Cast in Firelight Review

About the Book:

Title: Cast in Firelight

Author: Dana Swift

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Pages: 448

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

51630215Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

Review:

5

* I won an e-arc from the author in a giveaway*

Amazing debut from Dana Swift! I was immediately swept up into this fantastical world where magic is cast in nine different colors, corresponding to their deities. The magic system was crafted so well, and I could envision the stunning colors swirling through these enchanting kingdoms. I also loved the rivalry to lovers trope and the slow burn swoon worthy romance. Yes please!

I absolutely adored the main characters, Adraa and Jatin. They first meet as children when their parents arrange a marriage between them to unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. Their first meeting doesn’t go very well to put it bluntly. They continue to communicate through letters after, which become a competition between them, and they haven’t seen each other since that fateful meeting. They finally meet up again accidentally, and begin working together with secret identities, neither one realizing who the other is.  As they work with each other, they begin to uncover a sinister plot from the criminal underground. As things get dangerous, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive, which isn’t easy when they don’t really know who they truly are.

Adraa is fierce, yet flawed, and I really loved that about her. Jatin is also a strong character, and I love the witty banter between him and Adraa. I also enjoyed these characters connections with their families. Both Adraa and Jatin feel that they have to prove themselves to their families and their kingdoms respectively, and it was an interesting journey to behold.

Please do be sure to read the author’s heartfelt note where she clearly explains her inspiration behind the story.

I’m so glad that there’s going to be a second book! That ending!! I definitely need more of this wonderful world and characters. Definitely add this one to your TBR. It will be releasing in November of 2020.

About the Author:

Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Anaheim, California where Disney fireworks provide a nice musical backdrop to late night writing. 19510928

Emmie and the Tudor King Review

About the Book:

Title: Emmie and the Tudor King

Author: Natalie Murray

Publisher: Literary Crush Publishing

Release Date: June 11, 2019

Pages: 304

Genre: YA Historical Fiction, YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

“As satisfying as it is suspenseful…rich with raw emotion.”
–Foreword Reviews

“A swashbuckling, romantic adventure story about time travel and a love that spans four centuries, Emmie and the Tudor King is an absolute pleasure.”
–C.J. Flood, award-winning author of Infinite Sky and Nightwanderers

One moment, Emmie is writing her high school history paper; the next, she’s sitting with a gorgeous 16th century king who vacillates from kissing her to ordering her execution.

Able to travel back to her own time, but intensely drawn to King Nick and the mysterious death of his sister, Emmie finds herself solving the murder of a young princess and unraveling court secrets while trying to keep her head on her shoulders, literdownload (6)ally.
With everything to lose, Emmie finds herself facing her biggest battle of all: How to cheat the path of history and keep her irresistible king, or lose him–and her heart–forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review:

4

I needed a book like this! It was a mix up of history, time-travel, and a sweet romance. It’s pitched as Dr. Who meets Outlander, and is about a young girl who is pulled back into the 16th Century. There she faces a handsome King, court intrigue, and a murder plot!

Emmie is working on a history paper with her BFF about a long dead, and brutal King. She finds an old ring at a yard sale, falls asleep, and is transported back about 400 years! She finds out that the King she was studying isn’t as terrible as the history books describe him, and is actually quite easy on the eyes. She soon discovers that using the ring, she can travel back and forth between her time, and the King’s time. I loved this, and it definitely kept my interest! I love that the main character grew up not far from where I did, so that made the book even better. The author did a great job researching the area! I really loved Emmie, and appreciated her journey of self discovery, and her sense of humor a lot.

Nick was absolutely swoon worthy! I loved how we were able to see how difficult life can be as a royal. He had so many difficult decisions and choices to make. He was just so passionate and endearing. He and Emmie are just adorable together! I’m not typically into insta-love, but there was just something about the two of them and their situation that captivated me.

If you like historical fiction and romance, I think you will enjoy this fast paced novel!

About the Author:

Natalie Murray is the author of EMMIE AND THE TUDOR KING (June 11, 2019) and EMMIE AND THE TUDOR QUEEN (August 25, 2020). A fast-paced YA time-slip romance, the Emmie and the Tudor King trilogy follows an American high school girl to a reimagined Tudor England, where she meets a doomed, but utterly dreamy, Tudor king. Emmie and the Tudor King has already received acclaim from Foreword Reviews, YA Books Central, and popular YA authors Brigid Kemmerer (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) and CJ Flood (Infinite Sky), among others. You can visit Natalie at nataliemurrayauthor.com.14829945

The Silvered Serpents Review

About the Book:

Title: The Silvered Serpents

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: September 22, 2020

Pages: 416

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever in The Silvered Serpents.

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Severin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Severin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.45044785
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review:

5

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Wow! I’m kind of speechless. This sequel surpassed my expectations. I really enjoyed the Gilded Wolves, but I loved this one! It’s magical, twisty, diabolical, and one heck of a ride!

The Silvered Serpents takes place right where The Gilded Wolves left off. They have thwarted the Fallen House, but at a very steep price. Desperate to make amends, Severin follows a lead for the long last artifact. The hunt brings them from Paris to an Ice Palace in Russia, where the majority of the story takes place. The crew, still grieving the loss of one of their own are thrown into quite the risky venture. There are lots of clandestine activities that take place, and the things that are revealed will leave you questioning everything.

I felt much more connected to the characters this time around. We learn even more about where they all come from, and what makes them tick, as the book has multiple points of view once again. On this adventure, the crew must decide if they’re going to give into their grief, or if they will enjoy the moments that they have, as they work together to find the artifact.

If you thought the ending of The Gilded Wolves was heartrending, be forewarned that this ending will make you desperate for the third book.

 

About the Author:

Roshani Chokshi is the author of commercial and critically acclaimed books for middle grade and young adult readers that draws on world mythology and folklore. Her work has been nominated for the Locus and Nebula awards, and has frequently appeared on Best of The Year lists from Barnes and Noble, Forbes, Buzzfeed and more. Her New York Times bestselling series includes The Star-Touched Queen duology, The Gilded Wolves, and Aru Shah and The End of Time, which was recently optioned for film by Paramount Pictures.13695109

Kingdom of the Wicked Review

About the Book:

Title: Kingdom of the Wicked

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books

Release Date: October 27, 2020

Pages: 448

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

Kerri Maniscalco introduces her next series, a dark tale of a beautiful young witch, a troubled demon, and their epic romance, set against a 19th century Italian backdrop.

Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.513sPik-KzL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

 

 

 

 

 

Review:

5

*I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher Jimmy Patterson Books in exchange for an honest review*

I absolutely adored the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco so I was very excited when I heard she was starting a new series. I am over the moon that I was able to review this early! Thank you Netgalley and Jimmy Patterson Books.

I was totally unprepared for this book! I was completely and utterly spellbound, and drawn in from the very first page. A beautiful witch, a demon prince, and an Italian backdrop, who could ask for more?!

The story begins with a family in Palermo, Sicily that runs a popular restaurant called the Sea & Vine. I could totally relate to this family, their love and affection for each other, and the phrases used by Nonna, the main character’s grandmother. I had an Italian American grandmother and an Italian great grandmother that was from Sicily, and the descriptions of Nonna cooking with Emilia and Vittoria just made me feel so happy, and it felt like home. The twins help their parents and Nonna with all the cooking and the cleaning at the restaurant. The thing that makes this family different though, is that Emilia and her twin, Vittoria, are witches that live secretly among humans. They have been told since they were little girls to always wear their amulets, or cornicello, and to beware the Malvagi.

Vittoria does not show for dinner service at the restaurant one night, and Emilia finds her body completely desecrated. Emilia is completely devastated, goes out looking for vengeance, and doesn’t care what the consequences are. She uses dark magic to summon one of the Malvagi, or seven princes of hell. In comes Wrath, the demon prince who chooses duty over pleasure. Their fates become intertwined and Emilia gets pulled into Wrath’s investigation of the murders of women on the island.

I loved Emilia Di Carlo, and watching her character throughout the journey. After the loss of her sister, she goes through so much, but she keeps fighting. She’s so smart and so fierce! I completely fell for the sexy demon Prince Wrath! I always seem to fall for the bad boys, lol.  I highly enjoyed the witty banter between him and Emilia.

If you’re looking for something deliciously wicked, then look no further! I suggest that you preorder/library request/add to your TBR as soon as possible. You are not going to want to miss this one! Now to wait for the sequel with bated breath.

 

About the Author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the STALKING JACK THE RIPPER quartet. The final installment, CAPTURING THE DEVIL, will be released on 9/10/19. KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, the first in a new YA fantasy series, is slated for fall 2020.

For more information, visit Kerri online:
www.kerrimaniscalco.com
www.facebook.com/KerriManiscalcoAuthor 14584166

Crooked Kingdom Review

About the Book:

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Release Date: September 27, 2016

Pages: 536

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

51f2Wtb7xkL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts 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.

Review:

5

Fantastic conclusion to this amazing duology! Twisty and magical, I was completely here for it.

After the heist in the first book, Kaz and the crew find themselves back in Ketterdam fighting for their lives. The dregs are struggling with everything and without much hope. The story snowballs from there, and we are immersed in lots of action, intrigue, and excitement!

We have multiple points of view in Crooked Kingdom, like in Six of Crows. There is a lot more character development that we see in our crew of Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Matthias, and Nina. We get to see much more of their backstory, and what has shaped them into who they are. I liked how some of our Grishaverse characters were in this one as well. Throughout this story, I was often on the edge of my seat, wondering how the crew was going to get out of certain situations (Kaz is a genius!). I came to truly care for these characters and what happened to them. This book was painfully heartbreaking at times. I found myself sobbing, and that doesn’t happen for me that often. I think I’m still picking up the pieces of my broken heart.

I absolutely recommend this duology. I’ve been doing a buddy read which has included the Grishaverse series, and the Six of Crows duology so far. Next up is Language of Thorns and King of Scars! Yay for more in this amazing world.

About the Author:

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (coming soon to Netflix) which spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars— with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Ninth House (Goodreads Choice Winner for Best Fantasy 2019) which is being developed for television by Amazon Studios. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, and graduated from Yale University. These days she lives and writes in Los Angeles. For information on new releases and appearances, sign up for her newsletter.

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The Gilded Wolves Review

About the Book:

Title: The Gilded Wolves

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: January 15, 2019

Pages: 388

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. 9781250144546

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

 

 

 

 

 

Review:

4

I loved the lush atmosphere in this one! It’s set in 1880’s Paris when the city is at the height of power and there are telltale signs of a revolution. Add in a magic system, and a heist, and you’re ready for this adventure.

The Exposition Universelle has brought new life and secrets to the surface in Paris. Severin Montagnet-Alarie is a treasure hunter and hotelier and soon finds himself on a mission from the Order of Babel. They offer Severin the chance at his true inheritence.

In order to hunt down an ancient artifact, Severin enlists an unlikely group of experts. An engineer, a historian, a dancer and a brother in arms. They help Severin explore the heart of Paris, and what they find might change the course of history and their lives forever.

I liked how we got different POVS in this story, and that we got to know each diverse character and what exactly makes them tick. Together, they make the perfect team with their combined abilities.

If you enjoy treasure hunts, heists, romance, glittering Paris, and characters that will both make you laugh and cry, then I think you will enjoy this book. Can’t wait after that ending to find out what happens in The Silvered Serpents!

About the Author:

Roshani Chokshi is the author of commercial and critically acclaimed books for middle grade and young adult readers that draws on world mythology and folklore. Her work has been nominated for the Locus and Nebula awards, and has frequently appeared on Best of The Year lists from Barnes and Noble, Forbes, Buzzfeed and more.

13695109

Her New York Times bestselling series includes The Star-Touched Queen duology, The Gilded Wolves, and Aru Shah and The End of Time, which was recently optioned for film by Paramount Pictures.

 

Dance of Hearts Novella Review

About the Book:

Title: Dance of Hearts

Author: Byrd Nash

Publisher: Rook and Castle

Release Date: August 7, 2020

Pages: 66

Genre: YA Historical Romance, YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

In Regency England, 1816, it is not fashionable to display fairy blood.
41xrZFZD+2LMelinda Wychwood managed to stay at her family home after her father’s death by working as her cousin’s unpaid housekeeper. But when a childhood friend returns, playing a game of deception, will she be satisfied acting as the dowdy chaperone? Or will her wild fairy heritage and a magical dress finally win her true happiness?

A Cinderella retelling as a historical romance with a touch of fairytale magic and a happily ever after ending.

Dance of Hearts is a quick read, short story romance that is clean and sweet. Perfect for fans of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances, but who want a dash of fairy magic with their tea and cake.
This short story ebook is a friendly read for teens and adult readers who love Jane Austen and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Review:

5

*I was given an e-arc by the author in exchange for an honest review*

I absolutely adored this Cinderella retelling! It’s a magical novella that’s part fairytale, part Jane Austen, and was just what I needed.

Melinda Wychwood is a delightful main character. She’s managed to stay at her family home after her father’s death, but has to work as her cousin’s housekeeper without pay. She’s spent the past 6 years arranging dinner parties, planning meals, and making sure everything is just so at the Grange, Chipping-Worth. She’s smart, beautiful and witty. I love how despite her circumstances, she remains true to herself.

A childhood friend arrives back in town, Alexander Kaye Arundell and his companion, Theodore Marlowe with a duplicitous plan of their own. Will their plan work, or will they find themselves in quite the predicament?

Melinda soon must decide if she’ll be satisfied playing the role of chaperone to her cousin, Miss Davenport, or if she’ll risk giving herself a chance at true happiness.

A quick, sweet read that you won’t want to miss! I’m excited for the next Novella in her Romantic Fairytales collection.

About the Author:

Reading fantasy and living in imaginary worlds made the childhood of Byrd Nash enjoyable despite parents angry about overdue fines for library books.

After gaining a B.A. in journalism, creative writing in Oklahoma during the year of the oil bust and 21% unemployment, she pursued a journalism career. Working as a reporter and editor justified her nosy fascination about what made people tick.

Her careers included being a museum director, horseback riding instructor, kid’s party planner, and a manager of a veterinarian’s office. However, she always returned to her first love of writing stories, dreaming up characters, impossible situations, and fascinating lands of fantasy.

Her interests include having a wicked sense of humor that is inappropriate during most times, reading mysteries from the Golden Age, watching historical dramas, and staying out of mushroom circles during her forest walks.

Her website ByrdNash.com provides details on her writing projects, speaking engagements, and how to obtain free stories, as well as a support network for new writers.

 

One Way Or Another Review

About the Book:

Title: One Way or Another

Author: Kara McDowell

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Pages: 336

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Synopsis:

The average person makes 35,000 decisions every single day. That’s about 34,999 too many for Paige Collins, who lives in debilitating fear of making the wrong choice. The simple act of picking an art elective is enough to send her into a spiral of what-ifs. What if she’s destined to be a famous ceramicist but wastes her talent in drama club? What if there’s a carbon monoxide leak in the ceramics studio and everyone drops dead? (Grim, but possible!)

That’s why when Paige is presented with two last-minute options for Christmas vacation, she’s paralyzed by indecision. Should she go with her best friend (and longtime crush) Fitz to his family’s romantic mountain cabin? Or should she accompany her mom to New York, a city Paige has spent her whole life dreaming about?

Just when it seems like Paige will crack from the pressure of choosing, fate steps

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in — in the form of a slippery grocery store floor — and Paige’s life splits into two very different parallel paths. One path leads to New York where Paige falls for the city . . . and the charms of her unexpected tour guide. The other leads to the mountains where Paige might finally get her chance with Fitz . . . until her anxiety threatens to ruin everything.

However, before Paige gets her happy ending in either destiny, she’ll have to face the truth about her struggle with anxiety — and learn that you don’t have to be “perfect” to deserve true love.

 

 

 

Review:

5

* I was given an arc by the author and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The holiday romcom you’ve been waiting for! This was my first book by Kara, and it did not disappoint. It’s a slow burn romance with lots of flirting, kissing, and swoon worthy boys!

I absolutely love the main character, Paige. She’s completely relatable as a small town girl that has lots of trouble making decisions, and is terrified that she’ll make the wrong ones. She’s always thinking about the what-ifs. When she is presented with two different options for Christmas vacation, she finds herself completely paralyzed and unable to make a choice.  Should she go with her best friend and long-time crush to his family’s mountain cabin? Or should she go with her mom to NYC, a place she’s always dreamed of going? A slip on a grocery store floor leads her down two different timelines. The first timeline takes her to NYC, where she falls for its charms and unexpectedly, for a boy she hasn’t seen in many years, and who becomes her tour guide. The second timeline takes her to the cozy mountain cabin, where she may finally have a chance with Fitz, her BFF. Her anxiety seems to be getting in the way of her plans, however. I enjoyed watching Paige’s journey through this story of self discovery. She needs to face her struggles with anxiety and learn that you don’t have to be “perfect” to find happiness. Definitely a character that I cheered for along the way. It’s interesting to see where her decisions lead her, and it’s a story brimming with hope and empowerment.

Hope you add this adorable book to your TBR! It will definitely bring some holiday cheer.

About the Author:

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.17678976

 

The Forest of Stars Review

About the Book:

Title: The Forest of Stars

Author: Heather Kassner

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Release Date: August 4, 2020

Pages: 288

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Synopsis:

In this mysterious and mesmerizing fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Splendor and Glooms and Circus Mirandus, a windswept girl who can float among the stars searches for her long-lost father at a shadow-filled carnival.

“Kassner’s writing dazzles . . . a tale of hope, courage, and friendship.” —Newbery Honor winner Ingrid Law

Left all alone after her mother passes away, twelve-year-old Louisa LaRoche watches the sky for her father. Long ago, a powerful gust of wind swept through town, stealing him away on the wings of his untamed magic—the same magic that stirs within Louisa. As if she is made of hollow bones and too much air, her feet never quite touch the ground.49226904._UY200_

But for all her sky gazing, Louisa finds her fortune on the leaf-strewn street when she spots a gleaming black-and-gold invitation—a ticket to the Carnival Beneath the Stars. If her father fits in nowhere else, maybe she’ll find him there, dazzling crowds alongside the other strange and wonderful feats. Only, soon after she arrives, a tightrope act ends disastrously—and suspiciously. As fate tugs Louisa closer to the stars, she must decide if she’s willing to slip into the injured performer’s role, despite the darkness plucking at the carnival’s magical threads.

In The Forest of Stars, Heather Kassner weaves a spectacle of wondrous magic, unexpected friendship, and dark secrets.

Featuring illustrations by Iz Ptica.

* “Irresistible.” —Kirkus Reviewsstarred review

“Like the carnival at its heart, this story is richly magical and delightfully eerie.” —Cassie Beasley, New York Times bestselling author of Circus Mirandus 

Review:

5

* I won an arc in a giveaway on Instagram*

An enchanting and magical tale that is sure to delight readers of all ages! I immediately fell in love with Louisa and the rest of the cast of characters in this middle grade fantasy. Louisa sets out on a quest to find her father after her mother passes away. A long time ago, her father was taken from her when a gust of wind snatched him and his magic away. Louisa herself has this same sort of magic, as her feet don’t quite touch the ground. The quest begins when Louisa finds an invitation to a Carnival Beneath the Stars. She heads to the Carnival hoping to find her father, or any kind of lead as to where he could be. She winds up finding friends there, and people who accept her for the way she is. Along with her newfound friends, Louisa discovers that things aren’t all as they seem at the Carnival and with their help starts uncovering a dastardly plot. Along the way, she discovers that when you feel lost, sometimes you find where you belong in the most unexpected ways.

This was my first book I read by Kassner and I was delighted! A charming, fast paced adventure you won’t want to miss.

About the Author:

Heather Kassner loves thunderstorms, hummingbirds, and books. She lives with her husband in Arizona, waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the rain, photographing hummingbirds, and reading and writing strange little stories.


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Six of Crows Review

About the Book:

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Release Date: September 29, 2015

Pages: 465

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

 

 

Sixofcrows

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

Review:

5

After reading Leigh’s Grishaverse series, I jumped right into this one! It definitely lived up to the hype. It had amazing world building, beautiful writing, fantastic characters, magic, and a heist! What more could you ask for? I am so glad I finally know the Dregs! I would say that the characters were my favorite part of this one. I adore Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina and Matthias! They quickly wormed their way into my heart. Kaz and Inej are without a doubt my favorites. Kaz with his wit, sarcasm, and his devil-may-care attitude. Inej with her beauty, strength and her ability to kick butt.

I loved how Leigh wove in easter eggs from the Grishaverse series, and I’m glad that I read those first. You could technically read this duology without them, but I feel like you can understand the Grisha and their magic, history, and what drives them after reading the trilogy.

The book definitely ended with me craving more! I can’t wait to dive into Crooked Kingdom soon. Leigh definitely has me hooked!

About the Author:

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (coming soon to Netflix) which spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars— with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Ninth House (Goodreads Choice Winner for Best Fantasy 2019) which is being developed for television by Amazon Studios. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, and graduated from Yale University. These days she lives and writes in Los Angeles. For information on new releases and appearances, sign up for her newsletter.

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