**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Book Stats:  
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Ebook: 517 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release date: August 30th, 2011

Series:  Seven Realms #3

Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Tynga

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana'Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed.

Here I am with a third Seven Realms review in as many weeks and I will try very hard not to repeat myself. The key element here you need to know is that this series is AMAZING! Exceptional world-building, rich and colorful culture, tri-dimentionnal lovable (or hate-able) characters and fantastic plot twist will keep you hooked to each of the 517 pages (and it felt like such a short read too!).

There has been a lot going on in the previous installment and Raisa is still on the run in this novel after escaping multiple kidnapping attempts and is still trying to stay out of her enemies (as in multiples..) hands'. It will be no easy feat though as she is alone in enemy territory, with none of her allies knowing her location. The first part of the novel is focused on her difficult journey to return home and her never-ending worries. Fear not, none of it is boring because everyone is out to get her so her traveling is pretty action packed. 

Hans is unfortunately not very present in the first part of the novel but will make a very grand entrance in a surprisingly convenient timing. His life will entirely change when he finally learns that his sweet-heart Rebecca Morley is Princess Heir Raisa. We have been awaiting this moment since the first novel and this showdown was worth the wait. It will change everything in their relationship and the tension between to two was really something!

The second part of the novel is about Raisa's quest to regain her place. I'm not gonna give anything away but there has been a lot of political drama in the Queendom during her absence and her place as princess heir isn't as secure as it used to be. A very difficult journey awaits her and with everyone pushing their own agendas, Raisa doesn't know whom to trust, even among allies. 

The event in The Gray Wolf Throne are game changing on so many levels and I am sure every fan will be happy with the outcome. There isn't any cliffhanger at the end of this installment, but it sets the table for the final novel to come. I was glad to have The Crimson Crown at hand because I really wanted to know where all those adventures and heartbreak would lead us. 

The Seven Realms series is definitely up there with my favorite ones. I know I am late to this party, but if, like me, you hadn't read this series yet, I urge you to get your hands on it! The hardcover edition are quite a workout on those poor arms if you read the pages at break neck pace like I did, so maybe the ebook edition might tempt you lol

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson


The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Hardcover: 688 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Release date: August 2nd, 2016

Series:  The Remnant Chronicles #3

Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

In the escape from Venda, Lia and Rafe were separated from the other four Dalbrecht men and Lia was severely wounded. Rafe manages to doctor her a bit enough for him to carry her for miles until they all meet up again. Though Lia's barely recovered, she has a feeling some Vendans are after them and they must press on towards Dalbreck. On the road, they are met with a wounded Kaden and Griz, whose only allegiance anymore is for Lia.
When they reach an outpost, Rafe is announced to be King of Dalbreck. In his new role, he and Lia have more conflicts as Lia feels she must continue on towards Morrighan to warn them of the Komizar's army, and Rafe wants to keep her safe and out of a country that has declared her to be a traitor. After some deliberation, Rafe decides to let Lia go but sends his four best men to accompany her to the border. Once in Morrighan, Lia seeks Pauline and to find out how best to gain entrance into the citadel. Despite a setback, she stages a coup to take her place as First Daughter and rule Morrighan to help them survive. She must confront old enemies, her parents, and inspire new loyalties or everything will fall to the Komizar's bloodthirsty horde.

In this final volume, Lia's sense of self is split into many parts. First, she is the First Daughter of Morrighan and loves her kingdom and her people and knows that the Komizar will do everything in his power to destroy it. She also loves Rafe and would not want to jeopardize his country for her own, especially when he had done so much to help her. Lastly, her time in Venda and among the actual Vendan people, with the Morasi clan and Aster, has made her identify with them too. She's seen their suffering, their children made to be soldiers, and their lack of hope or future. She can no longer just act like only the Morrighese matter to her. In assuming leadership of Morrighan, her Vendan sympathies are hard for her people to comprehend and accept, but really, only Lia can embrace and hopefully pacify the two cultures instead of continuing the decades long bloodshed.

Lia still intends to marry Rafe at some point, but her insistence on going back to warn her country creates problems for Rafe. While he was in Venda his mother died unexpectedly and his sickly father also passed, making Rafe the new King of Dalbreck, news that was kept close to prevent instability and allow time for Rafe to be found. In his absence, one of his generals staged a possible bid for the throne. Rafe already has a lot to deal with for his country, let alone the threat of Vendan attack and Lia's plans. Despite their love for each other, Lia and Rafe have one of their biggest conflicts. She needs to go back to her people and doesn't want to wait as the threat of the Komizar edges closer while Rafe can't bear losing her to the possibility of such danger. Still, he must remain and deal with the issues facing his country rather than keep his promises to her. Eventually, he swallows his fear and allows her to leave. Rafe still has more sacrifices to make if he wishes to keep his alliance with Lia. To gain her troops and assistance, he betroths himself to the general's daughter in a show of good faith. For both of them, it's a hard price to sacrifice their love for the good of their countries, but the reader will probably be pleased by the turn of events in the end.

Kaden makes great strides in this book at confronting his past, including revealing his father and his own deep loyalties. Kaden discovers his love for Lia isn't quite the thing of romance, and he develops strong feelings towards Pauline and her new baby. Pauline, meanwhile, grows into her strength and confronts Mikhael for his womanizing ways, manages being a new mom, and supports Lia. She also realizes Kaden has changed, and she should give him another chance to prove himself to her.

This was a solid finale to a good high fantasy series though I really wanted more of a wrap-up. (Don't we all want more of our favorite books/characters?)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [260]

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
As you read this, I'm at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. ALA is kind of like BEA for librarians, so I'm probably wandering through the exhibits desperately trying NOT to pick up too many books.

I know that sounds contradictory, but books are HEAVY. The exhibits floor is HUGE and everything I pick up has to ride on my back until I get back to my room. Overindulgence is painful. Which doesn't mean I won't arrange for entirely too many eARCs from Netgalley and Edelweiss.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of teasers from my Stacking the Shelves post over at Reading Reality:

 Barbarian by Anna Hackett

Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Book Stats:  
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Ebook: 586 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release date: September 24th 2010

Series:  Seven Realms #2

Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Tynga

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden's Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn't mean that danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own.

I picked up The Exiled Queen the moment I finished reading The Demon King. I HAD to know what was happening next and I was not disappointed. Both Raisa and Hans left the 'safety' of the Fells and are now deep in Arden territory at a school called Oden's Fort. Raisa attends Wein House, the military school, undercover and I swear she will blow your mind. Hans is attending Mystwerk along side Dancer to learn all things magic, and more. Speaking of magic, the point of view still alternates between the two and neither of them has any idea the other is there! This, along with many familiar and new supporting characters sets the table for another epic adventure. 

I find it really hard to tell you about this book without giving anything away. The world is still as rich as it was in the first book and we built upon that lore. We learn a lot more about this history and we learn new facts that plants a seed of doubt on what we thought were facts. 

Raisa learns a lot in Wein House and becomes more confidant in her physical abilities and she has a better idea of her objectives for when she will be Queen. She always wanted her Queendom to be a better place, but now she is owning tools that will allow her to do it. Staying away from home for the greater good is weighting her down though and she feels very lonely until she stumble upon Hans very late in the novel and then everything changes. 

Hans Alister faces different challenges. He knows his old turf and now finds himself in enemy territory, with no bearing, and no idea what the rules are. He needs to find his way among all these blueblood wizards or he might not survive to tell the tale. He finds very unlikely allies on his quest, most of whom he doesn't trust and that's just as well. I loved following his struggles and witnessing his determination to succeed. 

Romance finally enters the premises at the end on this novel and the romantic in me couldn't be happier. I was anxiously awaiting this moment and this young love was so sweet despite the dire situation the young lovers were in. It really set the table for the future to come and as you might guess, I picked up the third book as soon as I set the second one down :)

The Seven Realms series is an awesome high fantasy series and I know it's been released a few years ago, but if you haven't read it yet, you should definitely pick it up! Happy reading!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stacking The Shelves {259}

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! 
Three weeks ago we welcomed a little fur baby to the family so I thought I would show you a picture :) His name is Marcus and he is a seal point cornish rex. We love very much!

Now book wise,
I added to my virtual shelves quite a few books:

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima
Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
and Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis (which is currently free)

I've already read all the books by Cinda (reviews to come) and I'm in love! So if you have any suggestions of a similar feel series, please leave a comment!

Please link your STS post in the linky below ^^

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Hardcover: 506 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release date: October 6th 2009

Series:  Seven Realms #1  

Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Tynga

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off. The thrilling debut in a new high fantasy trilogy, from New York Times bestselling author, Cinda Williams Chima (The Dragon Heir).

I am in love with this series like I haven't been in a long time. I say series because even though this is my review of the first book, after reading it I had to rush and read all four of this series, and than the first two of the spin-off series. I. Am. In. Love. And I will try not to confuse each book in my head as I write each reviews (the other ones will come in the coming weeks).

This high fantasy novel takes place in a world where rules have an extremely important place. A thousand years before, a wicked sorcerer tried to possess the first of the new queens, Hanalae, and when she fought back, the world was almost ripped apart by magic. The clans (think Native American) stepped in to mend the damage and set new rules to prevent it from happening again. And here we are, 30 or so generations later with a line of Queens called Gray Wolwes ruling over the QUEENDOM, yes you read right, along side Wizards who would love to have control back, The Clans, who will do everything to stop it from happening and the Valefolks (the commoner). Each of theses groups are richly portrayed, multi-dimensional, and have their own agendas.

To lead us through this amazing world we have Raisa, Princess Heir and Hans, former Street lord. The narration alternates between the two, allowing the readers to really grasp the reality of each of them. Raisa wants to be a good Queen for her people, she strives for her Queendom to be fair for everyone, for every class to get along and she is extremely stubborn. Hans on the other hand comes from nothing. He fights everyday to put food in his mother and sister's mouths after his father died in the war. He is weary of everyone and everything but he is very hard-working and will do anything to achieve his goals.

Along with those two amazing main characters are great support characters. Byrne, Raisa's childhood friend and bodyguard and Fire Dancer, Hans' best friend were absolutely great, to name only those two.

I don't want to give anything plot wise but I will say that to lore is extremely rich and Cinda Williams Chima offered an impressive historical background to her story. Sometimes fantasy novels can seem lengthy at times mostly because of travel times and what not but I never felt that way reading this novel. Every moment is colorful and gripping, everything happens for a reason and the action kept me glued to the pages.

I've read some complaints about a love triangle when I browsed reviews before, and really, those people are totally off. Yes there are two boys and a girl, but there never was an actual triangle. So if you've heard that, please don't let it keep you away from a great fantasy.

Another thing I thought I would mention, even though the characters are between 15 and 17 years old in this novel, it never felt that way. As you know, I'm a grown woman with kids and I just can't stand childish and whiny behavior from younger characters and thank the lord, it wasn't the case here. They always felt strong, determined and driven and I loved every moment.

I will conclude by urging to get your hands on this novel. It was released in 2009 so I am late to this party, I know. But the first spin-off novels were released in 2016 and April 2017 so I would strongly suggest you read the original series before you pick up the spin-off. Your experience will be that much more amazing!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [258]

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Happy weekend everyone! I've been MIA for the past few weeks but I'm back from BookExpo America (BEA) and BookCon with a large stack of books. I had the chance to go to New York last week and I really enjoyed my experience.

Felicia, the Geeky Blogger, was nice enough to let me room with her during the week. She was there mostly for the Audies, the award ceremonies celebrating the best audio books of the year and their narrators. As a proficient audiobook reviewer, Felicia won the award of audiobook blogger of the year. Congrats Felicia! Also, thank you Felicia of letting me tag along to all the social events that allowed me to meet wonderful narrators working the the audiobook business. I had a blast!

Felicia and I sightseeing near Time Square.

I spent Thursday and Friday at Book Expo where I met many different authors and publishers, and picked up multiple ARCs. It felt better organized compared to last year in Chicago, however BookCon was way too crowed for me. Because Book Expo is limited to those in the industry, such as writers, publishers, reviewers, educators, librarians, etc, access was limited. However, BookCon is opened to the public so the main floor was way too crowded and the panel rooms were so small, I was only able to get into two out of the five panels I wanted to attend. They were very strict with the amount of people they could fit into the rooms and I feel they should have anticipated for bigger rooms considering the amount of people in attendance. Overall, I loved the experience, and I would definitely go again some day, however, not next year. 

Entrance to main floor of Book Expo and BookCon.
While in New York, I also decided to see a Broadway play which has both american and canadian roots. Come From Away has been nominated for seven Tony Awards and it really deserves to win. It was an amazing musical which is based on the true story of thousands of stranded plane passengers during the 9/11 attacks. In the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, many transatlantic planes were diverted to their small airport and it tells the story of how the town people gathered their resources to help close to 7000 unfortunate travellers. Very touching, and very well choreographed, the actors and songs were wonderful. Highly recommended.

Come From Away playbill.

Come From Away set.

Now, on to the real reason why you're here today. Here's what stacking my shelves this week:

Day 1 at Book Expo.

Purchased Day 1 at Book Expo.
Day 2 at Book Expo.

For Review

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

A Perfect Obsession by Heather Graham

All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

Year One by Nora Roberts

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

27 Hours by Tristina Wright

For Love of the Duke by Christi Caldwell

Living with the Living Dead by Greg Garrett

The Tiger’s Daughter y K. Arsenault Rivera

Warcross by Marie Lu

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Jady City by Fonda Lee


Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular by Mayim Bialik 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Getting my book signed by Mayim Bialik.

Getting my booked signed by Margaret Atwood.

 Two authors I absolutely wanted to meet (however briefly) were Mayim Bialik and Margaret Atwood, and I was so happy I got the chance to meet both! Even though BookCon was overcrowed, it definitely attacked to some big names. I had the chance to attend Margaret Atwood's panel and it was brilliant hearing her talk about The Handmaid's Tale and the TV show based on her book. She is a very intelligent lady, and oddly enough, very funny.

So now you turn! Let me know what's new on your shelves!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [257]

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Hello Summer!
It's June, and post-Memorial Day in the U.S. which means that summer has unofficially started, at least in the northern hemisphere. School is either out or the end is in sight, and it's supposed to be warm and sunny. I live in Atlanta now, and one of the great things about living here is that while we definitely have all four season, winter generally just deals us a glancing blow. On that other hand, summers can get pretty beastly.

Which makes the height of summer the perfect time to curl up with a good book in an air conditioned house and a glass of iced tea. Come to think of it, there are no bad times to curl up with a good book, not even when the cat is sitting on it.

While my full shelf-stack is, as always, over at Reading Reality, here are a couple of teasers from this week's stack.

Cover Fire by Jess Anastasi
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

And speaking of teasers, the Beach Reads Giveaway Hop also just started, so hop on over to Reading Reality for a chance to enter.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Hardcover: 470 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release date: July 7th, 2015

Series:  The Remnant Chronicles #2


Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

I really enjoyed the transformations of our three main characters in this second story as we have unraveled who is who, assassin vs. prince, and seen how that plays into their relationships and political allegiances. Now with the Komizar in the picture, this places a third suitor for Lia's affection (or simply her political status) in play, since he decides to marry her and thereby make her a traitor to Morrighan in one fell swoop.

While Lia shows she is really in love with Rafe, she has a complicated relationship with Kaden. His betrayal of her still stings, but she sees his love of her clash with his loyalty to Venda and the Komizar, even if the latter is stronger. As the Komizar's cruelty and manipulations come to light, Kaden becomes more conflicted, especially when Lia lies to him, pretending to be more in love with him than she is though she does manage to get him to open up about his past, his parents, and his abuse, which he has never spoken about to anyone.

Rafe, too, is playing a dangerous game since he masquerades as an emissary from the Prince of Dalbreck and spins a number of lies as a desperate ploy to buy his small elite team of soldiers more time to help him and Lia escape. Meanwhile, he and Lia are also hiding their secret relationship from everyone and might at any moment be discovered for lovers not spurned enemies.

In this second book, Lia really has the opportunity to confront and explore more of her gift as well as her relationship with the true history of Venda and the Remnant, partially revealed to her by the vagabond leader Dihara. Though Venda has always been considered full of barbarians by those in other kingdoms (possibly due to their history of bloodshed and war), Lia is faced with the reality of her prejudices when she meets other Vendans like Aster and her clan who welcome Lia in light of an ancient prophecy. In meeting Aster, Eben, Calantha...the unnamed enemy has a face and is real and quite not the enemy she pictured. Instead, Lia embraces some Vendan culture and recognizes that the prophecy has tied her to the real Venda in some way, not the same cruel one ruled by the Komizar and that killed her brother and wars with her country.

With Venda being a patriarchal and violent society, both Kaden and the Komizar discount Lia's capacity for resourcefulness and brilliance, seemingly much like her own family did. As we find out, our heroine is strong, fierce, and determined to make her own choices about her future, even if everyone tries to take it away from her.

I also listened to this book on audiobook as a refresher (I'm finally getting to read book 3!), and that was very good too, even if the brief breaks to Gaudrel and the Song of Venda histories were irritating. Still one of my top favorite fantasy series! While this was a middle book, it did not disappoint! It was just as well-written and fantastic as the first. This series is very character-driven with enough satisfying world-building to keep you hooked to the end and dying for the adventure to continue.