Review: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.”

REVIEW:

I really enjoyed this book, but I was also very unsure of this book. I have a love/hate relationship with Nesta. In the previous books, she doesn’t really do anything that endears herself to the reader. She always seemed outright nasty to Feyre for no reason.

Her actions don’t get any better during A Court of Frost and Starlight, where she seems to actively push everyone away. She has a lot of trauma that she has to work through and she clearly isn’t doing that at the start of this book. I think Nesta’s story is important to tell, and definitely relatable at times. We’ve all had dark times, this past year especially.

I enjoyed seeing things from her perspective. Seeing how upset she was about her treatment of Feyre, feeling like she couldn’t do anything to fix it. I also liked seeing her relationship with Cassian develop. I loved the friendships she built with Emerie and Gwyn. I also loved the relationship she has with the House of Wind and her love of romance novels. Nesta’s love of reading, especially romance novels is what makes her the most relatable to me. (Though, she loves to read but couldn’t take the time to teach her sister to read?)

This entire book, I just wished I had more of Feyre and Rhysand. Obviously, this is Nesta’s story, but the reason I fell in love with this book series is because of Feyre and Rhysand. I just wanted to see what they were doing, and what they were thinking. The entire time I was reading, I just kept thinking about how much I wanted to reread ACOTAR from the beginning.

One slight issue I had with this book is, was it necessary? Does it add anything to the series? The ending is so wrapped up with just a peek at what could happen in the future, that I think it hurts this book a bit. You have teases and hints of possible future plot lines, but the major threat is gone by the end. This was always my worry when I heard about this book coming out. I like that Sarah J. Maas wants to tell the story of different characters in the court, but I also want these books to feel like they are a natural part of the series.

If you are a fan of the ACOTAR series, you are definitely going to enjoy this book. I mean Sarah J. Maas knows her audience, and it checked off all the boxes.

Now I need to go reread ACOTAR!

RATING: 4/5

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Review: A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.”

REVIEW:

A Deal with the Elf King is a stand-alone but also the first in a new series of fantasy romance novels by Elise Kova. Each book focuses on a different couple, but the worlds are tied together. This is something you normally see in contemporary romance novels, but something super exciting to see in fantasy romance.

The artwork alone drew me into this book. I mean look at that cover! I’ve had a copy of this for the last couple of months, but it just kept getting pushed back. I read Kova’s Air Awakens series in January and absolutely loved that series. I love Kova’s writing style and world-building. She also has a way of just sucking you in, I couldn’t put this book down once I picked it up.

I loved the relationship between Eldas and Luella. It is a slow burn of the best kind. I love how much they complement each other, and the growth they bring about in each other as well. Sometimes I wanted to shake some sense into Luella because it felt like she was just being too stubborn. The payoff was so great though, so I can’t really complain. I also loved the mystery surrounding the Human Queens and their magic.

If you are looking for a great fantasy romance, please check this book out. It definitely checks off all the boxes and I love that it is a stand-alone. Also, if you are looking for a little more Eldas and Luella action, there is a bonus scene that is a nice little epilogue.

RATING: 5/5

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WWW Wednesday – March 3rd, 2021

Happy March! I took a bit of break from posting in February. Long story short, my anxiety and depression were kicking my butt and I kept getting really frustrated by my book choices. I’m back now though, ready to talk about the books I’ve been reading.

It is Wednesday, which means its WWW Wednesday! I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know you answers in the comments or share to your own blog! You can always follow along on my Instagram for more book talk.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading the talk of the book world, A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas. I had some fun pre-order drama with Barnes & Noble, that delayed me in reading this book by a week, but I’m now about half way through and enjoying it. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Nesta, so this book has been interesting. One big thing it is doing, is making me want to reread the ACOTAR series. I really miss Feyre and Rhysand. Obviously they are still players in the story, but I just want to hear everything about them. I feel like I’m going to need to schedule a reread in to help fill the hole.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished reading A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova. I absolutely loved this book. It was everything I needed from a fantasy romance. I’ll be posting a full review to the blog soon, but if you love fantasy romance this book checks off all the boxes. I loved that it was a stand-alone, and the slow burn romance between Eldas and Luella is perfect. I definitely recommend!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have been really bad about picking my next book to read for the last couple of weeks. That being said, my hold on The Hating Game by Sally Thorne just became available at my library. I think this will be my next read and should be perfect after finishing A Court of Silver Flames.

Review: Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3) by Laura Thalassa

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“For Callypso Lillis, the fae magic that now runs through her veins is equal parts curse and good fortune. For the very thing that bonds her to Desmond Flynn, the King of the Night, also makes her vulnerable to the Thief of Souls, a man who wants to break the world … and Callie along with it.

But it’s not just the Thief whose shadow looms over the Otherworld. Des’s father is back from the dead, and he wants revenge on the son who sent him to the grave in the first place.

Des and Callie must figure out how to stop both men, and time is running out. Because there are forces at play working to tear the lovers apart once and for all … and unfortunately for them, death is no longer the worst thing to fear.”

REVIEW:

So I picked up Dark Harmony right away because I just needed to know how this series ended. While the strong points in this series remain, I was disappointed with how this book ended.

Dark Harmony starts off with a bang. Callie is dealing with the fact that she was on death’s door, but has now been brought back to life and made fae by the lilac wine. After a conversation with Des and coming to an understanding with Des, screams begin to erupt around the castle. The sleeping soldiers have awoken, it is an ambush. War has come to the Otherworld, and Callie and Des need to figure out how to stop the Thief of Souls.

Callie and Des’s relationship is the strongest thing about this series. I love that their relationship isn’t cookie cutter, there is a darkness to it. They are partners and you can feel their love throughout this book and series. However, their all consuming relationship actually hurts the plot of Dark Harmony. Don’t get me wrong, I love smut as much as the next person but Callie and Des go on a vacation while a war is happening. The Thief of Souls is targeting Callie. Callie and Des are the only two who are going to be able to stop him. Two kingdoms have fallen and the sleeping army is destroying the Otherworld, yet Callie and Des just keep going for random romps around the world. It just felt so completely unbelievable. I also couldn’t really deal with every time the Thief of Souls appeared, telling Callie all the ways he wanted to rape and torture her. Like we get it, he’s despicable.

The ending doesn’t really make sense, and feels like a cop-out. This might change once I sit on this book for a couple more days. There still wasn’t any character development for Temper. I wish we had gotten a bit more of the outcome of the Otherworld, now that evil has been vanquished. I do absolutely adore how the Epilogue ended.

Overall, this was a disappointing ending. There was so much build up into how all powerful the Thief of Souls was, that the final resolution didn’t live up. I still love Callie and Des, their relationship is the soul of this book.

RATING: 3/5

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WWW Wednesday – January 6, 2021

Happy New Year! It is the first Wednesday of the new year, which means another WWW Wednesday. I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share on your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Dark Harmony by Laura Thalassa. It is the third book in the Bargainer Series. I am completely loving this series! It is a fantasy romance, so I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for their next read after From Blood & Ash or the ACOTAR series.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu. This was the first Shadowhunters novel I actually really enjoyed. I had some issues with the first three Mortal Instruments novels. This book didn’t focus on Clary and Jace which is probably why I enjoyed it. I’ve been reading the Shadowhunters novels in the order that Cassandra Clare suggests, which gave a nice break from the Mortal Instruments series. I plan on taking a break from the Shadowhunters novels for all of January, but we will see if that changes.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My next read will be Fable by Adrienne Young. I’m super excited to read this book! It has been all over bookstagram, and I’ve heard so many wonderful things. Also I’m obsessed with the book cover. It is absolutely stunning. I received it for Christmas and I hope it lives up to the hype!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought!

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Review: A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2) by Laura Thalassa

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn’t over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there.

When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues.

Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret.

But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn’t careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves—and her along with it.”

REVIEW:

It seems like once I pick up a book in The Bargainer Series, I can’t put it down. Just like Rhapsodic, I spent a couple of late nights reading A Strange Hymn. Just like the first book, the topics of rape, sexual assault, and abuse, in general, are recurring topics throughout this book.

A Strange Hymn picks up right where Rhapsodic left off. Callie has been rescued from the Kingdom of the Fauna, but now has to come to terms with the both mental and physical ramifications of her abduction. Callie also finds herself having to adjust to the fae world. Being Desmond’s mate means a lot of change for Callie, in a world that considers her an outsider. On top of that, Callie and Desmond still don’t have answers to the mystery surrounding the female soldiers trapped in an eternal sleep.

I really love Callie, she is able to be both strong and vulnerable. We really see her work through some stuff in this book, and I do think that Desmond is a good partner for her. I do wish he was a bit more forth-coming at times, but I get that he is a centuries-old fairy who has some trust issues. One of my big issues with the first book was that, for me, there wasn’t enough world-building. That problem was solved in this book. We were given a ton more detail about the Otherworld.

One issue did still lingers for me and it is that outside of Callie and Des, the characters aren’t very well developed. Temper is a big problem for me. She is Callie’s best friend, but she just feels like a caricature of a sassy best friend. Another issue was that I felt like this book moved a lot slower in the beginning. With Rhapsodic, I was hooked from the start. A Strange Hymn took a while to get to the action, but once the plot moved to the Flora Kingdom I was hooked.

Overall, A Strange Hymn is exactly what I’m looking for in a fantasy romance book. A strong heroine, a handsome romantic lead, and a good amount of smut. I have already downloaded Dark Harmony and will be reading it soon.

RATING: 4/5

If you have Kindle Unlimited, the entire Bargainer Series is available there!

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WWW Wednesday – December 23rd, 2020

Happy Festivus! It’s Wednesday which means another WWW Wednesday. I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share on your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore. I was very excited to pick this up at my library since I read Bringing Down the Duke at the beginning of the year and loved it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Air Awakens by Elise Kova. It is book one of the Air Awakens series. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I think it had some really great world building and I loved Vhalla and Prince Aldrik. It has some similarities to the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, but isn’t a carbon copy.

What do you think you will read next?

I think I’ll be reading the next in the Bargainer series, Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa. I loved Rhapsodic and completely devoured it. So I’m excited to see where this series goes, and see how Callie and Desmond relationship develops.

As always, check out my Instagram!