*THERE ARE A FEW SPOILERS*
Absolutely loved this!
Vow of Thieves continues on about a month after the ending of Dance of Thieves. Kazi and Jase are on their way back to Tor’s Watch to let everyone know that the Ballenger’s will no longer be outlaws, they will be recognized as the First Kingdom in the Empire. However, a warning they receive on the journey forces them to rush back and they are ambushed on the road before they enter town.
I really love the direction the plot went. I assumed all of the conflict in the book was going to be between Kazi and the family trying to rebuild the trust that was broken at the end of Dance of Thieves, but I enjoyed this storyline so much more! Straight off the bat Jase and Kazi are thrust apart after being together constantly and are fighting tirelessly to be reunited all while trying to topple the King and reassert their power over Tor’s Watch.
All of the torture and imprisonment that Kazi had to deal with over the course of the book and still not break and relent was an amazing feat. She really proved how committed and in love she is with Jase after she assumed he was dead and to still stuck around and complied with the Kings’ demands in order to save the kids. She endured so much and come out of it still swinging which I love about her!
Jase also really proved his commitment to Kazi above all else. I really thought for a minute that he would focus on overthrowing the King and assuming his Patrei role but he was insistent upon getting better in order to go and find Kazi. The level of dedication he has for her over his family as the Patrei and the wrath he shows when he finds out they handed her over to the King was wonderful to read. You can really see the depth of his love for her and just the way that he expresses that to his family in his rage really encompasses everything that they’ve dealt with thus far. That was a really pivotal moment in the book for me, and the remorsefulness and guilt that they show after the fact proves to me that they are a real family and would do anything for their own.
This book was really a roller coaster from start to finish. Usually with political fantasy I get bored easily and loose interest but the amount of action and intrigue packed into this storyline really grabbed my attention and was highly engaging throughout the course of the book. There was some really touching and emotional moments spattered throughout the plot as well that tugged at my heartstrings and even brought a tear to my eye. I absolutely loved this book and this duology in my opinion really built on the foundation that the Remnant Chronicles forged and just surpassed it!
⭐️5/5 stars AMAZING 100% RECOMMEND
Sawkill Girls is about a town that is located on an island called Sawkill Rock where for the last 120ish years girls have gone missing and none have ever been found. The book follows the perspectives of three girls who live in this town; Marion who has just relocated to Sawkill Rock after her father passed away in a car accident, Zoey who has lived here for a few years now with her father who is the police chief and Valerie whose family have always lived on Sawkill Rock.
This was actually pretty trippy. I was a little lost for around the first 100 or so pages. There wasn’t really a lot going on at the start but I found I wasn’t really engaged in the story until like the last quarter or so of the plot.
I loved Zoey’s character the most. I found her to be super relatable. I love that she already had this established idea of what had happened to Thora and she wouldn’t let anyone talk her out of it or accept that she just simply disappeared.
I didn’t really like Valerie a whole lot. She was a super bitch at the start and the fact that she is complicit but then is kind of given a redemption arc that I felt wasn’t really justified. I get that she was really held hostage by her family and their circumstances but I didn’t feel like she was empathetic at all until she started getting feelings for Marion.
Marion kind of got on my nerves as well. I mean her sister befriends this girl and two minutes later goes missing and your only real friend is telling you that she thinks this girl and her family is behind everything and you go on a walk with her through the woods by yourself late at night and then make out with her? Her reasoning for everything just didn’t sit right with me I guess.
Other than that I actually really enjoyed my experience reading this book. It was super unique and a little bizarre but I was definitely intrigued enough to read on. I loved how strange everything kind of was and it got really weird but I was into it and I liked not being able to predict what was going to happen next because I can honestly say I’ve never read anything close to this storyline at all.
⭐️4/5 Cool mix of fantasy and horror!
This 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…
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!
We 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!