Anticipated Books · Books

2021 Sequels, Prequels & Companion Books I’m Excited For

Hello everyone!
Today I’m going to share some 2021 releases that are sequels, prequels and companions that I’m excited to read. I have no idea how many I’ll actually get to this year (final year uni problems) but when I can I’ll be happily diving into these!

The Way of the Argosi by Sebastien de Castell

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I’m not usually super excited for prequels, but Ferius Parfax is such an amazing character, I cannot wait to explore her backstory! If you haven’t read the Spellslinger Series yet, do it! It’s one of the best YA fantasy series. It’s so fun and humorous, you’ll have a blast!


Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

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I have wanted a sequel in this world since I first read the Graceling books years ago. I’m excited to be back in this world with a new story! Graceling was one of the first series I read because of the online book community, I’m so happy to get a sequel!



Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen

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Another series I read forever ago. I loved The Queen of the Tearling trilogy, even if it did end… oddly. This is a prequel about one of the side characters, I’m curious to learn more about him and dive back into this world. I may have to reread the original books at some point too.


Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

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I love The Brown Sisters, I cannot wait to read this! I’m super sad this is the last book but I have loved every moment of the previous two, I’m sure this will also be a favourite. If you looking for swoon-worthy romances, definitely read this series. It’s incredible!


A Dance with the Fae Rogue by Elise Kova

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After reading (and loving) A Deal with the Elf King I am dying for this companion/sequel! I love a good fantasy romance and fae are my favourite! This sounds like it’ll be amazing, sadly it’s not out until the end of the year 😦


Are any of these on your TBR? What sequels/prequels/companion books are you excited for?

Books · Review

Conflicting Feels | Book Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (Spoiler free)

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, 1): Amazon.co.uk: Mary E. Pearson:  9781250159014: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.


My Thoughts:

I have no idea where to begin this review. I have such mixed feelings, I can’t quite tell whether I liked it or not.

The beginning is really good, I was surprisingly invested. It starts off interesting, an event happens and two characters are forced together – which was probably the best part. I wish that bit had been longer, once it was resolved it got pretty slow.

This book really suffers in the middle, the pace gets slow and the story gets pretty repetitive, I feel like there’s a lot of book with little going on. It would’ve benefitted being edited down a lot. The book is over 500 pages, feels longer and definitely only needed to be around 300.

The characters are by far the best part of this novel. The plot is meh, other than the enemies to lovers trope there wasn’t much else that was interesting. Unlike it’s predecessor, The Remnant Chronicles, there wasn’t any political intrigue or plot. It didn’t capture my attention like TRC did. I was invested in the characters, plot, world everything with that series. While here I struggled, I loved being back in the world and it was nice seeing glimpses of the old characters, particularly Lia. (Lia will forever be my favourite.) I don’t find this book really compared, in terms of characters or plot. I find the plot, characters and world-building so much more interesting, gripping and memorable in TRC. Dance of Thieves feels pretty bland, I don’t think it will stick with me like the first series did.

BUT
The ending.
The story almost nicely wraps up and yet there is a second book. So I am curious. I did really like the ending. The first 100 pages and last 100 pages were the best, if the middle had been shorter I think I would’ve enjoyed it more. I really wanted to love this book because it’s in one of my favourite fantasy worlds and the sequel to one of my favourite series. It was just meh. But I kind of interested to see where it will go, so I’ll likely pick up the sequel at some point.

Rating: 2.5/3 Stars

Review for The Remnant Chronicles

Books · Tag

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader Tag

Hello everyone!

Bree Hill originally created this tag as the Get to Know the Romance Reader Tag, and The Book Pusher adapted it for fantasy readers. 

What is your fantasy origin story? (The first fantasy novel you read)

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass in the US)
Most people grew up with HP – I didn’t never read nor watched it, never will.
I was a late bloomer when it comes to reading but I made my mum buy me the His Dark Materials box set when we were in The Works when I was a young teen and it made me fall in love with reading and SFF.

 If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?

Ooo. Author is an easy one for me: Brandon Sanderson!
I’d want to be a chosen one, so that trope. (also need cool magical powers.)

What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?

I haven’t read a *ton* of fantasy this year. But I did reread The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson. I think this series is so underhyped. It’s seriously one of the best YA Fantasy series.

What is your favourite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?

My favourite is High Fantasy, of course! I absolutely love being transported to new worlds. I haven’t really read much paranormal stuff… if that counts as a fantasy subgenre?

Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?

So that I don’t answer Brandon Sanderson for everything… I’ll go with Sarah J Maas.

How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)

Booktube, Bookstagram, Goodreads & of course, book blogs!

What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore!
I’ve been dying for more Graceling books and my wish has been granted. I’m so glad the author decided to return to this world.

What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?

Women who write fantasy write for the YA or kid audiences…. WHY do people think women can’t write adult fiction?!

If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
I haven’t actually come across any new ones lately…
If anyone has any recs please let me know!


Tagging:
Kirsty @ Kirsty Reads Blog
Rachel @A Cascade of Books
Amy @ Amy Jane Alice
Allie @ WanderingNerdette

+ anyone else who wants to do this tag!

Books · Discussion

2021 Reading/Bookish Goals

Hello everyone!
New Year = New reading goals!
I don’t really like setting resolutions, I feel like it’s too much pressure and setting up for failure. So instead I just make a few casual goals with no real pressure involved.

Goal 1/Goodreads Challenge: 52 books

In 2020 I read 53 books, while contending with uni and a reading slump! So I think 52 is definitely doable. Hopefully, I’ll read even more after uni is finished for good. I’m going into my final semester (yikes!) so my reading will slow down for this first half of the year and hopefully pick back up after finals!

Goal 2: As always, I want to read more diversely

That includes race/disability/sexuality. I made an effort last year to read more Black authors, but I pretty much neglected other kinds POC books. I want get some others in this year too. I also need to up my game with LGBT reads and something I neglect entirely is disability rep.

Goal 3: Stop forcing myself to read when I simply don’t feel like it

Last summer I forced myself to read even though I was in a slump and I think it made it even worse! It’s definitely okay not to want to read, yes even as a book blogger/instagrammer/influencer/whatever. You should only read if you actually want to. I think there’s a lot of pressure to always be reading and pumping out book content, but if you’re not enjoying it, don’t force it!

Goal 4: Get my physical tbr down

Anyone else feel like they spend more time researching and buying books than actually reading? I used to be the kind of person who would buy one or two books and read them, then buy more. Since joining the online book community I have been buying and hoarding books far too much. I have yet to count my physical tbr, but I know I have a lot of unread books sat on my shelves. My aim is to stop buying so many books and read the ones I got. I’m pretty much on a book buying ban for the foreseeable future. (Apart from uni books, I need to buy those!)

Goal 5: Read a book with over 1000 pages

Last year I completely neglected big books, I’ve randomly developed a fear of huge books? I used to demolish big books and I loved them! I want to read a big ass book and hopefully, break the fear cycle.


What are your reading goals for 2021?

Books · Wrap-up

December + 2020 Wrap Up

Happy New Year Everyone!

I thought I’d combine my wrap ups into one post for ease.
I didn’t get to everything on my TBR but I did pretty well!
In December I read a total of 5 books

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black – 4/5 Stars
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams – 4/5 Stars
Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert – 2/5 Stars
Dance of Thieves by Mary E Pearson – 3/5 Stars
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – 3/5 Stars

(I’m behind with reviews, I’ll try to have them up asap)


2020 Wrap Up

2020 Reading Challenge

My goal for 2020 was to read 40 books, I ended up reading 53!
Books per month:
January – 5 books
February – 3 books
March – 4 books
April – 4 books
May – 3 books
June – 4 books
July – 5 books
August – 2 books
September – 3 books
October – 9 books
November – 6 books
December – 5 books

Best month was October / Worst month was August

Even though summertime is free for me being a student, it’s always the time I go into a slump. How typical. That’s why August was my worst reading month, I was in a really bad slump for most of the year, honestly.

One of my goals was to read one book a month by a Black author, I ended up exceeded this and reading a total of 18 books. Which I’m very happy with!


How was your reading in 2020?
Did you achieve your goals?

Books · Favourites

Best Books of 2020!

Hello everyone!
I cannot believe it’s new year’s eve already, crazy.

Today I’m going to talk about the best books I read in 2020!
These are in order of when I read them, I couldn’t possibly rank these if I tried.
(Some have reviews, some don’t – I’m super behind!)

Saga Vol 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga Volume 3: Amazon.co.uk: Vaughan, Brian K, Staples, Fiona:  8601400752357: Books

I love the Saga comics! They’re amazing and I so desperately need to continue this series. If you’re looking for a new graphic novel to read, seriously start this series. It’s a very adult sci-fi/fantasy story, very character driven & has incredible artwork.

Rating: 4 Stars
I have reviews for Vol 1 and 2


Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Starsight (Skyward, #2) by Brandon Sanderson

In January I must’ve been on a sci-fi kick because I also read and loved this book!
This book blew my mind, Brandon Sanderson never fails to created amazing worlds and plot twists.
I originally gave this a 4.25 Stars but the more I think about it the more I like it… I think I’d potentially up this to 4.5-5. Maybe I’ll reread this and change it in the future.
Review here.


Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (Volumes 1-3)

WordPress.com in 2020 | Graphic novel cover, Books, Book review blogs

I couldn’t possibly put just one of these so I’m putting all of them!
This is the cutest, most wholesome series ever. If you need something cutesy and easy to read, pick this up! I cannot recommend this enough. I enjoyed every moment of these, they’re the perfect pick-me-up reads!

Rating: 5 Stars
Review for Vol 1


Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry | Waterstones

An unexpected favourite. I’m not usually the biggest contemporary/romance reader but it dominated my 2020. I read this after seeing some rave reviews and I ended up loving it! I will definitely be rereading this in the future.

Rating: 5 Stars
Review here


Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Take a Hint, Dani Brown: this summer's must-read romantic comedy:  Amazon.co.uk: Hibbert, Talia: 9780349425221: Books

Another romance, who would’ve thought?!
If you haven’t read this series yet, GET ON IT!
It’s amazing. Non-toxic romance, diverse characters and deals with heavier topics perfectly. It’s also very steamy, warning for explicit sex scenes!

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review here


The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3): Amazon.co.uk: Black, Holly:  9781471407581: Books

This is probably the most shocking book on this list. I didn’t even plan to read this book and now it’s ended up on my best books of the year?! I realllllly didn’t like The Wicked King, everyone seemed to love that and hate this one. I never planned to finish the series but I saw the audiobook at my library and thought why not. I ended up binging the whole thing in an afternoon…
Rating: 4 Stars
Full review here


Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost Giants: Amazon.co.uk: Gaiman, Neil, Gaiman, Neil: Books

This is a very, very short audiobook. This was such a cute, wintery read. I love Neil Gaiman’s writing and I hadn’t read anything by him in a while, I was super happy to find this available at my library. The audiobook is read by Neil Gaiman himself, he has such a great voice and is a brilliant narrator.

Rating: 4 Stars


Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler | Waterstones

This was actually required reading for one of my module at university. I enjoyed this so much more than I ever expected. It’s such a fascinating read!


A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic, #1) by Elise Kova

This was marketed as Hades and Persephone meets Beauty and the Beast with elves. I was sold! I dropped my planned reads and read this on release day.
I loved it! I binge read this in less than 24 hours and it’s now a new favourite. It’s exactly what I needed at that time, something easy and happy. It really picked up my mood!

Rating: 5 Stars
Review here


What are some of the best books you read in 2020?

Anticipated Books · Blogmas · Books

Most Anticipated 2021 Book Releases | Blogmas Day 12

Happy Christmas Eve!
Welcome to day 12 of blogmas and the final day for me!

Today I’m going to share some books I’m excited to be released in 2021!

In order of release:

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4) by Kristin Cashore

Release date:19/01/2021

I can’t believe we’re getting another Graceling book!!
It was the first series I read after discovering Booktube and Bookstagram and I adored it! I’m so very happy to be returning to that world.


Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen

Release date: 11/02/2021

Another series I read ages ago gets a sequel!!
I couldn’t be more excited to learn more about this world and characters. I loved the originally trilogy, despite that ending.


A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

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Release date:23/02/2021

I’m pretty sure this is about fae… anything with fae and I am SOLD! It’s also LGBT and I believe WLW.
That cover too! Simply stunning.


Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Release date: 16/03/2021

I was kindly gifted an ARC of this and it sounds so good, I cannot wait to pick it up!


Way of the Argosi by Sebastien de Castell

Way of the Argosi – Sebastien de Castell

Release date: 22/04/2021

Super excited to learn more about one of my favourite characters of all time! This is a prequel to the Spellslinger series, which I highly recommend if you haven’t read it already!


Sisters of the Snake by Sasha & Sarena Nanua

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Release date: 15/06/2021

I don’t know much about this one but I saw it on twitter and immediately added it to my tbr. Look at that cover!!


A Dance with the Fae Rogue by Elise Kova

A Dance with the Fae Rogue (Married to Magic) – Elise Kova

Release date: 03/11/2021

After reading A Deal with the Elf King in November, I am so exciting to read this companion novel. It’s a fantasy romance with fae, need I say more?!


Merry Christmas + Happy Holidays!

That is blogmas concluded for another year!
Here are all my blogmas post from 2020:

Day 1: November Wrap Up
Day 2: December TBR
Day 3: Book Review: The Switch
Day 4: 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag
Day 5: Alternatives to Audible
Day 6: 21 Books I Want to Read in 2021
Day 7: Book Review: Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert
Day 8: Disappointing Reads 2020
Day 9: Christmas Song Book Tag
Day 10: Book Review: King of Elfhame by Holly Black
Day 11: Fantasy/Sci-fi Romance Recs

Blogmas · Books · Recommendations

Fantasy (and Sci-fi) Romance Book Recs | Blogmas Day 11

Hello guys!
Welcome to day 11 of blogmas, the penultimate day! This month has flown by!
Today I’m recommending some SFF romance books. I have really been into my romance novels this year and want to reread and read more!

*Click on the titles for my reviews

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (2011-12-29): Brandon Sanderson: Books -  Amazon.com

Of course, I had to include a Sanderson, are we surprised? He makes basically every recommendation list I make. Anyway – This book would be perfect for those who like romance but not as a the main plot. This book is full of political intrigue and amazing magic. There is a very wholesome romance that blooms. It takes a while for this to happen, and it’s not the main story, but it’s very cute! This is probably my favourite book ever, every read this! It’s a great place to start with Sanderson.

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic, #1) by Elise Kova

If you’re looking for something that is purely romance but in a fantasy setting, this is the one for you! The whole story revolves around a forced marriage, which ends up being a slow burn romance. It’s so good.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

The Kiss of Deception: The Remnant Chronicles, Book One: 01: Amazon.co.uk:  Pearson, Mary E.: 9780805099232: Books

This has, by far, the best love triangle ever to exist. I will not be taking any criticism.
This has such an interesting premise and format, the main character runs away from her arranged marriage and the Prince who she was to marry goes after, as does an assassin from another kingdom. You follow all three but you don’t know who is the Prince or who the assassin is.

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

This is a sci-fi romance – very heavy on the romance. It has a cool spacey setting, two characters are stuck on board a ship with limited oxygen left, which kick starts flashbacks of the romance. I never see anyone talk about this but it’s one of my faves! I’ve read it twice and will read again in the future. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: 10th Anniversary Edition | Hodderscape

This is a low fantasy novel with the insta-love trope. I’m not usually one for the insta-love trope but Laini does it well and her writing makes up for it. It also has a kinda forbidden romance trope. It’s super cool.

What are your favourite SFF romances?
I’d love any recs for sci-fi romances, there’s a lack of them in my life!

Blogmas · Books · Tag

Christmas Song Book Tag! | Blogmas Day 9

Hey guys!
Today for blogmas day 9 I’m doing another tag!
For blogmas day 4 I did the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

This tag was originally created by TheArtsyReaderGirl

1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You”: Favourite bookish couple.
I have so many!
A recent one is Luella and Eldas from A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

2. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: Name a book where a character is away from home (school, vacation, etc.).
The Switch by Beth O’Leary

3. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Name your favorite “little” book (children’s book, short story, novella, etc.).
I read Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman this year, it’s a very short but lovely read!

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“: What book(s) do you hope Santa brings you this year?
I don’t *think* I’m getting any books for Christmas. *SHOCK HORROR*
I didn’t ask for any as I already have too many unread books. Sigh.

5. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Which book turned your nose red (made you cry)?
I don’t cry very often at books, the ending of The Switch did have be a lil emosh.

6. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Your favourite book/kind of book to read during the holidays.
I don’t really read seasonal books or anything. I tend to read more fantasy during the winter in general.

7. “We Three Kings”: Your favourite trilogy.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson & The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

8. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”: A character you would love to be snowed in with.
Cassian from ACOTAR

9. “Last Christmas”: A book that seriously let you down.
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

10. “White Christmas”: An upcoming release you’re dreaming about

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore
I am SO exciting to get back into this world!


I tag anyone who wants to do this!

Blogmas · Books

Disappointing Reads 2020 | Blogmas Day 8

Hey guys, welcome to day 8 of blogmas!
This is going to be a little bit of a negative post, I’m not going to bad talk these books. I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t read them. These are just books that disappointed me (doesn’t even make them bad, sometime I just had high expectations)

1) House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

This is probably the biggest disappointment of the whole year. It was one of my most anticipated releases and boy, was it a flop. It was super boring for 80%, I like the world, but everything else feels like SJM’s previous work.
Maybe I’m growing out of SJM. I need some new fae stories in my life, if you have any recs leave them below!

I gave this a 2 Star rating// Full ranty /review here.


2) An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Another disappointing fae novel, 2021 needs to bring me good fae books, clearly!
This was boring. It had so much potential but didn’t quite do it for me. The writing style was lovely, I wish I loved this, but I just couldn’t.

Rating: 2.5 Stars / Review here


3) Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This was marketed to me as a modern, Black Pride and Prejudice retelling, which sounds amazing in theory! However, it didn’t give me the P&P feeling, I wouldn’t call this a retelling by any stretch of the imagination. I couldn’t take to the characters or the story and had way too high expectations going in. Someone else might enjoy this (particularly people who haven’t read P&P) but I was just left disappointed.

Rating: 2 Stars


4) The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

The Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk: Rothenberg, Jess: 9781509899388: Books

It actually took a while to realise I didn’t really enjoy this. Only when reflecting on my reads from this year did I truly realise this disappointed me. I feel like it had really good concepts and ideas but not great execution. I wanted more from this world. It had an interesting premise but it’s ultimately unmemorable.

I think I gave this 3.5 Stars but I would definitely lower it to 2/2.5 now.
Review here.


5) To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella: Amazon.co.uk: Chambers, Becky:  9781473697164: Books

Another one I really wanted to love but just no.
This was so painfully slow. It’s very, very short yet felt very long. It was a complete drag to read and nothing ever really happens. It’s basically exploration porn. If that’s your jam, read this. It was just not for me at all. I haven’t review this yet (if ever) as I just struggle to put my thoughts into words. I haven’t really got much to say other than it was a total snoozefest to me.

Rating: 2 Stars


Any thoughts on these books?
What book(s) disappointed you this year?