Category Archives: Fantasy

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare Book Review

I am back with another book review. I was happy to finally to get my hands on Lord of Shadows. For those don’t know this already I am a hardcore fan of Cassandra Clare’s books and I love anything Shadowhunter related. After reading Lady Midnight I was sucked into the world of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn and now with the follow-up Lord of Shadows, I grew to love The Dark Artifices even more. If you haven’t read Lady Midnight I do have a book review on that book here for you to check it out.

  • Title: Lord of Shadows
  • Author: Cassandra Clare
  • Series: The Dark Artifices
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 720
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

In the Lord of Shadows, we pick where we left off from the events of Lady Midnight. First Emma is deeply in love with Julian but because it’s forbidden for Parabatai to be together in that, Emma must pretend to be in a relationship with Mark. But, this is the least of their troubles when everyone finds out about the Black Volume of the Dead. In the process, Julian makes a dangerous bargain with the sneaky Seelie Queen which may have its out consequences. On top of this, a group of Shadowhunters called the Cohort who hates Downworlders wants to take over the Los Angeles Institute and spread their harsh laws. Lastly, to top the icing on the cake another threat arises when the Unseelie King wants the Black Volume of the Dead and will stop at nothing have himself.

Review:

I thought that most dangerous thing in the Shadowhunter world was Valentine, Sebastian, and just demons. But I was wrong, in fact, I think demons was the easiest thing to deal with for the Shadowhunters. There so much happening in this book, that I wonder how anyone goes to sleep at night knowing you have to watch your backs.

The book is a roller coaster ride of emotions, action, and thrills. Everywhere I turn there is something that keeps my attention and made it hard for me to put it down. I also enjoyed the world building in this book. I actually the fact that in this book we got to learn more about fairies and see more of their world because in the other series she has written we don’t get a lot of fairies scenes as much. Another thing that enjoyed about the book is the fighting combat scenes that add another punch.

I love the characters. I like the interaction between Emma and Julian and how they always have each other’s back no matter what. Even when they are having a fight or what not they are still Parabatai I also like Julian who will do anything to protect his family and to keep everyone together. Another character that caught my attention was Kit who was introduced in Lady Midnight who was also known as The Last Herondale. I like how he starts out as an outcast but then slowly finds his way. I hope in the next book he overcomes he struggles and gets a spin-off.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and had so much fun. And in fact, I wait so long to read it and now I have I know I have great hopes for what’s to come in the next book. Cassandra Clare’s books keep getting better and I hope the world of Shadowhunters don’t end.

Links:

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Book Review

I was excited to get my hands on the book right after reading Six of Crows. I just wanted more from the world and wanted to find out how things will be tied. Later did I realize that the book left me wanting more.

  • Title: Crooked Kingdom
  • Author: Leigh Bardugo
  • Series/Trilogy: Six of Crows Duology
  • Year Published: 2016
  • Page Count: 546
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

In the Crooked Kingdom, we continue where we left off in the last book. Kaz and the rest of the team must find a way to deal with the fact that they were doubled crossed by Jan Van Eck. And top off the problem, Inej was taken prisoner as well. In order to rescue Inej and get the money they were promised, Kaz must come up with a plan to make it happen. To make things worse the word got out about the Parem Jurda and about Kuwei and now every country wants it for themselves. Now in this book Kaz and the characters must fight their enemies, get their money and find a way to survive.

Review:

I had so much fun reading Crooked Kingdom. In fact, the duology stepped up from the last book. I actually liked how the action built up and the fact that all countries were in the same city made it even more intense. I also liked the fact that I got to see more of the city of Ketterdam and how dark and grim it is. It made me think of the show Gotham or even Starlight city from Arrow combined. I also liked how Leigh also had more Grisha elements in the book as well. I have a feeling that I should read the Grisha Trilogy after this.

Starting off Kaz who I pretty much think is the most interesting character has developed so much in the book. I also like despite being a cruel, and smart person he has many sides of him. I also like seeing a part of him that actually cares for his team. I mean when someone is in trouble or down he will actually give a look. But at the same, I also like how Leigh didn’t make a 180 change for Kaz. It was more realistic and gradual which help keep the character we know.

For Inej, I think she is one of the strongest characters. I like how regardless of her past and the situations she knows how to take care of herself. She is tough and very smart. I also like the fact she and Kaz share this bond where they work well with each other. I hope another book comes out so I can see if they actually get together.

On to Wylan and Jesper. In the book, you get to know more about the characters and their backstory. I also liked Wylan, especially because in the first book I thought he was a whiny kid who just wanted to rebel. But throughout the book, I got a new respect for him. And Jesper he is just funny.

Lastly, I think the way it ended was perfect and it gave more open possibilities of more books. Like maybe spin-offs for the characters and maybe another series featuring the characters because I think it would totally fun to explore. I also would’ve liked to see how the characters who evolve as well. So if you are interested in checking out the book I have links and until my next post keep on reading.

Links:

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

It’s no secret that Six of Crows is one of those over hyped books. But after hearing so much about it I decided to give into the hype and read it. Plus, if you saw the book itself you know it looks cool. From the black painted edges to the awesome map that is in the book. It was just so cool.

  • Title: Six of Crows
  • Author: Leigh Bardugo
  • Series/Trilogy: Duology
  • Year Published: 2015
  • Page Count: 518
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

Six of the Crows you in for a treat. It’s like a mix of Gotham meets Leverage meets magical realm. The story starts out in the city of Ketterdam. Ketterdam is a fictional city of course. And the story centers around a group of characters that come from a different world that have to come together in order to steal something important. The main something important is a powerful drug that has the ability to amplify the abilities of Grisha which is like people with special abilities. This drug however also can lead to destruction and even worse. So the group of character lead by the smart thief Kaz must find a way to steal this drug which is held in The Ice Court. Did I mention The Ice Court is heavily guarded?

Review:

This is like one of the best books I read this year. If I was honest I was worried that this hype would fail me but it didn’t. It actually went beyond what I expected. Six of Crows from the cover to the entire story blew me away. Starting with the cover and packaging of the book it’s just cool. From the book cover with mysteriously creepy crows to the black painted edges, it is awesome. I never read a book with that kind of design.

Now onto the story itself, it had a plot that just pulls you in. I liked the concept of a heist taking place in this fantasy world that seems to be either Eastern European or Russian vibe. I also like the way Leigh built the world that makes you fill like you are walking into the streets of Ketterdam. I also like the fact that the story itself has its own history, rules, and magic. Sadly, I missed out on the Grisha Trilogy because of the few references but luckily it wasn’t too much that confused me.

Onto the characters that really shine. The book actually focuses on six characters and Leigh lets you dive into each character. I liked getting to know each of them and learning about their backstory. I also like the way the actors talk, act and interact. I especially love Kaz. He is dark, cruel but also smart. Regardless of the situation, Kaz knows how to get out of trouble. I also enjoyed the character Jesper who I wished had more of his backstory but I guess that was saved for the next book.

Overall I had so much fun reading this book. Plus, picking up a book with blacked painted edges is like the icing on the cake. I also enjoyed meeting the characters and watching them grow throughout the story. So if you are interested in checking out the book I have links on the bottom. Until my next book review keep on reading.

Links:

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Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

A few days ago I finished reading Traitor to the Throne. This was the second book in the series of Rebel of the Sands which is written by Alwyn Hamilton. After I read the first book I couldn’t wait to dive into the next book in the series. Not to mention, I don’t usually read-a-thon a series but I knew the series was so good that I just had to read the second book.

  • Title: Traitor to the Throne
  • Author: Alywn Hamilton
  • Series/Trilogy: Rebel of the Sands
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 518
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

In the Traitor to the Throne, we find Amani and the rest of the rebels a year after the events of the last book. And before the book starts an evident has happened which made Jin disappear and choose to leave on a mission. During this time Amani is stronger than ever and has a full grip of her abilities which we learned int he last book was the power to control sand. Suddenly, think gets worse after Jin finally returns where the rebel camp gets to attack and the characters are left to find a way to survive. During this time to make matters worse, Amani gets abducted.

Later, Amani wakes up in a palace. Not just any place. It’s the Sultan’s palace in the city of Izman. So in the book, Amani is forced to be Sultan’s prisoner and left powerless. With nothing to defend herself except her wit, she must try to do what she can survive. Along the way she discovers the world within the walls of the palace and learns the secrets that Sultan keeps that could mean the destruction of the rebel army.

Review:

First off, I had so much fun reading Traitor to the Throne. In fact, I couldn’t stop reading the book because all I wanted to do is find out what happens next. From the moment the book starts it sucked me into the action. I also enjoyed the books which did amp up the magical world of Marijin. I actually was surprised that I will like it so much because I was worried that it would be slow since Amani was kept prisoner and being stuck in the palace. I was worried about how much could happen while being in this place. But, the book kept me on the edge of my seat.

Amani is still amazing. She is more powerful with her sand powers. And despite being held prisoner and not being able to use them she is still a strong force. I like how she does what it takes to survive and knows how to make things work for in any situation. She also has funny lines.

As for Jin. This guy was mostly absent for most of the book and expect shows up every once in the full moon. I would’ve liked to see him more and also would’ve liked to see where he went when he disappeared. I don’t usually enjoy different points of views in the book as much but I felt like the book could’ve been needed.

So on to the Sultan. I like how he isn’t one dimensional. He has many layers and isn’t 100 percent evil. In fact, the book shows not just his evil side but also his fatherly side. He will have moments where can be protective over his kids but also towards Amani. But don’t be the fool he is still a horrible person and but also smart.

On to the magical world. I like how there were more magical elements being explored in the book. I also liked there were more Djinns and Djemdi in the book as well. I also like the fact that Alwyn built the world with magic and the world that has its own history, legends and myths.

So to close my review I thought Traitor to the Throne was amazing. I couldn’t put it down and wished that I didn’t have to wait a whole year for the next book. And the ending….it killed me. And now I am stuck with a cliff hanger that will leave me wanting more. But at the same time, I still think it’s good because it keeps me excited. So if you haven’t picked up the book yet, I do have the affiliate links below for you to go check out. And until my next book keep on reading.

Links:

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Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton Book Review

When I came across Rebel of the Sands I thought the cover was one of the most beautiful covers I was seen. The mix of the gold and sea green together was just pure magic. It made me want to pick it up. In The Rebel of the Sands is a book that I read during the Booktubeathon and it was a super fast paced book that left me wanting to find out what happens next.

  • Title: Rebel of the Sands
  • Author: Alywn Hamilton
  • Series/Trilogy: Rebel of the Sands
  • Year Published: 2016
  • Page Count: 314
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:

For those that haven’t heard of Rebel of the Sands, it’s the first book in the trilogy that has a combination of Middle Eastern and Western vibe. Think of Aladin if they were cowboys. The book takes place in the country of Marijin and center around a girl name Amani who lives in the middle of nowhere town Dustwalk. And this town was a prison that Amani wanted to desperately leave and seek the freedom of what is out there. So in order to get her freedom, Amani pretends to be a boy and goes to shooting contests in hope of winning money to get herself out of Dustwalk.

One night during a shooting contest Amani meets the mysterious foreigner who goes by the name of Jin. Later does she know that Jin is in the hurry to leave as well since he is wanted for treason of crime? So, Amani decides that Jin is her one-way ticket out of Dustwalk. Little did she know that the adventure through the desert leads her to discover the hidden magic that lies within the sand.

Review:

Before I started reading Rebel of the Sands I had a feeling that I would enjoy it. I was also gravitated by the beautiful cover. The book didn’t disappoint, to say the least. I really enjoyed the plot. I liked the combination of Middle Eastern culture and western cowboy vibes in the story. I also liked the fact that story had many surprises as you go along the story. I also enjoy the fact that book had a lot of myths, legends and its own story about the world.

Another thing I liked about Rebel of the Sands was the characters. I think Amani is awesome, she is funny and sassy in every way. I mean despite her not knowing a lot about the real world outside of Dustwalk she didn’t let that stop her from going on the journey. She had a dream and she went for it. I also liked the fact she is a talented shooter and can take care of herself.

For Jin, the other character I thought was very intriguing. He pretty was funny as well but also was always there for Amani. I also liked that he gets all the good lines that I am sure you will find enough to quote after.

For the magic itself, I have mixed feelings. I liked the magical elements in the book from the Djinn elements and the fact that there was also magical creatures like Nightmares(creepy monsters that come out a night. Though do wish I could’ve seen more of. I guess due to the size of the book there wasn’t any room to put them all in.

Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed reading Rebel of the Sands and has so much fun reading it. I really liked getting to know the characters and watching how they interact with each other. If you are interesting checking out the book yourself I do have an affiliate link at the bottom of this post and until next time keep on reading.

Links:

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The Black Witch Book Review

Hi, guys. Welcome back to another edition of Where Stephanie Reads. I also can’t help but say that the year is going super fast. And now the summer is finally in motion. Well, to start the beginning of summer with a new book review I will be discussing the book The Black Witch. This is a book that recently came this month and has the combination of magic and is character driven.

  • Title: The Black Witch
  • Series: The Black Witch Chronicles
  • Author: Laurie Forest
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 601 pages
  • Buy Book: Amazon
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

The Black Witch focuses on the granddaughter of a famous legendary Black Witch who saved the Gardnerian people. Unlike her well-known grandmother, the character Elloren doesn’t have her powers. In fact, she pretty is shy and was raised in a small town sheltered by the on-goings of the world. During the story, Elloren and her two brothers get to go to the famous Verpax University to study apothecary. The school that is known to be diverse and made up of students from different regions and different ethnic groups. Soon, Elloren must face the ugly truth that the school is way more divided and the ugly truth of her grandmother’s legacy.

My Thoughts

The Black Witch was so good. I started it on Sunday and finished it this morning. To be honest I didn’t know what it was about but saw thumbnails of the book cover on Booktube and decided to pick it up. I also really liked the cover and it gave me chills. Chills in a good way. The book has a mixture of fantasy world building, magical elements and a female character that was easy to relate to.I like how regardless of Elloren’s struggles with fitting into the world she knew nothing about she kept true to herself. I also like the fact that the book touches topics of prejudice and discrimination.

If you wish to learn more about the book hop over to the bottom to head over to Amazon and until next time keep on reading.

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Freya by Matthew Laurance Book Review

Hi guys, welcome to another post of Where Stephanie Reads. This week I recently read a great book that combines adventure, female power, and Norse Mythology. The book I am talking is Freya by Matthew Laurence. This is the first book in the series of Freya.

  • Title: Freya
  • Author: Matthew Laurence
  • Series: Freya
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Page Count: 239 pages
  • Buy Book: Amazon
  • Goodreads: Here
  • Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

The book Freya centers around the Norse Goddess Freya who is known to be the goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. During the centuries her power fade and she grows weaker due to the fact her believers forgot about her. In the future, she goes by the name of Sarah and hides out in a mental hospital. There she sulks and hides her real identity. Suddenly, she meets Garen who tries to recruit help to find a goddess that roams the world in exchange for followers. Sarah doesn’t want this and turns down his deal. Sadly Garen doesn’t come with an optional bargain so Sarah chooses to flee. With the help of a new friend named Nathan, she goes on the lamb and tries to hide. But lately, she finds out that there are dark secret forces that are lurking in the shadows.

My Thoughts

I thought Freya was fun to read and loved the mixture of different kinds of mythologies. The book took me on a great adventure and surrounded me with Greek gods and kick ass Hawaiian Goddesses. The book also has a villain with twisted secrets that leave you in awe as well. I can’t wait til the next book to come so I can indulge on that. Until my next review keep on reading.


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