*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

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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* Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

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Title: Ink in the Blood (Ink in The Blood #1)

Author: by Kim Smejkal

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: February 11th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Fantasy

Synopsis:

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Book Depository | Kobo

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Author Information

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Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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My Review

“They’d play like Diavala and be tricksters all the way.”

Ink in the Blood is one of those stories that holds a powerful meaning and can easily maintain a reader’s attention. I was pleasantly amazed with how this story unfolded. I enjoyed the characters, the array of LGBT representation, but I overall enjoyed most the bond between two girls and their fight for their own destiny.

The writing is both lyrical and poetic. Honestly, the writing is what really drew me into the story (once I started to read, the beautiful cover initially captured my attention). The author has such lush writing that I could easily imagine the world and the characters. I was enamored with this story and the dark world building. Everything is so beautifully described and depicted.

“That time, his smile almost killed her.”

I really enjoyed the magic system in this story. Ink magic in the form of tattoos is unique and quite intriguing; it’s such a neat idea to think of ink in someone’s veins. But at the heart of this story lies a bigger, more meaningful type of magic: freedom. Celia and her best friend, Anya, want to escape the Profeta, which works out well for them when a traveling theater troupe comes through their town. But what Celia wasn’t expecting was to be followed by the Divine; and Celia has now given the Divine the perfect opportunity to spread her mendacious influence.

“Only the damned speak with devils.”

I won’t lie, I was a bit surprised in the direction this story went, in a good way. I wasn’t expecting the story to be so dark, but it fit so well with the plot and the characters. The concept behind the people wanting to create a world of fear is beautifully done and believable, and Smejkal did a wonderful job creating that overall dark vibe of the story. She easily depicts how difficult it is to create a future for yourself when the Divine wants your freedom and when people live in a world of constant fear.

“Sometimes what looks like betrayal is actually the biggest sacrifice.”

I have to say that my favorite part about this story was Celia’s and Anya’s relationship. Their friendship meant everything in this story; both girls were there for one another and fought for each other. That’s the type of bond I love to see in fantasy stories, and Kim Smejkal did a great job illustrating that bond. Both girls also want to change their fate; they each want to be able to pick their future instead of live in the one already dictated for them. I loved seeing how each girl overcame their struggles and fought for something they truly believed was possible. Their story provided hope and

Overall, I was impressed with this debut novel. The bond between Celia and Anya is phenomenal and really ties this story together. This is a wonderfully-done fantasy debut, and I can’t wait to see what happens next with the characters.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing book bloggers on this tour:

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) finished copies of INK IN THE BLOOD by Kim Smejkal and temporary tattoos (US Only)

Starts: 5th February 2020

Ends: 19th February 2020

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

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Stacy’s Favorite Books of 2019

It’s that time of year again where I give you my absolute favorite books of 2019. Hopefully, there are some new books on here that you’ll love just as much as I did.

What were your favorites of 2019?

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*Click on the book cover to read the synopsis on Goodreads*

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Books that almost made the list:

*The Fever King- Victoria Lee

*Enchant- Micalea Smeltzer

*Birthday- Meredith Russo

*Unpregnant- Jenni Hendriks

*The Chain- Adrian McKinty

 

 

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*First Line Friday 12/6/19* Reverie- Ryan La Sala

46299614Inception meets The Magicians in the most imaginative YA debut of the year!

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.

As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.

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“This is where it happened, this is where they found Kane’s body.”

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Beyond the Black Door by A. M. Strickland

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Title: Beyond the Black Door

Author: A.M. Strickland

Publisher: Imprint

Release Date: October 29th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Synopsis:

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom…

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

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AdriAnne Strickland was a bibliophile who wanted to be an author before she knew what either of those words meant. She shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, her pugs, and her piles and piles of books. She loves traveling, dancing, vests, tattoos, and every shade of teal in existence, but especially the darker ones. She is the coauthor of SHADOW RUN and SHADOW CALL (Delacorte/Penguin Random House) and author of the forthcoming BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR (Imprint/Macmillan).

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

“Some secrets weren’t meant to be discovered. Some doors not meant to be opened. I’d already made that mistake once, and I shouldn’t be tempted to do it again.”

Beyond the Black Door was one of the books where the cover captured my attention before I read the summary. And then I read the summary and just knew I had to read this book. The cover and summary perfectly capture the mystery, the intrigue, and the subtle hints of a beautiful romance.

The inside of this book is just as lush and beautiful as the cover. Beyond the Black Door has an atmosphere that’s captivating yet peppered with darkness and mystery, and that’s what truly drove this story home for me. The concept behind Soulwalking and the black door is unique and sure to enchant any and all readers.

“If I’d found something resembling a monster behind one door, I had yet to find anything more than a rose behind the other.”

I will be honest – I was more hooked on the atmosphere and the world than I was the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are well developed and diverse and driven, but I just didn’t feel that connection I’m always looking for in books. I did enjoy Kamai as the main character: she’s curious and that curiosity is what sends her on her dark and mysterious journey, and it’s how she discovers herself and who she wants to be as a person. She was definitely one of my favorite characters in this book. And I absolutely loved the representation in this book!

The world building and setting is absolutely breathtaking. I could not get enough of this world and Kamai’s Soulwalker ability. This book is a breath of fresh air and offers its readers a beautifully imaginative world. And yes, it does have a wonderfully seductive mystery that I absolutely loved. What I also really liked about this book is how the main focus is not romance, but instead a mystery that is needing to be solved. I love romances, but I love fantasy books that can easily interwove a romance without it overtaking the plot.

Overall, Beyond the Black Door is a lush yet dark and atmospheric read that fantasy readers are sure to enjoy.

My overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Pre-Order Campaign

Pre-Order Beyond the Black Door by release day and receive the following:

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Click here to view the details.

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR by A.M. Strickland (US/CAN Only)

Stars: 23rd October 2019

Ends: 6th November 2019

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

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*Saturday Spotlight* Tarnished Are The Stars by Rosiee Thor

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Title: Tarnished Are the Stars

Author: Rosiee Thor

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Page Count: 384 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBT

Summary:

The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.

A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog — donning the moniker Technician — to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws.

Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner’s son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father’s respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father’s elusive affection is worth chasing at all.

Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner’s secrets at any cost — even if it means betraying her own heart.

When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic — before the Commissioner ends them first.

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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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Preorder Giveaway

Rosiee has an amazing preorder giveaway going on, so check it out here!

Everyone who preorders Tarnished Are the Stars will receive the following:

  • TATS Bookmark (US Only)
  • One full set of double-sided printed character cards (US Only)
  • High-res digital character cards (US and International)
  • Deleted scene (US and International)

This preorder giveaway is open until October 15, 2019.

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? Yes!

Is this preorder international: Yes!

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 About the Author

Rosiee Thor

Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding that her mother listen as Rosiee told bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and four complete sets of Harry Potter, which she loves so much, she once moved her mattress into the closet and slept there until she came out as queer. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*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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