The Priory is an epic fantasy with a remarkable storyline, l​egendar​​​​y characters a​n​d magical trees

The Priory of The Orange Tree ,Samantha Shannon review
Cover (Bloomsbury Publishing)

The Priory of the Orange Tree Goodreads cover
Cover ( Goodreads)
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The Priory of The Orange Tree summary
Background image : Bloomsbury Publishing; Synopsis: Goodreads

WHY SHOULD YOU ABSOLUTELY (without any question) PICK UP “THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE” NOW?

First impressions: “OMG, this is almost 900 pages. How am I going to read it and then write a coherent review of it? ” *Also wonders* “This’ll make a really good weight, my arms need a workout.” “This’ll make a good weapon too”

The Priory of The Orange Tree has been on mine and many other book lovers’ list of anticipated releases of 2019. I went in with zero expectations as I do when books are overhyped but I was so wrong… This BOOK IS BLOODY BRILLIANT !

THE PRIORY is about a divided world, a Queendom without an heir and an ancient enemy whose awakening may just bring about the destruction of the world. The story begins like the calm before a storm, a man walking out of the water. Nobody will realize-not even the woman who rescues the man- that the storm has almost arrived.

“The stranger came out of the sea like a water ghost, barefoot and wearing the scars of his journey.

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon

Okay, I use the word ” storm” hypothetically . Just to be clear .

The story follows four narrators – Ead, Tané, Loth, and Niclays – each of whom has different beliefs defined by where they live. The EAST and the WEST are divided over their religious opinions. While the EAST reveres dragons as Gods, the WEST abhors and fears dragons due to their past history involving mayhem caused by The Nameless One, an evil dragon.

A wyrm. A monstrous, four-legged wyrm, close to two hundred feet long from its snout to the tip of its tail.

This evil dragon -the VOLDEMORT- of this world a.k.a. The Nameless One has been locked away in the Abyss for thousand years now and it is said that as long as the Berethnet matriarchy lives on, the dragon will not rise.

What is below must be balanced by what is above, and in this is the precision of the universe.

Fire ascends from the earth, light descends from the sky. Two much of one doth inflame the other, and in this is the extinction of the universe.

I know what you’re thinking now. Of course, “that thing” will happen and that disastrous but momentous event is the trigger that will send our characters on missions that require them to deal with pirates, mythical beasts, magical trees, deadly assassins. This book has everything from lots of action, beautiful and malicious dragons, female/female romance and friendships to court politics. This fantasy celebrates women; you’ll see instances of where powerful women are wronged, erased off of history but they take back their power again. The Priory is brimming with excellent dialogue, spectacular worldbuilding, and a plot that will keep you guessing till the end.

I didn’t want to leave the world of Priory even though it kept me up all night. Some stories never leave your thoughts and The Priory of the Orange Tree is just one of those few for me.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 glowing stars.

Author: Connect with Author Samantha Shannon here .

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Publication Date: 26 Jan 2019
  • Paperback: 896 Pages

Have you read The Priory of the Orange Tree yet ? If you haven’t, do you think you’ll buy it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne | ARC Review

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne | ARC Review

Synopsis:Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.


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REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ 99 PERCENT MINE?

“Everything. If you were mine, I’d do everything.” Our gold bubble locks shut, and a little universe fills it. The possibilities are infinite.
“I have a big imagination. Could you be more specific?” I put my hand on the side of his neck and stroke down to the hard bar of his collarbone. His skin is hot satin. His pulse nudges me.
Mine, mine, mine. One thousand percent mine until the end of time. He looks like he agrees.

I have decided to write this review differently because the blurb basically sums up what I would have told you. Read on for a bullet-pointed review of one my favourite romance books of 2019 :

  • If you loved reading The Hating Game, then you should totally read it!
  • It was funny, romantic and so very Sally Thorne.
  • Friends-to-lovers and second chance romance. If you’re a hopeless romantic, then I’ll guarantee that you’ll fall in love this book.
  • Love feisty characters? Then I give you Darcy. She has short hair(not the pixie haircut), nipple piercing, wears leather pants…need I go on? Darcy is unapologetic, wild and impulsive.
  • Tall men especially 6ft tall soft boys are my kryptonite…and Tom Valeska is every inch of that .
  • The chemistry between Tom and Darcy was scorchingly hot!

Overall, this is a perfectly written romantic comedy. It was sweet, sexy and passionate as hell. Darcy can be seen as an unlikeable character at first but once you go further into the book, you’ll start to fall in love with her. I read this book in the 24 in 48 readathon and it was a poor choice because I wanted to savour this Darcy savours a candy or anything with sugar in it.

What are you waiting for ? Go and buy it from BD or Amazon, your local store or borrow it from your friend or your local library !

Thanks to the publisher for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Sally Thorne on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Publication Date(US): 29 January 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 368 Pages
Thank you from BookRambler

Let me know if you’re planning to read 99 Percent Mine or if you’ve already read it. If you loved reading my review, let me know !

Book Review(ARC): Once Upon A River | Storytelling at its finest

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A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.

Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

Or can it be explained by science?

Replete with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale
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Cover(Goodreads)
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It was solstice night, the longest night of the year… And as the borders between night and day stretch to their thinnest, so too do the borders between worlds… Unexpected things can happen. Did the solstice have anything to do with the strange events at the swan? You will have to judge for yourself.”

Review: This was my first time reading a Diane Setterfield novel and let me tell you my thoughts about this book.

This was such a beautifully written novel that I was hesitant to write a blog post about this….wondering if I’ll be able to describe the sheer beauty of storytelling in this book.

The story is set along the banks of a fictional river Thames and follows a diverse set of characters :

  • The innkeeper of The Swan(and family): Margot, Joe, Jonathan
  • Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn
  • Henry Daunt(the photographer)
  • little girl
  • Mrs. Lily White
  • Rita (the nurse)
  • Mr. Armstrong

The story begins in an inn called The Swan where the main entertainment is storytelling. However, one night, a different story is seen in the making. A little girl is carried in the arms of an unknown man and is mistaken for a doll for she is so pale and still. The man’s identity is soon unearthed and he is Henry Daunt, a photographer, and speculation rise if he is the little girl’s father and if he is, then why would he take the girl on a perilous journey that would lead her to her death.

Fret not reader, for the little “dead” girl is not dead after all. For the nurse who took take of Henry Daunt’s wounds and checked the little girl’s pulse to be sure, it is a conundrum! How can she be alive ?!

This is not the only shocking thing in the story. There still remains the question of the girl’s identity and we have some contenders:

  1. Maybe she is The Vaughns’ little girl who was kidnapped one day and was never seen
  2. Mr. Armstrong’s granddaughter whom he had never seen before
  3. Mrs. Lily White’s sister, although this claim is quite questionable

Everyone wants this little girl who cannot speak a word, everyone is captivated by this little girl. What’s her story?

Once Upon A River starts off as a slow burn and around 100-something page or so, we come to the crux of the story. This is not historical fiction but a historical mystery with a heavy dose of magical realism. 

Overall, this is the book to curl up with and let loose in the world where stories have the power to shape people’s lives. The characters are so real, and so are their secrets and traumas which comes back to haunt them in the end.

*If you are a fan of The Thirteenth Tale by the author, then you should definitely pick this up. If aren’t then,I highly recommend you add Diane Setterfield’s books to your TBR!


“And now, dear reader, the story is over. It is time for you to cross the bridge once more and return to the world you came from. This river, which is and is not the Thames, must continue flowing without you. You have haunted here long enough, and besides, you surely have rivers of your own to attend to?”

Thanks to the publisher for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Diane Setterfield on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • Publication Date: 17 January 2019
  • Hardcover(ARC): 432 Pages

#ARC review ​of another brilliantly written books of 2018

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Synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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US edition

Buy on Amazon | Book Depository

Review: I picked up this book because I was given an ARC by the publisher. Although I have seen it making rounds on Instagram, I wouldn’t have picked it up anytime soon.

The title “The Seven husbands …” makes you wonder that this book is entirely about the love life of a Hollywood actress but it so isn’t.

The book starts with Monique Grant, an ambitious journalist, who is sent to interview a famous ex-actress Evelyn Hugo. It should be a normal interview but it isn’t for a number of reasons:

One, Evelyn specifically requested Monique ;

Two, when Monique went to meet with Evelyn, she confessed that there isn’t going to be an interview afterall!

LET ME EXPLAIN:

Evelyn doesn’t want to do a “tell-all” interview, she wants Monique to write her biography which she has to publish after Evelyn’s death. Day after day, Evelyn unravels all the secrets and lies and finally, she reveals the real love of her life. The questions are : Did she love any of her seven husbands? Or, did she love someone else? Why did she specifically request Monique Grant?

Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :

  • I loved Evelyn Hugo. She is such a flawed character and is totally aware of it. When you will read about the struggles she had to go through, I’m sure that you will fall in love with Evelyn as well.
  • I loved the pace of the story and the surprise ending.

Overall, I loved reading this book. It has everything -from old Hollywood stories to topics like sexism, racism; drama and a heartbreaking reveal.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Taylor Jenkins Reid on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK Fiction
  • Publication Date: May 2018
  • Paperback(ARC): 400 Pages


Book Review ​: The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

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Synopsis:  An addictively suspenseful new novel set in the glamorous world of the New York Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that cannot be escaped.

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. 

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.

Continue reading “Book Review ​: The Winters by Lisa Gabriele”

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