Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab ★★★★

“”Aren’t you afraid of dying?” he asked Lila now.
She looked at him as if it were a strange question. And then she shook her head. “Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.””

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Yay! A good one! A Darker Shade of Magic was a magnificent, well-crafted fantasy adventure with great world-building, pacing, and characters.

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Book Review: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir ★★

“How dare he throw my failures in my face as if I’m a schoolchild to be reprimanded? But he’s not wrong, is he? Every time I needed to make a decision, I chose wrong. Disaster after disaster.”

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So…2 stars again. But also, like 1.5 stars? I can’t decide. I had high-ish expectations for this one, too, based on the continued hype, Tahir’s Instagram which shows her awesome plotting methods, and rave reviews by other readers. The first book, while hailed as a masterpiece by many, was just mediocre for me. But I was really hoping this second book would be stronger! Alas, I was wrong.

Below, there be spoilers!

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Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi ★★

“Show me a dream unrealized. Don’t show me unchangeable paths.”

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Phew! Guys, I read this book super fast. Like really, really fast. Is that a good thing, you ask? Normally, I would say, “Hell yeah, it’s great! Couldn’t put it down!” But in this case? Not so much. Considering I skim-read the last 70 pages and really just wanted the book to end, I’d say it is surely not a great thing…Damn.

Spoilers below.

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Book Review: Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente ★★★★★

“”When I say forever, Koschei whispered, “I mean until the black death of the world. An Ivan means just the present moment, the flickering light of it, in a green field, his mouth on yours. He means the stretching of that moment. But forever isn’t bright; it isn’t like that. Forever is cold and hard and final.””

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This freakin’ book, guys. It was so good. Everything about it was magical, vibrant, raw, brutal, and captivating. When I found out there was a book, an adult fantasy story, inspired by Russian folklore, I immediately catapulted it to the top of my TBR list. The novel is a retelling of sorts about Koschei the Deathless and the girl he steals, Marya Morevna. I was so excited to read this book and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Spoilers and gushing below.

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Birthday Book Haul

For my birthday this past weekend, I was lucky enough to get a bunch of awesome new books!

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I have heard so many great things about these books and I am really excited to read them!

  • The Court of Thorns and Roses Coloring Book: This is a gorgeous companion book to the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It features coloring pages depicting select scenes from all three novels. I can’t wait to bust out my colored pencils!
  • Strange the Dreamer: This is the first book in a new duology by Laini Taylor and it sounds epic! It is about a war between men and the gods, a lost city, heroes, warriors, a goddess and a young librarian who happens to get wrapped up in it all.
  • A Torch Against the Night: This is the sequel to Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes. I read the first one right after it came out and really liked it, but have not had the chance to pick up this second one yet. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what has happened to Elias, Laia, and Helene!
  • A Darker Shade of Magic: From V. E. Schwab, this is the story of Kell, one of the last, rare magicians of his kind. He can travel between the different Londons: Grey, Red, and White, but that does not mean he can always avoid trouble. This one has been on my TBR list for ages and I am so happy I finally have it in my hands!
  • The Crown’s Game: The last two Enchanters in Russia, Vika and Nikolai, must battle to the death, so that the victor can stand at the side of the Tsar in the coming war. Count me in!
  • The Star-Touched Queen: I have heard so many good things about this book, such as beautiful prose and imaginative story-telling. The protagonist, Maya, cursed with a bad fortune in her own kingdom is married off to another. There, she becomes a queen and a wife, she finds power and love. But, she also stumbles upon secrets and mysteries that could threaten her life and the lives of those she loves.

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Man, I am going to be busy for a while! Now, I just need to figure out which book I am going to start with.

Happy reading!

-Chelsi