Crier’s War 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I’m leveling up with two book reviews in one day. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post! ✨

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

SYNOPSIS

book coverAfter the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

REVIEW

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Okay, one of my favorite tropes is (slow burn) enemies to lovers, and let me tell you: this book delivered. Plus, these enemies to lovers are queer, I love my lesbian and bi rep, and the book is own voices. 🖤🖤🖤

Please, please read this book. If not for anything else, read it for the romance. 

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “You couldn’t depend on much in this world, but you could depend on this: love brought nothing but death.”

🖤 “It was never really a choice, was it? Wanting her. Killing her.”

🖤”Were there certain words or ideas that made Ayla’s frown smooth out, that made her eyes brighten? Crier wanted to study her like a map. Draw an easy path between all the specific yet scattered points of her.”

🖤“A thought came to her: a story of its own, one that only just began writing itself in her mind: a story of two women, one human, one Made.”

🖤 “If longing is madness then none of us are sane.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHOR Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. Crier’s War is her first novel. 

Check out Nina on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

BOOK TOUR

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The Vine Witch 🖤 Review + Giveaway

Witches and wine make for a good time. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post! ✨

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

Publisher: 47North
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis

BOOK COVERA young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As you all may know, my favorite animal is frogs, so I knew I would enjoy this book when it opened from the viewpoint of a toad. Wine is also my drink of choice, and I consider myself to be a baby witch. 

Basically, I’m sure Luanne wrote this book for me. 

The character development and romance are the only aspects of this book keeping it from being 5 stars. But I definitely recommend it. 🖤

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “What the eye couldn’t see, the imagination filled in. We put names to the unexplained. Cast it as something to either fear or worship. And yet just because a thing can’t be seen doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

🖤 “She gave the wine a swirl, and Jean-Paul knew if there was ever magic in the world it was in that glass of perfectly blended seven-year-old pinot noir.”

🖤 “The art of poison might run in your blood, but never doubt you were meant to be a vine witch.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHORLuanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, The Glamourist. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

Check out Luanne on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book DepositoryGoogle Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Vine Witch!

  • End Date: October 15, 2019
  • US only

BOOK TOUR

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Cursed 🖤 Review + Giveaway

Another retelling. My heart is content. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post! ✨

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

39678996._SY475_The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller. 

Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.

But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…

That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.

Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.

But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

tom-wheeler-101162144Thomas Wheeler sold his first screenplay at age twenty-two to Twentieth Century Fox. He has continued to work on major Hollywood features for the last several years. Wheeler lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Christina, and his son, Luca. The Arcanum is his first novel.

frank-miller-101162161Frank Miller is an award-winning comic book writer, novelist, inker, screenwriter, film director, and producer best known for DaredevilThe Dark Knight ReturnsSin City, and 300, among others.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | iBooks | IndieBound

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a hardcover copy of Cursed!

  • End Date: October 9, 2019

BOOK TOUR

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Shadow Frost 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I can never say no to a retelling. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

You won’t want to miss the giveaway and preorder campaign at the end of this post! ✨

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

Cover Image Shadow FrostIN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

REVIEW

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. 

Then again, I have a soft spot for retellings and books involving princesses—especially badass princesses—magic, romance, a touch of mystery, queer characters, demons, and friendship. Now that I’m thinking about it, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all. 

I should only be surprised that Coco Ma wrote this book when she was just 15 years old. What have I been doing with my life?

Anyway, this book was a 5 star read for me because, no spoilers, I enjoyed the slow but steady character and plot development. There were a few “plot twists” that I saw coming a mile away, but it didn’t matter. I loved them all the same. 🖤🖤🖤

BookTube Mentions

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorCoco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Check out Coco Ma on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a hardcover copy of Shadow Frost, a signed bookplate, bookmark, and button!

  • End Date: October 15, 2019

PREORDER CAMPAIGN

Preorder Shadow Frost to receive a signed bookplate, bookmark, button, and tote bag if you’re one of the first 150 people to preorder!

BOOK TOUR

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A Treason of Thorns 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I could not put down A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth. I read this young adult fantasy in 2 days.

I didn’t know I needed a story about magical houses set in England. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

A Treason of Thorns by
Laura E. Weymouth

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

book coverViolet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.

REVIEW

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I recently read Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, and after reading A Treason of Throns, I can now confirm that I have a reading soft spot for inanimate objects turned magical.

The sentient, magical Burleigh House in this book remained at the heart of the story—it drove the plot, it influenced our protagonist’s Vi actions, and it painted the atmosphere. Vi, her childhood friend and love interest Wyn, and the House are the main characters in this book. I never thought I would read a book where a house is a main character, but my gosh, I’m so glad I did.

There is one, and only one, reason why this book was not a 5 star read for me: the not-so-believable, lacking romance. I wanted to believe that Vi and Wyn had a romantic connection. It made sense. But it didn’t translate onto the page. I almost wish their relationship would have remained platonic because then this book would have been perfect.

All in all, though, I highly recommend this book, as it delivered in so many other ways. Especially if you’re not picky about romance. And especially if you love the concept of a magical house. 🖤

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “I need to know that no matter what I’ve lost, I’ve lost it for the greater good.”

🖤 “In the labyrinth of my own mind, I count fears instead of stars.”

🖤 “…folk recognize a devil in fine clothes when they see one.”

🖤 “The world is full of men who want things, and never question their right to go after them.” Esperanza’s eyes spark, and she leans forward in her chair. “Why should we feel any less worthy than they do, so long as what we want does no harm?”

🖤 “Don’t be ridiculous, we belong to ourselves.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHORLaura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She is represented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.

Check out Laura on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitterPinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win signed copies of Laura E. Weymouth’s books, The Light Between Worlds and A Treason of Thorns!

  • End Date: September 24, 2019
  • US only

BOOK TOUR

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Crown of Coral and Pearl 🖤 Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway

So past, sick Morgan majorly failed and forgot to schedule this review. 😭

Better late than never, though, so here’s my review of the seriously fantastic Crown of Coral and Pearl. 🖤 

And shout out to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

coralFor generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

sisterly love + royalty + sacrifice + mermaid-inspired + strong women + inner beauty + romance

This book checked all my boxes. Sisterhood? Check. Fantasy with a dash of romance? Check. The characters (Nor is one of my new favorites). The world building (oh my gosh, the kingdoms and cultures were complex and believable). Check, check. And I’m here for all the mermaid-inspired fantasy books. 🖤🖤🖤

Favorite Quotes

🖤 ”I’m the perfect seashell you pick up from the ocean floor, only to turn it over in your hand and see the crack.”

🖤 “You have the power to do anything and everything you dream of, more than any person I’ve ever known.”

🖤 “What lies beneath the surface of shallow waters? Nothing. It’s only when you go deeper that the ocean comes alive. The deeper you go, the more mysteries and surprises await.”

🖤 “Nor and Zadie. Coral and Pearl.
Powerful and beautiful because of each other, not in spite of each other.”

🖤 “I had sacrificed all of that to come here, and I would be damned if it had all been for nothing.”

About the Author

maraMara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world, from Russia to Peru, along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband and two sons. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London and would rather study the folklore of her next post than the language (which she has found is a lot more fun but not nearly as useful). She is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor.

Check out Mara on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Crown of Coral and Pearl!

  • End Date: September 2, 2019
  • US only

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Sea Witch Rising 🖤 Review + Giveaway + Playlist

I’m a part of another book tour thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club🖤

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

Synopsis

book cover“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

Playlist

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorSarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

Check out Sarah on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Sea Witch Rising!

  • US only
  • Start Date: July 16, 2019
  • End Date: July 30, 2019

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