Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

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I am lost.

WINTERSONG is magical, with a fairy tale atmosphere that is heightened by the lovely, lyrical writing. Though there are echoes of Labyrinth (my favorite childhood movie!), the author took it beyond that to create a story and characters that are unforgettable and that will live in you long after you have finished reading the book. I can say definitely that WINTERSONG is a book that will go on my keeper shelf and that I will reread over and over until I have wrung the last bit of magic from it.

Told from the first person of view, Liesl or Elisabeth makes an engaging, self-aware narrator, and from her narration, we see how she grows from girl to woman, not just in terms of physical, but also in her emotional and mental maturity, in the self-actualization that she attains at the end. Her realization that she is “Elisabeth, entire”. The author takes us on this strange, wondrous, compelling journey, and while more astute readers may guess there’s only one outcome to this story, yet the journey to that end is filled with growth and realizations that both characters (Elisabeth and the Goblin King) would not have attained without these experiences.

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Anticipating YA New Releases: September 2016

Available September 20

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

 

Available September 20

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid–her true home–with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything . . . including Snow’s return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

 

 

Available September 27

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou, share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on the Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding the Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo only wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .

 

Available September 27

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets—a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Quotes from My Favorite Book: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”

—–

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”   Continue reading

Review: Miss Landon and Aubranael by Charlotte E. English

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I love historical romance, and the blurb seems to hint at this being an endearing story (how could it not with a hero with a disfigured face?), I grabbed the chance to read this story, and imagine my surprise and delight when it was so much more than I expected!

Miss Sophy Landon has no prospects for a good marriage, but her kindness earns her passage to a completely different world where she met Aubranael, a man with a disfigured face with whom she felt…something. Certainly, when she went back home, she couldn’t stop thinking about him! Alas, she can only stay a day, and so they parted. But each couldn’t stop thinking about the other, and when chance came that Aubranael may be able to visit her in her hometown, he grabbed at the chance, especially when he could court her with a (temporary) change to his face, making him as handsome as any maiden could wish for her suitor to be. Would Aubranael succeed in winning Sophy? What happens when the truth is out? Continue reading

Review: Charming by Andi Lawrencovna

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CHARMING is a dark fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella, where the prince is still the prince, but “Cinderella” is an assassin out to kill the prince.

Got your attention, huh? Thought it would.

The story starts with Ella running out from the castle into the woods, with Prince Christophe pursuing after her. It was the third night of the ball (I must admit the movie “Into the Woods” flashed into my mind as I read this), and try as she might, Ella just cannot kill the prince, no matter that that was her mission, and no matter that the prince is foretold to die. The three nights of talking and dancing with him had changed her, shown her a side of him she hadn’t expected. So, she’s torn between duty and her heart, though she denies any feelings for him. The danger escalates when more assassins appeared in the woods, and it was the two of them against four… Continue reading

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

You know that new series that Richelle Mead was hinting at last time? Well, the news is out!

It’s a new fantasy, young adult series! And reading the blurb, it sounds like my kind of book! I like the idea of the school part. Takes me back to those boarding school stories by Enid Blyton. But still have to wait until April 2016!

Here’s where to pre-order, if anyone’s interested.

glittering court

A dazzling, romantic new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

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Review: A Companion to Wolves by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette

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A COMPANION TO WOLVES is definitely for-adults-only fantasy, as it contains lots of violence and gore and sex.

In this fantasy world, trolls make trouble for the men who lived in the North. Hence, they have wolves and men bonded to them (called wolfcarls) who fight the trolls and keep peace in their respective territories. In exchange to keeping them safe, the keep has a duty to the wolfheall (where the wolfcarls live) in terms of a tithe, which include food, etc, and most especially boys, during a time when a female wolf is about to give birth. They need the boys in order for the pups to bond with. Continue reading