Waiting on Wednesday: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: The Queen of Nothing
Author: Holly Black 
Publication date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne. 

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power. 

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics. 

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity… 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

a NEED

YOU GUYS, THIS IS THE FINALE WE
HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR.

IS IT NOVEMBER YET?

Waiting on Wednesday: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason
Author: Virginia Boecker
Publication date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young adult, Historical

Synopsis

When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself.

Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play–it’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Mood Board of The Wicked King by Holly Black

26032887Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: January 8, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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Synopsis:

The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.


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Remember how floored I was after reading The Cruel Prince. Well, I’m not going to hold anything back, but you guys, The Wicked King is just as enticing and brutal as the first book. Jude is still badass and fighting tooth and nail to survive in the Faerie folk world; Cardan is slouched on the throne in a state of boredom and drunken bliss; and every character that we encounter throughout the story is just as biting and cutthroat as the other.

And instead of going into a full review of The Wicking King where I talk about how my heart cannot take much more of these twists, turns, and acts of betrayal inked by Holly Black’s storytelling, I decided to dabble in creating an mood board, which I hope gets you more excited for this sequel. Because honestly, right now, I cannot fathom to express my thoughts on the angst and treachery ingrained in this book into words. I just CANNOT! *sobs uncontrollably* . . . I need The Queen of Nothing now. 

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My Rating of The Wicked King:star rating

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Note:   I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in exchange for a review. I received an early copy of this book from a friend, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine. Please note that not all pictures/photos used in the mood board are mine, but were found on stock photo sites and Pinterest. 

Waiting on Wednesday: Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Grace and Fury
Author: Tracy Banghart
Publication date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Title: 
The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: January 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy 

Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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You guys this book broke me in the best ways possible. At first, The Cruel Prince shocked me with its grim and gruesome first chapter. But then I was slowly dangled into the cruel politics of the fairy world. At first, I liked the story, but I felt like something was missing. My stubborn self craved so much more than family history and fae politics. Plus I was not a big fan of the sister dynamics that were wearing down on my last nerve.

BUT…BAM!

Once I got to the 150ish page mark, I could not put this book down. I was engrossed with the storyline’s darkness, the espionage, the secrets, the twists, and OHMYGOD that ending! 

The Cruel Prince is a gorgeous and gritty read. It’s simply a stunner from the beautiful cover to the unique characters and all the unexpected plot twists. This book has everything from mouth-dropping scenes,  several punch in the gut romances, and the most unforeseen betrayal that had me grasping for more pages.

I am floored that this book did a 180 on me and I cannot wait for book two. If there is one book that I highly recommend that you TREAT YO SHELF to at the beginning of 2018, please for the love of all fairies, pick up The Cruel Prince. You will not regret it. 

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NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received an advance reader’s copy through a blogger book trade and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of Frostblood by Elly Blake

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Title: FROSTBLOOD
Author: Elly Blake
Publication date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: ARC (won from NOVL’s monthly newsletter)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of Frostblood by Elly Blake

*singing* THIS BOOK IS ON FIIIRE!!!

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As a fantasy genre fanatic, lets just say, Elly Blake’s Frostblood unexpectedly won me over. It is definitely a series that had me enamored in a setting of epic world-building, swoony scenes, a feud between firebloods and frostbloods, and hilarious banter. More importantly, I fell in love with a main character with sass, power, and jaw-clenching fierceness that could melt a glacier. 

After reading Frostblood, Ruby has become one of my favorite fantasy characters to root for. As a gifted fireblood, she is fiery both literally and in attitude. I really liked that Ruby was depicted as a persevering warrior, an authentic female protagonist, with fire in her heart and virtue in her soul. Every page allowed Ruby to radiate as a character that upholds great emotional strength, determination, quick wit, passion, and selflessness. She is a fighter and throughout the novel, I wanted to fight along with her. 

I also adored the character Arcus. As a mysterious, rogue-like character, his mystery had me mesmerized and his mischievousness had me dazed with warm fuzzies. The friendship and chemistry that develops between Ruby and Arcus in this book is enough to make glaciers crack, volcanoes erupt, and the earth quack. WOOO!!! *fans self*

Frostblood is one of my new favorite fantasy series, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Ruby and Arcus. I’m a sucker for prophecies and innate magic, so of course after reading this book in less than a day, I WANT MORE! Give me a fantasy filled with secret identities and slow-burning relationships any day, and I will be a melted mess of swoons. 

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

NOTE: Thank you to NOVL for providing me an advance reader’s copy of FROSTBLOOD, which I won from their monthly newsletter. I read this book at my own discretion. All statements and opinions are my own.

To win future books from NOVL, be sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter. Click on the  picture below to be linked to their newsletter signup page.

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ARC Review: The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker

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Title: The King Slayer
By: Virginia Boecker
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: June 14, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

 

About The King Slayer:

An action-packed and suspenseful sequel to The Witch Hunter, perfect for fans of Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.

“I think, in time, you’ll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory.”

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule–namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves.

“[Filled] with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal.”–April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, on The Witch Hunter


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF THE KING SLAYER

Last year, NOVL introduced me to The Witch Hunter, the prequel to The King Slayer, and I automatically fell in love with this fantasy series. This duology is deeply rooted in a magical and historical atmosphere with well-developed characters, including a strong heroine named Elizabeth Grey. As a former witch hunter and now stigma-less, I noticed that Elizabeth is more watchful of her surroundings in The King Slayer, and luckily she can still hold her own ground in a good fight.

Even though Elizabeth has lost many friends, including her family, I like that she gains a strong support system throughout the series with new friends and allies: John, Peter, Fifer, and Schuyler. I love the different types of relationships and strong connections she has with each of these characters, and it is hard for me to pick out which friendship I love the most, hahahaha. But if I had to choose, I would definitely gush about the friendship between Elizabeth and Schulyer to any reader. Not only do they have a great bond, they are also so witty and humorous together. And overall, they always have each other’s backs.

Additionally, I greatly appreciated how Boecker depicted the romantic relationship between Elizabeth and John. Their kisses are swoony and captivating, and let’s just say some of their steamy scenes are often left up to the reader’s imagination *fans self.* I love that this couple is not always in that “honeymoon” stage where nothing goes wrong. Instead, their relationship is constantly tested. More importantly they test each other’s boundaries, patience, and loyalties. I appreciate that they completely understand that with love comes upsets, sacrifice, loss, and heartache. Elizabeth and John are definitely one of my favorite fantasy book couples, because they are honest, stubborn, and they wholeheartedly love each other.

In regards to some people from Elizabeth’s past, ones that she thought were long gone, they show up in the most surprising twists in The King Slayer, which leaves Elizabeth vulnerable and cautious. Blackwell is still as evil as ever, continuing to selfishly mistreat magic. In my opinion, Elizabeth does not always make the most rational choices when it comes to fighting Blackwell, but I appreciate that her actions and words show that she respects magic and its consequences.

Overall, I liked that The King Slayer is steady-paced, allowing each chapter to slowly tick like a clock to the next prominent scene. Every chapter of this book is usefully articulated to enhance an adventurous plot, build suspense, and develop some of the most memorable and caring characters. I love that the book focuses on friendships, and lightheartedly showcases friendships between witches, pirates, soldiers, revenants, and common folk. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The King Slayer, and this series overall. I look forward to reading anything and everything Virginia Boecker writes in the future.

4 star rating

4 out of 5 stars

NOTE:          I received this Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) through a book trade with a fellow blogger. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher for a review. All statements and opinions are mine.