Nerd Girl Books Blog Tour: Book Review of Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan + Giveaway!

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Hello again!  As promised, here is my review of Mary Fan’s Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon.  And our tour is almost at an end!  Check out the graphic at the very bottom of this post to see what other posts you may have missed earlier this month.  And if you didn’t check my interview about inspiration with Mary Fan and Deborah Schaumberg, click here to go read it!  Also, also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already (link in my previous post)!

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Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns

Hardcover, 456 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Although the synopsis sounded like my dream book, I was hesitant to start this one as I’d thought I’d love this author’s debut and then didn’t.  I can happily say that whatever issues I’d had with An Enchantment of Ravens had no bearing on my enjoyment of this book.  AT ALL!  This book had great pacing, intriguing but mysterious characters, solid world building, everything that a five star book needs to get starred reviews.  If you are on the fence at all, then fall on the side of READ IT RIGHT NOW!  I cannot stress enough how thoroughly I loved this one.

I especially loved that the character, who grew up in a library (like I always wanted to do), loves all things books (just like me), has an attachment to a cat (cat-lover here!), and a fascination with learning everything (I have way too many hobbies), is named Elisabeth, which isn’t quite my name since I spell it with a ‘z’, but I’ll take it!  I can definitely understand why everyone wants to see themselves in their favorite books/genres.  It’s rather addictive!

Anyway, are you still reading this review?  Why?  Go read the book!  Like, right now!  Go!

Sorcery of Thorns

Owlcrate exclusive cover variant

Summary:

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.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill (Review)

The Tea Dragon Festival

Hardcover, 136 pages
Expected publication: September 17th 2019 by Oni Press

You may remember my gushing from the original The Tea Dragon Society and if not please go check it out!  I fell in love with the art style and concept immediately, was overjoyed when a card game was released, and hollered when I found out that there are 2 sets of enamel pins of these adorable critters (on Oni Press’ website)!  *Here’s hoping I get some for Christmas!*

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Book Review: Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

Silver in the Wood

Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Tor.com

Many thanks to Tor.com for sending me a review copy (in exchange for an honest review)!  I’ve been loving their novellas with all their nuance and different takes on storytelling.

This one had a lyrical quality to the writing and felt like a fairy tale or a bit of folklore.  It does include a bit of M/M romance, which usually makes me uncomfortable.  But the author handled it well and I thought it was rather tastefully executed.

The first part of the story did seem to meander quite a bit, but rather than detracting from the story, I felt like it added another layer to help the reader fall into the world easier.  Since it is such a short book, you almost needed that to pull you in.

I’m not as familiar with the Green Man mythology, but I believe that people who like it will find a sprinkling in our main character.  All of the characters felt realistic and down to earth, and I liked how they blended into the setting seamlessly.

Definitely take the time to pick this one up and check it out soon!  I mean, it’ll only take like an hour to read 🙂

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Book Review: Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines

Terminal Uprising  (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #2)

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by DAW Books

This was a great sequel to Terminal Alliance!  The author continued to portray an unlikely cast of misfits on their journey to save the world nay galaxy from its own ignorance and suppressed history.  The compilation cast has a wonderful mix of witty, intelligent, clever, and indignant individuals that help the story progress and provide comic relief from the heavy subject matter that is lying and its consequences.

Many of the questions from the end of book 1 found satisfactory answers while simultaneously opening new trails of thoughts, which I can only assume will be addressed in book 3.  Jim knows how to grab your attention and tell a compelling story, so I have no doubt that he will continue this trend.  I can’t wait to see where these characters travel to next!

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Spotlight Tour + Book Review: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer, #1)

Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: June 25th 2019 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Today I’m participating in the blog spotlight tour for Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau, which releases in just 5 days from Sourcebooks Casablanca!  I was drawn in by the cover, which isn’t unusual for me.  Those swirly cool colors and mesmerizing tiger eyes really got my attention.  But also, Sourcebooks Casablanca published a recent favorite series from Amanda Bouchet and I was ready to dive into their newest fantasy romance.  And I’m so glad that I did!

Comparing this to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Assassin’s Creed is pretty accurate.  Other spot-on comparisons would be Pokemon or even Throne of Glass.  Assassins and magical animals are some of my favorite tropes and together they work surprisingly well.

The beginning of this debut is a bit slow and muddled.  I don’t think the author was able to define the world’s rules early on to establish whether this was a pure fantasy setting, urban fantasy, or historical fantasy.  I did occasionally find myself questioning what was going on based on my assumptions about what kind of setting it was.  Luckily, that didn’t deter me from becoming engrossed in the characters and the beasts as they stole the show.  There was enough mystery and promise of information that I finished this book in just a few days.  I think if you can get past the bumpy world building, you’ll find a fun, fast-paced read that will leave you begging for the next book.

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Book Review: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

The Kingdom

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

 

What an intriguing look into the mind of an android developing feelings and working against her programming. I loved the touch of sci-fi futurism coupled with varying formats throughout the text, which worked to keep the story moving while simultaneously providing the reader with important information (that didn’t feel like exposition dumps). You should definitely pick this one up if you have any interest in mysteries, crime dramas, theme parks like Disney, a desire to strangle know-it-all doctor types, or just want a fun new read from a debut author.

I’m will soon be sharing my recent book haul, and you’ll find that I picked up a signed finished copy of this lovely hardcover at a recent Fierce Reads tour.  Jess was rather nice and I had a great time even though the drive made for a very long day!  If you haven’t seen the hardcover in person, you’re missing out on the glittering robot insides that really make the cover shine!

Summary:

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

Book Review: Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3)

Hardcover, 464 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Tor Teen

Not sure that I’ll be able to do this luscious book justice, but I will try with fervent desire.  Because this masterpiece deserves wordsmithing.  All of the wordsmithing.

I read and enjoyed Truthwitch a few years ago, just before Windwitch released.  And then, didn’t read any further.  There are many reasons for this, but I think the biggest was the worry that I would be so invested in the characters that not having the next book ready to read would be devastating.  (Now, that didn’t stop me from purchasing multiple copies of each book, giving them to friends, and hooking other people on the series while I was waiting.)  But my unspoken fear has been realized!

Bloodwitch destroyed me emotionally!

There.  I said it.

And none of my IRL friends are caught up enough to discuss!  I feel like I’m screaming into the void, just waiting for someone else to scream back…

So, I need all of you to read all 3 books, and don’t forget the very important novella, which fits right between Windwitch and Bloodwitch.  Because it is VERY IMPORTANT!!  I cannot stress this enough!  And then talk about it with other people.  And maybe me.  Because I have all the feels!

Summary:

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.