March 29, 2016

Top 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created bThe Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads
(in no particular order)
These are my 5 stars reads
The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima (My review)

Brazen (Otherworld Stories #13.3) by Kelley Armstrong 
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

These are my 4.5 stars reads
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli 
The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima (My review)

One by Sarah Crossan (My review)

What books are your most recent 5 star reads?
Leave me your link in the comments.

March 25, 2016

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Title: The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology #1)
Author: Wendy Higgins 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: March 8th 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 3/5

Buy on Amazon | B&N | BookDepository
Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people. 

The Great Hunt is the first book in the Eurona Duology and it´s the retelling of the The Singing Bone.

The main story is about the kingdom of Lochlanach that´s being terrorized by a beast that has killed violently many citizens and the king had sent armed forces to kill this beast but so far they have not succeeded and it seems that the beast is invincible, that´s why the king decides to do a great hunt and proclaims in all the neighboring kingdoms that who achieves the kill of the beast will win the hand in marriage of the crown princess. To the hunt arrive hunters from other realms and from Lochlanach enter to the competition Paxton Seabolt and his younger brother Tiern.
Tiern expectation is to destroy the beast that terrorized his kingdom and perhaps marry the princess, while his brother Paxton is only interested in ending the beast.

Meanwhile Princess Aerity accepts the decree of her father the king and she forgets her dreams of marrying for love. But when visiting hunters to give them words of encouragement there is one hunter that catches her eye, Paxton, a very handsome and mysterious man that´s very rude.

Another part of the story tells about magical people called "lashed" that as a result of a "lashed" that murderer the king of another kingdom years ago and try to get the power to all the magical people, when he was defeated, a decree was made that all the "lashed" of all the kingdoms had to be registered and practice magic only when they were permitted or otherwise be executed. When this story begins the "lashed" are repudiated, not accepted in their communities and they can be recognize by a purple marks that appears on their nails every time they practice magic.

About the romance, the truth I did not feel, they´re just two young people who are attracted to each other, but I did not believe the love between them, as Paxton looks like bad boy and is quite rude to Aerity.

The story is told from multiple points of views, the main being of Paxton and Princess Aerity. Some point of views felt unnecessary and I skim read them.

The Great Hunt has adventure, some action scenes, with some romance (if you can call it that). But it also touches the subject of fear, mistrust and stigma to a certain group of people for something evil done by their ancestors.

March 22, 2016

Review: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Title: The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2)
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release date: September 24th 2010

Rating: 5/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository

You can read my review of The Demon King - here
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction. 

The Exiled Queen begins shortly after the end of The Demon King, Han Alister and his best friend Dancer head to Oden's Ford, to begin their training as wizards in the Mystwerk House and there they will learn to use and control their magic, so that in the future Han can fulfill the deal he made with the clans. But once there he encounters with the Bayar twins, Micah and Fiona, being Micah the one that he should be more careful to be around because Micah will do everything to recover the amulet that Han took from him. That´s why he accepts the help of a mysterious tutor, an enemy of the Bayars that offers to teach him defense and offensives spells.

For their part, Raisa and Amon along with their group of cadets also they travel to Oden's Ford but they stay at Wien House, which is the school that trains military cadets and where Raisa is introduced as Rebecca Morley, because she´s hiding from the people that want to marry her against her will. Once there she begins to study to become a better leader of her people.

And it´s at Oden's Ford  where Han and Raisa (under the name Rebecca Morley) meet again and they strike up a friendship that could turn into something more.

I really liked Han´s and Raisa´s interactions, but it took a while for them to meet even though they are in the same school (different house). I also liked to see that Han is not blinded by revenge and is determined to do everything in his power to learn to control his magic, but he still does not trust many in regard to his amulet. Meanwhile Raisa becomes stronger, but finds several obstacles in her path.

The Exiled Queen is a high fantasy novel told from the point of view of Han and Raisa, it´s longer than the previous book, as this has 586 pages, so it isn´t a light read, but it´s very entertaining and it has magic, betrayal, romance, friendship and likeable main characters. I loved it!

March 15, 2016

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created bThe Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR
(in no particular order)
Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera
The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1) by Evelyn Skye
The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) by Cinda Williams Chima

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong

What books are in your spring TBR?
Leave me your link in the comments.

March 14, 2016

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Date.
Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading.

Click on the image to look description in Goodreads.

Finished reading
The Great Hunt (The Great Hunt #1) by Wendy Higgins (3.5/5 stars)
The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn (4/5 stars)

Currently reading
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

What I´m going to read next?
Flawed (Flawed #1) de Cecelia Ahern

What are you reading today?
Leave me your links!

March 5, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (54): February

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga´s Reviews, which showcases the books we've purchased, won, borrowed and received in the mail. 

These are the books I got in the month of February.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa
The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn
This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars #5) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The Return (Titan #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy

What books did you get?
Leave me your link in the comments.

March 2, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: Flawed

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I´m waiting this week is

Flawed (Flawed #1) by Cecelia Ahern
Release date: April 5th 2016
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.

She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything. 

What book are you waiting this week?
Leave your WOW links

March 1, 2016

Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Title: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1)
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: February 23rd 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose. 

The Shadow Queen a fantasy book that is loosely based on the story of Snow White with some variations.

Lorelai Diederich is the heir to the kingdom of Ravenspire and early in the story (like the original) her mother dies, so there is only her, her younger brother Leo and her father, but due to an alliance he must remarry with a royal from the Morcantian Kingdom, so he remarries Irina, Lorelai´s maternal aunt which is a mardushka (woman with magical powers). But once she´s crowned as Queen Irina, she begins to magically manipulate the whole kingdom to do her will, and the only one that she does not manipulate magically is Lorelai, which is also a mardurshka. But when Lorelai tries to free her father from the spell, everything goes wrong and Lorelai needs to flee and save her life and that of her younger brother. And for the next nine years she is in hiding and preparing magically to someday face Queen Irina so she can regain her kingdom.

For its part, the part of the hunter-prince charming belongs to Prince Kol, he´s from the Kingdom of Eldr and he´s a Draconi, (he can transformed into a dragon), but because his kingdom is at war with the ogres and to win the war he needs magical help, he seeks help from the Queen Irina, who accept to help him with the condition that he must hunt, capture and deliver Lorelai to the palace, but despite Kol willing to do everything to save his kingdom, when he finally manages to capture Lorelai, he can not keep up with his orders and releases her (like the hunter does in the story), but when Kol faces Queen Irina, he realizes that she is not someone that can be easily fooled and he must pay the price for trying to trick her.

What I liked most of The Shadow Queen is that even though most or some elements closely resemble the original (I have not read the original story but inquire about it), there are variations of the original elements such as: the magic mirror, but with the difference that for the Queen Irina beauty is not as important as power.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most powerful of them all?"
Other elements that remain are the hunter (which in this case is also the prince charming that can transform into a dragon), there is also magic and apples spellbound. Among the differences is that there are not seven dwarfs, glass coffin and that Lorelai (Snow White) is a warrior and a mardurshka (magical person), so she is not a helpless princess.

Overall, The Shadow Queen is a good retelling, dark, with interesting characters and is a standalone, Lorelai´s story begins and ends here, but it has companions novels that take place in other realms within the same world.