The Hazel Wood Review

35121240This book follows the story of Alice who has been moving around her whole life with her mum Ella trying to outrun the bad luck that plagues them constantly. That is until Alice’s grandmother a reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood and Ella proclaims that they are free. Or are they?

The first half of the book I really enjoyed. The build-up of anticipation and tension really set the scene for the book and kept me on the edge of my seat. But the second half was a little disjointed and was a bit of a letdown. It got a little too fantastical all at once and I was a little lost in the woods. Had there been a little more information given about the Hazelwood prior to them actually entering might of made me appreciate the setting a bit more. But how it was kind of told just made me a bit confused and not really connected to what was happening.

I did enjoy the kind of mystery aspect surrounding what Althea had written, that component really intrigued me and had me wondering about what she encountered when she went missing. I like that we only got inserts from the book by Finch and how elusive it was to actually hold and read it.

Alice isn’t a favourite female protagonist of mine but I did appreciate how protective of her mother she was. How she would truly do whatever was necessary to try and find her and get her back even putting herself in danger was really courageous.  But I liked the fact that she still kept secrets from her mother and tried to find out about her grandmother and the Hinterland. She was just a bit too standoffish and cold (lol) for my liking for me to personally warm to her as a character, but in the end it did make sense so that made me appreciate her.

This book is actually quite dark and a little bit macabre, the pacing was pretty fast but there were a few lulls in the plot and at times I did find myself a little confused but I pushed through and did get it in the end. The premise was very different and unique but I thought the execution and the twist wasn’t explosive enough for me.

⭐️3/5 Intriguing, dark and a little strange…

The Demon King Review

51pw2+dye+l__sx331_bo1,204,203,200_This was fantastic!

We follow multiple perspectives in this series. Han is a reformed thief and is struggling to put food on the table for his mother and younger sister. Raisa is princess heir to the throne, who has just returned to court after 3 years being fostered in the mountain clans.

I loved these characters!!! They are all so different and distinctive and multifaceted. Han in particular I really enjoyed. You can really see his commitment to his sister through every action that he takes. He has given up being the street lord of the Raffers and is trying his hardest to stay out of the streets and their grudges. I found him to be quite a refreshing male protagonist. He is very sure of himself when he is navigating the streets and when he has to get out of a fight, but when it comes to choosing what he wants to do in the future, he is coming up short. Everyone else seems to be on the right path but what is his path?

I appreciated Raisa’s character but she still kind of got on my nerves a little in this book, very naïve and a little manipulative to be honest. She was always saying that she wants to be informed with what’s going on in the kingdom and doesn’t want to be a glittering ornament in a cage, but when she knew something was happening or something wasn’t right she never acted on it. Right at the start when they nearly got caught in the fire the wolves appeared to warn her and she had a feeling something bad was going to happen but she never said anything. Then right at the end when he mother summoned her she knew something bad was going to happen but just walked right into it. That really frustrated me, but I still understand that it helped to drive the plot forward I only hope she evolves in the coming books.

I love the fact that every single character has a purpose in the book, and they all have a particular story or plotline that keeps them relevant. Also the different settings in the book kept me interested in the plot. I love the Clan and their way of life, I found myself really intrigued by their magical abilities and their status within the kingdom.

The pacing was very well done and the writing was very engaging. I found I couldn’t put the book down once I started! This really has everything that I love about fantasy, a unique premise, an intriguing plotline and dynamic characters. I have a good feeling about this series and I really hope the next books live up to my expectations!!

⭐️5/5 LOVED IT!

Thick as Thieves Review

y648We follow a new protagonist in this last book of the series. Kamet is a slave to a very important man in the empire. He keeps his master’s books and accounts and is considered to be a very important slave himself. He has accumulated a few possessions and has a considerable about of personal power in his role which he relishes. That is until an unknown soldier’s comes and offers an escape from his life as a slave, and whispered warnings of poison and murder destroys all of his plans.

I like that everyone’s identity is kept hidden throughout the course of the book. It kept me engaged in the plot as I wanted to figure out who everyone was. We find out the identity of Kamet’s master pretty quickly and I had a feeling about who the Attolian was but it wasn’t confirmed until nearly the end of the book (I was right!)

Kamet I liked him but he wasn’t a favourite of mine in this series. I like that we get a different perspective of what a slave’s life is like in the Empire. All the mannerisms and behaviour is carefully monitored by everyone around them and they can be punished for even the most minor infringements. I liked that we see Kamet constantly vigilant and schooling the Attolian on how a slave should be acting and why he can’t sit next to him or share his food.

Even now five books later I am still getting surprised by Gen and I love that. Even though the main focus of this book isn’t even on him he still has such a commanding presence throughout the plot. Every book really highlights a different trait of his and I loved that once again he has proved how valuable he is and why he chooses to befriend certain people.

The pace was a little bit up and down and at times I did struggle to retain my focus on the book. I think maybe the journey was a little too long for me. It just kind of felt like they were just walking for a lot of chapters and remarking on the scenery which I like for establishing the scene but it became a bit boring for me. There wasn’t enough action.

Even the whole storytelling element that I enjoyed in previous books I found myself kind of skimming in this instalment. I read maybe the first two all the way through and then the rest I wasn’t all that interested in. They were again a little too long for me and they didn’t really bring anything to the storyline.

It wasn’t bad but I didn’t find myself enjoying this as much as the other books in the series. It was just kind of ok. That’s it…

⭐️3/5 I liked it, nothing wrong with it, just not a favourite!

The Rose and the Dagger Review

51fuyxthzglSoooo I didn’t love this as much as The Wrath and the Dawn…

This book continues straight after the last book finishes off. Tariq has whisked Shazi off into the desert after the storm that has razed Rey. Shazi has to deal with the consequences of loving the Caliph and siding with the murderous boy king.

Don’t get me wrong it was still a great book regardless yet it didn’t completely meet my expectations. This has kind of been happening to me a lot as well, I will start a new series and the first novel will sweep me off my feel and then as I continue on the rest of the books don’t give that same feeling.

Shazi though still being very witty and tenacious I felt like at times she kind of acted a bit arrogantly. Like when she first met the Sheik and she refused to relinquish her weapons and demanded the guards to let go of her. I just felt like that was totally unnecessary and made a big fuss over nothing. She was in the presence of Tariq who would let nothing happen to her and she was a guest of the Badawi Clan who had housed and protected her family. Also when she first met Artan someone Musa said could potentially help her break the curse she was rude too as soon as she met him. Granted he was discourteous at the time but she took offense too quickly and that grated me nerves a little.

I liked Isra a lot, I enjoyed that we get to delve a lot deeper into her character and get a feel for who she is. I loved her honesty and compassion for her family. She is very loyal yet will still question her sisters’ motives and wants to be treated as her equal not her little sister.

The book was still very entertaining and the pacing was pretty good. At some stages it was a little slow and I did find myself skimming a little just to get through certain scenes. Though there were a lot of twists and shocking revelations thrown in throughout the plot and that kept me invested and reading on.

The magical element still wasn’t thoroughly explained either. There was no reasoning as to why Jahander and Shazi have this power and not Isra. Where it comes from or really what it is, just that it exists. I liked that there was a little bit of a history told about Artan’s family and the lore behind their magic but still it wasn’t enough for me.

All the elements are there, the characters, the plot, the setting, yet it wasn’t executed enough for me. I appreciated the ending, I liked that I was totally blindsided by several character and their motives, yet I wasn’t left with any overwhelming feelings at the end like I did with The Wrath and the Dawn.

⭐️4/5 Good not great!

Legendary

img_2905I read Caraval last year and I was entertained yet it was not quite as captivating as I hoped. The atmosphere of the book was quite dark and mysterious with an air of danger attached. I definitely couldn’t predict anything that was going to happen which I enjoy in a fantasy book, it keeps me invested in the storyline. I thought the twists were well timed and the characters were somewhat likeable, Donatella wasn’t a favourite of mine. That being said the magic system kind of fell a little flat for me in the book. So I am hoping it is really explained and expanded more in Legendary. I am excited to get into this book and hopefully I like it even more than its predecessor.

Happy Reading📚