ARC Review: The Dragon Egg Princess by Ellen Oh

The Dragon Egg Princess

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by HarperCollins

I’m very happy with the number of March releases that I’ve managed to read and review so far!  Especially since so many released on March 3rd.  This one is a middle grade fantasy (possibly standalone) that I requested from HarperCollins.

This was a quick read that held my interest all the way to the end.  It’s a wonderful middle grade read that I think the target audience will love.  Adults reading this one might find that it does more telling than showing, especially where complex emotions are involved.

I found it fun that this book also had a firebird take part in the narrative-although briefly.  Seems like a theme.  And I love it!  I also enjoyed the emphasis on friend and family relationships.  And the idea that someone might make bad decisions followed by good ones doesn’t make them good or evil.  Just human.

I think this might be a planned standalone, and it works like one.  But, if the author did write another book in this world or with these characters, I would certainly read it.

Summary:

In a kingdom filled with magic, Jiho Park and his family are an anomaly—magic doesn’t affect them.

Jiho comes from a long line of forest rangers who protect the Kidahara—an ancient and mysterious wood that is home to powerful supernatural creatures. But Jiho wants nothing to do with the dangerous forest.

Five years ago, his father walked into the Kidahara and disappeared. Just like the young Princess Koko, the only daughter of the kingdom’s royal family. Jiho knows better than anyone else the horrors that live deep in the magical forest and how those who go in never come back.

Now the forest is in danger from foreign forces that want to destroy it, and a long-forgotten evil that’s been lurking deep in the Kidahara for centuries finally begins to awaken. Can a magic-less boy, a fierce bandit leader, and a lost princess join forces and save their worlds before it’s too late?

Fangirl Friday: Joshua Khan

Today I have a fantastic middle grade treat!  A lovely trilogy by Joshua Khan that subverts many horror tropes and utilizes giant bats in the best way.  I love this series so much and cannot tout its amazing-ness enough, so please check it out and share it with your kiddos!

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The author is also super nice!  He sent me a bunch of signed bookplates and cover prints, which I’ve happily sent out to other people in the hopes of getting them hooked on this fabulous world.  Plus, did you see that cover quote from Rick Riordan daring you to NOT love this story?

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Book Review: Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic, #1)

Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

This was fun!  Had a few things that personally didn’t work for me, but that won’t stop me from recommending this to all of you and my friends 🙂  And hoping for book two to release soon!

First, let me say that I contacted the publisher about reading and reviewing this book, and they kindly sent me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks, Sourcebooks Fire!!

Here are the things I liked a lot:

  • There’s a phoenix, one of my favorite mythological creatures!
  • Snow Queen as a villain that is maybe misunderstood
  • Interesting magic systems, yes there are more than one
  • Learning about a new-to-me culture that doesn’t seem to be used in YA fantasy very often
  • The off-hand comments about fairy tale characters and their roles in this alternate world
  • An alternate timeline/history/world that looks like ours but incorporates fairy tale characters and realms
  • Tackles some of the issues and concerns facing the world right now in real life
  • Chapter titles are amazing!

Here are the things that didn’t really work for me:

  • So many characters to follow and remember
  • The off-hand comments about fairy tale characters and their roles in this alternate world (yep, this one is on here twice as sometimes it worked and sometimes it was too much)
  • I did not like Alex – but now I’m not sure we’re meant to?
  • I’m still not sure how agimat works

So I have some conflicting feelings on this one, but it’s definitely more good points than bad.  [And I keep adding good points, so those outweigh the others.]  Plus, the cliffhanger epilogue was bonkers, and I can’t wait to read the next book!  I guess what I’m saying is: GO READ IT!  And see for yourself 🙂

Summary:

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

Waiting on Wednesday: Fae World by Eve A. Hunt

Fae World (Yew Queen, #2)

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 2nd 2020

I received an earc as part of the ARC team and hunted typos for the author in exchange for an honest review.

As you may remember, I reviewed book one late last year and enjoyed it very much. I think that anyone looking for more of this story will be incredibly happy with this second installment. Fae World picks up right where we left off, which allows us to learn more about the fae and mages. Be ready for some steamy scenes that are NSFW if you’re trying to read it on your work computer (during breaks, of course!).

I liked the way in which the author was able to convey character growth while adding new characters to the narrative. It didn’t feel cluttered at all. We also get a fun competition aspect in the form of a medieval tournament. And a dark unicorn!! I hope he comes back in the third book because he’s probably my favorite side character right now.

It’s a good thing that book three is slated for a May release (I believe) because even though we answer many of my questions, a whole new area has caught my curiosity and I’m ready for more!

Summary:

I always thought if I had magical powers, life would be cake.
Wrong.

My fated mate is the enemy of my kind, I have days to figure out how to keep him from literally going up in smoke, and at any moment one of my magic’s surges will shock my heart and strike me down.

If I don’t learn how to control my mage abilities pronto, I’m dead. I thought that portalling to hang with other mages would solve things, and I’d find some rad crone-like chick to help me train all epic style. But it seems I’ve landed myself, my best friend, and my doomed fated mate in a hidden kingdom where my kind are enslaved for eternity. Not awesome.

This is not the training I was hoping for. And with every day we’re away from the cursed castle, Lucus and his brothers weaken further. If I don’t get us the heck out of this super creepy Scottish fae kingdom, all of us—the 16th century guys and us modern gals—are history.

Grab the second book in the Yew Queen series today for a steamy read that’s perfect for fans of CN Crawford, Linsey Hall, and Laura Thalassa! 

If you like vampires, fae, fated mates, enemies to lovers, shifters, werewolves, and more, you’ll love this series.

Book Review: Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

Belle Révolte

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

When a publicist from Sourcebooks Fire approached me to read and review Linsey Miller’s newest book (on account of my working with them for her debut blog tour), I was hesitant at first to accept.  I am wary of books that focus on or feature heavily wars and revolutions as that is not the type of reading I enjoy.  However, I was intrigued by the Prince and the Pauper twist and the magic system described in the synopsis, so I agreed.

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What to Read: February 2020

Preface: Starting with February, instead of just compiling covers for books releasing for the month, I’ve decided to curate my monthly releases posts by starting with those books that I need to read for review purposes, followed by those that I’m excited to see release, and finishing with some other titles I’m hoping to read during the month.  They might be longish posts, but hopefully informative!

For Review:

Belle RévolteHeart of Flames (Crown of Feathers, #2)

I have two physical books that I need to read this month.  Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller is one that the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, reached out to me since I worked with them on Linsey’s debut a few years back.  And, I requested Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto from Simon & Schuster because I loved the first book last year.  I’m excited to read both of these.

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates, #1)The Seventh SunThe Wolf of Oren-Yaro

With these three, I’m hoping to read and review at least two this month.  They are eARCs downloaded from Edelweiss.  The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood has already received some fantastic reviews, so I’m hyped up for that one from Tor BooksThe Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes from Blackstone Publishing and The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso from Orbit are quieter released, but they sound fantastic!  Thanks for the publishers for approving my requests.

Nils: The Tree of LifeUpright Women Wanted

Magnetic Press had a Read Now button on Nils: The Tree of Life by Jerome Hamon, and I’m a sucker for graphic novels with great art, so I’m hoping to read this one soon.  And I was overjoyed to see the audiobook for Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey from Tor.com as one of the February Libro.fm ALC options.  Must finish my current audiobook, but this one is up next!

Other Exciting February Releases:

Below (North #1)All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)Dungeon Queen (Dungeon Queen, #1)Zatanna & the House of SecretsCourt of Ruins (The Fallen Fae #1)The Shadows Between Us

These all look amazing!  But I won’t have time to read them all this book, so I’m hoping to squeeze some in later this year.

Other Books on my TBR this month:

Seven Deadly ShadowsThe Slug Queen Chronicles: Season One

Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani is a January release that I didn’t have time to read, but since I did receive an ARC from HarperTeen, I’m still hoping to read it this month!  The Slug Queen Chronicles: Season One by S.O. Thomas is an eARC I received through Book Sirens and so far is pretty interesting.  Look for my review later this month since it’s a March release.

Cast in Peril (Chronicles of Elantra, #8)The Starless Sea

My current audiobook read is Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara from MIRA (previously Harlequin LUNA), which I’m listening to during my Audible Escape trial.  I’m extremely behind on this series, but am hoping to catch up some this year.  I didn’t quite have time in December to read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and my boss would like to see what I think about some of the library aspects, so here’s hoping I can squeeze this Doubleday Books release in this month as well!

What do you think of this format?  Let me know if you love it or hate it in the comments!

Book Review: Fae Hunter by Sarah K.L. Wilson

Fae Hunter

Ebook, 222 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Sarah K. L. Wilson

I was sent a free earc of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  I want to take a moment to state that this type of fae is very appealing to me.  It’s not your Disney, sugary sweet kind of fairy.  It’s more like the Irish faerie tales from history that show how proud, crafty, and non-human they are.  It really works for my love of dark, dangerous men that normally become a love interest at some point.

This story does a great job using that archetype for fae and asking what makes a monster.  And why does being different make you the enemy.  I liked this subtle undertone that carried throughout.  It wasn’t overly in-your-face with the commentary, just flowed naturally based on the characters and the situation.  And I liked the characterizations.  The author did a great job with a large secondary cast without bogging down the story.

My small complaint would be that there were some dialogues that seemed to go a little too long.  Those instances felt like the characters were looping around their point too long.  And it killed the build up for the next reveal.  However, I haven’t read the final copy of the book, so the author could have done some cleanup before publication.  And it really didn’t detract from my enjoyment that much.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes the darker side of fae.  Or if you enjoyed Peadar O’Guilin’s The Call.  This book shared many similar traits to the things I liked about it.  Definitely check it out!

Summary:

Think you know fae? Think again.

From USA Today bestselling author Sarah K. L. Wilson comes a deliciously trope-filled young adult romantic fantasy about a viciously humorous mortal girl and her quest to hunt, trap, and conquer powerful fae.
Our lives are nursery rhymes and faerie stories now, Allie.
When Allie Hunter’s twin sister steps through a magic circle into the Faerie realm, she opens the door to deadly fae, bent on causing havoc and harm to Allie’s village.
Rendered blind to all but the spirit world, Allie is frustrated and angry but determined to bring the fae down. No matter what that might cost her.
But in a world where lies are truth, power is sustenance, and every action ripples into violence, how can one mortal stop all of Faerieland?
For lovers of The Cruel Prince and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a world of violent fae royals, trickery, and magic. Grab the first book of this hot new series today!