#SixForSunday – Favourite Series

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

This month has been such a fun month for my reading! I’m really looking forward to posting my wrap post soon! 🙃

This week’s Six For Sunday was supposed to be about my favourite ever series, however as I think we may have already figured out this month… I haven’t read a lot of series all the way through and most of my favourite ones have already been covered throughout the previous S4S May weeks. With that in mind, I wanted to do something slightly different and decided to write about some of the standalone books that I wished were a series. For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme. Title headings link to Goodreads.


  • To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
    This book was so beautifully written and I fell head over heels in love it. It felt like there was so much potential to explore some other aspects of the world Christo built and I’d definitely be auto-buying a follow-up if ever there was one.
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
    It was so fun to explore the Thorn and Elisabeth’s world – I need to know more about those grimoires and the libraries of their world… and of course, Silas!
  • The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
    This was such a wickedly delicious book. The Shadow King and Alessandra are probably one of my favourite newer romances in fiction. I would love a follow-up just to see what happened across the kingdom after the ending!
  • The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen
    I read this book on NetGalley and it was billed as a new series however I haven’t heard any info about a future sequel. I don’t think it had a particularly wide release however I really enjoyed reading it. 
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    This was probably one of the first fantasy books to capture my heart and one where I feel the movie almost lives up to the book. It would be fabulous to return to the world beyond the Wall.
  • The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    Zafón is one of my all-time favourite authors. His stories are so imaginative and he has a very distinct writing style which I love to read. Although The Prince in Mist is technically a series of 3 books, the stories don’t actually link together in any way. The setting for The Prince in Mist, an overgrown garden with a clown statue in the centre, was so mysterious that I’d love a follow-up from this world.

There we go, a slightly different take on this week’s Six for Sunday! What are your favourite series? What are some standalone you wish had a sequel? As always, leave your link below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

#Friday56 – The Shadows Between Us

Happy Friday Bibliofriends!

I cannot believe May has flown by so quickly! Perhaps it’s because the days have all been rolling into one! This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller which was the feature book in the February 2020 FairyLoot Rulebreakers box. This edition has a gorgeous purple cover (as opposed to the alternative red), artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket and an embossed rose design on the cover as well as being signed by the author!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


Down the table, I watch pair after pair of eyes pretending not to be watching me. The men wonder what I’ve done to have the king claim me. The women watch my every move, wondering how they could get the king to claim them. 

I chose this quote from p.54 as I wanted to highlight Alessandra’s character. It really sets up the whole tone of the novel which was wickedly fun! Full review to come soon!

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?


 

Have you read this book? Do you like your romances with a side of Slytherin? 😉 As always, leave me your Friday56 links or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Beholder

Hi Biblioshelf Friends,

How is your week going? I have had lots of exciting book mail this week so I finally have enough to make a book haul post at the end of the month (for what feels like the first time ever!).

At the end of April, I finished reading The Beholder for the OWLs Magical Readthon last month (wrap post here if you’re interested!). I was so intrigued to get into this book and not just because my copy was the Fairyloot Exclusive edition with pink sprayed edges and rose gold foiling on the front. The idea of sailing off to different kingdoms to look for a suitor on a big ship sounded perfect for the prompt of a book set on the seas/coast. If you want a little sneak peek of the book then check out my #Friday56 post here!


Book: The Beholder by Anna Bright
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Publication Date: 4th June 2019
Publisher: Harper Teen [FairyLoot Exclusive]
Pages: 429
Rating: 📚📚📚.5

Synopsis from Goodreads
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after.
As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come. But when the night of Selah’s engagement ends in an excruciatingly public rejection, her stepmother proposes the unthinkable: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and even beyond borders of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But as she searches for her future husband, she realizes that her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks… and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.


The Beholder is a tale which revolves around the main character, Selah, having to travel throughout the world on her ship (The Beholder) to try and find a suitor to marry. Selah is the Seneschal Elect who hopes to take over the running of the Ptomac community after her father. Unfortunately, she also has an evil, pregnant stepmother who wants to be rid of her whilst her father is getting increasingly ill. Selah hopes that by finding an appropriate suitor to take home, she will be able to assume her place as her Father’s successor before it’s too late.

This wonderful tale serves as Anna Bright’s ode to fairytale heritage. Chapter dividers and inserts offer little instalments and snippets from well-know folk and fairytales which foreshadow the events coming forth. To add to that, some of the main companions on Selah’s journey are named after some of the most well-known storytellers such as Perrault and Lang. I loved these little touches.

I was intrigued that the main heroine hailed from Ptomac as I haven’t read many mainsteam novels from that part of the world. The Arbor hall seemed to emphasise the ways the Ptomacs value the land and this is echoed in Selah’s agricultural upbringing as she looks after her community as one alongside her people. Selah’s character was honest and genuine throughout the start of the book. Her determination and will to not be beaten and take up her rightful role to aid her father was the driving force throughout her narrative. Her experiences of far-off places and the new world unfolded as she travelled to each destination. It was clear to see her turmoil and naivety through the way the potential suitors each individually influenced her attitudes and decision making.

For me, the first part of the book was really intriguing. I enjoyed the sense of journeying through different lands to find a suitor. But somewhere between the first and second/third kingdoms, I got a little lost along the way. Whether it was because I found things slightly repetitive or needed a few extra plot twists and turns to keep me going, I’m not sure. The extent of the story in a snapshot, is a good one; however, the big build-up I was waiting for from the third kingdom, which was feared so much that Selah didn’t even want to journey there, didn’t seem to fully reveal itself. Maybe it will in the sequel.

Either way, Anna Bright’s writing is immersive and lyrical, characters have enough depth, mystery and suspicion for your allegiances to keep shifting and the insights into different territories draws up a brilliant fantasy world based on our own familiar planet. For me, the novel seemed to split itself into two parts. The first half of the book was exceptional and really pulled me into the story, the second half didn’t quite balance with that but I’m still very keen to see where Bright takes this story next.


Have you read The Beholder? Is it on your TBR? Or do you feel like you really need a sailing trip around lots of new kingdoms right about now? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#BookTag – Tell Me About It!

Hi all!

A week or so ago I was tagged for the Tell Me About It Book Tag by @Bookleit on Twitter. You can visit her original YouTube post here.

This was a really fun range of questions all about book genres so if you’d like to have a go then feel free to tag yourselves!


  1. Which genres are the ones you tend to pick up?

My favourite genres are probably Fantasy (YA/Adult), literally anything with magic, fairies, elves, witches and wizards, dragons, mythology – it’s the perfect escapism. My other favourite would probably have to be Historical Mysteries – think along the lines of Robert Langdon or the Scott Mariani books, those historical-type conspiracies where they’re so intricately designed that you could almost believe they’re real.

  1. Which genres are the ones you’ll pick up but aren’t your favourites?

I’ll happily pick up Science-Fiction, more traditional historical novels and even some types of crime fiction if it is a particular author that I follow.

  1. Which genres are the ones you’ll never pick up or maybe just a few times a year?

Genres I pick up a few times a year are the self-help style psychology books or memoirs and occasionally I’ll read some of the classics or noteworthy fiction titles from the most recent decades, Man Booker Prize winners etc…

  1. Which author do you feel you’ll always connect with? *The connection thing is up to your interpretation… it can be the writing style of the author, the plot of his/her books in general, etcetera*

I’ll always connect with anything J.K Rowling, Sarah J Maas and Carlos Ruiz Zafon are my main go-to authors. I’ll read absolutely anything they write because I just love everything about their stories – the plot, the characters, the writing style, everything! 😍

  1. Which author of one of your favorite genre you can’t connect with? *For example, if your favorite genre is ya fantasy… Which ya fantasy’s author you can’t connect with?*

I don’t know why but both times I’ve tried to read Laini Taylor or Renee Ahdieh, I just haven’t seemed to get to grips with their writing styles or the plots they create. It makes me a little bit sad as I know a lot of people who absolute adore their books.

  1. Which book or books do you feel are overhyped?

The Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo I feel was massively overhyped – Alina just outright annoyed me and in no way was I swooning over The Darkling. It just didn’t happen for me. That being said, I couldn’t put the Six of Crows duology down, they were brilliant!

  1. Which book or books do you feel are underrated?

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic – I thought this was so beautifully written and really made me want to visit Kotor in Montenegro.

Roar by Cora Carmack – I loved how the different types of weather influenced the magic and I grew really attached to the band of characters.

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – I absolutely adore Zafon’s writing. He definitely has a particular style which probably isn’t for everyone but he is one of my go-to authors and I think his books deserve a little bit more airtime than what they’ve received.


Huge thanks to Bookleit for the tag, make sure you stop by her Twitter and YouTube channels!

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone! ☺️

T xx

#SixForSunday – Favourite Characters in a Series

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of May. It seems that so many things have happened this month yet it has been relatively chilled at the same time.

This week’s Six For Sunday is all about my favourite characters in a series. I am a massive fan of all of the big-name series out there which made it slightly difficult to pick just one favourite so there may be a few ‘special mentions’.
For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • Severus Snape (Harry Potter)
    There should be absolutely no surprises here. He is dark, complex, sneaky and loyal and although many people disagree, I still resolutely champion him as a flawed hero.
    iu-2
  • Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass)
    When she was first introduced there was no way that I would ever say Manon was my favourite character, but as the series developed and the layers of her character unfolded, she really grew on me. The kinship she had with her coven and her dragon Abraxos was endearing even thought you knew that she had a heart shrouded in steel. Such a great character to read about.
    iu-2
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)
    What a character arc this guy goes on. I mean, Ian McKellan’s portrayal of him in the films is one of my key reasons for choosing him rather than the writing of him but for me he is one of the greatest wizards in literature.
    Special mentions from this series must go to: Arwen, Aragorn, Eowyn, Elrond… perhaps just everyone (apart from Saruman obvs!)
    iu-3
  • Nina Zenik (Six of Crows)
    There was so much I loved about Nina’s character. I especially loved how the relationship between her and Matthias’ unfolded. For someone who could be pictured in a superficial way, she had so much depth of character that you knew never to underestimate her by her appearance or looks alone.

    “No, I don’t mean in the big ways.” Nina’s eyes took them all in. “I mean the little rescues. Laughing at my jokes. Forgiving me when I was foolish. Never trying to make me feel small. It doesn’t matter if it’s next month, or next year, or ten years from now, those will be the things I remember when I see you again.”

  • AIDAN (The Illuminae Files)
    Now AIDAN isn’t necessarily on here because I champion him as a character – in a way he can be seen as one of the villains of the series. The reason he makes my list is because of his sheer audacity and resolve. He’s one of the most unique characters I’ve come across and definitely deserved his place on my favourites list.
    iu-4
  • Cassian (& Azriel) (ACOTAR)
    These guys have bromance down to a tee. They’re such a pair that I couldn’t separate them from my favourites list. I love the humour they bring the tale and they way they support the rest of their group. They bring some pretty special moments to the series and I love them for it.
    iu-5

There we go, tell me your series faves! Here’s your change to fangirl/boy about them! Are there any of my characters that you just can’t stand? As always, leave your link below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

#Friday56 – The Flatshare

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 is from The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. A really endearing story about how love finds itself in the most unconventional of ways.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


 

IMG_1616

This book was incredibly fun and if this little sneak peek has inspired you to find out more about The Flatshare or pick up the book for yourself then feel free to check out my review of it here: Biblioshelf Musings – The Flatshare.


Have a great weekend everyone! As always, leave me your Friday 56 links or drop me a comment below to chat.

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Flatshare

Hi Bibliofriends,

I recently read The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I kept hearing about this book across the blogging and social media world so when I came across it for 99p on iBooks, I decided to take a punt on it.

Synopsis [from Goodreads]
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…


Book: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction
Publication Date: 10th April 2019
Publisher: Quercus
Pages: 400
Rating: 📚📚📚

This read was the perfectly relaxing, light-hearted novel I needed. I really like the uniqueness of Tiffy’s and Leon’s situation – even though they share the flat (and the bed) there is a strict no-meeting clause in their arrangements as they work and use the flat at alternating times. The little notes they leave behind for each other, even though they have never met, allows the reader to discover more about each character as their stories unfold. The dual narrative also compliments this perfectly – Leon has his own way of speaking by omitting some pronouns or determiners; it really does resemble the thought processes of (some) men and their actions/reactions to events happening around them. I like how Tiffy wasn’t the standard tall, thin, beautiful heroine yet also not a token of an overweight person trying to break the mould of literature. She was real, normal and so relatable (apart from her height, she’d definitely tower over me!). Her beauty came from both inside and out, and she wasn’t afraid to show off her passion for home-altered clothing and fashion.

Beneath the heart-warming tale of two people finding each other amongst their distinctive living arrangements is the story of both the dark and light sides of love. Proving that love traverses time and generations, Leon looks after an elderly gentleman called Mr. Prior and helps him to try and track down the long-lost love of his life and fellow war comrade Johnny White. This is paralleled against Tiffy’s past relationship with ex-boyfriend Justin and the traumas that she was faced with after her perception of their relationship drastically changed and she realises what Justin was truly like.  Then there is Richie, Leon’s brother who is facing an appeal for being wrongly arrested and incriminated – he adds a humorous element to the novel and allows for the theme of justice to thread throughout the tale. Not forgetting Gerty, Mo and Rachel who all contribute and add their own fun dynamics.

Beth O’Leary created such a wonderful mix of characters which I grew to be fond of and enjoyed spending literary time with. The Flatshare brought me humour, joy and a sense that even the most painful and vulnerable memories can be overcome with the right people around you to help. It also gave me my new, perfect dieting excuse… upper arm “cake weight”, which has inspired me to also come up with forearm gin weight, upper thigh chocolate weight, lower calf Doritos weight and ankle pizza weight – albeit perhaps not the healthiest influence I’ve ever taken from a novel!


Have you read The Flatshare? Do you have the perfect dieting excuse like Tiffy’s? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixForSunday – Series I’m Dying To Read

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Well this weekend has seen a first for me – I celebrated my birthday in Lockdown on Friday! 🎉🎈🎂 It was quite strange not to be able to physically go out and spend time in the sunshine with family and friends as I normally would, but thankfully the joys of technology still enabled me to catch up with them and celebrate.

As a treat to myself and from birthday money generously gifted from family, I went on an almighty book splurging binge! I’ll be doing a haul post at a later date but let’s just say that all the space I cleared out from getting rid of the books I’ll never read again has quickly been filled!

That brings me onto this week’s Six For Sunday prompt which is ‘series that I wish I could get into’. There are loads of series I haven’t been able to getting round to starting purely because I can’t keep up with having so many different ones on the go at once. Here are the ones that I’m dying to read after I’ve finally finished the ones I’ve currently got on the go. Heading links should go to the series page on Goodreads.
For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • Nevernight – I feel like there’s so much hype surrounding this series and after loving The Illuminae Files I really want to explore this trilogy. Something tells me I may need to fully concentrate on it which is why I’ve been so hesitant at picking it up.
  • Shades of Magic – For the exact same reasons as above, the Shades of Magic series is one that I really have to pick up very soon. I’m really intrigued to see all the different versions of London and can’t wait to get into this world.
  • His Dark Materials – I read the first book Northern Lights as a child and to be honest, although I remember the gist of the story, I really want to go back to the very beginning so that I can finally read the next instalments. Especially as his newer works in this cycle have been widely praised.
  • Crescent City – This book is now finally sitting on my shelf (birthday treat!) and I know I’ve been saying that I’m holding off starting new series, I don’t think I have that much resoves when it comes to new SJM material.
  • The Daevabad Trilogy – I’ve been recommended this series so many times and there is a very exclusive set of this trilogy coming out very soon which I am keeping everything crossed that I can get my hands on!
  • Children of Blood and Bone – Yet another hyped up series that’s on my list and seems to offer something really dark and different!

There we go, what series are you waiting to buy or get started on? Do you have any anticipated series debuts coming out later this year? As always, leave your link below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

#Friday56 – Romanov

It’s FriYAY time! Every step closer to the weekend brings yet more happiness!

This week’s Friday 56 is from Romanov by Nadine Brandes. Based on the tale of Anastasia, Romanov questions what really happened to Anastasia during the Russian Revolution of 1918.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


Everyone woke at sunrise – not because we were rested and certainly not from the sun shining, for it couldn’t penetrate the whitewash. We woke because we were together again. It was better than any birthday or Easter morning. We also knew that rhythm was a fierce weapon against despair.

I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of this book. I could talk about it for ages. There are so many quotes dotted everywhere which spread lots of hopeful, poignant and meaningful messages to the reader. If you haven’t seen it already and you’re interested in finding out more about this amazing book then you can check out my Biblioshelf Musings about Romanov here. If you loved Anastasia’s tragic tale, or you’re just a history fan who likes their stories with a little side of magic and intrigue, then I strongly suggest you pick up this book!


Have a great weekend everyone! As always, leave me your Friday 56 links or drop me a comment below to chat.

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – Romanov

Hi Bibliofriends,

Happy Wednesday, I hope your week is going well.
I’ve always had a fascination with the Romanovs and the mystery of Anastasia. I think my earliest memory of this was when I saw the Bluth/Goldman animated film that was released in 1997. I even had an adorable little Pooka plush toy that I took everywhere! Fast forward to studying the Russian Revolution at school and the mystery about what happened to the Romanovs had me hooked. I was convinced that Anastasia was still alive and hadn’t really died. Diamonds sewn into a corset really did prevent her from death by firing squad and she’d somehow escaped to live out the rest of her life. Obviously these ideas had taken root in my head before Alexei’s and Anastasia’s remains were found in 2007 and it was proven conclusively that they had both died in 1918.

Nadine Brandes’ book, offered me the fictional release that Anastasia never did truly die, mix that with a touch of magic and boy did Romanov deliver!


Book: Romanov by Nadine Brandes
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publication Date: 7th May 2019
Publisher: Thomas Nelson [Shelflove Crate Exclusive]
Pages: 337
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

‘Not even royal blood can stop bullets.’

Without actually having a part one and part two, the story divides itself into two parts: the first being the family’s move from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg and the second focusing on what happened after the fateful assassination of 16-17 July 1918. We see the tone of the story change from light to dark as history unfolds and Nastya is such a terrific narrator to navigate the reader through this.

‘Impatience was the grim reaper of all victories.’

The true-to-history anecdotes of her pranks and the way she is nicknamed schvibzik (imp) created an idea of such a playful character. In the first part, the reader experiences all of her thoughts and feelings: the friendships and conversations struck up with Bolshevik guards, the childlike way of looking at the situation she was in and the almost naïve innocence that her family was going to be rescued out of their exile by the White Army. The way this contrasts with the second part of the story was really well-balanced. At times it felt like a rite-of-passage and you were watching Anastasia rapidly grow up in the aftermath of events. She was an indomitable force on the page. All of her insecurities, vulnerabilities, grit and determination were laid out for the reader to absorb. I felt that her characterisation was powerful and I don’t know whether it was purely the writing or the interpretation of the narration in my head, but I couldn’t help hear Anastasia talking in Jodie Comer’s accent from the Killing Eve series – the mischievousness between them was also fairly apt.

‘Because I have a story I was meant to live. And not even you can unwrite it.’

The Russian references contained within the novel were clearly laid out and explained without being overbearing. It really helped to build the Romanov’s world inside my head. You can tell Brandes is proud of her links to Russia without it being forced into your face through every paragraph. The spell magic in the story was subtle yet effective enough to balance with the more historical elements of the tale. To make spells and become a spell-master, one must have spell ink to write the spell words. For the caster, the words hover around in the air or melt onto the tongue until they are ready to be used at the perfect moment. I really liked the way the iconic Matryoshka doll also played a role in this story and featured as a nod to its real-life creator.

‘We were always meant to be on opposite sides of a pistol’.

Themes of forgiveness and love feature strongly throughout the story. Nastya’s Papa’s belief that everyone should be forgiven no matter what they have done comes full circle in the end and drives home a poignant message; especially for anyone suffering from any emotional turmoil themselves.

‘As I lay in the grass next to the spell that could rid me of heart pain, I realised that a part of forgiveness was accepting the things someone had done – and the pain that came with that – and moving on with love. Forgiveness was a personal battle that must always be fought in my heart. Daily. And though I was tired of running and surviving and fighting… I wasn’t ready to surrender that battle yet.’

Alexei’s condition also shines a sensitive note on overcoming barriers and living your best life in spite of all the odds stacked against you – fair enough he has access to magic, but the sentiment is still there through his relentless attitude.

‘I saw a bond form – between an old spell master and a young boy who never let his illness hold him back from his dreams and duties.’

All in all, I was tremendously intrigued and fascinated by this book. I bought into the characters. I enjoyed the way the writing flowed, offering enough description and dialogue to keep the plot unfolding and the world building within my head. The way magic was paired with heritage. Russian symbology sprinkled throughout every page. It was rich in detail and history; the author’s note at the end explained exactly what was real and what was stretched which I really respect from a historical fiction writer.

Brandes’ tale was the perfect way to give me the happier ending of this tragic tale that I’d always been longing for.

‘The bond of our hearts… spans miles, memories and time.’


Are you a fellow historical fantasy nerd? Have you read Romanov? Feel free to share your ideas/comments/recommendations in the chat below! 🙂

T xx