Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | ARC review

This review is spoiler-free!

Temple of Ice by Christian CuraTitle: Temple of Ice
Series: standalone
Author: Christian Cura
Anticipated release: May 17, 2021
Publisher: self-published
Category: YA/new adult
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 212
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought…

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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The Anti-TBR Tag

We know what a TBR is (to be read). A lot of bookworms have TBRs long enough to last a lifetime. But one thing I’ve never heard of in all my years as an online bookworm is an anti-TBR. When I saw this tag (originally created by Nicole @ Nicole & Her Books on YouTube), I was intrigued.

Basically, the questions revolve around books/authors that you wouldn’t put in your TBR (hence the name). I’ve seen other people’s answers to these questions, and some of them are s p i c y.

(Hopefully I won’t get cancelled by the end of this.)

Let’s get into it!

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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh | book review

This review is spoiler-free!

“When life becomes difficult. the only source of strength we have is love. Love of others, love of self, love of life in its entirety.”

Renee Ahdieh, The Beautiful

Title: The Beautiful
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Series: The Beautiful, #1
Published: Oct. 8, 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Reader
Category: young adult
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, romance
Pages: 448
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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Sabriel by Garth Nix | book review

This review is spoiler-free!

“Five Great Charters knit the land
Together linked, hand in hand
One in the people who wear the crown
Two in the folk who keep the Dead down
Three and Five became stone and mortar
Four sees all in frozen water.”

Garth Nix, Sabriel

Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1) by Garth NixTitle: Sabriel
Series: The Old Kingdom
Author: Garth Nix
Published: May 1995
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: YA
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 367
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

Sabriel is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Ever since she was a tiny child, she has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom–far away from the uncontrolled power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead.

But now, her father is missing and Sabriel is called upon to cross into the world to find him, Leaving the safety of the school she has known as home, Sabriel embarks upon a quest fraught with supernatural dangers, with companions she is unsure of–for nothing is as it seems within the boundary of the Old Kingdom. There, she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life, and comes face to face with her hidden destiny.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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A Dance with Fire by Aleera Anaya Ceres | Book Review

“All magic came with a price, some prices were just higher than others.”

A Dance with Fire by Aleera Anaya Ceres

This review is short and spoiler-free!

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51QK6euoPXL.jpgTitle: A Dance with Fire
Series: Fae Elementals, #1
Author: Aleera Anaya Ceres
Published: September 21, 2020
Publisher: self-published
Category: new adult
Genres: romance, fantasy, fae
Pages: 502
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

Shula Azzarh is Fae…

…in a world where it’s illegal to be.

Working at Piriguini’s Circus keeps her hidden in plain sight, but when a vicious accident exposes the truth of what she is, her safe game of hiding comes to an end. Taken by the emperor’s soldiers, Shula is forced into the hands of a mysterious Brotherhood, a group of humans hell-bent on eradicating her race completely.

The Fae Resistance needs her. Their healer hates her. And the Emperor of Illyk will stop at nothing to possess her. The secrets of the empire run deeper than she knows, and Shula will have to rely on the magic she’s suppressed for years to save herself from the emperor’s malicious plans.

Because Shula is an Elemental.

And her fire might be the only thing that can make or break their world.

Fans of Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black will love the first installment in this new, action packed, adult fantasy series!

This is a High Fantasy Fae series intended for readers 18 and over as it contains adult M/F romance, sexually explicit scenes, cursing, and dark themes.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco | book review

This review is spoiler-free!

“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”

Kerri Maniscalco, Kingdom of the Wicked

Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked, #1
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Published: Oct. 27, 2020
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Category: YA
Genre: fantasy, magic, witches
Pages: 372
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

Two sisters.
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…
And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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A Court of Thorns and Roses series recap (books 1 – 3.1)

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read the ACOTAR series. In honor of the newest book, A Court of Silver Flame, coming out next week, I thought I’d summarize what has happened in the last three books (and one short story) for anyone who needs a refresher before book 4. I’m going to yada yada a lot of the series, but that being said…

THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS FOR A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN, AND A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT!

You have been warned.

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Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett | Book Review

“All things have a value. Sometimes the value is paid in coin. Other times, it is paid in time and sweat. And finally, sometimes it is paid in blood. Humanity seems most eager to use this latter currency. And we never note how much of it we’re spending, unless it happens to be our own.

Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett

This review is spoiler-free.

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet the Founders Trilogy book coverTitle: Foundryside
Series: The Founders Trilogy, #1
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: August 21, 2018
Publisher: Crown
Category: adult
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 505
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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2021 YA diverse books I’m excited for!

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Heyo, internet land! I was perusing the anticipated releases of this year to add more books to my TBR, and I thought I’d share a couple of the YA diverse reads that I’m excited for!

[Edit: I realized that by the time this is uploaded, a good chunk of these books are already going to be released (I drafted this post early January). That means some of these books aren’t anticipated releases anymore. I still hope you’re able to find a book you’ve never heard of that you’re interested in.]

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab | book review

This review is spoiler-free!

“You know,” she’d said, “they say people are like snowflakes, each one unique, but I think they’re more like skies. Some are cloudy, some are stormy, some are clear, but no two are ever quite the same.”

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
Category: adult
Genre: historical, contemporary, fantasy, romance
Pages: 442
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 stars)
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

A life no one will remember. A story you will never forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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