Friday 28 February 2020

Malice - Book Review

by Pintip Dunn

What is it about:
What I know: a boy in my school will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved... 

What did I think of it:
*slight spoilers if you know me*
I totally couldn't resist that cover I will confess.

And this is actually a really cool read as well.

I really liked Alice, she tries to do the right thing even when it means she has to sacrifice the things and persons that matter to her. I also liked that she might listen to her future self, but doesn't take what she is told as the absolute truth. She questions what she is told and her beliefs.

During her quest to save the future she meets Bandit, a fellow student who might be either the culprit, or an ally in her search for the future terrorist. I liked him. He's cocky, but not a total jerk as so many love interests seem to be in YA at the moment.

The time travel thing in this book isn't fool proof, but believable enough I was willing to go with it for the sake of the story.

Of course the culprit was easy to identify, as it is of course the usual suspect and that part of the book really made me gag. But surprisingly enough Dunn did some things with the story and outcome that I hadn't expected and that made that I could live with the other decisions she made.

So all in all I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected when I had read the first couple of chapters. Definitely a book for my keeper shelves.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool YA read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 27 February 2020

On McPig's Wishlist - You Were Never Here

You Were Never Here
by Kathleen Peacock

Cat hasn’t been to Montgomery Falls, the town her family founded, since she was twelve years old. Since the summer she discovered she could do things that no normal twelve-year-old could do. Since she had her first kiss with Riley Fraser. Since she destroyed their friendship.

Now, five years later, she’s back and Riley has disappeared.

For the last three months no one has heard from or seen Riley. And while there are all sorts of conspiracy theories about where he went, neither the police nor his parents are any closer to finding him. When Noah, Riley’s brother, asks for help in discovering what happened, Cat is torn between wanting to learn the truth and protecting the secret that she’s been guarding ever since that summer she and Riley stopped speaking.

But then a girl is discovered floating in the river, barely alive with no knowledge of who attacked her or why. With the possibility that someone out there is hunting teens, Cat must make a choice: Use her unusual ability to discover the truth and find Riley or keep running away from a power she can’t control. Only one choice will put her in a killer’s sights…

Publication date 20 Oct 2020
preorder at bookdepository

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Upright Women Wanted - Book Review

Upright Women Wanted
by Sarah Gailey

What is it about:
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.

"That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks."

Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

What did I think of it:
After reading American Hippo and Magic For Liars Sarah Gailey became an auto-buy author for me. Their writing style, humor, and stories are totally my jam!

So even though this is a Tor novella and therefor pricey, I preordered this baby so I could have it in my greedy trotters as soon as possible.

And what a cool read!

I really could understand Esther. She comes from a small town where patriarchy and heterosexuality are the norm, and anything outside of the norm is considered wrong. So it's not strange she sees herself as bad, weird, and maybe not deserving to live. I rooted for her to see she is perfect and deserving of happiness, and being who she wants to be instead of who others think she should be.

The librarians and other women she travels with are all very interesting as well. All have secrets for the fascist and restricting country they live in, and all have their own way of dealing with it. I loved how different ways of fighting oppression were shown in this story, and how each affect you and those around you.

This is a story that made me cry, smile, and hope, and that I can recommend to anyone looking for a powerful story about resistance, identity, and queer librarian spies.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and powerful novella.

buy from bookdepository

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Release Day Teaser: The Sound of Stars

The invasion came when we were too distracted raging against our government to notice. Terror had a face and we elected it, my mom said.

(page 6, The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 24 February 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: The Crown of the Queen - book review

I have been a bit distracted by things, so I forgot to continue my reread last week, but yesterday I sat down and reread The Crown of the Queen. Here's my initial review. Notes on rereading at the end.

The Crown of the Queen - A Twelve Kingdoms Novella
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Dafne Mailloux, librarian and temporary babysitter to the heirs to the High Throne of the Twelve – now Thirteen – Kingdoms, finds it difficult to leave the paradise of Annfwn behind. Particularly that trove of rare books in temptingly unfamiliar languages. But duty calls, and hers is to the crown. It’s not like her heart belongs elsewhere. But how can she crown a queen who hesitates to take the throne?

What did I think of it:
Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe Kennedy, so we were very happy to get a review copy of this novella.

And this is a great novella.

It serves as a bridge between The Talon of the Hawk and the upcoming The Pages of the Mind, filling in details of some events too big to put as an epilogue in the first of those two books, and with not enough impact on the second to start The Pages of the Mind with.

Still there are things happening that fans of the series want to know about. This novella gives us the events surrounding the coronation of Ursula, and gives us a glimpse into Dafne's mind. There are answers to questions readers of The Talon of the Hawk might have had, and exciting glimpses of what might come next.

Having read all the books and novellas in this series, I am not the best person to tell you if this can be read as a standalone, but honestly: Don't! Just read all the books. They're so good!!

All in all this is a delightful novella, that gave me extra information and fluff about lead characters from previous books, and that makes me eager to read The Pages of the Mind to find out what will happen next for Dafne.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Fantasy Romance read.


Find buy links here

Notes on rereading:
I loved seeing Zyr in this novella, knowing what is to come for him. I also really like how this book gives small glimpses of other things to come in the next few books which you don't really notice on a first read.

Next: The Pages of the Mind

Friday 21 February 2020

Polaris Rising - Book Review

Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1)
by Jessie Mihalik

What is it about:
A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancĂ© captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for...

What did I think of it:
I've heard from a lot of people that Polaris Rising was a great read, so when I got some extra birthday spending money I decided to get hold of it.

And what a cool read!

The action started almost right away and soon Ada is on the run and in danger. She strikes a deal with Loch, a man accused of terrible crimes, to help her escape. And immediately the sparks start flying.

I loved both the action part of this story as well as the romance. Where the romance is a nice slow burn the action never stops. Ada manages to tumble from one dangerous situation in the next. She takes risks, but never in a way that made me think she was being stupid. Loch was a total alpha, but luckily not in a super controlling way. He is capable of seeing Ada's worth, and letting her do what she's good at. I was totally invested in them escaping their enemies, and rooted for them to trust each other and get together.

Other cool characters got introduced, and I also loved the world building. I very much enjoyed all the different places Ada visits and their different social structures. There luckily wasn't too much hard tech, but the tech that was used, was explained in a logical way that fitted the story.

All in all a really cool SF romance that I couldn't put down. You bet I'll read more books by Mihalik.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome and action-packed SF Romance

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 20 February 2020

How to Become King - Book Review

How to Become King/Koning van Katoren (Katoren #1)
by Jan Terlouw

What is it about:

Seventeen years after the king of Katoren dies, a boy aspires to win the crown and is tested with seven impossible tasks by six Ministers.

What did I think of it:
This book is one of those books my owner read many times as a kid. So when we saw it on sale for just 2 euro to promote reading, we snatched it up, so I could read it as well.

And this story held up really well through the years I must say. It's set in a Fantasy world: Stach is born the night the king dies. The ministers of the country stall in finding a new king until Stach confronts them when he's 17 and asks them how he can become king. They decide to set him impossible tasks in hope he'll fail and they can keep ruling the country.

The tasks Stach gets are fantastical, like dealing with a dragon, a magician, and more. But these fantastical problems he has to solve all stand for real world problems, like pollution, the gap between the poor and the rich, and more. I was a bit sad to see how most of the issues Terlouw tackled in this book, which was written in 1971, are still recognizable and current today.

That aside this is a really fun adventurous story. Stach is smart and resourceful, but he isn't afraid to ask for help when needed. The issues this book tackles are important, but Terlouw manages to write them in a way that makes you can also just enjoy the story and root for Stach to find a solution for the difficult problems set before him.

All in all a fun and very enjoyable read.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Fantasy read.

It seems to be translated to English back in the day, but I don't think the book is easy to find in English, so no buy links

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Unspoken Name

Csorwe had been keeping her distance, reckoning that she probably wasn't needed here, but she heard the warning note in Sethennai's voice. His frown deepened, and his ears were drawn up tight against his skull.

(page 72, The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 17 February 2020

It Took a Zombie Apocalypse - Book Review

It Took a Zombie Apocalypse
by Jessica E. Subject

What is it about:
It started with a kiss.

Then the zombies came. Now, Missy must work with the neighbor her parents hate if she wants to survive. But zombies aren't the only threat to her life, or her heart.

What did I think of it:
If you're looking for a zombie-filled book, keep moving. If you are looking for a quick romance with likeable characters and with zombies as background noise: this is your book.

The zombie apocalypse is basically the catalyst to get the two lead characters together and start their romance. There being zombies does make for some emotional moments for the two of them, but nothing too bad. It's a quick and entertaining read.

All in all enjoyable, but also forgettable. Like fast food for your brain.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining read.

buy from amazon

Friday 14 February 2020

Song of Blood & Stone - Book Review

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1)
by L. Penelope

What is it about:
L. Penelope's Song of Blood & Stone is a treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

The kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar have been separated for centuries by the Mantle, a magical veil that has enforced a tremulous peace between the two lands. But now, the Mantle is cracking and the True Father, ruler of Lagrimar and the most powerful Earthsinger in the world, finally sees a way into Elsira to seize power.

All Jasminda ever wanted was to live quietly on her farm, away from the prying eyes of those in the nearby town. Branded an outcast by the color of her skin and her gift of Earthsong, she’s been shunned all her life and has learned to steer clear from the townsfolk…until a group of Lagrimari soldiers wander into her valley with an Elsiran spy, believing they are still in Lagrimar.

Through Jack, the spy, Jasminda learns that the Mantle is weakening, allowing people to slip through without notice. And even more troubling: Lagrimar is mobilizing, and if no one finds a way to restore the Mantle, it might be too late for Elsira. Their only hope lies in uncovering the secrets of the Queen Who Sleeps and Jasminda’s Earthsong is the key to unravel them.

Thrust into a hostile society and a world she doesn’t know, Jasminda and Jack race to unveil an ancient mystery that might offer salvation.

What did I think of it:
I've found a new author to watch!

When I discovered this book has several viewpoint characters and storylines, I was hesitant at first, but soon I was totally engrossed. What a wonderful read. I loved Jasminda: she is strong, independent, and caring. She gets caught up in danger and adventure by accident, but once involved she will go the distance and doesn't back down when things get though.

Jack is more difficult to love. He might be heroic and brave, but his bravery fails him when it comes to being honest towards the woman who saved his life. I'd wanted to see a bit more personal growth in Jack, but he did redeem himself enough in my eyes eventually.

Then there's Ella and her husband Ben. Ella gets a cry for help from her sister, who she hasn't seen in years. When she answers the call she gets drawn into a conspiracy. As she puts herself into danger, Ben will have to decide what's more important: his job or Ella.

These storylines didn't seem to have anything in common at first, but slowly they connect and the bigger picture becomes visible. Where I usually ith multiple storylines find myself bored with at least one, here I was invested in all of them, and I rooted for both Jasminda and Ella to get out on top of things.

All in all a really cool read set in a very intriguing world. You bet I'll get hold of the next book.

Why should you read it:
It's a very cool Fantasy read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 13 February 2020

The Deep - Book Review

The Deep
by Rivers Solomon
With Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes

What is it about:
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

What did I think of it:
From what I understand this novella is based on the song The Deep written by David Diggs and his rap group Clipping. I have not listened to this song, so I can't tell you anything more about the song.

The book however is beautiful, haunting, and emotional.

Yetu carries the history of her people, and is constantly burdened by the flashbacks, and the emotions and hurt that come with it. Only during the Remembrance once a year she is free of having to remember. It's slowly driving her mad and so she escapes to the surface.

The way the barrage of memories haunts and hurts Yetu is painful to read. The glimpses of the past of her people, connected to real horrors from our world's past is confrontational. I will confess I don't think I'll ever be capable of truly understanding how it must feel to be cut off from your past, your history, to be drifting, unmoored. This novella gives a glimpse of what that must be.

Yet there is also hope. Yetu's flight from her people sets things in motion for her and those she left behind that might bring healing.

All in all a powerful read.

Why should you read it:
It's beautiful and haunting

buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: Heart's Blood - Book Review

It seems I didn't review this one back when it first released. Time to remedy that.

And for those of you reading along, anxiously waiting for the release of The Fate of the Tala: It's out in ebook.

Heart's Blood (The Twelve Kingdoms #3.5)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
A Story of The Twelve Kingdoms

A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.

Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix.

With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong… if it ever can be.

What did I think of it:
This story is a bit of an odd duck (or goose in this case), in so far that it stands alone and (apart from a small cameo) doesn't connect to any of the other books in the series (yet).

Still it's a wonderful story that adds to the world, and it's a beautiful retelling of the fairytale The Goose Girl.

I never fully understood why the goose girl in the original tale didn't tell anyone she is the real princess. In this story Jeffe gives an explanation that is as believable as it is heartbreaking. I totally rooted for Nix to find happiness.

And the writing! I can so get lost in the beauty of Jeffe's writing. I just have to share one of my favorite lines:

The geese poured out after her, an enraged escort for her headlong rush (...).

*happy sigh* I can just reread a sentence like that a couple of times and feel and hear those geese.

This being a retelling those familiar with the original fairytale will know how this story goes, but even if you do, this story is so worth the read. And if you're new to this world and to Jeffe's writing, this novella is a great place to start to get a taste and hopefully get hooked.

Notes on rereading:
I'd forgotten what a jerk that Conrad is. But yeah, he's also a bit of a pest in the original tale.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Fantasy retelling of The Goose Girl

buy links

Up next in my reread: The Crown of the Queen

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Polaris Rising

The constant wind whistled eerily around the abandoned buildings. I was alone in a vast, abandoned city.

(page 127, Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 10 February 2020

Protect the Prince - Book Review

Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2)
by Jennifer Estep

What is it about:
Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s... well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen...

What did I think of it:
This is a very entertaining read.

I loved the first book, so with the last book in this trilogy on its way, it was more than time for me to pick up book two.

I must warn you that this isn't High Fantasy, or Epic Fantasy. I'd call it Renaissance Fair Fantasy myself. If you go into this book with that in mind you'll have a great time with it. Is it over the top at times? Yes! Is it always believable what is happening? No! Is it a fun and very entertaining story? Totally!!

I very much enjoyed Evie's antics, the political mess she gets herself into, and the danger that stalks her and others. Once again the culprit didn't come as a surprise, but even with seeing the outcome from miles away I had a great time with this book.

You bet I'll read the last book soon (I have an ARC *squee*) to see how Evie's story ends.

Why should you read it:
It's a super entertaining Fantasy read.

buy from bookdepository

Friday 7 February 2020

Scent to Her Grave - Book Review

Scent to Her Grave (A Bath and Body Mystery #1)
by India Ink aka Yasmine Galenorn

What is it about:
The fairest of them all...

Lydia Wang is the newly crowned winner of a local beauty pageant--and the queen of mean. Used to getting what she wants, she ends up in an fight with Persia over the store's newest acquisition: the Mirror of Aphrodite. Reflecting only the most beautiful aspects of the person looking into it, the mirror is a huge draw and definitely not for sale--no matter how much Lydia is willing to pay.

Persia arrives at the shop the next morning to find Lydia dead, the mirror missing, and one of the shop's treasured employees the prime suspect. Trevor's arrest is a blemish on the reflection of the shop, so Persia decides to take matters by the nose. To clear his name, she must sniff out the signature scent of a killer.

What did I think of it:
This is such an enjoyable read.

I was hooked from the first page. The writing is fun, the characters even more so. I loved both Persia and her aunt.

There were some clues that seemed pretty obvious to me, but that Persia missed. I can't say if it's because they were obvious, or if I read so many mysteries that I easily pick up on them. But that didn't diminish my enjoyment in the story, I can tell you.

The main storyline is solved in this book, but several smaller ones promise drama and possibly more murder in the next book. You bet I'll pick it up soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and enjoyable murder mystery.

buy the ebook from amazon

Thursday 6 February 2020

Emissary - Book Review

Emissary (Sekhmet's Army)
by Marcella Burnard

What is it about:
Years ago, I left my home in Menethes. I left in anger, cursing my mother. I was a child and a foolish one at that. I earned my sword and my place as a warrior in Sekhmet's Army. Now, the priestesses bid me return to the land of my birth. For fel sorcery has stricken the land. It has usurped the throne, enslaved the people, murdered the priests, and defiled the sacred precincts of every temple in the city. Sekhmet, the Fire in the Desert, demands justice.

She has chosen me to deliver it. Though I am strong, I have no shield against sorcery. If I fail, I die. Success? That, too, may well end in my death. But failure? Failure will cost me my soul.

What did I think of it:
This was a reread for me. This short story was first released in the anthology Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword.

And it was so good to revisit this story. I love how Marcella Burnard manages to create a whole world in such a short story. With a minimum of words she manages to have this story breathe atmosphere and life.

The story itself is beautiful and I wouldn't mind if Marcella Burnard writes more stories in this world: I'd gobble them all up I can tell you.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy read.

buy from amazon

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: The Talon of the Hawk - Book Review

This book concludes the original trilogy. I can tell you I'm very glad more books came after!

Here's my original review. Notes on rereading at the end.

The Talon of the Hawk (The Twelve Kingdoms #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead...

What did I think of it:
I absolutely love the first two books in this series, so I was very excited to get an ARC of The Talon of the Hawk.

Now I will have to confess that I had a difficult relationship with Ursula in the previous books, especially in book one. Half the time I liked her, and half the time I wanted to kick her for being a big bossypants to her sisters. So even though I longed for this book ever since finishing The Tears of the Rose, I was wondering if I could love Ursula as much as her sisters.

I shouldn't have worried: this is such a wonderful read and Ursula is an awesome character.

Ursula is a strong heroine, but with hurts and doubts that might break her if she lets them. She's learned to keep her feelings hidden, while trying hard to do what's right and to do what's honorable, but those might not be the same. I felt for her and cheered her on. Hoping she'd find a way to balance her love for her sisters with her feelings of duty.

Then she meets Harlan, a mercenary who sets his eyes on her. He sees more than just the mask that Ursula shows the world, and tries hard to get to the woman behind it.

The way Harlan and Ursula interact with each other is wonderful to read. Their courtship is half battle, half romance. Ursula is stubborn, but in Harlan she met her match. I was rooting for him to get Ursula to open up and let him inside her defenses.

As for the overall story: The events started in the first book find a thrilling climax in this one. This series was meant to be a trilogy at first, so the major storylines are solved. still there are lots of things that would lend themselves perfectly for more stories, and I'm happy that there will at least be two more books in this series. You can bet I'll be impatiently waiting for those.

I'm not sure if this book is readable as a standalone. You would probably miss out on things. But apart from that: this series is too good to just skip the first two books. so if you haven't started on this series yet: Get reading!

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Fantasy Romance

Buy links

Notes on rereading: It's fun to see Harlan at the start of the story and knowing what's going on in his head. Also: this is the book where I already started to fall in love with Jepp.

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Song of Blood and Stone

Gripping the shotgun she'd taken to bed in one hand, she reached under her pillow for her father's hunting knife. Another, smaller blade was already strapped to her thigh.

(page 57, Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 3 February 2020

What's a Ghoul to Do? - Book Review

What's a Ghoul to Do? (Ghost Hunter Mystery #1)
by Victoria Laurie

What is it about:
M.J., her partner Gilley, and their client, the wealthy, de-lish Dr. Steven Sable, are at his family's lodge, where his grandfather allegedly jumped to his death from the roof-although Sable says it was foul play.

But the patriarch's isn't the only ghost around. The place is lousy with souls, all with something to get off their ghoulish chests. Now M.J. will have to to quell the clamor-and listen for a voice with the answers...

What did I think of it:
This is a fun read.

I really liked the writing style, the mood, and the mystery. M.J. is a fun and quirky lead character, and I especially loved her pet: a parrot called Doc who just doesn't know when to keep his beak shut. The mystery was fun to try to figure out, and I really enjoyed the overall story.

I did get annoyed by the ongoing joke of Dr. Sable mangling his English. Yes, we get it: he's foreign. He shouldn't be stupid however! Even if his English would be really bad, some of the mistakes he made were too dumb for words. For example: The Sixth Sense is a term that's also used in other countries, so it makes no sense at all Sable would think it's called a Six Cents! Also: Everybody and their dog knows it's playboy and not playing boy, even if they don't speak any other word of English!

That being said: all in all this is a very entertaining read. I might pick up the next book if I run into it.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Paranormal read.

Buy from bookdepository