Posted in Book Review, Books

Bookshelf Tour

Hey guys,

So life has been all over the place with work and getting our flat ready for the arrival of our little baby in May (it’s so close, just 8 weeks now). We are currently staying in a one bedroom flat at the moment which meant that we had a lot of space to make for baby things. I have three bookcases at the moment and part of the compromise was that I had to reduce the amount of space that I was taking up with books (I love my books more than most things, but the baby is obviously more important!) So this meant that I had to condense down my bookcases and put some books away in the cupboard for now.

I thought that I would do a post on my bookcases before this happened because they won’t be looking too great by the end of this!

So, my first ever bookshelf tour! Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour”

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Posted in Book Review, Books, Writing

Top 10 Books for 2018

20182018 is officially coming to a close and 2019 is about to begin. What a year it has been.

I don’t know about you guys but it’s been a pretty life-changing year for me. I got engaged in spring, found out I was pregnant in summer, lost my grandad in the fall and my lovely old pussycat got put to sleep in winter. It’s been an emotional year with both happy and sad circumstances falling on my family and I but here we are at the end of another year.

I thought I would do a bit of a wrap up of my Top 10 Books for 2018. It’s not something I’ve done before but I thought it would be nice to revisit all the great books I’ve read in the past year. This isn’t limited only to books that have come out in 2018. Continue reading “Top 10 Books for 2018”

Posted in Book Review, Books

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) – Leigh Bardugo

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Hey guys,

So I’m finally catching up with the rest of the world. I got fed up rereading the same books (even though I have loads of books in my TBR pile. I’m sure you can all relate…) and started The Grisha trilogy. Honestly, I was a little sceptical. I’m a part of a few pages on Facebook and there was so much hype around these books that was afraid to be disappointed if I started. But, the series was on sale on the Kindle store and I think I got the three books for around £7 so I can’t really complain. I started Shadow and Bone and I finished it by lunchtime the following day. I couldn’t put it down. I really, really enjoyed the first book. (I also just got these beautiful copies in my most recent book haul. I’m in love). Continue reading “Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) – Leigh Bardugo”

Posted in Book Review, Books

To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

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Hey guys,

I’ve got another gem of a book to share with you all. So I recently went on holiday to Berlin and needed some new reading material for the week away (I didn’t really need a new book, but you know how it is). I filled my kindle up with some golden oldies and some new books I found on the Kindle store, one of them being To Kill A Kingdom, and I was ready for a week in Berlin. The reason I chose this book was that I decided to read the reviews (for once!) and it mentioned the first line of the book which is more than enough to capture your undivided interest.

I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive. There are seventeen hidden in the sand of my bedroom.

Talk about an engaging opening for a book! As well as an excellent opening line, the book is also recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas books, whose work I adore, and Leigh Bargugo (I haven’t read her books, she’s the author of the Six of Crows series. Would you recommend I read this series?). So really I had no choice but to get stuck in about this book.

The book is told from two points of view, Lyra and Elian and it flicks between their points of view each chapter. Lyra is a siren who steals the hearts of princes and Elian is a Prince who longs for a life sailing the sea. Lyra is known as the Princes’ Bane among the humans, notorious for her desire to only steal the hearts of Princes, ripped straight from their chests. Lyra disobeys her mother’s orders and is punished by being turned into a human, left floating in the ocean. Elian is a siren killer and self-declared Pirate finds her and takes her aboard his ship. He wants nothing more than to put a stop to the notorious Princes’ Bane but takes Lyra aboard his ship, unknowing she is what he hunts in another form. The two embark on a journey to put a stop to the Sea Queen’s rule and recapture a long lost legend.

Something I loved about this book was the initial way that our two main characters both see themselves as bad people. Each of our main characters often takes the time to reflect back on the bad qualities that they both possess. Both of them very openly admit to being murderers, of varying degrees and their actions and views could be considered morally questionable at best. I find a relatable aspect of Lyra’s relationship with her mother (not to say that my mum is an evil sea-queen who steals hearts, but she isn’t entirely a saint either). But then, diamonds are formed under pressure. It just depends on how you chose to embrace. I feel it.

It was pleasant to see that Lyra didn’t give up who she was for a man. That much stays apparent throughout the whole book, although there is a very clear character development. She is by no means of the word good but, forged by something as twisted and cruel as the Sea Queen, it is unsurprising to see the values she holds at the beginning of the book. In a life where cruelty and bitterness are nurtured it is hard for love and compassion to bloom. But even in the darkest of hearts such feelings still bloom. Our anti-heroine doesn’t become soft, but instead alters her moral standing and forges a unity that stands to serve a much bigger picture. It is fair to say that this book is has a rather large undercurrent of romance to it but not in a conventional type of way. It grows but it is a very slow-burn but completely worth the journey. It very much progresses into it from two people not willing to find the time or care enough to try to two people drawn together under a common goal.

In the pits of our souls – if I amuse myself with the notion that I have a soul – Elian and I aren’t so different. Two kingdoms that come with responsibiliites we each have trouble bearing. Him, the shackles of being pinned to one land and one life. Me, trapped in the confines of my mother’s murderous legacy. And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.

Lyra sets out to steal the heart of a prince. In the end, he gives it up freely. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you chose your fantasy based on the romance factor but if you are willing to give it the time to bloom then you won’t be disappointed.

How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes mine.

It is a dark and vicious story, fantasy with a slow-building romance. It has fairy-tale qualities and some parallels to The Little Mermaid (but it is in no way a retelling). Both of our protagonists are bad-ass and witty with such a dry sense of humour you might be tempted to drink the ocean water. It is a refreshing fantasy, if not a brutal at times.

I’m sad this book is a standalone book but but butUntitled

So I’m super excited about that.

Until next time, guys!

 

To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

ISBN: 978-1-4717-0740-6

Posted in Book Review, Books

A Court of Mist and Fury – A Review

Court of Thorns and Roses was just the beginning of the series and, in hind sight, it was nothing in comparison to following book in the series, child’s play really. Let’s open the floor to the captivating A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. This is a follow on from my first review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first book in the series.

The threat of Amarantha is gone, Prythian is free from her reign and Feyre, our broken and tortured protagonist, is adjusting to her immortal body. Her wish came true, she fell into immortality and won the hand of her great love, the High Lord of the Spring Court. Tamlin was what she wanted, what she fought to save and protect. She is praised and worshiped and dressed up and pushed into parties and, as the bride-to-be of a High Lord, she is smothered and coddled. But the invisible scars inflicted on her from under the mountain run deeper than anyone can imagine. Well, than most can imagine or comprehend. Enter Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. A tie in from the first book, is the bargain that is struck between Rhysand and Feyre. It removes her from difficult situations in the Spring Court as Rhysand can feel her through the bond of their bargain. She is cracking, breaking under her own emotional stress and Rhys is the only one who understands the affect that her time under the mountain had on her, not even Tamlin takes the time to pull Feyre out of the bottomless ravine that she has soundlessly fallen into. But Rhys does. He sees her for the broken mess she has become, if only because he has become the same behind his mask of indifference and hostility. Rhys, beautiful and equally as scarred, whisks her away to his own court, away from Tamlin and the life she cannot seem to find her place in and he offers her santuary and friendship and the promise not to treat her like glass.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

He becomes a friend and she becomes part of his inner circle, part of his family. There is threat looming, and Amarantha was only the beginning, only one of Hyberns generals. Hybern is gathering its forces with intent to strike the wall, and only Rhys and his inner circle are willing to step up to the mark and stand against the King of Hybern.
There are many reasons why this book is my favourite of the series and is becoming my all-time favourite the longer I think about it. In this book we are introduced to the Court of Nightmares and the Court of Dreams and the city of starlight and the Illyrian warriors and their beautiful wings. There isn’t enough words, I cannot really describe how stunning this book is, how much it touches your heart and cripples it and just makes you feel so alive. It makes you want to be a part of it, to live it.

There is such character development too, so much more than the first book half and it hurts all the more but you can’t help but feel as they do. We learn more about our characters too and we meet new characters. We meet the High Lord of the Summer Court and he is the sun and sea and warm summer breeze incarnate. We meet Cassian and Azriel and Mor and Amren, Rhysands inner circle. The characters we once loved are scorned and the ones we were uncertain of becomes the ones we are rooting for. And the magic becomes more intricately worn into the story and we so quickly become lost in the fantasy world of Prythian. I am a dreamer and this is a book for dreamers. It gives hope and love and warmth even in the darkness of hardships. It reminds us there is always something better and that it is important to be your own person. To be the person that empowers you.

“There are different kinds of darkness… There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.”

Of course, we also have our characteristic steamy scenes between characters and they are guaranteed to leave you feeling a little hot under the collar. It isn’t tasteless, and it only enhances the detail and reality of the descriptive detail.

Something I feel that it is necessary to rant about is the love that is still felt for Tamlin. Okay. So in the ACOTAR we love Tamlin. He steals Fere away and introduces her into his court and they fall in love and all seems pretty sound. Except after the fanfare under the mountain something sort of clicks out of place and it isn’t quite the same for them and that’s really okay. People can change and their views change shift and their whOLE LIFE IS QUICKLY THROWN OUT OF PERSPECTIVE AND THEY DO THINGS THEY AREN’T PROUD OF IN THE NAME OF LOVE AND PEACE AND FREEDOM AND THAT IS OKAY. It changes who you are and I would have been worried if Feyre hadn’t reacted badly to the things she had to do under the mountain, who she had to kill and the families she tore apart just for Tamlin. I don’t think I could feel the same way about him if it had been me. Both Feyre and Tamlin change and it isn’t anything to do with not loving each other but it is enough of a change to drive a wedge between them. Tamlin doesn’t give FEyre what she needs to heal and fill that hole in her chest, a hole that was torn because of Tamlin. No Rhys didn’t steal her or manipulate her or anything to turn her against Tamlin. He wanted her help and he helped her see that she was more than Tamlin was allowing her to be, she was more than an accolade. She is a Queen and if he couldn’t accept her as his High Lady of the Spring Court then he 100% did not deserve her.

Both books are available on Audible as audio books and if you’re anything like me then you will be pleased to know that both books are narrated by the same person which makes me happy. I don’t wholeheartedly endorse Audible, I 100% recommend reading the book, but audible is handy for myself as it fits nicely into a busy lifestyle. Also, kindle has audio narration that accompanies a lot of its books which you may find to your liking (I hate it).

With the ending to A Court of Mist and Fury we are set up and ready for A Court of Wind and Ruin, the third booking coming this summer. The suspense is absolutely killing me. Prepare yourself, war is coming and if Hybern is going to fight dirty then the Night Court and its High Lord and High Lady will gladly rise to the occasion.

“To the stars the listen — and the dreams that are answered.”

Posted in Book Review, Books

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Review

It’s that time of year where I become fixated on all of my favourite books in the run up to Christmas before I do a new book haul of new books of those I’m given and the new books I get with book vouchers I get as gifts.. This kicked off with A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Now, I don’t know how much you all know of the fantastic works of Sarah J. Maas but I wholly encourage you all to do some research into The Court of Thorns and Roses Series as well as her Throne of Glass Series, which are among my all-time favourite book series. I succeeded in converting two of my friends into devoted fans, I don’t think they regretted a minute of it. Continue reading “A Court of Thorns and Roses – Review”