Gilded Serpent is the third book in the Dark Shores series by Danielle L. Jensen.
THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY
Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.
His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark—and in doing so, risks starting a war.
BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN
Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.
Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves—or put them all in their graves.
The story really benefits from all four of the main characters being in the same book. I don’t care that this book is super hefty because of it – give me 600 more pages. i dont care that there are constant POV switches – its an adrenaline rush jumping from each adventure to the next. it definitely enhances the story having everyone within the same pages and i am so looking forward to the day when all the POVs finally cross paths.
I’m looking forward to what happens next.
Wednesday Weeks and the Tower of Shadows is the first book in a new series by Denis Knight and Cristy Burne.
In a world of magic, can science save the day?
Wednesday Weeks never wanted to be a sorcerer’s apprentice. She’d rather study science than magic. But when her cloak-wearing, staff-wielding grandpa is captured by a power-hungry goblin king, Wednesday must find a way to embrace her magical heritage and rescue him from the dreaded Tower of Shadows.
Luckily, she’s not alone. Her best friend Alfie is a prime-number fan and robotics expert who’s all-in on Wednesday’s epic plan involving parallel universes, swords of power, and a wise-cracking talking skull.
But it’s going to take more than science, magic, and the world’s cutest robot to take down this bad guy. Because the goblin king is playing for the ultimate prize – and Wednesday and Alfie just walked into his trap…
I really enjoyed the mix of magic and science is the fantastic beginning to the series. I enjoyed the interaction between Wednesday and Alfie and can’t wait for the next book.
Odin’s Child is the first book in the Raven Rings trilogy by Siri Petterson.
15-year-old Hirka has always been an outsider in the world of Ym: she’s the only person without a tail, and the only one unable to access the Might, a current of power that runs through the earth.
Her differences become more and more of a concern as the date approaches for the Rite—the ceremony where everyone is to be blessed by the all-knowing Seer and the Council of powerful families who rule in His name. With only a few weeks until the Rite, Hirka discovers the shocking secret behind why she is tailless and Mightless: she is not from this world. As an infant, she was brought through an ancient stone circle known as a Raven Ring, and as long as she’s in Ym, the passageway between worlds remains open inviting terrifying creatures called the blind to follow.
No one can know the truth of Hirka’s identity, especially not Rime, her childhood friend who just might become something more. But is Rime is hiding secrets of his own?
Odin’s Child is about thousand-year-old secrets, forbidden romance, and what happens to those who make a deal with the devil. It is a slow paced fantasy epic that follows three characters through the book.
Each of the characters are so different. We follow Hirka who is 15 years old, who is very different to everyone else and never feels like she belongs, Rime who is older than Hirka and has a competition between them where they earn points and Urd who has dark motivations that we discover through the book.
I found this book slow to read, but truely ended up loving the interactions between Rime and Hirka. I can’t wait to see how their story arcs develop in the next book. This book is both plot and character driven and has deep foundations in Norse mythology.
I’m definitely going to dive into the next book The Rot and the final book The Might. I can’t wait til they are released.
Six Crimson Cranes is the first book in the Six Crimson Cranes duology by Elizabeth Lim. Other books by Elizabeth Lim include the Blood of Stars duology- Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk.
Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.
I have yet to read the Blood of Stars duology, however reading Six Crimson Cranes has me wanting to read them even more.
Six Crimson Cranes follow Shiori who is the princess of Kiata who is trying to save her brothers and the kingdom. I loved the world building and enjoyed following Shiori throughout.
The characters were all interesting and loved the pacing of meeting new characters. Shiori is such a strong character and loved her interactions with all the people she met. Her relationship with her brothers Hosho, Reiji, Yotan, Wandei, Benkai and Anadahai were all unique and different which was a joy to see.
I loved meeting her fiancé as well as Sergu and liked how these relationships changed. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.
The Eighth Wonder is written by Tania Farrelly.
New York, 1897. The richest city in the world.
Beautiful, young and privileged, Rose Kingsbury Smith is expected to play by the strict rules of social etiquette, to forfeit all career aspirations and to marry a man of good means. But she has a quietly rebellious streak and is determined to make her own mark on Manhattan’s growing skyline. When the theft of a precious heirloom plunges the Kingsbury Smiths into financial ruin, Rose becomes her family’s most tradeable asset. She finds herself fighting for her independence and championing the ideal of equality for women everywhere.
Enigmatic Ethan Salt’s inglorious circus days are behind him. He lives a quiet life on Coney Island with his beloved elephant Daisy and is devoted to saving animals who’ve been brutalised by show business. As he struggles to raise funds for his menagerie, he fears he will never build the sanctuary of his dreams … until a chance encounter with a promising young architect changes his life forever.
Just when Rose is on the verge of seeing her persistence pay off, the ghosts of her past threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. In the face of heartbreaking prejudice and betrayal, she must learn to harness her greatest wonder within.
I love historical fiction and I’m enjoyed books surrounding the circus. This book is pitched as a crossover of the Greatest Showman and the Suffragette which has me interested in reading it. The ideas of finding your own place in the world allowed me to see myself within the characters.
I loved the character development and the relationship between Rose and Ethan. I enjoyed exploring the different friendships and relationships within the book and definitely will read the book again.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading some amazing books this month, most of them being ARCs.
The Dark Realm by Kala Merseal is the final book in her Guardians of Altana series.
They must destroy the last gate—no matter the cost.
Separated after the destruction of the second gate, Ara, Raethin, Cirith, and Zira must find their way back to one another before Aeskrius can cut them down one by one.
The will of the primordial gods lead Raethin to Ara and together, they trek the vast Kava Sil landscape to find the rest of their team. With the help of the foreign guardian of the god of fire, Cirith and Zira regroup with the princess and her commander.
The final hours draw near as they race against the Void King’s champion to the final gate. The fate of Thraes depends on them to stop Aeskrius before he rips open the realms.
The Dark Realm was a fantastic ending the series. There was so much action and I loved the growth between all the characters.
Definitely a series for everyone to check our and I will be reading it again!
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffen is a brilliant fantasy filled with romance and about a world on the brink of destruction.
For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, but now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic; the storms, more destructive. All hope lies with Clara, a once-in-a-generation Everwitch whose magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic—losing the ones she loves—is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves…before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
The Nature of Witches was such a brilliant read. It was fast paced and had a refreshing take on magic that I haven’t read before. The way magic changes depending on the season and how witches are powerful depending which season it is was amazing to read. The climate elements surrounding the book was expertly handled and highlighted issues that we as readers need to think about.
The character building and world building was done amazingly and the magic system within The Nature of Witches was based on logic. Clara’s growth throughout the book along with the seasons was fantastic and I loved the relationship development with Sang.
This book highlights the importance of self love and self worth and the strength that can be found through friends and love.
This definitely one of my favourite reads so far in 2021.
Under a Different Sky is the debut novel by Haleli Samdar.
Allie has never been the type of woman to settle for cozy domesticity and weekend barbecues on the porch. Together with her husband and their three children, she has the rat race behind her to embark on a life of adventures on the open road, exploring all the four corners of the world. She wants a different kind of life for herself and her children, and she knows she never wants to go back.
But when her husband decides to go home and leaves them in a remote Indian village, Allie finds herself struggling to keep the travel dream alive. A shocking assault leaves her badly shaken, and she seeks solace in the arms of her rescuer, Mano. Together with the children, they set off to explore the wilds of Mongolia: the country Allie has always dreamed of visiting. But then her husband drops a bombshell, and Allie finds herself facing the toughest decisions of her life as she navigates a land on the very edge of the world.
This is a book that isn’t one that I would normally read, however I did thoroughly enjoy reading it. The travels and the main characters were wonderful.
I’m looking forward to reading more books by Haleli Samdar.
The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife is by Maz Evans and illustrated by Chris Jevons.
Scarlett Fife has BIG FEELINGS. And when she has BIG FEELINGS, they explode out of her like an over-squeezed stress ball.
Scarlett’s in big trouble after a BIG FEELINGS episode leads to a runaway hamster getting into the vicar’s trousers at her aunty’s engagement party. If she loses her temper ONE MORE TIME, she’s going to miss out on her trip to Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World, the best theme park on the planet.
But feelings are like slime in a party bag. No matter how much someone tells you to keep it in, it’ll always find its way out. And very soon, Scarlett notices that every time she pushes her feelings down, something explodes. Like … really, properly explodes.
It might be her teacher’s slimy green smoothie. A huge pot of purple paint. Or a massive pile of elephant poo at the zoo. And let’s hope Scarlett doesn’t get mad at Aunty’s wedding – that wedding cake is HUGE …
This was a fantastic and fun read. I truly enjoyed it and I know readers from 7 years old will love it. This book highlights that it is normal to have strong feelings whether it be anger or happiness but how we deal with these feelings are important.
The main character Scarlett was very relatable and her friends truly understood her but still tried her to manage her feelings. The illustrations added to the story and made you laugh more at the scenes that were described.
If you are looking for an enjoyable read, definitely check out this book. I don’t read a lot of middle grade books but this would be one I would read again.