BOOK REVIEW | THE QUEEN’S RISING, BY REBECCA ROSS

Title: The Queen’s Rising

Author: Rebecca Ross

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: February 26, 2018

Genres: Young adult, Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★☆

Summary: When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | THE CITY OF BRASS, BY S A CHAKRABORTY

Title: The City Of Brass

Author: S A Chakraborty

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: January 29, 2018

Genres: Young adult, Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★☆☆☆

Summary: Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . .

WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | THE BELLES, BY DHONIELLE CLAYTON

Title: The Belles

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Genres: Young adult, Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆☆

Summary: Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | EVERLESS, BY SARA HOLLAND

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: December 27, 2017

Genres: Young adult, Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★☆

Summary: Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire – a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen. 

In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything – even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.

Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.

There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever … and possibly the future of time itself.

WHITCOULLS | PAPERPLUS | MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER, BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: August 28, 2017

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Penguin NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★☆

Summary: Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

PAPERPLUS | WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | ONE OF US IS LYING, BY KAREN M. McMANUS

Title: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary, Mystery

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Penguin NZ in exchange for a honest review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

PAPERPLUS | WHITCOULLS | MIGHTYAPE

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BOOK REVIEW | ROYAL BASTARDS, BY ANDREW SHVARTS

Title: Royal Bastards

Author: Andrew Shvarts

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Genres: YA Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from the publishers via netgalley to review.

Star rating:★★★

Summary: Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .

BOOK DEPOSITORY | AMAZON

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BOOK REVIEW | CARAVAL, BY STEPHANIE GARBER

Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series Number: 1

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Genres: Fantasy

Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ to review.

Star rating:★★★★

Summary: Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

BOOKDEPOSITORY | AMAZON

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MOST ANTICIPATED DIVERSE YA BOOKS OF 2017

2016 is quickly coming to an end, and i decided to share a list of diverse young adult books that i’m looking forward to in 2017. there are so many amazing diverse books coming out next year and i’ve managed to compile a short(ish) list to share. at the bottom of this post, i’ve got some links to other blogs and lists with even more diverse books (you can never have too many).

i would really like to thank taryn (twitter/instagram) personally for making me more aware of the books that i’m reading. i’ve always thought that marginalised people are important but it wasn’t until i followed her that i noticed the lack of diverse books i was reading. of course there are many other people promoting the “we need diverse books” movement, and i thank you all for raising awareness for something that’s often overlooked.

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BOOK REVIEW | THE REVENGE OF SEVEN, PITTACUS LORE

619pb0r3umlTitle: The Revenge Of Seven

Author: Pittacus Lore

Series Number: 5

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Genres: Science fiction, YA

Where I received the book: I purchased a copy of this book from book depository

Star rating:★★☆

Summary: The Garde have suffered an unbearable loss. Number Five has betrayed them. Eight is gone forever. Ella has been kidnapped. The others are now scattered.

In Chicago, John makes the unlikeliest of allies: Adam, a Mogadorian who turned his back on his people. He has invaluable information about Mog technology, battle strategies, and weaknesses. Most important, he knows where to hit them: their command base near Washington, DC. During the assault, however, John and Adam learn the unimaginable truth: it is too late. The Mogadorians have commenced their ultimate invasion plans.

With a front-row seat to the impending invasion, Ella finds herself in the hands of the enemy. For some reason she’s more valuable to them alive, and they’ll stop at nothing to turn her.

Meanwhile, Six, Nine, and Marina make their way through the Florida Everglades, hot on the trail of the traitorous Five. With the development of a new Legacy, Marina finally has the power to fight back—if her thirst for revenge doesn’t consume her first.

AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

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