Tag: 5 star

Russia Folklore Retelling – The Bear and the Nightingale {Review}

Posted March 8, 2017 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Russia Folklore Retelling – The Bear and the Nightingale {Review}The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Series: The Bear and the Nightingale #1
Publisher: Del Rey (2017)
eARC (322 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Retelling Challenge, 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

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And the Last One Standing will be the Queen – Three Dark Crowns {Review}

Posted November 28, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

And the Last One Standing will be the Queen – Three Dark Crowns {Review}Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Publisher: HarperTeen (2016)
Hardcover (398 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.

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A Regency-Era Mystery – The Secret of Pembrooke Park {Review}

Posted October 27, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

A Regency-Era Mystery – The Secret of Pembrooke Park {Review}The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House (2014)
Paperback (451 pages)
Rating:
Also by this author: The Painter's Daughter
Reading Challenges: 2016 Backlist Books, Read 2016

Synopsis

Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend--has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.
Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

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Wonderful Start to a New Series – Rebel of the Sands {Review}

Posted October 17, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Wonderful Start to a New Series – Rebel of the Sands {Review}Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Series: Rebel of the Sands #1
Publisher: Viking Books (2016)
Hardcover (314 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.
Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

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A Russian Historical Fantasy – The Crown’s Game {Review}

Posted October 1, 2016 in Reading, Review / 1 Comment

A Russian Historical Fantasy – The Crown’s Game {Review}The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (2016)
Hardcover (399 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

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