Furyborn (ARC) by Claire Legrand

Set to be released in North America on May 22, 2018, Furyborn is Claire Legrand’s new stunningly original, must-read fantasy that features two strong, powerful young women who find themselves drawn into an age-old magical prophecy neither of them can escape – even a thousand years apart.

(I would like to thank Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Copy of Furyborn by Clair Legrand in exchange for an honest review). 

Furyborn follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world – or doom it. When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed – unless the trials kill her first.One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable -until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world-and of each other. 

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March 2018 To Be Read

Here we are again – another month, another To Be Read List. I’ll be honest with you all (to those of you who actually read these, anyways), I mostly share these lists for my own personal reference, for months from now (when I actually have free time) when I want to go back a read books I missed during the mayhem that is the school year. And let’s be honest – 2018 has been riddled with fantastic YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi releases thus far, not to mention all the Adult Fantasy books that have found their way onto my shelves in recent weeks. I don’t want to miss a thing!

But I’ll be honest – life is busy. My TBR list is often out of control. So I have created a physical system to limit my book buying – a “TBR Box”. If the box is full, I can’t buy another book until there is room for it. This is actually working quite well so far! You’ll see my TBR box featured on my Bookstagram now and then (and here it is below – although it’s not holding TBR books in this photo!).

How do you control your To Be Read Books?

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I did pretty good last month – despite how busy February always ends up being, I managed to read nearly all the books on my list (which you can find here). Those that I didn’t quite find the time to get to have been included on this list – here’s to hoping I can tackle this months list just as efficiently (Please note that the below list is based on my own personal interests and release dates in Canada)!

  1. Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking (Release Date: January 2, 2018)
  2. Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Release Date: January 16, 2018)
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Release Date: March 6, 2018)
  4. Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (Release Date: March 6, 2018)
  5. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Release Date: March 6, 2018)
  6. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Release Date: March 13, 2018)
  7. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco (Release Date: March 20, 2018)
  8. From the Earth to the Shadows (ARC) by Amanda Hocking (Release Date: April 24, 2018)
  9. Song of Blood & Stone (ARC) by L. Penelope (Release Date: May 2, 2018)
  10. Furyborn (ARC) by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 22, 2018)

Ace of Shades (ARC) by Amanda Foody

Set to release in North America on April 10, 2018, Ace of Shades is Amanada Foody’s second book. Set in the devilishly wicked City of Sin, Amanda Foody’s newest novel explores a world where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow. Readers will be swept away by the story of Enne Salta, a lady-to-be who must brave rowdy casinos, street gangs, and Ponzi schemes gone wrong as she searches for her missing foster mother – and the truth about her own past.

Thank-you to Edelweiss for providing me with the opportunity to receive a Digital Review Copy of Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, in exchange for an honest review.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted. Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city… And she’ll need to play.

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The Hazel Wood (ARC) by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood is Melissa Albert’s debut novel, set to release in North America on January 30, 2018. It promises to be a mesmerizing and unique modern fairy tale that weaves together our own world with one far more fantastical, and far more sinister (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away-by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began-and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

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January 2018 Reading List

As we head into a new year, I’ve been looking forward to what release I am most anticipating in 2018 – It’s looking to be a good year for YA, Sci-Fi and Fantasy books, so I am excited to dive into another year of reading and blogging! Among some of my most highly anticipated books are Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (February 7, 2018), Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (February 13, 2018), Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (Febraury 6, 2018), Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (March 13, 2018), War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (May 15, 2018), and Rage by Cora Carmack (June 5, 2018).

Focusing on the month of January, I’ve put together a list that combines the books I already own with a few upcoming releases that I am excited to add to my TBR pile!

  1. Nyxia by Scott Reintegen (Release Date: September 12, 2017)
  2. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Release Date: September 19, 2017)
  3. The Last Star Burning by Cailtin Sangster (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  4. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  5. Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  6. Runebinder by Alex R Kahler (Release Date: November 14, 2017)
  7. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Release Date: January 2, 2018)
  8. The Defiant by Lesley Livingston (Release Date: January 23, 2018)
  9. The Hazel Wood (ARC) by Melissa Albert (Release Date: January 30, 2018)
  10. Furyborn (ARC) by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 22, 2018)

What will you be reading this month? Let me know in the comments – I am always looking for more books to add to me TBR (even if I shouldn’t be!).

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron

Sorry for the delay bookworms, but here it is – my full post for Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron! I am participating in the Sea of Strangers Blog Tour, hosted by Chapter by Chapter, which I am so excited about! Unfortunately weather, travelling and family commitments delayed this post, but I am still excited to share it with you all! For the remainder of the blog tour stops, or to check out previous stops, check here!

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron is the second book in an epic fantasy series titled the Ryogan Chronicles (you can find my review for Island of Exiles here), by Cameron, which will be released on December 5th, 2017. The Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy, so there’s at least one more book to look forward to in this fresh and exciting fantasy series (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review)!

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal. Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

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I had really enjoyed the first book in this series, Island of Exiles, and I couldn’t wait to read the next installment in this sprawling YA fantasy series! With engaging characters, human struggles, a society that (in some ways) is reflective of our own, and an engaging mission, I couldn’t imagine what I wouldn’t like about this one!

I have to spend a moment here talking about the fantastic world building in this series: It’s complex, diverse in so many ways and oh-so-amazing for the reader! As with Island of Exiles, I simply loved the sprawling nature of Sea of Strangers. Cameron immersed readers in a rich and intense culture – one that is similar but unique to the culture explored in Island of Exiles. The Ryogans have their own prejudices and problems, and they are also subject to the changing nature of their environment, just of the residents of Shiara are, but this new continent also brings with it a while new host of problems, beliefs and magical understandings. There are (seemingly) no easy solutions to this struggle, and new information emerges at every turn, quickly grabbing the reader’s attention and hanging onto it as the story progresses. Furthermore, the magic system was well established in Island of Exiles, and while complex and vast, it did not feel too overwhelming – although I would recommend a quick re-read of Island of Exiles to refresh yourself. Each new power was explained, and each caste of magic-wielder has a title and a role, making it easy to follow along. And, perhaps more importantly, this character and term heavy novel featured both a character list and a glossary.

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Now, on to the plot of Sea of Strangers. As mentioned, the plot is quick, action-packed and full of twists and turns. Not only this but the plot just flows so instinctively and never feels forced. The characters are faced with situations and frustrations that make so much sense and there’s absolutely no unrealistic surprises which I can definitely appreciate! As I have mentioned before, a pet-peeve of mine is when authors create some mythical power and/or item at the last moment that is conveniently capable of solving all the problems presented throughout the story in one fell swoop. Cameron instead sticks to her guns, with minimal alterations to the pre-established magic system, and what few new reveals she does insert are far from what could be described as the Holy Grail of solutions.

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While this was a fantastic and epic fantasy adventure that will certainly have fans of the YA Fantasy genre intrigued, it was the inclusive nature of Cameron’s writing that really reeled me in. The diversity is amazing and what I love about it is that it is so raw and genuine without ever being forced upon the reader that ‘this book is diverse’. It’s not there for the sake of being diverse – it just is diverse. There’s diversity of culture, of skin colour, of gender (including a third gender), of sexuality (including asexuality). Cameron handled to topic of LGBTQ2+ characters, racial diversity and cultural diversity with ease, twisting the topics together until they felt natural within the society she has created. I especially lied how, at the beginning of the novel, Cameron had a character list. While this is not uncommon, especially in YA Fantasy novels with large casts, it was something else that Cameron included on this list that caught my eye – she included the preferred pronouns of all of her characters (he/him, she/her, em/eir). Beyond this, Cameron also tackles the topic of prejudice against individuals of supposed “deviant” sexual prejudices and different abilities/physical features. While the society in Shiara was generally accepting of these differences, the Ryogans are less so, and this is perhaps a reflection of our own society.

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Overall, readers of the genre will really enjoy this addition to this fantasy series by Erica Cameron, which presents a sprawling, diverse world with complex issues and a wealth of magical power. Readers will be ensnared by the scope of the world Cameron is creating, but also by the depth of the characters, and the humanity behind their struggles (4.5/5).

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Sea of Strangers (ARC) by Erica Cameron

Hi Bookworms! I have some really exciting news to share with you all – I will be participating in the Sea of Strangers Blog Tour, presented by Entangled Teen!  The Blog Tour runs from December 11 – 29 (M-F), and I will be hosting the tour stop on December 27, 2017!

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron, is the second book in an epic fantasy series titled the Ryogan Chronicals (you can find my review for Island of Exiles here), by Cameron, which will be released on December 5th, 2017. The Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy, so there’s at least one more book to look forward to in this fresh and exciting fantasy series (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review)!

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal. Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

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MINI MONDAY: Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

A Face Like Glass is the newest book from author Frances Hardinge, author of The Lie Tree, set to release on May 9th, 2017. Dark, mysterious, and engaging, A Face Like Glass is sure to draw in fans of the genre, and keep them intrigued until the very last page.

In the underground city of Caverna, the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare—wines that remove memories, cheeses that make you hallucinate, and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. On the surface, the people of Caverna seem ordinary, except for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to express (or fake) joy, despair, or fear—at a steep price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. Neverfell’s expressions are as varied and dynamic as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, except hers are entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .

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MINI MONDAY: Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden is the first in a new series by Joelle Charbonneau, author of the bestselling Testing Trilogy. Set to release on June 6th, 2017, Dividing Eden is an engaging new fantasy series, sure to be enjoyed by fans of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series, among others. (DISCLAIMER: I received an advenced reader copy of Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review).

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure. But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom. As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family. With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal? (chapters.indigo.ca)

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