Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2)

36010223Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, War Setting, Magic, Romance


BLURB:

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice—to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead. With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire. Continue reading

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Blog Tour: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

34323570Furyborn by Claire Legrand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Magic, Romance, Family


BLURB:

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire 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. Continue reading

Akata Witch – Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch by Nnedi OkoraforAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: July 11th, 2017
Publisher: Speak
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Culture, Friendship, Secret Society


BLURB: 

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs? Continue reading

Spellslinger – Sebastien de Castell

25181955Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: Orbit
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, War Setting


BLURB: 

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… Continue reading

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1)

33958230Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Philomel Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Super Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Power


BLURB:

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute. Continue reading

The Bird and the Blade – Megan Bannen

32702487The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Forbidden Love, Adventure, Dynasties, Retelling


BLURB:

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love. Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die. Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart. Continue reading

Legendary – Stephanie Garber

36329818Legendary by Stephanie Garber

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Super Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Siblings, Romance, Mystery


BLURB:

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name. The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever. Continue reading