My Most Anticipated 2018 Books

I realised a few days ago that I never posted my most anticipated books of 2018 list!! And it’s already mid February *whoops*. This was such a fun list to put together too so I have no idea how i forgot about it? Though getting it down to just 8 was a bit of a nightmare (it was 10 originally because The Cruel Prince and Everless were included but they’re already out now). I considered doing a winter or spring most anticipated list to make it easier but I think it’s more fun to look at the whole year at once. So below are my chosen books. I’ve also included each one’s synopsis so you don’t have to bother clicking links to find out what on earth I’m rambling about. But of course that means that if you’re not caught up on the series mentioned, then avert your eyes and scroll on past!

8) The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson

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| Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to the Extinction Trials. In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win. But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other… | 

Ok so firstly I know this is already out but I thought I’d still include it as I haven’t read it yet. And I’ve been waiting a long time for a book that could *mayyyybe* be the next Hunger Games for me. I love any story where there’s trials and where the characters will do anything they can to survive. And I can also appreciate the synopsis saying so little! It’s intrigued me enough but still I’m going into it knowing nothing. Which is honestly my favourite way to experience a new story.

7) Furyborn by Claire Legrand

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| When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other|

This just sounds like everything I could possibly want from a fantasy…Queens! Magic trials! Legends! A bounty hunter! A rebel captain! Violence! Danger! Seriously it has everything and I’m SO excited to get my hands on this gorgeous book!

6) The Death Of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

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| On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person, but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. |

Does anyone know if this is the official cover? Because if it is I’m a fan! So dark and creepy! And that synopsis already has me seriously intrigued and I just know I’m going to read it as soon as I can! I’ve loved every one of Ruth Ware’s books that I’ve read so far so I know this one will not let me down. I do actually have her last book, The Lying Game, still to read. And luckily I stumbled across a copy at my library so I’m pleased I still have some of her writing to keep me going till this one’s released!

5) The Queens Of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

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| The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided. | 

I’ll be honest, what originally caught my attention was the gorgeous cover. It’s so simple, but so powerful! Then of cause the idea of three sisters, who are all very different, battling for a crown is honestly everything I could want. And of course that tagline, “blood will have blood”, just has me shouting YASSSS!!

4) Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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| After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name. The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever. 

If you’ve seen my favourite books of 2017 list you know that Caraval was included and that I really thoroughly enjoyed it! I was so shocked to find out it was Stephanie Garber’s debut book and so I’m super excited to see how her writing improves and how she builds on this brilliant story.

3) Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J Maas

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Can I just take a moment to whine about the fact there’s no title and no synopsis yet *sobs* I NEED this book now pleasssse! October is SO far away *more sobbing*

2) To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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| 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 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? |

I only actually found out about this book a few weeks ago. And that’s only because Readers First brought it to my attention. I have no idea how it slipped by me?! But I’m glad I know about it now because I LOVE LOVE LOVE pirates and sirens…especially if they’re wicked!

1) A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #4) by Sarah J Maas

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| Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court. |

Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot accurately explain just how excited I am for this book!!!!!!!! It’s easily my most anticipated. And for those of you that are as excited as me and have preordered it, have you filled out the form on SJM’s website to get the Night Court pin?

So there you go, the 2018 books I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on! Are you excited for any of these? Or is there another book, that I haven’t mentioned, that you’re anticipating? Let me know below!

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My Top 10 Best Books Read In 2017

It’s only the 19th of January but I feel like I’m so behind haha everyone else seems to have already posted their best/worst/most anticipated lists! But I struggled SO much with deciding on just 10 favourites AND I’ve put them in actual order (which took me an AGE as well) counting down to my absolute favourite of 2017. I imagine those of you who know me will have already correctly guessed which book is my no 1 of the year…

(Please be aware that I’ve included the synopsis for each book on this list so, if you don’t want to be spoiled, do not read the ones included for books that are number 2 or 3 in a series)

10) Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

| Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world. |

10th place was one of those real struggles I was just talking about because I almost put Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls here. In the end I obviously picked Crooked Kingdom, mainly because Leigh Bardugo had improved the story and characters SO much since Six of Crows. Six of Crows was so average in my opinion and I didn’t feel much of a connection to any of the characters or what they were trying to achieve. That all changed in book 2 though! Especially because we got to see these glimpses into all the character’s pasts. I loved the banter between them all too and seeing different relationships develop within the group. The various schemes were believable. As were their reasons for being “bad”. And I REALLY enjoyed the last 100 pages. The twists definitely made it my favourite section of the entire book. And Ketterdam was a wonderfully dark setting that I thoroughly enjoyed.

9) The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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| Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does… As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough? |

The Darkest Part Of The Forest was the first book I read on my holiday to Iceland this year and they just fit so perfectly together (the book and the location, I mean). See every tour guide I encountered told me stories about their “hidden people”, couple that with reading about Holly Black’s faeries, and I swear my imagination was running wild for two weeks straight! It was brilliant! Plus The Darkest Part Of The Forest was pretty dark in a lot of places, which I enjoyed very much. There’s nothing I like better than wicked and dangerous and tricksy faeries! And I loved all the bargaining the locals did with them too!

8) Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V Snyder

| About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…|

Poison Study was sort of a slower paced/less fun version of Throne of Glass. But not in a bad way! It’s just more serious, mainly because Yelena has been through A LOT! She’s tough though and refuses to accept her fate. The bad things she’s experienced or is still experiencing just push her to work and train harder. Also the poisons were fun. As were the few twists. And what’s great is I got the whole of the Study series for Christmas so I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of them this year. Hopefully they only get better and better with each book!

7) Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

| You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers mini biographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story. |

Princesses Behaving Badly was honestly fantastic. It’s written very simply so you don’t need to know these women already in order to understand their stories. They each get a chapter that explains all the exciting parts of their life and then, I have to admit, you’re left wanting more! I think I must have written down the names of at least half of the women because I want to do further research on them. But it really is just brilliant getting to hear about these great women of history whose stories are quite often forgotten about. And sadly this is the only non-fiction book that made my 2017’s best of list. But I plan on making a huge effort to read more in 2018 so hopefully more will be featured on my blog in the future!

6) Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber 

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| Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever. |

So I only found out recently that Caraval is Stephanie Garber’s debut book?! And it was SO good! Which makes me super excited to see if her writing manages to get even better! But anyway, back to Caraval…I loved basically everything. I loved Scarlet and Julian and the magic and the whole idea of the game and finding the clues. And the twists at the end! And the map is BEAUTIFUL! Honestly I just want more stories set in this world asap please!

5) The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

| Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, grey skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong. |

The Woman In Cabin 10 really sucked me in VERY quickly! I had a feeling I’d like this though because I thoroughly enjoyed In A Dark, Dark Wood, also by Ruth Ware. Plus my family love going on cruises (and so do I) and I’d never read a fiction book set on a cruise. So really everything was in place for me to love this. And love it I did! I can’t really say much else though because it’s better going in not knowing much to be honest. But if you like Ruth Ware’s other books you’ll definitely love this one too.

4) The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

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| In a place like no other, on a mystical island in the shape of tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of oracles. Kamikuu is admired far and wide for her otherworldly beauty; small and headstrong Namima learns to live in her sister’s shadow. On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is chosen to become the next Oracle, serving the realm of light, while Namima is forced to serve the realm of darkness—destined to spend eternity guiding the spirits of the deceased to the underworld. As the sisters serve opposite fates, Namima embarks on a journey that takes her from the experience of first love to the aftermath of scalding betrayal. Caught in an elaborate web of treachery, she travels between the land of the living and the Realm of the Dead, seeking vengeance and closure. At the heart of this exquisitely dark tale, Kirino masterfully reimagines the ancient Japanese creation myth of Izanami and Izanagi. A provocative, fantastical saga, The Goddess Chronicle tells a sumptuous story of sex, murder, gods and goddesses, and bittersweet revenge. |

The Goddess Chronicle was the second book I read on my holiday to Iceland. And it was FANTASTIC! The writing style and story just drew me in immediately. It was a bit weird at times, which I enjoyed to be honest. The overall story is based on the Japanese tale of Izanagi and Izanami and so is perfect for anyone, like me, who enjoys retellings of myths and legends. And now I’ve been left wanting to read more Japanese mythology! So if you have any recommendations of where I should start then please let me know in the comments below.

3) The Power by Naomi Alderman

| In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly. This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world. |

I enjoyed The Power so much that I can barely think of the words to express my feelings for it. It was just SO GOOD! It’s set in our world but women have the power to hurt/kill men through electricity they can send out from their fingertips. So we get to see what life might be like if women were naturally more physically powerful than men. And I can honestly say I enjoyed all the characters. They all had such unique experiences that I never got confused about whose perspective I was reading from. Be warned though some of the incidences that happen are hard to read. But in my opinion everything that happened was important to the overall story. Put The Power at the top of your tbr NOW, you won’t regret it!

2) The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

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| Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. |

Oh. My. Goodness!! This book was such a huge surprise. I mean I thought I’d like it because I loved The Darkest Part Of The Forest earlier this year. But it was SO much better than I expected. The faeries were so much more nasty and creepy and beautiful in The Cruel Prince and I was truly thrilled! Read my full review here.

1) A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J Maas 

| Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. |

A Court of Wings And Ruin being my favourite book of 2017 will probably be no surprise to a lot of you! I just can’t get enough of these characters (especially the Court of Dreams characters) and this world and the magic and the creatures. And honestly it took every ounce of will power I had not to just sit and read this all in one sitting (I managed to savour it for at least a week). If only it was longer!! Though to be honest even if it was a 1,000 pages I’d still moan it wasn’t long enough! Oh and whose heart stopped whilst reading page 666?! Sarah J Maas is so cruel! I love it haha

Were any of these books one of your favourite reads of 2017? Or is there any books you can recommend to me based on the ones in this list? I’m always looking to add amazing books to my tbr!

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Book Review (No Spoilers)

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| Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. |

Rating: 5/5

Favourite Quote: “I can see why humans succumb to the beautiful nightmare of the Court, why they willingly drown in it”

Review: After reading the fantastic The Darkest Part of the Forest last year it feels like I’ve been craving more Holly Black faerie stories forever. I’ve seriously been desperate for more nasty and creepy and beautiful hidden people stories. Stories of them being wicked!

So when I heard about The Cruel Prince I just knew I’d need to get my hands on it as soon as possible. And thank you so SO much to Readers First for providing me with a copy a little early so I could review it. And it was actually the last book I read in 2017 and it was a damn good way to finish off my reading year!

The Cruel Prince starts as a book about a mortal girl surviving being horrifically bullied by immortals. But then slowly builds into a royal battle for the crown. There’s secrets and lies coming from every side and you’d never guess the twists and turns the plot takes!

And the action starts so quickly too! By the end of chapter 2 there’s been multiple murders and a tournament to become a knight has been mentioned. Stinging faerie ointment has been smeared in our main protagonist’s eyes to give her True Sight so that she can see through glamours. Oh and she wears a necklace of rowan berries so she can resist enchantments.

If none of this sounds like the kind of book you’d like I urge you to at least go out to a book shop and read the first dreadful (in a good way) chapter. I’m pretty sure it’ll have you hooked immediately, like it did me. I really didn’t expect the faerie nastiness to get going so quickly!

And if, even then, you’re not feeling it you can still admire the GORGEOUS map which is very pleasing to the eye! I love all the beautiful illustrations. Especially the mermaids and the person riding a frog (both are actually featured in The Cruel Prince).

Overall I was hooked from about page 5 and I’m certain that if you like Holly Black’s previous stories (or faerie stories in general) then you will find yourself quite thrilled by The Cruel Prince!

Have you read The Cruel Prince yet? What did you think? And if you haven’t, what’s your favourite Holly Black book?

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

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| Princess Diana is desperate to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. But Alia is a Warbringer, a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together they will face an army of enemies, both mortal and divine, who are determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. |

Rating: 2/5

Favourite Quote: “Sisters in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.”

Review: Before watching the 2017 Wonder Woman film I knew nothing about Princess Diana of Themyscira. Wonder Woman was never on tv whilst I was growing up and I didn’t, and still don’t, read comics. But the recent WW film meant that I could now declare I had a favourite superhero!

So imagine how excited I was, as a self proclaimed #bookworm, to learn there would be a whole book dedicated to Diana’s story. One that would reveal what Diana was like when she was a teenager.

Then imagine my disappointment when I slowly realised this isn’t even really a Wonder Woman story. At all. It should have just been called Warbringer and then Wonder Woman being in it would have been a nice little extra.

The first and last chapters are Diana’s, I’ll admit, but everything in between is about Alia, who is the “Warbringer” from the title. And even though roughly every other chapter is from Diana’s perspective, she’s definitely a background character. Very nice to everyone, but with an incredibly bland personality. Life on Themyscira is barely touched on and we get no sense of who Diana is as either a person or a teenager.

Instead what we get is every detail of Alia’s school and romantic life, her wants and ambitions. We meet Alia’s friends and brother. A huge section of the story is wasted by being set in New York, Alia’s home town. This would be completely fine…if I wasn’t lured in to reading this book because it promised Wonder Woman!

And whilst Alia did grow on me (eventually). I couldn’t really get past her judgmental attitude from right at the beginning. Diana had just saved her from drowning a few hours earlier and had come back to try and help Alia off of the island, when Alia starts labeling Themyscira “cult island” and a “radical feminist cult” and the women who live there “paranoid survivalists”, “delusional”, “hippies” and “socialists”.  And at one point decides Diana is “queen loon”.

All these labels and insults are thought up by Alia in the space of just 5 pages btw!

Alia is much nicer to her best friend, Nim, though. And Nim is an amazing character. She’s herself and unapologetic about it! So this meant I started to warm up to Alia as well. But then Alia’s arsehole brother, Jason, keeps coming back in to the story and I’m back to loathing everyone and everything again.

But really neither lovely Nim or nice Diana could save this book for me. Which was overall a real hard slog. It felt too much like a slow contemporary ya. The characters say they are in a rush a lot but there’s an awful lot of hanging around, jumping in pools and going to parties. Oh and best of all (not) there’s a bit of romance thrown in, for no reason, between Diana and someone I won’t name. Completely unnecessary!

Basically this was a huge let down after the fantastic 2017 Wonder Woman film. I thought I was getting more of film Diana but instead got Diana relegated to the role of glorified bodyguard for a rich girl with a private plane. And see at the top of this post where I’ve written some of the synopsis from the back of the book? It says Diana is “desperate to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters”. SPOILER ALERT She doesn’t…!

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Sarah J Maas Book Tag

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So for this weeks Friday post I thought I’d do a fun little Sarah J Maas themed book tag that I saw going round on Instagram. And fyi choosing an answer for some of these questions nearly killed me!

1) Dorian Or Rowan

Now this one depends on what the context is. For Aelin, I’d choose Rowan, because they’re both powerful and they’re a good fit personality wise as well. But if I was choosing which one for myself, and if I didn’t have any magic and I was mortal, I’d choose lovely Dorian.

2) Rhysand Or Dorian

Oh 100% Rhysand. I swear there is not a day that goes by without me thinking of Rhys. He is actual perfection.

3) Moon Or Sun

Easily the beautiful moon. I love being up at night when it’s peaceful and quiet and I can look up at the moon and stars. And I would actually go so far as to say I strongly dislike the sun. You can’t look at it and it gets in your eyes when you’re in the car and it makes me feel too hot and uncomfortable in the summer!

4) Saturday Or Sunday

Hmm both are lovely but I’ll go with…Sunday. There just seems to be less pressure to be productive on a Sunday.

5) Book Or Film

This is actually a surprisingly hard question for me! Because when I think of Harry Potter and Divergent, I prefer the books. But when I think of The Lord of the Rings and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I prefer the films. Buttt I guess overall I prefer more books to their film adaptions.

6) Fireplace Or Radiator 

Radiator. Just because I can get lost in my book and I don’t have to worry about burning the house down.

7) Kill Maeve Or Tamlin

Can it not be both?!?!? No. Ok then I guess I would kill Maeve because of what she did in Empire of Storms. She’s disgustingly cruel!

8) Never Read ACOTAR 3 Or TOG 6

Never read TOG 6. I NEED ACOTAR 3 and more of Feyre and Rhys and Cassian and Nesta and Mor and Azriel and Amren and Elaine. It’s killing me to have to wait till May 2017 as it is so if I was never going to read it I’m pretty sure I’d die instantly.

9) Sapphire Or Violet Eyes

For on myself I’d go for sapphire eyes. But if they’re on another person I’d choose violet. Because Rhysand.

10) Manon Or Lysandra

Manon. As much as I love Lysandra and how strong and amazing she is…I just want to be Manon. Like I want the iron teeth and nails and I want Abraxos and to be immortal and scary but beautiful and yeah, I want to be Manon.

People I tag to do this next are:

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The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas | Book Review

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Rating: 5/5

Favourite Quotes: “Life isn’t easy, no matter where you are. You’ll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.” 

“She would tuck Sam into her heart, a bright light for her to take out whenever things were darkest.” (*sobs*)

Review: If only every great series came with a whole 450 pages worth of short stories! And not pointless “filler” stories either but ones that actually add to the overall plot and reveal plenty of important back story. This is exactly what we get from The Assassin’s Blade. Because not only is it full of information on Celaena’s past but every story is well written, is full of interesting new characters and follows on from the previous one.

And I think with collections like The Assassin’s Blade it’s easy to go wrong. The lack of our favourite characters can sometimes make the stories feel empty or not worth bothering with. Not the case here at all though.

The Assassin and the Desert was easily my favourite of the five short stories because of Ansel, one of the awesome new characters, who is also an assassin. She has a complicated past, much like Celaena, so it was great to witness this friendship between two assassins. And of course I’m dying to know what happened to her!

My second favourite story was The Assassin and the Healer because we get to see Celaena through the eyes of a stranger, and not someone who is falling in love with her! And again it introduced another great new character, Yrene. Yrene is the healer from the title and she works in a pub. She’s not treated well by her boss or the patrons but she’s still kind and she has ambition! I like that in characters. And like Ansel, I’m really hoping we get to see more of Yrene.

The real highlight of all five stories though is getting to see what 16 year old Celaena was like. We see her making mistakes and being knocked back, being abused and betrayed. All of which helps me to understand her better.

She’s had an extremely hard life. I mean it’s revealed she had to learn how to torture someone for goodness sake and that is one of the least awful things she had to go through in this book! If I was in her position I would be absolutely foul to be around. I’d be in a horrendously bad mood all the time! So now I can be far more sympathetic to her attitude and actions in the rest of the Throne of Glass series.

Overall I could not get enough of these stories. I love the Throne of Glass world and I don’t think Sarah J Maas could ever produce enough content to truly satiate me!

I’m currently reading Empire of Storms, the 5th book in the series, and I read The Assassin’s Blade after reading Heir of Fire. However, I believe Sarah J Maas recommends you read The Assassin’s Blade before Throne of Glass. I definitely wish I had anyway. So if you’re thinking of starting this series, start here, with The Assassin’s Blade.

If you’ve already read some/all the books out so far though, i’d be interested to know after which book you decided to pick up The Assassin’s Blade?

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The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

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*SPOILERS for those that haven’t read/watched the whole series*

1) Favourite Book?

Goblet of Fire will ALWAYS be my favourite of the series. I remember so vividly imagining the maze whilst reading it and it was so scary and I LOVED it.

2) Least Favourite Book?

This is a terrible question for a Harry Potter fan!! I love every book in the series pretty equally. But if I had to choose I’d say Deathly Hallows. Simply because the ending was not what I wanted at all. It was too much of a “happily ever after” ending what with everyone paired up and with kids. And the names of those kids?! Come on!

3) Favourite Movie?

I’d probably go with Philosopher’s Stone. It was one of the first movies I ever got REALLY excited about seeing. And seeing all the magic come to life before my eyes was just indescribable and it made me so happy!

4) Parts That Made You Cry?

I don’t remember crying whilst reading the books BUT during the films I really felt for Snape. The fact that he was a double agent must have weighed on him. Students and teachers were suspicious of him. He wasn’t allowed to be the darks arts teacher. He was bullied by James Potter and his friends. He was in love with Lily all that time. He had to live with everyone thinking he’d killed Dumbledore. Then he died for the cause in the end. That’s a lot for one person! So for me Snape had the saddest storyline.

5) Which Character Would You Hook Up With?

Ohh tough one! I actually didn’t find anyone particularly attractive in the films. So going on personality alone I’d choose Neville Longbottom because he was such a sweetie and so brave.

6) Favourite Character?

Easily Snape because he was doing so much important stuff behind the scenes throughout the whole series. I really wish JK Rowling would write a book from Snape’s perspective!!

7) Least Favourite Character?

Dumbledore. I didn’t like his attitude. I didn’t like that he wasn’t always honest with Harry about what was going on. And I certainly did not like that he awarded Slytherin the House Cup in Philosopher’s Stone and then preceded to take it away one minute later!! Could he not have given the extra points out BEFORE announcing who had won?! What a cruel thing to do to children!

8) Favourite Quote?

“What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” – Hagrid.

9) What Would Your Patronus Be?

Definitely a horse. I’ve got about the same temperament haha! But I also envy how they can run and run and run and they always appear to be so free.

10) Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone or Invisibility Cloak?

Invisibility Cloak! I’d jump on planes and travel the world and I wouldn’t need a penny. I’d sleep in empty hotel rooms and steal sweets and I’d sneak into the ‘closed to the public’ parts of castles.

11) Which House Would You Be In?

Slytherin. Not because I’m evil or anything. But because I like to think I’m ambitious and smart and loyal but at the same time I can be really ruthless and I’m not likely to put myself out for just anyone.

12) Which Class Would Be Your Favourite?

Definitely Potions with Snape. Plus I think there’s just so much you can do with potions I’d be enthralled every lesson.

13) Were You Happy With The Ending?

NO! I hated the whole epilogue where they are on the platform, all paired up, and with their ridiculously named kids.

14) How Much Does Harry Potter Mean Do You?

So much! It was a HUGE part of my childhood. The first couple of books were read to me by my mother and then I think it was around the third and fourth books I wanted to read them on my own. Then the movies started coming out and I loved seeing the magic come to life in front of my eyes and I reckon they’re the reason I’m so into films now. And then of course I remember being so excited when a new book was going to come out and I’d swear I’d make the new book last a while…then I’d devour it in a couple days! I seriously have only good memories surrounding all the books and the films. And is it weird that I’m actually looking forward to the day they decide to remake the films?! I. Just. Want. More!

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik | Book Review

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Rating: 2/5

Favourite Quote: “There’s no kindness in offering false hope”

Review: Uprooted was simply terrible. It had all the ingredients to make it wonderful; magic, witches, wizards and an enchanted forest full of horrible creatures. But all this falls flat and the author has somehow managed to make all these elements boring.

We’ve got the characters, all flat and boring. Agnieszka, our protagonist who claims to be ever so plain and ordinary, of course turns out to be ever so special. The usual. She faces no true hardships, easily overcomes everything thrown at her and goes through no character development at all. And what annoyed me most was that she never questioned anything! She never asked why am I here? What is my purpose?

Then there’s the Dragon. To him the girl he kidnapped is “tedious” and “horsefaced” (though SPOILER he has no problem with said horseface towards the end in one of the most unnecessary and out of place sex scenes ever). And worse he calls her an “idiot” for defending herself when a Prince tries to assault her. Asking her if she’d like to “try and persuade the King that your virtue was worth the life of his son”. The sexism then continues a few pages later when he asks her; “Don’t all peasant girls dream of Princes and ball gowns?”.

The rest of the characters are not worth mentioning. They’re almost like cardboard cut outs that follow Agnieszka around and are only there because at some point they will need to be saved or will have some problem that needs to be solved. None of them have a personality and they barely interact with Agnieszka or each other.

Then there’s the storyline. The author skips ahead a lot by saying “a week later” or “a few days passed” but then spends pages and pages describing surroundings in tedious detail. The following is an actual sentence from Uprooted: “Trees and brush overhung the water, willows trailing long weedy branches into the reeds that clustered thickly at the water’s edge, between the pale tangle of exposed tree roots against the wet dirt”. How is this sentence even allowed? It doesn’t move the story forward and doesn’t add to the current event being portrayed. It’s simply boring.

So basically Uprooted becomes this horrific mix of slow paced but technically faced paced. As if a child is trying to tell you a story with just the good bits but gets distracted constantly and goes off on a tangent.

Oh and don’t get me started on how the magic was written. It was either in great long sentences consisting of the most annoying made up language ever. Or it was vaguely brushed over and we’d just be told that Agnieszka was currently singing a song of magic. The words to these songs were never revealed and instead we’d be told how the magic felt or tasted or how it looked.

Overall nothing is really explained properly and I was left with a lot of unanswered questions. The characters were all miserable and one dimensional and didn’t interact enough. And the story was just one long winded bore, that consisted of different people being saved, and that was hard to force myself to finish. I would not recommend this to anyone.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling | Book Review

Review

Rating: 5/5

Favourite Quote: “The world changes and we change with it”

Review: I honestly don’t know where to begin! I guess I could start by saying that if you grew up with Harry Potter, if you’re a huge fan, if you reread the books every year, you will adore Cursed Child. And if you’re worried about the script format being distracting, don’t, because luckily we don’t need all the description of people and places because we already know all that. So if you haven’t read it yet then what are you waiting for?!

MILD SPOILERS FROM HERE

Firstly I have to say I adored the way Cursed Child is so entangled with the original seven books. We get to see all our favourite, and not so favourite, characters again. We also get to experience parts of the Triwizard Tournament from Goblet Of Fire all over again, but from different perspectives! And those who know me know that Goblet Of Fire is my favourite book in the Harry Potter series.

Though I have admit that, like others have said, it is written a bit like a fanfiction. But I’m guessing that feel perhaps comes from other writers being involved. But I didn’t mind (I actually enjoy reading fanfiction, shhh, and have read tons of Harry Potter stuff).

Looking at the characters Harry was as irritating as ever. Still VERY rude and if I was Albus, Harry’s son, I don’t know that I could ever forgive a certain thing he blurts out no matter how many apologies I got. Dumbledore was as vague as ever with his advice. Completely useless and merely causes more drama and heartache. I was cheering out loud when Harry finally told him, “You were absent every time it really counted. I fought him three times without you”. But then I’ve always not liked these two. And before anyone says anything, no, it does not stop the Harry Potter series being one of my all time favourites.

Snape was as brave as always. Willing to lay down his life again for the greater good. For a world without Voldemort. Scorpius and Albus, the new main characters, were also very brave and made great additions. Scorpius is probably the stand out character of the whole of Cursed Child. He’s faced with a lot of negativity and judgement and yet still continues to remain happy and light hearted and level headed. And his adoration for Rose is very cute.

SPOILERS END HERE

Overall, whilst it is a very quick read and I would have preferred a proper full length novel, I enjoyed both the plot and characters immensely. I even caught myself tearing up a few times so it must have gotten to me quite a bit. And I think this expands that awkward and out of place epilogue at the end of Deathly Hallows very nicely. I definitely recommend this to all Harry Potter fans!

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