Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson

With the release of the third and final book in the Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson, I felt that it was finally time to review the three books in this series. I first picked up Walk on Earth a Stranger when its stunning cover caught my eye in my local bookstore, and from there on in I was hooked. In her newest series, Rae Carson introduces readers to a strong heroine, a cast of intriguing characters, perilous roads, fantastical twists, and a slow-burning romance.

In this review I will provide a mini, spoiler-free review of each individual book, then discuss the series as a whole.

 

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Everless by Sara Holland

Set to release in North America on January 2, 2018, Everless is Sara Holland’s triumphant debut novel. Fans of Victoria Aveyard (the Red Queen trilogy), Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns), Vic James (the Dark Gifts Trilogy) and Stephanie Garber (Caraval) will devour this lush novel’s breathtaking action, incredible romance, and dangerous secrets. I simply couldn’t wait to start reading it – the description had me intrigued – and after a relative dry-spell of fantastic books, I was in need of a good read!

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries. No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever. But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

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Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Labelled as a “witty western that will will enchant both YA and adult readers” Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell was released in North America on May 4th, 2017. While Spellslinger may be hard to stumble across in your local bookstore (here in Canada at least), seeking out this magical book will be worth every bit of time and effort you put into it (coincidentally, if, after reading this review, you want to buy your own copy of Spellslinger, you can pick it up at The Book Depository, which conveniently has free world-wide shipping)!

There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is surviving your sixteenth year. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things. 

Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope. The first in a rich and compelling fantasy series bursting with tricks, traps and a devious talking squirrel cat.

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Roar by Cora Carmack

Roar is New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut. Released in North America on June 13th, 2017, this stunning addition to the Young Adult Fantasy genre is sure to please fans of the genre, and capture the attention of even those who don’t normally find themselves gravitating towards YA Fantasy.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people. To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks-storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters. Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“The Hate U – the letter U – Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. Meaning that what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out” – Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, p. 17

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas has quickly become a wildly popular and highly acclaimed Young Adult Contemporary novel. Released in Canada on February 28, 2017, The Hate U Give quickly found itself being referred to as riveting, stunning, important, heart-breaking and powerful – and for good reason. In The Hate U Give, Thomas provides a brilliant look at the complex issues of race, class, age and gender.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr is the combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen that will have longtime fans and new readers alike at the edge of their seats. Melissa Marr’s newest series explores the precarious space between two worlds—and the people who must thrive there.

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born her very blood has been illegal. A war has been raging between humans and faeries and the Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans. Lily’s father has always shielded her from the truth, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families, and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them … and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.

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MINI MONDAY: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Set in a world of witches, magic, and romance, Trial by Fire by internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini is the first book of the young adult fantasy Worldwalker Trilogy.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies make it increasingly difficult to live a normal life, and after a completely humiliating incident ruins her first (and perhaps only) real party, she’s ready to disappear.Suddenly, Lily finds herself in a different Salem. One overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women-including Lillian, this world’s version of Lily. What made Lily weak at home, makes her extraordinary here. It also puts her in terrible danger. Faced with new responsibilities she can barely understand and a love she never expected, Lily is left with one question: How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

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Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power (Goodreads). Released on February 21st, 2017, Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas is a powerful story about a girl overcoming impossible odds to not only survive, but to rule.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life. Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself. As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown (Goodreads).

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Island of Exiles (ARC) by Erica Cameron

Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron, is the first book in an epic new fantasy series. titled the Ryogan Chronicals, by Cameron, which was released on February 14th, 2017. Thr Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy (source), with the second book, Sea of Strangers, predicted to release in December 2017 (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Island of Exiles from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review).

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle. On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else. But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen. To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run-a betrayal and a death sentence. (Chapters.Indigo.ca)

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