Teaser Tuesday: How to Make Friends with the Dark

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Hosted by A Daily Rhythm, Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme meant to highlight passages from books you are currently reading.

Here are the rules (as described by A Daily Rhythm):

  • 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!

This week’s teasers come from the emotionally charged How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. This is a story of loss and grief and if you read it, I highly suggest having plenty of tissues handy.

“Oh my God, what is it?” I ask. “Is it that bad?” My stomach starts to squeeze.

~

It’s a monstrosity. It’s a cross between Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie and Isabel Archer in Portrait of a Lady. Ivory and lace, a high neck, and a sash. 

Is your interest piqued? Enjoy a good tearjerker?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: The Red Scrolls of Magic & Enchantée

Today I’ve got two mini reviews with books at least partially set in the iconic city of Paris. Check out my thoughts below!


TheRedScrollsofMagicThe Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 9, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 350 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Magnus Bane, a centuries old High Warlock, has taken possession of one of the great relics of the supernatural world, a powerful spell book of dark magic known as The Book of the White and there are many who want to claim it for themselves.

After the Mortal War where the part-human and part-angel Shadowhunters teamed with the part human-demon Downworlders to fight against the incursion of an army of demons, Magnus and his new lover, the mortal Alec Lightwood celebrate their survival and victory by escaping the supernatural battlefield of New York City by touring the world, but the world won’t leave them alone.

Finally we get to see Magnus and Alec’s vacation that took place during City of Fallen Angels! I love these two so much and it was wonderful to get their own perspective. Each of their voices was brilliant and it was amazing to see the growth and emotion through their own thought processes. While the story was simpler in nature it was actually refreshing to engage in something less heavy but it still had the Shadowhunter spark. It was also great to see some of my side faves show up and I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store. Absolutely recommend to Clare and Shadowhunter fans!


EnchanteeEnchantée by Gita Trelease

Published by Flatiron Books on February 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Pages: 464 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Love. 
Magic. 
Revolution.

When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic–la magie ordinaire–Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With the dark magic she learned from her mother, Camille transforms herself into ‘the Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. Her resentment of the rich at odds with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille is astonished to find that her would-be suitor Lazare, a handsome young inventor whom she thought shared her dreams of liberty, is also living a double life.

As the Baroness de la Fontaine, Camille gambles at cards and flirts, desperate to maintain her place at court and keep herself and her sister off the streets. But la magie has its costs. When a scheming courtier blackmails her and Lazare’s affections shift, Camille loses control of her secrets. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose–love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality or la magie–before Paris burns.

Trelease brings the city of Paris on the cusp of the French Revolution to life in exquisite detail. Everything from the struggles of poverty to the decadence of the aristocracy was on full display. Camille was an intriguing character and her magic was pretty darn cool. I did enjoy this one but the plot was too long and drawn out and their was a lack of connection with characters at key moments which left me wanting. If you’re a fan of historical Paris and fantasy dripping with details, you may want to check this one out.


Have you read either of these books? Ever been to Paris?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Spin the Dawn

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.


SpintheDawnSpin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Knopf

Expected Date: July 9, 2019

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.


Color me intrigued by this tailoring take on Mulan. I’ve heard lots of praise for Spin the Dawn already and this book sounds like it’s dripping with chemistry and magic. I hope it’s as amazing as it sounds.

Are you excited for Spin the Dawn? Intrigued by the blurb?

Let me know in the comments below!

ARC Review: Chosen Champion by Elise Kova

ChosenChampionChosen Champion by Elise Kova

Published by Silver Wing Press on May 1, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages:  Format: eARC Source: Publisher

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

A princess on the run, with enemies on all sides…

Vi Solaris is on the eve of getting everything she’s ever wanted—her family, her home, her throne—and to save the world she’s going to have to give it all up.

The Empire sees her as their Crown Princess, returning at long last. But Vi only sees visions of fate guiding her to the world’s gruesome end. Across the sea is a man who holds the keys to deciphering her premonitions and thwarting the ancient evil ravaging their world. But to get to him, Vi will have to contend with enemies of the crown, romance she didn’t expect, sorcerer pirates, and a betrayal she never saw coming.

She will learn the hard way that some evils never die… They only bide their time…


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ARC Review: King of Fools by Amanda Foody

KingofFoolsKing of Fools by Amanda Foody

Published by Inkyard Press on April 30, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 602 Format: eARC Source: NG

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.


Amanda Foody is back with the second book in The Shadow Game series and she’s ready to wreck you. King of Fools is a heavy hitting maze of politics, gangs, and lots of betrayal that will leave the reader bereft and yet clamoring for more. No one is safe and that means every single crafty character that the author has created is in some serious peril. *Cue heavy sobbing and wailing in the street.*

Enne takes on the mantle of Seance and starts her own street gang seeking wealth and vengeance. She’s learning to handle herself in the North Side while also holding onto the soft things she enjoys. Levi’s determination and ambition is on full display as he puts the people he cares about in the crossfire but he’s self aware enough to rue every poor choice and worry himself to sickness. And Jac, the best boy now with his own POV, is still a great friend while taking his own stand.

This book delves deeper into the streets of New Reynes exploring more of the underbelly of the city and the prominent players in society. From brutal casino owners to the rampant drug trade as well as upcoming elections and the lengths people will go to for power, the author truly weaves a wicked web of traps and tricks that ultimately keeps the reader guessing and turning pages at a rapid pace.

Overall Amanda Foody’s King of Fools was the best kind of gut punch there is even though I’m still emotionally compromised. The characters’ growth is tremendous especially where Levi, Enne, and Jac are concerned and I fell even more in love with all of them. With a riveting plot and a whole bunch of politics, this book takes the series to the next level and I totally recommend taking part in The Shadow Game.

Are you excited for King of Fools?

Let me know in the comments below!

TBR Time! ~ May 2019

As I’d like to be more intentional with the books I’m reading and to hopefully cut down the stacks of unread books I have on my shelves, I’m doing monthly TBR posts.

TBR Time

April got a little off track with a bunch of unexpected romance reads and I’ve been trying to catch up.May is heavy with new releases so I’m zoning in on those  as well as my owned books. Here’s hoping I do better!


For Review

SorceryofThorns

New Releases

Owned

Library

APrinceonPaper


What’s on your TBR for May? Any of these books make the cut?

Let me know in the comments below!

Waiting on Wednesday: Sorcery of Thorns

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.


SorceryofThornsSorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Expected Date: June 4, 2019

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


As I loved Margaret Rogerson’s first book, I’m eagerly anticipating diving into Sorcery of Thorns. With magic and libraries within these pages, I know I’m going to be thrilled by this story and characters. Here’s hoping it’s everything I want and more!

Are you excited for Sorcery of Thorns? Love books that involve books?

Let me know in the comments below!

Highly Anticipated Titles ~ May 2019

Highly Anticipated Titles is a monthly feature showcasing some of the book releases I’m most excited for each month. May is full of exciting releases and I’ve got a handful that are high on my TBR. Check them out below!


WHTF_JKT_2p.inddWe Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Expected on May 14, 2019

Genres: Fiction, Fantasy

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

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ARC Review: Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

LoveFromAtoZLove from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Published by Salaam Reads on April 30, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 352 Format: eARC Source: NG

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together. 

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are. 

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her. 

Then her path crosses with Adam’s. 

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. 

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. 

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals. 

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting. 

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.


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Mini Reviews: The Everlasting Rose & Queen’s Shadow

Today I’ve got my short thoughts on two March 5th releases. Check them out below!


TheEverlastingRoseThe Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

Published by Freeform on March 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 344 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.

Picking up nearly right after the end of the first book, Camille faces hard choice after hard choice as she tries to stop Sophia. The magic and setting of this story still captured my imagination and even expanded its beauty and intricacy in this one. Camille’s journey is compelling and Clayton’s writing soars when it comes to descriptions. With that being said I did find the drastically different pacing off putting and it strained the emotional connection between characters as well as the reader. If you’ve read The Belles though, I definitely recommend picking up this conclusion.


QueensShadowQueen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston

Published by Disney Lucasfilm Press on March 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Space Opera

Pages: 345 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

The end of her reign is just the beginning…

When Padmé Amidala steps down from her position as Queen of Naboo, she is ready to set aside her title and return to life outside of the spotlight. But to her surprise, the new queen asks Padmé to continue serving their people – this time in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about the new role but cannot turn down the request, especially since, thanks to her dearest friend – and decoy – Sabé, she can be in two places at once. So while Padmé plunges into politics, Sabé sets off on a mission dear to Padmé’s heart.

On the glistening capital planet Coruscant, Padmé’s new Senate colleagues regard her with curiosity – and with suspicion for her role in ousting the previous chancellor. Posing as a merchant on Tatooine, Sabé has fewer resources than she thought and fewer options than she needs. 

Together with Padmé’s loyal handmaidens, Padmé and Sabé must navigate treacherous politics, adapt to constantly changing landscapes, and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.

Finally a book to rep Padmé! Exploring her transition from queen to senator, Johnston tackles the nuances of Padmé and her loyal handmaidens, giving insight into everything from her vocal choices to how she allied herself in the Galactic Senate. I was also fascinated by Sabé’s story line and the deep devotion each one of the handmaidens had for each other. While this is very light on the action and only gives us a few new plot threads to follow, I was totally invested in this book. Obviously a must read for Star Wars fans!


Have you read either of these two books? Interested?

Let me know in the comments below!