It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 2/10/20

 

This week I’m going to read two books that I picked up at ALA Midwinter and two books that I recently purchased from Barnes and Noble.

What are you reading this week?

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We Unleash the Merciless Storm- Tehlor Kay Mejia

40522133In this nail-biting sequel to Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, La Voz operative Carmen is forced to choose between the girl she loves and the success of the rebellion she’s devoted her life to.

Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.

Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers, taken in when she was an orphaned child and trained to be a cunning spy. She spent years undercover at the Medio School for Girls, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters.

There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?

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The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy- Elizabeth Kendall

47875636Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir, detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, long out of print, now reissued with startling new material from the author and her daughter. Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir, The Phantom Prince, was originally published in 1981. Molly Kendall, her daughter, considered Bundy a father figure between the ages of three and ten.

Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and one of the most publicized to this day. However, very rarely do we hear from the women he left behind—the ones forgotten as mere footnotes in this tragedy. This updated and expanded reissue of Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 book The Phantom Prince chronicles her intense, six-year relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. Featuring a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a new chapter from the author’s daughter, Molly, this gripping account presents a remarkable examination of obsession, intrigue, and the darkness that love can mask.

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Harleen- Stjepan Šejić

47357622Dr. Harleen Quinzel has a theory: mental illness is a survival mechanism. As she seeks to help the broken souls of Gotham City piece together their sanity she will become the one thing she fears the most: one of them. A bold new retelling of the tragic origin of Harley Quinn told through the eyes of the only person who knows her better than anyone: Harleen.

A young psychiatrist with a potential cure for the madness that haunts Gotham City, Dr. Harleen Quinzel must prove her revolutionary theory to a skeptical establishment by delving into the disturbed minds of Arkham Asylum’s deadliest inmates. But the more time she spends with her criminally insane subjects, the closer she is drawn to one patient in particular–and the further she falls away from reality. The birth of legendary antihero Harley Quinn and the shocking origins of her twisted romance with the Joker are revealed in Harleen, a stunning new tale of love and obsession written and illustrated by renowned comics storyteller Stjepan Šejic (Aquaman: Underworld, Sunstone).

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Shades of Magic Volume One: The Steel Prince- V.E. Schwab

43404416. sy475 Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic!

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape.

There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa…

Collects Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1-4.

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*ARC Review* The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

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Title: The Iron Will of Genie Lo

Author: F.C. Yee

Publisher: Amulet Books

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Page Count: 304 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Summary:

The fate of the heavens is at stake in this hilarious and highly-anticipated sequel to the The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi

Genie Lo thought she was busy last year, juggling her academic career with protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as the Heaven-appointed Guardian of California, she’s responsible for the well-being of all yaoguai and spirits on Earth. Even the ones who interrupt her long-weekend visit to a prestigious college, bearing terrible news about a cosmos-threatening force of destruction in a nearby alternate dimension.

The goddess Guanyin and Genie’s boyfriend, Quentin Sun Wukong, do their best to help, but it’s really the Jade Emperor who’s supposed to handle crises of this magnitude. Unfortunately for Genie and the rest of existence, he’s gone AWOL. Fed up with the Jade Emperor’s negligence, Genie spots an opportunity to change the system for the better by undertaking a quest that spans multiple planes of reality along with an adventuring party of quarrelsome Chinese gods. But when faced with true danger, Genie and her friends realize that what will save the universe this time isn’t strength, but sacrifice.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

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My Review

Hold it! This is a review of the sequel to the very amazing and kick-butt book, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. This review may contain spoilers from the first book, so you have been warned if you choose to read on. You can check out my review of the first book here.

Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In 2017, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was one of my favorite reads. I remember being so excited when I found out there would be a sequel. And let me tell you, the sequel did not disappoint. It was honestly one of the best sequels I have read. There’s action, back-and-forth character banter, and so much character growth; the characters (and the story) stay true to what the first book brought to the table.

In the sequel, Genie is not just dealing with the demons – protecting them and finding them a home. She’s also struggling with the idea of her senior year and what comes after: college. Genie knows her parents can’t afford the college she wants to go to, and that insight causes another strain with her parents, especially after the health scare with her mom. And then there’s the part where Genie and Quentin are at a stale part of their relationship and neither really knows how to move forward. All in all, Genie doesn’t really have it easy this year.

One of the reasons I loved this book and its predecessor is the witty and sarcastic banter between the characters, especially Genie and Quentin. It makes the story humorous and makes the characters feel real. Genie and Quentin have such a genuine and loving relationship and, ultimately, have each other’s backs through everything. In this book, they’re now dating, which easily becomes another struggle for Genie. She’s figuring out how to navigate their relationship and how exactly it will fit in her life; she wants Quentin in her life, but with almost every conversation between them ending in an argument, she doesn’t know how to get through the rough patches.

So, needless to say, Genie has a lot on her plate. And her plate starts to overflow when she tries to change the system the gods and goddesses have been following for centuries. Which pegs the ultimate question: will Genie be able to handle everything she’s gotten herself into? What I loved about this is that it really did make Genie feel like a real character. This book showcases her strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t hesitate to illustrate when Genie reaches her breaking point. She dealt with stress and defeat and her anxiety of the future, and I could relate to that on a high level because that’s exactly what it felt like for me when I was finishing high school. It was great to see that portrayal and it was executed in such a phenomenal way.

The writing and flow of this story is wonderful and just as captivating as the first book. There was never too much action, nor was there information overload, which I really appreciated. F.C. Yee has a way of bringing a story together with characters that fit so well and feel so real. He will continue to be an instant-buy author for me, and I cannot wait to see what his next work brings.

Overall, The Iron Will of Genie Lo is a wonderful sequel to the first book, one that is equally as good as its predecessor. Those who loved the first book will not be disappointed, and may, like me, end up liking the sequel more.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars

nikole

*ARC Review* Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

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Title: Find Me Their Bones

Author: Sara Wolf

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Page Count: 400 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

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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

Thank you to EntangledTeen and Sara Wolf for the early review copy of Find Me Their Bones in exchange for an honest review. 

Please note: this is the sequel to Bring Me Their Hearts; my review can be found here.This review does contain spoilers if you have not read the first book.

Bring Me Their Hearts, the first book in Sara Wolf’s enchanting Heartless trilogy, blew me away last year and became one of my all-time favorite books. And when I thought this series could not get any better, Find Me Their Bones lands in my lap and left me speechless. This book is emotionally beautiful and painful and raw. In Find Me Their Bones, relationships are tested, boundaries are crossed, and secrets are revealed. And not everyone will be prepared for the surprising twist.

Sara Wolf does it again. Find Me Their Bones is an excellent masterpiece, a sequel that stands beautifully next to its predecessor, in covers and written word. This brilliant book is full of sass and heart; I can see that Sara poured her heart into this book and that’s one of the things that makes this book so special. She has created a world and characters that I absolutely adore, and I am so thankful these books came into my life when they did.

Find Me Their Bones picks up right where Bring Me Their Hearts left off. Zera is still a Heartless, but now Lucien, his sister (who was thought to be dead), and the King know her secret. And now Zera is no longer under the control of her first witch, the witch that took her heart. She now belongs to Princess Varia, who surprised everyone by turning out to be a powerful witch that tricked Zera and Lucien.

“I’ve learned, Your Highness, that it is easier to hate than it is to love.”

Zera has so much character growth in Find Me Their Bones. She’s still sarcastic and sassy and amazing, but she starts to let herself hope that she will get her heart back and starts to imagine what her life will be like. She knows she’s messed up all her relationships with her friends and Lucien, but her main goal has always been her heart. So, she strikes a deal with Princess Varia: train a valkerax to Weep in exchange for her heart. It’s almost an impossible deal, but Zera accepts.

But along this journey, Zera discovers that there is more at stake than ever before. Princess Varia doesn’t just need the valkerax to Weep; she has a more dark and twisted plan that will change the lives of everyone in the kingdom. It will ultimately change the potentially outcome of a battle between the humans and witches. And Lucien is dead set on making sure his sister does nothing that will harm her and the people he has vowed to protect.

“‘I can assure you, as someone who spent his life chasing power,’ Gavik says, ‘when absolute power presents itself, there are no ‘justs’ anymoe. It is all or nothing.'”

Zera continues to be my ultimate favorite character. She doesn’t remember much from being human, but her emotions start to materialize more in this book. She finally has something worth dying for; she finally has friends and family she wants to protect at all costs, even if it means not getting her heart in return. In the sequel, more of Zera’s strengths (and weaknesses) are revealed. It’s clear as day that she wants to keep her friends and Lucien in her life, but she believes they’re better off without her. She doesn’t quite understand why these people would want to still befriend her, after everything she does. And that was beautiful to watch unfold, to see Zera realize that she’s not alone in this cruel world.

Wolf’s writing is masterful and captivating. Her world building is phenomenal and the characters she has created are magnificent. Sara is an instant-buy author for me because her writing isn’t just there to show the readers what is going on; she writes with emotion so the readers can understand what the characters are feeling in that moment. That’s another reason why this book is so close to my heart (I also find a kindred spirit in Zera, so that’s a plus).

“Heartless with their heart is a human who’s been injured and has injured in return. And though the wounds have been healed magically, the memories still remain, stabbing and slicing better than the instruments of pain.”

THAT ENDING. Sara definitely knows how to leave her readers hanging, and now I don’t know how I can wait until next year. This book tore me open and left me in need of a beating heart. These characters, especially Zera, mean so much to me, and I’m even more emotionally attached to them and their story than I was in the first book.

Bring Me Their Hearts is a series I will forever recommend. This series is filled with so many emotions and sassy banter and romantic moments. If you’re looking for a fun fantasy read, I implore you to read this series, you won’t be disappointed!

My rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars

nikole

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Helix by Mary Ting

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Title: Helix

Author: Mary Ting

Series: Book 2 in the ISAN series.

Genre: YA dystopian/science fiction

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

Release date: September 10, 2019

ALLIANCES ARE FORMING. THE RESISTANCE IS GROWING. EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels … if she isn’t killed first.

Helix is the second book in the award-winning International Sensory Assassin Network Novel series.

Purchase Helix

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My Review

Helix, which is the second book in this series, was action-packed and thrilling. Every chapter was filled with beautiful prose and rich content, with captivating characters and a love story you won’t soon forget. This is a thrilling ride you won’t soon forget.

What was really nice about Helix was getting to see inside Rhett’s head, as the book shifted between his and Ava’s point of view. Rhett’s devotion to Ava is what made me love him even more. He’s one of those swoon-worthy characters you will fall in love with, and to be quite honest, he was probably my favorite character. But, of course, I also love Ava’s character. She’s still working on retrieving her missing memories while also trying to stay alive and find the twin sister she never knew she had.

I thought the action in the first book was insane, but this book brings that action to a whole new level. What was really cool, though, was how Ting built on the action and scenes from the first book. I love books that reveal piece by piece of a very intricate plot, and Helix is one of those books. As many would say, the plot continues to thicken.

Ting’s writing is beautiful and her action scenes felt like they were happening right in front of me. She’s a talented writer and knows how to make the reader feel like they are there experiencing everything with the characters. Ting also did a great job with the character development and pacing everything out. There was never too much action at one point and never too little; this book honestly had the perfect dose of action and romance.

If you are looking for a thrilling action ride with complex characters and a love story that will captivate you, then the ISAN series is for you. The first two books in this series are out now!

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Giveaway

Win a $20 Amazon gift card!

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Tour Schedule

September 23rd

Good Choice Reading, http://www.goodchoicereading.com, Promotional

PhillyGirlJL, http://www.instagram.com/phillygirljl, Promotional

September 24th

A Court of Coffee and Books, https://acourtofcoffeeandbooks.com/, Review

September 25th

Diane’s Book Blog, http://dianes-book.blogspot.com/, Review

September 26th

The Genre Minx Book Reviews, http://www.thegenreminx.com, Promotional

September 27th

Not Boring Book Reviews, notboringbookreview.weebly.com, Review

September 30th

Wild and Wonderful Reads , https://wildandwonderfulreads.com, Review

October 1st

Readchapter20 , https://readchapter20.wordpress.com/, Review

October 2nd

Lisa-Queen of Random, http://www.Lisas2900.blogspot.com, Promotional

October 3rd

Bücherfansite – Bücherfee vom Bodensee, https://www.buecherfansite.com, Promotional

October 4th

Teatime and Books, http://www.teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com, Promotional

Beckie Bookworm, http://www.beckiebookworm.com/, Review

*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

 

*ARC Review* Finale by Stephanie Garber

FinaleTitle: Finale (Caraval #3)

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: May 7, 2019

Page Count: 496 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finally, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

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♠ Halt, Caraval players! I must warn you that the review below will contain spoilers from the previous two games. If you wish to see my thoughts on Caraval and Legendary, please click the links above. Without further ado…Welcome, Welcome, to my review of Finale, where all games will come to an end! ♥

Caraval fans all over the world are in for a treat! Finale is absolutely magical and gripping, you will not be able to put this book down. Stephanie wraps up everything with a bow and it is glorious. I have never felt more serene and content with any series ending before Finale. 

461FDE62-13A9-4E9C-AA0F-6EAF794E69D9Finale picks up a few weeks after the events in Legendary, where Legend is waiting to become the new Emperor. Things did not end well between Tella and Legend, but both are determined to rectify that, but in very different ways. And Scarlett is still struggling with who she wants to end up with: Julian or the Count. When Scarlett stumbles upon shocking information, she must decide what is truly worth fighting for if she wants a happy ending. Both sisters must make multiple life-altering decisions in order to face off against some of the Fates and secure their happy endings.

Tella continues to be my favorite sister (after her story continuation in Legendary). I want her to have a happy ending, but she does not believe she deserves one, even thought she deserves to be happy. But the question remains: who will she end up with: Jacks or Legend? Both men vying for her are wonderfully described and irrevocably handsome. She never expected to capture the attention of a Fate, or even the Caraval master. But I’ve noticed that most lives are filled with unexpected surprises, and both sisters receive plenty of surprises in this book.

It’s no spoiler that Caraval and Legendary were both stories filled with magic and romance. Finale is the same way, but this story is more romantic and filled with magic on every singly page. The magic in this series is so unique and beautiful and it leaps off the pages. New and old magic is discovered in Finale, and let me tell you, it’s absolutely breathtaking. I did not think this series could get any more magical. but it does. Every page, every chapter, is filled with magic and it is captivating.

This book, though fantastic and magical, was also heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking because it meant this would be the last time I would ever return to this world and the characters (unless Stephanie writes novellas; PLEASE!!). This would be the last time I’d discover new places with these characters; sure, I can always return to the world by re-reading, but there is nothing quite like reading a book for the first time. And Stephanie has created a world and intriguing characters that will always have a place in my heart.

I don’t know how Stephanie does it. She’s an outstanding storyteller, and I hope to someday have the skill she has in writing. This series has been a journey filled with magic and romance and heartache, and it was beautiful to watch everything unfold. I’m telling you now, if you have not read this series, you need to. You will not be disappointed!

nikole

*Reread Review* Legendary by Stephanie Garber

It’s that time of year everyone! The birds are starting to chirp, the weather is getting warmer…and Finale is hitting shelves in just a week! So, to take part in all the excitement, I’m posting my thoughts about reading Legendary for the second time. Flatiron Books on Twitter is doing a wonderful Caraval Reread to help prepare for the release of Finale (which comes out NEXT WEEK!!). I can barely contain my excitement for this world and the final book (though I will admit I am sad to see the story end).

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Legendary2Title: Legendary (Caraval #2)

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: May 29, 2018

Pages: 451 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary:

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

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If you would like to see my Reread review of Caraval, click here.

I thought Caraval was magical and that nothing could surpass the first book. But I was wrong. Legendary is twice as magical and twice as romantic. Legendary is such a fantastic sequel to Caraval.

Legendary follows Tella on her journey to save her mother while also trying to uncover who Legend really is. She knows that if she gives up Legend’s true name to the person she bargained with, Caraval and all the magic of the game with cease to exist. But if she doesn’t, her mother will be lost to her forever. In order to find out Legend’s true name, she must win the second game of Caraval, while also trying not to lost her heart in the process.

Legendary is one of those sequels that will capture your attention from the first line and keep you hanging until the very end. I never wanted to put this book down, especially the second time reading it because there were so many things I missed during the first read. Stephanie truly knows how to capture an audience’s attention and keep them wanting more.

In Caraval, the reader is experiencing Scarlett’s journey. In Legendary, we experience Tella’s journey. Tella is almost the complete opposite of Scarlett. Tella is brave and sassy and sometimes impulsive, and she’s about to learn what it really means to sacrifice, especially for those you love. Tella’s characterization in Legendary is extraordinary. She has so much hope throughout this novel that her hope gives me hope that there will be a happy ending for all the characters. She’s a breath of fresh air, and experiencing her journey with her was amazing. I loved Scarlett in Caraval, but Tella, in my opinion, brought so much more to the series.

There is still that beautiful bond of sisterhood with Scarlett and Tella, but in Legendary, we get to experience who Tella is when she’s not with her sister. Tella comes into her own and, as the reader, we really see her develop into a strong and intelligent young woman. And her relationship with Dante, one of the Caraval players, brings a sense of fun and adventure and romance to her life, something that she never thought she would get to experience.

In Caraval, the Deck of Destiny was barely mentioned, mainly just an after thought for what’s to come in Legendary. But Legendary explores more of the Deck of Destiny and what it actually means to Legend and the people in Valenda (and what it means to Tella).

Caraval and Legendary were both spectacular books, so I can only imagine what Finale will be like. I’m luckily almost done with Finale, and let me tell you, it’s everything I hoped it would be and more. Stephanie Garber is truly a gifted writer and I am so glad she created this beautiful world that means so much to so many people.

nikole