Siege and Storm Review

About the Book:

Title: Siege and Storm

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Pages: 435

Genre: YA Fantasy


Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. download (3)














This book picks up where Shadow and Bone ended. Alina and Mal are now living in an unfamiliar land. Alina soon finds out that she can’t escape her destiny. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a new and terrifying power. Alina and Mal soon gain the help of a privateer and return to Ravka to fight. Alina finds herself slipping into the Darkling’s dangerous game and drifting farther apart from Mal. Things become quite complicated and Alina has many difficult choices to make.

Siege and Storm is an amazing sequel and I loved living in the beautiful world that Leigh Bardugo created. The atmosphere of the book is just so lush and gorgeous. I enjoyed Alina’s journey as she grows so much, and learns so much more about herself and her power. She and Mal work through a lot of things in this book as well. I think one of my favorite parts of the story, is the introduction of Nikolai. He quickly became a new favorite, with his sass and sense of humor.

The ending of the book is nail biting, but satisfying. Definitely sets everything up for the third and final book in the trilogy.


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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Greythorne (Bloodleaf, #2) Review

About the Book:

Title: Greythorne

Author: Crystal Smith

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 1, 2020

Pages: 352

Genre: YA Fantasy


Princess Aurelia’s life is turned upside down when the kingdom she thought she saved turns to ruin, a loved one is tragically killed in a shipwreck, and her home country refuses to respect her brother’s legitimate claim to the throne. With no place left to call her own, Aurelia returns to Greythorne Manor—her best friend’s family mansion—only to get swept up in a coup d’état on the night of her brother’s coronation.

With everyone turned against her and enemies closing in on all sides, Aurelia has nothing left to lose in a mad fight to protect the only people she has left—her family. But in her darkest moments when all seems grim, will Aurelia find a spark of hope from a love she thought long lost? download (2)












* I received an arc from my local indie in exchange for an honest review*

Sometimes when going into a sequel, I’m anxious as to how it’s going to turn out. I really enjoyed Crystal’s debut, Bloodleaf, and Greythorne, I’m happy to report, exceeded my expectations! I was hooked from the beginning and it was hard to put down.

Some time has passed since the end of Bloodleaf. Aurelia finds herself mourning the loss of her blood magic and her recently departed loved ones. She’s not much of a princess anymore..she’s living above a tavern and playing cards for money. She keeps having horrible dreams about blood, death, and burning. Her brother Conrad has an upcoming coronation he is preparing for. Their country is in an upheaval and they refuse to accept Conrad’s claim to the throne. Meanwhile, the tribunal is still hunting witches, like Aurelia. Aurelia winds up at her best friend Kellan’s home, Greythorne Manor, as she has no other place to call hers. When she arrives at Greythorne, she finds herself in quite the predicament. We get to go on an amazing adventure with Aurelia and we learn so much more about her. She’s definitely become a favorite of mine! We are also introduced to some intriguing new characters.

This book was full of so many twists, turns, and surprises, you will be left speechless and crying for more! Have no fear, the sequel Ebonwilde will be released in 2021.


About the Author:

Crystal Smith is a writer, photographer, and artist who developed an early love of storytelling in a family of voracious readers. She resides in Utah with her high school sweetheart husband and two lively sons. When she isn’t writing or creating, she can be found re-watching Jane Eyre and Howl’s Moving Castle or reading ghost stories with all the lights on.17205692

Fable Review

About the Book:

Title: Fable

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: September 1, 2020

Pages: 368

Genre: YA Fantasy


As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her (1)

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.



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

I am so happy I was able to read an early copy of one of my most anticipated reads of this year.  I read and loved Adrienne’s debut, Sky in the Deep, so I figured I would enjoy this one as well. It certainly did not disappoint. This book was FANTASTIC! A real page turner, that I did not want to put down, and a world I did not want to leave.

Fable is one of my new fierce, female characters. Her mother drowns in a shipwreck and her father drops her off on an island of thieves and little food. She relies on the things that her mother taught her to survive, and keeps to herself. She’s a dredger and she dives for pyre, and I found this completely engrossing.  I loved how she was so resourceful and didn’t give up. She kept fighting. After four years, she finally gets off the island, joins a small crew, and plans to go back to her father and finally find her rightful place.

A fast paced, nail biting, high seas adventure you don’t want to miss! I can’t wait for the sequel, Namesake, coming in 2021.


About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author of SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks
Twitter: @adriennebooks

10 Things I Hate About Pinky Blog Tour: Review

pinky blog tour

About the Book:

Title: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Pages: 368

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance


The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never



*I received an e-arc of this book as a part of Sandhya Menon’s Street Team in return for an honest review*

I absolutely adore Sandhya’s books, so this was exactly what I thought it would be and more! It’s the third book in the Dimpleverse, and has a fake dating trope! Definitely check out this series if you haven’t yet! Her books always make me feel happy.

I really enjoyed getting to know Pinky and Samir in this summer rom com. Pinky is very passionate and she can be quite headstrong. She really wants to make a difference in the world.  Samir is so different from Pinky. He has had to care for his mother since he was very young, and likes everything neat and organized in his life. He uses a planner to keep track of everything. I loved the side characters Dolly and Drama Queen. They really added some cute moments to the story.

This book also explores complicated family relationships. I really liked seeing the growth of the characters throughout the book. Growing as a person was really at the heart of the story.

If you’re into summer rom coms, fake dating, cute boys, fierce girls, and kissing, then I think you’ll love this book!

About the Author:

Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met RishiOf Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and Sandhya Menon Author Photo_Digitalswoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen VogueNPRBuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. Visit her online at, on Twitter @smenonbooks or on Instagram @sandhyamenonbooks.



Blog Tour Schedule:

Be sure to check out all the tour stops! 🙂

July 13th: Bookish Girl Magic

July 14th: Scorpio Book Dreams | Bookstacks and Literature | Ashleigh’s Bookshelf

July 15th: YA Book Corner | A Backwards Story

July 16th: Magical Reads | Personal Opinions of a Fangirl

July 17th: Utopia State of Mind | BookWorm Reviews

July 18th: Bookcrushin’ 

July 19th: The Reading Fairy | Open Pages

July 20th: velarisreads | TrishaJennReads

July 21st: quintessentially bookish

July 22nd: Flipping Thru the Pages | Scones and Tomes

July 23rd: Books. Libraries. Also, cats.

July 24th: Star is All Booked Up | Life Writings of a Reader

July 26th: unusual_conjurer 

July 27th: Amairo Bookshelf

July 29th: Lyrical Reads | Life Writings of a Reader

July 30th: Bohemian Bibliophile

Aug 1st: Reading with Lori

Aug 2nd: goldenseeker97

Aug 3rd: Fanna for Readers and Writers

Aug 4th: BookishOwl Reviews

Shadow and Bone Review

About the Book:

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Release Date: June 5, 2012

Pages: 358

Genre: YA Fantasy


Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.GUEST_ad9866b6-cc8e-440e-9fb7-dec7c7edf7e5



Another book I wish I read sooner! This was bloody fantastic! I’m currently doing a readalong of the Grishaverse series and Six of Crows duology with some bookish friends on Instagram, and I couldn’t put this one down. Leigh Bardugo has crafted such an amazing and beautiful world, that is inspired by Imperial Russia.

Alina and Mal are orphans who grew up in the orphanage together and are best friends. They wind up being recruited by the army. Their nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, which is filled with darkness and monsters. When her regiment is attacked on the Fold, Alina discovers that she has a power she never knew she had. This power could be the key to what saves her country. Alina gets sent to train to become a Grisha in the royal court, and it is led by the the very mystifying Darkling. I fell in love with these characters, and I am especially intrigued by The Darkling.

I loved the magic, the twists and turns, the lavish world, the secrets, and the awesome characters. Leigh Bardugo has gained another fan! Can’t wait to start Siege and Storm. Also, I’m so excited I will have these read before the show comes to Netflix. Ben Barnes as the Darkling?! Yes please!


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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Never Date A Siren (College Fae Magic #1) Review

About the Book:

Title: Never Date A Siren (College Fae Magic #1)

Author: Byrd Nash

Publisher: Rook and Castle

Release Date: November 19, 2019

Pages: 272

Genre: YA Fantasy


College Life: Friends, Finals, and the Fae trying to kill you.

Leopold Otto University in mysterious Bewachterberg invites both humans and fae to attend. Beware though, the administration doesn’t guarantee your safety!

An American college student discovers his fellow fae students operate under a different code of honor. Only if he can decipher their tangled Laws of Civility can he hope to survive the semester.

The fae dryad didn’t plan on having a human roommate, but through mischance Brigit incurs a Debt Bond. Can she save Logan from a beguiler’s love spell?

A fun, exciting romp in a fantasy world where fae creatures of all kinds live among us.

The College Fae series takes place at Leopold Otto University of Geheimetür, Bewachterberg — a country that the fae hid from the world for 99 years and a day.51twqReJGOL




What a great start to a new fae series! I definitely was drawn to this book initially because of the beautiful cover, and I’m glad I picked this one up. I love how Nash took old folklore and fairytales and intertwined them into a modern setting. The story takes place at Leopold Otto University in mysterious Bewachterberg. Humans and fae are both invited to attend. The main character Brigit is a dryad, and Logan is an American student. Logan has been beguiled by a Siren, and Brigit becomes indebted to him, and they embark on an adventure. There are some fun side characters we meet as well. I think Jib is probably my favorite, he’s so smart-alecky!

I’m excited to find out what happens next in the sequel! Be sure to pick this one up if you’d like a fun, quick read.



About the Author:

After gaining her B.A. degree in journalism Byrd worked as a reporter for a bunch of newspapers you never heard of in small towns you never heard of. Eventually she realized she could starve just as as easily writing her own stories as reporting on local vegetable festivals.

She is owned by cats and horses.

A Torch Against the Night Review

About the Book:

Title: A Torch Against the Night

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 452

Genre: YA Fantasy


Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.9781101998885_p0_v4_s1200x630




Wow! Typically sequels are not as good as the first book, but in this case, it was even better. I absolutely loved this book. It was a nonstop, heart pounding ride, from start to finish. The story begins right where An Ember in the Ashes ended, with Laia and Elias running for their lives. I love that we also get Helene’s point of view in this one. She has now been ordered by Marcus to hunt down and kill Elias and Laia. There are just so many twists and turns, and things that come to light, and it was just flipping amazing. I laughed and I cried, and felt like I was getting my heart ripped out in some parts. Definitely be prepared to buckle up for this one, and hang on for the ride. I am so ready for A Reaper at the Gates!

About the Author:

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.7770873

An Ember in the Ashes Review

About the Book:

Title: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: February 9, 2016 (first published April 28, 2015)

Pages: 446

Genre: YA Fantasy


Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.814XG3ckbpL




Oh my goodness, now I know what all the fuss was about! Why didn’t I read this sooner?! What a magnificent debut novel! This one captivated me right from the start. I loved the ancient Rome inspired world and all the heart pounding action. This book was definitely well paced, gripping, and brutal.

I loved the dual point of view between Laia and Elias. Laia is a perfectly imperfect character. In the beginning she’s quite naive as she’s had a fairly sheltered upbringing, and then finds herself thrust into this ruthless world when her brother is arrested for treason and she has to risk everything to save him. She thinks of herself as weak and a coward in the beginning, and it’s just amazing watching her grow into this strong, loyal, and fierce character. Elias is a part of the Martial Empire and has spent 14 of his twenty years training to be a solider. Now he’s a Mask, and is a high ranking and deadly fighter. Secretly, he wants to be free from the tyranny of the Empire. I admired so much how Elias, despite everything he’s been through, remains a good soul. There are so many other great characters that come into play in this book as well. I also enjoyed the mythological characters we meet and where we learn about the efrit, the jinns and the ghuls. They are pretty darn scary!

If you love books about family, friendship, loss, and facing your fears, I definitely think you’ll love this book. The good thing about being late to the game on this series is that I was able to immediately start A Torch Against the Night. Huzzah!

About the Author:

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.7770873

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review

About the Book:

Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Author: Rosanne A. Brown

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Release Date: June 2, 2020

Pages: 480

Genre: YA Fantasy


The first in a fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?49629448













What an absolutely epic debut from Rosanne A. Brown! I loved the world-building and the magic system in this one, which is inspired by West African Folklore. It had such a vivid setting, and I love how I was able to paint a picture in my mind of the beautiful desert city of Ziran. I think this story is especially relevant to today, as it discusses the oppression of the Eshran people by the Zirani monarchy and the Ziranians.

I loved the two main characters, Karina and Malik. Karina is a princess in the city of Ziran, but never seemed to take her responsibilities seriously. She finds herself in an interesting predicament when her mother, the Sultana, is assassinated. Karina somewhat reminded me of myself, as she’s her own worst critic. She focuses a lot on her failures and how others perceive her. I loved watching her journey as she grows and comes into herself throughout the story. Malik was such a breath of fresh air. He had such a quiet strength about him. He and his sisters are refugees coming into the city. Malik has to strike a bargain with a spirit when his youngest sister is taken.  I appreciated how there was good anxiety and panic attack rep with his character. It was really interesting to watch his journey as well. I felt that he really started coming into his own.

If magic, fantasy, fierce girls, sweet boys, and a dash of romance are your thing, I think you will enjoy this book. It definitely packs a lot of punch! I absolutely can not wait for the sequel!

About the Author:

Rosanne A. Brown is an immigrant from the West African nation of Ghana and a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she completed the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House program. Her work has been featured by Voice of America, among other outlets. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is her debut novel. You can visit her online at


Theft of Sunlight-Cover Reveal + Excerpt + Giveaway

About the Book:

Title: The Theft of Sunlight

Series: Book 1 in a duology in the “Dauntless Path” world

Author: Intisar Khanani Cover Artist: Jenny Zemanek (

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: March 23, 2021

Publisher: HarperTeen (US/CA), Hot Key (UK)

Price: TBD


I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference. Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace. But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts.

Cover Reveal:

TheftofSunlight - Final Cover 6.4.20 (1)


$25 worth of books from The Book Depository:

Author Bio:

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Intisar used to write grants and develop projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.Intisar Khanani Author Photo 2018 CM closeup Low Res

Author Links:

Website: Goodreads: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:

Goodreads Short Link: Goodreads Direct Link:


“If he could tell us anything helpful, surely we would have heard by now,” I tell Ani, not wanting to give her false hope.

“I can’t give up,” Ani says desperately. “I can’t.”

If only there were some lead, some small clue to grasp at, but we’ve turned up nothing: no one remembers anything unusual, every stranger has been accounted for, every wagon searched. There is not a track out of place, nothing.

“Baba is riding east with two other men, following the road to Lirelei,” she says. “Everyone’s heard that . . . that the children might be sent on from the eastern ports.”

“It’s good that he’s going,” I say. It’s only scraps of rumor and fireside theories that suggest the snatched end up as slaves in other lands. Who sends them, how they are to be discovered—no one knows. But it’s worth the journey if Seri can be found.

Ani turns to me, her face tight with fury. “Children disappear every day. Have you thought about that? Perhaps only every few years for us, but in the cities? Across the whole of this kingdom? It must be a few every day. How can it go on? How is it that no one manages to stop it?”

I shake my head. It had been easy enough, these past years, to pretend the snatchers were not so constant or near a threat— because they rarely strike here, in so small a town as this. But now little Seri is gone, with her laughing eyes and impish sense of humor. Niya asked if the Circle of Mages really has tried to track the snatched, and I wonder if they have. If they care, or the royal court cares, or if anyone at all knows how the snatchers are able to hide every last trace of our children.

Ani takes a deep breath. “What use are the taxes we pay? What use is our king and all his soldiers, if they can’t stop our brothers and sisters from being stolen on the streets?”

“Not much,” I admit. It might be treason to say so, but there is no one to hear us on this empty road. I run my hands over my head, tug at my braids, hating this helplessness. “What can we do, though?”

“I don’t know,” Ani says, and for the first time since she came to our cart asking after Seri, she begins to cry.

I fold her into my arms, holding her tight as she sobs into my shoulder, and promise myself I’ll keep trying.And I won’t give up either.