Fantasy, Reviews

Review: A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J Maas

To the Stars that Listen and the Dreams that are answered..

Rating: ★★★★★

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2

Pages: 626

Genre: YA Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling

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Synopsis

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

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This Book is the best out of the trilogy. There’s a lot in this book, and I can’t say much with creating spoilers, which will simply not do.

That being said…

Rhysand is the most handsome High Lord. Rhysand is the most delightful High Lord.Rhysand is the most cunning High Lord

 

Read the Previous on the Series: 

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A Court of Thorns & Roses, #1
Fantasy, Reviews, YA

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Next Tuesday, A Court of Frost and Starlight is releasing, number 3.5 in the Court of Thornes and Roses series. So I thought in the lead-up, I will post my reviews of the previous books ( No spoilers!!)

Rating: ★★★★★

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1

Pages: 416

Genre: YA Fantasy, Fairytale retelling

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Review:

WOW!!!

I was about a year late for the hype of this book. I read this book, the first time in January 2017, and it blew me away.

Firstly, the woman on the cover is wearing a very decorative feather outfit, and of course THAT tattoo (if you don’t know what I’m talking about -read it) IMHO, the cover is simple and tells you very little of the story until you have read it.

Prior to this, I hadn’t read any books with Faes in, and what the author calls Fae, I would think elves- like Lord of the Rings.

When you open the book, the first thing I notice is a Map of the magical realm called Prythian. It looks a little bit like The British Isles, with Hybern looking like Ireland. Prythian is broken up into courts, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, day and night courts, with a wall dividing them and the Mortal Realm.

The story begins with Feyre, a Human who kills a ‘Beast’ to ensure her family survive the winter. Her punishment lies on the other side of the Wall. She is brought to the Spring Court, by Tamlin- The High Lord.

Let me make this clear for you, girl: you can either come live at my home in Prythian- offer your life for the wolf’s in that way- or you can walk outside right now and be shredded to ribbons. Your choice. – Tamlin

Feyre is introduced to the cruel, but beautiful world of Prythain, with its strange dreamlike creatures, and curses. But can Beauty survive falling in love with the Beast?

“I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.”

Recommended to: Everyone!!!

Purchase From: 
AMAZON UK  KOBO  GOOGLE

Literary Witchery, Tarot for Writers, Writing

Tarot Tuesday: Tarot Lowdown Plus FREE Tarot Cheat Sheet

From Stephen King to John Steinbeck, some of the greatest authors of all time have used Tarot cards to ignite their creativity…

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There are thousands of decks available, many inspired by books, movies, myths and many more.  I am obsessed with buying new decks- I am a complete magpie for them.

About Tarot

The Deck usually consists of 78 cards. It is split in two. The Major Arcana and the Minor.

The major consists of 22 cards and tells you which universal force is surrounding you. These cards are probably the most famous, with cards such as Lovers, The Devil, and Death.

The minor consists of 56 cards which are divided into 4. Usually, these are Swords, Wands, Cups, & Pentacles. Many modern decks, reimagine these into different elements, such as Earth, Air Fire & Water.

In my very humble opinion, Tarot cards are for guidance. I’ve known people to LIVE by the cards, but honestly let them nudge you ever so slightly into figuring your own life out.

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Tarot for Writers

In the next few weeks, I am going to blog about the ways in which Tarot can be used as a tool for writing. including, Character Creation, plot, setting,  and writer’s block.

I’ll be even including some exercises and layouts.

For now, I’ve attached a FREE Cheat Sheet which I created to help myself out…

PDF – Tarot Cheat Sheet

JPG – Tarot Cheat Sheet 

Can’t wait to see where this goes!!

Love Kirsten

Decks: The Wild Unknown, Crystal Visions, & Raider Waite

 

Historical

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 St George’s Day Quotes 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

I thought about doing a small blog post about great English people and my favourite quotes, in honour of St. George’s day..

Winston Churchill

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

Jane Austen

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid

William Shakespeare

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them

Charles Dickens

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

John Lennon

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.

Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.

Literary Witchery, Oracle for Writers, Tarot for Writers, Writing

Writer’s Block?… Consult the Cards…

Untitled design (1)I use Oracle/Tarot Cards to generate ideas.

This may seem a little kooky to some out there but it’s a really great exercise.

For example, I use the New Age Hipster Cards to write a small piece of writing a day, just to keep my creative juices flowing. I just pick a card at random,  and just free write.

 

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New Age Hipster Oracle Cards

I also use them, if I have a little bit of Writer’s Block. I come away from the story that I am writing, and I pick a card and write something about it. This gives me a chance to have a break from being stuck, and a chance to recharge.

Personally, I have only ever used Oracle & Tarot Cards as a thought-provoking exercise, both in writing and in life.  Like most forms fortune telling, the ‘messages’ are very broad. For example, the infamous death card means destruction or corruption, or simply a change is coming. Neither negative or positive.

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Rider Waite Tarot

Using creative tools is something I am interested in developing in my writing. I’ll be writing some tips and updates as I go along.

Cards:

New Age Hipster: Link to Website

The Original Rider Waite Tarot: Amazon

Further Reading: Tarot for Writers by Corinne Kenner

Fantasy, Historical, Reviews, YA

Review: A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Rating: ★★★★★

Series: Gemma Doyle, #1

Pages: 403

Genre: YA, Fantasy

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After the death of her mother, Gemma is sent to Spence, a boarding school in England. Gemma gets visions of the future, and along with a new set of friends, gets entangled in a Shadowy supernatural group The Order. Can she accept her destiny?

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“Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.”

I was looking forward to this book, I have a great love of history and of paranormal, and this seemed like a great fit. I also thought that the title was so compelling.

I had never read anything by Libba Bray before but by a few sentences in I had already popped on Amazon and bought the sequels, A Sweet Far Thing & Rebel Angels.

The utterly gorgeous cover, the white corset, with the brown background just screams Victorian, so appeals to those who love Historical fiction.

“How I’d love to get away from here and be someone else for a while in a place where no one knows or expects certain things from me.”

Gemma Doyle is a strong, feminist character. Despite having a gift/curse, that she doesn’t understand, I found Gemma to be likeable. I also liked that her gift/curse was something believable if that makes sense.

There were quite a few chapter endings that had a shock, that keeps you reading and the friendships between the girls build so it has that feeling of a journey.

This book was great, and I haven’t finished the series yet. There are so many books getting in the way, but I am hoping to finish this year.

“May I suggest that you all read? And often. Believe me, it’s nice to have something to talk about other than the weather and the Queen’s health. Your mind is not a cage. It’s a garden. And it requires cultivating.”

Purchase From: 
AMAZON UK  KOBO  GOOGLE

 

Historical, YA

#Recommendsdays: Historical YA Part 1

This is my first recommend Wednesday: These books are very similar, but such fabulous reads!!

Part 1: Ancient Rome

Blood and Sand by CV Wyk 

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.
result_15192095302967167858906013418978.jpgRoma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and sword maiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favour. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

My Review of Blood and Sand is Here…

The Valiant

Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

IMG_3914When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

Paranormal, Reviews, YA

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Rating: ★★★★★

Series: Vampire Academy, #1

Pages: 332

Genre: YA Fantasy, Vampire,

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“Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies.”

Review

I couldn’t review Twilight & Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, without adding a review for Vampire Academy.

I love the Red/Black cover, it’s very striking and the whole series stands out on my bookshelf really well.

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

The novel starts halfway through the story. Lissa’s parents & brother have been killed, and they’ve been on the run for the two years. quickly, the story evolves, into a face paced adventure into their world.

High school Bully, cliques, Murder, Body Changes, and secrets are all adding up to a very sinister, funny, Young Adult fiction.

Hygge

Hygge: The Ultimate lifestyle for Bookworms

Hygge: A Danish and Norweigan word for a feeling of cosiness and good wellbeing.

About two years ago, this word was everywhere in the UK. People were Hygging (?) left right and centre. The Little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking was in every major supermarket.

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If I’m honest, I wasn’t that into it, thinking ‘God this is like avocados- it’s just a phase’ I may have been wrong about both. I won’t be buying any avocados soon ~(yuk) but Hygge, may have stolen my heart.

I’m sure you can tell from this blog I am a bookworm, (I prefer Book Unicorn, actually. I am NOT a worm) so I going tell you why I think Hygge is perfect for all Book Nerds…

  1. Books go really well with drinking, tea/coffee/Hot Chocolate/mulled wine.
  2. Hygge is about slowing down, making time to read
  3. Candles– Who doesn’t love lighting their favourite Book scented candle
  4. Creation of a cosy atmosphere- Blankets, cushions, comfy chairs etc.
  5. Build relationships – Book Clubs, online and offline communities.
  6. Leaving the Drama in the Books…
  7. Gratitude to the amazing authors, publishers, reviewers, Bloggers, Fans, creators of Book Merchandise.
  8. Finding your Tribe- Most Bookworms are Introverts, they are not overly fond of big crowds. Find 1 or 4 people to chill with, reading listening to music is perfect.
  9. Comfort food– Okay this is a personal one. I love to munch on popcorn, or gummy bears or cake when I am reading

I am here to be your hyggespreder. I am starting a new section of my Blog all about Hygge, including some recipes, seasonal tips, Cosy Room ideas, relationship building, and tips on how to make time for all of this..

Paranormal, Reviews, YA

Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Princess Diaries meets Twilight

Rating: ★★★★☆

Series: Jessica, #1

Pages: 351

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Jessica gets a visit from a Romanian enigmatic vampire Prince – he’s also her fiance. He is there to win her heart, and take her home to prevent a war, and rule the Vampires.

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The cover and the title, makes it sound like yet another YA vampire book, and although its both of those things, it is also quite an emotionally charged book.

I’ve read more Adult Vampire Books- eg, Black Dagger Brotherhood, but I felt that Lucius was far more intense.

“…If anything else, all I ever did was love you….”

The Book was really funny.

“Why?”

“Because…because he’s so tall,” Mindy explained, like height was proof of good character. “And did I mention European?”

“Yes. It’s so much better to be stalked by a tall European that an American of average height.”

Lucius was funny, considering he was so serious, he was also quite funny.

“I like pink.”
Lucius sniffed. “It’s just red’s sorry, weak cousin.”

“Jessica. For god’s sake,” he said. “Allow me to do at least one common courtesy for you. In spite ow what ‘women’s lib’ teaches you, chivalry does not imply that women are powerless. On the contrary, chivalry is an admission of women’s superiority. An acknowledgment of your power over us. This is the only form of servitude a Vladescu ever practices, and I perform it gladly for you. You, in turn, are obligated to accept graciously.”

I really loved this book, it was funny, a clever premise, the only problem is that the novels stopped at two. It needed more into the world. furthermore, there was no real ‘Guide’ feel to it, and there was no real dating either, but with a different title, I could have given it 5 stars.

Now whether the title was the publisher/editor change, I’m not sure but it doesn’t seem that the author had this title when writing the book.

I think the author could develop the series a bit more, but is very delightful read. 5 stars