Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday (10/30/2017)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Lauren @Page Turner, and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!
This week I have chosen:

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Published: September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen
Goodreads Summary:

When kingdom come, there will be one. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born–three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose..it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

I’ve had this book on my TBR shelf since I met Blake last October! I just got her second book in this series, so I think I may have to add them both my November TBR pile! I have hard mixed reviews on this series, so what are your opinions?

What is on your TBR shelf this week?

P.S. I can’t believe Halloween is tomorrow!! I’ve decided that Baby Sophia is going to be Tinkerbell, and I’ll probably dress as either a runaway bride or Sailor Jupiter…I’ll probably decide right before I start giving out candies to the kiddos. If you’re dressing up, what are you going as?

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Posted in Subscription Box

Uppercase Box September Review

It’s that time of the month again! A new box from Uppercase by Lisa Parkin!

IMG_0024.JPGEvery month you receive:

  • a brand new hardcover book, the book is either signed or you receive a signed bookplate,
  • 1-2 high quality bookish items,
  • Uppercase reading experience with exclusive content,
  • and a special note!

You can choose from two different plans:

Expert plan: comes with everything above for only $23/month plus $6 shipping and handling;

Book exclusive plan: comes with everything above except the 1-2 bookish items for only $17/month plus s/h.

You can check out my other Uppercase reviews here, and my other book subscription reviews here!

I have received a few of these now, and I still really like that Lisa includes a personal letter inside her subscription boxes! The top of the letter includes a listing of each item that is included in the subscription and who designed it!

As always, is included a bookmark for the reading experience. Here you can participate with Uppercase, and view polls, questions, and videos that correspond to that moment in the book. I really like this aspect of the box, it’s different from the other subscription boxes that I subscribe to.

The book this month is The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron.

Published: September 13th 2016 by Scholastic Press

Goodreads Summary:

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

This book has a retail value of $18.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $11.07.

This book has a really interesting premise! Kind of reminds me of The Giver and a little bit of Divergent mashed into one!

A related item to the book, is this The Forgetting mini-notebook. You can find similar plain notebooks from Staples for about $1.50. You can design your own notebook from Girl With a Radio Mind on Etsy, for $5.00.

A cute little sticker was included in this months box! “Certified Book Addict” was designed by Alexis Lampley, of Nerdy Post. This is an adorable sticker, and a great plug for another subscription box. A 10% discount off your first box was included, just use the code nerdynewbie!

“This is how we roll” pouch by Out of Print is an Uppercase exclusive item. Since it is an exclusive item, I couldn’t find it on their website, but they have plenty of other really cute pouches. They retail for $12.00.

Overall, this box has a value of about $30. I am guessing on some of the exclusive values, so this box could be worth more or less. I am always impressed with Uppercase boxes, and I love the quality of products that they pick!

What do you think of this months Uppercase box?

Posted in Arc, NetGalley, Young Adult

Threats of Sky and Sea Review

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellisionthreatsofskyandsea

Book 1 in the Threats of Sky and Sea Series

Published: May 16th 2014 by Createspace

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I received an e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

“Monstrous men will turn and flee. When faced with threats of sky and sea.”

This book started off really good. It was fast paced and had a lot of action and injustices that you just wanted the main character to fight her way out of! And then…the story starts to lag. A whole lot of nothing seems to happen while at the castle. Bree goes for training/education, she talks to her Da, reports to the king, and sneaks out and talks to Caden, Aleta, and Tregle. Repeat that for at least a quarter of the book, and then add in a random party/social event. Don’t get me wrong, there was some parts in all of that talking and training that was really good and helped move the plot along, but some scenes could have just been left out. The writing style and characters really helped me keep going in this book.

“I do so enjoy your particular brand of honesty”

As far as main characters go, I think Bree might be one of my top favorites. She is smart, resourceful, snarky, and has a conscience. She tries not to get bullied by Lady Kat and the King, and shows her defiance when appropriate. She also tries to fix her mistakes, but knows if she isn’t the one to blame then it is not her fault.

“‘They think I am glass,’ she says. She’s hard again. “But I am not. I am not delicate. I am stone. If they want to break me, they will have a hard time of it. I am unbreakable.” We say no more that night.”

The relationship Bree has with her father and her trio of friends were great. Bree and her father treated each other as equals and she wasn’t afraid to tell him what he needed to hear. Even when she was mad at him, she could never truly stay mad and she kept trying to come up with an escape plan for them both. Although Tregle wasn’t in the story much, he was there when the plot started to move. So we got to see him evolve as a character more so than Aleta and Caden.

“It is like an untrained marksman loosing an arrow. Without proper direction, there is no telling who he will down.”

I just loved the last quarter of the book! I wish it was a little bit longer, but of course we had to end at a cliffhanger. This book had a little bit of everything for everyone. A very light romance, tons of action here and there, magic, politics, and great world building. There were some twists and turns that I was not expecting, and I can’t wait to see how that affects the next book in the series!

Posted in Subscription Box

Lit-Cube September “Haunted Hearts” Box Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was “Haunted Hearts” and it was guest curated by AG Howard the author of the book this month!

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews !

This month’s box looks very promising! I like that everything is some how connected to this months book. As always, the first item in the box is the information card detailing every item!

The book this month was The Architect of Song (Haunted Hearts Legacy #1) by A.G. Howard. Published August 15th 2016 by Golden Orb Press.

Goodreads Summary:

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

This book has been on my TBR since I first heard about it, I can’t wait to read this! The retail value of this book is $14.99, but you can find it on Amazon for only $14.00! If you like ebooks then you can actually get this book for only $7.95.

I really like that LitCube includes signed bookplates in their subscription boxes! I think it just adds a little extra value to the book.

This journal is a LitCube exclusive! The quote on the cover was handpicked by Howard herself! “Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps a singing bird will come” -Chinese Proverb. This journal has a retail value of $12.99.

To go with our new journal is this mini feather quill & ink vial set, with a retail value of $14.99.

This particular Gardenia scented MOR soap has a retail value of $1.99. I couldn’t find this exact one on their website, but I did find a similar fancier soap in Snow Gardenia scent for $18.00.

The snackable this month is a Nestle Dark Chocolate flavored hot chocolate mix. You can purchase a box of 50 packets for $13.94 on Amazon. So for one packet the retail value is $0.28, not bad. Being at the bottom of Texas, it doesn’t get very cold, but I can’t wait to drink some hot chocolate while reading a good book!

The wearable this month, is this glass necklace with pressed flowers, with a retail value of $14.99. This is one of my favorite items this month!

This is a great box! Overall, this box has a value of $59.24. Although, if you include the soap you can purchase from MOR then the box increases in value to $75.25. I really like all of the items in this month’s box!

Did you receive a Lit-Cube this month? What do you think of the items?

Don’t miss next month’s box:

octtaleasoldastime

Posted in Young Adult

Waiting on Wednesday #6 (9/14/16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by  Jill from Breaking The Spine that shows the upcoming books that many of us are anticipating! This week, I’m waiting for…


 

ashadowbrightandburning

Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)

Author: Jessica Cluess

Expected Publication: September 20th 2016

Publisher: Random House BFYR

Goodreads Summary:

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

This sounds like my kind of book! I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

What do you think of this weeks book?

Posted in Young Adult

Goodreads Monday #6 (9/12/16)

Goodreads Monday is a meme hosted by Page Turner,  and the idea is to post a book that’s on your TBR pile and show it off. This is a great way to show off books I have not yet managed to read!

This week I have chosen:

thewrathandthedawn

 

Title: The Wrath & the Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Published: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

This is actually a new addition to my TBR pile, but I figured since I am going to see the author October 1st, I should probably read her book! =)

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Posted in Young Adult

The Shadow Queen Review

theShadowQueenThe Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Book 1 in the Ravenspire series

Published: February 16th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

“Her skin was as white as snow, her lips as red as blood, and her long hair as black as ebony.”

This has been on my shelf for a few months and I finally took it off and read it! It is your basic re-telling of a fairy tale, but with a twist! I couldn’t help but think of The Lunar Chronicles and Once Upon a Time while reading, if only because it was a Snow White retelling. This series will be standalone novels set in the same universe. I liked that this story had almost all of your traditional elements, but Redwine made it her own by adding more magic, dragons, and ogres!

“A warrior doesn’t focus on the odds stacked against her. She focuses on her heart, on her will to face the evil in her world and defeat it, and then she finds a way to do it.”

Plot wise this story moved pretty well. Lorelai and her crew didn’t stay in one area for too long and each new location was an adventure. I enjoyed the use of magic in this story, but I wish Redwine explained the ogre invasion a little bit more and how they used magic against the dragons.

“Irina’s smile disappeared. “I don’t require all of the princess, huntsman.”

I really loved the characters and their development in this story. You felt for Lorelai and her cause as the lost princess of Ravenspire. You couldn’t help but be charmed by the huntsman and his resolve to save his people even if it meant making a deal with Irina. You also couldn’t help but be a little sympathetic for Irina (although she wasn’t as big and bad as Levana in TLC), although the sympathy didn’t last very long.

“You don’t go into battle because you’re sure of victory. You go into battle because it’s the right thing to do.”

I have some complaints about this story (for instance the world building could have been a little bit better), but they are very minor in comparison to how much I enjoyed it! If you are looking for a classic Snow White retelling with a more fantasy aspect, then definitely check this book out! If you’ve read this book already, I would love to know what your thoughts on it are!

 

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

Mer-Charmer Review

Mer-Charmer by Amy Bearceimg_1236

Book 2 in the World of Aluvia series

Published: May 9th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Fourteen-year-old Phoebe Quinn is surrounded by magic, but she can’t muster any of her own. Her sister is a fairy keeper. Her best friends are merfolk. And all she does is dishes and housework.

When Phoebe finds out a terrible sea creature is awakening that preys upon the peace-loving merfolk, she becomes determined to help them, even though it means going with Tristan and Mina to their home deep in the sea.

Beneath the waves, Phoebe learns she’s more like her sister than she realized. The merfolk are drawn to her, and she can sense the magic of the sea all around her. Magic is finally at her fingertips, but that’s precisely why the stirring dark power under the waters decides it wants her most of all.

Now she must not only help the peaceful merfolk escape this ancient enemy, she must master her out-of-control powers. If she fails, she will die and darkness will rise and enslave the merfolk once more. But embracing her full power could cost her the very people she loves the most.

“He held one of her hands; Mina held the other. And they pulled her deeper into the sea, where she’d always longed to go; no matter how many told her she couldn’t.”

This was my August’s Lit-Cube book, and I really enjoyed it, they always pick out great books (at least so far)! They gave us the first book as an ebook for free, so I read that one first (check out my Fairy Keeper review!). Bearce said you can read each book as a standalone or in order, and that is pretty much true. The second book took place 4 years after the first, and really only a situation in the first book had influence for the second.

“So much for keeping things from her sister. Her pathetic attempt at hiding the truth was like a giant rope coming completely unwoven, each strand blowing loose and open in the wind for all to see.”

Plot wise this book was very similar to the first, with the main difference being the adventure was in the ocean instead of on land. Sierra and her two friends go off to find the fairies in the first book, and in the second Phoebe and her two friends go off to try to save the mermaids from an ancient enemy. Sierra struggled with her romantic notions towards Micah, and Phoebe struggled with her romantic notions towards Tristan. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Although, I do have to say that I enjoyed this book more than the first one. I think I just like mermaids and the ocean more so than fairies. =)

“But some things mattered more than her own happiness. The protection of the merfolk was one of them.”

What I enjoyed most about this book, is the personal journey that Phoebe went on. Phoebe started off being held back by the events of the past, and having a hard time letting all of it go. By the end of her journey, Phoebe was finally able to let it go and become a strong individual. She sacrificed so much in the end, and I don’t think even Sierra understands the lengths Phoebe went through to save the merfolk and herself.

“Through Tristan’s magic, she still breathed, though she wasn’t quite sure why she’d want to. She’d given up everything she loved. The merfolk had no reason to love her, a human, now that their magical link was destroyed.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It moved a little bit slow in the beginning, but definitely picked up speed the last half of the book. If you love a good fantasy centered around mermaids, then you’ll enjoy this book!

 

Posted in Young Adult

Fairy Keeper Review

Fairy Keeper by Amy Bearcefairykeeper

Book 1 in the World of Aluvia series

Published: March 5th 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses. In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects. Almost everyone in the world of Aluvia views the fairy keeper mark as a gift, but not fourteen-year-old Sierra. She hates being a fairy keeper, but the birthmark is right there on the back of her neck. It shows everyone she was born with the natural ability to communicate, attract, and even control the tiny fairies whose nectar is amazingly powerful. Fairy nectar can heal people, but it is also a key ingredient in synthesizing Flight, an illegal elixir that produces dreaminess, apathy and hallucinations. She’s forced to care for a whole hive of the bee-like beasties by her Flight-dealing, dark alchemist father.

Then one day, Sierra discovers the fairies of her hatch are mysteriously dead. The fairy queen is missing. Her father’s Flight operation is halted, and he plans to make up for the lost income by trading her little sister to be an elixir runner for another dark alchemist, a dangerous thug. Desperate to protect her sister, Sierra convinces her father she can retrieve the lost queen and get his operation up and running.

The problem? Sierra’s queen wasn’t the only queen to disappear. They’re all gone, every single one, and getting them back will be deadly dangerous.

Sierra journeys with her best friend and her worst enemy — assigned by her father to dog her every step — to find the missing queens. Along the way, they learn that more than just her sister’s life is at stake if they fail. There are secrets in the Skyclad Mountains where the last wild fairies were seen. The magic Sierra finds there has the power to transform their world, but only if she can first embrace her calling as a fairy keeper.

“Why the fairies stayed with her, she didn’t know, since they seemed to hate being stuck with her as much as she hated being stuck with them.”

I discovered Bearce in my August Lit-Cube subscription box, and she was a great find! We received the second book in the series Mer-Charmer, and of course I had to read the first book before I can dive into it! I am so glad that I did! Although, if you wanted the author says you can read each book as a stand alone, so it doesn’t matter which order you read them in. I kind of like series that don’t have to be read in order, what about you?

“Cages came in many forms.”

This book had a little bit of everything for everyone; action, adventure, new friendships, and magical creatures. This was written for mainly younger audiences, but I fairly enjoyed it. Starting out this book had a very dark tone, there was some light abuse and bullying. Sierra and Phoebe have had a rough life. They have to take care of their house, cooking, cleaning, and Sierra has to make sure their is enough nectar for their father. When Jack (their father) gives Phoebe away to a neighboring gang after all the fairies dies or disappears, Sierra starts on a journey with her nemesis and best friend in order to save her sister.

“Sierra winced at the mention of alchemists. Once again, her life as Jack’s daughter slapped her in the face.”

Sierra, Corbin, and Nell had a very interesting dynamic. In the beginning it seemed as if there was going to be a love triangle, but thankfully it never happened! There was so much tension and jealousy, that for a portion of the book that was what drove the plot. Good thing it didn’t last long, or the book would have started to drag.

“Sierra wrapped her arms around her sister, then turned to face the amazing person she had slipped into caring for, her friend and her maybe-someday dream.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and geared more towards the younger side of young adult. Although Sierra was 14, she didn’t act like a 14-year-old so sometimes I forgot that she was so young. If you enjoy fantasy books with a slight romantical plot then definitely check out this book!

Posted in Young Adult

The Crown’s Game Review

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skyeimg_1086

Published: May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

“As for whether the magic in The Crown’s Game is real, well . . . that depends. Do you believe in what you cannot see?”

This was on my TBR shelf for a few months, and when I received it in one of my subscription boxes it was time it came off the shelf. This book sadly took me awhile to get into. I couldn’t connect with the characters for the longest time and the plot took awhile to pick up pace.

“Imagine, and it shall be.
There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠”

First, I’ll just say that this book was heavy on romance. There was the cliche of a love triangle, as well as another girl in love with one of our triangle boys. Pasha and Nikolai both are in love with Vika, and Vika thankfully is in “love” with only one of them. As I said the book was heavy in romance, but there wasn’t an actual couple per se. The game kind of came in the middle so they (Vika and Nicolai) didn’t know until basically the very end if their feelings were real towards each other. Also, there didn’t even need to be a love triangle. Pasha didn’t contribute any angst or tension between Vika and Nikolai, it just seemed as if they had this instant connection and only the game stood in their way. Yes, you guessed it instalove, but drawn out instalove. Poor Pasha never stood a chance.

“He smiled sadly. “I was lost from the moment I saw you on Ovchinin Island. It took a long while for me to realize it, but it’s true. I’ve spent my entire life scrambling to fit in and to change myself, Vika, but where I’ve belonged, and who I needed to be, has been right here the whole time. I love you.”

One would think that a book based upon a game to the death that magic would be overflowing and it would be action packed. Alas, that is not the case in this book. Yes, Vika and Nikolai are both enchanters, but they don’t use their magic that much. Or at least not in a way that you expect it. In the game, they each take turns to try to impress the tsar and at first they tried to kill each other. But you know, feelings kind of got in the way of that. So instead they just tried to one up each other and spared their life because they had a magical moment at the masquarade ball. (Que Cinderella moment here).

“She was a diamond in a quarry full of quartz.”

There was one moment in the book that I thought would redeem everything! Without giving anything away, this character could have been a great villain for our two enchanters. But instead the character had a minor role, maybe in the next book they will be utilized more.  Only time will tell.

“And then she let go. For even she knew there was only so much one could do to protect a winter moth drawn to an icy flame.”

 Overall, it was an okay book. I thought it could have been better with maybe another edit or two. It definitely needed more action packed scenes and magic duels! So if light fantasy and romance is your genre of choice, then you’ll definitely enjoy this book!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?