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 sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

LINKS

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
cover(Goodreads)

 BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

SYNOPSIS

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

Should You read The Bride Test by Helen Hoang?

He was ignoring everyone, including her, at this expensive wedding. So he could read a novel about alien demon things.

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is Helen Hoang’s second novel after her very popular and successful debut The Kiss Quotient. The Bride Test is, in a nutshell, a heartwarming and sexy romance novel with a neurodiverse rep and an outlook into immigration in the US. Let me tell you a bit about the story.

The protagonists are Khai Diep and Esme Tran who meet under the most unusual of circumstances but ultimately fall in love. Khai is vietnamese, autistic and if you’ve read The Kiss Quotient, is unlike Stella. Khai is also Michael’s(from the Kiss Quotient) cousin and works as a tax consultant. We learn of Khai’s autism from the prologue when he tries to bring himself to cry at his friend’s funeral but he can’t. One of his relatives even accuses him of not crying. This is also where Khai mentions that nobody in his family understands what “autism” really is and this is so true.

Then, we meet Esme Tran who’s a single mother and working as a hotel maid. It is in this hotel she’s made a proposition that could change her family’s life. The proposition is made by none other than Khai’s mother who worries for her son and is trying to look for a Vietnamese daughter-in-law. After many failures, it seems that she has finally found her ideal daughter-in-law in Esme. Khai’s mother promises her a summer in California, where Esme can see if she can make Khai fall in love with her and marry her, but if not, she will return back to her family.

Sounds Crazy? Mail order bride anyone? I thought that too but read on...

Esme thought it was crazy too! Who’s this crazy woman who’s offering her to seduce and marry her son and in exchange she will get financial security for her family? Will Khai even go through with it even after he finds out Esme is a mother? However, all of her doubts go away when she stares at her daughter’s face and she agrees to seduce and if possible, marry Khai.

I loved how diverse the book was. You can see how different Khai’s character is from Stella. Helen shows us how wide the autism spectrum can be. Not everyone with autism behaves the same way. Then, there’s the Viet rep and it’s also mentioned in the author’s note that Esme’s character is loosely based on Helen’s mother..Through Esme, we not only get a glimpse at how difficult immigration can be. Esme’s a single mother and I think the reason she didn’t tell Khai about her daughter because she was afraid of the consequences. She left her job back in Vietnam for the promise of a more fulfilling life for her family in the United States. Sure, the US is not a dreamboat of a place to live now but to Esme it was a place she could start anew..learn English properly, finish her high school education and perhaps even go to college.

A sweet and sexy romance you need to read this Summer | Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Instagram: @book_rambler

Please, don’t let me make you cry,” he whispered in her ear. “If something is wrong, tell me so I can fix it. Please.

Also, consent plays such a major role in Hoang’s novels along with all the other representation. This is why the sex scenes are so steamy that you’ll feel like you’re reading/ watching soft porn..which is totally okay(more than okay :-D). There’s a scene when Khai is unsure of what he did after having sex and his brother and cousin(Michael) explain aftercare to him..and I just loved it so much. I don’t know if guys/girls actually explain foreplay and after care to anyone in need but it is so very important!

My heart works in a different way, but it’s yours.

excuse my rambling

Speaking of brother, *holy wow* I need Quan’s book like right now!!!!!!

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you loved The Kiss Quotient, love reading diverse books, love reading stories about loving ourselves and taking the time to do it..gah..It was such a beautiful novel and I am utterly in love with it.. if it wasn’t already clear.

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

VERDICT: 


Author: Connect with Author Helen Hoang here.

  • Publisher: Corvus
  • Publication Date(UK): 6th June , 2019
  • Paperback: 296 Pages
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

What do you think? Will you read the Bride Test? If you have read it already, then let me know if you liked it or not. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

An epic fantasy that you will want to read over and over again | ARC Review: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

LINKS

We Hunt the Flame Goodreads image

                  BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS


SYNOPSIS

WHY SHOULD YOU ABSOLUTELY ADDWE HUNT THE FLAME TO YOUR TBR?

People lived because she killed.

People died because he lived.

-Hafsah faizal, We Hunt the Flame

I wondered, “How do I even write a review of this book?” I thought that because it’s difficult to articulate my thoughts on such a wonderful and unique book.

I read We Hunt the Flame after reading The Priory and I desperately needed to read another epic fantasy book. So, I picked up my copy of We Hunt the Flame,which is also in my list of the most anticipated debut releases of 2019 and it BLEW ME AWAY with its awesomeness. 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is the story of a girl who killed to keep the people of her village alive and that of a boy who killed people for a living.

This epic story is about a place called Arawiya where there is no more magic. Our protagonists are Zafira and Nasir, both of them live in separate countries and survive in their own ways. Zafira is a huntress – known as THE HUNTER – in a place where women are not allowed to do any work whatsoever. Zafira has no choice but to disguise herself as a man and hunt to feed the people of her village. Nasir is the complete opposite of Zafira. People die because he lives. He is an assassin who kills people without question on the orders of his father, the Sultan. 

Maybe the tiny lions were merely ornaments, a display of pride for the victory over a man who defied men, only to be slain by women.

– HAFSAH FAIZAL, WE HUNT THE FLAME

Now, Arawiya is in danger for the cursed forest called the Arz is threatening to swallow the land in whole. Soon, Zafira and Nasir have to unite and embark on a journey for a mysterious object that might bring a stop to the Arz and bring magic back to their world. Can they find the object before Arz lays destruction to their world? or, will they perish along with their people?

What’s awesome about it is, of course, the story( did I convince you?), the flawed-but-I still-want-to-cuddle-them characters, the utterly marvelous worldbuilding, enemies-to-lovers romance and the fantabulous(I don’t know if it’s a real word) writing! 

We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.

– HAFSAH FAIZAL, WE HUNT THE FLAME

Phew! This book made me drool and scream in delight. Not everything is doom and gloom because Altair is there and yes, he might seem like a comedic side kick at first but he has some stories to tell as well. Also, this book is frickin’ QUOTE WORTHY! Let me tell you, if I highlighted books then the entire book would be a frickin’ rainbow vomit.

I'm going to stop my rambling here because We Hunt the Flame has apparently made me insane. 

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you read fantasy(YA) or want to read fantasy, want to read a diverse book, want a book about a super eccentric/murderous/totally cool group of misfits, and want a slow burn romance that will make YOU SWEAT and SCREAM . Pre-order the book or add it to your TBR(whatever suits you) now!!

(Huge) Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Hafsah Faizal here .

  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication Date(US): 14th May 2019
  • ARC: 480 Pages

Will you pick up We Hunt the Flame after reading this review? If you’ve already read the ARC, let me know your thoughts down below!

Newcomer by Keigo Higashino is a brilliant book if you’re new to Japanese mystery/​thriller genre

Newcomer by keigo Higashino review

Cover ( Goodreads)
Buy on Book Depository||Add it on Goodreads

Synopsis: Detective Kyochiro Kaga of the Tokyo Police Department has just been transferred to a new precinct in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. Newly arrived, but with a great deal of experience, Kaga is promptly assigned to the team investigating the murder of a woman. But the more he investigates, the greater number of potential suspects emerges. It isn’t long before it seems nearly all the people living and working in the business district of Nihonbashi have a motive for murder. To prevent the murderer from eluding justice, Kaga must unravel all the secrets surrounding a complicated life. Buried somewhere in the woman’s past, in her family history, and the last few days of her life is the clue that will lead to the murderer.


REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ NEWCOMER ?

The only translated novel I’ve read this year -before Newcomer– was The Flowers over the Inferno by Illaria Tuti. You should check it out, btw. It is superbly written .

Newcomer is a translate Japanese murder mystery set in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. It is the 8th book in the Detective Kaga series but you need not read the first seven books in order to read Newcomer.

The protagonist is Sergeant Kyoichiro Kaga, who has been newly transferred to a new precinct and is assigned to investigate the murder of a divorced woman. Since the woman has ties to the Nihonbashi business district, Kaga has to investigate everyone working in the neighborhood and maybe even their relatives. During the investigation, Kaga finds that everyone – from The Girl at the Rice Cracker Shop to A Detective of Nihonbashi- all have secrets, some of which may be a motive to commit murder.

I had some difficulties with the format -especially keeping track of all the characters and their stories but it didn’t take long to find my footing and to immerse myself deep into the story.

Kyoichiri Kaga just became one of my favourite fictional detectives. We didn’t get a deep insight into how he is a person but as a detective, he is brilliant. He is clever, has incredible observation and communication skills. It’s a bit difficult to put him in a neat little box, a little difficult to familiarise with him but he is a likeable and brilliantly created character.

Overall, this is a mystery novel to cozy up with on weekends and to add it your reading list if you want to read more translated and/or Japanese fiction. I enjoyed this book immensely and it was in a travel-friendly sized which I loved. I would definitely watch out for more of Keigo Higashino’s books.

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

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Keigo Higashino here .

  • Publisher(Translated in English): Hachette India
  • Publication Date: 10 Jan 2019
  • Paperback: 416 Pages

Have you read Newcomer by Keigo Higashino? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know all your thoughts about it?

Also,I’m happy to note that this is also my second review for the Year of The Asian Challenge 2019! If you’ve read any translated fiction ,then let me know your recommendations in the comments below .

Achievement unlocked: You finally finished reading “The Wrath & The Dawn” duology


Buy on Amazon | Book Depository||Add it on Goodreads


REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ THE ROSE & THE DAGGER?

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

Before reading this review, I am supposed to say “SPOILER ALERT“. If you haven’t read The Wrath & The Dawn – the first book in the duology- then don’t proceed or you may,totally your choice.

I didn’t LOVE The Wrath & the Dawn but I was eager enough to pick up the second book of this duology and after posting two pictures of the book on Instagram, I promptly forgot about it. *I read this book in January*

The Rose & the Dagger starts off where its predecessor ended: the city of Rey was burning , thus leaving Rey and its ruler vulnerable. We also saw that Jalal sent Shahrzad away with Tariq to keep her safe and ……….. I don’t remember anything else.

Anyway, so we see Khalid rebuilding his destroyed kingdom and trying not to think of his wife. On the other side, Shahrzad’s the same but now she is among people who want to kill her beloved.

Jahandar, Shahrzad’s father is still obsessed with the BOOK and Tariq is more frustrating than ever. Like…TAKE A HINT , Tariq! Shahrzad is HAPPILY married..of course,he doesn’t take a hint and continues to make not only Shahrzad but me uncomfortable.

Moving on…we see Khalid’s “uncle,” the Sultan of Parthia making a comeback as THE VILLIAN who wants to overthrow “boy king” Khalid and rule the entire kingdom.

Looks like Khalid has got his work cut out for him or does he ? For there is Shahrzad, who will stop at anything to protect Khalid and save Rey from destruction.

Why should you read this book? Obviously, you should, if you read The Wrath and loved/liked it. Besides that reason,I think The Rose had more action scenes (which I loved), especially the use of magic was more prevalent in this book. There were lots of twists and turns and shocks-oh my! So, yes I’d say these are all valid reasons to buy or borrow yourself a copy of this.

Overall, this was a worthy sequel filled with magic, curses, broody boy kings, a jealous ex-boyfriend, power-hungry father, and uncles and it is written by an Asian author.

I want to thank my bank account which generously donated me -MY- money to buy this book.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Renée Ahdieh here .

  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Publication Date(US): 26 April 2016
  • Hardcover: 416 Pages

Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn books? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Let me know all your thoughts about it? This is also my first review for the Year of The Asian Challenge 2019 so give this post some love, post some comments and if you love MY thoughts, click the follow button above.

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