#Friday56 – Esme’s Wish

Happy Friday Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster. I was thrilled to be asked by Elizabeth to review her book as it sounded crammed full with lots of fantasy elements and the map of Esperance was immediately giving me Venice-vibes! Esme’s Wish was a wonderful story of friendship and the quest for finding a lost loved one. I’m already intrigued and excited to read Book 2!

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.


‘Somehow, my mother knew something nobody else could know – she knew about the stygians in the chamber. Why else would she have painted them around the pedestal?’
Lillian flicked her eyes from the painting to Esme, and back again. ‘So they could still be in there?’ She turned her gaze full on Esme. ‘And you want to go and see? Have you gone completely mad?’

This middle-grade fantasy novel was packed full with all of the elements I love to read about in this genre. There were dragons, sirens, magical portals, hints of mythology and curious compendiums and objects. If you want to find out more about Esme’s Wish then you can check out my full review here.

Goodreads | Odyssey Books | Amazon | Waterstones


Have you read Esme’s Wish? Do you prefer dragons of sirens in a fantasy novel? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – Esme’s Wish

Hi Bibliofriends,

One of my bookish blogging goals this year was to try and get started on taking author/publisher requests and also start investing some time into improving my NetGalley feedback score.

It was such a thrill when Elizabeth Foster contacted me after reading one of my reviews for Odyssey Books and asked me if I would also be interested in reading her novel Esme’s Wish in exchange for an honest review. I’m so pleased that I did, this was a wonderful fantasy series starter to lose myself in during the last few weeks of what was a really crazy school year! Huge thanks to Elizabeth for getting in touch and sending me her e-book.


Book: Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster
Genre: Middle Grade/YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 30th 2017
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Pages: 252
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all. 
Winner of a Purple Dragonfly Book Award for best fantasy.
“A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr, New York Times best selling author of Nim’s Island.

My Musings

Esperance is such a beautifully crafted world to lose my bookish mind in. The waterways and canals winding through the city instantly made me reminisce about one of my favourite holidays spent in Venice, Italy. I’m also a huge fan of any worlds where water is a feature (seriously, I think I must have been a fish in a former life!). The frequent references to fountains, sea portals, caves, sirens and sea hawks made me put this world firmly on my fictional travels bucket list.

Esme is quite a young character and her emotions are clearly laid out for the reader to see. You witness her turmoil over the loss of her mother and also her anger at her father for remarrying and beginning a new life. As the story progresses, Esme’s determination and resilience grow alongside the plot and it was nice to see those rites of passage elements in the story as Esme branches off on her mission to discover what happened to her mother. I enjoyed the way her friendships and personality grew throughout the story as she left her world and travelled into the magical world of Esperance.

Mythology and magic run strongly throughout the whole story and I loved picking out those mythology-inspired references which were woven throughout. The book features brilliant creatures such as sirens, stygians and (woohoo!) dragons! I really enjoyed the character Augustine who is a keeper of magic – he added a quirky wizard-like dimension to the story with a diviner rod named Willow which reminded me of Dr. Strange’s Cape in some crazy way that the keeper and his diviner are pretty much a team but the objects are sentient and have a mind of their own.

The story itself is pretty much a quest which is based on a number of clues leading from one to the next, gradually unravelling the story. Whilst in my adult head I was expecting and predicting that some of these would happen, my teacher head was thinking about how perfect this book would be for some of my more reluctant readers and students. Descriptions and vocabulary are on point in this. Vocabulary is such a buzz-word in the teaching world now as children are exposed to fewer words and this has a massive impact upon their reading and writing progress. Esme’s Wish is such a brilliant book to try and inspire this love of words as it is littered with so many wonderful ones and as a logophile myself, this was one of my favourite aspects of the writing. 

Favourite Quotes:

‘The pool settled back into peaceful somnolence, winking at her in the sunlight.’

‘Life is such a fragile thing. Like butterfly wings.’

‘Water has a memory of its own. It stores within itself the history of all it sees.’

‘She was the thread that ran through all things, unravelling the world at will. She could create, or destroy, at her whim. Time had no meaning here. Death was merely an abstraction.’

Why Should I Read This?

For the vocabulary and the writing.
For the sirens, waterways and dragons.
For the amazing world of Esperance.

Esme’s Wish is perfect for the Middle Grade age range and those who are starting out to explore the fantasy genre. Equally, if you’re an adult who loves your mythological references or fantasy islands filled with fountains, seas, magical portals and dragons then this could also be the perfect book for you to escape into a light yet welcoming fantasy world.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Odyssey Books | Waterstones | Elizabeth Foster on Twitter

#BookTag – Taylor Swift Lover Book Tag

Hey Bibliofriends,

Not gonna lie, Taylor Swift’s new album Folklore has been playing on repeat ever since it’s extremely welcome release so I thought it would be a brilliant time to tackle the Taylor Swift ‘Lover’ Book Tag which I found over on Chocolate’n’Waffles blog here.

You can find the original post here on Nish & Ngoc’s Book Nook.

The Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator of the book tag (Nish & Ngoc).
  • Thank the person that tagged you and link to their post (above).
  • 3. TAG AS MANY SWIFTIES AS YOU WANT! (Or non-Swifties, maybe inspire them to listen to our Queen)

I Forgot That You Existed – A book that you want to forget you ever read

I can’t actually think of a book that I hated so much that I want to forget I ever read it so perhaps I wish I could forget ever reading Harry Potter or the Throne of Glass series just so that I can experience them again with fresh eyes.

2. Cruel Summer – A book you turn to when the going gets rough

To be honest, I have so many books on my shelves that I rarely get chance to reread many novels but whenever I head into a little bit of a slump I tend to pick up something either something by Erica James as I love her stories or a chick-lit style romance set in Italy – it’s my favourite city and always makes me feel happy to reminisce about my trip there. 

3. Lover – Your book OTP

I come back to Rhysand and Feyre every…single…damn…time! 

4. The Man – Your fave kick-ass female protagonist

This one is so tough – I think Kady Grant and Hannah Donnelly from the Illuminae series really lay their gauntlets down. Failing that, I wouldn’t mess with Manon from Throne of Glass either!

5. The Archer – A book with good mental health representation

I’m struggling to find any fiction novel that I have read that could fit this brief… Maybe the Six of Crows duology as the characters have to each overcome their various burdens and the way they all pull together as a team shows how important good friendships are in overcoming your demons and accepting people for who they are.

Non-fiction-wise: Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggie Van Eijk really helped me out during a dark time. 

6. I Think He Knows – Your fave fictional crush

Dare I admit this but… Snape?! Of course, Alan Rickman playing him in the movies helped me to see and hear him in my head when reading the later HP books. There’s just something about that voice! 😂🙈

7. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince – Fave angsty romance

Alessandra and the Shadow King in The Shadows Between Us – just get it together already!!

8. Paper Rings – Book with an ugly cover that you absolutely adored

The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Angela Carter – to be in-keeping with Carter’s retellings of the stories inside the cover features a really grubby foot inside a stiletto slingback. Feet are a big no-no for me, but Angela Carter is one of my all-time favourite storytellers and I wrote my dissertation about fairytales so it’s just the cover on this one putting me off!

9. Cornelia Street– A book or series you never want(ed) to end

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – that book skyrocketed to God tier on my favourites shelf that I could have lived in it forever – it was recently announced that the sequel is being released later this year and I am SUPER excited!

10. Death By A Thousand Cuts– A book or series that deserved a better ending

Evermore by Sara Holland – the first novel blew me away but I didn’t feel that the sequel lived up to its predecessor which was gutting.

11. London Boy– Your fave British male protagonist

So without drifting back into HP territory I’d probably have to say Cormoran Strike or James Bond – keeping my head up in the fantasy crowds I don’t tend to read many stories with solidly British characters anymore. 

12. Soon You’ll Get Better– A book that your heart will never recover from

I’m such a baby and always seem to cry sad stories or at ‘ends of things’ – be it a book series, tv show, people saying goodbye – even the end of term sometimes gets me (I have no idea why?!).
In that respect I could easily pick any of the following:

One Day by David Nicholls
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

13. False God– A character you would leap into the burning pits of hell to save

Snape again… he needs a proper redemption in my head! 

14. You Need To Calm Down– A book with a powerful message

Lord of the Rings by Tolkien for its fellowship and finding inner strength to overcome barriers for the greater good.

The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott for its message about the importance of looking after our natural world and not taking excessively from it or destroying it for personal greed/power.

15. Afterglow – A book you want to give a second chance

Thorn by Intisar Khanani – it’s been sat on my ‘currently reading pile’ since about March?!

16. ME! – Best character development

Don Tilman in The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – such a brilliantly written character.

17. It’s Nice To Have A Friend – Fave friends-to-lovers story

One Day by David Nicholls or The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

18. Daylight – If you could only read one book or series again and again, what would it be?

I’m the person whose holiday carry on weight is mostly books so I couldn’t possibly pick just one.

A few faves:

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas


I had forgotten just how many tracks Swift puts on her albums! 😂 This seemed fairly long. Apologies if the formatting is slightly out, it’s my first time trying to get my head around this block editor and it’s frying my brain slightly!

Feel free to tag yourself if you are a fellow Swifty fan and fancy like giving this a go. Have you listened to Folklore yet? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

Have a good week everyone,
T xx

#SixforSunday – Tropes I Want To See More Of

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

This week’s Six For Sunday continues our tropes theme and this time we’re discussing tropes we want to see more of. Any of my favourite tropes from my first Six For Sunday post this month I could read and read forever so I’ve tried to include a few of the less common tropes that I’d want to read more of here.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot


Something where everyone dies at the end

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where every single person dies at the end but maybe it could be fun different right?!

Anything with Water – seas, rivers, waterfalls, mermaids, pirates

Its not really a trope but anything with a water feature or where water is a major part of the world and I’m desperate to read it!

Coming Full Circle

Something which links right back to the very start whilst still containing the closure of the ending. I can’t quite explain how I see it in my head and I don’t just mean everything in the world going back to normal like it was at the beginning, but I’d love to see some reference which makes the beginning of the story relevant at the end.

Curve-ball Endings (done well)

Something where although I know this story has finished, the author has left the possibility wide open for another character or spin-off novel to take place within the world. Or a curve ball that comes so out of the blue that I’m shocked and left reeling by the end of it.

Enemies to Lovers / Forbidden Romances

We’ve covered this – I love this trope… more, more, more please!

Evil Triumphs

Sometimes, just sometimes I wish we’d see more of the villains winning in the story as opposed to the good side winning all of the time.


Tell me your favourite tropes which you wish appeared more often? Do you ever consider writing your own novel just to feature an underrated trope? As always, leave me a comment to chat or drop me your Six for Sunday links below and I’d be happy to visit.

T xx

#Friday56 – These Divided Shores

Aloha, it’s finally freakin’ Friday!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch which is the sequel to These Rebel Waves. This is another part of my ‘series I’m trying to finish’ episodes and I’m kinda sad to be saying goodbye to Grace Loray and it’s wonderful botanical magic.

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.


You cannot even trust yourself,her mind echoed.

But I trust him, she told the broken pieces that had once been her heart.

I enjoyed returning to Grace Loray to see what happened to Vex, Lu and Ben in this sequel to These Rebel Waves. The Botanical Magic in this series was really something special and I loved finding out the different ways it was used in the story.  If you want to find out more about These Divided Shores then you can check out my full review here.


Have you read These Rebel Waves or These Divided Shores? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

Biblioshelf Musings: These Divided Shores

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musing is ‘These Divided Shores’ by Sara Raasch which is the sequel to ‘These Rebel Waves’. I first read TRW when it arrived in the August 2018 Mutinous Pirates Fairyloot box. At first, the series wasn’t quite what I was expecting as the pirates were more riverboat looters (Stream Raiders) than the swashbuckling kind (which I guess speaks more about my stereotyping of what I consider pirates to be…). Given the motivational push of lockdown and my birthday, I finally took the plunge and ordered the sequel to tick the sequel off my TBR list.
[🚨Although there are no spoilers ahead for These Divided Shores, this review may naturally feature some spoilers for the first book in the series These Rebel Waves.]


Book: These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch
Genre: Fantasy / YA
Publication Date: 27th August 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 560
Rating: 📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The thrilling sequel to These Rebel Waves—full of deadly magic, double crosses, and a revolution—from Sara Raasch, the bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes series.

As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.

Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.

Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?

As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.


Botanical Magic

For me, the botanical magic elements are my favourite part of the series. Both books have a few page inserts between different phases of the story which contains a drawing of a magical plant and it’s various attributes and uses. This type of magical system felt so fresh compared to the wand-waving, elemental ‘magic-from-within’ types. I was really interested in the parts of the plot which discussed the accessibility and uses of these plants by both Grace Loray and Argrid. If you like plants and potions then you’ll probably enjoy reading about this magical system!

Grace Loray

The setting of These Divided Shores really compliments the botanical magic system in the novels. Places such as the Backswamp and the numerous streams and rivers which dominate the island all added to the jungle feeling and, even though I’m not from the US, it gave me a bayou feeling from somewhere like Louisiana or Florida mixed with a little bit of Amazon. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for any types of ‘water’ features in books or settings so Grace Loray was right up my street and the waterfall episode in the first book was one of my standout parts of the whole series.

Vex, Ben and Character Diversity

I really enjoyed how we got to explore the relationship between cousins Vex and Ben. It brought a fresh dynamic to the story rather than focusing on just the romantic relationships between other characters. I also enjoyed the way in which same-sex relationships were portrayed in the book. One of my pet hates is when same-sex couples feel forced into novels just for the sake of whereas in the Stream Raiders series they were included strongly but subtly at the same time, reinforcing them as normal parts of everyday Grace Loray lifestyles. Gunnar is a particular favourite character and it was nice to see a strong, masculine character also addressing his emotions and feelings openly.

Mini Battle, Mini Battle, Big Battle, End

For me, the pace and plot in These Divided Shores was a little on the slow side to get me through to the end of all 560 pages. In short, the aim of the book is to try and stop Argrid from making permanent magic and enforcing everyone to their rules. The Stream Raiders, having their own cultures and beliefs want to keep Grace Loray as part of a haven for all those who don’t want to surrender to the Pious God. To me, I don’t think I needed all of those pages, and what felt like battle after battle, for all of that to be resolved in the way it was. It always seems that post-battle resolutions get thrown in very quickly at the end even though quite often many nations and lives end up needing to be rebuilt. The ending of These Divided Shores felt slightly rushed compared to all that had happened before the final chapter. Thankfully, I enjoyed the setting, magic and characters enough to finish it all off but at times I did find it rather slow-going for me.


 

The Stream Raiders series is definitely different to other fantasy books I’ve read and I’m glad that I actually bought the sequel to finish it off and see what happened to the characters and magical island which I had enjoyed reading about the first time round. If you enjoy stories about uprisings and the tactics behind different revolts then you’d probably enjoy it. Equally, if you’re after a different style of fantasy setting to the typical medieval castle types then you might just enjoy a little trip along the streams, rivers and botanical magic of Grace Loray!

Have you read These Divided Shores? What is your favourite type of fantasy setting? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#BookTag – I Should Have Read That

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends,

I’ve hit a kind of Book Tag slump recently and have been trying to find some different ones which interested me and motivated me enough to fill them out. When I saw the I Should Have Read That tag on One Book More I knew that it would be perfect for me as there are tons of books out there and on my shelves that I should have read.


 Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part in the tag
  • Enjoy the tag!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

My friend Hannah is always recommending the Rivers of London series to me by Ben Aaronovitch. I know that I will probably end up loving it as we share similar tastes in books but for some reason I just never get around to purchasing it!

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A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t read it

Erm.. my entire bookshelf?!

Nevernight or The Bone Season have both been sat on my shelves for well over 3 (or more likely 5!) years and I still haven’t picked them up and got past the first page yet.

A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten around to finishing

Surely we all know I have a bit of a problem with sequels by now? So much so that I think there should be a name for a scientific/medical name for not finishing a series – answers on a postcard please!

If I had to pick just one it would probably be Rage by Cora Carmack – I absolutely loved Roar and now I finally have Rage sat in my TBR pile I’m desperate to read it and find out what happens before buying Reign when it comes out later in August this year.

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but have never actually read

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – purely for the fact that I love the sound of his name. It’s one of those aesthetically pleasing sounds. I have no idea what the book is actually about even though it’s sitting on my bookshelf – but that’s just me and my book-buying addiction habits!

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A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

Anything by V.E. Schwab – it’s almost like I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read any of her work yet. Lots of people discuss what an amazing writer she is so I really want to get around to reading the Darker Shades of Magic series in the near future.

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but just haven’t picked up yet

Normally I’m a really stickler for making sure that I’ve read the book before the films come out. That being said I desperately want to read Dune before the movie comes out later this year. TV series-wise, I love, love, love Killing Eve. The first series was by far the best and I don’t really think series 2 and 3 have lived up to the ‘epicness’ of it yet but I’d like to take a punt on exploring the books.

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

With all of the reading, working, adulting, blogging, Twittering, watching reruns of Hannah Montana on Disney +etc… my Instagramming has taken a bit of a backseat and I don’t really go on it anymore to know what it popular. Two books I keep hearing hyped-up elsewhere that I’d like to read is A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown and Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.


Et voilà! I get all worried that by tagging people in posts they’ll get all eye-rolly and pissed off so feel free to tag yourself and have a go if you want to!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Overdone Tropes

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

We’re continuing the trope theme this month in the #SixforSunday meme. For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot

This week seems a lot similar to last we in that we have gone from hated tropes to overdone tropes. I think the main reason for me hating tropes is because I feel like they’re repetitive and overdone so this week was a little difficult to not just repeat last week’s post! So here are some of my most hated, overdone tropes and the ones which really tipped me over the edge!


Love Triangles

Unpopular opinion alert coming up: Katniss, Peeta and Gale are just one love triangle I really can’t fathom! Add to that mix Bella, Edward and Jacob as well as The Darkling, Alina and Mal… this is probably my biggest pet-peeve when it comes to tropes. I honestly can;t think off the top of my head of one love triangle I actually think was done well in literature apart from Buffy, Spike and Angel and that doesn’t really count!

Love at first sight

Can I add Bella and Edward in here again…? There’s a fair bit of Twilight bashing, sorry fans! So other than the classic Romeo and Juliet, insta-love just seems so predictive and grates on me how characters don’t get the chance to build up to those kind of feelings rather than have them rushed in by the author.

Ye Olde Worlde

So I really didn’t understand the world in the Red Queen series, it felt slightly medieval but then there was the dystopian kind of surveillance cameras and other bits dotted around that threw me off the scent a little as to what time period the book was placed in. I don’t always have to have a novel neatly fit into one time or another, however if there are mash-ups, time-hybrids or fictional liberties then I at least need these blatantly spelling out and woven into the world rather than me having to second-guess whilst trying to keep up with the characters and plot at the same time. Likewise with The Beholder…where did the radio transmitter come from?!

Copycats

I recently finished reading Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett which is the sequel to Onyx and Ivory; whilst I really enjoyed reading it and rated it 3.5 stars, part of me just couldn’t help get a sense of deja-vu when reading it. I won;t add any spoilers in here for anyone who may yet read the books, but it just felt like the plot was littered with little motifs or nods to things that have happened in other major book series out there (a darkened magically poisoned hand slowly killing its host remind you of anyone…?).

Happily Ever Afters

7 of the books I’ve read this year so far have had a happily ever after kind of feeling to them. Whilst I do enjoy a happy ending sometimes it seems far too good to be true. I hate to be on the pessimistic side but I like my endings with a tinge of sadness or sacrifice – think of Crooked Kingdom, Kingdom of Ash and Anna K – with sweeping epics and engrossing stories sometimes the Disney-fied “and they all lived happily ever after” just doesn’t cut it and match up to the storyline for me to believe in it enough.

A Blink And You Miss It Ending

Descendant of the Crane had such a massive build-up and whilst I really enjoyed reading it, the ending felt like the drop on a rollercoaster – one fell swoop and suddenly the novel stopped. I would much rather read seven books in a longer series and feel like everything has happened proportionately, than read over 300 pages of build up for a ten page ending.


Which tropes do you feel need a massive overhaul? Which tropes do you love so much that you don’t care how often they’re overdone but you just have to read them? As always, leave me a comment to chat or drop me your Six for Sunday links below and I’d be happy to visit.

T xx

#Friday56 – Shadow and Flame

Woop Woop – TGI Friday!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett which is the sequel to the fantasy novel Onyx and Ivory. I got this as part of my birthday haul in my bid to try and finish off some of the series I’d already started from way back when!

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.


Signe wasn’t a wilder or magist, only a woman from the Esh Islands of unknown birth and background. Still, she possessed many talents, including senses keen enough to provoke envy in any assassin or spy – and one secret that made her the most important woman in the Rising.

Signe was one of the sassiest and most mysterious characters in this book. I really like the way her friendship with Kate goes through its trials and tribulations. It isn’t often that you witness people facing up to the consequences of their actions like this pair of friends. If you want to hear more about Shadow and Flame then you can check out my full review here.


Have you read Onyx and Ivory or Shadow and Flame? What kind of Wilder magic would you rather have? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings: Shadow and Flame

Howdy Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musing is Shadow and Flame which is the sequel to Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett. If you follow my other posts you’ll know that I’m not that great at keeping up with sequels. That being said, in my new little world of trying to maintain good ‘atomic habits’, the motivational need to clear some series space on my shelves prompted me to add Shadow and Flame to my birthday book haul.
🚨 There may be some spoilers ahead for the first book in the series but if you want to read one of my very early reviews then you can find my thoughts on Onyx and Ivory here.


Book: Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett
Genre: Fantasy / YA
Publication Date: 4th June 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 482
Rating: 📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.

Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.


The World of Rime

Wow, it felt so good to be back in Rime. I have to say that in a bookish world swamped with lots of medieval-style fantasy settings, the Kingdom of Rime felt really homely and not overdone. To be honest I think the setting may be one of my favourite parts of the whole novel. In Shadow and Flame we get to do a little more exploration of Seva and the Mistfold which is where the story kicks off. I can’t quite describe why I like it so much but the references to everweeps and the mysterious statues all just add to it being a nice place to spend some reading time in my head. Finding out the source of the Wilders’ magic and it’s link to the kingdom was one of those niche little things that I enjoyed whilst reading. I’m really hoping that we can come back to this world someday just to explore the places on the map that we didn’t really see.

Signe and the Esh Islands

One of those places is the Esh Islands where Signe is from. Signe is such a mysterious character and she has a really unusual appearance with ruby-like gems surrounding her mouth. As part of the Furen Mag, we find out much more about Signe’s identity throughout the book, however the ending left me feeling like there was a little more to this character and her heritage that I wanted to know an awful lot more about. We finally discover the secret of the mystical Black Powder, but it all just leaves me wanting a spin-off series about Signe and the Furen Mag.

Paragon and Uror

The Paragon and the Uror are central devices used to carry out the plot and battle between good and evil in the Rime Chronicles. It’s quite hard to talk about them without giving away major spoilers but as far as ‘roles for heroes’ go, these were pretty effective and I liked the symbolism of the black/white themes that accompanied their descriptions.  They were both fairly predictable within the story but I really did enjoy the storytelling around the way they were represented – who doesn’t love a magical horse right?!

To Sway or not to Sway

Kate’s wilder ability is to control people’s minds with Sway. The book goes into great detail about how the ability to invade someone’s mind or force them to do things against their will comes with a heavy burden and a price to pay. This is part of a major conscience battle for Kate and I like the way the author explores the way her use of her wilder ability affects some of her closest friendships – it’s not often that we get to see the psychological ramifications of something like this taking a key focal part in a fantasy tale.


All in all, The Rime Chronicles were a nice, fun read. The characters were nice, the plot was nice, the magic system was nice – nice, nice, nice. I occasionally read parts of the story and had a deja-vu moment as if I had heard of that ‘blackened, poisoned hand’ somewhere before… but on the whole, it was an enjoyable story which I’m definitely glad to have picked up and completed. Predictable in places, slightly rushed at the end after the final battle and although I feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to the world of Corwin and Kate, I’m definitely not quite ready to part with the whole of the Kingdom of Rime and would look forward to more books from this quaint little fantasy-fictional world.


Have you read the Rime Chronicles? Would you rather be a Wilder and pull your magic from the Earth around you, or a Magist who creates magic through making magical orbs and portals? I think I’m definitely more on the Wilder side. As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx