The Kingdom of Back Review

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. 

I can appreciate the journey of self-acceptance that Nannerl goes on throughout the course of the book, but I wasn’t all that attached to her. She seemed petty and jealous of her brother and his talents even though he is so dedicated to her and appreciates her talents above all else. It would be difficult as a young woman growing up in this time and how frustratingly sexist the people are and it is really displayed in the plot.

Wolfer again I wasn’t very attached to. Sure he profited off Nannerl’s composition when their father stole her work and passed it off as his but he always praised Nannerl and was just trying to emulate her. Their whole familial relationship was centred around their musical talents and putting so much pressure on children so provide for the family is a little problematic in my eyes.

The secondary plotline surrounding the Kingdom was what really kept me reading on. I wanted to find out what the three tasks where that Nannerl needed to complete to get her wish and how that shifted over the years she and Wolfer visited the Kingdom. Hyancinth was definitely an interesting character but in the end it was just a tad too predictable for me.

The prose was well done and the pacing was pretty consistent. I went into this book with pretty low expectations as I have found I am not the greatest fan of historical fiction, even if it has a fantastical twist and this stayed true. Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy this book at all, there was nothing inherently wrong with it and I don’t have any untoward feelings towards the tale I was just bored most of the time.

⭐️2/5 I can see why so many people love this book, just not for me…

The Toll Review

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

I really enjoyed how we see the story unfold over various timelines within the three years since Endura sank. There was a lot you kind of had to wade through and at times I did find it a bit dense but still captivating and engaging me in a way that propelled me to keep reading.

I just loved the way Citra and Rowan have evolved over the course of the series and how they started off as quite innocuous characters to being some of the most beloved and infamous people in the world. I loved how we see how the decisions they make over the course of the storyline has such an impact on their society and the Scythedom. They are separated for the majority of the series so when they are reunited it almost feels like fanservice because it what I have been craving for so long.

We are again introduced to a plethora of new characters and a few different perspectives that kept the narrative fresh and interesting. We spent some time outside of MidMerica and we get to see how some of the other factions within this world operate and how they all differ from one another whilst still maintaining this social order, it was compelling. Also seeing how everyone is scrambling to try and survive without being able to communicate with the Thunderhead to do their unsavory statuses was entertaining.

I have to admit the Tonists and Greyson’s perspective was my least favourite out of them all. I honestly wasn’t all that invested in their religion or how it operated. I was curious as to why the Thunderhead chose Grayson out of every to still communicate with but I was way more interested in what was happening with Rowan and Citra as opposed to The Toll though he was a defining character in the grand scheme of the book.

I think this was meticulously planned and put together in a way that really captivates you from the start and has you questioning every single detail. Wondering what the Thunderhead was planning and how it was able to get around his rules to keep humankind safe but still continue to not meddle in Scythe business. I had my doubts about him since the start, I don’t know why but I never trust AI in books but this time I was pleasantly surprised!

⭐️4/5 stars a very gratifying ending, definitely exceeded my expectations!

Girl, Serpent, Thorn Review

*Mild Spoilers Below*

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

Soraya I could definitely sympathize with and agree with most of the decisions she made in this book. If I was in the same position as her I would of probably done the same thing. I just think she trusted Asad way to quickly and virtually exposed all of her familial secrets to this guy she just met 5 minutes ago. I got a sense of their connection sure but again it was just a little too insta lovey for me. I do appreciate the transformation of Soraya’s character throughout the duration of the plot. She really takes on a lot of guilt and responsibility for everything that happens and I don’t necessarily believe that it was all her fault.

Soraya’s mother on the other hand I felt just handled everything completely wrong. Ignoring Soraya for all these years and barely spending any time with her and not explaining any of the reasons behind the curse especially after she knew Soraya had visited the Div. When we did find out the reasoning behind what she did you can understand why she made her choices but still just be honest and explain everything rather than leaving your daughter miserable and alone for so long.

All of the characters in this book were very distinct and connected in a way that you wouldn’t predict. Azad and Parvaneh in particular were very interesting. Especially when we find out their backgrounds and how they changed the course of history in this land by their quite selfish decisions. It really shows how perspectives can be skewed and they way people interpret history into fact.

There’s a part of me that would of enjoyed this book even more if Soraya would of gave into her baser instincts and actually allied herself with Azad and became the queen. Again it was obvious that she would betray Azad and stay true to her family and her people but we get that so often in fantasy nowadays that I would of appreciated that kind of twist. I am still very satisfied with how this ended and who Soraya ended up with but I kind of wanted more.

⭐️3/5 stars So this was a tad frustrating but also entertaining and thrilling!

All the Stars and Teeth Review

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer – the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

Amara kind of reminds me of a lot of ya female protagonists. She has the best intentions in terms of her commitment to Visidia, but she is definitely naïve and unrelatable. She been obviously blinded to the tribulations the different islands are currently going through but she is determined to learn as much as possible about what is happening outside of her bubble. She acknowledges how ignorant she has been and proves herself in my eyes through her actions throughout the course of the storyline.

Bastian is one of those mysterious broody male protagonists I enjoy oh so much. His humour added a nice reprieve with how heavy this book is and I loved the banter between him, Amara and Ferrick it was very entertaining. In terms of his actual character and background it was a little predictable how connected was to the main conflict. But he did end up being honest with Amara and explaining his actions which I appreciated.

Ferrick and Vataea were wonderful additions to the storyline. The faux love triangle added edge and a touch of awkwardness that I enjoy and Vataea was like a breath of fresh air in the plot. Having another female (who happened to be a mermaid) who was so integral in their plans to save the kingdom and the whole burden wasn’t just on Amara was a nice touch.

I loved the magic system in this book and the way it was explained throughout the course of the book. It wasn’t info dumpy at all and I was able to envision the magic and the rules surrounding it. The prose as a whole I found very descripting and weaved the story in a way that kept me attention the whole time and made me attached to these characters. There was a steady build of anticipation throughout and we were just hit with twist after twist that not only surprised me but made sense and drove the plot forward.

⭐️4/5 Pirates, mermaids, action, adventure, 100% recommend!

The Raven and the Dove Review

*BEWARE, A FEW SPOILERS*

On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.

I was immediately engaged with the storyline upon starting this book. The trial aspect of the story was definitely a plot point I was the most interested in and I kind of wish it went a little more in depth and we got to see more of it instead of just being told the results. The whole concept of the trials and being able to pick the mates was interesting and I thought quite unique.

Lyana honestly I wish she would of spoke up a bit more and explained to Lysander how she felt and was just a bit more honest. She seems a little entitled to me as well and takes her life a little for granted before the trials and then pays for it. I kind of wish she would of tried a little more to cultivate a relationship with Lysander instead of just being antsy and wanting to fly out and explore all the time.

Rafe for the most part I enjoyed his character, I just felt like he was a tad too broody for me. I can understand his loyalty to his brother and agreeing to take place in the trials for the honor of the rest of the Ravens but he still pines for her throughout the entirety of the novel behind his brothers back. It’s I think the fact that he wasn’t honest with himself and tried to push her away by being nasty. Why couldn’t he just be honest from the start and tell his brother the truth and save a lot of feelings.

I thought the concept was interesting, I’m not all that knowledgeable on the origin of Tristan and Isolde so I can’t really comment on the adaption of the tale. The pacing of the story was a little up and down for me. I appreciated the different perspectives and the overarching storyline with Cassie’s deception, it was intriguing and held my attention.

⭐️3/5 good not great, will definitely continue on!