Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Historical Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Court of Miracles

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Hello friends,

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant is a retelling of Les Miserable with magical elements, an enormous cast of characters, and a revolution. There are many different courts one can attend within this gorgeously filled, world building fast paced plot. The characters are each unique and intriguing. There are nods towards Les Miserable, but it’s been so long since I read Les Mes that I’ve likely missed even more appreciative nods towards the work.

This book was long. It was complex. It had plot, it had depth, and it had characters that I fell hard for. It took a solid week to read this book, and that was only because I lingered over it for days, relishing in the excellent fantasy retelling. Most retellings don’t impress me these days, with a few rare exceptions thrown in. This is an exception. I adored this book. I wish to own this book. I’ll probably buy a hardcover of this book.

“Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.”
~As quoted from Goodreads

Now, while I’ve yet to read Six of Crows, I have read Leigh Bardugo, and this is a safe comparison to make, as I also adore Leigh Bardugo’s crafting into world building. One would be pleased at the historical elements flung into this book, along with the epic fantasy twists and turns, the thieves, the murderers, the magic that revolves around the various courts. I’d love to dive into the courts, but I barely recall most of them, and I desperately need to do a re-read, take notes, and keep up with characters of whose alive and whose not. I warn readers, do not get attached. That could prove fatal to you, should you do so.

There’s a spark of romance within the pages as well, along with myths thrown in I think, if I recall correctly. It’s admittedly been a bit since I’ve read the book, and as stated above, I need a reread. However, the story is still fresh in my mind enough that I feel safe in giving it 5/5 stars. I highly recommend for all fans of retellings, and that of historical fiction, or classics in general. Please read this. You won’t regret it.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Book Review: Unpopular Opinion

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Title: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Book One
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Page Count: 500
Status: DNF’d at 35/40%
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Rated: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3/5 stars
Notes: Unpopular Opinion-this book was not meant for one such as me.

I really had high hopes for this novel. Everything from the description to the gorgeous cover sounded like my type of read. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and I was really eager to finally dive into another 500+page epic fantasy series. Alas, that turned out not to be the case.

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

I liked Nasir but his character didn’t really *grab* me. Same with Zafira, however cool her name was, she was a bit baffling to me and I just couldn’t muster enthuasism for her character. Naasir’s story was a bit more promising…but it just fell flat, for both of them. I made it about 150 pages in, before giving up entirely.

Another issue was language. The book really should have a glossary, terminology, and character chart list at the start of the book. There’s supposedly one on the author’s website, but that doesn’t do me much good since I do not have internet at home to look it up, and rely on my phone more often than not for service. Therefore, nothing of that sort for me.

Then there was the Chapter: Boy’s POV and Chapter: Girl’s POV back and forth switch that I hate reading. I like sticking with just the one character, though there have been exceptions-such as The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, but those exceptions are few and far between. It just was frustrating-as soon as I started getting interested in that character, it would swap back to the other and I would loose interest all over again. Ugh.

The writing, admittedly, wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I was interested in the plot’s story arc, but my main complaint is the characters, strange terms, and the weird names. There’s one character whose name is Umm. Seriously? Umm.

I get this is supposedly to be otherworldly fantasy. I get this was building up to something probably epic and awesome and thrilling for all. I get that, I do. But sadly, it just couldn’t keep my attention and I want to read things that I enjoy reading and not have to reach so hard to find the parts that I like. Therefore, unfortunately for me, this is a definite DNF. Maybe I might try again in the future, but it’s highly doubtful.

Overall, 3/5 stars and I feel as though I’m being generous.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Hardback Book Review: Song in the Silence

Song in the Silence

Title: Song in the Silence
Author: Elizabeth Kerner
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback
Received: Library Loan
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Short review, long book.

Epic fantasy at it’s finest. Fans of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, and Robert Jordan may enjoy this author’s writing, for the author weaves words and tales as fine as George RR Martin but in a completely different sort of landscape. There are tales within tales in this first book, and the only thing that truly vexed me was the constant character pov change, but aside from that this was a truly marvelous find and one that I didn’t expect to fall in love with so completely.

The ending of the book left things hanging wide open, of course, as there was so much crammed into the beginning that there was obviously going to need more books later. I’m unsure how long this series will be, but it’s one that I’m aiming to keep reading more of as time goes on, and even buying if I find copies of the books themselves.

And while this is a short review, the book itself is long and entertaining. I sincerely hope that y’all check this book out because it’s well worth reading. This has been on my goodreads wishlist forever, and I wish I can remember where I first saw it. A library? A bookstore? A blog? The possibilities of such are endless, much to my chagrin. Ah well. Happy discoveries make for excellent finds.

Overall, I’m giving this book 5/5 glorious stars because of dragons, strong female characters, horses, magic, mystery, and romance. A thoroughly satisfying read!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

New Release Review: For a Muse of Fire

 

For a Muse of Fire

Title: For a Muse of Fire
Author: Heidi Higil
Series: Book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 500
Type of Book: Hardback, Library Loan, New Release
Received: from the library
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: The wait is over, the anticipation was worth it, and I have a new favorite book!

This book was compelling, fascinating, and driven by the characters. It was definitely different from anything that I’ve read before, filled with fliers for shows, wanted posters, actual three pages worth of song lyrics, poems, and told in the form of a play, as well as regular book format. It was beautifully done, and my imaginary hat goes off to the author for a fantastical job well done!

Told in various languages as well, this book features strong female characters, dancers at adult clubs, rebellion, a unique magical system, music, lyrics, and even a girl with a secret that can’t be discovered least she be killed or worse.

{Insert Goodreads Book Description}

I’ve been wanting to read this for months, and now that I have I shall take it off my Anticipated Reads page. I loved it, though will admit that it was a bit of a slow build to an epic finale, that I sincerely hope this is a book one, and that the cover art does the book justice. It’s sad, a lot of the time, but its also got drama, shadow puppets, and even death plays a major character in this novel.

I haven’t read the author’s previous series The Girl From Everywhere and now it’s soared to the near top of my list of ‘needing to read and needing to read it now’ books. The author is a new favorite of mine, and does a splendid job in capturing readers attention from the very first page. You are drawn in until the very end, and I read this all in one sitting, it was that good.

This marks yet another book that reached far beyond my anticipated reads and I know there will be many more to come despite it being almost December, for this year has been filled with favorite after favorite read.

I feel that if you love breathtaking, original fantasy stories, then you will definitely appreciate this gem of a book. 5/5 stars for a book that was well worth the wait, and I eagerly look forward to reading more by this author!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: Empire of Sand

EmpireofSandARC

Title: Empire of Sand
Author: Tasha Suri
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Page Count: 500
Type of Book: ARC, Netgalley Read, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars

I think this might be one of my top #5 books of the year. I’m still in awe of this book that I’ve just finished reading. I read a few chapters here and there the past couple of days, but when I reached chapter fifteen, I didn’t stop reading for almost an entire day, and now it’s currently resting at 9pm at night. That’s a lot of attention from one book. I just couldn’t stop. Merh was such a fascinating, empathetic, and completely believable character. The world-building was breathtaking and enormous, and there was just so much going on in each chapter, it was almost bewildering. It was a grand, epic fantasy adventure that I’d been craving since I’d last read The Expanse, or Outlander, or even Harry Potter-but in a completely different and wholly unexpected way.

Merh struck a deep cord in me, with her trying to keep her family safe from the Emperor and his people, while avoiding her mother’s side of the family and striving to be the quiet, obedient daughter of the Governor. She’s strong, however, and likes to test the bounderies of what she can and cannot do. But things begin to backfire, when her mother’s roots begin to show…and she begins to loose control of the peace she’s carefully built for herself over the years. Her stepmother hates her, and wants her away from her sister, while her father is slowly growing away from her, in large parts thanks to her hateful stepmother. Things are taking a dark turn.

And then the story opens up into such a wild and emotional ride with so many things that I didn’t see coming that I can’t help but keep flipping page after page. It’s imaginative, and glorious to read such a tear-jerker and gut-puncher of a story. Prepare to have tissues on hand, I nearly cried a few times, and it takes a lot to make me cry over a book.

Warnings: minor character deaths, suggested rape, attempted annihaliation of a race, forced arranged marriage, characters that you will hate, and scenes that might make you cry…

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book, and deeply thank Orbit for approving me of a copy. I read the description of the book, saw the line on the cover that read “magic is in her blood” and knew that this was going to be one of my all time favorites, and I’m thrilled to say that I was absolutely right. I’m planning on buying this book when it comes out, to add to my top favorites, it’s that good. Needless to say, I’m giving this book 5/5 stars for its beautifully written tale of love, danger, and magic.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews

ARC Book Review: A Scandal in Battersea

A Scandal in Battersea

Title: A Scandal in Battlesea
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: The Elemental Masters, Book 12
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: ARC, Paperback
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: I haven’t read any of the rest of the elemental master series, but that doesn’t matter, because it’s reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, so of course I had to read it. I *have* however, almost all of Mercedes Lackey’s books sitting on my shelves, so am a tremendous fan of hers. The Elemental Masters series is one my younger sister reads, and this is completely new to me but I plan on reading the others of this series soon.
I found this book to be most intriguing, mainly due to the Sherlock Holmes characters. I definitely enjoyed it, due to the more magical elements, and I liked reading Alexandre’s parts best, though I enjoyed all the characters overall. I did find the ending to be a bit rushed, and I was unsatisfied with how the author handled Alexandre’s last scenes, but aside from that I really liked it. It wasn’t as good as her Bardic Voices series, or perhaps her Joust series, but it was a fine a way to pass the time for a few hours regardless.

I’ve read Mercedes Lackey ever since I was about thirteen, when I first began diving into the fantasy genre after having read Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time. This was refreshing, with its promotion of LGBT characters, fascinating world-building schemes, and magical elements, I was hooked by this author for years to come. Granted, I hadn’t read much of her books lately, aside from the new arcs that I have received: The Hills Have Spies, along with another book too that I forget the name of…

But I digress.

This gave several nods to the BBC series of Sherlock, or so I thought. Including the ‘cabbie’, who picked up victims, Mycroft Holmes appearing just at the end of the book, and various other little nods that I rather enjoyed. I found that the author did a good job in paying homage to Sherlock, and loved the scene where he was infuriated about having magic countered against him, thinking it wasn’t fair, and considered it cheating.

My only real complaints were how she’d handled Alexandre’s untimely end, and how the ending itself felt rather rushed, which is why the book is getting 4/5 stars. Otherwise, I’m sure fans of Mercedes Lackey will definitely enjoy this new release of hers.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews

Book Review: The Tethered Mage

The Tethered Mage

Title: The Tethered Mage
Author: Melissa Caruso
Series: Book One
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook, Birthday Buy
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars!!!
Notes: I’ve read this four times already!

Book Two is out, and I have yet to produce a review of this amazing book. Whoops. Let me correct that with a fresh new review of a book that I’ve already read four times. The first two I had to skim, because I didn’t have time to fully devote myself to this book, but now that I’ve read it again and again without skimming, I can fully appreciate the world that the author has given us. It’s unique, beautiful, and awesome. And I’m pleased that book two is released, and I don’t have to wait to go grab myself a copy.

I really enjoyed this book. It took me a while to figure out how to write this review, because I can’t really articulate this into words how much I really liked this book. I loved the main characters. I didn’t love the romance that sprang up, but it fit the story regardless so I let it slide. I did love all the world-building, the magical elements, the slow build up to that intense ending and how things got resolved…it all was very well delivered, and I found myself caring about the characters deeply, not to mention cheering them on as things spun out of control.

Overall, I’m giving this a 5/5 stars. I want to come back to this review, and work in more details too, because it seems like it’s lacking. It’s also been a bit since I’ve read the book proper, but I’m planning on yet another re-read, and immediately going to the review after doing so.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book