Review: The Dark Days Deceit

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The Dark Days Deceit by: Alison Goodmen

My Rating: 4 Stars

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Death, physical violence, drugging someone, manipulation, cheating, sexism, misogynistic society, graphic fight scenes, and abuse of power/authority.

The Dark Days Deceit was read for the theme Reborn Tales. For a book group called The Theme Thieves.

Lady Helen is preparing for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn. She receives a letter from her aunt Lenore saying that she will be visiting soon. This scares Helen as her aunt isn’t aware that she is a Reclaimer. And any of her recent activities.

Lord Carlston meanwhile is looking for Lady Elise. Thus far there have been no findings. Lord Carlston and Lady Helen get into a fight. Lady Helen fears that her marriage to the Duke of Selburn will be put to the test. As her aunt and many other friends start joining the party Lady Helen is having a hard time completing her Reclaimer duties. With Deceivers more prominent Lady Helen and Carlston soon find themselves backed in a corner. Can the two defeat the Grand Deceiver and make it out alive?

I have been a longtime fan of this series! So I was really looking forward to this installment. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it! As per usual this is book is written in third person limited following Helen. There are chapter numbers and letters. There are dates and the year. Plus there is a lace like pattern on the tips of the pages. 

The Dark Days Deceit was so tense! The beginning from the end was tense. With maybe a few nice and peaceful moments. And a hilarious scene. There was even tension between Helen and Carlston. At first it was just that they were mad at each other. But then it shifted to romantic tension. Which I think was done very well.

Some new characters are introduced. Lord Henry and Lady Georgina who are going to be Helen’s in-laws soon. Aunt Lenore and Andrew come back in this book. A few new Reclaimers come in as well.

There was some more world building present. Particularly with the Grand Deceiver. The Ligatus also comes into play. And how it’s effecting Lord Carlston, Lady Helen, and Darby. I really enjoyed all the information and how it fit in with the plot. The plot twists and reveals were so good!

As always I loved reading about the relationship Lady Helen has with those around her! I was surprised at the friendship with Lady Georgina. I assumed that we weren’t supposed to like her. The author instead chose to add more layers. Which I really appreciated. Her mentoring with Sprat was also sweet to read about! I really like Sprat. And was so happy that she played a huge role in the story.

It was nice to read about Helen’s aunt and brother. I was happy when they came back in. They provide a good support for her. Really great family dynamics. The author also surprised me by adding some layers to Helen’s uncle. While he is awful and sexist, he cared about them. In his own way. He set up Helen’s bank account as he did with his wife.

The romance was pretty good to! I enjoyed reading about the love triangle. And the back and forth that Helen went through. I wasn’t happy with how the love triangle ended. But I commend Helen’s strength.

I did have a few problems. I’m kind of upset about Selburn being the Grand Deceiver. I think that there was a better way to end the love triangle. Also about Lady Margret and Delia’s deaths. It felt like all Helen wasn’t left with too many female friends.

Overall I enjoyed this installment! I highly recommend this series.          

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Review: A Dash of Trouble

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A Dash of Trouble by: Anna Meriano

My Rating: 5 Stars

Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.

Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.

Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.

And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Death mentioned, mention of cancer, bullying, physical violence, and abuse of magic powers.

A Dash of Trouble was read for the theme January Jam Jar. For a book group called Devour Your TBR on GR.

Leo’s family runs a bakery. As she is too young Leo isn’t allowed to partake in the bakery activities. Leo soon realizes that there might in fact be another reason to it. With the help of her best friend Caroline, Leo discovers that her family are practicing magic!

Behind her families back Leo begins to practice magic on her own. Leo decides to use her first spell to help Caroline. Rather than doing any good Leo instead creates a big mess. Can Leo right her mistakes with the help of her family and Caroline?

I heard about A Dash of Trouble through Twitter. The cover and the synopsis was cute so I decided to purchase myself a copy. I am happy to say that I loved it! The book is written in third person limited following Leo. There are chapter titles, and chapter numbers along with an illustration. There are poems. The spells were mostly in Spanish. At the end of the book there’s a section labeled Leo’s Lucky Recipes. And lastly baking similes.

This was such a cute book! While also being unique. I loved the magic system and how the baking was involved. All the baking terminology and process was accurate. I also liked how present the culture was even in the spells!

I loved the family aspect! Leo is very close with her family. I liked how unique all the sisters’ were. Isabel the kind oldest and calm one. Marisol the second oldest while a bit rude still caring in her own way. Alma and Belen the twins who are the closest in age to Leo. Thus are a bit closer. I also liked Leo’s parents and aunt Paloma.

Leo and Caroline’s friendship was also well done! Caroline’s mother passed away due to cancer prior to the book. Sometime after that Caroline and her father moved. The family returns back home. And it’s like no time has passed at all between the girl’s. There’s also Brent whom I took some time to warm up to. Regardless he grew on me.

I absolutely loved the diversity! Leo’s family are Spanish. There culture is present in their magic, as the women are Bruja’s. Caroline is half Colombian. She helps Leo translate some spells. The book actually begins with The Day of the Dead festival.

I felt that the author wrote realistic middle graders. All the social problems even felt so. Especially with Brent and the peer pressure he felt in leaving Caroline. Which also ties in to the magic mishaps. Leo decides to put a love spell on Brent so he would go back to being friends with Caroline. Of course this doesn’t end well. And it effects the social hierarchy system.

I really liked Leo’s growth! Throughout the book Leo believes she can solve the problem on her own. In doing so she lies to her family and Caroline. Even to herself. All under the assumption that if her family found out rather than helping her they would stop her from using magic. Leo sees the error in her ways and confesses to everyone. While also owning up to her mistakes.

Overall I loved A Dash of Trouble! I highly recommend this series.           

Review: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

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Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by: Alison Goodman

My Rating: 4 Stars

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he’ll become apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon’s power. It is forbidden for females to practise the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. But after a brilliant sword ceremony, Eon is catapulted into the treacherous world of the Imperial court, where his desperate lie comes to light …

Beware spoilers ahead!

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn was read during Tome Topple. And for The Dream Thieves December theme Missed TBR.

Trigger warning: Physical violence, bullying, harassment, drug addiction, mention of war, death, grief, misogynistic society, gory fights, critical injuries from battle, ableism, transphobia, disability cured via magic, mention of salt mines, mention of slavery, abuse of power via authority, taking control of one’s body, and rape.

Eon is a twelve year old boy with a lame leg. Eon is hoping to become a Dragoneye so his master can become rich again. There’s just one small problem. Eon is Eona a sixteen year old girl. And girl’s can’t be Dragoneye’s. It is punishable by death. If the council finds out Eona and her master will be punished. On top of all that there is a war brewing. How will Eona manage to balance her lies and survive the imperial court?

After reading The Dark Day’s Club by the same author I really wanted to read more off her works’. The Eon series has such rave reviews that I decided to give it a shot. I am really happy to say that I enjoyed it!

I am really happy that I read this! The book begins with a prologue was explains some of the world and magic system. There is a map of the palace, and dragon charts. Which lists each dragon and their dragoneye. The book is narrated in first person limited following Eona’s point of view.

I really enjoyed the world building and the magic system! It was very unique and interesting. Also the dragon aspect was so cool! Eona is still learning so not everything was explained. Particularly the bound with a dragon. The power that the Dragoneye’s have is explored but again to a degree.

The beginning was a bit dense as everything is being introduced to the reader. It did feel like an adult fantasy for that reason. Once I got into it, the book flew! This was so fast paced and I wasn’t expecting that.

I enjoyed the political intrigue! It’s very rare to find well done political intrigue. When Eona gets to the palace it’s a constant game of lies and a bit of cat and mouse with one of the Dragoneye’s. Whose name is Lord Ido. It’s get even messier when Eona make’s some friends and gets dragged into a battle of sorts. There is a bit of power imbalance which was is discussed multiple times throughout the book. 

I really liked Eona’s character! She’s very unique from some of the characters you read about now-a-days. She’s compassionate but ruthless as she’s backed into a corner most of the time. Eona was quite intelligent and very mature for her age. I think the author did a good job with Eona’s leg. I liked reading about her inner struggles. Particularly her fear off being herself and accepting her female side. With the help off her friends and her dragon Eona comes to accept herself. Her character development was truly excellent!

Eona is close to Chart and Rilla. Chart is disfigured and can’t speak. Due to this he is picked on quite a bit. Rilla is Chart’s mother. Barron is Eona’s master who she trained under. Barron bought Eona from a salt mine when he realized she could see all the dragons’ energies. She has a complicated relationship with him. Regardless they both still care for each other.

Eona becomes friends with Ryko, Lady Dela, and Prince Kygo. Also some of the dragoneye’s and their apprentices. Lady Dela spends her time navigating Eona through all the political intrigue and Ryko is tasked with guarding Lady Dela. Lady Dela is a transgender female. Prince Kygo and Eona become friends for mutual interests. There are hinting’s of a romance between the two. Nothing becomes of it in this installment.

All these characters shape Eona. And grow from one-another. I really liked the relationship’s she had with all of them! My favourite is Lady Dela. She was such a fun character but knowledgeable as well.

I also liked all the plot twist’s and foreshadowing you get throughout the book! Some of it was predictable. Though I still found it entertaining. Truly this book kept me on the edge of my seat. 

I did have some problems with this book. I felt that Lady Dela wasn’t done that well. There are several times when Eona will mention that Lady Dela would sometimes look like a male or have the strength of a male. Which didn’t feel that well done to me. Once Eona has truly bounded with her dragon her leg is ‘fixed’. Magically she’s cured. And it does send the wrong message.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I am looking forward to reading the sequel. I highly recommend this series!                

Review: Fire and Heist

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Fire and Heist by: Sarah Beth Durst

My Rating: 4 Stars

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Trauma regarding absent parent, mention of murder, blackmailing, imprisonment, mention of blood, abusive parent, and physical violence.

Sky Hawkin’s used to have it all. The perfect family, friends, and boyfriend. Until her mother disappeared. Now shunned by the wyvern society, Sky’s family is dealing with the aftermath regarding her mother. Her father doesn’t smile anymore. Her brothers ignore her. And the Hawkin’s family refuses to speak about what happened.

Much to Sky’s surprise her ex-boyfriend Ryan gives her information regarding her mother. Sky decides to put her foot down and complete the mission her mother failed. With a rag-tag crew, Sky sets out for answers. 

After reading the author’s previous works’ I was highly anticipating this! I am happy to say that I enjoyed it! Fire and Heist is written in first person limited, following Sky. There are chapter numbers and one list.

I had such a blast reading! So much fun but also had it’s serious moments. I particularly enjoyed the play on history! The Hawkin’s are distantly related to King Atahualpa and other historical figures.

I absolutely loved the Hawkin’s! They had such a great relationship, despite all they’d been through. Charles is the oldest. He had this tough guy attitude. Tuck and Liam are fraternal twins. And like most twins had a close relationship. Sky’s the youngest and the baby of the family. Her father and brother’s do their best to keep Sky out of everything. Which just makes Sky even more inclined to look for answers.

There’s a large focus on ‘Before’. As in before the events of this book. When Sky and her family used to be happy, and when they actually had a place in society. After being shunned and dumped by her boyfriend, everyone else followed suit. Sky’s wyvern friend’s ditched her. No one wants to do business with the family. Naturally Sky is angry with all these people. Even when Ryan comes back in her life Sky still holds some resentment.

The world building was excellent! There are a lot of rules within the wyvern society. Even regarding a person’s first heist. Wyverns’ history plays a huge role in the story. Most of it is nothing new. Though I felt that Durst did a good job making it unique.

I really liked Sky! She was a great character. Realistic with her own insecurities. Also very mature which seems to be a thing with Durst’s heroine’s. I enjoyed reading about her character development and journey throughout the story.

Gabriela is Sky’s human friend. Now that Sky doesn’t have any wyvern friends. She is Spanish and loves to do research. Also very self-assured, whilst some insecurities. The friendship between Sky and Gabriela was sweet! They really grew from their relationship with one-another.

Maximus is a wyvern who can also use magic. His character was quite something. At first I didn’t know how to feel about him. As the story continued I grew to appreciate his character. He’s very dramatic which makes for a fun reading experience.

Ryan’s character surprised me. When I read the synopsis I figured the audience is supposed to like him. I did not except him to be helping Sky in her heist. Let alone encourage it. He was sweet and a total dork. I liked the romance between them. I thought they were cute together. It also didn’t take away from the plot.

The heist was so much fun! I really enjoyed reading about their practice. And the part each character had to play. Once all the twists came into play, there were a lot of genres explored. Such as some Sci-Fi elements. I didn’t see anything coming! And enjoyed all the tibits of the world building explored.

The main themes were forgiveness and power. I respected Sky when she said that she would forgive Ryan and the rest of her friends. It showed character growth. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions about power. It was very interesting and thought provoking.

Overall I really liked it! I highly recommend it.   

Review: Gray Wolf Island

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Gray Wolf Island by: Tracey Neithercott

My Rating: 4 Stars

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger Warning: Death, murder, and mention of rape.

I received this E-ARC via the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was super excited to read Gray Wolf Island! I love reading about treasure hunts and was thoroughly anticipating this one. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it.

The story follows Ruby after the death of her sister Sadie. Sadie was obsessed about this mysterious island that is rumored to have treasure. Much to Ruby’s surprise Sadie has set-up a trip to the island for Ruby to go in her place. Ruby gets the help of Gabe, Charlie, Elliot, and Anne. As they make their way to the island, they soon realize they will face truths about themselves. Truths that are harmful.

This actually started off really good! It was so funny and interesting. As the story continued it fell flat and I started skimming for answers. I am not a 100 percent satisfied with said answers. And there were a lot of loose ends that I wish for cleared up.

When I realized that each character would have to face their truths to get to the treasure I was surprised. In reality those truths were just flat. I can’t they were predictable but I didn’t much care for them. In hindsight the secrets were actually kind of dumb. The most shocking would have to be Gabe, Charlie, and Elliot. If you really pay attention to the synopsis you can guess Ruby’s. And Anne’s was just sad but not surprising considering the situation.

I did not like Ruby. Her point of view whilst entertaining at first became such a drag. She was really whiny. And while I do understand her reasoning, I still felt that she should’ve revealed herself sooner. For everyone’s safety.

In order to receive the treasure each character had to reveal a truth about themselves. Otherwise you die. Like literary the island would attack you. Which was very difficult to wrap my head around. And honestly I really hated that island. The magical realism parts of the story were very confusing. Like how Elliot is connected to Cooper. To this day I still can’t wrap my head around it all.

Also was Gabe’s death necessary? I guess it really showed his improvement that he sacrificed himself for Charlie. He did rape someone and that’ll never be okay. He could’ve improved. But now we’ll never know. I think he even said he would confess and everything? When he went back home?

I did enjoy some things. The beginning of the book was strong. I liked reading from Cooper’s point of view. Anne was my favourite character! She was so much fun. I even liked Charlie. I liked the romance between Ruby and Elliot. And the writing style. 

Gray Wolf Island just didn’t work for me. I do still recommend.      

Review: The Dark Days Pact

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The Dark Days Pact by: Alison Goodman

My Rating: 5 Stars

June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen and her maid, Darby, to spend the summer season in Bristol, where Helen can sharpen her Reclaimer powers. Then the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work take hold, and his sanity begins to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are ever higher for Helen, and her decision will truly change the world…

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Gun violence, physical violence, blackmailing using a character’s sexual orientation, blackmailing threatening treason, and a fair bit of gore.

It’s been a few weeks since Lady Helen has decided to work with The Dark Days Club. Lady Helen has been spending her with Lady Margaret and her brother Mr. Hammond. Thus far Lady Helen has been presumably ill to the rest of society. Under Lord Carlston’s orders Lady Helen has begun training. And will start attending parities and such as she needs to integrate herself into society. 

Much to everyone’s surprise Mr. Pike a figure in the government has requested a meeting with Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond. Whilst Carlston is away on another government meeting. Mr. Pike reveals that Mr. Benchley’s partner in crime is going to sell Mr. Benchley’s journal. The journal contains important information that Mr. Pike and such members don’t want to get it out.

Mr. Hammond argues that they can’t really give an answer as Lord Carlston isn’t present. Mr. Pike then uses the fact that Mr. Hammond is gay as blackmail. He also blackmails Lady Helen stating that her family will be once again framed for treason. Mr. Pike also instructs the two of them to spy on Lord Carlston. Most of the government officials still don’t trust him and want proof that Lord Carlston is on their side. Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond now have to lie and spy behind everyone’s back.

The story written in third person limited following Lady Helen. At beginning of every chapter there was a date, month, and year. It helps track how many days pass. There are chapter numbers as well. At the top of each page there is a lace like pattern printed. Which is so pretty!

The Dark Days Pact was an amazing sequel! It became more political and action packed. I really enjoyed all the heist and espionage elements. And was thoroughly happy that we were presented more information regarding The Dark Day’s Club. And wow those twists! Not at all what I was expecting. The romance was definitely better as well.

With every book in this series my love for Lady Helen grows. She is such a strong character. She participates in The Dark Days’ Club without giving up her girly behaviour. I truly wish there were more female characters like her. Her friendship with Darcy and Delia was so sweet!

Feeling bad for what has occurred with Delia, Lady Helen decides to tell her everything. Thus begins Delia’s involvement in The Dark Days Club. It also helps that her parents want nothing to do with her. The Duke of Selburn also makes an appearance. He spends the majority of the book trying to dissuade Lady Helen from Lord Carlston. He does get involved in The Dark Days Club but not in a way you would expect. It was really amusing how you got to that point!

I really enjoyed reading about Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond’s escapades! Their relationship even grew throughout it all. And they became really good friends! Some of the information they found out was shocking and very insightful. It really cleared up a lot of things. There are even some new characters introduced who play an important role in the plot.

Mr. Benchley’s journal provided much needed Intel. I still stand by my opinions of him, I have to admit he was very intelligent. While he was alive he had spies everywhere and had information on everybody. This really explained how he was able to get away with so much. 

Lord Carlston is starting to become uncontrollable and more rash. Mr. Quinn is having a hard time controlling him. Mr. Quinn enlists Lady Helen’s help several times. Lady Margaret has been fretting the most openly. Lady Helen and Mr. Hammond start to find it hard to keep this from Mr. Pike and his threats still looms over their heads.

Goodman’s character work really impressed me! In the first book I didn’t really like Lady Margaret or Lord Carlston that much. Whereas in this book I came to really like them! I finally started to understand their side and grew to respect them. 

The romances were so much better in this installment! Mr. Quinn and Darcy start a relationship. Which was so cute! The chemistry between Lady Helen and Lord Carlston grew and I actually liked them as a couple. Of course the love triangle has remained. The Duke of Selburn is still in love for Lady Helen. Lady Margaret and Mr. Hammond are in love with Lord Carlston. I do admit it’s a bit much, but the romance never takes away from the plot. And isn’t the center stage.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this installment! I can’t wait to read The Dark Days Deceit. I highly recommend this series!

Review: Children of Blood and Bone

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Children of Blood and Bone by: Tomi Adeyemi

My Rating: 4 Stars

The B&N Exclusive Edition includes six pages of handwritten, behind-the-scenes material plus a map of Lagos, the capital city of Orïsha. The city map shows the Royal Palace, the marketplace, and the diviner slums that ring the marketplace.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Genocide, slavery, torture, abusive parent, discrimination, assault, colorism, and oppression.

GR Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Sand Between My Toe’s, Hook ‘Em, and Sports-a-holic. Tome Topple Readathon Round 6.

Last year I got a sample from Netgalley. I was so intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed reading the sample! Naturally I bought the final version. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

11 years ago King Saran ordered the murders of the former Maji. The same day that the Maji lost their powers leaving them defenseless. Zelie witnessed her mother being murdered. The King also ordered all the dead Maji to be put on display. So as to make the diviners fear him.

In secret Zelie and other girls in her village get training from Mama Agba. Mama Agba teaches them how to defend themselves with a staff. To further make the diviners miserable the King increases the diviner tax. In an attempt to be brave Zelie angers the guard and nearly gets herself killed. Much to Zelie’s surprise Mama Agba allows Zelie to graduate and awards her with a metal staff.

Zelie arrives to terrible news. Her father nearly drowns in an attempt to keep her from becoming a slave. Zelie agrees to sell fish in Lagos which is the capital city. While there she runs into the princess who is on the run from her father. Zelie, Amari, and Tzain (Zelie’s brother) then embark on a journey to bring magic back.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an intense fantasy! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The B & N edition comes with an annotated chapter, and the map of Lagos. The hardcover is also a different color. Narrated in first person the book follows Amari, Zelie, and Inan. There is also a one page prologue and an epilogue. The point of views’ are actually written well! You can tell that their different people.

The world-building and magic system were incredible! Zelie lives in a very gruesome and tough society. When magic makes a vague comeback it got really intense! I enjoyed reading about the journey to all the sacred temples. And the I really liked that there were objects tied to getting magic back. There a huge part that mythology and religion plays into the story. I found the whole concept to be original. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the culture. Such as food, clothes, and language.

I’m just going to say this first: I understand why people don’t like Zelie. Zelie spends a majority of the book being angry. And she usually took it out on Amari and Tzain was always stuck fixing the mess. The reason I actually liked all the characters is because they were understandable. While Zelie could be a real pain, I understood where she was coming from. And she did actually develop throughout the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading from Amari’s point of view! It was lovely to read about her journey and struggles. I liked how Binta was a strong motivation for Amari. In some books said dead character usually disappears 20% in. That didn’t happen. From the beginning to the end Amari is always thinking about Binta. I also liked how Zelie and Amari came to be friends. Their chapter together was fantastic!

I found Inan’s chapters to be the most insightful. His character was very interesting. I enjoyed watching him develop and reading about his outlook on the world around him. While he did a lot of questionable things I understood his motivations. I look forward to his journey in the sequel. 

I’m kind off hoping that for the sequel we’ll get Tzain’s point of view. I would love to read his thoughts! And hands down Tzain is my favourite character. He’s serious while also showing a goofy side. And he’s a very fair person. 

I really liked how there was a large focus on family! As someone who has siblings it was so much fun to read about the relationship’s between Amari and Inan, as well as Zelie and Tzain. Even the King’s relationships’ with his children. Mama Agba was a mother figure to Zelie and Tzain. And I really loved Zelie’s father! He was so sweet.

Onto the romance! I loved Amari and Tzain together! They developed such a sweet relationship and get along so well. They bring out the best in each other. I would love for them to be official in the sequel. As for Inan and Zelie I felt nothing. Yeah they got along but it came it off nowhere. It’ll be interesting to see where the sequel will take them.

I liked the involvement of Zu’s crew as well as Tzain’s opponents. They made the story and the journey to get magic back so interesting. I am really looking forward to reading about them again in the sequel! 

There are some deaths’. Starting from the beginning of the book. I appreciated that the author didn’t hold back. I’m sort of weary and curious as to who will die in the sequel.

I only had one problem. I honestly did not understand Zelie and Inan’s relationship. They spent a good bit of the book hating each other. Inan was trying to kill her. They had an opportunity to work together. Which lasted two days. And somehow in those two days they were basically in love. They moved very fast. It was very surprising.

Overall I really liked Children of Blood and Bone! I high recommend to fantasy fans.