Tag: fantasy books

Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire Review

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: Wayward Children #3

Goodreads Rating: 4.09/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

Beaneath the Sugar Sky Seanan McGuire Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book:  I think this one would be 3.5 stars (probably the lowest rating I’ve ever given a Seanan McGuire book). I just didn’t find the story as interesting as the others but it was still very enjoyable.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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“Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible.”

― Seanan McGuire, Beneath the Sugar Sky

Wayward Children Series

 Every Heart a Doorway

Down Among the Sticks and Bones Down Among the Sticks and Bones

Beneath the Sugar Sky Beneath the Sugar Sky

In an Absent Dream In an Absent Dream

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Review

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: Red Queen #1

Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis:  

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: Ok, I’m not (usually) a fan of YA but I really enjoyed this. It was so suspenseful with lots of action and intrigue that kept me guessing. The love triangle didn’t even annoy me.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Review

Spinning SilverTitle: Spinning Silver

Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: Fantasy

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 4.31/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis:  Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: Maybe 3.5 stars. I had really high expectations for this book cause I LOVED Uprooted but it’s a very different book. It had this weird way of boring me and then reeling me again so 50% of the time I really enjoyed it and the other 50% I felt meh.

The changing points of view annoyed me and (with the audiobook anyway) it took me a minute to figure out who was speaking which took me out of the story a bit.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

They’ve taken the mice to Isengard | LOTR Mouse Movie

This is so good! The mice are just so cute and the end gave me a giggle. The hobbits and Gandalf are all mice while the orcs are rats and Sauron is a creepy owl.

Mice Animated Short Film by Jade Baillargeault, Nazli Doale, Dimitri James, Quang Daniel La, Morgane Lau, Mélanie Pango et Manon Pringault at ISART DIGITAL. Featured on CGMeetup.

“In a dark subway tunnel, a group of mice find a gold ring-pull that seems to have a mysterious effect on one of them. Not so far from them, an owl and his enslaved rats are watching. The owl sends his rats to get hold of this strange object…”

via Pinterest

And for old times sake…

Audible Black Friday 2018 Offer

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review

UprootedTitle: Uprooted
 
Author: Naomi Novik
 
Genre: Fantasy
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.11/5
 
 

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 
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What I thought about the book:

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This wonderful book centres on a village close to an (evil) enchanted wood that is protected from said wood by a wizard known as The Dragon (are you feeling all excited for the fairytale magic yet?). Every 10 years he visits the village and takes a girl back with him to his castle. No one in the village knows what he does with the girls just that when they return after the 10 years they are different and never stay in the village. This year he takes Agnie despite everyone believing he will take her more beautiful and skilled best friend, Kasia. But Agnie does something at the Choosing Ceremony that makes him feel he must take her.

Based on that much you’re probably expecting a Beauty and the Beast style fairytale romance but you ain’t getting it!

That wood I mentioned at the beginning is the real centre of this story. Its power is growing and it wants to consume as much of its surroundings as possible. Including people! There are creatures living inside it that torment and steal villagers from all areas around the wood. It separates one province from another and attempts to incite war between them which Agnie and the Dragon try to prevent. If you like magic and fantastical battles then this one is for you.

 
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My Rating: 5 star review