Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Review | Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
By: Susan Dennard (@stdennard)
Published By: Tor Teen on January 5, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Goodreads // Book Depository

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

"Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.” 

Truthwitch was the highly, highly hyped up novel of January 2016. I wasn't particularly impressed with Dennard's other novel, Something Strange and Deadly, but the amount of buzz that came with Truthwitch was just literally insane. Sarah J. Maas blurbed this book, which I do suppose is because she is Susan Dennard's BFF or something. 
One of the main things that sold me in this novel was the friendship aspect. Fantasy is missing this friendship aspect, and I'd like to see more of it! Our two main characters, Safiya (Safi) and Iseult, are Threadsisters, meaning that they are like BFFs. I like to refer to Threadsisters sort of like parabati. Safi is just plain stubborn and reckless. She often put the two into loads of trouble (even from the beginning) and just got on my nerves. Iseult, on the other hand, had more maturity and was more badass and actually did things with a purpose. Her chapters were also more enjoyable and fun.

Dennard doesn't seem to have the elegant writing style that some authors do, but she does have a fast-paced, compelling style that I seem to enjoy. She also writes extremely snarky and wonderfully sarcastic dialogue that I just can't help but fall for. Safi has a bold personality, which may be the reason for her recklessness, and whenever she and Iseult are talking, I'm bound to be laughing at one of her comments.

Sadly, the world building was horrific. I think I've read enough fantasy novels in which there is an elemental magic system (fire, water, air, earth, aether), and none of them seem to be my cup of tea. This book had so many complicated names and places, it got hard to follow. If there was a guide in the front, perhaps, explaining everything, maybe I'd be okay. ALSO - number of different witch types were absurd. There were like SO MANY and I'm just the type of person who needs to know them ALL. Again, I'd like a book separate just explaining. The magic system also wasn't explained very well. How does one become a witch? Is everyone a witch? There also did happen to be a map in the front although it didn't help much. It was pretty, though! :)

I like Prince Merik, and I enjoyed the romance in this novel, but I just felt like it romance was a bit random. It wasn't exactly instalove, but it was close, as when they first meet, they sort of catch each other's eye and stuff. I adored their love-hate relationship, although it's a bit strange. I'm still rooting for #SAFRIK? #MERFI? It might even be a love triangle with that other guy. *cough*

Overall, Truthwitch was a highly entertaining novel with great pacing. It's not the perfect fantasy, but it's tolerable and enjoyable. I can't wait for the sequel!!

Let's discuss! What did you think about Truthwitch?

Final Rating: 


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Book Review | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

*image via lisa_lostinlit on instagram

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)
By: Leigh Bardugo (@lbardugo)
Published By: Henry Holt and Company on September 29, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 465
Goodreads // Book Depository

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

"No mourners. No funerals."

OH MY GOD. This was absolute perfection (well, close to it), and I was mind blown about how much Bardugo has improved in her plot lines. Her writing is so beautiful, yet dark, and I just want to quote EVERYTHING. The novel was filled with plot twists, and an intricately thought-out plot that was just SO amazing. The characters were #SQUADGOALS. Everything was really intense and the pacing was fast - I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!

I wasn't a big fan of all the characters from the start, like some people were. What I really loved was how the characters grew on you, and by the end, you're just like OMG MY LITTLE TEDDY BEAR I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. There was MUCH DIVERSITY in this novel, and I loved it. Kaz sort of annoyed me with his "I'm so much better than you" vibe he had going on. (I felt that way while reading the beginning-anyone else?) Matthias was just weird to read about, but by the end, I adored him so much. I even have a gigantic teddy bear named after him. Um. Yeah.

Nina was the Grisha of the novel, and I just loved her from the start. I do think her relationship with Inej was a bit quick to begin with, as I didn't expect Inej to trust anyone, but BOY ARE THESE TOO #BADASSLADIESGOALS. Their sarcastic comments to each other also felt loving as well, and these ladies can kick butt. 

The plot of this novel was well thought-out. I was engrossed from the very beginning. Their little heist thing had a bunch of plot twists that I did not see coming. Also, this book is DARK. Bardugo doesn't hesitate with the gruesome parts.

The relationships hurt. I can't remember a time I was more hurt by a relationship. Although they were incredibly subtle for a YA novel, they were there, and they were so painful to read. ALL OF THEM. I SHIP THEM ALL, OKAY?? The relationships were also all so FRUSTRATING because EVERYONE in the crew seems to be stubborn as heck. Which isn't surprising, but still. <-- that's not a sentence. HAHAHA. THIS WHOLE REVIEW IS JUST ME FANGIRLING. I swear I can form sentences. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Six of Crows was in third person, which I liked, because it made it easier to flip through all the characters (THERE ARE 6!!!) POVs without spoiling anything or making it easy to predict what was going to happen. I think Shadow and Bone was written in first, (ahhhh don't kill me it's been a while.), which was one of my problems with the book, so I was glad this one was in third. I was disappointed that Wylan didn't get his own POV because I admired him so much and just felt SO sorry for his past. 

The Grisha World is one of my favorites, and although I did think it got confusing at times, there was always TWO beautiful maps in the front of the book that I could refer to. I fell head over toes in love with this elegant and beautiful world that just seems so...incredible. Bardugo really brought out all the different cultures of this world, and I loved the differences. 

OH AND DID I MENTION THE BEAUTY OF THIS BOOK OH MY LORD. The pages are black stained and they are just gorgeous. The cover of this novel is so appealing and elegant yet DARK and everything I could ever hope for. The typography just kills me. Bless.

Overall, this book was incredible and I LOVED IT SO MUCH and if you haven't already, PLEASE do go read it. Seriously. 

Let's discuss! What did you think about Six of Crows? DID YOU LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DID?? :)

Final Rating: 


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review | Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

*image via bookvibes on instagram

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
By: Cassandra Clare (@cassieclare)
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 8, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 720
Goodreads // Book Depository

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

"Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law is no law.”

I wasn't even sure I was going to pick this one up, since I wasn't particularly fond of the last three books of Clare's Mortal Instruments series, but I still picked it up. THANK GOD FOR THAT. Cassandra Clare has grown so much as an author, and this book definitely reflected that. Lady Midnight was jam-packed with amazing characters, a fabulous plot, and an extremely EXTREMELY amazing romance that was also painful to read and broke my heart into a million gazillion pieces.

The characters were all just so much fun, and the Blackthorns may just be my favorite Shadowhunter family. YA Fiction just doesn't have enough family themes (HELLOOOOOOOO, YA FICTION!! WE LOVE THIS SO PLEASE ADD IT AND DON'T KILL OFF THE PARENTS!!!) ALL OF THEM JUST LOVE EACH OTHER SO MUCH AND IT'S JUST LIKE I LOVE THEM ALL. It pained my heart to see how Julian took care of ALL of them and loved ALL of them. I loved some of the relationships between some of them. I adored Ty and Livvy, and how much Livvy does for her twin. Dru holds a special place in my heart; she's so much more different from the rest of them. Tavvy was super adorable and I loved his innocent little heart. 
Cristina and Emma's relationship was #bestfriendgoals, and I loved how Emma how had a girlfriend to talk to. Cristina is like the steady rock to Emma's life, and basically everyone else as well, and they just supported each other so well. The conversations they have together are just sassy and sarcastic and just absolutely hilarious.

The plot was so amazingly awesome and thought-out and just so much BETTER than her previous novels. Except for Clockwork Princess though. *cries* 


Um, can we just talk about Julian and Emma's relationship? It was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever read. I mean, from the beginning, we just know that they're going to get together, DUH. Cassandra Clare has this forbidden love thing going on that I just can't help but fall for. ALSO IN THAT STUDIO OF JULIAN'S - when he was like NO ONE CAN COME IN, I just knew that those were pictures of Emma. And his short speech to Emma about love and what he thought of it was just incredible. <3 <3 <3.

Did anyone suspect Malcolm Fade as being the murderer? I think I guessed that pretty close to when they were guessing it, so I don't think I'm much better ._. I did NOT see that coming. Magnus was just a trustable warlock, that I suppose we have this weird connatation that warlocks are good. I guess Cassie proved us wrong, once again.

Can we just talk about the potential love triangle that might happen? Is there going to be some Mark, Kieran, Cristina (wait, there's Perfect Diego. I guess she's out), and Emma love triangle going on? Or maybe Julian, Mark, and Emma love triangle? AT THE END, I COULD NOT believe that Emma Carstairs was asking Mark to be her fake boyfriend. Like, Mark and Julian's relationship isn't like perfect or anything, so ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE IT WORSE?!?! I did think that Kieran tended to be a little clingy, and that made him lose major points in my shipping book. Also, did anyone ship Cristina and Mark even though Kieran was there. I did, until Perfect Diego came. OH THE SHIPS. SO MANY OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kit being the Lost Herondale, eh? I thought that was a bit random, and that it was just randomly put in there, but I hope he has like...a the next book. ALTHOUGH I DID SEE THIS THEORY: TY AND Clare might add another LGBT+ couple!!! :) I see it. I do. Although them becoming parabati wouldn't be my first choice, I would still love it, even if inside, I'm crying for Livvy because if they do become parabati, she's probably get like SUPER upset (I'm talking depressed upset.

I STILL WISHED THAT THEY EXPLAINED MORE ABOUT WHY PARABATI CAN'T BE LIKE, IN LOVE LOVE LIKE THAT. Jem explained it a little in the end, and it just broke my heart. Julian and Emma are just like perfect for each other. I HAVE MANY THEORIES ABOUT HOW JULIAN x EMMA WILL WORK OUT, OKAY (Is it Jemma or Jula, or Eulian or Emmlian or whatever TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. (um, I'm talking about their ship name if you didn't know. i can be confusing at times ._.))
Theory 1: They take away that law but the parabatis must go through extensive training to learn how to control their powers.
Theory 2: Julian and Emma get rid of their parabati-ness (idk how this is supposed to happen ?!), Emma and Cristina become parabati, Julian and Emma can get together.
Theory 3: They take away their Shadowhunter-ness. I know.    

Let's discuss! What did you think about Lady Midnight?

Final Rating: