The Language of Thorns 


Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

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I love short stories it fascinates me how an author can tell a complete and satisfying story in only a few pages. Every word has to count in a short story and therefore I think it requires a lot of skill to write a good one. All of books I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo have been well written but this is written in a different style then her other works that is particularly lovely. The writing is elegant and bewitching. The spectacular illustrations definitely help to immerse you into the stories, they complement them wonderfully.
I enjoyed all of the stories however I do have a clear favorite, The Witch of Duva, it felt very classic and timeless with an ending that is far more satisfying then the traditional happily ever after. All the stories had elements of notable fairytales but took turns that made them far more interesting. Each story is gripping, classic and original. It feels like your reading an age old tales.
It’s to interesting to read the tales that the characters from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows would have heard growing up, and fun to speculate on what their favorites stories would be. Each of these tales stands on its own and can be read without reading any other books in the Grisha verse they also add a lot of depth to the world. I love how vast the world is becoming and am so excited for more books set in this wonderful, magical world.
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Fall reads

Fall is my favorite time of year sadly it didn’t start to feel like fall where I live until recently and I am so glad that it’s growing colder outside I am ready to wear cute fall clothes. With the cooler weather and Halloween quickly approaching I have been in the mood for what I consider fall reads. During the colder months of the year I tend to want to read things that are magical, a bit unsettling, and have a touch of whimsy.  I rounded up a few books that I feel would be perfect to read during fall especially around or during Halloween.

I don’t usually get that exited for Halloween but this year I am exited for it partly because my family recently moved to a neighborhood that’s big on Halloween so I think it will be a  lot of fun this year. My plans are to give out candy and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas and of course reading a spooky book.

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The Night Circus

I finally read this and I loved it I wasn’t sure if I would but I was so satisfied with it it’s quite different, and I think it’s best to go into it with low expectations and not knowing what to expect. I read it on a dreary rainy night and it was the perfect weather for this magical book.

Anna Dressed in Blood

This wasn’t my favorite book but I wanted to include something spooky, well it’s more unsettling then scary, if you like ghost stories and want something more on the scary side then definitely check this one out.

The Walls Around Us

It is hard to describe this book especially since it’s been a while since I read it I don’t remember it well I know it was surprising and quite unique. It’s a very mysterious and peculiar tale and those are the sort of books that I gravitate towards during the fall.

Girl on a Wire

This one is not at all spooky in fact it’s a rather light and adorable read but the circus setting and the magical elements would make it a fitting book to read around Halloween.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

I don’t think any list of Halloween recommendations would be complete without a vampire book the vampires are so cool and the whole book is action packed and the ending is awesome.

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What will you be reading this Halloween? Have you read any of these books? What did you think off them?

Book review: Windwitch

synopsis3After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

  • Rating: 4/5 starrs
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my-thoughts3I was worried this would be disappointing I was worried about all the characters being separated but somehow it worked even without the dynamics I loved so much. Although I did really miss Safi and Isualt’s friendship and Safi and Merik’s adorableness. Safi gained a potential new love interest and I’m not sure I like it I love her and Merik together, but they both think the other is dead, hopefully they’ll get a happy reunion in the next book. I’m so excited for Safi and Isuelt’s reunion I love how they each kept thinking about what the other would do in their situation.

This book started with a literal bang and while it was full of action and adventure I did find it more boring then the first book it wasn’t slower but I was less interested in the storylines. This book focuses on Merik who I really like but he’s my least favorite of the four main characters, but that definitely doesn’t men he’s a dull character. My favorite storyline was surprisingly Vivia’s I love that girl if you’ve only read the first book your probably confused but just you wait you’ll end up loving her too. She’ has some great character development and I loved the overlapping thought’s her and Merik had, those two are so much more similar then they know.  
I have so many questions and I need the next book I need to know all the things. I think that’s about all I can say without spoiling anything to sum things up this book was epic if you haven’t read this series you should really consider changing that. Even though this series is popular I don’t think it’s quite as popular as it deserves. I think it should be as popular as Six of Crows and Throne of Glass. 

How and why contemporary YA has become my favorite genre

I used to say that YA fantasy was my favorite genre but I recently realized that I now love YA contemporary’s just as much as YA fantasy I used to read primary fantasy and even now that I read a wider rang of genres its still half of what I read, when I first started reading fantasy books are what was primary available to me. Fantasy and dysopian were the two most popular genres when I got into reading and didn’t know what books existed outside off what my sister was reading and what was becoming a movie. Even when I started to learn about all the books out there and knew off a lot of contemporary books I still didn’t read them mostly because I thought they were all supper sappy or sad or at least all the ones I knew of seemed to be one of those things. The first contemporary that I read was Fangirl I loved it and it’s still one of my favorite books even though I loved Fangirl it was a while before I actively read books in the genre.  Continue reading “How and why contemporary YA has become my favorite genre”

Book review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

SynopsisShe is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desireMy thoughts (1)Almost every review says this is better then The Star-Touched Queen but I actually disagree I think I like both of them equally, for different reasons. This is technically a campaign novel to The Star-Touched Queen therefore you can read it without having the previous book, however, I strongly suggest reading The Star-Touched Queen first. It will give you background on Gauri and the world that will make the book easier to follow, and make for a better overall reading experience. I really like the two main characters Gauri is fierce and Vikrram is clever they are both devolved well as is the romance, I adored their banter. At first I was indifferent towards Gauri it took me a while to grow attached to her but by the end of the book I had grown to really like her. I immediately liked Vikram he is very charming and I appreciated that he is less broody and territorial  then the typical YA male love interest he’s also nicer.

Vikram and Gauri change a lot throughout the book and have great individual arcs while also working very well together and having a lovely romance.  My only real problem with this is that I felt disconnected to the story, and at first the characters, I like all the elements of the story but while I did greatly enjoy it it wasn’t outstanding. The writing is lyrical and absolutely lovely, Roshani is an excellent storyteller her writing isn’t quite like anything else I’ve read and for me it’s the best part of her books. These books are based on Indian mythology I’ve never read anything else that is so it makes the books very interesting this one had a lot of magic and mythical creatures some are horrific, some are wonderful and some are both. My favorite character was one of the poisonous  poisonous courtesans mentioned in the synopsis I love her and I’m hoping she’ll get her own book. The synopsis makes this book sound more exiting then it is it is a fun book but it’s not one that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. It is rather slow yet it’s also hard to put down, the writing grabs you from the very beginning.

Book review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

synopsisBeauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

my-thoughtsI had high hopes for this book but I had no idea that I would completely adore it and that it would end up being so special it’s definietly favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling, maybe even my favorite retelling. I love retellings and I always have high standards for them this one exceeded my expectations it blew me away. It kept the heart of the original tale while adding a unique spin, it has that perfect balance between classic and new that ever fairytale retelling should strive for. Beauty and the Beast retellings can easily get strange or even problematic but this one was pulled of masterfully and the romance was especially handled well and developed so well. Both Beauty and the Beast felt familiar and similar to other versions of the characters but they were each distinct and good characters with something new to offer.

I very much like this version of Beauty she’s called Yeva in this and she is clever and loves fairytales this is a great help to her, having a vast knowledge of fairytales is a valuable thing when your in one. Yeva is not quite nice as Beauty usually is she feels restricted by society she loves hunting but it’s not proper for a lady to hunt, she’s someone who longs for more. I understood her so well I could relate to feeling unsatisfied with your life even though you don’t have much reason to be, this book made me feel so unexpectedly understood. I’m not sure I’ve ever resonated with a charecter as much as I do Yeva, our personalities are different but I could relate to her loyalty towards her family, I can relate to not knowing what it is your searching for and merely knowing you want somthing more. You don’t get to know the Beast or any of the other characters nearly as well as you do Yeva but each character is in it just enough and I adored her sisters.

The writing is absoultly lovely it seemed like there was magic woven between the words, sometimes you read a book at the perfect time and it ends up being so specel that you struggle to find the words to deescribe how and why its so meaningful to you. I know this review isn’t objective in the slightest, but I actually can’t think of a single flaw everything was so carefully thought through, its magical, the charecters are fantastic and pacing was perfect the story moved fast but not too fast each storyline got just enough attention. Everything about this book is so good especially the ending I did predict the twist but that didn’t make me love it any less and it didn’t seem like it was meant to be that surprising. What a perfect book, with perfectly imperfect characters. This is a amazing fairytale retelling and a fairytale in its own right, it’s timeless, and utterly enchanting, read it.

Mini reviews: disappointing fantasy edition

Long May She Reign By Rhiannon Thomas

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Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars
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I should have loved this it has a lot of good elements like: female friendship, political intrigue and a decent mystery yet as a whole I didn’t like it much, although, it was refreshing in a lot of ways. I’ve talked before about about how I think more fantasy’s should have Worlds in which everyone is equal this book has a world like that and I think this is the only book I’ve read that does I really enjoyed this element. I also liked Freya she is adorable and she has a fluffy grey kitty! I have a fluffy grey kitty that’s not something I thought I would ever have in common with a fictional character. Freya has anxiety and I was initially exited about this since mental illness is almost never represented in fantasy books, but in the last few chapters Freya’s anxiety just disappears, obviously that’s not the way it works in real life, and it really bothered me.
I’m disappointed I expected more I thought it would be exiting but]t it was dull and nearly everything in it is mediocre, and I just wasn’t a big fan of the writing it wasn’t awful but it did need more refinement. This took me a while to read and it felt longer then it was probably since it’s slow and not much happened until the end. Most of the book is spent in one place as the characters attempt to solve the mystery surrounding the massacre and Freya adjusts to being Queen, these things are interesting but there needed to be more going on. I didn’t particularly care for most of the characters and therefore the side stories, as usual I didn’t like the romance it was generic, and badly done, it came out of nowhere and the way it was wrapped up was odd. This was a decent standalone that had a lot of compelling aspects that could have made for a great book if they had been executed well, and if the the story had progressed faster.

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

 

I received this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest review.

synopsis330811001As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

Rating 2.5/ starsmy-thoughts3I have seen praise for this all over the internet and I wanted to love it, I thought I would love it, but I don’t instead it was only mildly enjoyable. It took me a few chapters to get into this during which I considered not finishing it the first third of the book is dull  but it picked up when they get to the palace. There was a lot of interesting concepts that ultimately weren’t executed well. The writing was good but needed more editing, I don’t even want to talk about the romance I feel like I keep repeating myself in every review as usual I didn’t like I didn’t like the romance, but this time it was harder to overlook then normal. The romance was my least favorite part of the book I might have given it a higher rating if it had been less intense there was no development.

I thought this would have a badass heroine but I didn’t like Kalinda she’s plain and doesn’t have many skills she’s feisty but can’t fight and isn’t even that clever everyone she encountered thought she was special but I couldn’t understand why. She isn’t a terrible character but she didn’t stand out to me in any way nothing in this book did. I was expecting more, there’s a lot happening but I didn’t love any of it, and it’s heavily bogged down by the romance. I also think that some of reasons behind the characters actions are weak and while the story is intriguing it’s also extremely predictable and familiar. I wanted to love this I though it would be captivating and action packed but it wasn’t either of those things and I’m disappointed, I just don’t think it’s a very good book overall.