Eighteen-year-old Ziva may have defeated a deadly warlord, but the price was almost too much. Ziva is forced into a breakneck race to a nearby city with the handsome mercenary, Kellyn, and the young scholar, Petrik, to find a powerful magical healer who can save her sister’s life. When the events that follow lead to Ziva and Kellyn’s capture by an ambitious prince, Ziva is forced into the very situation she’s been dreading: magicking dangerous weapons meant for world domination.
Ziva’s perspective in this book was just so exhausting to read from. I understand how debilitating her social anxiety is but the way she just continuously hyper focuses and second guesses every decision she and everyone around her makes gets repetitive and boring. There was a little bit of growth in the fact that she came to eventually stop putting herself down and minimising all her achievements and actually feel proud of herself which was nice.
When it came to her relationship with Kellyn is was frankly just frustrating to read. Again, I can understand she has this disorder but he tells and shows her multiple times that he wants her and she is his forever but still she doesn’t believe him and pushes him away. The fact that she was just going to give up on him after the war ends and just walk away without even talking to him first and being surprised he was willing to compromise got on my nerves.
Other than that I was pretty invested in the storyline. It was still a bit repetitive with all of the travelling that we get but there was always a new setting that we got to explore in this world. I liked the fact that we get to learn more about the other magic users and Ziva got more of an understanding about her abilities through them. The fighting scenes were very entertaining and the couple of twists were quite surprising.
⭐️2/5 stars Just a bit disappointed
After a heart breaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou. But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.
This is a little hard to review as I didn’t leave this book with any lasting impressions, which I think in and of itself is quite telling. This was the finale in the series and for the majority of the book I was quite bored. One thing I think that made the book drag a little was the reoccurring theme of Lou and Reid being forced apart by one thing or another. First it was Lou being inhabited by Nicholina and then Reid losing his memories almost straight after it never gave us a chance to just enjoy the two of them for a little while before something else happened to keep them apart and their relationship was one of the things that I liked most from this series.
Reid losing his memories and reverting back to his old chasseur mindset really got on my nerves. I understand it was a way to acknowledge just how much he and Lou are meant to be even if he knew she was a witch before they got married. But I just feel like it was unnecessary to revisit this when this was the main obstacle between them in the first book.
There was also too many side quests that they had to go on before the inevitable stand off with Morgane. They had to expel Nicholina then go back to the chateau to steal a necklace, we’ve already travelled all over this world in the second book I wasn’t really all that interested in the continuous journey they were on. I would of appreciated learning more about the different gods and digging more into the history of the witches.
⭐️2/5 stars Way to long and tedious
Feared and despised for the sinister power in her veins, Alyce wreaks her revenge on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Once a realm of decadence and beauty, Briar is now wholly Alyce’s wicked domain. And no one will escape the consequences of her wrath. Not even the one person who holds her heart. Princess Aurora saw through Alyce’s thorny façade, earning a love that promised the dawn of a new age. But it is a love that came with a heavy price: Aurora now sleeps under a curse that even Alyce’s vast power cannot seem to break. And the dream of the world they would have built together is nothing but ash. Alyce vows to do anything to wake the woman she loves, even if it means turning into the monster Briar believes her to be. But could Aurora love the villain Alyce has become?
Alyce kinda got on my nerves throughout this sequel. She just placed Aurora on this pedestal the last 100 years that she’s been asleep and when she was awoken just disregarded everyone else who had build up the Dark Court, especially Regan. Like it was pointed out to her numerous times that she had only known Aurora for a year and even though she may have been her true love can that really conquer all? Aurora was horrified when she woke up and then chose to isolate and disrespect everyone and lash out repeatedly and conspire against her.
I wasn’t very connected with Aurora in the first book and in this continuation of the storyline she didn’t do anything special for me. I can appreciate the fact that she would mourn for her previous life but the pretentiousness and entitlement is still there. She still doesn’t recognize how much Malyce was reviled and why she chose to raze Briar to the ground.
I just loved the setting of the Dark Court and seeing how it had changed so much and integrated all of these other creatures that were otherwise shunned and mistreated by the humans and the fae. I also liked the fact that even though Alyce was the most powerful of the Vila’s wasn’t appointed queen, there was a counsel of representatives that made unanimous decisions.
Like the first book however the pacing was just off. The first half of the book dragged and there wasn’t really any kind of build up of anticipation. Sure there were a couple of twists and turns that kept me engaged but all of the action scenes just felt really rushed and confusing to envision. The ending was quite satisfying in my opinion. I liked the fact that Malyce chose to leave and honor Regan and work harder to learn more about her kind.
⭐️3/5 stars some parts I loved, other parts I hated.
Back in January posted about 5 series I wanted to continue in. I wanted to go back and check and see how I’m going and evaluate which books in the coming months I should try and prioritise!
The five series plan to continue or complete in 2022 are:
Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks – Haven’t continued
Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski – Have completed the second book!
Serpent and Dove series by Shelby Mahurin – Completed Blood & Honey and am planning on finishing this series this month!
The Poppy War series by R.F. Kuang – Haven’t continued
Shadow Game Trilogy by Amanda Foody – Completed!
There’s one thing Lei knows – she can never return to the Hidden Palace. The trauma and tragedy she suffered behind those opulent walls will plague her forever. She cannot be trapped there with the sadistic king again, especially without Wren. The last time Lei saw the girl she loved, Wren was fighting an army of soldiers in a furious battle to the death.
Lei has evolved into a character that I don’t really enjoy. I know she has suffered and endured traumatic events at the hands of the King over the course of her time at the Hidden Palace but it’s the fact that she chose to stay there and not escape and yet had to rely on others to concoct the plans and execute everything. Even though she wants to kill the king (which she reiterates every time she is near him) she doesn’t actively do anything except memorise her way through the palace. I honestly would of been more impressed if she did end up sacrificing herself for Wren and she didn’t get a happy ending, really make this a tragic story and set this series apart.
I’ve been quite ambivalent towards Wren throughout the course of the series and that honestly didn’t change in this book. I get that she loves Lei and being apart isn’t ideal but the way she agonises over it every second got boring. I would of loved if we got more insight into the Hanno’s and the actual war. I just found her storyline to be a bit lacking and uneventful honestly.
Overall I just feel like the stakes weren’t there. I just knew that Lei and Wren were going to make it out alive and the fact that there wasn’t any shocking or surprising twists made me a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong there were definitely twists but nothing that evoked any kind emotion from me. Also the pacing of the book was just way off, the first 3/4 was super slow and then the last quarter was rushed and chaotic.
I wasn’t that big a fan of the way Natasha Ngan wrote the fighting and war scenes. It made it hard to visualise what was happening and where the characters were. I had to go back and reread some passages a few times because I couldn’t figure out where certain characters were or how they moved to this other location. It brought me out of the story and didn’t really make for a good reading experience.
⭐️2/5 stars Kind of wish Girls of Paper and Fire was a stand-a-lone…