Review: KING OF BATTLE AND BLOOD by Scarlett St. Clair


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
KING OF BATTLE AND BLOOD
Scarlett St. Clair

SeriesAdrian X Isolde #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Bloom Books
Pages: 368
Publication date: November 30, 2021

Their Union Is His Revenge.

Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day her death day. To end a years-long war, she is to marry vampire king, Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev, and kill him. ⠀

But her assassination attempt is thwarted and Adrian threatens that if Isolde tries kill him again, he will raise her as the undead. Faced with the possibility of becoming the thing she hates most, Isolde seeks other ways to defy him and survive the brutal vampire court. ⠀

Except it isn’t the court she fears most—it’s Adrain. Despite their undeniable chemistry, she wonders why the king——fierce, savage, merciless—chose her as consort. ⠀

The answer will shatter her world.


“You will come to find that blood has no bearing on who you become.”


King of Battle and Blood was a pretty entertaining read! I was hesitant to pick it up considering all the comparisons to another Fantasy Romance novel that I… didn’t like, but I had a good time reading this book. The beginning was fascinating and St. Clair did a wonderful job establishing some of the word-building details right from the first chapter.

I really liked the take on vampires here. Adrian’s character was so intriguing to me and I loved how we slowly came to find out about his past and history. I also thought the addition of monstrous creatures as a contrast to vampires was a good device to set up the discussion of what really makes someone a monster. Isolde gave me conflicting feelings: I loved her whenever she stood up for herself and stabbed someone and acted like the queen she was and then was incredibly frustrated when she kept being so close minded about this world’s history and the vampires around her. Continue reading

MXTX Books Vol. 1: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, Heaven Official’s Blessing 💖

Image from Seven Seas Entertainment Twitter @gomanga

And the wait is over! Thank you so much to Seven Seas Enetertainment for providing me with digital copies of each MXTX book — Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, Heaven Official’s Blessing — for an honest review via Edelweiss. All reviews are in reference to the first installment in each series which are already all available in stores! Here’s a handy Book Depository link 😀

31145148Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi Vol. 1 by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù


Legends were merely legends.

Unless you’re Wei Wuxian! 😀

I had such such a wonderful time being able to read MDZS as an official! English language novel! This edition was so so beautiful: from the chapter headings to the illustrations throughout. I still was very much in love with this story and its characters (shoutout to my favorite boy Jingyi) and it was lovely getting to experience it again with a new English translation. Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are both gay disasters in very different ways and this first part sets up their relationship so so well, I love it so much. And the mysteries! The investigations! The intrigue and scheming! Brilliant.

A little note about the translation: very much appreciated that sobriquets/honorifics weren’t translated to English! That was such a little detail that made this a richer reading experience for me. There were a few widely used common terms in regard to world-building and places that were different, though, which took a bit of getting used to but that I ultimately loved since, as is my understanding, they were more accurate to the original novel. I also didn’t mind the English colloquialisms much.

I also really loved the characters/locations guide! It’s such a useful reference piece for new and old readers both 😀

Now onto waiting for vol. 2 and mentally preparing myself for Yi City arc \o/

22840421The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong Vol. 1 by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù


[System loading…]

To the people who think SVSSS isn’t worth reading: you’re wrong.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much while reading a MXTX book tbqh? It was such a joy to be able to read the SVSSS official English translation–which was wonderful, by the way–and experience Shen Yuan’s rage at novel tropes 😀 This edition and its illustrations were also so beautiful!

The transmigration premise was so much fun and the execution was very well done despite being a bit slow at times. I had such a great time, personally, reading about Shen Yuan being forced to live Shen Qingqiu’s life and having to endear himself to Luo Binghe to avoid his fate. The chaotic energy of the System was the best part and the comments regarding the plot made by Shen Yuan himself were gold.

Once again, the characters/locations guide was very much welcome as a point of reference!

30233110Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu Vol. 1 by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù


Body in the abyss, heart in paradise.

Still finding it a bit surreal I get to read the TGCF English version and experience Xie Lian and Hua Cheng meeting and spending time together :’D The translation here was so smooth and the illustrations throughout were beautiful–and a few actually made me laugh!

I do love and find the world-building here quite complex and intriguing! Some of the imagery during Banyue arc was so eerie to me, personally, and I had such a great time reading about Xie Lian and Hua Cheng figuring things out together. Xie Lian is such a good bean and Hua Cheng’s entire ghost personality is wonderful. Their interactions together were also so sweet!

I did very much enjoy how the serialized chapters were structured here: it provided a smooth story with clear stopping points in a way that didn’t necessarily happen in the other books. It added quite a bit of tension and mystery to the plot and kept me very engrossed in what was happening.

And one more time: the characters/locations guide was very welcome as a reference point while reading.


FIND ME:
GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTERBLOGLOVIN’

ARC Review: WHERE THE DROWNED GIRLS GO by Seanan McGuire


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
WHERE THE DROWNED GIRLS GO
Seanan McGuire

SeriesWayward Children #7
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tordotcom
Pages: 160
Publication date: January 4th 2022

There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn’t as safe.

When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.

She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…


This was how she saved herself.


Where the Drowned Girls Go was a bit of a mixed bag for me in regard to characters, but the world-building here and how it introduced an extremely important setting was so well done and such a delight to read about! Seanan McGuire’s writing was still engrossing as always and I loved the more eerie aspects of this story.

The story is told mainly from Cora’s POV. I still had the same issues as always with her and her character: how her fatness was emphasized during the first half to the point of feeling like that was the only important thing about her character. I also extremely disliked the instances of fat-shaming. Considering how none of the other characters were reduced to one single aspect of themselves and weren’t shamed for it, this felt, once again, like a huge disconnect from the rest of the series. This was why I was so happy when that didn’t factor into the second half of the story! Continue reading

Review: JADE LEGACY by Fonda Lee


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
JADE LEGACY
Fonda Lee

SeriesThe Green Bone Saga #3
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 736
Publication date: November 30, 2021

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.


“When something has to be done, there’s always a way to do it.”


Okay so! The Green Bone Saga is, officially, a 5 star series for me. I’m so sad so have reached the end of it, but did I love every step of the way omg. Jade Legacy was an incredible conclusion to the trilogy and I’m so satisfied with how Fonda Lee decided to wrap up everything. This was such an amazing reading experience for me and I hope everyone who enjoys Fantasy novels in modern settings will pick this up.

I really have no words to describe how good this book was. The narrative was extremely well developed and I was in awe, once again, with how Lee juggled all the different perspectives in a way that the overall flow and rhythm of the story was kept smooth. Every single chapter came together and developed the story further. Continue reading

Review: SOUL OF THE SWORD by Julie Kagawa


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
SOUL OF THE SWORD
Julie Kagawa

SeriesShadow of the Fox #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Pages: 304
Publication date: June 18, 2019

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.


“All souls have a destiny.”


Soul of the Sword was still a pretty entertaining and quick read. My curiosity at the end of the first book was a bit sated here: the multiple perspectives continued to be great and I particularly loved Suki’s POV chapters and the information they gave us regarding what was going on and what could happen. The plot wasn’t all that interesting to me aside from that, though?

Yumeko was still a bit too naive for me at times, but I have fun with her chapters. This wasn’t an easy journey for any of the characters and I liked to read about them stumbling along the way. I did find most of Hakaimono’s chapters pretty rough to get through, however, in the sense that I didn’t care about him and thought his chapters were a bit too… whiny. It was a big disappointment for me since I was expecting to love them. Continue reading

Review: FOR THE WOLF by Hannah Whitten


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
FOR THE WOLF
Hannah Whitten

SeriesWilderwood #1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit Books
Pages: 437
Publication date: June 1, 2021

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.


“People with power resent losing it, and too much power for too long a time can make a villain of anyone.”


I genuinely loved For the Wolf! I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did since there seem to be some mixed reviews? But I had such a great time reading it and I looooved the little nods to fairy tales and what Whitten did with developing the central theme of the novel. The writing was also wonderful and I very much enjoyed and appreciated the dark parts of it!

I have to admit that when I first picked this up, I thought the names Red and Neve were so goofy lol That didn’t last long as I quickly got used to this world and the characters, though. I really really liked Red as a narrator and how sure of her own choices she was. That was such a big theme throughout all the novel and I loved how that was explored through Red’s perspective and her connected to the Wilderwood and also, in contrast, through Neve’s own journey. Neve was a very frustrating character for me to read about btw but I thought her development was super interesting in itself! Continue reading

Review: A PSALM OF STORMS AND SILENCE by Roseanne A. Brown


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
A PSALM OF STORMS AND SILENCE
Roseanne A. Brown

SeriesA Song of Wraiths and Ruin #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 480
Publication date: November 2, 2021

Karina lost everything after a violent coup left her without her kingdom or her throne. Now the most wanted person in Sonande, her only hope of reclaiming what is rightfully hers lies in a divine power hidden in the long-lost city of her ancestors.

Meanwhile, the resurrection of Karina’s sister has spiraled the world into chaos, with disaster after disaster threatening the hard-won peace Malik has found as Farid’s apprentice. When they discover that Karina herself is the key to restoring balance, Malik must use his magic to lure her back to their side. But how do you regain the trust of someone you once tried to kill?

As the fabric holding Sonande together begins to tear, Malik and Karina once again find themselves torn between their duties and their desires. And when the fate of everything hangs on a single, horrifying choice, they each must decide what they value most—a power that could transform the world, or a love that could transform their lives.


“The dead are the dead are the dead.”


A Psalm of Storms and Silence was really not what I was expecting from a sequel and… it was not necessarily ina good way. Brown’s writing was still engrossing and I loved the world-building very very much, but the pace was a bit too slow for me during the first 65% or so.

Karina and Malik continued to be very complex and well developed characters. I still really enjoyed Karina as a narrator and her journey through the story, especially during the final 30%. I am really sad to say that I found Malik’s chapters almost unbearable to get through. His anxiety and the way it presented itself in the form of severely negative thoughts about himself, plus the self-harm, started making me upset. Because of this, I had to skim parts of his chapters. Continue reading

Review: DARK RISE by C.S. Pacat


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
DARK RISE
C.S. Pacat

SeriesDark Rise #1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Pages: 464
Publication date: September 28, 2021

The ancient world of magic is no more. Its heroes are dead, its halls are ruins, and its great battles between Light and Dark are forgotten. Only the Stewards remember, and they keep their centuries-long vigil, sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns.

Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. When an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, Will is ushered into a world of magic, where he must train to play a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.

As London is threatened by the Dark King’s return, the reborn heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war begin to draw battle lines. But as the young descendants of Light and Dark step into their destined roles, old allegiances, old enmities and old flames are awakened. Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.


“I’m here to follow you.”


Me after finish this book:

 width=

Dark Rise was not exactly what I expected from Pacat, but in a good way?? The writing was fantastic as always and I was hooked from the very first chapter. I loved the slow introduction to characters and how some of them remained a true mystery right until the very end.

The characters were also pretty well developed! The perspectives from Will and Violet were great and I loved how they moved through different paths only to converge due to plot reasons. They were really unlikely allies and I loved how Pacat established the bond between them and how each of them developed as people throughout the story. I also loved James to absolute bits, as expected lol Continue reading

Review: JADE WAR by Fonda Lee


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
JADE WAR
Fonda Lee

SeriesThe Green Bone Saga #2
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 590
Publication date: July 23, 2019

On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.

Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals.

Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.


“Out of small resentments, spring great wars.”


I love pain and suffering \o/ thought I do have to admit Jad War didn’t hurt me as much as its predecessor. It took me a little while to get used to this world again, even more so considering I was super tense while reading, but the slow pace and carefully detailed world-building worked in my favor as I immersed myself into the story.

I had absolutely no idea where the plot was going to go and was pleasantly surprised with how Lee developed everything. There was obviously so much care and thought put into every chapter so each piece of information related to us had a purpose. I had the best of times reading about all the political scheming and fights and about the characters in all sorts of dangerous situations. Continue reading

Review: VESPERTINE by Margret Rogerson


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
VESPERTINE
Margaret Rogerson

SeriesVespertine #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 400
Publication date: October 5, 2021

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.


“If there’s one thing I can always rely upon, it’s the reassuring dependability of human idiocy.”


I love Margaret Rogerson’s writing. It’s always so easy for me to get lost in her books and end up accidentally finishing them in one sitting 😀 I really didn’t expect to get swept up like that while reading Vespertine but I was glad it happened.

At first, I wasn’t into all the religion based world-building and how it was introduced–that’s due to personal reasons, though, as I usually have a tough time with things like that anyway. Artemisia was also not a character I connected to easily so it was a bit rough going through the first few chapters. I did find the entire concept surrounding the relics super intriguing, though, and I loved how important that became to the plot! Continue reading