I really enjoyed this!
Serpent and Dove follows the story of a witch named Lou who is on the run from her coven. When she ends up in the hands of the Chasseurs (witch hunters) as a thief and known witch associate through some unforeseen circumstances she is forced to marry one of them.
I thought this book was cleverly done. I had heard it involved a witch and witch hunter being forcing to get married and I didn’t quite understand how it was going to happen, but the way the plot line played out it made sense. It wasn’t at all insta-lovey and there was definitely a period of hatred, turned to indifference, to mutual respect and then we started getting more feelings involved. It definitely progressed on the slower side of thing but I didn’t mind it.
I absolutely loved Lou’s character, especially how crass she is in the presence of the Chasseurs and how uncomfortable she makes them. I like that she acknowledges how prudish they are and goes out of her way to make them horrified or embarrassed by her behavior. It definitely kept me entertained throughout the plot.
Reid’s character was at first a little boring and too rigid for me but I like that we gradually see him thaw and actually get to know Lou and accept her for who she is. I thought his blind reverence for the Archbishop a little stale to be honest but it did play a key role in how the story played out. He was a lot more of an integral character than just Lou’s love interest and I like that he was a strong presence in the book. He is quite staunch and firm in his beliefs that all witches should be burned and to see how his perception of what he thought was right get drastically changed because of his feelings was a moment!
The pacing like I said was a little on the slower side but I was so invested in the plot that I honestly didn’t care, I just wanted more. I thought the premise was highly original and the whole dichotomy between the witches and the different covens was fascinating to get into. Hopefully after that ending and the witches being the main focus at the moment we get a deeper insight into that world in the next book!
⭐️4/5 Witchy, dark, high stakes!
I had my misgiving about this book but once I got stuck in I was hooked!
Falling Kingdoms revolves around 4 individuals living in three separate kingdoms in the land of Mytica. As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed.
I thought this was very well planned out and I like that each of the main characters interacted with each other earlier on in the plot. Usually when we have multiple perspectives in fantasy novels it takes forever for the protagonists to cross paths but with Falling Kingdoms they all interact with each other quite frequently from the start which I enjoyed.
I found Cleo to be a little naïve and spoilt at times! Right at the start of the book with the whole altercation between Aron and the Tomas soured her a little fore me. She could have stepped in a whole lot sooner and diffused the situation, especially since she had Theon with her. It didn’t have to escalate to that level and end in bloodshed, which was the catalyst for the whole war. Her stubbornness and pride resulted in a lot of situations that definitely could have been avoided.
I thought the way Jonas focused all of his anger and aggression on Cleo was a little unfair. Sure she just sat back and let it happen but Aron was the one who ultimately killed his brother, I just thought he should have been more focused on him. I did like however, that he was able to be talked out of his insane quest to assassinate Cleo and Aron and work with the chief on bring the whole country down instead.
Magnus’s whole plot-line with Lucia made me a little uncomfortable to be perfectly honest. The way he was feeling towards he even before he found out she was adopted was a little weird and I’m not sure how it’s going to play out for the rest of the series. I just thought there are so many other options for him to pursue. Other than that little indiscretion I actually quite enjoy his character. Stepping up and becoming the Prince of Blood and trying to live up to his father’s expectations is entertaining! I’m always drawn to the bad boys and every time he interacts with Cleo he just exudes those bad boy vibes!
Lucia hasn’t really made an impact on me yet. I know she is supposed to be this all powerful sorceress but I have yet to see her really get involved in what is happening outside of her immediate family. I thought she would play a bigger role because she is the first of her kind in like 1000 years but I’m guessing she is going to establish herself in the books to come!
I found the premise to be very unique and quite cut throat. Characters that I thought would be integral to the plot are killed off at will and that definitely kept the stakes at an all-time high. This was a solid start to the series, and I am excited to continue on to see where it will progress next!
⭐️4/5 stars Great foundation for hopefully a great series!
This took me a minute to get into but once I was situated in the story I couldn’t stop reading!
Veronyka and her sister Val are two animages that have been on the run every since their grandmother was taken and killed by an angry mob six years ago. She used to be a renowned phoenix rider but after they fell 16 years ago they have been living in hiding in the land of Pyra away from the wrath of the new anti-animage Empire.
This book was very informative and meticulously planned! There is a whole lot of information thrown at you and I lot of different POV’s to get your head around but I was thriving while reading this book! It really has everything I love about fantasy, a magic system with clear rules and restrictions, a world that is rich in culture and lore and a highly engaging series of plots and schemes that ultimately come together to form an intriguing, highly engaging read!
I love the dynamic between Veronyka and Val. They are not your typical YA sisterly relationship which I loved! You can see the love between them but there is an undercurrent of vastly different emotions that drive these sisters to make the decisions that they do. I loved how calculating and indifferent Val is to Veronyka’s feelings and at the same time she has only ever done what she has done for her sister’s best interests. I love that even though Veronyka loves her sister dearly and appreciates everything she has ever done she will not back down to her and fights for what she believes in.
I thought the other perspectives in the book was highly necessary and played a key role in bringing in so much context and diversity to the book. It definitely would of been too one sided in my opinion without the additions of Sev and even Tristan. I absolutely loved how Sev evolved over the course of the book and we really see how Trix and Kade have swayed his opinions and thoughts. The blossoming romance was something that I also didn’t anticipate and boy did I love it! I really think there is so much more to be discovered in that plot line and I cannot wait to see what will become of it!
I thought Tristan was the perfect contrast to Nyk. You know the hate to love trope is one of my favourites but them going from enemies to reluctant partners to friends to the possibility of something more was so much more satisfying to me! I loved how honest he is and after discovering Nyk’s secret he is open to discussing why other than just cutting her off altogether.
This was a wonderfully fantastical read; my only qualm was the pacing was a little off. The start and the middle was a little on the slower side and then the ending was a tad rushed in my opinion. The twists and turns kept my attention throughout though and I am highly invested in this series now!
⭐️4/5 stars A slow burner!
I need more!!!
This book is a standalone about 10 years after the events of Sky in the Deep takes place. We are following two perspectives of Tova and Halvard. For as long as Tova can remember she has been shunned among the Svell people because of her abilities. When a reading she makes is interpreted in a way she wasn’t expecting she is led right to Halvard, the young leader from a rival clan.
I like that we are given some new perspectives as well as some of the old characters. As far as companion novels go I would say you definitely don’t have to read Sky in the Deep to enjoy this book but it was nice to know some of the people and have that context in place before diving in. Even though I had only read Sky in the Deep a few months ago I found this book a little hard to get into at the start. You are kind of thrown straight into the storyline and the different names of the tribes and people were a little disorientating. I made it kind of hard to get immersed into the book.
I wasn’t that big of a fan of Tova at the start. I found her to be a little too meek for my standards. She really let the Svell people treat her like dirt and she still did the readings for them. I wanted a little more rebellion and opposition from her in order to do what was right and it wasn’t until after the half way mark that I got what I wanted from her.
I kind of struggled to deal with the fact that Halvard is now a young man, chosen to become the next leader of the clan. I still think of him as the little kid who Eelyn saved. I can see he also struggles stepping up into the role that is really thrust upon him by the other leaders. I enjoyed his character a lot. I thought he was very dedicated and committed to saving everyone from the Svell.
I just needed a little more information about the magical side of Tova and why the sea and the Spinners saved her. Her connection to Halvard was never really explored either and I found it a little frustrating. I wanted to delve more into their possible romance and the reasons why they are destined to be together. I felt this whole storyline was kind of skated over in preference for all of the fighting scenes. Granted they made the stakes a lot higher and I was on the edge of my seat throughout, I just wanted a little more time for their relationship to blossom. I was just feeling a little underwhelmed.
⭐️3/5 Liked didn’t love as much as Sky in the Deep
This was a total spur of the moment pick up and I wasn’t disappointed!
This book follows the story of Sorrina who is an illusion caster in the travelling festival of Gomorrah. She is the daughter of the proprietor of the festival which kind of makes her a princess of Gomorrah. However, Sorrina was born without eyes and a lot of people view her as a freak. When someone starts to murder her illusions, Sorrina needs to figure out who, why and how!
I was really drawn into the story right from the beginning. It starts out pretty fast paced which I enjoy and all the information is provided quite organically in the course of the plot. I like that there are so many different, diverse characters scattered throughout the story line, it made it a lot easier to distinguish between everyone.
Sorrina I found to be a little naïve and a bit on the lower range of her age. I get that she is only 16 but I feel like she’s been quite sheltered her whole life and I thought she would know a lot more about Gomorrah than what she actually does. In terms of the whole plot I guess it makes sense that she doesn’t know a lot of people but that was one thing that stuck out to me. I love how committed she is to her little family and the depths of the grief and loss that she feels after each death. She is also quite honest and upfront about her emotions as well which I appreciated in her.
I thought the dynamic between Sorrina and her illusions was very intriguing and the way that she comes up with each one and almost unconsciously makes them freaks like her was a nice element to the story, it really enabled Sorrina to be able to relate to them all. It was interesting that even though she created them, they are all able to think for themselves, all she is really able to control is when they appear and disappear. I like that there are limitations to what she can do and it is made evident in the story.
I thought the world building in the book was fantastic; the whole situation between the Up Mountain and Down Mountain people and how they differentiate. I liked the religious aspect with the zealots and claiming all the illusionists to be devil workers. It added a layer of depth to the book and was a good foundation for the story to build upon. Especially when it came to all the Up Mountain political climate scheme that is uncovered.
There was a real sense of urgency and suspense woven throughout the story line which kept me highly engaged in the book. The stakes were always at an all-time high and trying to figure out who was behind everything was very entertaining!
⭐️4/5 stars dark and murderous and magical