Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

  • Publication Date: 25th June, 2019
  • Paperback: 464 pages     
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

THE TIME OF THE WISH APPROACHES… 

Yumeko the shapeshifter had one task: take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple and prevent the summoning of the great Kami Dragon. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, has escaped and possessed the samurai she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with Genno, the Master of Demons, to break his curse and set himself free. But Genno wishes to overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness. To do that he needs only one thing, the scroll Yumeko is hiding. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross again the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

AND CHAOS WILL DARKEN AN EMPIRE.”

Should You read Soul of the Sword?

“This is why I don’t trust magic,” he muttered, leaning back against the tree. “Inanimate objects like swords and scrolls should not WANT to be found. They should not want anything.”

Did. You. See. the COVER?!?! Ohmygosh. I love the US one more than this cover I’ve featured(UK one), but you can’t deny that this one is pretty too! Anyway, I should warn you that there will be spoilers ahead if you’ve not read Shadow of the Fox and of course, there’s some physical violence in this book..so, proceed with caution.

Shadow of the Fox was all about traveling and it ended when Yumeko and Tatsumi reach their destination. Soul of the Sword is all about action and I’m here for it! There are multiple perspectives here too but I didn’t find it too difficult to follow this time. We see Yumeko and gang deciding about how to free Tatsumi from Hakaimono without destroying themselves in return. They’re also -still- trying to secure the piece of an ancient scroll, Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, away from the demons and people with nefarious intentions reach.  Hakaimono, in Tatsumi’s body, joins up with the Master of Demons to retrieve the scroll piece so he can use the wish to free himself from the cursed sword. Will Yumeko be able to save Tatsumi? or, will the entire empire be destroyed at the hands of Hakaimono?

The world-building was incredibly done and there are more monsters and mythical creatures in this book. Surprisingly, I grew to like the characters more and Yumeko is not a naive little half-kitsune anymore. Yumeko is still not adept at recognizing sarcasm so that makes for some pretty interesting conversations.

Reika: “It wouldn’t surprise me if one of us accidentally ‘tripped’ and stumbled off the path while following him.”

Yumeko: “Does that mean the Path will be very bumpy, or that Naganori-san will not help us if we do?”

I definitely expected a POV of Hakaimono and it was interesting, I dare say, being in his head. He’s described as the most powerful demons of all and while, it’s not comforting to read when he’s torturing Tatsumi, I must say I enjoyed reading his views and his struggles with Tatsumi. The pace was faster this time and the stakes were higher. There’s also the development of yet another romance and you won’t hear me complaining.

The twist ,in the end, was completely mind-boggling! I wasn’t expecting it to head in THAT direction, to say the least.

“I didn’t think Naganori’s Shadow magic would produce flowers and butterflies, unless they were black butterflies that ate your soul, which didn’t seem healthy at all.”

Overall, I recommend this book to you if you loved book one. This is much darker than the first book with action-packed scenes, characters you’ll love and an ending that will make you scream- in vain- for the third book.

Thanks to the publisher for including me on the blog tour and for gifting me a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

Julie Kagawa

You can find more about Julie here

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

Have you read Soul of the Sword? Did you like Shadow of the fox? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Blog Tour Schedule:

Blog Tour | Review: Soul of the Sword( Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa


A book about books and sword-wielding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A book about books and sword-weilding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns

  • Publication Date: 4th June, 2019
  • Hardcover: 456 pages    
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

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.

Should You read Sorcery of Thorns?

“Night fell as death rode into the Great Library of Summershall.”

Both of Margaret Rogerson’s books have been blessed by the cover gods. If you haven’t seen the cover of Enchantment of Ravens or heard about it, you can click on this link. I also loved the synopsis which promised me a book for bibliophiles/book dragons and there’salong with sorcery, demonic servants, a conspiracy. I had to read this, obviously. So, did Sorcery of Thorns deliver on its promise? Let’s find out..

The book starts with the introduction of the protagonist Elisabeth, who’s an apprentice at The Great Library of Summerhall but dreams of being a warden. She and the Director of The Great Library are seen transporting a highly dangerous grimoire(book of magic spells) into a vault. If the grimoire is not safely sealed, it could transform into a Malefict(a demon).

Elisabeth, unlike all other apprentices, grew up in the library. Books were quite literally, her friends as these books can talk, express joy and anger, cause mischief and destruction.

One night, Elisabeth wakes up only to find the library doors wide open and her beloved Director lying dead with her sword lying by her side. Looking further ahead of her, Elisabeth watched as a grimoire- now turned Malefict- walked towards the village of Summerhall. Sword in hand, Elisabeth rushed towards the path the Malefict/grimoire had taken and managed to slay the demon, thus saving hundreds of lives. However, she wasn’t hailed as a heroine by everyone as the next day, Elisabeth was accused of the following crimes:

  • murdering the Director
  • letting a highly dangerous grimoire escape
  • Destroying the grimoire when it turned into a malefict.

“All Sorcerers are evil.”

Since Elisabeth destroyed a grimoire, she would be tried at the Magisterium, where the Chancellor(of Sorcerors) would decide her fate. It is none other than Nathaniel Thorn, who has come to escort her to the Magisterium. Nathaniel, to Elisabeth, is unlike sorcerers she’s read about and still, she’s not relieved because she doubts that she’ll see the Great Library or her friends ever again. Elisabeth’s doubts now intensify as she uncovers a far greater conspiracy that could well be the end of minkind. Will she be able to find the real killer of the Director? Will Elisabeth succeed in stopping what’s to come?

I liked Sorcery of Thorns far better than Enchantment of Ravens but it has it’s problems. I didn’t have any problems with the pace or the plot of the book; however, this book had the same flowery descriptions that annoyed me and benefitted the story to no end. I liked Elisabeth until she can’t help but repeat how handsome both Nathaniel and his demon butler(/slave) Silas are. She can’t help but repeat her descriptions of their “prettiness” even when they’re/ she’s in danger. I mean, why….It’s SO not necessary. When I was able to get past all of these, I became invested in the story and particularly Nathaniel’s backstory. He’s funny, tries to help Elisabeth and also battles his past demons. For the curious ones, Nathaniel describes himself as bisexual in one instance only.

“I haven’t sacrificed virgins for my perfect cheekbones, if that’s what you mean.”

The story takes place in the past and in a fictional place that reminded me of England. I loved the classification of the grimoires and the way they’re descibed as humans. The story revolves around books as I said before.when’s there’s someone like Elisabeth who loves books, there are others who want to either misuse books or use books to their advantage. If you can look past all the unnecessay dialogues, some action scenes, you’ll love Sorcery of Thorns as well as I did.

Overall, I recommend this book to you if you love books about books, great libraries, sword-wielding librarians, handsome but not evil sorcerers and a “good” demon butler.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

A book about books and sword-weilding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. Website 

A book about books and sword-weilding librarians | Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

What do you think? Have you read Sorcery of Thorns? If not, do you want to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Not an Artificial Intelligence, but an Artificial Consciousness | Review: Emily Eternal by M.G. Wheaton

Blog Tour | Shadow & Flame(Rime Chronicles #2) by Mindee Arnett

Emily Eternal by M.G. Wheaton Publication Date: 7th May, 2019 Paperback: 292 pages   Genre: Science fiction, Adult Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Meet Emily – she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind’s deepest secrets and even fix your truck’s air con, but unfortunately, she can’t restart the Sun.

She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human. 

Should You read Emily Eternal?

“It’s dark, way too dark for the middle of the day. And that’s not where the sky’s supposed to be.”

Emily Eternal tells us the story about Emily, an A.C.(Artificial Consciousness) who has to save the world from the sun which has begun to die. Well, not “die” exactly…but

“..it made a sudden and explosive phase shift from a yellow giant to a red giant. “

This can happen actually, in reality, and I read about in this school and it freaked me out. Basically, when the Sun starts to “die” out, it will send out radiation and solar flares which will affect the electricity which basically runs everything on this earth. From water supply to hospitals, everything will be affected without electricity. There will be no stopping of any disease. earth will literally go back to the dark ages and humanity just might perish. However, what’s the point of Emily?

Emily was built as the last hope of humanity and that’s why she’s not an A.I. but an A.C., as close to a superhuman. In Emily’s words,

My creator-Nathan- designed me to interface with and decode human minds. This is more about learning through emotional and environmental response and less overtly about math-based decision making. Hence AC, rather than AI.

Throughout the pages, we see how similar Emily is to a human. She has hopes, bitterness, dreams, doubts, crushes. All this sense of normalcy is brought to a grinding halt when the president of the US and some other scientists visit the lab and ask Emily to do something unthinkable, but necessary to save humans. After much debate and thinking on her part, Emily decides the help and therein lies another difference between an AI and an AC. An A.I. would immediately agree to the proposition, no matter how maddening it was. No sooner than Emily starts to work than the lab is attacked and Emily watches, helplessly, as her creator along with all her scientists is killed. The lab is a pile of rubble and Emily is all alone except she isn’t. Jason Hatta, her crush and one of the volunteers in the project that Emily was working on, had confiscated an interface chip with which he can see and maintain contact with Emily. Now, Emily has some enormous tasks ahead of her: Save mankind, Help Jason and sheriff Mayra from getting killed and in turn saving herself, fight against the corporation that orchestrated the attack and also fights her sister?

The book is short, about 290 pages, but it took me longer to finish than I normally would’ve and that’s not a bad thing, either. Of course, there were some scientific jargons I had to skim through but I enjoyed the story told through Emily’s perspective. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Emily and her “humanity”. An AC crushing on a human is not new for me but this was sweet and I rooted for them throughout the book. Emily understands consent and acknowledges moments where she crossed a line. Her program is only five years old, and despite having the appearance and maturity of someone in their thirties, Emily is still very innocent. It’s quite sweet watching her hold firm to her morals because her creator did – and then because she’s decided it’s the right thing to do. I loved Jason and Mayra as well. They try to understand her instead of ridiculing her or dismissing her.

Overall, I highly recommend this sci-fi novel for its unique characters, clever plot line, the philosophical and moral questions it brings up, its pace, its twists and turns which eventually led us to a fulfilling conclusion.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

About the Author:

Born in Texas, M.G. Wheaton worked in a computer factory before getting his start as a writer for such movie magazines as Total Film, Fangoria, Shivers, SFX and several others. After leaving journalism, Wheaton worked as a writer for video games, comic books, and movies, including writing scripts for New Line, Sony, Universal, Miramax, HBO, A&E, Syfy, Legende, Disney Channel, and others while working with filmmakers such as Sam Raimi, Michael Bay, Steven Soderbergh, George Tillman, Gavin O’Connor, Janusz Kaminski, and Clark Johnson. 

Connect: Website | Twitter

A journey into the wonderful yet terrifying world of the unknown | ARC Review: Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

What do you think? Have you read Emily Eternal? Did my review manage to convince you to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Blog Tour: The Tiger Catcher (The End of Forever #1) by Paullina Simons | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Tiger Catcher (The End of Forever #1) by Paullina Simons | Review + Giveaway
Blog Tour: The Tiger Catcher (The End of Forever #1) by Paullina Simons | Review + Giveaway

The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simons Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

The first novel in a beautiful, heartbreaking new trilogy from Paullina Simons, the international bestselling author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman.

Can true love ever die? Julian lives a charmed life in Los Angeles. Surrounded by friends, he is young, handsome, and runs a successful business. Everything changes after he has a fateful encounter with a mysterious young woman named Josephine. Julian’s world is turned upside down by a love affair that takes him—and everyone else in his life—by storm. For the two new lovers, the City of Angels is transformed into a magical playground. But Josephine is not what she seems and carries secrets that threaten to tear them apart—seemingly forever.

Should You read The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simons?

“I should have kissed you.”

The Tiger Catcher is one of my most anticipated books of 2019 because of The Bronze Horseman series. If you’ve read and loved the series, you KNOW what I’m talking about. Did The Tiger Catcher live up to my expectations? Let me explain…

“Listen to me very carefully,” Devi said. “Take your assumptions about what you know and throw them all out the window. All of them. You need to learn a new language. The language of the meridian, of universal time, of hope, and of faith.”

The story is a mix of both time-travel and historical romance where Julian and Ashton are our protagonists. Julian is a part-time blogger and during the rest of the day he manages an antique shop with his best friend Ashton. While visiting an audition, he glimpses Josephine and is enamoured by her. After a few months, he meets her again and soon they fall in love with each other. His friends are astonished and nervous at Julian’s behaviour when he proposes marriage to Josephine after only a few months of dating. Joesphine says yes and while everything seems alright for the couple, it’s not. For Josephine harbours many secrets of her won and before Julian could discover most of them, she dies in a tragic shoot-out.

Flash forward a year

Julian is still grieving and has been on drugs because he kept seeing Josephine everywhere. At his birthday party, he meets an old woman who asks him to doubt about his hallicunations of Josephine. What is the truth? Who is Josephine? Is she alive, somehow?..somewhere?

“Are you prepared to risk everything to gain nothing…but there was another outcome…couldn’t he risk everything, and gain everything?”

I liked Ashton and even Devi-a shaman who advices Julian- but I didn’t like Josephine. There’s adventure and tragedy in this book. I did NOT expect that twist after Part 1. This is not your run-off-the-mill romance but this is unique because of its fantasy elements.

Overall, I recommend you read this book(the first in a trilogy) if you loved Paullina’s previous books, if you love books with genre crossovers, time travel, adventure, and hollywood setting along with other beautiful places.

P.S.: There’s a grand US-only Giveaway you can participate on here and on Instagram

Thanks to Paullina Simons, William & Morrow and Jennifer at Over the River Public Relations for including me on the blog tour.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

Paullina Simons was born and raised in Leningrad, USSR. In 1968, her father was arrested for protesting the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and spent the next five years of his life in the Gulag prison camps and in exile. In the mid-seventies, Paullina and her family managed to leave the U.S.S.R. and immigrate to the United States. While growing up in Russia Paullina dreamed of someday becoming a writer. Her dreams were put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.

After graduating from the University of Kansas and various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator, Paullina wrote her first novel Tully. Through word of mouth, the book was welcomed by readers all over the world. She has since written twelve novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Her books have been published in over 23 countries, sold millions of copies, and have been on many bestseller lists around the world. Paullina has lived in Rome, London, and Dallas, and now lives in New York with her husband and half of her children.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

Hi everyone! I’m back with my seventh(I think) Top Ten Tuesday post and this week’s prompt is to list the Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The question is, how in the M.F. hell am I supposed to list only TEN of them all? I have so many anticipated releases..I mean..of course, you know what I mean. Anyway, let me go through my memory palace..and of course, my goodreads palace..to deciede the Top ten of them all!

Throwing books giphy

Without any further ado, here are my Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019….

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR
Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

The Starless Sea Buy: Book Depository | Wordery 

“..a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo Buy: Book Depository |  Wordery 

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Leigh Bardugo

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee Buy: Book Depository |  Wordery

“From the critically-acclaimed author of Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon and founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family”

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.”

The Guinevere Deception Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot.”

Serpent and Dove by Shelby mahurin

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

“Frank thinks fake-dating is the perfect plan, but it leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love – or himself – at all.”

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

The Lady Rogue by Jennifer Bennett

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

The tenth Girl by Sara Faring

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

“Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.”

That’s a wrap on today’s Top Ten Tuesday post featuring my Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019 ! *phew*

Thank you for reading Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

What about you? Do you have any of these books in your TBR? If you have some other books on your anticipated lists, then let me know in the comments below!