Romanov – Nadine Brandes

SYNOPSIS

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it. 

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

REVIEW

This is my first Nadine Brandes novel and I’d seen it a lot on bookstagram so I thought I’d pick it up. I enjoyed reading this book and I found the plot interesting and I loved both the historical side and the spell casting side. This was a really interesting interpretation of the events that occurred!

In terms of characters, Anastasia is a strong willed protagonist who tried to protect her family and remain strong throughout her exile. Her relationship with her brother and father was portrayed really well and it keep me wanting to read more. Alexei’s character annoyed me because he did not resemble a thirteen year old boy. I understand that with the pressure of his royal status and his health condition, it was expected for him to be a strong character, however, he did not come across as a child at all, therefore it made the writing confusing at times.

I personally like that the author used Russian words throughout the book as it really hit home for me and added a sense of authenticity, however, I can also understand that sometimes it was too much and for people with little to no knowledge of Slavic languages, it may be confusing.

One thing that I really did not like was the romance. It seemed forced and both Anastasia and Zash did not click. I felt like the romance was unnecessary because the characters would have been better off as friends. That being said, I loved Maria’s romance with Ivan!

I would say that for the first 200 pages the book primarily focuses on portraying the Romanov’s hardships and their day to day lives in exile, however, as the book progresses, we encounter the magical side and a bit of a chase. The history of the Bolsheviks, The White Army and the Romanov’s was not described much, which I think was a bit of a let down, however the plot was exciting and I enjoyed the book overall.

3/5 stars ⭐️

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

The Anari – Adrianna J. Tetnowski

SYNOPSIS

Ariadna Vikander was once a Priestess of the Sisters of Aphur, but her longing for a new life in which she was free to explore the glorious brutality of the world forces her to make a fatal choice.

Now part of The Anari – a guild of expert assassins and thieves – Ariadna is slowly becoming one of the best. But her place in the institution came with a price. 

When she forsakes her oath in order to kill the family who had betrayed her instead, Ariadna’s fate entwines with that of a young girl on the run from a demon dictator, who has the unholiest of intentions for her.

REVIEW

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I remember reading the blurb and thinking, “this sounds so fast paced, unique and exciting”! Luckily, it did not disappoint. I you are a fan of Game of Thrones or The Throne of Glass series, then you will absolutely devour this book. Some things worth mentioned is that there is some adult language through this and a lot of sexual reference so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of sixteen.

I found the protagonist – Ariadna, an interesting and complex character. An assassin with a difficult past is not a uncommon theme, however I really enjoyed how she is a strong woman who stands up for herself and really develops as a character throughout the novel. The main development is shown through her relationship with Preeya, who is also a great character and goes through a lot of changes throughout the book.

The romance is good and although it was a bit fast paced, it fit the plot and the characters personalities. Despite this book being centred around mercenaries and assassins, they characters constantly make their own minds up and live by certain codes of conduct. I loved the way Kanra was portrayed, it was very creepy and added a lot to the plot. He is definitely a scary villain, which was refreshing in a way, since a lot of novels portray the villain as some tall Greek God!

Overall, this book was great, however, I did have a few issues with it. There were certain phrases that were used multiple times and became slightly repetitive. At the start of the book, a lot of characters are named that are part of The Anari, and it was hard to keep track of who was who, even though as a read further, I realised that they weren’t really relevant.

Definitely would recommend this book! 4/5 stars ⭐️

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

SYNOPSIS

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

REVIEW

I did’t like the Grisha Trilogy at all but everyone told me that the Six of Crows duology was completely different and a lot better. I believed everyone’s recommendations and headed into this book with high expectations that I had for the trilogy. I was not disappointed! Six of Crows was interesting from page 1 till the very end!

The biggest flaw (in my opinion) when it came to the trilogy was the lack of character development. Everyone was annoying (except Nikolai) and it made me not care about the plot or what was going to happen to the characters. When It came to Six of Crows, I loved every single character and simply could not stop reading when one of them was in danger.

I adore Kaz! He is so mysterious and tough. I love how he is so powerful yet he is also so young. He has lived a life of hardship and struggles to care for people yet he protects his crew. He is just and fair when it comes to them. Inej was awesome! She’s so badass and kind. She was hurt in her past which made her strong and I loved the fact that she knows what she wants. There is no insta-love in the book or love triangles! It was refreshing!

I loved the chemistry between Nina and Matthias! They both both amazing characters and really clicked well. There back story was so interesting and it was great to see how there relationship evolved through the book.Wylan and Jesper were both great characters! They were really funny and added a bit of lightheartedness to the group. I can’t wait to see their relationship blossom in the next book!

Overall I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!

5/5 ⭐️

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

SYNOPSIS

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

REVIEW

I adored this book, it was very amazing! It was so magical and romantic!

I loved all of the characters. I really liked Diana as a character because she was a storing character. You can really tell the difference between Young Adult and Adult books when it comes to character development. It was refreshing to read a book about adults as opposed to teenagers. Diana is an intellectual who studies the occult and alchemy, which I found fascinating! I know some people did my like this book because it becomes quite scientific in some places but I thought the explanations were great and really interesting.

Matthew is a vampire. Need I say more! He was a typical possessive and protective man who runs off his vampire/animalistic instincts. I found it interesting that he was French as it really added a lot to his character. So did his love for wine! I love that he has his non-biological family that he cares for and they all just took in Diana despite the bad blood between Vampires and Witches.

This book is a beautifully complex love story. The romance is beautifully portrayed and although I did think that it was fast paced, it did my annoy me because it was animalistic and was not supposed to be realistic.

I can’t wait to learn more about Diana’s magical abilities in the next book and I love the concept of time travel! I love Elizabethan England so I’m really excited to read the book in this series. I general I feel like this book was an incredible beginning and so cannot wait to learn more about Witches, daemons and vampires!

4,5/5 stars ⭐️

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

Swatika Night – Katherine Burdekin

Synopsis

Published in 1937, twelve years before Orwell’s 1984, Swastika Night projects a totally male-controlled fascist world that has eliminated women as we know them. Women are breeders, kept as cattle, while men in this post-Hitlerian world are embittered automatons, fearful of all feelings, having abolished all history, education, creativity, books, and art. The plot centers on a “misfit” who asks, “How could this have happened?”

Review

I read as part of my modern science fiction course for university and I didn’t know what to expect but I absolutely loved it!

I love the discussions about religion and how Christianity is portrayed. The way women were portrayed reminded me off the way the Jews were treated in concentration camps. It physically disgusted me and shocked me.

I found it interesting that there are heavy homosexual undertones throughout this book, which considering the time it was published, was shocking.

Overall, I loved it and would highly recommend it!

5/5 stars ⭐️

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

SYNOPSIS

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.

REVIEW

I was nervous heading into this book because I’d heard so many good things about it and I really hoped that I’d love it! The first thing I’ll mention is that the tie between the magicians and demons reminded me of The Golden Compass. The second thing is that the writing style and Elizabeth’s character reminded me of Tessa Gray from the Infernal Devices trilogy as did Margaret Rogerson’s writing.

Despite the similarities mentioned, the plot itself was unique and interesting! The book was really well paced and kept me craving to keep reading the whole way through! Elizabeth was a great character because for once she wasn’t a naive and pitiful young protagonist who develops courage and morality throughout the book but instead is strong, kind and relentless from the beginning.

Silas was such an great character! He was very kind and such a gentleman. Demons clearly make great sidekicks! I felt so sorry for him and even though he kept reminded Elizabeth that was a demon and was born to cause destruction, he was always so thoughtful and wise.

Nathaniel Thorn was sweet and solemn. He is portrayed as the typical attractive young man who is wealthy and who’s life seems perfect to all those around him. The truth is very different as he struggles with his past and deep down is very lonely.

Overall I really enjoyed this and rate it 4/5 ⭐️

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

A Reaper at The Gates – Sabaa Tahir

SYNOPSIS

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

REVIEW

This book was so good! 🖤

When I began this series Helene Aquilla was portrayed as an antagonist but throughout this series I have forgiven her for everything and began praying that she stays alive! Her new romantic interest is so subtle and beautifully portrayed! I’m so happy she finally got over Ellias and is has someone that truly cares about her!

I find the supernatural element of this series so interesting and with each book there are more and more revaluations! There is so much magic and secrecy throughout this series! Each book so far has dropped a massive bombshell of a revaluation and I for one can say that I did not see it coming.

Laia has grown so much as a character and she is a lot less annoying now! She has become strong and a leader yet throughout all of the trials she’s been through, she hasn’t lost her morality! Her and Ellias are simply perfect and I hope they have the chance to finally be together with no issues.

Marcus is also such an interesting character and he is descending further and further into madness through his guilt. If anyone has ever seen ‘Reign’ (The Tv Show), then you’ll know what I mean when I say that Marcus reminds me of the king.

The only downside to this book was that it lost me a little bit at times! It was very political and there was a lot of plotting and planning which sometimes got a little confusing. Overall this was a very emotional book. I can’t wait for the final book to come out!

4/5 stars! ⭐️

INSTAGRAM – Globalbookmania

GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

Vengeful by V E Schwab

SYNOPSIS

The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab’s first adult novel.

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

REVIEW

The relationship between Sydney, Victor and Mitch will forever be the highlight of this series for me! They are 3 random people thrown together but they really care about one another and it’s so cute!

Marcella was an interesting character! She was sassy and bold but I felt like she was really set on becoming powerful yet didn’t quite achieve it. She spoke a lot about what she wanted to do but none of it came about! I felt like Vengeful didn’t have to be as long winded as it was but I still really enjoyed it!

I love the development of Eon throughly this book and thought is was brilliant! Eli and Victor are both great character and I hope V E Schwab releases another book with these characters because I have a lot of unanswered questions!

4/5 stars!

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GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

DAISY JONES AND THE SIX – TAYLOR JENKINS REID

SYNOPSIS

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

REVIEW

From the first page I could really relate to Daisy Jones! I too grew up very much on my own and it pushed me to become independent at a young age. We can tell through Daisy that it had it’s positives and negatives! Daisy is strong and everyone is drawn to her yet she herself has a weakness when it comes to illegal substances.

I loved the format that this book was written in. The use of unreliable narrations was so intriguing because the characters just spoke and sometime there were conflicting opinions so it’s just down to what the reader wants to believe was true! This being said, the book is so quotable and poetic as well!

The romance throughout this book was so raw and full of passion! The characters went through incredible development through the story! They all changed in their own ways and went through trauma, love ( mostly unrequited) and substance abuse.

I though the start of the book was a little slow and some part felt like fillers, therefore this is a 4 star for me!

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