Blog Tours · Uncategorized

7 Books About Royalty (Kingdom Cold Blog Tour)

Hello my bookish barnacles! Welcome to my second stop on the Kingdom Cold Blog Tour where I talk about seven amazing books about royalty. If there’s one thing that Kingdom Cold has a lot of it’s kings, queens, princesses and princes so if you like these books, Kingdom Cold is for you!


About the book:

Title: Kingdom Cold
Author: Brittni Chenelle
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: 14 February 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:
Attempted murder, that’s how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte’s engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent. When her kingdom’s attacked, Charlotte’s parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom’s future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart? One must fall.

Book links:
Amazon |Goodreads


My own quote graphics:


7 Books About Royalty:

(1) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas:

This series is about a queen trying to take back her kingdom from the people who stole it from her and it’s full of royalty. Throughout the series we see both Aelin and also Dorian develop from quite immature, carefree princesses and princes to wise, just queens and kings.

(2) Descendant of the Crane by Joan He:

Descendant of the Crane is a brilliant Chinese-inspired fantasy about a smart and cunning princess called Yan Hesina who embraced her role as queen when her father died so that she could discover his murderer. It is a fantastic read full of mystery and court intrigue! Read my review here.

(3) The Beholder by Anna Bright:

An alternate history novel where Selah, the Seneschal-elect of Potomac, went on a voyage to visit various princes and choose a suitor to marry. It is a light read that I would recommend to romance fans or people who love fairy tales. Read my review here.

(4) We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal:

We Hunt the Flame is set in a world inspired by ancient Arabia and it was about a hunter called Zafira and a prince called Nasir go on a quest to save their world from an ancient evil. It is worth a read for anyone looking for a diverse fantasy. Read my review here.

(5) The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty:

This book is set in 18th century Cairo and it’s not about human royalty but djinn royalty who lived in the magical city of Daevabad. Full of scheming, betrayals, and rich world building, The City of Brass was a book about royalty with a fresh twist. Read my review here.

(6) And I Darken by Kiersten White:

And I Darken is one of my favourite books and it is a reimagined historical story based on Vlad the Impaler. Lada Dragwlya did not fit into the stereotype of a princess in her time. She was unapologetically brutal and ruthless and her only goal was exacting her vengeance and reclaiming her homeland, Wallachia, for her own. This book isn’t just a book about royalty but a book about a girl trying to make her place in a world where every single person was against her and where she had to fight twice and hard and be twice as cruel to get what she wanted.

(7) The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh:

This was a retelling of the classical One Thousand and One Nights tale where a girl, Shahrzad, had to tell the Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid, stories every night so that he wouldn’t kill her by morning. It was a cleverly-crafted story with multi-faceted characters and a gripping plot.


About the author:

Brittni Chenelle currently lives in Seoul, Korea, which inspires her multicultural fantasy books. Her favourite genres to read and write are young adult fantasy, young adult romance, fairytale retellings, and young adult dystopian novels. She’s very passionate about equal representation and makes a point to include characters from different backgrounds and cultures in her fantasy stories. Here are five fun facts about Brittni:

  1. She lives in South Korea. It’s true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture.
  2. She’s a Type 1 Diabetic. She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as “Beetie” which is what inspired her children’s book “Life with Beetie”. When she wants something from her parents she tells them, “My Beetie hurts.” It’s a trick that has never failed her.
  3. She doesn’t really BELIEVE in fiction. Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel “Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree”, Brittni INSISTS that it’s a true story.
  4. She’s OBSESSED with dark chocolate. She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.
  5. Sorry guys, she’s married. If you ask her, she’ll tell you her husband saved her life but every time someone asks “how?” she gives a different reason. I’ve overheard her give about 4 different reasons, but I bet she has more. He must be an amazing guy.

Author links:
Author website (and newsletter) |Blog |Goodreads |Instagram |Facebook |Twitter


Blog Tour Schedule:

Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me to do this tour!


What are your favourite books about royalty? Let me know in the comments!

Goodreads| Twitter

Advertisements
Blog Tours · Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Brittni Chenelle! (Kingdom Cold Blog Tour)

Hello my bookish butterflies! Welcome to my first stop on the Kingdom Cold Blog Tour where I interview Brittni Chenelle about her book, Kingdom Cold.


About the book:

Title: Kingdom Cold
Author: Brittni Chenelle
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: 14 February 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:
Attempted murder, that’s how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte’s engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent. When her kingdom’s attacked, Charlotte’s parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom’s future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart? One must fall.

Book links:
Amazon |Goodreads


My Mood Board:

2019-09-25 232135740362..jpg


Interview:

(1)

What was the initial inspiration behind Kingdom Cold and how did your ideas change and develop whilst writing the book?

I think when I first started I knew I wanted to do an arranged marriage story but I kind of discovered the rest as I went. Luckily by books 2 and 3, I had a clearer idea of where it was going. I remember this one critical moment in the process when I realized I had the perfect opportunity to add a third POV but I was afraid because I planned on having only two. I ended up with 8 by the end of the series and I’m so happy I was brave enough to try it.

(2)

Which character to you most relate to and why?

Kingdom Cold is made up of morally gray characters. It’s easy to relate to because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The characters are the best and worst that humanity has to offer so I’m not sure I can pick just one.

(3)

Why do you think it’s important for there to be more books with diverse representation?

I don’t think it’s important, I think it’s essential. There are heroes from every culture, customs worth exploring, and other battles worth facing–ones that have yet to see the light of day. At times, the world feels so divided and unfair but fiction can be whatever we want it to be. Why not diverse?

(4)

If you had to pick three Kingdom Cold characters to go on a road trip with who would you pick and why?

Merlin, Minseo, and Leon probably. Merlin is the coolest character ever. She’s so strong and her magic so beautiful that I’d hardly notice the other two. Minseo because… well… for eye candy and the bard because he seems like the most fun.

(5)

Which books and authors do you think have influenced your writing?

Everyone. I read any fantasy I can get my hands on and I always feel so impressed and try to learn as much as possible.

(6)

What are your future writing projects and aspirations as an author?

My short term goals are to finish my new Academy Series, called The Fae & The Fallen, by the end of this year, as well as release a Greek Mythology novel that I’m co-writing and a surprise short story for Halloween. Long term I’d like to publish 12 books per year moving forward. Ultimately I’d like to see one of my stories turned into a Netflix movie or show. I think that would be really fun because I’d be partially responsible for improving representation in multiple industries.


About the author:

Brittni Chenelle currently lives in Seoul, Korea, which inspires her multicultural fantasy books. Her favourite genres to read and write are young adult fantasy, young adult romance, fairytale retellings, and young adult dystopian novels. She’s very passionate about equal representation and makes a point to include characters from different backgrounds and cultures in her fantasy stories. Here are five fun facts about Brittni:

  1. She lives in South Korea. It’s true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture.
  2. She’s a Type 1 Diabetic. She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as “Beetie” which is what inspired her children’s book “Life with Beetie”. When she wants something from her parents she tells them, “My Beetie hurts.” It’s a trick that has never failed her.
  3. She doesn’t really BELIEVE in fiction. Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel “Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree”, Brittni INSISTS that it’s a true story.
  4. She’s OBSESSED with dark chocolate. She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.
  5. Sorry guys, she’s married. If you ask her, she’ll tell you her husband saved her life but every time someone asks “how?” she gives a different reason. I’ve overheard her give about 4 different reasons, but I bet she has more. He must be an amazing guy.

Author links:
Author website (and newsletter) |Blog |Goodreads |Instagram |Facebook |Twitter


Blog Tour Schedule:

Thank you so much to Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me to do this tour.


Goodreads| Twitter

Blog Tours · Reviews · Uncategorized

Tiger Queen Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan!

About the book:

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan
Publisher: BLINK
Release date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance

Synopsis:
From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Book links: Goodreads |Amazon |Barnes & Noble| Book Depository


Review:

Book: Tiger Queen

Author: Annie Sullivan

Year Published: 2019

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Tiger Queen was a thrilling desert tale about a woman fighting to improve the lives of her people and prove her own worth. It was a clever retelling of the short story, ‘The Lady, Or The Tiger?’ and I really enjoyed it!

Kateri was the princess of Achra who was tasked with killing twelve of her suitors in arena fights to assert her right to be queen. However, when she realised that her final suitor was a man she wasn’t skilled enough to beat, she fled to the desert to join her sworn enemies, the Desert Boys, to train and gain the necessary skills to win. She not only improved her fighting abilities but learnt so much about the state of her people and the type of queen they needed her to be.

I liked Kateri’s sheer determination to succeed and how she was willing to put in the required work to achieve her goals. Throughout the book she went on a journey and realised that so many things she firmly believed in weren’t as true as she once thought. I also loved the training montage trope and the various challenges she faced to improve her skills. The way Sullivan drew up parallels between Kateri and the caged tigers was very intriguing. Furthermore, I liked how her relationship with Cion slowly grew stronger and I think they make a good couple.

The word building in the book was excellent and I loved finding out about the various intricate and unique customs and traditions. I found all of the different legends, animals and places interesting as well. Nevertheless, I don’t think the plot was gripping enough for me to give the book five stars but that wasn’t a major hindrance to my enjoyment as the characters were good enough to almost make up for it.

Overall, I thought Tiger Queen was original, clever and exciting and is a must-read for those looking for new ideas in the YA fantasy genre.

Thank you to Blink for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Favourite quotes:

“We can’t focus on what we’ve lost or the weight of it will bury us faster than the sand. We have to focus on what’s still to gain. We have to focus on finding joy where we can”

“We Desert Boys have a saying about tears… we say that crying is good, natural. It’s returning the water you’ve taken from the earth”

“‘You may not know how to stop, Kateri,’ he said, ‘but you sure know how to fly'”

“It’s not weak to bear scars. It shows you were strong enough to survive.”

“When life is as hard as it is out here, you celebrate as often as you can.”

“Decision time… Is it the lady or the tiger?”


Tour schedule:

About the author:

Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

Website |Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway:

Click here for the giveaway.
Prize: Tiger Queen poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
Starts: 9/4/19
Ends: 9/13/19

Thank you very much to the FFBC for choosing me to do a stop on this tour!

Blog Tours · Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: Smoke and Key | Blog Tour

Hello bookdragons! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

  • Book: Smoke and Key
  • Author: Kelsey Sutton
  • Release Date: April 2nd 2019
  • Publisher: Entangled Teen

Summary:
A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…
She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.


  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Smoke and Key was a creepy yet intriguing novel that captivated me from the very first sentence.

The book was about a girl who was dead but fell down from her grave into a mysterious world called ‘Under’. She didn’t know why she was there, she didn’t have any memories of her life before Under and she couldn’t even remember her own name. The only possession she had on her was a key, so she called herself Key. All the other residents of Under were named after the possessions they had when they fell such as Journal, Smoke, Doll, Ribbon and Tintype. All the people were in semi-decomposed states and their skin had a greyish tint as if they had already started to rot before they fell, however, Key was oddly preserved. No one could remember anything, just like Key but then a series of brutal murders started and Key’s memories started to return.

Key was a pretty good character and it’s interesting how she reacted to the memories that she remembered and the shame she felt even though she was technically the same person she had been before. Her relationship with Smoke was intriguing as we got to see it unravel in the past and in the present even though the romance was probably a bit too forced. I liked how her friendship with Journal developed as well.

The thing I loved the most was how the tension and the sense of mystery were built up throughout the novel as we learnt more about the eerie world of Under and those who lived there. For some reason, I kept imagining all of the characters like ones from a Tim Burton movie! However, even though the tension was gradually rising it still felt like not that much really happened in the book overall and there was probably a bit of filler that could have been taken out

The book was mainly about the extent of the damage that hate and jealousy can cause and how it can easily get out of control. The plot might sound a bit odd but the ideas were very original in the best possible way. There is definitely buckets of imagination behind it. I thought it was a really fun yet macabre read and I think more people should give it a go!

Thank you to Entangled Teen and Kelsey Sutton for providing me with a digital arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author:

Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Link to Giveaway
Blog Tour Organized By:
YA Bound Book Tours
Blog Tours · Uncategorized

Blog tour: All We Can See or Seem & A Dream Within a Dream | Promo Post

Hello everyone! Today I’m doing a promo post for my stop on a blog tour for a duology of two books called All We Can See or Seem and A Dream Within a Dream.


Book One: All That We See or Seem
Author: Kristina Bahr
Genre: YA Dark Fairy Tale
Release Date: May 2018
Publisher: Uncommon Universes Press LLC

Summary:

Every night, seventeen-year-old Reeve Lennox finds herself under a noose.

By day she is a lady of Acarsaid’s royal house, daydreaming of adventure and love. But every night in sleep
she wanders through a nightmarish city, an invisible witness to the screeches of monsters and the screams of their victims.

Her only consolation is Bran, a battle-torn young man with a selfless heart and eyes that reflect the stars.

Yet while Reeve falls deeper into her dreams, in truth she is engaged to Arden, a mercurial nobleman who has long been cured of his belief in love and breathes fire and flattery like other people breathe air.

Torn between two lives, Reeve struggles to remember what’s real, until night and day collide, with a revelation that threatens all of Acarsaid.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon Link


Book Two: A Dream Within a Dream
Author: Kristina Mahr
Genre: YA Dark Fairy Tale
Release Date: March 2019
Publisher: Uncommon Universes Press LLC

Summary:

Invisible to the man she loves, Reeve Lennox fights to reclaim him from a dark world.

As her wedding day nears in Acarsaid, her betrothed Arden offers only his wayward soul and saucy tongue. At
night she desperately tries to reach Bran, the young soldier of nightmarish Tenebris who holds her heart.

However, her king insists that the realms of Tenebris and Acarsaid must remain separate, lest the evil wizard
Rancore brutally conquer all.
But the dark magic of Tenebris defies mere distance. A war is coming, one only Reeve may be able to prevent,
if she can reunite her family on opposing sides.

With two kingdoms at stake, Reeve must discover her strength and her family’s legacy before all is lost. Yet
righting the wrongs of the past may require the sacrifice of her truest love.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon Link


About the Author:

Kristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an accountant in
the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her
spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn
every weekend to watch the Premier League.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour Organized By:
YA Bound Book Tours
Blog Tours · Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: Beware the Night | Blog Tour

Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of Beware the Night hosted by Xpresso Tours.


  • Book: Beware the Night
  • Author: Jessika Fleck
  • Published by: Swoon Reads
  • Publication date: March 12th 2019
  • Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, peace and harmony, and a thriving economy. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.

Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the canals that snake through their island.

But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, Veda is forced to see the injustice of her world. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night—and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life.

Find it on Goodreads


Review:

  • Plot: 3/5
  • Characters: 3/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 3/5

Beware the Night was an interesting read about a people fighting for their rights and a girl figuring out her place in the world.

On the island of Bellona their were three groups of people: the Dogio who ruled and lived lavish lives in luxury; the Basso who were oppressed by the Dogio and the Night- a secret organisation who supposedly reaped terror and stole away Basso people to the depths of darkness. As you can tell, the Basso were the worst off in this situation.

The main character, Veda, was a Basso girl who lived with her grandfather (her parents were killed by the Night) and who’s best friend was a high ranking Dogio boy called Nico. She also knew another Basso boy called Dorian. She was slowly drawn into joining the Night and realised that all the things she had thought to be true were lies and she had to relearn everything she thought she knew.

Veda was an alright character, I could tell she still wasn’t sure of herself and was figuring her life out. Gradually through the book she grew in character and became capable of making her own decisions.

There was a love triangle! *eye roll* I’m not a big fan of those. However, whilst I was reading I just thought that Veda must be lucky that two extremely nice guys were madly in love with her and it was way too good to be true. I really wanted her to make up her mind because it felt like she was stringing them both Nico and Dorian along.

I did like this book and there were some good ideas in it. I think the main reason it was a three star read was because it was incredibly slow paced and at some times the plot twists weren’t believable for me. I got lots of Red Queen and The Hunger Games vibes from it so I think people who are big fans of those books would really enjoy Beware the Night.

Thank you to Swoon Reads and Jessika Fleck for providing me with an e-arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author:

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019.

Author links:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Purchase links:

Amazon | B & N | iBooks | Kobo

Find out more about the giveaway here!

《 Blog tour hosted by Xpresso Tours 》
Blog Tours · Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: Whispers from the Depths | Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Whispers from the Depths blog tour, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Thank you to the publisher and the author for providing me with an e-ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book: Whispers from the Depths
Author: C. W. Briar
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
Release Date: February 19th 2019
Uncommon Universes Press

Whispers-from-the-Depths-600x927.jpg

Add to Goodreads

Summary:

Joyful and blessed are Voice-bearers, for the Heavens have set them apart.

As Whisperers gifted with the Voice, Betka and her people are enslaved. Only they can control the dangerous spirits that haunt the waters, but they are forced to serve under cruel taskmasters. Betka has little hope of freedom from her service or her own bitterness.

They toil for the goodness of others.

A powerful water spirit terrorizes the castle where Betka’s sister is serving. Betka is assigned to the crew sailing to face the foe, and she fears for the only family she has left.

Rage is found nowhere in them.

In the beleaguered, flooded castle, a new threat awaits—a magic more powerful and horrifying than anything they have ever seen. Loyalties will be tested, and enemies will become desperate allies.

Betka is their only hope of escape—if she can subdue the wrath that endangers them all.

She who wields the waters for revenge drowns herself tenfold.


Review:

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 4.5/5

Whispers from the Depths was a dark fantasy novel that captivated me throughout. It wasn’t a story with a happy ending but it still ended on a note of hope and the promise of better things.

The Whisperers were a group of people gifted with the ‘Voice’ that allowed them to communicate with the water sprits that resided in rivers, lakes and seas and therefore had the ability to manipulate water. They were not able to harm other people using their power without causing an even greater harm to themselves and their purpose was to share their gift with the world and help people, to always give without ever expecting anything in return. Many years ago, the Whisperers were esteemed and respected but they were invaded by a group of people with different beliefs who enslaved them and treated them abominably.

Betka was a young, enslaved Whisperer who lived in fear and did her best to keep her head down despite her hatred for her captors. She had been taken from her family and enslaved along with her sister Tosna when she was very young and that traumatic event fuelled her bitterness and desire for revenge. However, as she was a Whisperer, even the thought of revenge or causing others pain was enough to cause her discomfort and minor pain. When the castle where Tosna was stationed was under attack from an angry sea-spirit Ylvalas, Betka became determined to go there with the crew sent to deal with the issue to make sure her sister survived.

Briar was brilliant at developing characters because even the most vicious characters felt multi-faceted and it was hard to completely hate them. Rorlen and Denogrid treated Betka and Asi (the other Whisperer who came on the journey) terribly. They physically and verbally abused them. The other crew members like Kuros were more tolerant to them and treated them more humanely. Despite their horrible treatment, Asi was ever forgiving and carried on helping and caring for them as if nothing had ever happened. Betka, however, was full of revenge and throughout the book we experience her conflict between exacting her revenge on them and forgiving and forgetting like Asi.

The way they were trapped in the castle, unable to escape and pursued by an evil water spirit hell-bent on killing them really built up the tension and created an almost cinematic reading experience. Rorlen and the other crew members were forced to overcome their hatred towards Betka and Asi because they were the only ones able to keep them alive. I liked how their grudging acceptance of the two women because it was necessary to survive evolved into a tenuous respect by the end of the book that would hopefully grow and flourish in the future.

The book was generally about the importance of forgiveness, although I didn’t think it was fair how the Whisperers were expected to just accept such horrible treatment and forgive those who enslaved them. However, that forgiveness did earn Betka and Asi measure of respect and esteem in the end. I’m not sure what I think about the ending of the book but generally it was an amazing and engaging book that I would definitely recommend to others. I think C. W. Briar is a talented writer and I look forward to reading more of his books in the future.


About the Author:

C. W. Briar writes fantasy that’s dark but hopeful, filled with wonder and humor along with suspense and creepiness. His favorite stories are the ones that make him both smile and perch on the edge of his seat. By day, he works as a systems engineer, testing or even riding on trains, airplanes, and helicopters. At night, when not writing, he prepares fancy dinners and shows off his awesome corgis. He’s a graduate of Binghamton University and lives in Upstate NY with his wife, three kids, and secret stashes of chocolate.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Buying links:

Amazon| Uncommon Universes Press| Barnes & Noble| Apple| Kobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours