Book Reviews

Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston

I will guiltily admit that the cover and title consisted of about 80% of what attracted me to this book. It’s a lovely cover that nicely represents important elements of the story. As I read, I also appreciated how the title came up in conversation – it was fitting and effective.

Then allow me to go on and say that I really enjoyed the concept for this book – the idea of the Wildwood, the journey through it, and the truth behind the crown. Unfortunately, I was rather confused by the world-building. I got a medieval vibe, yet there was talk of muskets and trains (I think). It is, of course, a made-up world, but I wasn’t sure how to imagine things.

While the growth in Cerys and Fox was evident, I found I couldn’t connect well with them as characters. I felt that Fox did not mature the way I hope he would.

This was not a clean read. There was strong language which I think was uncalled for. I don’t think it provided any useful purpose to the story.

With that all said, perhaps you would enjoy this book, so read a few more reviews and make a desicion for yourself. 🙂

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT’S OVER! Books never make me cry, they don’t have that kind of effect on me. But my eyes definitely got a little misty over this one…. 

In this book, everything finally comes together. Questions are answered and good ultimately triumphs over evil. Yet, it was not all sunshine and roses. There were some heart-wrenching parts that simply tore me to pieces. Fred…Lupin…Tonks… I can’t even. I feel like this had to happen, though. This was war and couldn’t come without its losses. 

“He can run faster than Severus Snape confronted with shampoo.”

Harry’s decision at the end felt right too. After all of his character growth, he finally came to this moment and made the right choice. I’ve definitely been frustrated with him on many occasions, but I think he wouldn’t have become that wizard without those struggles. 

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”

I really loved Mrs. Weasley’s moment of triumph. I was cheering her on like crazy! 

A few things that I didn’t care for in this book…. The pacing was a bit slow in some parts – something  I’ve never really noticed in this series before. It was especially so during those weeks that they weren’t sure what to do next. I understand that Rowling wanted to finish everything at the end of what would’ve been their seventh year at Hogwarts, but it was frustrating that they didn’t take action for so long. I was also surprised that Harry didn’t seem shocked after he saw Snape’s memories. That was a big deal but instead, he obsessed over his own death. Also in this book, I found multiple editing errors. 

Ah, but what to say in closing? I was rather skeptical when I started this series. Yet, I was dragged in – hook, line, and sinker. Rowling has created a wonderful masterpiece that isn’t just about a boy who could do magic. It’s about loyalty, friendship, courage, endurance. It’s about the conquering of good over evil. Yes, the world-building is fantastic, yes, the characters are wonderful, but I think that these values inspire the reader and cause them to walk away feeling stronger. I think that is the true magic of the Harry Potter series.  

“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”

P.S. That last scene “nineteen years later” is so sweet. 

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

I can’t take it anymore! Things are getting way too intense. I know how it all ends, but still, it’s just so much. 

The golden trio is growing up. It amazes me that in every book, the growth is so evident. After finishing each one, I was struck by the way Harry, Ron, and Hermione had changed. In this one, they have to overcome yet another hurdle in their relationship. What I mean is that Ron and Hermione finally get more serious, but of course, it’s not as easy as all that. I don’t think it’s ever that simple with Ron and Hermione. They always seem to take the long bumpy road rather than the straight and easy one. Which was sometimes frustrating, but I think that’s the nature of their relationship. Then there was also Harry and Ginny. Sooo cute. I really love Ginny, I think she’s a great fit for Harry. 

“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”

It was really great to learn about Voldemort’s origins. So far I’ve been thinking of him as a black picture – he’s just bad. But this added so much more depth to him and also showed the reasons for some of his actions, as horrible as they might be.

And Snape! I’m trying to figure him out, but I just can’t! He’s too good at what he does. 

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

One thing that annoyed me a bit was the way that Harry constantly questioned Dumbledore. I thought that Harry should trust Dumbledore a bit more considering that he is one of the greatest wizards. I constantly thought, ‘Alright, Harry, relax. Dumbledore knows what he’s doing.” Maybe, though, all these questions came out because Dumbledore was the only one who had answers. 

Well, on to the next one! Hold onto your hats, friends. This is going to be a wild ride. 

“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.”

Book Reviews

The Crown of Rosemund by Michele Ashman Bell

BLURD

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and eliminated.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

MY REVIEW

This was a fun adventure! The idea behind this story was compelling and exciting.
But I had a really hard time getting through this book…. Especially at the beginning, there was a lot of telling rather than showing. It slowed the plot down a bit. And there was so much dialogue! I know there are readers who love dialogue; it’s just not for me.
The relationship between Jacob and Rose was really sweet and his loyalty to her was to be admired!
This book wasn’t a personal favourite for me, but I know there are others who have loved it. So maybe you’ll enjoy it too.

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Flying ford anglia | Harry potter universal, Harry potter, Harry potter  fantastic beasts

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

I was quite curious as to how much I would like the second book of the Harry Potter series. Part of the charm of the first book is that everything is new and exciting. Well, I can tell you that I enjoyed it immensely. 

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

As in the last novel, the characters were absolutely charming. I loved how Harry, Ron, and Hermoine’s relationship developed. They did almost everything together and stuck out for each other.

Gilderoy Lockhart, Order Of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary M GIF | Gfycat

If one of them was in a fix, the others were quick to help; even if it meant breaking school rules. And I mean, it was kinda sweet that Ron and Hermoine forgoed their Halloween feast to go to Nearly Headless Nick’s 500th deathday party. I must mention the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart. He both made me cringe and bust out laughing. His infatuation with himself was totally over the top, but I think it was meant to be. I felt really bad for Ginny, though. What a way to start her time at Hogwarts…it does not bode well.   

“Lockhart’ll sign anything if it stands still long enough.”

This time, the way that Voldemort tries to get to Harry was quite creative. I started guessing at it a little, but there were so many pieces that were tied into the mystery of the heir of Slytherin and the Chamber of Secrets! Rowling did a fabulous job with this and also with upping the danger and intensity from the last book. 

I’m excited to read book #3 and accompany Harry, Hermoine, and Ron on their next adventure. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Rowling, J.K.: 8601404281891:  Books - Amazon.ca
Book Reviews

Belvedor and the Four Corners by Ashleigh Bello

Blurb

The Hunger Games meets Red Queen and Throne of Glass in this action-packed Epic Fantasy Adventure series.

On a quest for freedom from a tyrant king, follow Arianna Belvedor as she unearths the enchantment buried beneath her dark world and learns how to wield magic alongside her swords. She will either win or die; whichever her fate, freedom is certain.


Arianna Belvedor has only ever dreamed of winning her freedom from the Four Corners—a cold and cruel city where all the children of the world are kept, each with an opportunity to earn their citizenship upon their eighteenth year. Just months away from her ultimate battle, she is certain that her notable skills as a warrior-slave (having been trained by Master Solomon Bell, a formidable mentor in Warrior’s District) will give her an edge during the annual Free Falls Festivals: Free for the slaves who earn their citizenship. Falls for the ones who die.

Alas, Arianna’s talent with a sword cannot outmaneuver the burning curiosities of her heart, leading her to reveal a shocking yet spectacular secret about King Devlindor and his long-standing reign as High King of Olleb-Yelfra.

The world as she knows it is a lie, its true spellbinding history exploited and suppressed under centuries of deceitful acts.

Her world turned upside down with new, unfathomable knowledge, Arianna must make a choice that could change her life forever—ignore the truth and continue following the path laid out for her since birth or break free from her chains and carve her own… if she can survive.

Immerse yourself in this addictive fantasy world as Arianna is thrust on a thrilling journey to uncover magic and more than earn her rights to freedom.

Belvedor and the Four Corners is a recipient of the 2017 Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award.

Review

This book has a lot of potential! I found that the world was unique and interesting, it had some suspenseful action scenes, and the friendship between Arianna and Lessa was sweet. Unfortunately, though, this was not a book for me. Some points of the storyline were a little awkward like how four slaves from different districts just happened to meet as they escaped. There was also a lot of dialogue. I know that some people really enjoy this, but I prefer a balance between dialogue and colourful prose.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Best Hogwarts Castle GIFs | Gfycat

Sooo I’ve never read this series before…. I know, I know! Don’t shoot me. I was a little curious about what all the hype was about, but I never had the motivation to actually acquire copies of this series. Now that I’ve read the first book, I think I understand. J.K. Rowling creates a world that is colourful and absolutely bursting with creative attributes. There were so many times when I thought, “Wow! What a brilliant idea,” or was astounded by how unique and imaginative it all was. It makes me curious about Rowling’s thought process and also super impressed!

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Harry was, of course, a sweet and brave boy with perhaps a streak of recklessness. Sneaking a dragon up to the astronomy tower at midnight…? Well, I suppose it was for the greater

16 Times Hermione Granger Was the REAL Star of em Harry Potter em hermione  granger intro gif | Harry potter quiz, Harry potter movies, Harry potter  hermione

good. I loved Ron and Hermione, Harry’s best friends. They were adorable and their friendship was admirable; although, there were definitely a few bumps in the road. Then there was also Hagrid and Dumbledore and Neville and so many more characters. I enjoyed them all! Even Snape’s creepiness was great. The negative characters gave the cast such a full dynamic. Of course, he-who-must-not-be-named was a chilling villain and the fact that everyone (except Harry) was afraid to say his name made it even more so.

Broomstick Harry Potter GIF - Broomstick HarryPotter Up - Discover & Share  GIFs

The world-building was absolutely marvellous. Rowling makes everything so vibrant and colourful that you almost, for a little while, believe Hogwarts is real and that your letter will come by owl any day.

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

The pacing of the story had a nice rhythm to it. I think because there was so much to experience and discover, I was kept engaged. I’m curious to discover if this will be the same in the following books. Which leads nicely into my last statement. I will definitely be reading the next book! I actually have already started…. If you have not read this book (which I highly doubt), then you should. If not for the enchanting story, then at least for the experience. Harry Potter is a classic (and I can see why now), so you should add it to your list alongside books such as The Chronicles of Narnia.  

Bye for now!

Harry Potter Waving GIFs | Tenor
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Book Reviews

The Sanctuary by Sidney Nesti

One is the world of imperfection and sorrow

Two are the beloved friends, forever divided 

Three are the kindred of the gods

Four are the Guardians 

Five are the kindred of humanity 

Six are the senses that lead to immortality 

Seven are the seals

Eight are the infinite infinities. 

This was an intense and adventurous read! I was worried that I would be a little lost since this is the second book of a series and I have not read the first. However, Nesti had the foresight to write a little summary of the previous adventures in the form of a letter from the protagonist to her father. While this was a lot of information to soak in right at the get-go, it was super helpful in grasping the context.

The main character, Jude, was determined and brave. She didn’t let her position as the Scion of Fire go to her head; rather, she was focused on finding the child, Ursil. He needed her help and it was her mission to help him. Sylvia on the other hand was pretty self-centred, but somehow, I still enjoyed the dynamic between the two sisters. I think perhaps it was their dependence on each other despite their differences and their growth throughout the story.

The plot moves at a comfortable pace and slowed only in a few places. As for the writing… The explanations were clear and I loved the balance between showing and telling. The style was simple, but I suppose that is a matter of opinion.
Lastly, this was mostly a clean read; although, there was a bit of language.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and I absolutely encourage you to read it and support this new author!

Bye for now!

Cute Animals GIFs | Tenor

Book Reviews

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

I faintly remember reading and enjoying Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, so I thought I would give this one a try. 

I’ll be honest, after the first two chapters, I was a little worried that I would not like it. It started rather slowly and I felt like a ton of names and places and history was just dumped on me. However, I kept reading because I was very intrigued by the whole concept of the Rhatan and Kazi’s secret mission. As Kazi and her cohorts entered the city and ran into Jace and his brothers, things began to pick up. And then Jase and Kazi were kidnapped and chained together. From there, I was sucked in. 

I began to really enjoy the world that this book was set in and also the relationships between the characters. Jase and Kazi had a really sweet relationship which was developed when they were alone in the wilderness together. I loved this time that they were able to spend together; it gave them room to strip back all of those messy layers and see each other’s core. Kazi was fierce and brave, yet also deep down there was fragility within her.Adorable GIFs | Tenor Jase was sweet and a natural leader. And I cannot go by without mentioning the chemistry between Wren and Synove and Jase’s brothers… So cute. 

One thing that I feel that could have been more prominent was Kazi’s Rhatan skills. She spends quite a bit of time hanging around Jase and his family, but I would have loved to see more of her special skills. 

This was not a clean read. There was some profanity, but while Jase and Kazi do kiss and whatnot, it is clearly mentioned that they do not take it that one step further.

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Ta ta for now!

Emma

 

“He turns his face towards me and in his expression, I see nothing but ice and stone.”

Quote from Beautiful Beast

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Book Reviews

Maid Marian by Elsa Watson

What a wonderful adventure! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

The voice that Watson used was charming and interesting and it was clear that she had done some research surrounding this time in history. Just the entire atmosphere, and also the dialogue, was unique. Image result for maid marian gif

Maid Marian herself was a lovely character. There was a lot of thinking on her part, so I felt that I got to know her very well. She was an independent, intelligent, and sometimes rash woman. In addition, the story began with her being rather naive. Throughout the narrative, this resulted in consequences but also allowed for growth. I am a little surprised, though, that I liked her so much because she was at times more of a passive character and hovered at the sidelines while Robin Hood dashed about accomplishing daring feats. However, she was a hero in her own right. Her battle wasn’t the same as Robin’s and so, her journey was different and required other skills. 

This was also a clean read. While it is insinuated that Robin and Marian have sex after they are married, it is not explicitly described. 

All in all, I would recommend this book. Plus, I think it could use some more reviews (it only has 162).   

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