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Tag Archives: fantasy

Review: The Crown’s Game

Review: The Crown’s Game

Title: The Crown’s Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Published: 2016
Length: 399 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

In every generation, an enchanter is born who will help guide and protect both the tsar of Russia and the vast Russian Empire itself. Sometimes, however, Russia’s ancient magic is split between two young enchanters, a twist of fate that promises power and glory to one–and death to the other. Such is the case for Vika, a girl raised outside the city to attune her power to wild elemental forces, and Nikolai, whose urban upbringing has directed his magic into fine mechanical and technical skills. With threats looming on all sides of his empire, the Tsar Alexander initiates the Crown’s Game, in which Vika and Nikolai will compete to become his Imperial Enchanter. As each of them tries to win–and to stay alive–they struggle with loss, love, and hard lessons about themselves and those they once considered friends.

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Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Published: 2015
Length: 395 pages

My star rating: ★ ★

After her best friend Shiva becomes the latest bride of the Caliph of Khorasan to be killed the morning after her wedding, Shahrzad volunteers to marry him herself. She intends to get revenge for Shiva’s death by discovering and exploiting the Caliph’s weaknesses to end his reign of terror. Shahrzad doesn’t expect to have feelings for her friend’s murderer, however, especially since she left her first love behind when she volunteered, and all too soon, those unexpected and unwelcome feelings begin to compromise all her grand plans.

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Review: How to Hang a Witch

Review: How to Hang a Witch

Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Published: 2016
Length: 358 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ½

When fifteen-year-old Samantha Mather moves to Salem, Massachusetts, with her stepmother, she finds herself in a centuries-old feud with the Descendants: families whose direct ancestors were victims of the infamous Witch Hysteria of 1692. Sam, whose own ancestor Cotton Mather had a hand in the wich trials, is reported to be the cause of half a dozen deaths and accidents in the Descendants’ families and the school–and town–quickly turn against her. With the help of the spirit of a seventeenth-century boy named Elijah, she desperately seeks a way to break the curse, and to save her own comatose father,  before it’s too late.

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Review: Three Dark Crowns

Review: Three Dark Crowns

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Published: 2016
Length: 383 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Three dark queens / are born in a glen, / sweet little triplets / will never be friends
Three dark sisters / all fair to be seen, / two to devour / and one to be Queen

Katharine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella are the latest generation of gifted queens born together but raised separately–raised to compete with, and ultimately to kill, each other for the throne of Fennbirn. But as Beltane approaches–and with it the Ascension Year, when the deadly competition begins–tension runs high on the island. Katharine is a poisoner but lacks the proper immunity to poisons. Arsinoe’s naturalist gift never manifests, leaving her weak and vulnerable but nonetheless defiant. The beautiful Mirabella, whose elemental gift is strong and who is favored by most to emerge triumphant, is reluctant to act as the puppet the Temple expects her to be. The magical, doomed sisters contend with love, lust, and above all, fear as their times draw near and rumors about sacrifices and sinister religious plots fly.

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Review: Distant Waves

Review: Distant Waves

Title: Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Published: 2009
Length: 330 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

Following the death of their father, Jane Taylor and her four sisters grows up in an unconventional spiritualist town in New York with their medium mother. Mimi, the eldest, and Jane, eager to get a taste of the real world, take a spontaneous and unsupervised trip to New York City after the revelation of a family secret. While there, Jane meets her hero Nikola Tesla and Mimi gets swept up in the glamorous world of high society. The consequences of this brief trip will turn all the Taylor girls’ lives upside-down, however, because the next April they all find themselves as passengers on the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

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Review: Immaculate

Review: Immaculate

Title: Immaculate
Author: Katelyn Detweiler
Published: 2015
Length: 449 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

After an unsettling encounter at work, star student Mina Dietrich discovers that she is pregnant. However, despite being in a long-term relationship, Mina has never had sex. Pregnancy also threatens everything Mina has planned and worked for: her reputation, becoming valedictorian, and going on to an Ivy League education. When she sticks to her story and insists on keeping her baby, many people turn their backs on her, including her heartbroken boyfriend and her outraged father. Soon, however, family drama and high school bullying gets out-of-hand and Mina’s pregnancy becomes national news–and not everyone who hears about it wants to live and let live.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: 2015
Length: 416 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ¾

After killing a wolf in the woods outside her village, Feyre is ripped away from her miserable life with a crippled father and ungrateful sisters by a faerie who demands her life in exchange for the wolf’s. He takes her north of the wall that separates the mortal world from faerie realm of Prythian. Feyre slowly adjusts to her new life and, despite her lifelong hatred and mistrust of faeries, begins to warm to her companions–Tamlin and Lucien–after learning that she will never be able return to her home in the south. Yet the longer she spends in the faerie world, the more aware Feyre becomes that something is terribly wrong there. Prythian, she discovers, faces a threat that even its seven powerful High Lords cannot stand against.

Note: this review is mostly spoiler-free. I’ve included some spoilers in my Goodreads review.

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