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.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset


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.


Into the Heartless Wood Review

About the Book:

Title: Into the Heartless Wood

Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Release Date: January 12, 2021

Pages: 368

Genre: YA Fantasy


Epic, heartbreaking, and darkly atmospheric, Into the Heartless Wood is the story of impossible love between a monstrous tree siren and a boy who lives at the edge of her wood.

53138258._SY475_The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain.

When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.



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

I don’t even know where to start, or how to compose myself and write a review. This book was heartbreakingly beautiful from start to finish. If you know me, it’s no secret that I absolutely love Joanna’s books. I’ve been a fan ever since I won an arc of her debut, Beneath the Haunting Sea. Her writing is just so brilliant. It’s lush and lyrical, and draws you in from the beginning. I was completely and utterly bewitched with this story about a tree-siren and an astronomer’s son enthralled with the stars in this gender swapped Beauty and the Beast.

The setting for this book is the dark, mysterious, and magical Gwydden’s Wood that surrounds the kingdom of Tarian. The wood is known to lure men and women to their deaths with siren song. The witch there has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree and uses its power to grow her realm. Owen Merrick is an astronomer’s son that lives at the edge of the wood. He’s been taught to avoid the woods and that they’re dangerous. In fact, his father built a wall at end of their property to keep the woods out. One day he is lured into the woods and one of the witch’s tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of taking it. Owen begins to climb over the wall each night to see Seren and a beautiful relationship ensues. Seren yearns to be human the more time they spend together, she does not want to be a monster. They soon find themselves drawn into an ancient battle between the witch and the king who is determined to stop her.

I loved Owen and Seren. Throughout their journey they explore what it means to be human. The ability to love and have compassion and be creative are some of those things. They also show us it’s in the choices that we make. I also adore Owen’s little sister, Awela. She’s absolutely adorable and adds a sweetness to the story.

I strongly urge you to add this amazing book to your TBR. Definitely be excited! This just may be my favorite book from Joanna yet. I definitely have a book hangover now! It will be releasing in January 2021. In fact, the final cover is still to be revealed, and I am absolutely chomping at the bit to see it. I’m sure it’s going to be gorgeous!

About the Author:

Joanna Ruth Meyer is the author of the critically-acclaimed Echo North, as well as the companion novel duology Beneath the Haunting Sea and Beyond the Shadowed Earth. She writes stories about fierce teens finding their place in the world, fighting to change their fate, save the ones they love, or carve out a path to redemption.

jrmeyer author photo

Joanna lives with her dear husband and son, a rascally feline, and an enormous grand piano named Prince Imrahil in Mesa, Arizona. As often as she can, she escapes the desert heat and heads north to the mountains, where the woods are always waiting.

Joanna is represented by Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary.

Today, Tonight, Tomorrow Review

About the Book:

Title: Today, Tonight, Tomorrow

Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: July 28, 2020

Pages: 384

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance


The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has o

nly one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.



This book was everything I hoped it would be, and was just what I needed! It was my favorite enemies to lovers trope, and takes place in Seattle. It’s a coming of age, fluffy, delightful, swoon-worthy, humor filled story. Rowan and Neil have been fierce competitors for all of high school. The last day of senior year, they find themselves playing a scavenger hunt game that is highly competitive and Rowan is determined to beat Neil, who just stole the title of valedictorian from under her. After finding out that a group of seniors is out to get them, Rowan and Neil decide to team up together to play the game. Rowan begins to discover that Neil is more than the person she’s been competing against all these years, he may be something much more. If you’re looking for a book that will make you smile, and have you cheering along the way, then this one is for you. I highly recommend this wonderful story, and hope that you will add it to your TBR.

About the Author:

15298200 (1)

Rachel Lynn Solomon writes, tap dances, and collects lipstick in Seattle, Washington.


Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place.

She’s the author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book, Indies Introduce title, and Kids’ Indie Next Top 10 Pick, Our Year of Maybe, and Today Tonight Tomorrow (July 28, 2020), all from Simon & Schuster. Her debut adult romantic comedy, The Ex Talk, will be published by Berkley/PRH on February 9, 2021.

Her short story “Aftershocks” appears in the anthology It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories.

Ignite the Sun Review

About the Book:

Title: Ignite the Sun

Author: Hanna C. Howard

Publisher: BlinkYA/Harper Collins

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Pages: 352

Genre: YA Fantasy


Once upon a time, there was something called the sun… In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light–or she will lose everything trying.

Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.48999856._SY475_

Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old daysthat she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city–the very center of the darkness–for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.

But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.



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


I was intrigued by this book from the beginning and I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next! I absolutely enjoyed the world this was set in, and the magic and mythology that was woven in. In this story, the kingdom of Luminor reigned and then was taken over by an evil queen who covered the whole kingdom in darkness. The main character, Siria always hated the darkness and would ask her best friend Linden, and his grandfather Yarrow to tell her the tales about the sun. Her parents never understood her fascination with the sun, but she yearns to please them. So, she heads to the royal city of Terra-Volat, the center of all the darkness, to find a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court. What she discover’s there sends her on a quest with a group of rebels.

Siria joins Linden, Yarrow, a spirited naiad, and a banshee on an epic journey to lead the rebellion as she tries to defeat the darkness and restore the light to the kingdom. It’s all or nothing, because if they fail, Terra-Volat  will be sucked into the never ending darkness. I enjoyed getting to know Siria and the whole cast of characters on this magical journey. I love the friendships that Siria makes along the way, and there’s even a dash of romance. We watch as Siria grows from a spoiled girl to a strong young woman. The ending of the book was satisfying, and I can see it being a standalone, but I felt as though there should have been an epilogue to wrap up a few things that I still was left wondering about.

An overall wonderful debut about light vs darkness that I could totally get behind! I hope that we get more from this wonderful world in the future. I would absolutely love a sequel!

About the Author:


Hanna C. Howard spent most of her childhood wondering how she might avoid growing up, and eventually solved the conundrum by becoming an artist and a writer. She considers tea an essential food group, has more books than shelf space, and thinks the ultimate geek triumvirate is Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and son, their Disreputable Dog, and a cat skilled in the martial arts.

Shielded Review and Author Interview

About the Book:

Title: Shielded

Author: Kaylynn Flanders

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Pages: 432

Genre: YA Fantasy


Shielded hi-res cover

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.




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

I truly enjoyed this story and thought it was a great debut! It hooked me in right from the beginning.  I thought there was great world building, action, betrayal, epic battle scenes, a unique magical system, romance, and some amazing characters, including some villains of course.

I especially love the main character, Princess Jennesara. She is one of my new favorites! She’s a very likable heroine. She’s not a princess in jeopardy or someone with an overly troubled past, she’s just a girl that’s doing her duty for her kingdom. Her father tells her she must marry the Prince of Turia for the good of the kingdom, and she obeys. I thought that spoke volumes of her character, that she was willing to sacrifice her desires for the security of her kingdom. She leaves the innocence of her childhood behind, to face her fears and the unknown. I enjoyed the journey and watching her come into her own.

I think the only part of the story that I found a little confusing were some of the sections about the villains, especially toward the end of the book. Some of the scenes seemed a little rushed. I’m hoping that we learn more about these villains and what exactly makes them tick in the next book. Is it only power and revenge fueling them, or is there more to it?

A great start to a series! I laughed, I cried, and I cheered along as I read this book. I felt that the ending was satisfying and I can’t wait to see what happens to Jenna and company in the sequel.

Author Interview:

1.) What initially inspired you to write Shielded?

The idea for Shielded started from a dream. The dream was really different from what the book turned into (there were neon yellow tanks in the dream?), but the emotions for the moment in the dream stayed. I won’t share spoilers, but there were people in danger, and I woke up before they were safe, my adrenaline rushing with the cliffhanger. I came up with a solution (magic!) so I could go back to sleep, but the characters stayed with me. I let that idea grow over a few months, asking questions about who the characters were, why they were in danger, and how they got out of danger, and eventually, it all became Shielded.

2.) For those that don’t know Jennesara (Jenna for short), how would you describe her in three words?

Fierce, loyal, compassionate.

3.) Jenna has such a close relationship with her brother which I really enjoyed, having a brother of my own. Is their relationship inspired by any of your true life relationships?

I have two awesome older brothers! Jenna really needed a solid anchor with the load she carries, so I pulled my favorite parts of my relationship with my brothers and put it into Jenna and Ren’s relationship.

4.) I absolutely loved Jenna’s training and battle sequences. How much research went into getting those scenes just right?

Fight scenes can be really tricky to write, so I wanted to be sure I got them right. The bulk of the research was a lifetime of reading high fantasy books and watching Marvel movies with epic fights. But I also acted out the scenes, seeing if they flowed and if the actions made sense. For the self-defense scene later in the book, I had my husband grab me from behind to see if a technique I’d learned from YouTube could work. (I didn’t flip him like *the character does in the book, but I totally could have, which was cool! *hashtag no spoilers)

5.) Enzo is so adorable! Which actor would you cast to play him?

I’m sure there are more great options out there, but a young Ben Barnes (like from Prince Caspian) would be perfect! Or maybe Asher Angel? I am not great at casting. 😀

6.) Is your website the best place to find out about preorder campaigns or signed copies of the book? 

Yes! There should be information forthcoming about a preorder campaign I’m really excited about (including signed copies). There will be information on my website, and on my social media as soon as everything’s ready.

About the Author:

Flanders_Author2018 hi res

KayLynn Flanders has a degree in English Language and editing, and has been a freelance editor and book designer for over ten years. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy, will be published by Delacorte (Penguin Random House) July 21, 2020. KayLynn and her family live in Utah between some mountains and a lake, and she is directionally challenged without them. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and volleyball, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of -the-moment road trip. Find her online at