBLICATION DATE: March 6 2017
PUBLISHER: Self Published
SOURCE: Netgalley ARC



Nameless. Unknown. Alone.
An assassin without a name, born to kill. Owned by a vicious man who refuses to call her anything but girl, she is forced to commit atrocious acts of violence. Vowing to take her future into her own hands, the seventeen-year-old decides to risk everything on one act of defiance—drinking from The Death Drink. The beverage kills most whose lips touch it—only allowing those who are destined to be royalty survive the first sip.
Powerful. Revered. Hunted.
To the astonishment of the nation of Valcora, she imbibes it and lives, which crowns her queen. Thrown into a life of royal intrigue, she now has a purpose—to rule with the fairness she was never shown. Despite her altruistic plans, it becomes apparent that someone wants her dead. The new queen must use her training from the former life she only wants to forget in order to stay alive long enough to turn her kingdom into something she can be proud of. She’ll hold onto the crown… or die trying.



Going into this book, i was pretty nervous thinking it would be a little too similar to Throne Of Glass but the only similarities were that both MC's were assassins and they had manipulative former masters. The MC from this book (we don't know her name) wasn't voluntarily an assassin and every time she kills she dies a little more inside which is why she decides she'd rather die than keep killing.

The MC's character went through an awesome evolution! When she first took the crown, she was completely lost and was using it only as a means to hide from her previous owner. So she spent her days locked up in her room and creating chaos with her lack of tradition. But after a while she starts to open up to her responsibilities with the guidance of Nash, her bodyguard whom she promoted to Royal Adviser.

I liked Nash's intellect, he really compensated for the MC's rash and rough exterior. Where she lacked social skills and public communication, he excelled and so helped to improve her interactions with the members of the council who pretty think she's a joke.

I liked the idea that only Queen's ruled the country and they weren't allowed to marry/be in a relationship in case they got heirs who would later fight for their claim to the throne, It was actually a pretty intelligent concept when you think about it cause no one would ever claim the throne as a birthright or something.

Okay i just have to rant about what an AWESOME personality the MC has! And no i'm not talking about her kickass fighting skills which just seem like a dull background compared to her badass attitude. So when she first gets to the castle and she noticed the court adviser is a total snake and doesn't respect her, what does she do? Does she exile him? Nope. Does she kill him? Nuh-uh.  Frame him and then put him in jail? No. She makes him her Royal Furniture Adviser because the furniture is ugly and uncomfortable!!!

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(Side note: Baby Daddy is one of the best comedies out there you guys should watch it :P!)




She doesn't have a care in the world for traditions and she doesn't melt under the pressure of becoming a  poised and graceful queen. She really remained true to her antisocial/opinionated/generous self. She took Scandalous Queen to a whole new level!!! Even refusing to see her Ladies In Waiting for weeks (i don't blame her they were irritating!). Oh and she basically has zero social skills since she mostly stuck to the shadows as an assassin; which makes being a queen much more difficult for her. Not to mention she doesn't earn many fans within the council.
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I can't give it above 4 stars because i wasn't really feeling the romance and though the plot was good, it was pretty basic. And i would have liked more world building! We get hints and a few magical aspects but i needed a little more! And i kind of already guessed who was trying to kill her...There was a lot of potential but it fell a little short to me.

Nevertheless it was a quick, short and enjoyable read! Loved the concept and the characters but i just wished it was a little more developed! I would definitely pick up a sequel though :P!


THE BONE WITCH TOUR+GIVEAWAY



The Bone Witch(#1)
by Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

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Synopsis:

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer. 
Tea is different from the other witches inher family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland...and threaten the very survival of those she loves.


After accidentally, rising her brother from the dead, Tea discovers she's a bone witch and is forced to leave her town with another Bone Witch to learn how to control her powers as a Dark Asha.

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This book was pretty unusual, awesome but unusual!

On a negative note i did wish we got more romance and that the pace was a little faster! Rin Chupeco has an amazing writing style, it's lyrical and super descriptive and that really slows down the pace a bit.

“Then perhaps we should carve a world one day where the strength lies in who you are, rather than in what they expect you to be.”



The format of the story was quite interesting, it felt like i was watching a movie. Basically it starts off with a Bard that meets a seventeen year old girl on a seashore full of skulls and sees her performing some weird magic and she has a black heartglass, he recognizes her as the Bone Witch who was supposedly a traitor and so she agrees to tell him her story. The chapters are from Tea's point of view, of how she came into her powers and her life thereon. We had a few short chapters that returned to the present from the Bard's point of view as he listened to Tea recount her stories. It felt like the beginning of the story and the end were being read in parallel and we were just missing that big middle that we're slowly working our way in to discover! I thought it was a really unique and interesting format!

The author does a great job at keeping up the suspense after each POV shift. You kept wanting to read to see why a young sweet child like Tea would be called a traitor and why she seemed so much darker and bitter. Like what the hell happened to this girl!? The present Tea keeps hanging around a grave so there's a lot of mystery on who's in the grave!

I thought this book was pretty much a buttload of originality and amazing world building! I did get a little confused with the world building but there was a super helpful guide at the end so thanks for that! But honestly, i loved loved the world, we had so many kingdoms, a False Prince, legendary heroes, Faceless traitors that followed the False Prince, dangerous beasts that had to be awoken and killed again once in a while, and a few myths thrown in!

I loved the originality of the heartglass which everyone wears. As a bone witch Tea's is silver but most normal people have red ones.
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And though we see the character develop we still haven't seen how she reached that stage where her heartglass is completely black. Ugh so many questions! I really really cannot wait till the next book! It felt like this book is a novel-long prologue before the real story and action starts in book 2. For those of you who really need action then this may not be for you because not much happens, it's more of a gigantic build up to book 2 so i understand why some people wouldn't enjoy it.  We do follow a young Tea so her life isn't that eventful. But if you're into awesome world building and amazing suspense and you're willing to put in the effort to read this despite the slow pace then i highly recommend this book because it looks like the next one will be action packed and our questions will be answered!

And that cover is just AMAZING!!!I really liked the love between Tea and her resurrected brother, Fox. They were always there for each other!

AND WHEN WE FIND OUT WHO'S IN THE GRAVE? I could not have been happier! It was a surprise but i was really really crossing my fingers hoping it would happen! Because i really liked that person and i can't wait to see more of that character in book 2!



   


Rin Chupeco wrote obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people outof their money at event shows, and did many other terrible things. She now writes about ghosts and fairy tales but is still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. She wrote The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and The Bone Witch, the first book of a newYA Fantasy trilogy. Find her at rinchupeco.com.






  • Open Internationally
  • Please read our Rules and Guidelines in the Rafflecop-ter
  • (1) winner willwin a crochet Tea doll and Signed Hard-back copy of The Bone Witch
  • (2) winners willwin a Bottlecap Necklace and a crochet Tea doll each








STACKING THE SHELVES (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

THE HEARTSTONE THIEF ARC REVIEW

TITLE: The Heartstone Thief
AUTHOR: Pippa Dacosta
SERIES: Standalone
PUBLICATION DATE: April 11 2017
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
SOURCE:ARC from author


New & Exclusive to the Legends of the Damned: A Collection of Edgy Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Novels
In the City of Brea, thieves and sorceresses do not mix.
When Curtis Vance—professional thief—stumbles into a sorceress’s trap, he’d prefer to kill her than help her. Now bound to the insane sorceress, his only escape (and chance to turn a profit) is to find the long forgotten Dragon Eye gem. Little does Vance know, the Dragon Eye holds more than the key to Vance’s freedom. The Eye could awaken a devastating power—a worldkiller bent on destruction, and Vance is all that stands in its way.

WINDWITCH REVIEW

TITLE: Windwitch
AUTHOR: Susan Dennard
SERIES: The Witchlands #2
PUBLICATION DATE: January 10 2017
PUBLISHER: Tor Teen
SOURCE: Bought


Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

GARDEN OF THORNS ARC REVIEW

TITLE: Garden Of Thorns
AUTHOR: Amber Mitchell
SERIES: Standalone (room for a sequel)
PUBLICATION DATE: March 6 2017
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
SOURCE: Netgalley ARC


After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.
Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.
Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.