Blog Tour: Night Spinner, written by Addie Thorley (Review + GIVEAWAY)

Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for NIGHT SPINNER by Addie Thorley hosted by FFBC! It is described as, “A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.

Night Spinner by Addie Thorley


Night Spinner(Night Spinner #1) by Addie Thorley

Publication date: February 11th, 2020 
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Buy: Book DepositoryWordery 

Synopsis:

Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.
Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.

Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

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– My Thoughts –

I’m still me beneath these scars. I’m still a girl beneath the monster.”

Night Spinner is a YA fantasy inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was not what attracted me to the book at first. The ability of the character to control darkness is one magic I have yet to read in a fantasy so I was naturally intrigued.

Enebish, our protagonist, is an ex-soldier living at a monastery now after she allegedly lost control of her powers and killed an entire caravan of merchants. She’s both physically and mentally disfigured, has no hope left until her adopted sister Ghoa comes along offering her the chance to gain freedom. However, it comes with a high price: Enebish has to work with the rebels as a spy. The only one on her side is her friend Serik who believes in her with all his heart.

“I want to claw these thoughts from my head, but, like parasites, they’ve already burrowed too deep.”

What I didn’t like was how naïve the character acted at times though and I didn’t like the first half of the book. I loved Enebish’s character development and my heart really broke for her when we came to the ultimate twist in the story. Ghoa and Temujin were two other side characters who I was genuinely excited for. Both of these morally grey characters were someone Enebish was glad to follow(after some persuasion, for one) and in the end, you end up either hating or loving them.

Be humble, for you are made of Earth.

Be noble, for you are made of Stars.”

I loved the magic system here and I would love to see how other powers work in the upcoming book(/s). I also loved that meddling gods and their children are present in this story as well. The story also has little romance and plenty of political intrigue so for those craving these elements in a fantasy book, you won’t be disappointed

Overall, I would recommend this if you’d like to read about a fantasy about a country in war and a girl trying to save it without losing herself. Although there are some similarities to The Hunchback.., I don’t know if it’d be right to call it a retelling.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and to FFBC for including me in the blog tour!


– Giveaway – 

Win one hardcover of Night Spinner. Enter here. Open to US/CAN residents only! Ends on February 25th, 2020

Click this link to see the entire Tour Schedule. Make sure to visit the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!


– About the Author –

Addie Thorley is the author of An Affair of Poisons, a YA historical fantasy, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Her forthcoming novel, Night Spinner, will be released on February 11, 2020. She spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, Addie decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider. Follow her on:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Night Spinner? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought as well! 

BOOKSTAGRAM & CREATIVE BLOG TOUR: Shadow Frost(Shadow Frost #1) by Coco Ma

BOOKSTAGRAM & CREATIVE BLOG TOUR: Shadow Frost(Shadow Frost #1) by Coco Ma
Shadow Frost(Shadow Frost #1) by Coco Ma

Shadow Frost 

Publication date: October 1st, 2019 
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery | Blackstone Publishing | Amazon

Synopsis:

IN A WORLD OF MAGIC, NOTHING IS EVER AS IT SEEMS …

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.


IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises. Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down. Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

– My Thoughts –

Instead of writing a review, I’m going to list Five Reasons You Should read Shadow Frost:

I) If you love stories with multiple point-of-views

II) If you love stories about a group of misfits

III) If you love stories about princesses kicking ass and taking names!

IV) If you love quality banter!

V) If you love stories about demons wreaking havoc and gods meddling as usual

Overall, I found this debut fantasy by Coco Ma very promising and deliciously fun! Thanks to MTMC tours for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

C.E. Clayton

Coco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

INTL Tour-Wide Giveaway

Head over to my Instagram account for a chance to win one of THREE prize packs that include: One hardcover copy of Shadow Frost + Blackstone tote bag! Open INTL!
(And don’t miss out the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!!!)

Tour Schedule

September 23
@thereaderandthechef – Bookstagram + Blog

September 24
@ve_xo – Bookstagram

September 25
@paperfury – Bookstagram + Blog

September 26
@thebibliolife – Bookstagram

September 27
@morrighanrose – Bookstagram + Blog

September 28
@_ckarys – Bookstagram

September 29
@novelknight – Bookstagram + Blog

September 30
@old.enough.for.fairytales – Bookstagram

September 1
@book_rambler – Bookstagram + Blog

September 2
@b.b.lynnreads – Bookstagram

Hosted by:

Thank you for reading! Have you read Shadow Frost? Are you excited to read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Of witches and their hunters…Serpent & Dove, written by Shelby Mahurin | ARC review

Of witches and their hunters...Serpent & Dove, written by Shelby Mahurin | ARC review
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and dove by Shelby Mahurin

Publication date: September 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 528
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

– My Thoughts –

“Wicked are the ways of women — and especially a witch”

I first read Serpent & Dove as an eARC and I was mesmerized by the way the author combined some of my favourite tropes – enemies to lovers romance, Marriage of Convenience – to create a wonderful fantasy set against the backdrop of 17th century France. 

After I got the physical ARC, I read it again and here are my final thoughts…

In the land of Belterra, witches are burned at the stake and the witch hunters or the Chasseurs along with their leader, the Archbishop are ruthless. Lou, a witch, has left her coven two years ago and is now trying to survive in the city of Cesarine either by lying, stealing or even killing. After remaining undetected for two years, a burglary goes wrong and it sets her past enemies after her. When Lou ends up in a “compromising” position with Captain (of the Chasseurs) Reid, the Archbishop comes up with a solution: go to prison for the rest of her life or marry Reid.

“Conscious of the Chasseurs’ eyes on me, I forced a smirk and bumped my husband’s hip, pretending that it’d all been a show. A laugh. That I’d just been goading him to get a reaction.

That I wasn’t a witch in Mass, standing amongst my enemies and worshipping someone else’s god.

Lou agrees to marry Reid, a witch-hunter, as he can also offer protection from those who are hunting her. Reid, despite his initial scorn towards Lou, agrees to marry her and protect her. 

It was fun seeing the progression of their relationship; their good-natured bickering and Reid slowly welcoming Lou into his life. This slow-burning romance climaxed into an explicit sex scene which made me wonder why it was categorized as YA. The characters act mature enough and the themes justify this book to be placed under NA rather than YA.

There wasn’t much world-building to speak of and this is what I missed during my first read. Sure, the writing is magical and so is the romance; there are well-placed plot twists and lots of well-timed action that made this book very addictive. However, it could have been more magical if there was good world-building at play. The magical system was very unique; some witches used blood while others offered some sort of sacrifice in exchange for using magic. Since this is the first book in a series, I have high hopes that the world is going to expand and we’re going to get a deeper look into the world of Lou and Reid.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you love enemies to lovers, slow-burn and marriage of convenience tropes; fantasy about witches set in 17th century France, smartass and badass female characters, amazing female friendships, morally grey characters, an intricate magical system, and engaging writing.

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

– About the Author –

Shelby Mahurin

Shelby Mahurin grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn’t fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Twitter feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral toddlers, two dogs, and one cat. 

Shelby’s favorite books include A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and, of course, Harry Potter.

Her debut novel, SERPENT & DOVE, will release from Harper Teen in Fall 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Sarah Landis of Sterling Lord Literistic.

For more about Shelby, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Serpent & Dove? Is it on your wish-list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning

Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning
Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch Rising(Sea Witch #2) by Sarah Henning

Publication date: August 6, 2019  Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages:
 416
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy:
Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Synopsis:

“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love.
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

Should You read Sea Witch Rising?

Sea Witch Rising is the sequel to Sea Witch by Sarah Henning, which tells the story of Ursula or the sea witch(from Little Mermaid). I loved Evie, the protagonist of Sea Witch and when her story came to an end, I was heartbroken but satisfied with the story. When the sequel to Sea Witch was announced, I was curious and this is what I thought.

In this sequel, we look beyond the story of the Sea Witch; we are introduced to a new protagonist, a mermaid named Runa and her father, the Sea King and other characters from the sea and the land. There is more action in this book than its predecessor and we get a better glimpse of Evie life after being bound to her lair as a sea witch. Set against the backdrop of the second world war(I assume), there are higher stakes at play as both Runa and Evie try to save people both above and below land.

Overall, I would recommend this book to you if you read and liked Sea Witch.

About the Author:

Sarah Henning

Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her longsuffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Tour-wide Giveaway:

Click the button below to win two books! Open until 30th July 2019.

Tour Schedule:

July 16th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

July 17th

NovelKnight – Interview
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes + Dream Cast
Jrsbookreviews – Review
Adventures Thru Wonderland – Review

July 18th

Luchia Houghton Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Chemist – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Review
L.M. Durand – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 19th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Library of a Book Witch – Review
Utopia State of Mind – Review + Favourite Quotes
Dazzled by Books – Review + Playlist

July 20th

Confessions of a YA Reader – Guest Post
Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
The Book Nut – Review + Playlist
Morgan Vega – Review + Favourite Quotes + Playlist

July 21st

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Frayed Books – Review
Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 22nd

The Reading Life – Guest Post
Amy’s Booket List – Review
The Desert Bibliophile – Review
Book Rambler – Review

Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Spin the Dawn, written by Elizabeth Lim

Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Spin the Dawn, written by Elizabeth Lim

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the bookstagram & creative blog tour for SPIN THE DAWN by Elizabeth Lim hosted by MTMC Tours & PRH International!

Project Runway meets Mulan, this Silk Road-inspired fantasy is about a tailor who must sew 3 dresses of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars to save her kingdom! This is the first installment in The Blood of Stars duology released on July 9th, 2019 from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Check below my tour stop and make sure to visit all the bookstagram & creative stops for a chance to win an international edition of this book + swag!

About the book:

  • Title: Spin the Dawn
  • Series: The Blood of Stars #1
  • Author: Elizabeth Lim
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Publishing Date: July 9th, 2019
  • ISBN: 9780593118443
  • Genres: YA Fantasy

Buy: PRH International | Amazon | Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

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.

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

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

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

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Should You read Spin the Dawn?

Spin the Dawn is about a girl Maia who dreams of becoming an Imperial tailor but cannot because of her gender. Eventually, she has no choice but to take her father’s place when a royal messenger summons her father for the position of the imperial tailor. Maia hatches a plan to go in the disguise of her brother. Reaching the palace, Maia finds out that she wasn’t told the entire story, that she had to complete with other tailors for the coveted position and that the emperor’s bride-to-be will choose the winner. Day after day, Maia has to maintain her disguise; evade backstabbing tailors, dangerous court games and the attention of the Lord Enchanter Edan.

As the competition reaches its end, Maia wins but it comes at too much of a high price. As the Imperial Tailor, Maia’s first task is to make three gowns for emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be and they must be made from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. Will Maia succeed in this impossible task or will she die like all others before her?

This was really a mashup of Project Runway and Mulan; well, if Project Runway included contestants physically harming each other and Mulan was a tailor and…nope, not saying anything else. A very familiar fantasy trope was at play in this book : If you’re female, you’re doomed and you’ve got to “prove” yourself. Maia grew up with a thread in one hand and a needle in other; it would be sacrilege if she couldn’t become a master tailor. However, circumstances were pointing towards Maia to either marry or spend her life alone. The rules in A’landi are particularly harsh if someone finds out a woman is masquerading as a man.

“My whole life, I’d been told what I couldn’t do because I was a girl. Well, this was my chance to find out. The only thing I could do was take it.”

There is also a mention of a war at the beginning between the Emperor of A’landi and his Shansen(warlord) but not much is clear as to why it happened but magic was involved, that much is clear. Magic plays an important role throughout the story and although I can’t tell you why but it is pretty cool. The world-building is beautiful but not complete( I guess it’s because this is book one) and the journey to gather the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon and the blood of the stars was the most enjoyable portion of the story for me!

I also want to talk about Edan who I immediately likened with the Darkling in the beginning but he was anything but. Edan or the Lord Enchanter(as everyone calls him) was the living-breathing example of everything Maia shouldn’t trust but boy, she was so wrong. Edan is smart, funny and loyal. He doesn’t everything in his power to help Maia even though it comes at a price.

Overall, I recommend it to you if you love fantasy, retellings with a twist, adventure, a fierce and loyal heroine who’d do anything to protect her loved ones, unlikely romance, and magic.

Thanks to the MTMC Tours and PRH for including me on the blog tour!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.

Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.

Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter


International Tour-wide Giveaway:



Head over to my Instagram account for a chance to win an international edition of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim + swag! And don’t forget to check all the accounts/blogs participating for extra entries!!!

Tour Schedule:

July 15
@thereaderandthechef – Bookstagram + Blog

July 16
@Bookslovereaders – Bookstagram

July 17
@paperfury – Bookstagram + Blog

July 18
@erhibiscus – Bookstagram

July 19
@book_rambler – Bookstagram + Blog

July 20
@annreads – Bookstagram

July 21
@linathebookaddict – Bookstagram + Blog

July 22
@womanon – Bookstagram

July 23
@paperbacksandpen – Bookstagram + Blog

July 24
@giota_the_reader – Bookstagram

July 25
@Shaked_reads – Bookstagram + Blog

Hosted by: