It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/22/19

This week I’m hoping to read a book for a book club, two arcs that I’ve had for over a year, a graphic novel, a novella, and a book a friend sent me. Fingers crossed for a busy reading week!

What are you reading?

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This is Where it Ends- Marieke Nijkamp

2452912310:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

 

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Small Spaces- Katherine Arden

36959639. sy475 Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

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When Life Gives You Demons- Jennifer Honeybourn

35795953. sy475 Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.

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The Prince and The Dressmaker- Jen Wang

34506912Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

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Grim Lovelies- Megan Shepherd

37570566Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.

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The Lost Sisters- Holly Black

42117575. sy475 Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Timesbestselling novel The Cruel Prince, by master writer Holly Black.

 

 

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stacy

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

StormTitle: The Storm Crow(The Storm Crow #1)

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Release Date: July 9th 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY  |  KOBO |

GOOGLE BOOKS

 

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Author Information

KalynKalyn Josephson is a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“People would notice; they’d recognize the armor. But I wanted them to. I wanted them to know that the legacy they’d tried to stamp out still smoldered in the ashes.”

The Storm Crow is one of those books I couldn’t put down. Thia’s battle with her emotions and her enemies is powerful and captivating. The action in this novel is beautifully written and full of fantastical elements. I became so engrossed in the world and characters that there were times I forgot I was in the real world and not in Thia’s world.

The elemental crows were unique and fascinating and added a mystical touch to the story. Rhodaire’s crows are essential to their life and without them, the people have to learn how to perform simple tasks, such as growing crops. Life changes drastically for the people, and not just because the crows were lost; loved ones were lost, too, in the battle. To Thia, everything seems hopeless. All she sees is darkness and no light at the end; she doesn’t see how she can move on.

One aspect of The Storm Crow I highly enjoyed seeing was how depression was openly discussed. Thia realizes early on that the destruction of her world as she knew it threw her into a deep and potentially dark depression. Throughout the story, Thia’s depression helps shape her character and starts to give her the strength she needs to overcome the past and save her kingdom and people. Thia’s depression battles are detailed to where the reader could feel and/or see Thia openly struggling. Her depression felt real and raw. She becomes a master in hiding her depression behind a fake smile, but those closest to her can see the past is eating her alive. I haven’t read many YA fantasy books that openly mention/discuss depression, so I was surprised that this became a key point in The Storm Crow. There’s so many readers that battle depression, and I know to some it’s important to see depression depicted, especially in fantasy. How Josephson address depression in her book really lays it out for the world to see and for everyone to understand that depression is not something you can easily shake off. Her depiction of depression was, overall, one of the main reasons I loved The Storm Crow.

“I might be queen, but you were meant to be so much more. Crow or no crow, one way or another, you will fly. You were always meant to rule the sky.”

Thia is a strong and emotional person. She knows she has to go to Illucia, the kingdom that attacked hers, to try to bring peace and save her people. Thia, at first, believes everything is lost; the fight she once had in her is gone, left behind in the rubble of the battle. But that all changes when Thia finds an unhatched storm crow egg. To Thia, this changes everything. Thia has a newfound hope to fight for her kingdom and people, all from within the palace walls of her enemy. But there’s just one slight problem: Thia doesn’t know how to hatch a crow egg. Nevertheless, Thia refuses to give up hope; she refuses to give up.

The secondary characters in The Storm Crow were also what made this book a 5 star review for me. Her best friend and bodyguard, Kiva, share not just a best friend bond, but a sisterly bond. They’re relationship reminded me of my relationship with my best friend, and I love seeing those types of friendships depicted in fantasy stories. Kiva helps Thia battle her depression while staying in enemy territory. They’re not just best friends; they’re a team and both will do whatever it takes to see Queen Razel burn for her wrongdoings. Then there’s Caylus. Caylus is a soft yet incredibly smart and reliable friend to Thia; she trusts him so much that she relies on him to help her solve the hatching behind a crow egg.

And, of course, there’s Prince Ericen. At first, he’s a terrible, cold-heartless person; he’s basically everything that makes a villain. But he slowly starts to show Thia a side he’s never shown anyone, not even his mother, the ruthless Queen Razel. Ericen wants to build a trusting relationship with Thia but Thia doesn’t quite know how that’s possible when he’s the son of the woman that killed her mother. He’s a well described character with an interesting backstory.

“It was only you. Because I, like everyone, knew what you were.

A delinquent?

A storm. A tempest of lightning and thunder with the kind of heart found only in legends.”

Josephson’s writing is captivating and compelling. She weaves words together to bring a magical and powerful story to light. Her description of the kingdoms and the characters is wonderfully well-written and very descriptive. Josephson also knows how to depict feelings and relationships really well. There was phenomenal character growth with Thia and her companions; Thia really starts to come into her own and grow as a person and fighter.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Storm Crow. Josephson creates a world the reader can easily get lost in. If you enjoy an adventurous fantasy novel with lovable animals and relationships, then I definitely recommend reading The Storm Crow!

My overall review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on The Storm Crow tour!

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a finished hard copy of THE STORM CROW by Kalyn Josephson (INT) or a signed finished copy of THE CROW STORM by Kalyn Josephson (US Only)

** International as long as bookdepository ships to the country

Starts: July 9th 2019

Ends: July 23rd 2019

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

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 7/1/19

This week I’m going to read two books that my friends picked me up at BEA, one book a publisher sent me, and a book my co-blogger picked me up at ALA.

What are you reading this week?

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Full Throttle- Joe Hill

43801817In this masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including “In The Tall Grass,” one of two stories co-written with Stephen King, basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix.

A little door that opens to a world of fairy tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters in “Faun.” A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique Bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead in “Late Returns.” In “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain,” two young friends stumble on the corpse of a plesiosaur at the water’s edge, a discovery that forces them to confront the inescapable truth of their own mortality . . . and other horrors that lurk in the water’s shivery depths. And tension shimmers in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert as a faceless trucker finds himself caught in a sinister dance with a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in “Throttle,” co-written with Stephen King.

Featuring two previously unpublished stories, and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears, and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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Guts- Raina Telgemeier

42097226. sx318 A true story from Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Timesbestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of SmileSistersDrama, and Ghosts!

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away… and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on?

Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face — and conquer — her fears.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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Here There are Monsters- Amelinda Bèrubè

36445966. sy475 The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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On the Corner of Love and Hate- Nina Bocci

42619403. sy475 For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  

Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

 

stacy

First Line Friday 6/28/19

36445966. sy475 The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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“The night my sister disappears is wild, with a waxing moon sinking dull and red into the leafless claws of the trees.”

stacy

 

Top Ten Tuesday 6/18/19

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 week’s topic is: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

It was really difficult to narrow this list down to ten but I accomplished that but I feel awful that I left a lot off this list.

Which books made your list?

36472241  40220881  41861647  43298077  39352771  43263485  43821592  43263680  26032912  40148425

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*Saturday Spotlight* The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

StormTitle: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: SourcebooksFire

Release Date: July 9th 2019

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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

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Limited First Edition Print Run

Anyone that orders a copy of The Storm Crow will get an exclusive first edition print run copy with a beautiful design on the cover!

Storm Crow Preorder

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 About the Author

Kalyn.jpg

Kalyn Josephson is a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

 

*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