Bloodwitch

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard is the third book in The Witchlands series.

The twenty year truce has ended and war is inevitable. Safiya and Iseult have gone their separate ways, both willingly and not, and the Witchlands is on the brink of chaos. As nations collapse and evil rises, how ever will a world divided, right itself?

Annnnnd I cannot do a better summary than that. But don’t let that hinder your interest in this series! There is just so much going on and so many story-lines that there isn’t one overarching plot to summarize. One minute, I’ll be reading Safiya’s narrative and be sucked in and then next minute Iseult and Aeduan will take over and I will be equally enthralled.

This is an interesting world that Dennard has built and it is only getting more complex as the story progresses. Right now that isn’t a problem, but I am interested in seeing how everything ties together. I don’t mind diverging narratives as long they converge at some point.

I love Aeduan and Iseult’s story-line and the fact that this book was, in large part, his story was great! I swear I continued this series primarily for Iseult but the rest of the story-lines are starting to get good too. Safiya’s story is probably my least favorite and there were other’s like Styx’s, where I wanted to know more.

There’s just… a lot going on. I can see some people, especially those who don’t read fantasy a lot, getting lost. There were a few moments for me even, where I must have lost focus and needed to backtrack. But ultimately, I am really enjoying this series and I really want to see where it is going.

This one gets 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

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The Winter of the Witch

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden is the conclusion to the Winternight Trilogy.

Moscow has been badly injured through flame, fear and deceit. It’s people are restless, it’s king is enraged, and it’s unseen guardians are withering. Vasya finds herself alone and unmoored after the events of the night before, so when a priest, guided by a wicked daemon, sets a mob on her, there is no one to help her but herself.

Torn between two worlds and determined to save them both, Vasya will embark on a journey that will alter her forever. She will battle nightmares and uncover truths she never would have suspected.

Will Vasya be able to save both the worlds she so cherishes? Or will the knowledge she gains about Morozko, Russia and herself be enough to break her?

I enjoyed this series a lot. Even though it has a lot of fantastical elements it is so steeped in lore and tradition that is has a very folky feel. Although, I still maintain that the first book was completely satisfying on it’s own and any reader could stop their and be perfectly content. I liked the series but I loved the first book.

This book is, in my opinion, all about Vasya’s transformation; her coming into her own. In the first two books, she is just a girl with a drop of magic in her blood. But in this book she becomes a force to be reckoned with. Although, she calls on others for help, she does not depend on them as she did. It’s something I don’t think I even realized until this book, but you can see “story” Vasya will become to the people of Moscow.

We learn more about the unseen world in this book and we interact with their characters more, instead of just the Bear and the Winter King. I loved learning Morozko and the Bear’s backstories and finding out the secrets in Vasya’s blood as well.

Overall, this was a really nice series. This one get’s 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Kingdom of Copper

Kingdom of Copper is the second book in The Daevabad Trilogy.

Nahri’s life changed forever when she summoned Dara, a warrior and djinn with a mysterious past. Her return to Daevabad as the last Nahid healer, signaled a period of change for hidden world of djinn, marid’s and magic.

But when Dara is slain by Prince Ali, the city is thrown into turmoil. All Nahir’s knows is that she must protect her people and the home she never knew she had. But her efforts are constantly thwarted by a the violent king of Daevabad and it might just take all of Nahir’s willpower just to keep herself alive.

Meanwhile, Prince Ali has been exiled for defying his king and father. He is thrown out of Daevabad and is forced to deal with the repercussions of his battle with Dara on his own.

Five years later, at the turn of the century, unrest is brewing and the fate of Daevabad sways in the balance.

Phew! This was a monster of a series to get back into after a year. I vaguely remembered what happened and that I really enjoyed the story but there was so much I forgot, which made it really hard to get through the first few chapters. There is quite a lot going on and the politics of the crown and the city could be hard to get straight at first.

One thing I really like about this book though, is that you just don’t know who to root for. Nahri seems like the best choice because she is well meaning but she is also naive in ways. Dara is such a tortured soul but also blinded by loyalty and his feelings. Ali, you want to like but his “blind fanaticism,” in the words of his father, causes him to rush into things. I even rooted for Nahri’s husband/Ali’s father (name?) by the end. All of this really makes me wonder just how this series is going to turn out.

I’m going to give this one a high 3.5 stars. And I almost recommend waiting to read the whole series until all three are out, unless you are a fantastic re-reader–which I am not.

That’s all for now!

-M-

In An Absent Dream

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire is the fourth book in the Wayward Children series.

Lundy is a very serious girl. She loves rules and keeps to herself. Although, she is quiet and obedient, Lundy is lonely and doesn’t seem to fit. When a doorway opens to a world of logic, reason and most of all wonder, she doesn’t hesitate to enter. And so begins Lundy’s time in the Goblin Market, a place where fair value rules and every bargain has a cost.

I’m not going to lie, I’d totally forgotten Lundy’s part in the first book Every Heart a Doorway. But it didn’t really matter because each of the books that have been published after Every Heart a Doorway, is actually a prequel and only help to build up the series further. In fact, once McGuire decides she is done with these worlds, I’d love to go back and read that first book because now I will know all of the characters back stories.

In an Absent Dream was magical and bittersweet, just like McGuire’s previous books. It is about not fitting in and finding your true home. One of the things the Market values above all else is that everyone gives fair value. This was a really interesting thing to think about, especially when Lundy brings it back to world she was born to.

I also love Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, so it was neat to read this book with the poem in mind, even though they are very different.

Even though I am fully satisfied with the story, I do sort of feel like there was something missing between Lundy and Moon. I needed a little more of a transition from Moon needing Lundy’s help to Moon’s finding her place in the market.

This series can literally do no wrong in my eyes. Each book is wonderful. They can be read by themselves or you can read them as a whole. Although, I would at least recommend reading Every Heart a Doorway, not only because it’s awesome, but also because it give a foundation for the doors.

This book gets 5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi is a new young adult series… fantasy meets steampunk.

Set in Paris, 1889–The world is on the brink of industry and the Exposition Universelle is about to open doors and reveal secrets. And no one knows more about secrets and “opening” doors than Séverin Montagnet-Alarie, treasure hunter and hotel owner. When a powerful society called the Order of Babel offers him the hunt of a lifetime, how could Séverin refuse.

With the help of his team of misfits–a socially awkward chemist, an outcast historian, a dancer with an unknown future, and a brother in all but blood–Séverin and his crew will have to keep their wits about them or risk being drawn into a game none of them intended to play.

Can this ragtag band of thieves put aside their personal dramas and save the day?

Someone told me that this book was Six of Crows meets Dan Brown, and it definitely is but there is also this steampunk quality to the story, which is interesting. I really got into The Gilded Wolves quickly. I liked the story and the characters. However, the book took a bit of a weird spin for me toward the end. I’m not sure if I just got a little lost but there was a moment where I was like, “Wait a minute… What’s happen?”

I actually think I could have use a little more background. I wanted to know more about these Babel rings and the inheritance process. Maybe just a smidgen more world building and I would have been OK.

I am really interested to find out where this story is heading though. Like I said, it got a little weird by the end, so I’m not really sure what is going to happen. So I will definitely stick with the series because I just want to know more.

This one gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Wicked King

The Wicked King by Holly Black is the second book in The Folk of the Air series.

Jude has bound Cardan, the new high king of Faerie, for a year and a day but her time is quickly slipping away. What’s worse, is that she has all this power and no one can know. Finally, Jude has found a place in Faerie; she has bested them all but only the boy king will ever know it.

But gaining power isn’t the same as keeping it. Navigating Faerie and it’s rules and politics would be hard enough by itself but Cardan isn’t the most biddable servant even if there exists a strange spark between the two. Jude is still being thwarted and, given her position, the sting is worse than before. And when the betrayal someone she trusts, threatens to ruin everything, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight to stay on top.

This is such a fun series. I love the twists and turns. And can I just say, that ending! I can’t wait to see what the third book has in store. All that being said, I did have a few problems with this book.

The first half of the book had me a bit frustrated with Jude. She was almost too retrospective without really doing anything about it. She goes on and on about how the power could easily go to her head and dwelling on the her broken relationships because of her scheming and thirst for power. I liked the more cutthroat, scheming Jude and, thankfully, I think we are going to see a lot more of her in the next book.

I also missed Cardan in the first half of the book. I understand he’s meant to be a puppet king but I liked the Jude/Cardan dynamic better in the first book. Although, he majorly redeems himself in the end. That was the wicked Cardan I was looking for.

For me, this one wasn’t quite as strong as the first book. But I still liked it a lot and can’t wait to see what Jude is going to do! This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Mortal Word

The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman is the fifth book in The Invisible Library series.

An unprecedented event is about to occur and as usual, everything could come down to Irene. The Library has been chosen as mediators between the Dragons and the Fae, in the hopes of starting a path toward peace. But when one of the dragons from the peace party is murdered, what looked like peace could actually end up in war.

Now Irene, Val and Kai must locate the murderer all while navigating dangerous egos and tricky politics. Can Irene muster her wit to save these peace talks and keep the library neutral?

I just love this series. The first three books were definitely my favorites but these past two have still been great. I think it is this world Cogman has created. It is full of magic and action, competing personalities and literally anything can happen. Irene is full of ingenuity and has just enough snark and realistic reactions, that she just makes for a fun character.

I do wish we got a little more of Val and Kai in The Mortal Word. For a “mission” that would totally be up Val’s ally, I thought Irene really did all the heavy lifting. But we did get a very long awaited for moment that was perfect in its hinted simplicity behind the scenes and some teasing of whats to come.

This is a series that I think could go on and on. There’s enough side plots that could be explored and the politics between the three factions of power will always be around for the added drama.

This one get 4 stars from me! Keep ’em coming Cogman, I’m a fan!

That’s all for now!

-M-