*Blog Tour Spotlight + Giveaway* Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

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

Author: Rin Chupeco

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

An unforgettable alternative history fairytale series from the author of The Bone Witch trilogy about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong.

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.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Book Depository

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Author Information

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Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.

She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Pre-Order Promotions

Promo 1:

If you pre-order WICKED AS YOU WISH on or before March 1, 2020 you will also receive a character card of Tala and an enamel Order of the Bandersnatch firebird pin!

Promo 2:

From March 3rd – 31st 2020, the author be hosting an Instagram giveaway for WICKED AS YOU WISH (https://www.instagram.com/rinchupeco/)! Just post a photo of the book with the hashtag #PRETTYWICKEDASYOUWISH and every participant will receive book swag! (Alex character art card + character stickers). The Alex card will only be available during promos and not for the pre-orders!

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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Giveaway

1st Prize: Win a signed copy of WICKED AS YOU WISH by Rin Chupeco + 3 character stickers (Alex, Tala, and the firebird) + 2 character cards (Alex and Tala) [INT]

2nd Prize: Win (1) of (3) character stickers from WICKED AS YOU WISH (Alex, Tala, and the firebird) + character cards from WICKED AS YOU WISH (Alex and Tala) [INT]

Starts: February 26th 2020

Ends: March 11th 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Review* Havenfall by Sara Holland

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Title: Havenfall (Havenfall #1)

Author: Sara Holland

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: 

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost. New York Times bestselling author Sara Holland crafts a breathtaking new contemporary fantasy perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Holly Black.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

Sara Holland takes the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and weaves it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Book Depository

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Author Information

AUTHOR (2)

Sara Holland grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream. EVERLESS is her debut novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“Lots of things that can kill you are beautiful.”

I’ll start off by saying Sara Holland is one of my favorite authors. Everless, her first book, had me hooked from the first sentence and from there, she easily became an auto-buy author. So, you can probably imagine my excitement when she announced her next book, Havenfall. And to me, this book did not disappoint.

In Havenfall, Holland introduces a new world to her readers, one filled with many magical worlds and captivating people. And a storyline that quickly takes a dark turn. It’s a book filled with hidden darkness and intriguing interactions; it’s a story that may easily capture the hearts of many readers, like it captured mine.

“The great thing about Havenfall–well, one of them–is that I’m the least remarkable person here.”

Maddie is the protagonist in Havenfall, and throughout the whole story, she felt real, even if most of her problems had to deal with magical beings and hidden worlds. She’s always wanted to be the Innkeeper of Havenfall (a place where magical beings can seek refuge), it’s been her big dream for as long as she can remember. And it was still her dream after her brother was murdered and her mom was placed on death row. But when that position is unexpectedly handed to her, she doesn’t know what to do. She’s not ready for the role but she accepts it to keep the peace and to figure out what exactly happened that fateful night a Solarian escaped.

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One of the things I liked about Maddie is that she fought for what she wanted, even if nothing turned out how she expected. She’s a fighter and a survivor and those things made her a strong character in her story. Her relationships with some of the characters, like Brekken and Taya (especially Taya), really brought her characterization to light and I really enjoyed those heartfelt interactions. Taya was most definitely my second favorite character. She’s spunky and sassy and I was rooting for her the whole time (and, yes, she is very much a love interest :D). But overall, I found everyone’s characterizations to be on point and fit well with the story, even if some did prove to have a dark and dangerous past.

“What happened to her family was no one’s fault. Mine, though–those secrets are ugly. And looking down at the water, at who I could be, I know I want none of those memories at Havenfall. They are my past, but this place is my future. It has to be.”

I loved the whole idea behind the concept of these ancient worlds being held behind doors, and that they’re hidden unusual, yet beautifully scenic, inn. The depictions of each world were great, and I liked how Holland included many worlds, but only focused on four (the fourth being Earth). I didn’t know I was craving a book about multiple worlds until I read Havenfall, and Holland easily brings a unique idea to life with her storytelling.

Holland’s writing, as usual, is elegant and visually stunning. It’s a book filled with beautiful prose and lush world building. I could easily picture the many worlds and characters. I loved her world building, especially with the depictions of each world outside of Haven (Earth). The worlds felt magical, and Holland created some beautiful scenery that easily made Earth feel magical. I will say I found the pacing to be a tad slow, but I felt that the characters and the plot twists made up for that. There were a few plot twists I guessed were coming but there was one that threw me through a loop and, because of that twist, I immediately devoured the last several chapters.

All in all, Havenfall is an exciting new addition from Sara Holland, filled with some illustrious magical characters, a charming scenery that readers are sure to get lost in, dark secrets that beg to be let out, and unforgettable prose that will have Everless readers remembering why they fell in love with Holland’s writing.

With how this book ended, I can’t wait for the sequel. I’m so excited for my hardcover preorder to arrive on Tuesday because this book is definitely going to be part of my 2020 favorites collection.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers on this tour!

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller


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Title: The Shadows Between Us

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Release Date: February 25th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.

2) Marry him.

3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Kobo | Book Depository

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Author Information

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Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, Warrior of the Wild, and forthcoming The Shadows Between Us. She likes to describe her books as young adult alternate–world historical fantasies with heavy romantic subplots.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing Overwatch with her siblings, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Extra Materials

Pinterest Board (by the author)

Official Book Trailer

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My Review

They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.
And they never will.

The Shadows Between Us is by far one of my favorite standalone fantasy books. There’s always going to be books that make it almost impossible for you to put down. That was the case with The Shadows Between Us. I could not put this book down. And even after days of finishing the story, I can’t keep the characters off my mind and out of my heart.

“I know when I’ve been beaten, and I have barely even started.”

The characters are strong and ruthless. I loved how this book was pitched as a Slytherin romance because that’s exactly what it is. Both characters are cunning and vengeful and beautifully illustrated. Alessandra has no problem being murderous, especially when she needs to kill someone for something she needs. She’s a dark and morally gray character, but that’s one of the reasons that makes this book so good. She has no issue showing the world who she is and that’s what made her such an enjoyable character for me. Levenseller wrote a book with characters that could be hard to love and difficult for readers to see the logic behind most of their actions. But she wrote a book that’s so unbelievably good!

And the romance is definitely worth all the swooning. It’s raw and fresh and built on deception, but I feel that’s how a good villain romance usually starts. And this villainous romance is one readers will not soon forget. Even though Alessandra wants to kill the king, she never expected to feel a certain way about him, a feeling that could potentially put her whole plan at risk.

“Rest assured, the only dangerous thing out here is me.”

I love how this story is dark and unapologetic. It’s a story that’s perfect for readers who are looking for a dark world and deliciously vengeful characters. It’s a book I didn’t realize I needed until I read the first page and literally went “WOW.” The Shadows Between Us is a powerful story that doesn’t just focus on what Allesandra is trying to destroy/build; it also focuses on the blossoming of a new relationship and both characters’ pasts and futures. It focuses on how dark characters can continuously stay dark but find a light inside that darkness, a light that shows that each character is not as corrupted as they may seem.

“Don’t be afraid of who you are. Say what you wish. Be who you wish. Don’t try to be someone else.”

And once again, Levenseller has created a world that is dark and vicious but overall beautiful. Her world building is exquisite and completely fits the darkness of each character. She’s created a world of deceitfulness but also a world that has the ability to change. It’s unlike any fantasy world I’ve seen and I loved that aspect of the story. I loved how everything was different from most fantasy stories.

Levenseller has created an unforgettable story with characters that will surprise you in the most unsettling ways. It’s a story that is worth all the hype. The Shadows Between Us is easily a book I can read over and over again. This book is perfect for those readers looking for a dark and devious tale.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers on this tour!

Shadows Between Us

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GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win a copy of THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by Tricia Levenseller (US Only)

Starts: 19th February 2020

Ends: 4th March 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Night Spinner by Addie Thorley

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Title: Night Spinner (Night Spinner #1)

Author: Addie Thorley

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Release Date: February 11th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

Synopsis:

A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.

Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.

Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.

Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Kobo

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Author Information

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Addie Thorley is the author of An Affair of Poisons, a YA historical fantasy, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Her forthcoming novel, Night Spinner, will be released on February 11, 2020.

She spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, Addie decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“Darkness waits like a devil outside my window – curling its shadowy fingertips beneath the shutters, drawing its inky claws across the latch, raising every hair on my body as temptation trickles down my spine.”

Night Spinner is one of those tales that’s hard to forget after reading. I have yet to read a retelling of Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I was blown away by this powerful retelling. If Night Spinner is not on your radar, I’d definitely make sure it’s added; it’s a story many readers will love!

I am not what they make of me, but what I make of me.

Enebish, in this story, is Quasimodo from the classic. She’s an ex-warrior, someone that many people identify as a monster and murderer with rare and dangerous magic. Yet she’s stricken with guilt, which is a leading factor as to why she accepts her adoptive sister’s offer to capture a criminal. But Enebish soon starts to realize that not everything goes as planned and not everyone can be trusted.

“The time for timidness has long since passed. We must all take risks. Make sacrifices.”

Enebish is an exceptionally well-written character. She’s strong but fights her past demons every day, struggling with finding ways to move on. But she’s not a quitter, she’s a fighter and she refuses to give up. Her characterization makes for a fast-paced story with incredible action. And the many characters she meets on her travels (and the characters from her past) help shape and define who she is and she becomes. Each character plays a different role in Enebish’s story, and each character, in their way, is captivating.

You miss many things when your world is so small.

The world building is absolutely breathtaking, with visionary descriptions and lush prose. I felt immediately part of the world and landscape, and immediately part of this exciting story. Thorley’s writing is what truly brought this story to life for me; her writing is exceptional. She knows how to weave together a remarkable story with unforgettable characters.

Night Spinner easily became one of those stories that captured my attention from the beginning. It’s a fierce retelling that is sure to enamor any reader who picks it up. I believe this is a tale I’ll always recommend, as it’s definitely found a place in my bookish heart.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the bloggers on this amazing tour:

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of NIGHT SPINNER by Addie Thorley (US/CAN Only)

Starts: February 11th, 2020

Ends: February 25th, 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

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Title: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1)

Author: Adalyn Grace

Publisher: Imprint

Release Date: February 4th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates

Synopsis:

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Book Depository | Kobo

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Author Information

AUTHOR (13)

Adalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender). She was a participant in Pitch Wars 2016, and is a former literary agent intern for an established agency.

Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.

She has several projects in the works, and hopes to continually push the boundaries and explore the limits of upper young adult fiction.

You can follow her on Twitter, at @AdalynGrace_

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“Fear is part of life; all that matters is what we do with it.”

2020 is off to a great reading year, all thanks to this beautiful fantasy debut. All the Stars and Teeth is a powerful and adventurous debut that is bound to be a front runner in the YA fantasy section this year. This book has strong characters, pirates, mermaids, an unique magic system, and exquisite action scenes. But most of all, this story has heart and showcases what it means to handle an unknown future and to fight for a world you want to protect.

“But even our idols–those we want to love and trust more than anything–can let us down.”

This world, this story, is everything I look for in a YA fantasy book. There’s constant action in this book, starting from the first page to the last sentence. There was never a time where the story was overwhelming or description-overload; it had the perfect amount of witty banter and magic. The world Adalyn Grace has created is breathtaking and spellbinding; I love the whole island concept and the magic system. But though I loved the world, the characters are what sold this story to me.

“The mistakes I made in the past do not make me weak; I’ll use them to become stronger. I’m done being afraid of my own power.”

I absolutely loved the characters. Amora is strong and fierce and will do absolutely anything for her people and kingdom. Her bravery, selflessness, and unrelenting desire to fix the wrongs is what made her voice interesting and captivating. Her soul magic is what makes her people (and herself) frightened; it’s a magic she intends to master and use for good, but first, she has to choose to no longer be afraid of her dangerous magic and her past. Her story is one that is mesmerizing and she has a voice that demands to be heard, a voice that easily makes this story a dazzling read.

“We’ve shared an experience only a few people will understand, and it’s marked our souls. The sea is a beast more fearsome than even the Lusca.”

And then there’s Bastian, the pirate who wants his stolen magic back, but also wants to see a mysterious evil brought to its end. Bastian is definitely swoon-worthy, but also soft, in a good way. He has a deep and hurtful history that, at times, becomes personal to the story. His past has scarred him, but yet he continues to move on and fight for what’s right. Bastian is, in every way, a character with many flaws but a strong soul, which is why him and Amora have such a strong bond. And I loved their scenes together; they have great chemistry together and both, in similar yet different ways, want what’s best for the kingdom. Their romance is not so strong that it overtakes the whole story, but it’s strong enough to illustrate that there is more to come for both characters. Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely romance (and kissing!), but it builds overtime and not all at once, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

But I have to say one of my overall favorite characters was Vataea. She’s sassy and, at some times, quite charming but she proves to be an ally and possibly a friend. Her scenes (especially with Ferrick) had me jumping for joy because I loved the idea of a powerful mermaid who fits perfectly well with this ordinary crew. I’m really hoping to see more of her in the second book; she’s got an interesting backstory, and I’d love to find out more about her.

“We’re more than our blood, both of us.”

Adalyn Grace’s writing is lush and beautiful. She depicts a world of enchantment and magic, but also filled with growing darkness and fear. I was easily able to fall into this story and imagine myself beside Amora and her crew. Grace’s writing is filled with so much heart that I could see just how much this story meant to her. Her writing is lyrical at times, especially when describing the islands and the magic system and characters. Grace can also weave together an action scene so splendidly that it felt as if I was on the ship with them, fighting the sea beast or the cursed darkness. Her writing, overall, provided the perfect voice for this wonderful fantasy story.

All the Stars and Teeth will most likely be one of my favorite reads of the year. If you enjoy fantasy stories with a swoon-worthy pirate, loyal friends, dangerous mermaids, and a unique magic system, then I definitely recommend reading this beautiful story. I can’t wait for the second book, but in the meantime, I’ll continue to gush about this book to anyone!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

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Extra Materials

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Excerpt

Book Trailer

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing book bloggers on this tour!

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a finished copy of ALL THE STARS AND TEETH by Adalyn Grace (US/CAN Only)

Starts: February 4th 2020

Ends: February 18th 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani

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Title: Seven Deadly Shadows

Authors: Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: January 28th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis:

Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.

But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.

Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.

With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Book Depository

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Author Information

Author - Courtney

A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film ALIEN.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Author - Valynne

Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a full-time writer. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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My Review

I am a girl surrounded by monsters and ghosts from an ancient world.”

I really enjoyed the Japanese folklore and how the authors used that history and mythology to create a truly compelling story. I could see how much research went into this book and that honestly made my heart soar because there’s times where I had to do some research on books that depict mythology. But I didn’t have to do that with Seven Deadly Shadows. The authors really went all out with this book and I loved that.

With that being said, the mythology in this book is exceptional. Each page, each character, is steeped in Japanese mythology. I learned so much about Japanese folklore and culture from this story – I was unfamiliar with just how many demons and death gods are in this mythology, but not anymore. These co-authors truly created a story with an immersive world and enthralling characters.

“‘I’m not ashamed of who I am….Not anymore.'”

Kira is an exceptional character. She’s wonderfully flawed and strong and brave. Her character development throughout the story is phenomenal; her growth isn’t all at once but over the course of this entire story. Kira is also deeply devoted to her family, which is why it’s so devastating when her family shrine is attacked. She will do anything for her family and anything to protect them, which is why she teams up with Shiro to help right the wrongs of this ancient world.

I liked Shiro as a character; he’s fun and brings a certain light to this dark tale. I did feel the romance was a tad bit too fast, but nonetheless, I thought both characters worked well together and added to the overall plot. Actually, all of the secondary characters made the story interesting and definitely helped with Kira’s character development. Each character played a role and it was done beautifully.

“I suppose even death looks beautiful, sometimes. But its beauty is a lie.”

The atmosphere of this book was amazing. There was never a point where the story and world felt too dark. But I did enjoy how, as the reader, I could feel when a demon was about to greet Kira and her friends. I liked how the authors added a slight darkness to those scenes. The overall writing of this story is beautiful. I couldn’t tell the difference between which author wrote what scene, and that is honestly brilliant. I love not knowing the authors’ writing styles (though I do try to figure them out), so Seven Deadly Shadows became an even more fun book to me.

If you’re a huge anime fan, then I think you will definitely enjoy this book. I haven’t watched anime in years (I need to fix that, for sure, after reading this book), but reading Seven Deadly Shadows reminded me of why I loved watching anime and reading manga. This book provided me with teen memories I haven’t reminisced about in years, and I loved that added touch because it made the story more personal to me.

“He disappears into the shadows, leaving me to wonder what a death god might fear.”

All in all, Seven Deadly Shadows was a fun read filled to the brim with Japanese mythology and demons. If these two authors decide to write another book together, you best believe I will be buying it the day the book comes out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers on this book tour!

Seven Deadly Shadows

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Giveaway

Grand Prize PictureGrand Prize: Win a signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, a signed copy of Courtney Alameda’s SHUTTER, and a signed copy of Valynne Maetani’s INK AND ASHES; anime portraits of Kira and Shiro; a stuffed fox omamori charm from the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Japan; an origami fox hand-folded by Valynne Maetani; a yokai mini sticker sheet; and an assortment of Japanese Kit Kats (not pictured) [INT]

Second Prize: Win (1) of (2) A signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS with anime portraits of Kira and Shiro (INT)

OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

Starts: 28th January 2020

Ends: 11th February 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Book Review* Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir

Title: Blood Heir

Author: Amélie Wen Zhao

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 19, 2019

Page Count: 464 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

Summary:

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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My Review

“This isn’t one of the fairy-tale stories you read in your childhood, where the hero always wins in the end. You’ll have many battles to fight, and you won’t win them all. And at the end of every single day, you’ll always face the same choice: keep fighting, or give up.”

Blood Heir is easily one of my favorite reads of 2019, and possibly a favorite of all-time. With exquisite writing, unforgettable characters, and extraordinary world building, Blood Heir captured my attention from the moment I started reading and left me breathless for me.

The world building is absolutely phenomenal and breathtaking. There’s nothing quite like this world Zhao has created and its achingly beautiful. She describes the world in vivid colors and elegant prose. Her writing is spectacular and she captures the world and characters so well. Zhao’s storytelling blew me away, and I’m so thankful she decided to publish her book this year. She knows how to write a captivating YA fantasy story.

“Your affinity does not define you. What defines you is how you choose to wield it.”

Ana is such a strong and well-depicted character. She’s fearful of her gift – the ability to control blood – and she has every right to be. Unable to control her power, she rarely uses it, so she doesn’t accidentally kill someone (this fear manifested due to a darkly past experience). But, throughout her journey, she starts to realize that her affinity is not something she should fear, but something she should harness. And seeing that growth and understanding was what made Ana a relatable character – she had something to fear but she started to learn how to overcome that fear and fight for her future.

“Show them what you are, my little monster.”

Ramson, I have to say, was such a fun character. He mainly just looks out for himself but he grows throughout this book and starts to feel attached to Ana. And I enjoyed watching him try to piece together her past and her identity. His personality is so much fun. He’s sarcastic and funny and knows he’s good-looking. He’s basically Flynn Rider from Tangled but in an awesome YA fantasy book. I’m very excited to see where his character development goes in the second book.

“‘The Deities have long sent me a message through their silence….It is not their duty to grant us goodness in the world, Kolst Pryntsessa. No, Little Tigress – it is up to us to fight our battles.'”

If you’re looking for romance, there’s not quite much in Blood Heir. Don’t get me wrong, there is romance (in the form of a snarky and dashingly handsome thief), but it’s very much in the background. I’ll set it straight for you: it’s a very slow burn romance, and it captivated my attention the whole book. The slow burn builds from the first page to the last sentence, and I have this wonderful (hopefully right) feeling that the romance is going to really blossom in book two. I was rooting for Ana and her potential love interest the whole time; they both compliment each other and their constant witty banter gave me all the feels.

“Perhaps all monsters were heroes in their own eyes.”

I’m beyond excited (and very impatient, might I add) for book two. The ending to Blood Heir is honestly how I was hoping it would end: with a cliff-hanger but one that didn’t strike a knife straight through my heart. It does have a small cliff-hanger, but mainly in the sense of the agonizing wait for book two. But overall, Blood Heir is a dashingly exquisite debut novel that I will continue to recommend to my friends and bookworms.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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