The Deck of Omens Review

*Beware Spoilers Below*

The Deck of Omens continues pretty much straight off where The Devouring Gray ends. Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

I really liked that we got more perspectives from May and we learnt a lot more about the Hawthorne families dynamics and how she fits in. Her relationship with her mother is pretty toxic and I found in this book that I really can’t stand Augusta. She doesn’t really have any redeeming qualities and doesn’t do a good job explaining any of the reasons why she has run the town the way she has. May definitely had the towns’ best interests at heart but she kind of went about things in a way that wasn’t ideal. Secretly inviting her father back and welcoming him with open arms and exposing him to everything without any thought as to why he chose to stay away for so long. I just had a feeling about him and the amount of information May was sharing with him and how invested he was in this town even though he married into it. Which I guess was validated in the end.

Once again I loved the friendships between all of the characters and how much they have grown over the past couple of months, Harper and Violet especially. We see their bonds really strengthen as they try to figure out how to overcome the corruption and save Four Paths. The romances I felt weren’t really necessary per se. I feel like YA books especially like to pair up all of their main protagonists, though I appreciated that they weren’t all fairy tale endings.

There were times when they were just going back and forth throughout the novel and doing all of their investigations about what the corruption is and their theories regarding their ancestors that got a little tedious and boring. Though they made several plans and attempts to kill the beast and fix the corruption I wasn’t as invested in this story as the previous book. There weren’t as many twists action wise that kept me entertained it was more so about the past and coming to realisations about their powers and how the founders came to be. Which was interesting but again wasn’t as captivating.

I thought it was a solid duology, other than predicting who was behind it in the end every other plot point was a surprise. This was definitely original and unlike anything I have read before which was refreshing. We see growth from most of the characters and I was invested in most of their arcs, some more than others for sure.

⭐️3/5 stars A good continuation and conclusion of everything set up in the first book.

⚔️An Ember in the Ashes Series Reread⚔️

It’s not long now until A Sky Beyond the Storm is released and I ended up completing A Reaper at the Gates just in the nick of time for it! This book really breaks away from the original premise and expands so much more upon the storyline. We really see each of the main characters have to undergo a myriad of challenges and obstacles they need to overcome in order to defeat the Commandant and the Nightbringer. They all go through so much turmoil and strife and yet it’s still not enough. I liked the fact that in these books they don’t end up saving the day and miraculously figure out a way to fix all the problems in the Empire. New problems are presented and unforeseen circumstances pop up all the time which is a realistic way to portray the story and keep me entertained. This book and the series as a whole so far just keeps me right at the edge of my seat, anticipating every move and plot twist. It is highly entertaining and thrilling and I am soooooo excited to recieve my copy of A Sky Beyond the Storm and see how this series will wrap up!

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!

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!

Goodreads Choice Awards

Usually I don’t really attention to the Goodreads Choice Awards but I have seen the criticism in the past about how it’s more of a popularity contest rather than going off actual ratings. Which is apparent this year as one of the nominees for the Fantasy category is Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson and it hasn’t even been released yet. I wanted to make an informed decision when I vote so I have decided to try and read all of the nominees from the YA Fantasy category and see which I think should be the winner!! There are a couple that I have already read and a few on my physical TBR and I will have to try and source the rest and try to get to them in the coming weeks.

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