*ARC Review* Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

Title: Kingsbane (Empirium #2)Kingsbane

Author: Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Page Count: 608 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

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Beware! If you have not read Furyborn, please do not read this review, as it contains spoilers. If you would like to read my review of Furyborn, click here.Thank you to the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Holy cow, what a ride! I thought Furborn was amazing, but Kingsbane was outstanding and emotional and beautiful. Kingsbane left me emotionally drained for days; even now just reflecting on how much happened in that book brings back all the emotions.

Sometimes sequels don’t live up to expectations or the hype of the first book. Kingsbane outshines Furyborn and brings to the table a continuation of the epic fantasy world Claire has created. The writing, the characters, the world…everything is so well done and breathtaking. Kingsbane is easily one of the best sequels I have read in the YA fantasy genre.

Claire Legrand has proven to be a phenomenal fantasy writer. She weaves words together to create a captivating and poetic world that any reader can get lost in. Two worlds fitted across time make for a magical story and epic world building, which Claire succeeds at creating. The world in Furyborn and Kingsbane is vast, but Claire’s writing and descriptions bring the world to life and help to not make the world feel so big. She’s truly a talented fantasy writer and I cannot wait to see what she does with the third book.

“She had felt in that moment, that she was a mere vessel. A conduit between the power in her blood and the flames overhead, licking for a taste. Would there ever come a time when she could use her power and not feel as if it was using her?”

Rielle continues to be the butt-kicking hero we all want, but as we learned in Furyborn, she’s not destined to be the hero, but the villain. But even throughout this book, as her mind and her journey start to take a darker turn, she still remains the powerful girl we all loved in Furyborn. However, like all great heroes, temptation can easily sway a hero to do things one normally would not do. And that starts to be the case for Rielle, even as she fights Corien and even as she tries to prevent the world (and her closest friends) from seeing what she is truly becoming. She doesn’t want Audric to see her differently, but how can Rielle prevent that when darkness starts to tempt her?

Eliana, on the other hand, does not want to become what she is destined to be: the Sun Queen. She would rather neglect her powers and her future, fearing the possibility of her becoming just like her mother, Rielle. She struggles coming to terms with her new life and what she represents to the people. She struggles with how her life has drastically changed and how there is no going back. The only path is forward and watching Eliana’s character development throughout Kingsbane reminds me how we all have journeys and how, eventually, we all have to find out who we are meant to be. So, overall, both of these girls’ characterizations in Kingsbane is phenomenal and well written.

Don’t go into this book underestimating these two girls: they are powerful and inspiring and fierce. Though they struggle with defeat and living up to their purpose, they both prove that they have what it takes to handle any battle, any hardship that is thrown their way. And just seeing these two characters go through so much (good and bad and evil) reminds me just how fragile, yet strong they really are and that both are still human.

Kingsbane is an outstanding sequel to Furyborn and, in my opinion, some of Claire’s best work. I honestly cannot wait for book 3. I am so invested in these characters and this world that I need to know what happens and if there’s a happy ending for a few of the characters (one can hope).

Kingsbane is out in the world today, so go grab your copy! And if you have not read Furyborn yet, I highly recommend!

nikole

 

WWW Wednesday | April 24, 2019

WWWWednesday

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

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What am I currently reading?

Finale by Stephanie Garber. This book is just everything I hoped it would be and more, and I’m only half way through. Stephanie’s world means so much to me and I’m sad to see it come to an end. But so far, Finale is a whirlwind of magic and romance and intrigue and I’m anticipating the second half will be too. If you have yet to read Caraval by Stephanie Garber, I highly recommend. And if you would like to see what I thought about Caraval during my reread, check out my review.

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand. I thought Furyborn was fantastic. But Kingsbane is blowing me away. This book is really giving me all the feels; I love the characterization of Rielle and Eliana. Kingsbane really explores both of their roots and who they are becoming and it is just. SO. GOOD. Kingsbane surpasses Furyborn, in my opinion; I still have about 100 pages left, but this book is destroying me and it’s beautiful.

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What did I recently finish reading?

Legendary by Stephanie Garber. This was actually a reread, as I was participating in Flatiron’s Caraval reread. Legendary was just as magical as Caraval, if not more. I love Tella in this book and the new setting is just breathtaking. Finishing Legendary put me in the right mood to jump straight into Finale. 

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He. Y’all. This book was everything. There was politics, murder, betrayal, a slow-burning romance, and more. If I could, I’d drop Descendant of the Crane in everyone’s’ hands because this book is just wonderful. The twists, the political intrigue…everything was just amazing in this book. I very much recommend, and my review of this book (and Legendary) will be available very soon.

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What do I plan on reading next?

Dark Shores

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen sounds like a book right up my alley! Pirates, gods, and blackmail? Plus a good looking soldier? Count me in! The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS, so I cannot wait to devour this book! I’ll literally read any book about pirates, and I already know this book is going to be sooooo good!

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What are you currently reading?

nikole

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/4/19

Monday is upon us again. A new week means new books. This is what I plan on reading this week, What are you reading?

Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story- Tiffany Schmidt

41104127This is the second title in a paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life, this time told from Rory Campbell’s point of view and inspired by the timeless classic Little Women. Rory likes Toby, but Toby likes Rory’s sister Merrilee, even though Merrilee is already dating Toby’s friend Fielding—and it’s all about to get even more complicated at Reginald R. Hero High . . . where our leading ladies’ romantic fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences. Perfect for younger readers of YA or older readers of middle grade, this squeaky-clean series is sure to charm any reader who’s ever had a book boyfriend of her own.

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Kingsbane- Claire Legrand

40895030Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien — but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption — fear of becoming another Rielle — keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted — by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

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stacy

Top Ten Tuesday 2/26/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit 

1. Caraval- Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

2. High Court of Faerie- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

3. Aritas- Furyborn by Claire Legrand

4. Wonderland- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

5. Orléans- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

6. The Continent- The Continent by Keira Drake

7. Lanos- Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart

8. Alcatraz 2.0- #Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

9. The Home for Peculiar Children- Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

10. Somewhere in Northern Italy- Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Which places made your list?

stacy

 

 

 

Top Ten of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we reminisce about all the great books we’ve read along the way. We are going to give you a look at our top reads of the year.

What are your favorites of 2018?

Stacy’s Top 10(ish)

42288387    38087912    36546635    38720939    38237340    34323570    36336078    36206591

36329818    34564829

These are in no order but these are my top ten of the year!

Books that almost made the list:

Noir- Christopher Moore

The Wicker King- K. Ancrum

Bring Me Their Hearts- Sara Wolf

Ace of Shades- Amanda Foody

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik- David Arnold

stacy

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

Happy October, everyone! Who is excited for Halloween tomorrow?! Halloween is my favorite time of the year, so I’m, of course, super excited to see everyone in their costumes tomorrow and to hand out some candy!

So, I thought in the spirit of Halloween, I would do another Halloween book tag! Now, I wasn’t tagged in this awesome book tag, but I stumbled across it and thought it was perfect for October (and, of course, Halloween!). Below are the instructions for the Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

Instructions:

1. Pick 5 books

2. Turn to a random page

3. The first name you see gets to be on your zombie survival team (yay?)

4. Apply the characters to the 10 situations and types of people in the order you got them

5. Fret over how doomed you are.

So each book gets two characters. For example, the characters I pick from City of Bones will get spots 1 and 2, Caraval will get spots 3 and 4, and so on.

Books I picked:

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag:

1. The first person to die: Clary

I am surprisingly not surprised about this. As she’s pretty inexperienced in fighting in City of Bones, I can see why she would be the first to go. She’s a great character, but she gets overwhelmed pretty quickly. Bye-bye, Clary!

2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies: Dorothea

I’m that terrible person who loves the The Mortal Instruments series, but can’t remember Dorothea for the life of me. I hope she’s evil because then I did the right thing by tripping her. 🙂 If you know who she is, let me know in the comments!

3. The first person to turn into a zombie: Scarlett 😦

Noooo!! I love Scarlett from Caraval, so I am not happy about this! Tella will be destroyed when she finds out what happened to her sister.

4. The person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies: Tella

Okay, so not nice, Tella. She probably tripped me to get away from her zombie sister, not a zombie horde. Which means I could potentially be Scarlett’s first kill. Ugh, not what I had planned for the zombie apocalypse.

5. The idiot of the team: Tamlin

HA! THIS IS SO FREAKING FITTING! And I say it’s fitting because I am in no way a fan of Tamlin. I didn’t like him in the first book, so I for sure will not like him now. He may have a ton of experience in fighting and such, but he’s clueless when it comes to using his brain.

6. The “brains” of the team: Nesta (yeah, I can see this)

This is, by far, the most fitting of this whole zombie apocalypse team. Nesta is a smart individual. She may be slightly headstrong and stubborn, but that may come in handy when deciding the next move. She could very well be why most of the team will survive. Except for Scarlett. And hopefully Tamlin. 🙂

7. The team’s medic: Eliana

She could potentially be the medic, but she’d rather be out fighting the zombies. Eliana is a fighter and if you get injured, she’ll probably still be wondering why you are not fighting. So, she basically may not be the best choice, but she most likely knows first aid. I hope…

8. The weapons expert: Rielle

Actually, I feel like Rielle and Eliana should switch roles. Eliana loves her knives and fighting, so she would enjoy being the weapons expert. And Rielle so badly wants to use her powers for good, so why not be the team’s medic?

9. The brawler: Locke

Are you for real? Locke doesn’t fight; he starts the fights by opening his mouth and starting crap. So, I cannot see him as being the brawler. He’d probably hide behind someone else before stepping into a fight.

10. The Team Captain: Queen Orlagh

I see this as a bad choice, and the fellow readers that have read this book know why. So, if you are curious as to why this is a bad choice (or is it a good choice? Hmm…), check out The Cruel Prince! I don’t think we’d all live with her as the team captain, so knowing me and knowing Nesta, I’d be voting for Nesta as the team captain.


And that’s it! I loved this tag and the books I chose. If you are up for doing a book tag, try this one and tag me so I can see your results!

♥Nikole

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday SawKill Girls- Claire Legrand

First Chapter First Paragraph is a new meme that we will be trying out. It’s where we post the first paragraph in the book that we are currently reading. I’m so excited about this book and I hope you are too!!

 

38139409  Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

“Everyone knows about the island of Sawkill Rock:

The silly old legends of its healing waters, which are impossible to altogether dismiss when one considers the people of Sawkill themsleves- their hard white teeth and supple limbs. The brazen, easy way they walk and shop and love. Their flagrant indifference toward life beyond the Rock, and their deft handling of even the bleakest tragedy: Oh, what a shame that was, they say, and bow their shining heads for a moment before gliding on, untroubled.”

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